Last Updated on : Saturday, November 22, 2014
DOWNLOAD EUREKA volumes in PDF: Eureka downloads page
Previous section | Next section
AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
4. The Diabolos
"Fear not the things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the Diabolos will cast of you into prison, that ye may be tempted" (verse 10).
The Saints in Smyrna were not strangers to tribulation; for where the gospel of the kingdom was believed and obeyed for remission of
sins, and the hope of a resurrection from among the dead, to inherit that kingdom with the glory of the Millennial Aion, or Olahm, tribulation of some sort from Jew or Greek, or from both, was sure to follow, as it does even in this day of so-called liberty and light; for all the apostles in word and example testified, that "it is through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom of the Deity" (Acts 14:22).
But their "works," which were righteous, being manifest in the presence of "the Satan" and of "the Diabolos," would be sure to bring upon them frequent renewals of their malignant and dangerous attacks.
The repudiation of "the Satan's" claims to the christian name, secured to them the enmity of their "synagogue;" whose members are scandalized at an earnest, and uncompromising contention for the faith as originally delivered to the Saints by the apostles (Jude 3). They call this "uncharitable," and calculated to "do harm," and to drive off respectable people from the truth; who, but for the ultraism of ANTIPAS, which destroys the popularity and endangers the position, of all connected with him, would embrace the truth, swell the number of its adherents, and make it respected, if not esteemed, by the wealthy and honorable of the world. This has been "the Satan's" desire from the beginning until now. They are not so much opposed to the truth as an abstraction; but the consequences of a bold, straightforward, and uncompromising statement and advocacy of it, they hate, and detest with unmitigated bitterness and disgust. This state of mind and policy with respect to the truth on the part of the Satan's synagogue of "all christendom," establishes and develops "enmity" between the Seed of the Woman, or true apocalyptic Jews, that is, Christians; and the Seed of the Serpent, or real apocalyptic liars, "who say they are Jews," or Christians, "and are not, but do lie." This enmity subsisting between true and spurious christians, caused the Satanists "to betray" the others, as Jesus foretold they would (Matt. 24:10). But, then, to whom should the Satan betray the saints of the ecclesias? This letter to the Smyrneans answers to "ho diabolos", to the Diabolos, vulgarly styled THE DEVIL; as it is written, "Behold, the DIABOLOS will cast of you into prison, that ye may be tempted."
But to what sort of a Devil is this that the saints were to be betrayed? A devil that could apprehend flesh and blood men, and incarcerate them alive in prison? Was it the immortal, fire-proof, orthodox Devil, with horns, hoofs, forked tongue, and arrow-headed tail, redolent of brimstone, and armed with pitchfork, who arrested the saints, and imprisoned them in the gaols of the Asia Minor? Is it this, "His Sooty Majesty," to whom the gaols and penitentiaries of "christendom" belong? If so, how comes he to admit the clergy to
these precincts to convert his prisoners, and to offer them the consolations of their religions, unless they are his particular friends and confidants? Would he imprison saints on account of "the faith," and appoint Reverend and Holy Divines, genuine Christian men, to be the Chaplains of his gaols? Or would true and genuine believers, real "ambassadors of Jesus Christ," and unsophisticated "successors of the apostles," condescend, or defile themselves -- become such traitors to him who had purchased them with his blood, as to accept office under so hideous and monstrous a Devil? Must there not be an amicable compact, some treaty of peace, friendship, and alliance, between the Clergy and the Devil, seeing that they are in official service under him; and that he pays them salaries for indoctrinating his "gaol-birds," and spiritualizing his legislators, and the soldiers and sailors of his armies and marines? The prisons of the world, and the police of the world, and the executioners of the world, manifestly belong to the Devil. This is proved by the text before us, which testifies, that the Devil casts into prison. Now in order to do this, the magistrates must be in his service; or they would not issue orders of arrest at his dictation. The police also must be in his service; or they would not serve the warrants; and the gaolers and lictors, or they would not put the saints in ward, or carry them to death. All these things, therefore, are the Devil's, whoever, or whatever, he may be. What then, do we see? We see the Clergy his willing and official tools! We see them serving him for the honor and wages emanating from the high places of his kingdom. They are in the world's pay, which they admit belongs to the god of the world whom they call the Devil; therefore the conclusion is necessary and inevitable, that they are the Devil's, and the work of the Devil they do. This being the case, it is not difficult t6 understand how it is that the Clergy are the chaplains of all the Devil's institutions. He claims the bodies and souls of the people, whom he has ensnared, having been "taken captive by him at his will" (2 Tim. 2:26). He has found it, therefore, to his interest, since the truth was promulgated in his dominions by the Apostles, to set up a counteracting system, which under the name of Christianity should nullify, or neutralize, the thing. This "the Satan," who set up his synagogue, or "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church," upon the foundation of "the Mystery of Iniquity," were ready to do. Having entered into a "Holy Alliance," under the style of "The Old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan," (a firm renowned for its unprincipled transactions throughout the world), the Devil appointed the Lords Spiritual, "the Right Reverend," "Most Reverend ... Very Reverend," and "Reverend," divines of "the synagogue of the Satan," to take care of "the unclean and
hateful birds" (Apoc. 18:2) he had ensnared, in their last moments; ignorantly supposing it possible, that having served him loyally all their days, they might escape him at last. But the Devil is by nature and education very ignorant of the truth and very superstitious; and as the clergy live and flourish by his folly and stupidity, they are not solicitous for his enlightenment; at all events, that he should not become more intelligent in scripture than themselves. Hence they are careful to flatter him and to pander to his superstition; so that wherever folly is to be transacted in the name of religion, there the Devil finds on hand "gentlemen of the cloth" ready to perform it in tone, grimace, and full canonicals, to suit. For who but the Devil's Own could attend a murderer to the gallows with "the consolations of religion" in view of the divine testimony, that "no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him"? (1 John 3:15). Who but one of "the children of the Devil" could kidnap a little Jew boy, and sprinkle him with a few drops of water,and proclaim him to be a Christian, in view of Paul's testimony, that "without faith it is impossible to please God "? (Heb. 11:6). Who but one of the Devil's own counsellors could preach a sermon over a deceased scoundrel, affirming that his immortal soul was then in glory beyond the skies, in view of the declaration, that "the soul that sinneth it shall die"? Who but one of the Devil's own priests could promise salvation to man or woman upon other terms than those contained in "the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus," who hath said, "He that believeth the Gospel of the Kingdom, and is immersed, shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be condemned"? (Mark 16:15,16). All these abominations and a multitude besides, the clergy do; in short, their teaching and practices are all approved by the world and the pietism of the flesh; and therefore there is but one scriptural conclusion that can be arrived at, namely, that they are of the devil, devilish and condemned.
But in regard to their patron and father the DEVIL we may profitably inquire, is he the hideous and sooty monster generally supposed by the disciples of his divines; or is he altogether something else? I answer, that all that can be known about the devil is revealed in the scriptures; and that in these writings, there is no such devil exhibited as is preached by the clergy, and believed in by the world. The clerical devil is the devil of heathenism, introduced into "the synagogue of the Satan" by the apocalyptic "liars." They introduced him into their theology as the great terror of their system, which was designed to work upon the fears, rather than upon the admiration and nobler affections of mankind. The old heathen devil, and "an eternal hell of
fire and brimstone," have been the basis of the clerical gospel from that day to this. They had abandoned "the goodness of the Deity," and consequently could no longer make use of it to "lead men to repentance," or change of mind and disposition (Rom. 2:4): they had therefore to introduce another agent; and, as the clerical system of doctrine is merely heathenism in a new dress, they adopted the old god Pluto, tricked out with the appendages of another called Pan. These heathen deities combined in one they call "the Devil," surrounded by all the Furies of Tartarus of horrid shapes and appalling aspects, they exhibit to their dupes, as the Devil's officials in the regions of the damned, waiting to clutch their immortal souls in the article of dissolution unless they repent of their sins, and become members of the clerical communion; thus making the Devil an effectual co-laborer in bringing men under the influence of the Clergy. Separate the Devil and his adjuncts from their system, and their occupation would be gone; for apart from hell and the Devil the clergy have no power to excite the mind.
But while we repudiate the clergyman's devil as a mere phantasma of disordered brains, we by no means deny the existence of what is styled diabolos in the scriptures. Our proposition at this point is, that the Devil of the clergy is not the Diabolos of scripture. This is easy to be seen by taking their representation of the devil as the definition of the word, and trying to expound the scriptures in which devil is mentioned thereby. Take, for instance, Heb. 2:14, where it is written, "Therefore forasmuch as the children (given of the Deity to the Son for brethren) partook of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner shared in the same, that through the death (he accomplished) he might destroy that having the power of death, that is, THE DIABOLOS." Now, Paul elsewhere informs us that "Jesus was crucified through weakness" (2 Cor. 13:4); and the clergy teach that their diabolos, or devil, is second only to their Trinity in power-almost, if not quite, omnipotent; at all events, powerful enough to hold in eternal captivity and torture the vast majority of the human beings God has made. He either holds them with God's consent or against it; if he hold them with it, God and the Devil are made co-partners; and God is made by their traditions to have created an enormous multitude of men, women, and children for no other destiny than eternal torments; which gives the lie to the scriptures, which teach that "God is love:" if the Devil hold the damned against God's consent, then the Devil is more powerful than God. But, the clergy are unwilling to accept the consequences of their own theories. They would not like to admit the co-partnership, nor the superior strength of their Devil; though upon
their premises one or the other is unavoidable. They will admit, however, that their father and patron, the Devil, is vastly powerful. This is admission enough to illustrate the incompatibility of their traditions with scripture. Thus, How comes it that the Spirit laid hold upon death stricken and corruptible flesh and blood, which is so weak and frail, called "the Seed of Abraham," that through its death He might destroy so mighty and Powerful a Devil? Would it not have been more accordant with the requirements of the case for Him to have combated with him unencumbered with flesh, or in the spirit-nature of angels? Became weak and dead to destroy the mighty and the living; when the Creator of the Devil could with a word annihilate him! But there is as little reason as scripture in "the depths of Satan" as the clergy teach; and therefore it would be mere waste of time and space to occupy ourselves any further with their speculations and traditions upon this subject.
The Spirit clothed himself with weakness and corruption -- in other words, "Sin's flesh's identity" -- that he might destroy the Diabolos. It is manifest from this the diabolos must be of the same nature as that which the Spirit assumed; for the supposition that He assumed human nature to destroy a being of angelic nature, or of some other more powerful, is palpably absurd. The Diabolos is something, then, pertaining to flesh and blood; and the Spirit or Logos became flesh and blood to destroy it.
Now, whatever flesh-and-blood thing it may be, Paul says that "it hath the power of death" -- that is, it is the power which causes mankind to die. If, then, we can ascertain from Paul what is the power or cause of death, we discover what the thing is he terms the Diabolos; for he tells us that the Diabolos has the power of death.
Well, then, referring to Hos. 13:14, where the Spirit saith, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave," Paul exclaims, in view of this deliverance as the result of a price paid, "O Death, where is thy ting? O Hades, (sheol, or grave) where is thy victory?" The power of a venomous serpent to produce death lies in its "sting;" therefore Paul uses "sting" as equivalent to "power:" hence his inquiry is, "O Death, where is thy power?" This question he answers by saying, "The sting (or power) of death is SIN, and the strength of sin is the law." That the power of death is sin, he illustrates in his argument contained in his letter to the saints in Rome. In Rom. 5:12, he says, "Death by sin." He does not say, "By the Devil sin entered into the world if he had, this would have given "the Devil" existence before sin: but he says, "By one man, or Adam, sin entered into the world." This agrees with Moses, who tells us that there was a
time after the creation was finished when there was nothing in the world but what was "very good" -- "and Elohim saw ll that He (the Spirit) had made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). Man is, therefore, older than sin, and, consequently, older than the Diabolos. Man introduced it into the world; and not an immortal devil, nor God. Neither God, then, nor such a devil, was the author of sin; but the authorship was constituted of the sophistry of the serpent believed and experimented by the Man, male and female.
Man, then, having introduced Sin, "death entered into the world by sin; and so death passed upon all men ... to condemnation; for by one man's disobedience the many were constituted sinners; and the wages of sin is death to those who obey it" (Rom. 5:14,18,19; 6:23,16). But though constituted sinners in Adam, if no law had been given after his transgression, his posterity would not have known when they did right or wrong; for Paul says, "I had not known sin, but by the law." The law is, therefore, "the strength of sin." Sin reigns by "the holy, just, and good law," through the weakness of the flesh (Rom. 7:7,12: 8:3). Where there is no law there is no sin; for "sin is the transgression of law:" so that "without the law sin is dead" (7:8; 1 John 3:4). This shows how inherently bad flesh is in its thoughts and actions, that a good thing should stir it up to wickedness. Its lusts and affections are impatient of control. Paul therefore said, "in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing." When this, which is utterly destitute of any good thing, is placed under a good law, scope is afforded it to display itself in all its-natural deformity; and to prove that "the law of its nature" is not the law of God, but "the law of sin and death." Thus, the introduction of a good law, demanding obedience of that which has nothing good in it, is the occasion of sin abounding in the world (v. 20), and thereby evinces its enormity, and shows that "SIN is an exceedingly great Sinner" (!greek!) (7:13). In this expression Paul personifies Sin; and says that it deceived him, slew him, and worked death in him.
"SIN" is a word in Paul's argument, which stands for "human nature," with its affections and desires. Hence, to become sin, or for one to be "made sin" for others (2 Cor. 5:21), is to become flesh and blood. This is called "sin," or "Sin's flesh," because it is what it is in consequence of sin, or transgression. When the dust of the ground was formed into a body of life, or living soul, or, as Paul terms it, a psychical or natural body, it was a very good animal creation. It was not a pneumatic, or spirit-body, indeed, for it would then have been immortal and incorruptible, and could neither have sinned, nor have
become subject to death; but for an animal or natural body, it was "very good," and capable of an existence free from evil, as long as its probationary aion, or period might continue. If that period had been fixed for a thousand years, and man had continued obedient to law all that time, his flesh and blood nature would have experienced no evil; and at the end of that long day, he might have been permitted to eat of the Tree of the Lives, by which eating he would have been changed in the twinkling of an eye into a spirit-body, which is incorruptible, glorious, and powerful; and he would have been living at this day. But man transgressed. He listened to the sophistry of flesh reasoning under the inspiration of its own instincts. He gave heed to this "the thinking of the flesh," or carnal mind, which "is enmity against God, is not subject to His law, neither indeed can be." The desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life, which pertain essentially to all living human, or ground, souls, were stirred up by what he saw and heard; and "he was drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." His lust having conceived, it brought forth sin in intention; and this being perfected in action, caused death to ensue (James 1:13-15). Every man, says the apostle, is tempted in this way. It is not God, nor the clerical devil that tempts man, but "his own lust," excited by what from without addresses itself to his five senses, which always respond approvingly to what is agreeable to them.
Seeing that man had become a transgressor of the divine law, there was no need of a miracle for the infliction of death. All that was necessary was to prevent him from eating of the Tree of Lives, and to leave his flesh and blood nature to the operation of the laws peculiar to it. It was not a nature formed for interminable existence. It was "very good" so long as in healthy being, but immortality and incorruptibility were no part of its goodness. These are attributes of a higher and different kind of body. The animal, or natural body, may be transformed into a deathless and incorruptible body, but without that transformation, it must of necessity perish.
This perishing body is "sin," and left to perish because of "sin." Sin, in its application to the body, stands for all its constituents and laws. The power of death is in its very constitution, so that the law of its nature is styled "the law of Sin and Death." In the combination of the elements of the law, the power of death resides, so that "to destroy that having the power of death," is to abolish this physical law of sin and death, and instead thereof, to substitute the physical "law of the spirit of life," by which the same body would be changed in its constitution, and live for ever.
By this time, I apprehend, the intelligent reader will be able to
answer scripturally the question, "What is that which has the power of death?" And he will, doubtless, agree, that it is "the exceedingly great sinner SIN," in the sense of "the Law of Sin and Death" within all the posterity of Adam, without exception. This, then, is Paul's Diabolos, which he says "has the power of death;" which "power" he also saith is "sin, the sting of death."
But why doth Paul style Sin diabolos? The answer to this question will be found in the definition of the word. Diabolos is derived from !greek! diaballo, which is compounded of dia, a preposition, which in composition signifies across, over, and answers to the Latin trans; and of ballo, to throw, cast: and intransitively, to fall, tumble. Hence, diaballo, is to throw over or across; and intransitively, like the Latin trajicere, to pass over, to cross, to pass. This being the signification of the parent verb, the noun diabolos is the name of that which crosses, or causes to cross over, or falls over. DIABOLOS is therefore a very fit and proper word by which to designate the law of sin and death, or Sin's flesh. The Eternal Spirit drew a line before Adam, and said, Thou shalt not cross, or pass over that line upon pain of evil and death. That line was the Eden law; on l,he east of that line was the answer of a good conscience, friendship with God, and life without end; but on the west, fear, shame, misery, and death. To obey, was to maintain the position in which he was originally placed; to disobey, to cross over the line forbidden. But "he was drawn away, and enticed by his own lusts." The narrative of Moses proves this. The man was enticed of his own lust to cross over the line, or to disobey the law; so that his own lust is the Diabolos. Thus, etymology and doctrine agreeing, our definition must be correct.
But diaballo has secondary and ternary significations. It signifies to traduce, to attack character, to slander, to libel; and thirdly, to deceive, mislead, impose upon. Hence, diabolos will also signify a traducer, slanderer, deceiver, impostor. In this sense, Judas is styled a diabolos (John 6:70). So also the pious scribes and Pharisees, priests and rulers, who, though as priests officially holy, were as Jesus said, "of father the Diabolos, and the lusts of their father (the flesh) they would do. The same was a man-killer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks of his own things, for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). And "he that committeth sin is of the Diabolos, for the diabolos sinneth from the beginning" (1 John 3:8). All this is perfectly intelligible when understood of Sin's flesh, in which dwells no good thing, and which of itself can neither do right nor think aright. Man's ability to do either is derived from a higher source -- from the truth indoctrinated
into him. When this is declared and reasoned into him, and he comes to understand it, to believe it, and to love it, a power is set up within him called "the law of the Spirit of life," which is counteractive of "the law of sin and death," and brings the man to "the obedience of faith," by which he is manifested to the skilful in the word as a son of God. The disobedient are all of father Diabolos; and his spirit, which is the spirit of the flesh, works in them. Hence the clergy, Jewish and Gentile, are all of what they call "the Devil," being ignorant, and consequently disobedient of the gospel of the kingdom.
But, Diabolos is discoursed of in scripture in its imperial as well as racial manifestations. John says, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Diabolos" (1 John 3:8). When the Diabolos and his works are destroyed "every curse will have ceased" (Apoc. 22:3). The works of the Diabolos are the Works of Sin. Look into the world, ecclesiastical and civil, and the reader wilt see Sin's works on every side. The thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers; Greek, Latin, Mohammedan, Pagan, Protestant, Sectarian, and "Infidel," superstitions of all "Names and Denominations," are all the works of Sin, which festers and ferments in all "the children of disobedience." They are all based upon the transgression of the divine law; and are all officered and sustained by the children of the Diabolos. The Messiah's mission is to destroy them all. John, the baptizer, proclaimed this in pointing to Jesus, and saying. Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away THE SIN of the world! which, by Paul and John the apostle, is interpreted as the Son of God that destroys the Diabolos and his works -- the flesh and all its institutions: for the time comes at the end of the Thousand Years, when flesh and blood nature will be abolished from the earth; and by consequence, all evil and death, "the last enemy," which are its wages in all the earth.
The fourth beast of Daniel is the symbol of the Diabolos in Imperial manifestation. It represents "the Kingdom of Men" upon "the whole habitable," which, in the days of John, in regard to the Fourth Beast, extended from the Tigris to the Atlantic; and from the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euxine, to the Atlas Mountains and Upper Egypt; the Mediterranean lying in the midst. Since the apostle's time, the territory of this dominion has been greatly extended by the addition of Germania and "All the Russias." Upon this platform "the kingdom of men" mainly rests. It is the Kingdom of Sin, or the Empire of the Diabolos, which has passed through various constitutional phases, but always in harmony with its diabolism. This, in apostolic times, was of that species of heathenism, according to which the flesh worshipped
Jupiter, and all the Olympian deities, through the works of men's hands. The magistrates of this pagan power were not only individual diaboloi, but the officials through whom the Imperial Fourth Beast Diabolos oppressed, tempted, persecuted, and destroyed the Saints. All the Prisons of the Habitable belonged to the Diabolos, whose spies and informers "walked about, as a roaring lion, seeking whom they might devour." This power is entitled in Apoc. 12:9, "the great red Dragon, that Old Serpent, surnamed the Diabolos, and the Satan, which deceives the whole Habitable." The "Dragon" is the serpent-symbol of the power which sought to seduce the faithful from their allegiance to Christ -- to cause them to transgress -- to cross the line of "the law of faith." It was, therefore, truly "surnamed THE DIABOLOS" by the Spirit. It was also "the Adversary" to everything not pagan; and, therefore, rightly "surnamed THE SATAN." It was adversary to Jesus, and crucified him; it was adversary to all the apostles whom it slew and persecuted; and to the Saints for two hundred and eighty years, when it was "cast out of the heaven." For further information, in connection with this subject, the reader is referred to page 139, under the caption, "He is Coming with the Clouds."
This was then the Diabolos who, the Spirit predicted, would cast some of the Smyrneans "into prison, that they might be tempted;" for all Asia Minor was under its dominion. The purpose of their imprisonment would be to tempt them to abandon the faith. The manner in which the Diabolos tempted, is illustrated in the case of Polycarp. When he was apprehended, they sat him upon an ass, and led him into the city. "The Irenarch Herod, and his father Nicetes, met him, who, taking him up into their chariot, began to advise him, asking, What harm is it to say, Lord Caesar! and to sacrifice, and be safe?" At first he was silent, but being pressed, he said, "I will not follow your advice." When they could not persuade him, they treated him abusively, and thrust him out of the chariot, so that in falling, he bruised his thigh.
When brought before Statius Quadratus, the proconsul, he began to exhort him, saying, "Have pity on thine own great age -- and the like. Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent; say, Take away the atheists." Polycarp, with a grave aspect, beholding all the multitude, waving his hand to them, and looking up to heaven, said, "Take away the atheists." The proconsul urging him, and saying, "Swear, and I will release thee -- reproach Christ." Polycarp said, "Eighty and six years have I served him, and he hath never wronged me, and how can I blaspheme my King who hath saved me." The proconsul still urging, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar," Polycarp said, "If you still
vainly contend to make me swear by the fortune of Caesar, as you speak, affecting an ignorance of my real character, hear me frankly declaring what I am: I am a Christian; and if you desire to learn the Christian doctrine, assign me a day, and hear." The proconsul said, "Persuade the people." Polycarp said, "I have thought proper to address you; for we are taught to pay to magistracies and powers appointed by God, all honor consistent with a good conscience. But I do not hold them worthy that I should apologise to them." "I have wild beasts," said the proconsul: "I will expose you to them unless you repent." "Call them," replied Polycarp; "Our minds are not to be changed from the better to the worse; but it is a good thing to be changed from evil to good." "I will tame your spirit by fire," said the proconsul, "since you despise the wild beasts, unless you repent." "You threaten me with fire," answered Polycarp, "which burns for a moment, and will soon be extinct: but you are ignorant of the future judgment, and of the fire of Aion-punishment reserved for the ungodly. But why do you delay? -- Do what you please." The proconsul was visibly embarrassed; he sent, however, the herald to proclaim thrice in the midst of the assembled multitude, "Polycarp hath professed himself a Christian!" Upon this, they all, both Gentiles and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, with insatiate rage, shouted aloud, "This is the teacher of Asia, the father of Christians, the subverter of our gods, who hath taught many not to sacrifice nor to adore." They now begged Philip, the Asiarch, to let out a lion against Polycarp. But he refused, observing, that the amphitheatrical spectacles of the wild beasts were finished. They then unanimously shouted, that he should be burnt alive. Whilst he was praying, he observed the fire kindling; and turning to the faithful that were with him, he said, "I must be burnt alive." The business was executed with all possible speed, in which the Jews distinguished themselves as usual. As soon as the fire was prepared, the usual appendages of burning were placed. about him. And when they were going to fasten him to the stake, he said, "Let me remain as I am; for he who giveth me strength to sustain the fire, will enable me also, without your securing me with nails, to remain unmoved in the fire." Upon which they bound him, without nailing him. The burning, however, not proceeding satisfactorily, the confector plunged his sword into his body, by which his existence was terminated.
This account, which is condensed from Milner, may serve to show how the Diabolos was "resisted steadfast in the faith," as well as how he tempted the resistants. Polycarp was an elder of the ecclesia of the Smyrneans in A.D. 107, when Ignatius visited him on his way to suffer
death in Rome. Both Ignatius and Polycarp were acquainted with the apostle John; who is highly spoken of by Ignatius, who says of him and others, "they live as in the presence of the glory of God." Polycarp was put to death sixty years after Ignatius, A.D. 167. If he was one of those in Smyrna to whom the Spirit saith, "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty -- but thou art rich;" and if he continued "rich in faith" to the end, (which his martyrdom is no proof of, as many of "the synagogue of the Satan" also suffered), then he was clothed with "the whole armour of the Deity;" and his examination before the proconsul exhibits "the wiles of the Diabolos," and how Polycarp stood against them in the armor (Eph. 6:11,16), quenching all the fiery darts of the wicked one, or Diabolos, with the shield of faith (1 Pet. 5:9)