Rev 12:8 And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.
If we do not understand and BELIEVE that people are “spirits” and that we are continually interacting with a “spiritual” dimension/world, then we will be constantly manipulated like puppets on a string.
They can beg and they can plead
But they can't see the light (that's right)
'Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
Is always Mister Right
'Cause we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
Material Girl by Madonna
I remember volunteering at a Union Gospel Mission when I was a young man and I distinctly remember the director telling me, “We believe that all our problems are basically spiritual.” After many years of experience, I can confirm the truth of this statement.
Once we recognize the fact that we are spirits, which inhabit physical bodies in a physical universe, there are really no boundaries or limitations to what we can accomplish or achieve.
Mar 9:23 And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth.
Unfortunately, we have a spiritual enemy that is doing everything in his power to keep us ignorant of who we are, and of what we are capable of achieving. In order for Satan and his followers (demons and sorcerers) to keep us in physical bondage, they MUST keep us ignorant of our spiritual identity, and keep us focused on our physical wants and material desires…and Satan is very good at overwhelming us with material desires.
The modus operandi of Satan has always been to keep humanity ignorant and enslaved …to the material world.
2Co 11:19 For because you are wise, you put up with foolish people gladly!
2Co 11:20 For you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone is presumptious toward you, if someone strikes you in the face. Lexham English Bible.
The Apostle Paul is being sarcastic to the Corinthians…they were practicing a fake humility, allowing false brethren to take advantage of them, while also overlooking the grossest and most flagrant sins. Does it remind you of any Churches today?
Modern Church denominations are full of sorcerers and false brethren, usually in the Church hierarchy, who are diligently working to keep Christians under bondage to lust and materialism, and to keep people subject to their denomination’s control. The more people lust after material things, the more they believe they need to earn (with money) their way to heaven.
Jesus tells His disciples an interesting parable about BIRDS in the kingdom of God.
Mat 13:4 and while he was sowing, some seed fell on the side of the path, and the BIRDS came and DEVOURED it.
1) to consume by eating, to eat up, devour
1a) of birds
1b) of a dragon
1c) of a man eating up the little book
2a) to devour, i.e. squander, waste: substance
2b) to devour, i.e. forcibly appropriate: widows’ property
2c) to strip one of his goods
1c1) to ruin (by the infliction of injuries)
Jesus’ disciples approached Him privately and asked Him to tell them what the parable meant.
Mat 13:19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the EVIL ONE comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown on the side of the path.
Jesus tells his disciples that the BIRDS are the EVIL ONE coming to take away their understanding of the WORD. These BIRDS are continually attempting to cause confusion, and prevent us from understanding our true spiritual identity and our perfect liberty in Jesus Christ. These BIRDS were operating in Jesus’ day, and they are still operating in the Church today.
Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye DEVOUR (katesthio) widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
These BIRDS are very good at putting on a show of religiosity, but their motives are usually plain to anybody with any spiritual maturity or common sense…THEY LOVE MONEY!
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
I am not lumping all clergy into the, “they only want your money” camp. There are plenty of good ministers, who are godly, and conscientious, and who work ceaselessly to promote the true gospel of Jesus Christ. However, I also believe they are becoming a distinct minority, if you find a good one stick with them. There are far too many clergy men and clergy women who want to work their way up their denomination’s hierarchy, who only want to enhance their own material position, and build up their own wealth producing “ministry” organization.
Mat 13:31 He put before them another parable, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
Mat 13:32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it is grown it is larger than the garden herbs and becomes a tree, so that the BIRDS of the sky come and nest in its branches."
We see that Jesus told His disciples that the EVIL ONE (people/spirits) would enter into the Church, and would make themselves at home in its branches. These BIRDS were showing up in the early Church, even when the New Testament Church was just barely getting started.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking PERVERSE THINGS, to draw away disciples after them.
PERVERSE THINGS: G1294, diastrephō
1) to distort, turn aside
1a) to oppose, plot against the saving purposes and plans of God
2) to turn aside from the right path, to pervert, corrupt
The Apostle Paul prophesied that wolves would enter the Church after he was gone, and that they would preach a perverted gospel that would actually oppose the plans of God.
The more I study the New Testament, the more I realize that focusing on, and lusting after, “perverse things” is a gross perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1Jn 2:15 Have no love for the world or for the things which are in the world. If any man has love for the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 Because everything in the world, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world and its desires is coming to an end: but he who does God's pleasure is living for ever. 1965 The Bible in Basic English.
You may ask yourself, “What does God want from us?”
Joh 4:23 But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth. Contemporary English Version.
Seeketh such to worship Him (τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν)
A rather peculiar construction. Literally, seeketh such as those worshipping him: as His worshippers. Such: i.e., those who worship in spirit and in truth, and are therefore REAL (ἀληθινοὶ) worshippers of the REAL God (ἀληθινὸν Θεὸν).
If we will contemplate what Jesus tells the Samaritan woman, we cannot help but be repelled, along with Jesus Christ himself, by the extravagance and the materialism of our modern age.
Rev 3:17 You claim to be rich and successful and to have everything you need. But you don't know how bad off you are. You are pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Contemporary English Version.
Many modern Christians have ceased seeking intimacy with God, and instead spend all their free time seeking material wealth and worldly success. I guess each one of us must determine for ourselves whether we believe it is a fair exchange. I keep wondering what might happen if the average Christian spent as much time seeking God as they spend seeking material goods and objects? I guess we can only imagine!
Isa 35:1 The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands.
Isa 35:2 The desert will sing and shout for joy; it will be as beautiful as the Lebanon Mountains and as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the LORD's splendor, see his greatness and power.
Isa 35:3 Give strength to hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness.
Isa 35:4 Tell everyone who is discouraged, "Be strong and don't be afraid! God is coming to your rescue, coming to punish your enemies."
Isa 35:5 The blind will be able to see, and the deaf will hear.
Isa 35:6 The lame will leap and dance, and those who cannot speak will shout for joy. Streams of water will flow through the desert;
Isa 35:7 the burning sand will become a lake, and dry land will be filled with springs. Where jackals used to live, marsh grass and reeds will grow.
Isa 35:8 There will be a highway there, called "The Road of Holiness." No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it.
Isa 35:9 No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way. Those whom the LORD has rescued will travel home by that road.
Isa 35:10 They will reach Jerusalem with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief. The Good News Bible.
I believe in the near future, all of mankind must make the decision whether they want God or whether they want the world, the Bible makes it clear that we all must pass through this “valley of decision”.
Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
I also believe that a vast amount of wealth will be transferred to many Christians for the last day harvest of souls, and this massive wealth will become a trap if they are not focused diligently on the LORD and His spiritual objectives, NOT their own temporary physical pleasures.
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Mat 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
It is so very important that we are faithful stewards over what God has given us, and we also must remember that this world is only a TEMPORARY home! We will be rewarded or PUNISHED depending upon how well we use the wealth, abilities, and resources that God entrusts to us.
Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We must always remember that there is something far, far better waiting for us if we remain faithful to the LORD and His final objective:
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.