Monday, July 14, 2008

...submit yourself therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee

There is so much confusion about spiritual warfare today: binding and losing Satan through prayer; shouting to Satan and his hellish minions to leave a church or place of worship where any Christian gathering is taking place; seeing spiritual battle as a "cosmic dualism" between good and evil; superstitions in attributing anything negative in our lives to the work of Lucifer; and most disconcerting, saying that Christians can be demonized (Neil Anderson). Believers tend to forget that Satan maybe mighty, but Jesus Christ is Almighty--and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Lord and His church.

Watson speaks "from the grave" and points us back to Scriptural reality. This simple, biblically rich quote from Thomas is lucid, succinct, and spot on target on resisting Satan and living holy for the Lord. The "steal of righteousness" is the greatest resistance against our "ancient foe." May his words encourage you to "submit yourselves to God; resist the devil and he will flee" -James 4:7. IOW, the emphasis is not trying to battle demons, but living for Christ. 

Here is Watson:
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." -1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)

"Another subtlety is to draw men to evil,
sub specie boni, under a pretense of good. -- The pirate doeth mischief by hanging out false colors; so does Satan by hanging out the colors of religion. He puts some men upon sinful actions, and persuades them much good will come of it. He tells them in some cases that they may dispense with the rule of the Word, and stretch their conscience beyond that line, that they may be in a capacity of doing more service. As if God needed our sin to raise his glory." 
-Thomas Watson


Bhedr said...

I'd like to respond to the message that the answer can be found in Romans 9:22-23 from an earlier comment and then tie it in with the Word of God alone.

I agree fully with this passage and soundly state that the answer to election is found in these verses. It is the blueprint for everything God is planning and how we measure election.

It is not the answer nor is it a blueprint for the love of God.
I stand behind MaCarthur and wish to refute any claims that he is compromising. Spurgeon faced this same opposition from Calvanists if you ever study his life. Remember that Spurgeon later in life found himself agreeing only with Calvin in his later writings. Spurgeon had both Arminians as well as Calvanists upset with him. I challenge you as one man stated,"Sell all that you have and buy Spurgeon."

Please also consider that it is possible to believe in proper doctrine and not know the God that exists.

Consider Caiaphas who preached Jesus Christ to Israel(John 11: 49-52)and yet had him killed. He along with many Pharisees believed they were chosen both physicaly and spiritualy.

Israel chose Barabbas(also known as Jesus as some accounts of history reveal) instead of I AM.
They chose the vindicator instead of the forgiver and healer.

They all claimed to be children of Abraham yet they chose to vindicate. Abraham knew the nature of someone else. "Far be it from you Lord..." He was bewildered that this wonderful Lord rich in mercy toward him and such a delight to know was now judging. He knew something that the Pharisees couldn't understand through the blueprint.

I want to repeat that you cannot measure the Love of God in the blueprint alone.

Consider Joseph who wept at his brothers mistaked Idea for vengence. This is who God is.

Consider the Love Jesus had for the Rich young ruler. A man who would reject Him for money.

Consider David and why he was a man after God's own heart. The answer cannot be found in one formula but in how he lived his whole life with his response toward others.

Focus on the words in Romans 9:22: endured with much longsuffering.
How much longsuffering? Can anyone tell me? The answer is impossible to know. I Cor 13:4-Love suffers long and is kind.

Again I say by the authority of the Word of God, "Jesus wept and said I would and you would not!"

No man can disect that or even attempt to reveal it to another. Can you measure the depths of the Ocean? You can then measure the Love of God.

How many of you have had a wife who doesn't want anything to do with you and hates you? It is unbearable. How do you feel when she loves another.

Don't tinker with God's emotions or His volition. Do not add to the Lord's words, lest he reprove you and you be found a liar.

My wife and I nearly lost one another. We both wept together when listening to Steve's testimony. I can only imagine what He has gone through. I cannot imagine or even begin to fathom how he feels. And so I cannot imagine or fathom how my Lord does either. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

I believe in election; but I do not even attempt to understand the Love of God.

Stand on the Word of God but don't let doctrine blind you from who He is. If you cannot bring yourself to admit what the word of God so clearly reveals then get on your knees and get to know the God Abraham knew. His agape is His Glory.

I counsel you to watch the movie To End All Wars. Know the heart of God not just His blueprints.

loren said...

I couldn't agree more with those statements on spiritual warfare! Christians today have built an entire 'mythology' around the devil, and when they do this they are '. . . not holding fast to the head- Christ.'

Last week I build a module on spiritual warfare that reaches conclusions very similar to this posting. If anyone would like to see it, here is the address:

David said...

Jesus is sufficient for all of our needs, as well as being our protector. Satan is a powerful adversary, but Jesus has already won the battle. We have to take comfort in this fact, and press onward.

Spiritual warfare is always going on, especially in this nation, as the waning sense of morality dwindles away. Will Christians sit on the sidelines, or engage in the battle for the country and its very soul? That remains to be seen. It has to start with us. We have to learn the meaning of the phrase, "from such, turn away", and let Christ lead us forward.

littlegal_66 said...

"...He [Satan] tells them in some cases that they may dispense with the rule of the Word..."


J.C. Ryle put it this way:
"The chief weapon we ought to use in resisting Satan is the Bible. Three times the great enemy offered temptations to our Lord. Three times his offer was refused, with a text of Scripture as the reason, 'it is written' (Mt. 3:4, 7, 10)."

LivingDust said...

Lucifer is doomed.....and he knows it.

His power is NOTHING compared to God's power and majesty.

I believe that on Judgement Day all of creation will watch as Lucifer confesses that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, just before he and all the other rebel angels are cast into the lake of fire.

I'm really looking forward to that day.