THE CHRISTIAN’S ATTITUDE TOWARD THESE MATTERS
Friends, all of the miraculous things in religion and science are manifestations of a person’s latent power and are utilized by the evil spirits. They have one common principle, which is to break down the barriers of the flesh and release the soulish power. We (Christianity) are different from them because all our miracles are done by God through the Holy Spirit. However, Satan is utilizing soulish power to express his supernatural abilities and make man as God. The power of the soul is now a tool of Satan’s work. Satan works through this. Everything of God is void of soulish power. When we were regenerated, we were born of the Holy Spirit. Everything of God is done through the Holy Spirit and our regenerated spirit. God will never use soulish power. Ever since Adam’s fall, God has prohibited man from using the power he had before. This is why the Lord Jesus often said that we should lose the soul-life, the power of the soul. I have spoken before on the salvation of the soul, but I have never mentioned what I am mentioning here. God wants us to totally abandon our soulish power. We cannot say that the works of wonders that others perform are all counterfeits; I admit that many of them are real. However, these phenomena all come from the latent power of the soul after Adam’s fall. We Christians must be very careful in this last age. We must not purposely or unconsciously stir up the latent power of the soul.
Now let us come back to the verses we just read. We have seen that Satan and his followers, the evil spirits, will buy and sell men’s soulish power in the last generation. This means that the whole world will be filled up with the latent power of the soul. One correspondent of the Overcomer magazine said, "The forces of psyche (soul) are arrayed against the forces of pneuma (spirit)" (op. cit., p. 55). All those who have spiritual discernment and perception can feel that this is true. The power of the soul is coming toward us like a turbulent tide. Satan is utilizing science (psychology, psychiatry), religions, and some ignorant churches (which inordinately pursue supernatural manifestations and manipulate supernatural gifts in an unscriptural way) to saturate this world with the power of darkness. This is simply Satan’s preparation for the manifestation of Antichrist at the end of the world. A truly spiritual person (one who rejects soulish power) will feel that the opposing evil spirits around him are much more intense than before and that darkness is everywhere. He will feel that it is hard to press on. However, this is the necessary process through which God prepares His overcomers for the rapture.
I have mentioned all the above things to show you what soulish power can do and what it really is. Prior to the Lord’s coming back, similar things will increase, perhaps a hundred times more than before. Satan will perform many unprecedented works of wonder through the power of the soul and deceive God’s chosen people. We are getting closer and closer to the time of the great apostate. Mrs. Penn-Lewis said:
The momentum is increasing rapidly, the hand of the Arch-enemy of God and man is on the helm, and the world is rushing to the dark hour, when, for a brief period, Satan will actually be the "god of this age", ruling through a superman whose "parousia" (appearance) cannot long be delayed (op. cit., p. 69).
What is the power of the soul? Any believer who receives the teachings of the Lord and the enlightening of God’s Spirit knows that this power is the power of Hades. It is spreading out into all the nations of the world to deceive them, making the world an extremely dangerous place.
Satan is now utilizing the power of the soul to replace the gospel of God and the power of the gospel. He is blinding the eyes of men’s hearts and causing religious people to believe in his bloodless religion through the wonder of the soulish power. The fact that today several billion people believe in Buddhism and Taoism is a good example of this. Satan is using psycho-scientific discoveries to cause people to doubt the value of all the supernatural things in Christianity and think that these are the same as the miracles other religions perform; but they are simply psychological, latent powers. On the one hand, Satan is using these things to replace Christ’s redemption. Hypnotism is pioneering the way to try to reform men’s bad habits and evil nature. On the other hand, Satan is busy in the church, performing many miracles which issue from him and leading God’s children astray.
As God’s children we must know the difference between the spirit and soul. Only then will we be protected. If there is no deep work of the cross applied to the Adamic life, and if there is no real life union with the resurrected Lord through the Holy Spirit, we will unconsciously develop our soulish power. Mrs. Penn-Lewis said:
"Soul-force" versus "Spirit-force" is the battleground today. The Body of Christ is by the energy of the Holy Spirit within her, advancing heavenward. The atmosphere of the world is thickening with psychic currents behind which are massed the aerial foes. The only safety for the child of God is an experimental knowledge of the life in union with Christ wherein he dwells with Christ in God, above the poisonous air in which the prince of the power of the air carries on his work. The Blood of Christ is for cleansing. The Cross of Christ is for identification in death. The Power of the Risen Ascended Lord by the Holy Ghost, continually declared, laid hold of and wielded, will alone bring the members of the Body through in victory to join the Ascended Head (op. cit., p. 70).
Today my desire is to let us know the source of the soulish power and its function. We will speak on the rest of the subject next time. May God show us that where this soulish power is, there are the evil spirits. We should reject whatever is from the self and accept only what is from the Holy Spirit. In this last age may we particularly refuse the latent power of the soul, so that we will not fall into Satan’s hands. The soulish power, through the fall of Adam, has come under Satan’s authority and has become the tool for his work. For this reason we should be particularly careful, or we will be deceived by Satan.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 10: The Present Testimony (3), Chapter 9, by Watchman Nee)