Saturday, November 17, 2007

# 227: Exposing Satan's Schemes

# 227: Exposing Satan's Schemes This subject is rather lengthy; although it is one I really don’t care to write about, it is essential that we all know the subtle ways the evil one gets us on his side, most often without our knowledge. The reason we are prone to believing his deceptive ways is because his evil nature and our sinful nature are one and the same. That fact in itself is frightening. Therefore, when we do what comes naturally (feels good), many times, it’s playing into the devil’s hands.

For that reason, the father of lies doesn’t care one bit when we believe in Christ and God or if we claim we are Genuine Christians, as long we continually and actively participate in worldly activities and all the fun things this world offers. Though there are many activities, the majority of us are addicted to entertainment of all sorts, professional sports, and indulging in too much and the wrong type of food that our bodies must put up with, etc. These are just a few of Satan’s favorite schemes which we have a difficult time living without. In essence, they are no more than distractions to keep our minds off of the things of God.

I am certain some will say, "If that is the case, then living the Christian life is a full- blown ‘kill-joy.’" Just remember what the word “ungodly” means: not godly or religious; impious. And impious means: lacking reverence for God. How many things do we do in the course of the day that have absolutely nothing to do with God? Other than the things that are absolutely essential (the things we must do to sustain life), most other activities—if they have nothing to do with God—are ungodly. They are the things we do which divert our attention from a Godly life. And if we are mingling our lives with ungodly activities, although they may not seem sinful in themselves, we, without knowing it, are playing with Satan’s fire.

This teaching is somewhat new to this author. That means to conform, I must do away with a few of the activities I now enjoy, meaning I will have more time to engage in things that bring glory to God.

You see, Christ said, "A little yeast works through the whole dough." Get a fruit or vegetable that has a little rotten spot on it and in a short time the whole fruit will be consumed with rot. That little rotten spot looks harmless, but if left unchecked, that is when it does its dirty work.

Of course, our activities which have absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s holiness are more than a small rotten spot. Many who believe they are Christians are consumed with many, many activities that are ungodly and sinful for the simple reason that God is not included in those particular activities. And the devil is the one who is shrewdly and surreptitiously behind this sort of life.

Another thing to remember: That invisible tyrant who loves to make his abode in our physical body is more intelligent—in an evil way—than any other being, physical or spiritual. The only possible way we can outsmart him is to stick close to God by obedience to all that He commands. In other words, if our belief in God does not coincide with how we live, our faith in Christ is in vain. The holiness we model in life (our fruit) is the only thing that will verify our words of faith. Luke 6:44. "Each tree is recognized by its own fruit."

Satan plays both sides of the fence. If he can’t inspire us to live in a worldly way to get us to do things that please him, he will allow pain, sorrow, trouble, hardships, etc. to come our way. Then we may get fed up with life in despair and say to ourselves, "This Christian life is for the birds," and leave God altogether, and go the way of the world. James 4:4: "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."

The list is endless in the ways he can trick Christians into living in ways that please him. The sad part is that many times it is without our knowledge. The reason is that he can transform himself into an angel of light . 2nd Corinthians 11:14. "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." How, then, can we distinguish the difference between the good and the bad, since Satan is such a great imposter? Only one way: become familiar with the ways of God and Christ by reading His Word every day and then putting them into practice.

It is impossible for evil to flourish or even get a foothold in our lives when we continually live with an active desire to be the very best Christians possible, as described in the New Testament. Any less will always leave room for the great deceiver to silently and insidiously worm his way into our Christian lives, making our faith and connection with Christ null and void. This type of teaching will not be accepted by all since there is nothing easy about it; it needs constant dedication and vigilance. It may mean a drastic life-change for some who already believe they are living holy lives. Only thing, a life is holy when that life is permeated through and through with the holy life of Jesus Christ. Satan detests this sort of stuff being revealed about his tactics.

Another way that evil brute wins over atheists and Christians alike is to get them to believe he is not a real entity but a representation of evil, and therefore, doesn’t really exist. He loves to constantly whisper in our ear that “the evil—which we shouldn’t call ‘evil’—we engage in is just the working of our selfish nature; that’s the way we humans are." And it is; only thing is, our selfish nature is inspired by him.

Here is another one of his ploys: Other than in rare and isolated cases, he wants everyone to think of him as a wicked-looking creature with horns and a pitchfork in his hands. That is the farthest from the truth. He wants us to enjoy ourselves when we are doing things that are not acceptable by God, which, without our knowledge, is the omission of doing what is right and replacing it with what is enjoyable. The song by Debbie Boone goes this way: "How can it be wrong when it feels so right?" Moses’ inspirations are quoted in Hebrews 11:15. "He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." Yes, most sins do feel good at the time, and the more we do them, the easier and more natural they become.

This is his most hidden secret of all: That devil doesn’t want anyone to know how powerful he is in getting the vast majority of humanity to do things his way. His tremendous power is made into child’s play when we believe, love God/neighbor, and obey all that God commands in the Bible. Therefore, we who are genuine disciples of Christ have no reason to fear Satan; the one we must fear is God alone. Luke 12:4-5. "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those [evil humans] who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: fear him [God], who after killing the body, has the power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." Nowhere in Scripture, to my knowledge, does it say Christians should fear Satan. But if we are doing things our own way, which may not seem all that bad, we better fear that evil creature because of what he has planned for us: an eternal furnace.

A group of evil critters we don’t hear much about in our modern times are demons. They are the devil’s work force. A better way of classifying them is to call them evil spirits. They secretly indwell only those who don’t belong to God through Christ. If one believes he/she is in dwelled by evil, the solution is found in James 4:8-9. "Submit yourself, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Peter has good advice (commands) also in 1 Peter 5:8. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith . . ."

Even though Christians shouldn’t fear the devil, we must at all times be aware that he is waiting for us to slip up. And if that slipup in time becomes an addiction, Satan can remove us from our secure position. It can happen, and that slipup may be only a trivial matter at the time, which can grow into a serious violation. Result: Satan has us in his grips without our knowledge, since we believe we are safe and secure in the arms of Jesus. And the devil wants us to continue to believe we are still Christians. In this situation, God is powerless to help us without our own effort. Even though God is Almighty, he does not and cannot use magic.

Remember, sin is what keeps us from God. 1 John 3:9-10. "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." This next verse is extremely important. "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother." This is the New Testament (God) speaking, not this author.

Satan gets his power from us being unaware of how he is continually looking over our shoulder, as it were, through his evil spirits. For that reason, we must be conscious that the whole world is full of sin, and that prevalent attitude could overwhelm us by its sheer size—we become like those we gaze at. In short, initially becoming a Christian is no challenge, just accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior; but to continue in Christianity, we must make every effort to keep in the grace of God by avoiding all kinds of sins (evil), especially those that don’t seem as if they are sin, like mediocrity in spiritual matters.

I am thankful the devil does not know the complete future. I mean, he doesn’t know who will remain in his custody, who will desert him for Christ, and who he can continually trick into joining and remaining in his spell, thus joining forces with the remainder of his intellectuals, along with the unschooled and unbelieving idiots.

Here is something that should have all of us shaking in our boots: He knows our every weakness/es. These are the areas where he will continue to badger us. When they are weaknesses which pertain to spiritual matters, as the song says, ". . . round and round I go, down and down I go, I am in a spell, I love the spell that I am in, under that old black magic called love," then we will be exploited in areas of weaknesses in the things we love. This is bad news. Our only defense is to draw close to God by obedience, and He will draw close to us. All our follies are derived from our disobedience to the very commands that are for our benefit and protection.

By now, some of you already guessed who the devil’s most prolific advocate is when it comes to Biblical teaching: much of organized religion, especially Catholicism, which can’t even be classified as a Christian religion. Next in line, most certainly, are the Baptists. And the champion of Baptist teachings has been Billy Graham for the last 50 years or so. They teach that once a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they cannot lose their Salvation (once saved, always saved). Many of the remaining denominations follow close behind. The reason many of them are condemned by New Testament Scripture is because of what they don’t teach, which this blog brings out in the open.

A lawyer friend of mine taught me a great lesson some years ago: “The devil is in the details.” This is what he meant: In most legal contracts, "The big print giveth and the fine print taketh away." Lawyers are taught to make the language in the fine print of a contract so obscure (legal mumbo-jumbo) that even a seasoned judge has a difficult time figuring out that the fine print is taking away all that the big print giveth. They are taught to take away, with complex legal terms, what was given in the big print.

We know that Almighty God is infinitely more powerful than Satan, but as almighty as He is, it is impossible for God to bend holy rules by violating His divine nature and exerting His mighty power (grace and mercy) on our behalf when we do not actively desire to live as His Holy Book clearly displays "in fine print," if you will.

The same is true with Satan. He wants us to believe all the good and easy things the Bible offers (the passive part of Christianity) and then make them invalid by inspiring us to ignore, either knowingly or unknowingly, the fine print (the requirements that are not pleasant and contrary to our sinful nature)—the term “sinful nature” is used 16 times in the New Testament. That chief of demons performs this deadly deception, mostly through clergymen/women who desire large numbers in their churches, and then they believe God is blessing them with such great numbers. They should remember that Satan counts his cohorts, while God weighs His holy disciples, for their faith, love and obedience.

There are over half a dozen verses in the New Testament saying God’s people will be filled with the Holy Spirit. The word “filled” implies that a person can have less than the filling of the Holy Spirit. This says when a person leaves even a little room in the area where the Holy Spirit resides, that evil scoundrel can come in and attempt to inspire us with evil that sounds good—isn’t that what is happening in the world today? Namely, what was called evil just a few decades ago is now called acceptable, good and even desirable. When that Holy Spirit area is filled, Satan cannot even squeeze a toenail into that area which belongs exclusively to God. This is how we can be certain we are filled with God’s Spirit: Read and obey post # 225: "Be Like Jesus?" And put into practice what it teaches, regardless of how impossible it may seem to the human mind. And God and this author guarantee that we will have a full measure of the Holy Spirit, to the point the devil can’t inspire us with his lovely shenanigans.

Just as God is omnipresent, the spirit of Satan is also ubiquitous. Just to think we can move to a better location where evil is not so prevalent (and therefore, escape Satan’s evil works), we are only kidding ourselves. He will be right there waiting for us. Much of the evil he inspires is not blatant offenses against civil laws, but candy-coated evil, which most do not classify as wrongdoings; things like lack of love for neighbor and no visible love for God. Remember, the genuine Christian life is a life of active love. Without that love, regardless of how good a Christian may seem, they are in the clutches of the one responsible for this planet in rebellion.

Humanity is weakest when it comes to obedience in how the New Testament views material wealth and prosperity. For that reason, Lucifer makes a massive killing on this weakness of ours. I won’t say much on this subject since post # 175 and # 153 are quite descriptive in telling the dangers of wealth. God favors the weak, poor and most of the dregs of humanity to be His people since they have a genuine need for what Christ offers. When it comes to the wealthy who claim to be Christians, their wealth will condemn them, with one exception: When the wealthy decide to accept Christ as their Savior, they must be generous and willing to share with those without. Check 1st Timothy 6:17-18. The reason for that is: How can a rich person have love for the less fortunate without helping them? And there are more needy in the world than any one person’s money can ever eradicate. Does anyone truly understand what this last sentence means?

This command is and may always be the most difficult for the majority of people who claim to be genuine Christians to believe and obey. The goal in the Christian community is equality. Check 2nd Corinthians 8:13. To put it another way, how can we have our treasures (wealth) on earth, which always says, "More," and at the same time have treasures in heaven, which always says, "Give"? They will be in competition/conflict with each other, and the winner will always be the most tangible.

For that reason, Satan has a bonanza when it comes to convincing us that wealth is okay to have; he says, "Look at all the help wealthy Christians can give to many ‘christian’ causes. Therefore, the wealthier they become, the more help they can give." To our human nature, that is the most convincing argument of all his lies, which the principles of Scriptural love refute.

In ending, I am certain Satan, the king of all who are/do evil (nonbelievers) has many more truly deceptive schemes in which to trip us up than this post reveals or anyone can ever imagine. And I am sure those gimmicks are of a subtle sort, not able to be recognized for the lovely evils he diligently shrouds. Deception is his trademark. When people are being deceived, they will be the last, if ever, to know they are being deceived. Are you and I in that category?

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