All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
December 17, 2008
of the Devil
HANDS FOR JESUS
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2008 by Merle E. Koepke
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In 2 Timothy the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy, instructing him of things he should avoid, and how to minister to those who have been taken captive by the devil. In 2 Timothy 2:26 it says, "...that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. "
The Devil has a snare by which he takes many captive at his will. Christians need to have wisdom and knowledge, that the Devil does not take them captive with his snares.
In Matthew 4:1-4 it tells us, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil...And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred....And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread....But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Jesus was tempted in all points just as we are. Jesus defeated the Devil by His knowledge of the Word of God.
Jesus knew who He was, and we must also know who we are in Christ. We must also know the Word of God for the snare of the devil is used against those who do not know the Word of God themselves.
Many times in our lives we do not know or understand what is happening and why it is happening. When these things take place in our lives we must "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). We must "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).
Yet, one of the greatest helps we have is in understanding the Word of God. Many Christians suffer for a lack of knowledge of the Word of God. We must "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). If we do not take the time to study the Word of God, we could be among those taken by "the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will"(2 Tim. 2:26).
It is very important that Christians guard themselves against being taken captive by the Devil at his will.
That is where we were in the beginning when we came into this world. Ephesians 2:2 says, "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Ephesians 2:12 says, "...at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
Christians should never go back to what they were before they were born again of the Spirit and the Word. Never desire the world over heaven. Never return to the works of the Devil once you have been delivered.
Studying The WORD
Christians should understand, if you want to know something in detail start in the beginning and continue until the end. In studying the Scriptures we must study everything it says about any subject we are studying, starting in Genesis and continuing on through Revelation.
When studying the Scriptures there are many things to consider. Is God speaking of our earthly time or His heavenly time? God is always in the NOW, therefore sometimes God is speaking in the now, according to eternity time. (See Exodus 3:14, John 8:58). Is God speaking about the past, the present or the future? Is God using types and shadows or speaking literally? Is God speaking from His point of view, or our point of view? Is God speaking the end from the beginning (calling things that be as though they were)? Is God bringing to pass that which He already declared as finished from the foundation of the world? (See Jeremiah 1:5, Revelation 13:8).
The next thing to consider is what language did God use when the Scriptures were written? Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew (by which the Hebrew dialect changed many times between Genesis and Malachi). Some of the Old Testament is written in Chaldees. At the same time, the Hebrew language is a unique language, in so much as "word for word translations will not always work" Many of the words used in the Hebrew change their meaning according to their usage in that particular subject. Many Bible scholars do not take this into consideration. Is a word a root word, or not? If it is not, what is the root word that it came from and what does it mean? What is the Stem (a verb, a noun, etc.) and what is the Mood (infinitive, imperfect, etc.)?
When all these things are considered, then the greatest challenge is "How did the Holy Spirit use that word, both in its context and in other verses"?
In most cases the same applies to the New Testament Greek. The Greek is not quite as complicated as the Hebrew, but we cannot overlook all the ways the Holy Spirit used different words. We cannot overlook the context and the many other ways the Scriptures are written. We cannot overlook the re-writings of the Scriptures by Scribes. Some transcripts do not agree with other transcripts. Therefore, the key to all studying of the Scriptures is in the witness of the Holy Spirit Who inspired the writing of the original manuscripts.
After Genesis, throughout most of the rest of the Old Testament from Exodus through Malachi, God was correcting error and explaining what He had already established in Genesis. In the New Testament the gospels were for establishing a truth which had already been made known, but not followed.
Through Jesus Christ, the true gospel was preached. The book of Acts and the Epistles were for explaining and correcting error after the truth had already been made known in the Old Testament and the Gospels.
Next, are they to establish doctrine or correct error? In Genesis Chapters One and Two, God was establishing His will here on earth. In Genesis Chapters Three through Six God was doing both, establishing His will and correcting error. In most of the balance of Genesis, God was doing both, establishing His will and correcting error.
Lastly, and very important is, what language translation are we using. Very few Christians can understand the Hebrew and Greek. Are we using English translations, and are they word for word, paraphrased, or thought for thought? All three of these are the works of men, not truly of the Holy Spirit. Also, what is the true meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek word (as an example the word "love" is it agape or phileo, and "life," is it psuche or zoe)?
How do we know if what we read is truly of God? The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:8, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one." If anyone of these do not agree, what we may think is true is not true.
Identify the Snare of the Devil
The Devil knows the Scriptures. He knows what is written in the Scriptures. When the Devil came to Jesus in Matthew 4:3,4 it says, "...he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread...But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
As soon as Jesus said, "it is written," the Devil knew he was defeated and changed the subject. Jesus not only knew the Scriptures, but Jesus knew what the Scriptures meant in Deuteronomy 8:3.
Many times people will quote the Scriptures, but not according to what they mean, rather according to what they believe they mean. Many Christians believe what they have heard other men teach or preach without first studying to see if that is what it means?
The teachings of men is one of the Devils snares to get Christians to do what he wants them to do. Many years ago there came a Word from the LORD which said, "Those who have taught what they have heard other men teach and have not received it from My Spirit, if they will repent My grace will cover them."
Christians cannot always believe something, just because they heard someone else teach what they heard. It must be the truth from the Word of God before the Holy Spirit will confirm the word taught or spoken.
How do we know if what we heard came from the Holy Spirit or not? First, we must check it out with the Scriptures ourselves, not according to what someone else said. Secondly, we must have a witness in our spirit that it truly was of God, and not some man's doctrine or teaching.
The Scripture says, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one...And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water (Word), and the blood: and these three agree in one" (1 John 5:7,8). Being in agreement with God, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, we will know what is of God and what is not of God. "...God is love" (1 John 4:8). Love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, saying "Love suffers long and is kind...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor. 13:4-7, NKJV).
If Christians are walking in this love of God, then the Holy Spirit will bear witness with whatsoever is of God. When we have a witness in our spirit we know what is of God and what is not of God.
How do we know if we have a witness in our spirit? First of all, the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of truth" (John 16:13). Where there is truth there is peace. The Holy Spirit is in control of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Romans 14:17 says, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." When you receive something from the Holy Spirit, in your spirit, there will be peace. If, for some reason you do not have total peace in your spirit, the Holy Spirit is not in agreement with it.
Even when you are talking to another person (even another Christian), if they do not agree with what you are saying, check it out. Either you made a mistake, or what is said is not witnessed by the Holy Spirit. That is when you stop, and wait until you have a witness of peace in your spirit. Do not go any further until you have peace in your spirit and the other individual you are talking to is interested and agrees with you.
Even the Devil knows enough about spiritual things that when Jesus said, "it is written," he was not going to get anyplace with Jesus on that subject. Every time Jesus said to the Devil "it is written," the Devil knew the Holy Spirit was not in agreement with what the Devil said to Jesus. Christians should have more common sense than the Devil.
Never argue with anyone over anything. If they do not agree, then the Holy Spirit is not in on it and neither should you be in on it. Just state the facts and let the Holy Spirit bring witness to the facts. If the Holy Spirit does not bring two people together in agreement, then the Holy Spirit knows something we may not know.
God is wisdom, and we need all the wisdom from God that we can get. Walk in love and peace and the LORD will be working with you. The Holy Spirit will lead you by peace between you and others as well as peace in your spirit.
The Devil loves to use Christians to quote Scripture verses and say they mean something other than what the Holy Spirit meant when He inspired them to be written. A misquoted Scripture verse is an indication that Satan is trying to take someone in his snare.
The Devil tried it on Jesus in Matthew 4:5,6 where it says, "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple...And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." The Devil was quoting from Psalm 91:11,12. In Matthew 4:7 it says, "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Jesus knew the temptation of the Devil.
When Christians know the Scriptures and the true meaning of the Scriptures the Devil will not be able to use people to get them into his snare.
The way to know the Scriptures and the true meaning of the Scriptures is to study the Scriptures and pray in the Spirit hours a day. Most Christians today do not want to take the time to study the Scriptures and pray in the Spirit.
Jesus said in Mark 12:30, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." When we love the LORD thy God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength we will spend all the time we can studying the Word and praying in the Spirit. It is when Christians love the world more than they love the LORD our God that the Devil gets them in his snare.
Some Christians listen to what others teach and believe everything they hear them say. If it sounds good to their ears they believe it. Then when things do not work out they wonder why?
In Romans 8:28 it says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." If things are not working out for our good, we ought to know there is something wrong with what we believe or what we are doing. God cannot lie. It was God that said "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Stop blaming God for our own error.
God is Love (1 John 4:8). If God is love, and we are to be in His image, then where is our love? Are we walking in love? In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 it tells us, ""Love suffers long and is kind...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (NKJV). Is this our attitude toward others? Is this our attitude toward God? If not, why not?
God sent His Son into this world, even when we did not love Him, He still loved us and gave His life for us. Why are Christians not willing to give their lives for God? All God asks us to do is to "...love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." (Mark 12:30,31).That is all God asks of us. If we do that, the Devil will never have anything on us.
Why do you think the Devil never had anything on Jesus? (John 14:30). Jesus walked in love, and loved His Father with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength. Search the Gospels and see if that is not true.
Jesus was a man in the flesh just as you and I are. Jesus faced the same Devil we face. Jesus did what the Scriptures said to do, and if He asks us to do the same, why not do it?
The snare to the Devil will not take us if we walk in love and keep the two commandments Jesus gave us.
Jesus never did His own will. He only did the will of God the Father. When we do only the will of God the Father, the Devil will never have anything on us either.
Many say "that is hard to do." No one said it was not hard. No one said it was easy. Jesus said "...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Sometimes we must decide, which is more important, this world or eternity? Which one is worth more, this world which is only temporal or heaven which is eternal.
When Jesus is your LORD, and God is your Father, and the Holy Spirit is your helper, guide, comforter, teacher, and leader, how much more can God do for you?
God has given us His Word, and God cannot lie. We need to get a hold of God and His Word and tell the Devil to leave us "in the Name of Jesus." Put the blood of Jesus over ourselves and all that we have. Tell the Devil "It is written," quoting the Word of God in truth according to what the Holy Spirit inspired not what some men say is the Word of God. God and His Word are One (John 1:1,2) Believe the Word of God, quote the Word to the Devil and he will flee from you.
You cannot be taken in the snare of the Devil while you are walking in the Word of God. It is when you start listening to those who are not walking with God quoting Scripture verses that do not say what they say they say. That is when the Devil will get you in his snare.
Be Not An Offence
In Matthew 18:2-5 it says, "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them...And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven...Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven...And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." In these verses many believe Jesus was speaking only of little children.
We need to understand the Scriptures from God's point of view. Jesus was using a little child as an example, "a type and shadow" of "children in Christ," those who are not mature in the ways of God. How do we know Jesus was speaking of "children in Christ"? In Matthew 18:6, it says, Jesus said, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me..." Little children when they are first born into this world do not believe in Jesus. Only those who are born again believe in Jesus.
If a mature Christian should offend any new born child of God that they turn away from following Jesus, Jesus said, "...it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matt. 18:6).
In Matthew 18:7, Jesus made this statement, "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" Satan is the god of this world, and offences come because of Satan the Devil. But, in the Body of Christ we are not to be following the ways of the world. Love must be the motive for everything we do.
Speaking to the Body of Christ, in Matthew 18:6 Jesus said "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." This needs to be taken seriously among those in the Body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul writing in 1 Corinthians 10:32 wrote, "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God."
Why is it so important that we give no offence "...to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God?" God is Love, and love never offends anyone.
The Devil is the cause of offence among people. The Devil uses people to offend Christians that they do not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk in love.
When Christians are not walking in love they hinder God from working in their lives according to His will.
Offences come because someone is trying to take advantage of another for their benefit. When they take advantage of another for their benefit they establish themselves as having authority over another. In this position they become controllers of others. When they establish authority over another they use them as slaves to help build their domain and increase their worldly wealth and position.
This goes contrary to the Word of God and contrary to the ways of God. God is love and does not usurp authority over anyone. In the kingdom of God all things must be done by God working through people in love.
From the beginning the Devil has always tried to control what people do to establish his dominion over people. This is what happened in the garden of Eden with Eve. Satan comes with a snare to take people away from God to serve him, not only in this world but also in hell.
A snare is usually baited with some type of bait that looks good, to get the prey into the snare. In most cases the bait is using the Word of God deceitfully. Miss quoting the Word of God for someone's own benefit. (Adding something to or taking something away from the inspired Word of God). Thereby making it say something other than what the Holy Spirit inspired in the beginning.
The serpent said to Eve, "...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" (Gen. 3:4,5).
Just as it tells us, when the Devil tempted Jesus in Luke 4:6,7. It says, "And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it...If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine." Jesus knew the Devil was a liar. Jesus said in John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
The Devil used a serpent to get Eve to disobey the LORD. The Devil tried to get Jesus to serve him with a lie. Jesus knew the Scriptures, and would not bow down to the Devil.
We must know the Scriptures and the snare of the Devil when he uses people to make them slaves and servants of disobedience to the Word of God. Otherwise we may also become servants of the Devil and become an offence to those in the body of Christ who are still "babes in Christ."
Controlling spirits are not from God. God is love and love never takes advantage of another for His own benefit. Our first commandment is Love the LORD thy God.... Our second commandment is to Love thy neighbor... "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matt. 22:40). "There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31).
What should Christians do if they have been caught in a snare of the Devil. First is to remember, God is Love. God will deliver anyone from the works of the Devil if they will walk in love and call upon the LORD. God is full of forgiveness and is long suffering that none should perish.
If Satan has used you as a snare to control others, repent and believe that God can set you free. Believe that the grace of God is for you also, not just for others. Believe that when you repent, God will restore you to a position in Christ Jesus that He has prepared for those who love Him.
Nothing in this world is worth more than doing the will of God according to His Word, not according to the words of others who have been taken captive by the Devil at his will.
In Amos 3:3 it asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" To walk with God, we must walk in Love (agape). We must also agree with what God says in His written Word.