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Five Ways Christ Undoes Satan’s Work
In our study at this time we are dealing with the theme of Jesus, the second man and the head of the new race. We have shown out of the scriptures that Jesus became the last Adam, took upon himself all the guilt and condemnation and curse of the Adamic race, sealed it off by his death and burial, and rose again on the third day from the dead to become the second man and the head of the new race. And that all those who are united with Christ by faith in his death, burial and resurrection, and are regenerated [or born again] in this way, become the members of this new race. They become the members of his body. Jesus is the head of the body, the beginning, the resurrection from the dead. And those who are united with him by faith according to the gospel, become the members of his body and the members of the new race. And then we have been studying God’s purpose for the new race. In our previous study we said that basically, or primarily, the purpose of God for the new race was to fulfill the purposes which Adam, through his disobedience, failed to fulfill. We will just briefly review that and then move on.
First of all, with regard to the method of creation, the first Adam was created with the inbreathed breath of God. And the new race is brought into being as each one individually is regenerated by the inbreathed Spirit from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, the nature of the first Adam, he was created in God’s likeness and image. And in the new creation, the image and likeness of God are being restored through the work of the Holy Spirit bringing forth again, the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ in us.
Thirdly, God’s purpose for the first Adam was to exercise God given dominion or authority over all the earth. And likewise, for the new creation, God’s purpose is that we should be his ambassadors, heaven’s official representatives, carrying heaven’s message and exercising heavenly authority with all the authority of heaven’s government behind us. Jesus said all authority is given unto me, go ye therefore and exercise it.
Fourthly, the first Adam was brought into being to have intelligent partnership with God, he was not a slave but he was in fellowship with God. He shared the fulfillment of God’s purposes, the outworking of God’s purposes. Likewise in the new creation Jesus said I don’t call you slaves any longer, I call you friend. And Paul says we are co-workers with God and stewards of God’s household.
Then in the first creation, the provision of a mate for Adam was unique by the means by which Eve was brought into being. And this corresponds to the provision of the church as a bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. As Eve was presented to Adam, so the church will be presented to Christ. As Adam slept, Eve was brought forth out of his body. As Jesus slept in the tomb, the church was brought forth out of his sacrificial substitutionary death.
And then we saw that all this was summed up in the statement made by Jesus in John 20:21:
“as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (KJV)
We are here in the earth to fulfill the same relationship towards Christ as Christ fulfilled in the earth toward his Father. Christ lived by union with the Father, we live by union with Christ. Christ lived to do the Father’s will, we live to do the will of Christ. The words and works of Christ came from the Father, the words and works of the believer come from Christ. Christ revealed the Father to the world, the believer has to reveal Christ to the world. The parallel is absolutely exact.
Now I want to go on and consider further God’s purpose for the new race. We said primarily it was to fulfill the purposes for which Adam was created but which he failed to fulfill.
Secondly, God’s purpose for the new race is to reverse the results produced by Adam’s fall. And this is what we will study now in this present study; how the new creation, the new race is destined under God to reverse or undo the results produced by Adam’s fall. One scripture by way of introduction in 1 John 3:8, the second part of the verse only.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
That’s a very plain, clear statement. The reason for which Jesus was manifested in human flesh, the work that he came to do was to destroy the works of the devil. The word that’s translated destroy means literally to loose or to undo. The same word is used when John the Baptist said concerning the Messiah, I am not worthy to stoop down and undo his shoelaces. So Jesus came to undo the works of the devil. And we can relate this to the results of Adam’s fall very specifically, and we’ll do it.
In the previous study we traced five specific results which came upon the human race and upon creation generally as a result of the fall of Adam. In this study we will see how, through Jesus Christ, the new race is to undo the results of Adam’s fall. And we’ll go through this in the outline that you have on your sheet before you.
First of all, as a result of the fall, there was a change in Adam’s nature. And the key word to describe the change is the word corrupt. Adam became corrupt both spiritually and physically. Now as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection, a new nature is brought into being in the believer which undoes the corruption produced by Adam’s fall. We’ll look at two scriptures, first of all, Colossians 3:10. Colossians 3:10, where Paul says of believers:
“And put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”
Now I have put an alternative translation or paraphrase in your outline. Being renewed, it’s a continuous presence, it’s a process that’s going on. Being renewed unto the acknowledgment of the creator. The word not only means knowledge but acknowledging to reproduce his image. So this is what is going on in the new creation in each one of us individually. We are being renewed, brought back into the knowledge and acknowledging of the creator in such a way that the creator’s image is reproduced in us again. See, it’s a very beautiful thought. In the first creation God did not rest until he had produced his own image and likeness in creation. He rested the seventh day but on the sixth day he had brought forth something that was a reproduction of his own image. And in the new creation, God will not rest until he has reproduced his own image and likeness in the believer. This is more fully stated in 2Peter 1:3–4. Now this passage in 2Peter 1 is a very long sentence containing a lot of very powerful words. I’ll begin in verse 2 in order to get a fairly complete sentence and then we’ll try to analyze briefly what Peter is telling us in verses 3 and 4. It’s one of the most astonishing statements made anywhere in the scripture. Peter begins in verse 2 with the salutation:
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”
Notice that it’s coming through the knowledge or acknowledging of God and of Jesus. This is one of the key thoughts of the new creation. It comes as we enter into the knowledge and acknowledging of God and of Jesus. Then Peter goes on in verse 3:
“According as his divine power [God’s divine power] hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”(KJV)
Now I think we can trace certain successive statements there. Beginning at the first part of verse 3, God’s divine power has given unto us, not will give, but has given, all things that pertain unto life and godliness. In the new creation every provision is already made just as it was in the old creation. When God brought Adam into the world he didn’t have to look around for a place to put him or things with which to feed him or anything. The whole thing was perfect. He was brought into a perfect creation where every need had been foreseen and was already met. This is exactly the same in the new creation in Christ. When we are created anew in Christ we are placed into a provision which is complete and perfect. There are no afterthoughts. God does not have to think up anything. He does not have to say well, I overlooked that, maybe I should make some further provision. All the provision we will ever need for time and eternity has already been made for us in Christ. Let’s read those words again. God’s divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. This is spiritual life, physical life, life in this world, life in the world to come. Everything has already been given us in Christ. You see, many people pray a prayer that God can’t answer because they’re asking God to give them something which God has already given them. And God can’t answer that kind of prayer at times because he creates in us a misunderstanding. Many, many times you hear Christians pleading for something that they want God to give them. God says, I gave it to you, it’s already yours in Christ. He has already given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. How has he given them to us? Through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue. Through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ everything is contained in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. How are they made available to us, all these things? This is at the beginning of verse 4, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. The provision is in the promises of God. Everything we’ll ever need is already included in the promises of God’s word. If we will study God’s word and lay hold on the promises, everything we could possibly need is contained there. I have often made this comparison: Under the Old Covenant under a leader named Joshua, God brought his people into a promised land. Under the New Covenant under a leader named Jesus [in Hebrew it’s the same as Joshua], God brings his people into a land of promises. That’s the difference. Old Testament; a promised land. New Testament; a land of promises. And God said it’s a good land, everything you’ll ever need is there. It’s a land flowing with milk and honey, it drinks water of the rain of heaven, I haven’t got to provide you anything more, it’s all in the land. You didn’t work for it, you didn’t dig the wells, you didn’t plant the vineyards, you didn’t plant the olive yards, it’s all there. All you have to do is go in and possess it. And it’s exactly the same in Christ. God says I don’t have to do anymore, it’s all there in the promises, go in and possess them.
And then notice the result of possessing the promises which is directly in line with our present study. The second part of verse 4, that by these [these being the promises] ye might become partakers of the divine nature. Divine means God. You might become partakers of the nature of God himself. With what result? Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Notice the key word corruption. That’s the undoing of the work of Adam’s fall which brought corruption, spiritual and physical. What does Christ’s redemption do? It delivers us from corruption and makes us partakers of the very nature of God himself. This is through the provision of God which is in the knowledge of Jesus Christ which is appropriated by the promises of the word of God.
And then I’ve put there a sentence which I would like to read because I want to get it right in your outline. Christ being divine became also human, that the believer, being human, might become also divine. In the studies under the heading of “The Last Adam” we saw the exchange that took place. Jesus took the evil that was due to the human race that the believer might receive the good that was due to Jesus. Well, here’s a further aspect of the exchange. Jesus who was divine, became human. He did not cease to be divine but he became human, that the believer, being human, might become also divine. Now we do not cease to be human, but we become divine. We become partakers of the divine nature. How? Through the promises of the word of God because the word of God is an incorruptible seed. 1Peter 1:23:
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.”(KJV)
And as we appropriate the incorruptible seed of God’s word into our lives it reproduces an incorruptible nature. We escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is the most perfectly logical presentation. As some of you know, I was a professional logician. Somebody once heard me say magician but that is not so. I was a professional logician, not magician. And I have never yet discovered a logical error in the scriptures. The more I study it, the more perfect is the unfolding of its logic.
All right, we must move on. The second result of Adam’s fall was that Satan usurped the realm of authority which God had given to Adam. Now as a result of Christ’s redemption, the authority usurped by Satan from Adam is restored to Christ, and in Christ is made available to the new race. Let’s look at this. The key thought here is the word authority, one of the great key concepts of scripture. Matthew 28:18–20. Matthew 28:18–20, after the resurrection, shortly before his ascension:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
The correct translation, all authority has now been given to me. You’ll remember before his crucifixion he call Satan the ruler of this world. And in the temptation in the wilderness, Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time and said all this authority I will give you, because it’s at my disposal. But as a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that authority was taken from Satan and reinvested in the Lord Jesus Christ. Because he had expiated the guilt of the Adamic race and made it possible for God to make this transfer without compromising his righteousness. So this is one of the great revelations. As a result of the death and resurrection of Jesus all authority in heaven and in earth is now given unto me. With what result? Go ye therefore. In other words, you are to administer my authority. I have obtained the authority but I’m going back to heaven, it’s going to be exercised on earth by you who are my representatives being believers in me.
Let us look at other aspects of this statement concerning authority. In Ephesians 1:20–23:
“Which he [God] wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” (KJV)
Jesus has been exalted far above all realms of authority in the created universe.
“And hath put all things under his feet [God the Father has put all things under the feet of the Son, and thirdly God] gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” (KJV)
The same statements about the exultation of Jesus are made in Philippians 2 and in 1Peter 3, I do not think it is necessary to turn there at this moment, but the references are given. If you desire, you can study them for yourself. Let’s follow on with this thought of Christ being the head, exalted at the Father’s right hand, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and let’s see where you and I as believers in Christ fit in in this picture of exaltation. Moving on to Ephesians 2, we find that as believers we are identified with Christ in every phase of his exaltation right up to the throne. Reading Ephesians 2:5–6:
“Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together [remember the word quicken always means to make alive, God has made us alive together] by grace ye are saved; and hath raised us up [from the tomb] together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Notice the identification doesn’t cease when we’re made alive, it doesn’t cease when we’re brought forth out of the tomb, but it goes on right the way up to the throne. As I said, I think in one of my previous studies, when you get into that elevator which is Jesus Christ, provided you first press button B and go down to the basement, for burial and baptism, after that you can press any button on the panel and the button you press is the height you’ll go to. And it’s entirely up to you. God has said you can go to the roof if you like because in Christ we have been raised up from the burial of the tomb and made to sit together with him on his throne.
Notice two other scriptures there that are exactly in line with this picture of our exaltation in Christ. Let me point out in Ephesians 2 first though, a fellow minister said this to me and it gripped me and I want to pass it on to you. He said notice that God has guarded the access to the throne. The access to the throne is not a wide open door. It’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Those that are not willing to be crucified with Christ and buried with Christ have no right of access to the throne. The old man, the old Adamic nature has no place on the throne. The world would be in chaos, wouldn’t it? If the old Adam ever got up to that throne, why, the American believers would be blasting the Russians or the Chinese right off the face of the earth and if the Chinese got up there they would blast the Americans off the world. The universe would disintegrate within five minutes if the old Adam ever got on the throne. But you see, the old Adam has no place on the throne. There has to be this process of crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Then you’re eligible to step into the elevator and press the button, but not before.
Now let’s look at these other two passages that deal with our authority and exaltation in Christ. Romans 5:17. Now the second half of Romans 5 is a deliberate phase by phase comparison between the first Adam and the last Adam. It’s a very elaborate fully worked out comparison. And it really takes something of a logician to apply every phase of this comparison. I’m not going to try to do that this morning, I’m just going to bring out this one thought in Romans 5:17:
“For if by one man’s offense [that’s the offense of Adam] death reigned by one [many. Over the whole human race death reigned. Death was a despot, a king, ruling with unchallenged dominion. No one could challenge the dominion of death over the human race.] much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” (KJV)
That’s not in the next dispensation, that’s right now. We should be on the throne reigning in life with Jesus Christ. Notice the contrast between Satan and Jesus. Satan is a despot. He rules over everybody. He subdues everybody. There’s only one will, and that’s the will of Satan. But when Jesus came to undo the works of Satan, and made it possible for us to escape and to be exalted together with him, he invites us to reign with him. Isn’t that wonderful. We are to share the throne with him. Notice the contrast between the nature of Satan and the nature of God. Satan won’t share anything with anybody. God is longing to share everything with everyone who believes and meets the conditions. We are to reign as kings in life by the Lord Jesus Christ, the last Adam.
And then in Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 we have the statements here made. Revelation 1:6 and 5:10. This is part of the salutation of John to the seven churches. We begin at the end of verse 5:
“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father...” (KJV)
Another translation will say a kingdom of priests, it doesn’t matter exactly. The thought is we have two functions in Christ: To reign as kings and to minister as priests. And this is done through one thing, the blood of Jesus. I was talking to a Roman Catholic once and he said in our church it takes nine years to become a priest. I said isn’t it wonderful that a believer becomes a priest through the blood of Jesus in one moment. Through his blood we have been made both kings and priests. Kings to rule, priests to offer sacrifice and to intercede. Those are the three supreme ministries of the believer in Christ. Ruling, offering sacrifice and interceding. And in Revelation 5:10 you’ll find the same statement. We’ll read verse 9:
“Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood [notice it’s all based on redemption by the blood] out of every kindred and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests...”
Or again, a kingdom of priests. And Peter says a royal priesthood. But the combination is the king and priest. And this is very, very interesting because it goes back to the fact that Jesus is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, which is emphasized particularly in the 7th and 8th chapters of Hebrews. Because under the law of Moses, priesthood and kingship were separated. The kingship went to the tribe of Judah, the priesthood went to the tribe of Levi. But this was a temporary provision of God in Christ, the high priest after the order of Melchizedek, kingship and priesthood are restored in the one person. And Melchizedek is the original priesthood. You’ll find him in the 14th chapter of Genesis before the law of Moses was ever mentioned or talked about, we have Melchizedek the high priest. He’s called the priest of God, and Melchizedek means the king of righteousness. That’s the combination of these two great offices, the priest and the king, separated under the law of Moses but reunited in the priesthood of Jesus, the priesthood of Melchizedek. And we are in that priesthood. We are kings and priests. You see, David who was a king under the law could not be a priest. Aaron who was a priest couldn’t be a king. But in Christ we can be both kings and priests, and that’s what we are. Some of us maybe don’t realize it, but that’s what we already are.
Turning to one other scripture in Revelation just to look at the completeness of Christ’s dominion. Revelation 1:18, when he appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos as the risen glorified Christ of God, he said:
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [Hades] and of death.”(KJV)
You see, he’s Lord of all three realms. All authority in heaven and in earth is given unto me and I have the keys of the lower realm, Hades and of death. And that authority is now given to the believer to exercise on his behalf. All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth, and I’m going back to heaven. Well, who’s going to use the authority? Go ye therefore, and demonstrate my authority. See, that’s exactly what Adam had to do, he had to demonstrate the authority of God to the whole creation over which he was placed in charge. He was created in the visible likeness of God and God gave him dominion over all the earth. He was God’s visible, personal, authorized representative, exercising God’s authority on his behalf. What are you and I in Christ? We’re God’s visible, personal, authorized representatives, exercising Christ’s authority on his behalf. What was lost in the first Adam is restored in the second man. I think it’s Charles or John Wesley who said in one of his hymns, to this effect, the blessings that were lost in Adam are more than restored in Christ. And this is true because we don’t get back merely an earthly dominion, but we get back a spiritual dominion in which covers all three realms: heaven, earth and the lower realm as well.
Moving on in our outline to the third aspect of how the results of Adam’s fall are reversed by Jesus as the second man, we said that the third result of Adam’s fall was that the human race became subject to demon harassment and control. Now in Christ the believers are given authority over the demons. We’ll not spend too much time on this but let’s look at two or three scriptures that deal with this. This is part of our salvation in Christ is being delivered from the fear and oppression of evil spirits and being given authority over evil spirits. Let’s look in Luke 1 for a moment which is part of the prophecy that the father of John the Baptist, Zacharias, gave forth and is a kind of introduction to the gospel dispensation in a certain sense. And in Luke 1:71 speaking about what is to come through the Messiah, the fulfillment of God’s promises under the Old Covenant, Zacharias says:
“That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.” (KJV)
So in Christ we are saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Now our enemies, right at hand continually, are the demons. Satan is our enemy and his angels are in the heavenlies but our enemy is right at hand, the ones that actually are personally present to harass us, torment us all the time are the evil spirits. But we are saved from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us. And this is further developed just a little further on in verses 74 and 75 of the same chapter:
“That he [God] would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” (KJV)
And really this is true. You cannot serve God in holiness and righteousness all the days of your life until you’ve been delivered out of the hand of your enemies. Deliverance is essential to full service. And the enemies of whom the scripture speaks here primarily are the evil spirits. That we be delivered out of the hand of our enemies and then we serve him without fear. You see, a person who is not fully delivered, cannot serve without fear. There are lots of sincere Christians serving, but not without fear because they haven’t been fully delivered out of the tormenting, harassing evil spirits. But the provision of God is that we would be delivered out of the hand of our enemies, that we might serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life. This is not in the next world, this is in this world, in this life now. We can have full deliverance from the harassment and oppression of all demons spirits. We can serve God without fear. I find very, very few Christians that serve without fear. The majority of Christians are still fearful of what the devil will do to them. Some in the spiritual realm of accusation and torment, some in the physical realm of sickness, and some in the financial realm of poverty or frustration. But the provision of God is that we should serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life. I find, it’s a personal matter, that almost every morning when I wake up fear is waiting at the door to get in. And if I do not immediately establish my place in Christ and begin to thank and praise God for what I am in Christ, then I do not spend that day in complete liberty. There’s a sort of nagging, tormenting fear that assails my mind. When I look at myself in the mirror to shave I say thank you Jesus, you took my infirmities, you bore my sicknesses, and with your stripes I am healed. By the time I’ve said that three times, I’m believing it. I have to reestablish myself, in my place in Christ, every day. I don’t know if this is true of everybody, but I think the way you begin the first five minutes of the day are pretty decisive in most cases as to how you’re going to spend the rest of the day. I’m not talking about spending hours in prayer. I’m speaking about just reminding yourself who you are and where you are in Christ, and what Christ has done to the devil, and the fact that the devil has no right of access to you. We can serve him without fear being delivered from the hands of our enemies. And this is very, very important.
Now let’s look in two other scriptures and see the further outworking of this deliverance. It’s not merely that we don’t need to fear the demons. The other side of the coin is the demons need to fear us. And believe me, they do. Only they try to keep the fact from us. In fact, their main weapon is bluff. I have many, many times seen a demon that would roar, rage like a lion, shout, use blasphemy. When the authority of Christ was pressed against it, it began to whimper and sob like a little naughty baby. But it was prepared to exercise bluff just as long as it could. Matthew 10:1:
“And when he [Jesus] had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power [the correct word is authority] against unclean spirits, to cast them out.” (KJV)
Praise the Lord! We have authority over unclean spirits to cast them out.
“And to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”(KJV)
Now the word “manner of” is put in. And I’m not saying it’s a mistranslation, but what it actually says is all sickness and all disease. Let’s keep it as simple as that. That’s exactly what we have been given in Christ. And then in Luke 10, you remember that Jesus sent forth seventy disciples who were to go before him to prepare the way, and after awhile they returned with a thrilling discovery. It made them excited. You’ll find this in Luke 10:17–19:
“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils [demons] are subject unto us through thy name.” (KJV)
What a thrilling discovery. When we speak to the demons in your name they have to do what we tell them. That’s exactly what it means. When I say in the name of Jesus get out, it gets out. I was in a meeting once, I wouldn’t do this normally, and I was preaching on deliverance and it was near the end of my sermon in a packed church, a woman stood up and started to scream at me with abuse. Of course it wasn’t the woman at all, it was a demon. And I don’t know whether I would always do this, but I stopped and I said, Satan, you’ve challenged me publicly and I’m a servant of Jesus Christ, and you’ve got to be humbled publicly. And I said in the name of Jesus, I command you to bow before me. And it took about three or four minutes, and that woman fell to her knees right there in the pew. You know who she was? She was a deacon’s wife. And she said to me afterwards—then my wife went and prayed with her later. She said, you know, I knew I had an evil spirit. She said but every time I went to anybody they said you’re a Christian, you couldn’t have an evil spirit. But she knew it and the spirit that was, it was depression. And she said I went back to bed that night, knowing I was free. And she said, Brother Prince, you may not believe me, but that spirit came and sat on the quilt and said I’m coming back. And she said no you won’t, and it went. That’s how real this conflict is. But even the demons are subject unto us through thy name. When Jesus heard this he warned them and said don’t get puffed up. That’s good, but be careful because that’s how Satan fell, because he got proud. So he warned them. He said:
“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power [authority] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy [the word power is right in the second place, but it’s authority in the first place.] nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (KJV)
How many Christians believe that? Nothing by shall any means hurt you. No flu bug, no virus, nothing shall by any means hurt you.
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (KJV)
Remember though, the really important thing is to know your name is written in heaven. But anyhow, I believe we’re entitled to rejoice when we see captive humanity set free. That’s a legitimate cause of joy.
Moving on then to the fourth aspect of how in Christ the result of Adam’s fall are undone we said in studying the result of Adam’s fall that the whole of Adam’s area of dominion was made subject to vanity. And vanity we define as ultimate failure and frustration. Now, redemption for creation from vanity will come through the new race in Christ. This is part of our responsibility to be the instrument of redemption for the creation from vanity. I’m not going to dwell on this at length but let’s see that it’s clearly stated and it’s part of the total, logical unfolding of redemption. Romans 8, beginning at verse 19 reading through verse 23:
“For the earnest expectation of the creature [but we should say creation. For the eager, longing of creation] is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (KJV)
And without going into a lot of doctrinal theories, every believer born again through faith in Christ is given authority to become a son of God. So that’s what creation is waiting for, the revelation of the glory of the sons of God.
“For the creature [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” (KJV)
That is God. The creation was made subject to vanity as a result of Adam’s disobedience. Because in verse 21:
“The creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God [or into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.]” (KJV)
In other words, the redemption of creation depends upon the children of God being manifested in their glory. When they are manifested in their glory, then redemption will come to creation. Reading on in verse 22 and 23:
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (KJV)
The creation is in the throes of a birth. What will be the birth? It will be the birth of the new age which will be brought forth at the resurrection of the children of God.
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (KJV)
Only when our bodies are completely and finally redeemed at the resurrection by the transformation into the likeness of the body of Jesus Christ will redemption come to the creation. Vanity came to the creation through the fall of the Adamic race, redemption will come to the creation through the restoration of the Adamic race. God’s program is absolutely perfect in every detail. We could compare there Colossians 3:4. Colossians 3:4, well, we have to read verse 3 as well. Colossians 3:3–4:
“For ye are dead, [the Greek says ye died. You died in Christ. When Christ died, you died] and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (KJV)
You have an invisible life which is not manifest to the senses. The world cannot see it but you have it. Now verse 4:
“When Christ, who is our life...” (KJV)
That’s one of the most thrilling statements in all scripture to me. Christ is our life. Paul said for me to live is Christ. Now this life which is Christ is at present hidden with God in the heavenlies from the natural eye. It cannot be seen. But:
“When Christ who is our life, shall appear, [shall be revealed] then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”(KJV)
This is the revealing of the glory of the sons of God. It comes when Jesus, the son of God, is revealed in his glory, then we shall be revealed in glory together with him, we shall share his physical likeness. And the revelation of the glory of the sons of God at the resurrection will bring redemption to the creation.
Now this redemption as I understand it will come in two successive phases. There’s a period of a thousand years called the millennium when Christ will reign on earth and Israel will be the center of his kingdom and it will be situated in Jerusalem. When the redemption from vanity will be partial. And then beyond that there’s a further period of God’s dealings when the redemption will be perfect. Let’s look at this rather quickly because I don’t intend to go into it in too much detail. In Isaiah 11 we have a picture of Christ’s millennial kingdom, the kingdom of a thousand years as I understand it. Beginning at verse 4, when Jesus comes, and we’ll read through verse 9:
“With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with a rod of his mouth, [this is his coming in judgment on behalf of the meek and the downtrodden and the oppressed] and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked [the wicked is the antichrist. And it’s clearly revealed in scripture that the antichrist will be consumed by the breath that comes from the lips of the Christ]. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (KJV)
You see, part of vanity is the hostility in the animal kingdom. This is a result of man’s fall. It wasn’t so at the beginning, no creature ate another creature, no creature preyed upon another creature. This was the result, I understand it, of the letting loose of the demonic hordes that came when Adam’s kingdom was turned over to Satan. It’s a demon that makes the lion fierce and the cat cruel and so on. I heard of a story, I didn’t actually receive it firsthand, of a man who was a missionary in Africa, probably East Africa, and he was being mauled by a lion. And he was just about to be torn to pieces. And all he could say was Jesus. And when he said the name Jesus, the lion turned and fled. Because the authority is there in the name of Jesus. Now I don’t want to go into this, but you understand this is one of the consequences of Adam’s fall is the cruelty and savagery in the animal kingdom. Somebody said nature arrayed in fang and claw. That wasn’t always the case. That’s part of vanity. Notice, when vanity is revoked, the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
“And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice [viper] den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (KJV)
This is in the millennium. You see, God’s grace revokes the curse. Even in Noah’s ark, if you stop to consider it, there must have been a remarkable dispensation of the grace of God that Noah could get all those animals together for several months without a conflict. Every animal that stepped into the ark underwent a change of nature if it was only temporary. This is a picture of being in Christ. When you and I step into Christ we stop hating one another, we stop despising other races, we begin to love one another. And if you’ve not had that change of nature, I question whether you ever got into the ark. Every animal that got into the ark had a change of nature. These are only partial pictures of what vanity is and how it will be revoked by the sons of God.
Isaiah 65, you have another picture of the millennium. I have to go rather quickly now, time is beginning to run out. Isaiah 65:17–25:
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; [this is not yet fulfilled. Then it says in verse 18] But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. [And then it says in verse 19] The weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. [verse 20:] There shall be no more thence an infant of days, [nobody will die prematurely, there will be no stillborn babies] nor an old man that hath not filled his days [everybody will live out their correct span]. The child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.” (KJV)
There still will be sinners, you see. This is not complete and final redemption, but this is what’s called the millennium. Now we look on beyond the millennium to what is called the dispensation of the fullness of times or the completion or fulfilling of God’s purposes for the ages in Ephesians 1 and we see the complete work of redemption from vanity. Ephesians 1:9, Paul says:
“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times [this is the dispensation beyond the millennium, the consummation of God’s purposes for all ages] he might gather together in one all things in Christ.” (KJV)
This is also referred to in 1Corinthians 15 when Christ shall offer up the kingdom to the Father that God may be all in all. And it says we have a special place in that dispensation because we first trusted in Christ. Throughout all ages we shall be to the praise of the glory of his grace.
And then you see in Revelation a further picture of this final result of redemption from vanity. In Revelation 21 we read verses 1–5:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with me, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain...” (KJV)
This is a picture of total redemption from vanity in every form. Travail, sorrow, birth pain, sickness, disease, they’re all wiped out. Verse 9:
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
And what he showed him was the new Jerusalem. Remember, the new Jerusalem is not heaven, it’s the final manifestation of the church. And it’s in the church that God will indwell creation. This is his supreme purpose, is to find in us a dwelling place in which he can thereafter make himself available to all creation. If you read on in verses 24 and 26:
“The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.” (KJV)
Notice, we shall be the center of the universe because God will be dwelling in us and we will be the place to which all the nations that are then in the world will bring their worship and their honor. And at this point vanity will have been totally eliminated. Every curse, every pain, every sickness, all enmity, all strife, all separation, all bitterness, they’ll be no more sea, nothing to divide, nothing bitter. Vanity will have been eliminated, but it’s all centered in the new creation in Christ, the bride, the Lamb’s wife. So as through the first Adam vanity came, through the new race under the second man, Jesus Christ, vanity will be abolished.
Now let’s look at the fifth and final consequence of Adam’s fall and see how this is undone in Christ. We stated with regard to Adam’s fall that as a result of his fall the Adamic race became identified with Satan in his guilt and therefore subject to the judgment of God. I’m going to say that once more because it’s vital. As a result of Adam’s fall, the Adamic race became identified with Satan in his guilt and rebellion and therefore subject to the righteous judgment of God. Now the way this is undone is through Christ’s death and resurrection the new race become identified with Christ in his righteousness and therefore we have dominion over Satan and all his kingdom and all his forces. We become the instruments to cast down Satan’s kingdom. This is the great truth which I believe Satan seeks to keep from believers because it so vitally concerns him. We are the appointed instruments in God’s purposes to cast down Satan’s kingdom. Let’s look at this. Romans 5, we’ll go through these quickly. The basis of everything is our being made righteous in Christ. Just as we are made guilty with Satan’s guilt, we are made righteous with Christ’s righteousness. Romans 5:1:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (KJV)
Justified, made righteous. You know the definition of justified? Just as if I’d never sinned, that’s it. That’s what it is to be justified.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ...” (KJV)
We have to be in that place where there is no condemnation. Then we are in a place where we are undefeatable. Going on in Romans 8:
“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (KJV)
Notice three questions. Who shall lay anything to our charge, who shall condemn, who shall separate. And every one of these things is answered in Christ.
“As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. [Even in that situation, in all these things,] we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (KJV)
Notice neither angels or principalities nor powers have any dominion over us now. Why? Because in Christ we have been exalted far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And the basis of all this is recognizing our righteousness in Christ.
“God made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (KJV)
We are no longer guilty, we are no longer subject to condemnation. We have been made righteous, justified, just as if I’d never sinned, and now in Christ’s righteousness we have authority over the kingdom of Satan. When we were guilty we came under the dominion of Satan. But when we’re made righteous, we have authority over the kingdom of Satan and we become the instruments by which Satan’s kingdom will be cast down.
Let us look at other scriptures briefly in this connection as we close this study. Colossians 1:13 which is a statement that I’ll not go into the background of:
“Who [God] hath delivered us from the power [authority] of darkness...” (KJV)
Sure, we were under the authority of darkness, but in Christ we are not under the authority of darkness.
“And hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”(KJV)
Translate means to carry across totally, spirit, soul and body. There were two men in the Old Testament translated; Enoch and Elijah. And they both went complete. All Elijah left behind was his cloak, but his body went. We have been translated out of the authority of darkness into the kingdom of the son of God’s love. Spirit, soul and body, we are not under Satan’s authority, we’re in the kingdom of God in Christ. Satan has no rights, no claims over us. Paul prayed for the Christians that they might be preserved blameless spirit, soul and body unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a translation. It’s not a partial transfer in which part of our being is left under the authority of Satan, but we have been totally moved over from one realm to the other realm. 2Corinthians 10:4–5, here we come to the crux of it and I’m going to read it quickly because we’ll go back to this in later studies.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God...”(KJV)
In this spiritual warfare into which we are called in Christ, we have the weapons that will cast down Satan’s stronghold and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Meditate on the meaning of that phrase “every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” That includes the entire kingdom of Satan. We have the weapons to cast that kingdom down.
Matthew 16:18, Jesus said:
“...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it.”(KJV)
This does not mean that the church will be beleaguered in a city and the devil will not be able to batter the gates down. It means that the church will attack the gates of Hades, and the gates of Hades will not be able to keep the church out. That’s the correct meaning. Because Jesus has the keys of death and of Hades.
And in Romans 16:20 Paul says:
“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” (KJV)
Very soon Satan is to be bruised under the feet of the believer.
In Revelation 12:11 depicting this last great conflict with which this age will close it says that Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven, there was no more place found for them in heaven and in the 11th verse of Revelation 12 it says it says the believers on earth overcame him, Satan, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. In other words, it’s the believers on earth who are to win the victory over Satan which will cause him to be cast down out of his rival, rebellious kingdom in the heavenlies. This is the purpose of God. It is we who are to be the instruments to undo, overthrow and cast down the kingdom of Satan. Now I believe that if there’s one thing that the devil wants to keep us from knowing it’s this fact. Because until we know it, we won’t do it. But when we know it, we’ll do it.