Vol. 17, No. 10 – March 11, 2018
Eph 6 :10-24, Stand in Warfare!
1. The Empowerment, vs. 10.
2. The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
3. The Equipment, vs. 13-17.
4. The Energy, vs. 18-20.
5. The Encouragement, vs. 21-24.
- The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
Getting back to Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil,” we will continue to note the strategies of Satan to keep people away from a relationship with God.
By way of reminder, Satan / the devil is an angelic creature. He is a genius, smarter than any human being or creature who ever lived. He is also very attractive and has a beautiful voice. Isa 14:12-17 and Ezek 28:11-19 gives us a picture of Satan as a personality, a person of the highest possible mentality. Other passages throughout the Bible tell us other things about Satan; he is the biggest liar; he is the father of lies, John 8:44. He is a murderer, 1 John 3:8. And he is the highest ruler of the authority of the atmosphere, as he is the ruler of this world, Luke 4:5-7; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2.
Satan rules the world through his cosmic systems. He rules all unbelievers through demon possession and demon influence. He rules reversionistic and apostate believers though demon influence, (not demon possession), because of persistent involvement in the Cosmic System.
When both unbelieves and believers have negative volition towards God and His Word in their soul, it creates a vacuum in the soul, (MATAIOTES; vanity, futility, worthlessness, depravity), Eph 4:17, that sucks the doctrine of demons, 1 Tim 4:1, into the stream of consciousness in the soul. As a result, they are influence by the things and ways of the world, and are led by satanic viewpoint, as they operate inside of Satan’s cosmic system.
Since everyone is born into the world as an unbeliever, born spiritually dead, we are born citizens of Satan’s kingdom. Therefore, the devil has to have strategy with regard to people to keep them in his citizenry. He has to do everything possible to keep people unbelievers. It is the devil’s objective that no one believes in Jesus Christ, Luke 8:12; 2 Cor 4:3-4; 2 Thes 2:9-10.
Luke 8:12, “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”
2 Cor 4:3-4, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
2 Thes 2:9-10, “That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
In addition, when a person believes in Christ, the devil does not give up on them. They are members of the family of God and in God’s plan, and totally separated from Satan’s plan. Therefore, the devil has to have strategy regarding believers to get them back under his influence and keep the believer in the cosmic system, Luke 8:13-14; 2 Cor 2:11; Col 2:8; James 4:6-8, 1 John 2:15-18, 1 John 3:4-12.
Col 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
2 Cor 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
Therefore, knowing Satan’s strategies to influence both the unbeliever and the believer helps us to combat him and his cosmic system, so that we are not overcome by them and get outside of God’s Plan for our lives, Luke 8:15-18.
Seven of Satan’s Strategies
1) The devil’s strategy toward the believer is first directed towards God Himself as Satan accuses believers of guilt that should lead to condemnation when we sin. Because of Satan’s jealousy towards believers who have been given eternal life in Christ, Satan makes an accusation about the sins of believers to God the Father, Rev 12:9-10; Job 1:6-11; Zech 3:1-2.
Rev 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night’.”
When Satan accuses us of guilt, he also runs into God the Son, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. At that point, Jesus Christ takes on a role beyond being our Savior. He immediately acts as the believer’s defense attorney, our advocate, (PARACLETOS) and intercedes on our behalf to present the case that every sin that the devil mentions has already been judged. The law of double jeopardy applies: You cannot be judged twice for the same offense. So, Jesus Christ mentions that and God the Father as the judge throws the case out of court, Rom 8:33-34; 1 John 2:1-2.
1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”
Rom 8:33-34, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
2) It is Satan’s objective to sponsor reversionism in both unbelievers and believers involved in Christian degeneracy. As part of his deception, he provides a false religion with a false gospel and false doctrines with a false communion table, as he and his minions disguise themselves as angels of light, 2 Cor 11:3, 13-15. These are all designed to sponsor reversionism in the believer and keep the unbeliever from knowing Christ. Illustration: 1 Chron 21.
2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
3) It is the strategy of Satan to get you to be disobedient to the Word and the Pastor’s authority in teaching it, by destroying your focus on God’s Word when being taught, (both in the presence of the pastor and by not attending services), and by ignoring the doctrines you have learned, 1 Chron 21:1; Gal 3:1.
Gal 3:1, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?”
4) It is the strategy of the devil with regard to believers to frustrate the will of God in the believer’s life. The will of God is categorized and classified in three ways: mental, operational, and geographical.
- Mental will of God: What does He want me to think?
- Operational will of God: What does he want me to do?
- Geographical will of God: Where does He want me to be?
It is the Satanic objective to frustrate all three categories.
Mentally; Satan tries to stop the intake and application of Bible Doctrine in your life, and instead get you to think in terms of the world’s way of doing things, Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 14:20; Eph 4:14.
Rom 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Eph 4:14, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”
1 Cor 14:20, “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.”
Operationally; Satan tries to distract or stop the application of your spiritual gift in the ministry and service God has given to you, 1 Cor 12:4-7; cf. Gal 5:7; James 4:7-8.
1 Cor 12:4-7, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Gal 5:7, “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?”
James 4:7-8, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Geographically; Satan tries to move you out of the area, (town, state, country, etc.), God sees best for you to excel in His Plan, 1 Thes 2:18.
1 Thes 2:18, “For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.”
5) It is the strategy of the devil to neutralize the believer’s soul through worry and anxiety. He tries to create a mentality of fear and anger in your life, so that you are distracted from the truth of God’s Word and His plan for your life. He tries to neutralize consistent doctrinal perception, metabolization, and application of God’s Word through worry, fear, anxiety, mental attitude sins, reaction to disaster(s), and even death, 1 Peter 5:7‑9; Heb 2:14-15.
1 Peter 5:7-9, “Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”
Heb 2:14-15, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
6) It is Satan’s objective to obscure the focus of the believer, that is your occupation with Christ and your advancement to the super-grace life. He does this in three ways:
- Getting your eyes on people rather than on God, Jer 17:5.
Jer 17:5, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD’.”
- Getting your eyes on self, 1 Kings 19:10; 1 Cor 1:10-11.
1 Cor 1:11, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”
1 Cor 1:10, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
- Getting your eyes on things, Heb 13:5-6; 1 John 2:15-16.
1 John 2:15-16, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
Heb 13:5-6, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,’ 6so that we confidently say, ‘THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?’”
7) It is the satanic objective to involve the believer in humanistic, temporal solutions to man’s problems so that Divine solutions are obscured and excluded. He tries to get believers distracted from walking in God’s plan by getting them involved in improving Satan’s world system by becoming preoccupied with temporal solutions, such as: globalism, hyper-environmentalism, socialism, the welfare state, and other various temporal solutions to man’s problems.
From Isaiah 14, we see that in order for Satan to accomplish his strategies, he:
- Weakens the nations, Isa 14:12.
- Makes the earth to tremble, Isa 14:16.
- Shakes kingdoms, Isa 14:16.
- Makes the world a wilderness, Isa 14:17.
- Destroys the cities thereof, Isa 14:17.
- Does not open the house of his prisoners, Isa 14:17.
Chafer notes: “Next to the lie itself, the greatest delusion Satan imposes — reaching to all unsaved and to a large proportion of Christians — is the supposition that only such things as society considers evil could originate with the devil — if, indeed, there be any devil to originate anything. It is not the reason of man, but the revelation of God, which points out that governments, morals, education, art, commercialism, vast enterprises and organizations, and much of religious activity are included in the cosmos diabolicus. That is, the system which Satan has constructed includes all the good which he can incorporate into it and be consistent in the thing he aims to accomplish. A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan’s intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan’s inability to execute all he has designed. The probability is great that Satan’s ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer. Revelation declares that the whole cosmos-system must be annihilated — not its evil alone, but all that is in it, both good and bad. God will incorporate nothing of Satan’s failure into that kingdom which He will set up in the earth.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, “Systematic Theology,” Vol. 2, PP 100-101)
Larkin notes: “Satan is very subtle in his methods, and if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. He knows all the great Scripture subjects that are of universal interest to humanity, and he is too wise to attack them openly, so he adulterates them with false doctrine. He has tried to rob the Church of her “Blessed Hope” of the Lord’s return by mixing with it a lot of false teaching and “time setting” as seen in “Millerism,” “Seventh Day Adventism” and “Millennial Dawnism.” To prevent mankind from turning to the Lord for healing, he has invented the systems of “Christian Science” and “New Thought.” To satisfy the craving of the human mind to know what is going on in the Spirit World, Satan invented “Spiritism.” Satan seeing that he could not stamp out the Church by violence and persecution has changed his tactics and is now trying to seduce her into conformity to the world, and to try to better an “Age” that God has doomed to destruction. His present purpose is to build up a “magnificent civilization,” and he has deceived the Church into believing that it can bring in the “Millennium,” without Christ, by the Betterment of Society. His hope is that the “Gospel of Social Service” will take the place of the “Gospel of Grace,” and by diverting the attention of Christian people to “secondary” things, they will neglect the primary work of soul saving, and thus delay the evangelization of the world, and postpone the Return of the Lord, and his own confinement in the Bottomless Pit.” (Clarence Larkin, “Rightly Dividing the Word”)
So the question is, “How do we properly relate to Satan’s cosmic system in which we are presently situated in?”
- Use it, but do not abuse it, 1 Cor 7:30b-31.
1 Cor 7:30b-31, “…. those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.”
There is nothing wrong with using the things of this world, as long as we are not abusing or overusing them. Do not let the things of this world have top priority; do not let your marriage be the most important thing in life, do not weep too long; do not be so happy you cannot be serious; do not put your trust in things you can properly buy, etc. To put greater emphasis in life on the things of this life is to abuse the cosmos. To have a “take-it-or-leave it” attitude while using these things is proper use.
- Enjoy but do not love the things of this world, 1 Tim 6:17; 1 John 2:15.
1 Tim 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
What God gives us in this world can legitimately be enjoyed, as long as we realize that that He is the provider of them, our dependence is on God whether He gives us little or much, Phil 4:12-13, and that all the things of this world are uncertain.
Phil 4:12-13, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
So the next question is, “When does proper enjoyment become improper loving?”
That depends on each individual and the mentality of your soul. Each believer has to examine objectively and honestly his or her own particular circumstances. Nevertheless, if you love things or stuff, or even our own life more than God, then you are making an idol of those things and therefore are loving it improperly. An idol is anything at any time that comes between a believer and his love for God.
And remember that God has given us the power to overcome all things. Because of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union overflowing into the Church Age, the body of Christ when ruled by the head, (our Lord Jesus Christ), has received the delegated Divine power to resist the devil, 1 John 4:4; 5:4.
1 John 4:4, “Greater is He who is in you, (omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit via the Word when you are led by God’s power) than He who is in the world, (power of Satan as ruler of the world and Cosmic System).”
1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.”
Therefore, the believer can live victoriously in Satan’s world through faith in Christ who Himself has become the victor over Satan, 1 John 5:4-5. Every believer, whether new or mature, has victory simply because he is a believer. But to experience that victory every day and win the tactical battles within your soul, it involves victory over the habits and activities we are involved in, along with the defense mechanisms we put up within our soul. Faith in Jesus makes us believers and thus overcomers, and to live victoriously every day we must put on the Christ-like nature as we live inside of Satan’s cosmic system.
2 Cor 2:11 states the general principle, “hold your ground against the devil, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his strategies.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-025, 18-026, & 18-027
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!