New Life In Christ

Victory over Satan

The Christian life is a life of WARFARE

The Christian life is a life of WARFARE. We are called to be good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ and "to war a good warfare."

The reason why the Christian life is a warfare is that we have a terrible enemy who seeks to destroy us. That enemy is Satan. The Bible warns us,

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour."
I Peter 5:8

Our Enemy—SATAN

Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air" because he and his fallen angels now inhabit the atmosphere above the earth

Satan was originally created as a beautiful and wise angel named Lucifer, but pride entered his heart and he rebelled against God. Many of the angels of Heaven followed Satan in his rebellion against God.

Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air" because he and his fallen angels now inhabit the atmosphere above the earth. Though we cannot see them, Satan and his fallen angels are the real enemies of the child of God. The Bible says,

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

How Satan Works

Satan deceives people by making them think that all supernatural occurrences come from God

Satan's object is to destroy people.
 The Lord Jesus said that he was "a murderer from the beginning." Satan has many ways of destroying people, but his main weapons are deceit and lies.

Satan deceives people by making them think that all supernatural occurrences come from God. But all"miracles" do not come from God. Satan and his evil spirits can do many miraculous things that are beyond the power of men. Jesus said that false prophets will come in the last days and deceive many people with"great signs and wonders."


WARNING: Have nothing to do with Ouija boards, table lifting, seances, fortune tellers, astrology, witchcraft; these things belong to the kingdom of darkness. The Bible says,

"Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness...." Ephesians 5:11

Satan hinders the work of God. When the gospel is preached, Satan is there to spread doubt and unbelief in the minds of those who hear it.

Satan oppresses Christians. He puts thoughts of doubt, fear, and discouragement into their minds

Satan oppresses Christians. He puts thoughts of doubt, fear, and discouragement into their minds. He tries to discourage them so they will not live for God.

Satan tempts Christians to commit terrible sins. He tries to deceive them into thinking that it would not be wrong for them to do these things. He uses the things of the world to turn their hearts away from God and from doing His will. He tries to keep them from making a full surrender of their lives to God.

In this lesson we are going to consider Christ's mighty victory over this terrible enemy, Satan. We are going to see how Christ's victory is also our victory.


The cross is the place where Christ redeemed men from the power of Satan

The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the devil. The Bible says,

"For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." I John 3:8

The cross is the place where Christ redeemed men from the power of Satan. Satan held men captive because of sin; but on the cross the Lord Jesus paid for our sins. He ended all of Satan's rights over us. Men can now choose who they will serve. Those who choose Jesus Christ as their Lord are delivered from the power of Satan. The Bible says,

"Giving thanks unto the Father. .. who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son." Colossians 1:12,13

But on the third day He arose from the grave with a mighty triumph over Satan and the powers of darkness

The cross is also the place where Satan was defeated. The Bible says that the Lord Jesus took our nature upon Him that "through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, it seemed as though the powers of darkness were victorious over Him. But on the third day He arose from the grave with a mighty triumph over Satan and the powers of darkness.

The Lord Jesus appeared on the earth for a period of 40 days after His resurrection. Before He ascended back into Heaven, He said,

"ALL POWER is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18

The Lord Jesus ascended back into Heaven as Victor over all the powers of darkness.

The powers of darkness
were defeated!

Satan and his evil spirits were stripped of all their authority. The Lord Jesus ascended back into Heaven as Victor over all the powers of darkness. He made a show of them openly. The Bible says,

"And having spoiled (defeated) principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them...'' Colossians 2:15

What an amazing sight this must have been in the unseen spirit world as the Lord Jesus returned to Heaven as the mighty Victor over Satan and the powers of darkness.

Christ was Exalted

The Father welcomed His beloved Son home to glory and gave Him the place of greatest honour and power. Jesus Christ was seated on the very throne of Heaven—far above all the powers of darkness. The Bible says,

"...He (God) 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." Ephesians 1:20, 21

Christ's Victory is our Victory

Now here is an amazing truth: CHRIST'S VICTORY OVER THE POWERS OF DARKNESS IS OUR VICTORY! What Christ did, He did as our Representative. We shared in His death, we shared in His burial, we shared in His resurrection, and we share also in His victory over Satan! God raised Christ up and seated Him at His own right hand, and He raised us up with Him. The Bible says,

"(God) hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:6

We who are in Christ are seated with Him in that position of power and victory "far above all."

What is our new spiritual position? WE ARE SEATED WITH CHRIST FAR ABOVE THE POWERS OF DARKNESS. We who are in Christ are seated with Him in that position of power and victory "far above all." We share His throne! To share Christ's throne means to share His authority. We have been given authority over all the power of the enemy. The Lord Jesus said to His disciples,

"Behold, I give you authority... over all the power of the enemy..." Luke 10:19 NKJB

To have authority from Christ means that we have the right to act as His representatives. We can speak and act in His name.

A truck has power, but a policeman has authority

There is a difference between "power" and"authority." A truck has power, but a policeman has authority. Back of the policeman is the authority of the city government, and the driver of the truck recognizes this and obeys him.

Satan and his evil spirits have power, but Christ has given us authority. If we are abiding in Christ, we can speak in His name, and the powers of darkness must obey us. They recognize that back of us is the authority of Christ Himself.

The Battle is Not Over

We are not to be strong in ourselves, but we are to be strong in the Lord

Satan is a defeated foe. One day, he and his evil spirits will be cast into the lake of fire, and they will never again cause trouble. But meanwhile, he is very active. Satan goes about "as a roaring lion" tempting, deceiving, destroying. No child of God is able in himself to cope with this terrible foe. Only through Christ can we overcome him. God's Word tells us,

"Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." Ephesians 6:10

We are not to be strong in ourselves, but we are to be strong in the Lord. Christ is the Victor over Satan, and we are to be strong in Him.

God's Overcomers

The Book of Revelation speaks of "overcomers"—those who overcame Satan. The Bible tells us the secret of how they overcame him. It is a three-fold secret:

they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb


"And they overcame him (Satan)

(1) by the blood of the Lamb,

(2) and by the word of their testimony;

(3) and they loved not their lives unto the death."

Revelation 12:11

Let us consider each of these three things and see how we can use them to overcome Satan.

The Blood of the Lamb

Through the blood of the Lord Jesus we can overcome Satan's accusations.

Satan is a deceiver and a murderer, but one of his main attacks against Christians is accusing them. He is called "the accuser of the brethren." He accuses us before God, and he accuses us in our minds. He tells us that we are no good. He tells us that we are weak and sinful and that we will always be this way.

What is our defense against Satan's accusations?

Our defense is "the blood of the Lamb." Through the blood of the Lord Jesus we can overcome Satan's accusations. We can say to Satan, "Yes, I am sinful, but the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses me from all sin."

Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus is Victor! Jesus is King! I am one with Him.

The word of their testimony

God has given us "the blood of the Lamb" as our defense against Satan's accusations. He has also given us a weapon to use against Satan himself. That weapon is "the word of our testimony." This means that we can declare to Satan the great facts of Christ's victory over him.

We can say to Satan, "You are defeated! Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus is Victor! Jesus is King! I am one with Him." These are great facts, and Satan cannot dispute them. He knows they are true.

They loved not their lives

If we are to overcome Satan, we must not love ourselves. If we love ourselves, we will be defeated. But we don't have to let Self rule over us. We were crucified with Christ that we might no longer live unto ourselves but unto Him who died for us. We can say with the Apostle Paul,

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me..." Galatians 2:20 NKJB

We can say "No!" to sin, to Self, to the flesh, to the world, and to Satan himself.

Through our death, burial, and resurrection with Christ, we have been delivered from the power of every enemy. We can say"No!" to sin, to Self, to the flesh, to the world, and to Satan himself.

Not only has the Lord Jesus delivered us from the power of our enemies, but the victorious, risen Christ Himself lives in us.

We can be overcomers! The Bible says,

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He (Christ) that is in you, than he (Satan) that is in the world." I John 4:4

Declaring the Ultimate Victory in Christ

Revelation 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

There is no greater biblical declaration of faith's confession. Those facing the upheaval of the last days endure it with a constant statement of the overcoming power of the blood of the Lamb and of the word of their transforming faith in Christ. Some of those declaring Christ's ultimate victory with their own lips (6:9; 11:7) face the fury of Satan's most vicious and personal attacks against them. Yet, their faith is unwavering, the result of an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the heart of faith's confession, based in God's Word and the blood of the Lamb, whose victory has provided the eternal conquest of satan.

With Christ's victory over satan, we see these who have maintained their confession of faith and thereby share in His victory. With their sins blotted out and their declaration of Jesus' redemptive work in their lives, they silence the attempts of the prince of darkness (satan) to intimidate God's children. His accusing voice of condemnation and guilt is swallowed up in the triumph of Calvary. Declare your abiding faith in the accomplished work of the Cross, and constantly participate in Jesus' ultimate victory, overcoming satan by the power of the Cross and the steadfastness of your confession of faith in Christ's triumph.


That life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God. (Gal. 2.20b)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. (Heb. 11.1)

Believe unto Victory

We have seen that the life that wins is none other than Christ himself. It is not my improvement nor my progress. It is not working with my own strength to be like Christ. Victory is Christ living in me and overcoming for me. As He died on the cross for me that I might be saved, so today He lives in me that I may overcome. We have also seen the conditions for victory: one, yielding; and two, believing. We believe that the Son of God lives in us, and we also believe that He lives out his victory through us. In our last discussion we looked more closely than before into the subject of yielding. We shall now look more closely than before at this matter of believing. Many people have yielded, yet they have no victory. This is because they do not believe. Yielding without believing will not bring in victory, since yielding is the negative side, while believing is the positive side. Only when both of these sides are implemented can victory be assured. And this positive side is what we now wish to look into more thoroughly.

One brother in Chefoo went home after a church meeting and declared that though he had yielded, he experienced no victory. He remained the same the next day. In fact, he even lost his temper in the store on that very day. So I told him that yielding alone would not guarantee victory, since that was but the negative. What was essential for him to do was to believe with a singleness of heart following his yielding. He accepted the truth and obtained the victory. At the last assembly meeting he stood up and praised God, declaring that this was the first time he had ever praised God for having nothing to boast of and was also the first time he had ever praised God for His having done everything.

What was the experience of the apostle Paul? How did he enter into victory? The first step he took was to yield: "I have been crucified with Christ," he testified. He had already had the experience of "no longer I that live." He then continued by declaring: "That life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God." What he meant here was: I believe the Son of God lives in me; I believe He loved me and gave himself for me.

Let us now inquire as to what faith is, especially the relationship between faith and victory.

Believe in God's Fact

All the things in the Bible are done by God for us. At a conference held in January of 1934, we mentioned that God has given us three things: (1) the covenant He gave us, (2) the fact He accomplished for us, and (3) the promise He bestowed on us. All the things which God did for us were included in these three gifts of covenant, accomplished fact, and promise. When earlier we gave the messages on "the Better Covenant," we talked at great length about this first gift of covenant. Accordingly, we will not treat of that subject here. As to God's promise and God's fact, however, we would like to discuss these in some detail. Promise is that which God will do for us in the future, whereas fact is that which God has already accomplished in us.

Many people do not know what God's fact is. The Lord Jesus died on the cross for all the world — this is God's fact. But how many have been saved? Only those who have believed. Hence a problem arises, which is to say, that since Christ died for the whole world — and this is God's fact unaffected by men's attitude — why is the whole world not saved? It is because not all in the world receive God's fact by faith. Similarly, however, many Christians fail to accept by faith God's fact that Christ lives in them. Christ is the head, and all believers are the body. Just as the head in the physical body feels, manages, controls and responds, so shall it be for the Christian if he allows his spiritual head, even Christ, to feel, manage, control and respond for him. In the face of God's fact, how many Christians really see the Lord Jesus as their head? Today does Christ feel or do they feel? Does Christ manage or do they manage? Does Christ control or do they control? Does Christ respond or do they respond? Where lies the difficulty? In nothing else but a lack of faith.

Perhaps some brothers and sisters will reply that they do believe in Christ as head, yet they cannot believe that the head is responsible for everything. They just cannot believe; they do not understand what faith truly is. The Scripture says that the Lord is the vine and we are the branches. It does not say He will be our vine and we will be His branches. Whether we believe or not, He nonetheless is the vine and we nonetheless are the branches. Yet only to those who believe will the spiritual sap flow through them; with the result that they bear fruit. But for those who do not believe, the life of the Lord cannot flow through them; therefore, they must themselves labor for any fruit.

Faith Substantiates God's Fact

Hebrews 11.1 speaks of the significance of faith. It is the only verse in the entire Bible which gives us a definition of faith: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen." In other Bible versions there are a number of other renderings that have been given for the word translated here as "assurance," since this is a most difficult word to translate from the original Greek into English. To be probably the most accurate, this word should be translated as "the giving of substance to" or "substantiation," which thus means that faith is the ability to substantiate a thing as factual. For example, in this hall where we are meeting, we have before us the shape of the lamp, the color of the wall, and the sound of the organ. How do we substantiate the shape and color and sound to make them real to us? That which can substantiate the existence of color is none other than our two eyes. Suppose there were a picture here also with beautiful colors such as green and red and yellow. These beautiful colors would need the eyes to make them real. If there were no eye, then however beautiful these colors are, nothing could make them real in our own personal experience. By the same token, though the sound of the organ is pleasant, it takes ears to show forth its reality. To one who is deaf, there is no way to substantiate the realness of the music. Neither the eyes nor the touch of the hand can substantiate the sound; only the ears can substantiate the sound and make it enjoyable. Then, too, the shape of a thing may be square, round, plane, triangular or curved; its fact is only to be known either by the touch of the hand or by the sight of the eye. So that the existence of a thing is one matter while the substantiating of it is quite another. There are numerous things in the physical world, but every one of them needs some ability to prove its reality. In the spiritual realm, this ability is what faith is.

Here is a painting with a beautiful scenery of hill, water, flowers and trees. With your eyes you can make real the beauty as well as the existence of that painting. Suppose a man is born blind and he has never seen any color. You try to tell him of the red in the painting, and he will ask what is red color? You say there is green color also, but he says what is green? All you can say to him is that what is red is red color and what is green is green color. Though the painting exists, the blind man cannot enjoy its beauty.

Here is a sister who plays the piano well. Whoever has ears and knows music can appreciate what this sister plays. But he who is deaf and is a stranger to music will not be able to prove the sweetness of the music. Now our faith is just like that. All the facts of God are real and true, but faith alone can verify them. For "faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11.1 Darby).

The blind person cannot see the beautiful scenery in a painting. Nevertheless, his inability to see can in no way disprove the existence of the painting. For its existence is a fact, whether a person sees it or not. Its beautiful colors remain unchanged. The question is, can the person be benefitted by the painting? He who has eyes is pleased with the painting and is benefitted by it. It is the same in the spiritual realm. That the Lord shed His blood and died on the cross for mankind is a fact. Nevertheless, only those who have faith are able to prove this fact and be benefitted by it. To those who do not believe, the death of the Lord on the cross may indeed by factual, yet they will not be able to experience it and benefit by it.

Have you now seen the significance of faith? We need faith to prove a spiritual matter just as we need eyes, ears and hands to prove physical matters. In all spiritual affairs, it takes the element of faith to substantiate them. For instance, the Lord is head and we are the members of His body. This union is a fact which cannot be torn asunder. So is the fact of the Lord being the vine and we being the branches. By believing it, we will be benefitted by it. Some may say the Lord is the vine and they are the branches, but they have no experience of spiritual sap nor life nor fruit bearing. This is because they do not have faith.

What is faith? Faith is not mental apprehension. It is seeing the fact and proving it. You have heard that Christ died on the cross and shed His blood for the remission of sins; and so you say that Christ died on the cross and shed his blood for the remission of sins. You have heard that the Lord is the vine and we Are the branches; therefore, you too say that the Lord is the vine and we are the branches. You have heard that the Lord Jesus is your life and He lives in you; whereupon, you too say that the Lord Jesus is your life and lives in you. Nevertheless, you are not able to prove these facts and make them real in experience because you lack faith. In just the same way, you may have let go of yourself because you realize your inability and uselessness. Yet this is but the negative side of victory. You need, positively, to prove Christ by an act of faith — by believing. Is it not most wonderful that in one minute, nay, in one second, all the facts which Christ has accomplished can by proven and demonstrated in your life? Such is the substantiating by faith.

How do you know a painting is beautiful? Because you have seen it with your physical eyes. How do you know the riches of Christ? Because you have seen with your spiritual eyes. In the letter to the Colossians, God declares that "in him [Christ] ye are made full" (2.9). But how do you know you are made full in Christ? Because you have seen it with the eye of faith. As you look at yourself, you know you are not complete at all. Even so, are you nonetheless able to declare you are complete in Christ? With the eye of faith you can. The Lord has given you His riches, grace upon grace. Do you have them? It is not whether you have them in your mind, but whether you believe them in your heart.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1.3). We indeed profess to believe that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus; nonetheless, where are these blessings? The entire question revolves around the matter of faith, believing that the word of God is true.

The great failure of a Christian is unbelief. Believe, and the fact is proven. See with faith and the fact is substantiated in experience.

There was in England a man of God by the name of H. W. Webb-Peploe. Listen to what he testified:

Four days afterward, my little child that was with us at the seashore was taken sick and died. I had to carry the little coffin in my arms all the way home, where I buried my little one with my own hands. I returned from the burial and said to myself, "Now you have lost your holiday, have come home in trouble, and you must speak to your people instead of letting your curate speak; you would better tell them about God and his love." I looked to see what lesson was assigned for the Sunday, and found it was the twelfth chapter of Second Corinthians. I read the ninth verse, "My grace is sufficient for thee," and thought, "There is the verse to speak on." I sat down to prepare my notes, but soon found myself murmuring in my tent against God for all he called upon me to bear. I flung down my pen, threw myself on my knees, and said to God, "It is not sufficient, it is not sufficient! Lord, let thy grace be sufficient, 0 Lord, do!"

The day before I had left home, my mother had given me a beautiful illuminated text, and I had asked the servant to hang it on the wall over my table, that I might find it there when I came back. As I opened my eyes I was saying, "0 God, let thy grace be sufficient for me," and there on the wall I saw,

My Grace Is Sufficient For Thee

The word is was in bright green, My was in black, and thee in black, "MY grace is sufficient for THEE." I heard a voice that seemed to say to me, "You fool, how dan you ask God to make what is! Get up and take, and you will find it true. When God says 'is', it is for you to believe Him, and you will find it true at every moment." That is turned my life; from that moment I could say, "0 God, whatever thou dost say in thy Word I believe, and please God, I will step out upon it."

This servant of God was so full of joy and thankfulness that he would ask no more of God in this way. The next day he stood in the pulpit and delivered the best message of his life. When people asked him when he had first experienced the endowment of power from heaven, his answer was, after he had returned from burying his little girl. What made the difference was that he had learned to believe.

One brother told me later that after having heard me speak at length, he had gotten nothing out of it. I said to him that this was because he merely listened to me; he should in addition have asked God to speak to him. Accordingly, in the evening he prayed, "0 God, cause me to overcome. 0 God, my temper is very bad, enable me to overcome it." As he prayed, he remembered the prayer of the leper who said to Jesus, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean" (Matt. 8.2b). So he too prayed: "0 Lord, if You will, You can make my bad temper leave me." At this point he realized that the Lord was already willing; for in the story, Jesus had said "I will" in response to the leper. Why, then, should he pray this at all? The Lord has accomplished everything and the Lord was willing; therefore all was well.

All is well if you can believe 2 Corinthians 12.9 or Luke 18.27. By believing the "I will" of the Lord Jesus, your problem is solved. Faith is not asking for what God has already promised. Faith is believing the promise of God.

Once a brother spoke on how to cross the threshold to victory. After he finished speaking, he opened the time for questions and answers. In the audience I saw a young sister with tears running down her cheeks, but she did not stand up and ask a question. However, an elderly sister nearby stood up and asked, "In these years I have always prayed for victory, yet I have never gotten the victory. What is the problem?" "Your problem is none other than praying too much," replied that brother. "All is well if you change your prayer to praise." As soon as the word was spoken, a brother stood up and said, "I have asked for victory for eleven years with no result. Now I have gotten it through listening to the question and answer between this elderly sister and you." The ministering brother then went over to the young sister and inquired how she was. "I too have gotten the victory after listening to the question and answer," responded the young sister. And such is faith.

Let us not take for granted that letting go, by itself, is victory. Without faith, you are still unable to substantiate God's fact. Just as the color in a painting needs to be substantiated by the eye, the sound of the organ by the ear, and the shape of a substance by the hand, so the promise and the word of God must be substantiated by faith. We do not pray, "0 God, be my victory gradually, be my life gradually, or be my holiness gradually." No, we pray, "0 God, You are my victory; I praise and thank You! 0 God, You are my life; I praise and thank You! 0 God, You are my holiness!"

I want you to know that I have encountered many temptations in my life. Many difficult problems have come my way; and many hard words have fallen upon my ears. Do I ask God to give me strength that I may overcome? On the contrary, I say, "0 Lord, I praise and thank You, for You are my victory! 0 Lord, You overcome for me, and I praise and thank You. You resist for me, and I praise and thank You! 0 Lord, You are my head, I am Your member. You are the trunk, and I am a branch. You supply me with all I need." And I have found that He is already supplying all my needs according to His own word.

We each are perhaps saved by one verse out of the thousands to be found in God's word. Some are saved through John 3.16; others, through John 5.24; and still others, from Romans 10.10. Just one word of God and a person is saved! This is also true with respect to victory. One out of the many words of God will bring a believer victory — even as that brother received the victory through the word of Jesus, "I will" (Matt. 8.3a). Many have entered into victory through 2 Corinthians 12.9, Romans 6.14 or 1 Corinthians 1.30.

Faith Is Not Hoping

All who are merely hoping may not have believed. If you ask a person whether he has overcome, and his answer is that he hopes to overcome, you know for sure that he does not have faith, even as you know a person does not have faith if he says he hopes to be saved. Some here are expecting all the time that the Lord will deliver them and cause them to overcome. Some here are praying continuously to the Lord asking for victory. Some are waiting a long while for the Lord to give them victory. Some may even claim that they have yielded and believed, but they are waiting to see if it works. It will never work if people wait to see whether or not it is effective, for faith is not hoping.

A brother once asked me if, after one has experienced victory, he must always remember that the Lord Jesus was his victory. Now it so happened that he supervised the jobs of over twenty employees in the factory where he himself was employed. And such supervision, he told me, occupied him from early moming till eight o'clock at night. How, then, he asked, could he possibly remember this matter all the time when he had to take care of so many things? Could he still overcome? I asked him in reply whether he continually remembered while at the factory that he had two eyes? Of course not, he answered. Did he need to touch his eyes with his hand after work to make sure they were still there? Certainly not, he replied. Therefore, I said to him, whether he remembered or not was unimportant because what was really essential was that the eyes were there. Praise and thank God, the victorious life in us does not depend on our remembrance of the Lord; rather, it depends on the Lord remembering us. How hard for us to always remember Him, but thank God, it is He who remembers us

Faith Is Not Feeling

Some may not be hoping, praying or waiting; they may instead be on the lookout for feeling. One sister told me that although she had already yielded and had believed that the Lord was living in her, she dared not say she had overcome, because from the day she had accepted the victory of the Lord right up to the present moment, she had not felt anything. Let me emphasize the truth that faith is purely believing: it has no regard for feeling. Feeling may be useful in certain other things, but in knowing the Lord it is absolutely useless and untrustworthy. The hand can only touch and feel cold or hot, but it cannot see a painting. In spiritual matters, faith, and not feeling, is what is required to prove them. Victory is based on believing God's word. Because God has said so, so it is — and not because during these days you feel especially strong or joyful. Victory rests on one word of God.

One morning a brother came to tell me his problem. He had already yielded and believed, but he dared not say he had victory. Satan was accusing him all the time. Something had happened the other day, he told me, which made him doubt that his victory was real. It was clear to me he was trusting his feelings. So I spoke to him by means of a parable: I had a garden behind my house which I sold to you one day and gave you the deed to the property. As you went to the garden, a man suddenly appeared and said to you that one piece of the garden belonged to him. What were you to do? There were two alternatives available: either you would believe the deed I gave you which specified the extent of the entire garden, or you would believe that man's word. If my deed were true, then that man lied. Whom would you believe? Were you to believe the stranger's word, you would have to let him stay in the garden. But if you believed my word, you could order him to remove himself from your property.

Now the promise and the word of God are wholly dependable. But were you to trust in your feelings and say that your temper and pride were insoluble problems, then would not God's word become untrustworthy? Yet if you believe in God's word, all these problems you have would be solved.

God gives you a covenant specifying that gentleness, patience, humility, love, self-control and whatever else is in Christ are all yours. Nevertheless, you lose your temper, you become proud and unclean, and you are defeated. What should you do? If you believe God's word, you will say, "0 God, I thank and praise You, I am able to be gentle, patient, humble, loving, and in control of myself because Christ lives in me." By laying hold of God's word, all the things you are afraid of will go away.

Unbelief Is the Greatest Sin

Today the greatest problem among the children of God is the failure to believe His word. It may not be too difficult for them to let go, and after letting go, believing ought to be fairly easy too. Yet this is not the case.

I asked a sister who had let go and handed over everything to the Lord if she had victory. Her reply was that she dared not say she had. And why? Because she had not seen any result. So I spoke to her directly: "You have committed the greatest sin of mankind, which is unbelief. Your unbelief reflects on God as though He were lying. For He has said that you are the branch, and that if you let go, His life will live out from you. Yet you are now saying that though you have let go, God has still not delivered you. In short, you are saying you have done your duty, but God has not fulfilled His responsibility." She denied that she had such intention. I therefore told her, "You should say, '0 God, I thank and praise You, for You have already given me the victory.' "

You who believe that the Lord is head and that He is your life must observe this word from the Bible: "Believe that ye received them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11.24b mg., Greek original). Believe, and the hardest shall pass away. Believe, then nothing can stand in your way to victory. This is salvation! Today our faith is not work; it is a substantiating God's fact. Believe that the Lord is head, believe that He lives in you, believe that He is your life, believe He is the trunk and you are the branch, and believe that He overcomes for you. Believe, and all temptations will fall away. Believe that all is done by the Lord. Praise and thank Him, for everything is done by Him!

What God has spoken is most trustworthy. We do not believe or trust in our experiences or feelings, but we do believe in the word of God. God says that the Lord Jesus not only died on the cross to be our righteousness but He now lives in us to be our sanctification. Therefore, we may not only say Christ is our righteousness but also say Christ is our sanctification. It is not that we feel that Christ is our life and sanctification, but that we believe He is our life and sanctification. God says Christ is our life, so we too say Christ is our life. God declares that Christ is our sanctification, therefore we also declare that Christ is our sanctification. God asserts that Christ is our victory, and hence we too assert that Christ is our victory. God says it, so we believe it.

I asked another sister in Chefoo if she had yielded. She replied that she had let go of herself, because God had said, "I have been crucified with Christ." I asked further if she knew victory, to which she answered that she dared not say so, because she had no assurance. I therefore spoke to her quite frankly: "Sister, God says that Christ is your life, but you say Christ may or may not be your life. God says Jesus Christ is your sanctification, yet you say He may or may not be your sanctification. God says His grace is sufficient for you, nevertheless you say God's grace may or may not be sufficient for you. Most surely one of you is lying. If God is right, you must be wrong; or vice versa. Now do you dare to say that God is a liar? Judging by what you have already said, are you not suggesting that God's word is untrustworthy?" Immediately her face changed color. She denied that she had made any such insinuation, for she did believe in God's word. She finally saw my point.

I would ask this of you: do you think it is a small matter if you continue to waver and hesitate about knowing Christ as your life and sanctification? Let me seriously warn you that you will be accusing God of lying.

I briefly asked still another sister in Chefoo if she had let go. Her answer was that she had. But did she have victory? She knew she lacked the victory because she still had some insignificant problems in her life. As I was pressed for time, I asked God to give me utterance to answer her. This was what I said to her: You say you have no faith, but in God's sight you have committed a great sin, the sin of not believing in His word. God has said to you that Christ is your life, your sanctification, and your victory. He has also told you that His grace is sufficient for you. But you do not believe, and you dismiss it with a smile as though it were of little consequence. Sister, let me tell you, you have committed a grave sin! You should go and pray: "0 God, I do not believe in Your word. I have sinned against You. 0 God, forgive me, and take away my wicked heart of unbelief. Rid me of this my sin."

Someone may be unbelieving; yet, sad to say, he may deem it to be a trivial matter. In truth he has committed a great sin. This sin of unbelief is greater than the sin of adultery or murder. He should therefore pray, "0 God, please forgive me, for I have sinned against You. Please take away from me this wicked heart of unbelief." If anyone considers his not believing in God's word to be sin, he will quickly cross over the threshold to victory. Faith is based on God's word, such a word as "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12.9a) or that "Christ Jesus . . . was made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1.30) or "Christ, who is our life" (Col. 3.4a). Lay hold of God's word, and all is well!