In the course of our lifetime we have beheld a new
phenomenon, or the return of an old one. It is the
meteoric rise of dictators. We say truly when we
say that this has been phenomenal. In a few short
months, from nowhere and nothing, from ostracism,
ridicule, and almost general suspicion, such have risen
to a place where not only their own nations are at their
feet, but all nations are holding their breath while
these dictators speak. How is it explained? What is
the principle basic to it?
It dates back to the eternal counsels of God. In
those counsels God determined to gather up the dominion
of this world under the Headship of His Son. Adam was
"a figure of him that was to come" (Rom 5:14).
"...He hath appointed a day in which he will
judge the world in righteousness IN A MAN whom he hath
ordained..." (Acts 17:31).
"And he charged us to preach unto the people,
and to testify that this is he who is ordained of God to
be the judge of the living and the dead" (Acts
"For there is one God, one mediator also
between God and men, himself MAN, Christ Jesus" (1
(See also Eph 1:9,10; 4:10; Col 1:16-19; Heb 1:8;
Thus it has been made known that the dominion of this
world and of all which, being beyond it, relates to it is
eternally vested in a Man: the One Who is known
to be the Son of God, Who became Son of man. He is
the "heir of all things". The inheritance
is the "inhabited earth to come" (Heb
2:5). But there is another who has assumed the role
of rival to God's Son, and whose ambition has ever been
world-dominion. The background of this world's history,
that is, the spiritual and unseen background of the
cosmos, can be summed up in a few quotations from
"...Cain was of the evil one, and SLEW HIS
BROTHER" (1 John 3:12).
" Ye are of your father the devil... He was A
MURDERER from the beginning" (John 8:44).
"Which of the prophets did not your fathers
persecute? and they KILLED THEM WHICH SHEWED BEFORE OF
THE COMING OF THE RIGHTEOUS ONE; of whom ye have now
become betrayers and murderers" (Acts 7:52).
"A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge
about it, and digged a pit for the winepress, and built a
tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into
another country. And at the season he sent to the
husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the
husbandmen of the fruits of the vineyard. And they took
him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he
sent unto them another servant; and him they wounded in
the head, and handled shamefully. And he sent another;
and him they killed: and many others; beating some and
killing some. He had yet one, a beloved son: he sent him
last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But
those husbandmen said among themselves, This is THE HEIR;
come let us kill him, and THE INHERITHANCE SHALL BE OURS.
And they took him, and KILLED HIM, and cast him
forth..." (Mark 7:1-8).
The emphasis is ours, for the purpose of indicating
the connecting thoughts. The governing matter is that of
the inheritance vested in God's Son. The next thing is a
long history of jealousy working out in murder wherever
that Son is in view in type, prophecy, or reality.
We next come to Satan's means, or instrument, of
domination. It is also in man. As God's Son is
the Man according to His mind and after His heart (using
human language of God) so, as we have sought to point
out, Satan sought to adapt, and succeeded in adapting,
man to his thought for his purpose. The
history of man is a long-drawn-out effort to reach to
heaven independently of God, the course of Cain: power,
rule, domination, worldly glory, reputation, etc. It is
the story of man coming to the fore and
occupying the place of honour. It is the pride of Satan
working through the poor, worthless, ruined human race
(as viewed from God's standpoint). Oh, what an indictment
of so much that is brought into Christian work to make a
success of it, even by those who mean to be so
consecrated! Think of the value that is attached to
degrees, titles and orders in the propaganda work of the
Christian organizations. To carry weight, have influence,
attract interest, make an impression, we find a feverish
quest for people of degree, title, of standing as amongst
men, and when we see these letters and qualifications on
the announcements, advertisements and programmes of
Christian effort, we may well ask, 'But what has that to
do with the work of God? What place does that have in
Holy Ghost activity?' Degrees, titles and honours may be
all right in their own realm, if they are really earned
and the result of genuine qualification as before the
best standard of honourable men; but it is of the essence
of antichrist to make them currency for profit in the
things of God! These are strong words, but we will prove
our point. It would be well for all Godly men to suppress
and hide their degrees when they come into the presence
of holy things, and so holy a God. Here, only spiritual
values are recognized. But let us proceed.
Satan has ever in his mind world-domination through
man, and the full-grown expression of this mind will be
antichrist. Now let us see several things which are said
"Little children, it is the last hour: and as
ye heard that Antichrist cometh, even now have there
arisen many antichrists". "Who is the liar but
he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is the
Antichrist" (1 John 2:18,22).
"Every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is
not of God: and this is the spirit of the
Antichrist" (1 John 4:3).
"Let no man beguile you in any wise: for it
will not be, except the falling away come first, and the
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that
opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called
God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the
temple of God, setting himself forth as God..."
"Whose coming is according to the working of Satan
with all power and signs and lying wonders..."(2
From these passages we learn four things:
(1) Antichrist is firstly a spirit.
(2) Antichrist is the expression of a principle.
(3) Antichrist is a type of man.
(4) Antichrist has a kingdom or world-domination in view.
No. 1 relates antichrist directly to the evil powers,
"not of God".
No. 2 means that the glory of man is ever the factor
No. 3 means that this spirit and principle operate by
way of a dominant ego, and intense soul-force.
No. 4 indicates what it is antichrist is after.
Now we are able to understand the times and world
happenings. Steadily the world is coming under the
domination of a handful of dictators. The probability is
that they will suffer one another until other forms of
world-government are weakened. But in time they will have
to eliminate one another until one is left supreme. (That
is, one representative of a human System.)
Leaving prophecy aside as not being our present subject,
there are however two or three things that need to be
said in summarizing the whole matter.
Firstly, may it not be a significant thing that in the
realm of what speaks of God there are no outstanding
giants in spiritual leadership today? Some of us came
into our ministry just at the tail-end of a generation of
such. We will not mention names, but Bible teachers,
missionary leaders and mighty preachers were in the earth
in no sparsity for a generation or more. There was a
galaxy of them, and their works stand today. But we have
seen the last of them pass off this scene, and there are
few, if any, successors. Sometimes we almost cry that God
would raise up men adequate to the present spiritual
need. Why are things as they are? May it not be that as
Satan is bringing his antichrist in so manifestly along
the lines of the power and glory of man, God, in
His things, is keeping man as such hidden and largely at
a discount because He is going to bring in His Man with
heavenly glory? May not dictatorship then be one of the
most powerful signs of the times?
But then what of the phenomena? We cannot wholly
account for this power, influence and domination on human
grounds. There are greater forces at work which operate
in spite of the will of the people. It is uncanny. And
yet is it not perfectly true that the connecting link
between the instrument and the supernatural powers is an
intense and terrific soul strength? A will is asserted
which will brook no resistance. A mind is projected which
is agile, subtle and tireless in the extreme. An
emotional force is poured forth like a tidal wave
carrying all before it, and working people up to
uncontrollable frenzy. Yes, it is the consummate
demonstration of that selfhood, that ego, which
first drew things away from God and cast His Son out of
His world. All this is with the accompaniment of
pageantry which makes man its object of glory
and almost worship. Is this not enough to make Christian
men shun everything and anything which would make them to
appear something before men?
But, 'behold the Man!' How has world-dominion been
secured in Him?—for it has been secured. The answer
is in the Scriptures:
"...this mind... which was... in Christ
Jesus: who, being in the form of God, counted it not a
thing to be grasped (margin) to be on an equality with
God, but emptied himself, taking the form of a
bondservant (margin), being made in the likeness of men;
and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,
becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the
cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave
unto him the name which is above every name; that in the
Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven
and things on earth and things under the earth, and that
every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to
the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2:5-11).
So that what counts before Him and in His work is not
man's attainments, achievements or abilities, but just
the measure of Christ. What an infinitely higher level of
spiritual life would be represented by God's people if
the only consideration in the matter of their leadership,
and the ministry, were that of the measure of Christ!
We have moved into a new phase of things. 'Revival' is
being sought earnestly, and certain great names in
revival history are in mind, on lip, and much used to
stimulate revival-mindedness or mentality. But it may be
that God is not going now to allow a great work
of His to be related to men's names. Try as we will and
may, we shall not produce anything adequate and living if
God is not doing it. It has got to be His work,
and manifestly His alone. Pentecost in its meaning and
value for any time stands over against the background of
the Cross—the Cross in which Christian disciples and
apostles lost everything of this world.
They lost their Christ after the flesh; they
lost their kingdom of God after the flesh.
They lost their own lives, reputations, hopes,
expectations and faith so far as anything of God being
bound up with this earth was concerned. They
recovered all only in a heavenly and spiritual way.
Their own souls were crucified when Christ
died. But what a mighty recompense in the spirit!
There may be too much soulishness about for
God to commit Himself, and He will not until there is
more emptiness and despair.
There is one other thing which is apropos of what we
have been saying. This introduces another set of
Scriptures, such as:
"And he put all things in subjection under
his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the
church, which is his body, THE FULLNESS OF HIM that
filleth all in all" (Eph 1:22,23).
"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity...
that he might create in himself... ONE NEW MAN... and
might reconcile them both in one body..." (Eph
"Unto him be the GLORY IN THE CHURCH and in
Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever"
These, and other suchlike Scriptures, make it clear
that "the church, which is his body" is the
"one new man" which is destined to be the
instrument of Christ's world-dominion.
This "man" is the fruit of His Cross.
This Church was born of His travail. This is a
crucified, buried, and risen Church in union and
identification with Christ. What glory can it know save
the glory of its Head? In this Church there is no place
for antichrist in principle. It is in and by the
Church which is His Body that the fullness of Christ will
be displayed, and God will come into His rights.
"Unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ
Jesus for ever and ever".
In this connection, there is much said in the
Scriptures as to measurement in relation to the Church.
In type we have it in Solomon's Temple, but even more so
in that of Ezekiel. There every aspect and phase is
strictly measured by a heavenly standard. That which is
represented by the types is brought out in the spiritual
reality of the Church in "Ephesians". There we
"The breadth and length and height and
"The measure of the stature of the fullness of
"The measure of the gift of Christ" (4:7).
"The working in due measure of each several
So that what governs in this spiritual Church or Body
is the measure of Christ. We are told that in this Body
no earthly factors have any place. "There cannot be
Greek and Jew" (not, there is both Greek and Jew);
no nationalism or national distinction; no
denominationalism, inter-denominationalism, or
undenominationalism. All of these represent only human
distinctions and differences from one another. Christ is
other than all this, and, when Christ predominates,
natural elements and features become subjected, whether
temperamental, social, educational, national, or of any
other kind. The ascendancy of Christ is the only way to
one-ness and spiritual power. It is in this "one new
man" that "the exceeding riches of his
grace" will be shown forth "in the ages to
come" (Eph 2:7).
We have been careful in our use of the words
'dominion' and 'domination'. The latter speaks of force,
assertiveness, despotism and suchlike features. These
belong to antichrist. The former is by Divine right with
all the universe agreeing and co-operating eventually.
"His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and
from the River to the ends of the earth" (Zech
"To him be the glory and the dominion for
ever and ever" (Rev 1:6).
Spiritual power and soul-force are very different
things, and they belong to different kingdoms, the
kingdom of the heavens and the kingdom of men. Man's
destiny, according to the thought of God, demands that he
be born of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and come to spiritual