God wants us to see the heavenly vision and be governed by it, and as believers in Christ we are meant to see the heavenly vision and be heavenly people living a heavenly life on earth. However, there are many hindrances to seeing this vision and entering into it, the first of which is the self.
As we have seen, the self is the soul-life with the emphasis on human thoughts and opinions. We are full of thoughts and opinions, and even though we think that “these are our thoughts”, we don’t realize that they are actually NOT our thoughts but Satan himself being injected into us to cause us to think independently from God.
Today we want to see that the self is the embodiment of Satan – the self is the essence of Satan in the soul, making our soul to be independent from God and to express its self-opinion and self-will.
When God created man He made him pure and innocent, and man enjoyed living in fellowship with God. But Satan came in the form of a serpent and started a conversation with Eve, asking her a few questions (see Gen. 3:1-6). Satan already knew the answer to the questions; his intention was to inject his thought into man’s mind and thus corrupt man’s mind.
Satan always questions God’s word, and he contradicts God, desires to be higher than Him, and even wants to negate God. Because man answered the serpent’s question, Satan’s thought was injected into the human mind and caused his soul to be corrupted and become the self.
The soul became the self when something of Satan was added to the soul; when the mind of Satan was injected into the soul, our soul became the self. Now the self has a lot of opinions – both good (Peter’s opinion to stop the Lord from going to death seemed good) and bad.
In the family life, work life, and church life today there are a lot of opinions, and the self is expressed through the uttering of our opinions. People get offended and some even divorce because of the self being expressed through opinions in a strong way.
We need to learn to deny the self by stopping and going to the Lord in prayer, asking to hear His word and His will.
The Self is the Embodiment of Satan, the Essence of Satan in the Human Soul
When God created man, He formed his body out of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils, and man became a living soul. In God’s eyes man is a living soul. But in Gen. 3 Satan came in as the serpent, and he was very crafty.
He asked the woman, Did God really say, You shall not eat of any tree of the garden? (Gen. 3:1) When the woman responded truthfully to the serpent, he replied, You shall not surely die! Satan contradicted God’s word by asking a question and then injecting his thought into man’s mind.
Whenever Satan comes to us he always challenges God’s word and then contradicts it. Satan is the best salesman – he always questions God’s word and anything that is good and moral. He may say, Are you sure you heard or read this right? Maybe God meant something else, or maybe He didn’t mean to say this but He meant that….Satan doesn’t want to get an answer from us; he wants us to listen to him and converse with him, and then he injects his evil thought into us.
In human learning and education questioning and asking questions is important for the learning process in children, teenagers, and men of all ages. Through questioning this and that we get stimulated and we think.
Satan took the opportunity of this and he asked man some questions, and then he injected doubts and thoughts into man’s mind that corrupted him. Man was pure and innocent, but after talking to Satan, he was corrupted with something of Satan that was injected into him. The thing that was added to man’s soul was the thought, the mind, of Satan.
In Matt. 16:23 the Lord Jesus called Peter, Satan! – He identified the source of Peter’s opinion, which is the thought of Satan injected into Peter. Peter’s self was exposed, and we see clearly that the self is the embodiment of Satan.
Whenever we live in the self, we are the embodiment of Satan. When we speak our own opinions as the expression of our self, we express Satan.
Once we listen to Satan and answer his question, he puts doubts and questioning in our mind, and we are corrupted from the simplicity and purity which is in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 11:3). After Eve talked to Satan and she and Adam partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (the forbidden tree), they became conscious of their nakedness and shame, and they hid from God.
The result of our conversation with Satan and accepting his thoughts, we hide from God and we doubt Him. The self is really the embodiment of Satan, the essence of Satan in our human soul.
The Self is Something of Satan in the Soul Expressed Mostly Through Opinions
The self is the embodiment of Satan, something of Satan being injected into our soul and being expressed mainly through opinions.
Due to the fall of man, all his being was polluted and corrupted: his body became the flesh (something of Satan was injected into his body to transmute it into the flesh), his soul became the self (Satan’s thought and mind was injected into man’s soul to make it independent from God and against God), and his spirit was deadened.
In every human being there is the flesh and the self, and when we interact with others we speak – we express ourselves. We are all full of opinions, and these opinions are the expression of the self.
How can we see the self being expressed? Mainly through the opinions. In the family life the husband has a certain opinion, the wife has a different opinion, and the children also have their own opinion. We need to see and be aware of the fact that our self is expressed through our opinions. Because of opinions marriages get broken, people separate and divide, and enmity and hatred comes in.
As believers in Christ we need to be aware of the fact that our self is expressed through our opinions, and therefore we need to turn to the Lord and pray instead of expressing our opinions.
In the matters of the family life and the church life we need to NOT express our opinions (which are the expression of our self, the embodiment of Satan) but rather first pray, turn to the Lord, enjoy Him, and then speak something in oneness with Him. We need to learn the lesson of first contacting the Lord and then speaking something.
When we are about to decide on something or coordinate concerning the practical things in the family life and church life, we need to pray first. Don’t start by saying, I feel we should do this…., or, I think that this is the best way…or, In my opinion, we should…We don’t know what is in us. We don’t know ourselves.
Our self is the very essence of Satan in the soul, and in our self we are independent from God, having our own self-opinion, self-will, and self-feelings. We think these are our own thoughts, opinions, desires, and feelings, but they are the result of Satan injecting us with his thoughts, feelings, and will. We need to deny the self by turning to our spirit in prayer, contacting the Lord, and then speaking something.
Lord Jesus, cause us to see what our self is. May we realize that our self is the embodiment of Satan. Lord, grant us a vision of the self, the essence of Satan injected in our soul to cause us to be independent from God. Lord Jesus, keep us turning to You in all things. Save us from our opinions. May we not answer Satan with all his questions and doubts but turn to God and pray! We want our mind to be set on the things above, not on the things on the earth. Oh Lord Jesus, keep us turning to our spirit all the time!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. James Lee’s sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Basic Principles of the Experience of Life (chs. 11-12), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Heavenly Vision, week 4 / msg 4, The Vision of the Self (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Hymns on this topic:
# I long for fellowship in spirit, / Long that my spirit forth may come, / Long to be saved from self-deception, / And every hindrance overcome. (Hymns #847)
# Exercise the spirit! / Soulish life deny; / Helping one another, / On the Lord rely. (Hymns #866)
# Lord, teach us to discern the spirit / That we may never set our mind / Upon the flesh but on the spirit, / That sin and self no more may bind. (Hymns #746)