Archive for the ‘Spiritual Warfare’ Category

 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: If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

1 Peter 4:15-19

We’re told that “attitude is everything.” How we respond to the circumstances of life tells others a lot about us. Do we grumble and gripe as the children of Israel in the wilderness did (1 Corinthians 10) or do we thank Him for opportunities to trust Him in the hard times of life (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:14)? Do we know God’s promises and mix them with faith and enjoy the peace of God (Hebrews 4:2, 3; Philippians 4:4-7)? Let’s consider –

The Believer’s Action In Relation To Suffering. It should be obvious that if we sin or do evil we usually will suffer for it (1 Peter 4:15, 16). Most often, we reap what we’ve sown (Galatians 6:7-9) and should recognize that the government has been given the God given responsibility to punish evil doers even to the point of death for some crimes against humanity (Romans 13:4). We should not expect to receive a gold medal if we competed in an athletic event and violated the rules of the game (2 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27). Nor should we expect to be rewarded for our service to God and/or to others if we engaged in the activity independently of God or without faith (John 15:5; Romans 14:23; Hebrews 11:6). If we should suffer as a result of doing what is right, we ought to commit our souls (emotions) to God and let Him bring us the needed comfort at such times (1 Peter 4:19). Jesus suffered mercilessly at the hands of wicked men. He died as the Just one for the unjust ones – you and me (1 Peter 3:18). He bore our sins and paid the penalty of death that we deserved (Isaiah 53:7-9; Romans 6:23). Throughout the pages of the Scriptures we have examples of believers who suffered unjustly at the hands of the wicked (See Hebrews 11; Acts 5:20, 41).

The Time Of Judgment In Relation To Suffering. No one will escape judgment day (Hebrews 9:27). Everyone who has died will be raised up someday and will stand before Judge Jesus (John 5:22). There will be different orders of resurrections and times of judgment (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). New Testament Grace believers will be judged according to their works when Christ returns at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:51, 52; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Their works that have the quality of gold, silver, and precious stones will endure the fire and will be rewarded. Their worthless works will be burned up but they will not lose their salvation. On the other hand, all the dead unbelievers will raised back to life with immortal bodies and will stand before the omniscient (John 2:24), omnipotent (Revelation 1:8), and righteous (2 Timothy 4:8) Judge Jesus at the Great While Throne to have their works evaluated to determine their degree of suffering in the eternal lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). There will not be any second opportunities to be saved as some cults teach. Yes, there seems to be greater degrees of pleasure in heaven for those Christians who earned some or all of the five crowns on earth so they can cast them at Jesus’ feet when He judges their works (Revelation 4:10). In like manner there will be degrees of suffering in the lake of fire for all unbelievers (Matthew 10:15; 23:13-36; James 3:1). The unforgivable sin is unbelief (John 3:6, 18; 36; 5:40; 16:8-11).

The Gospel. The “Bad News” is that we’re all sinners who deserve to be eternally separated from a holy God in the lake of fire forever (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23). But the “Good News” is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. He can/will save any and all who put their faith in Him apart from their good works (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9). The Scriptures don’t teach universalism – that eventually everyone will be saved and end up in heaven. Some people hate God and don’t want to spend eternity with Him and His children. They love darkness and won’t come to the Light of the world to be saved (John 3:19; Revelation 13:6; 16:11).

Suffering? If you, as a Christian, are suffering for doing what it sinful, confess and forsake your sinful conduct.  To keep from repeating the same sins over and over again, utilize the techniques taught in the Scriptures (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). We teach Christians how to overcome the distinct temptations that come from the devil, their own sin nature, and from the present world system. If you are suffering for doing what is right, be encouraged by these words: “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls [emotional stability] to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). “…if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I [Paul] consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17, 18; See 2 Cor. 11:23-33; 2 Timothy 2:10). If you’re a Christian, your troubles didn’t come to stay but to pass. If you’re not a Christian and if you die as an unbeliever, your suffering and troubles are just beginning. You won’t be resting in peace (R.I.P.) in the lake of fire. Don’t delay! Trust in Christ alone today! God desires (not determines) that everyone be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). He wants His children to enjoy their eternal life abundantly (John 10:10).

Help. If you aren’t sure that you will go immediately into God’s presence in heaven the moment you die, we’d be happy to try to help you have such assurance from God’s Word (1 John 5:13) and from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please pass it on to others so we can help them too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel.

Clear Gospel – Audio:

God Honoring Music:

John 8:13-18

“I believe that Jesus was a great moral teacher and a good man but I don’t believe that He is God.” Have you ever heard someone says this? Others might even go so far as to say, “I believe that Jesus is the God-man who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, but I’m not willing to put my faith in Him alone for my salvation. I believe that good works contribute to my salvation.” What about you? Do you believe that you are going to heaven? Why should God let you into His heaven? If you believe that you have been saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that could cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?  If in doubt, contact us right away.  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?  Make sure today.

Bold. Jesus made some bold “I AM….” statements about Himself that infuriated His enemies so much that they wanted to silence Him by killing Him (John 5:18; 8:58). Not willing to accept the miracles that He performed to validate His credentials (John 20:31), they insisted that He prove what He was claiming about Himself with other witnesses (John 8:13).  He did, but they still wouldn’t believe in/on Him (John 8:18).

Liar. Most of the religious leaders of Israel hated Jesus and were envious of His ability to draw people to Himself (Matthew 27:18). They accused Him of being a liar even though He proved that He was the Christ (Messiah) and the Son of God by the three kinds of miracles He performed before them (John 5:36; Acts 2:22). When someone loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19), he will do almost anything to make excuses for his unwillingness to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for his sins…and rose again bodily from the dead.

Lunatic. It surprises some people to learn that Jesus’ own half brothers and sisters, who were born of Joseph and Mary (Matthew 13:55), didn’t believe on Him as their personal Savior until after they saw Him in His resurrected, glorified body (John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). In fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus would be considered insane (Isaiah 53:4), His own family members came to take Him away after He chose 12 men to be His disciples (Mark 3:21).

Lord. It may further surprise you to know that there are some people in cults who believe that Jesus was God manifested in human flesh, that He was born of the virgin, Mary, that He lived a sinless life, that He died for our sins…and rose again bodily.  And yet the Apostle Paul said that some of them had “believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1- 4).  They weren’t saved and headed for heaven. What did he mean by saying that?  Did you know that the devil believes in the Deity of Christ (Isaiah 14:14; Matthew 4:3)? The demons do too (Matthew 8:29; James 2:19).

Lord, Lord. To a group of people who claimed to have done many wonderful things in His name (prophesying in Christ’s name, casting out demons, performing wonder miracles), the Lord said, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23). Why did/will He say this to them? Simply because they didn’t do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21). What is His will? To those who asked Him what they had to do that they might do the works of God, He replied, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:28, 29; See John 5:24). “…God (the Father) so loved the world (i. e. the people on earth) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting (eternal) life” (John 3:16). Have you placed your faith in Him exclusively through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) or are you depending on your faith plus your good works to get you to heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)?

Lordship. Sadly, many people are taught that in order for them to be saved, they must first make Jesus the Master of their lives and submit to His Lordship over every aspect of their lives before they can be saved. They make the conditions for spiritual maturity the conditions for salvation. Honestly, do you know of anyone who has stopped sinning by promising to make Jesus the Lord/Master of his/her life? Those who say that Christians don’t have a sin nature after they get saved are deceiving themselves (1 John 1:8). Men who teach this heresy and another gospel will be held accountable before the Lord for teaching it (James 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). Even the Apostle Paul struggled with his sin nature after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25). He wrote to believers to instruct them how to overcome their sin nature (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-23). If a Christian doesn’t have a sin nature, a lot of the Scriptures telling us not to engage in the works of the flesh (sin nature) could/should be deleted from the Bible.

Enemies. The Christian has three spiritual enemies: the devil, his own sin nature, and the present world system. Each enemy uses different tactics to interrupt our family fellowship with God (1 John 1:3-10).  Sin grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3).  We can quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Do you know how to counter your spiritual enemies and live victoriously? If not, we’d like to invite you to join us on Wednesdays at 6:30-7:30 P.M. (Pacific Time) either in person or by phone hookup as we share Biblical truth with those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Figuratively speaking, we want to put a guard rail at the top of the mountain rather than have a hospital at the bottom of the mountain. Bad attitudes (trespasses – Galatians 6:1) can easily lead to sinful behavior (lawlessness – 1 John 3:4).  What can/should you do and not do if you see a Christian with a bad attitude?

Involvement. Jesus commanded His disciples to make true believers of all nations…(Matthew 28:19, 20). We are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32). If you’re saved, when was the last time you made an effort to be obedient to these commands? Are you a “convenient” or a “committed” Christian (Romans 12:1, 2)? Of all the things you plan to do today, where do glorifying God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and witnessing come into the picture? Are you doing what you want to do or what God wants you to do (Luke 22:42)? Will you personally get involved in rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying, snatching them in pity from sin and the grave, weeping over the erring ones, lifting up the fallen, and telling them of Jesus the mighty to save? If not, why? What is/should be your primary and secondary purposes in life? How do you carry these out? What dominates your thoughts (Psalm 34:3)? What is God’s purpose (John 17:3; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14)?

Prayer. Would you make this song your prayer? “Not what I wish to be, /  Nor where I wish to go, / For who am I that I should choose my way? / The Lord shall choose for me, / ‘Tis better far, I know, / So let him bid me go, or stay.” Then read Galatians 2:20 please.

Last Day? What changes would you make in your planning if somehow you knew that today would be your last day to spend on earth?  What if Christ were to return as He promised (John 14:1-3)?  Is “Deo Volente” your motto (James 4:14)?

Contact. If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: If you’ve been blessed and comforted by God, please pass it on to others in need (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Thanks. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel:

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation in 24 languages.


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:


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”

Balancing The Christian Life by Dr. Charles Ryrie

1 Peter 1:6-9

Although we believe that true Christians will not go into or through the seven years of “Tribulation” that seem to be just around the corner (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 6-19), we will be persecuted as the Christians were to whom the Apostle Peter wrote (1 Peter 1:6; See 2 Timothy 3:12). Sometimes persecution comes in the form of slander, riots, local police action and/or social ostracism. Our son who lives and teaches English in Japan has a Pastor friend in another country in Asia who was stripped naked along with his wife and made to walk through town that way. Another Pastor had half of his hair shaved off his head and made to ride a little donkey through town while being mocked.

The devil has used all kinds of tactics to oppose God and His people. How should we respond when we are persecuted for Christ’s sake? (Read Fox’s Book Of Martyrs.)

Our Need To Rejoice. (1 Peter 1: 6). It never ceases to amaze me that God would select me to be a recipient of His great salvation and lift my feet out of the miry clay and set my feet on a rock (Psalm 40:2; Ephesians 1:4; 2:8, 9; 1 Timothy 1:15). Having saved me, I know that He has work for me to do while I’m here on earth (John 15:16; 1 Peter 4:10). In spite of the trials of life, He wants me to rejoice in Him always (Philippians 4:4). He wants me to be thankful in every circumstance in which I find myself (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Without His enabling me to do so, I couldn’t do that or anything else (John 15:5). Not only has He saved me in the past from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:1), He is saving me from the power of sin (Romans 6:14), and will save me from the presence of sin when I die or am raptured (Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9). From start to finish, salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). He has promised never to leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).

The Trials Of Life. God doesn’t want us to think of them as being some strange thing (1 Peter 4:12). Christ’s half brother, James told us to count it all joy when we encountered various trials (James 1:2). Do you know why he said this? Our trials and tests often come from three spiritual enemies: the devil (1 Peter 5:8), the present world system (1 John 2:15), and from our own sin nature (1 John 1:8; Jeremiah 17:9). When they attack you, do you know what you’re supposed to do? Tests and trials come to all Christians but God always makes a way of escape for us (1 Corinthians 10:13). Sadly, many Christians don’t take the way of escape but yield to the temptation.

The Purpose Of Our Trials. (1 Peter 1:7). Believe it or not, they are designed to bring praise, honor, and glory to God (1 Corinthians 1:31; 10:31). When others see us handling trials as Jesus did, they learn something about our Savior (1 Peter 1:12). When we exhibit the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23) at the appropriate times and toward the right objects, others can also learn something about our Savior (Galatians 4:19). While all Christians suffer with Christ (2 Timothy 2:12), not all Christians suffer for Christ (Philippians 1:29; Acts 9:16). The Apostle Peter wrote, “But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12). As Christ’s future Bride, we will share what He has (Romans 8:17). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Remember. Our trials and temptations didn’t come to stay; they came to pass. Our responses to them are being observed by other people, by spirit beings, and by God. What kind of a message are they receiving from us?

So [the disciples of Jesus] departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer [beatings and] shame for His name” (Acts 5:40, 41). How would you respond if you were beaten as they were?

Questions. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Are there sins in your life that need to be confessed and forsaken (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9)? Do you need spiritual help in learning how to live victoriously over the devil, your sin nature, and the present world system? Are you teachable and willing to change? Are you sharing what you know with others who are teachable?

Gospel.  If you’re not sure of your salvation, we “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages on our website.

Help. If you have questions and/or need spiritual help, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website for more information:   To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”


Do you ever struggle with disappointment (Job 3:3, 10), discouragement (Job 19:7-12), and doubt God and His Word (Genesis 3:1)? Are you tempted to act independently of God (Isaiah 14:14; Luke 4:1-13) and think you can handle things on your own? Think again (John 15:5; Acts 17:28). Do you ever freeze up and get afraid or timid (2 Timothy 1:7; Luke 22:31-33) when you try to share your faith with others? Are you tempted to be proud (1 Timothy 3:6) of your own accomplishments rather than giving the credit to God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are you short with others who have wronged you? Do you ever have a bitter, unforgiving spirit (Hebrews 12:15; 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11)? Are you tempted to take/steal (Ephesians 4:27, 28) from others what doesn’t belong to you? Do you ever lie or twist the truth (Acts 5:4-6)? Are you busy with the things that you want to do but when it comes to spiritual matters and doing God’s will, are you spiritually lazy? Do you ever gossip or engage in tale bearing? Are you a busy body (1 Timothy 5:13-15)? Are you tempted to use filthy, inappropriate speech from time to time ((Ephesians 4:29)?

All these temptations that come from the devil are designed to interrupt your relationship with God and keep you, as a Christian, from doing the things that God wants you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). But God has provided a defense against these fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16). The armor of God needs to be put on mentally each time we are attacked so that we don’t end up being defeated by the devil or his angels/demons (Ephesians 6:10-17). Do you know how to use these pieces of the armor to defend yourself? Could you share this information with other believers who may be struggling with a bad attitude that could lead to sinful conduct (2 Timothy 2:2)? What are you doing to bear other people’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-5)? Do you know the difference between the temptations that come from the devil/demons and those that come from your own sin nature (Galatians 5:21, 22) and the ones that come from the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:16-26)? There are different ways to counteract these three sources of temptations.

Satan is God’s enemy and wants to destroy God’s people and Bible believing local churches. But your faithful attendance at such a church each week can enable you and others to be strengthened through the teaching of the Word of God. Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17)? Are you edifying others (1 Thessalonians 5:11)?

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day [Rapture] approaching” (Hebrews 10:24, 25). Perhaps Today! Are you ready? If not, ask for help! We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages on our website:

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). How much do you love God and His people?

If you live in our area, we invite you to join us on Wednesdays evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 as we study the God’s Word together. Call 805-238-3549 for more information.

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When people picture the Devil as a little, fat guy wearing a red suit and having horns and a pitch fork in his hand, he probably is delighted. Few people would picture him as a beautiful creature covered with precious stones (Ezekiel 28:112ff) and as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He doesn’t want us to know the truth about him.  But the truth we learn from the Scriptures can set us free from his control over our lives (John 8:32; 17:17). 

Dark Ages. During the dark ages, or medieval times, most of the human race was illiterate. Some of the literate few used various visual displays and methods to teach religion. But events were portrayed by means of puppets, stage plays, pictures, stained glass windows and bas-relief carvings over cathedral entrances…The difference between good and evil was often pictorially demonstrated by characterizing the Devil in a way that even the most illiterate surf could recognize as evil. Usually the chosen figure had horns, cloven hooves and a tail. Occasionally he was colored red and other times he was black. His face had a form of a goat or a repulsively ugly man. He was portrayed as the ruler of Hell and the being who tormented the souls of the lost in Hell.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” p. 141

Knowledge. Satan knows that he can’t take the true believer’s salvation from him (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39), but he can/does render many Christians ineffective in their service to God and others. Do you fit into this category? Do you leave it up to “Clerical George” to do the work that God wants you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10)? The Devil is a deceiver and a liar (John 8:44; Revelation 21:8). He has many titles to describe his sinister nature.

Sleep.  He lulls most of his children to sleep so they sense no impending danger (1 John 5:19). They are apathetic and don’t really care about the most important issues of life and eternity. He also has some mature sons of disobedience (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2). They often appear as angels of light preaching another gospel and a different Christ as the cults do (2 Corinthians 11:3-15; 2 Peter 2:1).

Family. To get out of Satan’s family into God’s family (Colossians 1:13; 1 John 3:10), one must place his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16 :31: 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We aren’t saved by any of our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you certain you’ll go to heaven if you died today (1 John 5:13)? Why should God let you into heaven (John 3:16; Acts 16:31)? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation if you think you’re saved (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:37-39)? If so, what? How do assurance and security differ?

Fallacies & Facts

Angel. No, Satan is not an angel but a powerful cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). He was created as the highest of all the spirit beings and they are innumerable (Hebrews 12:22). He was anointed by God to rule over all other spirit beings from his mineral garden in Eden that was on earth (Ezekiel 28:13, 14). He was not satisfied with his exalted position and he didn’t like having to give an account to God (Isaiah 14:13, 14). So he lured 1/3 of the lower two categories of angels, made up of principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16), to join him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). Do you know what happened after his rebellion and how God responded (Genesis 1:2)?

Rank.  He had and still has a higher rank and greater power than Michael the archangel (Jude 9). Without the information that we have about him in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, we wouldn’t be able to prove that sin (lawlessness) isn’t eternal, that God didn’t originate sin, and that Satan is not merely a principle (influence) but rather a real person with a mind (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ezekiel 28:17), will (Isaiah 14:13), and emotions (Revelation 12:12). As Christians, we are supposed to resist him (James 4:7) when he or a demon attacks us, but only after we’ve put on the whole metaphorical armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles (craftiness) of the devil or demons (Ephesians 6:11). He also has devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and snares (2 Timothy 2:24-26) that he can use against Christians.

Games.  Satan doesn’t play silly little games. He’s out to ruin the Christian’s effectiveness and good influence on others. He doesn’t want to lose any of his spiritually blinded subjects (2 Corinthians 4:4) to the Lord. Thankfully, God is greater than Satan and can open spiritually darkened eyes and enable people to see and believe on Christ so they can be saved after they’ve heard the unadulterated Gospel (1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1- 4).

Cause.  Satan is not the spiritual enemy that is responsible for most of the sins we commit. He can only tempt us after he secures permission from God (Job 1, 2; Luke 22:31; Ephesians 6:13). Our sin nature* is our biggest problem and we take it with us wherever we go. We didn’t lose it at the time of our salvation. The Apostle Paul struggled with his for many years after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25). He referred to many of the Christians in Corinth as being carnal, or those who were governed by their sin nature* (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Anyone Christian who says that he doesn’t have a sin nature* is simply deceiving himself but not God or others (1 John 1:8).

Access. Some people erroneously think that the devil is currently confined to hell. No, even though he has been judged (John 16:11), he will not be cast into the lake of fire until the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7-10). He spends most of his time now in God’s presence, in the third heaven, as the accuser of the brethren who engage in sinful behavior (Revelation 12:7-12; Job 1, 2). However, Jesus Christ, our Lawyer, counters his accusations by reminding God the Father (i.e. humanly speaking) that He (Jesus) paid the debt for all the sins we have committed and will commit in the future (1 John 2:2). Satan and his demons (fallen angels) roam the earth looking for Christians to trip them up and cause our family fellowship with God to be interrupted (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 1:3-10).

Torture. Instead of Satan’s tormenting others in hell, he himself will be tormented forever in the lake of fire that was prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). Everyone who dies as an unbeliever will go there too (Revelation 21:8). They will not be annihilated or reincarnated as some cults and religions teach (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus is the only way to God in heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Before Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth, Satan will be taken by a low level angel and be bound in the sides of the abyss that is in the heart of the earth (Revelation 20:1-3; Luke 16:26; Deuteronomy 32:22). He will be confined there and will be unable to tempt anyone on earth during the millennium (Revelation 20:1-7). No one on earth will be able to say, “The devil made me do it.”

Possession. The devil or demons can inhabit the bodies of unbelievers (John 13:27; Luke 8:30). But a demon must leave a person’s body as soon as he/she is saved (Luke 4:35). They can’t dwell in a Christian’s body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). They can only attack believers from the outside by placing evil thoughts (fiery darts) in our minds (Ephesians 6:16).  They can’t read our minds and they aren’t omniscient as God is (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10).  But they notice how we respond to the temptations they put into our minds (Job 1:22, 23, 2:9, 10).

Victory. Without a clear, Biblical understanding of our adversary the Devil, the Christian will not be able to overcome the 14 temptations that come from him or demons who assist him in his work in all nations around the world. At the present time, with God’s permission, he owns all the kingdoms of this world. Most of the earthly rulers do his bidding, often without knowing it (Ephesians 2:2). But God is still sovereign (Daniel 4:17, 25). Satan offered these kingdoms to Jesus if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). Jesus could have avoided the cross to gain the nations of the world if He had taken Satan up on his offer. But He (Jesus) knew that it was part of the “Decree” (Ephesians 1:11) for Him to go to the cross, die for our sins, and then rise again bodily from the dead and wait for the Father’s timing for Him to be given the kingdoms of this world (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15).

Temptations. His temptations are different from the temptations that come from our own sin nature* (Galatians 5:19-21) or the temptations that come from the Devil’s world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). This is why we, as Christians, must study the Scriptures to show ourselves approved to God, workers who don’t not need to be ashamed, who rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). By the way, the temptation to be spiritually lazy comes from the devil (1 Timothy 5:13-15). Do you know which piece of the metaphorical armor you must use to overcome it (Ephesians 6:15)?

Promise.No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to mankind; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Help.  We’re here to help unbelievers come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and assist them in their spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18), and service to God and others (1 Peter 4:10), so they can reproduce themselves in the world (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).  If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with others.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles. You can reach us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at

Some material adapted from “Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer

*Sin Nature