I saw a Facebook status…

The other day I saw a Facebook status…

When you carry the Bible, Satan gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he sees you reading it, he faints. When he sees you living it, he flees. And just when you’re about to re-post this, he’ll try to discourage you. I JUST DEFEATED HIM! Copy and re-post if you can. Any takers?

While it seems cute, and all good, it caught my attention.  This, to me, is a prime example of American Christianity.  While it is cutesy, it is NOT Biblical.  One thing American Christianity embraces is cuteness, while it ignores the Word.  We are in a war, and we need to know the truth.  The truth is, Satan uses the Bible against us, he even used it against Jesus:

Matthew 4 “5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, He will command his angels concerning you, and On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” -ESV

This verse shows us not only can Satan use the Bible against us, but that he knows it.  When you sit there, with your Bible open and reading, most likely he is trying everything he can to ever so slighty twist the scripture into something that will benefit him.  Be AWARE! Satan is not just trying to get you to sin, or get people to do bad things, he is trying to destroy the church, without even knowing he is.

Some lines from a song that are interesting (Destroy the Runner – I, Lucifer):

…I’ll preach what I practice,
and I will practice on you…

…I speak of angels,
but host demons instead…

…I will sell them the scriptures,
and I will pocket your fame…

…I am feasting on bread and your wine.

We need to be in the Spirit always to know when something is from God or from Satan.

I encourage you not to just take the word of others on spiritual matters, but to back EVERYTHING up with scripture.  Do not be like so many who are complacent in their lives, who prefer to enjoy the “cuteness” and ignorance American Christianity.  The Word gives us the truth, and everything we post about our beliefs from Facebook statuses to blogs, should be fully founded in the Word.  The Word is not a joke, and needs to be taken very seriously!  THIS IS A WAR!

Doing things God’s way

Ephesians 6:12 reveals to us that our battle is not against humans, but against the demons that use them. And this is a battle we see having been waged since antiquity.

Judges 7:16-22 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. 17 “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’ ” 19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. 22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.

We see here in this passage in Judges that victory was not won by force (the Midianites were about 400 men for every 1 Israelite), but by faith in God. God could have allowed just Gideon to be victorious over all the Midianites, but He chose to allow 300 Israelites to share the victory with Gideon.

We will see that each of the “tools” God told the Israelites to use in this battle hold spiritual significance and can be applied to our lives today.

In ancient times, trumpets were used to unite the troops and prepare them for battle. The trumpets used in the passage here show us that God expects us as believers to unite against the forces of evil. We are to be one in Christ because only when we are divided, can satan truly have victory over us.

The clay pots can symbolize our bodies…many times in scripture we are referenced in terms of clay and clay pots. This shows how weak we truly are because although fired clay seems strong, if it drops it shatters. This shows how little we can truly rely on ourselves. So the clay pots represent our weaknesses and emphasizes our brokeness in Christ.

The torches inside the pots represent a fire inside our fragile, broken bodies. What fire do each of us Christians have living inside us? None other than the Holy Spirit. This example may even be prophetic of the fact that the Holy Spirit would live within believers, offering that strength, that fire within these fragile, weak bodies of ours.

Now back to the 300 Israelites. God could have chosen just Gideon to have victory over the Midianites…but if that had happened, then Gideon would have been the one claiming the victory, and he would have gotten the glory from the other Israelites. But God wanted to show us something here. For one, we know that the Israelites were vastly outnumbered (in Judges 7:1-6 we see God lowering the number of troops who would be facing the Midianites until they number 300). Now, according to our worldly standards, the odds of victory for the Israelites was completely impossible. But God doesnt work within the standards of this world. He chose this victory to prove the importance of having faith in Him; that we should learn to trust in God for His strength in battle, not our own.

When God’s people are united in Him, our victory and power over evil forces increases exponentially.

Many people wonder, why if God’s so powerful, why is He allowing satan to continue hounding us? Why if Christ declared victory over him…why is he still roaming the earth like a lion, seeking whom to devour? Why isn’t he completely done away with? Well, God is allowing the presence of satan in order to build a resistance in our lives…only by resistance can we truly grow spiritually. Only through resistance are we truly broken and learn to trust and put all our faith in Him and His strength.

Faith is not real until it is put to the test. Faith is not just knowing something, it is acting upon what we know. God wants us to not just know ABOUT Him….He wants us to KNOW Him.

Let me take a real life example…someone who’s trying to get their muscles stronger can’t accomplish that goal by say sitting on the couch watching an exercise program (though that would sort of be nice)…nor can their muscles strengthen by reading about exercise (although it would strain the eye muscles :P)…no in order to see physical results, you must actually DO the exercise. We need to tax our muscles beyond their comfort zone so that in a sense they’re injured…but when they heal, they heal in a way that the entire muscle becomes stronger than before the exercise which caused the damage.

So then, why is there still evil in this world? Because God is preparing for Himself a companion, tried and true…a companion worthy enough to spend eternity with Him. Do you know the church, being the bride of Christ, is in fact a warrior princess??

God is allowing satan to work so that through the resistance and struggles that are created in our lives, we can become more and more conformed into the image of Christ as we rely on Him in becoming victorious through each struggle.

In this story in Judges, we see that victory was won, not by using man’s way, but by using God’s way. And that serves as an example for us in our own lives…when we rely on our own way to overcome difficulties, we fail..but when we rely on God and seek His way to overcoming the trials in our lives, we not only experience victory, but we experience true spiritual growth….and only a mature tree can bear any fruit. As we grow, we begin to bear more and more good, spiritual fruit for the Lord.

One way we can gain victory is by digging into His Word. We should never treat the Word of God as a mere chant or incantation. We are victorious not when we can prove how often we can speak the words over and over again…or even how many Scripture passages we can quote….we are victorious only when the Word becomes our bread and butter.

Personal application of God’s Word is what gives us victory in spiritual warfare (not just the action of reading the Word and/or repeating it).

We cannot wage this spiritual warfare in our own wisdom and strength (for the Bible makes clear that man’s wisdom is utter foolishness…and the clay pots reveal that man’s strength is truly a facade)…victory goes only to those who look to the Lord. So keep your eyes upon Christ, do not give in to the temptation to fall back on your own strength or your own “wisdom”…look to Him and Him only and you will be victorious in all things.

Super-Conquerers

Romans 8:28-39 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory. 31What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? 33Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us. 35Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36(Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

-To those of us with spiritual insight, the actions on the Cross mean the end to sin. It is the act on that cross which turns all things to good; turns the base things in the life of a believer into something precious.

-Since God is FOR us…who can be against us? Satan will do his best to stop God’s work in us. But since satan tries to thwart God’s plan for us in this way, why doesn’t God end him and stop this “madness”? Because, God’s plan for us is to conform us into the image of Christ, to share in His victory. In order for us to have victory over something, there must be something there to overcome!

-God uses satan’s resistance in our lives to make us victorious in Christ. We as believers can be victorious in EVERY situation in our lives because Christ has conquered all sin, trials, and weakness. Since Christ’s victory was over all sin and death, we as followers of Him can have victory over these things. Although we all die physically, Jesus has overcome not only physical but spiritual death. We as believers, though we will die, will be resurrected in an immortal body and will forever overcome physical death!

-In verse 37 of this passage, the Greek word used to denote us being conquerers is “hypernikeo” which literally means “super conquerers”. This term denotes something or somebody that is so strong that their adversary literally has NO place in the field. It denotes the idea that an enemy who steps foot in your arena can literally be overcome and permanently vanquished. But you see, we as Christians have become “mega conquerers” over this world’s sin and spiritual death becase of Christ’s victory and resurrection. We have the blessing to be able to share in His strength. As Christians, Jesus is right there willing to offer His victory to us in all our struggles and failures…all we need to do is surrender it all to Him and follow His very footsteps.

-Christ redeems our sin and turns our struggles into something more precious than gold. Christ has the power to take the broken things in our lives and turn them into something whole and good.

-Christ’s victory over all sin allows Him to help us to become victorious through our struggles with individual sins. As Christians, we must keep in mind that whatever horrible things can happen in our lives as a result of satanic attack, we can rejoice…no we MUST rejoice because we know that NO ONE and NOTHING can take away our salvation and our place in our eternal home in heaven.

-Jesus turns victims into victors. Unlike modern psychology’s attempt to provide a way of “coping” with our problems and failures through various books and conferences, Christ doesn’t just provide a way to “cope” with victimization, He REDEEMS us from it!

-In Christ, there are no more victims, we are MORE THAN conquerers through Him who loves us! No matter how hard is the place you are in in your life and no matter how insurmountable your struggles may seem, Jesus Christ WILL deliver you and He WILL defeat our foe, satan. Satan’s execution is sure and we need to rejoice for behold, our Lord has overcome our enemy!

-Next time you feel so completely bogged down by troubles in life, and next time you feel like a victim to the world and a victim to your past…remember this, Christ has overcome! You need to just cling to Him and allow Him to make you a conquerer in your life. Rejoice in this…we are no longer victims to sin and victims to the troubles of this world…remember this when the enemy will tell you you are a victim and there is no way out. Look instead to the light of Christ and let Him clothe you and equip you against this fight! Don’t give in! For we are super-conquerers! Satan and sin has been overcome and we in Christ are victorious and can overcome these also!

Who is Satan? (Part 2)

Has Satan Fallen From Heaven?

Does he still have access to the throne of God? According to the Bible, Satan still has access to heaven and God.

Ezekiel 28:16: “Thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God.” The prediction of this judgment is for a yet future event to happen when Satan is cast down out of heaven to earth in the middle of the Tribulation. This passage does not teach that Satan was cast out of heaven at the time of his sin and as an immediate judgment for his sin. It just states the sentence that has been given to Satan which has not yet been meted out (kind of like a person on death row; they have already been sentenced to die, but the punishment has not happened yet).

Job 1:6: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.” In this passage, no confusion is apparent about the appearance and presence of Satan among the other heavenly beings. This passage shows his position in heaven and also reveals that, in the days of Job, Satan was free to go and come into heaven from the earth.

Luke 22:31: “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” From this passage, we must conclude that Satan still had unchallenged access to the presence of God when Jesus was on earth.

Ephesians 6:11-12: “11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” According to the Scriptures, throughout this age the believer must be prepared to war against spiritual beings of wickedness who have access to heaven. The evidence presented in this passage shows Satan is not yet cast out of heaven.

There is another revelation concerning Satan’s present position in which it is declared that he now has access to earth as well as heaven, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). From these passages it may be concluded that the position of Satan in heaven and his freedom to go to and fro in the earth has not changed since the days of Job.

What Will Happen To Satan?

Revelation 12:7-9 is the first passage in the Word of God which declares Satan to actually be banished from heaven, “7And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” This passage also teaches that Satan remains in heaven until the time described here. According to its context in the book of Revelation, this is a yet future time when, in the middle of the Great Tribulation, Satan will be finally banished from heaven (along with his demons) and will personally indwell the person of the Antichrist.

Thus, there is no question concerning the sufficiency of the power of God over Satan. It is only a question as to when that power will be exercised. It is important to distinguish Satan’s yet future physical banishment out of heaven from his moral fall. He obviously fell morally at the moment of his refusal to obey God’s will for him, but his physical position throughout the ages until the Tribulation is in heaven. From this position, he has access to both God and to the earth. God’s final judgments against Satan are not yet executed. In like manner, God has not yet caused sin to cease in the earth; but the day is coming when He will. Also, Satan is still under God’s power; he cannot do anything without the knowledge and permission of God, hence Satan having to get permission from God to afflict Job in the Old Testament book of Job.

What Was Satan’s Sin?

Satan was the first being to manifest a will opposed to the will of God. Those passages from Isaiah state the sin of his pride, “I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit upon the mount. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most High.” Satan seeks not to make a violent attack upon God’s throne, but to steal the hearts of the unfaithful in the kingdom and, through his lies and subtleties, gain a kingdom for himself. He would thus become an object of worship and attract attention from others to himself. It is apparent that pride was the first sin and thus pride is the sin from which all others stem from.

Satan triumphed over the first Adam when he wrested the scepter of authority from man by securing man’s loyal obedience to his own suggestions and deception. This earthly scepter Satan held by full right, seemingly without challenge from the Lord, until the advent of the Last Adam. Christ is considered the “last Adam” because through his sacrifice, he undid the curse of sin (which was eternal spiritual death for all humankind), thus undoing the curse on all mankind which the first Adam introduced to the world through his sin. However victorious Satan may have been over the first Adam, it is certain that he met a complete and final judgment and sentence in the Last Adam.

Referring to His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). Still another scriptural testimony to this great defeat of Satan is recorded in Colossians 2:13-15 “13And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” It is clear that though Satan may have triumphed over the first Adam and thus became the god and prince of this world, he himself was finally triumphed over and judged by the Last Adam on the cross.