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Author Topic: Your adversary the devil prowls around
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1 Peter 5:8–11 (ESV)
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The devil is very subtle and cunning and yet the scripture says he makes a lot of noise like a roaring Lion. The question is, do we discern his roar and act accordingly, or do we blame the wrong person and play into the hands of the devil? We are to resist the enemy and not allow him to devour us and bring our testimony into disrepute. The devil can put thoughts into our mind and cause us to react in ways that if we try to resist him in the flesh we will fail, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil 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 firm. Ephesians 6:12–13 (ESV)”

All true believers come under the attack of the devil and sometimes he can put a believer who is ignorant of his devises under such pressure that they will even deny the Lord as Peter did. Thankfully Peter later repented and was restored to fellowship with the Lord. The devil can turn believers against each other to get them fighting while he watches them and smiles from ear to ear, but all true believers will come under conviction and repent when they realise that they have gone contrary to the word of the Lord. We should not forget that we fail the Lord daily in thought and word and deed and therefore we need to seek the Lord daily for forgiveness as we forgive others who require and seek our forgiveness. We should never assume that because we profess faith in Christ that Satan has no power to attack us, indeed he has an immense interest in attacking the believer because by doing so he is attacking Christ and hopes to dethrone Him if he can. But Christ said “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

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Carol Swenson
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Really good post.

Satan will never dethrone Christ, but he is good at causing us to stumble.

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Carol Swenson
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The spiritual war

As we see from scripture spiritual warfare is very real, and involving both the physical and spiritual worlds. In our physical world, we see the effects of this spiritual conflict, between angelic and demonic realms. Through scripture, God has revealed to us the supernatural world, vying for the souls of humanity. This struggle involves us, whether we want it or not. Once someone comes to Christ they become Satan’s mortal enemy, rather than his mortal victim. Satan understands the stakes of a saved soul used by the Lord.

Before the person was saved Satan’s goal was to keep the person in darkness, by blinding the lost from seeing the gospel. All this changes when someone comes to the light. Satan’s goal shifts from keeping a person lost, to defeating the “new” believer, to keep them from living a victorious life. He wants them to be defeated, in bondage, wallowing in the struggles of their life. He (Satan) wants to keep them from becoming effective warriors for the Kingdom of God. He does this through his attacks. God uses these same attacks to advance His kingdom. Through them the saved learn the way of the spiritual warrior.

This war, however, is not primarily played out in the physical world, but the spiritual as Paul states in Ephesians chapter 6. It is imperative for everyone who serves in the army of the Lord to understand just how and why the enemy battles. For this reason, Paul makes the distinction between the two realms, the physical and the spiritual. Our battle takes place in spiritual places, even though it may seem to be physical. The source is spiritual, in heavenly realms.

12 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. Ephesians 6:12

Before we continue to understand the spiritual war and the role we play, we should have a clear understanding of the nature of spiritual warfare. Let’s make sure we have a clear understanding of the background of spiritual war, in relation to the Christian.

1. Who is our enemy?

First, our enemy is Satan, a fallen angel of the cherub order (Ezk 28:14), who deceived 1/3 of the angels who followed him in rejecting their Creator (Rev. 12:4), the Lord God of the Bible. He along with his horde of fallen angels (demons) unite in their assault against humanity (Eph. 6:12). They work through fallen humanity, who is deceived by Satan (John 8:44).

2. What is the spiritual war?

The Spiritual war is a war between the forces of God, including angels and saved humanity, versus Satan and his fallen angels (Luke 4:8-9). The battle is for the souls of the lost (I Cor. 4:3-4), to bring them to salvation. Satan has blinded the eyes of those who are perishing, so they stay in their lost condition. Our goal is to advance the kingdom of God on Satan’s territory, through the power of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit, which transforms lives, bringing the lost to salvation (Matthew 28:18-20)

3. Where is the spiritual war fought?

The Spiritual war is being fought in heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12), on the battlefield of the minds of humanity (I Cor. 4:14). When souls come to salvation, territory is taken away from Satan. He and his fallen angels keep souls in a lost condition. When the Gospel is advanced on enemy territory, Satan loses control.

He loses territory when minds turn from his control to Christ.

4. When does the spiritual war take place?

The war started at the fall of the angels, and the battle was transferred to earth when Adam and Eve fell. Satan became the god of the age, and he exercises their (Adam and Eve) dominion over the earth. Satan works to prevent the lost from being saved, by keeping them in blindness to the gospel.

When a person is saved by being born again, they are removed from Satan’s power; they now have Holy Spirit power. At this point, Satan begins his battle to destroy the testimony and walk of the newly saved believer.

5. How is the spiritual war fought?

Satan wages war on two fronts, the spiritual and the physical front. Satan controls areas of the physical earth, through the fallen angels who rule over spiritual principalities (Ephesians 6:12, Daniel 10). Satan is behind deceptive teachings to keep regions under darkness.

This battle is also fought in the minds and hearts of humanity. Satan opposes the advancing Gospel, because it frees minds from satanic deception.

To summarize these five points:
• Satan is our enemy
• Spiritual warfare is the battle for souls
• Spiritual warfare takes place in the mind
• Spiritual warfare begins the day we are born
• Satan uses deception to blind the mind

What is our position?

Having reviewed the state of the spiritual warfare, next we need to understand where we stand in relation to this conflict. When someone comes to Christ, he/she becomes Satan’s mortal enemy. Satan is fearful and powerful, but he is limited in how he can wage war.

Deception is Satan’s weapon of choice. Even though he is limited, his goal for us (the redeemed) is to give him control, although we have victory. The Christian is not fighting for victory; he/she is fighting from victory. Satan is a defeated enemy.

We fight from victory

Our battle against Satan is not for victory; Jesus has already won the victory. Christians are already the victors when they come to Christ. We are fighting from the position of victors in Christ, conquering enemy territory. Satan knows our position. His goal is to deceive us, trying to convince us we must still attain victory, rather than advance forward in our victory through Christ. Jesus Christ has guaranteed our redemption; He will complete our salvation, and the Holy Spirit is the down payment. Paul writes about this in Ephesians, the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance.

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

Therefore, we are conquerors taking territory, not warriors fighting for victory. The war is already over, the enemy is defeated, and Satan has lost. His goal is to take away our victory, through deception. We need to remind Satan he is defeated, and his only power over our lives is the power we give him.

We have authority

Jesus sent out the seventy disciples, who later returned with joy. Rejoicing they have authority over the demonic realm, in the name of Jesus. Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”. What did Jesus mean by this statement? As the seventy went from village to village, Jesus was watching another spectacle - he saw Satan’s defeat. Jesus saw territory taken away from him. At the loss of territory, and the subjection of his “demonic realms”, Christ saw Satan fall like a bolt of lightning from Heaven.

17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:17-19

Not only do we fight from the position of victory, we have the authority which comes with the victory. Satan’s agenda is to take away the strategic advantage of the believer. For this reason, Paul admonishes us to put on the whole amour of God. We can be prepared against the wiles or scheme of Satan. Satan is not going to go down in defeat without a fight.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Satan wants to take away our power in Christ; he wants to stop the authority we have. Satan’s kingdom is at stake. Therefore, he uses methods or schemes to assault the believer, causing them to not use the power we have in Christ. He wants us to live a defeated existence. The Greek word for wiles is meqodeiva Methodeia, meaning follow-up or investigate by method. This is where the English word, method is derived. Satan has a method to his work. He knows what he is doing; he is not haphazard, but methodical in his pursuit.

Again, Satan’s goal is to remove our authority, take victory from our mind, and make us useless to the kingdom of God. He can remove our authority by causing us to fall. We have authority to reprove the world of sins, in the power of Christ. But how much authority does a believer have when he is engaged in the same activity? Not much, at least in the eyes of those reproved.

We advance the kingdom

Satan rejoices in the destruction of humanity. Souls who come to Christ remind him of his loss and eventual judgment. Therefore, Satan’s goal is taking away our victory and authority, to stop the advance of God’s kingdom. We are the advance team; through us, God advances His kingdom in enemy territory. Think about it! God could by His very word advance His kingdom, but he chooses to allow us to participate in the war. We are warriors in the Lord’s army, taking dominion from Satan.

Whatever our profession, whatever the world thinks of us, does not matter because as children of God we are soldiers of God. If we are CEO of a major fortune 500 company, or the clerk in a Wal-Mart, both stand on equal footing in the kingdom of God. The CEO, who fears what his colleagues think of Christ and fails to advance the kingdom of God, has fallen to Satan schemes. He has allowed the deception of pride and honor in this world, keep him/her back from what God offers.

God will take us where we stand, and use us if we are willing to be used. He does not need the prestige offered by the world. He (God) rejoices in using the things despised by the world. If we are willing to commit to Him, He will take us beyond anything we could imagine of ourselves.

Remember, when Jesus chose the disciples, they were not the world’s all-stars. They were fishermen, tax-collectors, prostitutes and plain ordinary folk. What you and I see is the power of the Spirit in their lives. This same power of God’s Spirit dwells in us if we are saved. God reminded Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, not to rely on human power or effort but on the Spirit of God.

6 So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

Therefore, wherever we stand in this world does not matter. It is who we are in Christ that matters. Our goal is to be faithful with the work we have at hand, God will take care of the rest. We can take comfort in that the Lord rejoices in confounding the ways of the world. He rejoices in taking the simple and despised in this world, and using them to show His greatness.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. I Corinthians 1:18-21

So let’s rejoice in our simplicity! We are warriors of the Lord operating in enemy territory, taking dominion away from Satan. If we are a clerk at Wal-Mart, or the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company we have the same calling. God rewards the faithful, and despises the ways of the world. Put on your armor and go to war!

What can Satan do to us?

Since we have victory, authority, and we are to advance the kingdom of God on Satan’s territory, what can Satan do? Paul reminds us to put on the armor of God to be able to resist the schemes of Satan. Satan is not without resources. He has a whole catalog of methods to take down believers. Remember, by taking down a believer he removes their authority, securing his kingdom.

Before we examine Satan’s tactics, let us review Satan’s position in relation to the believer.

1. He is limited

Satan requires permission before he can “sift” us. We see this in Job where he complains Job has a hedge around him (Job 1:10). Jesus also tells Peter, Satan has requested the permission to “sift” him as wheat (Luke 22:31). Satan is the accuser who stands before the throne of God accusing the redeemed (Revelation 12:10).

2. He is defeated

Jesus beheld Satan falling like lightning (Luke 10:18). Our job is to take his territory from him, advancing the Kingdom of God. Satan’s end is already declared in and seen in scripture. John, taken into the future, saw the day when Satan was cast into the Lake of Fire for the rest of eternity.

10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Revelation 20:10

Satan operates from the position of defeat, but he wants us to think otherwise. He knows his time is limited; he knows where his eternity is.

3. His attacks cause us to grow

Satan’s existence must be a frustrating one, because God uses his attacks to transform His church into the image of Christ. Satan is limited, and when he is allowed to attack it’s for our growth. We need to keep this in mind when we suffer; God takes our sufferings and causes us to grow.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. I Peter 5:8-10

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
I Peter 1:6-7

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2 Corinthians 4:14

Satan’s Tactics

Satan’s tactics for the lost are different than for the saved. For the lost the goal is keep them in blindness. For the saved person, Satan has a multi pronged approach,

• Remove victory from their mind
• Distract us from the Lord’s work
• Take away our authority
• Stop the advance of the Kingdom of God

1. Remove victory from their mind

A. Self-righteousness, rather than the Lord’s righteousness
B. Not trust in the promises of the word
C. Causes us to wallow in our sin, rather than overcome it
D. Establishes strongholds in our life

2. Distract us from the Lord’s work

A. He uses our pride
B. He uses the things of this world to engage us
C. He uses relationships
D. He causes us to envy others

3. Take away our authority

A. He tempts us
B. He demonstrates our hypocrisy
C. He makes us fall in the midst of the people we need to help

4. Stop the advance of the Kingdom of God

A. He attacks the Word of God (The Bible)
B. He attacks the person of Christ
C. He spreads heretical doctrines
D. He creates false religions
E. He spreads lies in education
F. He controls access to scripture through government
G. He destroys families

The Armor of God: Our Weapons

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 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.

13 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.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Ephesians 6:11-17

The Spiritual Warrior

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The devil is a busy boy. He is especially interested in annoying Christians and getting Christians to "act out of their old man" by his annoyances.

love, Eden

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Originally posted by Eden:
The devil is a busy boy. He is especially interested in annoying Christians and getting Christians to "act out of their old man" by his annoyances.

love, Eden

Originally posted by Caretaker:
Eden/BA Repent/Apologize

A Servant of Christ,

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

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Very powerful lesson in your post Carol, thanks for posting.

The battle is for the mind, because with it we serve the law of God.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

(2 Cor. 11.3, A.V.) "I fear lest, by any means, as the serpent, beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

THERE is a great battle to-day over the use and control of the mind, not only in the world, but among the children of God.

The fact of a "war " declared by Paul.
First note the fact that the Apostle declares that there is. a "war" in which he is engaged. " My warfare ," he says, "is not waged according to the flesh." This is in accord with his statements in other parts of his writings.

The battle for the mind described.
We see there is an aspect of the war described in this passage which has to do with the mind . "Thereby can I overthrow the reasonings of the disputer." In verse 4 (A.V.) we read of a o" pulling down of strongholds ". The Apostle seems to infer that the mind is a "stronghold" which has to be pulled down, and every rebel thought in it made captive.

A "stronghold" is generally held by an enemy , and truly there is an enemy holding the stronghold of the mind, according to 2 Cor. 4. 4, where it says that the "god of this world" (age) has "blinded the minds of them which believe not".

The condition of the mind by nature.
In various parts of the Pauline epistles we can gather very clearly the state of mind, when held by the enemy as a stronghold. It is described in some cases as a " reprobate mind " (Rom. 1. 28), a " blinded mind " (2 Cor. 3. 14), a darkened mind, causing men to walk in the " vanity of their minds " (Eph. 4.17-19), intruding into things which the mind cannot fathom, "vainly puffed up" by a " fleshly mind " (Col. 2. 18).

In Rom. 8.7, the Apostle says, "The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (A.V.). This is confirmed in Col. 1. 21, where those who are unregenerated are described as "enemies" in the " mind ", and therefore alienated from God. We therefore clearly see how, in the natural man, the mind is "darkened", "puffed up" by the flesh, empty and vain in its thoughts, carnal because governed by the flesh, and in all its activities-whether apparently "good" or visibly "bad"-at enmity with God.

The unregenerate mind the stronghold of Satan.
The stronghold of the mind of man is therefore the strategic centre of the "war" with the "god of this age", because it is primarily through the mind that he holds his captives in his power, and through the mind of those captives transmits his -

(1) Poison into the minds of others, and his
(2) Plans and schemes for arousing those souls to active rebellion against God.

The mind of the Christian is also the strategic centre of the "war on the saints" which Satan wages with ceaseless and fiendish skill. And for this reason the mind is the vehicle for the Spirit of God , dwelling in the spirit of the believer, to transmit to others the truth of God, which alone can remove the deceptions of Satan which fill the minds of all who are in the darkness of nature.

If the Holy Spirit is dwelling in the regenerate spirit have you considered the question of His outlet ? If it were only by speech you would be an oracle! But there are no "oracles" on earth now. The " oracles of God " are the Scriptures. The Word of God is being displaced not only by the Higher Critics, but by many of God's own people by their taking supernatural" revelations" as being of equal authority with the written Scriptures. There are wrecked lives because they have turned from the Word of God to what they call direct revelation. There is a direct revelation by God the Holy Ghost illuminating the Word of God, and putting it into the spirit, but not apart from the Scriptures.

The Holy Spirit and the mind of the believer.
If the mind is the vehicle of the Spirit it is absolutely necessary that the Spirit of God should have full possession of it, with every "rebellious thought" brought into captivity to Christ. The Holy Spirit, dwelling in the spirit, needs the mind as a channel for expression, but it may be so blocked up, and filled with other things that He is unable to transmit all He desires to do. A "blocked" mind means the spirit unexpressed, and a spirit unexpressed is a stoppage of the outflow of the Spirit of God to others.

The mind of the Christian not fully delivered.
This explains why numbers of God's children are unable to hold the truth of God which they hear, or to apply it to their lives, or express it to others. The mind has never been fully delivered from the grip of the enemy . Shall I put it crudely, and say that many get new "hearts", but they keep their old "heads!" They do not realize that unless the hold of the adversary, which he has through the fallen nature of man, is removed from the mind, he has a position of vantage in the life of the believer, for attack and for hindrance in active service . How many there are who have "minds" that never "think a thing out".

Devoted children of God, with hearts full of love, but "minds " full of all kinds of mixture-minds that have not been renewed and delivered from the interference of the enemy. Consequently they have a strange lack of spiritual perception. They may get "flashes of light", and follow the "flash" -which often like a will-o'-the-wisp leads them astray-but they are not intelligent in their spiritual vision. They do not know that God is able, not only to deliver the mind from the enemy's grip but also to renew it, so that it becomes as clear as crystal, with "every rebellious thought brought into captivity. "

We have seen that one reason why the liberation of the mind is so important is because it is the vehicle of the spirit. Has it never struck you how extraordinary it is that the children of God can hear so much, and express so little? If you will ask one and the other to intelligently transmit something of what they have heard, they cannot do it. They have listened to volumes of truth for years, and yet they have no power to transmit, and help a soul in need. And many of these hearers will tell you that they have received a Baptism of the Spirit! The reason for this lies in the unrenewed mind . They may truly have received the Holy Spirit, but speaking reverently, He is "locked up" in the spirit, and cannot get through the blocked channel of the mind. One reason is that many children of God do not soak themselves, so to speak, in God's thoughts. They think that to read a text in the morning is enough, and so they do not get the mind fully renewed. All the working of the old mind is emnity against God, and that is why you find people prejudiced over truth. Whenever you find a man prejudiced over some truth he does not understand, it always means that there is some activity of the old mind. The mind is like a seed plot. We do not realize what we are taking in, or sowing in the ground for future use. If you only make a remark about some person you have sown a seed , and if it is a critical thought, it is there ready to blaze into a "prejudice" at the first opportunity.

All this is so true that it is easy to see now why the Apostle describes the "mind" as a stronghold which has to be taken for Christ, and brought into subjection to Him. It may not have occurred to us that much which we have looked upon as "natural" disability in the use of our minds is to some extent the work of the enemy, who pours into the mind which has never been fully taken out of his power, his own visions, thoughts, ideas and ways.

The need of the mind to be fully renewed.
Now the question is, how can the mind become fully renewed, for if we are children of God, by the very entry of the truth of God, there has been a partial renewal. Conversion itself is described in the Bible as, in the first instance, a " change of mind ." This is the meaning of the word "repent."

Repentance is "to recover one's senses" and come to a "right understanding." So repentance describes on the one hand first a "change of mind", to be accompanied by a change of heart.

The Cross the place of deliverance.
But for full renewal of the mind we have to go to the Cross, and learn its message that "our old man was crucified" with Christ. This is inclusive of the old carnal, darkened, fleshly mind. This comes out clearly in the words of Eph. 4.22-23, as following the Apostle's description of the darkened and empty mind in verse 17 and 18. The "old man" crucified is here bidden to be "put off" by the believer so that he may be " renewed in the spirit of his mind. " The way of renewal, therefore, is VIA CALVARY.

The first need is the knowledge of the state of mind by nature, and that a "change of mind" at conversion does not go deep enough to deliver the soul from the power of the enemy in his thought life, and mental activities.

Then there must be a deliberate and definite "putting off" of the "old man" in the aspect of the old carnal mind, for the bringing captive to Christ of every thought. What is wanted, then, is to recognize that the un-renewed mind is part of the old creation that has to be put off at the Cross. Remember that God does just what you trust Him to do. We need to realize that what God wants is even a "cold-blooded" act of faith, as the believer says "I trust Thee to do this." We would like Him to do the whole work at once, but He has planned that we depend upon Him step by step for everything. Some of you have come to understand your position of being crucified with Christ upon the Cross. The Holy Spirit will now take you into the details of all that this means. He may throw light on the "circumference" to show where the old life is lodged, so that it may be dealt with. When Christ is your life, Christ is enthroned at the center. That new Center life ( Christ at the center) has to be worked out as you hold the position perpetually, " crucified ."

Then the Holy Spirit will throw the light upon every part of the circumference that is as yet un-dealt with. To-day we are dealing with the mind. Here you need to say "Lord I trust Thee to give me a renewed mind, and I agree to part with the old one." When someone speaks to you of another in a manner likely to cause a bias in your mind you say, "Please don't. I have not met the person. I should like to meet him without any preconceived ideas about him." But supposing you to-day hand this old mind to the Cross, and trust God to give you a new one, do you think the enemy will give up his ground without a fight? Do you think that every "rebellious thought" is going to be brought into subjection easily? This brings us to the question of

The mind and its practical liberation.
We must recognize that the "mind" continues to be the strategic battle ground, even when we have claimed the deliverance of Calvary. We must know how the liberation of the mind has to be actually worked out, and for this the Spirit of God needs our active co-operation. The believer needs to recognize that the attacks of the emissaries of Satan are primarily directed at the mind . Notice how Paul realizes this, and describes the mind of the Christian as the strategic battle ground for the enemy. " I fear," he writes to the Corinthians, " lest by any means ... your minds should be corrupted ...", and then he tells them how this would come about. "If he that cometh preacheth another Jesus ... or if ye receive another spirit," or "another Gospel " (2 Cor. 11.3-4, A.V.). So the danger of the Christian is false teaching getting into the mind , and diverting him from the simple Gospel of Christ. It is to this end, that Satan transforms himself into an Angel of Light.

How few realize that Satan can give spurious light to the mind, even light about a "Jesus" who is not the Lord, and minister "another spirit" which is not the Holy Spirit, and through his instruments preach a "gospel" which is not the Gospel of the grace of God.

The danger which the Apostle wrote about to the Corinthians is increased to-day a thousand-fold, because of the psychic forces that are at work in the world. Because, too, of the tremendous emphasis upon, and development of the mental life at the present time, and because the enemy is actively at work seeking to break down the mental powers of God's children through the strain of the conflict of life. There are grave dangers all about us from counterfeit guidance, counterfeit visions and counterfeit plans, all coming from the enemy's work upon the mind . Never was there a time when believers so needed the "helmet of salvation" to cover their heads from the foe. The air is full of the suggestions of the prince of the "power of the air", flashing thoughts and ideas into the minds of men.

Take what is called the "Higher Criticism." Picture a man, who is without the knowledge of the new birth through the Cross of Christ, reading in his study. Wonderful "thoughts" which come into his mind, are given out as the result of his own thinking, and the world marvels at the "brilliance" of this scholar. Alas, the "brilliance" of a mind which the Word of God declares is blinded by the god of this age , and energized by the "spirit which now worketh in the children of disobedience," is really darkness in the sight of God . What the un-renewed mind is capable of producing under the energizing of the spirits of Satan can be seen, for example in the Text Book of Christian Science, where words seem to be spun out as a spider spins his web, as empty as the gossamer threads composing it.

The dangerous output of "minds" thus wrought upon by the prince of the power of the air, will increase as the dispensation hastens to its close, and the children of God will be caught in the meshes of these "fantasies" unless they have their own minds renewed, and kept sober by the truth of God.

They need in the face of these dangers, to guard against overwork, which may bring about overstrain of the mind, making them incapable of sober judgment.

The practical way of victory.
How is the mind of the child of God to be actually set free from the enemy's control and renewed by the Spirit of God? We have seen that there is deliverance via Calvary , but there is also a practical line of action on the part of the believer. The first question to be faced is one concerning control.

There may be a wrong thought about this which must not be overlooked. You are quite aware that your mind is out of your control, and you have been praying that God would "control" it independently of you. But all in vain. Sometimes your mind is full of wandering thoughts, and your imagination inflamed or it is heavy, passive or sluggish and unusable. It is practically out of your own control, and is uncontrolled by God . What is the reason? You may never have taken your "mind" out of the control of the enemy (2 Cor. 4. 4), and deliberately handed it to the death of the Cross, and trusted God to give you a new mind. Numbers of God's people know that their minds are neither under God's control nor their own. And it is often because the enemy has put a thought in their minds which has laid hold of the mind until it is mastered by it. Whenever you find" a person who can only talk of " one thing " it is best to shun them. It always tells the tale that the mind of that one is not under control.

If God is controlling your thoughts and mind, you can choose what you think and when you will speak. But if you say, "If I don't speak what is in my mind at once I shall lose it," then you had better "lose it." How many pour upon you their "thinks" and never heed what effect it will have upon you. Oh how we all need some sober light upon the realm of the mind. Recently a letter came to me in which I was told of a Christian man who said, "My wife was a most beautiful Christian. But suddenly the thought was suggested in the middle of the night that she had committed the unpardonable sin and now she is in a mental home and I can do nothing, and my little children are without their mother." The minister said to the poor man that it seemed to be of the enemy, so they knelt down and the minister asked that if Satan had shot this thing into the mind of the wife, the Lord would prove it to the husband, through the victory of Calvary. Praise God, within a fortnight she was back in her home.

The new mind and its characteristics.
When the mind is renewed, the Spirit of God fulfils the promise of God, where He says, "I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds will I write them " (Heb. 10.16). Thus we obtain the "mind" of Christ (1 Cor. 2.16). What that "mind" is we read in Phil. 2.5-8. The practical life is changed only so far as we are "transformed" by the "renewing" of the " mind." Christ's "mind" was to obey God, even unto the death of the Cross. That "mind" in us becomes armor. "Arm yourselves with the same mind " (1 Pet. 4.1), i.e., Christ's mind towards the Cross. " Christ suffered ," we say, and as our minds dwell upon His sufferings, and the Holy Spirit shows us the separation from sin which fellowship with Him brings about, we too choose to suffer, and we are "armed" by having His mind. Thus the new mind becomes "stayed upon God," instead of being tossed about by distracting thoughts. And a mind stayed on God means perfect peace.

The "new mind" as the vehicle of the Holy Spirit.
In Eph. 1.18, we read, "The eyes of your understanding" being "filled with light." Here is the mind illumined by the Spirit. It is the vehicle of light. You see with the mind, you feel with the spirit. David said, "My spirit made diligent search." The mind is filled with light from God in the spirit, illuminating the mind. This brings into action the perceptive faculty of the mind, whereby the believer is able to spiritually discern spiritual things. The various marginal readings of 1 Cor. 2.13, show the new mind in use. It is able to "discriminate", " examine," "combine," "compare" and "explain" spiritual things which the "natural" man knows nothing about.

The perceptive faculty of the mind renewed by the Spirit of God enables us more clearly to know how to prove the good and acceptable will of God "If a man walketh in the day he stumbleth not," said the Lord. In broad daylight a man does not need to fall over stones in his path before he sees them. And so it is spiritually. With a new mind filled with light by the Spirit, the believer sees the path wherein he should walk, and discerns the will of God clearly without the confusion and perplexities of the partially renewed mind.

The guarding of the new mind.
There is no part of the renewed believer which does not require guarding. This is especially true of the mind which has been renewed. First there is a "girding" up of the "loins of the mind" (1 Pet. 1.13), which is necessary. This means that you must never let the mind become "slack", or careless in its thinking, or it will soon fall a prey to the watching enemy. The "mind" should never be idle, or without "grist for the mill!" It must be active if it is in a normal condition. The Apostle also bids the believer see that he does not admit an "anxious" thought (Phil. 4.6), but at once to transmit any that come, to God. If he does this, the "peace of God" will garrison his mind, and keep it in peace. But he must do more, he must give the mind work to do , and let it have true, honest, just, pure and lovely things to "think" about (see Phil. 4. 8).

Then again, the believer with the new mind must "think soberly" (Rom. 12. 3) especially about himself. He must avoid dwelling on "high things" (Rom. 12.16), and in the path of soberness take no step which is not the outcome of deliberate judgment and decision. Every "thought" led captive, means the deliberate weighing of every word and action in the light of God. Thus we shall be able to walk with God in these days of peril, and be sober when others are carried away by the spurious workings of the enemy.

Do not follow or trust what we may describe as "flashes" of light to the mind, because the Holy Ghost in your spirit works out into the mind His light in calm, intelligent, deliberate, illumination from within. Because of the dangers to-day we cannot trust anything that comes from without . It is not that these "flashes" are necessarily wrong, but that you cannot trust them. Neither can anything said on the impulse of the moment be trusted.

Supposing a thought comes, it should be turned over and over and pondered over in the presence of God. "Am I to take this thought as from Thee, if so please bring it back to me again and again, and shew me." Thus you will learn to walk carefully or accurately in the will of God. We need to be encased in the armor of Christ. God dwelling in our spirit, pouring the light into our mind, according to His Written Word, will enable us to carefully and prayerfully walk with Him.

Posts: 818 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Originally posted by Caretaker:
Originally posted by Eden:
The devil is a busy boy. He is especially interested in annoying Christians and getting Christians to "act out of their old man" by his annoyances.

love, Eden

Originally posted by Caretaker:
Eden/BA Repent/Apologize

WOW ED! A busy boy? Good teaching!Very scriptural. Wildb shakes head again.

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

That is all.....

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Carol Swenson
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