An angel of light
‘… Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.’ 2 Corinthians 11:14
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Kings 10:15–31
Sometimes Satan transforms himself into an angel of light:
(i) by abuse of gospel principles. He will, upon some occasions, bear a testimony to the truth—but always to serve a wicked end. He will allow and plead for the atonement and righteousness of Jesus Christ—does he not look like an angel of light? But his end is to depreciate holiness. He will at other times preach up duties and good works, sanctification; this looks well, but O he is only transformed. His design is to set forwards such things in opposition to the blood of Christ, and the work of the Spirit. He will cry up free grace and prove from God’s word that we can do nothing. This is a truth even in Satan’s mouth, but his conclusions from it show who he is. He means to make sinners [feel] secure and careless and negligent of the means.
(ii) by a false humility. He is very troublesome to sincere souls this way, persuading them that such great sinners as they ought not to believe.
(iii) by a false zeal—that makes a show and sets up self, under a pretence of God’s glory, as in the case of Jehu [2 Kings 10:31].
(iv) by false comforts—working upon their passions and imaginations, while their own hearts are yet buried in the love of sin and the world.
What need to pray to be kept! What good news that Jesus is revealed to destroy the works of the devil!
FOR MEDITATION: I now see more clearly than ever the reason of my former small proficiency, and of my frequent relapses into folly: I see that I had not that perfect dependence on Jesus my Saviour and him only for justification and acceptance, as I thought I had. I see that I was inclined insensibly to exalt my own wretched self, to the prejudice of his honour and grace, and was in some things under the influence of a legal spirit; and that was sufficient cause for my Lord to keep back his influence, and to leave me to weave my spider’s webs to my own shame and confusion. Yet he was determined not to forsake me wholly, for his love is everlasting and unchangeable, and blessed be his name, I trust he has shown me my error, and will by his grace prevent me falling grossly into it again.
Diary, 5 July 1754 [after meeting Capt. Alexander Clunie in St Kitts]
SERMON: 2 CORINTHIANS 11:14 [2/2]