Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
·Greek: That they may return to soberness or awake out of the snare of the devil, after having being hunted down, taken captive, and caught alive by the devil, to do his will.
The devil is actively hunting to “catch alive” by trapping our free will and make it to become passive, so that his will in us can then become active. This is His work with believers and the unchurched.
Passivity, is the great tool of the devil. The life of faith is not always busy, but always active. So much of the church is passive in their faith, in the studying of God’s word and in prayer. You better be sure that the devil is behind all of this by breeding passivity.
Fear is another lie of the enemy to generate passivity in us, through paralyzing fear. We cannot remain passive through fear. We are living in a lie, if we do so.
The lure to social media, if it distracts us from spending daily time with God, is a ploy of the devil.
The Bible is our map to life. Without the map, what can we do?
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Be temperate, dispassionate and serious in your life, be awake and watchful, because your opponent in a suit of law, the devil, as a roaring lion, conducts himself around, arduously and earnestly seeking, whom he may drink down, swallow, consume, and destroy.
Yep. How much of this do we see around us?
2 Cor 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed (metaschematizo) into an angel of light.
Metaschematizo: To alter the outward appearance without a significant inward change of the heart. The tense is in the present/ middle, which means this deceptive transformation is a continuous spiritual tactic of the enemy. It is closely illustrated to an architectural schematic, and shows us how the enemy can change the schematic of things, and make them pleasant to the eye.
Sounds like political correctness, where the enemy wipes out the very foundations and principles of a nation under the guise of not offending others, by making us “sugar coated pleasant” to others. Yuk!
Or how many of our politicians offer external changes while their hearts have not changed for the better?
The work of Jesus is to change the inside first, and then the outside. The work of the devil is to change the outside while leaving the inside just the wicked same.
Eph 4:27 Neither give place ( topon) to the devil.
Topon : opportunity, power, occasion for acting
Another version renders “giving place”, as the construction of a landing strip, or an airport runway on our very being, for the devil to land upon!
Only our sin and disobedience can do that. Any time that we are in willful disobedience to the Lord, we automatically open up an airport on our very backs, where the enemy can land and take off at his fancy.
How many in the church are doing that by disregarding God and His Word?
The devil only respects the Word of God. If we compromise the Word to accommodate a social or cultural view we have created a topon in our lives.
Everything has to go back to the Word of God.
Eph4:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
This verb tense is in the past. We are expected once and for all, for us to have had the shield of faith lifted up at all times, and never ever put it down again! We must walk by faith and not by external appearance. Faith must be our default live.
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
The word for overcome pertains to a victor or conqueror. This verse is in the past tense. It is an accomplished fact that our obedience to God will always cause us to conquer and come off victorious over the world system, the flesh and Satan. If we walk closely with God, our default will be that we always get the victory.
Unbelief has a power of its own, and will cause us to be defeated if we are not careful.
Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
The Greek translation here is in the absolute negative. This tells us that it was a virtual impossibility for Jesus to do miracles through people’s lack of faith or disobedience.
Because America has rejected God, a spirit of unbelief has hit our land. Our idol has become self-protection, instead of the risk taking which faith generates.
Political correctness is founded on fear. The fear that if we offend, we will be hurt back.
Unbelief is also closely joined together with disobedience. Obedience to God always requires faith. A nation that has become arrogantly disobedient to God is one which lives in unbelief and fear.
2Thess 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Out of our Greek New Testament this verse tells us, that at the manifestation of the presence of God, the wicked one is destroyed.
The word for “destroy” means to make useless, idle, or ineffective, the works of the Evil One. If the manifest presence of the Lord renders ineffective and useless the schemes of the enemy, why are we bent not to allow the gifts of the Spirit to be in use?
The manifest presence of God is evident in prayer, worship and spending time in God’s presence. Is it not like the devil to make us so distracted so that we don’t spend time in God’s presence and remain in his chains? We need to see what the devil is doing behind the scenes.
Mat 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Note the sequence of events in Mathew eight. First Jesus cast out the evil spirit, and then He healed their physical sicknesses. Do you see the order? The evil spirit had to be cast out first, before Jesus was able to heal the sick.
Am I saying then that all of physical sicknesses are caused by demonic oppression?
Absolutely not, but many are. Yet to the delight of the devil, the church has almost forgotten about him, attributing all maladies to the food we eat, and even Al Gore’s global warming.
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Deuteronomy 7:15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
Is “Attention Deficit Disorder” or many of these so-called “syndromes and disorders” a real thing? I believe so.
I think that in part we are dealing with dysfunctions that have always been always there but are now being identified.
However, I believe that behind everything that we are now calling a disorder or a syndrome, the devil and his minions have stuck their hands into the pot.
The church has been duped in part, by the enemy, to treat these modern day “disorders” and “syndromes’ from a purely physical/ emotional fashion.
As long as he deceives us so that we leave him out of the picture, he is quite content and laughs at us.
We must get back to the discerning of evil spirits in many of these situations, and distinguish the physical from the spiritual.
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Many of us imagine that Ephesians chapter two is Paul’s discussion focusing on the unchurched. I disagree.
The Greek word for worketh is defined as giving energy to.
This particular verse is in the present participle. The sons of disobedience energize the schemes of the devil on a continuous basis.
The word for disobedience is being non-compliant. If a Christian is continually incompliant in an area of his or her life, will he or she energize the works of the devil? I believe that there is no difference; the devil is a legalist. He will always get in wherever he is given an open door.
The same degree of obedience or disobedience to the Lord, will result in the same degree of energizing or disengaging the works of the devil in our lives.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The word for wiles is methoedeia. The word is self-descriptive. It talks about methodology, or methods. It is obvious that the devil’s methodology has to do with scheming, trickery, deceit and so forth.
How many methods is the devil using in America? One of the greatest is distraction through social media and technology.
Secondly, is the temptation for us to hate to read and never grow in the Word of God, and resort to reading Face book status messages instead.
If we become lazy in the reading of God’s word we will stay in the devil’s chains.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
It is important to realize that the enemy only has methodologies and schemes available to him. These are lies and deception, which he wages at very close quarters.
The battle is in our minds. This is why we need a brain washing by the Word of God.
We can see him working in political circles and the media, using the tools of lies and deception. People fall for the lies because their spirits are dead and are unable to distinguish between truth and lies. Only the Holy Spirit can us a spirit of discernment.
Wrestle: It is an arm to arm combat in which the enemy endeavors to throw us down and we must exert through our obedience to God, to throw him down.
The word for wrestle in the Greek is pale and it describes a conflict which is decided, when the winner is able to grasp his opponent and hold him down with his hand upon his neck.
Is the devil succeeding in grasping the church by the neck and trying to pull her down?
Mt 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
The kingdom of God suffers from violence, and only the spiritually violent take it by force.
The American church has sunk down into complacency and passivity, the opposite to a life of spiritual violence in taking God’s goods back from the hands of the enemy. We must repent.
Mt 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Repentance, is usually not a feeling of remorse. It comes from two words defined as, having a change of mind.
Repentance is the transformation or renewal of our minds, by the Word of God.
Jesus commands us to repent because the kingdom of God is here. Repentance allows us to do the works of the kingdom.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Paul commands us to work out, carry out, and carry out absolutely everything to completion that pertains to our salvation, and that with utmost serious cautiousness. No stone can be left unturned.
The verb tense is in the present middle, which means that the work must be our own. Salvation never comes out from passivity, laziness, pew sitting, and disobedience.
We must hear and find out what the Holy Spirit tells us to do, but the activity must be ours, and it must be constant and in perfect agreement with the voice of the Spirit.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
The true Greek interpretation; we have overcome Satan by means of the blood of the lamb and by means of the word of our martyrdom.
The word for testimony in our New Testament is our English word, “martyrdom.”
Indeed, Christians throughout the ages have suffered physical death on account of their faith. For most of us living in modern day year 2000, our occasions for martyrdom are a spiritual/ emotional one. The cross of Christ, is activated to put or sinful self-life to death.
1 Cor 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
2Cor 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
2 Cor 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ
In the above three verses, we see that the word sincerity contains within its root the word for “sun” in the Greek .
Only a life of purity before the Lord will make us into a clear windowpane by which the rays of the sun or “The Son” can shine through.
An impure life will make us into a dirty piece of glass through which the image of the Lord can hardly be seen.
If the enemy cannot see the sunlight of the Son of God, he shall not leave us alone until the day and the time that he does, and if he does.
Remember our enemy, the devil, is the greatest legal lawyer. He will claw and cleave for every inch of us that has not pass by death into resurrection.
Secondly, part of our responsibility for generating purity before God, is found in our consciences. Our conscience has one of the most powerful manifestations of the voice of the Holy Spirit. Its purpose is to either defend or reprove each, and every action of our lives.
I Tim 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
2 Tim 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
To effectively serve God, we must serve Him through our conscience. The subject of the conscience is extensive and we do not have time and space to study it here.
Yes, we must serve God through our conscience, but first of all our consciences must likewise be taken through the cross. A guilty, condemned, performance oriented conscience found in many a believer, will be a poor barometer of the voice of God.
Roman 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Simple concerning evil, is our being harmless, and being matured into a Christian life that eventually becomes unmixed with evil. It is as the purity of a wine that has no sediment in it, and of a fine metal that has no admixture of alloys.
The simple person concerning evil is one whom is free from guile, deceit and lives in innocence before the Lord.
What is the promise of God for this type of a believer? God Himself will bruise Satan underneath such a person’s feet.
The promise of God is greater in the Greek than in our English. To bruise Satan, is to shatter and crush him to pieces underneath our feet. What an encouragement for us to continue to purify ourselves before our God!
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Notwithstanding, it is the Lord who purifies out. However, we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
The “let us cleanse ourselves” is in the subjunctive mood. This grammatical word structure tells us this. Our failure, or success, in purifying ourselves through obedience, and the work of the Holy Spirit, is strictly tied up to the action of our will. The subjunctive always warns us that the action is not automatic, but conditional upon something else.
God will not automatically purify us. Through our own volition and will, we shall obey God and become free, or disobey Him and continue in bondage for the rest of our lives.
Blessings on this Friday!