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Dr. Derek Blake is out ill this week (please keep praying for him!) so I'm substituting a short piece I submitted before as a short Bible study to help us think of good and evil in this world. Lately, evil seems to be coming at us from many directions, it's real good to have an understanding of the real source of it.

 

 

Satan is alive, and doing quite well on planet Earth

 

 

 

          This is the story of a beautiful Angel, serving the Most High God, and will try to cover the following: How this angel came to become satan, the enemy of the followers of God; what he’s up to now, how to handle it when satan, or his demons try to turn you from God, and the story ends with satan’s destruction when he’s thrown into the lake of fire. I will try to cover with Scripture references those parts of the story, which is a true and factual story, when I can but some of what I’m writing about is from what I’ve been taught, or learned on my own thru the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. I pray that all who read this increase their knowledge on the subject, and if any reader knows a scripture that clearly comes into conflict with anything written here to please contact me with this information so I can go back, study, and possibly correct the story. May God Bless all who read this, and the Holy Spirit bring the truth in it into your spirit to help you in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.

          God created the universe we know of, and can see and send spaceships a little ways into. He also created “the Heavens” (Gen. 1:1) which to the writer of Genesis probably just meant the visible universe. But God also must have created a “place” called Heaven. Could be another dimension, or maybe a part of the universe, but it doesn’t appear to be as much of a physical place as it does a spiritual one. The Word (the Bible) seems to refer to Heaven a lot without really defining what it is or where it is. It does describe actions that went, and go, on there.

One such series of events described is how Satan came about, who he is, and what God’s plans for him are. Just exactly when this battle happened is unknown. What happened was that satan, along with 1/3 of the other angels, decided they were going to be equal to God. Since there can be only 1 God, God and all the other (good) angels “did battle” (it’s difficult for me to envision what happened during that battle; it was on a Spiritual plane of existence, not physical which causes this lapse in understanding). Of course, God won, and satan and all the other angels were thrown to Earth, exiled if you will, and forced to stay here. The angel satan turned into the devil, and the other angels with him became what we know as demons under satans control.Since satan was thrown to Earth, along with 1/3 of the other angels who wanted to be God also, God must have created Earth already so it must have been sometime before the Garden of Eden (as satan was there) but after the creation of the Earth.

 

          Satan is in control of the lives of all the unsaved (Eph. 2: 1-3). He leads them in the opposite direction from God, away from things that might lead to salvation. Away from truthfulness, good relationships, good behavior, and righteousness and into sin, bondage, evil deeds and thoughts, and all unrighteousness. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespass (controlled by satan) made us alive together with Christ (by Grace have you been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Eph 2:4-6).

          Satan’s influence on us can always be removed thru Christ Jesus. We are admonished to put on the whole armor of God to resist satan, and keep him away from us, so he has no influence in our lives (Eph. 6:14-18). Satan’s influence on others can be removed by prayer, except in some extreme cases of demon possession, where prayer and fasting are required ( Mark 9:14-29). Personally, I have found anointing the person with oil, laying hands (the more the better) on them, and also praying in tongues after praying to rebuke and remove the demon in Jesus name works well when I’m praying over someone the devil has laid claim to, but the Lord works differently in everyone’s lives. There are times in our lives that we feel, or are led to believe, that the “pull” of satan is stronger than usual, and we need help to resist it, at which time we are admonished to call upon the name of Jesus (consciously turning to Him for help, expecting He will, and letting Him help us do battle with satan) for help with the situation (Eph. 6:19).At times, I have had to get by myself somewhere, and just keep repeating “Help me Jesus” over and over until I can feel He has taken satan (or one of his demons) away from me. It’s really good to get into the habit of asking for Jesus help as a reflex action when confronted with an emergency. Say, your car starts sliding sideways on the ice (a common occurrence where I live in Minnesota), so you start repeating “Help me Jesus!” and He will! I did a double spin (turned completely around twice) with a compact car between 2 semi’s on a 4 lane highway once, and kept saying (quite excitedly!) “Help me, Jesus!”. In the 2nd spin, I could feel His hands on mine, and on my feet working the clutch, and I straightened out. I looked next to me, and one semi was into a full jackknife, sliding sideways down the road, and I prayed for him, and he (or she) brought it under control too. It was like we were dancing out there, this dangerous dance on wet ice but Praise God, no one hit anyone else, and we all straightened out and kept on going.

          Satan’s influence on this world cannot be understated. In the Word, it says all who are not saved are under His power (Eph. 2:1-3). Satans goals are simple, and completely selfish. He wants to keep all who are not yet saved away from hearing the Word, and away from salvation at any cost, as then they are lost to him. He will tempt saved Christians. He even tried tempting Jesus with some powerful temptations (Matt. 4:1-11), which our Lord resisted by using Scripture He had memorized (well, it’s His Word, I suppose He would know it all!). Since the Word, and Jesus teachings are for us to learn and use, the recalling and verbally repeating relevant Scripture to ward off the devil and his cronies is commonly done, and works very well. Since satan has almost complete control of the World, apart from us, we need to separate ourselves from taking on a lot of the ways, values, and goals of the World. To just appreciate beauty, love people, and avoid destructive habits are also Godly as well as Worldly, these attributes are fine, but greed over money and possessions, backstabbing to obtain them, and resentments aren’t Godly, but are from satan and made into Worldly goals, we are not to take them on as our own. And, not because there’s some list somewhere of the do’s and don’ts of being a Christian. We avoid these things, and constantly strive to follow God’s path for our lives because we Love God and Jesus is our Lord, whom we Love also. We are grateful, and desire to please God. We are under Grace right now, no longer the Law although the Law has good, Godly ways we use to form a model with which we live by. But, that’s a whole ‘nuther study unrelated to this study on satan.

          Satan knows his days are numbered, and knows what the end of his story is. He’s trying to fight a battle he cannot win. What he’s trying to do, and can accomplish, is to take as many poor souls with him into the lake of fire. Don’t allow yourself to be misled. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out any ways satan is coming against you with, and the Spirit will. Ask Jesus to help, and He will.

          Bless you. May the Lord keep you safe in His loving hands, safe from evil- which is satan- all of your days.

 

 

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  • This reply was deleted.
    • These are true words Peter, I have had many encounters with the JW's, as I have with the Mormons, both of which (if you don't mind me saying) I believe are spawned of false teaching, the teachings of man and not the Spirit.

      And it is in the striving of man that the JW's and Mormons succeed; their followers get out on the knocker, taking to people on their doorsteps, for mostly that's where they are kept, but they work hard to gain members.  Why?  Because they believe in one over-riding false belief, that they can earn they way into heaven by works; they can't.  Because we are saved by grace, and grace alone [Ephesians 2:8] and that my friends, makes us apathetic, content to sit at hole and listen to Christian music, only getting out on a Sunday to do their duty.  When did your church go out knocking on doors?  When did the ministry team go from street to street claiming each home for the lord, and taking it away from Satan.  When did your church evangelism team last contact any schools to do a presentation?  From statistics I have, less than 1% of Christians take part in any sort of outreach.  Why are those among us, who are capable, so resistant to witnessing for Christ? 

      In this day and age, we consider things that are free, are not worth having, how many gifts that we are given find themselves at the back of a drawer or cupboard, is the gift of eternal life not something to treasure, and something you would want to share?

       

       

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Peter, you really should read your Bible with more of analytical mind. Firstly Ii would point out that the Bible is NOT a chronological account, and even within books there is information from other eras. Job 1:6-12 actually confirms that Satan had been cast to Earth prior to the time of Job. Satan has access to heaven and probably still does, in that passage God seems surprised to see Satan there, and asks where he came from, Satan replies coming to and fro from Earth, confirming that Satan was already on Earth, but visiting.

      I was at one time a confirmed evolutionist, then someone challenged me to prove that evolution was the way life came into being here. I spent six months trying to write a book that reconciled evolution with the Biblical account, in the belief that God does not lie. I failed. What I found was that evolution had so many holes in it that it should not even be called a theory, but a hypothesis. I also researched my way into becoming a creationist, which, as a nuts-n-bolts engineer, it disturbed me. Again we have to realise that the Genesis account was written/given for an iron-age people to understand as well as us today. I am not a young-Earth creationist, and as the Genesis account says I believe God created in those six days starting from God's Spirit hovering over the water. The Bible does not tell us anything about the prime creation other than it was 'in the beginning', and that is a separate statement, according to the Hebrew. It is my belief that God only created once, when He introduced matter into a realm where no times or space existed, after that merely manipulated matter. If you wish to discuss this then why not join the 'The Importance of Being a Creationist' group.

       

      Just one other point, speaking in tongues did not dies out after the ones at Pentecost died out, Paul was not with the Disciples at Pentecost, and he spoke in tongues. I have spoken in tongues myself as has many, many other Christians, that is one more gift of the Holy Spirit. Tongues are as common in today's church as they have ever been.

    • Found this on Bible Archaeology Review recently, which I thought was interesting.

      How the Serpent Became SatanFound

      Introduced as “the most clever of all of the beasts of the field that YHWH God had made,” the serpent in the Garden of Eden is portrayed as just that: a serpent. Satan does not make an appearance in Genesis 2–3, for the simple reason that when the story was written, the concept of the devil had not yet been invented. Explaining the serpent in the Garden of Eden as Satan would have been as foreign a concept to the ancient authors of the text as referring to Ezekiel’s vision as a UFO (but Google “Ezekiel’s vision” now, and you’ll see that plenty of people today have made that connection!). In fact, while the word satan appears elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, it is never a proper name; since there is no devil in ancient Israel’s worldview, there can’t yet have been a proper name for such a creature.

      The noun satan, Hebrew for “adversary” or “accuser,” occurs nine times in the Hebrew Bible: five times to describe a human military, political or legal opponent, and four times with reference to a divine being. In Numbers 22, the prophet Balaam, hired to curse the Israelites, is stopped by a messenger from Israel’s God YHWH, described as “the satan” acting on God’s behalf. In Job, “the satan” is a member of God’s heavenly council—one of the divine beings, whose role in Job's Stoty is to be an “accuser,” a status acquired by people in ancient Israel and Mesopotamia for the purposes of particular legal proceedings. In Job’s case, what’s on trial is God’s assertion that Job is completely “blameless and upright” vs. the satan’s contention that Job only behaves himself because God has rewarded him. God argues that Job is rewarded because he is good, and not good because he is rewarded. The satan challenges God to a wager that if everything is taken away from poor Job, he won’t be so good anymore, and God accepts. Though a perception of “the satan” as Satan would make this portrait of God easier to swallow, the story demonstrates otherwise; like Yahweh’s messenger in Numbers 22, this satan acts on YHWH’s instructions (and as a result of God’s braggadocio) and is not an independent force of evil.

      In Zechariah 3, the prophet describes a vision of the high priest Joshua standing in a similar divine council, also functioning as a tribunal. Before him stand YHWH’s messenger and the satan, who is there to accuse him. This vision is Zechariah’s way of pronouncing YHWH’s approval of Joshua’s appointment to the high priesthood in the face of adversarial community members, represented by the satan. The messenger rebukes the satan and orders that Joshua’s dirty clothing be replaced, as he promises Joshua continuing access to the divine council. Once again, the satan is not Satan who we read about in the New Testament.

      The word satan appears only once without “the” in front of it in the entire Hebrew Bible: in 1 Chronicles 21:1. Is it possible that we finally have Satan here portrayed? 1 Chronicles 21 parallels the story of David’s census in 2 Samuel 24, in which God orders David to “go number Israel and Judah” and then punishes king and kingdom for doing so. The Chronicler changes this story, as he does others, to portray the relationship between God and David as uncompromised; he writes that “a satan stood up against Israel and he provoked David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:6–7; 27:24). Although it is possible to read “Satan” here instead of “a satan” (Hebrew uses neither uppercase letters, nor indefinite articles, e.g., “a”), nothing else in this story or in any texts for another 300 years indicates that the idea of an evil prince of darkness exists in the consciousness of the Israelites.

      So if there’s no Satan in the Hebrew Bible, where does the devil come into the details of Eden?

      The worldview of Jewish readers of Genesis 2–3 profoundly changed in the centuries since the story was first written. After the canon of the Hebrew Bible closed,1 beliefs in angels, demons and a final apocalyptic battle arose in a divided and turbulent Jewish community. In light of this impending end, many turned to a renewed understanding of the beginning, and the Garden of Eden was re-read—and re-written—to reflect the changing ideas of a changed world. Two separate things happened and then merged: Satan became the proper name of the devil, a supernatural power now seen to oppose God as the leader of demons and the forces of evil; and the serpent in the Garden of Eden came to be identified with him. While we begin to see the first idea occurring in texts two centuries before the New Testament, the second won’t happen until later; Eden’s serpent is not identified with Satan anywhere in the Hebrew Bible or New Testament.

      The concept of the devil begins to appear in second and first centuries B.C.E. Jewish texts. In 1 Enoch the “angel” who “led Eve astray” and “showed the weapons of death to the children of men” was called Gadreel (not Satan). Around the same time, the Wisdom of Solomon taught that “through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who are on his side suffer it.” Though this may very well be the earliest reference to Eden’s serpent as the devil, in neither text, nor in any document we have until after the New Testament, is satan clearly understood as the serpent in Eden. At Qumran, though, Satan is the leader of the forces of darkness; his power is said to threaten humanity, and it was believed that salvation would bring the absence of Satan and evil.

      By the first century C.E., Satan is adopted into the nascent Christian movement, as ruler over a kingdom of darkness, an opponent and deceiver of Jesus (Mark 1:13), prince of the devils and opposing force to God (Luke 11:15–19; Matthew 12:24–27; Mark 3:22–23:26); Jesus’ ministry puts a temporary end to Satan’s reign (Luke 10:18) and the conversion of the gentiles leads them from Satan to God (Acts 26:18). Most famously, Satan endangers the Christian communities but will fall in Christ’s final act of salvation, described in detail in the book of Revelation.

      But curiously, although the author of Revelation describes Satan as “the ancient serpent” (Revelation 12:9; 20:2), there is no clear link anywhere in the Bible between Satan and Eden’s talking snake. The ancient Near Eastern combat myth motif, exemplified in the battle between Marduk and Tiamat in Enuma Elish and Baal and Yam/Mot in ancient Canaan, typically depicted the bad guy as a serpent. The characterization of Leviathan in Isaiah 27 reflects such myths nicely:

      On that day YHWH will punish
      With his hard and big and strong sword
      Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
      Leviathan the twisted serpent,
      And he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

      So the reference in Revelation 12:9 to Satan as “the ancient serpent” probably reflects mythical monsters like Leviathan rather than the clever, legged, talking creature in Eden.

      In the New Testament, Satan and his demons have the power to enter and possess people; this is what is said to have happened to Judas (Luke 22:3; John 13:27; cf. Mark 5:12–13; Luke 8:30–32). But when Paul re-tells the story of Adam and Eve, he places the blame on the humans (Romans 5:18; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:21–22) and not on fallen angels, or on the serpent as Satan. Still, the conflation begged to be made, and it will seem natural for later Christian authors—Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Cyprian, Irenaeus and Augustine, for example—to assume Satan’s association with Eden’s talking snake. Most famously, in the 17th century, John Milton elaborates Satan’s role in the Garden poetically, in great detail in Paradise Lost. But this connection is not forged anywhere in the Bible.

    • This is the answer to both this question and the one below from Peter Rake.

      Early twentieth century modern Pentecostalism began on January 1, 1901, when Agnes Ozman, a student at Charles F. Parham's Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, spoke in tongues (actually, the story is that she spoke in "Chinese", and did not speak English again for several days). Wrongly Pentecostalism made tongues the central pillar of their faith, and many say that if you do not speak in tongues, then you are not Spirit filled, which is certainly not Biblical. However 'tongues' seem to be used constantly from the original disciples to modern day, but has not been seen a feature of the Christian life. In fact the apostle Paul, who also spoke and prayed in tongues, said that he preferred to speak in plain language [1 Corinthians 14:14–19].

  • Yes, Satan is very powerful on Earth, in the physical/material realm. But not all-powerful, praise God. He does recognize that his days are numbered and now operates in a kind of psychotic frenzy, trying, as you say, to pull as many souls as possible to hell with him. One only needs to observe and have eys to see. What is particularly disturbing to me is the number of young people who seem to be taken in by Satan's darkness and openly flaunt Satanic and occult symbols and trappings and participate in unholy rituals. Satan has become cool it seems, at least to some of the present generation.

    • The current fad of the occult is predicted in several books of the Bible as happening before the return of Jesus, and I expect it will only worsen as He comes closer to returning to claim His world. The 2 sides, good and evil, will become more sharply divided and it will become obvious which side each person decides to align themselves with.  The great battle will begin... and we know the victor personally! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

       

    • My sense, for what it's worth, is that the great battle has begun. There now seems to be a greater clarity delineating those who align with the darkness and with the light. Just my impression, I've been around the track quite a few times and never sensed anything like this before. The cool, sophisticated urbanites, with their atheist/materialist worldview, are now very overt in their occult beliefs and affiliations. As they leave traditional Christianity behind they fill the void with darkness. For instance in the NYC area there are 50 thousand people who identify as "witches", as complied by whatever organization keeps track of these things. So they are open about this and I suppose that's ultimately a good thing. This situation recalls a line from Yeats, the best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity. For now. Yes, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

       

  • What a wonderful epistle !  Kudos to you; Pastor Rolf..You were, in truth, inspired by Wisdoms Spirit... You have filled in the blanks and explained for the layman ,so many of the short phrases / snippits of prophecy and Biblical hints of "The rest of the story";as Paul Harvey was wont to say..One thing I do question,tho...I don't think the Devil really believes his days are numbered or that he can't eternally elude defeat.. The insane are forever optimistic. How could he be such a successful trickster unless he first fooled himself ?  Hitler and Stalin fully embraced their madness. Something about,"Like father; like sons ?" Just a thought... B/Blest   <m>

    • The devil is the ultimate being in denial, eh? You're correct in describing the source of my inspiration and knowledge as being in the Spirit, but I call it the Holy Spirit, the 3rd part of the Trinity of God, which dwells in me and guides me throughout my day. Praise be to God!

       

    • YUP !  Him, my Lakota friends say ,"Wakan Tanka " / Great Spirit... Where 2 or more are gathered in prayer; that Holy Spirit...Would you agree that the most infamous mass-murderers of the 20th. cent. all had a gift for mass-hypnosis on their minions...Never before in history did 4 men rise out of obscurity / poverty / (I.E.) not kings and wreak such havoc. I speak of Mussolini / Franco / Hitler & Stalin. ,,Peasant boys who caused a billion deaths...3 who used that ability for God were; M.L. King / Billy Graham / and Ghandi.. Will this century be as bloody as the last ? I pray not;   B?Blest  <m>

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