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Archive for Satan

The Wolf Spider’s Brood

How did God react to the wolf spider building a kingdom of cities and the tower? “Come, let Us go down and confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Gen. 11:7). He forced the nations to spread out by changing their languages so they could not understand each other. This was an instantaneous act of grace. Why was this the case? The only thing the people had in common besides their language was their depravity. What was this wickedness like? “There were none righteous, no, not one; There were none who understood; There were none who sought God. They had all turned away from Him. They had all together become involved in perverse behavior. There was none who did good, no, not one. Their throats are like an open tomb filled with the stench of death. With their tongues they practice deceit. The poison of snakes is under their lips. Their mouths were full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet were swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery were in their ways; And the way of peace they did not know. There was no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:10-18).

We recognize these words as coming from the New Testament, but we may not realize that the origin of this list was taken from the Old Testament. This culture unified the people along with their language. Sin manifested itself through pride – the praise of self, and the lust for the praise of others and for power – the lust for possessions and unrestrained sexual fulfillment (1 Jn. 2:16). This is why God said that nothing that they proposed to do would be withheld from them. What did they desire to do? They desired to raise the level of sin to the highest degree possible. This would have led quickly to a dreadful annihilation of the human race. The people would have destroyed each other.

As an act of mercy, God changed the languages. He forced the people to spread out into clans of families, and ultimately to build borders, and then small armies to contain and control the power of sin, thus preserving the human race. The Tower of Babel became the source of the old spider’s great masterpiece of deception – religion. Religion is Satan’s do-good system, blinding millions to God’s grace (2 Cor. 4:3-4). “There is a way that appears to be right before men, but the ends thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). Grace and religion are polar opposites. Religion says that there is a spark of good in everyone and given the right encouragement, education, and the right environment, it will blossom – bringing peace and safety to all. This was obviously not going to happen. Sin is a heart problem. “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked – who can know the depths of it. I the Lord search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer. 17:9-10). The tower gave the appearance of being a heavenly gate to God, but in fact it was a horrible door to hell. The old spider had struck a serious blow.

Where did the wolf spider get the name? The mother spider appears to have hair all over her body – like a wolf. She carries her egg sack on her abdomen. When the little spiders hatch out, they congregate on the mother’s body, covering her like a blanket. Their tiny legs give her the appearance of a hairy wolf, hence the name. It is obviously the mother spider’s plan that these baby spiders leave her in an orderly manner and start their own brood. However, if she is ever threatened, the little ones (scores of them) scatter from her body, running in every direction to find cover. This is exactly what happened to the wolf spider’s brood. God, by changing the languages, forced the nations to scatter.

The rumor of the false resurrection of Tammuz absolutely shot this paganistic system around the world at warp speed. Small ziggurats—miniature pagan worship centers—were erected all over the ancient world. They were called “high places” and are mentioned at least 73 times in the Old Testament, from Leviticus 26:30 to Habakkuk 3:19. The Babylonian religious system grew into the worship of Marduk and Ishtar, the god and goddess of fertility. The wolf spiders crawled into Syria as the worship of Baal and Astarte, into Egypt as the worship of Ocirus and Isis, into Greece as Aris and Aphrodite, and into Rome as the worship of Cupid and Venus. This is only a short list of the number of these gods and goddesses. They literally covered the earth. This was the origin of Satan’s sway over the earth (1 Jn. 5:19).

Wolf spiders are wolflike in their ability to hunt and destroy. The Bible classifies Satan’s people who prey on God’s people as wolves. Ezekiel described rebellious leaders in Israel as wolves tearing the people apart (Eze. 22:27). Zephaniah said the same about the same rebellious religious leaders of Israel (Zep. 3:3). Jesus said to his disciples, as He sent them out with the message of the kingdom, that He was sending them out as sheep among wolves (Matt. 10:16; Lk. 10:3). Paul used the symbol of the wolf, saying that after he left the church, savage wolves, (meaning false teachers), would come in, not sparing the flock (Acts 20:29). A most graphic text concerning the wolf is found in the Gospel of John. There the Good Shepherd speaks of hired hands watching the sheep rather than true shepherds. When the wolf comes to destroy and devour, the hired hands run for their lives rather than protecting the sheep. The substitute shepherd does not truly love the sheep and abandons them to save his own skin (Jn. 10:12).

Last are the words of our Lord following His explanation of the broad and narrow ways (Matt. 7:15). He said broad is the way that leads to destruction and many choose that path. In contrast, narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be who find it. The broad way would be the old spider’s smorgasbord of religions to choose from; the narrow way would be the simple gospel of God’s grace (Acts 4:12). He described false prophets who come into the flock wearing sheep’s clothing. Outwardly, they look the part, but inwardly they are hungry wolves poised to consume the flock of God And wolf spiders are well….. spiders! Spiders can sneak into any structure undetected. This is true no matter how sound the building may be. One cannot build a structure strong enough or tight enough to keep a spider out. The writer of Proverbs said that the spider can find its way into a king’s palace (Prov. 30:28). Our Lord is clearly teaching the wolf spider is not recognized as such, until it is too late. Satan’s religious frauds come in by stealth and systematically demolish God’s sheep. They are energized by pride and the lust for power. It is an interesting phenomenon that our technology today is giving to the world the ability to once again speak the same language. Language barriers in our world today are steadily being removed. The entire world is quickly gaining the ability to come together. We are teaching this world to sing in perfect harmony. The world will once again unify, and once again be led to worship the earth. We are going back to the days of Noah. Blessings!

 

The Deception of the Angel of Light

We left our pondering posts with the possibility that God is closing the window of freedom in America. I say possibility because we do not know the future. In fact, God may be opening an even larger window. I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet (Amos 7:14). It would be wise to consider what we know for sure from God’s Word. We absolutely know that the Lord Jesus Christ will ultimately be glorified. All the light in the entire universe will finally be shined upon Him (Rom. 11:36; Eph. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:18). We know the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). We must know the plans of our enemy! It is difficult for believers to tell the good guys from the bad guys. The reason? It is not as easy as contrasting good versus evil, but good versus good. Satan is a master at using human good to accomplish his plans. He transforms himself into an angel of light and his ministers transform themselves into ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13-14). This is when life gets complicated.

God has not given us night vision eyes to see in the darkness in order to tell the difference, but He has given us His Word to teach us and His Spirit to guide us (Jn. 16:13-14). It is this knowledge and leadership that gives us discernment, allowing us to navigate Satan’s darkness. Let’s look at what we know.

Turning to the words of a psalm writer, we read, “I said to the boastful, ‘Do not deal boastfully [arrogance],’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn [power)]. Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with a stiff neck [over confidence].’ For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another” (Psa. 75:4-7). God is the sovereign king over all that is. He raises up nations and puts down nations. It is His call! Sovereignty means that God created and controls every part of the angelic realm and every part of the human realm. Nations rise and fall at His will.

David said that God’s kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:9). Every atom in this entire universe at every moment is under His command. There are times when history seems to be fractured, split into many moving pieces. We are living in such a time right now. Satan appears to be running freely, corrupting everything in his path. Conflict is raging right here, right now. Cities are filled with anarchy. No matter what the politicians promise, this insanity rages. Leaders cry for peace, but there is no peace. Conflict will continue in one form or another until the end of time. But there is never a time when God is not in control. Nebuchadnezzar “blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion [worldwide dominance] and His kingdom [rule] is from generation to generation” (Dan. 4:34).

No matter what human government rules, God is in charge. He laughs at man’s futile attempts to rule (Psa. 2:4). “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven [the angelic realm] and among the inhabitants of the earth [the human realm]. No one can restrain His hand [ prevent Him from doing His will] or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4: 35). No human can put God on trial and figure Him out. No matter how life may appear, God dominates.

There is another fact that we know for sure. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”(1 Jn. 5:19). John exposed a serious conundrum in this small verse. Those who are “of God” are in fact living under the constant influence of the wicked one. A part of our connection to fallen Adam is that we were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), born into this world as children of wrath (Eph. 2:3); once darkness (Eph .5:8); under the power of darkness (Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9); and all under the power of Satan (Acts 26:18). “Dead in trespasses and sin,” “children of wrath,” “darkness,” “under the power of darkness,” “under the power of Satan,” are all horrible words. “Made alive,” “taken from,” “delivered into,” “called out of this world” “called into His marvelous light,” “into the kingdom of the Son of His love” are wonderful words! We once were there but now we are here! Note the fact that God does it. God delivers us. God calls us out. God calls us from Satan’s dominion of darkness and births us into the light of His glorious kingdom. Believers are born physically into Satan’s domain and born again into God’s kingdom.

We need to chart the course of how we got to where we are today. Let’s first describe the origin of Satan’s dominion of darkness. I suffer from a mild case of arachnophobia. I say mild because I do not fear spiders that I can see. I can usually distinguish the bad guys from the good guys. Although difficult to do, I often let the good guys live (unless they are in my house, my bed, my chair, or on me), and because my youngest grandson’s loves “Charlotte’s Web” and has compelled me to watch it many times; and his favorite song was “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” It is the spiders that hide in the most unsuspecting places that are the problem. I am intrigued by an interesting arachnid called the wolf spider. The characteristics of the wolf spider perfectly mirror Satan’s Babylonian religious system. How? Wolves are instantly recognized predators worldwide. They are found in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Young children of every language group quickly learn about wolves and are intrigued by them. Wolves are good hunters, and they like to hunt at night. Wolf spiders live up to that name because they are also robust and agile night hunters with excellent, reflective eyesight. Satan is also an agile hunter, and he loves the darkness (1 Pet. 5:8). He is the angel of darkness, and that is where he thrives (Acts 26:18). Blessings!

 

Satan’s Religious Snare

Jesus’ final word from the cross was “tetelestai” and it should be the final word (Jn.19:30). It is translated into the English “It is finished.” These words ring just as fresh, sweet, and glorious today, as when they were spoken. God’s penalty for sin has been once and forever paid in full. Jesus Christ’s body was buried, and God the Father miraculously raised Him bodily from the dead. Christ stood up and walked out of that tomb – alive, to die no more.  He ascended back to the throne of God and was seated there. He lives today at the Father’s right hand to be a continuous Mediator – our faithful High Priest – mediating for us.  

 

These miraculous facts are all reflected in seed form in Jesus’ words “it is finished.” The final exclamation mark was added. The precious benefit of what the God-Man had achieved on the cross can only be received today by personal faith in Him and personal faith in Him alone (Eph. 2:8-9). Nothing needs to be added or removed; it has been finished.

 

The truth of this gospel of grace was unleashed and was moving through the world at amazing speed. It was being spoken throughout the world and turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6; Rom. 1:8). Satan had to act and act quickly. He had to stir the pot.  He knew of man’s prideful lust for power. Many religious works and traditions were added to the gospel. The perpetrators of these religious acts were not any worse than this writer. I am a sinner. The people involved were sinners, and they became trapped – ensnared by Satan. They could not free themselves. Satan used these people to add human works to the finished work on the cross but in humanly pleasing ways. They began to deify human beings as saints; they painted and displayed eye-appealing, heart-touching pictures of Mary holding little Jesus; they added graphic heart-wrenching images of Jesus hanging from the cross; they created the mystic worship of the Lord’s Supper, teaching that the bread and wine actually become the real body and blood of Christ. They added sacraments – visual signs reflecting that only the church could extend grace and only the priest could read and teach the Bible. And they included the worship of the rosary (prayer beads), supposedly started by St. Dominic when Mary mysteriously appeared him and asked him to pray the “hail Mary’s.”

 

All of these additions became religious traditions that strongly appeal to man’s  lusts: lust of the flesh, lust of eyes, and the pride of life (Jn. 2:16), and all quietly whispered that Christ’s death on the cross was insufficient to pay man’s sin debt.  Did I mention that wealth came pouring in? Satan knows that religious traditions, once instilled become engrained – implacable, almost impossible to lose. This became Satan’s weapon of choice. Add pride-stimulating, eye-appealing, heart-wrenching, power-enhancing works to the finished work of Christ and then make these works strongly traditional, and your snare is in place (Rom. 11:6). The result led to a landslide of religious works being added to grace – stimulating man’s pride, but nullifying grace.

 

Satan’s knowledge of man’s prideful lust for power never ceases to amaze. Stop and think!  How in this world could salvation be truly finished if it is then weighted down by human works any works. This should shout to the readers that any religious system that adds human works to Christ’s finished work – no matter how well intended – does not truly believe that Christ’s death and resurrection was enough. All of the Christian martyrs discovered that it is – it is enough – it is finished.  They protested against any added human work.  They became Protestants. These protests were at first private and quiet. But they could not help but speak. They became public and loud. How did the religious crowd respond? They shut them up! And they had to send a message. They burned and beheaded the them.

 

When the smoke from the burning martyrs settled, the church in England (the Anglican Church) had not fully made the trip. They still reflected a blend of Catholic ceremonies and Reformed teaching. But two strong groups of believers came out of the fires of the martyrs: the Puritans and the Separatists. What I know of each group comes as a result of the writings of the Puritans and studying the history of the Separatists. The Puritans were truly purified by the fires of their burning brethren. They wanted the church to change.  They became believers who – like the Reformers – had a passion to know God only through His Word. They wanted the church to reflect this passion. They were committed to Biblical scholarship, and a knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin because they believed that a knowledge of these languages could be tools to know the Bible better. Then there were the Separatists who became the first pilgrims to America. They – like the Puritans – had a hot heart to know the word but were a little less enamored with scholarship and more with knowing and doing the word (James 1:22). The Separatists wanted a simpler Christianity where the Word of God was not only revered and read but was also reflected in the life – and they longed for the freedom necessary to truly live a Christian lifestyle. It seems to this writer that they would fit more snugly in the “not wise, not strong, and not noble” category. This would have probably been my group.  Said simply, many in England had come to know God’s grace and the freedom that it brings, and because of this they also saw more clearly the malicious tyranny that can come from religion run amuck. Both groups had experienced the refreshing freedom from the penalty of sin that grace affords, and they had also witnessed with their own eyes the tyranny. Now they wanted freedom – they wanted to be really free.

 

On to America! Blessings!