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Copyright 1994 - 2011 Endtime Prophecy Net

Published On : December 16, 2000

Last Updated : January 3, 2009

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Mephistopheles In 'Faust',
Shakespeare's 'The Merchant Of Venice' And Shylock's Pound
Of Flesh, Satan The False God Of This World, Satan's Snare
And How To Be Free From Bondage, Jesus In The Wilderness, On
Guard Against Satan, Friendship With The World, Devil's
Temptations, Jesus Owns Us, Jesus Paid For Our Sins With His
Blood/Pound Of Flesh, Fiery Fate Of Satan And Unrepentant
Sinners, Make Your Choice, Endtime Apostasy And Mockers, Let
The Blind Lead The Blind, The Two Paths, Jesus Bore Our
Burden, Forsaking All, Wealth - A Testimony Against Them

Undoubtedly, many of my readers will be familiar with the
evil character 'Mephistopheles' from Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe's dark work, 'Faust'. Here we encounter a character
who is faced with the serious decision of either giving his
soul to God, to Gretchen, or to the devilish Mephistopheles.
Some of you will also be familiar with Shakespeare's play
'The Merchant Of Venice', in which the Jewish moneylender,
'Shylock', demands his 'one pound of flesh' from Antonio in
payment for his services. Down through the years, a number
of movies have also been made which revolve around this very
same theme. But we must ask ourselves; is there really any
truth to such stories; or is such talk merely a myth, or an
allegory to teach us an important lesson regarding how we
ought to deal with others in this life?

If we consider that Satan is indeed the false god of this
current world, and that he does possess the power to bestow
his blessings, whether it be power, lots of money, physical
abundance, etc., upon those who do his will, then yes, it is
possible to sell ourselves to him, and to his wicked agenda.
In fact, people do it everyday, and may not even realize it!

If you personally think that such thoughts are mere 'fairy
tales', consider the following facts straight from the KJV
Bible. Perhaps you will have second thoughts. In these first
verses, we are clearly shown how Satan is the false god of
this world; and the very spirit of disobedience; whose job
it is to spiritually blind people to the truth of God's
Word, so that instead of becoming freed by the same, they
are entrapped in a life of sin, and physical, emotional,
mental, and spiritual bondage, which ultimately results in
physical, and more importantly, spiritual death unless a
remedy is sought for:

"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

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of
them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious
gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto
them." 2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to
obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin
unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Romans 6:16, KJV

God's Word clearly explains to us how to be free; and it
also warns us to beware of Satan's tricks, lest we once
again become entangled in his snare, and become victims
under his oppressive yoke of bondage:

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye
continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye
shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...If
the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free
indeed." John 8:31b-32, 36, KJV

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the
same; that through death he might destroy him that had the
power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who
through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to
bondage." Hebrews 2:14-15, KJV

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath
made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of
bondage." Galatians 5:1, KJV

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to
fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby
we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15, KJV

"Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under
the elements of the world:...But now, after that ye have
known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to
the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to
be in bondage?" Galatians 4:3, 9, KJV

Exactly how does Satan go about enticing people and blinding
them to the truth of God's Word? Quite simply, by offering
them POWER, and nice THINGS, so that they become so involved
with the temporal, fleshly affairs of the world, that they
forget all about God, and thus neglect the more important
needs of their spirit, as we see by these verses:

"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed
unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give
thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me;
and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt
worship me, all shall be thine." Luke 4:5-7, KJV

But we are warned to not fall for the Evil One's subtle
tricks and worldly offerings. In his first Epistle to the
brethren at Corinth, the Apostle Paul writes:

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not
ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV

Whether we realize it or not, we are each involved in a
spiritual war for our very souls; and if we are not careful,
the Devil will take advantage of us through our ignorance of
God's Word. So what does the Bible teach us about being
friends of the world? Is there really any harm or danger in
doing this? You bet there is! The following verses make this
danger very clear:

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the
friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever
therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of
God." James 4:4, KJV

"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out
of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you," 2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV

Clearly then, if we truly wish to please our Heavenly
Father, we must remain separate from the world, as much as
lies within us to do so. Regarding the riches and other nice
things which Satan offers us, the Bible also warns us quite
plainly to beware of such temptations, as we see here:

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth
and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and
steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also...No man can serve two masters: for
either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he
will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve
God and mammon." Matthew 6:19-21, 24, KJV

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is
not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the
things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are
temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18, KJV

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the
earth." Colossians 3:1-2, KJV

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to
man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be
tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation
also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV

Plainly then, Satan IS the god of this present world; and
he CAN tempt us with worldly pleasures, in order to try to
seduce us, and to win our allegiance and obedience to his
will. From the previous verses, you should not doubt this
point whatsoever; unless you purposely wish to deceive

But, in spite of that Evil One's machinations, do you know
what? If you are a predestinated child of God, then Satan
cannot possibly own you. He can still tempt you, but he
cannot own you! Do you know why? Because the Bible plainly
tells us that we are ALREADY owned, and we have ALREADY been
purchased at a very great price. That price is the precious
Blood of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for the sins of the
world. Jesus paid Satan his pound of flesh the day He died
on the Cross for you and I. Thus, Jesus alone has the right
to be our Master; and as we saw a moment ago, we CANNOT have
two masters. Here again are some good verses to validate
these points:

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV

"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but
to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to
be testified in due time." 1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8, KJV

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also
received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the
scriptures;" 1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV

"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our
Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he
might deliver us from this present evil world, according to
the will of God and our Father:" Galatians 1:3,4, KJV

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of
whom I am chief." 1 Timothy 1:15, KJV

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express
image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of
his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down
on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" Hebrews 1:3, KJV

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and
unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time
without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28, KJV

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24, KJV

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7, KJV

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours
only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:2, KJV

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins;
and in him is no sin." 1 John 3:5, KJV

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved
us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:10, KJV

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the
first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of
the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our
sins in his own blood," Revelation 1:5, KJV

So you see, Jesus has already paid the price; not only for
our sins, but also to make us HIS property. We belong to
Him now . . . and that certainly beats belonging to Satan,
doesn't it; unless of course you prefer the same fate as
that old serpent. Consider these verses:

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of
fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet
are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and
ever." Revelation 20:10, KJV

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is
the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the
book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:14-15, KJV

"For our God is a consuming fire...It is a fearful thing to
fall into the hands of the living God."
Hebrews 12:29, 10:31, KJV

In the words of the ancient Patriarch and conquering hero of
Israel, Joshua, the moral of the story, and the decision we
each have to make is basically this:

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you
this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your
fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or
the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for
me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15, KJV

In spite of this sober warning from God's Word, some foolish
people will continue to scoff at messages like this. These
haughty souls obviously prefer their spiritual blindness and
worldly comfort, and even take delight in ridiculing those
people who, out of their love for the lost, try to help
bring them to the Light. Sadly, this modern-day Apostasy, or
falling away from Biblical truth, was foretold almost two
thousand years ago, by Jesus Himself, as well as by two of
the Lord's closest followers; Peter and Paul. They said:

"...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find
faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8b, KJV

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
2 Thessalonians 2:3, KJV

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where
is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell
asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning
of the creation." 2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV

Jesus' enemies of old were the very same way. They were so
blinded to the truth, by their own choice, that they could
not even sense the grave spiritual danger in which they
found themselves. They consciously resisted the Light of
Jesus Christ. Thus it was that the Lord said of them:

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the
world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because
their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth
the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds
should be reproved." John 3:19-20, KJV

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if
the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV

As we saw a moment ago, that ditch, or pit, is a very hot
one. It is a Lake of Fire; and as Jesus also tells us, the
path leading to it is a very broad one. A lot of people walk
down it due to their ignorance; their pride; and the
spiritual blindness of their hearts. I can just picture them
slowly trudging down it like sad, dumb, brute beasts weighed
down by their worldly power, by their wealth, and yes,
especially by their sins and unbelief:

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many
there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few
there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14, KJV

Why is this so? Quite simply, it is because they never took
heed to Jesus' words when He told us to cast our burdens of
sin upon Him, for He alone was foreordained to bear the
weight of the sins of the world, as we saw earlier:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest
unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is
light." Matthew 11:28-30, KJV

Another reason is because such people are simply unwilling
to pay the price of following the Lord. As I point out in
such articles as 'Going Down The Highway', someday their
physical affluence and worldly comfort will be a testimony
against them, just as it was for the young rich man who was
unable to forsake all in order to follow Jesus all the way.
Consider these verses:

"But when the young man heard that saying, he went away
sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus
unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man
shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I
say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye
of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom
of God." Matthew 19:22-24, KJV

"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries
that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and
your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is
cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against
you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have
heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire
of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is
of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them
which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of
sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been
wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of
slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he
doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto
the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for
the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for
it, until he receive the early and latter rain."
James 5:1-7, KJV

So what will you do? The choice is really up to you. Will
you serve Satan and the world; or will you serve your
Heavenly Father? As Bob Dylan once sang about twenty years
ago: '...Now it may be the Devil, and it may be the Lord,
but you gotta serve somebody.' Jesus and Paul summed it up
quite well when they said:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in
exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed
of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful
generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy
angels." Mark 8:36-38, KJV

"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain
we can carry nothing out." 1 Timothy 6:7, KJV

We know that Moses made the right choice; and we would all
be wise to follow his shining example of obedience and
faith. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is written of him:

"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of
his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and
they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith
Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the
son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer
affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of
Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he
had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he
forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he
endured, as seeing him who is invisible."
Hebrews 11:23-27, KJV

I truly hope that you too will choose to serve the Lord
Jesus Christ. I pray that this article will cause you to
seriously ponder the path you have chosen to follow in this
life; because as we have clearly seen, not all paths lead to
the same destination, regardless of what the modern, false,
ecumenical teachers of the world erroneously teach. Not all
religions are the same. Remember; there is only ONE Mediator
between God and man: Jesus Christ; Yeshua the Anointed One.

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