Sunday, April 23, 2017

Who dunnit: the devil or you?

My aunt Georgia often said, "The devil got into me and I did it," whatever sin it was. The devil gets too much blame and credit! Did the devil come down to Georgia, or did Georgia do it on her own? (It was really great-uncle Fred, but Georgia works better in the question).

God is Almighty!
Genesis 35:11a "And God said unto him, 'I am God Almighty'".
 Because God is all powerful, that means no one else is! Any power that the angels have comes from God. Any power that we have comes from God. We seem to forget the source of all power because it is mentioned in the Old Testament, and only in Revelation in the New Testament. The beloved John, in his revelation there, and in the first chapter of the Epistle of John, does an excellent job of understanding the eternal power of God.

God has Almighty power. He said so. Theologians call that omnipotent. How about his presence?
Matthew 20:28b "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
God was, is, and always will be! That is always.  He is a personal God because he is always with you. His always presence is omnipresence

God is the source of all knowledge, for it is asked rhetorically:
Isaiah 40:13 "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?"
Of course, it is God who is the source of all knowledge. That is called omniscience.

God is Almighty, always present - everywhere, and all knowing. Whatever power, presence, or knowledge that any other creature has is less than God, and from God. All creatures are for God's purposes. That leads to the question: What is the purpose of Satan? Now let's look at Satan: His role is merely as a tester. In fact, the entire Book of Job is a series of tests of the faithfulness of Job. Nowhere are sinners given a test by God. They are children of Satan already.
John 8:44 "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."
From birth every person's father is the devil. He or she already belongs to Satan because of original sin. Because Adam sinned we all belong to the devil even in infancy. Sin is an inherited trait because both Adam and Eve failed the test. She blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed her! We all still do that rationalization because we are deceived. Who was to blame? Since they both failed the test, each of them are responsible for their own sin. The devil never made them do it, and he certainly never came to Georgia!

Because Satan cannot make us do anything, we are free moral agents. With that, we always have the power to do whatever we will. God even gave us our faculty of will. We either are willing or unwilling to sin. It is our own will which determines our fate. Satan can merely tempt, and he tempts for God's purposes. With His power, God could make us all pure against our will, but we are much more than automatons. He wants our love and respect of our own volition!

The power lies in us,  not Satan. Sure he has the ability to travel outside the boundaries of time. Satan has the power only to be free of time constraints, and being a fallen angel he can undergo metamorphosis - transforming himself from an angel of some type, to a serpent, or to a man. This ability is so that he can deceive. To be honest, Satan does have limited power. He can cause catastrophes as he did with Job, but it is only because God allows him it. God placed one constraint upon Satan: Upon Job, put not thy hand, as he said in Job 1:12. Satan called that constraint a hedge because it protected Job from death.

The hedge belongs only to those who have faith in God. Because the unsaved belong to their father the devil, there is no protective hedge. When one is adopted by God and becomes his son, the hedge goes up to protect. This protection is safety, and is called being born-again because the person's master changes: Emancipation from Satan to adoption by God.

Those without faith would have failed Satan's test. As the authority over sinners, they do his will. Those not of the faith would fail every time. Only truly faithful people can pass the test. Job could have traded his faith for safety, and fallen away from God. His hedge of safety would have been shorn. By faith, he obeyed God, and trusted Him in all things. With that faith, he was safe from the wiles of Satan. As Christians we too live inside God's hedge: the whole armor of God, but unless it's the whole armor, Satan's barbs can kill the soul without even touching you!
Job 1:7 "And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."
Thankfully, Satan is not omnipresent. He is one place at a time. His method is that everyone are born already his. He can merely rush from one Christian to the next, even ignoring those who are already his because he can't waste the power that is already his.

Of course he has legions of fallen angels called the sons of God because God made even them. They too, are controlled by God, and are used for testing! Neither can they harm Christians, but can those non-Christians outside the hedge. Thus, we are safe until we are saved in the end, and have the hope of salvation! We can deny God even as Job could have. Guess who the fallen angels spend their time with? Christians - because those not belonging to God are already his. However, neither can they touch Christians or make you do anything. As such it is our own self who is our worst enemy. We do what we want to do! That is mankind's problem, not the alleged power of Satan.

In the beginning Satan, disguised as the serpent, warned them -  they will be as gods. (Genesis 3:5). It's not Satan who makes people sin; it is the person who chooses sin, so quit blaming Satan and giving him the power that he doesn't have! By crediting Satan for our sins, is making him out to be a god. He becomes our other god besides God (Exodus 20:3). As children of Satan, some worship themselves as gods, but in reality, they are in obedience to the god of this world, the prince of the air - Satan.

Who dunnit? Who made you sin? It is you. You made the wrong choice without Satan even laying a hand on you. He is less powerful than Hitler who did kill Christians! Quit crediting Satan for your own acts. You are the one who can make the choice; Satan merely smiles when you do.

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THE SKULL OF ADAM by Larry R. Herrin

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