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THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS ALONE!
Published On : June 21, 1998
Last Updated : March 11, 2011
Demonic Attacks Within USA, Replacing Our Christian Faith With False Belief Systems, Spiritual Vacuum And Inviting The Devil To Take A Seat, Spiritual Warfare Is Real, Leadership Attacked First, Propaganda Tools Used To Destroy One's Enemy, Jesus Is The Head Of The Church, The Weaknesses Of Organized Religion, The Roman Catholic Church's Claim Of Superiority, Unbiblical Doctrines Of The Cults, Are Some Churches Cults?, The Danger Of Placing Our Faith In Man Instead Of In God And His Word, Scandal-Ridden Modern Christianity, Offend One Of These Little Ones, Enter Heaven Maimed?, An Eye For An Eye?, Love Repentance And Forgiveness, Man Worship, Doctrines Of Men, Confirm Doctrines By Scriptures, Preach Jesus Only And Not Ourselves, False Brethren Teaching False Doctrine, God Is Our Refuge And Fortress, God's Mercy And Protection, King David Acknowledges God As His Only Protector, Satan Is The Fowler, Father Of Lies, Children Of The Devil, Like Father Like Son Unbelieving Jews Attempt To Catch Jesus, Satan Sifts Peter
Since a number of years ago, I have become aware of some of the negative spiritual incidents which have been experienced by certain members of our EDGE email ministry. Personally, I have never experienced such things in my own life; so to say the least, it alarms me, and troubles me, to hear that some of my readers are having these experiences. From what I have been told, these incidents include actually seeing demons, or being threatened by a black cloud which is trying to settle on top of them, or having an evil entity try to pull them under their bed, or having Satan appear in person, and tell them that he has come to rightfully claim what is his. Again, I find all of these reports concerning demonic attacks very unsettling. What is going on? Why is it happening? Why is it occurring now? And why is it happening to Bible-believing Christians?
As I was pondering these dark reports, I was reminded of some of the information that I include in the series "Nature Of The Alien". In that series, I mention how it seems that as a growing number of Americans have abandoned God and the faith of their Christian forefathers, they have created a spiritual vacuum in their lives. Perhaps this vacuum has grown so large now, that it has enveloped the entire United States. I really don't know, but it is indeed a sobering thought.
By surrendering their Christian heritage, and replacing it with New Age thought, oriental religions, deceptions from the alien and UFO cult, Wicca and nature worship, Native American shamanism, and other demonic lies, they have unknowingly left the door wide open for Satan and his evil minions to come in, in all of their power. Just as God's Spirit usually will not go where it is not wanted, in contrast, Satan and his demons will indeed go where they are not only wanted, but where they are also consciously invoked through all of these false belief systems. The personal stories that I have read certainly seem to indicate that what I wrote in that series may be true.
The fact that seemingly so many Americans -- Christians and non-Christians alike -- are having these attacks, is a very serious matter. We must all realize that we are involved in very real spiritual warfare. As I mention in other articles, the Apostle Paul wrote all about this topic in a number of his Epistles. For example, consider the following verses. It becomes quite evident from reading them that Paul realized that the real war is occurring in the Spiritual Realm:
"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. 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:"
Ephesians 6:12-17, KJV
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
"(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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;"
2 Corinthians 10:4-5, KJV
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
1 Timothy 6:12, KJV
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
2 Timothy 2:3, KJV
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV
While all Christians are important to the Lord because we are His children, it seems that those who hold more influential positions in the Body of Christ, such as people who are in leadership positions, or who engage in very public preaching ministries in one form or another, are more likely to become the target of one of Satan's more serious attacks.
Even in secular warfare, it is the leadership which an enemy will attempt to undermine, discredit and destroy first. The same holds true in modern politics. Quite often, the goal of destroying an opponent is accomplished through engaging in a negative political campaign. The tools of the trade which are usually used to disseminate the damaging propaganda include radio, television, shortwave radio, pamphlets, billboards, newspaper and magazine articles, etc. In this day and age, of course, there is also the power of the Internet, as recent events in some of the nations of North Africa and the Middle East most assuredly attest. One of the most reliable means of destroying leadership is through causing discontentment and civil unrest amongst the masses; and we have certainly seen plenty of this in recent months.
Once the head is destroyed by whatever means necessary, the body, that is, the army or the general populace, may continue to function for a short time in an unorganized fashion, but it too will soon fall apart and perish, unless new leadership is quickly selected in order to avoid total anarchy. In the case of us Christians, thank God that we only have one Real Leader, and He simply cannot be touched by anyone. Consider the following verses where we are told that Jesus is the head of the body; that is, the Church:
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."
1 Corinthians 11:3, KJV
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,"
Ephesians 1:20-22, KJV
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
Ephesians 4:15, KJV
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."
Ephesians 5:23, KJV
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son . . . And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:12-13, 18, KJV
"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"
Colossians 2:10, KJV
"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,"
1 Peter 2:7, KJV
This is in fact one of the weaknesses of organized religion and cults. Instead of pointing their followers directly to Jesus and the Bible as they should, some of them make their flocks dependent upon human leadership, and they teach them to trust in their church laws, traditions, interpretations of the Scriptures, etc., or in the cult's strange and unusual doctrines. As I point out in such articles as "Have You Read The New Scriptures Yet?", this is particularly true of the Roman Catholic Church, which for many years -- centuries in fact -- discouraged its members from even reading the Holy Scriptures on their own. Even today, the RCC still claims it is the only divinely-appointed authority which can correctly interpret the Scriptures. If one is an old school Catholic, there is very little room in his life for the Holy Spirit to operate effectively, because one is taught to accept only what the "Holy Mother Church" teaches.
Of course, some cults are even worse, because the followers become so heavily indoctrinated, and so mesmerized by the man or woman who originally founded the cult, or who still leads the cult, that everything outside of the cult becomes secondary to them. The member lives only to please the cult leader, and the cult leader's words become to them as the very word of God. In some instances, the cult's doctrines are said to even supersede the Bible. From my discussions and experiences with cults over the years, I know how true this really is. Oddly enough, there are some churches today which are simply large cults, yet a lot of people seem to be slow to recognize this fact, or maybe they just don't want to.
Because of this widespread practice of discouraging personal Bible study, what happens is that the poor sheep unknowingly exchange their faith in the Lord and His Word, for faith in their pastor, priest, minister or elder. Many people blindly assume that because a church leader has attended a seminary, or wears a robe or collar, surely they must know what they are talking about. Thus, people blow caution to the wind and accept that what they are being taught is Biblical truth. As a result, whatever the church leader or cult leader claims to be the truth, is accepted without reservation, even if it is far removed from the actual truth of the Scriptures. This is very dangerous; because it can easily result in doctrinal error and deception creeping into a person's life.
Another problem arises when certain leaders fall from grace due to some public scandal occurring in their lives; and we have certainly seen a lot of this happening in recent years. If people have their eyes on the man, instead of on God and His Word as they should, such scandals may possibly result in them becoming so disillusioned and disappointed, that they may lose their faith and abandon Christianity altogether. In other cases, such a poor demonstration of our faith may cause some people to choose to never become Christians in the first place. Considering the ongoing scandals regarding pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Church, as well as sex and money scandals in other Christian denominations, it isn't difficult to understand why some people feel the way that they do. In thinking about the poor examples that some Christian leaders have been, I am reminded of the following verses from the Synoptic Gospels:
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
Matthew 18:6-9, KJV
"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another."
Mark 9:42-50, KJV
"Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
Luke 17:1-4, KJV
The previous verse sets are rather strong, and will no doubt cause certain people a problem. Is Jesus really saying that we should physically maim ourselves by cutting off our hand or foot, or by plucking out our eyes? My personal opinion is this: If we consider the verses that I shared earlier where we are informed that Jesus is the head of the body, and that the body is actually the Church, then if we understand the previous verses from the Gospels in that context, then what Jesus may really be saying, is that unless they repent of their sins, we should cast any unrepentant members from the Church. This particular interpretation seems to be confirmed by the final sentences in the verses from the Gospel of Luke where Jesus speaks of repentance and forgiveness. In fact, the act of literally cutting off a hand or foot, or plucking out our eye is further deemed unnecessary by the Lord in the following verses:
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Matthew 5:38-48, KJV
So once again, we see that the Lord is actually emphasizing love, repentance and forgiveness over the harsh, cold letter of the law -- that is, the Mosaic Law -- which the Jewish Elders constantly used to keep the people under subjugation. I honestly do not believe that Heaven is full of people who possess only one eye, one hand, or one foot; do you? If we consider that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" -- Romans 3:23 -- then millions of maimed Christians is what we would have to expect to see in Heaven if we take the Lord's words literally; because we would all be forced to conduct some level of "personal surgery" in order to make it through the Heavenly Gates. In contrast, as the Apostle James also wrote:
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16, KJV
For more information concerning this topic, please consider reading such articles as "Love, Mercy, Forgiveness And Chastisement".
Returning to the previous topic, the dangers of man worship, and accepting the doctrines of men, becomes very clear. As a longtime writer and teacher of God's Word, this is something which I personally take very seriously. This is why I strive to always back up my opinions and conclusions with the Word of God. I don't wish to be found guilty of preaching another gospel, or another Jesus. The best way to safeguard against this is simply by confirming my teachings through the Bible. Does this mean that I am infallible, or that my writings are perfect in every way without any error? Of course not. As we are told in the Proverbs, as well as by the Apostle James:
"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise."
Proverbs 10:19, KJV
"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."
James 3:1, KJV
Note: In the previous verse, the word "masters" is derived from the Greek word "didaskalos", which means "teachers".
I discuss the topic of man worship at great length in such articles as "Elijah: Where Are The True Prophets Of God?". The main point that I wish to emphasize here is that we must make certain that we are only preaching Jesus Christ, and no one else. We must inspire people to place their faith in the Lord, and in no one else. We are not to preach ourselves, or set ourselves on a pedestal and glory in ourselves, or draw people to ourselves. We must simply lead people to He who is the only Way, the Truth and the Life. Consider the following verses:
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 12:32, KJV
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV
"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
2 Corinthians 4:5, KJV
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
John 3:30, KJV
"That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:31, KJV
"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10:17, KJV
While the previous paragraphs may seem like a departure from our main topic concerning spiritual warfare, in reality, they directly related to it; because as I point out in a few other articles, infiltrating the Body of Christ with false teachers who propagate false doctrine is one of the weapons that Satan uses to confound, confuse, weaken and divide God's sheep, as is made clear by verses such as the following:
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way."
Matthew 13:24-25, KJV
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Romans 16:17, KJV
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15, KJV
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Galatians 1:6-9, KJV
"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"
Galatians 2:4, KJV
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
1 Timothy 6:3-5, KJV
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
Titus 3:9-11, KJV
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
2 John 1:9-11, KJV
On a personal level, while I've known the Lord and His Word for many years now, I am by no means a spiritual giant; and I am most certainly not immune to experiencing spiritual battles. Like the rest of you, I have my share of personal sins and shortcomings that I have to contend with, not to mention other more serious battles that the devil sometimes throws my way. However, for the most part, it seems that my personal battles center around discouragement, self-doubt, or feelings of inadequacy. To my recollection, I have never experienced such graphical spiritual onslaughts as some of my readers have experienced. I have never seen a demon, or been threatened by a demon, or seen a black hovering cloud, or anything else that some of them have described in their messages to me.
The only conclusion at which I can arrive at this time, is that perhaps in His Mercy, the Lord has me hallowed about with His mighty Angels, and under the wings of His loving protection, for the sake of this ministry. It certainly isn't something that I by any means deserve. Allow me to share a few verses with you concerning this topic:
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."
Psalms 91:1-4, KJV
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psalms 34:7, KJV
Notice King David's usage of particular words in the previous verses, such as refuge, fortress, snare, fowler, shield, and buckler. While David was indeed a man of war, I don't believe that he is just referring to physical warfare, but rather to spiritual warfare as well. The Scriptures indicate that David realized that no matter how strong he and his army may have been in the flesh, it was only the Lord who could provide the protection that the Israelites needed against their enemies. Sadly, this realization is something which many of the later kings failed to recognize, as I point out in other articles such as "The Fruits Of Disobedience" and "The Children Of God And Politics". It is because of this realization, that David also wrote other verses, such as the following, in which he fully acknowledges the Lord as his only Protector:
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."
Psalms 20:7, KJV
"And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence."
2 Samuel 22:1-3, KJV
In a spiritual sense, the fowler who we find mentioned in the previous verses from Psalm Ninety-One, is none other than Satan himself. The word "fowler" is derived from the Hebrew word yaw-koosh'. A fowler is a trapper or bait-layer; and as some of you will know, this is exactly what that old serpent the Devil does in the subtle war that he wages against God's children. He uses his snare -- that is, his evil lies, doubts and deceptions -- to try to weaken us, and to entrap us in his web. You may recall that in the Gospel of John, the Lord told the unbelieving Jews that they were of their father the Devil, who Jesus plainly stated is the Father of Lies, as we see here:
"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."
John 8:44, KJV
There is an old adage which says "Like father, like son". It should come as no surprise to us then, that if Satan -- who is the Father of Lies -- attempts to trap us in his web of deception, his children would use the very same tactics. As it turns out, two thousand years ago, Satan's children tried to do the very same thing with Jesus. Consider this verse:
"And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words."
Mark 12:13, KJV
That word "catch" is derived from the Greek word "agreuo", which Thayer's Greek lexicon defines as "to hunt, to take by hunting, catch". In other words, the unbelieving, legalistic Jews were hoping to find something wrong in Jesus' doctrine, so that they could accuse Him. Furthermore, as I point out in the article "Peter: Faith Tried In The Fire", Jesus warned the Apostle Peter that Satan was after him as well. Consider this verse that is found in the Gospel of Luke:
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
Luke 22:31-32, KJV
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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