Mt. 13:33 π Lk. 5:39 π Jn. 4:23-24 π 1 Cor. 5:8 π 1 Cor. 5:10 π 2 Cor. 2:10-11 π 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1 π Eph. 6:11 π 2 Tim. 2:19; 2nd π 1 Pet. 5:8 π 1 Jn. 1:5-6 π 1 Jn. 3:2-3
As was said at the very beginning, this work should not make you fear the devil and his assistants. Rather, it should stir you to vigilance, wariness and wiser resistance to his schemes. That we can overcome the devil - if we will but abide in Christ - is clearly portrayed in the New Testament. Indeed, even in our study of these Satanic entities, we have repeatedly seen that careful adherence to Christ is the way of victory over the demonic. But let us make no mistake here - our abiding in Christ Jesus is the only assurance and hope for our victory over the world and the demonic.
There are some who object to this intensive study of the dark forces arrayed against us because they say the gospel is light. Many times this objection is only a cover for darkness and stems solely from having oneís religious toes stomped on. Those who object to the truths contained in this work simply because their own idolatry has been exposed are those who prefer the veils of the demonic. Let he who has ears hear.
But there is a small portion of people who have grown weary of seeing only the sin around them. They truly hunger for real fellowship and genuine righteousness in their lives and in the lives of their brothers and sisters around them but they really have no idea how or even see any way by which to attain to the glorious light they see and adore. Because they yearn for His light, they object to this intense study of the darkness that many people practice in the name of Christ. Unfortunately, we cannot simply focus on the good side of things, refusing to look at all the religious practices which enslave us to the demonic and which prevent the life of Christ from coming forth in us and in those around us. We cannot simply hunker down and await some new practice that will produce the life of Christ in and around us. There are two reasons this is so:
First, those who would like to simply focus on Christ, the cross, the blood, the transcendence of God, etc., have the right idea but they have gotten the idea too late in their Christian lives. If, from day one of their salvation experience, they had persistently abided in Christ, this would be the correct course to take. If these had never been deceived into partaking of the cup and table of the demonic, these might be (aside from their remaining wary and resistant to the devilís devices) right in their opposition to a lengthy detailed study of the darkness practiced in Christís name. But because we are all religiously leavened (see Mt. 13:33 ; 1 Cor. 5:8 ; Lk. 5:39; top ), we must learn just how we have been deceived into serving the demonic and we must learn to recognize, forsake and overcome all the counterfeits we have routinely practiced thinking we were truly serving God. If we intend to be without spot or blemish when Christ returns to claim His bride, we must purify ourselves in preparation for that day. To do so, we must be able to correctly discern between pure substance and contaminant.
There are some who will object to the notion that we can and must purify ourselves, believing holiness and sanctification to be solely the work of God. John wrote,
And everyone who has this hope in Him [of being made like Christ when He is revealed as King and Lord] purifies himself, just as He is pure. ( 1 Jn. 3:2-3 - emphasis added)
Everyone, not just a select chosen few, must purify themselves (in Paul?s vernacular, we must depart from iniquity Ė2 Tim. 2:19; top ). This purification is the fruit that follows those who hope for eternal life in Christ. If there is no self-purification, either one is deceived and diverted from the path to eternal life or there is no real hope in their hearts for eternal life in Christ. Either way, it is a serious and dangerous condition to be in.
And Paul wrote,
Therefore, having these promises [that upon our separation from idolaters and the things of idolatry, the
LORDAlmighty will be our God and Father], beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. ( 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1 - emphasis added; top)
Cleansing ourselves from contact with all persons who practice idolatry and from all the paraphernalia, forms and practices of idolatry (among those who name the name of Christ and not those of the world - see 1 Cor. 5:10; top ) is the perfecting of holiness! And it is not Godís responsibility or place to do it! Waiting on God to do the things He has commanded us to do is either sheer ignorance or a blind denial of our responsibilities before God. If we fail to purify and cleanse ourselves in this way, it is only one more way in which we have failed, neglected or refused to depart from iniquity. ( 2 Tim. 2:19; top ).
The second reason we cannot simply focus only on the good or light side of the gospel is that we are commanded to be wary and vigilant against the tactics of the devil, steadfastly resisting against his schemes to deceive and defraud us. ( 1 Pet. 5:8 ; Eph. 6:11 ) Paul felt it necessary to overtly express his forgiveness of the sinning brother at Corinth
...lest Satan should take advantage of [Paul and the Corinthians] for [Paul was] not ignorant of [Satanís] devices. ( 2 Cor. 2:10-11; top )
Todayís Christians are exceedingly ignorant of Satanís devices and are generally lax in their attitudes about the devil and the demonic and, as a result, the demonic holds great advantage over them. Such negligent attitudes, though easily propelled too far in other directions (into fear, sensationalism, etc.) are in themselves unsafe and unwise. If we are to gain our complete liberty from all darkness, we at least need to be able to recognize the darkness when we see it.
We must remember Johnís warning:
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. ( 1 Jn. 1:5-6; top )
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. ( Jn. 4:23-24; top )
Walking in the light is not optional for the real follower of Christ - it is mandatory. Walking in the light is the only way to be Christís ekklesia, His called-out people. We have been called while imprisoned in darkness to come out of the dark world, to be separated from all darkness, to cling to Him who is light so that we might be good soldiers and citizens in His kingdom of light. There simply is no other way to attain to the eternal life He has so generously bestowed upon us - just as there is no way we can leave behind all the subtle imprisonments of darkness if the enemy has fooled us into thinking that the prison gates of the demonic are instruments of light and righteousness.
Iíd love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!