This is heart fellowship with the Lord, bringing about enlightenment, leading to enlightenment, or making possible enlightenment.
Now a closing word of special emphasis upon the greater significance of pride and humility. It might be thought that we were just talking about the common virtues of the Christian life, and the common evils of human nature, but they are far bigger than that. We must remember that we are dealing here with Christ and Antichrist. We are getting back before man was created and seeing in the eternal counsels of God Christ as God’s chosen, God elect, Who was to bring God into dwelling in man. God was coming to dwell in man through His Son as in His Son. The whole thought and intention of the incarnation is: “God with us”, “God manifest in the flesh”, and dwelling in man. That is bound up with Christ, and that was in the eternal counsels of God. If God were going to dwell in man, and at some dateless point pride was found in the heart of Lucifer, and he reached out to occupy the place which God had appointed for Christ, that he should dwell in man as God, you have two lines at once starting off: the line of God indwelling man; and the whole course of demon possession, Satan seeking to gain entrance into human life and make it his tabernacle, his dwelling. Those are two courses of history. We are familiar with them. We know they are true. If you do not believe in demon possession, there are some places we could send you to where you would have your unbelief very quickly dispensed, but there is the history. We are not going to dwell upon it, but it is a fact. It is Christ and Antichrist.
It is Christ and Antichrist.
What is Antichrist? In the full development of Antichrist it is Satan incarnate as God dwelling in man, being worshipped (mark you) as God in man. What is it that moves toward that? It is this evil thing of which we have been speaking: pride. What is pride? Pride is the elevation of man. So that Antichrist is the elevation of man to the place of God. All these things that we have said about pride, independence, relate to that. Independence is man assuming personal rights, prerogatives, acknowledging no greater authority than himself, bowing to no one, a law unto himself, drawing things to himself in possessiveness, having them under his control, in his own hand, all things centred in himself and working toward self-exaltation. Pride in its simplest forms has all those elements, and it has only to grow. That is the soul of man by nature. That soul has only to exert itself or assert itself and you get a development of Antichrist, or the spirit of Antichrist.
That soul has only to exert itself or assert itself and you get a development of Antichrist, or the spirit of Antichrist.
I wonder if you know of any outstanding example, (though it is true in a smaller measure of all of us), where a man asserts his soul force tremendously to possess, to influence, to dominate, to have his way, to get his thoughts realised and accepted, his ideas adopted. It is not long before you find extra elements associating themselves with that man, something that is more than the man himself, egging him on, getting behind him and energising him until, while that man in himself to begin with was really not much, amongst men he would not have been regarded as a great man in himself, he has become a world figure and mysterious forces are at work, so that his words become slogans; people take them up and utter them. What are those forces? They are the satanic forces of Antichrist, and in measure there is a worshipping of him. The world will divide itself over several such men, and then the lesser will fall away until in all probability there will only be two; then there will come a clash, and the domination of one, Antichrist.
The world will divide itself over several such men, and then the lesser will fall away until in all probability there will only be two; then there will come a clash, and the domination of one, Antichrist.
Where does it originate? In the soul force of man projecting itself, which gives Satan just what he wants to ally psychic forces, to bring him up to Antichrist. Antichrist is the full development, with Satan indwelling, the devil incarnate, apparently in dominion. Then Christ comes, and the clash between the two. What is it that marks the Christ? Is it this assertiveness, this personal drive? No. Christ is the Lamb, as it had been newly slain, and it is the Lamb Who shall overcome. What is a lamb? A lamb is dependent, in itself nothing.
A lamb is dependent, in itself nothing.
The Lord will deal with us in this way. If the Lord is going to constitute us His temple, if we are really going to be a dwelling place of God; that is, not to be brought to ruin, but to be established, to become a part of that tabernacle of God coming down from God out of heaven, God dwelling with man, what will the Lord do with us? He will destroy our independence, empty us of our self-sufficiency, bring us to the place where we have nothing in ourselves and our all in Himself. That is where His Son was and that is why Christ triumphed. God allied Himself with that One, and whereas man thought that they were dealing with a poor, weak human, they came up against Almighty God. That was the issue.
That was the issue.
That is what the enemy has to reckon with. It may look like a poor fragment, a poor remnant of humanity, weak, persecuted, helpless, but he will find God there. That is why we said there is something mighty about humility, dependence, emptiness, when its everything is in the Lord. It is then that the forces of evil have God to reckon with, not with us. How shall we overcome? By standing by and fighting? We said just now that what is true of these outstanding examples is true in a smaller measure of us all. I wonder how many of you have fought to have your own way, believing that it was the Lord’s way. You may have thought that a certain course would be the Lord’s way, and you fought with all the heat of your being, with all the tenacity of your strength of will, and some heat of flesh. I ask you, do you wish you had never fought? Do you today wish that you had never entered into that fight like that? You can answer your own heart. I know that to this day I have regretted that ever I asserted my will, to have things as I thought they ought to be. What happened? I did not win. I may have got what I was after, but I lost; and it may be that I got something that I would rather be without today. It may be place, or some particular position, and we thought it would be all good, all to the glory of God, and so we set ourselves to have it. It would have been better to let go everything to the Lord, and have taken this position, Now Lord, if You want me to have that, or be in that, I stand in absolute faith in You that You are able to do it, and I need not worry or fear. The Lord is quite capable of seeing to it.
It would have been better to let go everything to the Lord, and have taken this position, Now Lord, if You want me to have that, or be in that, I stand in absolute faith in You that You are able to do it, and I need not worry or fear. The Lord is quite capable of seeing to it.
You see what the tabernacle of God is. It is God’s dwelling place. It is where the Lord is everything, and in order for the Lord to be everything we must be nothing. Humility, meekness must be a big mark of such a House of God.
There are other things, but that is where we begin. May the Lord teach us His own lesson of humility.