A Tactic of Satan – Stealing Time

As I have worked and studied over the last 19 years as a child of God, that is, as one who has believed in Jesus Christ, I have come to realize a few things about how Satan works. Some of the things I realized were monumental in their implications. Others, not so much. But, all are significant in that Satan uses them to ensnare men in such ways as to keep man from ever coming to the truth.

The evidence of Satan’s strategy is contained in the point the Lord Jesus Christ made about the wide gate and broad way versus the strait gate and narrow way:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Moreover, if someone does come to the truth and believes the Gospel, then Satan has a set of tactics to render them impotent for spreading the truth they have found. Since Satan is the father of lies and a deceiver, the tactics he has are almost endless. It really doesn’t matter to him if one tactic seems to conflict with another tactic he uses (or even if it actually does conflict), because the point of his working is to keep man from the truth. In this, we must ever remember that Satan hates man, because man is made in the image of the LORD God, and Satan hates the LORD God. Hence, we must remember that Satan is continually trying to overthrow the LORD God.

Yes, Satan was cast out from being one of the covering cherubs beside the throne of God. Yes, we can be assured that Satan knows he cannot overthrow the LORD by force:

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (Luke 10:17-18)

However, if he can prove the LORD God unrighteous…

Thus, he tries that very strategy — to prove the LORD God unrighteous. All he has to do is succeed once, and he has won.  Nevertheless, we can rest assured: He won’t win. He can’t, because he cannot really understand what it means to be omniscient and to love equity. The LORD God LOVES equity and is omniscient. Hence, the LORD God is, and will remain righteous. ((Loving equity is loving righteousness, as righteousness is defined in Scripture as being ‘equal in all your ways.’ For an understanding of that, you are encouraged to read Appendix A: Righteousness, which discusses righteousness and what it is by the definition of Scripture.))

Nevertheless, Satan works to win. His greatest effort is on this earth, among men. At once and the same time, Satan wants man to worship him (being narcissistic he really wants man to worship him), but he hates man and wants to utterly destroy him because man is made in the image of God. These are two entirely contradictory goals.

As an aside, did you ever notice that tyrants and dictators behave exactly the same way as Satan? They to want the worship of those under them, but they also destroy those under them in a totally arbitrary fashion. In a tyranny and dictatorship, no one is safe. Someone may be the favorite of the tyrant one day, and be killed the next for little to no reason.

So it is with Satan.

Nevertheless, Satan obviously believes that the more men he can get to “turn away” from the truth, the stronger his case against the LORD. Hence, he has several tactics that he uses in his strategy against the LORD. All are directed at man:

  1. False religion
  2. Focus on knowledge
  3. Focus on self
  4. Focus on a “significant other”
  5. Focus on things
  6. Stealing time

Now, we should understand that all the above fall under the auspices of the three things set forth in I John, chapter 2:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:15-16)

And Satan, by right of conquest:

And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:2-8)

Is therefore the god of this world:

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:3-4)

We must remember that Satan doesn’t care what you do, so long as you never come to the truth. The reason this works as a strategy is because the default end of man is destruction in Hell, and we have only our time on earth to come to the truth:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: … (Hebrews 9:27)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)

Because every single person on earth requires salvation and justification before God, there is a built in advantage for Satan in his efforts to destroy the LORD God by man:

Each and every person on earth has a limited time to come to the truth and be justified before God by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes we, each and every one, only have X amount of time. Our time is limited — and Satan knows that all too well.

Thus, Satan sets about to steal your time and mine — and he uses everything in the world to do it.

You see, we cannot recover our time. Once it is gone, it is gone — for good. This makes what we choose to spend our time on, exceedingly important. If Satan can get us bound up in dealing with this thing, and then with that thing, then we will never spend the time necessary to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We will never take the time to really try to understand what the LORD God is asking of us and requiring of us. We must understand that the LORD requires that we love the truth, and that we are willing to sacrifice for the truth. That is one of the points raised in Hebrews 11:6:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

This takes time. Satan knows this. Therefore, if he can, Satan will get the unbeliever wrapped up in everything in the world so that they have no time at all to learn anything about the LORD God and the salvation offered through the Lord Jesus Christ. After all, Satan doesn’t care what you believe, so long as you never come to the truth.

For the believer, Satan wishes to get them tied up in everyday, mundane, but oh so necessary things, so that they never bear the fruit the LORD is desiring of them. They don’t learn beyond salvation. They can’t witness and tell others. They can’t explain salvation, because they don’t know it well enough to do so. This is the point the Lord Jesus Christ made to Martha when she fussed about her sister Mary:

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)

Martha was letting her time be stolen from her. Here she had a once in a lifetime (indeed, once in all history) opportunity to be taught directly by the LORD Himself — and she was stuck on the mundane, everyday things. She was throwing away a golden opportunity.

Why?

Because the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was only three (3) years. That is all. If she throws it away because she is hung up on being a good hostess… what shall we say to that?

REALLY? Yes, really. It really was more important to Martha to be a good hostess, than to sit and learn at the feet of the LORD.

Nevermind she has the rest of her life to be a good hostess to everyone that enters her house. She could drop it just this once for the wonderful opportunity to be taught by the LORD Himself.

But because she is just like the rest of us, she only sees the necessity of the duties of this life, and misses the necessity of the duties of eternal life. She is letting her precious time be stolen from her because her focus is entirely wrong.

Thus, Satan is successful. Why? Because it never appears that his hand is in it. Because it appears as a necessity of life and the culture we live in. It certainly was for Martha. Culturally, she could not forsake being a good hostess. That would be bad form. What would people say? Oh, can’t have it that people are whispering that Martha was a bad host when Jesus came to her house.

So she had to do it — and miss the teaching at the feet of the LORD Himself. You know, it strikes me that the Lord Jesus didn’t care. He would rather have her being taught too. She can be a good hostess at some other time. Not being a good hostess just this once is not going to kill her, or her reputation.

Nevertheless, we think just like Martha. We have things in this life that “have to be done” and they cannot be shirked.

You know, if you face eternity tomorrow, it won’t make one whit’s worth of difference for this world — and Satan will have succeeded. But it will make every difference in eternity for you.

Don’t allow Satan and the system he has set up in this world, to steal your time.




The Origin of Sin – briefly stated

While doing research on what various Christian denominations and groups believe about the origin of sin, I ran across the following article “Where Did Sin Come From?” which explored the question of the origin of sin. The summation of the article did not answer the question at all, but left the reader with the following questions:

To answer our question, ‘Where did sin come from?’, we make the following conclusions:

1. Although Lucifer spawned the first sin, he was not the creator of the concept of sin.
2. The concept of sin has always been known to the all-knowing God.
3. Sin exists because—either it is a created concept of God brought about by God’s decrees, or, it has always co-existed as the eternal antithesis of everything that God is.
4. Sin could only experientially exist because, although God cannot sin, He made creatures who could.

I could not bear it, and emailed the webmaster with the following question:

Who wrote this nonsense? Give me a name please.

And listed the questions above. I then finished with the following statement:

This evidences a complete and total lack of understanding. Whoever wrote this, missed the mark.

The gentleman who wrote it answered back, and was gracious (considering my initial contact email) and stated that I had contested, but gave no reasons for disagreement. Moreover, he would be glad to address my concerns.

Fair enough. After all, had he been less than gracious, I would have deserved it. I thanked him for being gracious, and sent the following reply:


Sin has a cause, and that is transgression, which is brought about because of iniquity:

And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. (Jeremiah 33:8)

Iniquity leads to transgression, which immediately results in sin.

Iniquity is the property of being unequal in any of one’s ways:

Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  (Ezekiel 18:29-31)

When the LORD states that the ways of the people of Israel are unequal, and He then calls them to turn so iniquity will not be their ruin, He is defining what iniquity is. To help in our understanding, we can use the analogy of a math equation (which is an equality):

In thinking about equations: If we introduce into it any element that makes it unequal, what are our chances of making it equal if we don’t realize what we did? What are our chances of actually realizing we introduced an inequality? Moreover, if our understanding is not accurate because we perceive the equation wrongly (unequally — that is, not as it actually is), what are our chances of self-correction?

When a mistake is made working an equation, generally the person does not realize they erred, else they stop immediately and correct the error. However, the divergence with righteousness and iniquity here is that once a thought exists, it cannot be unthought or taken back. Since it is that the LORD judges the thoughts of the heart, once Lucifer had that one thought of being more glorious that the LORD on the throne, he committed an iniquity. Due to the very nature of inequality, he could not go back, nor find his way back.Because of this iniquity, pride arose, and Satan viewed himself to be better than the LORD God in numerous ways. Hence, he rebelled.

Now to look at righteousness: Being righteous is being equal in all one’s ways (which only the LORD God is):

Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.  (Psalms 98:9)

Here, like in Ezekiel, the LORD defines another term. Only in this case, it is righteousness. Putting the two together: Righteousness is the property of being equal in ALL one’s ways, and iniquity is the property of being unequal in ANY of one’s ways. It is of necessity true that if righteousness requires for all ways to be equal, that being (or becoming) unequal in any of one’s ways, means that one has iniquity. Moreover, like the math equation, being unequal in one part, spreads to every other part — and it grows.

Once one cannot perceive correctly because of being unequal (iniquity), the determination of what is the right thing to do is clouded and misperceived. It is easy to see then how we can transgress the bounds if we have difficulty perceiving where the bounds are. As soon as we transgress, we have missed the mark (sinned).

Briefly, to answer the final points you put forth in the article:

To answer our question, ‘Where did sin come from?’, we make the following conclusions: [My answers are in square brackets — italics for the web]

1. Although Lucifer spawned the first sin, he was not the creator of the concept of sin. [There is no “concept of sin.” Sin is not a concept. Rather, is a direct result of transgression (which is exceeding the bounds – thus missing the mark), which is brought about because of iniquity. Satan exercised iniquity because he thought in his heart that he was better than the LORD sitting on the throne he was covering (the descriptions of both the LORD and Satan are in the Scriptures, and that difference is significant). The “problem” is that the LORD gave both angels and men freewill and the ability to judge, but they were not given omniscience. Hence, perception and understanding were limited. Satan lost sight of who created him and gave him all that he had. To man, Satan is beyond genius. But he lost sight of the fact that he was GIVEN that. Just like his beauty and musical ability, his intelligence was given him by the LORD God. However, once he lost sight of that, it was a mere thought of the heart to become unequal – which slipped him into iniquity. Now Satan can never return from that, but only gets more and more unequal over time.]

2. The concept of sin has always been known to the all-knowing God. [No, the fact that creatures with free-will and the ability to judge, yet not having omniscience would have the potential to slip into iniquity, was known to the LORD God. Nevertheless, He chose to create them that way, and would deal with the consequences. The LORD God already knew what those consequences were, but He desired to create beings that would love Him of their own volition. The very nature of free-will, combined with the ability to judge, creates a situation in which the potential for iniquity exists. However, for love to be genuine, the will must be free, and to actually choose freely, one must be able to judge independently – that is, of oneself, given the facts to make a determination.]

3. Sin exists because—either it is a created concept of God brought about by God’s decrees, or, it has always co-existed as the eternal antithesis of everything that God is. [This is a false choice. We are to choose between the LORD God being the ultimate author of sin, or the core of Taoism? This is expressly man’s view, which lacks understanding of iniquity and righteousness.]

4. Sin could only experientially exist because, although God cannot sin, He made creatures who could. [Here you are closest to being right, but answer no questions. You would have to explain what you mean by “He made creatures who could.” How, and in what way?]

You are getting the essence of the doctrine. This is by no means extensive in addressing the ramifications of iniquity. But, it should briefly explain where sin came from. Of course, if you are of Calvinist or Reformed persuasion, you will likely reject everything I say.

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis




The Unbelievable Ignorance of Dan Savage

The is a rather large bruhaha over the remarks of one Dan Savage, who, in an incredible moment of rank hypocrisy, attacked the Scripture (and thus the LORD God who is the Author of it) at a journalism conference. Mr. Savage is supposed to be the leader of an anti-bullying organization, but when students walked out on him for his remarks about the Scripture, he rather hypocritically bullied them.

According to the CNN report the following is what Mr. Savage stated:

Columnist and gay-rights advocate Dan Savage is standing by his comment that “we can learn to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible about gay people” at a recent conference for high school students, a line that prompted some to walk out and spurred intense online debate. ((Columnist Dan Savage stands by comments on ‘bulls**t in the Bible’))

When some of the students walked out, the following is what came next:

Some Christian students walked out of the Seattle speech, prompting another controversial line from Savage: “It’s funny to someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansya**ed people react when you push back.” ((Ibid))

The problem here is that “anti-bullying” as defined by Dan Savage is not about opposing and preventing all forms of bullying. Rather, it is about preventing anti-gay or anti-homosexual bullying. Hence, it is unsurprising that the veneer disappeared for a few moments and the true feelings of Mr. Savage came out. What it also reveals is the incredible ignorance of Dan Savage when it comes to the Scripture. However, we should not be surprised by this ignorance as the vast majority of individuals are ignorant of the Scripture. Sadly, this includes an awful lot of Christians.

Does the Scripture condemn the “gay lifestyle?”

Absolutely. Beyond question, for one to engage in homosexual behavior is to engage in that which is an abomination to the LORD God.

What Mr. Savage and others have failed to do, is ask “Why?”

  1. Why does the LORD God so vehemently condemn homosexual behavior?
  2. Why did the LORD God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for that sin?
  3. As a matter of fact, why has the LORD God destroyed every single society that has turned that way throughout history?

All it takes to understand why, is a little bit of reason. Think about it for just a moment: What is homosexual behavior?

Now, what if every single person on the earth engaged in that behavior. Just where would the next generation come from?

The short answer is: There would be no “next generation.” Within one generation man would be extinct – gone forever.

Do you even want to guess where the encouragement for homosexual behavior comes from?

Try Satan.

Why?

Because he hates man. He hates man because man is made in the image of God, and he is not. He hates man because man will judge the angels — of which he (albeit fallen) is. And, if he can get man to destroy himself, he can thwart the plan and purpose of the LORD God — thus making the LORD “unrighteous” and himself the “victor.” All at the expense of man.

Does this mean that those deceived by Satan are guiltless? Not hardly. Each of us are solely responsible for the choices we make. We are under no compulsion to believe Satan’s lies about who and what we are.

If we forget that we are involved in a spiritual war, we will not understand what is happening and why. Unfortunately for Dan Savage, being raised Catholic did not help him (not that being raised anything else would have particularly helped him – you do have to want to know the truth), as Catholics do not, as a rule, read the Scripture. In fact, the Catholic Church does not encourage any reading of the Scripture. Moreover, like most denominations, Catholics are not taught to reason about what the Scriptures state. Rather, they are taught to just “have faith and believe.”

Hence, in all Mr. Savage’s experience he has never been exposed to any real truth about the Scripture, and never been encouraged and challenged about what the Scripture states and why. In short, he is an excellent tool for the Devil.

However, that is not the end of it: It is also apparent Mr. Savage cannot reason out the end of his behavior and see the destructive nature of it. It is quite apparent that Mr. Savage does not know how to be decent, and pen anything suitable for any mind, let alone young, impressionable minds. The utter vulgarity Dan Savage uses is corrupting of society and debasing of everyone who reads his words or hears his voice. Without having to actually read what he writes, or hear his voice, just a basic search of the internet and you will get a very clear understanding of how vile and vulgar this person is. Moreover, for someone who is supposed to be “anti-bullying,” he does enough of it for two or three individuals in his attacks on Rick Santorum.

In all, it truly is unbelievable how ignorant (and willfully so) Dan Savage is. If he weren’t so bent on remaining ignorant, perhaps he could see how the LORD God desires to save him from himself (just like the LORD has to save each of us from ourselves), and save him from an eternity of suffering in the Lake of Fire.




An Interesting Conclusion

While working on responses to the claims of  the Calvinist/Reformed that the Scripture supports their doctrine that (for unknown reasons) God picked and choose, in eternity past, who would be saved and who would be condemned without regard to any criteria, I happened to again examine the heading to one section of their “evidence” from Scripture and it struck me as to what was wrong with it. Now, it is very plain that the Calvinist/Reformed adherents engage in a lot of presumption and frame statements and challenges in such a way as to lead one to an inevitable conclusion. In short, they bias any answering by the very way the statement or challenge is framed. However, the framing of statements in this way is not without it’s problems, as the following statement demonstrates. Below a brief statement is made that I am certain is meant to say that when “God” determines that someone will believe, they will believe. However, it does not turn out quite that way when seriously examined.

God is sovereign over unbelief. John 12:37-41; 10:26 Romans 9:18-19; 11:7-8, 25, 32 Matthew 13:11-17; 24:22 Mark 4:10-13 1 Peter 2:8 Proverbs 16:4 Jude 4

Before starting to examine the above statement, there are a couple of brief definitions which are required to be understood:

sovereign ((Definition taken from Dictionary.com)) sov·er·eign [sov-rin, sov-er-in, suhv-] –noun 1. a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler. 2. a person who has sovereign power or authority. 3. a group or body of persons or a state having sovereign authority. –adjective 5. belonging to or characteristic of a sovereign or sovereignty;  royal. 6. having supreme rank, power, or authority. 7. supreme; preeminent; indisputable: a sovereign right. unbelief ((ibid)) un·be·lief [uhn-bi-leef] –noun the state or quality of not believing; incredulity or skepticism, especially in matters of doctrine or religious faith.

Knowing then the above definitions, we should also perceive that by Biblical standards, the definition for “unbelief” falls a bit short in that it does not address the issue of the truth at all as the following verse demonstrates:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Hence, “unbelief” in the Biblical sense is to not believe the truth, or to believe a lie. After all, if you are not believing the truth, you are believing a lie — there is no middle ground. Thus, in the Calvinist/Reformed view: “God” rules over the non-acceptance of that which is valid and true (the holding to a lie). “God” rules over (is sovereign over) the lie. Since Calvinist/Reformed adherents also believe that “God” is the first cause of everything, it follows that the Calvinist “God” is the first cause of the lie. Hence, the Calvinist/Reformed god is the father of lies. To which the Scripture answers:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Which means that the Calvinist/Reformed god could not be the LORD God of the Bible, as the LORD God wants EVERYONE to abide in the truth. But, the Calvinist/Reformed god only wants certain people to abide in the truth, and everyone else he holds in unbelief, not allowing them to come to the truth. I John 8:44 above, the Lord Jesus Christ plainly identifies who that god is: the Devil or Satan – the father of lies. The sad fact is, even the “truth” the Devil wants those individuals to come to, isn’t the truth at all, but a cleverly crafted deceit, designed to keep them from ever coming to the actual truth.




If Hell is Real . . . – Part 1

This lesson is now located on the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Audio and Messages page, and at the direct link:
If Hell is Real . . . – Part 1

This lesson is an apologetic addressing the heresy of Universalism which teaches that there is no place called “Hell” and that everyone will ultimately be reconciled to the LORD God. The lesson begins to address the arguments put forth in the article “Honest Questions and Answers about Hell” by Mercy Aiken and Gary Amirault of Tentmaker Ministries in Missouri.




The Accuser of the Brethren

There are a number of subjects in the Scripture that bear study outside of the typical subjects that most Bible studies concentrate on, one of which is who the Devil, or Satan is, and how he operates. This is not done to glorify him, but is rather like studying the tactics, strategy and capabilities of an adversary. Granted, we cannot withstand the attacks of Satan by ourselves, but require the protection of our LORD and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, by  the Holy Ghost which is sent from the Father at the express petition of the Lord Jesus Christ. Were it not for this protection, we would be swept away and taken like the rest of the world. In short, we have no defense against the Devil outside of Christ.

However, a study of who the Devil is and how he operates is not supposed to give us a defense, but rather is to give us an understanding of events as to how and why they occur, so that we might be stronger in faith, greater in discernment, and better able to know what we ought to do in a given situation. After all, the Scripture does provide considerable information about who the Devil is, what he does, and how he chooses to do it.

There is a context to everything. That fact ought to be understood by all, but is frequently not, as we tend to want to think of things in isolation, unconnected with everything else. The reason for this is that it makes things much easier to understand. While that is true with quite a few things, it is manifestly not true with everything. It is much like discussing the subject of color and what it is. This being the case, it is convenient to use the illustration of a discussion on color to understand how knowing and understanding context is so utterly important and essential for a more full and accurate understanding of our existence. Additionally, it will assist us in understanding how it relates to the actions of Satan with regard to us, and the LORD who created us. With that, let’s examine the property of color and see how our understanding of it relates to context and the importance of context.

To begin, most individuals will tell you that color is a result of reflected light off an object that the light shines on. Hence, the color of the object is the frequency of the light that the object reflects, absorbing to a greater or lesser extent all other frequencies of visible light. This is true. But, it does not even begin to express the full extent of the property of color and what that property is. Neither does it give us an accurate context in which to examine how color is generated in the first place. However, if the context of an individual’s understanding of the property of color is only the frequency of  the light the object reflects, then one is missing a rather significant aspect of the property of color, and certain things pertaining to color will ever remain a mystery.

The reality is that the physical property of color is inherent in the substance or object. We can understand this by understanding how light is generated in the first place. We can generate light by the simple application of energy to an atom, causing the electrons in the outer shell to jump to the next higher energy level. When the electrons drop back to their normal energy level, they give off that excess energy as photons of light at a given frequency. This frequency the photons are imparted with translates to either visible or invisible light. However, since we cannot see invisible light, we will restrict ourselves to the discussion of visible light as that is where we perceive color.

Since the property of color is directly tied to a specific frequency of light in a certain narrow spectrum, we then can determine which substance will produce what specific color based upon the frequency(ies) the substance imparts to the photons of light as its electrons produce them while dropping back to their normal energy levels. However, that is only part of the equation, as we also perceive color in objects and substances that are not having excess (relatively speaking) energy applied to them. While true, this statement does not take into account that energy is being constantly applied to everything we see. It is much like the person who reads the standard air pressure gauge, thinking that 0 PSI on the gauge means there is no air pressure present. The reason for this is the implicit assumption that normal air pressure is 0 PSI. Hence, it is a perception that is not true, yet nonetheless there. If it were that no air pressure were present, then there would be no atmosphere, no air present at all. Hence, what the standard air pressure gauge reads is the difference between approximately 14.7 PSI and whatever pressure is present at the port of the gauge. This distinction is not insignificant.

Even so, there is energy from various sources constantly being applied to every substance we can see. Because that energy is being applied, there is a resultant response from the atoms, and thus electrons of those atoms, which reveal various properties of the substances, one of which is color. The mere fact that light shines upon a substance means that energy is being applied to it, and one of the ways it responds is by displaying the property of color. Hence, an object that has the property of absorbing all luminescent energy applied to it properly appears as black. An object that reflects all light energy applied to it appears as white (pure white light being all colors in the visible light frequencies combined), and any substance that allows all luminescent energy to pass through it, absorbing and reflecting none, appears colorless.

Now, all that discussion should illustrate how our understanding of the property of color was seriously restricted and hindered because the context of our understanding of color (as merely being a result of reflected light) was limited. Hence, a much truer understanding of color comes from obtaining the proper context in which to view the property of color. This expanded context would now enable us to begin to determine how to produce, and not merely observe color.

In like manner, our understanding of the context in which we operate and how Satan operates either hinders our understanding of events, or grants us a true picture of how and why the events occur. That being (hopefully) clear, there are two specific contexts within which we must view everything:

I. All spiritual and physical environments that exist ((Please do not be mistaken here: there exists only one of each.)) are squarely within the “box” the LORD God created. There is nothing outside the “box,” neither can there be. The reason for this is quite simple, as the LORD made clear in Scripture:

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. (Isaiah 44:6-8)

2. There is a conflict, a war that is ongoing, in which everyone in creation is or was involved. It is imperative that we understand this, as a failure on our part to properly identify this context will affect our understanding significantly. The problem here is that our understanding must be correct to discern the type of conflict we are involved in. This conflict is one in which none of us has any choice about our involvement – we are, and will remain involved until the day of our death. Hence, it is essential that we understand this conflict, its context, and its ramifications. The overarching consideration in this conflict is that Satan hates the LORD God, and by extension, hates man. This also is well established in Scripture, but takes somewhat longer to establish than the first context:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

In the above passage from Genesis, it is made plain that the LORD God chose to make man in a certain specific way that was unique and different from all other creatures He had created. Man is not the same as the animals, and man is not the same as the angels. Rather, man is unique in that he not only has a soul, but is also capable of discerning and judging, capable of creating, capable of self-sacrificial love, and is both physical and spiritual. Man is fully aware that he exists, and seeks meaning for his existence. Man is capable of teaching himself and is capable of understanding things that range from the most simple to the extremely complex. No other creature is quite so well-rounded. The reason for this is quite simple, and is confirmed by James:

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. (James 3:9)

Knowing this, we can also establish a principle in Scripture that we know is applied and functions throughout the world on a daily basis:

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. (John 15:20-21)

We might understand this principle by the old saying “The friend of my friend, is my friend” and “The enemy of my friend is my enemy.” Hence, if two people meet, and they both are followers of a certain individual, it follows that they will, to a great degree, get along just fine. On the other hand, if two individuals meet, and one follows a certain person, but the other follows that person’s rival and competitor, it is a certain and sure thing they will not get along. Thus, in John, Chapter 15, the Lord Jesus Christ expressly states that those who hate Him, will hate those who follow Him. Since this principle is well established, it also follows that as Satan hates the LORD God, and man was created in the image of God, Satan hates man. Consider then the following:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. (Isaiah 14:12-20)

And again:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (I Peter 5:8-9)

It ought to be obvious that you do not murder and devour those you love. Neither does one destroy the labor of another if they love them. Yet, what we find in the passage from Isaiah and from I Peter is that the Devil seeks to devour, murder, and destroy man and the works of man. This is despite the fact that the vast majority of men on the earth do not follow the LORD God and do not even believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. It would seem that the Devil would not hate man, since man expresses little to no interest in the LORD and obeying the LORD. Yet this is not the case. Instead, what we find is that Satan seeks to destroy man, and uses man to strike back at the LORD, not caring that it results in the total destruction of the individuals he uses.

However, a particular hatred is reserved for the children of the LORD. We see considerable evidence of this from the Scriptures:

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:23-25)

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Revelation 13:1-8)

In both the passage from Daniel and the passage from Revelation, the time of the Great Tribulation is spoken of. This particular time in history is marked by the deliberate hunting down and killing of all who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The beast (which is yet to come – but nearly here) will spare no effort in hunting down Christians. Those who turn to Christ and repent during this time will very quickly find themselves the target of a very aggressive government, ruled by Satan, in which no expense and effort will be spared to destroy them.

To be continued . . .




The Fourth Horseman

The following audio is from a recent Wednesday night service in which Article 5 of our Statement of Faith is being taught. The lesson concentrates on the fourth horseman in Revelation, Chapter 6, but touches on the other three horsemen and what they mean, as it is necessary to understanding the Fourth Horseman and the reason Death and Hell exist. I pray you find it profitable.


 

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The Fourth Horseman

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis