Resisting the Enemy
The spirit of religion is all about power and control. Most of all it is about deception.
In part one of this writing the concept of denominationalism was discussed, in terms of it’s acceptance within the minds of the body of believers as being harmless, in the light of scriptures which clearly denounce that ideology.
In this section we will examine the motives of the enemy and how he gets God’s people to turn from His ways and accept lies as truth.
(Mat 6:13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Our Lord tells us to pray that we are not even lead into temptation. Temptation is ALWAYS the first attack of the enemy and it is his subtle way to lead us into sin.
In the beginning God created man (Adam) and after the fall man became human (from the Latin: Homo sapiens, “wise man” “knowing man”). After eating the fruit man gained the knowledge of good and evil subsequently becoming “knowing man”. More importantly, because of His disobedience to God, man gave up the dominion over creation given to him by God (Gen 1:26).
Why did Satan tempt Eve?
Because he wanted dominion over creation! Ultimately, because of the transgression, Satan inherited the dominion given to man and subsequently became the prince of this world.
(Joh 12:31) Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
(Joh 14:30) Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Notice what our Lord spoke to Paul on the Damascus road:
(Act 26:16) But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
(Act 26:17) Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
(Act 26:18) To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
The people were in darkness. Satan had blinded them with deception to keep them from knowing the truth. This has been the condition of mankind from the time of the transgression till the time that the light of truth, our Lord Christ Jesus, came into the world. And Satan remains the prince of the world and the father of lies (John 8:44) till this very day and his people continue to follow him.
Why have so many been deceived?
(Gen 3:1) Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.
You see brothers and sisters when Satan attacks he is covert. A smart enemy will never attack you from the front, he will attack from the flanks or from behind. If an enemy does choose to confront you face to face, so to speak, he will do so under the cover of darkness (deception). And these deceptions again will not be obvious. In fact Satan often begins his attacks by using what some call partial truths.
And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Notice what God said:
(Gen 2:16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
God did indeed say that they may eat “of every tree of the garden”. At this point in time Satan had yet to lie. What he said was 100% truth. This, for lack of a better term, sucked Eve into the snare of the enemy. The truth is that many people today are sucked into the doctrines of men who knowingly or unknowingly use the same method. Both have been deceived into believing that a half truth is still the truth, in part. If a thing is not a total lie it is a partial truth which is in some convoluted way found to be acceptable or at least tolerable by many people.
I have often heard it said that there is no perfection in an imperfect world. This statement is all too true. For kingdom dwellers however, who are not of this world because though our Lord Christ Jesus and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we have overcome the world, there are no half truths or partial truths. If it is not the truth it is a lie and if it is a lie it is not of God but of the enemy.
How then do we resist the enemy? How do we defend ourselves?
Prove every spirit!
(1Jn 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Do not place blind faith in your pastor, deacons, church elders or me for that matter. Take what has been given and search the word of truth for yourselves. Read the word of God (Acts 17:11). If you don’t know what the bible says you can’t know the truth. Pray to the Father for wisdom and He will give it liberally (James 1:5), ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you and He will guide you unto all truth (John 16:13).
By blindly trusting men/women we open the door for the enemy to enter in and lead us into deception. Do not let men or a title deceive you. Just because someone holds a degree in theology or holds the office of pastor, preacher or teacher it does not mean that they are all God appointed and anointed.
Use Spiritual Discernment!
(Isa 11:1) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
(Isa 11:2) And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
(Isa 11:3) And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Jesus is the rod and the fullness of the Holy Spirit ( the Spirit of the Lord) came to rest on Him (Mat 3:16). (the six spirits of the holy spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of the Lord – v.2).
(Luk 11:9) And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
(Luk 11:10) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
You see brothers and sisters our God knew that these false teachers would arise and deceive the body of believers with their false doctrines. That is why He gave us a full proof way to know the truth. Ask – Seek – Knock! Ask for wisdom and you will receive it. Seek God for the truth that you are looking for, not men, and you will find it. Do these things in Jesus (the door – John 10:9) name and the door of truth and understanding will be opened to you.
Stand on The Word of Truth!
The word of truth always stands in opposition to the ways of the world. It is if there are two universes which run parallel but are opposite to each other. God has His kingdom and Satan has his kingdom. God’s realm is spiritual and Satan’s realm is the natural (physical world). God has His angels and Satan has his angels. God has His children and Satan has his children (welps). God has His people and Satan has his people.
(Eph 6:11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
(Eph 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.
These people who preach and teach the doctrines of men do not all do so knowingly or willingly. Somewhere along the way they themselves have been deceived by the enemy. Somewhere in the path they opened the door and allowed Satan to whisper in their ear as Eve did and were beguiled (nâshâ’ – lead astray).
We do not stand in judgement of them nor the people who follow them. Judgement of people is not in our job description. That authority has been given to Jesus alone. Only He is worthy to open the books of judgement.
(Rev 20:11) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
(Rev 20:12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Jesus overcame the world through His sinless walk in the flesh, through His passion (his scourging and physical death), through His physical resurrection and through His accent Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father as High Priest and Lord over all of His people, the children of God.
Jesus took back the dominion which God had given to Adam which was then given to Satan.
(Isa 9:6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(Mat 28:18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
(Php 2:9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
(Php 2:10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
(Php 2:11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The armor of God, less all of the symbolism, is simply the word of God. When we use the word of God and invoke the name of Jesus we are able to stand against the enemy and resist him. The best example of the way our battles with the enemy will play out can be seen in the story of Jesus confrontation with Satan as recorded by Matthew.
(Mat 4:1) Then (after His water baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit) was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
(Mat 4:2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Jesus had been in the desert 40 days and 40 nights before Satan approached Him.
(Mat 4:3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
There are a few things that are important to note here:
- Jesus was led by the Spirit.
- He went to be tempted.
- He was hungered.
- The tempter came to Him.
- The tempter spoke first.
- The tempter tried to provoke Jesus.
Now Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert for the express purpose of being tempted. He did not go to cast him out from the earth nor to destroy him. He went to experience, as a man, the same temptations which we suffer.
(Mat 4:3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Satan waited for Jesus to enter into a place of weakness and then attacked that point of weakness and he did it in two ways. First he questioned His identity by stating “if you be the Son of God”. Then he tried to trick Jesus into proving that He was the Son of God by turning the stones into bread. If Jesus would have done this thing it would have been as if Satan was providing the means by which Jesus could quench His hunger. Jesus knew that because of His birthright that God would provide sustenance for Him in due time. He trusted in the provision of His Father.
(Mat 4:4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
(Gen 25:29) And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
(Gen 25:30) And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
(Gen 25:31) And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
(Gen 25:32) And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
(Gen 25:33) And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
(Gen 25:34) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
(Mat 4:5) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
(Mat 4:6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
(Mat 4:7) Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Here we see Satan again questioning Jesus person as Son of God and using the word of God as a weapon against Him (v.6):
(Psa 91:11) For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
(Psa 91:12) They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
And we see Jesus response which is also quoted from scripture.
(Deu 6:16) Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
So the devil quotes the Word of God, misinterprets it, omits a clause, and tries to trip the Son of God by the Word of God. We don’t intentionally put ourselves in harms way to prove God’s word. We do not tempt Him. We simply stand on His word, believing that His word is truth, when trouble comes our way.
(Mat 4:8) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
(Mat 4:9) And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Notice here that Satan no longer questions Jesus person as Son of God. He abandoned that part of his battle plan. This time Satan attempts to tempt Jesus with that which God will eventually give Him (all of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them) (further evidence that Satan is lord over the earth) if He falls down and worships him.
(Mat 4:10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Jesus tells Satan “get thee hence” (hupagō – withdraw or retire) and that he will worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall you serve. The words “him alone thou shalt serve” need be recalled today. Jesus will warn men against trying to serve God and mammon.
The devil as the lord of the evil world constantly tries to win men to the service of the world and God. This is his chief camouflage for destroying a preacher’s and or a teacher’s power for God. It is also his most effective method of misleading the sheep and putting them on a path which leads away from the word of truth.
The battle between Jesus and Satan is representative of the same battle between Satan and Eve in the garden. It is the same battle we fight today. We fight those who preach and teach half truths and partial truths. We fight against these lies of the enemy by shining the light of truth, the whole truth, into the darkness of their misunderstanding or deceptiveness.
This is the biblical way to resist the enemy!
And when we do so, he will flee from us. We put him under our feet by the power of the word of truth in the name of Jesus and he runs away. Amen!