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suffer thine holy one to see corruption," although he was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, that is, in the grave; but on the third day he was quickened by the spirit into life and immortality in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The principle of sin and death was extinguished in his body by this operation of the almighty power of God, as Paul says in writing to the Ephesians that he "prayed that the eyes of their understanding might be enlightened by the Father of glory, that they might see what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to his mighty power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Sin was now condemned and destroyed in his flesh. That principle of evil in man's Aesh called the Devil, was cast out.
Jesus said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3: 14-15). What parallel was there
3 between the lifting up of the serpent, and the lifting up of the Son of man? The serpent is a symbol of sin in the flesh, that is, the Devil in the flesh; therefore when the Son of man was lifted up, sin in the flesh was lifted up, and nailed to the cross; so when Christ died and was buried, and was raised from the dead immortal, free from the law of sin in his members, the Devil was dead. The prince of this world was cast out, else how could Paul's words be true, where he said, “ As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same." And we inquire, For what purpose ? Paul answers, “That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil."
Again Jesus said to his apostles (John 16:7-11), “ It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you, and when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
To understand these words of Christ, we must remember the Scripture in the sixty-eighth Psalm, which said of Christ, " Thou hast ascended on high (referring to his ascension into heaven after his resurrection), thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men." These gifts were the gifts of the Holy Spirit, called by Jesus, the Comforter. These gifts of the Holy Spirit would never have been given to men, if Jesus had not ascended into heaven to his Father, as the Scriptures required, and therefore as Jesus said, “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you."
Now when the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven after Christ's ascension there, he says that it was to serve three purposes: to reprove, or con-vince the world, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. First, of sin, he says, “because they believe not on me ”; that is, Christ had been raised from the dead, and ascended on high, and the spirit that he sent down by which signs, wonders, and miracles were wrought in his name was proof positive that he was alive again, and accepted of God, and his enemies were con
demned and convinced of sin thereby. Second, of righteousness, because, “I go to the Father, and ye see me no more.” The Scripture had said of Christ, “Sit thou at my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool.” Therefore when he sat down on his Father's throne, his disciples could see him no more, and the spirit which he sent down from there bore witness of his righteousness, for without that he could not have been accepted there. Third, of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. Christ, by a sacrifice for sin, had condemned sin in the flesh; that is, the prince of this world was judged, condemned and cast out, so far as the person of Christ was concerned, and will be cast out of his brethren when they put on immortality, by resurrection, as their Lord and master had already done, all of which the spirit was sent down from on high to convince men of.
THE DEVIL AS A FATHER Jesus, by the spirit that was given him, as John the Baptist said, without measure, possessed the power to discern the hearts of all, so that any vain, flattering words, or superficial pretense, had no influence with him; and therefore it is written of him, “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did; but Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man because he knew what was in man” (John 2: 23-25). On another occasion it is said (John 8:30), “As he spake these words many believed on him”; but Jesus, knowing how superficial and ephemeral this belief in him was, said unto them which professed to believe in him, If continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This quickly manifested what was in them, for they replied, “We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” Jesus replied emphatically, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin; and the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ýe shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham's seed, but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place
I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and ye do that which ye have seen with your Father.” This Jesus said to persons who had just professed to believe on him. “Then they answered, Abraham is our Father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham, but now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham. Ye do the works of your Father. They replied, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.” Then said Jesus, “Ye are of your Father the Devil, and the lusts of your Father ye will do."
This important conversation between Christ and the children of the Devil shows very clearly what the Devil is, and all do well to carefully study the truth on this question, as it is set forth by an unerring authority. He said
Devil ? She chose the latter, for it is written, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat; and the eyes of them both were opened.”
Now Jesus said that the Devil was a murderer and a liar, and the Father of lies and abode not in the truth; that is, the law of sin existed before actual sin was committed. The Devil therefore was in the truth, but he did not abide there; for lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. What Eve did therefore in accepting the lie of the serpent as her own, and then acting upon it, is charged against lust, or sin in the flesh, or the Devil, which, in a doctrinal sense, is the same thing. And what Cain afterwards did in murdering his brother, when sin in his flesh became excited and prompted him to kill him, is also the work of the Devil, for John says, Cain was of that wicked one, and slew his brother.” Again he says, “ He that committeth sin, is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning." John therefore taught the same doctrine on this point that Jesus did.
THINGS CHARGED UP AGAINST THE DEVIL
As the Devil sinned from the beginning and abode not in the truth, and as he prompted the first transgression, insomuch that lust, when it had conceived, brought forth sin by actual transgression, and sin, when it was finished, brought forth death, and so death passed upon all men, — therefore whatever evils have grown out of the sentence pronounced in Eden against the transgression are charged up against the Devil, and are called the works of the Devil. All manner of sicknesses and infirmities which the human family encounter on the road to death and the grave, are called the Devil's works; and the diseases and infirmities, mental and physical, that the children of men are afflicted with are his offspring, and are moreover called devils, and evil spirits, after his name. Christ came, says John, to destroy the works of the Devil, and finally, according to Paul, the Devil himself; and as death is the last enemy which is to be destroyed, it logically follows, that when death is destroyed, the Devil also will have been destroyed and will exist no more.
ARE DISEASES AND INFIRMITIES CALLED DEVILS? The Prophet Isaiah, testifying of the work that Christ would do when he came into the world, said, “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." In fulfillment of this Scripture, Matthew informs us (8:17), “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed of devils, and he cast out the spirit with his word, and healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet saying, “ Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Isa. 53:4). Human infirmities and sicknesses, mental and physical, of every name and nature, are therefore referred to as myriads of devils and evil spirits, that afflict mankind. Peter also said to Cornelius the centurion, when he was sent of God to tell him what things he must do to be saved, testifying as follows: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him."
A person afflicted with dumbness is said to be possessed with a devil, and therefore Luke says (11:14), “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb." Here the devil is said to be dumb, but it is added, And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake and the people wondered.” Again, in another place, when Jesus came down from the mount where he had been transfigured before three of his disciples, it is said by Matthew (17: 14-18), “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord have mercy on my son, for he is lunatic, and sore vexed; for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water; and I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil, and he departed out of him, and the child was cured from that very hour."
A plainer statement than this, that an infirmity common to the children of men, known as lunacy, is here called a Devil, need not be furnished; and moreover, lunacy, which we here learn is a devil, is here also personified and spoken of as though it were a being, for it is said, “He departed out of him.” This figure is carried still further, for the devils on some occasions are said to speak; but if a person will give heed to the examples already furnished, he need not be deceived with the clerical theory of dead men's ghosts and wicked spirits, as living existences taking possession of people. The Scripture is its own interpreter when we compare spiritual things with spiritual, that is, one Scripture with another, as Paul has shown us how to do.
How often do we see persons afflicted with ills which affect the mind, so that they become delirious and out of their right mind, and in that state utter all kinds of strange things. Now these utterances we do not attribute to the persons themselves, but rather to the malady with which they are seized, although the utterances find expression through the mouths of the invalids themselves. And as Jesus possessed power over all men, and over all manner of mental, as well as physical infirmities, he could compel the persons so afflicted to express the truth and to recognize him as the Christ, and to cause them to speak the truth, or to restrain them altogether from speaking.
Consequently, Mark writes that when Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, in Capernaum, and taught,“ they were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saving, Let us alone, what have I to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee, who thou art, the holy one of God. And Jesus rebuked him saying, Hold thy peace and come out of him."
Now in this instance the infirmity of which this man was seized is not only personified and spoken of as though he were a person, but he is made to speak; but we must not lose sight of the important fact that he speaks by the mouth of the invalid, and not by any mouth of his own; and when the unclean spirit had torn him and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. Whatever loud voice a crazy man, maddened by disease, might utter, or however much he might tear himself, we would of course attribute it, not to the poor sufferer's self, but to the malady that had taken possession of him.
Again Luke says (4:40-41), “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them unto him, and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them "; and then referring to others afflicted with mental maladies, it is said, “ And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God; and he, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak."
Now unless we exercise our senses upon these matters and give special heed where the truth is made clearly apparent, as it is in some places already referred to, how shall we be able to comprehend the meaning in places like the above, where it is more difficult to discern? There is always a key to the difficult and dark sayings contained in the Scriptures, and unless people find the key, and then employ it, they will fall into the error of the wicked, and wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction. And there is probably no Scripture doctrine more difficult to interpret in all its various features than this, and more fearfully corrupted and perverted than this, which we shall endeavor to show as we proceed with our investigations. We shall next consider
"THE MAN THAT HAD DEVILS, AND ABODE IN THE TOMBS
(MARK 5:1-17) When Jesus landed in the country of the Gadarenes, there met him a certain man which had devils a long time, exceeding fierce, so that no man could bind him, no not with chains, neither could he be tamed; and always night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not: for he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion; for we are many. And he besought him much, that he would not send them away out of the country.” The narrative goes on to say, that there was there nigh unto the mountains, a great herd of swine feeding ” (swine were forbidden to be used as food by the house of Israel), " And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them; and forthwith Jesus gave them leave; and the unclean spirits went out and entered into the swine, and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and were choked in the sea; and they that fed the swine, fed and told it in the city, and in the country, and they went out to see what it was that was done. And they came to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the Legion, sitting and clothed, and in his right mind. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine." And as they appeared to think more of their swine, than they did of the Son of