The Certain Triumph of Christ’s Church

Psalm 2:4,5; Isaiah 59:19
       He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
       When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Faith not only believes the promises which God has given to His saints individually, but also lays hold of those given to the Church collectively. There have been many season when the cause of Christ on earth has languished sorely; when it has been in a low state spiritually; when eminent leaders had been all called home, and when fierce persecution broke out against the little flock which they had left behind. Even so, they still had that sure word, Upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, Matthew 16:18.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): We depend upon it that if we are on God’s side God is on our side. With such an august ally the conflict is never in the least degree doubtful. It is not that truth is mighty and must prevail, but that might lies with the Father who is Almighty, with Jesus who has all power in heaven and in earth, and with the Holy Spirit who worketh His will among men.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): They who associate against Him shall be dashed in pieces, as the billows break and die upon a rocky shore. The feebleness and insignificance of their rage against Messiah, is intimated by the manner in which He notices their proceedings. He holds them in derision, He laughs them to scorn. He has them perfectly under His control, holds them in a chain when they think themselves most at liberty, appoints the bounds beyond which they cannot pass, and can in a moment check them, and make them feel His hook and bridle, when in the height of their career.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The enemies of God’s church are often disarmed and unrigged when they think they have almost gained their point.

C. H. SPURGEON: If ever God’s church has declined for a little while, unexpectedly there has been yielded a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. We know not what God has in store. He is great at surprises: His best wine last amazes us all. When the devil is most secure upon his throne, then God springs a mine, and blows his empire into atoms.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): The whole of Satan’s kingdom is subject to the authority of Christ.

JOHN NEWTON: In some cases the Lord signally interposed, and showed how entirely the lives and the hearts of His adversaries were in His hands. The haughty Herod was suddenly smitten by an invisible hand, with a loathsome and mortal disease, Acts 12:23. He fell devoured by worms; but the success of the Gospel which he had presumed to withstand greatly increased and spread. The furious zeal of Saul of Tarsus against the truth, was silenced in a different manner. Jesus, whom he ignorantly persecuted, appeared to him in the way to Damascus, when he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples,” disarmed his rage, made him a monument of His mercy, and an earnest and successful preacher of the faith he had laboured to destroy, Acts 9.

JOHN RYLAND (1723-1792): As soon as Satan heard of the conversion of Saul, he ordered the devils into deep mourning.

JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): How great a pleasure is it to discern how the most wise God is providentially steering His people’s happiness, whilst the whole world is busily employed in managing the sails, and tugging at the oars, with a quite opposite design and purpose! To see how they promote His design by opposing it, and fulfill His will by resisting it, enlarge His church by scattering it, and make their rest to come the more sweet to their souls, by making their condition so restless in the world.

JOHN NEWTON: In like manner when Messiah left the earth, His followers were considered as sheep without a shepherd. The world conspired to suppress His cause, and to root out the remembrance of His people. But the methods they employed counteracted their own designs. They who were dispersed by the persecution that followed the death of Stephen, preached the word wherever they went, the Gospel spread from place to place, and the number of disciples daily increased.

ALEXANDER CARSON (1776-1844): If Jesus has all power in heaven and in earth; if His enemies cannot speak, nor move, nor breathe, without Him, it may appear strange that His people should be persecuted, and His cause at any time trampled on. He must have great and wise purposes to be served by the event, when He suffers His people to be afflicted by wicked men for His sake.

JOHN NEWTON: It is the Lord’s pleasure not only to favour and to support His people, but to do it in such a way that it may appear to be wholly His own work, and that the praise belongs to Him alone. And therefore He permits their enemies for a season to try if they can prevent His designs. For a season, things take such a course that their attempts seem to prosper; they threaten, they boast, and confidently expect to carry their point. But the contest always issues in their shame and confusion. He not only disconcerts their schemes, but makes them instrumental to the promoting of His own designs. Thus when He sent Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt, Pharaoh, instead of complying with His command, increased their burdens, added to the rigour of their bondage, and, though, rebuked by the succession of severe judgments, he hardened himself the more, and was determined to detain them if he could. But he could no detain them a day or an hour beyond the appointed time which God had long before made known to Abraham, Genesis 15:13,14; Exodus 12:41,42. Then they were delivered, and Pharaoh and his host overthrown in the Red Sea. Hereby the name of the God of Israel was more known, noticed, and magnified, than it would have been, if Pharaoh had dismissed the people without reluctance or delay.

JOHN CALVIN: Our faith should be borne up on wings by the promises of God…Certainly if we are to believe what our eyes see, then the kingdom of Christ seems to be on the verge of ruin. But the promise that Christ will never be dragged from His throne but that He will lay low all His enemies banishes us from all fear.

C. H. SPURGEON: Are we despairing? God forbid that we should ever despond while all power is in the hand of Jesus. He can turn the whole current of thought in an opposite direction, and that right speedily.

A. W. PINK: In all ages the enemy has sought to destroy the people of God, but the Lord has defeated his designs and rendered his opposition ineffectual. O for a faith to now lay hold of this promise, When the Enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.


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