Class Notes: 10/10/2012

Satan uses his deceptive propaganda to hinder believers in every aspect of God's plan for their lives

In our study of Satan's deceptive propaganda in the invisible war we are presently discussing God's instructions that inform us on how we are to deal with Satan's schemes in 1Pet 5:8-9;

Last time we saw the command in 1Peter 5:8; "Be sober and alert" "Sober" means to have a stabilized mentality; to maintain a balanced attitude in which doctrine controls the mind. It means to look at life from the standpoint of divine viewpoint that comes from God's Word.

The second part of the command is to "be vigilant or alert". Believers can only be vigilant or alert by understanding the invisible situation from their knowledge of God's word. We must be on alert because our adversary, our enemy the devil, keeps on walking about as a roaring lion and keeps on seeking whom he may devour."

The lion's roar paralyzes his victim with fear like deer in the headlights. This is exactly what Satan does. Satan's objective is to immobilize believers with fear and then devour them. He devours believers who are functioning in mental attitude sins of anxiety, fear, worry or pride because the sin immobilizes them. 2Tim 3:6;NKJV

When this occurs the believer converts the outside pressure of adversity into the inside pressure of stress in the soul and the sin nature takes over control of the soul. Stress in the soul results in self-fragmentation, polarized fragmentation, the eight stages of reversionism, and Christian moral and immoral degeneracy.

1Pet 5:9; goes on to command us to "stand against him", strong in doctrine." The Greek word translated "strong", "steadfast" or "solid" is "stereoi". It is the word used to describe the Macedonian phalanx.

Historians tell us that in the days of Alexander the Great, the Macedonians had pikes, about twenty-four feet long, with large iron points on the ends. As the Macedonians formed in sixteen wide rows, they would level these pikes as the command, to march into battle was given and they simply walked through the opposing army unhindered.

We resist the devil by being solid in the doctrine and we advance knowing and believing and trusting the immutable promises, doctrines and rationales of God's Word.

When Satan succeeds in persuading us to disregard the Word of God, his next objective is to tempt us to bypass the will of God. There are three general categories of divine will. His viewpoint will or what He wants us to think; His operational will or what He wants us to do; and His geographical will or where He wants us to be.

The case of Adam and the woman in the garden was an example of Satan's strategy of deception of corrupting the believer's viewpoint; so we will now consider two passages that address the devil's strategy of hindering the operational and geographical will of God in the life of the believer.

Gal 5:7; You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? The Galatian believers are pictured as starting out in a race. At first, they are running well; they have a good stride and are advancing; they are out in front in their spiritual life.

The Greek word translated "prevent' in the NET is "egkopto" that means to hinder or impede in a foot race it used to describe one who has cut in on a runner and broken his stride.

In other words, "Who broke your stride that you should not obey the truth?" It is the strategy of the devil to break your stride in your spiritual walk by moving in on you with the objective of bumping you out of the operational will of God.

In Eph 5:18; we are commanded to be habitually filled with the Spirit; and in Eph 5:16; to take advantage of the time. We take advantage of the time by "understanding what the will of the Lord is" Eph. 5:17; through knowledge of doctrine.

We are filled with the Spirit simply by acknowledging any known sin 1John 1:9; when necessary. When we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we are in stride; Gal 5:16; but when there is quenching of the Spirit through the production of human good; 1Thes. 5:19; or grieving of the Spirit through personal sinning; Eph. 4:30;, then our stride is broken.

At that point we are hindered or impeded. Gal 5:7; Anything that that we do that is contrary to the will of God as revealed in the Word of God breaks our stride. When our stride is broken we are out of the operational will of God.

In another category of his strategy, Satan seeks to hinder or prevent believers from being in the geographical will of God. 1Thes 2:18;

We see here that Satan hindered and actually prevented Paul from traveling for the purpose of evangelism and teaching God's Word. We do not have the details of Satan's hindrance but this verse informs us that Satan is in the business of keeping believers from reaching the proper geographical location.

Satan also hinders our occupation with Christ by influencing us into getting our focus off of Christ and on to the details of life that results in our focus being on self, things or other people rather than Christ.

We are focused on ourselves when we are discouraged and filled with self-pity. Elijah was and example of this in 1Kings 19:10 when he said, " I am the only one left; and now they want to kill me"

The Corinthian believers who were filled with self-righteous arrogance were also self-absorbed 1Cor 1:11; because contention and strife is rooted in self-absorption. James 4:1-3;

In Matt 26:33; Peter in arrogant complacency said in effect, "Lord, I agree with You, the other disciples are cowards; but I am brave; I will stand by You: I will die for You rather than betray You." But when the pressure was on later that evening fearing for his life he denied the Lord three times and then ran away because of his self-absorbed remorse and guilt.

The devil's objective is to encourage Christians to move into the area of egocentricity where they are motivated from self-absorption and pride rather than the filling of the Spirit and Bible Doctrine.

Pride hinders believers because it motivates believers to do a right thing in a wrong way. For example, most people would agree that it is "good" to give money to the local church. It is difficult to find someone who would be critical of giving but it is possible to give and be absolutely wrong in your giving because of improper motivation.

Giving in a wrong way would include giving grudgingly or under pressure 2Cor. 9:7; or giving for the purpose of receiving recognition Acts 5:1-10;. God looks at the thought pattern. He does not look at the act of giving or at the amount that is given. If the incentive is wrong, the giving is wrong, regardless of the amount. The issue before God is the motivation that one has when the gift is made.

Pride may take the form of trying to "keep up with the Joneses", or attempting to show everyone that you are just as good as anyone else, or some other activity to stimulate the ego.

The point is that you can perform some deed that is considered admirable and good from both the human and divine viewpoints, but when you do it in a wrong way all Divine good is cancelled.

Pride feeds false motivation into the thinking that is often what encourages some people to help out in the local church. But if that is their motivation they are going to be shocked when they stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ expecting a good reward and instead, they will see only a big bonfire because their works were human good.

All their good works are burned because God classified them as the wood, hay and straw of 1Cor. 3:12; because they were performed in the energy of the flesh from the wrong motivation.

God is perfect and righteous so He cannot tolerate the relative goodness of human good. He is not impressed with anything man does apart from the filling of the Spirit and his Word. The works of imperfect man do not measure up to the perfect work of Christ on the cross. Isa 64:6;

This means that when you witness, pray, give to the church or do any other good works under the control of the old sin nature, it is human good and unacceptable to God; but if it is done under the control of the Holy Spirit, it is divine good and will receive a reward.

This means that in our function in the invisible conflict between God and Satan not only involves good versus evil, but good versus good. This means that the devil often receives a lot of assistance from preachers who feed the congregation's ego instead of teaching doctrine. It is the pastor's responsibility to contribute to the building up of God's people by giving them the Word so that they understand how to have proper motivation.

When he fails to do so, the deluded believer begins to live for the approbation of those in the local church. He becomes ambitious to be in a place of leadership and to be highly regarded. It is not necessary for a pastor to compliment people because this can also contribute to the false motivation of trying to please people.

The only thing the pastor should be teaching is doctrine because doctrine is the power of God and the only power that is sufficient for the production of Divine Good is the Filling of the Holy Spirit and Doctrine.

This is why believers are commanded to "Do everything you do "as unto the Lord" 1Cor.10:31; Col. 3:17; If you can't give as unto the Lord, don't give. If you cannot serve as unto the Lord, don't serve. If your participation is for the objective of pleasing someone else, forget about it.

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