Self – meaning the innate tendency in man to put himself and his desires above God and others – is the real source of all wickedness. That explains why merely dealing with the devil is not enough to rid the world of evil. If the devil were to disappear tomorrow the problem of Self would remain. It is a condition that exists deep within every man, woman, boy, and girl. Although the Self-life is a formidable obstacle to the Christ-life, it is by no means too difficult for God to overcome.
Christ must increase, and Self must decrease. God is working to reestablish and recover that Heavenly Order in all things, beginning with individuals, then with a company of men and women, and ultimately extending to the entire creation, so that “God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). The Bible is the story of the progressive recovery and increase of Christ in the midst of a world gone astray.