V. THE REDEEMERS RETURN IS NECESSITATED BY THE PRESENT EXALTATION OF SATAN.
One of the greatest mysteries in all God's
creation is the Devil. For any reliable information concerning him we are shut
up to the Holy Scriptures. It is in God's Word alone that we can learn
anything about his origin, his personality, his fall, his sphere of operations,
and his approaching doom. One thing which is there taught us about the great
Adversary of God and man, and which observation and experience fully confirms,
is, that he is a being possessing mighty power. It would appear, from a study
of the Bible, that Satan is the most powerful creature (not "Being") in
all the Universe. He has access to the Heaven of heavens and appears before
God day and night to accuse His saints (Rev. 12:10). In Old Testament prophecy
he is denominated "The anointed Cherub" (Ezek. 28:14) and from other
Scriptures we learn that the "cherubim" are the highest order among the
celestial hierarchies. Satan is represented as being at the head of an
organized kingdom of evil, with hosts of wicked spirits ever ready to perform
the bidding of their mighty chief. He is likened to a "roaring lion" - the
King of the beasts - going about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet.
5:8). When our Lord was here upon earth, Satan had the power to carry Him to a
pinnacle of the Temple and to "shew unto Him all the kingdoms of the world
in a moment of time" (Luke 4:5). From the Epistle of Jude we learn
that, "Michael the archangel, when contending with the Devil he disputed about
the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but
said, The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 1:9). Sufficient has been said to show that
Satan is a creature wielding tremendous power.
But not only does God's Word enlighten us upon
the great power which our Enemy possesses, it also informs us about the
sphere in which he works and makes known the location of his
kingdom. In the very first mention in Scripture of that old Serpent, the
Devil, he is seen in Eden having unbarred access to our first parents. In the
next reference, we read of him coming before the Lord, as one who came "From
going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it" (Job
1:7). This earth of ours is the scene of his present activities. Milton's
conception of Satan now seated upon a throne in Hell is altogether
lacking in Scriptural verification. The New Testament is in perfect agreement
with the Old. In his conflict with our Lord, the Devil declared that all the
kingdoms of the world had been delivered unto him (Luke 4:6) and Christ never
repudiated or even challenged his claim, nay, He three times acknowledged that
Satan is "The Prince of this world" (John 12:31, etc.). In 2 Cor. 4:4 he is
termed the "god of this age" (Greek),that is, the director of its false
religions and the object worshipped by their devotees - compare 1 Cor. 10:20.
While in 1 John 5:19, R. V. we are told, "The whole world lieth in the Evil
We have thus seen that Satan is an exalted
creature possessing and wielding prodigious power and that this world of ours
is his present kingdom. For six thousand years he has been the avowed enemy of
God and man. But are things going to continue thus throughout all time? Is
Satan to be allowed "free rein" for ever? Surely there will yet be an end made
to his power and dominion. But what and who is going to depose him?
Humanity is helpless before him. Man is unable to chain him. The
Church cannot dethrone him, or it would have done so long ago. Legislation is
impotent, for human governments cannot vote him out of the world. Who then
shall overthrow the Kingdom of Darkness? There is only one answer possible.
There is only One sufficient for such a task, and that is the Lord Jesus
Christ. Therefore, the very fact of Satan's present exaltation and man's utter
inability to overthrow him, demands and necessitates the personal Return of our
Redeemer to vanquish the Devil and imprison him in the Bottomless Pit.