Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 21, 1998
Last Updated :
July 11, 2018
Satan Cast Into The Lake Of Fire, Satan's Army Of Children Of Darkness, Vast Web Of Deception, Fishers Of Men For The Lord, Children of Light And Our Great Commission, The Battle In Our Minds, Fainting In Our Minds, Persecution Of Early Christians By Mad Emperor Nero Caesar, Renewed With The Mind Of Christ, Cleansed And Strengthened By The Word, "Old Man" vs "New Man", Our Sinful Flesh, The Apostle Paul's Battles, Desperate Prayer, Dwelling In The Word, Confessing Our Sins, When God Removes His Protection, God's Loving Chastisements, When The Enemy Come In Like A Flood, Standard Of God's Word, Foolish Time Wasters And Distractions, Redeeming The Time, Satan's Subtle Intoxication, Carbon Monoxide Lulls You To Sleep And You're Dead, Comatose Unbelieving Jews, Endtime Scoffers Ask "Where Is The Promise Of His Coming?", Put On The Helmet Of Salvation, The Lord Knoweth Them That Are His
Continuing our discussion from part one, if there is one thing that the Bible makes very clear, it is that Satan does not change. Neither does he repent. That is precisely why, when all is said and done, that wily serpent meets his final fate in the Lake of Fire, as we see by this verse:
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
Revelation 20:10, KJV
What we all need to recognize is that the same tactics which were used two thousand years ago, in fact, since the very beginning of time, continue to be employed today as well. Furthermore, as we saw in part one, there exists an army of Children of Darkness -- that is to say, modern-day deceivers such as so-called New Age lightworkers, necromancers, palm readers, psychics, shamans, avatars, cult leaders, Wiccans, oriental holy men and gurus, UFO adherents, atheists, evolutionists, and even some people in the Body of Christ -- who present themselves as "angels of light", and attempt to deceive the world with their satanic deceptions and misguided doctrines. Sadly, some of them don't even realize that they are in Satan's snare and promoting lies.
Make no mistake. These Children of Darkness are the hunters, and you and I are the hunted. We are the prize which they seek to trap in their bag. Of course, we need to recognize that such people are only the physical vessels of actual demonic forces which control and deceive them, and use them as their mouthpieces. We also need to realize that in certain cases, some of these people do these things out of ignorance, and not because they are intentionally trying to be evil. It may very well be that certain of them were led into darkness by someone else, and they now find themselves trapped by that world of deception. Satan's deceptions can be very powerful, and as we saw in part one, that is why the Apostle Peter warned us with these words:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV
It behooves us then to constantly be aware of their tactics, and the deceptive lies that they spread. This is precisely why I have written so many articles on this topic. That is, because I want my readers to be careful regarding what they read, hear, see and believe. Ironically, it seems that the biggest web that is used by the Children of Darkness is the web itself. That is, the Internet. Those of you who surf the web on a regular basis will know exactly what I am talking about. There are literally thousands, and probably millions, of sites which now propagate Satan's garbage. Not too long ago, I read some information which stated that currently, there are approximately seventy to eighty million active web sites. That figure allows for a vast web of deception. That does not even include all of the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogger, and a number of others, where collectively-speaking, there are literally billions of people exchanging information, regardless of whether or not that information happens to be true.
While I've painted Christians as one of the intended targets and victims of this web of deception, let us not forget that in contrast, we are also commanded by Jesus to spread our own evangelical nets far and wide as well. Consider what the Lord told His Disciples almost two thousand years ago in the following verses:
". . . Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Matthew 4:19, KJV
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV
". . . Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Matthew 24:14, KJV
As true Children of Light, this is our Great Commission. We are ambassadors for Christ, and it is our job to lead people down the path of Light to Eternal Life, by inspiring faith in the atoning Sacrifice of the Light of the World -- that is, Jesus Christ -- through whom we receive Forgiveness of sins, Redemption and Salvation.
But concerning the great war which is being waged for our very souls, exactly where are these battles being fought? Certainly not on a physical battlefield. After all, they are spiritual in nature, are they not? While some of you may be inclined to suggest that these battles occur in the Realm of the Spirit-- which is also true -- that is not the precise answer that I am seeking for.
In part one, the Apostle Paul made it perfectly clear where these battles are being waged when he said "take the helmet of salvation" and "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ". Thus we see that these battles are actually being fought in our minds. This is where the Devil lies to us. He is like a little imp who sits on our shoulder and whispers his deceptions into our ear. It is in our minds where he tells us that God doesn't love us anymore. It is in our minds where he tells us that we are not truly saved. It is in our minds where he tells us that we no longer belong to God. It is in our minds where he tells us that we have sinned too terribly this time to be forgiven. It all occurs in our minds.
The way that people become deceived is by first listening with their ears, and then believing the lies in their minds. As soon as we accept the lies as truth, and believe them in our minds, deception sets in. Once it does, it can be extremely difficult to root out. Once a person gives Satan an ear, he never shuts up. In the case of Christians, if we listen to Satan's lies long enough, just like other people, we will eventually believe them, and we will grow weary in our minds. At some point, we will finally give up. We will throw in the towel, and abandon our faith. That is why the Apostle Paul admonishes us to contemplate the sufferings of Christ, and how much He was willing to endure for our sakes, so that we don't grow weary or faint in our minds, as we see by this verse:
"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
Hebrews 12:3, KJV
Imagine how much more real that verse must have been to the Christians of the First Century, who were being hunted down, persecuted and killed by both Jewish and Roman authorities, in the most painful and grotesque manners imaginable. Maybe this is also why the Apostle Paul wrote in his famous love chapter -- 1 Corinthians 13 -- "and though I give my body to be burned". As I explain in the in-depth series "Lies and Deceptions of the Roman Catholic Church", in his "Annals", the Roman senator and historian Tacitus wrote the following concerning the terrible persecution that was initiated by Emperor Nero Caesar:
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"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians [or Chrestians] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired."
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By comparison, the afflictions of modern Christians in the West seem so trivial. I think that it is fair to say that our Christian brethren who live in Muslim and communist countries suffer much more than we do, and they certainly pay a much heavier price for their faith in Jesus.
But what causes a person to be willing to suffer so much for their faith? As I explain in other articles, the Bible tells us that when we come to Jesus Christ, we in fact undergo an amazing spiritual transformation. In a sense, our minds -- which have been filled with the ways of the world -- begin to undergo a type of rewiring process. They are spiritually renewed; and little by little, as the process continues, we gain a whole new perspective, and we begin to see things and understand things through the mind of Christ. In a word, our spiritual eyes are opened. Thus, the Apostle Paul wrote the following:
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:2, KJV
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV
"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;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:16, KJV
So as you can see, we must be willing to forsake our old ways and our old thoughts, and put on the Mind of Christ. We must be totally transformed into an entirely new creature by the very Spirit of God. But once we have been spiritually washed and transformed through the renewing of our minds, how do we continue in this state? What keeps us from falling back into our old ways, our old ideas and our old sins? What keeps us from growing weary and fainting in our minds? Again, God's Word provides us with a clear answer. The only way that we can maintain the victory that God has given us in our lives, is through the continual process of being washed, cleansed and renewed by His magnificent Word. Consider these verses:
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
John 15:3, KJV
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Psalms 119:9, KJV
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Psalms 119:11, KJV
"NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Psalms 119:105, KJV
As it is in the physical realm, so it is in the Spiritual Realm as well. Just as you can't take a bath and then expect to remain clean for the remainder of your life, so too, it is only through continually imbibing God's Word into our minds and our hearts, through reading it, and even memorizing it, that we can acquire the spiritual strength that is necessary to maintain a wholesome Christian life. While we are indeed forgiven for our sins, and cleansed through the Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, this does not mean that our lives will be a bed of roses from the point of Salvation forward. For as long as we remain in our flesh, we will continue to face our share of battles and temptations. While we may be tempted to blame all of our trials on Satan, the truth of the matter is that if we are honest with ourselves, we will recognize that many of our battles result from our "old man", and the same old sinful desires of the flesh.
As you may already know, even though God gave the Apostle Paul such a far-reaching public ministry which expanded over decades, Paul continued to battle with his "old man" and his sinful flesh. Paul could have tried to blame the Devil, and used Satan as a scapegoat, but he didn't. To his credit, Paul plainly tells us that, as with us, the problem was the "old man" and his sinful flesh, and nothing else; as we see by the following verses:
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Romans 7:14-25, KJV
Thus, Paul encourages us to put off the "old man", to resist our sinful flesh, to in fact let the "old man" be crucified with Christ, and to put on the "new man" of the Spirit; as we see by the following verses:
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
Romans 6:6, KJV
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts . . . And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:22, 24 KJV
"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:"
Colossians 3:9-10, KJV
Concerning those of you who have written to me regarding experiencing serious demonic attacks, it is imperative that you remain firmly grounded in God's Word. It is only through God's Word, and desperate prayer, that you will be able to resist and fight off whatever forces are trying to take hold of your life. If there is some unconfessed sin in your life, you must be willing to confess that before the Lord as well, because it may be an anchor for the demonic forces that are afflicting you at this current time. As the Apostle John was inspired to write:
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:9, KJV
I don't wish to judge or condemn anyone, because I am far from being a perfect human being myself. However, I simply do not believe that God would allow a Christian to be attacked in such a serious manner, unless something is going on in their life which is not pleasing to Him. As we saw in part one, King David was inspired to write the following:
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psalms 34:7, KJV
If God has chosen to remove His Protection from your life, and has allowed you to be attacked in such a serious way, it seems to me that you should ask Him why. That is, if you do not already know the answer. Sometimes we purposely choose to deceive ourselves, because we can't bear to learn the truth about ourselves. But this will only make matters worse. It is much better to let God shine His light on our lives, so that we can obtain the needed victories. Whatever happens, please remember this: Whatever God does, He does in love; because He knows that while it may be difficult for us to go through our trials, ultimately, it will be for our own good. Furthermore, in the end, He will embrace us in His loving arms once again; just as we learn in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Consider the following verses:
"Open rebuke is better than secret love."
Proverbs 27:5, KJV
"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons . . . Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
Hebrews 12:5-8, 11-13, KJV
"In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer."
Isaiah 54:8, KJV
". . . for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5, KJV
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37, KJV
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28, KJV
As I said earlier, when we are going through our trials, it is extremely important that we remain grounded in the Word. Not only will God's Word encourage us, but it also serves as a very necessary weapon in our battles against the enemy. In the Old Testament we find the following verse:
". . . When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
Isaiah 59:19, KJV
In a spiritual sense, that standard is the Word of God. When you are spiritually down and depressed, that old serpent the Devil will indeed come in with his flood of lies, and try to totally defeat you. While he will tell you a lot of lies, he will also tell you a lot of horrible truths about yourself as well. At such times, you must stand firmly upon the promises of God's Word, and claim His Love for you, no matter what the enemy may choose to throw at you. Following are a few more verses concerning the power and importance of God's Word:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
John 6:63, KJV
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalms 138:2, KJV
So to reiterate, unless you are immersed in, and filled with God's Word, spiritually-speaking, you are going to be in big trouble. You will not have the spiritual fortitude or stamina to resist the attacks of the enemy. You simply cannot do it in your own strength. If you are experiencing these kinds of heavy spiritual attacks, then I strongly encourage you to read articles such as "The Lord Will Lift You Up", where I also emphasize the importance of dwelling in God's Word.
On the other hand, if you choose to spend most of your free time watching your favorite shows on the television set, or surfing the Internet for hours on end, or downloading piles of movies to watch on your computer, or doing mall shopping until your legs collapse, or cruising around in your car being cool, or having beer with the boys, or reading novels, or filling in crossword puzzles, or playing card games, or doing whatever it is that you do to waste your time, instead of spending your time wisely with the Lord both studying and absorbing His Word, then you will have no one to blame but yourself for your spiritual weakness. I wrote all about this topic in an article entitled "Are You Redeeming the Time?", which is based on the following verses:
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:16, KJV
"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."
Colossians 4:5, KJV
By wasting your time doing such things, you are unknowingly making yourself a target for Satan and his demons, because he knows that you are weak, and not filled with God's Word. Not only that, but Satan will use those very things that you do, to pollute your mind and heart with the worthless things of this world. Believe me; I speak from experience; and I am not too proud to admit that I have been guilty of doing some of the very same things in the past. The Apostles John and Paul -- who both had the Heavenly Vision -- were well aware of the worthlessness, as well as the dangers, of the things of this world. Thus they wrote the following:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
1 John 2:15-17, KJV
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,"
Philippians 3:8, KJV
So again, the Lord wants to spiritually empower you, but you must let Him do it by taking the time to tank up on His Word. Furthermore, you must constantly be on guard as the Apostle Peter admonishes us to do, because the enemy of our souls never rests. That fiend is constantly running to and fro in the Earth seeking whom he may devour. Do you want to be his next meal?
Don't think for one minute that you can do it on your own. Don't think that you are so spiritual that you can drift away from the Lord, or neglect His Word, and not suffer the consequences as a result of it. Believe me; as some of us have already discovered through our own experiences, Satan is one very subtle entity. Furthermore, he is in no hurry. He will entice us, and cause us to drift away from the Lord, and fall asleep spiritually ever so slowly, so that we won't even realize or detect our true spiritual condition, or the danger that we are in, until it is too late. If you let him, Satan will intoxicate you with his lies and deceptions just like carbon monoxide. As many of you know, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, poisonous gas which slowly makes you drowsy, puts you to sleep, and then finally kills you dead. That is precisely how Satan operates.
I truly hope that you are getting the point, because this is serious business. Don't fall asleep spiritually like so many of the rebellious Jews and the rest of the world have done. Concerning the comatose Jews, both Jesus and the Apostle Paul quoted from the Old Testament Prophet, Isaiah, when they said the following:
"And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
Matthew 13:14-15, KJV
"(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day."
Romans 11:8, KJV
Tragically, the sad situation which exists in our own period was perfectly described by the Apostle Peter 2,000 years ago. The unbelieving people of the world are so fast asleep, that as Peter writes, they mockingly say to us "Where is the promise of His coming?" The Apostle Paul likewise warned the Early Church to remain awake, and to not fall spiritually asleep. Consider the following verses:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, KJV
In the previous verses, Paul reiterates the importance of putting on the Helmet of Salvation. Why is this? As we saw earlier, the primary purpose of a helmet is to protect our head. Furthermore, it is in our minds where Satan and his demons attempt to convince us that we are no longer saved, that God no longer loves us, that all hope is lost because we have gone too far this time, and all of the other silly nonsense that he throws our way. Therefore, Paul wishes to remind them that once they have come to Christ, Satan has absolutely no right or claim over them, or over us for that matter. As we have seen, Satan is a liar and a deceiver. So rather than invite him to pull up a chair and listen to him, you need to rebuke him in the name of Jesus Christ. As Paul reminds us in the following verse, the Lord certainly knows those that are His, and no one can take us from Him, ever!:
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19, KJV
Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.
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