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Quotations Theological Reflections

The Overthrow of Satan

Whether or not the Seventy actually returned to Jesus before the Feast of Tabernacles, it is convenient to consider in this connection the result of their Mission. It had filled them with the ‘joy’ of assurance; nay, the result had exceeded their expectations, just as their faith had gone beyond the mere letter unto the spirit of His Words. As they reported it to Him, even the demons had been subject to them through His Name. In this they had exceeded the letter of Christ’s commission; but as they made experiment of it, their faith had grown, and they had applied His command to ‘heal the sick’ to the worst of all sufferers, those grievously vexed by demons. And, as always, their faith was not disappointed. Nor could it be otherwise. The great contest had been long decided; it only remained for the faith of the Church to gather the fruits of that victory. The Prince of Light and Life had vanquished the Prince of Darkness and Death. The Prince of this world must be cast out. {St. John 12:31.} In spirit, Christ gazed on ‘Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.’ As one has aptly paraphrased it: ‘While you cast out his subjects, I saw the prince himself fall.’ It has been asked, whether the words of Christ referred to any particular event, such as His Victory in the Temptation. But any such limitation would imply grievous misunderstanding of the whole. So to speak, the fall of Satan is to the bottomless pit; ever going on to the final triumph of Christ. As the Lord beholds him, he is fallen from heaven — from the seat of power and of worship; for, his mastery is broken by the Stronger than he. And he is fallen like lightning, in its rapidity, dazzling splendor, and destructiveness. {Revelation 12:7-12.} Yet as we perceive it, it is only demons cast out in His Name. For still is this fight and sight continued, and to all ages of the present dispensation. Each time the faith of the Church casts out demons — whether as formerly, or as they presently vex men, whether in the lighter combat about possession of the body, or in the sorer fight about possession of the soul — as Christ beholds it, it is ever Satan fallen. For, he sees of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied.

Alfred Edersheim The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

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