Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Devil, He IS Real

He IS real.

Welcome to the new three part series, The Devil. In this series, we will be discussing three things.

He is real.
How he operates.
How to overcome.

Today we will be starting with the basics. Picture this. You wake up early in the morning on a Saturday. There is a War going on. You go outside and feel the cool of the morning. There is a War going on. You may decide to go into town to the local Bakery. You look around and see people coming and going. People jogging, walking dogs, just strolling down the Street. There is a War going on. The sound of Children laughing, playing. There is a war going on. Smell the sweet scents of fresh baked bread and pastries. There is a War going on. Truth is, you are on one side or the other.

However, this is not a war you can see. Well, not as you would think of a war. There are no bombs bursting in the air. Buildings collapsing. Body counts adding up. Bullets flying through the air. No. Well, not yet. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." {Ephesians 6:12} "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." {2 Corinthians 10:3-5}

As in any warfare, if you have any hopes in beating the Enemy, you must first understand the Enemy. Recognize who the Enemy is, how he operates, and how to beat him. So today, you will be introduced to the Devil. Yes, the Devil is very real. Though he may not be what you think.

First, is he real? One of the greatest accomplishments of the Devil, is convincing the World that he doesn't exist. No Devil, then no Hell. No Devil, no Hell, no Sin. No Sin, no reason for a Savior. No Savior, no God. No evil means no good. No Hell, then no Heaven. No judgement for Sin, if there is no Sin. Simply, live as you will.

Jesus tells us the Devil is real. "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." {Luke 10:18-19} If he was not real, would Jesus warn us against him? Jesus told the Priests, and the Rulers of the Synagogues that reject Him {Jesus}, that "Ye are of your father the devil." {John 8:44}

The devil is very real. Let's go to...

Ezekiel 28:
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Who was God talking to? Lucifer. Son of the Morning. Some say the First Angel. The most beautiful Angel. In,,,,

Isaiah 14:
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.

20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
You see, the Devil is NOT, some red faced, horned head, tail waging, pitchfork wielding, demon straight out of a Hollywood Horror Movie. He is not a creature so hideous, that you would run in terror if you saw him. He is "son of the morning." He is as beautiful as "every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold." Truth is, if he was to walk into a Church, many would fall down and worship him, thinking he was Jesus Himself. He is what he is.

Second, he is NOT all powerful. This is an important fact for you to understand.The Devil IS the Lord of the Air. He is in control of this natural realm. As long as you are of this world, you are of him. You are in his hand. However, The Word tells us he needs permission to tempt the Children of God. We see this in Job 1 and 2. We see this when Jesus said to Peter "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:" {Luke 22:31}

We see this in The Word, when The Word declares "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." {James 4:7} It does not say, Resist the Devil and he MAY. It says " Resist the devil, and he WILL flee from you." We see this when Jesus tells us we should not fear the Devil. Or anything, but God Himself. "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." {Matthew 10:28}

Of course we see this in the end. When Satan is cast out and "They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.?" So he is not all powerful. He is not a Creature that can simply come in and destroy you and your life and bring you into chains to torment you forever. That's Hollywood. Not the Devil.

But do not be misled. He IS very real. He is capable of many destructive things. He can ruin your life, if you let him. We will talk more about how he operates next time. He works in the ways he knows and the Sin that brought him down in the first place, is very much alive and well in this World. Pride. Think about this for a second. What was Satan's Sin? Pride, Greed, Envy, desire for power. The desire to be God.

Look at the world. "He with the most toys at the end wins." People will lie, cheat, steal, and even kill, for? Pride, Greed, Envy, desire for power. The desire to be God. Mankind fell for Pride, Greed, Envy, desire for power. The desire to be God. God told Adam not to eat of one tree. The Devil told Eve what? “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” {Genesis 3:4-5}

Truth is, it came into our nature, human nature, then. "that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Truth is, we do not need the Devil to tempt us. We are evil all by ourselves. We create evil things. We do evil things. We are evil. The Devil get's blamed for a lot of things we do, yet, truth is, it is nothing more than Human Nature. It is who we are. It is what we do.

Timothy warns the early church, that if a man desires to serve in the church, he must beware that he is in danger of falling for the same temptation of the Devil himself.

1 Timothy 3:
1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
That is our nature now. The same nature that brought down the Devil, is in our flesh. This is why it is important to be Adopted out of the family of the Devil, and into the Family of God. This is why it is so important to be "Born Again." To become a Child of God. For "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Where the Spirit of Life is, the Spirit of Death no longer has any effect. The Devil can Tempt you. You can do Sinful things. But ultimately, you belong to God. Without the Spirit of Life, you belong to the Devil himself. He doesn't have to do anything. You are already his.

Third, the end result of the Devil, is death. He has already failed. There is a War going on. You are on one side or the other. Here is the thing though, unlike the Wars in the Natural, we already know who wins and who loses. God wins. The Devil loses. Who's side are you on? Are you sure?

God is not some old breaded man, sitting on a throne, waiting to see how many He can cast into Hell. He is not sitting there waiting for you to slip up, so He can punish you. He never intended you to go to Hell at all. He created Hell for one purpose. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" {Matthew 25:41}He never intended man to go there. He wants as many to be saved from that as possible. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."{2nd Peter 3:9}

Hell itself is a fascinating study. One we may visit soon. Understand this, it was NEVER intended for you. The whole reason there is a Hell, is for Satan and the Angels that followed him. So make no mistake about it. The Devil is real. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" {1 Peter 5:8}

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? He is the only way to be freed from the Devil. The only way to resist the Devil. The only way to Salvation. Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

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