Monday, April 2, 2018

God's Will/Satan's Desire

But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Luke 12:5)

I am saddened when I see my brothers and sisters in Christ overwhelmed and beaten down by the enemy.  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are no different than Peter whom Jesus prayed that his faith remain because Satan desired to sift him as wheat.  

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: Luke 22:31

Through this conversation, we should realize that though Satan has the desire, he does not have the authority nor the power to overcome us unless  we allow our faith to faint.  

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.   Proverbs 24:10

God gifted us with a wonderful counselor to point us in the way that we should take.  He spent much time devoted to teaching us God's way.  Therefore, we should not fear nor be defeated.  No doubt, Satan is truly a challenging imitator. He has a powerful organization. His followers can do powerful acts.  However, Jesus warned of his power and deception:

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14

Not only that, we are  assured of God’s greater power.   Jesus said:

. . . Greater is He (Jesus) that is in you than he (Satan) that is in the world. (I John 4:4)

Jesus came with great power and authority to destroy the evil works of Satan.   Jesus delegated power over all the power of the enemy to believers.

Here are some Biblical guidelines for facing the power of the deceiver:

Ø     First, you have to know that you are a child of God and that you belong to Him

As our heavenly Father, this is what God has to say:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

This is a great assurance that God is with us even in the midst of our storms and will make a way to see us through it. 

Ø     We must recognize that Satan imitates God's power.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  2 Corinthians 11:14

With the Holy Spirit comes a certain degree of spiritual discernment.  But there is also the gift of the Holy Spirit called discerning of spirits. It is an unusual ability given by God to immediately discern another person's spirit and know if they are good or evil. If you have this spiritual gift, use it to determine whether people's spirits are of God or Satan.

If you do not have this gift, God has provided other methods of detection. II Peter 2 and the book of Jude inform us of the characteristics of people with seducing spirits to help you identify them. No matter how spiritual or powerful a person may appear, evaluate them on the basis of God's Word.

Ø      Evaluate the supernatural by the fruit.  

Because Satan imitates the power of God through supernatural manifestations of miracles, signs, and wonders, God has provided a way to evaluate ministries. Jesus compared men to fruit trees:

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
 (Matthew 7:18, 20)

Satan can imitate spiritual gifts and God's power, but he has no imitation for a holy life exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit which includes . . .

. . . love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance . . . (Galatians 5:22-23)

Evaluate ministries by spiritual fruit instead of supernatural manifestations of power.

Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. Exodus 7:11-12

Ø     Study the word of god.  

In order to recognize false doctrines of Satan's teachers, apostles, prophets, and ministers, you must know what is taught in the Word of God.  Apostle Paul told Timothy:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  (II Timothy 2:15)

Even though Apostle Paul was a great spiritual leader in the early church, the believers at the city of Berea checked everything he said by God's written Word:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

To avoid being deceived by Satan's power, examine everything that is taught in light of God's Word. Evaluate the lives of those who are teaching powerful doctrines or performing signs and wonders.

Do not accept any teaching, doctrine, revelation, or miracle that is not in harmony with God's Word. The power of Satan often attracts believers through so-called "special revelation of new truth." People claim special dreams, appearances by angels, visions, voices, or other supernatural events. But Apostle Paul warned:

. . . but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.            (Galatians 1:7-8)

Do not accept any so-called prophecy that is not in right relation to faith  and God’s word:

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Romans 12:6

and which does not come to pass 

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.  Deuteronomy 18:22 

Do not accept any revelation that leads you away from God and the truth of His Word 

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deuteronomy 13:1-5

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. (Proverbs 21:16)

One of Apostle Paul’s goal when introducing men and women to the Kingdom of God was ensuring that they were not ignorant to the desires, devices and the attempts of the enemy to draw them back to his kingdom.

 Biblical Studies



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