John T. Willis

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stand Against the Wiles of the Devil

Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-17:
     "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, SO THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE WILES OF THE DEVIL. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES. There, take up the whole armor of God, SO THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND ON THAT EVIL DAY,  and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, WITH WHICH YOU WILL BE ABLE TO QUENCH ALL THE FLAMING ARROWS OF THE EVIL ONE. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

1. Many people erroneously assume that there are no invisible beings. All we know are what we can see and hear and touch and taste and smell. Thus, they dismiss the existence of the devil or Satan, evil spirits, angels, even God Himself. Paul emphatically declares that the REAL ISSUE IN LIFE is spiritual struggles with REAL INVISIBLE BEINGS.

2. Paul insists that all of God's people must be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The little known word "wiles" means trickery, deceit, subtlety. Satan is the great deceiver. He pull out all the stops to make us believe that evil things and evil people are good. John describes the fall of Satan in Christ's Second Coming in this way in Revelation 12:9:
     "The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, THE DECEIVER OF THE WHOLE WORLD--he was thrown down to the earth, and HIS ANGELS were thrown down with him."
     Revelation 20:2-3 further expands this description:
     "[The angel] seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that HE WOULD DECEIVE THE NATIONS NO MORE, until the thousand years were ended." Revelation 20:7-10 continues: "When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to DECEIVE THE NATIONS at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea. They marched up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from heaven and consumed them. And THE DEVIL WHO HAD DECEIVED THEM was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

3. The great conflict between Jesus and Satan=the Devil in the wilderness included this "temptation" of Satan for Jesus: "Again, the devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, 'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.' Jesus said to him, 'Away with you, Satan! for it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" (Matthew 4:8-10). Satan claimed that he was in control of all nations. This was a blatant lie. God alone is in control of all nations.

4. Peter gives this warning in 1 Peter 5:8-11: "Discipline yourselves , keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory is Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen."

Satan is the great deceiver. He will do everything he can to turn us away from God the Father through Jesus Christ and to follow the easy road to destruction. The Bible is full of warnings against the wiles or deceits or trickery or subtlety of Satan.

Share YOUR experiences and thoughts and understandings and reversals and fears with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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