Monthly Archives: May 2021

God’s Devil

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:12)

Satan (the name means “adversary”) appears in many forms in the human imagination. He has been depicted as a grotesque angelic being with a goat’s head and goat’s legs and hooves. The Satanic Temple in Detroit houses an idol by the name of Baphomet that represents their god, Satan. At the other extreme is “Hot Stuff,” a fun-loving comic book character that enjoys playing pranks on people. Either extreme makes Satan an imaginary figure that can easily be dismissed along with any other fairy tale character.

However, Satan is very real. Ask any Satanist. While you are at it, ask the Satanist if Jesus is real. So, why do they worship Satan, rather than Jesus? It is because they have fallen for Satan’s lie that he will overcome the kingdom of Christ. Satan has seduced them with the power he possesses.

Satan does have a lot of power; however, his power is nowhere near the power of God. For example, Satan is not omnipresent like God is. He can only be in one place at one time, which means that we cannot blame the devil for every sin we commit; he is not always around to tempt us. However, he does have millions of demons doing his dirty work for him, but they are limited in their power too. Satan cannot read our minds or our hearts like God can, but he and his demons can observe our actions and listen to what we say. When they see our weaknesses, they know how to attack us.

Satan cannot act on his own initiative. He needs permission from God to carry out his deeds. Reading the first two chapters of the Old Testament Book of Job makes this very clear. It appears that God holds a heavenly council where all His angels, good and bad, come before Him. The psalmist says, “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods” (Psalm 82:1). The Hebrew word translated “might” is ‘êl which means “god, god-like, mighty one.” This verse shows God standing among “the gods” and judging among them.[1] At the opening of Job’s saga, we find that Job lives in the land of Uz.[2] By God’s standards, Job is a righteous man that shuns evil. God blesses Job with wealth and a large family for whom Job intercedes before God just in case his children have fallen into sin.

The scene then shifts to heaven and God’s council, where all of God’s angels come before Him.[3] Scripture points out that Satan was among them. So God asks Satan to report, and Satan says he has been wandering up and down the earth (remember, he is not omnipresent). The Apostle Peter says that Satan wanders the earth like a ravenous wolf seeking whom he may devour.[4] God then asks Satan if he has taken notice of Job, and God brags on Job. (Would it not be great if God could brag about you?) So Satan points out that Job only worships God because God has blessed him with a good life, a large family, and much wealth. Then Satan suggests that God test Job by taking away all of his blessings. God gives Satan permission to remove all of Job’s blessings, but He prohibits Satan from touching Job’s body.

Satan attacks Job by taking away all of Job’s blessings, but Job remains faithful to God. Next, in Chapter Two, at the following council of God, God asks Satan for a report on Job. Satan, knowing that he failed, suggests that Job remains faithful only because he still has his health. So, God gives Satan permission to touch Job’s body, but he is not allowed to take Job’s life.

The point in all of this is that Satan cannot do anything without God’s consent. At the end of the saga, we learn that Job remained faithful to God, and God restored all that Job lost and much more.[5]

Jesus demonstrated His authority over Satan every time He cast out demons. Luke records one of the most dramatic accounts of a man of the Gadarenes that was possessed by a “legion” of demons.[6] In this account, the demons recognized Jesus from a distance and started crying out begging Jesus not to send them to the abyss (the bottomless pit) before their time. They begged Jesus’ permission to go into a herd of hogs instead, and Jesus gave them permission.

On another occasion, Jesus informed Peter that Satan asked permission to sift him as wheat.[7] At the same time, Jesus assured Peter that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. Satan cannot do anything unless God gives him permission.

Satan is real. Satan has a lot of power. Satan can cause us a lot of misery. However, Satan is God’s Devil, and God has him on a short leash – but not for long. Soon, God will unleash Satan to terrorize the entire world, but His own He will spare from the Tribulation to come. For now, the only defense we have against Satan is to remain in the shadow of the Almighty. He hears us when we call out to Him. “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about” (Psalm 17:7-9)

If you are reading this and do not have the assurance of God’s protection on you, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  I realize this concept may be foreign to most of my readers, but the Bible, when carefully studied does not deny the existence of other gods, but rather it clearly points out that they are “no gods” at all. In other words, even though they do exist and exercise power over humans, they do not approach the power of Yahweh, the God who created them. For an in-depth study on this topic, I recommend Michael S. Heiser’s book, The Unseen Realm.

[2]  Job 1:1

[3]  Job 1:6-12

[4]  1 Peter 5:8

[5]  Job 42:12-17

[6]  Luke 8:26-39

[7]  Luke 22:31-34

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Son Against Father

The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:53)

I celebrated my 71st year of life this past week, and I must admit that it was the worst birthday of my life. It ended with a decision I have mulled over for many years, but only now have I decided to follow through with it. I decided to sever communications between my sons and myself in order to (hopefully) relieve myself of the heartache of strained relationships and the knowledge that my sons are lost and, unless the Lord intervenes, bound for eternal damnation.

Some may criticize my decision and think of me weak as both a father and a Christian for not persevering in prayer for my lost sons. Those that think that may be right; however, I would ask that you not be too quick to judge without knowing that with which I have contended for over 25 years. This was not a snap decision done in a moment of anger, but one that has been carefully weighed over many years. It should also be understood that I am not closed to the possibility of reconciliation later on, if the Lord delays His coming. I have not “disowned” my sons. How could I? They carry my DNA. I have only decided to break off any further contact with them and turn them over to the Lord and let Him deal with them.

I do not want to go into detail as to what brought this to a head. Basically it had to do with a post I made on Facebook with which they vehemently disagreed. They both seized the opportunity to berate, disrespect, and humiliate me on social media. It is not the first time this has occurred, but in past times the offense was easily overlooked considering the source. Not this time.

In the process of making my decision, I remembered our Lord’s account of the Prodigal Son[1] who disrespected his father and separated himself from him. It occurred to me that the father did not chase after the son, but rather waited patiently for the son to “come to himself” and return of his own volition. That is what I have decided to do.

I know many Christian parents these days are experiencing the same thing. We are living in the “last days” as we wait for Jesus’ return to take us home. Jesus predicted this would happen. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:51-53). Certainly, many can relate.

Mark records Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse like this: “Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:12-13, emphasis mine). Of course, Jesus referred to the time of Tribulation, but what we see now is the beginning of these things.

The Apostle Paul predicted the general character of people in the last days. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, [without self-control], fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7, emphasis mine). Those characteristics that I emphasized describe my sons. That last sentence especially fits them to a tee. My oldest son graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters Degree in Family Counseling, and later declared himself to be an atheist. My youngest son dropped out of high school but is self-educated; he is actually highly intelligent, and he considers himself quite the intellectual. Both of them consider me a rube for taking the Bible seriously and for my faith in God. Although I never push religion on them, they know where I stand and they resent that I will not move from my opinions. Truthfully, I am very flexible in my opinions, but God’s Word is not my opinion, and that is what they do not seem to understand.

As I said, I am not alone in this dilemma – torn between the love of God and the love of children – but I decided long ago to heed the words of Jesus. “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:36-39, emphasis mine). Personally, I prefer to be worthy of Jesus even if it means losing my sons. Sadly, that includes grandchildren too.

The time is short. Jesus may come for His Church – His Bride – at any moment. There is no time or place for divided loyalties. I choose Christ!

Notes:


[1]  Luke 15:11-24

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