Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“Give no place to the Accuser.”
Paul, in Ephesians 4:27
Satan did not hate the order and beauty of God’s kingdom; he wanted a share of the glory of it. And when he sees the glory among God’s saints now, he still wants to have a big part in it. But he was cast out of the kingdom of God, and he will never be allowed back in. And whenever the children of God are fooled into making room for him in their Assembly, the glory of God begins to depart. God is determined never again to allow Satan to taste the sweetness of fellowship with holy people, even if some of the holy people unknowingly make room for him.
Older Pentecostal people everywhere still wonder what happened to them, when they recall the glory that once was among them. They know the power is gone, the joy is gone, and the electrifying, terrifying sense of true holiness is gone from their gatherings, but they don’t know why or how it happened. The truth is, God left their assemblies when Satan was given room. “What fellowship”, Paul asked, “has light with darkness?” The answer is, none. And if you want to be convinced of that, just give Satan a place in your assembly and then watch what happens to the fellowship.
Satan would dearly love to feel the touch of God’s peace and love again, but every time he is given access to the saints’ hearts, those hearts begin to wither and become desolate of the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Then those poor, plundered saints sit and wonder why, often seeking counsel in the office of the very one who caused the glory to depart.
Satan does not appear to be the sinner that he is. He was cast out of heaven for pride and for envy, not for public drunkenness or armed robbery. He left no angels lying dead on the streets of glory, but Jesus said he was a murderer from the beginning. His kind of murder is invisible, and doesn’t appear, at first, to be murder at all. He did not hold up the bank of heaven with guns and threats, but he is “a thief and a robber” who steals the invisible treasures of hope and purity. He told Eve much truth, and yet he is a liar and “the father of lies”. When Satan enters into our midst, he comes in like a friend, but he is the Enemy of all righteousness. He comes as a messenger of light, Paul said, but he is the prince of darkness.
No, Satan does not appear to be the sinner that he is. That is why, when his presence causes the glory of God to leave and brings God’s people to desolation, everyone is confused and no one seems to understand “why things aren’t like they used to be.”