Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Sun, Jul 19, 2009
OF THE REORGANIZED CHURCH OF GOD
Vol. 1 No. 1 “Proclaiming Good News to the World” August 2009
Do You Know Who the Enemy Really Is?
By Michael W. StevensonHERE is always a need for people to be cautious when they are doing anything because there is always an enemy that is roaring like a lion and with that enemy who is out and roaring like a lion, we then need to be on the watch.
Most people simply go about each day and they do not realize that there is a real enemy—an enemy which is really indeed unseen and which is really indeed prowling each and every home, each and every person and each and every family.
A real person may see a lion and they may not find anything about the lion to be too concerned with. Yet, the lion is laying in wait for its prey—laying there waiting for the right opportunity to catch their food and to take it within its powerful jaws and to devour it. The same is true with the hidden unseen enemy in which I am speaking of.
The enemy that lays in wait is laying in wait for the right opportunity to take his prey and devour his prey, eating his prey in his powerful mouth and not letting go—but keeping his prey to himself.
Just as the lion looks for every opportunity to devour his prey, so does the enemy that is unseen—for he is looking for any opportunity to sneek in and to catch his prey and to devour his prey, ripping apart families, ripping apart lives, destroying those who lay unprepared for the attack.
In this world in which we live today, it is all too easy to be caught off guard by television, radio, music, and even in our own work situations and many other areas of life which are all geared toward getting us caught off guard.
But, the Bible helps us to not be caught off guard—it helps us so that we can face the day and be prepared to face the enemy just as those who live among lions in Africa.
Those who know how to be prepared in Africa for when the lion is ready to attack know the dangers and they know what to watch out for.
We must also do the same in our own lives—watching each day and knowing the signs to watch out for because if we don’t, the enemy will sneak in and he will have the opportunity right there to overtake us and devour us.
Recognize the Enemy
Peter had compared Satan to that of a lion who is seeking whomever he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). Peter’s own contemporaries knew what he had meant, as there were wild lions within Palestine during that time.
But, most of us in our day have been cut off from the land and from nature. We do not know what it is like to live around lions. Unless we daily are around lions and are able to observe them, then we can’t even imagine what it is like to be around a lion. Paul had said that he was not ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). But, what about us? Do we know what devices Satan will use to try to come in and devour us? We need to be cautious and we need to pay attention and know what those are.
Perhaps you have often heard that you need to “know your enemy.” When you know who the enemy is, then it is much easier for you to be able to defeat him. We need to know how the enemy, which in this case is Satan, is operating so that we can be on guard all the time against him.
Here are some ways which I would like to discuss—ways that will help us to be ready for him. If we will recognize these ways, then we will be able to be better prepared against him coming in and taking over.
These are key areas which I believe will help us all in our war with the enemy—for yes, it is a real war that we are fighting against Satan.
The Enemy Camouflages Himself
Lions are a very awesome creature that is also camouflaged. They are able to blend in just perfectly with the brush around them. Their eyes are amber and they have wonderful bodies which are golden. Soldiers also use a similar technique in battle—they dress according to what the surrounding area is like. This helps to hide them when their enemies come against them.
Is it then any wonder that even Satan himself will often go this route in the warfare? Satan is perfectly camouflaged. He will blend himself in with the surroundings, making it sound like the teachings are in harmony with what God has given us—but a closer inspection will prove that what is really going on is Satan is hiding in wait to trap us.
One might think that if all the various churches meet on Sunday, then they cannot possibly be wrong because who can be wrong if so many meet on a Sunday?
Then there are also those who think that because some have more books other than the Bible, then it must be of God—especially if they say they are led by prophets who receive from God. But, closer inspection further reveals that Satan is actually behind their traps and that he is using those things to trap the innocent.
We get television. For the most part, television has become a tool used by Satan to get to us. We find so much violence, sex, and other areas which are used as an entrapment that serves to only lead us off the right path and onto the path that will allow Satan to easily get to us.
One such area too that allows Satan the perfect opportunity is for us to believe that he doesn’t exist. This way of thinking often leads us into a path that is more and more easily distracting us from the truth.
To believe that Satan does not exist opens us up to his attacks and allows us to become scoffers at the idea that Satan will do just about anything to lead us astray. Why? It is because Satan wants to convince us in any form that it is good to not be kept on the right path.
By believing that he does not exist allows Satan to roam more freely in our lives, causing damage and destruction and to keep us off the path that God would have us on.
As I have repeatedly warned, there is a true cause for each effect and we need to remember that we have a cause that come from not believing that Satan exists. There is a cause that comes from the various evils. As we see from history, evil has caused a wide range of effects which has proven destruction to even whole civilizations. Take for example if you will, Sodom and Gomorrah and how the sins of gay/lesbian and other adulterous influences have resulted in the destruction of the two cities. We can then see that the evil resulted in the two cities being burned. No doubt this can and will be repeated as we get further and further into the same “concepts” of living.
Genesis 1:2 tells of a time before Adam when the world did not have any form and was void. Did God bungle the job of making this earth? No he didn’t. God is not the one who causes confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). So then, what happened that put the world into this state of evil that it is now on? You can find in your own Bible by reading Ezekiel 28:12-17. It is plain that the evils of this world resulted because of Lucifer falling due to his pride.
It should be pointed out that even for us, pride can cause us to fall. Lucifer had sought to take to himself the position of authority in heaven and he was overcome by the pride that we refer to as the “pride” of lions. He wanted to take everything over. He wanted to become the one who was in God’s position as the supreme Law giver.
Pride comes before the fall comes (Proverbs 16:18). Satan apparently really believed that he could take God off the throne and that he could take everything over and put himself on the pedestal. With all God’s talk about serving and caring for everyone else, maybe Satan had reasoned that the Ancient of Days was soft and senile and would be an easy pushover for him to take God out of the picture.
Perhaps, before this rebellion, there had not been a reason for God to be angry. But Satan had also learned a lesson. He learned that El Shaddai, the Almighty God would thus blast him back to earth (Luke 10:18) and that he did not stand a chance to remove God from the throne of the universe! Before Lucifer rebelled, there’s no mention that Satan had a fear of God. But since the rebellion, Satan and all of his demons are now living in real fear and are trembling before God (James 2:19).
Satan is now here upon the earth and he knows that his time is growing shorter and shorter with each day (Rev. 12:12).
Despite his very camouflage appearance, Satan is a real being who is actively seeking to lead people astray and he does not care how he goes about leading us astray. Don’t be deceived. Satan is indeed alive and is well on earth now.
Lions Might Look Cuddly
The very expressions on their faces may make them look as though they are innocent and loveable creatures that would not hurt anyone or anything, but looks can also be very deceiving.
Often times just looking at a lion’s face, they may look like they are cuddly and sweet and that they are playful. But the truth is—they are far from being cuddly and sweet!
Realize that lions cannot be trusted. You might have read of stories of people who have owned lions that have found that they do turn on humans. Some people who have visited animal sanctuaries in Africa have opened their windows and went to reach out and lost their arms. Lions are not as friendly as they appear.
Lion handlers know that working with lions is a very risky job and a situation that they need to be cautious of. At any moment the animal can turn on the handler and attack the handler.
Likewise, Satan doesn’t always look evil and ferocious—in fact, he may even look really friendly. But, his looks can also be deceiving. Remember that Satan and his demons often can palm themselves off to be “angels of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) and we have seen this from time to time within the walls of some “churches” that make themselves look so good.
A church I used to be affiliated with has been led off course because they have believed Satan’s lies as Satan deceived by his appearance to their leader as an angel of light in the form of God and Jesus Christ. Thus, we need to be very cautious when we are approached by “angels of light” so that we are not led off course.
Satan enjoys his part of the brush—this world—because it makes him look rather attractive and appealing. Then of course, the world—its cares, entertainments, persuits and all of its pleasures are all put here in front of us to lure us into the jaws of Satan. They might look good from the outside, they might look enjoyable, but in reality, they are designed to keep us from following God and following the plans that God has actually outlined for his ultimate creation—mankind!
With Satan, beneath that cuddly and innocent look, there actually exists a beast which is ready to bite and snatch us at any moment without us even knowing or realizing it. Satan wants us to snuggle close to his lair so that he can catch us off guard and then pow—he has us!
Lions actually have their own territory and they live and hunt within this area that they have as their territory. A prideful lion will roam to and from through the area looking for pry.
Satan is also like this. He has his territory—the world—with which he goes to and from looking for anyone that he can devour. This is his ground. The planet earth is his territory and he will go anywhere he can to look for anyone he can to destroy and he does not care who it is—to him, all people are easy prey. Just as lions will hunt in packs, so also Satan loves to hunt with his demons, seeking what suffering they can bring out upon whoever they can (Mark 5:1-13, Jude 13).
Remember that the Bible likens the governments of this world to beasts (Daniel 7:17). Just as a lion is referred to as the “king of the beasts,” so Satan is able to influence and lead, from within the limits that God will allow, all human governments. He is able to raise to the ruler’s chair the ones that he desires. The devil, as “king of the beasts,” can play national governments just as puppets are played by man.
This world’s ideologies and philosophies all show to us a very satanic influence upon the world. Cutthroat competition in the markets of the world, the struggle to “get while the getting is good,” national and individual jealousies and rivalries—all of these things stem from Satan, the king of the beasts. To put it in another clear way, the Bible tells us that Satan is the “god of this world” and so it is not surprising to see that Satan is ruling like he is (2 Cor. 4:4).
Lions Love the Darkness
It is often easier to get prey during the cloak of darkness. There is a reason for this—for the most part, daylight hunting fails because the prey usually is able to spot more easily the lion and thus have a much more opportunity to outrun the lion.
But, the darkness gives the lion an advantage; thus, the advantage often tips the scale in the favor of the lion—allowing it therefore an opportunity for the lion to have a much more easier time to catch its prey.
In a similar way, Satan will sometimes be called the prince of darkness. This is because he loves to work in the cover of night. To avoid his attacks, we need to always stay firm in the spiritual daylight—always keeping our walk in the light because Jesus told us that “I am the light” (John 8:12) and because of this, there will be safety by walking in the light of Jesus Christ. When we are close to that light, Satan is unable to catch us because we can spot him easier and see what he is up to.
Thus, it is much more better that we remain in the light and keep our guard up so that we are not caught.
The Preferred Method of Kill
A male lion will usually
weigh about 350 to 400 pounds; some reach 500 pounds. Males are usually about 9 feet long from his nose to his tail and will stand about 3½ feet tall. Females are somewhat lighter and smaller. Lions have 30 teeth and very sharp claws to match. At night they will proudly prowl throughout their own territory, seeking out their prey. The male is very dominant and guards the territory, but the female usually is the one that will make the kill.
Lions will pad softly along, silently and will survey their prospective victims. Their eyes see very well in the dark. They have an uncanny knack of appearing on the scene when they are least expected.
They further prefer large victims to small ones but will go for both if given a chance. They further single out the weakest animals in the herds. For example, if they see an animal with a limp, they will usually go for that animal because it is harder for the animal to get away.
In a similar way, Satan also loves to go about, looking for the weakest of people so that he can attack the weakest because he knows that they will be far less likely to escape.
Just as the lion will usually straddle the prey and bite off chunks of flesh and then carry the animal off, so also Satan will straddle prey, biting into the prey and taking off chunks of what truth is there until finally he carries the person off in rebellion, apostasy and many other ways.
Satan will then dine upon this because then he has won the victim and he now has the victim where he wants him.
Usually Satan looks at the herd of God’s people who are within the Church of God because he knows that it is much more easier to go for the weak ones within the Church.
Their part in God’s plan makes Satan even more interested because he knows that a member who has some besetting spiritual weakness is like the animal that the lion has captured and killed.
But, if anyone of us does stumble and are attacked, there may still be time for us to cry out to God for help and have God step in and save us. At this moment, God will come in and take Satan away from us and we will then need help so that we can get back in with the Church just as the animal gets help from the herd to get back with the herd.
But, it is much more easier for us to stay firm with the Church and not to be led off course so that Satan can come in in the first place and take us out of the Church.
The Putting Down of Satan
When God comes in and
rescues us, we then find that God will take Satan and will put him down—in other words, God will put Satan away for a thousand years so that he cannot hunt us anymore.
In a similar way, local people in Africa will go and destroy the lion that has done damage so that the lion no longer can destroy anyone or any animal.
Satan will continue to go forth seeking to destroy if he is allowed to continue—but the good news is that God is not going to permit to continue his reign of terror. Rather, God is going to be stepping in and taking Satan out of the picture and placing him in a prison of sorts.
The Bible tells us that Satan’s time of the most destructive activity is now—in the day in which we live (Rev. 12:12)!
So Satan needs to be put down and that is what is going to happen. Satanic influence will be removed—if need be, blasted off to another planet. Christ then will leave no corner for Satan and his efforts to destroy. His ultimate downfall is prophesied throughout the Bible—Satan’s fate is already sealed.
We find in Revelation 20:1-3 that the time is prophesied when a mighty angel will stop Satan for good—will bind him with a great chain and then Jesus will be ruling earth in peace while Satan is caged to prevent him from doing further damage.
This putting away of Satan—his binding and banishment to the bottomless pit is pictured at the time of the Day of Atonement each year, one of God’s awesome seven annual Holy Days which picture to us events which will take place in God’s great plane of salvation.
Yes, one day we are going to be free from Satan. But in the meantime we need to keep vigilant and always being prepared!
Occasionally, there might be times when we will perceive Satan starting to enter in to attack us and at those times, we need to cry out for God.
What will you do when you begin to feel Satan? Will you cry out to God or will you blindly accept Satan’s desire to have you for dinner? You need to be prepared so that you can resist the devil and then he will flee from you!■
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