War has been declared. I’m not talking about a conflict between one nation and another, or even civil unrest within a nation. I’m talking about the war that Satan has declared against God. This spiritual war has been raging for thousands of years and will soon reach a climax. The first recorded act of this war occurred in the Garden of Eden. Eve knew that God said not to eat the forbidden fruit, but Satan lied, Eve listened, and she was deceived. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5. The weapons used by Satan were lies, doubt, and deceit. Satanic lies caused Eve to doubt God’s truth and that’s when the battle lines were drawn. Eve believed Satan above God, Adam chose to join her in defiance of God, and the rest is history. Satan still uses lies to befuddle us, but Christians have no reason to be deceived. It should be easy for us not to be drawn in by Satanic lies because we have Scripture to arm us and the Holy Spirit to guide us. So why are there so many problems all around? Instead of following our Commander in Chief (God) we surrender to Satan.
Satan lies today just as he lied to Eve. He has infiltrated our congregations and convinced many pastors to water down their teachings in order to not offend anyone. Why? Sin is a part of our human nature, but only through the blood of Jesus Christ can our sins be forgiven. If a person sitting in a pew embraces sin and rejects Jesus, they’re as lost as a person who never has stepped into a congregation. God’s truth, from Genesis through Revelation, must be preached from the pulpits and taught in Sunday school. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel, For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:14-17. Jesus entrusted the Gospel to Christians and it isn’t to be compromised, doubted, or watered down. Teach the Gospel. Don’t dilute it or add sugar to make it easier to swallow. Preacher, if you do then you’ve surrendered to the enemy and are taking your congregation with you. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. If the “god of this world” is put ahead of God Almighty then there’s a problem. In America there are tax advantages for watering down God’s word, so it’s useful to deny God’s truth rather than pay a tax penalty. That’s putting a false god ahead of the true God. If you’re more worried about being politically correct than standing firm on Biblical truth then you’ve surrendered to the enemy. How can you tell if you aren’t being taught God’s truth from the pulpit or in Sunday school? First of all you need to arm yourself with God’s word. You won’t be deceived if you know the truth. Don’t expect your pastor to arm you, and most Sunday school material won’t fit you for a thumb-war, let alone a full out spiritual battle. Study God’s word for yourself.
We see the results of Christian surrender all around. Drug addiction is at an all time high. I’m not just talking about the drugs you can buy in a dark alley. Prescription drugs are as destructive and addicting as any illegal kind. Could that be why God tells us to stay away from drugs? “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21. Look up each word in this list and be sure you aren’t harboring any of these works of the flesh, but I will pull out “witchcraft”. The Greek word is “pharmakeia” which is the use or administering of drugs, poisoning, sorcery, and magical arts. Mind altering drugs should never be a part of a Christians life. How many children do you know who are on drugs because the supposedly have ADHD? How many people do you know who take drugs for depression? Instead of standing on God’s word, Christians have surrendered to the enemy and turn to mind-altering drugs which can open the way for demonic entry. I challenge you to do an internet search for mass murderers who take prescription drugs and you’ll be surprised, if not outraged. Instead of firm discipline based on God’s word, we allow schools, psychiatrists (another way Christians surrender to the enemy), and doctors to tell you how to dumb-down your child. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 23:13-14. Don’t misunderstand this Scripture. God is not giving a license to abuse children, but is giving direction to discipline children and spank if necessary. The alternative is to give your child drugs. Don’t surrender to Satan or battle by battle the war will get deadlier.
When we step away even slightly from God’s word we open the way for troubles from Satan. Eve shouldn’t have talked to the serpent (Satan), but she did. Instead of standing upon what God said she tried to go over and above what His rules were. God said don’t eat the forbidden fruit. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17. God said don’t eat it…don’t take it into you and make it a part of you. Eve got it wrong; she tried to outdo God. “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3:3. God didn’t say don’t touch it, He just said don’t eat it. We need to be aware of sin and know what it is, but not make it a part of our life. Today there are many people who do make sin a part of themselves…even Christians. In the verses above from Galatians we’re warned against adultery and fornication, but how many people sitting in a congregation have made these sins a part of their life? We know what those sins are but instead of turning away from them many professing Christians have surrendered to the enemy by making them part of life…acceptable to the god of this world but unacceptable to God Almighty. Where are the preachers who speak out against sin? They are silent so as not to step on toes. No wonder it seems as if Satan is winning the battle. Christians aren’t armed for battle.
Many Christians have no idea what God’s word teaches because they choose not to study it. Why is it that Christians are willing to participate in sin-filled “entertainment” but refuse to pick up the Bible. Could it be that they want to keep partaking of the forbidden fruit? How can you call yourself a Christian if you don’t love Jesus and His ways? How can you know His ways if you don’t study His word and apply it to your life? “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. We have a huge blessing today because we have easy access to the Old and New Testaments. When Paul wrote these words to Timothy only the Old Testament was available and few people had access to it. Read and learn from all of Scripture by asking the Holy Spirit to guide your study. God’s word is perfect in the original languages and translations help us to read it in our own language, but there have been many influences by Satan at the hands of men who have misconstrued what God says. Today the politically correct/Biblically incorrect crowd are attempting to corrupt God’s truth. There are people who are attempting to change God’s word to be gender-neutral and accepting of homosexuality. Corrupting God’s word doesn’t change God’s rules but helps people to surrender to Satanic ploys which twist God’s truth.
Our attitude and way of life need to conform to God Almighty, not the other way around. Conforming to the world around us is surrendering to Satan. Jesus is our example, and though we fall short of His perfection we need to consciously sacrifice our own lusts and sin. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2. A soldier training in boot camp is transformed from a common citizen to a fighting soldier fit for combat. The drill sergeant makes sure each soldier is schooled in weaponry and that he knows how to fight. The training of Christian soldiers is no less important. Our training is often neglected and our weapons are rusted and dull. Instead of being battle ready we blend in with the enemy and surrender rather than cause waves. Shame on us.
Jesus never said it would be easy. His last talk with His disciples before He was arrested was one of love, warning, and revelation. Their faith in Him was about to be tested and they needed to be equipped for battle. These faithful men would soon face their fears and have to choose whether to follow Christ or flee. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. The words Jesus spoke to the disciples are true for us today. Things don’t get easy once we accept Christ, but He has defeated the god of this world. We may face tribulation in this world because Satan still spreads his lies, but Jesus Christ has given us the weapons of spiritual warfare. If we aren’t committed in our walk with Him then we’ve surrendered to the enemy. Very soon there will be tribulation that is unfathomable. Satan will make an attack against humanity as never seen before. If you’ve surrendered to the enemy then chances are you never truly accepted Christ for salvation and will be a part of Daniel’s 70th week. If you continue to embrace the god of this world and reject Christ you won’t escape the wrath of God. Satan’s lies continue. Study your Bible so that you won’t be deceived. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will save you from the wrath that will come upon the earth. If you claim to have accepted Him, then follow His ways.
Arm yourself with the weapons of the spiritual war and fight. Don’t surrender to the enemy.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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