Monday, 4 March 2013

IN RESPECT OF THE DEVIL -



Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director International Christian Zionist Centre


Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 1:9)

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the Lord and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause." So Satan answered the Lord and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life." So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:1-10)

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.' " Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' " Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:1-11)

"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. "Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?' (Isaiah 14:12-17)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:1-5)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (John 12:31)

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. (John 14:30)

... of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:11)

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." (Revelation 12:7-12)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

It truly is amazing how many scriptures - in both the Old and New testaments - speak of the existence of Satan and of his sinister and highly dangerous activity. In our day people can laugh at the very thought of the existence of the Devil, or underestimate him, but they do so at their own, eternal, peril.

Satan is, as the scripture in Isaiah calls him, Lucifer, the destroyer of nations. Jesus says he comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is the relentless 'accuser of the brethren.' He is the great tempter and seducer to all kinds of evil. He is, as Jesus calls him, 'the ruler of this world;' a roaring lion ever seeking whom he can destroy and thereby take with him to perdition. Or, as John writes in his Revelation: "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath" (Revelation 12:10).

In a way, then, we live and operate in the enemy's territory - if he is the prince of this world.

People being in this, his territory, risk being targeted at any time of his choosing unless they are under the cover and protection of the Lord, Who is the only one more powerful than the devil; who can defend and protect us against his wiles. Jesus Himself proclaimed that He has all power in heaven and on earth, and as He has taught us to pray: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (Matthew 6:13).

Only the Lord can protect and save us from his wiles, by our sticking close, very close, to Him, and obeying and doing as He instructs us.

When He was on earth even Jesus, the Son of God, was offered all the kingdoms of this world by Satan, if He would only bow the knee to him - proving that for now, he is the master of this world.

However, as the title of this article indicates, both Jesus and His heavenly Father - as we read in the above-quoted verses - treat the Devil still with a form of respect: when Satan presented himself before the Lord along with the sons of God concerning Job, and when Jesus faced him during His temptation in the wilderness by quoting quietly and firmly the Word of God, and not by railing against Satan.

So if in His defense against the temptations of the Devil Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, only quoted the Scriptures, refusing to go against the words of God - how much more should we believers do the same!

If we in this way resist the Evil One, God promises that he will flee from us!!

Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director

International Christian Zionist Center



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