Friday, October 27, 2017

The Devil Went Down to Eden

Since the devil's holiday is in a few days, I will give him his due in this blog. 

We have recorded on 3 possessions by Satan himself.
1. The Serpent in the Garden of Eden
2. The Betrayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
3. The Anti-Christ in the Garden of Babylon

We talk about being harassed by the devil. But he is much too busy with the big fish to mess with you and me, so he dispatches his minions, emissaries, demons to our front door.

It is generally a misnomer to witness a demon possession and say of that person that they are possessed by the devil. A devil, maybe, but the devil, probably not.

He is going to and fro on the earth, seeking whom he may devour. He does wear out the saints. He is busy targeting nations, ministries, homes and individuals for destruction. He is the father of liars, who has come to steal, kill and destroy.

But he personally has much bigger fish to fry than you and me, so his sends his little uglies, his flying monkeys, his fallen angels to do his bidding to hassle us. I doubt he even knows my name. One, because he’s too stupid, two, because I am of little consequence to him.  So he employs his helpers for the like of me.

And he has plenty of them! For every two angels, there is one fallen angel. And just as God sends forth his angels as ministering spirits, Satan sends his brats to wreak havoc. 

He desired to have Peter, and no doubt, sift Perter as wheat and major damage will have been done the Kingdom of God.

Even Paul was assailed by a messenger of Satan to afflict him with a thorn in his flesh to distract him from his gospel mission. Praise God for the grace that was given to overcome.

But there were and are at least three times when the job was/is so important that he had to do it himself. These incidents portended the fall of the human race, the assassination of the Lord of glory and the future subjugation of the planet to himself.

However, what Satan means for evil, the Lord turns to good. Joseph said something similar to his brothers when he assured them that the evil they meant for him resulted in the preservation of the planet.

The Three Actual Possessions by the Devil Himself:

1. The Possession of the Serpent. Satan, through the creepy-crawly, convinced Eve that God was holding out on her and her husband, so she ate the tutti-fruty of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and plunged mankind into sin. But God had a plan in place. In Genesis 3:15, he promised the devil, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

This spoke of the victory Christ would have over Satan at Calvary. Which brings us to the next incident of satanic possession.

2. The Possession of Judas. Judas was an extremely flawed man. Though rising to the rank of Disciple, he was still dabbling in thievery, greed and sedition. He was an apt candidate to help bring about the end of the Messiah. He was physically close to Jesus, but his heart was a million miles away. But he was on the fence, all he needed was a nudge, a little filling of the prince of darkness himself and the deed was done. Judas betrayed the Lord, resulting in His death. Luke 22:3, "Then entered Satan into Judas..."

What God saw in advance and what we see in retrospect, neither the devil (due to pride) nor Judas (because of spite) were able to grasp at the time. Jesus is about to crush Satan's head in death...and resurrection.

3) The Possession of Anti-Christ. Satan, 2000 years down the road, give or take a few years, will give it another try when he enters into the Beast, squats on the ark in the temple, setting himself up as God and demanding universal worship and subsequently pursuing the Jews into the wilderness to destroy them.

Again, God will show up to guard and guide His own and destroy the works of Satan once and for all.

May I ask you even now, whose side are you on in this age old battle between God and Satan, good and evil, life and death? Choose today who you will serve.

Personally, I've read the back of the Book and WE WIN!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

If I Were a Rich Man

The tale of three very rich men in the book of Luke

1) The Rich Old Miser. 16:19-31
2) The Rich Young Ruler. 18:18-23
3) The Rich Little Publican. 19:1-10

One was carried away to hell, suffering because of his stinginess.
One went away sorrowing, because of his covetousness.
One came down joyfully, because of his resourcefulness.

One was brought up with a silver spoon because he was privileged, but he went
away condemned for his hedonism.
One was brought up righteous but went away a sinner condemned for his idolatry.
One was brought up a sinner, but that day, salvation came to his house because of
His obedience .

Riches, they are what you make of them. Or, you are what they make of you! 

There are two other rich men depicted in this gospel:

*Joseph, the rich man of Arimathaea, who cared for the body of Jesus and placed
him in his own tomb (Lk 23:50-53) Joseph represents all believers who use their
resources for the propagation of the Gospel. (The Gospel is the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus.)

*The rich man who called his steward to accountability (Lk 16:1-8) and
commended the steward for his wise use of his master’s riches. This rich man
represents He Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and commissions His 
stewards to invest wisely in the Kingdom.