Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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Recognizing Satan

          I once attended a Baptist revival in Claxton, Georgia.  The preacher talked a lot about hell, and the devil.  In those days, preachers like that were known as “Hellfire and Brimstone” preachers.  He let us know that "although we may think that the Devil is red, has horns and a tail; that is not the way he presents himself to us.  He is smooth, handsome, well dressed, talks well and smells nice.  What we have to remember is that HE IS OUT TO GET YOU".  He roams the earth looking to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  He is the father of lies and the truth is not in him (John 8:44).  He has revolted against God and would like to get you to do the same.  At this point in history, he realizes that he doesn't have much time left and is redoubling his efforts. 


          "Somewhere around a hundred thousand Christians are killed every year: that doesn't include those whose houses are robbed, property is confiscated, whose women are raped and whose very lives are absolutely indescribable when it comes to torture and heartache and burden and all the rest.  In spite of that, the Christian faith keeps growing.  It's stronger in some places than it is in others.   The big question is, how strong is your Christian faith?" (Charles Stanley) 


          If we don’t recognize Satan, he can affect our lives without our knowledge.  If an idea comes into your mind that makes you want to do something you know you shouldn’t or to dwell on that which is wrong, you know that it is Satan trying to lure you into his domain.  Give no compromise to Satan and no place to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27-32).  Ask the Lord, immediately, for His help with the evil thoughts. "Be cleansed from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)


          "We must remember that Satan is only an angel turned bad.  He is not an equivalent to God.  God has no equal.” (Randy Alcorn)   Satan does not sit on a throne in Hell; he wanders about the earth seeking whom he may destroy.  He is the accuser of the saints before God (the original tattle tale).  See the book of Job to verify the way he talks about you to God.


          The expelling of demons is biblical.  Jesus did it, the Apostles did it, and we are told by Jesus we would do it. (Mark 16:17-18)  It is a prerequisite however, that we are Christians.  Seven Jewish guys, who tried without knowing Jesus, got their butts kicked.  Some unbelievers went around trying to drive out evil spirits by invoking the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed.  They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were trying to do this.  One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding." (Acts 19:13-15)   Want to get your butt kicked?  Give exorcism a try without the true power of Jesus.  The full armor of God protects us from Satan’s forces, but The Sword of the Spirit and the Shield of Faith are to be used to defeat him. 


          We should never underestimate the power and knowledge of the satanic forces.  A full third of the angels decided to follow Satan; instead of God.  These fallen angels have been around since before Adam and Eve.  Over the millennia they have gained knowledge we can't hope to attain in our lifetimes.  Only through standing with the Lord can we hope to even up or level the field of battle. 


          "If I were the devil . . .
I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;
I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;
I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;
I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;
I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;
I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;
I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;
I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;
I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;
I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;
I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;
I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.
I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;
I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;
I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;
I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;
I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;
I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;
I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are."
(Paul Harvey  radio broadcast 1964)

          What are the other gods America is turning to?  The god of materialism, the god of sexual perversions and the offering up of our children through abortion are just examples to which our nation has turned. It has been fashionable, until recently, to claim to be Christian whether you were born again or not.  There is no such thing as being born a Christian. To be a Christian you must be "born again" (Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3).  Politicians would use their "Christianity" when running for office.  Now Christians are looked on as intolerant and bigoted (just like Jesus said we would be).


          How is Satan working in the word today?  First of all, in the Old Testament, there were prophets that spoke for God and there were false prophets that were not speaking for God, but rather just making a living under the guise of being a prophet.  There were also the prophets of Baal.   Today we see teachers and writers whose works can be verified by the Bible, and others who are involved in the "falling away" of the end time "apostate" church.  We also see Bible translators who are altering the meaning of the scriptures.  We see, in these translations, the elimination of terms like "God the Father" and "God the Son" to make the Bible more acceptable to the Muslims, the Hindus and others.  I guess they think the Holy Spirit didn't really mean what He inspired the biblical writers to say.  Satan inspired false religions, like Islam, to directly contradict the Lord God Jehovah.  Allah and Jehovah are definitely not one and the same person.  The Isa in the Koran and the Jesus of the Bible are not the same either.  Isa, if he were a real person, would have to be classified as a false prophet.  Jesus, on the other hand, is the true Son of God, the Word of God and the creator of the world - not the Isa who is supposed to come back, say he lied, and either convert everyone to Islam or kill the ones who won't convert.  Satan's prime weapon remains the same one he used in the Garden of Eden: telling us "Surely God didn't say that, did He?"

          As we can see, each of us has a decision to make: whether to be a child of the one true and living God, or not.  I'll give you a for instance: if you have been offended by this article, most likely you are not.  The Bible says that if you will truly seek Him, He will show Himself to you.  He gave you free will, so the choice is truly up to you.  " The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9, NIV)  There are those who say there are many paths to Heaven, however, Jesus said that He is the only way.  Jesus is the only one who died, and rose again from the dead, to pay for the consequences of our sins


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