“Hey, we have a sub today!”
The enemy cleverly tries to conceal or disguise his substitutes and make them look like true Substance. Click To Tweet
When we were school-aged kids and found out that one of our regular teachers was out and that a sub would be in the classroom, it was like a call to the class to make life as difficult as possible for this fill-in teacher. Even though there were those occasions where the sub was excellent, and we couldn’t get away with erratic behavior, generally the sub lacked the substance of the regular teacher who knew us, had invested countless hours of instruction, correction, guidance – and love – into our lives. One important point to make here is that it was obvious to us that this was indeed a substitute. There was no hiding the truth. How different it can be in dealing with satanic substitutes, which the enemy cleverly tries to conceal or disguise and make look like true Substance.
“I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14b)
He would try to replace the Real by using the old sin nature of men and women to counterfeit the characteristics of the Father, the Life of the Son, and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, all without the Cross, Click To Tweet
Lucifer knew from the beginning of his existence that he would never be God Almighty. So he strategized to become like Him. And how would he go about to accomplish this? He would try to replace the Real by using the old sin nature of men and women to counterfeit the characteristics of the Father, the Life of the Son, and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit – all without death to self, without the Cross, without which we cannot be as the Lord Himself is. From the time he was cast out of Heaven and became the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air, he has sought to prevent the King of kings, the God above all gods, the only Real God, from being manifested on earth. He knew that this display of Divine Substance, revealing the Lord as He really is, would destroy his sabotaging works (I John 3:8), exposing his “replica” of God’s attributes, Wisdom from Above, unconditional Love, etc.
‘ I am shocked at how much the Church can do here without the Holy Spirit.’ (comment made by a Christian leader visiting the USA)
As a fallen but powerful angel, satan does all he can to get believers and unbelievers alike to try to reproduce the Life of Christ in themselves without first leaving their own lives at the Cross and, by faith, walking away with salvation and “the power of an endless life” (Hebrews 7:16) through the Holy Spirit in them. He’ll dupe unsaved people into admiring the Lord and doing all they can to copy His lifestyle, embrace His teachings, try to live by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments, and imitate His Love, peace, goodness, patience, etc. – all without Him. Furthermore, the devil promotes unity among pretenders through soul power, producing counterfeits of Divine qualities – all of which, however, will be eventually exposed to be the replica and not the Real.
“Hath God said?”
The devil wants to wear down the saints by trying to convince us that there's something left for us to do to be like God, that we have to keep trying to be loving, kind, patent, all that He Himself is .... but we already are! Click To Tweet
With believers, the enemy tries to blind our hearts from grasping that in His Word He means what He says and says what He means. For example, He declares that we are complete in Him (Col.2:10), that the work of our redemption is finished (John 19:30), that it’s not by our power, our might, but by the Holy Spirit (Zech.4:7) that Substance is manifested and imparted to others – which delivers from substitutes! The devil wants to wear down the saints (Dan.10:25) by trying to convince us that there’s something left for us to do to be like God, that we have to keep trying to be loving, kind, patent, all that He Himself is. But the Word of God declares that we already ARE as He is in this present evil world (I John 4:17); therefore, we never have to aspire to be like Him. We simply, by faith, let Him be all that He is through us, reckoning that we in the natural are dead, and in the new and spiritual our lives are hid with Christ in God (Col.3:3).
“Reckon yourselves dead …”
By faith, receiving Grace, we simply let the Lord Jesus be all that He is and say and do all that He wants to say and do through us, borrowing our yielded vessels. Click To Tweet
Once again we see that the Cross and our co-crucifixion, co-burial, co-resurrection there with Jesus Christ are essential for us as Christians to be the Substance of Who God is, to be effective, living communicators of the Character and Nature of God. We simply need to be dead, to our own nature, our self-efforts, our own strength. By faith, receiving Grace, we simply let the Lord Jesus be all that He is and say and do all that He wants to say and do through us, borrowing our yielded vessels. We then become, on earth, the Substance of Who He is in Heaven to others; and satan’s substitutes for Godly attributes and his counterfeits of God’s Character are exposed for what they are: mere replicas and not the real. Thus, we should never be surprised to experience continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, because it is precisely this that causes the Life of Jesus to work in others (II Cor.4:10).
When the replica, the counterfeit, the substitute are proven insufficient …
After years of turning to and embracing vanity and idols, King Solomon concludes his Ecclesiastes with this declaration: “All has been heard, the end of the matter is: “Fear [revere and worship] God … and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, … the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.” (Eccl.12:13, AMPL) In these severely uncertain times we see people all over the world scrambling to stay spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially afloat by increased outdoor activity, reading, learning new things, attending vast varieties of virtual venues, conversing more often than ever electronically, expanding culinary expertise. These all have their limit as being able to satisfy the soul longing for stability in unstable times. The writer of Psalm 119 clearly understood this: “I have seen that everything human has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits into Eternity.” (v.96) This last clause is expressing the “power of an endless Life” (Heb.7:16), which is inside of us and released through us when we let go of the self-life at the Cross by faith, reckoning our natural life dead but our real life hid with Christ in God (Col.3:3). Indeed, He is our Life! It’s at this place of reckoning by Grace, through faith, that the Substance of Who He is can flow through us, out to others, and give them the only effectual alternative for their substitutes and sublimations.
Let the thief steal no more.
All over the world people are dying to know the Real God and will relinquish their replicas if they clearly see Him Who is the Only Solution to all the trouble within them and around them. Click To Tweet
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (… till it overflows).” (John 10:10) Temporary substitutes for everlasting Substance rob us of experiencing the abundance of God’s provision that He has promised us (Psa.116:7; 132:15; 142:7; Phil.4:19). In these last days let’s surrender our own substitutes and sublimations with their limits and end and embrace in faith the Lord, His Word, His Will, His ways, so that we can reveal the Substance of this One Who alone has the power of an endless life. All over the world people are dying to know the Real God and will relinquish their replicas if they clearly see Him Who is the Only Solution to all the trouble within them and around them… the One Who came to earth as our Substitute sin offering, deriving His life solely from the Father, so that we could be Him to others and introduce them to the Substance of His Abundant and Eternal Life.