Assurance of Heaven Book Excerpt 3 – Chapter 2, Spiritual Warfare

“I am always amazed when I read the results of a survey of Christians and the percentage who do not believe in a literal Devil. The Bible is clear that he is real and “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). The whole world lies under his influence (I John 5:19). Jesus described him as a murderer from the beginning and that he is the father of lies (John 8:44). However, he is crafty for he transforms himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14)! Jesus rebuked Peter for siding with Satan when Peter expressed opposition to the will of God (Matt.16:23). Most people think of him as the caricature with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork. But in reality, he is way more deceptive than that. The good looking guy with the three-piece suit in the pulpit could very well be representing him (II Cor. 11:13-15).  

Because he is in rebellion against God, his purpose can be understood at least in two ways. First, he works in people to blind their minds to the gospel so that they do not get saved (II Cor. 4:4). And secondly, he has created the world system to appeal to the old nature; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). He designed it to distract unbelievers away from the Lord, and attempts to derail believers from their intended purpose so that they become unfaithful and unfruitful as a result (Matt. 13:21-22). Everybody is subject to his influence.

The Bible is plain. The devil blinds the minds of the unbelieving. But how does he do it? He uses people. The language of God is truth. God does not speak any lies. The lies come from the evil one. “He is a liar and the father of it.”(John 8:44) When we lie, we are siding with him. Satan takes people captive to do his will – knowingly or unknowingly (II Tim. 2:26). And if you are taken captive to do his will, you are living or promoting a lie.

But spiritual warfare does not only involve the devil and his workers; it involves you and me. Every one of us has a fallen nature, a sin nature. We are born with this, and the devil works in conjunction with our fallen nature.”

My Comment (My Comment is not part of the book): Satan uses people to spin his lies. The lies are often directed at the various elements of the gospel – the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, that Salvation isn’t simply by faith alone in Christ alone; that works are necessary; that there are many ways to God and on and on and on!  “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (II Cor. 11:13-15).

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