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The traditional view of Satan’s work on earth has depicted him whispering over our shoulders and talking us into doing bad things that we really want to do anyway. He’s the CEO of hell, and causes havoc on the earth. Meanwhile God wrings his hands as he runs around frantically trying to minimize the devil’s work, and trying to patch up the damage.

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Welcome to the most unpopular subject in the world: suffering. This part (7) of my series may be a little more popular than the rest, since even in our “enlightened” age people are fascinated with the devil. On one occasion I was witnessing in the street when one young woman hissed in my face, “I don’t believe in God-I believe in the devil!”. She was perhaps speaking for many other people who prefer the darker side of life.

Part 7-itself divided in two-is necessarily devilishly long: I’m sorry. Please scroll down to get the gist of it if you wish.

In this part of my edited and re-written series, based on Biblical scriptures, I consider whether and to what extent the devil and his angels contribute to our problems in life. Unbelievers and also some believers will find the subject difficult to take seriously: I say ignore spiritual opposition at your own peril.

There’s no question, Biblically speaking, that our most threatening enemy in life is the devil, along with his accomplices:

“Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

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BIG-PICTURE REALITY

In contrast to that age-old image I noted above, when you really get stuck into relevant Bible passages, and when you look around and use a little logic, you see that there are no battles directly between God and Satan. The very few battles between Satan and his angels and God’s faithful angels are brief and have an unavoidable outcome of defeat for Satan. However, the fascinating and provocative reality is that God not only spares Satan and the other fallen angels but actually uses them. I’m not teaching a Yin-Yang type of theology here, in which good and evil are two sides of the same coin: they are not.

What I’m saying is that God is the almighty ruler and sustainer of all things, so that he can even find a use for those who rebel against Him. There’s no waste with God. Satan is on a chain , and one day that chain will be pulled in. You discover In Scripture-if you’re honest-that God is totally supreme and indisputably in control. Here are three illustrations from scripture of God’s total supremacy over Satan:

1: When God judged the earth by Flood because humanity had become so corrupt and violent (Genesis chapters 6 and 7) there was no attempt by Satan to stop the Lord from sending judgment: in fact he was nowhere to be seen.

2: When Jesus dealt with demons during his earthly ministry his power over them was unhindered, so that they feared that their time was up:

“What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Matthew 8:29 NIV).

3: The fate of the devil and his followers is already sealed, and it’s one of eternal punishment (Matthew 25:41).

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GOD USES SATAN AND HIS FALLEN ANGELS

Contrary to our culture’s centuries-old belief that Satan causes trouble on earth while God fights back and attempts to minimize it, and that he’s down there in hell overseeing the punishment of the lost, the Bible makes clear that God uses Satan to send testing and suffering, and that Satan’s independent desire to see us suffer (and be sure that it is intense) is allowed or encouraged within God’s plan to test, discipline, shape, punish or judge unbelievers and believers. Here are some examples:

When the Spirit of God left Saul because as king he was serving himself and not God, we’re told that “an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him” (1 Samuel 16:14).

God searched for a spirit to entice Ahab into defeat and death. Micah said:

I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him…and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab….?’ “Then a spirit came  forward…I will go out and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets…’ And he (the Lord) said ‘You are to entice him, and you will succeed; go out and do so’ (1 Kings 22:19-23).

In the New Testament, we see that at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4: 1-11). It’s important to see that “Jesus was led by the Spirit…to be tempted by the devil”: It was the will of God that Jesus be tested.

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Paul realized that in order to keep him from becoming conceited by his close experiences with God a physical ailment was given to him by God (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). God sent “a messenger of Satan” with the ailment. Paul prayed three times for healing and God refused.

The work of Jesus Christ on the earth reveals God’s supremacy. As noted above, the demons he dealt with were well aware that they were destined for torment at his hands. However, we can easily see that they were not being tormented then: they were released to continue their existence and their activities on the earth. They will not be dealt with permanently until after the coming Millennium (Revelation 20:10-14).

Perhaps the absolute clincher in the argument that God gives permission to Satan to cause suffering is found in Revelation. Apart from the fact that God allows the devil to persecute believers to the death (Revelation 6:11) we also read that Satan will be released from his future prison, for a brief time, in order to deceive the nations:

“And when the thousand years were ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth…” (Revelation 20:7,8).

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Wow-is God helping the devil to do evil? No, God is using the devil to do the Lord’s work. Is God really the ultimate “baddy” and the ultimate trouble maker? No, God wants to test our hearts: do we love God, or are we in opposition to him? Satan is a tool that God uses to do the testing.

GOD PUTS A LIMIT ON OUR SUFFERINGS

When Satan wanted to put Job’s faith to the test, he had to first get the Lord’s permission to do so (Job 1:9-12, and 2:4-6). God put a limit on what Satan was allowed to do in order to test Job, and he said to Satan “Very well then, he is in your hands, but you must spare his life” (2:6).

We naturally think that God should have put a much greater limit on Job’s sufferings and on our own: take that up with the Lord. However, even if we die at the hands of evil men through persecution, there’s an end to suffering:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul (Matthew 10:28 KJV).

Thanks to all of you who’ve read this far. You did well, and I didn’t ask for any money, did I! The rest of part 7 on spiritual opposition will appear on Wednesday at 4:30AM PST Don’t miss it!

 

FAUX: THE NEW REAL

In my higgorance and naivety I’ve fallen for the fancy synonym for “fake” too many times, and in this case, once is too many times…

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All kinds of things are advertised as being “faux” these days, the word being paraded as though “faux” were something chic, valuable and amazingly desirable. And of course many things are fake without giving any such warning as the four-letter “f” word in my title.

We have fake leather, fake wood, fake flowers, fake glass and fake metal. Fake organs, fake fruit, chocolate, leather, tans, news, scientists, hair, teeth, nails, boobs, men, women, trees, pottery, religion, healing, prophets, apostles, Republicans, beggars, music, promises, names, I.D., money…and the list goes on for as long as you can list anything pertaining to human beings.

The first five readers who’ve read this far will receive a Ferrari…

…but not a real one.

Good news, dear people! Now that we’ve finally rid our world of those awful and arbitrary gender designations (see note 1 below) we will be moving ahead with further ground-breaking changes…

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Dear citizens, Our Wonderful Person has announced a new alteration to our language, formerly known in Dark Days, days of colonialism, bigotry and Trumpism, as “English”.

Our Wonderful Person wants us to remove a certain rancorous and disgusting three-letter word from permitted vocabulary due to highly offensive specificity and exclusivity. An ugly, sadistic sequence of letters, an offense around us, begins with a “t”, quickly progresses without shame to an “h”, and then abruptly ends itself with an “e”, offering no apology whatsoever. Oh, expression is almost TOO HORRIBLE TO CONTEMPLATE! Expression makes OUR WONDERFUL PERSON FEEL SICK! Expression makes me WANT TO DIE! AAAAAGH! OH NO…! I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!! GET RID OF EXPRESSION…NOW!!!!!!

I apologize for emotion, dear people. I will duly punish myself.

Our Wonderful Person also wishes me to announce further forthcoming revisions for which we must all prepare or face consequences. Since a certain expression discussed above transgresses our new and glorious Book of Permitted Vocabulary, so others with similarity will soon be extricated from daily use. Here they are, though I am SICK AND DISGUSTED TO USE THEM OR EVEN MENTION THEM…

“It”…”in”…”on”…”under”…”at”.

UGH! OH NO!! THEY ARE JUST TOO HATEFUL AND DISGUSTING!! GET RID OF THEM!!! NOW!!!!

Ahem…

There is one more expression, or perhaps more…or less (depending how many you believe there are) to be dealt with around a very near future, according to Our Wonderful Person. An expression known as (gulp) “word”. Yes, good people, I’ve used a expression twice-give or take a few times-through my report, and for them I sincerely apologize. BUT BELIEVE ME: A PROFOUND NECESSITY OVERTOOK ME!

An above “w” expression (you know, “w…o…r…d”) must soon be removed from our books (and even our lips and our minds, dear people) since such an expression discriminates greatly against non-w…o…r…d expressions.

Around a place we will use far more inclusive and less stereotypical expressions, such as “ugh”; “hmm”, or “grr”. Our Glorious Book of Permitted Vocabulary will now be filled with happy, positive, loving and inclusive “ughs”: a far more earth-friendly, citizen-friendly prospect.

NOTE 1

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4043394/First-ze-Mr-Mrs-BANNED-Oxford-University-tells-colleges-remove-gender-specific-titles.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/05/colleges-trend-toward-gender-neutral-pronouns/71780214/

 

 

For you people around the world who are searching for truth-and there are many millions, here’s the second part of my original post on the gospel of Jesus Christ…

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THE ONLY GOSPEL

New Testament scriptures in the Bible plainly state over and over that there is no other gospel, no other “good news,” plan or story which can bridge the gap between a holy, perfect, eternal God and humanity. That’s a very politically incorrect statement to make these days, but then, the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been politically incorrect: Jesus himself died for making such claims.
No matter how many people wish to put all the world’s religions into a melting pot so as to produce some weak insipid mixture intended to make everyone happy (which is impossible anyway) such thinking is in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches, and a God who really cares about you will ensure that real truth cannot be diluted or changed.
You would be making a huge and illogical mistake if you loosely associated yourself with Christ and yet accepted the notion that all “paths”, all religions and philosophies, lead to the same God, or to the same spiritual destination. How can there be one God and at the same time no God, ten gods, and a million gods? It takes an arrogant determination to avoid logic and reason to believe such a thing.
In order to demonstrate the singularity of the message of Jesus and the early Church which has been passed down to us, I want to quote a few verses from the Bible. By reading them you can at least be aware of what the God of the Bible teaches.
God said:
“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
“I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11).
“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44: 6).
Jesus said:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
“All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers….I am the gate: whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:8-9).
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
“If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8: 24).
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
Peter said:
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
To the Galatians Paul wrote:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all” (i.e. NOT good news! Galatians 1:6-7).
Then he wrote:
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (verse 8).
ALL SCRIPTURE QUOTES ARE FROM THE NIV. Copyright 1984 by International Bible Society

 

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the famous scientists many are trusting in for guidance to their chosen eternal abode (i.e. nowhere) recently stated that Trump, by rejecting the Paris accords on climate change, is single-handedly likely to turn earth into another Venus, “…with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees (Celcius) and raining sulphuric acid” (NOTE 1).

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The great prof has also made it clear repeatedly that mankind must leave earth very soon in order to survive the cataclysm about to overtake us. Probably only those genetically perfect specimens would be included. That excludes him…and me. Hmm, it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…

My God already has a plan to put our world right, but the prof. isn’t interested: see Revelation for details.

One of the ironies of all this is that this very day Mike Pence, fulfilling Trump’s executive order made a few days ago, reopened the National Space Council, abolished in 1993. Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot stated:

“The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole” (2).

Pence declared that the intention to re-create the council is space exploration:

“Here, from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars,” Pence said.

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“Today, I come to assure you, the men and women of NASA, and all those at this gateway to the stars, where the aspirations of the American people have taken flight, that under President Donald Trump, America will lead in space once again,” he said (3).

Just as many had become convinced-and still are-that Trump was going to start a nuclear war (but not before slaughtering all colored people, women, Muslims and gays, and not before banning all immigration) so many are also convinced that if we don’t give our liberal politicians and their chosen scientists all our money, and if we don’t stop breathing and breeding, and if we don’t stop eating, we’re going to all be fried-or drowned-within a century. Dissenters, including many scientists, are shut out of the discussion, ignored and labelled “flat-earthers” and far worse-in the usual “tolerant”, loving, inclusive manner of today’s extreme liberals and socialists. Only they are intelligent, intellectual, educated, caring and level-headed. They hate (verb intended) the rest of us-ignorant, gross, crass, white stupid Trump-voters that we are. Anyway, I think I have the perfect solution to all our differences.

The solution was first noted in a spoof science-fiction novel called “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, written by Brit. Douglas Adams. His intention was not to sort out liberal-conservative issues, or any political issue, because he wrote in the good old days when literature could be non-political, and we could all just have a laugh without the need for sarcasm, slander and hatred.

In Adam’s novel there existed a planet called Golgafrincham, where some decided it was time to get rid of a third of the population who had proven to be totally non-productive and obnoxious. So they concocted a story that the planet would shortly be destroyed in a great catastrophe, and they planned a planet-wide evacuation in three space-ships. The non-productive third of the population were to “go on ahead” in the first of the three ships. In reality, the other two-thirds of the people stayed behind and enjoyed a quiet, productive life without the leeches.

By now you may know where I’m going with this. Perhaps (and Trump may well be one step ahead of us all-he may have read the book)…perhaps we could similarly “send ahead” those convinced that we’re going to fry, and those misleading the population with tales of evolution from nothing to nothing and earth turning into Venus, and all the politicians who want us to hand over our money and our food and our vehicles, to Mars, or any destination of their liking. I’ll stay here.

NOTES

1 Hawking http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/02/stephen-hawking-says-donald-trump-risks-turning-earth-venus/

2 https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-statement-on-national-space-council

3 http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-mike-pence-nasa-kennedy-space-center-20170705-story.html

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