Archive for the ‘Spiritual Enemies’ Category

Recently, while trying to put a water hose away, I was stung by some bees. They had been feeding on some flowers nearby. I invaded their territory and must have threatened them. Their stings hurt badly. Bees take a dim view of being stepped on and they have an effective way of letting us know about it.

Pain. “[It] can be a wonderful teacher. It’s just a pity that while we quickly learn to avoid bees, we tend to learn more slowly regarding sin. Yet the truths of the Bible, the testimony of the prophets, the teachings of Christ – all point to the same time-proven principle: Sin hurts. Yet how often we repeat even the sins which cause us – or those we love – damage.

Patience. “God’s patience at last ran out toward [some Jewish people in the Old Testament] who simply wouldn’t learn, people who continually hurt themselves and damaged each other by indulging in the same ways.” – Your Daily Walk, Walk Thru the Bible, p. 269

Consequences. Sin often has long term natural consequences even though we’ve confessed our sins to God.  Consider the life of King David.  Let’s learn from his and the mistakes of others (1 Corinthians 10:6). 

Victorious Living.  Would you like to learn how to be victorious over your sin nature, the devil, and the present world system? You can live victoriously if you learn how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit to overcome the lusts (strong desires) of the flesh/sin nature (Galatians 5:16), put on the whole armor of God when it’s needed to resist and overcome the devil’s temptations (Ephesians 6:10-17), and refuse to love the present world system that is passing away (1 John 2:15-17).

Chastening. Should you, as a child of God, act defiantly toward your heavenly Father, and resist God the Holy Spirit, and refuse to confess your sins to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16), you could be chastened and scourged by God the Father in a variety of ways (Hebrews 12:5-11). Because the carnal Corinthian Christians were participating in the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way, they were chastened with weakness, sickness, and some even died prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30).

Potential. We have potential years and actual years. At the time of our salvation, we were made to participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3), but we still have a sinful nature (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25). We also have the potential to engage in the works of the flesh that are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21).

Quote. “Without exception, every one of [the works of the flesh  Galatians 5:19-21] is a perversion of something which is in itself good. Immorality, impurity, licentiousness are perversions of the sexual instinct which is in itself a lovely thing and part of love. Idolatry is a perversion of worship, and was begun as an aid to worship. Sorcery is a perversion of the use of healing drugs in medicine. Envy, jealousy, and strife are perversions of that noble ambition and desire to do well which can be a spur to greatness. Enmity and anger are a perversion of that righteous indignation without which the passion for goodness cannot exist. Dissension and the party spirit are a perversion of the devotion to principle which can produce the martyr.  Drunkenness and carousing are the perversion of the happy joy of social fellowship and of the things which men can happily and legitimately enjoy. Nowhere is there better illustrated the power of evil to take beauty and to twist it into ugliness, to take the finest things and to make them an avenue for sin. The awfulness of the power of sin lies precisely in its ability to take the raw material of potential goodness and turn it into the material of evil” (Flesh and Spirit by William Barclay, page 39).

Value. Among other things, the Old Testament serves as a negative example for us not to engage in the same sins the Jews did lest we be judged as they were (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). Our discipline, as Christians, is limited to this life because we won’t be condemned later with the unsaved people of this world (1 Corinthians 11:32; See John 3:18, 36).

Stinger. “’O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56, 57).

Deliverance. If you’re not a Christian, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved [from eternal condemnation]” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Matthew 25:41, 46; John 3:16, 18, 36).

Help. If you need additional help, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  We’d like to know if this has helped you. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

 

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 1 Peter 5:8, 9

When it comes to the subject of the devil, two mistakes are often made by many people, including Christians. Some folks joke about him while others ignore him. Both of these responses are dangerous positions to take.

Warning. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the latter times some people would depart from the faith and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. They would speak lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron. They would tell people not to marry and abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-5; See Acts 10:14, 28). He told Timothy to preach the word with authority and to be ready in season and out of season because many people would seek to follow teachers with itching ears who would tell the people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Ignorance. The Apostle Peter, having given in to a temptation from the devil to play the role of a coward (Luke 22:31, 32; Matthew 26:74), was well aware of Satan’s tactics. They seem to be intensifying in our day and we need to know the truth about him so we who are true Christians can resist and overcome him (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 1 John 4:4) after we have put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Let’s not be ignorant of his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Satan’s Activities

Independence. He seeks to provoke believers to rely on themselves rather than on God (See John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13). As a result of King David’s yielding to Satan’s solicitation to number and rely on his troops rather than on God Himself, 70,000 Israelite men died (1 Chronicles 21:1). The leaders of the world have made and will make decisions to engage in unjust wars and in the future billions of people will die. Do you know how many people will die during the seven years of the Tribulation when the devil, the anti-Christ, and the false prophet are in charge? It will be over ½ of the world’s population (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). If God allowed them to have power for more than seven years, no one would survive (Matthew 24:22). By the way, not all wars are unjust and some have been ordered by God Himself (Deuteronomy 20:17-20). God gave the wicked nations in the land of Canaan 400 years to repent but they didn’t (Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24). God is long suffering and wants people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). But there will come a day when He will judge the unrepentant and unbelievers (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8). You and I can cause great harm to others too if we act like the heathen and the Israelites who sacrificed their live babies to the pagan god Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 32:35). Can God forgive the sin of murder and other sins (Exodus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)? Yes! He forgave King David, King Manasseh, and the Apostle Paul (2 Samuel 12:9; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20; Acts 8:1-3).

Victims. He roams the world to find victims to overwhelm (1 Peter 5:8). He’d like for believers to become bitter and have an unforgiving spirit (Hebrews 12:15; 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11) and get them to curse God and die for not protecting them from harm and danger (Job 2:9). The patriarch Job was an upright man and became the object of Satan’s abuse. He was allowed by God to strip Job of his children, his wealth, and his health (Job 1, 2). He became a prime example of our need to trust God even when things are going badly (Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Do you do this?

Blindness. The Scriptures talk about three kinds of spiritual blindness: Natural blindness. This keeps all unbelievers from understanding many things in the Scriptures or think of them as simply being foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:14; 3:19). Satanic blindness. He spiritually blinds the minds of unbelievers to prevent them from understanding the power of the Gospel to save Jews and non-Jews (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 1:16, 17). Judicial blindness. This was imposed on the Jewish people because of their rejection of their promised Messiah (Romans 11:25; Matthew 27:25). Only God Himself can remove these three blinds from people’s spiritual eyes after the Gospel has been presented to them by a human agent (1 John 4:4; Romans 1:16).

Darts. Satan has in his arsenal 14 fiery, mental darts that he directs at a believer’s mind but only if God allows it (Ephesians 6:10-17). Disappointment, discouragement, doubt are very effective tools he uses to bring Christians down and cause them to lose their power from God (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). Do you know what the other 11 temptations are and how to overcome them? They are not to be confused with the temptations that come from our old sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21; See 1 john 1:8) or from the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:17-24).

Hinder. Whenever he can, he tries to hinder those who are engaged in the work of evangelizing the lost with the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and the edification of believers (1 Thessalonians 5:11) for their work of service (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 4:10). He encourages and promotes greedy, false teachers who do his bidding (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). Beware of the “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14).

Doubt. He undermines the Word of God by casting doubt on it (Genesis 3:1). He often uses false teachers to twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Many of them use the allegorical rather than the normal, historical, grammatical method of interpreting the Scriptures (Matthew 13:19; Genesis 3:1).

Angel. Believe it or not, he can transform himself into an angel of light so as to try to deceive other good angels (2 Corinthians 11:14). He drew 1/3 of the angels with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). They became demons and are destined for the eternal lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46). This Biblical teaching stands in sharp contrast to the false teachers who teach and promote the “universal reconciliation” (salvation) of all of God’s creatures in the end.

Satan’s Future

Abyss. After the seven years of the tribulation (Daniel 9:27; See Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff) the devil will be captured by a low ranking angel and will be bound in the Abyss for 1,000 years while the Lord Jesus Christ rules on/over the earth (Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 9:6, 7). But when the 1,000 years are over the devil will be released from the Abyss for a brief time. He will gather to himself those who inwardly rebelled against Christ during His 1,000 year reign on earth (Revelation 20:7-9). Then Christ will cast the devil, his angels (demons) and the unbelievers into the lake of fire where they will suffer forever (Revelation 20:10). God is a righteous and holy God and must/will sentence the unbelievers to that awful place. There are no second chances to be saved once a person dies (Hebrews 9:27). Don’t be misled by false teachers who teach otherwise. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). His Word is truth (John 17:17).

Conclusion: Therefore, if you still are a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10), you need to be “born again from above” (John 3:3-6) so you can become a child of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Believers need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. [Having submitted yourself to God, and having put on the whole armor of God], resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17).

Help. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. You may contact us at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

When? June 1, 2016  6:30-7:30 P.M. (Pacific Time)

What? A Bible Study for teachable Christians (2 Timothy 2:2, 15)

Topic: “Identifying Satan’s Fiery Darts”

How? By phone. Limited connections available.

Call: 805-238-3549 or 805-238-7665 for more information.

Please Read these articles first to see if you’d be interested:

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/spiritual-warfare/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-devil-fallacies-facts-2/

 

Yes, I hate to admit it, but I did fall off a bicycle the other day as my son, David and I were out having some father-son time. I hurt myself and threw my back out in the fall but thankfully I didn’t break anything as my wife did when she fell some time ago. I got up and we continued riding for a few more miles before returning the bikes. Then I got some ice to put on my back to bring the swelling down.

After falling, I could have said, “That does it. I’m not going to ride a bike anymore.”  But I didn’t do that. I got up and kept going in spite of the pain.

Many Christians get knocked down spiritually quite often and after awhile they give up. They feel like there is no use in trying to live the victorious Christian life any more. Maybe you feel that way.

Currently on Wednesday evenings (6:30-7:30) we’re talking about our spiritual enemies: the devil, our sin nature, and the present world system. These three enemies can cause our fellowship and our enjoyment of God and His children to be disrupted when we yield to their distinct temptations. Some folks, living in other states, are joining us by means of a phone connection. (Click on the link below to learn more and let us know if you’d like to join us by phone. Call us at 805-238-3549.)

This Bible Study is designed for those who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior by believing that He died for their sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.

My problem was a matter of balance. In the spiritual realm, it’s also a matter of balance. Dr. Charles Ryrie wrote a book that I would recommend to you. It’s entitled, “Balancing The Christian Life” by Moody Press. He begins the book by defining true spirituality and then gives an explanation of what man is and what man can become through Christ. He wrote it for Christians who desire a practical application of balanced spirituality in their lives.

Current Wednesday Night Studies: “The Devil – Fallacies & Facts”

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/the-devil-fallacies-facts/

Balancing The Christian Life by Dr. Charles Ryrie

http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780802408877-balancing-the-christian-life

It can be as strong and as subtle as the pull of gravity. All of us were born with a sinful nature (disposition) that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5). When we get saved, we receive a new nature that enables us to please God (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Sadly, many Christians grieve God (Ephesians 4:30). Contrary to what some Christians are being taught, we still have our sin nature even after we get saved. “If we say we have no sin [nature], we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8; See Romans 7:15-25)). We can be carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Our sin nature naturally rebels against God and His Word and perverts good things into the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).

Right/Wrong. Most people do what is right in their own eyes without giving any thought as to whether or not God has given any instructions in His Word as to what we should or shouldn’t do (Judges 17:6; 21:25; Proverbs 21:2). Unsaved people try to save themselves by their good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Most Christians don’t rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Few Christians in churches are being taught about “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2 – See our “Dispensations Chart” for more information.) Instead they are being told to live according to the Mosaic Law or Kingdom rules that were given to the Jews (Romans 6:14; Matthew 5-7). If you’re a Christian, do you know where to find your rules for living? Doing what seems right in our own eyes could result in our premature death (Proverbs 14:12; 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16).

Pure Lives. Living in this perverted world where evil is called good, and good is called evil (Isaiah 5:20), and having a sin nature, makes it hard for us, as Christians, to live holy (morally pure) lives. But this is what God expects of us (1 Peter 1:15, 16; 1 Thessalonians 4:3). But, thankfully, He makes victorious Christian living possible for us when we learn how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). Do you know how to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)?

Conformed/Transformed. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Christians, not to the unsaved as a condition for salvation.  (We don’t believe in “Lordship for salvation.”)  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world [age], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). Do you know the difference between an “age loving Christian” (2 Timothy 4:10) and a “worldly Christian” (1 John 2:12-17)? They aren’t the same. Do you know how to be transformed, as it were, from a creepy caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly so that you can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:10) and approving of His good, acceptable, and perfect will for your life?

P.C. Are you trying to please others by being “politically correct” only to be displeasing to God? Are you trying to go along just to get along? Are all world views and religions equally valid? Do all faiths lead us to heaven? What did Jesus, the Apostles Peter and Paul say (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 16:31)?  You can have three diametrically different world views but they can’t all be right. They could all be wrong or one could be right and the other two wrong. Should Christians be unequally yoked with “nominal Christians” or apostates even if it’s for a good cause like evangelism (2 Corinthians 6:14; Romans 3:8; Revelation 18:4)? Should we be kind and considerate and do good to those who disagree with us (Galatians 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 4:2; Titus 1:13)? With whom was Jesus harsh (Matthew 23:13-39)?

Admonitions. When God delivers someone from the clutches of the devil and his everlasting, future residence in the lake of fire (Colossians 1:13; Matthew 25:41, 46), that person instantly becomes a “saint” as it relates to his position, but not to his practice (1 Peter 1:15, 16; 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). True believers are separated unto God and for His glory (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). We turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). But we still live in enemy territory while we are here on earth. The kingdoms of this world still belong to the devil (Matthew 4:9). Do you know when Christ will take them from him by force (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15)? God wants us to prepare our minds for action (1 Peter 1:13). The spirit that belongs to the mind is the only part of a Christian that is currently saved (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 6:17). The Christian’s body and soul (emotions) will be saved at the time of the Rapture (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9).

Sober. Some people have the mistaken idea that a Christian must always be somber and never smile or laugh. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” is joy (Galatians 5:22).  “A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).  Constantly miserable and downhearted Christians are bad advertising for God. The Christian’s future is as bright as the promises of God.”  But we must be on guard for ourselves and for others because the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking to overwhelm people (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19). My job, as a Pastor/teacher, is, in part, to instruct Christians how to live victoriously over Satan’s solicitations to sin (Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15) and over the sin nature, and the present world system.

Hope. Our hope, as Christians, isn’t merely wishful thinking. It is a confident expectation based on a promise from God who can’t lie (Romans 15:4; Titus 1:2). We believe that we will see again our deceased loved ones (including our son Billy) and friends who placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and who rose again bodily on the third day. Christ’s resurrection guarantees the resurrection of all men, but not everyone will or wants to go to heaven to be with God forever (1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 1 John 3:19; Revelation 16:11; 21:8). The Scriptures don’t teach “Universal Salvation.”

Holiness. God’s holiness causes Him to abhor anything unlike Himself and demand of others a purity identical to His own (Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16). God’s wrath is/can be displayed toward that which is not like Him (Romans 1:18). This is why Jesus had to be spiritually separated from His Father from noon until 3 P.M. as He hung on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). God the Father was propitiated/satisfied with the payment the Lord Jesus Christ made for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). To prove this to us He raised Jesus from the dead with a glorified body consisting of flesh and bones but lacking blood (Romans 4:25; See John 16:10; Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50). He was seen by over 500 witnesses before returning to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:6). He did this in the presence of His disciples (Acts 1:9-11). He promised to return (John 14:1-3). Perhaps today! Are you ready?

So What? As those who have been set apart unto God, every and all Christians should allow themselves to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit so that we can have and then direct the Fruit of the Spirit toward the right objects at the right time. Those who are loving and anticipating Christ’s imminent return will purify themselves (1 John 3:3) and earn for themselves the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). When a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4), he is to confess his sins to God the Father to receive “family forgiveness” (1 John 1:9). If necessary, we’re also supposed to humbly and honestly confess our sins to the person against whom we have sinned (James 5:16). If forgiveness is granted, we need to ask that person not to hold it against us any longer. Our forgiving others should be modeled after God’s forgiveness of us (Ephesians 4:32).

Walking. When a Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walks by means of the Spirit, he can’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from his sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 25). When we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with Him and other believers, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son keeps on cleansing us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:3-7).

Help. If you need spiritual help and are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15), we can be reached at 805-238-3549.  If you have been helped by this article, we’d like to hear from you.  Would you share this with someone else who is teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2)?  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

To escape the harsh realities of life, many people will be lured by the devil and his agents to go off into fantasy land. To illustrate how he does this, we might consider the following scenario involving Satan and his demons at a convention.

Satan says, “As long as Christians stay close to God, we have no power over them. So here are 12 things you can do to get victory over them.”

1. Keep them busy with non essentials.

2. Tempt them to overspend and go into debt.

3. Make them work long hours to maintain empty life styles.

4. Discourage them from spending family time together, for when their homes disintegrate there is no refuge from work.

5. Over stimulate their minds with television and computers, so they can’t hear God speaking to them through His Word.

6. Fill their coffee tables and nightstands with newspapers and magazines so they have no time to read the Bible.

7. Flood their mailboxes with sweepstakes promotions and get rich quick schemes to keep them chasing material things.

8. Put glamor models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances. That way they will be dissatisfied with themselves and dissatisfied with their mates.

9. Make sure married couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy so they will be tempted to look elsewhere.

10. Make Santa and the Easter bunny bigger than Jesus to divert them from remembering the real meaning of the holiday.

11. Involve them in good causes so they won’t have time for eternal ones.

12. Make them self satisfied. Keep them busy working in their own strength so they’ll never know the joy of God’s power working through them.

Remember my demons, keep them busy! Because we know what it stands for: B=BEING U=UNDER S=SATAN’S Y=YOKE – Original source unknown.

Have you inadvertently been ensnared by the devil or one of his agents? If he can’t get you with one of his own 14 temptations, he can use the present world system to interrupt your fellowship with God.

Do not love the [present] world [system] or the things in the world. If any [Christian] loves the world [system], the love [for] the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but if of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Christians may and will need to use the world system while we live on this earth, but we are not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). Do you know what makes up the present world system and how Satan uses it to trip up spiritually maturing Christians?

The devil, our sin nature, and the present world system are three different spiritual enemies.  Each of them attacks us in different ways and we must use the appropriate measures to overcome them.

If you would like to learn more, call us at 805-238-3549. If you’re not sure of your salvation, we also have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages at http://www.kelseypeach.com. 

Listen to Paul Harvey

“If I Were The Devil”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3Az0okaHig