VIDEO Discerning Good and Evil – God vs. Satan

God vs. Satan

An epic battle has been going on between God and a powerful, evil spirit, Satan the devil. How did it begin? How will the battle of God vs. Satan end?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Although we are only given small glimpses of the world prior to man, the Scriptures tell us that during this time Lucifer, one of the high-ranking angels serving before God’s throne, convinced a third of the angels to follow him in rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:12-15Ezekiel 28:13-16Revelation 12:7-9).

Apparently, because of this great battle, the beautiful earth God had created (Isaiah 45:18) became “without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2). Because of Lucifer’s rebellion, his name was changed to Satan, meaning “adversary.” His followers, fallen angels, became known as demons.

After refashioning the earth so it could sustain human life, God created the first man, Adam. Eve, the first woman, was created a short time later. In addition to placing them in the Garden of Eden, where they could live and multiply, God gave them instruction in the way of life that would lead to happiness and eternal life.

But this couple was also given the choice of whether they would obey their Creator or choose their own path. God gave Adam and Eve the first opportunity to rule when He put all things under the feet of man, giving him dominion over the works of God’s hand (Psalm 8:4-8).

Satan attacks mankind

Though largely banished to earth with only a few exceptions when he could appear before God’s throne (Job 1:6), Satan and his demons were not ready to concede in their fight against God. Satan the devil soon brought the battle to the Garden of Eden.

Satan convinced the first man and his wife to disregard the instruction and commandments of God. They bought the lie that man can choose for himself what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. As a result of this tragic decision, sin entered the world and death entered by sin. Man cut himself off from the guidance, direction and blessings of God.

From mankind’s perspective, this began the battle of light vs. darkness, right vs. wrong, evil vs. good. Sides were drawn. Camps and philosophies were developed.

The result is that we now live in a world where we face a clash of values having to do with the questions of what is sin and who is in charge of this earth. Until mankind comes to terms with God’s ageless law, he will forever struggle in the battle of the ages with Satan’s philosophy that humans can decide for themselves what is good and what is evil.

Speaking of the confusion that this way of thinking has brought about, Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” Mankind has lost the ability to think and reason soundly. He has lost sight of the way to peace and happiness. The subsequent history of humankind is a record of struggle in the battle of the ages. What is the deception of the ages? And how does it affect our present day? Consider how Satan deceived the first man and woman.

A deadly deception

Shortly after creating them, God instructed Adam and Eve to look to Him for the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17). Satan came along and portrayed God as a liar and an oppressor (Genesis 3:4-5). Eve was deceived (2 Corinthians 11:3), and Adam willingly ate of the wrong tree (1 Timothy 2:14). Satan convinced mankind that he should and could decide for himself good and evil.

This is the great deception. The deceiver and his agents brought darkness and oppression disguised as light and liberty. As a result of Adam’s choice, mankind was cut off from God—the only true source of light, life and liberty.

What a deception! The author of darkness and death posed as an angel of light and sold the most fatal potion of the ages. God said, “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Satan, in effect, said, “God knows better—He’s been lying to you.” Through the ages, Satan and his agents have designed various systems to disguise the same old package of death.

God vs. Satan: the longest-running prophecy

As a result of Adam’s sin, God dealt with each one of the players in the deception of Eden. In Genesis 3:15we see the oldest and longest-running prophecy of the Bible. God told the serpent, Satan the devil, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed [Christ].”

The battle lines for thousands of years—until the return of Jesus Christ and the removal of the devil—had been drawn. There would be enmity or hostility between the woman, representing the true Church with God’s servants, and those of Satan’s world. Thus began the division between those who choose light and truth and those who choose darkness and lies.

Continuing His address to Satan, God went on to say, “He [Christ] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His [Christ’s] heel,” referring to the fact that Satan would orchestrate the hatred of Jewish leaders to have Christ crucified. As Christ said to these leaders, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” (John 8:44).

This battle—God vs. Satan—has been going on for over 6,000 years. We are told in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the “god of this age.” In God’s sovereign purpose, Satan has been permitted to exercise a great measure of authority and power through the duration of this age.

While man remains a free moral agent and is answerable and responsible for his actions, evil is more than human. Evil has its source in a powerful being who has blinded the minds of unbelievers.

One of the primary manifestations of satanic influence and of the evil of this age is religious deception. It is blindness in reference to the laws of God’s coming Kingdom. It is obvious from many passages in the Bible that the Kingdom of God in its permanence does not belong to this age—for Satan is indeed the god of this age.

Hope for this world

But God has not gone off to heaven and left this world under the complete control of this evil spirit being called Satan the devil. God has not been dethroned. It remains eternally true that “the LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). God is still king of the ages. It is simply a matter of understanding that the fullness of God’s Kingdom will not come about until this present evil age comes to an end.

Jesus Christ established a beachhead for the Kingdom of God through His Church, though this world remains largely the kingdom of Satan.We also need to understand that the Kingdom of God is not only future. Jesus Christ established a beachhead for the Kingdom of God through His Church, though this world remains largely the kingdom of Satan. The author of the book of Hebrews speaks of faithful people living during the time of the early New Testament Church who “have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come” (Hebrews 6:5).

The powers of the world to come have thus penetrated this age. The defeat of Satan by God and the establishment of His Kingdom are not solely in the future. God has already acted in His kingly power to break the power of Satan. This present evil world—the domain of Satan—has been breached by God.

Satan’s kingdom doomed

The Scriptures make it clear that Satan’s evil influence over mankind is destined to end. Speaking of Christ, Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” The word destroy in this passage means to ruin, put out of action or render inoperative. (Read more about this in our article “Satan Destroyed? How?”)

The destruction of Satan’s stronghold has already been guaranteed through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection from the dead. It was a defeat for Satan in that his activity—his power in some real way—was and is curtailed towards God’s people. As Revelation 12:11 says regarding faithful Christians, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

Christ’s ministry was also an invasion of Satan’s realm. Christ came “preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23). Christ preached the Kingdom of God and then demonstrated its power. He told the people of His day that casting out demons was clearly the work of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 12:24-29).

The power of the Kingdom already on earth

Part of the gospel—the good news—of the Kingdom of God that Jesus brought included the fact that the power and the authority of the Kingdom of God had come to earth and that it is at work in and among humanity.

John the Baptist and Jesus Christ began to proclaim the reality that the power of God’s Kingdom was and is already at work on this earth. It has come near and the opportunity through the Spirit of God to be a part of that Kingdom is being offered to those whom God is calling (John 6:44). This calling from God includes instruction on how to live. It has immediate relevance and urgency.

The Jews of the first century were expecting God to send them a leader who would overthrow Roman rule. But the hope of such a leader did not happen. The Jewish state was not restored, the temple was destroyed, and the Jewish people were scattered.

But Jesus was not wrong in His prediction. The fullness of His Kingdom had simply not yet come.

Even though the Kingdom of God is not yet a reality on earth, Jesus instructed the members of His Church, which is the spiritual body of people representing that Kingdom, to preach this message to the world. The teachings of Jesus, including many Kingdom parables, explain that while the Kingdom has not yet replaced “the kingdoms of this world” (Revelation 11:15), the seeds of this future government have been planted and are growing.

What we must do

In order to enter the Kingdom of God and be part of God’s eternal family, we have to repent of our sins, be baptized and start living by the laws of the Kingdom. We have to choose to be on God’s side in this great battle of God vs. Satan. When we make this decision and begin living as God says, God rescues us from the “power of darkness” and considers us to be part of “the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13).

We are also instructed to pray for God’s Kingdom to come (Matthew 6:9-10). As we experience the limited aspects of God’s Kingdom now, we gain confidence that the future Kingdom will be a full reality. When this occurs, faithful saints will assist Christ in teaching those who have never known God’s truth.

After every human has had the opportunity to hear God’s truth and choose whether to respond to it, the great battle of God vs. Satan over mankind will finally come to a close. God is destined to win. Make sure you are on His side.

Read more about the enemy Satan in the article “Satan Destroyed? How?

by Richard Pinelli

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/kingdom-of-god/god-vs-satan/


 

Kennedy Classics: Discerning Good and Evil

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How to Defend Yourself from Ugly Stereotypes

 

This article was written with the gracious help of Hannah Rosenberg.

This bit of advice applies to absolutely anyone who is being judged for variables outside their control. It was inspired by the kerfuffle surrounding the Gillette commercial. Whatever your take on that video, it’s clear that the debate around it is far more encompassing than the video itself.

In the States at least, there has developed a culture where it is socially acceptable to bash men and white people, and particularly, white men. This is especially frustrating when it comes from those who claim to fight against discrimination. They are paying lip service to the principals of racial equality and yet prescribing precisely the opposite… sometimes to shocking levels.

And so, we’ve put together some tools to help you with the uncomfortable situations that are arising.

These suggestions are not designed to help you “win” an argument. No one is going to stop in the middle of a heated debate and say, “You know what… you’re right!” That’s just not how humans work… 99% of them anyhow.

The goal here is to help you defend yourself, which is important for your psychological wellbeing and the psychological health of those around you. It also helps to set good standards in your community and to promote principals such as individuality, kindness, understanding, and fairness.

And so, here is a process for defending yourself honorably.

Step One: Acknowledgment

To have a clear view of the situation and to maintain any kind of moral standing, you need to look reality in the face. You need to acknowledge the situation as it actually exists and acknowledge the battles and scars of others. This in no way degrades the principals you are trying to uphold; in fact this requires the principals of kindness and fairness.

The social narrative that exists, no matter how distorted, didn’t come out of the blue. The world is often a good place, and quite clearly it is getting better. But the history and even the present still have far too much ugly in them. Jim Crow laws existed for a long time, police brutality still exists in spades, and lots of women are still revolted by the shockingly degrading images of them that have appeared in media.

You can also look up the breakdown of traffic stops based on race or the statistics on domestic violence or the prevalence of sexual assault. However much statistics are used badly, the raw data is worth a look, and the story it tells is not pretty. More than that, lots of us have friends who’ve been harassed for “driving while black,” “driving while Mexican,” and so on.

This stuff doesn’t meet your principals. So, say so, quickly and clearly.

The second part of this is acknowledging the scars of others, and that’s exceptionally hard to do when someone is calling you names.

Sometimes people will insult you because they’re vindictive, trying to gain social clout, or enjoying a power trip. Or maybe they’re just sociopaths. But it’s also possible that this person has lived through a lot of ugliness and bears the scars, and their anger is coming from deep fears. Unless you know the person and situation well, it is best to default to the assumption that this anger is caused by damage. Hurt people hurt people.

When you see something such as #MenAreTrash, you may be in the habit of seeing unprincipled and wildly vindictive people. But don’t miss the possibility that the other person has experienced an unacknowledged and unpunished sexual assault and has yet to heal. There are more people like that than you may suspect.

This doesn’t give them a pass, but it makes you honor bound to deal with them without further anger.

Step Two: Reject collectivism

You are not guilty for the actions of people who look like you, who have the same amount of money as you, who are educated like you, who dress like you, who talk like you, or anything else. You’re guilty of rotten things you’ve done and for nothing else. Statistics can’t change that.

There’s a reason we have trials to decide on someone’s guilt. Crimes must be proven with evidence, not with statistics. Unequal results are not evidence that you did something wrong.

So, don’t accept “social justice” or anything like it. But at the same time, stay positive and say something like, “You’re not guilty for the crimes of people who look like you, Jenny, and neither am I. If we start applying punishments to people on the basis of skin color or statistics, we’re headed straight into a bloodbath.”

Step Three: Seek the positive

If the conversation is still at a reasonable volume, turn it toward the positive. Find things the other person is likely to agree with, then build from there. Is that easy? No, it’s often not. But the less upset you are, the easier it is. And the alternative is to run straight into a full-bore fight, where no one learns anything and everyone ends up hating everyone else.

Step Four: Support and live up to your own standards

You lose all moral authority when you commit the crimes you are rallying against. Yes, other people often do precisely that, but sticking with your principles will help you, will help anyone who hears the conversation, and may even help the person arguing against you… after a cooling-off period.

It is easy to see the issues affecting you quite clearly and yet be blind to the issues affecting others. Don’t forget that. This person on the other side – unless they’re a full-blown power-monger – has reasons for believing what they believe. So, try first to understand them. Something like this often works:

“James, when you say ______, I find that I’m missing some connection. What was it in your life that makes this sensible and important to you?”

If the conversation is worth having at all, put in the patience and empathy to get something out of it. Plain old arguments aren’t worth your time.

A Few More

Even if you’ve got the principals down, it can be quite a challenge to come up with the right words to say. And so, here is a list of phrases that you may find helpful:

“Hey now, talking crap about an entire race/sex of people is not cool.”

“Yes, the world is really messed up sometimes. I’ve been lucky to escape the worst of it. But I am not an abuser, and I don’t appreciate the implication that I am.”

“Yes, I have been relatively lucky. How does that make me evil?”

“I will not accept guilt for things I haven’t done. Now, if there’s something else I can do to help the situation, tell me.”

“I find it important to communicate respectfully. I intend to communicate with you that way, and I would appreciate the same in return.”

And if things start going wild in a conversation, don’t neglect the power of simply walking away. If you need to, you can add something like, “This isn’t a conversation, it’s a fight, and I don’t want to play.” Then keep walking.

Editor’s note: Clearly, there are many strange things afoot in the world. Distortions of markets, distortions of culture. It’s wise to wonder what’s going to happen, and to take advantage of growth while also being prepared for crisis. How will you protect yourself in the next crisis? See our PDF guide that will show you exactly how. Click here to download it now.

by Paul Rosenberg

https://internationalman.com/articles/how-to-defend-yourself-from-ugly-stereotypes/

Protection Through His Strengthening

2 Timothy 4:9-18

When he wrote to timothy, the apostle Paul was in prison, where he experienced physical discomfort, personal attack, and desertion. For what reason would the Lord allow one of His most faithful servants to endure such suffering? Why didn’t He step in and protect him?

At times God doesn’t pull us out of hard situations, because He has a different plan. We may feel as if He’s abandoning us, but in reality, He is protecting us—not by deliverance but through strengthening.
When trouble and pain pay us a visit, we should seek to view the situation from God’s perspective, by asking ourselves these questions:

• Which is a greater demonstration of the Lord’s power—changing something around me or changing something within my heart?
• Which is the greater faith builder—seeing God’s deliverance from every difficulty or experiencing His presence and strengthening in the midst of trials?
• Which reward is greater—immediate relief from discomfort or tested and refined faith that will result in praise and glory when Christ returns (1 Peter 1:7)?
• Which answer to prayer is greater—that God has removed something and given me external peace, or that He’s left me in a trial and given an internal peace that nothing can steal, not even my circumstances?

Does God have to fix something for you to be happy? If He removes the situation, you may never learn that He is sufficient for everything you need. Instead, let Him change you, and you’ll discover His joy in whatever circumstance comes your way.

Destroy Them, God

“Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.” (Psalm 5:10) 

No less than 20 of the psalms contain what are known as “imprecations”—that is, prayers to God to judge and destroy the wicked—and this verse is the first of them. As such, it sets the pattern, helping us to understand why the Lord would include such vindictive prayers in His inspired Word. At first, they seem incongruous with a God of love and mercy who has told us to love our enemies, but they help us to understand that God also must judge sin—especially the sin of rebellion. In them, we are taught to see the sin of rebellion in its true light—through the eyes of a loving Creator who has been rejected to the point of no return.

It is one thing to commit an act of wickedness when overcome by temptation; it is quite another thing for men to deliberately rebel against God Himself, seeking by their “counsels” to turn others against Him, and even, if it were possible, to destroy Him and His Word altogether.

This is the age-long sin of Satan, as well as that of the leaders of both ancient paganism and modern evolutionary humanism. Like the psalmist David, we must pray for God to defeat them and their counsels, for otherwise they will continue to lead multitudes of others into their own transgression. There is still room for forgiveness of individual sinners, of course—even among such as these—if they come in true repentance, but most such rebels are already irrevocably hardened against God and His Word. The appropriate prayer in such a case is (as David prayed in another of the imprecatory psalms): “Scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. . . . let them even be taken in their pride” (Psalm 59:11-12). HMM

It Was Some Other Time

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works man these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

—John 14:12

“Ye shall receive power” (Acts 1:8). “But covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Anything that God has ever done for a soul He will do for anyone else, if the conditions are met….

Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!

The Counselor has come, and He doesn’t care about the limits of locality, geography, time or nationality. The Body of Christ is bigger than all of these. The question is: Will you open your heart?   COU121

This thought is very convicting, Lord. I know I’ve been guilty of praising You for Your power and goodness, while secretly doubting that You were really going to work in my present situation. Forgive me that duplicity, Lord, and give me faith to believe You for now, for here, for me. Amen.

 

Pray without ceasing. In, not for, everything give thanks

Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.—1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18.

 

As Thou, Lord, an immortal soul

Hast breathed into me,

So let my soul be breathing forth

Immortal thanks to Thee.

John Mason.

Let us not be content to pray morning and evening, but let us live in prayer all day long, Let this prayer, this life of love, which means death to self, spread out from our seasons of prayer, as from a centre, over all that we have to do. All should become prayer, that is, a loving consciousness of God’s presence, whether it be social intercourse or business. Such a course as this will ensure you a profound peace.

Francois De La Mothe Fénelon.

How are we to fulfill our Lord’s injunction, “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint”? By the heart’s prayer, which consists in a constant habitual love of God, trusting Him, submitting in all things to His will; and by giving; a never failing heed to His voice, as heard within the conscience.

Jean Nicolas Grou.

 

Dross Purged

“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” Zech. 13:9

Grace transmutes us into precious metal, and then the fire and the furnace follow as a necessary consequence. Do we start at this? Would we sooner be accounted worthless, that we might enjoy repose, like the stones of the field? This would be to choose the viler part: like Esau, to take the pottage, and give up the covenant portion. No, Lord; we will gladly be cast into the furnace rather than be cast out from thy presence!

The fire only refines, it does not destroy. We are to be brought through the fire, not left in it. The Lord values His people as silver, and therefore He is at pains to purge away their dross. If we are wise, we shall rather welcome the refining process than decline it. Our prayer will be that our alloy may be taken from us rather than that we should be withdrawn from the crucible.

O Lord, thou triest us indeed! We are ready to melt under the fierceness of the flame. Still, this is thy way, and thy way is the best. Sustain us under the trial and complete the process of our purifying, and we will be thine for ever and ever.