Battle for the Mind
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Escaping the Dark Planet and the Battle for the Mind

 

Escaping the Dark Planet Part 1

Introduction

Is a spiritual veil upon the minds of men? The vast majority have no idea as to why they are here, what their purpose should be, why we age and die, what happens after death, why humans can go to such inhuman depths of behavior to one another, why there is war, selfishness, greed, betrayal, infidelity, perversion, deception, why there is this confusing array of religions, and yet on the other hand why there is some measure of unselfishness, kindness, peacefulness and love manifested also. Human existence seems to be under a great mystery of conundrums.

This article’s purpose is to show how the veil of understanding can be lifted and a significant measure of light given to the apparent conundrums of life. For this author believes that the veil is lifted through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When one becomes a true Christian you enter an unseen spiritual struggle whose main battleground is the mind. For once the veil is lifted off the mind, one finds oneself in the midst of a battle that has raged long between God and Satan. The Bible comes alive, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives understanding of the scriptures and power over the old selfish self, the love of this fallen world and Satan's schemes.

God is Spirit but Satan is spirit also, so the unseen realm is a place where many thoughts can come into your mind.

John 4 v 24 God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth

1 Peter 5 v 8 Be sober, be vigilent; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

Revelation 20 v 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast  into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and forever

But first we must speak on how this spiritual veil came over the human race, how four humanly insurmountable barriers have been erected between God and man. Then we will seek to bring to light just what happened in the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, his death, and his resurrection. What was the purpose and what did the life of Jesus Christ accomplish? And most importantly how does it affect me? The purpose as we will see was to take down the four barriers that separates God from man. To offer the opportunity for each person to be restored to a right and just relationship with the God who created them. These four barriers have arisen from Adam and Eve’s disobedience at the beginning when as representatives of the human race they withdrew their submission to God and broke their spiritual relationship with God. A spiritual veil came down upon their minds and this spiritual veil has been passed down to all their descendants. Every descendant of Adam and Eve is now born spiritually dead. The four barriers have arisen as a result of that initial sin. But God, to Adam and Eve told them that a Messiah would come who would undo the barriers that has arisen between them and restore the broken relationship in a just manner.

The first barrier that was erected is God’s holy character versus my character. When Adam and Eve sinned the Holy Spirit which indwelt them departed leaving them powerless to live a holy life. Since every person descended from Adam and Eve, each one of us is born without the Holy Spirit and under our own selfish independent natures or what the Bible calls the sin nature. Understanding God’s character and then examining our character will illuminate the barrier. Let’s first look at God’s character attributes, then we’ll look at God’s Ten Commandments which are a measuring stick to compare ourselves to God’s character.

God describes himself as sovereign. He created everything by an act of his will and has determined physical laws and moral laws and the consequences of violation of each of them. He has a purpose for his creation, he allowed man to have free will, and he allowed the fall of man into spiritual and physical death. He has decreed that his creation will be restored to sinless perfection. In the Bible he has laid out this plan in advance and has guaranteed that it will come to pass. No other religious book predicts the future in advance with 100% accuracy like the Bible does. God declares his ability to predict the future and bring it to pass in Isaiah 46 v 9, 10, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Read Revelation chapters 19-21 for the end of the human story.

God describes himself as morally perfect or the Biblical term commonly used is "righteous". This means he can never do anything morally wrong or would cause or influence man to do anything morally wrong. He is the standard to determine what is right or wrong.

Psalm 116 v 5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful

James 1 v 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

James 1 v 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1 v 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

God describes himself as just. He is the perfect judge that never makes a mistake because he did not know something. He judges based on full knowledge and according to his moral character.

Proverbs 15 v 5 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good

Revelation 15 v 3 ...Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints

God is love. He loves all people and desires all to be reconciled to him. He always has the best interests of his creation in mind and is not selfish i.e. pretending to be loving to get something. However he cannot violate his justice at the expense of his character of love.

I wanted also to say that the real meaning of love is not the lust of a sexual act that the world portrays as "love". Real love in that area of behavior means you would court that person and seek a marriage relationship and leave the sexual part out until after the marriage. You would seek advice and counselors as to whether as a couple you were a good match.

1 John 4 v 8-10

v 8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love.

v 9 In this was manifested (revealed) the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

v 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (made full payment in God's courtroom) for our sins.

God is eternal. He has always existed and always will exist. He has an infinite life. He existed before he created space, time and matter.

Deuteronomy 33 v 27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms...

1 Timothy 1 v 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen

Revelation 1 v 8 (Jesus speaking) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Alpha and Omega means without beginning and without ending)

God describes himself as omniscient. God knows everything. He knows every thought and deed of every person and created spirit who ever existed. He has perfect knowledge of the past, present and the future. Nothing can take him by surprise.

Psalm 139 v 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee

Psalm 44 v 21 Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Hebrews 4 v 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

God describes himself as omnipresent. God is present everywhere at once because he is spirit but yet personal with a mind, will, and emotions.

Psalm 139 v 7-10

v7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

v8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

v9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

v10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

God describes himself as omnipotent. He is all-powerful, holding the stars in place by the span of his hand. The nations are as a drop of water in a bucket to him. His power sustains the material universe except for the slow decay that has been allowed due to sin. (See Isaiah 40) He has allowed Satan to establish a temporary kingdom of darkness on earth for a short period of time but this will be ended in the near future.

Revelation 19 v 6 ...Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth

God describes himself as immutable. God never changes his moral character and laws; he never bends the rules for someone, he never goes back on his word as found in the Bible. What he says will come to pass.

Malachi 3 v 6 For I am the LORD, I change not

Hebrews 13 v 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.

God describes himself as absolute truth. Any thought or deed that is contrary to his character or what he has said in the Bible is untrue and sinful. God's description of this fallen world is absolutely true, traditions of men which speak differently are a lie. God told the writers of the scriptures exactly what to write. The words of the Bible in Hebrew for the Old Testament and in Greek for the New Testament are pure and true and exactly what God wanted to communicate. The King James bible is translated from pure manuscripts as opposed to modern translations.

2 Timothy 2 v 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Psalm 12 v 6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified 7 times

The measuring stick that God has given to reveal our shortfall of character and behavior is the Ten Commandments. Would any of us say that we measure up to the perfect moral character of God as laid out by the Ten Commandments? Let’s look at a few. They are found in Exodus chapter 20. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD in vain; for the LORD not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain". How many of us have used the Lord Jesus Christ’s name as a curse word or combined with a string of curse words when circumstances cross us. I know I have many times. Consider this commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." How many of us have rebelled against our parents authority, in fact against most people in authority and scoffed at their counsel and admonishments." I know I have many times. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not kill (murder)". Did you know that just to be angry without a just cause is considered murder by God? And believe me what you might consider a just cause is probably not. So just your thought life can make you guilty of this commandment. What do you think God would call the murder of unborn babies? The most defenceless people on the planet are coldly killed by trained medical people with no conscience and hardened hearts. Just to get rid of the alleged problem caused by sexual immorality. Has there been anything worse done in human history? Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery". This commandment can also be expanded to include all forms of sexual activity outside of a married man and woman. God also calls just looking on a woman and lusting after her body without even physically doing anything as a sexual sin. Do you think the pornography industry and those who buy, participate and look on these things fall short of God’s character? Have any of us not fallen short in the sexual area many times? I know I have fallen short in more ways than one. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not steal". Can any of us say we have never even once stolen anything from a store, a person, or an employer. I know I can’t. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not lie". Have you ever told a lie? Come on be honest, or I’ll call you a liar for saying you have never told one!

Galations chapter 5 v 19-21 gives a good description of our character, we read, "Now the works of the flesh (our sinful independent nature) are manifest (clearly seen), which are these; adultery, fornication (sex outside of a married man and woman), uncleanness (our unacceptableness to God because of our moral failures), lasciviousness (sexual excess or indulgence without a care what others think), idolatry (putting religion, career, success, our own goals, fame, power, and fortune ahead of the one true God), witchcraft (occult practices and drug use, see Deuteronomy ch 18), hatred (wrong inner attitudes such as hatred of Jewish people), emulations (jealous and malicious behavior), wrath, strife (seeking to provoke and prolong contentious issues, looking just to win the argument), seditions ( rebellion against parents, police etc.), heresies (holding false ideas and teachings about God), envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings (living to party, self seeking pleasure) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things (practice these as a general lifestyle) shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Well, if we are honest, all of us have fallen very short of God’s character. This barrier between our character and God’s character has resulted in the penalty of spiritual and physical death as a consequence. God says the soul that sinneth shall surely die. God’s purpose in showing us our character compared to his is not to load us down with a bunch of rules and regulations for us to chaff and fail at, but to show us our need for the Lord Jesus Christ and the new life he can bring to the inward heart. We read in Galations 3 v 24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith". There is a very real barrier of character between God and each one of us.

However a remedy to remove this barrier has been accomplished in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect righteous life as a human being. In 2 Corinthians 5 v 21, we read, "For he (God the Father) hath made him (God the son) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." We can have the perfect moral life of Christ given to our account and remove this barrier but first let’s continue on with the other three barriers.

Barrier number two is called our "debt or penalty of sin". We need to enter into God’s courtroom to better understand this barrier. God is both 100% just and 100% loving. But he cannot override his "just" character at the expense of his "loving" character. God has to do things in such a way that he can be both just and loving at the same time. In God’s courtroom when a law is broken a penalty is assessed and must be paid. In God’s courtroom the penalty for breaking his laws is spiritual and physical death and eternal separation from his loving presence. This penalty that is due to me is called my "debt of sin". In Roman times when you broke Caesar’s laws and the penalty was a prison sentence they made up list of your crimes called a "Certificate of Debt". This they nailed to your prison door so people could see your crimes and the length of your penalty. When the time had expired the prisoner was freed and on the Certificate of Debt it was stamped "Paid in Full". This person could never be imprisoned again for those same crimes because he could show his Certificate of Debt which had "Paid in Full" indicated on it. Each person who has ever lived has incurred a "Certificate of Debt" in God’s courtroom by failing to keep his laws in thought, word and deed. The penalty decreed is death and eternal separation from God. The penalty has to be paid by each one of us or by someone qualified to take our place. See Ephesians 2 v 14-16. The question becomes, how can God be just and yet loving and merciful at the same time? The barriers are looking pretty insurmountable but there are yet two more.

Barrier number three is called our "Slavery to Satan and Sin". Satan is an angel created by God who led a third of the angels in rebellion against God’s authority. Satan was the first self-willed being, the self-willed part is an important concept, keep that in mind. Satan’s character is described as being self-willed, a liar, a murderer, a deceiver, a flatterer, a promoter of false ideas against God’s word, a promoter of false religions and ways to God, a promoter of humans to engage in sins of all kinds and on and on. As one person has said "Satan has a trip for everyone." If you don’t really like the grossly sinful lifestyle, he has a respectable false religion you can join or perhaps the cloak of a respectable atheistic scientist would be more to your liking. Just relax and enjoy the journey is Satan’s motto. And because Satan and his demons also covet the place of the true God they come to your mind pretending to be God or the Holy Spirit or a spirit guide or an ascended master or as your inner self. But their purpose is to deceive, lead astray and give you a counterfeit spiritual experience. An experience that is contrary to the way God has laid out for us to approach him.

But are we really in "slavery to Satan"? This sounds pretty extreme, aren’t we all part of the brotherhood of man? I know this is going to rile some feathers but let me explain and look at some scriptures. First off, yes, we were all created by God and in that sense we are the same but the scriptures do not indicate that God is our spiritual father. The scriptures indicate that there are two spiritual fathers, God and Satan. In Genesis 1 v 28 God gave Adam and Eve legal dominion over the earth and every living thing upon it and they were directed to care for it. However in a legal sense when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin and they bit he gained legal control over the human race. At this point the human race descended into the same dark spiritual realm that Satan reigns over. A realm which is separated from God by sin and disobedience. The beginning of the age of the Dark Planet. We see this in Matthew 4 v 8-10 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things I will give unto thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve". Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim of control. In Acts 26 v 18 it reads, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power (or dominion) of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins… Colossians 1 v 13 reads, "Who hath delivered us from the power (or dominion) of darkness (Satan), and hath translated (adopted) us into the kingdom (family) of his dear son." 1 John 5 v 19 reads, And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (in the power of Satan)." 2 Corinthians 4 v 4 reads, "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." These verses indicate that the whole human race is in the kingdom of Satan and subject to his dominion and power. Jesus did not correct Satan when he offered to give him the kingdoms of this world for worship. And Colossians 1 v 13 indicates that when we come to Christ we are "transferred out of the kingdom of Satan and into the family of God." Now it must be said that Satan does not have absolute power over this world and the human race nor does he own the physical world. God has the ultimate sovereignty as we see in the book of Job. With Job, God limited the testing that Satan could do, however Satan was allowed to take lives, bring disease, and destructive weather. We do read in Romans chapter 1 that when man rejects God’s light he gives them over to their lusts and I’m sure that entails Satan using his power to influence even more depths of sin. We would also say that Satan and his demons can only be one place at a time while God the Holy Spirit is present everywhere seeking to convict each person of their sinfulness and the need to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Depending on how a city, tribe, ethnic group or nation responds to the Spirit’s conviction determines the degree of freedom or bondage from sin and Satan. History is strewn with the wreckage of nations and tribes who resisted the Spirit of God and were given over to their desires for sin and to be further deceived by Satan. Can you think of the AID’s epidemic in Africa. The last stages generally reflect a total absence of moral discernment and hearts hardened by practicing sin. Our generation reflects this with the murder of the unborn, sodomy arising with no shame, false religions, sexual immorality of all kinds, the exclusion of the Bible from education and media, drug use, occultic practices, lusting through extensive pornography, and on and on downward it goes until God moves in judgment. One might think Satan is working overtime in our generation as you look around.

Romans 7 v 14 reads, "For we know that the law (God’s commandments) are spiritual (right): but I am carnal sold (into slavery) under sin." Romans 8 v 7 reads, Because the carnal mind is enmity (a state of rebellion) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." These two verses describes the whole human race as in a spiritual state of rebellion (active and passive) against God and combined with the other verses mentioned above, under a confederate kingdom, with Satan as the head of this world kingdom. An episode with Jesus and the Pharisees of his day will bring the fatherhood of Satan to a head. The Pharisees were the religious leaders of Israel and if anyone in Israel had God as their Father these appeared to be sure bets. Let’s read the dialogue in John 8 v 39-44, "They (the Pharisees) answered and said unto him (Jesus), Abraham is our father (Abraham was called the friend of God and started the nation of Israel). Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then they said unto him, we be not born of fornication (slanders the Lord’s virgin birth); we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own (inner nature): for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Wow, here we have probably the best people on outward appearance that could be produced and Jesus says that their father is the devil! God puts human character and Satan’s character in the same boat. Separated from him, self-willed, rebellious inner state of mind, and manifesting slavery to various sins and lusts.

We read on Ephesians 2 v 2 "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Is the "spirit of disobedience" working in your life?

God describes the world as a dark miserable human slave market with Satan as its taskmaster and the whole human race having been sold into slavery or bondage both to sin and Satan. The Bible describes it this way and Satan does all he can to obscure and cloud this awful state and keep this knowledge from lodging into the minds of men. Have you ever wondered why there is this conspiracy of silence in the media, the schools, and among men themselves as to God and the Bible? Mindless entertainment and empty things are substituted to keep the masses busy. In Western culture Satan has disguised himself as a myth or a fairy tale from an outdated book yet what better ruse to then work undetected in the minds of people. You see my friend; not every thought you have is your own. Who can break the power of sin and Satan and set the prisoners free?

The fourth barrier is spiritual death. Let’s go back to Adam and Eve in the garden. I am assuming you have heard of the basic account, if not it is found in Genesis chapters 2 and 3. Have you ever wondered how they could be naked and walk around the garden in perfect peace and in perfect friendship with God? If everybody in your town doffed the clothes it would not make for a peaceful nor pretty sight. A lot of people would be embarrassed and ashamed at the sight, a lot of people would be lusting in their minds about this naked person and that one. And frankly a lot of us would be saying, "Oh no, you would be much better with your clothes on, because what I see is hard on my eyes!" So, what happened to Adam and Eve? They were given one prohibition in the perfect world God had created, one test of loyalty and obedience you might say. Let’s read about the one commandment in Genesis 2 v 17,18 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now let’s read about the failure of Adam and Eve. It’s found in Genesis 3 v 1-7, Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God hath made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die (calling God a liar): For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Satan insinuates that God is really withholding this special blessing). And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

A change had happened but what did it entail. Physical death followed as it has to the entire human race but there was also a spiritual death caused by Adam and Eve’s sin. You see Adam and Eve were created with the Spirit of God dwelling in their hearts and what is called the "Shekinah Glory" around them. The Shekinah Glory is the strong and unique presence of God. It has the aspect of being "clothed in radiant light". When Moses spent 40 days on the mountain receiving the 10 commandments written on stone his face shone with light when he came down to the people. Let's read Ezekiel 34 v 28,29 "And he (Moses) was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist (knew) not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with them." In Matthew 17 v 1,2 we see Jesus reveal just a glimpse of his glory state, it reads, "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment (clothes) was white as light." Israel, when they had their temple had the special Glory of God dwelling in the inner temple part called the Holy of Holies. We can read in Ezekiel chapters 9 and 10 that when Israel sinned greatly the "Glory of God" departed from the temple as part of the judgement to come upon Israel for her sins. You see, sin separates us from God and when Adam and Eve sinned they separated themselves from God. The Holy Spirit indwelling them had to withdraw and God’s special presence around them also departed. We then find that every human being born thereafter is born dead spiritually with the same broken relationship with God. Every descendent of Adam is born with what God calls the sin nature (also known as the sinful independent nature), and physically destined for the grave. The term is called "born in Adam". We read in 1 Corinthians 15 v 21,22, " For since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Jesus) came also the resurrection of the dead. For as "in Adam" all die, even so "in Christ" shall all be made alive."

Well, if you’ve made it this far I know the picture is not a pretty one. I know also that the history of the human race does reflect the sinful independent nature as the wills of little gods collide. The history of man also seems to reflect a spiritual adversary who the Bible calls Satan and the god of this world. The depths of inhumanity that litter the history books point to a special demonic energizer of these events.

Surmounting the Insurmountable

Well, the barriers do look impossible don’t they. It really puts an end to trying to be a good person and hoping God okays it at the end. And did you know that is exactly what God wants. He wants you and I to know that it is impossible to humanly remove these barriers. He doesn’t want you on the futile treadmill of good works as a way to remove the barriers between Him and yourself. That is impossible. Yet, one of Satan’s biggest lies is that you can surmount these barriers by your own good works type religion. And you can see how popular this idea is amongst the religions of this world. It sidesteps the depravity of man and our foolish pride and arrogantly offers up the fruit of our hands on the altar of God just as Cain did. It sidesteps the need for a blood sacrifice to pay for our sins as righteous Abel recognized. Let’s view the "by my good works I will get into heaven" idea by entering into both an earthly and heavenly courtroom. Suppose you were caught speeding with your car and came before the judge. And your defense before him is, "well I have been good for the past month and haven’t driven my car over the speed limit even once". Will the judge let you go free because you obeyed the law for the past month? Of course not! You are before him for the law that you did break and a penalty must be paid. You are before the judge strictly for the law that you have broken. The fact that you did not speed for the past month has absolutely no bearing in a human courtroom. And no human judge would be fooled by such an argument. Do you suppose you would be successful in God’s heavenly courtroom with the same reasoning? Do you think that in God’s heavenly courtroom you will be able to say, "well hopefully my good works will outweigh my bad". No, you will be declared guilty and assessed penalty strictly for the laws you broke regardless of the ones you kept. That is unless you have an advocate.

Now that we’ve digested the bad news, I want to bring the good news. Jesus in his life, death and resurrection has removed the barriers, at great cost to him and because of his great love for you. The King and Creator of the universe lowered himself down to our level to deal with the penalty for sin! Do you think that was not a gigantic step down for Him? Do you not think it was an amazing step of love for you and for me. Think about it, the creator veiled in human flesh, came to earth on a mission of deliverance. The being that had stretched out the heavens and created an amazingly complex world of living creatures through His DNA programming was live and in person in Israel. But as prophesied He would be rejected by His own tribe and most of the Gentiles also. But through that rejection the door for forgiveness was permanently and eternally swung open. Oh the wisdom of God! The love of God for you and for me!

Let's look at how Jesus has removed those barriers and also speak on the cost for you to become a follower of Him.

Who would be qualified to remove these barriers? Well, it can be said that since all humans are guilty before God no human could pay the penalty of sin for others for each is already guilty in God’s courtroom themselves. It would take someone who was truly human and yet not guilty of sin. And since the penalty was death, it would take someone who could overcome death and not be held in the grave. It would seem to call for a perfect human with an infinite life. It would lead us to a need for someone who was both human and God at the same time. And we do have testimony that Jesus was sinless, claimed to be God, accepted worship, forgave people’s sins and resurrected from the dead. Let’s read just a few scriptures of many, 1 Timothy 3 v 16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest (seen) in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Matthew 1 v 23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." John 10 v 30-33 (Jesus speaking in v 30) "I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Matthew 8 v 2,3, "And behold there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Mark 2 v 5-7, 10, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? V10 Jesus speaks to the scribes, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins."" The Jewish leaders and the Romans could have easily quashed the resurrection claim by producing a body. But it would not be easy to get over 500 people to lie that they had personally seen him after his resurrection especially when it would bring more persecution for you from Jewish leaders and the Romans. Yet we read in 1 Corinthians 15 v 3-6, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of the twelve (Apostles): After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some have fallen asleep (died)." Jesus was God’s barrier breaker. Did you know that it only takes 2 or 3 independent witnesses in a courtroom to attest to an event being true?

The first barrier was removed when Jesus as a human being lived a perfect sinless life. His life as a human was equal to God’s character because he was divine, the second person of the Trinity. Though tempted and attacked in many ways he responded without sin. We read in 2 Corinthians 5 v21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." The perfect moral life of Jesus made him acceptable to pay the penalty for sin. We will see later that we may receive his perfect righteousness put to our account.

And finally Roman 3 v 22 which speaks of Abraham coming to God in faith, "And therefore it was imputed (put to his credit) to him (Abraham) for righteousness. But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead."

The second barrier brings us into God’s courtroom where the legal debt of sin stood against you and I. Jesus when he died on the cross "paid in full" the debt of sin for every human who would ever live. God’s just character was fully satisfied with the payment made by Jesus for the whole human race. Jesus stood in my place in God’s courtroom and took the penalty due me upon himself. There are two terms God uses to describe this payment by Jesus for our sins. The words used are propitiation and justification. To understand their meaning will bring spiritual freedom to your mind. For propitiation let’s read a couple of verses. In 1 John 2 v 2 we read, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." And in 1 John 4 v 10 we read, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." The word propitiation means that the payment that Jesus made on the cross fully satisfied the penalty in God’s courtroom. And also, the payment was large enough and infinite enough to pay for the sins of every human being that would ever live! God as the Judge in the courtroom of the universe looked upon the shed blood of Jesus on the cross and declared that the penalty for sin had been fully and completely paid for all eternity. There was no need to add anything to it. Reading Hebrews 10 v 12,14 "But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Jesus fully satisfied the debt of sin that was against me and God can put that payment to my account when I come to him through his Son. The stamp reads "Paid in Full".

The other side of this coin is called "justification" and relates to how I can have my sins declared "Paid in Full" and receive a pardon from God. Let’s read Romans 4 v 25, 5 v 1, and Galations 3 v 11, "Who was delivered for our offences (sins), and was raised for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith." In God’s courtroom we can be acquitted and pardoned on the basis of the penalty paid. God can legally justify setting me free as my penalty was paid by another. But for a pardon to be received the guilty party must confess his guilt and be willing to take the pardon with the term attached. The term attached is the word "repentance". More will be said in a moment on that.

The third and fourth barriers are covered by the word "redeemed or redemption". The word redeemed has the concept of freeing a person from the slave market by paying the required ransom to secure that freedom.

Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the human race has been enveloped in a cloud of spiritual darkness. Man is both in slavery to the power of his sin nature inside and will bow to the god of this world as soon as it is demanded. Only the restraining power of the Holy Spirit present in this world has kept things from descending into total rottenness. In the time before Noah’s flood the human race had so resisted the Spirit of God that the time arrived for judgement. I keep thinking of a song written by a worldly writer called, "It’s a Wonderful World". Have you heard that one? Check out the lyrics sometime. It is so delusional and far from reality and yet the world calls it a hit song! God’s word describes a scene that would be better called "The Dark Planet". A planet in the swirling throes of death and sin, humans under a dark delusion in their minds, in slavery to the power of the sin nature in their hearts. And with the whole scene overshadowed by an organized group of demonic spirits casting a spell of blindness upon the whole human race. Reading John chapter 3 v 19, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed)." It is into this darkness that the piercing light of Jesus Christ entered on a mission to light the way back to the true God for all who would come. It is from this true reality that the word "redemption" finds its meaning. For only through Jesus Christ can one be freed from the power of Satan and the power of the sinful nature. The word redemption has as its main meaning "to be set free by payment of a ransom". The whole human race is in bondage to sin and Satan, a virtual slave planet with a Slave Master. Jesus entered the Dark Planet and made the ransom payment required, his shed blood on the cross. That ransom payment will deliver a person from the slave market of the Dark Planet and will break the power of sin and Satan. We read in 1 Peter 1 v 18,19 " Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (bought or purchased) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (behaviour) received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ (ransom payment) as of a lamb without spot or blemish (sinless)." Also, John 8 v 34-36, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (slave) of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth forever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." And finally, " He that committeth (practices) sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of God manifested (came to the Dark Planet), that he might destroy the works (power) of the devil."

Counting the cost and Receiving the Pardon

Before I lay out the way to escape the Dark Planet, you must carefully consider the cost. In order to escape it will mean the surrender of the throne of your will. The term used in the scriptures is "repent or coming to repentance". Many have watered down the meaning of repentance to where it just means that you change your mind about sin and the direction of your life. But I say this falls crucially short of its real meaning. If Romans 6 v 11-13 clearly teaches you must daily yield your will to the Holy Spirit in order to walk in the Spirit surely repentance must involve the surrender of the throne of the will to Jesus at salvation. Surely it cannot mean you just grab the "free gift" and continue on down the same self-willed road. Surely God cannot save a rebel who fully intends to continue to run their own lives but with a cloak of Christianity on? Or does God give you the free gift of salvation like a Christmas present but them turns around and says, surprise, you have to surrender the throne of your will daily to actually live the Christian life! Doesn't the heart need be exercised before real repentance takes place?

I like the definition of repentance given by a 17th century Puritan named Thomas Watson. He described true repentance as having 6 characteristics as follows. The recognition of sin, the Godly sorrow for sin (having recognized ones sin as an offense to God and leading others astray), being ashamed of sin, confession of sin, forsaking of sin, and finally hatred of sin and not wanting to practice it anymore. Thomas Watson concluded that true repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ were two wings that carried us to the Savior. Isn't modern evangelism missing a wing?

You see, one must be firmly convinced that they are a lost sinner on the way to perdition. One must come to the realization that their sin and character is not unlike those attributed to the devil himself. Yes, the gift of salvation was paid by another and is free in one sense but it is not given without real repentance. So I am constrained to conclude that if there is no heartfelt surrender then Jesus cannot deliver you from the Dark Planet. He is unable to provide deliverance if he sees that you just want fire escape insurance but not his will for your life. If you don’t see yourself to be quite as sinful as the scriptures say but have some self confidence in your own righteousness then he cannot deliver you. If you hold to the idea that you in some way can gain merit with God with your religious observances and performance then he cannot deliver you. He can only deliver when you see yourself as a slave to sin on your way to perdition. Some scripture to read, Matthew 3 v 1,2,5-8, "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region around Jordan. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (the rituals and good works crowd) come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Also Luke 13 v 3, Jesus speaking, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." And Acts 3 v 19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." You see the gospel message that Paul preached is summed up in Acts 20 v 21, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." The repentance part is seeing your spiritual condition as God sees it with the subsequent willingness to abdicate the throne of your life. How would you say that you have done enthroned and running your own life? How well do you see others handling it? I like these insightful lyrics from a song called "Let Go, Let God" by a Christian band called Hokus Pick.

This is the kingdom of my heart

No longer bright, It’s cold and dark

The carpet is not royal red

It’s soiled by the thoughts of my own head

I know that I’ve been a fool

For what I’ve done and how I’ve ruled

I tried to make this all my own

Forgetting that this is your throne

Here are the keys

To a kingdom grim and ghastly

I give to you all my estate

You are the King – I abdicate!

The faith part is trusting and believing that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins. They are the two sides of the salvation coin. You can’t have one without the other. However many have watered down the message by excluding sin and repentance in their message and have filled churches with false converts. If you read about the last church of the church age called Laodicea you will see the fruit of easy believism. The description of this church is in Revelation 3 v 14-22. Here we find Jesus in large measure asking most of these people to let him into their hearts so he can bring them salvation.

If you are willing to this point you must also understand that it could instantly cost you your life. In some cultures it is a death sentence for changing your religion. But think about it for a minute. Any religion, which has to hold its members by fear and intimidation, couldn’t possibly be true. It looks more like a tactic the god of this world might use. Do you think the true God tries to hold you with fear, intimidation and threatening to kill you if you leave? No, he reaches out with nail scarred hands and says let me rescue you. You must also consider that family, friends and relatives may reject and persecute you. In Western culture you will be ostracized socially. Many who pride themselves in earthly knowledge will look down upon you in a condescending manner. All manner of persecution may come upon you as many countries have and are beginning to make unjust laws, which will result in the persecution of Christians. Hate crime laws are just starting to be used as a ruse to exclude, then vilify, and eventually to persecute the Christian worldview. You will face misunderstanding and persecution within the religious Christian realm for Satan has started many false cults and religious groups which wave the Christian flag. Although the false teachings are many in these groups there are a few major ones which identify them. Some would be along these lines, Jesus was not God, Jesus plus good works will get you to heaven, Jesus plus the sacraments, Jesus was a being God created and the half brother of Lucifer, salvation must be accompanied with speaking in tongues, you must be baptized in the name of Jesus only, you can’t know if you are saved for sure and many more could be listed. You see the scriptures say the devil is the author of confusion. It is his plan to offer many ways to God through many religious groups. Here are just a few scriptures on the cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus. Luke 14 v 26,27,33, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. So, likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Matthew 10 v 34-36, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against the mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household." The cost is high on earth but compared to eternity it is insignificant. What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul? He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

You can receive God’s pardon when you personally agree with God that you are a rebellious sinner. When you are willing to abdicate the throne of your life and receive Jesus as Lord (which means you are the servant, he is the rightful master) and Savior (which recognizes his payment for your sins). The first part is called repentance and the last part is called trusting in Jesus alone for a restored relationship with God. The moment genuine conversion takes place the Holy Spirit comes to indwell and make you a new person from the inside out. He delivers you out of the slave market of sin and out from under the dominion of Satan. The Holy Spirit breaks the power of sin and Satan in your life. You no longer have to obey sin and Satan as you yield your will to the Holy Spirit daily and walk with Him. Romans chapter 6 is your freedom manifesto, a good chapter to memorize as the battle begins.

The Battle for the Mind Begins Part 2

The Condition of the Mind

Man’s mind, soul and spirit operate the physical human body. As such, the human mind is the immaterial part of man. The mind of man is not something that you can physically treat. The mind operates the brain but is not the product of the brain. It is part of the spiritual realm and needs to be dealt with as such. Man originally had the Spirit of God indwelling him and the Spirit worked in harmony with man’s mind, soul and spirit. When man was separated from God’s Spirit his whole inner spiritual makeup was disrupted and soon corrupted. It became so that none of us are in our right minds as God originally intended. This is the view of the scriptures but let’s take a brief side trip into the worlds’ view of man. There is a profession that has decidedly opposite view of the mind of man. It has built up a vast profession of error with the "label" game. It likes to label problems with the human mind as "mental illness" or "mental disease". If the human mind is part of the immaterial soul and spirit of man could you label it with terms like "illness" or "disease"? Now, if you had say, a nerve disease or a brain disease you would be "medically ill" right? But you could never be "mentally ill"! God has already given us a true picture of the fallen human mind as a "sinful" mind, a "selfish" mind, a "reprobate" mind, a "proud" mind, a "demonic" mind, and a "rebellious" mind. Let’s look at more of the label game with this profession. With regards to human behavior it’s got a label for everything. Whereas God identifies most of human behavior as sin and manifestations of the sinful nature the worlds’ profession labels these same behaviors as diseases or phobias or disorders and then claims to be able to treat them! Through labeling sins as disorders or diseases they absolve people of responsibility for their behavior! Unfortunately God will not see it that way when each of us stand before him. This allegedly scientific profession of the immaterial world even has its own high priests and bible. The high priests are the Godless humanists of evolutionary behavior the most famous being Freud, Jung, Maslow and Rogers. The bible which is used is called the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" or DSM for short. It’s a manual of disorders, phobias, and mental diseases. Think on this, the first edition published in 1952 was only 100 pages long, the latest version from 1994 is now 900 pages long! Are we getting crazier or what! Anyways, you have to give them credit for building their house of sand at taxpayer’s and medical insurance companies’ expense. Would you like to preview a few of the disorders? Consider this one, "Intermittent Explosive Disorder". Want to guess what it is? Well, God calls it the sin of "anger"! Consider this one, "Histrionic Personality Disorder". Another guess perhaps? Well, God calls it the sin of pride and exalting oneself. How about this one, "kleptomania"? Well surprise, it’s actually one of the ten commandments, "Thou shalt not steal". A final one perhaps will make the point, "the disease of alcoholism". God calls this one the sin and bondage of drunkenness. It is very unfortunate that this profession has also become the modern day "Tobiah’s" of the professing Christian church. The book of Nehemiah covers the return of the children of Israel from Babylon to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite who had taken up residence in that area during the Jewish exile from the promised land opposed them. When that failed Tobiah sought an alliance with the Jews and even had an office at the Temple so he could undermine things from within. When Nehemiah returned from Babylon and found this out he threw Tobiah out of the temple (Nehemiah ch 13). It is not an exact picture, but the "Christian psychologist" has a similar office in the church undermining the work of God and should also be thrown out. The world’s profession and God are diametrically opposed on the nature of man and the solution to this dilemma. If you would like to further investigate this area I would highly recommend the book by Martin and Deidre Bobgan called "Psychohersey – The Psychological Seduction of Christianity".

Building upon what God says is true and real with regards to the human mind lets consider some of the states of mind in the scriptures. In the days before Noah’s flood Genesis 6 v 5 says the state of man’s mind was only evil continually. Violence and sexual immorality filled the earth in Noah’s day. The Psalmist describes his uncomprehending mind about the things of God as a brute beast compared to his master (Psalm 73 v 22). Not a very flattering comparison to say the least! And it doesn’t get any better as you move through the Bible. In Romans 1 v 20-32 we have a pretty horrifying picture of the state of the human mind living in willful darkness. It’s worth reading and commenting on.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

In verse 20 we see that the willful rejection of God leads to an ever downward spiral to an evil mind. Our generation has witnessed the vain imaginations of darkened minds with the pushing of evolution. In verse 22 we see the human mind seeking knowledge without the knowledge of the creator, claiming to be wise when God says they are fools. Our modern education system fits the description perfectly. A further darkened state of mind occurs with the worship of the creation as if it made itself. We hear of those who speak of "Mother Earth" as if it is somehow alive and worthy of worship. Definitely a sad state of mind. And in verse 26 God gives them up to a vile reprobate state of mind. In this vile state of mind sodomy, sexual immorality, murder, pride, disobedience to parents and stubborn mindedness blossom. And finally the state of mind is so far gone that it actually promotes others to do the same sins, glorying in them that do such also. Is this not a picture of our generation? And yet another more horrifying state of mind is also coming. With the seeking of occult experiences through drugs and enchantments as forbidden in Deuteronomy chapter 18 we will see increased demonic possession. This path of seeking spirituality God warns about because it can bring a person under tremendous demonic deception, oppression and possession. One example can be given in Luke 8 v 27-35. Jesus meets a man "who had devils a long time". What do you think this man’s state of mind was like? Well it says he wore no clothes, lived in the graveyard, and was fiercely violent. Definitely not your ordinary citizen! Well do you see my point? Do you want to escape the Dark Planet and have your mind restored? The demon possessed man experienced the restoration of his mind through Jesus. In Luke 8 v 35 we read of this wonderful event, "Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind…". That’s right he was in his right mind. He was restored to a relationship with the God who had created him. The Spirit of God had replaced the demonic spirits and brought his soul, spirit and mind to a peaceful state. And God brings this to every one who will bow the knee to his Son. Isaiah 26 v 3 reads, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. 2 Timothy 1 v 7 reads, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and love, and of a sound mind."

Appointed Unto Battle

Much of this section will not be as meaningful to you if you are not born again, for you are not in a battle with the world, the flesh and the devil. Only a true Christian enters into this battle by virtue of his restored relationship with God.

While I’ve mainly directed my thoughts in this second part to the Christian much of the tactics that the god of this world uses can also be of benefit to the non-Christian. As both the Christian and non-Christian walk through the same spiritually dark wilderness the Holy Spirit can bring light to anyone who will receive it. For spiritual light is provided before conversion from the outside while after salvation it is from the inside.

And by Christian I mean one who has seen the awfulness of their own sinful nature, has confessed their sins and abdicated the throne of their will to Jesus, acknowledging his love for them through standing in their place and taking the penalty of sin for them. Through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 20 v 21) you have been born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3 v 3-8), escaping out of the kingdom of Satan and being adopted into the kingdom of God (Colossians 1 v 13). I qualify this paper in this way because the scripture indicates that many who are under the Christian banner have been given an easy believism message and have been joined to the visible Christian church yet not born again. An easy believism message would be "just ask Jesus into your heart" or "Jesus will be your friend for life" or "Jesus will give you a wonderful life" or "Jesus will heal you". Or perhaps through audience manipulation you have felt coerced into "walking down to the front of the Church" or perhaps you were sold on only the benefits of Christianity such as getting to go to heaven so you joined for the "fire insurance". All these offers fall short of the true gospel that causes you to be born again.

The scripture that bears this out is found in Matthew 7 v 13,14, 21-23. It reads, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. And also we can read Matthew 13 v 20-23, "But he that received the seed into stony places (his heart), the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (at once) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation and persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (abandons the faith). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful." In these scriptures we have three different types of individuals who have made a profession of faith in Christ and yet were never truly born again. Each came to the visible church but had reserved the throne of their lives to themselves for various reasons. The first group had never really seen or wanted to see that they were a lost sinner under the bondage of sin and Satan. They had a cloak of Godliness but not the Holy Spirit. They were busy making a good show in the flesh by their religious works. They are the Jesus plus my good works crowd. The second group that received the word of God with joy did not want to stay around when they found out the cost of following Christ. They joined for the God is love message; the God who wants to give them a wonderful life and then take them to heaven. They will likely end up in a watered down church where sin and hell are never mentioned but only God’s love. The third group was open to receiving the word and coming to church but in their heart of hearts they really loved the world more than the Lord. They want to be like the world from Monday to Saturday and put on the Christian show on Sunday. They will think nothing of loving the latest unHolywood movie on Saturday night and singing hymns at church on Sunday. Each of these groups you will find to have a common theme throughout. They will be experts at compromise. They will adjust their Christianity to the world. They will compromise with the world on evolution, psychology, Bible versions, the sin nature of man, the all roads lead to heaven doctrine, and the list could go on. It is because in their heart of hearts they have never been truly converted and the world still speaks to them. The old saying, "birds of a feather flock together" would be an apt application. The world and these groups (even though dressed in a cloak of Christianity) still have the same heart.

The key point I am trying to make is that you need a true vision of your spiritual state before God and Satan. This will bring the acknowledgment that when you are in control of your life all you do is sin! In fact being self-willed and doing what you want is the same nature as Satan has. He was the first self-willed independent being. Seeing yourself in this way is the key to true repentance. True repentance turns from being self-willed to putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and committing yourself to do God’s will no matter what the cost but with God’s power not your own. 1 Peter 4 v 2,3 reads, "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.

When you enter into the kingdom of God, a number of things change. You receive a permanent new nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit. You are forever adopted into the kingdom of God. God’s purpose is to conform you into the image of his Son. You have given God the right to discipline and chastise your behavior. You obtain an adversary the devil, who knows you are now saved. You enter into internal conflict between your "flesh" and the Holy Spirit. The narrow path you walk with Jesus is headed in the opposite direction of most of humanity and apostate Christianity and going against the flow is not popular.

John 14 v 16,17 reads, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Colossians 1 v 13,14 reads, Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated (adopted) us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Romans 8 v 19 reads, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he (the Son) might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Hebrews 12 v 6-10 reads, For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he (God the Father) for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

1 Peter 5 v 8-10 reads, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Galations 5 v 16,17 reads, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary to one another: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Romans 12 v 2 reads, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Knowing the Ground of Victory

Understanding your "position in Christ" is foundational to experiencing freedom from practicing sin and from Satan causing you to fall down whenever he comes to attack. Your position in Christ is the ground from which you fight from. When you are born again a number of truths become active and real in the spiritual realm.

The first is that you have died to obeying the flesh. The power of the flesh positionally has been broken. We read in Romans 6 v 11-13 says, Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God… This is your daily moment by moment abdication of the throne of your life to the Holy Spirit.

The second is the eternal security of a real believer’s salvation. This is very important ground to understand because in the battle you will fall and dealing with it in a Biblical way is crucial to getting back up and continuing the battle and walking after the Spirit. It is foundational to recognize that a true believer hates sin and wants to experience freedom from sin. Any other persistent attitude than this would bring into question if a person was truly born again and perhaps just a professor not a possessor of true living faith. Eternal security is assured because the Holy Spirit indwells a believer forever. John 14 v 16 says, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (the person of the Holy Spirit), that he may abide with you forever. Hebrews 13 v 5 says, Let you conversation (behavior) be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, not forsake thee. Obscure scriptures that may at first glance appear to say that you can lose your salvation are never to be used to contradict a clear scripture. Proper interpretation forbids obscure scripture being used to override clear scriptures on a particular doctrine. Unfortunately this is a common approach of false teachers as well as fallen angels. The "lose your salvation crowd" likes to toss you to and fro with a few favorite verses in Hebrews 3, 6 and 10.

Therefore, when you are dealing with a particular sin or a besetting sin (one that you keep yielding to) you must understand how God wants you to handle it. When a true child of God sins or has a besetting sin he does not lose his salvation but he quenches his fellowship with God. Salvation is 100% paid for on the cross but our daily relationship with God is hindered. Sin quenches God’s power in your life. One of Satan’s goals is to get you to sin because he knows this also. Sin also reveals that we again have exalted our will over the throne of our lives. The old-self-willed flesh has asserted itself with all its usual bad fruit. The remedy is to quickly abdicate the throne, thanking Jesus that he paid for that sin on the cross and asking the Holy Spirit to take the throne of our life and produce good fruit in us. You see God wants us to judge ourselves quickly and be restored to fellowship. Sometimes this will have to be done many times in a day but over time the Holy Spirit will produce a more consistent walk. As I like to say that God took me out from under the law and put me under his grace which means I have the "freedom to fail". He wants us to confess, be filled, and continue down the narrow path.

The third is that Satan’s power and authority over you has been broken also. We read in the second half of 1 John 3 v 8 that, For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Satan and his fallen angelic realm wield great power. Look at these verses for the breadth and extent of it. 2 Corinthian 4 v 4 reads, 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. 1 John 5 v 19, and we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (or under the power of the evil one). Ephesians 2 v 2, Wherein time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Where previously our own will power was no match for Satan and we could not even recognize his presence, we now have the Holy Spirit who is infinitely more powerful than Satan and will prompt us to discern a fallen spirit’s presence. In James 4 v 7 the Holy Spirit counsels us to submit our will to Him, respectfully resist the devil with the truth of God’s word and the devil will retreat. "Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you" per James 4 v 7.

The fourth is that you are absolutely powerless to resist sin and Satan’s attacks unless you are moment by moment yielding your will to the Holy Spirit. John 15 v 5 says, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Our source of spiritual strength is not our own will or self confidence but the power we receive when we are properly yielding our will to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God the Father and has infinite power to prevent us from bowing to the demands of our sinful flesh and also to the attacks of fallen angelic beings. Fallen beings who the Holy Spirit helped to create in the first place. 1 John 4 v 4 reads, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he (the Holy Spirit) that is in you, than he (fallen angels) that is in the world.

The fifth is that God is sovereign over what Satan can do towards you and also God will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. And in each and every circumstance we should recognize there is a purpose and a proper response, which needs to be discerned. Although the purposes of some trials may only be learned on the other side of eternity our response is the important part in the battle. We read in the book of Job chapter 1 where God, unbeknownst to Job at the time, allowed him to be tested by Satan but only within the limits that God set not Satan.

Job 1 v 6-22

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (7) And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (8) And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (9) Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? (10) Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. (11) But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. (12) 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. (13) And there was a day when his sons and his daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: (14) And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: (15) And the Sabeans fell [upon them], and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (16) While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (17) While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (18) While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: (19) And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. (20) Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (21) And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (22) In all this, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

1 Corinthians 10 v 13 reads, 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].

1Peter v 6-8 reads, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1Peter 4 v 12,13 reads, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Romans 8 v 18 reads, For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Satan’s Methods and Spiritual Attacks

1. In some cultures Satan promotes that he doesn’t exist. What better concealment to subtily work on the minds of men if you can get them to believe you don’t exist! In other cultures he is a spirit or god to be appeased through offerings and rituals. In other circumstances he presents himself as a spirit guide or an ascended master or the higher self. And of course his favorite deception is to counterfeit true Christianity with a works based version or a signs and wonders version. In our generation as we move towards the very end he and his ministers will emphasize great signs and wonders. You see at the beginning of the church age when the scriptures were not yet finished (Revelation was written circa 95 A.D.) God used signs and wonders to authenticate the apostles’ message. At the end of the church age we have the false teachers and Satan doing the signs and wonders to deceive people. And of course these false teachers will claim that they are doing it through God but it is not true. In 2 Corinthians 12 v 12 it reads, "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. And also, Ephesians 2 v 20-22, speaking about the church as a building, "and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." You see the apostles and prophets with signs and wonders were necessary at the beginning of the church age for the foundation of the church and the completion of the scriptures but are not needed after this. The signs and wonders crowd claim they are prophets and apostles but sorry, the foundation has already been laid. We do not need to go back and relay the foundation of the building when it is almost finished. We read about the last day’s version of signs and wonders in these verses. In Matthew 24 v 11,24 it speaks of the end of the church age and on into the 7 year tribulation. Reading it says, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." This will prepare the way for Satan’s great peacemaker from the revived Roman Empire. Part of his work is described in 2 Thessalonians 2 v 9, "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."

2. Satan has great power in being able to deceive many people at one time with a false idea. In 2 Chronicles 18 v 5, 18-23 one lying spirit put the same message in 400 counsellors of Ahab directing him to go out to battle and win a great victory. A modern day example in our generation is the idea, that the visible Christian church should have unity without doctrine as one of its main goals, misinterpreting John chapter 17.

3. Satan has the ability to snatch the Word of God out of a person’s mind. In Mark 4 v 14, 15 we read "The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the wayside, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." Yikes, invisible beings who can erase thoughts from your mind. Science fiction takes a distant second place to this!

4. Satan comes pretending to be the Holy Spirit or God and those who serve him also portray themselves as Christians. This is the ultimate deception to have a person think they are in touch with God when it is really Satan and for his servants to masquerade as Christian but secretly being there to do subterfuge and water down or confuse the word of God. Have you ever listened to a preacher speak about the Bible but after the message is finished it was like nothing was said? You came for a spiritual meal but went away empty and confused. We read in 2 Corinthians 11 v 13-15 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." His ministers of unrighteousness promote such doctrines as losing your salvation, easy believism with no repentance, undermining the book of Genesis with evolutionary compromise, introducing psychology especially "self esteem", teaching against the pre-tribulational rapture of the church just to name a few.

5. Satan will seek to tempt and pressure you to sin, then turn around and accuse you before God laying the old guilt trip upon you. We read in Revelation 12 v 9,10 "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. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

6. Satan will offer power, wealth, pleasure and fame if you will serve him. In Matthew 4 v 1, 8-10 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things I will give unto thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve". Many a rock star and unholywood entertainer has said the opposite to gain fame, riches, and pleasure. In 2004 it was revealed that the author of the Harry Potter material is now a billionaire! How rewarding the god of this world is when you promote the occult practices of Deuteronomy chapter 18, which are forbidden by God.

7. Satan can capture a person’s mind with wrong ideas so strongly that he will use them to oppose those who are rightly dividing the word of God. In 2 Timothy v 17,18,24-26 we read "And their word will eat as doth a canker; of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some… and the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. In our generation some of the fiercely held ideas from Calvinism would fall into this type of snare as well as views on Bible Prophecy which oppose the pre-tribulational rapture of the church. Even a true Christian can be held captive by wrong ideas when they are unaware of what the scriptures say on an issue.

8. Satan seeks to create doubt about the word of God, the Bible. He suggested to Eve that God was lying to her about death if she disobeyed. He has used the theory of Evolution to create doubt about God’s eyewitness account of beginnings. Satan’s has tremendous power with his ideas over the minds of men as we witness the incredible pushing of evolution through the schools, and the media as we move towards the return of Christ. Satan used the same method in Germany with Adolf Hitler. Paraphrasing Hitler it was said that if you repeat a lie often enough especially a big one, eventually it becomes true in people’s minds. Evolution has achieved a measure of that status in our generation. A vast illusion compared to what really happened.

9. Satan will motivate persecution first through unjust laws, then applying them to persecute men of faith. In Revelation 2 v 10, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." In North America we are witnessing the beginning of the unjust law phase with special rights being given to sodomites and making those opposed to this sinful behavior guilty of hate crimes. We also are witnessing the ACLU (American Communist Lawyers Union) seeking to remove every vestige of Christianity from public life using a false doctrine called "separation of Church and State". Everybody has a belief system from which they act from and the humanists want their religion as the government endorsed one. They have done this by hiding behind the "science mask" when it’s really a religious philosophy on the same ground as the Christian worldview. And also by hiding behind the "separation of Church and state" which really means that my atheistic worldview is tax supported but your Christian worldview is not. As a result the religion of atheistic evolutionary secular humanism has taken control of the taxpayer’s purse and has sought to exclude other viewpoints from rightful taxpayer dollars. They have unrighteously usurped the taxpayers’ purse and public education needs to be freed of its stifling grip.

10. Satan wants to keep everybody busy with the cares of this life with endless, mindless entertainment on TV and film. He promotes the idea that it’s the journey not the destination that is important when the exact opposite is true. A person’s destination is infinitely more important than the journey. Satan knows that to feed the sinful nature of men he can slowly bring them into deeper and more gross acceptance of sin. He also knows he can quench a true Christian’s spiritual life by feeding their minds with empty, perverse things through the media. We read in Philippians 4 v 8 about what to feed our mind with: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Pollution of the mind destroys a nation.

11. Satan will infiltrate a church with false teachers and doctrine. Churches who accept anyone who can merely quote John 3 v 16 are in open danger and will eventually lose their pulpit and building to a counterfeit. We can quote just a few scriptures of many. Romans 16 v 17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause division and offences contrary to sound doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." 1 Timothy 4 v 1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." 2 Timothy 4 v 3,4 "For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." Jude 1 v 4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Here are just a few items contrary to sound doctrine, any position on prophecy which does not have the removal of the church before the 7 year tribulation of Revelation 6-19, any compromise with Evolution, any position holding that a believer can lose their salvation, any marriage of the Bible with psychological ideas of unredeemed men such as "self esteem", any position where you can claim to be a Christian and still practice sin with no long term change of life, false doctrines such as Calvinism which are fiercely held, the tongues movement, the signs and wonders movement, the claim of the coming great revival when God’s word says the church age ends in apostasy, etc..

12. Satan will seek to have you rely on your feelings or inner impressions, as if from God, in your decision making, rather than first measuring these against the word of God. To be sure a Christian can and should have the inner peace which passeth all understanding and can be led by the Holy Spirit with inner impressions but they must be carefully weighed upon the word of God before acted upon. Satan induced feelings or impressions will always involve a compromise of some sort to fulfil them. I can think of a number times where I’ve had a feeling that I might meet someone soon for a possible relationship. But when the apparent answer came, it involved being unequally yoked.

13. Satan can recognize when a person is close to coming to Christ and he will send members of false religion into that person’s life to entice, lead astray, or turn them off. Satan will also do the same to a new believer to bring confusion and religious bondage.

Spiritual Attacks a Christian Faces

Although Satan attacks from without he has an ally within the Christian called the flesh. The flesh is that as yet unredeemed part of us, which acts independently of God. The flesh is utterly selfish, utterly sinful, an ally of Satan and seeks to bring us back into slavery to sinful practices. We read in Galations 5 v 16,17 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Positionally in Christ we have been freed from the flesh but to experience freedom daily we have to learn to walk in the Spirit. Because of this daily internal battle that a Christian has entered Satan has an ally within that he seeks to strengthen and use. He seeks to strengthen the flesh in people by what they view with their eyes, what they hear with their ears as well as the other senses we have. Satan knows that feeding of the flesh through rebellious movies, TV, music weakens a person spiritually. He knows that a Christian’s flesh will get the upper hand because disobedience in what you view and listen to quenches the Spirit’s power. Daily confession of any known sin is essential to an experiential vital relationship with the Holy Spirit. Confession of sin needs to acknowledge taking control of the will and following the flesh and conversely must follow with surrender of the will to the Holy Spirit in order to experience the victory over sin.

There is a whole realm of spiritual attacks that Satan will be allowed to put you under. So the ones I mention here will not be all-inclusive but hopefully will cover enough ground for you to recognize when you are being attacked. 1 Peter 5 v 8-10 reads, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect (spiritually mature), stablish, strengthen, settle you." While Satan seeks to have you fall into sin and to control you, God seeks to build your spiritual muscle and teach you to walk in the strength of the Holy Spirit and to be conformed to the image of His Son. The scripture calls us to keep every thought "captive to Christ". This means knowing the scripture and putting to death thoughts that come from Satan or your flesh.

1. The main battlefield of attack is your mind. Satan will bring to your memory your past sins in very vivid detail. He wants to torment you with your past. What is really gauling is that it is likely one of his demonic spirits was there when you actually did the sin and was using his power to influence you to sin. So, we are dealing with some really malicious beings here. Our defence has to be to own that sin and say my Savior Jesus has paid for that one. In fact Satan are there any of my sins that Jesus has not already paid for? Then respectfully ask him to withdraw. We have mentioned James 4 v 7 earlier.

2. Satan will seek to move your focus to things of lesser importance till all you think about are lesser things and activities. If your goal for living each day is anything but to do the will of God and be conformed to the image of his Son then it is likely you are off track on lesser issues.

3. Satan will flood your mind with impure, lustful thoughts and imagery seeking to get you to yield to the persuasion. The Bible calls them the "fiery darts of the evil one". Ephesians 6 v 16.

4. Satan will try and give you a "running" mind where thoughts just rapidly come and go as if they are being fed into your mind and you don’t control them.

5. Satan will put subtle thought suggestions in your mind seeking to get you to think that they are your own or worse yet from God. We need to examine thoughts to see if they conform to the likeness of Jesus, pure, unselfish etc.

6. Satan will offer you a relationship with an unbeliever, if you resist and refuse, not wanting to be unequally yoked, he will question your sexuality.

7. Satan will come and bring intense mental thoughts of dissatisfaction with God because of unanswered prayer or a myriad of other circumstances and then attempt you to accuse God of wrongdoing. He will try to create a storm in your mind as he assails with negative thoughts.

8. Satan will attempt to get you to be dissatisfied with God’s will and provision for your life by showing you all the wealth and possessions of other people who don’t know God. He wants to elicit you to envy and to seek the same goals as the world. (See Psalm 73)

9. Satan will throw thought darts at you through other people just as he used Peter to attack Jesus about going to the cross to make payment for our sins. A popular one he uses today is to "just love one another, forget this sound doctrine stuff, it divides". What is particularly gauling is that he delights to attack you this way using a carnal Christian who has yielded to their flesh or maybe someone who just professes to be a Christian. Another one is "Don’t judge lest you be judged". Satan uses this to try and suspend thinking and discernment. Yet there are many scriptures which call us to judge ourselves, judge doctrine, judge spirits, judge speakers, judge those within the church who are practicing sin, as well as many more. The only caveat God calls for is to judge righteously with kindness and gentleness and a motive to restore relationships. Yet Satan seeks to suspend all judgment.

10. He will seek to tempt you to be proud about your education, your looks, your job, your spiritual knowledge, your latest sermon, your children, your possessions, your country, your city, and a myriad of other things. The root of pride is the fleshly nature which boasts in itself, yet the Lord says that let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. For what do you have that was not given unto you by the Lord? He seeks for you to take credit for things instead giving all credit to God.

11. Satan will try to advance our vain imaginations towards grandiose plans for business or doing God’s work. Of course we would be lifted up into a powerful position in the scheme of things. Yet Jesus would say, take my yoke upon yourself and learn of me, for I am meek, humble, and a servant to others.

12. Satan will seek for you to be impatient with God. A lot of times we pray for God to meet some of our legitimate desires and yet we receive no answer. In our time of waiting on God Satan will invariably step in and offer a shortcut to the answer. He will provide apparent answers to your prayers but there is always a compromise involved. Generally Satan’s answers come before Gods as a test of your discernment. God wants you to learn the difference between the two.

13. Satan will seek to divide true Christians from each other. Just as Satan used Peter to speak through and oppose Jesus, he will use the tongues of his children or a carnal Christian to speak opposition to someone who is seeking to do God’s will. One common approach is to bring up the past sins of that one seeking to do the will of God to another. While each of us in the flesh have done many unsavory things Satan knows that some might think their sins are less offensive than others and exalt themselves condemning the other. This has been an effective way of breaking relationships and God’s work. If a person does not discern the intent of other people’s words and recognize Satan speaking through them they will be deceived into following those words.

14. Satan will oppose you as you seek to communicate God’s word to others. Many times he will wait until you are home alone then enter your presence for a wrestling match of the mind. You cannot expect to freely call people out of his kingdom without opposition.

15. Satan will come and seek to knock you down after you had a mountain top spiritual experience with God. Perhaps you have seen some spiritual growth in a area that the flesh was dominant and have experienced through the Holy Spirit more consistent victory. Satan will seek to oppose you by getting you to stumble into sin.

16. Satan will seek to masquerade as the Holy Spirit’s voice in your mind. Sometimes he will seek to give you a strong impression about a direction for your life whether it be a job or a certain place to move to or a certain person to relate to. Many times the direction will be along the lines of your own inner desires. This makes it very difficult sometimes to discern what to do because of the subjective nature of the leading combined with our own desires. What I have learned is that if the leading is persistent, slightly pushy, and your mind becomes slightly stressed it is time for caution. It is also important to share with a spiritually minded person your leading and ask them to pray about it for you. In one instance I had a strong impression to leave a job and move to another city. The strong direction keep my mind preoccupied quite a bit as to whether I should make the move. Two things led to resolvement. I shared my direction with some friends and I recognized that if I bailed on my job at this point in time I would be leaving in the middle of the project. As my friends prayed the strong leading left from my mind and I realized that God’s timing is perfect and to bail out half way through a project did not seem to fit God’s character and my previous experience with his timing. If inner leading is from the Holy Spirit it is peaceable to the mind, honoring to current responsibilities and not pushy, impulsive or have a shady side to it.

Have you recognized some of these methods and attacks of Satan? If you have the Spirit is showing you these things. And he wants to also show you the way of consistent victory through not just abiding in Him but through the Armor of God.

 

Putting on the Armor of God

Besides asking to be filled with Holy Spirit on a moment by moment basis, God commands each one us to put on the armor of God each day. Just as by faith you yield to the Spirit and trust the Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit through you, the same goes with the armor of God. By faith you put on each piece of armor and through that obedience trust the Holy Spirit to make each piece of armor real in the daily battle. For a long time in my Christian walk I did not take seriously the commands of Ephesians chapter 6 v 10-19. Since I have been daily putting on my armor I have experienced much more mental and emotional self-control as well as freedom from practicing sin. I have been able to resist the devil when he comes into my presence and seeks to harass and oppress my mind. When do you put the armor on? Well, when do you enter the battlefield each day? If you guessed the moment your eyes open in the morning you are correct. That is provided you went to sleep filled with the Spirit, with no unconfessed sin and having asked God to protect you during your sleeping hours. If so, you enter the battlefield the moment you awake and sometimes Satan doesn’t wait for you to use the washroom or have breakfast. He’s there instantly to attack your mind and emotions and your trust in God. Let’s read the scriptures on the armor and make comment on the purpose of each piece. I do not intend to be exhaustive as to every aspect of the armor of God as that is not the intent of this paper. It is but a brief commentary to open up the resources of God to your daily experience in the battle for your mind and to leave you standing at the end of the day.

Ephesians 6 v 10-19 reads, v10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. V11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. V12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. V13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. V14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; V15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; V16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. V17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: V18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; V19 and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.

Paul says at the start that we "wrestle" against the invisible forces of the Dark Planet. The wrestling ring of this battle is your mind. When these fallen spirits are in your presence they seek to influence your mind, to lead you into sin, to toss you to and fro with every wind of false doctrine, to turn your emotions into a roller coaster, to harass you over past sins, to lead you into bad choices, to bring confusion (for the devil is the author of confusion), to control your mind so it is running, to take away a peaceful mind and the list could go on. God, the Holy Spirit indwells and wants you to learn how to win this wrestling match in daily experience through the spiritual armor of God.

The first piece of armor God says to put on is to "girt your loins with truth". The concept here is to renew your mind in the word of God and build your thinking on the great truths of God’s word. The mind does work in measure to the old axiom "garbage in garbage out". If you are feeding your mind with the corrupt media of the world your fruit will be rotten. However if you feed your mind on the word of God and with teachers of sound doctrine and yield your will to what it says you will have in good measure a renewed mind. It is for this reason that you need to read the word of God daily to keep your mind fed with true reality. For the Bible is an accurate description of true reality versus the vain illusions and imaginations that fill the dark planet. The second piece of armor is the "breastplate of righteousness". This piece of armor is for emotional stability. A major source of emotional upheaval and instability is caused by the true guilt as a result of our personal sins. When Jesus comes in and cleanses that guilt we receive his righteousness and peace with God. This recognition that my guilt was placed upon another and I am eternally secure and free is my main source of emotional stability. The ancients believed that the main organs of the body were the seat of the emotions. Having this armor on keeps your life from being an emotional roller coaster as you face the circumstances of daily life. If Satan can get you to believe that you can lose your salvation and has enticed put you on to the daily performance roller coaster he has gained a major victory over your emotional security. The truth of salvation being eternally secure is the sure ground needed in the daily battle. The third piece of armor is "having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." The concept here is to be looking for Spirit led opportunities to give the gospel to people you meet in your daily life. God is everywhere convicting the world of their sin, their need for righteousness and the judgment that is coming. God may want to use you to give spiritual light to an individual that is in your circle of influence.

I know that I’ve missed a few opportunities by thinking that nothing much was going on today. An yet God does not want us going around trying to corner people and blasting them with the gospel. It has to be led by the Holy Spirit, which is a learning process. One time I felt led by the Spirit to head to the mountains and scramble the East End of Rundle. It was foggy high up on the mountain but I had a zeal to hurry up the ridge. Since this seemed unusual I sensed there was some purpose. As I reached the upper slopes I met a couple who did not know the last way. I both showed them the way and gave them some spiritual light through my web site address. The fourth piece of armor is the "shield of faith". Its purpose is to "quench the fiery darts of the wicked". The fiery darts are what I call thought bombs. They can come through people as Satan used Peter to oppose Jesus or they can be just a fallen spirit in your presence throwing evil or seductive thoughts into your mind. There are many types of darts but all will be contrary to the sound doctrine of the word of God. The point here is to resist or reject these thoughts at their onset as not from God but from the enemy and therefore repulsed. Sometimes I find myself just lifting my arm as if it has a shield on it and saying ‘I reject these thoughts as not from God". And then I respectfully ask the spirit to leave in the name of Jesus. If the thoughts persist I use whatever truths of scripture that will address the lines of thought I’m being attacked with. The fifth piece of armor is the "helmet of salvation". The helmet of salvation is for the protection of your mind and also the security of your salvation. If Satan can get you to believe that you can lose your salvation he will have gained a major victory on your peace of mind. He will have brought you into the fear and bondage that you fall into and out of salvation based on your daily performance. So, the recognition and understanding of the full payment that Jesus made on the cross and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit give the peace of God in your mind that passeth all understanding. Another aspect of the helmet of salvation is having a peaceful easy working mind not over stressed by this worry and that anxiety or this fear. When you by faith put on the helmet the Holy Spirit gives you that peaceful easy thinking state of mind as long as you don’t quench Him by sin. The sixth piece of armor is called the "Sword of the Spirit". This sword allows the Holy Spirit to bring the right scripture to your mind for the particular need of the moment. When Jesus was led out into the wilderness to be tested by the Devil he kept quoting to the Devil the particular scripture appropriate for the need of the moment. I will give you a common example you will face. God will allow you to be put through adverse circumstances. You may be a little bewildered as to why this is happening to you. At this point in time Satan will come along and seek for you to blame God or he will say that God has abandoned you or that God cannot be trusted. The Holy Spirit however will bring scripture to your mind about being appointed to trials and that God will never leave thee nor forsake thee. The correct scripture will blunt and turn back the attack upon your mind. The seventh piece of armor is an attitude of prayer. It involves asking the Holy Spirit to make you aware of things and people that you should pray for as you walk through your day. God wants us to learn about what things to pray about. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to keep us aware of things we should be praying about and through that learning process we grow in grace and spiritual understanding.

Conclusion

My prayer for you is that having escaped the Dark Planet, having escaped from the kingdom of the god of this world, having your darkened mind restored, that you would walk worthy of the Prince of all Peace. That you would commit yourself to be a mature ambassador for Christ. That you would commit yourself, dependent upon the true counsellor, the Holy Spirit, to learn to rightly divide the whole scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. For we read of our resources to live the Christian life in 1 Peter 1 v 3, "According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." That you would leads others into the battle and teach these things also, enduring all things as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. Maranatha pilgrims of the heavenly way!