John J. Blanchard
April 18, 2015
The world seems to be brimful of hatred. Every time you watch the news it’s somebody killing somebody or some nation attacking some nation or some regional flare up. It’s just hatred bubbling to the surface, and in some cases they are hatreds that have been around for thousands of years.
Hatred is a very interesting emotion. It is the most destructive of human emotions. It’s a very powerful emotion. For hatred to exist, it needs to be fed and nurtured within the individual. If it’s to go in a generational sense from one generation of people to the next, it literally needs to be taught. The young people need to be taught who the enemy is to hate and how to hate them. This is done in various places in the world very successfully with hatreds going on, as I said, for sometimes thousands of years! We are seeing that in spades today in the Middle East. There is so much hatred today. It’s terrible what people are doing to each other, and they are often doing it in the name of God.
It is interesting that if you don’t feed, nurture, and teach hate, it literally dies out because it devours. It destroys. It kills. It even devours and destroys the hater. When they pass away, whether it’s because someone else did them in or their life ended naturally, that hatred would die. It literally devours itself. For it to continue on, it must be taught.
There is a very deceptive spirit at work in the world, and that spirit, of course, is Satan. He works in the willing hearts and minds of people to keep hatred going. He wants to keep it bubbling and simmering and bursting out from time to time on the world scene. We are all familiar with Revelation 12:9, so you don’t need to turn there. It says the master deceptionist is to deceive the whole world. The whole world literally means everybody.
It’s interesting how every little group or faith or religious cult or whatever think they are the only ones not deceived. Yet each of them thinks that, so obviously all of them must be deceived into thinking they are the ones not deceived. That’s what deception is. You don’t realize that you have been fooled or tricked. You don’t know it. You don’t know one end from the other.
The first Scripture I want to turn to today is II Corinthians 11 because Paul understood this concept of deception very, very well. He personally had been extremely deceived. We won’t go to the Book of Acts, but if you recall in the Book of Acts, Paul literally struck terror in the hearts of Christians! He was so gung-ho and so zealous to persecute and even exterminate Christians that he would go to great lengths to catch them and turn them in. Sometimes that would lead to their execution. He was literally infamous throughout the holy land back in the day for his vehement hatred of Christianity! Of course, being a Pharisee, he believed he was doing it in the name of God. When Paul talked about deception, he knew what he was talking about.
I want to turn to II Corinthians 11, starting in verse 10, where Paul says: “As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.”
He was boasting of the work that he was doing to try to promote the truth of Christ which was in him.
He goes on to say in verse 11 of II Corinthians 11: “Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!”
He loved the brethren tremendously. He suffered and sacrificed for the brethren from the time of his conversion to the time of his death.
Continuing in verse 12 of II Corinthians 11: “But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.”
He said, I am boasting to show you the difference between me and those who are falsely speaking in the name of Christ, those who are persecuting you, and those who are leading you astray. Of course he knew he had been among them at one time himself!
SATAN, A BRINGER OF FALSE LIGHT
Verse 13: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
He says here that Satan is able to transform himself into an angel of light, which means a messenger, a truth bringer of light. Of course, it’s false light, but it looks good. He says people can fall inadvertently under his influence and literally become false apostles or deceitful workers themselves, preaching what Satan wants preached. Of course, they are deceived. They have been tricked by the master deceiver, Satan himself. This can happen to any of us, and probably at various times in our lives has happened. We are to learn, just like Paul did, from our mistakes. We realize, I was saying something that’s not right, therefore when I did that, I was actually helping the enemy! I need to repent and teach the truth.
We are going to look at Satan’s past today. We are going to look at some of his history and how he became this successful master deceiver that he is.
I want to turn next to Ephesians chapter 6. This is a description of the enemies we face. We will begin in Ephesians 6, verse 10: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
He is very, very tricky.
Verse 12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…”
We fight an enemy who has literally surrounded this earth in the atmosphere. It is called being placed in high places—heavenly places. He is above the ground. Being above the ground, he has divided the earth into principalities beneath him and his demon cohorts, so that there is no place on this earth that does not have the influence of one or more demons! It is all divided. We could prove that by going back into Daniel and various places, but it tells us right here that these principalities exist above the earth. These are our real enemies. It is not flesh and blood.
Whenever we think our real enemy is flesh and blood, we are deceived. Just look at the news. Around the world there are conflicts taking place. It is deceived people fighting deceived people. But if we feel that we have something physical to do to fight off the enemy as the people of God, we are deceived as well. Or if we feel we need to do something physical to preserve our life, we have fallen into the trap where Jesus Christ said, if you seek to preserve your life, you shall lose it. It is a war that is very spiritual in nature. We saw here in verses 13 and 14 of Ephesians 6 that to stand in this war to survive, we need the truth. We need righteousness.
SATAN’S POWER IN THE AIR
This war is fought with Scripture, just like Jesus Christ fought Satan in Matthew 4 at the great temptation. He fought with Scripture. They didn’t go to hand-to-hand mortal combat. It was Scripture. It was truth versus lie, error versus what’s right. Let’s go a page or two back to Ephesians chapter 2 because that confirms what I just told you that Satan has surrounded the earth, and his influence comes from above us.
Ephesians 2, verse 1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…”
It is talking about the prince of the power of the air above the ground, and as such, he has power in the air. Mr. Herbert Armstrong used to explain it very clearly. It was like having a radio dial attached to a radio in which you could tune in the frequency of any station you wanted. You could not see the sound in the air, but it was there. You just had to tune in. It is the same with the television, when television came along. Those images are in the air, but you have to find the right frequency to catch those wave lengths and bring them into your television set and watch them. Today it is the same with the Internet and with your smart devices. It all requires power in the air.
Because we have this physical power, we can grasp what it must be like to have spiritual power in the air. Every one of us can relate to being tempted. Where do those temptations come from? All of us can relate to being struck by a thought that we know is very bad and sometimes evil. We ask, where did that come from? Why am I thinking that way about so and so or about thus and such? We know that is the power that Satan has and his demons have in the air. We fight it with Scripture. We say, be gone Satan. We say, Jesus Christ help me or to the Holy Spirit, I don’t know what to pray for because I don’t know why I am having this problem. Pray for me.
We have spiritual ways that are based upon Scripture that we have been taught to fight these things, so we don’t end up killing for money or stealing from our neighbor or whatever. That’s when we fall to sin because the thought has over powered us, if we continue to let that thought stew in our minds. That’s the power of Satan in the air.
I liken Satan’s power in the air to black light. When you turn on your television set or your computer, smart phone, tablet, or whatever, it glows. The light comes. You can be looking up something wonderful about nature or some new discovery, and it’s beautiful. Or on that same lighted device you can let the most horrible images that you can imagine into your mind. It’s up to you to choose the channel. I would say that Satan can be likened to black light because we were told that he can transform himself into an angel of light. If he can do that and he is bringing us a lie, a deception, obviously that is not good light, so let’s term it black light. There is such a thing as black light.
Satan also brings evil breath or evil wind. That is like the hissing we hear in our mind, the voice that we hear that says go do this or go do that. It’s his breath. It’s him talking to us or his demons following the instructions to foment evil on the earth. There have been many, many cases of people locked up in institutions or in prison who have said, a voice told me to do this or that. They literally say they heard the voice telling them to go do this or that. It also can be in movements like zeitgeist or the thought that takes on power of ideology and moves through a whole nation. This can happen and has happened many times in the past. It starts with evil influence, like the evil breath.
THE LIGHT OF GOD
Satan is the exact opposite of Jesus Christ. He is diametrically opposed to Christ, and he is as opposite in the spirit realm. Jesus Christ is, of course, perfect and good. Satan is evil to the core. Let’s go to the gospel of John chapter 1. We are going to read about light and how Jesus Christ brought light to the world.
John chapter 1, verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
This world is dark, and it was dark at Christ’s time. It’s Christ who brought the light to the dark world. It was such a dark world that very few recognized the light for what it was, but He still was the light. He was what leads to life, and He had life within Him. Just like light on the earth from the sun gives light to this planet, His light gives life to human beings who are converted and let the light shine and work in them, eventually leading to eternal life.
This light is a very powerful light. It is called the Word, therefore the Bible is really the written light of God, just like when you play a DVD. It is a laser light that picks up the transcribed message on the DVD, the data, and it plays it through your television or through your computer. It literally is light that picks up the embedment of data and displays it for you. There is a concept that we can understand about physical light being written or inscribed on to something physical. Consider your Bible the light of God, where the life is, Jesus Christ, the Word.
Now if you go over just a few pages to John chapter 17, we are told this in verse 17: “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.”
It is speaking of Jesus Christ speaking to the Father about Him, the Word of life, the truth that He brought from the Father, and the Word is truth. We have the concept of the word being light and being what was there for creation, but also it’s the truth. Therefore black light is a lie. It is a deception. It is the opposite of the truth.
Turn to the epistle of I John chapter 4. We are going to read about something else that Jesus Christ is, that is the exact opposite of Satan. We will start in I John 4, verse 7: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
We see that God really is a substance of love. It is the opposite of Satan. Satan is hate. That is the subject of this Bible study. How did hate get substituted for love? It’s important to understand how this is happening.
Continuing in verse 9 of I John 4: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
There we have it! God is love, and we are made in the image and likeness of God, so if we want to be like Him, we will also love each other. That is the opposite of hate. We are not to hate each other. We are to love one another and forgive one another. Yet we find so much hatred on this earth, so often in the name of God. We know this doesn’t square with Scripture, but people are deceived into doing that every day.
II Timothy chapter 3 tells us about the word of God and the inspiration of Him being that life and breath. II Timothy 3, verse 16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
That word “inspiration,” as we have learned before, comes from the Greek. It is theopneustos (#2315, Strong’s Concordance, 1995) which means God-breathed. Not only is all Scripture the light of God, the word of God, but just as we make words by breathing, Scripture is all God-breathed. Someone either heard it in mind or heart as the prophets of old did and wrote it down, or they heard it straight from the lips of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago like the apostles and wrote it down. In both cases, they heard the word because of Christ’s breath.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable and good. Therefore when it becomes the source of evil, somebody or something has twisted it. That twisting comes from the arch deceiver Satan in the minds of people who have been deceived. Satan’s goal is to turn love and truth into hatred and lies. Unfortunately, people all too often fall for it.
FEAR OF THE END OF THE WORLD
Satan has been very good at perverting Scripture. In particular end-time prophecy has been masterfully twisted to be an excuse for hate. I know that sounds hard to believe, but people use Scripture as an excuse to do terrible things in the name of God. They wouldn’t call it hate because they are deceived. They would be calling it doing the will of God or spreading the truth of what God is about to do or whatever. But instead of bringing hope to the world, they bring despair, anxiety, and fear.
This happens in particular with prophecy because prophecy is one of those things that some think can be subject to interpretation and be made to sound right. It is like statistics. A person can make statistics say anything they want. If a person recombines words or twists thoughts or intents or pull Scriptures out of context and does not put them together properly with the thread of thought on a particular subject, you can make prophecy say almost anything you want it to as well. I think that’s where a lot of us go astray because we preach what we have been taught. We see that hatred gets transferred from generation to generation by teaching. False doctrine does, too. Until we stand up and ask, could I possibly be among the world’s deceived and ask the right question, then we can easily fall for it. We can really think we are doing the right thing. Look at the example of Paul. He was a very sincere and very zealous man. He was deceived into actually killing Christians.
Most notably we have in end-time scenarios this Battle of Armageddon and the tribulation. I am not going to go into them in too great detail today, because that will be the subject of my next sermon. Suffice it to say just broad brushing it, that Armageddon and the tribulation are central to end-time theology in both Islam and in Christianity.
The word “Armageddon” appears only one time in the Bible in Revelation chapter 16. It appears only one time! And get this, it appears nowhere in the Koran! It is nowhere. How did these end-time scenarios that are so elaborate get developed around this one idea of Armageddon when it is only mentioned one place in both of these books that are holy to each of these faiths? Actually portions of the Bible are holy to Islam as well.
Christianity has elaborate prophetic views of the end of the age. We see these scenarios talked about very often. It’s typically the theme of many religious books today. You can go to the book store and get all kinds of books about Armageddon, left behind, and harbingers. It is the subject of thousands of sermons probably every Saturday and every Sunday around the world. It is the subject of both religiously-based movies and Hollywood movies. Why? Because it is very profitable!
People are fearful about these things. They are interested in knowing what it will be like, so there is a lot of money to be made in producing these things. We know that, to Christians, unbelievers will be left behind at the end time during horrible events while they are battling an individual called the anti-Christ. Christians by and large believe there will be a clash of huge armies in the Middle East with Israel as the focal point. They believe there will be a huge battle on the plains of Jezreel near a place called Megiddo. They also by and large believe that there will be massive death due to disease, starvation, pestilence, earthquakes, and nuclear war. They believe God really is punishing a sinful world with all these things. The protected ones—whatever group you want to put the label on—are miraculously saved. That’s why Satan is so successful. This is deception.
If you are one of the righteous ones, you could be protected from all these calamities, so he sells them a bill of goods. Somehow after all this devastation, Christ will return and in some manner restart the world. It would almost have to be re-created if all the destruction that mankind proposes will happen. If it all occurred, there literally would be no earth. It would be vaporized, so God would have to re-create the whole planet. That does not make sense. When I view Jesus Christ and how calming and healing He was and how gentle He was, this idea doesn’t make sense. However, I used to believe it, so I know just like Paul, it’s something that’s in us. We are taught it, and when we are taught it, we are part of it. I could have been born in the Middle East and be Islamic right now and fully believe everything that the imams are saying. Before I point a finger at them, I have to say I could have been born there. I have certainly believed a lot of incorrect things in my life. We have to treat each other with a little bit of compassion. The world truly is deceived, and our enemy, as we saw in Ephesians, is Satan.
You may be surprised to know that Islamic beliefs about the end time are very similar to Christians, and that’s because they are basically based on prophecy from the Bible. The daily news reflects the commonality between Islamic beliefs at the end of the world and Christian beliefs. They are both called apocalyptic.
Apocalyptic writers in the Islamic faith often write about the unbelievers who must convert or die, and that there will be a clash of huge armies in the Middle East with Israel as the focal point. They believe that the leader of the enemy is the anti-Christ. They call him the Dajjal. They believe there will be a huge battle on the plains of Jezreel near Megiddo, and that it will culminate in World War III and nuclear war. After the war a worldwide caliphate will be installed under Jesus Christ and the Madi, who will have returned to the earth together. They believe Christ will return and the Madi, and they will jointly rule a caliphate, which will be a worldwide Islamic nation, you could say. Prior to that, two enemies must be defeated: the great Satan—the United States, and the little Satan—Israel. Really, a lot of their beliefs have some strong similarities to Christianity.
Islamic extremists are determined to assist God right now with the death and destruction and the oppression you see on your television news, because they feel they must destroy these two Satans upon the earth—the United States and Israel.
PERSECUTION BY CHRISTIANS
These beliefs we might feel, oh, that’s horrible! But if we are honest with ourselves and look backward in Christian history, we can certainly find lots of examples of Christians taking matters into their own hands to assist God. They did horrible things throughout history. A few would be the Crusades. How much death and destruction was brought about by the Crusades? That was Christians going after the infidels. How about the Inquisition? That was Christians going after people of different faiths, going after Jews, and going after God’s people who were keeping the Sabbath. Martin Luther’s persecution of Jews and Catholics led to tens of thousands of people being murdered and many times in a very cruel fashion.
More recently, Hitler, who was Catholic, brought about the holocaust, and he almost destroyed the entire Jewish race. His holocaust was begun by a war that ended up taking 60 million human lives! All of this death and destruction was because of twisted ideas about Scripture. Hitler indeed thought he was a prophet. He even had his own Bible written with tens of thousands of copies. He expunged anything good to say in his Bible about Jews. It was almost mandatory reading like Mein Kampf, which he wrote when he came to power.
It was religious views that drove Hitler to do what he did, but where did he get those views? He got them from the prince of the power of the air. That is the minister of light—the messenger of light—who brings black light to the human race and twists the things in our minds, so that we think we are doing God’s will when we are actually doing what Satan wants! He ultimately wants the destruction of the human race.
All these things in the past and many, many more are evidence of the power of Satan’s deceptions. He is incredibly brilliant at bringing his evil breath and influence into our minds, and he is incredibly brilliant at twisting the truth in the Bible and perverting the doctrines that should be wonderful. They should give us hope, peace, love, and joy. Those are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Instead he brings us the fruits of destruction, hate, judgmentalism, and self-righteousness.
Inadvertently people of faith have been duped into turning hope into despair. They have been tricked into utilizing tyrannical methods and fearful methods to keep people in line. This is happening throughout Christianity, as well as in the Islamic world. Prophecy has been obscured and twisted because of Satan’s power and because of his deceptions.
Inspiration and prophetic revelation have been turned into a license to kill, an excuse to hate, and an excuse to be self-righteous and judgmental. If we don’t think that can happen to us, we need to think again. It happened to Paul. It happened to many people since then who have turned on their brothers. Christ said families would fall apart with brother against brother, and father against mother, and parents against children because of doctrine and truth. It certainly has happened in a less dramatic way in the Church of God, maybe without physical weaponry coming out. But look at the destruction in the Church. It has been judgmentalism, self-righteousness, hatred, fear mongering, oppression, and we could go on and on.
Satan has been very, very good at duping the people of the world and in our time God’s people—the Church. He is amazingly good at twisting Scripture and getting us to rationalize how it is okay to do terrible things in His name. Erroneous beliefs literally obscure the identity of the real enemy, because we end up not following the advice in Ephesians 6. We end up pointing at each other or various groups or various cultures or various other faiths. We say they are the problem! They are the evil ones. They deserve to get destroyed! They must die in the tribulation. They are the ones who deserve what’s coming, but we are going to be protected. It is so sad that we can fall for this deception, but we have.
The Islamic contradictions don’t stand up to scrutiny and neither do Christians. The Islamic people accept the Old Testament as valid, and so do Christians, by and large. The Islamic people accept the words of Christ as a Prophet of God, and so do Christians. We go one step further and say He is our Savior, the Divine God Himself. They don’t believe that, but they believe Jesus Christ is a Prophet of God. His words, therefore, carry the weight of God.
The Islamic people accept the Book of Revelation because they know it’s the words of Christ. That’s why they accept the fact that there is a war with a central battle called Armageddon. They have built in their minds an entire scenario of how this is supposed to come about. They have taught it from generation to generation and who the people should be that are hated the most. They believe it is okay with God, and actually what God wants is for them to kill them! Any means is okay. They have swallowed the lie so completely that they will even blow up their own children to kill a few Jews or Americans! That’s how horrible it is.
SATAN FELL FROM HEAVEN
The Old Testament identifies Satan as an evil spirit and chief of the demons. That’s what we saw in Ephesians 6 as well. Satan is not a nation. He is not a nationality. Therefore how did they fall for this if they believe the Bible? How did Satan trick them into thinking Satan is a nation or a nationality? That shows you how deceptive Satan is.
We can go back to Ezekiel 28, which is in the Old Testament and see what happened to Satan. We see how he fell from heaven to the earth. We will go to Ezekiel 28 now, beginning in verse 11: “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of Man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord God…”’”
Just so you know, the King of Tyre lived about 1,500 years after the Garden of Eden.
Notice the second part of verse 12 of Ezekiel 28: “…You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
The King of Tyre here is described as being perfect. No human being is perfect in their development by God and full of wisdom. Here we get the key in verse 13: “You were in Eden, the garden of God…”
That was before Tyre ever existed. Obviously we are speaking here of Satan who was perfect when he was created by God. He was in the Garden of Eden. With his words and his deceptions, he brought about death for the human race.
Continuing on in verse 13 of Ezekiel 28: “…every precious stone was your covering…”
It goes on to describe how beautiful his stones were.
Verse 14: “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God…”
That is not a physical kingdom of Tyre. That is Satan as one of the archangels over God’s throne.
Continuing in verse 14: “…you walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God…”
And He destroyed his position at God’s throne.
Here we see Satan described as a spirit being who existed as a covering cherub over God’s throne. He was cast out because he became evil and violent. He trades in evil and violence. In other words, he gets into your mind, and he causes you to go along with his agenda. He trades in violence, evil, lies and deceit.
Here we see clearly that Satan is a spirit being. How can people fall for the idea that a nation or a class of people are Satan? They have been duped. How can they fall for the idea that there is an anti-Christ who is a person who will lead these armies on the earth, when the opposite of Christ is Satan? He is the anti-Christ. John talked about anti-Christ being around back in his day 2,000 years ago!
You can see how we can be fooled and why Paul said in II Corinthians that we have to be careful because he transforms himself into an angel of light, twisting prophecy to cause human beings to do horrible things in his name. Isaiah chapter 14 tells us something very similar.
Go back to Isaiah chapter 14, verse 12: “‘How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High,’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”
He has such a big ego that he wants to be like God, and man was created to be in the image and likeness of God. Satan hates man. That’s why he wants us destroyed. He wants to be like God.
It says in verse 17: “…who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”
That’s Satan. He has been causing mankind to destroy our cities from the start, to kill each other in war, to hate one another, and to teach that hatred from generation to generation. God is the opposite. He wants us to heal the cities. He wants us to heal the earth. He wants us to have a beautiful Millennium.
Christ saw Satan fall from heaven, and He said that 2,000 years ago, confirming once again that Satan is a spirit being.
Let’s go to Luke chapter 10, verse 17 where Christ says: “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”
He saw Satan when Satan fell so long ago, as we saw in Ezekiel 28.
USE TRUTH TO FIGHT
He said to them in verse 19 of Luke 10: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
The power that Christ gave us is to fight with the truth, to defeat Satan’s lies and his deceptions, and to expose them. That is what we need to be doing. That is how we fight this war, and it is not by looking for physical enemies.
The Book of Revelation says that Satan was cast to the earth, and in Revelation 12:7-9 is where we read he deceives the whole world. He was cast to the world, and a voice said sadly, woe to the world, for Satan has been cast down with little time. He hates mankind. Since his time when he was cast to the earth, he has made mankind’s life miserable. After Christ’s death and resurrection, he can’t even go back to heaven to accuse us. He is stuck here! His only hope to extend his time and his reign is to destroy the Church and to destroy every vestige of truth. That’s why it is so important for us to stop misidentifying the way things are going to take place and the end of the world. We need to stop scaring people, and show them the hope that Jesus Christ has for a beautiful Millennium.
When He created the earth, He said it was good and beautiful. We are to be the salt of the earth—the preservative—that keeps the earth going and preserves it for this beautiful Millennium. We need to teach the peace and the calm that people need to have at this time to stop hurting each other in the name of God. We need to stop twisting doctrine to use it as an excuse to bump ourselves up and judge other people, or to literally hate another group of people in the name of God.
It is up to us to expose Satan’s lies and deceptions, and we need to do it as the light of the earth as Matthew 5 tells us. Christ said, you are the light of the world. We need to be the light of the world, bringing the true light, the good word, the words that heal, and bind up the hatreds and the divisions between nations and peoples. That is our destiny.
Our destiny is a beautiful destiny. It’s the destiny that will take us in the opposite direction of Satan. It requires that we expose the evil, twisted mind of Satan for what it is and what he has done to the word of God. Because if we do that, we pull down his strong holds. We will do what Christ actually tells us to do, the opposite of Satan. Christ says to love your neighbor as yourself, to love your enemies, and forgive those, for as you forgive, you shall be forgiven. These are the things that our Savior told us. These are the things that we need to tell the world. Christ doesn’t want to condemn or destroy the world. He wants us to help preserve this earth.
The last Scripture I want to read today is John chapter 16, verse 1: “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.”
Brethren, we need to look at the people who are killing each other in the name of God and humbly say, by the grace of God, I could have gone that way, too. We need to expose Satan’s deceptions and help pull down his strong holds, so these people around the earth can get free from the tyranny of Satan the devil.