The New Testament is replete with warnings about converted members of God's church being deceived. If one of the elect leaves himself open to deception--a possibility for us all--the father of lies will begin to lead him astray. We may not be fully ignorant of his devices, but we are still susceptible to them. ...
Richard T. Ritenbaugh: When I am not editing someone else's writing or writing something of my own, I am often found reading. ...
John Reid focuses upon the characteristics and modus operandi of our adversary Satan the Devil, the prince of the power of the Air, the ruler of this world, concentrating upon his cunning and crafty wiles. Sometimes called the sharp-eyed one, Satan with his legions of demons (approximately 1000 for each called out begotten child of God), scrutinizes us for physical and psychological weaknesses he can exploit (through temptation) to separate us from God the Father. Satan works on our attitudes, encouraging us (with the tool of jealousy) to bitterly see ourselves as victims. To counter Satan's relentless onslaught, we need to actively resist him, practice humility and draw close to God, ardently studying God's word, bringing every word and thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ.
Richard Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Kingdom of God or of Heaven has past (Hebrews 11:13), present (Hebrews 12:22), and future (Hebrews 12:28) aspects. The Kingdom parables primarily provide instruction for the present aspect, a time when struggle and suffering are part of the mix (Matthew 11:12). The first parables of Matthew 13 reveal Satan's battle plan to: (1) attack in the early stages of development, (2) infiltrate with secret agents, (3) cause the church to grow large and worldly, exceeding God's prescribed limits, and (4) corrupt by false doctrine, destroying the relationships between the brethren. These parables describe the last quarter century in the church of God.
Peter describes Satan as "like a roaring lion." What made him make this comparison? Mike Ford shows that Peter's choice of predator is a very apt analogy of our Adversary.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that confusion or lack of peace is the clear fruit of Satan's involvement. It is nearly impossible for righteousness to be produced in an environment of instability and disharmony brought about by selfish ambition, competition, and bitter envy. In confronting our wily adversary, we must maintain constant vigilance, resisting unlawful desires, not allowing Satan to have a bridgehead in our emotions. Satan consistently works on our fear of being denied some form of pleasure. If we stay loyal to God, resisting Satan as Job did, Satan's power over us will be broken. Resistance must begin in the mind and thought processes where demonic influences try to persuade us to entertain ideas exalting ourselves over the truth or knowledge of God.
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