Hell's Hatred of the Vessel of Testimony (continued)
The World Dominion Gathered Up In One Man
Do you notice that in this second chapter the image of Daniel brings all the world-empires from the beginning of the Babylonian empire to the end of the Roman empire and its ten provinces, into the form of one personality, one image, the image of man? Has the significance of that struck you? All the world-empires, all the "Times of the Gentiles" gathered up in the figure of one man. I ask you if the final issue of this dispensation, of this world-government on the human side, is not going to be gathered up in one personality, the antichrist? There is no doubt about it that the Word of God makes it clear that that principle will be carried out, that the government of this world will be headed up in one personality, the antichrist. There is in Daniel one man, and all is gathered up into the figure of one personality, one corporate body. That is set right over against the Son of Man. The Christ, and the antichrist; they both come out in Daniel.
Now what is the dominion of the Son of man over the antichrist in the Church, the vessel? It is the absolute distinctiveness of that vessel, separation, holiness; its complete break with the whole system of the evil one at every point, and not allowing one touch of defilement with that system. Have you not in your spiritual experience seen recognized more than once, that in order to destroy your spiritual power and strength and your moral ascendency or effectiveness, the enemy in some way or another must make a contact between you and his kingdom? He will put a temptation in your way, he will put a suggestion into your mind, he will make suggestions to you, put thought into you. In thousands of different ways he puts out a gangway, and he wants you to cross that gangway, to accept that gangway, a link between you and his system. There is no wrong in temptation, beloved, most believers know what it is to have evil thoughts suggested to their minds. It does not mean they have sinned because an evil though has been suggested, but at the point where they entertain that, respond to that, allow that, they have sinned and made a link with the enemy, and before long that very link is the means of their undoing, their weakness, breakdown, and not until they get back to the Lord and say: "I allowed that to linger, I added another to it." Or in some way the enemy put out and we took on, and that has been completely dealt with, wiped out by the Blood, we do not get back our position. The rule of the heavens through the instrument in overthrowing the power of evil demands no defilement, no contact. Oh, sometimes it will come along the line of discouragement, sometimes through depression, doubt; sometimes through an overwhelming sense of weakness, and the enemy strikes a blow and sends a fiery dart of questioning the Lord, His love, His wisdom. We can never exhaust the ways in which it comes, but it is not just the fact that it comes, but the fact that we accept it, we take it on, we allow the enemy to lodge his gangway and we go across; we are undone. Mark you, the principle, the basic principle of spiritual and moral ascendency, of dominion, of overthrowing the power of the enemy, of having authority over all the power of the devil is not in our language, our phraseology, is not the volume of our voice, the forcefulness of our effort, our manner, it is the moral purity of our lives; or, in other words, the fact that we give the enemy no ground anywhere.
(continued with # 47)