HOW TO DEFEAT YOUR GREATEST ENEMY
(Eph. 6:17) YOUR ONE WEAPON OF OFFENSE
(Eph 6:17-18) “And take (Strong's Concordance W #1209: to take hold of, receive, to receive friendship, the thing offered in speaking, teaching, instructing, to receive favorably, make one's own, approve) the helmet of salvation,” A helmet protects your brain. Your brain is the physical thinking organ you, the spiritual soul, uses to think with. Among its many other functions your brain stores what you know.
(Acts 20:28 & Rom. 5:8-11) At salvation individuals are saved through the blood of Jesus (John 10:28 & Heb. 13:5) and no person can take that away from them/you. (Rom. 1:18-28 & Heb. 6:4-6 & 2Pet. 2:20-22) BUT, the individual Christian can throw away his salvation! (Eph. 1:13-14 & 4:30 keyword: sealed: defined: to set a seal upon for security and preservation, for security from Satan then Rom. 8:9-17) The Holy Spirit came to live within the individual Christian and to tell them they are saved. AND:
When Christians sin (Heb. 4:14-16) we can go to Jesus on His throne of grace (1John 1:3-10 esp. V.3-4 key: it is written to the church) and get that sin cleansed away by Jesus’ blood through grace. The helmet of I know I’m saved (salvation) is a protection. There is no other way!
(V.17 continued) "and the sword (Heb. 4:12: "For the word of God is 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") of the Spirit, which is the word (the utterance- SEE: 2Tim. 3:16-17) of God:"
(John 12:48) Jesus said the words He speaks will judge us at the last day. (1Tim. 3:16) Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. (John 1:1-4 & 14 & 1John 1:1-4) Jesus is the living Word of God. (2Tim. 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Bible (Word of God) tells us how to get saved, how to live as a Christian and it also tells what causes us to fail as Christians. God knows our every thought and deed and they will be judged by God's Word.
(V.18) "Praying always (give self wholly to, thoroughly) with all prayer and supplication (seeking, entreating) in the Spirit, and watching (keep awake, aware) thereunto with all perseverance (persistancy) and supplication for all saints." We Christians are all about the same and in the same situation with our struggle. Do you ever put yourself in our place and pray for all the rest of us? Do you ever pray for the underground church where Christians are persecuted and even killed in those countries where a government forbids Christianity or the government directs whatever the state religion is such as North Korea, Iran, China etc.? I know about them because I have had contact with them.
What will you pray about when Political Correctness takes over in America and the church is muffled? Muffled? "You don't have the right to tell me the lifestyle I'm living will send me to hell."
AGAIN: (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4) The Word, the Holy Bible, is alive with Jesus. That's why it is called the living Word of God and (2Tim. 3:16 keywords: all scripture is given by inspiration of God) is the God inspired written utterances of God. (John 14:23-26 esp. V.23 keywords: If a man love me, he will keep my words AND V.26 keywords: whatsoever I have said unto you). BUT: If you do not love Jesus enough to want to develop a personal relationship with Him by learning what He said in His Holy Bible how can you expect the Holy Spirit to fight for you? You have taken his sword away (Heb. 6:4-6 & Rev. 3:5 then 15-16) and you may not survive!
That’s why God said; (2Tim. 2:15) “Study to show thyself approved (acceptable).” That’s why Jesus said; (Matt. 11:29) “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;” That’s why God inspired Peter to write; (2Pet. 3:18) “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” They are commands. We can only grow in the grace of God if we study and learn more about God's word. (Acts 20:32, 2Tim. 3:15, James 1:22 & 1Pet. 2:1-3) It is your choice.
(1Cor. 12:31) The scripture tells us to covet (to have warmth of feeling for, desire, zealous) earnestly the best gifts. (1Cor. 12:10) The discerning (to separate thoroughly) of the spirits is also a gift BUT (2Tim. 2:15) “study to show thyself approved.” Our only source of knowledge about God is the Bible. Would you give your other gifts to someone who did not care enough about you to learn about you and the gifts you already gave them? I did not think so. God won’t either. (2Sam. 3:1 keywords: weaker and weaker) King Saul would not listen to God and went his own way and passed that lifestyle on down to his children. Is weak faith, weak Biblical knowledge and weak dedication to God the reason miracles are so scarce today?
Jesus said; (John 14:26) The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4) The, living Word of God, the Bible is what Jesus is talking about (2Tim. 3:16) because it is the inspired word of God. (Eph. 6:17) God’s word is what the Holy Spirit uses. SO: (2Tim. 2:15) “study to show thyself approved.” God’s word is the only source of information about Satan the Devil who is the unholy spirit. (Luke 4:1-13) Jesus showed us how to defeat Satan by using God’s Holy Word.
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:10-18) (V.10) Paul told us to count on the Lord for our strength, (V.11-12) warned us about the wiles (traveling over, lie in wait, cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery) of the devil and our war with him, (V.13-17) and our five defensive weapons; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, shield of faith and the helmet of salvation (V.17) and our one offensive weapon; the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, AND (V.18) “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”.
What are your excruciating defeats, what are your shameful failures, what are your awful neglects, what are your hidden fears you dare not reveal, what are your---? Do you ever think about all the Christians you do not know in the free world and do you think about the lives of the severely persecuted Christians and the underground churches in those terrible Satan controlled countries? Emotionally, intellectually and physically they are just like you and just like me! (Rom. 8:9-17) DON'T YOU REALIZE WE CHRISTIANS ARE ALL THE SAME? WE ARE BLOOD KIN BROTHERS AND SISTERS THROUGH JESUS' BLOOD!
(John 13:33-35 esp. V.34-35) Jesus said; "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
LOVE produces EMPATHY, SYMPATHY AND COMPASSION; <--please, please see the internet definitions of the four capitalized words. (Heb. 13:1) "Let brotherly love continue." Read-> (Eph. 3:14-21, Col. 2:2-7, & 3:10-15 and 1John 4:8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.") GOD IS LOVE PERSONIFIED IN JESUS (Rom. 10:8-13 explained in Rom. 8:9-17 and personalized in 2Cor. 5:17-19 & 1Pet. 1:23) who started the true Christian church!
AND AGAIN: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance (persistence) and supplication (entreating to God) for all saints;”. DO YOU??? (John 17:20-21) IS THIS A WAKE-UP CALL TO THE REALITY OF OUR CHRISTIAN RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS? (John 8:44) SATAN HATES "LOVE" SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS HATE PERSONIFIED (1John 2:18 keywords: many antichrists) IN ANTICHRISTS who started the Christless religions. If you wish to look into Jesus' soul read the article THE KING OF THE THORNS on this commentary.
(Luke 4:1-13) THIS CLASSIC BATTLE IS OUR EXAMPLE
#1 Satan attacked Jesus’ intellect when Satan (V.3) attempted to get Jesus to doubt who and what He is. (Heb. 4:15) Remember that Jesus was tempted in all points just like we are. Expect the same thing; Satan whispers; (Phil. 2:12-13) “Are you sure you got saved?” (Rom. 1:28) “Did that sin cause the Holy Spirit to leave and you don’t even know he is gone?” “Would a real Christian have done that?” And on and on.
#2 Satan attacked Jesus’ body when the second thing Satan did was (V.5-7) to attempt to buy Jesus with the tempting, flashy kingdoms of the world if Jesus would compromise. Just imagine for a moment the pomp and ceremony, excitement and lust, gold and jewels, clothes and crowns, the power and position, prestige, alluring people and sexual potential Satan showed Jesus. Expect the same thing; “Man, she’s a hottie!” “Wow, he’s a stud!” “Gotta have that car!” “Gotta have that house” Gotta-.
#3 Satan attacked Jesus’ soul (emotions) when Satan attempted (V.9-11) to get Jesus to “show off” (pride) His power. Expect the same thing; “That will make you look good, rich, important and etc. You’ll look like a good Christian if---. And etc.” ADVICE: Write (Psa. 91:11-12) on a paper then compare it to (Luke 4:10-11) and you will see how Satan left out 4 words in (V.10), added 3 words in (V.11) and got 3 words out of place and added 1 word in (V.11) and you will see how Satan, with great subtility, changed the scripture from a 'protective' scripture to a 'tempting' (testing) scripture. (Deut. 6:16 & Luke 4:12) "Ye shall not tempt (test) the Lord your God," Expect the same thing; know your Bible, not just the tiny bit of scripture you get in church services. Do you check to find out if your preacher/teacher is even right in his/their preaching/teaching?
Satan will attack you the same three ways, your intellect, body and emotions (Luke 4:13 keywords: departed from him for a season: defined: due, short, time) and he will always come back and try again just like he did Jesus!
(Gen. 3:1-5 & Luke 22:3-5) Treason: The Devil wants you to commit treason against God by tempting you with worldly things. You can commit treason against God by denying the Holy Spirit’s power to give spiritual gifts OR: by refusing to do what the Bible plainly tells us to do OR: by worshipping worldly possessions, power and position.
(Luke 22:31) Oppression: The Devil wants to oppress you by accusing you, in your thoughts, of sins you have committed as a Christian even though you have prayed and they are long ago forgiven. He wants to shame you and embarrass you by boring into your thoughts about sins you committed before you were saved. The Devil wants to make you miserable by telling you, in your thoughts, you have made a fool of yourself, you are worthless, you are a failure and nobody loves you. Satan delights in inflicting emotional pain!
(2Cor. 12:7) Defeat: The Devil wants to defeat you by taking your joy away from you, by causing you to doubt God’s forgiveness and loyalty, deflecting your efforts to get close to God and bullying, seducing and deceiving you away from God’s Word and God’s Church. He invades your thoughts and attempts to make you think you are not a Christian. Satan struts, boasts and dances through the anger, malice and sin in church conflicts, arguments, divisions and splits. It delights Satan to run people right out of church!
(1Cor. 3:1-4) Satan magnifies real or imagined, large or small rivalries, neglects, insults and wrongs done to you by other Christians and your pastor (1Cor. 12:18 keywords: set the members) so you will disobey God and go to some other congregation instead of staying where God placed you. Satan loves to turn Christians into vagabonds.
Every place you look you see these vagabond Christians looking for that perfect congregation and pastor where (James 2:20-26) no demands will ever be made, (Heb. 12:7-11) no chastisement (1Pet. 2:1-5 & 2Pet. 3:18) and no demand for Christian growth (Matt. 13:18-30 & 2Tim. 2:20-26 esp. V.26 keywords: snare of the devil) and everybody will act like perfect Christians all the time.
(Rom. 3:23 & 1John 1:7-10) Sorry pal, it won’t happen because there are no perfect Christians, not here, not on this earth! (Luke 18:10-14 & 1John 1:7-10 keywords: confess our sins) At our best we are like the publican; “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Before you became a vagabond maybe God was giving you a lesson in (Phil. 2:2-8 esp. V.3) humility or (Rom. 5:3) patience and expected you to stay where He placed you so you could stand your ground and fight the Devil and help build God’s kingdom.
(Luke 4:13 keywords: departed from him for a season) Jesus had to fight Satan again and again. The Bible does not glorify Satan by placing him and his evil, negative presence in every aspect and event of the scripture. BUT: You have plainly seen Satan will be there!
(1Cor. 2:8 keyword: princes of this world: princes: defined: rulers<-- SEE: Eph. 6:12 keywords: rulers of the darkness of this world: FOR PROOF: READ Luke 22:53 keywords: power of darkness & 23:44-46 key: darkness for three hours and Jesus died) Can you imagine what Satan was saying to Jesus when the soldier’s fists were beating Jesus’ face into mushy pulp? What did he say when the soldier whipped Jesus until the gleam of bone showed through the bloody whip cuts and when the cold, cold steel spikes were driven like ice-cold, red-hot lightening through Jesus’ hands and feet? What did Satan say to Jesus while he hung there writhing in agony on the bloody cross?
As will be shown below Satan can lead Christians, you and me, (2Cor. 2:10-11 & 2Tim. 2:25-26) right back into darkness and we won’t even know it if we don’t know who Satan is and how he operates.
(John 12:4-6 Judas was a thief & Luke 22:3 Satan entered Judas) Judas is an example: If you show any weakness, any predisposition, or any desire to sin Satan will bore right in on that in your thinking and magnify the object you crave, set his people in your path to offer or provide you with what you want and he will do all he can to help you sin. Satan is like some cunning supernatural rodent that gnaws and gnaws at you until you are reeling, wounded, frustrated and so hopeless you will lose sight of the joy of your salvation and eventually quit as a Christian just like Judas, (Acts 4:33 thru 5:11) just like Ananias and Sapphira (2Tim. 4:10) and like Demas.
THE BLINDING OF YOU- Two Keys to Ineffective Prayer
After you read this part about prayer think about and discuss how many ways Satan uses his wiles (offensive weapons- Part 1) to destroy your prayer life by working in your thinking process (intellect), your emotions such as pride, stubbornness, selfishness, malice, anger, jealousy and laziness (soul) and the natural cravings/desires of your flesh (human nature with its passions and desires, unregenerate).
The 2 keys: #1) (Psa. 22:3) God inhabits the praises of Israel. (Rom. 2:26-29, Gal. 3:26-29 & Eph. 2:5-22 esp. V.12 keywords: commonwealth of Israel: commonwealth: defined: citizenship, community, the rights of a citizen) Gentile Christians are Abraham’s spiritual seed and are part of spiritual Israel and heirs to God’s promise so we are also God’s children. If you had somehow freely given as much to someone as God has already freely given to you wouldn’t you feel you deserved praise for it instead of being taken for granted? If you don’t want God to inhabit your prayers don’t praise Him! It is plainly stated that praise brings God into your prayers. That’s a rough way to say it but it is true.
#2) Are you perfect all day every day? (Psa. 66:18 & 1Pet. 3:12) “If I regard (approve, consider, enjoy) iniquity (vanity, idolatry, evil, unjust) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
(Col. 3:5) "Covetousness which is idolatry." Do you sometimes think; “I deserve more, I’m better than, I’m prettier/more handsome than, I dress better than, I’m worth more than, etc. etc. etc. (it is vanity). I’d rather watch my show, text, email, relax, my sport, my club, my position, bigger house than, prettier yard than, my position, my authority etc. etc. etc. rather than read the Bible or go pray in private (it is idolatry). I’m a better Christian than (it is unjust- judging). I’ll take this advantage, a little white lie won’t hurt, wow, she’s a hottie, he’s a hunk, I’d like to (it is evil) and on to the infinity of man's sin.
Did you repent of your sins before you prayed? (Psa. 66:18) If you didn’t your prayer won’t be heard. That is also the hard truth.
JESUS’ MODEL OF THE PERFECT PRAYER
(2Cor. 4:4 blinded & Eph. 6:12 darkness) A process of blinding Christians: Satan instigates ineffective prayer. Satan will blind you concerning what the Bible says so you will pour out a wish list without ever praising God or asking forgiveness of your sins.
(Matt. 6:9-13) (V.9) “After this manner (such as, on this fashion) therefore pray ye:” This scripture, 5 verses, is Jesus’ commandment to Christians telling us how to pray. This prayer reveals the closeness of our individual, personal relationship with God across the spectrum (Rev. 2:9-10) from red hot (Rev. 3:15-16) to lukewarm, (Rev. 2:4-5) to ice cold.
This is Jesus’ model prayer which is the framework, the skeleton, upon which we are commanded to hang the living, “spiritual flesh” of our inner being and it contains recognition and praise of God and an examination of self and repentance from our sin. A mouthing recital of Jesus’ exact words is a mockery. It is a living communication that exposes the soul of a living Christian to his living God.
(Eph. 6:18 from above) states; “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Jesus’ model prayer teaches Christians how to achieve the desired results of our commandment to pray while we are using the defensive weapons and the sword of the Spirit in our spiritual war for our own eternal life and the eternal lives of other Christians. Jesus’ model prayer is a living reality.
(Matt. 6:9-13) (V.9) “After this manner (example) therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed (holy, pure, sanctified, to venerate) be thy name.” Venerate defined is to regard with the greatest respect, to worship, reverence, exalt, adore, honor and esteem. Praise defined is to exalt, extol, glorify, magnify-examine closely, thank and confess.
What does God your Father mean to you? Who is God to you? What has God done for you? What is God capable of doing? Do you have a personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit? What does God deserve from you? What do you owe God? How much? Why? This verse instructs us to praise God.
(V.10) “Thy kingdom come.” (Luke 17:21 keywords: the kingdom of God is within you) God rules His kingdom with love, grace, kindness and mercy. Does He rule your heart the same way? Do you live it and show it? If you could leave this life this moment and go live with God would you go? Imagine what God thinks of your first thought about that? Is this life of more value to you than life with God in His heavenly kingdom? (Mark 13:31-37 keyword: watch) “Thy kingdom come.” is also a warning. (2Pet. 3:10-13 esp. V.11 keywords: what manner of persons ought ye to be) Are you ready? What if you died while you were-----?
(V.10 cont.) “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (1Tim. 2:3-6 keywords: Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth) Are you helping people come to the knowledge of the truth by witnessing to the lost? (John 15:1-7 & Gal. 5:22 keyword: fruit) Are you bringing forth spiritual fruit? Can you identify it? (Matt. 5:14-16 keywords: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify Your Father which is in heaven). Does your works measure up to God’s standard? How bright is your light shining?
God knows and understands your personal responsibilities at any given time BUT: (John 14:23 keyword: we will come unto him and make our abode- staying, residence- with him) God/Jesus (the Holy Spirit) lives in your body. (1Cor. 12:27 keyword: body) You are the body of Christ. (Luke 24:49-53) He don’t have a body here; He is in heaven. It’s a personal relationship, God is in us and we are in Him.
When have you said upon awakening; “Lord, I know you understand my work and responsibilities today but I realize these are your hands, your feet, your eyes, your tongue, all of me belongs to You to use? Lord wherever I go use me to be your light to praise you and share your blessings with thy people and to witness to the lost through my mouth.” That sure spoils a person’s selfish plans for a “do nothing for God” day doesn’t it? This verse reveals your priorities.
(V.11) “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:25-32 esp. V.32 keyword: need) God knows what Christians need (2Thess. 3:10-12) and that Christians must work to obtain it (James 2:13-17) if we are able. (Rev. 21:8 keyword: liars) God will decide who is lying to obtain disability or welfare. (Matt. 6:19-34) (V.21) “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (V. 24) You can’t serve 2 masters. You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth). How much is enough? (Matt. 4:8-10) Satan will buy you. Have you already sold out? How much or what did you get? This verse shows your complete dependence on God. Do you?
(V.12) “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Debts is defined as a fault, to fail in duty, to be guilty. Debtors is defined as a transgressor, a sinner. Obviously both words mean sins. The usage of these words reveals us for what we are. (Rev. 2:4-5 keywords: thou hast left thy first love) When you were first saved you would have done anything for God right then wouldn’t you? That was your first love. Does that still stand?
We love to sugarcoat, overlook, ignore, and beat around the bush about our guilt in our faults, failures and outright sins against God. BUT: We take great offense against a fellow Christian who sins against us! (1John 3:14-15) “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know no murderer hath eternal life in him.” Imagine another Christian sins against you and he/she asks forgiveness. When you forgive them is it gone? OR:
Do you still harbor a little grudge? Do you still feel a little resentment? Do you magnify their words and actions and look for another offense? How would you feel if God did you that way by putting you on a precarious parole just waiting for another offense so He could get rid of you permanently? (Micah 7:19) God casts our sins into the depths of the sea. (Isa. 43:25 keywords: will not remember thy sins) It is a Sea of Forgetfulness and there is a “No Fishing” sign on its shore. Don’t try to fish other Christian’s sins out! THEY ARE GONE! Or are you are a pouter.
(Matt. 18:21) Simon Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive his brother seven times for sinning against him. (Matt. 18:22 Jesus said; "Until seventy times seven". Jesus would not give us a commandment He would not keep when we commit sin! SO: When you find out a fellow Christian has sinned do you go visit him to help him get over it? “I love you my Brother, give me a hug, I know just how you feel because I’ve also sinned and God forgave me. (Heb. 5:14-15) Jesus knows how you feel too. I’m right here with you so let’s you and me pray together and Jesus will get us out of this mess.”
What if they are so hurt, ashamed, sinful and beaten down they quit coming to church? (John 8:4-11) “We’ll go in together my Brother and you sit with me. If anybody runs their mouth, I’ll tell them to go look in the mirror and then cast the first stone. That always shuts them up.” And it does.
(Gal. 6:1-3) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Luke 22:31 God’s can turn Satan lose on you so you’ll also know how it feels!). Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Gal. 6:7) You will reap what you sow. The mercy you received cost Jesus His life; the mercy you give costs you nothing!
(V.13) “And lead (carry inward, to lead into) us not into temptation (a putting to proof, a test, examine, to discipline by adversity <--WE WILL EXAMINE THIS STATEMENT 2 PARAGRAPHS BELOW), but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (so be it)."
Christians are a product of God’s love, grace and mercy. (Rev. 3:14-22) God has the sovereign right to judge, chastise, discipline and test His product (the whole church and all individual Christians) in our lifetime just like He judged, chastised, disciplined and tested the church of the Laodiceans. (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12 & 21 keyword: overcometh) The simple fact is that each individual Christian must overcome self, the world and Satan to be heaven worthy. The church of the Laodiceans is discussed in detail in the 2 articles of Part 36 in the commentary God, Satan and Man: The Relationship.
(Zech. 13:9) God has the right to refine Christians and make us more valuable and usable. Jesus said; (Matt. 22:37) “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” God IS NOT a beggar who accepts handouts. God is not a hitch hiker who accepts back seat, nor is God a second-class family member who accepts second best, God is not some starving bum who accepts the leftovers from the table of your soul and He is not some errand boy you glibly send on errands at your whim.
GOD USES SATAN TO TEST, DISCIPLINE AND REFINE HIS PEOPLE BY ADVERSITY
NOTE #1: (1Cor. 10:1-12 esp. V.11 keyword: ensamples- examples) All these tests and disciplining of Biblical people in this scripture are examples and lessons from which today’s Christians are to learn. NOTE #2: Above you have seen how Satan attacks the complete person; intellect (thinking), emotions (soul) and body (the flesh) AND we discussed the fact that Satan tested both Jesus and Job BUT we did not discuss God’s reason for permitting it.
Satan: (Isa. 14:12-15 & Ezek. 28:13-17 esp. V.14 keyword: covereth) God tested Satan’s (Lucifer) loyalty (V.14) when He anointed him to covereth (to defend and protect) Adam and Eve. Obviously God told Satan to protect them from eating the forbidden fruit. (V.17 keywords: lifted up) Satan was proud and therefore jealous. Pride is a mother emotion which gives birth to (1Cor. 6:7-10, Gal. 5:17-21 & Col. 3:1-10) a host of sins. Satan rebelled and refused to do what God told him. He failed his test (Rev. 20:7-10) and will eventually be placed in a lake of fire. Point made: Every angel and every person has the power of choice.
Adam and Eve: (Gen. 3:1-7) God used Satan to test Eve and Adam. (V.6) The tree looked good, she desired it, it tasted good and she shared it. They refused to do what God told them and did what they wanted to do. They failed their test. (Gen. 3:16-19) They lived a cursed life and died. Lesson learned: (Heb. 11:25) Sin is pleasurable for a season (James 1:15) but it brings forth death.
David: (1Chron. 21:1-4 esp. V.3-4 key: David was too proud to take good advice) Satan provoked (stir up) David to number Israel (take a census). Joab advised David not to. (2Sam. 24:1) Obviously God used Satan to test David. (Ex. 30:12) God had set forth the rules for taking a census and David refused to do what God said. (1Chron. 21:10-30) David’s sin caused the death of 70,000 Israelite soldiers (God’s people). Lessons learned: (V.12) #1 Listen to God’s word. (V.13) #2 God is more merciful than man. (V.24) #3 It will cost you something to serve God. (V.25-26) #4 Worship God no matter what it costs. (V.30) #5 Be afraid when you disobey God.
(Psalm 119:120 keyword: afraid) David wrote that he feared God’s judgments. (Psa. 109:1-6 esp. V.6) David also described how badly his enemies had treated him and he asked God to; “Set thou a wicked man over him and let Satan stand at his right hand.” David knew Satan was a deceiver and a destroyer because Satan hates all mankind so David was asking God to place Satan in charge of the enemies of God’s people!
This whole episode somehow reminds me of America. American governmental leadership wilted before a brash, vocal, aggressive, outspoken, high pressure, very small minority of atheistic activists finally personified in 1960 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an enemy of God’s people, and that government has told God to leave America. Rampant sin, drug use, hatred and selfishness in the succeeding generations of Americans is the proof America is forgetting about God.
(Psa. 109:1-6 esp. V.6) “Set thou a wicked man over him and let Satan stand at his right hand.” In 1995 O’Hare, her son Jon and her granddaughter Robyn were kidnapped from Austin, TX, and were tortured, mutilated and murdered by David Roland Waters, Gary Karr and Danny Fry. Waters’ girlfriend testified that Waters hated O’Hare so badly because of an extremely detrimental article she had written about him and that Waters fantasized about torturing O’Hare in gruesome ways such as snipping off her toes.
In Jan 2001 while serving an 80 year prison sentence Waters informed authorities where the trio were buried on a Texas ranch. O’Hare’s skeletal remains showed extensive mutilation and were only identifiable by the number on her prosthetic hip. While she was being tortured did O’Hare finally call on the God of all glory she had arrogantly fought against so bitterly for so long? (Prov. 1:22-31 esp. V.26-29) According to scripture it would have been a; "NO!"
If she did, Read God's answer; (Prov. 1:22-31 esp. V.26 keywords: I will also laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh;). (Luke 16:19-24 esp. V.22) Obviously the faithful angels carried Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom (a paradise). (Luke 16:19-24 esp. V.23-24) It is also obvious Satan, the devil, and his devils were delighted to carry Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who had served him so gallantly and so faithfully, right on to hell! Articles about O’Hare are on Wikipedia.
(Psa. 109:1-6 esp. V.6) “Set thou a wicked man over him and let Satan stand at his right hand.” It’s amazing how God’s Holy Scriptures fit O’Hare’s situation. God also said; (Psa. 9:27) "The wicked and all the nations that forget God shall be turned into hell." Both of these scriptures fit America’s present situation.
America is rejecting God. God is leaving America and Satan is filling the void just like he did ancient Israel. Now we have a spendthrift, give away money and benefits, ignore the will of the people government that has put us (America) almost 20 trillion dollars in debt.
As of this date, 4-1-16, April fool’s day, $20 trillion divided by 318.86 million Americans is $62,723.45 which is your personal responsibility for your share of that debt. America is broke and the government wants to raise the debt ceiling again! Yipeee! We are governed by a bunch of narrow minded, squabbling, greedy, April Fools who can’t find their noses with both hands. You can tell God is leaving America by looking at our wars.
Korea was a tie, Vietnam was a loss and the 2 Iraq wars and the war in Afghanistan were abominations. “Kill the leaders and we win!” How stupid. Even a dumb, hillbilly, ex-sergeant of Marines like me understands there is a chain of command. “Kill the #1 and the #2 becomes the #1 and #3 becomes #2 and the war goes on without a hiccup.”
We are even led by people who are too politically correct to have the courage to admit America is in a religious war with Islamic extremists who declared war on us. Lesson refused: (Jer. 6:16-20 esp. V.16) “and ask for the old paths where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”
Abomination? Sure it is. It’s an abomination when America’s government sends its gallant, courageous, precious soldiers to fight a war the government has no intention of winning. If you don’t win, you lose. Duuhhhhh!
Job: (Job 1:1-5) Job lived in the land of Uz and was a (V.1) perfect, upright man who feared (reverence, afraid) God and eschewed (declined, turn away from) evil. (V.3) Job was famous and rich. (Gen. 10:21-23) Uz was the name of one of the sons of Aram who was the son of Shem who was the son of Noah.
The land of Uz was named after Noah’s great grandson Uz and was located west of the Euphrates River in Western Mesopotamia (Job 1:1) and Job’s sense of righteousness came through his lineage from Noah’s teaching. (Job 1:5 & 42:8) The way they offered burnt offerings shows they were under Abraham’s Covenant.
(Gen. 9:28) Noah lived 350 years after the flood so Noah was alive for almost the first 50 years of Abram/Abraham’s life. Add the ages from birth to birth of the generations between Noah and Abram/Abraham if you wish to check.
The scripture does not reveal if Job knew Satan was involved (Job 2:10) but he did know God reigns supreme and is in charge. (Job 1:5) Job loved his family, offered sacrifice for them and prayed for them continually. (Job 1:8) God provoked Satan by complementing Job’s righteousness (Job 1:9-11) and Satan provoked God right back; “he will curse you to your face”.
(Job 1:12-22 esp. V.12) God gave Satan power over all that Job owned and loved and what Satan didn’t take away he killed (Job's servants and he finally killed Job's children). Job had nothing left (V. 20-22) and, in spite of all that, Job still worshipped God, understood God and did not blame God.
(V.20-22) Job’s first lesson to today’s Christians: No matter how bad it gets you are still God’s man/woman and nothing or nobody can change that (Heb. 6:4-6, 2Pet. 2:17-22, then Rev. 2:4-5, 3:1-5 & 14-16) except you. And for that assurance God deserves your worship. God is in charge.
(Acts 16:16-33) (V.16-18) Paul and Silas had stood against Satan through the power of the Holy Spirit. (V.19-24) They were brought to trial, convicted, whipped (stripes), put in the inner part of the jail with the worst offenders and their feet were placed in stocks (a wooden device to hold them immobile- no water, no bathroom).
Put yourself in the reality of their place; arrested, whip cut (stripes), battered, bruised (beat), immovable, filthy, trapped, helpless and surrounded by the worst criminals in Philippi. What would you have felt, said and done? (V.25) But at midnight, their darkest hour, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God in the hearing of the other prisoners.
(V.26) God set them free with a miracle (V.27-33) and the jailer and all his family received salvation. Their dedication to God in spite of severe suffering had gotten everyone’s attention.
(Job 2:1-10) There was another day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before God. God again provoked Satan by complimenting Job with the addition that under the test of extreme tribulation Job had held fast his integrity (innocence). (V.4-6) Satan provoked God right back and God gave Satan power over Job’s health but Satan was not allowed to kill him.
(V.7) Satan smote Job with sore (bad, hurtful, wretched) boils (burning inflammation) from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. I’ve had one boil at a time and it’s an accurate description.
(V.8) Job was squirming, eyes watering, face twisted into an awful grimace of agony, gingerly scraping the tops off the swollen, red, burning, pus running boils with a shard of broken pottery. (V.9) Then here came a big soul boil. Mrs. Job helped Satan against Job; “Curse God and die!” Did she mean for both of them to die or just Job? (Gen. 2:24 keywords: they shall be one flesh) No mention is made of her having any boils but everything else she had was also gone.
(V.10) “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God and not receive evil?” The scripture says Job did not sin with his lips but the scripture is mute concerning his thoughts!
(Gen. 2:20-23) God said He was making a help meet (aid, surround, protect, succor) for Adam. This does not suggest inequality or that a wife is to be the doormat upon which the husband cleans his feet. (Eph. 5:22-25 then 28-33 key: God’s instructions) They are equal, but with separate scripturally assigned rolls to fulfill each other physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Job’s second lesson to today’s Christian couples: SUPPORT EACH OTHER!
It is a burning supernatural boil on your soul when your family is mean to you, especially if it never ends. Job’s third lesson to today’s Christians: (Matt. 10:36) “a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
(Job 2:11) Then here came three more very painfully sore, spiritual boils. I’m sure you’ve seen them; that self-righteous bunch that have all the wrong answers and haven’t got a clue about the spiritual war raging around you. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar had come to comfort Job.
(Job 2:12-13) Job’s physical appearance made him unrecognizable until they were close to him then they sat down with him upon the ground, didn’t speak a word to him and stared at him for 7 days and nights because his grief was so great.
(Job.13:1 thru 37:24) For 24 chapters they railed on Job and basically said his sins had caused his situation while Job bewailed his predicament. None of the 3 ever said; “I don’t know what’s going on but I’m on your side my Brother. I'll do anything I can to help you. Let us pray together or I'll pray for you alone because I love you.” Read (Job 4:7-8) for an example of their attitude and words toward Job AND nobody ever mentioned Satan. Sounds like non-spiritually discerning, modern Christians doesn’t it?
Job’s 5 Part Fourth Lesson To Today’s Christians:
Part #1) (1John 3:10-15 esp. V.10 key thought: If you don’t love your brethren you are a child of the devil. Think not? Read it again, it’s there. AND V.12 keywords: who was of that wicked one and slew his brother) Love the brethren. Sometimes a person just needs to shut up and give a fellow Christian a big hug and whisper; “I love you my Brother/Sister. I’m so sorry this happened, what can I do for you?”
Part #2) (1Pet. 3:8-9) “having compassion (sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortune of others) one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called,”
The word misfortune in the definition above may offend some of you because it sounds like bad luck and the word luck is not in the Bible. (Eccl. 9:11 & Luke 10:31-33 esp. V31 keyword: chance) Jesus said; “And by chance there came down” then Jesus implied the word chance in the next 2 verses about 2 more men.
Chance defined is: Strong’s #4795: by accident: sounds like luck to me. (Luke 14:29 keyword: haply- defined is- if) Does that also mean luck? You decide for yourself. Sure, God is in control, God knows everything BUT obviously sometimes God just lets things happen. After all, we do live a cursed life in a cursed world.
(Luke 10:31-36 esp. V.33 keyword: compassion) Two men of the spiritual leadership of God’s chosen people, the Jews, ignored a robbed, wounded, half dead man lying beside the road BUT a Samaritan (non-Jew) came by and had compassion on him. And Jesus condemned the Jews by signifying the Samaritan was (V.36) a neighbor to the injured man.
(Matt. 23:23-28 esp. V.24 keywords: gnat, camel) I wonder if any of you modern day Christians strained at the gnat of luck and swallowed (omitted) the camel of compassion-> (Mark 12:30-31) Love God with everything you are and thy neighbor as thyself!
Part #3) (1John 3:16-17 keyword: compassion) “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Part #4) (Eph. 6:18) Persevere in prayer and supplication for the brethren. (Matt. 6:5-7) Your prayer for your brethren reveals the content of your heart. Do you pray for your brethren just because you are supposed to or is it because your compassion and empathy causes you to love them and feel a genuine, heartfelt concern for their needs that is just as great as your own?
Part #5) (Heb. 4:14-16 esp. V.15 keywords: like as we are) Compassion begets empathy which is to understand and share the feelings of another. How many times have you seen compassionate sinners stop, help and be kind to people while compassionless Christians did nothing? Do you? It is a missed opportunity to fellowship with a Christian or witness to a lost person. Remember (Prov. 15:3) “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
(Job. 38:1 thru 40:2) Job must have asked God a question not shared with us because God answered him out of a whirlwind. And God said “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” Which means “stand up like a man, listen to me and answer my questions!” Then God told Job exactly who God is and God told Job who Job is not.
(Job. 40:3-5) Job was shocked with the realization of his own attitude and what he had been saying and Job told God he was shutting his mouth. (Job 40:6 thru 41:34) Again God told Job to gird up his loins like a man and God finished telling Job who God is and who Job is not. Job had learned compassion because he realized his 3 friends were in worse trouble than he was. Job had nothing except his fellowship with God and they had everything except fellowship with God.
(Job 42:1-17) (V.1-6) Job answered God rightly and repented. (V.7-9 esp. V.8 keywords: my servant Job shall pray for you) God let Job’s 3 friends know they were out of fellowship with Him, they had not recognized who God is and who they were the way Job had, that they should offer sacrifice, go to Job and the only way they could get back in fellowship with God was that if Job prayed for him.
Job was obedient and prayed for them and God gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. (V. 13) Why only 10 more children? Because Job had 20 children, 10 + 10 = 20, ten with Job and ten waiting for Job with God in a place called forever.
Lessons Job and his three friends had learned that are also lessons for today’s Christians:
#1) (Matt. 16:26-27) All 4 had learned the most important thing in the world was to be in fellowship with God.
#2) (Psa. 111:4 & Matt. 18:23-35) All 4 had learned compassion.
#3) (Eph. 6:18 keywords: all, all, all) Job had learned to expand his prayers to include people other than his immediate family because they are all important to God.
#4) (Matt. 7:1-5) Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar had learned they were self-righteous judges who had not judged themselves first.
#5) (Matt. 23:12) All 4 had learned humility.
In Part 3 you will be shown by scripture #1) why even Jesus had to be tested (tempted). #2) (Rom. 8:15-17) (V.15) At salvation Christians “have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry (scream, call, shriek, entreat) Abba (a Jewish word of Chaldean origin, ask any Jew, it means Daddy) Father.” (V.16) We become the children of God. (V.17) We become joint-heirs with Christ. Among many other things Jesus is also our elder Brother. You will be shown by scripture how to bring your elder Brother into the fight when that bully Satan is beating you down.