Chapter 1 – The Darkness
Before we can truly (sincerely, faithfully and genuinely) begin to approach unto the light, we must understand the darkness that separates us from God. The “issue” is: who will be Lord (authority) of your life, and of the creation of man, and of the entire creation as a whole? Will the Creator or the creation govern, and whose will (rule) shall prevail? Whose nature shall be followed (practiced, lived by, adhered to) both now and forevermore? The answers to these questions will either leave you in darkness or draw you to the light. Don’t answer to quickly because your life (as being lived out) may tell a different story. Many may determine that although they assume (think, presuppose) themselves to be in the light, in reality (in actuality) they have a love of darkness and are dwelling comfortably therein – and worse, may not desire to come out, but rather justify their evils. The great hope of this book is to compel you to genuinely and sincerely come to the light in truth and the practice thereof. To send you running into the loving arms of the Lord.
Isaiah 1:2, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” Psalms 5:10-12, “Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”
The Nature of the Rebellion
The Lord God reigns from heaven and has a host of angelic beings that minister to and serve Him (Ps 68:17, 91:11, 104:4, 148:2, Mt 4:6, 11, 13:41, 49, 16:27, 18:10, 24:31, 36, 25:31, 26:53, Mk 8:38, Lk 9:26, 12:8-9, 15:10, Jn 1:51, 2 Thess 1:7, Heb 1:7, 12:22, 1 Pt 3:22, Rev 5:11). Psalms 103:20, “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Lucifer (meaning, light-bearer) was a much anointed (set apart for the Lord’s service) Cherub and was given great authority by God (Ez 28:14). Lucifer was full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty (Ez 28:11, 13, 17) and was perfect (absolute, faultless) in his ways until iniquity was found in him (Ez 28:15). His wisdom became corrupted (evil, depraved, wicked) by reason of his brightness (beauty and superior qualities, Ez 28:17).
Lucifer (created being) was originally fully submitted to the will of God (The Creator, Ps 146:6). True wisdom is the fear (submission to the will) of God. Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever (also Ps 19:9, Pv 1:7, 9:10).” The fear of God is to willingly surrender to His will in absolute obedience – to walk in the Lord’s truth (Rev 14:6-7, Deut 8:6). To be perfect is to fear God, and eschew evil (Job 2:3, Pv 3:7, 4:27, 8:13, 1 Pt 3:11). Job 28:28, “…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” What this is saying is that there must be a sincere love for God and His eternal truth (nature, character) such that one would hate or shun any evil that would dishonor God or detract from the truth – that which would keep one from cleaving (adhering, uniting) to the Lord in perfect obedience. Some might say there was no evil in heaven, but there was the potential for evil of which Lucifer partook – did not eschew or abstain from. The creation must walk in the nature of the Creator, for God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity (Habk 1:13).
Lucifer was originally perfect in executing the commands of the Lord and fully submitting to God’s will – he was declared so by the Lord (Ez 28:15). However, Lucifer’s wisdom became corrupted. He no longer feared God and the foundation of Lucifer’s wisdom was destroyed. Lucifer was as one who pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom (i.e. the fear of the Lord). His heart was lifted up, and he said: “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God” (Ex 28:2) – he set his heart as the heart of God and lifted himself up in height (Ez 28:6, 31:10). Lucifer now sought his own will (way, path) – independent of God (Pv 1:29). This was a disregard of God’s will and authority. One cannot seek their own will and yet be totally submitted to God’s will at the same time (Mt 6:24, Lk 16:13). This was disobedience to the commands of God which is transgression to the will of the Lord – known as Rebellion. Rebellion is the renunciation of God’s authority! God’s authority is His truth which is His Word.
God had wonderfully provided for Lucifer – he had beauty, wisdom and position (authority, place). There was no reason he should have transgressed God’s will – he gave in to selfish desire. God’s nature is love which focuses on the needs of others. Lucifer chose to be the opposite, which focuses on the needs or desires of self (prideful, egoistic). Lucifer became the opposite of God and an “adversary.” An adversary is opposed or opposite to, and hence the name – Satan – an enemy or foe that has enmity at heart (1 Pt 5:8). Lucifer who was the light bearer (truth-bearer) now became filled with darkness and is opposite of God – the corrupter with “the lie.” He now vitiates or injures the qualities of the Lord’s truth (or nature) and creation in order to impair its value, to render defective, and to attempt to destroy the truth. The devil is the king of all the proud (Job 41:34). There is no communion (unity, empathy, relationship) between light and darkness (2 Cor 6:14). Consider Lucifer’s boasts: Isaiah 14:13-15, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” These statements reveal Lucifer’s fallen (corrupted) nature – the nature of SELF (“I”). This is an evil heart that directly challenges God by saying: “I am, and there is none beside me” (“Me” comes foremost, Zeph 2:15, Is 47:8, 10). The Lord deservedly declares the same of Himself regarding His divine authority (Is 45:5-6, 21). Psalms 89:6-7, “For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”
Lucifer, who is a created being, denies God, by saying,“there is none beside me,” and is thus in disregard for God’s authority (the Creator of all). True love, which is the characteristic of God, denies self. The rebellion seeks self and says to God, “depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways;” and propounds: “what is the Almighty, that we should serve Him” (Job 21:14-15, 22:17)? Lucifer, now known as Satan, the devil, the dragon, the serpent, and prince/god of this world(Rev 12:9, Jn 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, Eph 2:2, 2 Cor 4:4) abode not in the truth and left his first estate (Jn 8:44, Jude 1:6). An “estate” is a fixed condition or status; rank, condition of circumstances – an order in creation. Lucifer exalted (pride) himself above his created position in seeking his own will. In doing so, he left his habitation (state of dwelling, Jude 1:6). To no longer abide in the truth is to abide in “The Lie” which is opposite of the truth. What is the Lie? The Lie is the alternate reality that Lucifer hoped to establish that proposed the creation could live (ye shall not surely die, Gen 3:4) independent of the Creator – to seek its own will (to be as gods, Gen 3:5). The lie is outwardly manifested as pride, which is self exaltation. This is seeking your own way in your own authority. The lie disobeys the commands of the Creator and disregards His authority. God hates pride! Proverb 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Is there any question as to why God would hate pride? Pride is an affront to the very “being” of God. The Lord’s kingdom operates in self denial – placing God foremost and others above self. The Lord’s nature is meekness or self denial. Lucifer attempted to change (destroy) the very nature and order of creation by exalting self (pride) – placing self foremost (in God’s place) and above others. This is opposite the nature of God. This was an attempt to destroy the very truth of God – His nature or “being.” To deny God’s authority, Word or truth is to deny God (they can’t be separated).
God is the Creator of all things (Deut 10:14, 32:4, 39-40, Col 1:16) and gives life to His creation – thus the Lord is the Giver of Life (Ps 33:6, Pv 8:35, Is 42:5, 45:12, 18, Jer 10:12) – for all live unto Him (Lk 20:38). By the Lord all things consist (Col 1:7); For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things (Rm 11:36). There is no life apart from the Creator (Job 33:4, Ps 36:9, Eccl 12:7). God puts His spirit in us that we may live (Ez 37:14). The creation derives (obtains, receives) its very being (existence, spirit, soul, self, nature, breath) from the Creator and must submit in obedience to the Giver of life from which it is sustained (upheld, kept, Job 34:14-15) – this is wisdom (Ps 111:10). This is so important to understand. John 5:26, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” The Lord God Almighty has life within Himself and needs nothing external – He says, “I AM that I AM” (Ex 3:14). God is truly independent of everything, but the creation is very dependent upon God. Jesus (the Son) also has life within Himself and this places Him as God (Jn 1:1-3, 10:17-18, see Chapter Six) – in Him was life; and the life was the light (example to follow, truth to be observed) of men (Jn 1:4). Lucifer is a created being and does not have life within himself. God shall one day gather unto Himself His spirit and His breath (the life He has given) and all flesh shall perish and man will return to the dust (Job 34:14-15, Gen 2:7).
As Author of all creation, God has established truth and is the keeper of it (eternal, Ps 117:2, 119:151, 146:6). God’s Word is truth (Jn 17:17, Ps 119:151, 1 Pt 1:23, 25). Psalms 119:89, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven (also Is 40:8, 1 Pt 1:25).” AND Psalms 119:160, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever (also Ps 100:5, Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33).” God’s way is perfect and His Word is tried, pure and right (Ps 18:30, also Ps 12:6, 19:8, 33:4). The Lie proposes that there is life independent of the Creator and that one may disobey the authority of the Creator to seek their own will and authority – that they have life in “self.” The Lie proposes that the creation or “creature” can be as a god (Gen 3:5). Lucifer attempted to change the truth of God into a lie, but was unable to perform his desire (Rm 1:25, Ps 21:11). A God determines and executes his own will. The Lord God Almighty is sovereign over His creation and has stated His will (Word) and has the power and ability to carry out that will/Word – to put into effect (He spake it and it was done, Ps 33:9). Isaiah 55:11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” AND Isaiah 45:23, “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” None can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou (Dan 4:35)?
The Lord God and His truth have and will continue eternally (Job 36:26, Ps 102:27, Heb 1:12). The Lord is He which is, and which was, and which is to come (Rev 1:4, 8). Lucifer left the truth and now abides in “the lie,” which is opposite of the truth. As author (seeking reality apart from God) or father of “the lie” (Jn 8:44), Satan (meaning, adversary) has sought his independence from God to seek self, but has no ability to carry it into effect (Ps 21:11). He was cast down (Ps 21:9, Is 14:12, 15-16, Ez 28:13, 31:16, Jn 12:31)! For a time, awaiting his judgment and ultimate condemnation or penalty, the devil is only allowed to do what God allows – he operates within limitations set by the Lord (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6, 1 Cor 10:13, consider Lk 22:31). The devil dwells within the shadow of death, which is just a step away from eternal damnation, which is the second death(Job 10:21-22).
God’s truth states that to disobey Him: “thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17). The Lie proposes that you can disobey (transgress the will of) God and: “ye shall not surely die” (Gen 3:4). We shall shortly understand which of these two statements proved true (the reality of how things are). Lies always compete with the truth for reality (realism, actuality, certainty, veracity, 1 Jn 2:21). Only one proposition can hold true because a lie is the exact opposite of the truth. Is the truth to be found in the will of the Creator or the creation? God’s Word states that the Lord cannot lie (Ti 1:2, Heb 6:18) – its impossible. This makes sense when you consider that lies are opposite of the truth and compete with it – no lie is of the truth (1 Jn 2:21). If God lied then He would contradict the truth which He established and this would be total confusion. This would also render the truth unstable – for it would be ever changing or relative. Satan has no such restrictions and will gladly contradict the truth or manipulate it to establish his alternative (i.e. the devil’s wiles). The devil operates (maneuvers, functions) outside the truth (opposite).
Satan considers the truth to be whatever satisfies self at any given moment – instability and confusion – relativism. Whereas the truth must be singular and unchanging (consistent). A lie can take a multitude of directions and be constantly changing (its all relative to the whims of the propagator). God says there is one way that man must travel. The devil will invent a thousand alternate ways and say they are all valid given your particular inclination (leaning, preference, liking, proclivity). The “lie” denies reality and proposes false alternatives which ultimately are found invalid (much to the dismay of the adherents). This is why there seems to be so much confusion in the world today. The waters have become very muddied (murky, not clear). God allows this because those that sincerely seek Him will find Him.
The one who holds to “the lie” becomes a deceiver to those who seek the truth. A liar is one who leads astry, misleads, is false, and makes believe what is not true (Pv 12:22). Thus, Satan is the great deceiver (Rev 12:9). To espouse (advocate, champion) “the lie” as the truth is to deceive one concerning reality. To propose the lie (alternative) is equally valid or will prevail is also deceptive. The devil practices his “wiles” which are tricks or stratagem (subterfuge, devices) practiced for ensnaring or deception; a sly, insidious (sinister, subtle) artifice – to deceive; to beguile (Eph 6:11). To live opposite of the truth is to live opposite of the nature of God. Therefore, Satan took on the opposite nature of God. Consider some of the attributes (qualities, characteristics) of the nature of God (Ps 86:15): love, contentment, righteousness, truth, meekness, longsuffering, self control, goodness, sacrificing, giving, judgment, mercy, patience and forgiveness (Ps 25:10, Num 14:18, Gal 5:22, Eph 5:9). Conversely (on the contrary), the attributes of the nature of Satan (which is the nature of the lie) will always manifest as the opposite of God’s nature, namely – hate, evil, lust, wickedness, lies, pride, impatience, incontinent/ intemperance, selfishness, greed, confusion, incompassion, mercilessness, impulsiveness, unforgiveness, and intolerance (Gal 5:19-21, Rm 1:24-32, 2 Tim 3:3). God dwells within the light (truth, Dan 2:22). Psalms 104:2, “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.” Those that follow Satan (adhere to the lie) dwell within darkness. Job 10:22, “A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” To follow the lie is to live within the lie or darkness – to practice, adhere to, demonstrate through actions. This is to seek your way and disregard God’s way.
The established truth (settled, tried and pure) is that all of creation will fear (love, submit to, obey, honor, be loyal to, and trust) the Lord God (Creator). This is a free-will (not coerced) surrender to the will (purposes, commands) of God. A heart that is forced (pressured, compelled, driven) to obey is nothing more than suppressed (concealed, censored) rebellion. A heart that serves for anticipated gain is nothing more than one set on “self” rather than the Lord or others – which is the nature of the lie, which is darkness.
Satan would force the servitude of others through deceit and bring his subjects into bondage. He would entice them to transgress God’s will through alluring with selfish benefit. Once separated from God, through disobedience, and thus made an enemy, there would be no choice but to serve him. The devil would rule through hate which is the sacrifice of another for the benefit of self – this is witchcraft. Since the subjects of this kingdom of darkness would be proud (self exalting) and rebellious by nature, authority must be maintained through bondage (superior strength, forced allegiance) and intimidation (Eph 6:12, Col 1:13, 1 Thess 5:5). This is a harsh world of hostility and confusion. The Lord God will not give His glory to another and thus Lucifer and all those who have freely followed him will be greatly cast down and separated from God into eternal torment (Is 42:8 2 Thess 1:9).
Isaiah 14:12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Woe to Lucifer and all who join him!
The Rebellion Spreads
In keeping with his desire (lust) to rule as a god and to exalt his throne above the angels (stars, Rev 1:20), Satan quickly spread his rebellion throughout God’s creation. This began in heaven with the angels of God. We can ascertain from the devil’s dealings with man (to be discussed later), that the mechansim employed was deceit through enticement or beguiling – through his wiles. The devil allures through lusts (2 Pt 2:18). Satan appeals to selfish want (lust, desire) of that which is forbidden (prohibited, not allowed) to bring about and propagate discontentment such as to draw one into a wrongful course of action – to seek a selfish benefit. These enter into “the lie” or darkness, which is to seek self in disregard to the commandments and authority of God, and are trapped (snared) in bondage – burdens and servitude. Once one yields to a temptation and crosses the line into disobedience to God, they become corrupted and an enemy of God. These are then transgressors and rebellious (at enmity with God). That which the devil corrupts becomes in servitude to him. Satan knows that it only takes one instance of disobedience to bring one into his bondage (Heb 2:2). Once one falls from grace with God, he has no choice but to submit to that which opposes God (the rebellion). God is reality and that which opposes God is a temporal false reality – these are the present choices. The false reality will soon be forever separated and disposed of.
The devil attempts to instill dissatisfaction with one’s present state by interjecting desire. Desire is a wish to possess some gratification or source of happiness (possession of something from which pleasure, sensual, intellectual or spiritual, is expected) which one does not presently have but is supposed to be obtainable. A wish may exist for something that is or is not attainable. Desire is further an internal act, which, by influencing the will, makes us proceed to action. Therefore: Satan nurtures dissatisfaction (discontent) by propagating desire which influences the will (that faculty of the mind by which we determine either to do or forbear an action) with intent to result in a wrongful action or violation of God’s truth.
Why was Lucifer the head and not some other? Lucifer was created with perfect beauty and great wisdom. All of the other angels envied him for his beauty (Ez 31:7-9) and his height was exalted above all others (Ez 31:5). Satan lifted himself up in height and his heart was also lifted up in height (Ez 31:10). This all suggests prior position, authority and power (which he hands out, Rev 13:2, 4), which he must to some degree still maintain. Given the corrupted nature of the kingdom of darkness, only force and power, that is superior strength, could sustain Satan as head over darkness – over his captives. Also, Satan is the father of the lie which opposes the truth and God. The Lord God allowed this rebellion to run its course. This was a shaking of that which could be shaken – a sifting and separation of opposites(Heb 12:27, Rev 6:13).
The devil, through his deception convinced a third of God’s angels to join in his revolt. Revelation 12:3-4, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars (angels) of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…” It is important to note that not all of the angels joined Lucifer’s rebellion. Fully two thirds of the angels remained loyal to the Lord and thus the angelic community was fractured – divided or split. Satan lost place in heaven. Revelation 12:7-9, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 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.” Jesus said: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Lk 10:18). These angels were cast to the earth because there was no other place for them to go and this most certainly occurred after the fall of man – to be discussed. Some of these angels are now reserved in chains awaiting the great judgment (2 Pt 2:4, Jude 1:6, Job 21:22). These fallen angels form the hierarchy or chain of command, of Satan’s kingdom of darkness. Ephesians 6:12, “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 (also Dan 10:12-13, 20-21).”
We can now conclude that there was a great rebellion in heaven orchestrated by Lucifer (Satan, the devil) which attempted to turn the truth of God into “the lie.” Satan and a multitude of angels believed (false faith, unbelief) they could disregard the will and authority of God and exalt (pride) themselves to independently seek their own way (Pv 13:13). The devil would be their god. There was war (Rev 12:7-9)! – but Satan did not prevail. Satan disrupted the harmony of the established and adhered to order that existed in heaven – God’s dwelling place. Satan attempted to establish a new paradigm (model, reality) in heaven, placing himself as a god. The devil challenged the authority of the Creator and the truth of God’s Word. Through his heart and actions, Satan proposed a great lie that he did not have the power or ability to inclusively enact in an all encompassing way. The corrupted fruit of the lie resulted in the opposite characteristics or nature of the truth, which is known as sin or iniquity – specific violations of the truth.
Please take note as you continue to read: If you think that Jesus came to justify (look the other way, give license, tolerate, ignore, overlook, make place) you to do these things (walk in “The Lie”) in whatever form of “religion” (denomination, sect, doctrine, etc.) you practice, then you “exceedingly” err and do not know the nature of Christ’s kingdom (i.e. the scriptures, Mk 12:24) nor walk therein – to be discussed within this book. Many profess Christ yet walk in the nature of self, which is the darkness or the lie.
The Fall of Man
Psalms 8:4-8, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.”
Prior to the fall (rebellion) of Lucifer, God created the earth and established a new creation which He called “man” (Gen 1:26-27, Is 45:12, Ps 33:6). God sent forth His Spirit and they were created (Ps 104:30). We can know that the fall of Satan occurred after the creation of man because Lucifer was an anointed Cherub that walked in Eden, the garden of God and provided a spiritual covering over the earth (Ez 28:13-16). The garden of Eden was planted by the Lord upon the earth and that is where God placed man (Gen 2:8, 15). The most likely mechanism that initiated events in heaven was probably (perhaps speculation, but the Spirit speaks this to my heart – for consideration) the creation of man – jealousy, which is the fear or certainty of giving place. God had placed His attention (interest, notice, good pleasure) upon man and had made man in His image (Gen 1:26-27). God also gave man authority over the earth! Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Man was crowned with glory and honor and set over the works of God’s hands (Heb 2:7, Ps 7:6). All things were in subjection under him (Heb 2:8). Psalms 115:16, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”
Therefore, man was made in the image of God and was given god-like authority over man’s realm (the earth, Ps 8:6-8). Please note: man was not intended to be a god, but was rather under the authority of God (Ps 82:6, Jn 10:34). Most likely (perhaps speculation, but the Spirit speaks this to my heart – for consideration), Lucifer became jealous and then exalted his heart to seek his own authority – he was self-conceited: which is having a high or overweening opinion of one’s own person or merits/attributes (Ez 28:17). He probably considered his wisdom and perfect beauty and felt he also should have such authority – or greater. We know that the fall of Lucifer occurred sometime between the creation of Eden, which he walked in (Ez 28:13-16), and the time when he entered the garden in the form of a serpent to tempt and deceive man. This was almost certainly a short period of time because Adam and Eve had yet to be fruitful and multiply in obedience to God’s command (Gen 1:28). Our surest understanding that man’s time in Eden was short is that there were no children born in Eden. Man was also given the authority to multiply himself (only through God) – the angels had no such authority (Mt 22:30, Mk 12:25). This understanding provides additional reason for Satan’s hatred of man.
It was mentioned earlier that Satan and his angels were cast to the earth (Lk 10:18, Rev 12:4, 9, 13). This must have occurred after the fall of man because the Lord would not have cast Satan and his corrupted horde (multitude, host) to compete with man (created in God’s image) otherwise (Ps 125:3). This is not to say that God would not have allowed the devil to test or prove man for the Lord’s purposes – allowing him to enter Eden as a serpent. Had Lucifer fallen long before the fall of man, then God would have had no reason not to have immediately sent him to the lake of fire. In other words, there would have been no reason to allow Satan to continue in his rebellion and thus prolong carrying out sentencing of the just condemnation. God allowed the devil to try the hearts of both angels and man. The removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain (Heb 12:27, also Mk 13:25). The Lord now allows Satan to try the hearts of man for God’s own purposes.
God’s Word only defines life as existing in the realm of heaven and on the earth. The stars and planets were formed to complement (supplement) the earth – to provide light, times, and seasons (Gen 1:14-18). So when Satan fell he did not go to Mars or Jupiter – they are desolate and there is nothing there. The devil corrupted life on earth (man), for there was none other. There were no other worlds (civilizations, peoples, etc.) to conquer. Satan’s kingdom was established on the earth in the midst of a corrupted and rebellious creation (Lk 4:5-6, Rev 2:13).
Even though man was given great authority, he was clearly under God’s authority (Gen 1:28). Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 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.” God gave man one commandment and that was not to eat fruit from the forbidden tree. The penalty for disobedience would be death. God is life and anything contrary to God is death (opposites). To disobey and remove yourself from God would be to cut yourself off from the source of all life. Life cannot exist apart from the Giver of life (Gen 2:7, Pv 8:35). The creation is not self-sustaining nor can it usurp the place, position and authority of the Creator. If there is one thing we must understand it is this: disobedience to the will of God always results in death – the second death. God has deemed it so and this is found in God’s eternally established truth.
The commandment God gave man resounds (resonates) throughout the ages (eternity): if you transgress the will of God, “thou shalt surely die.” The wicked are under the condemnation of death (Ez 33:14). In this particular case the command was not to eat the forbidden fruit. The same understanding applies to any command of God. Take note that God’s decree applied for just one violation – one single act of disobedience. Also notice that God had abundantly provided for all of man’s needs and there was no reason to disobey the Lord. God always provides for the needs of His creation. Discontentment for the “provision” is what leads to selfish want (pride, self seeking, Is 2:11-12). Discontentment is the desire or lust for that which is not yours – to covet (consider the discontentment of the children of Israel in the wilderness, Ex, Lev, Num, Deut, Ps, Neh). Contentment (satisfaction, happiness) and thankfulness are characteristics of the nature of God (1 Tim 6:8, Php 4:5, 11). We must always be content with God’s provision (1 Tim 6:8, Heb 13:5, Php 4:11). As created, man only knew “good” or God’s truth. To transgress God’s command and eat of the forbidden fruit would open man’s understanding to the evil of which Lucifer had partaken. Knowledge of evil also comes with a disposition (inclination, tendency) to be overcome by it – for to partake of evil is to reject truth.
Man was originally created perfect in that he feared God and eschewed evil (i.e. did not disobey God). God considered that His creation of man (and woman out of man) was very good (Gen 1:31, 2:20-23). Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had 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: 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.” Man was now faced with a dilemma. God told man that if he transgressed His will that man would surely die. The serpent (Satan) told man that he could disobey God, to receive fleshly benefit, and not die. Whose word (will, authority) would man obey; submit to through action? The answer was that man sought self and submitted to the lie of Satan. Man disregarded God’s Word (Gen 3:17, Pv 13:13, Is 43:27), but regarded Satan’s word, the one who is in rebellion and opposed to God. Can you see how incredibly dishonoring this was to God, the Creator? Perhaps you can now understand how grievous this violation of the will of God actually was? Let’s put this in terms that Americans can easily understand. Man sought his “independence” from God to seek his “freedom” for self, which are Satan’s declared inalienable rights. Man wanted the freedom or unhampered ability to seek self or liberty, to fulfill his dreams – to walk in his own will. Therefore, man entered the darkness: Psalms 107:11, “Because they rebelled against the words of God (transgressed God’s truth), and contemned (rejected, disregarded, despised) the counsel (commandment – do not eat of the forbidden tree) of the most High.”
Now perhaps man did not have full understanding of the magnitude of what was transpiring, However, man did have explicit (clear, plain, precise, frank, exact, candid) understanding of God’s commandment regarding the forbidden fruit. The woman repeated God’s commandment to the serpent prior to hearing his proposal (Gen 3:1-3). Man was clearly and knowingly transgressing God’s law. So what did all this mean? Man fell from the image or nature of God and aligned with that which opposes God – the darkness, which is the lie. Man took on the fallen nature of the devil. Man submitted himself to Satan’s rebellion and relinguished authority to him (Mt 4:8). Consider what the devil later told Christ: Luke 4:5-7, “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” This is the dominion man once had – the devil usurped (seized, took over, assumed, commandeered) it by bringing man into his bondage. Man willingly submitted to the devil! The devil rules over the darkness and the subjects contained therein. Jesus referred to him as the prince of this world (Jn 14:30). In accepting Satan’s lie, man made a covenant with death and with hell an agreement(Is 28:15). A covenant is a solemn agreement (serious) to follow in a certain prescribed way. In this case the agreement is to live in the nature of Satan’s proposal. The Lord God Almighty says that this covenant shall not stand (Is 28:18) – for the Lord cometh out of His place to judge the wicked for their iniquity (Is 26:21).
Notice also that the devil blasphemed the Lord, which is to speak evil or reproachfully of, to revile God’s righteous character in suggesting that the Lord was denying them the ability to become as gods and thus deceiving or misleading man for evil intent. Satan slandered the Lord, which is to injure by maliciously uttering a false report respecting one; to tarnish or impair the reputation of one by false tales, maliciously told. The devil’s nature is blasphemy – he is malignant, havingevil intentions, extreme ill will and personal hatred or enmity, unpropitious, and is always hostile to God and His people. Therefore, the lie basically tells you to disregard the will of God (disobey, transgress) and seek your own will or way – your hopes, dreams, wants, opinions, desires and lusts. Since the lie is always opposite of the truth, you must understand that the truth is actually to die to your will or way (sacrifice, give up) and absolutely surrender to that of God – to fear the Lord God. This is really not that complicated to understand if you do not embrace the lie. Psalms 33:8, “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him (also Ps 33:18, 34:9).”
Understanding the Effects of the Lie
Let us consider the truth regarding Satan’s lie to man (Gen 3:4-5). The serpent told man that he could transgress God’s will (His command) and he would not die. Well, death did enter into the world and man does die. This is easily observable to us all – there is much death and misery in the world. The “fact” of death exposed the lie – error, fallacy of the statement. Despite the consequence, man still holds to the lie and seeks his selfish way. Man still mostly considers the perceived benefits of seeking self, irregardless of the misery, to outweigh the surrender (loss of self) required to abide in God’s will. The serpent told man that his eyes would be opened. Actually, man became blind to the truth – very obscure, difficult to understand, ambiguous, murky, unclear, little known. If you do not believe the truth of this statement, then consider the fact that we have God’s Word (the Bible). Now ask yourself how many different religious denominations (sects, groups) there are and consider all the conflicting opinions, doctrines, creeds, teachings, etc. Why is the truth so unclear to man? Man entered into the darkness where he could no longer see clearly. Why did man enter into the darkness? Because man sought self in disobedience to God. Now we can understand why there is so much religious confusion and blindness in the world – Man interprets God’s Word through self – the flesh and lusts thereof. Christ said of the very religious men around Him: John 9:39, “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind (also Jn 12:40).” We must become blind to the flesh. To understand God’s Word we must die to self and surrender to God – to His Spirit. Man certainly understands evil (the Holy Spirit convicts), but has no discernment (apart from God) between good and evil (Heb 5:14). Jeremiah 4:22, “For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish (stupid) children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” Man loves his evil nature (the darkness) and will not entirely seek the good (the light). This will be discussed more thoroughly in Chapter Four.
Lastly, the serpent told man ye shall be as gods. He was telling man that he could decide for himself if he wanted to live in good or evil. Man could be his own authority and seek his own way. If we are honest with ourselves, we have found that all our efforts (ways) lead to misery and to death. Man is no god, but thinks he will become one as he seeks to solve all his problems that inhibit him from further seeking self – such as comfort, ease, long life, pleasure – overcoming God’s curse(Gen 3:17-19). We will discuss in Chapter Two that Jesus gives (from the Father, Jn 15:26), His Holy Ghost (the Spirit of Truth, Jn 14:17, 15:26, Eph 5:9) to teach those who will obey the gospel (Jn 14:15-17, Acts 5:32, Ps 25:5). We know God’s truth through the Spirit: John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (also 1 Jn 5:6, 1 Pt 1:22, 2 Thess 2:13).” For those who seek their own way: God will recompense you according to your way (Ez 11:21) – thou shalt surely die (Gen 2:17, Ez 3:18, 33:8, 14-15).
The Devil is a Thief and a Robber
Satan came down to earth and stole God’s creation of man by corrupting it with his lie (Gen 8:21). The devil intends evil against the Lord: he imagines mischievous devices, which he is not able to perform (Ps 21:11). The devil could never defeat God (the Lord is Almighty) in a direct challenge, so he turned God against the object of his desire – man. He brought a separation between man and God through iniquity (corruption), which is disobedience to the will of God. The devil taught rebellion against the Lord by enticing the people to trust in a lie (i.e. Jer 28:15-16, 29:31-32). Once man became an enemy of God (Gen 3:17, Is 63:10, Rm 5:10, Col 1:21), Satan easily overcame man and brought them into his house of bondage – into the rebellion and darkness. The bondage is under the elements of the world (Gal 4:3). An enemy is one that is in the other camp (the darkness) – opposed to God’s truth (the light). The devil stole the heart of man through the enticement of his lie.
Thedevil enticed man, who was created in the image of God, and corrupted (infected with error, vitiate or deprave – change from good to bad; defiled, perverted, debased, rendered impure) him into the devil’s fallen image – allured to evil or darkness. The devil injured the substance, character, and qualities of man so as to impair his value – the good qualities were lost. Man ceased to be what he was created to be and no longer conformed to the image of God. The Lord God intends to reconcile a portion of man back to Himself, but this must be done in keeping with the Lord’s righteous character.
The Lord cannot simply open His arms to those who are corrupted, because then the truth becomes a lie (overcome by) and the creation usurps the place of the Creator. The Lord God provides a way whereby man must return through truth and righteousness. This is a much harder path than if man had continued in obedience in Eden. Man must now go against (do the opposite) the fallen nature of the flesh, the fallen world and the wicked influence of Satan and his horde – this is a rugged and narrow path. This is like going against gravity – it takes effort and ability beyond “self.” This requires faith, which reaches beyond self (its control, way or ability) to God alone. The Lord has designed a path that leads to Himself, yet tears down the flesh along the way, such that no flesh will glory in his presence (1 Cor 1:29). That which is opposed to God will not gloat (glory, rejoice, revel, exalt itself) or boast (brag, claim) in His presence. The Lord’s path is only entered through Jesus Christ, the strait gate (Mt 7:13-14, Lk 13:24). Corruption must put on incorruption (Rm 8:21, 1 Cor 15:42, 50)! God renews man in the image of God for which he was created (Col 3:10). To renew is to restore to a former state, or to a good state, after vitiation or depravation. Jesus comes and says to the prisoners, Go forth (come out); to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves – come into the light(Is 49:9).
Jesus proclaimed: Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Those who respond to the deliverance Jesus offers shall be called, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD (Is 62:12). Satan is the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy God’s creation of man; Jesus came that you may have life (Jn 10:10). This will be discussed in Chapter Two, “The Light.” The devil binds and Christ sets free (Jn 8:36). Jesus once told a group of men, who believed on Him,(Jn 8:31) that if they continued in His Word, they would know the truth and the truth would set them free (Jn 8:31-32) -Christ came to set the captives free(Ps 107:13-14, 146:7, Is 42:7, 49:9, 61:1, Lk 4:18). Set them free from what? Satan’s (the adversary and accuser’s) lie which keeps them in bondage and iniquity! The truth will expose the lie and lead you to the light if you will receive it (Jn 5:40). The men responded to the Lord that they were never in any bondage. John 8:34, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” What Jesus was telling them was that their sin was a reflection of their nature – the darkness and bondage to Satan’s lie. This nature is opposite God’s truth and keeps them in transgression to God’s will.
Christ said: John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Jesus was trying to bring them out of the darkness (the bondage, transgression, disobedience and sin) and into His light (truth). Due to their actions, Christ said His Word had no place in them (Jn 8:37, Jer 8:9) – they wouldn’t receive it! This applies to the majority of man today! Man defends his love of darkness (Jn 3:19). Jesus told them: John 8:44, “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: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” This may seem harsh, but lets consider what Christ was telling them. Man chose (free-will) to “obey” or “follow” Satan (the serpent) in Eden. In doing so, man chose (free-will) to “disobey” or “disregard” God’s will in Eden (Pv 13:13). Thus, the devil became man’s father in a sense. Man obeys or follows the lusts of Satan in seeking his own way with presumed authority. So, man seeks what is right in his own eyes or the imaginations of his own heart. Man lives within Satan’s nature which is the lie, for there is no truth in him. The devil is a murderer because he brought death (the second death, discussed below) to a multitude of angels. Satan is a murderer because he brought death to man (physical and possibly eternal, also discussed below). The reason the devil brought such death is because he did not remain in God’s truth, but became the father (author and champion) of the lie in seeking his own will – rebellion. The devil became a great adversary to the truth. Because of this, multitudes have suffered – even so, they freely chose to join Satan and are without excuse. The devil is also a murderer because of his hate for others (1 Jn 3:15). This is perfect hatred (witchcraft) – to sacrifice others and cause untold suffering, all for the benefit of self – to seek your own selfish way. When the serpent lied to man (in Eden…and continuing) he was speaking of his own, meaning of what he had done. Specifically, to transgress the will of God to seek his own way and become as a God (Gen 3:4-5). The devil misled man through the great “lie” for he is the father of it! He holds to the tenets (principles, ideology, desires, pillars) of his rebellion. Now can you see the truthfulness of what Jesus was telling these men? John 8:45, “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” These men then lashed out at Jesus with name calling (Jn 8:48) and looked for stones to cast at Him (Jn 8:59), which only revealed the truth of their nature (darkness) that Jesus had pointed out. Examine your own heart dear reader! We must also strongly consider that if there is no truth in Satan, then it can be equally said that there is no truth in those who walk in his nature following him – through their selfish lusts. Thus, the whole world lieth in wickedness mostly void of any truth (Jn 1:10, 1 Jn 5:19).
Jesus said: John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” The following is equally true of Satan: I am come a darkness into the world, that whosoever believeth (follows) on me should not abide in the light. Jesus said: “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (Jn 5:30).” Satan proclains: “I seek my own will and not that of the Father.” Scriptures state: John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (discussed fully in Chapter Four).” Satan came that whosoever believeth in him (his way) shall perish and have everlasting torment. The devil came to condemn the world (accuse, destroy, wreak havoc) that the world through him might be damned. Jesus gave Himself for man’s benefit. Satan destroys man for his benefit. The natures of Jesus and Satan are opposite. However, Jesus is God and Lucifer is a creation of God. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Satan only has that which he is allowed. Whom do you yield to???
God made all of His creation with eternal spirits. These spirits do not die with respect to nonexistance. There is only one type of death for Satan and the fallen angels and this is eternal separation from God into never-ending torment. This is a physical place of eternal confinement known as the lake of fire. This place was not in existence prior to Lucifer’s rebellion, for there was no need for such a place. Jesus gave us insight when He said: Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (also 2 Pt 2:4, Jude 1:6).” God is going to grant those who have chosen to live opposite of the truth and opposite of the nature of the Lord just what they have sought after. They will be eternally seperated from the God they abhorred into an exact opposite place or abode. This will be a hellish nightmare that is completely opposite of everything good – it cannot be comprehended, but will be experienced by all of those who walk in darkness or the lie. In God’s timing, Satan will be thrown into this torment. Revelation 20:10, “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 for ever and ever.”
The devil shall be a great terror and then he shall be no more (Ez 28:19). Satan is aware of this, but is driven to destroy and cause havoc in God’s creation. Revelation 12:12, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time (also Jn 16:11).” The devil may consider that he might somehow turn things around to his favor (delusion), but he most assuredly understands the power of God and his separated and fallen condition. At the end, no one will exalt themselves for height anymore, but shall be delivered unto death – to the nether parts of the earth – in the pit (Ez 31:14, 16).
There are two types of death that concern man. Man is also a spirit that resides in a vessel of clay – a container or body (Job 10:11). Man’s body was made from the dust of the earth and God breathed man’s spirit (breath of life) into him and he became a living soul, which is body & spirit – the essence of who you are(Gen 2:7, Ps 104:30). Man’s body was to be perpetual, but needed the tree of life – fruit, leaves; found in the midst of Eden(Gen 2:9, Ez 47:12, Rev 22:2). When man transgressed God’s will, he lost access to the tree of life (Gen 3:22-24). So, the first death is the loss (destruction, malfunction) of the physical body, which is that which was made from clay (Eccl 9:2-3).
Man lives upon the earth for such a short time (Js 4:14, 1 Pt 1:24-25, Job 8:9, 14:2, Ps 78:39, 103:15-16, 144:4, 1 Chr 29:15). Our days upon the earth can be thought of as a time of testing (trial of your faith or lack thereof), which most will fail because they live in the nature of Satan’s rebellion (Ps 7:9, 11:5, 26:2, Js 1:12, 1 Pt 1:7). Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (also Jer 21:12).” The “reins” are what one is controlled or guided by – the darkness or the light? Man is on earth for such a short time. Psalms 90:9-10, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Job 7:1, “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?” Job 14:1-2, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.” Job 16:22, “When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.”
Once dead, this body returns to the clay from which it was taken – for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return(Gen 3:19). Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” God gathers His Spirit and his breath and man shall turn again unto dust (Job 34:14-15). When God takes their breath, they die, and return to their dust (Ps 104:29). This is an appointment that all will keep (Heb 9:27). Ecclesiastes 8:8, “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.” But what will be your spirit’s record of a life lived? This first death sets the stage for the potential for the second death. To live or die, what will the record of your life upon the earth reveal? – self-centered or God-centered?
The second death is eternal separation from God into never-ending torment and is this same place where the devil and his angels will be (Mt 25:41) – the hate, pain, hopelessness, separation and misery will be unbearable, yet will never end. The first death seals the fate for what follows – eternal life or the second death. We will all be judged according to our works or ways upon the earth (Job 34:11, Eccl 3:17, 11:9, 12:14, 2 Kg 8:39, Ps 62:12, Pv 24:12, 29, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10, 25:14, 32:19, Ez 7:3-4, 8-9, 27, Oba 1:15, Zech 1:6, Mt 12:36-37, 16:27, Jn 5:29, Rm 2:6, 16, 14:12, 1 Cor 3:13, 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10, Col 3:24-25, 2 Tim 4:1, 1 Pt 1:17, 4:5, Jude 1:15, Rev 2:23, 20:12-13, 22:12). This judgment will render either eternal life or the second death.
Scripture defines the second death as a part (place) in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev 21:8). The judgment will be based upon God’s “truth” (Rm 2:2) – and certainly not yours (as in opinions and sentiments, what you just “feel” is right, human reasoning, etc., Is 65:2). Those who choose God’s path and come out of the darkness and into the light will be granted the “promise” of eternal life(1 Jn 2:25),havingtheir names in the lamb’s book of life, and will dwell with God forever – opposite of the second death. Those who remain in the darkness and die in transgression and rebellion will receive the second death – what else is God to do with those corrupted spirits that return to him?; they freely “chose” their way (Is 1:28) – to reject God through their actions.
Consider the following carefully and thoughtfully: Revelation 20:11-15, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Many may ask, where does one reside after death while awaiting the judgment? Those found in Christ will be in paradise (Lk 23:43, Rev 2:7). Those iniquitous and rebellous ones (revolting heart, Jer 5:23) will go to a horrific holding place known as death and hell (Rev 20:14). This is past the shadow of death and through the gates of death (Job 3:5, 10:21, 12:22, 16:16, 24:17, 28:3, 34:22, Ps 9:13, 23:4, 107:14, 18, Is 9:2, Jer 13:16). Job 10:22, 38:17, “A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” These are: Psalms 107:10-12, “Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.” Isaiah 5:14, “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth (in his own way/path), shall descend into it.”
What awaits those disobedient rebellious ones is much worse than nonexistence – by far. These will be eternally separated from their Creator, which is a condition we cannot fully grasp at present, into a horrific indescribable place of torment to realize the worst effects of the darkness they loved (2 Thess 1:9). Those who follow Christ in faith (love, surrender, obedience, trust, loyalty) will be restored to the tree of life (Pv 13:12, Rev 2:7, 22:14). Man lost access or rights to the tree of life through “disobedience” to the commandment of God. Man regains access to the tree of life through “obedience” to the commandments of Christ (Lk 6:46, Jn 14:15, 21, 24, 1 Jn 2:3-5, 3:23-24, 5:2-3, 2 Jn 1:6, Rev 2:26, 12:17, 14:12, 22:14) – which are all contained in the canon of “love” (Mt 22:36-40, Mk 12:28-31, 33, Lk 10:27, also Deut 6:4-5 and Lev 19:18).
The devil hates man! Man was the apple of God’s eye (Ps 17:8, Zech 2:8) and the devil wants to corrupt and destroy those things that bring God pleasure. Oh Lord, for thy pleasure they (man) are and were created (Rev 4:11). The devil also wants to destroy those things that incite his jealousy! – that being the creation of man. God has also placed enmity (hostility, hate) between Satan and man (Gen 3:15). Man is in bondage to Satan’s rebellion and it is definitely a hate relationship. The devil does not open the house of his prisoners – those rebellious ones(Is 14:17). Satan sacrifices man for the benefit of self. He does this through death.
Satan has the power of death, let us consider why. The devil is not affected by the first death as man is and is allowed to maneuver, within limitations set by God, until his fate – the second death. Satan is the “tempter” and this is what he does; he tempts with the objective to destroy. The devil destroys man through death by keeping him in transgression and rebellion (the darkness) against God until the first death. Satan entices you to seek your lusts and desires – this is all that is necessary to destroy you. He keeps you in slavery to iniquity unto death, and the wages or pay-off of sin is death (Rm 6:23). Once dead, the rebellious man’s fate is sealed for the second death. Your time of testing will have ended and you will then be judged by the results. Thus, the devil eternally separates and destroys man from God. All Satan has to do is keep you in the darkness and away from the light (truth). Hebrews 2:14-15, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he (Jesus) might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Jesus delivers us out of the darkness and back to God (the light, through reconciliation) and thus destroys the devil’s power which is death. This will be discussed in more depth throughout this book.
All sin is resultant from Satan’s lie; that you can disobey God, which was rooted in pride, known as self exaltation. Sins are the outward manifestations of living in the nature of the lie – the corrupt fruit. These are specific violations of God’s Word or will (1 Jn 3:4) – all unrighteousness is sin (1 Jn 5:17). 1 John 3:8, “He that committeth sin (transgresses God’s commandments) is of the devil; for the devil sinneth (transgressed God’s commandments) from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (continued transgression of God’s commandments).” For example: God’s Word says that you are not to commit adultery (Ex 20:14, Gal 5:19). If you have participated in the act of adultery, then you have sinned. However, the Lord also considers one’s heart or nature. If you have looked upon another with lusts and thoughts of adultery, then you have just as much done the act in your heart (Mt 5:27-28). So you are responsible for what you put into your heart and mind, such as magazines, television, movies, etc. – what you think upon. 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” This is why we must abstain, abhor, eschew, refrain, depart, hate, cease, reprove and cleanse ourselves from all evil and wickedness (Eph 5:11, 1 Pt 3:11, 1 Thess 5:22, Rm 12:9, Ps 34:19, 37:27, 97:10, 119:101, Pv 3:7, 4:14-15, 8:13, 14:16, 16:17, Is 1:16, Amos 5:15, 2 Cor 7:1). Ye that love the Lord, hate evil (Ps 97:10).
Jesus came to destroy the working of Satan’s lie in you! Sin results from “your” specific preferences as you go about seeking “your” own way (path, will) – as you seek the imaginations of your own heart. Sin is the natural result from the fallen nature, or darkness and is the fruit of your doings (Pv 1:31, Is 3:10-11, Jer 17:10, 21:14, 32:10, Mi 7:13). Your path will always be a very “broad way” based upon your imaginations, opinions, feelings, and sentiments and is forged through the principles of the lie (Is 65:2, Mt 7:13, Col 2:20, Pv 15:26). God’s path is a very “narrow way” entered in only through Christ and followed in truth (Mt 7:14, Jn 14:6). Walking by your own way via Satan’s lie (our fallen nature) is walking in darkness. Obediently walking in God’s truth is walking in the light. God calls us into His light (truth). The problem is that most live by the precepts (nature of conduct) of the lie in their daily lives under a covering of religiosity. Many feel the Lord’s conviction, but rather than come to the light and surrender of self-will, they attempt to reform their own darkness. Maybe “religiously” with a form of godliness, and continue in their own darkness – to serve God through the flesh. They will try and overcome a specific outwardly manifested sin or bondage- e.g. alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, language, impure actions, etc.
The problem is that they are addressing the symptom and not the cause. If you are continuing in your own way, seeking self, then overcoming one sin will just produce another (maybe a different type) and you will most likely return to that which you overcame – as a sow/pig to the mud (2 Pt 2:22). The reason the sow returns to the mud is because it is the nature of the sow. Conversely, a cat will continually clean itself because that is its nature. The sins proceed from the fallen nature – the darkness of seeking your own way in disregard which is disobedience to God’s truth. Jesus said we must change natures or be “born again” (Jn 3:3, 2 Cor 5:17, Eph 4:24, 1 Pt 1:23, 1 Jn 2:29, 5:4). What is in your heart and mind must change. We must die to the fallen nature of seeking self (Satan’s lie, the darkness) and be born again with the nature of God which is dying to self and surrendering to God (the truth, the light). This will be discussed in Chapter Two, “The Light.”
The sinful fruit is the outward manifestations of the “root” which is pride – self over God. You can pull off all the corrupted fruit, but eventually more will appear in its place. You must go to the “root” of the matter, which is the seeking your own way, and destroy it such that you are totally submitting to God’s way. When you yield to God’s working in your life then righteous fruit springs forth (see Chapter Three, “The Fruit”). It should be noted that cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and such things soothe, pacify and comfort the flesh – particularly in times of stress. The “follower” of Christ is given a different kind of Comforter known as the Holy Ghost (sent from above) – discussed extensively in Chapter Two.
Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”
Since one of the main pillars (principles, main beliefs, ideologies, focus) of the darkness is “self,” it would behoove us, with respect to necessity, to consider just what this means (Col 2:20-21). Pride is the root of all evil or sin and is the exaltation of self – it goeth before destruction(Pv 16:18). This is the opposite of God’s truth which focuses on the principle of self-sacrifice for others. Those who live in the darkness will live (exhibit, love the darkness) in the nature of self (subtly or overtly) rather than dying to it and coming out of the darkness. Job 34:9, “For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.” Those who seek self are looking for personal benefit or what profits “me.” Those living in the darkness will basically seek self as a lifestyle, with higher regard to their flesh than anything else – God or others; they will never view themselves this way though. This may be evident in relationships with others, such as marriage – consider all the divorce. This will be the underlying motivation in most things they do – whats in it for me? Most walk in self-esteem which is to show regard (respect) for “self.” Those who regard “self” over God will be separated from the Lord eternally and given over to their own desire. 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”
Please consider the following manifestations, realizing that some are very similar: 1) Self – The total essential, or particular being of a person; all the essential qualities making up one’s person. 2) Self-willed – gratifying one’s own desires/lusts. Governed by one’s own will; not yielding to the will of God; not accommodating or compliant – froward. 3) Self-asserting – Defending one’s own qualities, rights or opinions – usually to justify the sacrifice of anothers; arrogance. 4) Self-assured – Having or exhibiting confidence in oneself. 5) Self-centered – Concerned with oneself and one’s own interest. 6) Self-abandoned – Abandoned or unrestrained in oneself such as yielding to one’s impulses. 7) Self-confidence (also self-reliance, self-trust, self-dependent) – Confidence in one’s or own abilities or judgments; reliance on one’s own opinion or powers. 8) Self-conceit – High opinion of oneself or abilities; vanity. 9) Self-sufficient (also self-contained) – Having full confidence in one’s own strength, abilities, competence or endowments; independent; haughty. 10) Self-deceit (also self-deceiving) – Deception respecting oneself, or that originates from one’s own mistake – illusion or error; self-deception. 11) Self-directed (also self-driven) – Guided or led by oneself – what you want or desire. 12) Self-gratification (also self-indulgence, self-pleasing) – The act or process of giving oneself pleasure or gratification. 13) Self-interest – Selfish regard for one’s own advantage or interest; personal advantage. 14) Selfish – Primarily concerned for oneself without regard for others. 15) Self-justifying – Making excuses for oneself. 16) Self-ordained (also self-proclaimed, self-assumed) – Ordained by oneself rather than another; assumed by one’s own act without authority. 17) Self-respect – Due respect for oneself or one’s character and conduct. 18) Self-righteous – Smugly convinced of one’s own righteousness; seeking self with presumed justification from God. 19) Self-satisfaction (also self-praise) – Satisfied with oneself or with one’s actions or accomplishments. Perhaps building idols to oneself such as the display of trophies, accomplishments, and awards; use of titles (Job 32:21-22), which is a form of self exaltation – doctor, reverend, honorable, etc. 20) Self-seeking – Concerned with or pursuing only one’s own interest. The lusts of the eyes, pride of life, cares of this world, etc. 21) Self-love – The love of one’s own person or happiness. 22) Self-opinioned – Valuing one’s own opinion highly. 23) Self-preference – Preferring one’s self above others. 24) Self-exalting – Placing one’s self and desires above others – always wanting your way. Perhaps you dress a certain way such as designer clothes, expensive jewelry, hairstyles, and perfumes(1 Tim 2:9, 1 Pt 3:3) to draw attention to self and portray an image of superiority? Perhaps you volunteer for things or seek place to gain advantage over others – for self, children, etc.? Perhaps you are always concerned with winning and find it hard to lose gracefully? More specific examples are given in Chapter Four, “What is Walking in Darkness?”
When one seeks self above another, then all manner of sin manifests. Perhaps you can see how one who is mainly concerned with self would rob another – theft? In similar manner those who exalt self will murder, inflict violence, commit adultery, bear false witness, lie, etc. They do not care that they sacrifice others as long as “self” prevails. This is a form of control – exerting your will. This also applies to collective groups of people such as races, nationalities, nations, etc. (Ps 9:17, 20). This disregards the lives of others – their thoughts, feelings, needs, situations, etc. The higher regard one has for self, the more control they will seek to exert over others. Those with high regard for self will also have contempt or disregard for God through their actions – self always takes priority. These will blaspheme God and seek their idols – money, possessions, entertainments, people, hobbies, etc.
Those who forsake the darkness must die to the things of self and surrender to the will of God – to be poor in spirit, mournful, and meek. Ephesians 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” We must place God foremost in our lives and walk in His ways in truth, righteousness, and uprightness of heart – with a full heart! We must learn to place others first – love which is the sacrifice of self for the benefit of others. The more self dies, the more trust, faith and reliance there is upon God. The more self lives, the less trust, faith and reliance there is upon God. Those who love God place Him foremost and then others (neighbors) above self. In other words, they walk in the two great commandments (Mt 22:37-39, Mk 12:29-31, Lk 10:27-28).
Self-sacrifice and self-exaltation are mutually excluding or annihilating – one excludes the other (prohibits, eliminates, prevents, rejects, reduces, abolishes). To seek self is to lessen God – to reduce in authority and importance in your life. The creation has rebelled against the Creator in seeking freedom, liberty, and independence for self. Those who walk in darkness are wicked, stubborn, stiff-necked, froward, hard-hearted, obstinate, pertinacious, headstrong, double-minded, hypocritical, impenitent, impudent, rebellious and have a whorish heart toward God, and will not yield to the Lord’s working in them to conform them to His nature and expectations (froward, Pv 3:32, 11:20, Ez 2:3-4, 7, 27).
The Lord God would have us be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Pt 1:4) and behave in manners that fallen or corrupted self abhors (hates, detests, loathes, despises, dislikes). We are to be humble (meek), patient, loving, surrendered (yielding), forgiving, self-sacrificing (self-denial, unselfish, sacrifice of one’s own interests or well being for the benefit or sake of others), self-controlled (temperance, restraint), giving, longsuffering (forbearing), contrite (repentant, self-examining), virtuous (conformity to divine commandments, high regard for God’s Word), likeminded (unified in the Spirit), believing (faithful, looking beyond the flesh), godly (loving observance of God’s will, obedience), and must show brotherly kindness (good will, benevolence, contributing to the happiness of others). This is a dying to individual desire and lusts. God’s Spirit will work to transform those who “come to the light” into the image of the Lord (truth, His nature and expectations). You as an individual only become important when things are put into right order – God, others, and then you. Once the emphasis of your life is correct (seek ye first the kingdom of God) and God’s nature is restored and reflected in you, then “self” takes on new meaning.
There has been no forgiveness, restoration or reconciliation offered by God to Satan or the fallen angels that joined him in his rebellion. This is most likely because they have all seen God and dwelt in His presence and have known of his truth and glory, yet willingly forsook the light (truth) to seek their own selfish lusts (angels in God’s presence – Mt 18:10, 25:31, Lk 1:19, 9:26, 12:8-9, Jn 1:51, 2 Thess 1:7, Heb 1:6, 1 Pt 3:22, Rev 3:5, Job 4:18). How could such be restored again to have a willing loving heart of obedience? They were perfect and chose imperfection – forever corrupted – tainted with wickedness. The Lord has revealed to man: Hebrews 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Similar can be said of the devil and his angels; they were once enlightened in the truth, have tasted of heaven, having been directly in God’s presence, were partakers of the Holy Ghost; and walked in the good Word of God and His power. These angels chose to leave the light and enter into the darkness. It is impossible to renew them again!
Satan and the fallen angels most certainly blasphemed the Holy Ghost by their actions (Mk 3:29, Lk 12:10). Satan’s nature is manifested through the beast or antichrist spirit, and it is blasphemy (Rev 13:1, 6) – the devil has a mouth (and heart) that speaks great things and blasphemies against God (Rev 13:5-6). These are condemned to eternal destruction. The Lord God in His great mercy has offered man a way of forgiveness and reconciliation – the only way, which is His way. This will be discussed in Chapter Two, “The Light.”
Man comes from a slightly different circumstance than the angels did. No man hath seen God at any time and must approach the Lord through faith (Jn 1:18, 1 Jn 4:12, Heb 10:38, 11:6, Habk 2:4, Rm 1:17, Gal 3:11). Man is born into transgression and rebellion, but must choose to leave the darkness and come to the light. Man is born imperfect, but must choose perfection. Man must forsake his darkness by forfeiting his self seeking ways, and abide in Christ (enter the strait gate, Mt 7:13-14, Lk 13:24, Jn 10:9) to be cleansed from unrighteousness and forgiven of sin (1 Jn 1:7, 9). Man must then walk in faith (surrender, love, obedience, trust, humbleness) as led by the Spirit (follow the narrow path, Mt 7:14) to be reconciled to God (Acts 3:21). The path back to God is impossible for one living in the flesh, because this path will pull down and destroy the things of the flesh. Only the sincere and genuine will be able to walk this path.
The narrow path back to God is ruggedly designed to yield (produce) the Lord what He desires – one who is sincere; has a true heart of love for God; is surrendered (meek) and obedient; and trusts in God for all things. One can only tread this path by leaving the world behind and “following” the Lord (to avert all the obstacles along the way) in His truth (light). Can anyone deny that God’s will shall absolutely be performed throughout eternity? Satan and his minions (subordinates, followers) of fallen angels have been denied any reconciliation with God. Man has been offered reconciliation under the conditions set by God. Satan (adversary) hates God and man and is determined to keep man from understanding (finding) or following God’s path. The devil, who has the power of death, (Heb 2:14) will mislead you down a multitude of wrong paths until death forever separates you from God. He draws you further into the darkness (lie) and then accuses you before God for not being in the light (truth, Rev 12:10). The path for those who “follow” the father of the “lie” ends in death (Mt 7:13-14).
How Satan Overcomes Man
God has made a way, Jesus Christ – The Way, to restore and reconcile man to Himself (defined in Chapter Two, “The Light”). However, Satan does not want to release any of his prisoners from his house of bondage (the darkness) – they are appointed unto death (Ps 102:19-20). The devil wants to destroy man! He is a great adversary to man and walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Pt 5:8). The Lord will not allow Satan to violate your free-will if you choose to serve God. Therefore, the devil must keep you from seeing the way God has provided (the light, truth) and certainly hinder you from walking it. Satan does this through enticement and deceit. Satan is referred to in scripture as “the tempter” (Mt 4:3). To tempt is to incite or solicit to an evil act; to entice to something wrong by presenting arguments that are plausible or convincing, or by the offer of some pleasure or apparent advantage as the inducement. The devil tempts you into a wrongful course of action; he then accuses you before God; demands the full penalty (death, eternal separation); and thereby makes you an enemy of God (Rev 12:10). The devil does this by appealing to your own lusts – which war against the soul (the essence of who you are, 1 Pt 2:11). He lures you to seek your own way and thus disregard God’s will (commandments, Word, truth, authority). James 1:13-15, “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: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The devil simply determines the lusts of your own heart and then appeals to these lusts to foster (promote, advance, cultivate, encourage) desire. Satan leads man to doubt God’s Word or truth, then to disbelieve or disregard God’s truth, and finally to disobey God’s truth. This is the “working of Satan” to deceive and entice into a wrongful (fatal) course of action (2 Thess 1:9). The great condemnation is that the choice to walk in the darkness is your own – you are not forced, just tempted. So, men are enticed and drawn away by their own lusts in seeking the things of the flesh (seeking their own way, Js 1:14). Satan keeps you in the darkness through the principles of the lie (self seeking, the way of the flesh). By keeping you focused on your lusts and desires, even when you hear the Word of God, then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (Lk 8:12). He takes the Word by keeping you focused on and in love with other things (you pay it no mind, cast aside, don’t take it seriously). Notice the process: lust, appeal, capitulation (giving in), sin and death. This is a wicked method of keeping your eyes on self (and off of God) which will result in your own destruction (demise, death) and it is all based upon your own free-will. This is a set trap baited with selfish benefit. No one is forced to step inside the trap and take the bait, but Oh how many do! 2 Timothy 2:26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare (baited trap) of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Those who seek their selfish desires do the will of the devil! – they “know” the depths of Satan (Rev 2:24, 3:9). In doing so, they violate (transgression, sin, iniquity, unrighteousness, unbelief) the will of God. They are easily overcome (duped, suckers).
The devil brings you into bondage by continually appealing to your fleshly weaknesses (preferred lusts) such that you continue in them (repetitive sins) – and fall therein (slippery ways in the darkness). Those who continue to seek self find it difficult or impossible to break free of these things. The bondages are built upon strong desire and you may find yourself justifying or defending the wickedness such as addictions, habits, behaviors, preferences, compulsions, and obsessions. Psalms 107:17, “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.” For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage – servants of corruption (2 Pt 2:19). Examples of such bondage might be: cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, foul language (profanity, cursing, Ps 141:3), lewd behavior, fornication, idolatry (television, money, etc.), obsession (with someone, sports team, hobby, etc.) and covetousness (not content – always wanting things). These types of bondages are sometimes referred to as “living in sin” since they become such a part of your lifestyle (your deeds/actions).
The Lord gives a way of escape to those who truly seek Him. 1 Corinthians 10:13, “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.” God has set limits on Satan such that the temptations cannot be overwhelming. This way of escape is absolutely not through the flesh! The temptation is directed at the flesh (that which seeks it’s will over God’s). We are not to put our trust and faith in our flesh such as will-power, which is your resolve or forced ability to overcome. The only way to avoid such temptation is through the denial of self (forfeiture of your way) and surrender to God by yielding to His way. You must give up what man rebelled against God to obtain which was “self independence.” You must do the opposite of the lie! The way back to God (to the light, truth) is denying self daily, taking up your cross (death to the things of the flesh) and “following” (walking as) Christ (Mt 10:39, 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24, 17:33, Jn 12:24-25, Rm 8:13, 2 Cor 5:15, Gal 2:20, Eph 4:24, Col 2:6, 3:2-3, Ps 119:3, 128:1, Hos 14:9, 1 Thess 2:12, 1 Jn 2:6, 2 Jn 1:6). This is to lose your life (your way) for Christ’s name sake such as to find your life (walking in the truth, eternal life) in Him (Mt 10:39, 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24, 17:33, Jn 12:25).
You must abide in Jesus (He that is holy, and He that is true, Rev 3:7) or there is no hope. If you are truly fearing God (cleaving to Him) and eschewing all evil (abstaining from), then you will not be overcome (Ps 119:101). 1 John 5:18, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten (born of) of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” We must acknowledge the truth (coming to the light) and this is the way to be free from the snares of the devil (2 Tim 2:25-26). The truth will set you free (Jn 8:32). Satan compels man to exalt his way and the things he seeks after above the Lord God. What we are talking about here is the lusts of the eyes/flesh, the pleasures/pride of life, and the deceitfulness of riches – the fruits thy soul lusteth after (Mk 4:19, Lk 8:14, 1 Jn 2:16, Rev 18:14). We are even talking about the necessary things (cares of this world, Mk 4:19)! Most do not consider that “their” day to day life (way, path) could be a great violation of God’s will. God must be foremost in our lives, but Satan lures us by our own lusts to place our own way (and that which we fill our lives with) above God.
Those who walk in darkness will never clearly see the path to the light. You will never understand the concept of “denying self” because you live by and are blinded by the nature of the lie which says to “seek self.” The seeking of self is the very thing that keeps you in bondage – this is the chords and chains of sin that bind you. 2 Corinthians 4:4, “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.” To “believe not” (see Chapter Four) is to walk in your way and disregard God’s way (as lived daily, applied). Satan blinds these through their fleshly lusts such that the gospel message, or truth of Christ, will not shine unto them and they won’t “know” it or understand it. This is why when one sincerely turns to God in repentance and starts forsaking the darkness, the Lord will have to lead them out. Your fleshly understanding is flawed and will continue to seeks it’s own and thus remain in the darkness – you do not know the way out. We must obediently “follow” Jesus. If you do not obediently follow, then the whole premise (basis) for coming to the light has been undermined (compromised) and you will remain in the darkness. How do you obey? When the Lord reveals wrongful things in your life, you must start correcting them. You yield in obedience to God’s truth. You must forsake wicked behaviors. The Lord will recompense (reward, return an equivalent) you according to your ways; according to your doings (Hos 12:2). Every forsaken wicked behavior is one more step toward the light. The more evil you forsake, the less power it has over you. You give up self and surrender in obedience to God and this is where the victory is.
The author once read the account of a woman who said she had a vision. In the vision, the devil, who was a sort of a wretched imp, went about a broad way/path with a prideful arrogant look (as if wanting to do evil) and was covered with jewels and trinkets that represented the things of the world that men lust and desire after. Satan would come up to the various people who traveled the path and would take off a jewel and offer it to them or they would take it from off of him. They would gladly receive these trinkets because this was where their heart was – their motivation. Rarely, but occasionally someone who was offered a jewel would refuse it and then would diverge off of the broad path onto a narrow one. This vision certainly represents a very undeniable (valid) reality. Most people in this world are motivated by money, possessions and desires (1 Tim 6:10). The devil told Jesus, when referring to the riches and glory of this world, “for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it (Lk 4:6).” Satan may give fleshly things, but they come with a heavy and eternal price. Con artists have understood this very well and have taken advantage of people for centuries by appealing to their lusts. Satan is supreme in this area and we must not be unwise to his devices (2 Cor 2:11). These types of fleshly things are not of God (1 Jn 2:15-17, Js 4:4). Do not allow the flesh to control your actions. The flesh will follow its inclination (nature, proclivity, preference) away from God. Will it not be shocking (dreadful) and very revealing to find out that the things that you love are coming from Satan and not God? The Lord God does not cater to the flesh! The desires of the flesh is what drove man from God and keeps him in the darkness.
We must understand that the power of darkness lay in the desires of the flesh. The darkness is founded upon self seeking and exaltation (pride). The Lord says we must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust and partake of His divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). You have now been warned: 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” The devil’s wiles (tricks or stratagem practiced for ensnaring or deception) are directed at the flesh, but can be overcome through the Spirit. Ephesians 6:11-13, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Our ability to stand is found in the provision given by God to those who love Him by obeying and keeping His commandments. This is a spiritual war and your eternal destination is at stake as well as your family’s – its way past time to get serious. Ephesians 6:14-18, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” We must come out of the darkness (lie) and walk in truth – you are upheld by the truth. To be in the darkness is to be living in defeat (corrupted, overcome, lost).
If you cannot embrace and walk in the truth then there is no hope in you – you sit in darkness refusing to see the light (Is 9:2, Mt 4:6). Christ came: Isaiah 42:7, “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (because of rebellion, Ps 107:9-10).” You must “follow” Jesus (the truth) out of the darkness. Slightly restated: Luke 1:79, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” The way of peace is reconciliation to God, where there is now enmity due to disobedience (Is 59:2) – thus your feet must be shod (shoed) with the gospel of peace, which is God’s offer of reconciliation through Jesus. Why shod? Because you must now walk the narrow way that leads to God (as Christ did). We must walk in righteousness (obedience to God’s will) which results from our faith (Rm 1:17, 3:22, 4:13, 9:30, Gal 5:5, Php 3:9, 1 Tim 6:11, 2 Tim 2:22).
You cannot stand on the side or look from the broad way. Salvation (the helmet) is the hope we have in Christ (endurance, 1 Thess 5:8, Mt 10:22). Application of (walking in) the Spirit and the Word in our lives gives us the ability to strike back – hence, the sword. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” You must constantly examine your heart whether you be in the faith and prove your own self (2 Cor 13:5). Ask the Lord to do the same: Psalms 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Our trust must be in the Lord’s leading. We must examine ourselves to ensure that we are “following.” Are you in the flesh or the Spirit? We must also be in constant communication (prayer) with our Lord. This armor forms our relationship with Christ, who is our strength. Preparation is continual and must start before the battle. Dear Lord, lead us not into temptation (that which self desires), but deliver us from evil (the evil one, Satan): For thine is the kingdom (of light and truth), and the power, and the glory (to God and not self), for ever. Amen.
Man Always Seeks Selfish Benefit
Man’s greatest weakness is in the flesh (selfish want, lusts). The deception and blindness keeps man in the flesh and thus “weak.” Man is motivated by the principles of the lie (darkness) which always desires selfish benefit or “gain.” The kingdom of God operates under the principle of self-sacrifice, which is the giving up of self for the benefit of God (foremost) and then others. Self always comes last. For to be great in the kingdom of heaven you must become a servant to all. He that is least of all, the same shall be great (Lk 9:48). To be first you must be last and a servant to all (Mk 9:35, Lk 22:26-27). To be greatest/chiefest, you must be servant of all (Mt 23:11, Mk 10:44). God’s kingdom operates the opposite from the kingdom of darkness! In the Lord’s kingdom, you must be motivated by sacrifice (which results in loss to self) which is manifested as love and humbleness (meekness). Love is the voluntary sacrifice of self for the benefit of others. To be humble is to understand your shortcomings, be modest and unpretentious, and to not be self assertive (or proud). To be meek is to be patient, gentle, kind, mild, submissive (to the Lord’s will) and to have forebearance (command of temper, restraint of passions) under injuries.
Jesus (our example to follow) absolutely exhibited these attributes in all that He did. Christ always put the needs of others first – through teaching, healing, deliverance, feeding, etc. Christ forbear all the challenges and indignities that religious man threw at Him. Jesus came as a servant: Philippians 2:7-8, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” AND Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Jesus, Who is greatest (Php 2:9-11, Rev 5:12-13), became least for our benefit at great sacrifice to Himself.
Those in the darkness do not understand these concepts of submission, sacrifice, and denial because these things go against their fallen nature. They do not seek to bring glory to the Lord, but rather desire glory for themselves (their flesh). Let us consider the meek: Meekness is submission to the divine will of God and not to be self sufficient (Ps 22:26). Psalms 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way (also Is 61:1).” Judgment is the discerning of right from wrong and choosing the right. So, God reveals discernment of right and wrong to those who are humble and rely upon the Lord. You must become meek to understand God’s way. As stated earlier, the proud and self seeking could never understand something that does not provide them with selfish gain or fleshly benefit. Psalms 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” God resisteth the proud (self seeking), but giveth grace (Holy Spirit working in your life to bring about God’s purposes, Heb 13:21, discussed in chapter two) unto the humble (those who deny self, Js 4:6). God’s grace is for the lowly (Pv 3:34). Psalms 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (which Jesus reiterated – Mt 5:5, Ps 149:4).” The peace comes about when God brings all things back into right order and truth governs all. When you do not obey the voice of God, then truth perishes with respect to you (Jer 7:28).
We must understand that you can be religious and still live by the precepts (of men, Is 29:13) and principles of the world (darkness). This is to be self seeking and desirous of selfish benefit or gain with a form of godliness or religion. In other words, many live very similar (alike, comparable, akin) to the world with the justification (absolution from guilt) that they “profess Christ” and attend church, which is defined as being a member of some religious organization and regular attendence at services at some facility. This is the deception whereby one believes he is serving God, when actually he is serving the darkness – self, the lie, living in Satan’s nature.
Many will maneuver through religious means to allow for the selfish benefits that they seek. This is done by either the twisting of God’s Word (handling the word of God deceitfully, 2 Cor 2:17, 4:2) or through the purposeful selection of a religious organization that lines up with their desired lifestyle – allows for what they want; there are so many flavors to choose from. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables – lies, falsehood, deceit, and fabrication.” These only deceive themselves – for God has forever settled the way in which man will approach Him, and the challenge of this book is to convey just that – how one approaches God. These are froward, which is a refusal to do what is required (unyieldeing, disobedient). We must be led of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The “promise” of God is the Holy Spirit, Who teaches and leads in truth such that we abide in Christ (Lk 24:49, Jn 7:39, 14:26, Acts 1:4-5, 8, 2:33, 38, Rm 5:5, Gal 3:14, Eph 1:13, 1 Thess 4:8, Ti 3:5, 2 Tim 1:14). The Holy Spirit is discussed in Chapter Two, The Light.”
Insights from Job
The book of “Job” gives us insight into the dark workings of Satan and the Lord’s sovereignty over all. Let us consider how the devil manuevers against man. Job 1:1, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” The perfect and upright (honest, just, adhering to God’s will) man considers the Lord in all his doings and avoids evil and wickedness at all cost. To fear God is to walk in His ways and do what is pleasing in His sight. As a result of Job’s devotion, the Lord blessed him in his ways (Job 1:2-3). God does not serve man, but may in his good pleasure, reward those who are faithful and obedient. Its like this: sometimes the author asks one of his older sons to watch the younger. The son does this in love (sacrifice of self for another) both for his father and brother, and does not expect to receive payment – for then it would not be love, but hire (a hireling). However, sometimes the father rewards the son, in his good pleasure, due to the son’s love and obedience to the father. The important thing is the love of the son for the father and brother, and not any potential reward that may be received – although one may be given.
Job 1:6-7, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 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.” The devil walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour – an adversary to man and the Lord’s purposes (1 Pt 5:8). Job 1:8, “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?” In stating this, the Lord was pointing out to Satan his horrendous and tremendous failing. Satan rejected the fear of God and embraced evil in seeking his own selfish way. The devil is no longer perfect and upright (as he once was, Ez 28:15) and has fallen to the lowest degree. Job’s uprightness is a condemnation to Satan’s wickedness. Job walks in the light (God’s truth, Deut 32:4) and Satan walks in the darkness, which is a lie of his own making. When man walks in his own way, this is also a lie of his own making as per the nature of his chosen father, Satan. “The Way” or truth of God will stand eternally, all other ways will perish. Take heed to the way in which you go.
Job 1:9-11, “Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 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. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” This verse clearly shows that the Lord God protects those who are faithful and obedient to Him. God has also seen fit to reward Job’s devotion toward Him. Notice: Satan’s obvious jealousy and desire to harm or bring ill will upon Job. Satan accuses Job with no basis of proof. The devil is the great accuser (Rev 12:10) – he seeks to destroy. The devil accuses Job of only loving God for selfish reasons. Satan is trying to bolster (give creedance, strengthen, reinforce, augment, sustain) the foundation of his “lie.” The devil proclaims that Job’s only motivation is self – just like Satan’s was. The devil wants to show that all of creation is basically motivated by self for benefit; and Satan also wants to destroy Job in the process.
Job 1:12, “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.” This reveals that Satan is clearly limited in what he is allowed to do by God’s will and authority. The devil would have destroyed Job already, but was constrained by the power of God. The Lord allows Job to be tested and proved for His glory – the same can be said for everyone of us – you will be proven (Ps 7:9, Jer 20:12)! Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” However, Satan is restricted or limited and only allowed to remove Job’s possessions and cannot touch Job personally. Satan immediately goes out and devastates all that Job has including the taking of the lives of his children. The devil has no problem sacrificing the life of another if he will selfishly gain place. For those who walk in darkness, this is the cruel taskmaster that you serve – survival of the fittest (strongest and most powerful); dog eat dog. So how did Job react? Job 1:20-22, “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 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. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job worshipped and blessed the name of the Lord! He recognized that all things are in God’s hands – the good and the bad. This is meekness! Job maintained his fear of God and uprightness. This was a crushing defeat for Satan – the accuser. In Job’s suffering, the Lord received glory! We must realize that when we deny (die to) the flesh (our will, way, wants, lusts, etc.) and surrender to God in all things, the Lord receives the glory – His truth is upheld! We profess our love for God in our willingness to suffer for Him (2 Tim 2:12). Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” The foundation of Satan’s lie began to crumble. There are those who sincerely love the Lord above all – with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. Now consider how incredibly dishonoring it would have been to God if Job had lashed out at God in seeking his own way and thus sinning. Then Satan would have boasted of his lie and flaunted it in God’s presence. Everyone of us in our lives are either honoring God or bringing dishonor to him through our actions. When you seek your way, the devil flaunts it before God and greatly accuses you. He does this to bolster his lie. Satan wants to justify his rebellion and prove to God that the Lord’s creation ultimately wants its freedom and independence to determine its own course – their own way. When you die to self and surrender to God’s will, even to the loss and sacrifice of the flesh, then God receives glory. We must grasp this and take it to heart.
Does Satan just accept defeat? Job 2:1-3, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” The Lord is pointing out Job’s superior wisdom (recall, Lucifer was very wise, but became corrupted, Ez 28:12, 17), because he continues to fear God and eschew evil – this is great wisdom (wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding, Pv 9:10). Satan’s assault (without cause) on the Lord’s beloved and God’s truth has failed – he is a liar and the truth is not in him (Jn 8:44).
The Lord said that Job had maintained his integrity; but what does this mean? Integrity is the entire and unimpaired state of purity, uncorrupted – uprightness and honesty. Job stood strong for the Lord; Satan did not and was greatly corrupted. Job 2:4-6, “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” The devil does not admit defeat, just manipulates the rules (terms) of the original accusation. Again, the Lord gives Satan permission (the devil is restricted by God’s will) to inflict harm upon Job – this time his person (self). Satan is not allowed to take Job’s life! Those who do God’s will shall have life! Notice: that again, the basis of Satan’s charge is that Job will seek “self” over God. Seeking self is disregard for God! This is so important to understand! The devil insists that when things get difficult enough for “self” that man will always choose the love of the flesh (his way, will, comfort) over God. In other words, the devil is saying that Job’s wisdom shall also become corrupted when enough pressure is brought to bear to reveal that his true devotion (bottom line) is to self.
Having obtained permission from God, the devil goes off and inflicts Job with painful disease. Job 2:7, “So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” This time the devil also uses Job’s wife to bring pressure to bear through bad advice and negative encouragement – Satan does not play fair. Job 2:9, “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.” Our loved ones can be a source of great encouragement or a source of great failure. Remember that it was Adam’s wife who offered him the forbidden fruit in Eden (1 Tim 2:14). Consider what happened to Solomon – his wives turned his heart away from God to false gods (1 Kgs 11:3-4, Neh 13:26). The devil often uses family members for his wicked purposes. We have been instructed to place our relationship to God above everything and everyone. Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate (place as higher importance) not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
We must be willing to sacrifice everything for the benefit of God – true love. So, how is Job to react to the unbelievable (enormous) pressures and pain of body? Job 2:10, “But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” Next, three of Job’s friends came to comfort him, but were miserable comforters through their bad advice (Job 16:2-5, 20, 19:1-3, 21-22, 42:7-8). Job loves the Lord, but hates his life (Job, Chapter Three). The Lord God received the glory over Satan – and so it shall always be! We must be willing to receive the bad with the good and still give God the glory. Self must die and the nature of the darkness (Satan’s lie in us). In the end, the Lord rewarded Job’s selfless faith with twice the possessions, more children and long life (Job 42:10-17). Job had been proven and the Lord rewarded him good according to the fruit of his doings (Jer 17:10).
Satan is an adversary and an accuser who destroys you before God by compelling you to seek self and disregard the will of the Lord – through whatever means he is allowed (Eph 5:17). If you walk in “self,” then you are in bondage and awaiting final condemnation before the throne of God – you are already guilty (Jn 3:18). You have no idea just how dangerous the path really is that you are walking. The Lord God will condemn the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness (1 Kgs 8:32).
The Lord God is your Creator and as such has every right and ability to take your life from this earth at any moment. You are already living under the condemnation (sentence) of death. The Lord can exercise His right to implement your sentencing at any moment – your next breath or heart beat. Why does God continue to endure you? Because God is longsuffering and loving and desires to bring you to repentance (godly sorrow) in an effort to preserve you eternally (2 Pt 3:9, 2 Tim 3:10, Eph 4:2). God forbears your injuries (meekness) to His Majesty and righteous character! The Lord forbears your injuries to His due honor and glory! The Lord sacrifices for your benefit (love) – for this present moment. However you are not guaranteed the next moment – woe! Some die young and some die old, but none has a guarantee of either. Once taken, you will stand or fall based upon your deeds (or works) and not your religious mental agreements. The devil has spread his poison and lies throughout God’s creation. The Lord will prevail in His truth as exercised through His righteous character or nature (Rm 9:22). In other words, God’s actions will always be in harmony with His truth. Thy will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven (Lk 11:2). Restoration of all things will be done in God’s truth and never through Satan’s lie.
Consider God’s ultimate purpose: Ephesians 1:10-12, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Multitudes will perish because God’s truth will prevail and they will not be found in it – they are vessels of wrath fitted to destruction (Rm 9:22)! Irregardless, the Lord God Almighty will go forward (new heavens and a new earth, Is 65:17, 66:22, 2 Pt 3:13) with multitudes who are sincere and loyal in their love and obedience to Him – those who actually walked in faith in following Jesus, their Lord. These are those who have been tested and tried upon the earth (such as Job) and have prevailed to choose the truth and have life in it (see chapter three). Those who perish will have done so in their own stubborn will and choice to live in darkness. These are those who were overcome by the world – the darkness, which is Satan’s lie.
Believe a Lie?
The darkness that man walks in will keep him from seeing the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Let us fully examine the meaning of these verses. Deceivableness is one (Satan) who knowingly utters falsehood with the purpose to deceive; one (the devil) who declares to another as a fact what he knows to be not true, and with an intention to deceive or mislead him. Unrighteousness is the violation of God’s commands (will, purposes, covenant) – a habitual course of wickedness or it could be only one single unjust act. So, the “deceivableness of unrighteousness” is one (Satan) who knowingly utters falsehood (maliciously – deliberate intention to injure) with the intent to deceive one (man) to habitually (regularly) violate God’s will. This is what the devil does – “the workings of Satan” (2 Thess 2:9). To walk in such darkness is to know the depths of Satan (Rev 2:24). It only takes one violation of God’s will to damn you to hell, but Satan’s intention is to keep you consistently (routinely as a lifestyle) in violation (eyes on self) such that you never understand God’s path of mercy and forgiveness, which is the narrow way to reconciliation with God. With the “deceivableness of unrighteousness,” Satan causes man to perish! Why is man so gullible (naïve, susceptable)? Because he receives not the love of the truth that he might be saved – for Jesus calls you out of the darkness and into His light. The truth (light) is specifically discussed in Chapter Two, “The Light.”
To “love” the truth is to sacrifice “self” for the benefit of the truth, and the only way you can walk in the truth is to die to self. Self is in opposition to the truth. What is the condemnation or blame? Men love the darkness – the “deceivableness of unrighteousness,” and will not come to the light (truth, Jn 3:19). They regard lying vanities (Ps 31:6). Therefore, God sends rebellious man a strong delusion that they believe a lie. What is the lie? The lie is what Satan told man in Eden (that reflects his nature/image), which states that man can seek self (lusts, desires, flesh) and not die – and shall be as a god in determining his own way (path, will). A delusion is error or mistakes leading from false views; misleading of the mind. The strong delusion is that man thinks he is right and justified in seeking his own way to satisfy self, his lusts, his will, etc. – religious man thinks he can seek self and serve God; and is blessed in it, when self gets what it wants/craves. The strong delusion is that while one walks in the darkness, they believe that they are in the light – not comprehending the truth. Why would God do that? Because “they believed (followed) not the truth” and worse – they took “pleasure” in their unrighteousness, which are violations of God’s will. Perhaps they felt justified in violating God’s will because they once “professed Christ” and considered themselves immune (protected, legally resistant) to such things as having to obey Christ’s commands(Jn 14:15) – thus the strong delusion! They s-t-r-e-t-c-h God’s grace into license to seek their will and oppose the Lord’s purposes. Man doing what is right in his own eyes; seeking the imaginations of his heart – his opinions and sentiments(Pv 3:7, 6:18, 12:15, 16:2, 21:2, 30:12, Is 5:21, Deut 12:8, 29:19, Jdg 17:6, 21:25, Ps 36:2, Gen 6:5, Jer 3:17, 9:14, 11:8, 13:10, 16:12, 18:12, 23:17, Rm 1:21). Many a man follows “the lie” today and believes that all is well. Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools (one who pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom) despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:29-31, “For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” Woe! Great woe!
Demonic Possession (unclean spirits, devils)
The spirit of man dwells within a vessel of clay which you know as your physical body (Eccl 3:20, 12:7). This is a temporal body composed of the dust of the earth (Gen 2:7, Job 10:9). Scripture is very clear that your body can be co-inhabited. In other words, more than one spirit can inhabit your vessel of clay. When we forsake the darkness and come to Christ’s light in obedience, the Lord gives us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us (1 Cor 6:19, 2 Tim 1:14). 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (also 1 Cor 6:19, Rm 8:10, Jn 14:20)”
The Holy Spirit is very benign (kindly, gentle, caring, compassionate) and respects your “person” – is very beneficial. This means that the Lord’s Spirit respects your free-will to choose. The Holy Ghost only works through your free surrender and obedience in order to comfort, lead, guide, teach, empower, convict, etc. One of the fruits of the Spirit is “self control” and the Holy Spirit will never interfere with your ability to control yourself. That which the Spirit gives, such as boldness, wisdom and empowerment, will accentuate your abilities and not detract from them. The Spirit is advantageous, positive and helpful. The Holy Spirit is more fully discussed in Chapter Two. Jesus provides (from the Father), the Holy Spirit to enable you to travel the narrow way that leads to life and to complete this rugged course. The Holy Ghost is truly expedient or appropriate to a given purpose (Jn 16:7). This is the positive and essential side of the co-habitation of your physical body (Rm 8:9).
The other side of this, “the dark side,” is the possession of one’s physical body by unclean spirits or devils. This is a very real circumstance and is talked about extensively in the New Testament (Mt 4:24, 8:16, 28-30, 9:32-33, Mk 1:27, 32-34, 39, 3:11, 5:2-13, 7:25-29, 9:17-26, 38, 16:9, Lk 4:33-36, 41, 6:18, 8:2, 27-33, 11:14). Whereas the Holy Spirit comes into you very gently through a yielded contrite heart; the unclean spirits will force or barge their way into you through your own free-will exposure to the darkness, perhaps through deception – you open yourself up to them. This is a very present evil and you must beware. Those who walk in darkness will not have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God and unclean spirits will never occupy your body simultaneously – you may have one or the other or neither. Jesus spent a lot of time delivering people from such unclean spirits through His heart of love and compassion (Mt 8:16, Mk 1:23-26, 32, 34, 39, 3:11-12, Lk 4:41, 13:32). Christ was even accused of having a devil – a grievious blasphemy of the Holy Ghost (Mt 12:24, Mk 3:22, Lk 11:15, Jn 7:20, 8:48-49, 10:20). Does anyone suppose these unclean spirits have just gone away and no longer exist? They are very active in this present world; you only have to know what to look for to see their very destructive workings.
Whereas the Holy Spirit is beneficial, these devils are detrimental and destructive. The Holy Ghost does not interfere with your self control, but unclean spirits do! These are a bondage and horrible grievous vexation of spirit (Mt 15:22). These devils will interfere with your self control and even force you to cause harm to yourself or physical body. Unclean spirits live under the principles of Satan’s lie and will gladly sacrifice others for the benefit of self – this is opposite of love. Just as your spirit controls the functions of your body, the devils can interfere and usurp control. Consider this example: Mark 5:2-5, “And when he (Jesus) was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” Notice that this person dwelt among the tombs – among the dead; very symbolic. The account in Luke says the man was driven there by the devil (Lk 8:29). This speaks of torment of mind and soul – forced will. This man had superhuman (unnatural) strength and this is also a sign of demonic activity. The man cried and cut himself with stones. Self destruction always accompanies demonic possession and oppression (i.e. suicide). The devils are out to wreck, destroy and kill. Jesus confronted these spirits whose name was legion – for they were many (Mk 5:9). This man was possessed by a “multitude” of unclean spirits.
Now let us consider another account: Mark 9:17-27, “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.”
This was a case where the young man was totally given over to the influence of this foul (unclean, unpleasant, horrible, vile, defiled, offensive) spirit. Notice how the evil spirit forced his will on the young man – he teareth him and tries to cause him to jump in fires and water for the purpose of self-destruction. The young man was losing health and vitality from such grief – pining away. This evil devil just took control of him and put him in great bondage – loss of self control. These unclean spirits will also take control of one’s speech (Mt 8:29, Mk 1:23-24, 3:11, Lk 4:33-35, 8:27, 29). So, it can be said that some of the signs of demonic possession would be (in wicked ways): torment of mind; loss of self control; loss of bodily function; self-destructive behavior; unnatural abilities; and distraught negative thoughts and behavior – great worry (bad outlook).
The author will state that although most are demonically influenced, not all are demonically possessed. Many things that have been termed medical conditions, with ascribed names, are actually possession by unclean spirits. The author once heard of a woman who was very distraught and convinced that her son suffered from a disease termed, “Tourette Syndrome” because he had all the symptoms. The symptoms are uncontrolled movement of body parts (head jerking, body twisting, etc.) and/or uncontrollably uttering strange and unacceptable sounds and phrases such as profanity and grunts/barkings. This condition seems to fit very well with possession by unclean spirits and most likely is.
Satan can also bind people in physical ways – perhaps also through possession by devils. Consider: Luke 13:11-13, “And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” The religious men questioned Jesus doing this on the Sabbath and He replied: Luke 13:16, “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” The Lord specifically said that Satan had something to do with her infirmity – a spirit of. Jesus was often accused by the religious men of His day of having and unclean spirit and being allied with Satan (Mt 9:34, 12:24-28, Mk 3:22-30, Lk 11:15-20). On another occasion: Matthew 9:32-33, “As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.” The devil was the sole reason that the man could not speak. Possession by unclean spirits or devils was very prevalent at the time of Christ. If anything, it is worse today – although mostly disregarded.
How is One Possessed by Unclean Spirits?
Having stated the reality of demonic possession, many will ask, how does it occur? Should this not greatly concern us all? Demonic possession occurs at your invitation as determined through your own actions. You do not necessarily consciously have to invite them in, but rather open yourself up to them through your wicked actions – doing that which God has forbidden (such as Ex 22:18, Lev 19:13, 26, 31, 20:6, 27, Deut 18:9-12, 2 Kg 21:6, 23:24, Is 8:19, 19:3). One receives the Holy Ghost through sincere surrender and obedience to Christ. Similarly, one receives unclean spirits or devils through surrender and obedience to the darkness, which is Satan’s kingdom, way, or path. What does this mean? When you participate in evil or wickedness there are consequences. Do you think you can play with fire and not eventually get burned? Similarly, you cannot love the darkness and not partake of all its evils. Participate in evil and something wicked your way will come!
No doubt these things can happen in a myriad of ways, but the author will attempt to offer some things for consideration. Any involvement with the occult will open yourself up to demonic possession. This could be seances, ouija boards, automatic writing, spirit guides, movies and television shows, books, haunted houses, crystals, horoscopes (astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, Is 47:13), fortune telling, good luck trinkets, familiar spirits, herbs/potions, divination, hypnosis, getting in touch with yourself, contacting the dead, etc. Another form of occult that is widespread and perhaps the quickest way to being possessed is through the use of “drugs” – narcotics, getting high! This includes legal drugs that affect the mind. Many of the violent and sensual video games are also full of the occult (symbology, spells, witchcraft, etc.). Books, television and movies are another source of great evil – even commercials are very manipulative and a type of witchcraft (tempt you to seek the flesh).
Consider the very popular children’s book series known as Harry Potter (and movies). These are full of actual witchcraft and spells – they are wicked and evil. Children or adults can easily be possessed through such media. Then there is the equally popular Lord of the Rings books and movies. All of these things also have play toys (use your imagination and open your heart) such as magic wands, riding brooms, and action figures that include representations of demons from hell. There are evil fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons and so many spin offs and variants that it is impossible to keep track of them. These are perhaps some of the more evil because they actually compel one to invite such spirits into oneself and practice spells. In these games you are always sacrificing another for the benefit of self (hatred, a pillar of darkness) – to think it in your heart is to do it. There are also children’s play cards such as Pokeman, magic and Dragon Ball Z. These cards also lure, tempt and entice many children into the darkness where possession can be a very real consequence. So, all of you parents that think these things are just fun imagination, this is what you are exposing your precious children to. Its like letting your children out to play when there are packs of vicious and hungry wolves roamning all about.
Other ways to be possessed might be found in your day to day lifestyle, such as filling your mind and heart with the wickedness that flows through televisions, radios, rented movies, romance novels and popular magazines. What we are talking about here is a love of the darkness. It doesn’t matter that it is so incredibly widespread these days and that everybody’s doing it. Darkness is darkness! It is truly amazing how the occult has worked its way into so many common things (cereal boxes, fast food restaurant toys, children’s books, business practices, church growth methodologies, etc.). The world is being prepared for the arrival of the devil’s son (the beast, son of perdition).
Additional ways of demonic possession might include blasphemy, alcoholism, pornagraphy, gambling (even video games), Halloween activities (dress up), covetousness, cruelty toward others or animals (Pv 12:10), “self” help type psychology, etc. What all of this is saying is that you must be very guarded as to what you put into your heart – and you’re children’s. The author has had encounters with devils and will say this is very real and ever present – eschew all evil! Can someone who has “professed Christ” be possessed? Yes, if they are walking in darkness. It is not about words, but rather actions. If you love the darkness then that is your lifestyle. If you play in the mud, then you will get dirty. You must realize that just having such evil in your home is like having portholes or gateways into the darkness and wickedness. These are things you willingly open yourself up to or bring into your home. There is no doubt that there is heavy deception involved, but this is also a pillar (great principle) of the darkness. When you walk in the darkness you are “bound” by its rules. So, just having magazines with horoscopes in them lying about are potential portholes for evil to manifest. A television literally spews (floods) evil and wickedness into your home at your willing exposure. If one is not literally possessed, then they may be highly influence or obsessed from demonic activity. The point is that Satan wants to keep you bound in darkness and destroy your life and others by way of you. The devil cannot make you partake of his evil, but he sure will entice you to through your own lusts. Once in the devil’s sandbox, you will play by his rules.
A few of years ago, my son requested to spend the night at a friend’s house. I knew the family well, but was a bit uneasy. Due to some family pressures, I caved in and let him go – not my brightest moment. After he left, I knew almost immediately that I had done the wrong thing. I went and prayed and asked the Lord’s forgiveness and petitioned that the Lord would bring my son back home. Not very long afterwards, I received a telephone call from my son wanting to come home. Once home we talked about what had transpired. My son told me that his friend’s room was full of evil things. There were Lord of the Rings games, and posters on the walls; pokeman and Magic cards; Harry Potter books and a movie; and all manner of occultic things strown about. The environment was one of witchcraft and sorcery. My son said that he got a sick feeling in his stomach and felt very uneasy – a heaviness. That is when he called to come home. These things are very real and those who do not walk in darkness are sensitive to them. My children no longer spend the night with others. You just have no idea what others allow in their homes and how they truly live. A parent has a responsibility to protect their children from spiritual wickedness.
You may be concerned about how one is delivered from such evil possession. This is discussed somewhat in the next section. Any true follower of Jesus who is filled with the Lord’s Spirit has the power and authority to cast out devils. Of course this power is not their own, but is enacted through faith. Such faith bypasses the capability of the flesh and relies soley upon God. Those living in the flesh would not be able to execute such authority. There is one thing you must understand! If you are delivered from devils and do not eliminate the reason or cause for your initial possession, then they will only return in force. Matthew 12:43-45, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation (also Lk 11:24-26).” You must stop loving the darkness! You must forsake the wicked things in your life!
How quickly would a reformed (delivered) alcoholic succumb if he filled his house with liquors and related drinking paraphernalia? Could someone who stopped smoking expose themselves to smoke filled environments and not be adversely affected? It should be noted that there are demons associated with alcohol abuse and smoking. There must be a deliverance and then a great clean up in your life! Jesus said it like this: “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee (Jn 5:14).” If you come to the light, then you must rid yourself of all darkness.
Power Over Satan’s Kingdom
Those who forsake the darkness (self over God) and come to the light are actually given power over the powers of darkness. It was stated earlier that Satan came down to earth and stole man from God by corrupting him and thereby making him vile and useless. The devil then usurped man’s authority upon the earth (all this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it., Lk 4:6). When man humbles himself in love, surrender and obedience to God, the Lord restores man’s authority and gives man power over Satan; places the devil in subjection, but only to the extent that man is following in God’s purposes. Jesus sent out his disciples to practice what He had taught them. The lord always gives his disciples power over unclean spirits to cast out these devils (Mt 10:1, 8, Mk 3:15, 6:7, , Lk 9:1). Luke 10:17, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name (also Mk 6:13).” When we are walking in God’s will, the Lord gives us authority. Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” This is one of the reasons the adversary (Satan) does not want man to walk in the light. Man then becomes a threat to his very kingdom. When we are walking in obedience to the truth, we have power over the enemy. The power comes from the God we serve and the gates of hell will not prevail against us (Mt 16:18). Mark 3:14-15, “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils (also Mk 6:7, Lk 9:1).” Jesus gave this authority to all who will follow: Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils…” Another consideration is that those men who are reconciled to the Lord will participate in God’s justice: 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”
Understanding the Unseen
All men are influenced by the Holy Ghost. This may be in a limited way (Jn 3:34). The Holy Ghost is that which restrains men from becoming totally wicked and evil. John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” To reprove is to convince of a fault and excite a sense of guilt. Most refer to the Spirit’s workings as their conscious. This is a restraint of wicked imaginations and pending actions through the conviction of guilt and error – to manifest silent disapprobation (influence of the mind, which condemns what is suppose to be wrong). The Holy Spirit’s influence on the actions of men is the only thing that restrains the evil from degenerating into conditions as were seen just before the flood. Genesis 6:5, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” If such evil were allowed to go unchecked, then all the godly men would surely perish at the hands of the ungodly. This is because those who have God’s nature walk in love, which sacrifices self for the benefit of others – humbleness and meekness. Those who walk in darkness have the devil’s nature of hate, which sacrifices others for the benefit of self – pride and violence (Pv 8:36).
All men are also influenced by spiritual wickness known as devils or unclean spirits. Rather than restrain, these wicked ones compel (coerce, induce) one into evil through enticement and temptation. Capitulation (surrender, submission) to these wiles (stratagem for ensnaring, deception), which are aimed at the flesh soon become bondages and addictions. These unclean spirits operate in an opposite manner of the Holy Ghost. They put evil thoughts or ideas in your mind and lead you to error – which is iniquity or sin. The Holy Ghost will lead you to deny the things of the flesh. The unclean (corrupted) spirits will lead you to embrace the things of the flesh.
Even though all men are presently (through God’s mercy and for God’s purposes) influenced by the Holy Ghost, not all men are filled with the Holy Ghost – a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:14, 7:38-39). There is a big difference! To be filled with the Spirit, one must surrender their life to Jesus and walk in obedience to His will – Word or light. The filling of the Holy Spirit is discussed in Chapter Two. To be influenced by the Spirit is to have your heart persuaded or affected from without. To be filled with the Spirit is to be empowered from within and is our assurance of right standing with God (Eph 1:13, 4:30, 2 Cor 5:5). 2 Corinthians 1:22, “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Even though all men are influenced by devils or unclean spirits, not all men are possessed by devils or unclean spirits. Those who have opened themselves up to evil or submitted to it become possessed by such evil spirits. This could be thought of as a sealing of Satan. Whereas the Holy Ghost works to restrain evil in the world and lead men unto Christ; the devils labor just as hard to corrupt man to remain in wickedness. Both work through the free-will of man. Notice how we are always dealing with opposites – light and darkness are always opposite.
God hardens the heart of man by withdrawing the influence of the Holy Spirit. In such cases, man then seeks the lusts of his heart unrestrained. God hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rm 9:18). The more one sins against God, the harder their heart grows (Ex 9:34). Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will result in such a hardened heart (Mt 12:31-32, Lk 12:10). Beware lest ye be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13). God’s mercy is His drawing you, by the Spirit, to reconciliation through Christ (Jn 6:44, 65, 14:6). We are told in scripture: Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” The devil gains place when you seek the things of the flesh – through carnal means, which is the power of darkness. This is why you must walk in faith toward God. Faith bypasses the flesh in obedience and trust in the Lord. You must become blind to the things of the flesh and be led about by the Holy Ghost – the very essence of faith (Pv 3:5-6)!
This can be understood by what lies ahead. We are fastly approaching the Great Tribulation – a time of much wickedness. During this time, the Lord will remove the influence of the Holy Spirit from those men who do not serve Him (He who restrains) – the vast majority. The Holy Spirit will not be removed from God’s people. Consider how the beast comes forth: 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10, “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
The Wicked that is to be revealed whose working is that of Satan has the same nature of the darkness that men love. The beast will exalt self and appeal to the lusts of the flesh. The Holy Spirit will be removed from those who received not the love of the truth. They love the darkness (Jn 3:19); they do not love the truth! The truth spells death to the ways of the flesh. They do not come to the light (Jn 3:20-21). That which is restraining will be removed. Those who make a covenant or agreement with the beast through his mark or sealing (Rev 13:17-18) will loose the influence of the Holy Spirit and be hardened and eternally doomed – without any hope of repentance. Revelation 14:9-11, “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
You must gain victory over the beast’s mark and image (Rev 15:2, 20:4). When the Holy Ghost’s influence over rebellious man is removed, then things will degenerate very rapidly into total wickedness, destruction and death. Many will be sacrificed for the benefit of the self-centered. The ungodly will persecute and destroy the godly during this time period (Dan 7:20, 8:24, 11:33, 35, Rev 6:9, 11, 12:17, 13:7, 10, 14:13, 20:4). However, these saints will prevail and overcome the beast by not submitting to him or his system of iniquity, by standing firm for Jesus and not loving their lives unto death. Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” AND Revelation 15:2, “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” – yet they were killed in tribulation! Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The Spirit influences to lead you to the truth. Those who love the truth will die for the truth! Those who love the lie will find themselves hardened in it. Those who love the darkness will feel its full effects.
We have discussed the nature of Satan. The devil is sort of the antithesis (direct opposite, converse) of God, except that he is no god. He is a created being who pridefully, arroganty and haughtily thought to change the truth of God – the ultimate in self exaltation. He wants to be worshipped as a god with all focus upon himself and his way – the principles of the lie. The devil will gladly sacrifice all of creation for his own selfish benefit. Satan has no particular concern for the misery and suffering he causes or if multitudes perish. The devil entices, beguiles and allures God’s creation to his path, which is the sugar-coated way of bondage. He takes focus off of God and His will and places it on “self” or the “flesh” (Satan’s way, the darkness) in order to disregard God’s will. Thus, the devil exalts himself to be a god or king (authority, ruler) and brings multitudes into the bondage of his way, which is the great lie – opposite of the truth of God. Those who disregard God’s way are given over to a strong delusion (a misleading of the mind, error or mistake proceeding from false views) to believe “the lie (2 Thess 2:11).”
Jesus (Who is God, Jn 1:1-2) came down to earth and is also a king (descendant of David, Mt 21:5, 27:11, 29, 37, 42, Mk 15:2, 32, Lk 19:38, Jn 1:49, 18:33-34, 37, 19:3, 14, 19, 21) – born very meekly as king of the Jews (Zech 9:9, Mt 2:2, 15:9, 12, 18, 26, Lk 23:3, 37-38, Jn 18:39). Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice (Jn 18:37).” Jesus is the King of kings, and Lord of lords (1 Tim 6:15, Is 9:6-7). Jesus is the guardian of truth.
Let us consider the completely opposite natures of Jesus and Satan, which also reveals the opposites of light and darkness and the truth verses the lie. Jesus is the Word, the Truth, and the Light (Way, Truth and the Life – Jn 14:6). Jesus is the lamb that was slain for the benefit of all men (Rev 5:6, 12, 13:8) and taketh away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). The devil is the tempter (deceiver), accuser and adversary – prince of this world; liar and murderer (Jn 8:44). Satan is roaring lion seeking to devour all men (1 Pt 5:8) and seeks to fill the world with sin (transgression against the will of God). Jesus came as a true king and led by example. Christ walked in humbleness and meekness, meaning that He never exalted self. The devil is full of arrogance and pride, which is self exaltation. Jesus always sacrificed Himself for the benefit of all the people (known as love) – including the giving of His life. John 10:15, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” AND John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Satan is not a good shepherd because he lays down the lives of the sheep for himself (known as hate, darkness). The devil is as a wolf in sheep’s clothing who leads to the slaughter (Mt 7:15).
Christ always pointed the people to the Father (Mt 11:27, Lk 10:22, Jn 1:18, 3:35, 5:19-20, 23-24, 30, 37, 7:28-29, 8:19, 27-29, 10:15, 32, 37-38, 12:49-50, 14:9-13, 31, 16:25-28, 17:21, 25). Satan points people to the lusts of the flesh (and ultimately himself) and hinders the people from coming to the Father. He keeps you busy seeking self (always needing entertainment) such that you do not become idle to the flesh and think of God (Ex 5:8). Jesus completely obeyed the will of the Father and spoke God’s Words and worked God’s works (Deut 18:18, Lk 2:49, Jn 3:34, 5:17, 36, 6:38, 7:16-17, 8:28-29, 38, 9:4, 12:49-50, 14:10-11, 31, 17:4-5, Heb 10:7, 9). Satan is completely disobedient to the Father and only seeks his own selfish will and to be the focus of all others – to be a god. Jesus was tempted of Satan, but never sought the way of the flesh (Mt 4:1-11, Mk 1:12-13, Lk 4:1-13) – the devil had nothing in Christ (Jn 14:30). Satan became the father of the lie, which is the way of the flesh – and has nothing in God (no influence of the Holy Spirit – totally hardened).
Christ walked in the opposite nature than that of Satan. Jesus is the author of salvation to them that obey Him (Heb 5:9). Satan is the author of death (ye shall not surely die???) to all whom he entices to disobey God. Satan is a created being and does not have life within himself – he cannot offer it. Jesus is God: John 1:4, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Therefore, Jesus was meek, humble, self sacrificing toward God and others (loving), surrendered and obedient to the will of God and walked totally in God’s truth. Conversely, Satan is proud, arrogant, self-centered, disobedient and rebellious to God and walks totally within his lie. He destroys the lives of others for self.
The Lord God requires perfect surrender and obedience to His will in heaven. Every transgression and disobedience will receive a just recompense (Heb 2:2, 10:30) – you must be in the righteousness of faith – for scarcely can the righteous be saved; great woe to the ungodly (neglecting the fear and worship of God; violating His commands; contrary to God’s will) and the sinner (1 Pt 4:18)! Many a religious man talks of salvation and going to be with the Lord (i.e. heaven), but do they really understand what this means or the way things are to be? The Lord will surely reward His faithful, but you must realize that heaven will not revolve around your will – far from it. In heaven, self comes last! Many now live their lives on earth seeking their own will and are quite comfortable as such. This is an aberration (abnormality) derived from Satan’s lie. This is not truth or reality and is transgression against God’s will – rebellion. You must understand that what you consider normal (commonplace) and natural (just doing “your” thing everyday) “is” the rebellion. To walk in your way (even religiously) is disregard to God’s way (truth). Disregard (known as “unbelief”) of God’s Word is an extremely serious matter. To disregard is to omit to take notice of; to neglect to observe; to slight as unworthy of regard or notice. Those who disregard God’s Word have no delight in it (Jer 6:10). This is the nature of Satan (Jn 8:44).
You can say you believe in Christ, yet walk in “unbelief” through your daily actions. If you cannot voluntarily come out of such darkness and into the light (truth) there will be no reconciliation between you and God. Coming out of the darkness means that you must actually forsake the evil and live (practice, apply) in the truth. You must really “do” the will of God. The Lord works through such faith to transform you into the image (reflection, same nature/characteristics) of Christ. This only happens as you yield self-will – your way. This is a constant process of dying to self (your way or path, opinions, desires, etc.) in sacrifice to the Lord’s will. Sacrifice is the giving up of something (valuable) for the sake of something or someone else. We must sacrifice that which we rebelled against God’s will to obtain (self seeking nature) to gain that which we lost in the process (relationship and right standing with God). This is a tearing down of the things of the flesh, which are resultant from the darkness, or Satan’s lie. The Lord’s will is to reconcile all things unto Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ for His glory (2 Pt 3:9, Col 1:20, Eph 2:16). God’s will shall ultimately prevail and order will be restored (Ps 103:19). Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Jesus spoke of being “born again” (Jn 3:3). What He was saying is that your nature is so corrupt that it cannot be reformed. You must be re-created as a new creature with God’s laws written in your heart and mind (Heb 10:16). John 3:6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The old life must completely die. The new life must be totally opposite of the old life – just as darkness is opposite of light or as the truth is opposite of the lie. This means that there will be substantial “change” in one who is truly “born again.” This change begins inwardly as you yield and obey the Lord and then manifests outwardly in your actions. The objective of this book is to bring you to complete understanding of what this means. If you do not have new life in Christ, who is the truth and the light, then you have old life in Satan, who is the lie and the darkness. To be found in the truth is to forsake the lie.
The Lord tells man that if he refuses to lovingly surrender in obedience to God’s Word that: “Thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17). Man often tells those who bring the truth of God’s Word the same: Jeremiah 26:8, “Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.” The rebellious do not want to hear the truth and will separate God from “their way.” Those who love the darkness will silence those who bring the truth (light). The truth of God always comes against the ways of man. Only one way will prevail. The interesting thing is that Jeremiah’s message was for those who had gathered to worship in the house of the Lord (Jer 26:2) – the good (or not so) religious folks. Jeremiah responded to these men: Jeremiah 26:13-14, “Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.” Those with a form of godliness are often the hardest to reach. This is because they have tied (linked) “their way” as being God’s way. This deception says the two are equal – so how could they be wrong? Obviously, anyone who questions them must be the one who is wrong.
The Pharaoh in Egypt was a representation of Satan (in his image). He exalted himself and greatly resisted God’s purposes. The Lord said of him: Exodus 9:16, “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” It could be equally said of Satan: And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the creation.
The darkness has now been sufficiently defined. Let us next consider “The Light”….
Hosea 14:9, “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” Psalms 5:10, “Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.” Psalms 2:2-3, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” Rebellious man does not want to be under the authority of God. Man wants to seek his selfish way as per the principles of the great lie (Pv 1:24).