“No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple . . . but He will not force and entrance. He come not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says . . .
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My Voice, and opens the door (yields, surrenders their will), I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me . . . !” Revelation 3:20
– ref: Desire of Ages, p.161
“There were many in Christ’s day, as there are today, over whom the control of Satan for the time seemed broken; through the grace* (G5485 – Divine Influence) of God they were set free from the evil spirits that had held dominion over the soul. They rejoiced in the love of God; but, like the stony-ground hearers of the parable, they did not abide in His love. They did not surrender themselves to God daily, that Christ might dwell in the heart; and when the evil spirit returned, with “seven other spirits more wicked than himself,” they were wholly dominated by the power of evil.
When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His Own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His Own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan.
But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one (Romans 6:16). We must inevitably be under the control of the One or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of Light.
If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness.*
note: We will take a closer look at this promise in an upcoming article.
Unless we become vitally connected* with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.”
– Desire of Ages, p.323-324
” In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world.
From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory (character) of the Divine One.
But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace* (G5485 – the Divine Influence) the heart of man becomes again His temple.
God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the Divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts.
In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,–from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. “The Lord (Adoni – Sovereign King), whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, Whom ye delight in . . .
Behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.” Malachi 3:1-3.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” I Corinthians 3:16-17.
note: For our God is a consuming Fire ! ref: Hebrews 12:28-29
No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My Voice (My Word), and open the door, I will come in to him.” Revelation 3:20.
He will come, not for one day merely; for He says, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; . . . and they shall be My people.” “He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” 2 Corinthians 6:16; Micah 7:19. His Presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the LORD, and “an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22.
– Desire of Ages, p.161-162