Thursday, May 17, 2012

E. M. Bounds on the Identity of Satan

Below is an excerpt from a book by E. M. Bounds, Satan:  His Personality, Power and Overthrow, which was written a century ago, but is still in print.   What is intriguing about it is Bounds's refusal to spiritualize Satan into demi-existence and his frank comments regarding the antithesis between Jesus and Pharisaic Jewry.  It is unimaginable that any Southern Baptist preacher would today be so frank in his interpretation of John 8:44. Even Billy Graham offered the opinion that Jewry is still in a separate covenant with God, so need not be converted to Christianity to be saved.  He knew the politically correct thing to say.  Not so was the assertion of Edward McKendree Bounds, who came before the great reconstruction in our thinking.
The excerpt from E. M. Bounds follows:
The Bible is a revelation, not a philosophy nor a poem, not a science. It reveals things and persons as they are, living and acting outside the range of earthly vision or natural discovery.
Bible revelations are not against reason but above reason, for the uses of faith, man's highest faculty. The powers of reason are not able to discover these Bible facts, and yet they are for reason's use, its light, strength and higher elevation, but more essentially to form, to nourish and to perfect faith.
The Bible reveals the devil as a person, not a mere figure, not an influence simply, not a personification only, but a real person. In the eighth chapter of John, Christ is arraigning the cruelty and murderous malignity, the falsehood, deceit and hypocrisy of the Jews. Jesus says, " Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.'' He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. . . .
It is wholly at variance with any Christian idea of the perfection of truthfulness in Christ, who was truth itself, to suppose Him to have used such plain and solemn words repeatedly before His disciples and the Jews in encouragement and furtherance of a lying superstition.


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