Session 12: What Would You Do If You Were the Devil?
1. The devil wages war
- Satan knows that his time is short (Revelation 12:12); since he will not choose to repent (if we wanted to he would’ve already), he has declared all-out war against the people of God.
- This started back in heaven when the devil was Lucifer, a beautiful angel that was the anointed cherub that covers, perfect in beauty and full of wisdom (Ezekiel 28:12-18).
- However, he wanted to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-14); taking his eyes of God and focusing upon himself.
- Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), and the essence of the law is loving God with all your heart and soul and loving your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40).
- The devil and his angels were then cast out (Revelation 12:7-9)
- He still wanted to be like God, and since there is no dirt to dig up about God, he chose to lie (i.e. Genesis 3:1-13)
- God could’ve just wipe the devil out, but how would everyone feel if He did? That would only validate what the devil has said.
- And moreover, God is love (1 John 4:8), and love necessitates free choice. He can’t just reprogram everyone.
- Since God can’t wipe the devil out, and He can’t reprogram everyone, He endures and chooses to let things play out, watching as a parent watches a hurting child.
- In any war, there are generally two methods.
- The first is to “charge”, that is, to attack the enemy head on.
- The Bible has plenty examples of this, where demon possession is clearly manifested (Matthew 8:28, Luke 8:27, Mark 5:1-5).
- The devil clearly uses this method with such symbols and imagery like the pentagram, and not to mention people like Anton Lavey (the writer of the satanic bible and the founder of the church of satan).
- However, the devil also uses things like movies and musicians, which are clearly of the devil.
- The Bible calls the devil a roaring lion who’s constantly on the prowl and attack (1 Peter 5:8)
- He even attacked Jesus up front by offering the world to Him in exchange for worship (Matthew 4:8-9)
- This form of attack, as dangerous as it is, is often easier to spot and recognize especially if we have begun to tune ourselves to God. It’s like recognizing a 3-dollar note.
- The more dangerous method of attack by the devil is the more subtle one. In tempting Jesus, the devil even quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:5-6), but totally out of context.
- It’s important that we read and understand the Bible within context (Isaiah 28:10); if we don’t, we will be easily deceived for many will claim to be Christ (Matthew 24:5,24). It’s a lesson that we should take to heart as well because not everyone who calls him/herself a Christian will enter into the kingdom (Mark 7:6, Matthew 7:21).
- To spot a counterfeit, a cursory glance won’t do. We need to really look closer, at both the original and the fake.
- God’s people are recognize as those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). That means that the devil’s counterfeit will most likely revolve around changing / breaking the commandments of God and pointing away from Jesus.
4. Prophecy and the devil’s counterfeit
- Daniel 2 (as covered in presentation #1) is a prophecy of the world’s history, covering a timeline from Babylon to the end of the time. In the prophecy, we see a few kingdoms emerge, including Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greece and Rome.
- The book of Daniel is based around the idea of repetition and expansion, meaning that Daniel goes into more detail with each vision that comes along.
- Daniel 7 continues on describing in more detail the kingdoms as prophesied in Daniel 2. We see that the lion (Daniel 7:4) refers to Babylon, the bear (Daniel 7:5) refers to Medo-Persia, the leopard with our heads (Daniel 7:6) refers to Greece and the “terrible beast” refers to Rome (Daniel 7:7)
- However, Daniel 7 gives additional information not mentioned in Daniel 2, beyond these four kingdoms. Daniel 7:8 describes a little horn who speaks pompous words, but at the same time also seeks to change times and laws (Daniel 7:25)
- This is contrary to what Jesus did – He didn’t come to change laws, but to fulfil them, meaning to bring it to completion and to expound on its full meaning (Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew chapters 5-7).
- The basis of the law is relationship, to create boundaries that make the relationship special (as in any other relationships)
- So to change the basis of the relationship, the devil seeks to change the basis of the law, which is exactly what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible was taken away.
- The church, infected by paganism and hungry for power, changed the Ten Commandments from that of the Bible. The commandment to not make graven images or bow down to idols (Exodus 20:4-5) was taken away. The church of the Dark Ages had idol worship that took people’s eyes off Jesus, but instead focused on these idols. Everything also had to go through the priests, and they had absolute power.
- With the Bible being chained away, the authority was transferred to the church. Not only did the church wanted to take away the focus on Jesus, the church also tried to take away the time with Jesus.
- Here are some quotes (amongst many more) that speak of the attempts to change “times and law”: i. The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, change, or interpret even divine laws (Farraris’s Ecclesiastical Dictionary. Article, “The Pope”). ii. “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” — Father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802. iii. The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday (The Christian Sabbath, p. 29. Printed by The Catholic Mirror, the official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Baltimore, Md., 1893). iv. Of course the change [from Sabbath to Sunday] was her act . . . and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters (Signed by H. F. Thomas, Chancellor for Cardinal Gibbons, in a letter dated, Nov. 11, 1895). v. “It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” — Priest Brady, in an address reported in The News, Elizabeth, New Jersey, March 18, 1903. vi. Sunday is our mark of authority. The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of the Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” – The Catholic Record (September 1st, 1923). vii. Question. Which is the Sabbath day? Answer. Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday (The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, by Peter Geiermann, 1946, p. 50).
- This is not an accusation against the people; it’s a revelation of how a system can be corrupted and used by the devil to create a counterfeit that looks like the real deal, but in fact points people away from Jesus to themselves and also takes away God’s anointed time with His people which God hallowed, blessed and sanctified (see Presentation #9 – the Ultimate Connection with God)
We have a choice that we need to make. The devil has declared all-out war with us, and he will stop at nothing to disconnect us from Jesus. He will use churches, denominations, leaders, pastors and even (misquote) the Bible for his gains. Ultimately, our only safeguard is to go back to Scripture, to persevere and hang and keep the commandments of God, that is to love God with all our heart, our soul and our mind and to love our neighbour as ourselves, and to keep our faith in Jesus and Him alone (Revelation 14:12).