SATAN’S SURVEILLANCE OF GOD
God was willing to allow the highest angel created by Him (Ezek. 28:13-14) to rebel against Him with a group of angels and be His opposer. In this way Satan has become “the opposition party” in the universe particularly to watch over God and oppose God. The Bible tells us that Satan opposes God and rebels against God. Therefore, God has convicted him, ordering that he be thrown into the bottomless pit for his termination (Isa. 14:12-15). However, this punishment has not been executed. The judgment paper is here, but the execution is not yet. Hence, Satan is still at large in the universe. Although the Bible says that God has bound Satan, how much He binds Satan is up to Him. This is why we have so many hardships and afflictions, natural disasters and man-made calamities, failures and frustrations, etc. These things happen because Satan is still here disturbing us. God is sovereign over everything. He announced the verdict that Satan would be cast into the abyss, but He did not remove Satan right away. If He had removed Satan, He would not have an opposition party. God wants to keep an opposition party in order to prove His perfection. Without an opposition party, God’s perfection cannot be manifested. God may do whatever He wants for Himself, and whatever He says, that is it. However, an opposition party is here to prove that whatever God says and does are in accord with His righteous law.
Furthermore, God granted His opposer, Satan, the freedom to be an observer in the councils held by Him with His angels and even the privilege to criticize His doings (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6). When God was holding a meeting with His angels, Satan also went to observe. The angels did not stop him, because they knew that he had the privilege. Satan went into the councils and even made some criticisms. The book of Job shows us that God and Satan had a conversation. Satan said to God, “You see how Job is. You have given him so many good things. You have won him over to be Your perfect one.” God said, “Okay, from now on, I turn Job over to you. You may do as you like but you may not take his life.” Not only was this so in Job’s time, but even to this day Satan is still accusing us before God day and night (Rev. 12:10).
Hence, all that God wants to do for man through His life organically according to His love must also take care of the criticisms of His opposer, Satan. This also requires that the salvation which God wants to accomplish for man, including redemption and saving, first meet the judicial requirement of God’s righteousness.
THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S JUDICIAL REQUIREMENT AS THE PROCEDURE AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO ORGANICALLY AS THE PURPOSE
In the complete salvation of God, what He does in the judicial aspect is the procedure, and what He does in the organic aspect is the purpose. In the aspect of procedure, that which God has fulfilled according to His judicial requirement is redemption, including forgiveness of sins, washing away of sins, justification, reconciliation to God, and positional sanctification. We were sinners under God’s condemnation and also enemies of God, but now we have been forgiven, washed from our sins, justified by God, reconciled to God, and sanctified unto God positionally. This is to be redeemed. However, the complete salvation of God is not just this much. If you have received only these five items of redemption, what you have received is but a one-sided salvation and not the complete salvation. The first aspect of God’s complete salvation is the judicial aspect, and what it accomplished is for us to be forgiven of our sins, washed from our sins, justified, reconciled to God, and sanctified positionally. These five items qualify and position us to enter into the grace of God. Romans 5:2 says, “We have obtained access…into this grace in which we stand.” How can a sinner obtain access into the grace of God? There must be the fulfillment of the judicial aspect so that the sinner may receive forgiveness of sins, washing away of sins, justification by God, reconciliation to God, and positional sanctification. All of these items are a matter of procedure, qualification, and position. The judicial aspect qualifies and positions us sinners to enter into the grace of God to enjoy the salvation which God has accomplished for us according to His life organically in the aspect of purpose (Rom. 5:10). Here we see that God has accomplished a salvation with two aspects: the redeeming aspect and the saving aspect. Redemption is accomplished judicially, and saving is carried out organically.
The second aspect of God’s complete salvation is the aspect of purpose. In the aspect of purpose, that which God has carried out by His life organically is salvation, including (1) regeneration for us to receive the eternal life of God, (2) shepherding for us to grow and exist in the divine life, (3) sanctification in our disposition, (4) renewing in our mind, (5) transformation in our image, issuing in (6) God’s building, (7) conformation to the image of God’s firstborn Son, that is, maturity in the divine life, and (8) glorification, which is the consummation of God’s eternal economy (Rom. 8:30). Whereas that which is accomplished judicially is the initial step as redemption with five items, that which is carried out organically is a further step as salvation, which is different from redemption and includes eight items. Redemption is accomplished judicially, whereas salvation is carried out organically. The eight items in the organic aspect issue in the church of God to constitute the Body of Christ which will consummate the New Jerusalem, which is the ultimate goal of God’s eternal economy, that is, an organism constituted with the processed Triune God and His regenerated, sanctified, transformed, and glorified elect joined and mingled as one to be the enlargement and expression of God in eternity.
(The Organic Aspect of God's Salvation, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)