Know Your Enemy Pt. 3 – His Weapons of Warfare

In order to be successful in a battle, you need to understand your enemy’s tactics and weaponry. If the enemy is using cannons, being armed with sticks isn’t gonna cut it!

The devil’s first attack on earth happened in the Garden of Eden when he appeared to Eve in the form of a serpent.

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Is it so that God has said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Interesting to note that the term “serpent” used in the above verse comes from a root word meaning “to hiss or whisper a magic spell or to be an enchanter.

Notice how the serpent is described as being “cunning” – this can also be defined as “crafty” – and both terms are used in a negative sense.

With “craftiness” and “cunningness” the devil twisted God’s commandment in order to deceive Eve into disobeying God.

Gen 3:1 Now the snake was wiser [cunning]than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God truly said that you may not take of the fruit of any tree in the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the woman said, We may take of the fruit of the trees in the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, If you take of it or put your hands on it, death will come to you.
Gen 3:4 And the snake said, Death will not certainly come to you:
Gen 3:5 For God sees that on the day when you take of its fruit, your eyes will be open, and you will be as gods, having knowledge of good and evil. (BBE)

The devil makes us question God, then he twists God’s word and lies to us about God, and finally he puts temptation in our path.

To deceive means to cause someone to wander or go astray from safety, truth or virtue. The following definition is from Webster’s Dictionary:

1. The act of deceiving or misleading.

All deception is a misapplication of the established signs used to communicate thoughts.

2. The state of being deceived or misled. Incautious and inexperienced youth is peculiarly exposed to deception.

3. Artifice practiced; cheat; as, a scheme is all a deception.

Interesting to note the above comment that “all deception is a misapplication of the established signs…” That is exactly what the devil does! He takes the established word of God and misapplies it or causes us to misapply it so that we are confused and easy to deceive.

Deception is the devil’s main weapon against mankind.

Gen 3:13 And Jehovah God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

2Co 11:3 But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the simplicity due to Christ. [the term “beguiled” also means to seduce, delude and deceive]

1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. (Note that Adam was not deceived – he knew better but chose to do wrong anyways – but that is a topic for another post)

Mat 24:5 For many {man under the influence of the devil} will come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and will deceive many.

Mat 24:11 And many false prophets will rise and deceive many

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers have entered into the world, who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the anti-christ.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet doing signs before it, (by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast), and those who had worshiped his image.

Rev 20:2,3 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.  And he cast him into the abyss and shut him up and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years should be fulfilled.

Rev 20:7,8 And when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be loosed out of his prison.  And he will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, …

Rev 20:10 And the Devil who deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, …

Another weapon the devil uses is temptation. Webster defines temptation as:

 The act of tempting; enticement to evil by arguments, by flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good.

1. Solicitation of the passions; enticements to evil proceeding from the prospect of pleasure or advantage.

The devil even tried to tempt Jesus!

Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Luk 4:1,2 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness  forty days, being tempted by the Devil.

1Th 3:5 For this reason I also, when I could no longer endure the uncertainty, sent to know the condition of your faith, lest perchance the Tempter might have tempted you and our labour have been lost. (WNT)

Since there are some who blame God for temptation, I would like to include the following verse:

Jas 1:13 Let no one say when passing through trial, “My temptation is from God;” for God is incapable of being tempted to do evil, and He Himself tempts no one. (WNT)

The devil also uses lies as weapons against us.

Joh 8:44 The father whose sons you are is the Devil; and you desire to do what gives him pleasure. *He* was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand firm in the truth–for there is no truth in him. Whenever he utters his lie, he utters it out of his own store; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

The enemy’s arsenal: deception, temptation and lies. Let us not be “ignorant of his devices”. 2Cor 2:11

Blessings

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Know Your Enemy Pt 2 – His Agenda

Our enemy, the devil, has an agenda – the complete turning away of man from God and the destruction of mankind, particularly those of the family of God.

Rev 12:3… And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads!
Rev 12:4 … And the dragon stood before the woman being about to bear, so that when she bears he might devour her child.

Rev_12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who bore the man child .

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Joh 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy.

The devil is VERY busy carrying out his agenda.

Job 2:2 And Jehovah said to Satan, From where do you come? And Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

1Pe 5:8 Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;

We have an enemy. He has an agenda to destroy us. He is actively pursuing his agenda. So – BE SENSIBLE AND VIGILANT!

Blessings

(My next post will deal with our enemy’s weapons of warfare.)

 

 

 

Know Your Enemy Pt.1 – In the Beginning

In my last post I wrote about the subject of  Evil. In the following series of posts I will write about the originator or instigator of evil – the devil.

 

“Speak of the devil” is the short form of the figurative expression “Speak of the devil and he doth appear”.

The expression comes from the Middle Ages and was a superstitious warning against speaking directly about the Devil who might appear and cause trouble. Since that time, there remains a hesitancy on the part of some Christians to even talk about the subject of the devil. In fact, some even suggest that there is no such entity even though Jesus acknowledged that there was a devil!

Mat 4:1 At that time Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the Desert in order to be tempted by the Devil.

We are in a battle for our very lives, both present and eternal, and we can not adequately fight a battle if we don’t know that we have an enemy or if we don’t understand the characteristics and tactics of the enemy.

“So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. Sun Tzu, The Art of War”

The devil’s story begins in Heaven.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In Genesis 1:1 we are told that in the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth and everything in them. The “everything” in the heavens must also have included angels, of which the devil was one. In fact, he is described as being “a shining star” and “son of the morning”. Unfortunately for us, pride and selfish desire got the better of him and he sought to elevate himself, a created being, above God, the Creator.

Isa 14:12 How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
Isa 14:13 For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.
Isa 14:14 I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.

Eze 28:14,15 You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy height of God where you were; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.

Eze 28:17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have spoiled your wisdom because of your brightness. I will cast you to the ground; I will put you before kings, that they may behold you.

(The above two sets of scriptures were written about the King of Babylon and the King of Tyre, respectively, but they are an allegorical description of the power behind them, the devil.)

The devil was not content with his own rebellion, he strove to influence and encourage other angels, a third of the heavenly host, to rebel against God. The devil started the first “holy war”.

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going out to the fight with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels made war,

Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth.

The devil and his angels lost the battle in Heaven and God threw them out of the Kingdom of Heaven so they went down to the earth.

Rev 12:8 And they were overcome, and there was no more place for them in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was forced down, the old snake, who is named the Evil One and Satan, by whom all the earth is turned from the right way; he was forced down to the earth, and his angels were forced down with him. (BBE)

To summarize, the devil was originally created by God as an angel of light. As that angel, the devil became filled with pride and selfish desire. He wanted to be as exalted as God. To that end, he rebelled against God and led other angels into joining that rebellion. It is obvious from what happened that angels were created with free will. The devil and his fallen angels lost the heavenly battle that had ensued and God cast them out of Heaven.

Having lost the battle in Heaven, the devil turned his attentions to trying to corrupt and destroy God’s creation on earth, chiefly – Mankind.

That is the topic of my next post.

1Pe 5:8 Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;

Blessings

 

 

One of them days

In the Elvis Presley movie, G.I. Blues, (there I go, dating myself again!) Elvis sings the following song:

Didja’ ever get one of them days, boy

Didja’ ever get one of them days

When nothin’ is right from mornin’ till night

Didja’ ever get one of them days

Well, that was my theme song for yesterday! It actually started the day before with a phone call telling me that I didn’t get the job that I had really wanted. Then yesterday morning started off with finding out that my cat had knocked over a living room lamp, breaking the glass lamp shade into teeny, tiny smithereens all over the couch. While trying to vacuum it all up to make sure that my hubby didn’t get a nasty surprise you- know -where, I ended up getting a glass sliver in my finger.

Later on that morning, I went to the Adult Day Centre where I volunteer and I proceeded to drop a wide variety of things on the floor.

This was followed up by an afternoon phone call from my hubby telling me that he had injured his leg at work and had to be off work for a few days. He had also developed a migraine. ALL of this happened to him before he was to have a phone interview for a new job. He took the interview but was in a lot of pain.

Back at home, the cable, Netflix, and DVD player weren’t working.

All this “joy” was topped with a “cherry” by the receiving of an unpleasant letter from a lawyer regarding a personal matter.  ( I must confess that I felt like “going about like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour” , or slapping someone upside the head at the very least)

All of this” joy” left us looking like two old deflated balloons lying on the couch.

And then I read the following posting on Facebook: “Forget the day’s troubles; Remember the day’s blessings”. This was followed by an email from my Mom (to whom which I of course had to pour out all my frustrations), which said almost the same thing. God trying to tell me something?

I am sure that you have also suffered from “One of them days”. When this happens (and it will) we need to remember the following:

We live in a sin corrupted world:

Gen 3:17  And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life.

Rom 8:21  that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22  And we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.

Rom 3:23  for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,

This sin corrupted world is ruled by an evil god (notice the lower case “g”):

2Co 4:4  in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones

1Jn 4:3  and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the antichrist you heard is coming, and even now is already in the world.

Eph 2:2  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience; ( notice it is “prince” and not “King”)

This god and prince is a believer’s enemy (there is a saying, “know thine enemy”):

Mat 13:37  He answered and said to them, He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man;
Mat 13:38  the field is the world; the good seed are the sons of the kingdom; but the darnel are the sons of the evil one.
Mat 13:39  The enemy who sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Act 13:10  and said, O son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all craftiness, enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?

Our enemy works  to destroy us:

1Pe 5:8  Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour

Joh 10:10  The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy

So how does knowing the “who, how and why” of our difficulties help us to deal with those difficulties? We can deal with them because we have our heavenly Father’s promises that we are not alone in our struggles, there is help for here and now and we have a guarantee of victory at the end.

Joh 16:33  I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.”
Rom 8:37  But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1Pe 4:7  But the end of all things has drawn near. Therefore be of sound mind, and be sensible to prayers.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened to you,
1Pe 4:13  but rejoice according as you are partakers of Christ’s suffering, so that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you.

Therefore, when we have “one of those days” we are instructed and encouraged to comply with the following:

Php 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Php 4:7  And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Php 4:8  Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.

I am off to “think on these things” and “count my blessings”.

May God bless, encourage, comfort and strengthen you during your “one of them days”.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;

Count your blessings, see what God has done;

Count your blessings … name them one by one;

Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

The Big “WHY” part 2

I don’t know about you, but I am terrible for putting off dealing with difficult things. My poor brain has enough trouble trying to get itself wrapped around average “stuff”, never mind sorting out difficult issues. Perhaps that is one reason that I have taken this long to try to write something regarding the question as to why God allows bad things to happen.

Firstly, I would like to deal with another big question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Well, we are in a war; a spiritual war:  Eph 6:12  For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against authorities and powers, against the world-rulers of this dark night, against the spirits of evil in the heavens.  (BBE)

We have enemies in spiritual places who operate in the earthly realm. The leader of these enemies is Satan, the devil, and he has been leading a rebellion since Creation. 1Jn 3:8  He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning.

Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going out to the fight with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels made war,
Rev 12:8  And they were overcome, and there was no more place for them in heaven.
Rev 12:9  And the great dragon was forced down, the old snake, who is named the Evil One and Satan, by whom all the earth is turned from the right way; he was forced down to the earth, and his angels were forced down with him.

This war manifests itself on the earth, and as in all wars, there are casualties. Our enemy is constantly on the move against humanity.

Job 1:7  And Jehovah said to Satan, From where do you come? Then Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

1Pe 5:8  Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;

It is through our enemy that death entered into the world.

Joh 8:44  You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning,…

Heb 2:14  Since then the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same; that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death (that is, the Devil),…

I think that wars are generally started because of selfish desires and goals. The devil thought that he should be regarded as God:

Mat 4:8  Again, the Devil took Him up into a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
Mat 4:9  And he said to Him, All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.

The devil is against all the God is and all that He has done,  so he started a rebellion against God. The devil is out to destroy all that God holds dear, especially God’s children. Christians are the object of the devil’s hatred of, and war against, God.

1Pe 5:8  … your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour;

Joh 10:10  The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy.

The devil is called “the ruler of this world” (Joh. 12:31, 14:30), and that is why there is evil in the world. He is  an enemy of God, of God’s people and all that is good, and that is why bad things happen to good people.

BUT (and a big BUT it is too!) – thank God that He has given us a great hope, and I will share that with you in a following post. ( so keep reading)

Blessings