Tag Archives: Satan

Turn from Darkness

As the Apostle Paul stood before King Agrippa recounting the events of his Damascus Road transformational experience, he quotes Jesus’ actual words to him that changed his life from darkness to Light. In Jesus’ own words we are given the path to forgiveness of sin and salvation unto eternal life.

The Apostle Paul had been accused of turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6) by preaching that Jesus, whom the Jews had crucified, was the Promised Messiah the Old Testament prophets had spoken of throughout the previous millennia. He spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah whom he encountered on his way to Damascus with orders from the high priest in Jerusalem to bring any believers in Christ he found back to the Holy City to be imprisoned for their faith. As a great Light brighter than the sun shone round about him on that designated road, Jesus delivered to him the way of salvation to God, the Father, for Saul who would become Paul and for all those who would follow (Acts 9).

Jesus spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus of opening the eyes to the Gospel, of which Paul wrote of in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “I declare unto you the Gospel… how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day.” Jesus then said what follows is what Paul needed to do, turn from the darkness to the Light, turn from the power of Satan to God, which is repentance. It is not enough just to know the Gospel; one must believe the Truth of the Gospel and turn away from sin, walking in newness of life based upon the commands of Holy God found in Scripture (Romans 6:4). In so doing, Jesus told Paul man would receive forgiveness of sin and an inheritance of eternal life, “sanctified by faith that is in Me (Acts 26).

After being blinded by the great Light, three days later as soon as Paul’s sight was miraculously restored and along with his new life in Christ, he began proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing first with those at Damascus, then Jerusalem and Judea, and then to the Gentiles, “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Doing works “meet for repentance” is not working for one’s salvation, but is doing works because of one’s salvation. Paul wrote to Titus, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost: which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,” (Titus 3:5). Salvation is of God, not of sinful man. God says all our righteousness is as filthy rags; we are all an unclean thing (Isaiah 64:6). There can never be a scintilla of righteousness in us apart from God and His redeeming grace.

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Living Under a Strong Delusion, Believing Lies

The Apostle John wrote of the spirit of antichrist in I John 4 declaring, “Ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” John wrote those words around A.D. 90, almost two millennia ago. The spirit of antichrist has been at work in this world as revealed by recorded history, seeming to grow stronger year after year, day after day. As the end of Satan’s rule on earth comes to an abrupt conclusion written of in the Book of Revelation, the spirit of antichrist’s desperation increases in the last days until his final battle with God Who will destroy him with the Word of His mouth.

The world today is full of the spirit of antichrist as described by John, every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.” Just as those who have received the Spirit of God through His Son are God’s Children, those who have the spirit of antichrist are the children of Satan. While speaking in the Temple at Jerusalem Jesus said of their father in John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the believers at the church in Thessalonica in modern-day Greece, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” He told them, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan… with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Paul further warned, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Thessalonians 2)

As the Coming of Christ looms nearer and nearer with each passing day, the spirit of antichrist is revealing his true nature as never before. He knows his time is short and his end is near. As the spirit of antichrist grows more desperate before his final demise, the Apostle John gives these encouraging words to all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ in I John 4:4 to keep in their hearts and minds, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus”

Standing Against the Wiles of the Devil

The battle is raging, and has been since the early days in the Garden of Eden. Since that opening salvo Satan made against God and His people, horrific destruction and misery has ensued and lives have been lost. The Apostle Paul who bravely fought against God’s foe during his lifetime, records in Ephesians 6 the battle fatigues that must be donned to overcome the self-proclaimed enemy of the One True God (Isaiah 14).

Paul brings encouragement to the believers at Ephesus in present-day Turkey by first writing to them in the closing remarks of his letter, “Finally, my brethren, Be Strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. This admonition is only available to those who have trusted Christ as Savior. All those who have not trusted in Christ’s offer of salvation stand alone on their own in the war against evil. He then tells the Ephesian believers, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but:

  • against principalities,
  • against powers,
  • against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
  • against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

 Paul, who five times received thirty-nine stripes, was beaten three times with rods, stoned once, suffered three shipwrecks, was in perils of waters, of robbers, by his own countrymen, by the heathen, in the city, in the wilderness, in the sea and among false brethren for the cause of Christ, knows full well what is needed to survive the onslaught of the Devil and those who do his bidding (2 Corinthians 11). Paul continues in Ephesians 6, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.The armour Paul is speaking of consists of six items that are most important for survival in a spiritual battle:

  • gird your lions about with Truth
  • have on the breastplate of Righteousness
  • shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace
  • carry the shield of Faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked
  • put on the helmet of Salvation
  • carry the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God

The battle being waged across the world today is most definitely a spiritual battle, the forces of good against the forces of evil. The battle lines are clearly drawn. Satan, who has been waging war since time began against the God who made Heaven and Earth and all that is within them, is about to run out of time to do his dastardly deeds. His end is much nearer than it has ever been before but he will continue to kill, steal, and destroy until he is finally cast into the Lake of Fire which Jesus told His disciples has been “prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

“Be able to withstand in the evil day,

And having done all, to stand.”

 

Angels, Angels, Angels

There was rebellion in Heaven. One of the angels referred to as “Lucifer, son of the morning” rose up against God desiring to be like the most High, to exalt his own “throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:12-15). It was then the rebellious angel was cast out of Heaven along with one-third of the angels who rebelled against God with him (Revelation 12:4,7-9).

Angels are created beings, just as man was created. “Thou, even Thou, art LORD alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host… and the host of heaven worshippeth Thee,” (Nehemiah 9:6). “Praise ye Him, all His angels:  praise ye Him, all His hosts… Let them praise the name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created,” (Psalm 148:2,5). The number of angels God created is innumerable as recorded in Hebrews 12:22. Jesus answered the Sadducees in Matthew 22 concerning their belief that there is no resurrection, that angels do not reproduce themselves because they “neither marry, nor are given in marriage” (v. 30), neither do they die (Luke 20:35-36).

As spirit beings superior to man but inferior to God, angels were created to glorify Christ Jesus, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist,” (Colossians 1:16-17).

As created beings who neither procreate nor die, the number of angels has remained constant since their creation. Scripture does not speak of any human being becoming an angel upon death. The rank of angels as archangels, cherubim, seraphim, living creatures, ruling angels, guardian angels notes that their function and duties were fixed at their creation. The faithful angels referred to as holy and elect angels are not able to sin, while the fallen angels referred to as demons are not able NOT to sin. Being not able to sin, faithful angels have no need of salvation and therefore “the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into, (I Peter 1:12). There is a song holy angels cannot sing, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.” God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us though Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:7). At that time the heavenly angels will get a glimpse into what it meant for Christ to have saved a wretch like me!

Hath God Said?

It is as old as the Garden of Eden, questioning what God has plainly written in His Word. Satan was the first to use the tactic when posing the question “Hath God said?” to Eve, casting doubt in her mind as to what God had really said and what He possibly could have meant by what He said concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Her answer to Satan and her subsequent action at his urging put the entire world under the curse of sin. It wasn’t an innocent question in search of learning more about the world around her; it was a devastating question meant to distrust God and confuse His Word.

The question is still being asked 6,000 years later in our world today. You hear it all the time. Hath God really said Jesus is the only way to the Father? Aren’t there many ways? Hath God said the soul that sinneth it shall die? Hath God said those who bless Israel God will bless, and those who curse Israel God will curse? Hath God really said if you keep His commandments it will go well with you and if you don’t, it won’t? Hath God said the just shall live by faith alone and not by works? Hath God said He is the only LORD and there is none else beside Him? Did God really say it is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment? Hath God said life is like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away? Can’t we find a way to live forever? Did God really say it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God? Hath God said be sure your sin will find you out? If I am careful no one will ever know what I have done.

Yes, God has said all those things and MUCH more. We are an arrogant people and full of pride if we think we know better about life, eternity and even about who God is than what God Himself has revealed to us in His Word. Hath God said He sits in the heavens and laughs at those who are against Him and against His anointed, and holds them who are against Him in derision? Yes He does, as recorded in Psalm 2. He also gives us this stern warning in Galatians 6 for our benefit, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

It is nigh past time to discard Satan’s old, worn-out question he has used to deceive the whole world since its creation, “Hath God said?”, and replace it with “Thus saith the LORD” as found in Scripture. This world, and mankind, would be much better off if we did.

Your Choice

In this life God gives us the opportunity to freely choose between two kingdoms…His Kingdom or Satan’s Kingdom. When we compare the two we see vast differences in what each kingdom offers:

God’s Kingdom / Satan’s Kingdom
Good / Evil
Light / Darkness
Love / Hate
Life / Death
Joy / Misery
Truth / Lies
Peace / Chaos
Freedom / Bondage
Heaven / Hell
Eternal Life / Eternal Punishment

Because of Adam’s sin in the Garden death passed upon all mankind (Romans 5:12), whereby all of us sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are all born into Satan’s Kingdom. God allows us to make the choice to either stay there or accept His free gift of salvation, saving us from our sin and becoming a child of His Kingdom.

Joshua presented the same choice to those assembled before him before his death. “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth… And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve,” (Joshua 24).

Who are you serving? In whose kingdom are you? There are only two. Joshua boldly pronounced “… as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” The choice is yours, and yours alone to make.