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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

John 14:30, "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."

This morning, our world continues to try to blend good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness to the point of losing the perception of absolutes in this world. A co-worker of mine recently stated, "We just have to see the world in different shades of gray." While in fact we do often see shades of gray, we need to adjust our focus as there is a right, and there is a wrong, not blended or meshed ideas. When one begins to grayly look at things, it does not take long before different Biblical principles begin to fade from the mind's focus. If there is not absolute right and wrong, then man, by nature, cannot be a totally (wholly) depraved sinner. If such blending of light and darkness is so, Christ Jesus the Lord cannot be holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, made higher than the heavens. Pure light (Person of Jesus Christ) and pure darkness (depraved iniquity) could not be truths based on today's relativistic ideologies.

The Lord Jesus is here speaking to His disciples about His imminent departure from them, coupled with comfort about the Holy Ghost's imminent coming unto them. While we understand that the Holy Ghost had already come in a regenerative fashion, His function of comfort and assurance would soon become a manifest reality after the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christ gives this lengthy discussion, He brings out several things that would happen in the future (besides the manifest comfort of the Holy Ghost). One of the things spoken of involves the prince of this world from our verse above.

It should not be any question who the prince of this world is that is mentioned. Paul tells the Ephesians that he is also the prince of the power of the air. (Ephesians 2:1-3) He is the enemy of Light, and he is the epitome of darkness and wickedness. The reason that such black terms must be used in reference to the devil is that one needs to understand that he and God Almighty are polar opposites. As right and wrong are polar opposites, so are God and Satan. Today's mentality of relativism lends to the idea that God and Satan are not all that different. In fact, some ideologies put them in the same family tree with good traits (a little goodness) attributed to both. Utter blasphemy!

Our Lord's language here spares nothing to paint the picture that Satan has no part of the Lord. Notice that the devil hath "nothing in me." There was not a smidgen of darkness in our Saviour, but in Him "is no darkness at all." (I John 1:5) The temptations that the devil hurled at Him did not find any lodging in the Saviour, as He very powerfully overthrew all the tactics and methods of His foe. Now, since the devil hath othing in Christ, what about the converse? Does Christ have anything in the devil?

There is a thought today, although often just implied instead of overtly stated, that the devil is God's puppet on a string. Such foolish thoughts attribute God with wickedness but still try to maintain, "Oh no, but the devil is the one doing it."  Let us look at it another way. If the devil is really the one doing it, can he move himself without the pulling of the strings? Can he act voluntarily without the orchestration from above him? If he can, then there is no need for God to put him on a string, for he will carry out his wicked thoughts regardless.  But, I do find that the Lord will condemn His enemy to the everlasting chains of darkness that will bind him from committing those things he delights in. At that time, the torments will be upon him, and the suffering  will be eternal.

Since the devil has nothing in Christ and Christ has nothing in the devil (although still having power over  him to judge him and able to restrain him at His own will), we should not consider their works blended
either. God's work of goodness is not blended with the devil's work of wickedness. While the Lord from time to time has brought about a good outcome out of a wicked situation, the Lord overcame the devil's works and did not need them or work together with them.  Rather, the Lord's works and the devil's works were contrary to one another, and the Lord's prevail as He is the far superior and stronger of the two.

So having said all of that, what do these thoughts do for us today? First of all, we need to understand paramount and to the utmost that God is more powerful, superior, and unequivocally separate from Satan.  Christ has no fellowship with Belial, as light does not mix with darkness, etc. (II Corinthians 6) After that, we need to understand that God loves us and keeps us eternally in the arms of His love, where no power can  reach us or touch us. Then, after considering all these things, we need to take courage in the fact that God has planted something within us (His regenerate children) that is wholly righteous and in the image of Jesus Christ  (changed soul and spirit or new man). So, by following after that new nature, we walk contrary to Satan and  his devices.

There was a thing that Solomon considered one of four too wonderful for him: the way of a serpent upon a rock. (Proverbs 30:18-19) Consider the serpent's path treading over a rock. While the serpent for a time slithers over it, the rock looks just the same after the serpent is gone as it did before. So likewise, Jesus Christ looked just the same and was just the same after Satan's slithering temptations as He was before. But, how does sand look when the serpent comes through? He leaves a track marking his path. When we follow after pride and destruction (ways of the flesh or sand of the earth), Satan's path is seen on us. When we follow after the things of the Spirit of God (rock and lively stone placed within us), Satan's marks are not seen on us when he comes calling. Jesus Christ overcame all the enemies of darkness and is seated with all the glory, honour, and majesty that He had before the world began. May we follow after righteousness and godliness to overcome the things hurled at us in the present and untoward world in which we dwell.

In Hope,

Bro Philip