“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.” 2 Corinthians 11:3. God told Adam when He placed him in the Garden of Eden that he was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If we look at Genesis chapter 3, which is what Paul refers to above, we find that Satan blatantly lied to Eve. “You will not surely die…” Genesis 3:4. So lies are now Satan’s forte. And after 6,000 years he’s become quite adept at disseminating his cloaked evil among the Christian Ekklesia.
That lie was the cause of an immeasurable rift between God and man. Jesus, of course, bridged that rift at the cross, but Satan would like nothing more than to undo what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. We know that Jesus’ sacrifice will never be voided, but that won’t stop His nemesis from creating as much havoc in this world while he still can.
Paul was fearful that the serpent’s beguiling of Eve would have the same detrimental effect on the Ekklesia of Christ and rightfully so. But unlike when he deceived Eve, today Satan’s evil lies are not so transparent – especially for those who are biblically illiterate. When Satan, through his lies, can instill an “I don’t care” attitude in the mind of a professing Christian he has just moved to first base. However, when the serpent can create doubt in the mind of a follower of Jesus Christ as to the accuracy of God’s word, then he has hit a homerun. Ultimately, as doubt manifests and festers, Satan moves in for the kill with “another gospel”, and with the acceptance of that false gospel he’s hit the grand slam of deceptions.
Let’s first understand who it is we are dealing with. The enemy of God has a name. In the Hebrew his name is “heylel”. In English his name means “light bearer”, or in the Latin “Lucifer”. The term “light bearer” can be very misleading, especially when we consider that he is the epitome of evil. Jesus Christ, the Creator of the world and the Creator of the “light bearer-Lucifer”, is the true Light of the world and of men. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. Darkness, when spoken of in our Bibles, is usually demonic “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5 Most people today, including many Christians, deny the demonic realm exists. Others seem to have a bit of understanding when it comes to the demonic, but ignore it as though it was insignificant. Most people, even though they believe in the supernatural, misunderstand thus significantly underestimate the leader of that realm – and his power. What they don’t seem to grasp is that even though Lucifer/Satan is pure evil he avoids all appearance of evil like the plague.
To unmask his evil plans and parade them about in public would be detrimental to Satan’s agenda. What we must understand about this very powerful being is that he is able to pull off a huge deception concerning his malevolence. Satan and his followers make themselves appear as benevolent while disseminating their deceptions. Satan’s agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy humans; understandably, the transparency of his agenda wouldn’t go over well with his human prey. Therefore he must cloak his evil plans.
“…for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14. As he is able to transform himself into an “angel of light” he can put forth a demeanor of purity which cloaks his true intentions. This is why God tells us again and again to be ever diligent especially when it comes to God’s Word. There are many false teachers these days taking Satan’s lies to new levels.
Satan is evil, period. Yet his lies are always peppered with some truth. He is beguiling, crafty and extremely intelligent, far more so than any human being presently on earth. Therefore we must not only believe but we must also rely on God’s word for guidance. We rely on God Himself for our protection against this extremely evil foe, but believing God is paramount when it comes to understanding the enemy’s agenda. Remember, Satan knows the word of God also and he will use it as it suits his plan. Notwithstanding, his lies will always be hidden betwixt the truth – just enough to beguile. Satan once tried to beguile Jesus in the wilderness. How did Jesus answer him each time Satan confronted Him? By quoting Scripture. We must be just as biblically literate and diligent.
“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” 2 Corinthians 11:15. The ministers Paul speaks of above are those who follow their father the devil by doing his bidding. Some are very public figures; some are Bible teachers, some lead Christian congregations, and some lead cults. If you think Satan’s ministers are only fallen angels and demons, then you too have been deceived. Satan has an army of ministers who are human and who are fully entrenched in his camp. They are those who stand in the shadow of the “light bearer” as they do their best to cloak Satan’s personification of evil.
Lies are meant to deceive, pure and simple; deception is always the path of the enemy. Satan continually uses his deceptive techniques to attract the unsuspecting (biblically illiterate) and lull them into a false sense of well being. To the biblically illiterate his evil is always cloaked, which makes these folks ripe candidates to follow anything that sounds true, good, or that makes life more comfortable. Remember, cloaked evil never resembles evil, but always takes on a pleasing, and fulfilling charismatic characteristic.
Throughout the past few thousand years Satan has had a tremendous and highly successful run at presenting evil as good. Many souls have been deceived right into Hell. God didn’t just dump us on this planet and leave us alone; He gave us warning after warning in His word so that we could avoid being led astray by the evil one. Increasingly in these last days it seems that even many of God’s own children are now more spiritually in tune with the evil one, than with God. As humankind moves ever closer to Christ’s return, it becomes more and more apparent that many professing Christians are nothing more than secular humanists in sheep’s clothing. Many of these folks have not only divided their loyalties, but have fully defected.
To be a true Christian means we stand with Jesus Christ, and not just during worship time or prayer time but in all times. We are never to stand opposed to our God, and as God’s children we are never to take on a secular worldview mindset. God never tells His children to wallow in the muck and mire of the secular world. We must sojourn in this world, but the world should never view us (or love us) as one of their own.
Clearly Jesus expects us to be the light of the world. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16. Jesus is adamant about the fact that we are never to hide our light but to always let it shine. When we choose to stand against God, because in our minds we’ve decided in the end our choices will justify the means, God sees this as unfaithfulness, and unfaithfulness is the same as slapping Him in the face.
Satan, once again, has raised his ugly head as the angel of light and convinced many Christians that we are to keep our faith completely separated from our own personal secular worldview. Here’s an example, abortion is so completely acceptable by mankind these days that we now murder the innocent, while still in the womb, and by the millions every year. Yet abortion is an abomination to God. Where are God’s children? Our silence in this regard speaks volumes.
I’ve heard it from many professing Christians that they have no problem with homosexuality, live and let live they say, thus through our own apathy homosexuality has been allowed to become so commonplace that the majority of humankind now not only condone this satanic evil but many desire to join in with these deceived individuals and play along.
The world is upside down and many professing Christians are siding with Satan in this regard as well as in other decisions that are purely secular and opposed to God. What do we, who revere the Bible as God’s truth, see occurring? The ever progressiveness of cloaked evil.
Those who stand with God, even under the most fierce condemnation that comes from the lost of this world, not to mention from many of our own brethren, are the true family of God . “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-4. Let mankind judge us. For their judgment is of no significance. God is our judge, and He judges righteously.
Instead of being a light on a hill, many Christians are actually as dark as the night. When we as the followers of Jesus Christ lose our saltiness we are good for nothing except to Satan. No salt? Satan has a job for you. He will conscript you into his service, and as you become his accomplice helping him in presenting his evil agenda, can you guess what your key responsibility will be? The cloaking and disseminating of his evil plans.
Only by believing God and what He has given us as His inerrant word can cloaked evil be unveiled. Studying God’s word for ourselves is vital. Here’s another example of a satanic lie cloaked. The phrase “judge not” is used, in many cases, by those who are into full on rebellion against God. People will use that phrase incessantly as they attempt to deflect any complaints of immorality from landing on their doorstep. The verse in question doesn’t mean we aren’t to use righteous judgment when confronted with deceptions and immorality, it simply means we are never to condemn others (that’s God’s domain). We are certainly never to accept Satan’s deceptions, the immoral actions of others, their lifestyles, or false religions and cults by siding with them, especially merely for convenience sake.
A major deception which Satan has performed in these last days is to convince the world that evil is good and pleasing, and good is now nothing more than an irritant which should be shunned. Many professing Christians seem to look at evil as something that is optional instead of obligatory to avoid. When “judge not” is implemented by Christians attempting to cover their sinfulness they become fully secular without any concern for their relationship with God. When we as Christians step away from our God for any reason we instantaneously enter the camp of Satan. When we step away from our faith and allow Satan to have his way in our lives, it means that we’ve just been deceived – Satan was successful at cloaking his evil again. Awareness of the cloaking and spiritual discernment is the key – evil cloaked is at the door, so is Jesus. Which will you let in?
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed
I’m greatly encouraged by all the response to my prayer request. Please continue your prayers for my health. The MG continues to destroy the skeletal muscles in my body, thus the fatigue and eye problems are becoming more of a daily hindrance.
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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian nuclear official says the sole reactor at the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant has reached full capacity.
Iranian deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Ahmadian said Saturday the reactor was brought to its “full capacity of 1,000 megawatts” Friday evening. The reactor went into operation for the first time last year at minimum capacity.
The facility is a cornerstone of Iran’s drive to become a technological leader among Muslim nations, with efforts such as a space program and long-range missile development.
The United States and some of its allies believe the Bushehr plant is part of an Iranian attempt to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusation.
A new 140-page report released by the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute reveals a pattern of hostility toward Christians and Christianity in the U.S. The report was released earlier this week and includes over 600 incidents over a 10-year period.
The attacks range from rulings from the judiciary branch to an elementary school student who was physically lifted from his seat and reprimanded for praying before eating his lunch.
Yet another example shows a Christian couple was fired as apartment complex managers and forced to move because a painting with a Christian reference was displayed in their office.
Other examples cited in the report include:
• A federal judge threatened “incarceration” to a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.
• City officials prohibited senior citizens from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.
• Following U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs‘ policies, a federal government official sought to censor a pastor’s prayer, eliminating references to Jesus, during a Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans at a national cemetery.
• A public university’s law school banned a Christian organization because it required its officers to adhere to a statement of faith that the university disagreed with.
• The U.S. Department of Justice argued before the Supreme Court that the federal government can tell churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis it can hire and fire.
• Through the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare“), the federal government is forcing religious organizations to provide insurance for birth control and abortion inducing drugs in direct violation of their religious beliefs.
• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs banned the mention of God from veterans’ funerals, overriding the wishes of the deceased’s families.
• A federal judge held that prayers before a state House of Representatives could be to Allah but not to Jesus.
“America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders. Our First Liberty is facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, Congress, and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of Liberty Institute.
“This radicalized minority is driven by an anti-religious ideology that is turning the First Amendment upside down.”
Both organizations presented the findings of the report during a joint press conference in Tampa, Fla., on Monday prior to the Republican Party Convention platform committee to raise that awareness.
The Liberty Institute further pointed out that religious liberty is “facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups” that are using whatever means available to suppress or attack religious freedom.
FRC’s Tony Perkins added, “As dark as this survey is, there is much light. The secularists’ agenda only advances when those who love liberty are apathetic. Let this be a call to stand for religious liberty in the United States.”
By Dr. David R. Reagan
The following from this week’s program is a sampling of answers given by our panel of Bible prophecy experts as they address the question above.
Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
The theme really is like a two-sided message. The Seven Sealed Scroll is written on the inside and on the outside. I think it’s a message to the world on the outside — bad news, you lose. And, it’s a message to the Church on the inside — good news, we win. That’s as simple as you can make the message of the book of Revelation.
Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
In Revelation 1:19 I believe, the Bible says that God told John something like, “I’m going to show you the things which you have seen. I want you to write about those things which you have seen, those things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” That statement kind of gives us an overall overview of the format of what’s going to be told.
The emphasis I think for us as Christians is that glorious future that we have in Christ. I would nail that down as the theme.
August Rosado, Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries
Those verses I just quoted all are Second Coming passages and not about the Rapture. At the Rapture Jesus is coming for His Church, and not every eye is going to see Him except the Church itself. But, at His Second Coming, Jesus is going to come back with His Church. So, the Rapture and the Second Coming are separated by Daniel’s Seventieth Week of prophecy which is that seven year period of the Tribulation.
So, the theme of the Book of Revelation I believe would be the Second Coming of Jesus back to this earth.
Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
In Revelation 19:10 the second part of that verse says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The book of Revelation starts out with the resurrected Jesus and then it starts talking about His dealings with mankind through the Church Age, and then through the Tribulation period, and then through the Millennium, and finally on the New Earth.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus is presented as the head of the Church of the line of the tribe of Judah. He’s the coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He’s going to sit on His throne and judge mankind. When Jesus returns, He’s going to straighten out this world. He’s going to defeat the Devil. He’s going to finish what He started in the Garden of Eden. It’s going to be a wonderful thing!
I just love the book of Revelation. We are living in exciting times and I just wish more people would read it.
Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will continue to address:
#3. What is the theme of the book of Revelation?
Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
Mark Hitchcock, Faith Bible Church
A couple of key chapters in Revelation are Revelation 4 and 5, an there we have a picture especially in Revelation 5 of Jesus the Son of Man and the lamb who is a lion. Jesus takes the Seven Sealed Scroll from the hand of the Father. Jesus is the one then who begins to open the seals on the scroll. The only document in ancient times that was sealed that way with seven seals by seven witnesses was one’s last will and testament. So, I think Jesus there in this passage is taking the will or the inheritance from the Father. In order for Him to get the inheritance these seals have to be opened, which is one judgment right after another.
The Seventh Seal then issues forth into Seven Trumpets. I believe the Seventh Trumpet and the Seventh Bowl is when all that is finally taken place in Revelation 20 happens and the Kingdom of God comes to this earth. I think that’s what the book of Revelation is about.
What I would say to kind of give a definition is that the book of Revelation is the advanced history of how Jesus Christ by means of judgment becomes King. God’s given the advanced history of how Jesus Christ becomes King, but it’s through judgment He judges the sinful world first. All of human history reaches it pinnacle and zenith in the Kingdom of God instituted here on earth.
Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
Terry James, Rapture Ready
Tom McCall, Tom McCall Ministries
Nathan Jones, Lamb & Lion Ministries
In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will answer the fourth question, “Is the book of Revelation history or prophecy?”
“In recent years, we have seen angry minds at work, mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated, in the Goldwater movement, how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But, behind this, I believe, there is a style of mind that is far from new, and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style, simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.” (emphasis added)
FBI and DOJ campaign to enlist workers in 25 industries to spy on fellow workers and citizens and report findings to federal authorities. Citizen spies being recruited from hotel and motel personnel, dive shop operators, car and property rental agents, tattoo parlors employees, gun dealers and Internet cafe clerks.
James F. Tracy is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University.