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Spiritual Warfare IV:
 
Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology

Word RTF

Question #1:

I cry out day and night for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I seem to always be surrounded by enemies. At the age of six I met Christ. I experienced pentecost in Mom and Dad's bedroom; falling prostrate on the floor amidst his presence and His audible calling of my first name. Later as a teenager I was on fire for God but continuous visits both audible and vision. Horrible looking creatures. I am now in late middle-age and out of shape, fearful, and struggling. Any words of encouragement? Visits from Demons that is. Where did I go wrong and can it be corrected?

Response #1:

Dear Friend,

Scripture says nothing about any this except in very general terms. Believers in this world are protected by the Lord from the evil one and all of his minions; demons are very limited in what they can do in regard to what you mention. I would counsel all believers to have nothing whatsoever to do with any such things. Turn your back on any and all such things and blot them out of your mind. Do not look. Do not listen. Do not entertain any such thoughts in your heart. Know that you are in control of your will, your mind and your emotions; seize that control in the power of the Spirit and blot out even any thinking about evil supernatural things which we are not meant to interact with on any level whatsoever. Pay these things no heed. Ignore them. Forget them. Annihilate them from your mind and thoughts. Cleave instead to all things good. There is no reason to fear – Jesus is in you and He will protect you.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NKJV

The best defense against all negative thoughts and influences, whatever the source, is the truth of the Word of God – think on such good things instead.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8 NKJV

If therefore you have been resurrected with Christ, seek the things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Seek the things above, not the things on earth. For you have died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

Therefore I counsel making spiritual growth through hearing and believing the truth as the only course of action whereby a Christian can gain victory in such areas.

Please see the following links:

Spiritual Warfare I

Spiritual Warfare II

Spiritual Warfare III

Demon Influences

Epignosis, Christian Epistemology, and Spiritual Growth

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #2:

Sir can I send you a copy of my experiences? Please. I could use your help.

THANKS

Response #2:

Dear Friend,

You may by all means write me back about this. However, all I know is what the scriptures have to say. Whatever our experiences may be, they will always line up with scripture, if we are interpreting them correctly. As to what you have written me before, I stand by the previous advice. When it comes to things in the past, no matter how bad our failings may be or how bad our personal suffering may have been, it is always better to "turn the page" and move forward rather than keep our focus centered behind us. The is what Paul advises, a man who had plenty to feel guilty about (persecuting the Church) and plenty to feel upset about (massive personal sufferings after coming to Christ) . . . if he had let himself do so:

(12) [It is] not that I have already gotten [what I am striving for], nor that I have already completed [my course]. Rather, I am continuing to pursue [the prize] in hopes of fully acquiring it – [this prize for whose acquisition] I was myself acquired by Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I do not consider that I have already acquired it. This one thing only [do I keep in mind]. Forgetting what lies behind me [on the course] and straining towards the [course] ahead, (14) I continue to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize to which God has called us from the beginning [of our race] in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

This is always my advice to everyone, regardless of their failings and regardless of what they have been through. We are still here on earth in order to move forward in the service of Jesus Christ. He forgives us everything (when we confess: 1Jn.1:9) and He comforts us in everything (through the Spirit: 2Cor.1:3-7). Our part is to accept that forgiveness and comfort, and begin to move forward again in spiritual growth through learning and believing and applying the truth of the Word of God from reading our Bibles, prayer, and accessing solid teaching.

Yours in Jesus Christ for whom and to whom and through whom we still live,

Bob L.

Question #3:

When Jesus was tempted by Satan, the kingdoms of the earth that Jesus was shown, was this in a vision? "...in an instant all the kingdoms of the world" Luke 4:5

If so, does this mean that Satan, being an Angel, can show people visions? How else would Jesus see the all kingdoms of the earth from one location on earth?

Also, was the dream the Pilate's wife had a warning? If Jesus came to die for sin, why would she have a warning to have nothing to do with him? Or, was this another attempt of Satan to detour Jesus from the cross?

Response #3:

Hello Friend,

On the first part, I suppose it depends on what a "vision" really is (there is much we do not yet know about these matters; see the link). The passage describes our Lord actually being shown these kingdoms and their glory (not a representation of them); the supernatural feature – in addition to the appearance of Satan – is the compression of time and space in which this viewing takes place. Angels have many powers about which we can only speculate beyond noting what scripture actually documents (as here). I think it is safe to say, since I don't know of anything else in scripture which even approximates this, that the devil was allowed to do this in our Lord's case as a particular exception (Jesus was exceptionally tested in all manner of ways, after all), but that this is probably one of those things that is not commonly allowed to the evil one and his followers. We do know for certain that there are many things that the evil one and his minions could do if allowed to do but which they do not do because they are not allowed to do so. After all, Satan had to petition the Lord to be allowed to put Job to the severe testing he received – otherwise, we have to conclude, the devil would have been prevented somehow from persecuting Job in the way he did (no doubt prevented by angelic protection and fear of the divine response for violation – the fallen angels live in terror of being cast into the Abyss: Lk.8:31).

So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2nd Kings 6:16-17 NASB

As to Pilate's wife's dream, again, we can only speculate. You may be right about the motive behind it, assuming it was a demon-induced dream. She seems to have come to the advice she gave her husband all on her own, however, and Pilate would have been wise, obviously, to have heeded it – which he tried to do (up to a point). The thing I would take away from this is that when we view things from the worldly perspective it very often seems as if the plan of God, whether for us personally or for all (as in your example) is hanging by a thread which narrowly avoids being cut at such times. In fact, of course, God has it all planned out perfectly – and by "all" I mean "all things": He is working "all things" out for the good of those who love Him, those who have been saved in Jesus Christ (Rom.8:28). Indeed, "all things" have been decreed. Not a thing has ever happened or will or ever happen or could if God had not decreed it before He created the universe, and every single thing that has or will ever happened has been decreed. This is not only complete control; this is a solid state, perfect in every way, angelic-human history already complete and completed. We are merely experiencing its playing out in real time. And one of the truly wonderful things about it is that our free will is for all that genuinely free, completely foreknown and accounted for in every aspect of this perfect plan.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11:33 NIV

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob!

Bob, when did people of the old testament learn of demons? Hope all is well. Things are well here.

P.S. How did your friend come out?

Response #4:

Very good to hear from you, my friend, and to hear that things are going well for you. I am keeping you in my prayers day by day.

It's a good question, and I'm not sure that I can give a definitive answer. But, after all, human beings have been opposed by demons from the very beginning. Eve was deceived by the prince of demons. The flood was occasioned by the plague of demons fostering a race of halflings. The Mosaic Law contains many prohibitions against having anything to do with demons and metes out terminal penalties against those who defy these rules. There are references to demons and demonic activity throughout the Old Testament, and in Jesus' day, the knowledge of demon-produced ailments was commonplace. Our picture of the history of the world from the divine perspective is limited to what we have in the Bible, so it's not possible to say much more. But I would venture that, for those who followed the Lord, this knowledge was always present for obvious reasons, namely, to know something about the enemy and the correct procedures in dealing with him and his: stay away.

Thanks for your concern. I am sorry to say that things have not improved and have passed beyond crisis point. God's help will be necessary to avert disaster – but then, that is always the case, even if in our worldly myopia toward spiritual things we sometimes forget that fact. Your prayers are most welcome, important and timely!

Confident in our Lord's deliverance and faithful protection, I'll write you back when the corner is turned.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hello Sir,

Thanks for the reply.

Things are bad here. I have experienced these opposition from Satan even before I was a Believer. Back then I thought these are "ghosts" ( I could feel there was something around). Now I know these are Demons who are troubling me. It was thousand times more difficult back then than now, because I was without God then. Since then I have only seen failure. I am not saying it was never my fault. I must be the worst sinner. But, I am getting a little impatient now, that's all. My faith is still strong. I still want to live for Him and die for Him.

On top of all this I am experiencing other major health problems.

Thank you Sir, for being there

In Him

Response #5:

Hello my friend,

I am sorry to hear that things continue to be a struggle. It's the same here (for different reasons). As Paul assures Timothy, "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2Tim.3:12 NIV). I have no doubt that the evil one and his followers are eager to trip you up. But we must always remember that "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1Jn.4:4 KJV). And as Paul assures us, "the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Rom.16:20 NIV).

I know you are carrying a lot – and through all this you are trying to live a good Christian life for Jesus Christ. I would imagine that the stress is a large part of the trouble you are having. I will certainly be praying for the Lord for your deliverance – and particularly to lighten your burden and lessen your load. May He soon do so! And may that alleviate some of these present difficulties.

Remember, my friend, Jesus has already won the victory, and we already possess that victory in Him.

Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1st John 5:4 NIV

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1st Corinthians 15:57 NIV

In the One who died that we might live forever with Him, our dear Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hello Dr. Luginbill

I pray that all is doing well with you and your ministry.

Can you pray for me that the Lord protect me from Devil worshipers. I keep finding dead animals in front of my door, such as dead rats or dead squirrels with their stomachs gutted. And just the same day when I pulled out my wallet to get some money, I came across a dollar bill with the numbers "666" where the word "God" as in "In God we trust" would have been. It seems as if this "curse" is trying to get to me through the spirits that are operating. Pray that the Fear of Almighty God destroy the works of the wicked.

God Bless you and your ministry,

Response #6:

I keep you in my prayers every day and will certainly pray for your protection – thanks so much for yours (they are very needful of late).

As to the dollar bill, I wouldn't pay that any mind – the world is full of idiots.

As to the other disturbing things you mention, if someone is involved in physically harassing you in this way, my advice is to take pictures and call the police. Whatever the motive, this was done by someone, it is illegal, and it is potentially very dangerous.

Document (pictures) and call the authorities.

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord.

Bob L.

Question #7:

Can you tell me about evil thoughts and does Satan listen to them?

Response #7:

Gaining mastery over our thinking is not an overnight thing. It takes spiritual maturity to get there – so again, therefore, spiritual growth is the key to all things:

(21) [For you have learned the truth] – if, at any rate, you have truly heard Him (i.e., Jesus) and have been instructed in Him according to what is [definitely] true in Jesus – (22) that in respect to your previous behavior you have put off the old Man, the one that is being destroyed by deceptive lusts, (23) and that instead you are being re-made in the spirit of your mind, (24) and that you have put on the new Man, the one created in righteousness and sanctity of the truth according to God's standards.
Ephesians 4:22-24

This "renewal" to which we are called is essentially a reprogramming through the truth of our inner thinking accomplished by feeding our hearts with the truth and believing it with the aid of the Spirit, and then systematically turning our backs on "bad thinking". This can only be done, as the verses above suggest, as a process of growing in the truth through which we (and our thinking) is "remade".

As to the evil one, he is very powerful and he does has a very large number of evil followers, seen and unseen, but he is not God – far from it! He does not have the power to read your mind. However, it is well to consider that any person who could look in on secretly you for a few days and watch carefully everything you do and say and how you react to the things you interact with could tell an awful lot about your personal predispositions, strengths and weaknesses – many of which are of course common to all human beings. Satan has been at this a long time and he and his followers are very experienced in "intelligence gathering" and in crafting clever "operations" based on what they have learned. I am sure they can read these emails, e.g. Blessedly, the way we fight this spiritual warfare is not with flesh and blood tools but with the spiritual weapons the Lord generously supplies: the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the truth, the teaching of that truth through ministries dedicated to that proposition, the encouragement of other believers and prayer on their behalf, etc. And since God is for us, no one can stand against us . . . as long as we trust Him and follow Him closely instead of the world or our fears and other emotions. Here are a few additional links on this:

Spiritual Warfare I

Spiritual Warfare II

Spiritual Warfare III

Demon Influences

Demon Possession (in SR #4)

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #8:

I'm scared of me not worrying about this, and of my cold hearted moments.

Response #8:

If you are scared of not worrying, it seems to me that by definition you are indeed concerned, and this is a positive thing. Just as we never have to worry about the fact that the Lord will protect us from any an all demonic assault, so we never have to be scared or worried that God will not address our sin and sinfulness energetically enough (in case we are concerned that we are not being hard enough on ourselves, for instance): He is our loving Father and He disciplines "every son whom receives" with exactly the right amount of corrective punishment (Heb.12:1ff.). If you are concerned about where your heart is and anxious to make it more responsive to the Lord, that is a wonderful ambition (and will give you an increasing confidence and sense of security in the realm of spiritual warfare as well), but it is accomplished in the same way everything positive is accomplished in the Christian life, namely, through the process of spiritual growth. As in Paul's prayer to the Ephesians (shared last time), truth is the issue. The more we decide to respond to the truth, listening to it, believing it and applying it to our lives, the "softer" our hearts become towards God even as we walk closer with the Lord Jesus day by day; on the other hand, the less we have to do with the truth, the harder our hearts are likely to become day by day until even that truth we had stored there before begins to evaporate:

"I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away."
Luke 19:26 NIV

So my "R/x" for your worries is the same as what I have been saying all along: get moving in the process of spiritual growth. Be more aggressive in your Bible reading, your prayer life, your accessing of a good teaching ministry (I am happy to welcome you to everything Ichthys has to offer), your systematic believing in, meditating on, and applying that Bible truth to your life. This is the road forward and the solution to all such concerns. On the other hand, neurosing and fretting about these things won't do much good because what you need is the proper "ammunition" to fight this fight. The Holy Spirit will help you, but 1) He aids your positive decisions and actions (i.e., He doesn't make them for you), and 2) we limit His range of help when we limit ourselves through an insufficiency of truth stored in our hearts (truth is the Spirit's fulcrum, so to speak). Just as we became Christians through responding to the Spirit's witness to the truth of the gospel, so we grow and become more confident as Christians through responding to the Spirit's witness to the truth of all the doctrines in the Bible – but that will not happen if we are not putting ourselves in a position to learn these truths, believe them, and follow through on them.

Yours in the One who died for all of our sins that we might have eternal life with Him, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Thank you again, your ministry of sharing God's Word and the Knowledge of God's Word you share with others is a Blessing. In Luke I believe chpt.9:33 the legions went into the pigs. Did the demon spirits drown or survive ? It never really goes into any further info about that. I sent your e-mail off to my friends so they can enjoy reading about Crown. Blessings

Response #9:

On the demons and the swine, please see the link. Demons cannot drown, or apparently be damaged in any way. But they can be thrown into the lake of fire (as will happen at the end of history), and they can be plunged into the Abyss in the meantime – the very thing that they were afraid of on this occasion (Lk.8:31). So why did they want to go into the pigs? As the link says, demons are desirous of occupying physical bodies, even if only of swine. There are apparently limitations on their opportunities for such possession, and so they are loath to give up any material "foothold", so to speak. Their ability to "do their job" for the evil one is also apparently hindered by being "out" instead of "in". So they were motivated to make the request they made – but it didn't turn out the way they expected.

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hello Sir,

What you are saying is very true. You will be amazed that being a north Indian I was actually born in south India in a small town and remained there for many years. There were a lot of "Christians" there. I went to a convent school. My very own bench mate was a "Christian". But Sir, they were all following a religion called Christianity. They were all either Christians by birth rather than born again Christians, or converts from one religion to Christian "religion" with the help of certain rituals (water Baptism just one of them). My very own neighbor suffering from some illness was converted to Christianity (I think he called himself a protestant). Missionaries told him that he had a demon inside him, and if he became a Christian that demon will go (sounds good if you become a genuine Christian by faith in the person and work of Christ). These missionaries use to beat him with belt and shoes. "Converting" was the worst thing I could think of when I was in South. My parents were in Egypt for one Year then they moved to North India to their birthplace. It was in some year ago in a hospital in north India where I was hospitalized. There with great fear (because my parents never wanted me to ask) I had asked a question to a "Christian" Nurse (Roman Catholic), "Are there evil spirits or am I mad?" It was she and a Pastor who gave me the Bible. She had marked the verse Luke.11:24-26. I was about to die there in that hospital. But now I know that I had to live. That pastor there, claimed he saw Jesus face to face. I begged him that want to see Jesus too, and I pestered him so much that he got tired of my curiosity to see Jesus and said "ok I will pray for that to happen" then he prayed and said you will see Him in your dreams tonight. I never saw anything, but the next morning for the first time in my life I started reading the Bible. And eventually I saw Jesus with the eyes of my faith. And the questions I had about the Bible lead me to your website.

I am sorry this has become lengthy, and I can still go on for days! I will stop here.

I will be praying for your deliverance!

In Him,

Response #10:

Your testimony is fascinating – although of course it always saddens me to hear of missionaries acting badly. In my country there is a tendency to idolize them. Certainly, those who are genuinely doing the hard work of the kingdom of God in a good and righteous and godly way will have wonderful rewards from the Lord on that Day, but I suppose it is silly to imagine that they are better disposed to the truth than most of the rest of Laodicea just because of this career choice. It is a noble calling, so is the pastorate (1Tim.3:1), but that hasn't keep the vast majority of those who are supposed to be leading churches from abandoning the study and teaching of the Word of God. As your experience shows, anyone with a little common sense will see immediately that this sort of behavior doesn't come from God. And there is a sense in which the false and dangerous emphasis in the church-visible generally today on demons and demon possession and exorcism has been fed by these sorts of individuals: whenever I hear about abuses or doctrinal error in this respect, there always seems to be some story about possession and throwing out demons coming from some mission field (whether India, or somewhere in Africa or Asia, or even Native American reservations in this country). Yes there are demons, and, yes, they do possess unbelievers from time to time. But on the one hand the actual instances of discernible possession are greatly outnumbered by the claims of the same; and on the other hand our ability to deal with these things as believers is limited now to interceding with the Lord – and giving the gospel to those who may be receptive. There is little that is more spiritually dangerous than "going beyond what is written" when it comes to the issues of the occult generally and demons and demon possession in particular (1Cor.4:6).

Thanks again for your powerful and encouraging testimony! The power is always in the Word of God. That is the "flashlight" the Spirit uses to illuminate this dark world and lead us closer to seeing Jesus and walking with Him.

. . . You too would do well to pay the closest attention to this [prophetically inspired Word], just as to a lamp shining in a dark place (cf. Ps.119:105), until the day dawns, and the Morning Star rises (i.e. the Living Word, Jesus Christ, returns and illuminates the world with His glory) . . .
2nd Peter 1:19

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Why does Satan make it his business or concern to temp and try believers? Is he trying to prove that he deserves another chance and that God was a hard on him?

Response #11:

Satan is reacting to God's process of replacing him. Satan sees what God is doing and tries to stop Him. Satan sees who belongs to the Lord and tries to destroy them. Blessedly, Satan cannot stop God, and Satan cannot do anything to any of us that God does not allow. Sometimes God does allow severe testing, but only for our actual and absolute good. That is a very important lesson for all believers to keep in mind. Few things are worse than when we whine "Why me, God?" or even go so far as to blame God for our suffering. This sort of behavior (common as it is and understandable as it is – from the worldly perspective) just demonstrates that a) we are not as spiritually advanced as we should be or b) we are not applying the truth we say we believe as effectively as we could and should.

Question #12:

I want to say thank you for sharing with me about Steven Hawking. It was and still is a big help. Could you now share something about this Sam? Thank you.

Prominent atheist and UCLA-educated neuroscientist Sam Harris slammed National Health Institute director Francis Collins in his latest podcast, pointing out the doctor’s continued allegiance to Christian teachings despite his extensive background in the sciences.

According to Raw Story, Harris began by criticizing the continued proliferation of religious doctrines among young people, issuing a harsh denunciation especially of the notion of Hell and eternal punishment. Harris said, "There are people who have really been terrorized by their parents, and people who terrorize their kids with a fear of hell, for instance. I hear from people who their entire life — they’re in their 40s and they’re only now just coming out of the prison of having spent their entire lives being afraid of being tortured (for) an eternity by Satan. This is in the 21st century, in the United States." The neuroscientist then continued his critique against "sophisticated nuanced people" who, despite their intelligence and education, continue to embrace religious teachings. Sam Harris used accomplished doctor Francis Collins as an example. "Now, this is not to say that people don’t have great experiences that they want to capture in religious language. But when you look at someone like Francis Collins, who is running the NIH, who is a medical geneticist and obviously a very smart guy who has made real contributions to science — but he is also a bit of a Bible-thumper, he’s an evangelical Christian," Harris said. "He believes in evolution, thankfully, but he also believes that immortal souls and free will were just downloaded onto the hard drive of only one species of primate at some point in history by an almighty God," Harris added. Sam Harris has been dubbed by members of the secularist circles as one of the "four horsemen of new atheism," joining ranks with other prominent atheists, such as biologist Richard Dawkins, journalist Christopher Hitchens, and philosopher Daniel Dennett. His book, The End of Faith, has been described as one of the most essential atheism literatures of the modern-day era. Before taking the boss job at the National Institute of Health, Collins was the former head of the Human Genome Project. Aside from his work in medicine and genetics, Collins has also dabbled on matters of religion and spirituality, having authored the New York Times bestseller Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence Of Belief. Collins has not yet responded to Harris’ opinions on his beliefs. Collins has been vocal about his Christian views before to other secularists. In an interview with Bill Maher, Dr. Collins attempted to reconcile his beliefs in Jesus with his scientific work.

Response #12:

Always good to hear from you.

You are very welcome. I posted the bit about Hawking; I will give you some input here, but first let me give you that link as well some other links on atheism generally:

Atheism and Gnosticism: Denying the Truth about God

Confronting Atheism

Proving the Existence of God

Unbelief and its Consequences

Dealing with Atheism in the family

*Atheism: Putting Truth to Death

There are a couple of points I always try to make when discussing this issue, and they certainly seem to be applicable here as well. The first is that atheists are liars. The Bible teaches us very clearly that God has put the essential desire and ability to know about eternity into the hearts of all people (Eccl.3:11); and since He has written the truth about Himself very distinctly throughout the entire creation in a way that cannot be reasonably denied (Ps.19:1ff.), those who refuse to acknowledge Him will be without any excuse at the last judgment (Rom.1:18-32).

Secondly, in order to embrace any form of untruth (whether paganism or atheism, e.g.), the truth must first be rejected. That is to say, these people once did realize that there was a God who made everything, but have deliberately blotted that truth out of their hearts; this process is called "hardening the heart" in scripture (see the link).

Thirdly, it is also sadly true that once truth is rejected and some form of the devil's anti-truth accepted, negative things begin to happen to the individuals who do the rejecting, and the more severe the rejection, the more severe the consequences. The result is that people get wrapped up in the devil's system of lies, with atheism being one of the more "advanced" conditions of the spiritual degeneration which comes from embracing the devil's system (see the link for a brief discussion; there are more links on this at the most recent email posting about atheism). In the passage in Romans quoted above (Rom.1:18-32), Paul focuses on only two very visible types of the resulting spiritual darkness, paganism and homosexuality – because these were the most prominent examples of anti-God unbeliever behavior evident in Paul's day. But of course atheism is really little different from paganism or ancient philosophical speculation; instead of an idol or a philosophy, proponents merely embrace "science" with a blind faith that would put most Christians to shame.

Finally, one other thing that comes through very loud and clear in the passage you have included here is the phenomenon that I have encountered regarding all types of anti-God behavior (and visible in Satan's original rebellion as well). That is the ridiculous but emotionally satisfying idea that if enough people go along with your lie then it will become the truth. Or to view the matter from the flip-side, the equally ridiculous notion that God might punish one person but that He would not dare or be able to punish millions. The former expression is that of the modern day atheist movement; the latter of Satan in instigating his rebellion. The only real difference between these two approaches is that the devil and company are not physically able to convince themselves that God does not exist (since He is visible to them), so instead they have convinced themselves that He is not really God – in the sense of being truly righteous, truly omniscient, truly merciful . . . and truly able to carry out everything He has planned and promised to do. Otherwise to revolt would have been insane – and in fact it was a type of insanity, albeit fully culpable insanity (the Satanic Rebellion series discusses these matters at length) – just as atheism is also a sort of self-induced insanity. For what is insanity at its sore except refusing to believe the truth that is staring you in the face?

Atheists, however, along with all other human beings, have been given "plausible deniability" by the Lord regarding all things spiritual and therefore physically invisible. That is to say, we cannot reasonably deny from observing the world and from what is in our hearts that God not only exists but that He is good in every way . . . and this should lead us to Him (Acts 17:27ff.). But He is also a God who (deliberately) "hides Himself" (Is.45:15), so that we have to make that connection through acting on faith. If He did it any other way, there would be no free will to choose (for or against Him), and this whole exercise of human history would be pointless. As it is, there is every point to choosing for Christ in faith and choosing against the lies of the world and its evil ruler. Atheists, however, not wanting a relationship with God on His terms (of grace through faith), wanting instead to be gods unto themselves, have decided that they will kick God out of His universe by refusing even to acknowledge His existence. That is a height of arrogance that only the most hardened of human beings (and angelic beings) ever reach – and verges on insanity. But the idea that if enough people can be convinced that this lie is the truth it will then become the truth indeed is the height of folly and of the madness which arrogance induces. As I say, it takes much more faith to believe that there is no God than to believe the truth, but being an advocate for that lie is a sure sign that the person in question is (for all practical purposes) in league with the devil. Here are a few related links:

Didn't the devil know he couldn't defeat God?

Is the devil "mad" to oppose God?

Satan's Revolt

War in Heaven I

War in Heaven II

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the truth itself,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Thank you for this information it has helped me to fully understand now. I have another question. I was pondering on something today about how we are to do what is right according to the word. But can you help out where does say the things that are wrong and sin becomes in what they see is right or ok. You know when sin seems ok to do by the world and the right in God is condemned by the world. You know what I mean? I know I could do some research on it but for now I'm studying on healing and walk in the Power of Gods words and promises. Thanks

Response #13:

The world lies in the devil's grasp. So it is not surprising that they who are of the world seek to redefine the truth and replace it with their own lies. That has been the devil's strategy from the beginning as the father of lies (Jn.8:44). There is much written at Ichthys about this (the entire Satanic Rebellion series, for example). Here are some other links which deal with this topic:

Satan's lies and Atheism

Satan's Tactical Doctrine (in SR 4)

Satan's System of Propaganda (in BB 2A)

The three satanic lies (in BB 3A)

Progression of the three lies (in CT 3A)

The three lies at the last judgment (in CT 6)

Synopsis of the three satanic lies

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hey Bob,

I don't know if you are aware of the typical parody of a man 'selling his soul' and 'doing a deal with the devil', as is often the case in TV shows which feature faith-based elements in them or cartoons. I wanted to ask if such a thing were even possible? Is it possible to do something like that or will a person always be saved if they are a believer, or say, become a believer after such an attempt? My theory is that such a 'transaction' just is not possible, or at least permanent, and would like to know if this is indeed the case.

Response #14:

You are exactly correct. Nothing like this is possible. For one thing, there is no "soul" in the sense of a "thing" that has independent existence (see the link); secondly, the devil has only ever been said to have bargained with anyone when he tempted our Lord Jesus – and of course this was a unique situation and really a temptation rather than a "bargain" since it is doubtful that the devil could have if he would have or would have if he could have delivered up the world even in the impossible hypothetical of our Lord's acquiescence. Thirdly, we are not deemed worthy of this effort by the devil; he has his system already in place (as the SR series explains), and has no need of making deals in order to get people to follow their sin natures and plunge headlong in the various worldly pursuits and systems of lies he has laboriously constructed. Fourthly, there is a limit to what fallen angels are allowed to do: I seriously doubt if at present the demons are allowed to appear to anyone (though I hear that claim often enough), and that visible appearance would be necessary for any such "dealing". Fifthly, as you point out, the devil has no ability to "take a soul/spirit" and we have no authority to hand it over. Satan does not rule hell – he is merely headed there like everyone else who makes the "bad bargain" he has made in putting their own free will above responding to the gracious offer of salvation through faith in Christ. Those who do accept eternal life through faith are saved and the evil one cannot touch them in the sense of affecting their salvation; only by failing to respond to the Lord (or foolishly casting aside faith after believing) is anyone lost. It's all about our relationship with the Lord; there is no such thing as a relationship, transactional or otherwise, with the devil. This is the stuff of popular fiction (though it does go back a long way: i.e., the legend of Faust which seems to have medieval origins). The best thing Christians can do is to stay away from anything satanic or reputedly diabolical in any way, to include giving credence to such fairy-tales.

Here are some links:

The role of the Occult in Satan's World System (in SR 4)

Paganism, Idolatry, Mythology and the Occult

Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I

Witchcraft

Demon Influences

Demon Possession (in SR #4)

The Demon Possessed Girl in Acts 16:16.

Necromancy

Exorcism

Drugs and Witchcraft

Politics and Society

The Witch of Endor 

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Thank you!

I am now convinced after my stern and, at times very difficult walk with The Lord that we're all surrounded with demons.

Have you ever heard from someone about what the secular attempts at personal change sound like in their head? They all describe it as "thoughts" that just crop up the moment they decide for any real and positive good(for The Lord, generally, like whether or not to read a Bible). I've noticed this is also true with earthly Christians. That helps explain the extreme, almost paganistic lifestyle of modern American believers and the obviousness of this Laodicean era we are almost through with.

It's crazy, but I'm starting to understand the Apostles claim of our war being against the spirits and not the "physical" world we see.

It hurts to suffer like this, but it's good to literally feel the truth, not just simply know it.

I can't stop reading your stuff, bless you, Doctor.

Response #15:

You are very welcome. Yes indeed. It is important not to rationalize away the invisible dimension of our spiritual warfare (e.g., Eph.6:11-12). On the other hand, we cannot in fact see these things and we are not to become involved with them directly; our job is to persevere through the "shot and shell" in spiritual growth, progress and production, and leave the "air support" to the Lord. Please see the link: "Spiritual Warfare II".

Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Good day Sir,

I hope my mail meets you well and I pray that the Lord will continue to keep and uphold you as He is to me and my family.

My question is on Witchcraft. Here in Africa, every ill occurrences will be attributed to a witch's doing or wizards.

Is there anything you have written on this on your site that will enlightens me more?

Thanks in anticipation for your reply.

Response #16:

Superstition is prevalent everywhere in the world – it just takes on different forms depending on the culture. It is ironic that almost everyone who turns away from the true God inevitable settles for some sort of "belief" in false things of a supernatural nature (even "materialists" tend to be superstitious in fact, just putting a "scientific" spin on their false attributions). In fact, of course, any genuine extra-natural actions, whether perceived as either "good or bad", which do not come from God come from the evil one instead (and there is much about this at Ichthys as you know; e.g., the Satanic Rebellion series).

Here are a couple of other links you may find helpful (they will take you to many others as well):

Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic in the Bible

Spiritual Warfare I

Spiritual Warfare II

Spiritual Warfare III

Religion and the Occult in Satan's System

Thanks so much for your prayers, my friend! I am keeping you and yours in my prayers too day by day.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.
 

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