The whole thought and intention of the incarnation is: “God with us”, “God manifest in the flesh”, and dwelling in man. That is bound up with Christ, and that was in the eternal counsels of God. If God were going to dwell in man, and at some dateless point pride was found in the heart of Lucifer, and he reached out to occupy the place which God had appointed for Christ, that he should dwell in man as God, you have two lines at once starting off: the line of God indwelling man; and the whole course of demon possession – Satan seeking to gain entrance into human life and make it his tabernacle, his dwelling. Those are two courses of history. It is Christ and Antichrist.
What is Antichrist? In the full development of Antichrist it is Satan incarnate as God dwelling in man, being worshipped (mark you) as God in man. What is it that moves toward that? It is this evil thing of which we have been speaking: pride. What is pride? Pride is the elevation of man – Antichrist is the elevation of man to the place of God. All the things that are said about pride, independence, relate to that. Independence is man assuming personal rights, prerogatives, acknowledging no greater authority than himself, bowing to no one, a law unto himself, drawing things to himself in possessiveness, having them under his control, in his own hand, all things centered in himself and working toward self-exaltation. Pride in its simplest forms has all those elements, and it has only to grow. That is the soul of man by nature. That soul has only to exert itself or assert itself and you get a development of Antichrist, or the spirit of Antichrist.
What is it that marks the Christ? Is it this assertiveness, this personal drive? No. Christ is the Lamb, as it had been newly slain, and it is the Lamb Who shall overcome. What is a lamb? A lamb is dependent, in itself nothing. The Lord will deal with us in this way. If the Lord is going to constitute us His temple, if we are really going to be a dwelling place of God; that is, not to be brought to ruin, but to be established, to become a part of that tabernacle of God coming down from God out of heaven, God dwelling with man, what will the Lord do with us? He will destroy our independence, empty us of our self-sufficiency, bring us to the place where we have nothing in ourselves and our all in Himself.
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