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George

Understanding the Enemy!

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I am a retired pastor and am currently a member of a prayer group at another  evangelical church.  An earlier prayer group at this church decided to focus on spiritual warfare.  They spent much time fasting and praying and were often summoned to intercede in the lives of people victimized by various type of evil influences.  The prayer group's members were all exemplary Christians, but their ministry backfired and almost destroyed the church.  

The group's members were attacked by unusual negative forces in their lives.  False accusations of sexual misconduct were leveled, and when the pastor (wrongly) sided with the female accuser against a male leader of the prayer group, that pastor was forced out of the church!  Interpersonal interactions were so negative that all  but 2 of the 12 members of that spiritual warfare prayer group felt compelled to leave the church.  Yet these members were well grounded in the Word, had exemplary character, and had the purest of spiritual motivations to serve God's kingdom.  I say this because the demise of this group was an inexplicable and devastating defeat and the church would apparently have been better off never to have started such a group.  

I am in effect the new leader of the restarted group and our smaller group has seen many answers to prayer, including miracles of healing and mending of broken relationships.  I remain  wary of further attacks by the Enemy.  It would be easy to blame the former group's members for being spiritually too immature to conduct s spiritual warfare group.  I can find no warrant for affixing blame to anyone involved.  But there is a moral to this story and that moral is the reason I have posted this thread.  What is it?  The Enemy is very clever and deceitful in sowing discord and a spirit of failure among members of Christ's body.  Warfare is just that--warfare, and sometimes it results in battle casualties.  But the cause of the Gospel is too great to avoid the battle and sometimes we must humbly admit a lack of clarity about where we went wrong.  The alternative (in this case) is to be unacceptably judgmental in a desire find scapegoats for a failure many Christians would deem impossible.  

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On 12/3/2003 at 10:22 PM, George said:

Hello my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

I thought I write about the flip side of a topic, and how to recognize the attempts of the enemy to destroy lives and how you can walk in His victory!

For the Apostle Paul taught us not to be ignorant of enemy's tactics and strategies.

2 Corinthians 2:112  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 

So often, we can learn lessons by learning and playing "devil's" advocate.  When we read this passage,

 

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Mar 3:26  And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

 

The leaders of the Jews, because of what Jesus did on the Sabbath, healing many , they did not accept that Jesus was from God for many and other reasons, one which was that their Lord was resting on the Sabbath, 

This goes a litle deeper in meaning than the obvious. 

Example can be taken from the man who went out to collect mana on a Sabbath day. 

That time the people were told not to gather "mana" on the Sabbath day. 

They were also told that the Lord did not work on the Sabbath. 

As a result it is easy to deduse that the "mana", that appeared on the Sabbath day it was not the work of the Lord. 

Though it was a miraculous work , it was not the work of the Lord. 

It was not as if this was an act of disobedience to just the command, it was more than that, this man gathered the work of the Devil, who imitated the work from the Lord, as it happened many times the works of Moses back in Egypt. 

Or we may say that the Lord work on the Sabbath that time to tempt the people , thinking of it, there is a question that needs to be answer : why the Lord said to the people: take this man out the camp and stoned him to death. 

At Jesus time and miracles the leaders of the people had to face a similar in principal situation. 

Their mind was trained to think in those lines, and were discussing things among them selfs. 

But they never confronded Jesus with those things. 

On the other hand it was Jesus who having perceived their thoughts and their discussions on their secret closed doors meetings, confronted them "if I may use this word", by saying things in his defence to their secret accusations agaist him, confronting and exposing their secret thoughts in puplic. 

Jesus beginning to tell them that he knew their secret thoughts and intentions and their plants, that they plan to arrest him and bring him before their leaders, because they had Judge the power that works in him that is not from God but it is from the Devil, miracles of Satan as in the day of the dessert of "mana" appearing on the Sabbath day,  the day of rest, the day the Lord was not working. 

 the Lord in the past had reveal to the prophet the thoughts and plans of the people who had tried to abuss the King and his endurance, and the King avoid them. 

Another reason that the leaders were reinforced in their beliefs that Jesus power was not from God, but it was from the Devil, because this time tried to deceived them by demonstrating to them that the power working in him was from God and that he was the prophet of God, showing to them that God had revealed their thoughts and their plants to him.

But that created another situation for Jesus even bigger than before

Then Jesus was telling them that God is Judging their thoughts and intensions of their hearts. 

Those

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Mar 3:27  No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strongman; and then he will spoil his house. 

Here we learn a lesson that in order to plunder one's house you must first BIND up the strongman.  While we realize in this particular passage this is referring to God binding up the strongman (Satan) and this is how Satan's house is plundered.  But if you carefully analyze the enemy -- you realize that he uses the same tactics on us!  Your house cannot be plundered -- unless you are first bound.   And then Satan can plunder your house!

 

 

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Let's take a marriage situation.  A husband and wife are newly married and they are just getting by.  The wife hasn't had a new dress in some time, and while she's out and about -- she stumbles across a dress that is 75% off and a steal!  She's in need of some new clothing and thinks to herself -- I should get this while it's soo cheap!  Meanwhile, her husband is looking over a mountain of bills and thinking to himself, the only way to get out of this mess is to work "overtime" and starts to figure out how much he needs to work to cover all their bills.  When the wife comes home, she's looking fine in her dress and the first thought of her husband -- planted by the enemy -- can you believe that your wife spent money on a dress?  Of course, this feeds into his mind and reacts to the thought -- and gets angry at his wife and demands that she take the dress back.  So he's ignoring the fact how good she looks in the dress, and ignores how cheap it was -- and allows a foothold to be set!  The wife can't believe it -- and let's the emotion burn in her while biting her tongue.  

A few weeks goes by, and the husband is out and about and sees a fishing rod on sale -- and buys it!  The wife sees the new fishing rod -- the enemy then brings back that emotion of what happened a few weeks prior about the dress -- and suddenly she explodes!  And now you have the beginnings of how the enemy has taken footholds and then created strongholds -- and for the ultimate purpose of dividing a marriage!

Now let's look at Luke and see what lessons we can learn from it.

Luk 11:20  But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. 
Luk 11:21  When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 
Luk 11:22  But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 
Luk 11:23  He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 

If you notice this, the strong man who's armed -- ready for battle -- ready to face whatever comes his way -- he's living in PEACE!  

If we recognize the first steps of the enemy's work in our lives -- knowing he's trying to create footholds -- you'll begin to understand why?  He can't rob, kill and destroy you -- unless you are FIRST bound up!  So we need to be armed with the Word, armed with the knowledge of the enemy's tactics, and be ready to defend what is rightfully ours!  We need to take authority over the powers of darkness because that authority was given to us at the cross!

Luk 10:18  And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Luk 10:19  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
Luk 10:20  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

So we fight the good fight of faith, standing in His victory and be ready to pounce on every thought that is not of God -- that is being used to BIND US up!   Be prepared to battle today -- put on the full armor of God -- and be ready to pounce on every thought that would seek to create a foothold in your life!  When you do this, truly you will become a strong man who's possessions are at perfect peace!

Your brother in the Lord with much agape love,

George

 

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