All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
March 28, 2009
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 in his snares.
In Matthew 4:1, it says, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Jesus was tempted in all points just as we are (Heb 4:15). When Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness, He quoted the Scriptures, saying, "It is written..." (Luke 4:4,8,10). Jesus defeated the Devil by His knowledge of the Word of God.
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 who are taken by "the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will"(2 Tim. 2:26).
In Luke 4:5-8 it says, "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time...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...And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
Jesus knew the Word of God. Jesus knew "the Devil was a liar" (John 8:44). Jesus knew that He created all things (John 1:3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; Rev. 4:11). Jesus knew all of the kingdoms of this world were under His authority. Jesus knew what the Scriptures said in 2 Kings 19:15; 2 Chronicles 20:6; Job 36:7-12; Psalms 103:19; Daniel 2:37,38.
Today, there are many Pastors that believe the Devil was telling Jesus the truth in Luke 4:5-8. Ignorance of the Word of God will open the door for the snare of the Devil. God cannot bless ignorance of the Word of God.
Christians should not be ignorant of what the Word of God says. It is important that Christians learn how to study the Word of God. Just reading the Word of God is not enough. We must study the Word of God and know precisely what God is telling us in His Word.
God does not see things the way people see things. God sees things from His point of view (which is revealed in the written Word of God).
Identify the Snare of the Devil
The Devil comes to those in the ministry, tempting them with the things of this world. In 1 John 2:15-17 it tells us, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
The Devil is "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4). The Devil does have the power to give Christians wealth and riches (Mark 4:18,19). The Devil always had power over the riches of this world (Ezek. 28:12-14).
The Devil is a liar (John 8:44) Just like the Devil used the Serpent to lie to Eve in the garden of Eden, he uses other Christians in the ministry to spread his lies in the Churches today (Matt. 24:11).
There are many Christians today that believe that "gain is godliness." Even when the Bible tells them to beware "...of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself" (1 Tim. 6:5).
Seeking money could be dangerous for Christians. Money is not our answer. Jesus is our answer, and following Jesus is the way to get the answers to all our situations in this life.
As an example, in Matthew 19:16-24 we are told about a young man who had wealth that came to Jesus asking Him, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matt. 19:16).
Christians today, should pay attention to the answer Jesus gave this young man. Jesus said to the young man, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt. 19:17).
Notice, the LORD has given us two new commandments, which includes "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...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30,31). If we love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, it does not leave anything left to love money with.
When the young man said, he kept the commandments from his youth up, "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matt. 19:21).
The young man left Jesus after hearing what Jesus said. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven...And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matt. 19:23,24).
Notice something that Jesus said about money and riches. First Jesus said, "That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven." Then in the next verse Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." If Jesus said this, we should take careful note of what He said.
Wouldn't it be better to follow Jesus, than to seek money and wealth? I would rather follow Jesus, myself. I would rather trust in the LORD for all my needs, than to seek money and wealth in this life. What the world has to offer is nothing compared to eternity in heaven. We should take notice of all that Jesus said about money and wealth.
In this day and age (2008, 2009), in the United States we see many Christians who purchased expensive automobiles (paying as much as $35,000 or more for an automobile), and expensive homes (paying as much as $150,000 and up for their homes). They were told that God will bless them (in their ignorance).
Here is wisdom, if "God is in on what is happening," it will succeed. God cannot fail (Titus 1:2). Neither can anything that God is in on fail. "If it fails, God was not in on it." One way you can know if God is in on what is happening, is by the results it brings. Just as you can know if a prophecy is true, "if it does not come to pass, it was not from God" (Deu. 18:22, Num. 23:19).
As a result of Christians believing what some have taught and said, many of these Christians today are without money to pay their bills. They are looking to other Christians and the government for a handout. They lost their jobs, they lost their homes, and now they are looking for someone else to help them. It seems that God is no longer their source. It seems money is their only source for whatsoever they have need of.
The same Christians who encouraged them to buy expensive automobiles and homes, are now telling them to go to the government for assistance in paying their bills. When they do not have money for food, they are told to ask the government for welfare assistance to buy food. When they do not have a job, they are told to go to the government for unemployment benefits and all sorts of hand-outs.
What happened to our God? Is not our God able to supply all our needs? The Bible has always taught that "with God, nothing is impossible" (Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37; Gen. 18:14).
The Devil has a snare, by which he takes Christians and causes them to bring shame on our LORD Jesus Christ. The world sees some Christians as hypocrites, speaking prosperity, while living off the government.
Some Christians go around saying "God told them to do what they are doing." God never told Christians to lie, steal, and cheat others, in the Body of Christ or in the world. Jesus told us that "God can take care of those who will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:25-34).
It sure seems like we are living in the last days when the Devil is using Christians to destroy the image of God in the eyes of the world. Christians are claiming bankruptcy, to get out of debt, causing many in the world to lose their money. The world trusted in Christians to be honest and truthful in their lives when they loaned them money. This is a snare of the Devil, taking Christians into his control by ignorance of the Word of God.
Many in the world today do not trust Christians. They have seen many Christians going to court for not paying their bills, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. because of money. Many Christians have believed "the father of lies." The Devil has taken them in his snare.
What is sad about all of this is that Christians are also taken in by some of the Pastors of Churches, who tell them to do such things. It is all over the United States today. Some Pastors are telling their people to "give, and God will give back to them one-hundred fold." Some of these Pastors are living like kings, while their members are out of work, looking for a handout from other Christians, and the government.
Where is God in all of this? What happened that God cannot take care of His Children? It seems the Devil has taken many Christians in his snare, because Christians are ignorant of the Word of God. Some Pastors have used the Word of God deceitfully, and have become as thieves and robbers of their own church members.
If you ask some of these Pastors today, who was Jesus speaking of in John 10:10, when He said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." they will tell you that "Jesus was speaking of the Devil."
Yet, that is not who Jesus was speaking of in John 10:10. If anyone would read the first fifteen verses of Chapter Ten, they would know Jesus "was not" speaking of the Devil.
Look at what Jesus said in John 10:1. It says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." The ones who entered another way, were those who used "their version of the Law" to come against Jesus. Jesus came to do the Fathers will, and they came against Jesus as he went around healing the sick on the Sabbath Day.
In John 10:7,8 it says, "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep...All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them."
Who was it that came before Jesus as "the Shepherd of the sheepfold?" It was the Levites (the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees). These where chosen by the LORD at the time of Moses in the wilderness. They were to be teaching the Children of Israel the true message of "the love of God and how to keep themselves from the works of the Devil."
When Jesus came with the true message of the Father, they came against Him. They were teaching "their idea of the Law," which was not what Moses instructed them. Neither was it what came through Abraham, (the father of faith). They even said, "Abraham was their father, but they did not do the works of Abraham" (John 8:39).
The thief that comes to steal, kill, and destroy today could be "the Pastors who are not teaching what Jesus taught." Jesus was teaching, "Have faith in God" (Mark. 11:22). "Faith in God" was the main subject of all of the teachings of Jesus. Wherever Jesus went He was teaching "faith in God."
When the disciples could not cast out a demon from a child, they asked Jesus, "...Why could not we cast him out?" (Matt. 17:19). Jesus said to them, "...Because of your unbelief..." (Matt. 17:20).
According to John 10:10, Pastors of Churches today who are not focusing their teachings on "faith in God," could be the thieves and robbers today. They are not setting the people free, but rather helping the Devil to take them in his snare.
The whole Bible, from Genesis through Revelation is teaching us to "Have faith in God." In the New Testament it says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:38). Pastors who are not teaching their members to "have faith in God," could already be taken in the snare of the Devil.
God cannot answer the prayers of Christians who do not "have faith in God." When God does not have any pleasure in Christians, He is not obligated to answer their prayers. When Christians "put their faith in anything other than God," they are being deceived in what they believe. Satan has taken them in his snare while they are being "...tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14).
When Christians do not believe that God will answer their prayer when they pray, God is not obligated to answer their prayer. God is "looking for faith," when Christians pray.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. A good Shepherd will teach "faith in God." The only faith God will honor is "Faith in God." Jesus taught "Faith in God."
Jesus said in John 14:13,14, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son...If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." Jesus was not talking about asking "other Christians, or other people." Jesus was talking about "asking Himself or God the Father in His name."
In John 16:23,24, Jesus said, "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you...Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." Again, Jesus was talking about "asking the Father" in His name.
Who is our source for all that we have need of? Is it the government, the people, other Christians, or is it GOD? Who do we trust, God or men? In Proverbs 3:5,6 the Bible says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Notice, it says, "Trust in the LORD..." it does not say to trust in anyone else, or anything else.
If a Pastor does not trust in the LORD, how can he teach his members to trust in the LORD? "If the blind lead the blind, they will all fall into the ditch" (Matt. 15:14).
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit in everything He did. To be led by the Holy Spirit, we must be taught by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." Jesus could not teach on "being led by the Holy Spirit" Himself, while He was here as "the Son of Man," for the Holy Spirit was not yet given (John 7:38,39). But Jesus did say, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come...He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
Once the Holy Spirit came, and manifest among those in the upper room on Pentecost Day, those who believed the Word of God were "led by the Holy Spirit." Now, the Scriptures in the New Testament tell us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). In Romans 8:1, it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Notice, if you read this verse correctly, "there is condemnation for those who do not walk after the Spirit."
In Galatians 5:16,17 it says, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Therefore, if we continue to do the things "we want to do," we cannot please God. We must be "led by the Holy Spirit" if we are to please God.
These two things are required of Christians today: "walk by Faith" and "be led by the Holy Spirit." This is what the whole New Testament is all about. Pastors who are not teaching their members how to "walk by faith in God," and "be led by the Holy Spirit" could be thieves and robbers.
Jesus said in John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." A good Pastor will lay his life down for his members, "not ask his members to lay their lives down for the Pastor." The snare of the Devil is when a Pastor thinks of himself as greater than his members. "God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5). "Pride goeth before destruction..." (Prov. 16:18).
A Pastor who walks in pride (preferring himself before his members), could be judged by the LORD (Heb.10:30). Look at Revelation, Chapters two and three, and see what will happen when the LORD judges the Pastors and Churches today?
What was happening in the seven Churches in Asia, is still happening in some of the Churches today. Will the LORD be "unjust," and not judge the Churches today? I would not want to take a chance on that. I would rather be doing what the LORD said to do, than to be judged for not doing what we are told to do in the Bible.
Look at what the LORD said to the Church in Sardis in Revelation 3:4,5. "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
What about the others in the Church of Sardis? If only a few "will not" have their names taken out of the Book of Life, what will happen to the rest? Will their names be taken out of the Book of Life? If their names are taken out of the Book of Life, where will they end up? Revelation 20:15 says, "whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
To the seven Churches in Asia, the LORD said to "Repent, and do the works He called them to do." To each of the Churches, the LORD also made the statement, "To him that overcometh..." It sure looks like Christians "must overcome the works of the Devil."
If Pastors of Churches today are not teaching their members "Faith in God," and "how to overcome the works of the Devil," then what are they teaching?
If Christians are to "overcome," then the Churches should be teaching them "how to overcome." It does not seem that this is what is being taught in some of the Churches today. Are the Churches helping Christians to overcome the works of the Devil? It seems, the Devil is taking many Christians in his snare, and they are blinded by their idea of what God expects of His Children.
What God is teaching us in the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, is a lot different than what it seems some are being taught in some Churches today.
God has not changed (Mal. 3:6). God is still teaching the same message as He taught from Genesis through Revelation.
Look at what God was teaching in the Book of Job. Job was a wealthy man. He had seven sons and three daughters. But, Job was not living according to God's idea of how men should live. Job was a self-righteous man, with a lot of pride in himself. Look at what happened to Job, "because of his pride and self-righteousness."
First, Satan got Job into fear (Job 3:25). Fear only comes when a person is trying to do their own will of the flesh. When we "walk after the Spirit of God," we have no fear. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it tells us, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Other spirits (which are not of God), cause those who walk after the flesh to get into fear.
Notice another thing about "the spirit of fear." This spirit comes upon those who do not walk in the Love of God. "The true (agape) Love of God casts out all fear..." When we walk in the true love of God, we have "a sound mind." Not a mind that takes advantage of others. But a sound mind that loves others and desires to see them "walk by faith and be led by the Spirit of God."
Notice also, in Romans 1:18-32, it tells us that Christians who are not thankful, and do not glorify God, but turn from acknowledging Him in all their ways can be turned over to a reprobate mind (unapproved, rejected mind). Study especially Romans 1:28-33, where it mentions, "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers...Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents...Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." These Christians are the ones whom God turns their minds over to the Devil. When God no longer approves of their mind, and then rejects them, Satan gets control of their minds. This is worse than if they had never known the way of righteousness (2 Peter 2:20,21).
Once Job was taken captive by the Devil in fear, pride and self-righteousness controlled his life. These two, "pride and self-righteousness" caused Job to lose almost everything he had.
Job lost his possessions (Job 1:13-19). Job even lost his seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:18.19). Job was also stricken "...with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown" (Job 2:7). Only Job's wife remained. Job was "sowing to his flesh," and of the flesh Job suffered loss (Gal. 6:7,8).
Many Christians today are being taught "that they must suffer without a cause like Job suffered without a cause." These are the teachings of men, and not of God. Jesus suffered for us, so that we would not suffer.
When we repent and put away all pride and self-righteousness, God will deliver us from the snare of the Devil. It is by the teachings of men that Satan can take many Christians captive at his will.
Until Job acknowledged his "pride and self-righteousness," and "repented," the LORD could not help Job. After Job "repented in dust and ashes," then the LORD could turn his captivity around (Job 42:6).
(1) "After Job repented" the LORD was able to bless Job with ten times what he had before.
(2) "After Job repented," he lived another one-hundred and forty years.
Those who are walking in the footsteps of Job in the beginning of the Book of Job "must also Repent," before the LORD can turn them around and not judge them for their unrighteousness. Christians today, need to "Repent" of following those who are not teaching what Jesus taught. Those who are not teaching "faith in God," need to repent, and do the works that Jesus did.
Those who do not "deny themselves and follow Jesus," could find themselves in a "bad position" when Jesus returns in His Second coming. When Jesus comes back in His Second Coming, He will not be coming as "the Lamb of God," but rather as "the Lion of Judah." He will come to judge all unrighteousness, including Christians who live in unrighteousness, walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit.
The Bible says, Enoch prophesied, "...saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints...To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 1:14,15).
When the LORD returns in His Second Coming, "which could be soon," He will judge all unrighteousness. There could be many in the Churches today like those in "the church of the Laodiceans" (Rev. 3:14-22).
In the Church of the Laodiceans, the LORD said, "...because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth...Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:15,16).
Christians, using their faith to obtain worldly wealth and riches could find themselves "spued out of our LORD's mouth." Faith for the things of this world, is not the kind of faith God is looking for.
God is looking for the kind of faith that will do the same works that Jesus did. God is looking for Christians to walk like Jesus walked. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:14).
If the Churches are not doing what Jesus said they should be doing, what will happen when Jesus returns in His Second Coming? It is not good, what we see happening in some of the Churches today. Christians need to take heed to what they believe and what they are being taught.
The Devil knows his time is short. He is doing everything he can to get Christians into his snare. Many are taken in his snare, not knowing the truth from the Scriptures.
Many Christians are not studying their Bibles, but letting those who say they are Pastors tell them what to believe. They believe some Pastors whom it seems could be already taken in the snare of the Devil, and are following the wrong voice.
We must not be ignorant of the Devils devices. He has a snare to take Christians in, if we do not study the Scriptures ourselves, rather than believe what others teach. Following men, rather than "following Jesus" and "being led by the Holy Spirit" could possibly cause us to lose our eternity in heaven.
There are many free books written to help Christians to know the truth and walk in the truth every day. Many of the subjects covered in these free books include: "Faith in God," "Walking by faith," being "Led by the Holy Spirit," being "Taught by God" and "How to study the Scriptures."
All books on our Web sites are free by downloading at:
For more information on "The Snare of the Devil," get all the parts of this series of Mini-Books.