Don’t Surrender to the Enemy :: By Nathele Graham

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 itdon’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 themselveseven 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 lifeacceptable 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,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

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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Abraham or Lot :: By Nathele Graham

Choices are a part of life. God didn’t create people to be robots, but gave free will because He loves us. Love isn’t really love unless there’s a choice and we can either reject Him or accept Him. We make many choices each day, but no choice is as important as whether we follow God or the world. The smarter choice is to follow God but so many times we make a wrong choice.

Such was the case with Abraham and Lot. God had called Abraham out from a life of worshipping pagan gods and sent him on a journey of faith to become the father of the Jewish nation. Abraham wasn’t quick to obey, but when he eventually chose to follow God’s directions he took his nephew Lot with him. As always happens when we obey God, life is better. Both Abraham and Lot prospered as they travelled together, but this also caused a problem. They each had servants and herds of sheep, and it had become difficult to keep them separate. This caused strife between Abraham’s servants and Lot’s.

To keep the peace Abraham presented a solution to Lot, and that was to go their separate ways. Lot was given the choice as to which way he would go. “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.Genesis 13:10-12. The temptation of this beautiful land took hold of Lot and he made his choice.

The problem with Lot’s choice was that he didn’t consider anything except the apparent beauty of the place. There was one big drawback that Lot hadn’t considered. “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.Genesis 13:13. He was moving his family to an exceedingly wicked place and the influence of that culture would be a problem. In choosing which way to go or what to do it’s important to look at all aspects of the choice. What seems like a perfect choice may have plenty wrong with it under closer inspection. God will always know the best way for you to go. Lot’s choice took him to a place where wickedness thrived and it would cost him dearly.

Abraham didn’t always make the best choices either, but the Lord was there to bless him after Lot moved away. “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.Genesis 13:14-15. Notice God said “for ever”. Today we see politicians attempting to divide Israel and evil people want to destroy God’s chosen nation, but when God says “for ever” He means “for ever”.

As time passed Lot became comfortable with his life in Sodom. He sat at the gate of the city, indicating some authority, but the wicked way of life was clear to him. The sin of that city, and those surrounding it, was very grievous to the LORD and it had to be stopped. There comes a point when God has to take action against out of control evil and Sodom and Gomorrah had reached that point. God sent two angels to bring about the judgment and when they arrived in Sodom Lot was at the gate. Instead of being in the field with his herd he was now in the city.

He hadn’t lost his sense of right and wrong because when he saw the angels he knew that the men of Sodom would want to rape them. For their own protection Lot asked them to come to his home for the night. Lot did what he could, but the men of Sodom decided to attack. “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.Genesis 19:4-5. Such evil and such wickedness. The sin of homosexuality is still very grievous to God, He will soon judge this sin as well as all other wickedness.

The time had come and the judgment was at hand. The angels warned Lot to immediately gather his family and leave. Lot believed them and told his sons-in-law to get out because the judgment was imminent. Did they believe him? “…but he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.Genesis 19:14b. If Lot had chosen his way more wisely, his daughters could have found better men. As it was they had not respect for Lot’s words of warning. The urgency for Lot and his family to get out of harm’s way was great.

The sons-in-law chose to make Sodom their life, but the angels took the hands of Lot, his wife, and his two daughters and set them outside the city. The angels urged them to hasten away. “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.” Genesis 19:22.

The angel warned them to leave as fast as they could and not look back. Lot and his family had escaped God’s wrath, but his wife just couldn’t let go of the life there. “The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.Genesis 19:23-26.

There’s a lesson for us there. When God has saved you from the choices you make and the wickedness around you, don’t look back. That morning Abraham saw the smoke from the destruction. Abraham chose to stay away from the sin-filled life of Sodom, but he never lost his love or concern for his nephew Lot; Abraham had intervened for him when the LORD had told him that Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed. Today we find ourselves in the same situation as Abraham and Lot. If we make the choice to eschew the wickedness around us and follow Christ we have the promise of eternal life with Him forever.

That’s not to say that, like Abraham, we won’t make some bad decisions and need to repent, but our eternity is secure. If we make our choice based on the lure of worldly ways we’ll end up like Lot in the midst of wickedness. We learn from Peter that Lot was a righteous man. “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” 2 Peter 2:6-8.

 You see, Lot lived among the very wicked men of Sodom, but he wasn’t a part of their lifestyle and was vexed by it. The wickedness there and God’s destruction of it is an example to us that God won’t ignore the wickedness in this world for much longer. Lot was called a righteous man and he escaped God’s wrath. Our righteousness doesn’t come from living a perfect life, but it only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Because Christians are righteous through our faith in the shed blood of Jesus to take our sin away we will also escape God’s wrath. The angels couldn’t allow the destruction until Lot had been taken away, just as Christians will be taken away before God’s final judgment comes upon the wickedness of this world.

Do people mock you when you talk of Jesus and the Rapture? Remember that Lot tried to get his sons-in-law to leave but they wouldn’t listen and they perished. Whether or not our friends and family believe us, we need to talk to them about accepting Jesus for salvation before the Rapture. The signs of the times are all making headline news today. Nations are lining up to come against Israel and prophecy is being fulfilled rapidly. The Rapture is on the very near horizon.

We still have time to witness to people, or do we? We don’t know when the Rapture will happen but we can see from the signs that God’s judgment is near. God put so much prophecy in the Bible so we can know that time is short. Since God’s judgment is near we can be certain that the Rapture is even nearer. It could happen before you finish reading this commentary or it may be 10 years away. The point is, are you like Abraham who chose to follow God, or are you like Lot who chose the lure of the world? Certainly don’t be like Lot’s wife who looked back. She couldn’t quite let go of the wickedness. Jesus used her as a warning. “Remember Lot’s wife.Luke 17:32.

The Promised Land or Sodom? The choice is yours. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.Romans 10:9. Abraham or Lot? The choice is yours.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries just drop me an email and let me know.