The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): It is the native property of the Divine Word, never to make its appearance without disturbing Satan, and rousing his opposition. This is the most certain and unequivocal criterion by which it is distinguished from false doctrines, which are easily broached when they are heard with general attention, and received with applauses by the world.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): Preach a full Christ and a free pardon, and justification by faith, and then Satan will have great wrath, for he knows he has but a short time.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): It must not be expected that the devil will let those rest who are labouring to destroy his kingdom.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There is something very comforting in the thought that the devil is an adversary. I would sooner have him for an adversary than a friend.
AMY CARMICHAEL (1867-1951): Satan would not trouble to fight if he saw nothing worth attacking; he does not seem to mind the spread of a head knowledge of Doctrine, or even a cordial appreciation of it. Often [in India] we hear the people say how excellent it is, and how they never worship idols now, but only the true God; and even a heathen mother will make her child repeat [Bible] texts to you, and a father will tell you how he tells him Bible stories; and if you are quite new to the work you put it in the Magazine, and at home it sounds like conversion. All this goes on most peacefully; there is not the slightest stir, till something happens to show the people that the Doctrine is not just a Creed, but contains a living Power. And then, and not till then, there is opposition.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): What was it that turned the ancient world upside down? Was it just theological teaching? Was it mere enunciation of correct doctrine?―Was it merely that the apostles taught correct doctrine? Of course not! It was the Spirit’s demonstration and power which accompanied the correct doctrine. Correct doctrine can leave the church dead; you can have dead orthodoxy, you can have a church that is perfectly orthodox but perfectly useless. Over and above, there was this demonstration, this unction, this authority, this outpouring of the Spirit’s power. It is the only explanation of the astonishing things that happened.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): The Spirit of God is a spirit “of power,” II Timothy 1:7.
HUDSON TAYLOR (1832-1905): If the Spirit of God work mightily we may be sure that the spirit of evil will also be active.
MAGGIE PATON (died 1905): [My husband] John and I were reading such a precious sermon lately, showing that it is only when the glory of God is revealed “in the face of Christ Jesus” that Satan is up in arms. He’ll let you alone as long as you talk vaguely about God or good works; he’ll even let you denounce “sin,” and talk about the “Church” or the “Bible”—anything but the Lord Jesus Christ, for therein lies danger!
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): The devil hath an implacable malice against Christ. He hates, as I may so say, every letter of His name.
WILLIAM TIPTAFT (1803-1864): I am daily more fully convinced that there is no religion where there is no persecution. Where Christ is, the devil will roar, and raise all the opposition in his power…I never saw any fruits of my labours till I roused and disturbed the roaring lion.
C. H. SPURGEON: When the devil roars at anything, you may rest assured there is some good in it. The devil is not like some dogs we know of; he never barks unless there is something to bark at. When Satan howls we may rest assured he is afraid his kingdom is in danger.
RALPH ERSKINE (1685-1752): So long as people remain at a distance from Christ, the devil does not meddle with them: “He keeps the house, and the goods are in peace…”
What a cruel enemy the devil is to immortal souls, and their eternal salvation; for, whenever a soul begins to mind religion in earnest, and to come to Christ for help and deliverance, then that soul become the object of the devil’s spite and malice. As long as people remain Christless, and formal, the devil will let them enjoy themselves, and hugs them asleep in their security; but as soon as they begin to come to Christ, then he will attempt to cast them down and tear them, and stirs up all his wicked instruments, either to discourage and ridicule them, or to tear their name and reputation to pieces, and to persecute them.
R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Satan ever aims to raise the dead, and bury the living.
HUGH LATIMER (1483-1555): Wherefore take this for a sure conclusion, that where the Word of God is truly preached, there is persecution as well of the hearers as of the teachers; and where quietness and rest in worldly pleasure, there is not the truth.