~ By James Fire
Due to the length of this article, I’ve divided it into two sections (the point at which I divided it was a completely arbitrary decision).
SECTION ONE .
It is my expressed desire for Christians who are aware of the need for genuine, biblically-based spiritual warfare to get a copy of this book as it is the finest I’ve seen in our contemporary age.
For the moment, let us pause to consider what is ‘spiritual warfare’?
There are many good answers to this question; here is mine:
Spiritual warfare is the contention between the Kingdom of GOD and the kingdom of darkness; the point of contention is that of human souls. GOD desires to see us redeemed; Satan desires to see us held fast under his spiritual deception and ultimately the condemnation of GOD’s Holy Judgment.
It is a war, not over land or resources, or domination of belligerent human powers over the weak by these oppressors who seek to expand their ideologies. It is a war against unholiness, unrighteousness, a war against evil and everything it stands for. Ultimately it is GOD’s War against Satan in the rescuing of humanity that by Adam’s fall was brought under ‘new management’ with Satan, instead of the first Adam, as ruler over this world.
It is by the last Adam, Christ Himself (1 COR 15:45-49), , that proper rule over this world is secured and restored.
Thus the preaching of the Gospel is a part of this spiritual warfare, as is intercessory prayer, deliverance from demonic influences of various kinds, and personal holiness because Satan opposes all of these and more: the very truth of GOD’s Word! Proving the veracity of the Scriptures which is apologetics, and discipling the saints are a part of this!
Declaration of prophecy and the arrival of His kingdom on planet Earth to rule from the national capital of Israel, Jerusalem, is included, therefore standing with Israel, and praying for this nation is also part of spiritual warfare.
I think it’s vital that everyone who has a passion for all of the above to read this book. I fear in my zeal to give people a glimpse into this ‘Reader’s Digest’ version, that once they read through this series of articles, they will feel content that they have the basic idea and principles, and not bother to get the book.
Please, by all means, get the book (purchase your copy here)!
So, I will summarize the next couple of chapters and then give a very broad overview for the rest of this book. I prayerfully hope that I will give everyone enough of a taste for this treatment that they’ll ‘be hooked’ and get a copy for their own careful study. The days ahead will require of every true child of GOD, a necessary understanding and ability to implement the exercises and wisdom in this work.
So with that said, on to the next chapter. . .
WAR of the AGES: from Chapter Seven
SATAN In The GOSPELS
GOD took on flesh when Jesus was born and tabernacled with us [JOHN 1:14; the word for “dwelt” refers to ‘tabernacle’ as GOD did in EXODUS and expressed elsewhere such as 1 KINGS 6:13] – and the entirety of history shifted its focus on the events chronicled in the four Gospels – and the adversary intensified his activities: he would do everything to stop Christ as the battle lines were drawn, but he was worried!
He remembered the prophecy about his head being crushed by the Coming One [The Crusade That Is Christmas] – Who became a babe to a dirt-poor family and born in an animal’s water trough.
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Jesus declared Who His real Father is! At His baptism in the Jordan River, the Father spoke His approval, the Spirit descended upon Him and now there could be no doubt. Jesus knew exactly Who He was – and so did Satan! [One could only feel the foundations of the world start to tremble as the showdown of the ages was imminent!]
The die was cast – the eternal plan for redemption was now unfolding! This is the One Who was to crush his head! Satan would pull out all the stops to derail Him!
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” 9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 “For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11 “and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'” 13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
This familiar pattern is something we all have experienced, but Jesus experienced it first and left us a proper example of spiritual warfare! GOD intends to build character, produce fruit, and to stamp Christ-likeness into us and allows wilderness times when there are no answers, no comforts, no strength available to us except His love, His strength and His Word. During times of weakness and vulnerabilities in the wilderness, Satan attempts to make us fall, just as he attempted with Jesus – – and failed!
LUST of FLESH, of EYES and the PRIDE of LIFE
1 JOHN 2:15-16
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.
These are satanic snares intent on making us fall: worldly, ungodly traps [to prevent our spiritual advancement].
FEED YOUR FLESH!
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’
Satan admonished Jesus to “….command these stones…”
Eating isn’t a sin, but Jesus here was fasting – despite Satan’s temptation, He would continue to do so. And He would trust His Father to meet His provision and not resort to His own power to solve His hunger. Likewise we must trust and obey GOD and seek His counsel first and foremost. Jesus responds not with power, but with the Word!
[Note from James: Not many of us can appreciate what happens when one goes on a 40 day fast. After a few days of not eating, the digestion system will begin to shut down. In one week it will be, and it will stay shut down until food is introduced, but at this time, hunger pains cease to occur. Up until day 40, one will not experience the hunger drive, but right around the 40 day mark one will begin to get hungry again (MATT 4:2); this is the body’s ‘last call’ for food before it will begin to feed off of itself, because its at the point of desperate starvation. This is where our LORD was when Satan came to tempt Him. This puts this temptation in a totally different light. Jesus wasn’t merely hungry, He was desperate for food, and yet His devotion to GOD the Father was and is greater than meeting His physical needs. Job said as much himself (JOB 23:12).]
LUST Of EYES
5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
“…all these kingdoms I will give to You…”
These kingdoms were available for Satan’s offering for he had held the lease ever since Adam and Eve sinned, essentially, ‘handing him the keys to the planet’ – and it remains with him (2 COR 4:4) until the One Who purchased it with His own blood returns to claim His own!
Jesus again responds not with power but with the Word of GOD!
PRIDE of LIFE
“…cast yourself down, for it is written…”
9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 “For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11 “and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'”
Satan here appeals to a presumed pride and coaxes Christ to demonstrate His power and prove Who He is before all Israel and even quotes Scripture [out of context] to support his appeal.
Our enemy knows the Word, better than most pastors! He can use the Word, twist it and attack the Christian with condemnation and guilt from its pages.
An example: “the unforgiveable [unpardonable] sin” – what young, vulnerable Christian hasn’t been struck with this fear, convinced that they’ve committed it?
Counter these attacks by rightly dividing the Word, just as Jesus did, “It is written…”.
No matter the situation, temptation or struggle, learn to respond w/ the Word of GOD which is sufficient for all things: Are you tempted? Read the Gospels and epistles. Facing decisions? Go to Proverbs. Being tested, wounded, confused? Get into Psalms.
And here’s a tip: Read the Word OUTLOUD – this will disallow the whispering voices of condemnation and confusion [and distraction] from being heard.
Jesus could have used His power to take care of Satan. He didn’t; He was our perfect role model by confronting and defeating him through the Word. Something we can do too!
[Note from James: and remember, when using the Word to confront Satan, the power resided in the obedience of the LORD to the Father, and not just in the quoting of Scripture alone. The power comes when the Word written is the Word obeyed. As we stand on the Word and submit humbly to its authority, Satan cannot succeed in his temptations in luring us into sin.]
Yet the enemy returned “…after a season…” to attack Jesus again – and he will likewise with us, His followers!
Even in times of GOD-appointed rest – keep your hand on the Sword of the Spirit.
SATAN the WORD STEALER
And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Satan fears the ‘Word-soaked’ believer and so he does everything conceivable to steal from the Christian during sermons, Bible studies, etc. and dreads saints who disciple the next generation [for your consideration, here is such a Discipleship series (101, 102).].
Great strides in minimizing the value of the Word of GOD is evidenced today in Satan’s successful efforts: questionable translations of the Bible, pop-psychology books, Power-Point verses that church goers will read and leave their Bibles at home.
The soil of our hearts are not prepared to receive the Word, and so as a result, it’s easily snatched by the enemy. The LORD needs to plow our hearts and make us prepared to receive the seed of the Word.
It’s vital in a medicinal-saturated, distraction-inspiring society to cut out deliberate blocks of time to bury the mind and the heart in the Word of GOD. If it wasn’t such a threat to the enemy, where would be no reason for him to steal it. He knows it has power to tear apart the lies and deception upon which his kingdom is built.
SATAN USES PEOPLE
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
His is crafty enough to use even brothers and sisters in Christ as his unwitting mouthpieces – who, humanly speaking mean good for us, but underlying the words they speak, is the subtle discouragements, distractions, doubts and fears that Satan intends to thwart us. Guard the heart and be sensitive to this.
SATAN Is A BINDER
11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound–think of it–for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”
“…spirit of infirmity.” – the work of Satan is not merely in the demonization of people, but in binding them with sickness, causing suffering, breaking relationships – anything that will hinder them and prevent advancement.
Just as flies feed off of corruption and death, likewise does Beelzebub (“the lord of the flies”) feed off of such. Jesus came to deliver us from this, shatter the chains, heal our hearts and free us from these ‘spiritual vampires.’
SATAN Is A SIFTER
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
As with Peter, the enemy seeks to sift us, find weaknesses and exploit that knowledge in a battle plan of attack, using our own pride, arrogance, self-confidence and weaknesses against us. Yet he is ever and always on a leash, kept in heel by GOD, allowing him to go only so far in our lives. Once we make it through the trial we are made the stronger, the wiser and with a treasure house of experiences, grace and healing to offer others who are passing through the valley of the shadow of death (2 COR 1:3-4; PSALM 23:4).
Remember, as with Peter, the LORD has prayed for you – you will make it through this!
[Note from James: No sword will know the victory in battle unless it’s tempered in the forge; so if you find yourself in the midst of fiery trials, take heart! The LORD has plans to use you as a weapon both effective and valiant against the enemy by the power of His might!]
26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”
“Possession…deliverance” and “exorcism” all have certain ‘baggage’ that goes with them. Greg has settled on a term, ‘demon extraction’ to best describe what transpires when a demonic spirit indwells a human being. This would make us members of the D.E.A. = the Demon Extraction Agency!
[Note from James: I was given a coffee mug from Greg, with this very acronym on it. I see it and smile for that gift, but it’s also a sobering reminder of the invisible reality that we don’t often recognize, much less deal with!].
To be demonized doesn’t mean full possession but rather a full range of influences – from mild oppression (headaches, nausea, confusion) or more severe attachment (usually through opening a door to sin) in which a person begins to lose some bodily functions, mental capacities, emotional restraints, even losing time, to the very rare case of ‘perfect possession’ where a person’s will is nearly eradicated, buried and completely decimated by a demon.
Satan has only possessed one person – Judas Iscariot. It will happen once more when the anti-Christ appears.
No matter what range of demonization, it takes the power of Jesus name and His blood to bring freedom.
Greg relates an incident in which a young man, named “Billy” was demonized. He went to his home and found him outside at 11 p.m.; the night felt “charged with evil”. Greg dismissed the two youths who called Greg to witness this near-total takeover of Billy, but Peter (an adult who was trained at Greg’s classes on spiritual warfare, showed up and assisted. Reciting and reading Scripture and praying, Billy who was also under the influence of drugs, began to weaken. They were able to subdue him, escort him into his house and put him to bed. Previously this same young man had picked up and thrown a full-size police officer half way across the street.
LESSONS From The BATTLE
1) DON’T engage a demonized person to attempt extraction if they are under the influence of drugs and, or alcohol – unless specifically commanded by the Holy Spirit to do so.
2) If engaged in such a situation (as above) you didn’t expect, your goal, unless GOD tells you differently, should be containment. Under the influences of substances the person’s will may have been surrendered to the demon. If the person’s will cannot be engaged, it will be very difficult to get them [the demon spirits] to leave since they were given a legal right to be there.
3) Don’t be caught off guard if there is some physical engagement; try to avoid it but if you should find yourself injured in some form, don’t lose heart. Paul was one of the greatest apostles of the church, yet that didn’t always shield him from harm. Know that if you are covered in prayer and the blood of Jesus, nothing can happen that isn’t in GOD’s ultimate control.
SECTION TWO .
SATAN From ACTS To REVELATION
Satan can fill your heart:
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
Ananias and his wife were probably believers or at least attached themselves to the Christian community. But having lied about donating a certain amount of money they gave to GOD, they were struck dead.
Satan filled Ananias’ heart – and can fill our hearts with ungodly things: greed, like Ananias or bitterness, rage, revenge, gossip, arrogance, or pride. Anything we seek to keep concealed from the Holy Spirit, Satan will feed on and grow until in our older years as a Christian, we might find ourselves bitter, poisoned, ugly and miserable, so that it takes no one less than Jesus Himself to flush us clean.
[Note from James: This is why it’s vital to confess ‘hidden’ sins (nothing is ever really hidden from the LORD) to our Father and seek forgiveness through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ. Understand that the enemy can fire fiery darts at us and afflict us with such thoughts that will lead to sin if we don’t counter them with the shield of faith and the Sword of the Spirit.
[Also, there is a difference between fiery darts fired into our minds and hearts and a demonic spirit entering there. Every unconfessed sin, every fiery dart that finds its way into us reveals a ‘chink’ in our spiritual armor and must be attended to so that our armor is whole and invulnerable, by “putting on the LORD Jesus Christ and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh to fulfill its lusts (ROM 13:14). If these things are not attended to, it could very well lead to demonic influences that will destroy the Christian’s witness and life here on Earth].
SATAN Has JURISDICTION Over UNBELIEVERS
17 ‘I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
We can at times get angry and frustrated with unbelievers but we must remember that they are in darkness. Due to the fact that they commit themselves to sin, they are captive to Satan: his marionettes, that parrot satanically inspired catch phrases: “All Christians are hypocrites”, “All paths lead to God”, “Jesus said, Judge not!”, “The Bible is full of contradictions”, and so on.
Non-Christians in the presence of a Christian who speaks the Name of Jesus or carries a Bible will often become agitated or even angry because the Puppet Master Satan is pulling their strings. And these non-Christians can’t break these strings and remain his slaves: blind, and incapable of anything holy – only sinful.
Let’s have some compassion and pray for them; share the Gospel and stay on point despite how they will attempt to distract or derail you. We are here to proclaim, not to explain [though if anyone asks us for the reason of our hope, we are to be ready with answers and to do so meekly and respectfully (1 PET 3:15)].
DOMINION OVER SATAN
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan and indeed has the dominion over him; because we are His body, we also have dominion to “crush the head of the serpent”. The Greek word for crush used here is syntribo – to crush completely, to shatter, to break in pieces, broken to shivers. We’re to be on the offensive – not the defensive, and as we are victors in Christ, don’t relent until the promise is secured personally.
1 CORINTHIANS 5:4-5
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 TIMOTHY 1:18-20
18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
When those who are causing spiritual damage to themselves, to others and the church are ‘turned over’ – discontinued fellowship and prayer on their behalf as a covering and to allow them a good thrashing by the enemy until they come to their senses. However, such action is rare in its implementation and for good reason: the apostle Paul rarely did this. How much less then should any of us? The intent by Paul was that the person might be redeemed, not ruined.
SATAN As An ANGEL Of LIGHT
2 CORINTHIANS 11:13-15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
In all history, now is the crucial time to get hold of Scripture; the need for it is clearer in the light of rank deception and lies of the occult and New Age running rampant today. Satan loves the portrayal of a medieval devil complete with horns, tail and pitchfork – it feeds into the cynicism of modern man who dismisses such silliness.
Satan who once was a beautiful cherub and still might retain this beauty – nonetheless transforms himself, disguises himself as an angel of light. He likewise enables his human messengers to do so as well.
Satan looks however people want him to – a master of disguises that will appear attractive to lure people into such an onslaught of lies, deceptions and delusions that have come upon the church in this last hour – yoga, contemplative prayer, [among a myriad of other transcendent mysticism, much of which is under the guise of ‘science-so called’].
In the 80’s the concept of spiritual warfare in a movement that equipped the church (some good, some way off base, some downright silly), the idea that we were in a battle however, read and present, and out essential need to be ready was there!
Charismania, mega-churches, seeker-sensitive movements all replaced this and there were those who knew it was wrong, wanted something authentic – and the Emergent Church (now referred to as ‘Progressive’; ECM) Movement was born; spiritual warfare was then reduced to a joke and plastic swords for kids.
Two major movements: The ECM and Supernatural ‘Mega-Charismania’ came into view.
In that day, Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis [this link will bring you to a biblical critique of Bell’s work of heterodoxy] became a “must read’ for every Youth Pastor in America; it was a slickly written, feel good book that subversively and systematically tore down faith in the Scriptures as GOD’s Word – something only seen by the discerning that Satan came as an angel of light along with his ministers and ‘blessed the church’ with this leaven. See the following TTUF article: BEWARE of the LEAVEN!.
See the following article in response to R. Bell’s heretical book, Love Wins, entitled “Lost Love“.
Bell’s Nooma series was thoroughly researched and findings documented and sent out as an alarm to the church by this author (G.R.) and the responses were ungodly, vicious and ugly. ECM authors turned out dozens of books – weak on Scripture, strong on feeling-based Christianity, mystic experiences and a one-world mentality.
This movement swallowed the entire generation of youth that were never taught the Scriptures, that there is a real Satan and a real war!
Pastors, elders and parents were too busy involved in their mega-churches to notice.
They lost the next generation.
Complete with angel’s feathers, gemstones and gold dust manifesting out of thin air, this movement along with ‘holy laughter’ are seen by biblical Christians as preposterous, revolting and offensive. Yet without discernment the American church accepts these things as from GOD, thus opening themselves up to even deeper and darker deception kindred to what the anti-Christ will display [2 THESS 2:19]. Never believe the supernatural for it’s own sake (1 JOHN 4:1)!
SATAN Is A BUFFETER
2 CORINTHIANS 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
To ‘buffet’ in the sense of the Greek word used here is kolaphizo – “to strike with the fist”. The LORD allowed the enemy, but limited him as well, in afflicting Paul for the purpose of keeping potential pride in check (due to the abundance of revelation given to him). The solution, rather than taking the thorn away, was to depend wholly upon the grace of GOD (ROM 8:28).
Spiritual attacks may be permitted, and while the enemy’s intent is to destroy, GOD will “mean it for good”. These afflictions will steel us as we resort to GOD’s grace and will lose their power to devastate us!
SATAN HINDERS GOD’s WORK
Engaging in real ministry will provoke the enemy and thus spiritual warfare ensues. Be prepared in the work of the Gospel – you’ll face opposition at all levels. Being entrusted with the most life-changing, powerful message in all eternity – its potential to pull millions of Satan’s slaves out of his prison and into the kingdom of GOD is abundant!
1 THESSALONIANS 2:18
Therefore we wanted to come to you–even I, Paul, time and again–but Satan hindered us.
“…hindered…” means “to cut off the way”; it’s a demonic detour – cutting off our way to finances, and bringing about gossip, discouragement, etc. that would bring us to a grinding halt. If Paul could be hindered, how much more ourselves! Stay armored, expect conflict, anticipate temptations, watch out for deception and disillusionment.
The COMING Of ANTICHRIST
2 THESSALONIANS 2:7,10
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
The Holy Spirit restrains lawlessness no less than the lawless one who will soon take the center stage in this world, accompanied by the lying signs and wonders (‘pseudo-signs’ as in false, imitation).
The influence of the Holy Spirit seems to be diminishing as lawlessness is perceivably increasing as GOD is increasingly ‘uninvited’ in various aspects of our society.
[Note from James: Where ever JESUS is worshiped as LORD, that is a holy stronghold against the enemy. It’s because of the fact that Jesus is worshiped less and less – even in our churches as the congregants go after ‘another Jesus’ and ‘another gospel’ (2 COR 11:4) that Satan is able to take advantage of the spiritual vacuum left behind, which he himself orchestrated. This has been a ploy of the enemy throughout the ages: subtlety and slowly, wean people off of the Word and prayer, evangelism and discipleship; bring them to a place of agnosticism, skepticism, atheism and in that emptiness, people will begin to crave the spiritual once more, and that’s when the enemy will slip in the various diabolical forms of spiritualism that leads them to abominations and destruction with little or no resistance because the church has lost its ‘spiritual saltiness’ and unable to stave off the corruption and ruin by Satan’s wiles].
In this time of day, the church needs to be ever more diligent in discerning truth from falsehoods and “handle the Word of Life” consistently, diligently, so that any false doctrine that seeks entrance will be identified and rejected immediately [see the link above, Beware Of The Leaven].
SATAN TURNS The PEOPLE ASIDE
1 TIMOTHY 5:15
For some have already turned aside after Satan.
Sin, discouragement, bitterness can be spiritually cripple us, literally “turned aside, dislocated limb”. Diligence is required so that the enemy cannot surprise us in a sneak attack and take us out.
The DEPTHS of SATAN
But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
“Depths” or bathos in the Greek means, “profundity or extent, poverty [in the] extreme. These are the Satanic afflictions that assail us when we allow temptations to follow Satan’s ways and sin goes unchecked. He steals from us, so we end up in poverty. He takes us to dark places we never thought we’d ever go to – in the extreme. We become horribly familiar with ‘the depths of Satan” and depravity, thus become polluted, corrupted by it. Drugs, alcohol, porn addiction are prime tools and examples of just some of those ‘depths’.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Note the severity of the LORD’s judgment here! He also refers to ‘Jezebel’ – a well-known, nefarious person in the Old Testament (1 KINGS 16th Ch. – 2 KINGS 9th Ch.) – perhaps ‘nick-naming’ this unnamed woman in the church of Thyatira.
Beware of labeling people as having ‘the Jezebel spirit’ or ‘the Ahab spirit’ for that matter in a glib fashion. The essential characteristics of both types is not in personality as much as it is in practice: spiritual as well as sexual adultery – obviously both adamantly opposed in the counsel of Scripture!
The GREAT DRAGON
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
A reading of Revelation combined with Daniel and Zechariah will grant a broad, encompassing understanding of the last days and certainly elements of spiritual warfare. The Dragon – drakon “a fabulous kind of serpent, fascinator”.
As early as the garden of Eden we see the serpent as a fascinator, a mesmerizer, a deceiver that deceives the whole world. At one point (if not already) he will lose access to the heaven and be cast into the Earth and have great wrath because he knows that his time is short!
Knowing his inevitable defeat, Satan will seek to ruin the Earth and its population (the idea being, if he can’t have it, NO ONE will!) – ‘a scorched Earth policy’ just as with Hitler’s defeat and his wanton destruction of his homeland.
FROM The FRONT LINES: INTERUPTIONS
I was on the last night of a three-day outreach at a church. It was a youth rally where I was sharing my testimony. The Spirit of GOD was very present, and the church had nearly three hundred who had come to hear. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit in my testimony, and as always, it confirmed to me the word that they would “overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony” (REV 12:11). Satan hates it when “the redeemed of the LORD say so”.
I gave the altar call and the altar was quickly packed with kids who had come down to receive Jesus. I was about to lead them in prayer when from halfway in the back of the church came a terrible demonic scream, and I watched someone fall out of their seat and writhe on the floor in a horrible demonic takeover.
Human compassion would have dictated that I go and pray to see this prisoner freed.
But GOD stopped me before I did, and instead I said, “Can the elders please help get this person to the prayer room and deal with this?” They acted immediately.
I looked and saw all these kids with looks of abject fear on their faces. “Don’t pay attention to that!” I admonished. “It’s a distraction meant to keep you from Jesus tonight. Don’t fear demons. They fear Jesus!”
We proceeded from there to lead them all to the Cross and to eternal life. Satan is always trying to disrupt the work of the Kingdom and of salvation. He hates the true Gospel, and he hates when people come to Jesus. Stand your ground, and never let the enemy steal people away from salvation through fear!
We have come to the conclusion of Chapter 8 of WAR of the AGES.
From Chapter 9 and going forward, we will provide only a cursory overview of the remainder of this work by Dr. Gregory Reid and at it’s conclusion, LORD willing, conduct an interview with the author – an interview that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time!