Fellowship at the Ranch

Ed Jones, Pastor

“Antigonish” is an 1899 poem by the American educator and poet, William Mearns. It is also known as “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There” and was adapted as a hit song under the latter title.

“Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there!

He wasn’t there again today,

Oh how I wish he’d go away!”

It was inspired by reports of a ghost of a man roaming the stairs of a haunted house in Antigonish!

Well, I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in the “man” who invades my thoughts and actions. The Bible calls him the devil. Even though this supernatural being, this fallen angel and archenemy of God, has a remarkable power in the material or physical realm—he can make people sick, he can throw them in prison, and he can even kill them—nevertheless, his main way of opposing God and destroying God’s people is not in the physical or material realm, but in the mental or intellectual or moral realm. In other words, the best way to think about his power is not in terms of physical strength, but moral deception.

The extent of Satan’s influence is global; it covers all nations. The primary means of his influence is deception. He destroys not mainly by the sword or disease or killing, but mainly by lying. Jesus calls him “the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44). He lies mainly about God, about Jesus, about the gospel, and about sin. Oh, how wonderful it is that he has been dealt a decisive blow!

You can see his deception about the gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:4: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Our weapon against Satan in this world is truth—especially the truth of the gospel of the cross of Christ. Our great mission is the deliverance of the world. Tell them the truth. Spread the truth. Defend the truth. Live the truth. As Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32). Free from sin. Free from Satan.

The words of Jesus to the apostle Paul were, “I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:17-18).

That’s our great liberating mission in the world—to open the eyes of the blind, by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the great instrument of truth. Paul said, “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:25-26).

May God make us valiant spokesmen and spreaders of liberating truth.

Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church at Robson Ranch. This nondenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. For information, visit Fellowship’s website, www.fellowshipattheranchchurch.com.