“Once, in King James’ day, Scripture led the English language. Now, it follows it – to the dump….” ~ P. Kreeft

Sometimes in striking places and in subtle ways one finds a notable tribute to the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, along with a sharp warning of what happens when you tinker with God’s Word, as many modern translations do. Such as this one, in the book noted at the bottom:

Besides undermining their faith, we’ve [the devil’s minions] also given them the impression that the world’s most popular book could be understood only by professional scholars (in fact, they’re the only ones who can misunderstand it that badly!); that the world’s most exciting book is the dullest book in the world, and that the millions who fed at that table for millennia were simply superstitious simpletons mumbling misunderstood formulas for their private fantasies.

Fortunately for us, Christendom is now so well divided that they’ll never get together on one standard translation again. We keep them moving, and inspire new translations every year: the Liturgical Fidget must be supplemented by the Biblical Fidget. After all, the Bible has to keep up with the ‘progress’ of the language (i.e., the decay of words).

Once, in King James’ day, Scripture led the English language. Now, it follows it – to the dump, just as the American Church is following the world to the dump rather than leading it to the Heavens. Their ‘dumpster language’ is an index of their dumpster destination. Keep giving your patient little pushes in that direction, and he’ll ride with increasing speed the bandwagon of Our Father Below down to the place of pure noise (with lyrics of perfect torment).

Snakebite-Letters-Kreeft-1993Taken from Peter Kreeft’s The Snakebite Letters: Devilishly Devious Secrets for Subverting Society as Taught in Tempter’s Training School (Ignatius, 1993), pp.75-76.

Keep in mind this is a Roman Catholic writer describing Satan’s work in the church and schools in the spirit of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. While Kreeft’s Catholicism comes out clearly (not without some potent criticisms too), his insights into the devil’s influence in church and education are enlightening and instructive. And I find it rather ironic that the author would defend the perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture and private interpretation of it, when his own church does not. But I take that as another ‘poke’ at his own. In any case, I benefited from this deep though brief study into Satan’s ways.

“Knock out sin, and the Enemy’s whole structure caves in.”

…But if you can convince him even now that ‘sin’ is an outdated concept of pre-modern psychology, we can recoup all our lost ground, and more.

But how can you keep him from noticing the obvious? Of course he’s a sinner. They all are; don’t they read the news? Sin is the only dogma of the Enemy’s Camp that can be proved just be reading the papers.

Here’s where the psychwar mavens in the Public Information Directorate have prepared the way for you. They’ve insinuated their arguments into the very fiber of the surrounding society and even into his Church. In fact, a surprising number of the creatures’ theologians and religious education ‘experts’ believe the only ‘sin’ is to believe in sin!

That’s the lynchpin. Knock out sin and the Enemy’s whole structure caves in. If there’s no sin, there’s no need for salvation, and thus the dogmas of the Incarnation, Atonement, Resurrection, Ascension and Second Coming can safely be filed under ‘mythology.’

Snakebite-Letters-Kreeft-1993Peter Kreeft in The Snakebite Letters: Devilishly Devious Secrets for Subverting Society as Taught in Tempter’s Training School (Ignatius, 1993), p.12.

Reader: Humph! This book sounds suspiciously like a shameless plagiarism of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.

Author: It is! I have no shame about it, because I’m sure Lewis wanted such ‘plagiarisms.’ The Screwtape Letters invented a new genre, a new species; all I’m doing is breeding another specimen.

Published in: on February 26, 2020 at 6:26 AM  Leave a Comment  

Strategy from the Abyss: Frustrate Christian Fellowship

TT-Sept-2019You should be aware that many of our frontal attacks against the church and Christians have proven unsuccessful. It seems that for every Christian we eliminate, more rise in his place. It is as if their blood is like a seed—producing more every time one dies. Thus, it can be wise for us to pursue a more indirect, but often more successful, plan of attack. Rather than fighting against them, we ought to get them to fight against each other.

We know that the Enemy has said that the strength of the church would be their love for and unity with each other. Therefore, if we encourage them to undermine that love and unity, we can weaken and even render impotent the testimony of the church. In other words, we must frustrate their fellowship. Here are some techniques that have often proven successful in achieving that goal.

First, encourage each one to put himself first, at the expense of others. Encourage each member to look to his own interest, with no regard for the interest of others. Yes, in the beginning, they had all things in common, and they sought to outdo one another in showing honor. But that was a different time. Remind them that that was then, this is now. Today, convince them that self-preservation is the first and greatest endeavor.

Second, encourage them to forgive but never forget. If you can get them to hold grudges, not only will you be able to reassure them that they will never be hurt or offended again, but more importantly, you will in the process weaken and undermine their genuine fellowship with one another. Remind them that God may cover their sin, but they don’t have to cover the sins of others, regardless of what the Enemy says.

Third, encourage them to draw attention to the faults of others, even under the guise of sharing prayer requests. When someone fails, make sure others are quickly made aware of it. Rather than speaking words that build each other up, encourage them to speak slanderously and divisively to one another, thus making fellowship uncomfortable and unwanted. Remind them how delicious gossip is. Remind them, “Gossip is good.”

This assignment will not be easy. Christians have been clearly instructed by the Enemy in how they should relate to one another. In fact, there are nearly fifty New Testament references to “each other” or “one another.” These include the oft-repeated command from the Enemy Himself to “love one another.” Consequently, you may not prevent them from hearing these words, but you might be able to prevent them from believing this teaching. And if you can distract them from believing our Enemy’s words here, their fellowship will suffer, and you will have made your job easier by getting them to do it for you.

Drawn from the September 2019 issue of Tabletalk, which carries a theme as relevant as ever: “A Field Guide from the Abyss” with the subtitle, “A Training Manual for Demons.” This particular aspect of the devil’s manual is titled “Frustrate Fellowship,” that is, Christian fellowship in the church. I trust you see the relevance of this particular “plan of attack” by the real enemy (his and their Enemy is our Forever Friend! Never forget His absolute sovereignty and total dominion – and His perfect victory! Yes, the Lion of Judah is greater – infinitely so! – than the prowling lion of the abyss.).

A Field Guide from the Abyss | September 2019 Tabletalk

The September 2019 issue of Tabletalk carries a theme as relevant as ever: “A Field Guide from the Abyss” with the subtitle, “A Training Manual for Demons.” You may recognize that as a take-off from C.S. Lewis’ class work The Screwtape Letters, and indeed that is the idea, as Tabletalk also did a few years back.

Editor Burk Parsons explains the purpose behind publication of this fictional “training manual for demons”:

In C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters, a senior demon, Screwtape, composes letters to his trainee, Wormwood, and advises and directs him in a number of ways to achieve Satan’s evil ends. Reflecting on writing these letters, Lewis said, “Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment.” In the spirit of Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, we offer here “A Field Guide from the Abyss,” a fictional manual for destroying the church. The field guide takes the form of an instructional booklet for demons who need a crash course in basic strategy for their evil ends to be realized.

The primary goal of this guide is to help Christians “escape the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:26) and to become more keenly aware of our enemy’s deceitful scheme—to destroy our Lord’s church. By God’s grace, knowing the devil’s strategies will help us to be neither “outwitted by Satan” nor “ignorant of his designs” (2 Cor. 2:11). Instead, we will be more “watchful” as he “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and will remember that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

I have begun reading the 16 sections of demonic counsel, and they are powerful and practical in learning the ways of our spiritual enemy. Tonight I choose the one  “Wear Down Worship” by Christ Larson. But you ought also read “Wreck the Word of God” (by Steven Lawson) this week sometime.

Here is a portion of Larson’s article, especially powerful in light of our Lord’s Day yesterday:

There is nothing more terrifying for us than the Enemy’s people gathered together worshiping Him. They’ll hear their King’s proclamations, have their consciences washed clean, and gain new strength. These weekly assemblies are the source of much of our shuddering. Adding insult to injury, they call it the “Lord’s Day” and meet on the first day of their week, celebrating our greatest loss when the sinless One was resurrected from the dead.

Aim to have Christians skip Sunday worship. Let them think worship is optional and not an actual summons to meet with the Sovereign. Keep them up late on Saturday nights. Harass them on Sunday morning with every worldly care, distract them with recreation or politics, or misdirect them by having them think their digital devices can substitute for gathering with real flesh and blood. In fact, replace their pastor with a remote somebody they listen to without knowing him in the flesh.

Cause them to lose their focus when they gather to worship the Enemy. Have them think about how the worship service made them feel rather than about what is pleasing to the Enemy. Let them think worship is boring, and let them lose their sense of reverence. Let them mistake fickle emotions for the Holy Spirit.

If these fools cannot be kept away from gathering, they can surely be led to worship half-heartedly. When the preacher preaches, get their thoughts wandering. When they sing, let them think about themselves and not what they are affirming with the others. When they pray, whisper their to-do list. When they take the Lord’s Supper, let them only remember a past event or think some magic is taking place.

Deploy these strategies to weaken your prey, and in so doing you will help blunt the greatest weapons wielded by the Enemy’s people.

Follow the link below to find other useful articles in fighting off the “wiles of the devil.”

Source: The Snare of the Devil | Tabletalk

The Origin and Presence of False Teaching – April 2018 “Tabletalk”

A week into the new month of April, we are due to take a glance at the latest issue of Tabletalk magazine.

The April issue has the timely subject of “False Teaching” as its focus, with four main articles on it: the one in the heading to this post (which we will get to in a few lines); “False Teaching and Out There and In Here” (by Sean M. Lucas), “False Teaching and the Peace and Purity of the Church” (by Eric Landry), and “Teaching the Truth” (by John Macarthur).

Burk Parsons  introduces this important subject with his editorial “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” from which we quote this portion:

False teachers creep into the church not because they look like false teachers but because they look like angels. They disguise themselves just as their master Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. When false teachers attempt to creep into the church, they typically don’t look like wolves because they wear sheep costumes and use some of the same language that the sheep use. They regularly quote Scripture, and they are often able to quote more Scripture than the average Christian. False teachers are not always argumentative or divisive; often they are some of the nicest people we know. They usually creep in not with scowls on their faces but with big smiles. They don’t normally creep into churches and teach obvious heresies and falsehoods; they usually subtly question the truth and teach partial truths, and they are not always identified by what they actually teach but by what they leave out of their teaching. They often speak of Jesus, salvation, the gospel, and faith, but they twist the words and concepts of Scripture to fit their own versions of the truth, which is no truth at all. They typically don’t attempt to creep into churches where the Word of God is preached boldly and passionately, in season and out of season, and where the people are eager for the sound preaching of Scripture and are growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, they usually target those churches where people are indifferent to doctrine and apathetic about the preaching of the Word of God.

Those chilling words (they should send chills down our spines!) set the stage for the serious, informative articles that follow. The one we headline tonight is “The Origins and Presence of False Teaching” by Fred Greco, senior pastor of Christ Church (PCA) in Katy, Texas. I reference two places in his considerable article on the subject – one at the beginning and one at the end.

At the beginning of the article Greco makes a powerful point about not ignoring the seriousness of false teaching, no matter how sound our church is and we are as members. Hear him out on this point:

False teaching is a real threat to the church. False teaching is not a threat only in certain circumstances, or only in churches with certain governmental structures, or only in certain places and cultures in the world. We must recognize it as a threat because the Bible continually warns us that it is a threat.

And then after quoting several Scriptures proving this, he writes further:

The Bible’s testimony about false teaching should make it clear that we are not invulnerable to this threat. When we are tempted to think we are beyond such threats because we have it all together, we will do well to remember the Apostle Paul’s warning to the Corinthian church, which thought it was beyond the errors that had sprung up during the days of Old Testament Israel: “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). If doctrinal aberrations can spring up in churches that were nurtured with the teachings of the Apostles, what makes us think we are immune? Paul had to warn the Galatians about false teaching on the central doctrine of the faith—how man is justified before God—when the generation of disciples that were taught directly by Jesus was still walking the earth. How, then, can we afford to be complacent?

Subsequently, Greco makes good points about how false teaching can enter the church: “the desire for new teaching;” “overreaction to error;” and “the desire to avoid criticism.” But with that he also points out why false doctrine “takes root,” directing us to three things: “lack of Bible knowledge and discernment among the people;” “failure to hold people accountable for their false teaching;” (in other words, a lack of discipline) and a lack in the leadership of the church.

It is that last point that we reference in our second quote from this article:

There is a third contributor to the advance of false teaching in the church, and it is related to leadership. Even when the people of God are eager to study His Word and the church is prepared to exercise discipline, false teaching can flourish when the leadership of the church is ill prepared and poorly trained. The lower we set our standards for training pastors and elders for the ministry, the less prepared they will be to recognize false teaching. Pastors and elders who are untrained in historical theology will miss the reappearance of ancient false teaching in modern clothing. Those who have not been trained well in the Bible, its languages, and principles of its sound interpretation may fall prey to novel teachings that seem to explain away problems or contradictions. To combat false teaching, the church needs pastors, elders, and teachers who are both willing and able to confront falsehood (Titus 2:8; 1 Peter 2:15).

That too should give us reason to pause and ponder the state of our church(es) and of ourselves personally. Are we and am I prepared to detect and refute false teaching when it comes at us?

Yes, only by grace, through Christ, but also using the means He gives us by that same powerful grace.

By all means read the rest of the article at the link below, as well as the others on the subject on this month’s issue. They will help you whet your sword and raise your shield for the fiery darts that are sure to come.

Source: The Origin and Presence of False Teaching

A Whole Issue on Bullying?! Yes, and Necessary – The March 2018 “Beacon Lights”

Anti-Bully BL-ad-2018

Soon the March 2018 issue of the Beacon Lights will be out (the Protestant Reformed youth magazine), and it is an entire issue devoted to the subject of bullying.

Yes, bullying, that subject which has received so much attention in the world about us and which is now also being confronted in the church of Christ and kingdom of God. Bullying, that hateful, shameful, powerful conduct that has such tragic consequences in the lives of children and young people – covenant, Christian children and young people too. Perhaps all the more so because it has been carried out by fellow professing covenant, Christian children and young people. Indeed, it is time for this conduct to be called out and confronted, confessed and killed – with the sword of the Spirit and the blood of Jesus.

Are we ready to face the sad sin of bullying?

In this special March issue you will read the subject introduced by managing editor Ryan Kregel. Part of what he has to say is this:

Today, the violence of bullying exists in homes and workplaces. Bullying happens in schools, public and Christian. Bullies come in all ages, male and female. Bullies use many means to accomplish their goal of dominating another person. Sometimes physical abuse is the method, whether a violent, even bloody assault at one time or the daily slapping, spitting, and tripping of the victim. Bullying is also manifest in words. Sometimes the victim endures a barrage of insults day after day. Other times the words are written in notes passed around the classroom, sent as text messages, scratched into the wall of the bathroom stall, or posted on social media. No matter their form, they are meant to hurt, cut down, and kill.

Maybe you have witnessed bullying at school or elsewhere. You probably noticed that the victim didn’t go on the defensive because most victims do not. So did you do anything about it? Did you make their unspoken voice heard? Did you defend the victim or did you join in? Keep in mind that helping a victim of bullying must go further than just “telling off” the bully. Helping ought to include befriending the victim. Through this action we show an awareness of how we ourselves have been befriended by God through Jesus Christ.

From the editor, Dewey Engelsma, you will read about “Murder on a School Bus” and “Delivering the Helpless” (more on these in another post). You will also find articles on “The Offense of Cyberbullying” and “A Letter of Comfort for the Bullied Young Person.”

Yes, the sin of bullying is exposed in this BL issue. It is a painful matter.  But the marvelous mercy of God is also laid bare. Mercy that leads to confession and prayer for help. Mercy that forgives and heals. Mercy that makes us merciful to confront the bully and to help the helpless. As Mr. Kregel adds at the end of his introduction,

Thanks be to God that there is comfort for the
victim of bullying. God promises to “give his angels
charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Ps.
91:11). He also says of the one in need of help, “He
shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be
with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor
him” (v. 15).

BL-logoWatch for this issue, and when it comes read it carefully and prayerfully. If you are not yet a subscriber, visit the Beacon Light’s subscription page where you will find information on how to become one. Now would be a good time to join the ranks.

Warfare Prayer and Our Need of “All-Prayer”

SpiritualWarfare-Borgman&VenturaTonight we gathered again for fruitful fellowship and discussion with our Sunday night discussion group. We are coming to the end of our study of spiritual warfare using the book Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical & Balanced Perspective by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura (Reformation Heritage Books, 2014). This valuable book is basically an exposition of Ephesians 6:10-18, the classic NT passage on the Christian’s spiritual battles against his spiritual enemies.

This evening we focused on the final verses of this section, covering the apostle’s appeal to prayer as a fitting conclusion to our calling to stand while putting on the whole armor of God. Chapter 11 is titled “Warfare Prayer” and the authors give a detailed and profitable explanation of v.18 where Paul writes, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

The following is part of that exposition:

…Why does Paul focus on prayer so much in this letter?

Clinton Arnold provides a simple, straightforward reason: ‘Prayer is the essence of spiritual warfare and the most important means by which believers are strengthened by God.’ There is a grammatical connection between verses 14 and 18: ‘stand…praying.’ The command in verse 14 is to stand. Putting on each piece of the armor explains how we stand in warfare. That is, we are to stand by putting on the armor. However, when we get to verse 18, we learn that we stand by putting on the armor, and we stand by praying.

Prayer is not a seventh piece of the armor but the means by which each piece is effectively employed. No doubt, Paul mentions prayer last for the sake of emphasis. The passage that begins with ‘be strong in the Lord’ (v.10) ends with ‘praying always with all prayer and supplication’ (v.18). Prayer is the critical component of our warfare, saturating each piece of our armor.

…We can only appropriate the armor through prayer. The armor of God does not consist of literal pieces we can put on; rather, it consists of spiritual truths that the Christian appropriates through prayer. Prayer imparts effectiveness to the armor and employs God’s strength, enabling us to stand [Kindle ed., location 1435-1453].

And the authors end with these fine words:

As trembling pilgrims know, the weapon ‘all-prayer’ is most needful. [The chapter began by referring to Christian’s need of “all-prayer” as he walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death in Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress.] The soldier of Christ employs prayer in applying the armor. Once we put the armor on with prayer, it continues to be a fundamental weapon in our warfare, as we, in reliance on the Spirit, constantly call to our heavenly headquarters for help, both for ourselves and our fellow soldiers [location 1541].

The Death of Scholarship – Commentary

This powerful article on the current state of scholarship in the major universities and colleges of the U.S. appeared in the online version of Commentary magazine on Nov.13, 2017.

In it, author Warren Treadgold speaks forthrightly about how the left in America has taken control of the academic world and with its “progressive” ideology removed not merely the voice of conservative thinking (and any contrary thinking) but also the opportunity for conservatives to speak. They have done so by killing any true scholarship.

While the author’s point has broad application in the academic world, it also has narrower application for those of us who are Christians and function in the academic world. But it also has implications for all Christians and their voice in the “public square.”

Below are a few segments from Treadgold’s piece; find the rest at the link above.

Leftist professors have no such inhibitions. In their opinion, there can be no legitimate reason for scholarship except to pursue “the concerns of the present” and conduct “a search for new meaning and a rigorous testing of old bromides.” The works of Shakespeare or any other great men are of no use except to illustrate currently fashionable ideology. Moreover, since the only point of scholarship is to advance ideology, questions of accuracy are irrelevant. In combating racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativity, patriarchy, elitism, and other evils, the genuine study of literature, political science, philosophy, history, art, and religion is quite incidental. Scholarship done for nonideological purposes, perhaps especially if it faithfully represents the past in its own terms, can only serve to reinforce an unjust society and culture.

This attitude inevitably dominates not only academic scholarship but also college teaching. In 2015, the New York Times columnist Frank Bruni denounced Republican efforts to cut funding for higher education by describing how he had been “transformed” by a marvelous course in Shakespeare he took from an outstanding teacher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the mid-1980s. He promptly heard from his old teacher, now at the University of Pennsylvania, that such courses on “dead white men” are thoroughly out of favor in English departments today. “Shakespeare,” she told Bruni, “has become Shakespeare and Film, which in my cranky opinion becomes Film, not Shakespeare.” She advised him to look at the current course offerings of Penn’s English department—“Pulp Fictions,” “Sex and the City,” “Global Feminisms,” “Comic Books and Graphic Novels,” “Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Film,” and “Literatures of Psychoanalysis.” The sort of class that Bruni loved 30 years ago is not the sort that universities now teach.

Spiritual Warfare: The Gospel of Peace Footwear

SpiritualWarfare-Borgman&VenturaTonight we will gather again for fruitful fellowship and discussion with our Sunday night discussion group. We are continuing our study of spiritual warfare using the book Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical & Balanced Perspective by Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura (RHB, 2014). This valuable book is basically an exposition of Ephesians 6:10-18, the classic NT passage on the Christian’s spiritual battles against his spiritual enemies.

We are currently treating the chapters that explain the armor of God as laid out in Eph.6:13-17:

13 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.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Tonight we looked at the third part of the armor – ” [having] your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (v.15). In the book this is explained in chapter 7 – “The Gospel of Peace Footwear.”

The authors take the position that this “preparation” is to be understood both offensively and defensively. That is, this preparation is first of all a “readiness to proclaim the gospel of peace” to sinners taken captive by Satan. This is, in part, how they explain this idea:

…God’s people today must… [go] forth into enemy quarters shod with the combat boots of the good news of Jesus Christ our Lord.Wherever we go and at every opportunity God grants, we must seek to assault Satan’s kingdom, telling men and women who are under his power (Eph.2:2) that spiritual freedom is found in Jesus [p.61].

I believe that is an important element of this weapon, one perhaps we do not emphasize sufficiently.

But secondly, according to the authors this preparation is also a defensive weapon in our spiritual battles. This is how they explain this aspect:

Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev.12:10) and is relentless in his attacks on us. He lives to make our lives miserable. How do we stand against such a fearsome foe? The answer is the gospel of peace. Just as the gospel is a powerful means for advancing God’s truth and delivering many from Satan’s clutches, it is also a powerful means for stabilizing us as believers, helping us to stand against his attacks. The gospel of peace, like the shoes of the Roman soldier, gives us firm footing in life and the ability to stand in the spiritual war [pp.61-62].

And they add this paragraph to show how this is so from a practical point of view:

It works practically like this: When the devil seeks to plague our consciences with guilt after we have confessed sin, we remember what the gospel of peace tells us: ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ ( 1 John 1:9). When the devil condemns us, we are to bring to mind and soak our hearts deep in the comprehensive truths of the gospel and remember that God has no dispute with us because of Christ (Rom.8:33). When the devil attacks our assurance, we must remember that we are in an unbreakable union with the living God through Jesus and that nothing will be able to ‘separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Rom.8:39). When the devil tempts us to sin, we must push back and resist his enticements, recalling our deliverance from such things and our newness in Jesus (2 Cor.5:17.) [p.62].

Which leads them to end with these thoughts about how important this gospel of peace is for us:

As Christians, we must live day-by-day in the gospel. That is, we must let its truths regularly pervade and control the citadel of our souls. God’s great grace and love for us in Jesus must be our firm foundation throughout our entire lives [p.62].

So then, how well are putting on and using this gospel of peace footwear? Today gives us another opportunity to receive that gospel of peace and be equipped for the battles. May God give us grace so to do.

How Well Do You Know Your Enemy, Satan? Feb.1, 2017 Standard Bearer

The latest issue of the Standard Bearer (February 1, 2017) is once again filled with interesting, instructive, and edifying articles. One of them is a good follow up to yesterday’s post on spiritual warfare.

sb-feb1-2017-cover

Rev. Brian Huizinga (pastor of Hope PRC in Redlands, CA) is doing an extended series on the Christian’s spiritual warfare, under the rubric “Strength of Youth.” His latest piece continues to treat the importance of knowing our enemies – that triple foe of the believer: the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh – with special focus on Satan, that grand deceiver and slanderer of saints past and present.

In this article, titled “Knowing Our Enemies: Satan,” Huizinga breaks down the “profile” of this foe into six (6) parts, the last two of which we post here.

In point #5 he states this about the devil:

Satan is my Constant Foe

  • Some enemies fatigue. Some lose focus. Some eventually give up. Not Satan (I Pet. 5:8).
  • Every day he is ready to meet the challenge of getting me to turn my back on God and walk toward hell, either boasting in iniquity or despairing in hopelessness. Whether I am ready for him when I first stir in bed at dawn or not, he is ready for me – ready to tempt me to have negative thoughts multiplying in my mind as I arise from my slumber, so that I begin my day gloomy, or to have me lose control of my emotions or tongue at the first encounter of something I do not like. He exerts his influence upon me in the sanctuary to make sure I get jealous of so-and-so as she walks in, to make sure I think about the game during congregational prayer, or to make sure that when we guys gather in our circle afterward we demean others, especially so-and-so with his dorky haircut. He is present on every date to make sure we get alone time and temptations to compromise our chastity. When I leave the job interview with no job, he tempts me to imagine I am a worthless failure. Even while I pray, he tempts me to think about something other than the immediate presence of God’s majesty, or to doubt that God really will forgive me, or that God even hears my confession. Relentless he is.

But he ends with this consoling truth (point #6):

Christ is Satan’s Lord

  • Satan is not the Lord of the universe but subject to my Christ who is. Not unto thee, Satan, but to our God will we forever exclaim and pray, “For in Jesus Christ Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever, Amen!”
  • Because Christ who bruised Satan’s head on the cross is Satan’s Lord, Satan will never claim and bring to perdition an elect child of the Lord (John 6:39, 10:29). Rather, the lake of fire will soon claim Satan forever (Rev. 20:10). My comfort is that I belong to the Lord.