Volume 47 | Number 1 | January–February 2019

Inglés Español

The Power of Darkness: Its Beginning and Continued Influence

By Dr. H. T. Spence

We now must give attention to the great power of the Devil set against God’s children seeking to continue their lives with the Lord. The Devil casts thoughts in the mind of the believer to hinder any deepening of his desire for the things of God. To understand this wicked craft, we must go back in biblical history and reflect upon the beginning of these powers of darkness.

This historic journey reaches back to the vastness of the highly populated second heaven. The first heaven designated somewhat the canopy of our earth. The third heaven is where God resides. However, between these heavens is the second heaven, where all the spiritual principalities, powers, dominions, and thrones exist. From the perspective of our satellites and telescopes, we cannot help but utter in wonder, “This is vast!” In fact, science today believes that this universe is expanding and that we have not arrived at even a small approximation of how extensive this vastness is.

However, we must not think that this vast second heaven is void of population. The Bible tells us that when God created angels, He created a multitude without number and placed them all in this second heaven of the universe. Additionally, the Bible reveals that among this multitude of angels, God created what seems to be His most powerful creation—Lucifer.

The Initial Thoughts of Lucifer

This created creature Lucifer came to believe that he should take the place of God. He believed he was beautiful enough and powerful enough to be God. He may have even thought (from an evolutionary perspective), “God only arrived just a few minutes before me.” He convinced himself that he could take the place of God. Isaiah 14 carefully reveals his thoughts of deep pride and selfish ambition (vv. 13, 14).

Isaiah 14 is the only passage that reveals to us Lucifer’s original name, meaning “bearer of light.” God Himself named this angel. But Isaiah 14:12 cries out, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

These words (given by Isaiah against the king of Babylon) reveal where Lucifer’s downfall began: “For thou hast said in thine heart” (14:13a). Lucifer’s fall began not in open words against God but in the thoughts of his own heart! In the midst of the vast population of angels he declared, “I will ascend into heaven,” meaning he would ascend to the third heaven, God’s heaven; he sought to ascend there permanently and make that third heaven his abode. Lucifer continues, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God,” speaking of the throne that God had appropriately delegated to this creature; this was not a throne Lucifer had created himself (Isa. 14:13a).

Lucifer’s final three declarations are the height of his pride because they were his thoughts declaring to be like the Trinity. The first phrase “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” is similarly stated in Psalm 48 and Isaiah 2. This is a description of the coming Messiah, the Son! Lucifer’s declaration was “I will be greater than the Son.” We must acknowledge that Lucifer saw the Trinity in heaven, though not in all its fullness. Seeing its threefold distinction, his initial desire was to take the place of the Son. His second phrase declares, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,” speaking of his desire to be like the Holy Spirit. In his final phrase, he declares, “I will be like the most High,” or like the Father. He was not content to be just one member; he thought and sought to be all three in himself.

What deep pride this creature had to dare contemplate that he could become greater than the Triune God! Yet we read the inspired word of verses 15–17:

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

These latter verses view the Devil at the end of time and how he will end in judgment from God. The world’s population of history never dreamed this would happen to him: “Is this the one that has caused the earth to tremble, that made the kingdoms shake for fear? Is this the very same one?” But they will also declare, “That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof.” This description is the product of what he did; and he opened not the house of his prisoners.

This passage tells where the powers of darkness all began. There was no Adam or Eve at this time. Pride was the original sin and the Devil was the original sinner of all creation. According to Ezekiel 28, he was the guardian and the covering of the throne of God. He was above all the cherubs, the most powerful angel created; he was the anointed one! He was the closest to the throne of God. Seeing and observing the Triune God in the third heaven in all His glory, Lucifer himself birthed such thoughts in his mind, influencing his heart and will. He then made the choice to rebel against God and followed through in the execution of that choice. Yes, it went beyond thought; he actually rebelled!

Lucifer’s First Prisoners

Who were Lucifer’s first prisoners? The comprehensive chapter of Revelation 12 reveals that “his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven” (v. 4a). The tail in the Old Testament is that part of the body that typifies the false prophets, those who give powerful words with the hope and ability to deceive. Lucifer’s tail, his talk, drew the third part of the stars (remember, he wanted to exalt his throne above the stars, the rest of the angels). His tail drew a third part of the angels of the second heaven. He then cast these fallen angels to the earth where the Bible declares, “the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born”(v. 4b). Here, the Bible speaks of him as a dragon. Who is this dragon?

Revelation 12:9 continues by stating, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.” This additional name Satan means “adversary.” But to whom is he an adversary? When God gave the angels a will, Lucifer and one-third of the angels made a choice with that will, and they executed that choice by rebelling against God. It was at that moment that Lucifer became Satan (Gr., Satanas), the one lying in wait to destroy God—the adversary of God. This Satan is additionally called the Devil (Gr., Diabolos) or “the accuser.” Although the Bible does not reveal Lucifer’s words to God, we do know about his will against God and his subsequent fall. Did he go to God? Did he attack God to his face? Did he confront God in His power as God? What did he accuse God of?

God did not create the Devil or Satan; God created Lucifer. He created a perfect angelic world, a perfect angelic population. But when this one angel rose against God, he also convinced one-third of the angelic population to join him in the rebellion. For this reason, New Testament demons are called devils; the demons that followed the Devil became a devil and a satan. These fallen angelic beings continue to hate and accuse not only God but also His people throughout history. God did not create evil. Evil came out of the will of the Devil, Lucifer, who became Satanas and Diabolos.

Satan’s Influence at the Beginning

At the fall of Satan and his demons, God confined some of these demons to Tartarus (a place for fallen spirits or demons, similar to Hades, a place for human spirits), where they are in chains until the final judgment (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). Other demons were bound in geographies of the universe until the appointed day of the Tribulation Period, at which time they will be released upon the earth as part of the judgment upon men (e.g., Rev. 9:14). And yet, other demons including Satan were permitted to roam the heavens. After the earth’s creation and fall of man, Satan and his demons gained an influence upon humanity.

We must be very careful how we introduce the Garden of Eden. Everything God made was perfect; and everything that was on the earth was perfect and good and holy and righteous. But somehow, with the power that God created this angel to have, he was able to manipulate and influence a creature that God made—a serpent, called nachash. Although Satan was not on the planet, he was able to influence this nachash to communicate with Eve. Although Satan was not yet with man, he found an open door to influence him. Eve yielded to the words of the dragon through the serpent, and then Eve convinced her husband to yield. The fall of man then brought mankind into the propensity of sin. Although Adam is the original sinner on the planet Earth, the original sinner of the universe is the Devil. The door for the Devil to come into the earth and influence the world of mankind was opened by Adam and Eve.

A relationship between Satan and mankind would now be formed in a variety of contexts. In Ephesians 2:2, he is called “the prince of the power of the air.” This air references the first and second heavens; he has become a prince in these regions. He has become a high influential ruler of the air. He is also called “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) or the god of this “age.” How did he become the god?

The Devil is very rarely mentioned in the Old Testament. He is most prominently mentioned in the first two chapters of Job. It is the New Testament that begins to reveal much more about the Devil. In Job 1:7 the Lord said unto Satan, “Whence comest thou?” “Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth.” This passage indicates that the Devil is not limited to the air or the second heaven. This verse is telling us, “I have been going to and fro in the earth, and specifically, walking up and down in it.” This reveals where he is; this is almost his home.

Again, in Job 2:2, “And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Satan was one of all the angels that was required to make an appearance before the Lord and give an account of his doings (not that God needs the information, but they needed to be accountable to Him). Having to come before God and give an account of all that he does is no doubt demeaning and humiliating to the Devil. The Lord once again brings up Job’s name, “Hast thou considered my servant Job?” The Lord questioned the Devil: “Well, in your comings and goings, and carefully observing humanity, have you ‘considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him [in chap. 1], to destroy him [and very importantly] without cause’” (2:3). From this context it is evident Satan was observing Job; he observes every man. He knows every man, woman, boy, and girl. From his observations Satan attacked the motive of Job: “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face” (2:4, 5). Yes, these conversations take place at the throne of God.

The Work and Influence of the Devil

First Peter 5:8 describes the Devil going to and fro with a specific motive:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Peter warns his audience that they must keep awake, and on watch, for the adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, is walking about, up and down in the earth, to and fro. His specific motive is to devour or destroy all whom he can. The Devil does not sleep; he does not become apathetic; he does not take vacations. Destruction is his satanic occupation. If he travels at least at the speed of light, he can encircle this planet seven times in one second. His individual work does not include all the spies of the demonic forces that he uses to keep him updated on God’s people.

In Ephesians 6:12, we have the revelation that we wrestle not (we do not have hand-to-hand combat against flesh and blood), but we do wrestle (at times we are very close) against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, or in the heavenlies. Yes, the Devil is right here, almost face to face in combat with us every day.

First John 5:19 declares that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness, or the wicked one. Everything about this world—its media, its commercialization, its politics, its religion—everything lies in the wicked one. In 2 Corinthians 4:3, we read the brief words, “But if our gospel be hid. . . .” This is a far-reaching statement—if there is anyone on the planet, any human being of any given generation that does not see the Gospel, it is because it is hidden to them who are lost. We will not be able to accuse God, “Well, You didn’t get the Gospel to those people in Africa.” No, this passage is very clear here: “if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”

But is this all Paul has to say? No, he continues in verse 4, “In whom the god of this world [the Devil] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” How do these people continue not believing? It is because of the Devil! How does he do this? He has a power; he has a wonder, a capability of blinding minds, blinding the way people think. He has “blinded the minds of them which believe not,” and his motive for doing so is “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” This blinding is his concentrated duty to keep as many as possible from believing.

So at the beginning, there was a Devil who fell from a perfect state; he was not part of this world, yet he took hold of a nachash, “a shining one, a brilliant one,” and he used that creature as an instrument of influence to bring about the fall of our parents Adam and Eve. At that event man opened the door for Satan to now enter the planet Earth from which he previously had been sealed out. In Revelation 20, we find that when Satan is cast into a bottomless pit right at the beginning of the thousand years (the Millennium), it is evident that this will not be sufficient. Revelation 20:3 reveals, “And [an angel] cast him [the Devil] into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him.” Why the need of a seal upon the Devil in this bottomless pit? “That he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled.” After the thousand years, he will bring a powerful deception. Nevertheless, during these thousand years God seals the pit from any influence he could project upon the planet Earth.

At our present time in history, we have the Devil in the earth. He has become the god of this world. Within this context the Devil has total control of influence on this earth, although we know that God is sovereign above it all! The Bible reveals that Satan is hiding the truth of the Gospel to those who do not believe.

Along with this truth, we must acknowledge that there is the human ingredient—the truth that man does not need the Devil to sin. Every man, woman, boy, and girl are born with the sin nature. They will sin because this is their nature; they were born with this propensity.

Galatians 5:19 states that the works of the flesh are manifested in various ways: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.” We are told that those who “do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (v. 21). Nestled within this listing are two words: idolatry and witchcraft. Although man does not need the Devil in the list of the other sins, for the sins of idolatry and witchcraft he will need the assistance of the Devil. Therefore, there is a point in the sinning of certain sins, if man wants to go deeper in those sins, the Devil must empower him.

In Ephesians 2:1, 2, Paul declares, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past [these redeemed, these saved Christians, in the past] ye walked according to the course [aion; you walked according to the age] of this world [system], according to the prince of the power of the air.” What is noted here by the apostle Paul is not simply that they walked according to their present contemporary, its mood, its spirit, its ambitions, its desires; but they walked according to the prince of the power of the air. They were influenced by the Devil. This reveals to us that every sinner to some degree is influenced by the Devil. For Paul reveals, “the spirit that now worketh [“energizes”] in the children of disobedience.” Disobedience is the critical sin mentioned here; this sin is empowered by the Devil. These verses do not mean that I cannot disobey without the Devil’s help, but there are certain sins for which the Devil is always present—disobedience is one of those sins. Paul reveals in 2 Timothy 3:2 that one of the sins that will rise in prominence in the End Time will be disobedience to parents. Such children, both old and young, may be bold in their expression of disobedience, but behind them and unbeknown to them is the master disobedient one, the Devil.

Another sin that the Devil enters into with man is found in John 8:44:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The Devil is the originator and progenitor of lying. Thus far in our observation we have come to two sins where man in sinning enters the realm of the spirit, the realm of Satan—disobedience and lying. Yes, there are works of the flesh in Galatians 5, but when one enters disobedience and lying, he enters into a work in the spirit realm where the Devil is actively assisting, whether one is a child or an adult. The End Time certainly is filled with the sins of the flesh, but one of the master sins of our American society is lying—fake news; fake history; bold, raw, aggressive lies. Every little lie is contributing as tributaries to a coming bold, global Lie. If only we would realize that if we tell a lie, the Devil is right there enabling, empowering that lie. Lying is a specific sin upon which he feeds. In certain sins the Devil wants as many offspring as he can sire!

The prophet Samuel confronted King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22, 23 with these words:

Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion [disobedience] is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [obstinacy] is as iniquity and idolatry.

The rawness of the original Hebrew is “For rebellion (without the italics), the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness (without the italics), iniquity and idolatry.” How does idolatry come into this? It is the projection of the deification of self over God. The prophet Samuel here is not declaring that rebellion is like witchcraft or that stubbornness is like the sin of iniquity and idolatry. We must read it without the italicized words to mean that rebellion is the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry.

There are many sins the Devil cannot sin. He does not have a body to sin fleshly sins. He can empower; he can give thoughts to the mind to commit fornication, to live immorally, to commit incest, but he cannot personally commit these sins. He may “possess” a person’s body and empower it to commit fornication, but does he personally gain pleasure from that possession even though the body is not his? Idolatry and witchcraft become the final frontier of the sins of the flesh, needing the presence of the Devil (or demons) in order to commit such sins. One will have to step into another realm beyond the flesh for this work of the flesh to be enacted.

The Devil’s Confrontation with Jesus Christ

In Matthew 4, the Devil confronted Jesus with the wilderness temptations. Matthew presents the temptation of Christ from the natural sequence, whereas Luke 4 gives its spiritual approach. In the second temptation found in Luke (the third sequential temptation of Matthew), it is stated, “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time” (Luke 4:5). The word for the world here is oikoumene. The Devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the inhabited world supernaturally, in a moment of time. This perspective included Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greco-Macedonia, and Rome. Was the Antichrist kingdom part of what he showed Jesus?

The Devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the oikoumene in a moment of time. “And the devil said unto him, All this power [this authority of these kingdoms] will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me” (Luke 4:6). How were these kingdoms delivered unto the Devil? Did God deliver them? No. Only men seeking greater power gave their kingdoms unto the Devil. Men through their gods (part of the idolatry of Satan) delivered their kingdoms to the Devil. They did so with the hope that he would empower them to conquer and control others. “If you empower me to gain the world, the whole world, I’ll worship you, I will give you my soul, I will do anything that you demand of me.” Yes, the kingdoms have been delivered unto Satan by man. He is so intricately involved in this world’s history now. In verse 6 we read, “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will [Gr., thelema, “wish”; whatever is the wish of my heart as to who takes total control of these kingdoms] I give it [I am the one who will make the choice; I am the one who will make the deliverance].” He was telling the Lord, “I have the power, I have the authority to give this to you.” For this power what was needed? Verse 7 reveals how Satan got all the kingdoms: “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” He had taken control because of man’s worship unto him. But how far does this go?

The Devil’s Will, God’s Will, and My Will

We now carefully enter another passage of Scripture. In 2 Timothy 2:23–26, Paul reveals an important truth to Timothy:

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive [physically or with words in anger or hostility]; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves [they are actually against themselves, but they do not know it]; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth [one must acknowledge the truth for repentance]; And that they may recover themselves [that they may be brought] out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

This verb taken captive is in the perfect passive, indicating there was an initial crisis of taking (or an initial falling into the trap), and then there was a continuation in the present tense (the perfect tense is the combination of the crisis and the present tenses). The Devil has kept them bound as a captive prisoner. And to what? They are taken captive by him, the Devil, at his will (thelema, his “wish-will”). The Devil’s will versus God’s will—which will control my life? The true child of God cries (as his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ), “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” This is the yoke of Christ. But we must remember that the Devil has his will, and he has captured many an individual to his will.

“I’ll do anything; if only you will give me this kingdom….” What covenant did Hitler enter with the Devil to gain control of what he believed ultimately would be the world? This goes beyond a Hitler, a Putin, or a Nancy Pelosi. We speak of individuals we know, relatives and friends, sons and daughters, who have been taken captive by the Devil’s will. This proves that the Devil has a power in his will, though limited. God has unlimited power in His will; He can choose and execute that choice, and nothing is impossible with God. To a certain degree, in God’s sovereign will He permits the Devil’s will to resolve in some individuals’ lives. And once the will of an individual opens to him, the Devil’s powers of control and influence can take over.

Dear reader, this is why disobedience and lying are part of the Devil’s active will for one’s life: “I want you to be disobedient; I want you to lie in this matter.” The will of an individual includes a choice, a decision. One can make a decision and retreat from fulfilling the choice, or one can make a decision and follow through and execute that decision or choice. Have thoughts ever entered our minds about something, “Don’t say that, don’t do that,” and yet we followed through and said it or committed the act. We did it. We lied. We disobeyed. It was an empowering for the moment. We got caught in the snare. But now are we going to repent of that disobedience? Are we going to repent of that lying? Or are we going to refuse to repent? Will the Devil continue to feed the mind with thoughts such as, “You don’t have to repent of this; after all, you had a right to do what you did; you had a right to rebel; you had a right to be defiant.” Once this conclusion resolves in an individual, there will be no self-control. He is now in the Devil’s will. The individual may be quiet; he may start smiling, but the Devil will bring another opportunity (or God will bring it up), and the sin will come out again. However, the next time will be deeper than the previous time.

Every time we yield to the Devil, his power and control of our lives deepens. Every time I yield to God’s will, His power deepens in its control of my life. How far will this go? In 2 Timothy 2:26, what is this captivity? What is this binding? What is this imprisonment? How far does it go? In Matthew 17:14, we read of a father who desired for the Lord to help his son, to have mercy on him. The Greek word for son here is huios, implying a full-grown son. But in the narrative of Luke 9:42, the word is paida, “and the child was cured from that very hour.” Apparently, this son was about twelve to fourteen years old, a paida, not a paidion. Can the Devil lay hold of a young child? How young can one be?

God has providential forces protecting children around the world. One does not come into the world sinning, actively drinking, smoking, or being an atheist. God’s providence provides mercy as one grows into an awareness of these sins. But lying and disobedience are innate; they come naturally. Again, the Devil empowers in a child as he grows older the two particular sins of disobedience and lying. This is why these sins must be broken early. In the passage in Matthew 17, the father declared to the Lord, “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” (17:16, 17). “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief” (17:19, 20a). They brought the son to Jesus and He rebuked the Devil or demon, and the demon departed out of the child.

The dilemma in this passage is what is the minimum age whereby a child may be demon-possessed? Several concerns must be considered. The first concern is the willfulness of a will to yield to these powers. The child may not know it is the Devil, but he is yielding to a power to do wrong, a power to react, or a power to go against. This yielding becomes the door to open more and more to demonic activity. There comes a point in the fulfilling of a desire that one will need the power of the Devil to go onward in the sin. In our day and time (and it may have been for this dear child), there is an increasing passivity of the will. This is why we should fear apathy. When apathy begins to take hold of our mind, the tendency is to just let that mind wander. We then yield to thinking about anything that comes into the mind, or with our will we are not making choices and decisions of determination not to do certain things; we just go ahead and yield and yield and yield, and do and do.

The Scripture reveals that Christ delivered Mary Magdalene from seven demons (Mark 16:9). How did these demons enter her? Was she a vulnerable, weak woman? Did each demon that came into her life weaken her more and more until she had no will to overcome? It seems that Christ out of great mercy had to deliver her from these demons. Some people live such passive lives. They will not fight against certain forces that send suggestions to the mind or implications to the heart. Over time, they begin to yield to these forces, gradually becoming progressively weaker and eventually overtaken by these deep powers.


Dear reader, the Devil is alive and working throughout this planet Earth. His influence is prominent in many lives. This is the way the world is today. This is a reason very few are coming to the Lord now; moreover, sad to say, more individuals are leaving the Lord than truly coming to the Lord. We are witnessing the great activity of the Devil in the End Time. Some of these forces are going to be so powerful that any deliverance will not be easy. As the Lord told His disciples privately when they asked, “Why could not we cast them out?” He replied, “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21).

Nevertheless, Isaiah 61:1 declares the following concerning Christ:

The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.

Thank God, there is a hope, there is a power, and there is an anointed Saviour Who can proclaim liberty to these captives!

According to Isaiah 14:17, Satan will not open the house of his prisoners. We must turn to the great Son of God to bring about this deliverance. Men today are sinning sins to such a depth that they have opened the door of their will, mind, and heart for the Devil to empower them. It may be that in the past our mind was controlled by the Devil as we allowed our thoughts to wander. We became passive; we yielded to passivity. Our state of mind and heart got deeper and deeper; apathy and indifference brought us down to such darkness that we could not escape. More and more professing Christians have entered this apathy-captivity, this apathy-imprisonment. They may say, “I have tried, but I can’t get out of it!” How hypocritical of our contemporary to denounce the history of slavery while promoting slavery to sin and the Devil.

As we grow older and physically decline, we must be careful about allowing thoughts that are not good to enter the mind. Sometimes such thoughts are prompted by the drugs that are declared as needed for our physical or mental condition. But we must be careful that the Devil does not take advantage of the mind through these drugs. We must pray to the end, “God, give me the Spirit of love, power, and a sound mind so that I will not end up cursing those who take care of me, and I will not end up cursing the pastor, and I will not end up cursing those who have been my friends for years.”

The Devil’s last stand will be in the End Time. To the last minute of our lives, God’s saints will be fighting spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies. We tend to think that all God’s saints will be victorious at the end. In the 1700s, it was often stated, “How goodly the Methodists die.” But these Methodists were not living in the apostate days that we find ourselves called to live. Some of God’s people may be on their deathbed, crying out, “O God, help me,” as the Devil throws thoughts into the mind to obstruct their faith.

May God help in this late hour when the powers of evil and darkness are swirling around us like a whirlwind. May we know His victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil. May our Saviour deliver the captives, the prisoners that are bound. May we remember the words of Peter as he preached to the house of Cornelius:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him (Acts 10:38).

We may wonder at times, “O God, where did that thought come from?” Help us to keenly know our adversary, so that he will not be able to take advantage of us. May God help our children and deliver them from the moods and spirit of our day of rebellion.

May the Holy Spirit ready us and keep us readied to enter that door of the rapture when it is opened. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.