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02 November 2012

Spiritual Warfare - November 2

Jesus spoke to His disciples about Satan’s workings. In the parable of the tares (weeds that look very similar to wheat), He told of a farmer that planted wheat. That very night, the enemy came through the same field and planted tares. Both the good and the bad seeds grew.

Why didn’t the farmer just get rid of the weeds? For those of us who garden, the answer is simple: when you remove a weed, there’s a danger that you will also remove a good plant. The farmer was wise because he knew that it would be easy to separate the wheat from the tares at harvest.

And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. Matt 13:36-43 (ESV)

Jesus makes it clear that our enemy is the devil and HE is the one who sowed the tares, and the tares are those who follow him.

There are only two sides: good and evil, represented by God and Satan. Each person will be sent to one place: heaven or hell based on one decision – faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

Through the ages, men have tried to make the devil into a cute cartoon character and a pithy saying. The devil never makes you do something. He does, however, put temptation in your path and you choose whether or not to follow his lead.

Mankind also wants to have temporal pleasures as well as heaven, but we can’t “have our cake and eat it too”. If we are not doing our best, with Christ’s help, to walk the Christian path, we deceive ourselves. Satan loves to tell us that we can do what we want and worry about our salvation later. The fact is that you don’t know when God has decided you will die. Going through life thinking that you can have a deathbed conversion is foolish.

If you listen to popular television, you’ll be bombarded with the message that there is more than one way to heaven. This is a lie from the pit itself! It’s another way that Satan is working as a deceiver. We also see churches that tell us that some portions of the Bible are irrelevant in our society because it was “different then”. We also hear that God is loving, so sins like homosexuality, elders who are openly living in sin, divorce for reasons other than sexual infidelity and so forth will all be forgiven. Love wins – the idea that good works and good intentions will bring us to heaven is completely wrong. God can and will forgive us, but the key is that we must REPENT and turn from our sins.

Satan is sneaky. He brings us glamor, glitter, temporary happiness, great feelings … and ultimately, death. We need to know who our enemy is so that we can fight him.

We are not the first generation to deal with Satan and his lies.  Jesus talked sternly to the religious leaders of His time because they didn’t want to hear the truth.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 (ESV)

Satan is a liar and a murderer. He is the father of all lies. He is the serpent that deceived Eve, and one day he will be thrown down. He is our enemy. He will do everything he can to get you to question God’s word, question your faith, question your walk, question your marriage. He will destroy you if you allow him to.

Satan cannot be ignored; however, we don’t need to live in fear of him. God gives us everything we need to defend ourselves against Satan. Next week we will begin to learn about the defenses God has given us.

May your weekend be blessed.

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