Seems to me that many church folks give too much credit to Satan......like- "I'm under attack by the enemy".......or- "Watch out! The devil will gettcha. Many people don't realize that the devil can do NOTHING, without God allowing him to do it.
Years ago, I used to say, "A brand new Christian is particularly susceptible to Satan because he will attack them when they're rookie believers."
Then, Matthew Chapter 4 finally got my attention.......right after Jesus was baptized, (1). "Then Jesus was led up by the (Holy) Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."
(N.A.S.B., emphasis added).
If Almighty God would set up His Son to be tempted by Satan, why should any believer be spared?
I've been thinking about introducing this subject-matter for a while.....and some statements posted by Amanda recently in another thread sparked opening this discussion:
"Job lived before the cross, and many teach that the authority given to us in Christ is more than enough to fight the spiritual battle."
And - I certainly believe the devil deceives and through the deception, has power to kill, steal, and destroy. God permits it.
I completely agree with Amanda.
What are your thoughts??
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
The Apostle Paul called satan the god of this world. He carries a lot of power, and we should have a healthy respect for him. I am not saying to be afraid of satan. I don't believe Paul backed down from a spiritual battle. I do believe Paul knew where to go in times of trouble. I'm saying go to our God who is greater.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, that he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
We are called little children. Our God is faithful.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
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)
These are some verses that came to mind.
My mistake Paul never backed down from a spiritual battle. Sorry, my typing skills are bad.
I have always believed that way too many people have given him credit where it doesn't belong. He just wishes he was as smart as we make him out to be. So many things are in our own minds. James 1:14-15 says But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Here, we sin that many of our sins are on us. I do absolutely know we're in a battle of the outer realm but I also don't believe we give enough credit to the One who is in us.
Amanda, Mary O, and Tammy,
Excellent scripture references. Thank you.
And Mary O, there is nothing wrong with your typing skills.
Does God test us? Genesis 22:1a, " Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham,....." N.A.S.B.).
Why does God test His children?
Imagine that you are very wealthy, and you decide to have a NASCAR type race-car built so you can get involved in the sport.
After a while , and after signing your check with six figures on it, your new car is delivered. What a beauty! Sparkling, shiny , sleek and low........it looks like it's moving when it's standing still.
You wonder if it will win any races. Only one way to find out.......but wait a minute, this means putting it out on that dusty, dirty track.....with other cars, that might hit and scrape your beauty..........pedal to the metal - putting a lot of strain on the engine.......and tire wear.........but it is the only way to find out how your investment will do in a race.
Same way with a rookie Christian. The person answering the call of John 3:16 might look good, sound good, and maybe even smell good. But how will that new believer fare in the rat race of life? God will test (or allow to be tested) him/her out on the track.
Hebrews 12:1, " Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," ( N.A.S.B.).
And we know who also will be watching us - Revelation 12:10b, "...... for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night." (N.A.S.B.).
"And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." ( II Timothy 3:12, N.A.S.B.).
Grace and Peace.
Great topic to edify the body, bro. Thanks for presenting it.
Because of my upbringing and due to exposure to a lot of other cultures, I have more than the typical exposure to demonic activity. As a new believer, I had to quickly learn to submit everything to the revelation of God's word, because I found that there were many deceptions running around in my head. I highly recommend that everyone do that. Learn what God has to say about this topic - and make sure it is in context of what God's word is saying about the topic. There is nothing worse than a hodge podge of nonsense being fabricated from verses taken out of context.
To summarize your topic, Richard, and to clarify my conviction, let's look at the scripture in 1 John 4:4
"He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
The context there is that John is teaching the Church how to discern and prevent false doctrines from leading them into error; how to test the doctrines and test the spirits. This is not primarily about demonic possession, or dealing with demonic activity. However, it's a good point to keep in mind, when dealing with that topic.
I'm convinced that Satan's greatest effort is deception. It is his primary goal and I'm convinced that all of his work toward possession and oppression of people is also for that same purpose as well. As Mary O has demonstrated in her quote of 2 Cor 4:4. So, most of what we need to be concerned about (in regards to Satan) is false doctrine, false notions of God, false notions of the spirit realm, the soul, the afterlife and the nature of man. The cure for this danger of slipping into false belief is a healthy understanding of God's word and a vibrant prayer life which is rooted in truth.
That being said, there are things about which to beware, when dealing with the demonic realm. We dare not take this lightly. For instance:
"13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-15)
I know demons are real. I have encountered demon possessed people at various times over the years. Before I was a Christian, I had a friend who was possessed by a demon (I'm certain of it). Most animistic and pagan cultures have to deal with demons frequently. Their beliefs and their practices bring about demonic activity. Weak knowledge of God's and ungodly superstitions can bring also invite demonic activity.
Yet the answer to the concern, most of the time, the most powerful thing we can do ...is to trust in God, walk in the truth and live godly lives as the Word of God teaches us. When we fall short of that, we can open the door to demonic activity.
The good news for believers is that Jesus has also given us authority over demons:
"He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy" (Luke 1o:18-19)
"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; " (Mark 16:17)
"be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that may be able to withstand in the evil day" (Ephesians 6:10-13)
What are the things that give us power and authority of demons?
Truth, Righteousness, the Gospel, Faith, Salvation, Spirit-filled Prayer. (see Ephesians 6:10-20)
Satan wants to draw Christians away from the Lord and away from the Word of God. He will use many things to do that. False beliefs is one, false confidence is another. If he can get us away from Christ, then he can keep us from being effective witnesses to the world.
Excellent post Mr. Scribe,
Yes, I John 4:4 is one of my favorite verses.
And let me include: I John 5:18, " We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He (Christ) who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him." (N.A.S.B. parentheses added).
Seek, perfect summation of the world situation in your post: "So satan comes against us and God will allow it to test us and we live in a fallen world with men who are wicked. The angels spending the night in Lot's home were neither wicked nor being tempted by satan. It was men who wickedly sought to rape them."
And there is definitely a battle raging between good and evil in the heavenly realms. I believe this situation accounts for all the UFO sightings reported by so many people, including astronauts...........
I totally agree with you, Amanda regarding your statement on truth.
Truth brings us into alignment with God. Amen.
Grace and Peace to one and all.