Daily Archives: October 10, 2017

The Depths of Satan

The Depths of Satan

The Bible says the devil is real and a force in the world today: Acts 5:3; John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8; Luke 22:31; 2 Corinthians 2:11; John 13:27.

Psychological profile of mass killers:

1) Grievance: They feel they have suffered a loss (imaginary or real).

2) Hate:

1 John 3:

[15] Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

Mark 7:

[21] For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder…

3) Anger: They are very angry about grievance and hate.

4) Blame: They blame others for their condition and the way they feel.

5) Notoriety: Often they are life’s losers who seek notoriety.

6) Psychotic: Mass killers are often psychotic (delusions and imagining things).

7) Psychopath: Psychopaths have no inner awareness of right and wrong.

Mass killers do not have defective genes.  No one forces them to do what they do.  They are not justified in what they do.  They are not triggered by some event that forces them to do bad things.

Just as drugs do not cause addiction, guns do not kill people.  People kill people and people choose to abuse drugs and alcohol.

If you take a person’s drug away he will often choose another drug that is more readily available.  If you take an evil person’s gun away he will find another way to kill.

The Las Vegas killer could have killed more by flying a plane into the crowd.  He was a pilot and wealthy so he could have done this.

An Islamic mass killer in France killed 86 and injured 458 by driving a truck through a crowd.

The Las Vegas killer did not have bad genes but over a period of years he made bad choices.

Revelation 2:

[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.  [25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. (KJV)

[24] Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, [25] except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ (NIV)

[24] But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. [25] Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.  (NASB)

The depths of Satan appears to be the teaching of the false prophet Jesus calls “Jezebel” earlier:

[18]  To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.  [19] I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

[20] Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet.  By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  [21] I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.

Some think the prophet taught the church they could attend the pagan festivals or acknowledge Caesar as god if called to.  They would justify this be arguing the Christian needs to know the deep things Satan so they could know better how to defeat him.

I disagree.  I would argue the false teaching of the prophet would lead the church closer to the works of Satan and harm them.

The point: Sin changes people for the worse.

The closer we are to Satan the more we can be harmed in our thinking and religious life.

There are deep things of Satan as there are the deep things of God:

1 Corinthians 2:

[10] …these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

2 Timothy 2:

[25] Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, [26] and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Luke 22:

[31] Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  [32] But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

Romans 1:

[21] For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

[24] Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

The point: God will abandon those who give themselves over to sin.

Getting close to Satan has consequences for people.  Those who are abandoned by God are susceptible to being taken over by Satan to one degree or another.

The ultimate expression of sin is death.  Not just spiritual death but also physical death.  This is always where Satan wants to lead people.  In some people, the influence of Satan can lead people to kill others.

Consider the sin of Judas who betrayed Christ.  At the Last Supper, the Bible says “Satan entered into him” (John 13:27).

Judas betrayed Christ and caused his death and then took his own life.

Luke 22:

[3] Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.  [4] And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.

The pattern of those who purport to plumb the depths of Satan is one of bondage, not liberty.

2 Peter 2:

[19] They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

Romans 6:

[16] Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

J B Myers
jbmyers1@gmail.com

Books:
Faith and Addiction
Elders and Deacons
Life Choices

Reward of Works and Grace

Reward of Works and Grace

Introduction:  There are misunderstandings of both grace and faith.  These misunderstandings are often because of a failure to understand the context of a passage.  Because of this, we are going to talk about rules for the interpretation of Scripture in addition to faith and grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 was one of the first passages I memorized.  What does it mean to be saved by grace and not be works?  Does this mean that salvation is by grace alone?  Or, is salvation by faith alone?  Some think salvation by grace means we do not have to be baptized, or that baptism is not essential to salvation.

Matthew 6:

[1] “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

[2] “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

[3] But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Psalm 62:

[11] One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, [12] and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.”

NKJV “For You render to each one according to his work.”

NASB “For You recompense a man according to his work.”

Matthew 16:

[27] For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Romans 2:

[6] God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”

[7] To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  [8] But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Revelation 2:

[23] Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

The harmony of grace and works:

The context of Ephesians 2 is that some Jewish Christians argued that gentile Christians should keep some aspects of the Law of Moses.  This made keeping the Law of Moses a requirement for salvation.

Ephesians 2:

[8] For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—[9] not by works, so that no one can boast.

[10] For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The context of Ephesians 2:

Salvation by grace means there is no salvation under the Law of Moses.

There were people who they were justified by the Law and did not have to obey the gospel of Christ:

Galatians 5:

[4] You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Many Jews in Paul’s day believe they did not have to obey the gospel because they kept the Law.  They believed they did not have to be baptized because they were already saved.

Some Jewish Christians also believed some requirements of the Law must be bound on the Gentiles in order for them to be saved.

Paul addresses these kinds of issues in Galatians 3:

Galatians 3:

[26] So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, [27] for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

[28] There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  [29] If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The context of Ephesians 2:8-10 is similar to Galatians 3 although the letters were probably written about 12 years apart.

Salvation by grace does not exclude the works of God:

This sounds strange to us today, but note Ephesians 2:10 again, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Titus 2:

[11] For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  [12] It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

A similar confusion exists relative to faith and works.  Biblical faith does not exclude works:

James 2:24  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

This passage shows that faith and works are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, we are to desire to do the works of God (John 6:28-29).  There are works of God and works of human merit.  Biblical faith is expressed and defined by our response to God (Hebrews 11).

A young man once asked Jesus, “What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20).  His question was not about earning his salvation.

James 2:

[18] But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

J B Myers
jbmyers1@gmail.com

Books:
Faith and Addiction
Elders and Deacons
Life Choices