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The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 12-24-00

The Doctrine of the Enemies of the Cross Part 2.

We have begun the doctrine of Enemyship and we have seen that in both the natural and spiritual realm that most do not know their enemy.

Point 1 in the doctrine defined Enemyship:  the Bible specifies by categories certain hostilities and or alienations; these are irrational acts on the part of humans. 

Alienation means to be well acquainted with someone and not like them at all.

Hostility means to not know someone well and not like them at all.

In Point 2 we noted that there is both personal and historical Enemyship.  This existed between Esau and Jacob.  Historical enemyship still exists between the Arabs and the Jews. 

Point 3 is the Importance of Understanding Angelic Enmity.  

As the ruler of this world, Satan is constantly seeking to gain his own objectives by means of hatred and by means of enmity.  Satan and fallen angels are the enemies of the believer and they use their expertise of deception.  This is taught in 1TI 5:14-15, and also taught in 1PE 5:8  "Be stabilized, be on the alert, your enemy the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour."

This adversary is not just an enemy but also a hunter.  He is one with a vengeance.  He has knowledge of all those believers who have lived before us, the ones who have failed as well as the ones who have succeeded.  Satan and the kingdom of darkness know how to wear down the saints, distract them and tire them out, until emotion supersedes thought.   

Satan knows that all warfare is based on deception.  That's why the Bible warns us about and prepares us for deception in many passages.  In fact, one of Satan's most successful tactics is to defeat the enemy without even fighting.  The kingdom of darkness is not concerned with the majority of believers because they could care less about the plan of God and living the spiritual life.  We call this being apathetic, lifeless, indifferent, unconcerned or uninterested in the things of God.

One of Satan's most successful tactics is to defeat the enemy without even fighting.  We are told by God what to do concerning our angelic enemyship. 

EPH 6:11  "Hold your ground against the strategies of the devil."   

Notice that we are not to attack him or bind him, but rather "Hold your ground against the strategies of the devil."

EPH 6:13 "Hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you."

JAM 4:7 says "Submit therefore to God [execute the PPOG]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

Peter said this in 1PE 5:9  "But resist the devil by being firm in your doctrine"

Satan knows many of the principles of warfare that great military leaders have learned throughout the years.  For example Sun Tzu taught, if you are near the enemy, make him believe you are far from him. If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.  Many of God's people have no idea when their angelic enemies are near.

In war, to fight and conquer all your battles is not the ultimate victory; the ultimate victory consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without even fighting,  which is why war is based on deception.  Deceive them without them knowing that they are being deceived.  If our enemy makes us believe that he is not our enemy or that he does not exist, then he already has a tremendous advantage over us.

We have angelic enemyship; and there is a devil, there are demons, and there is spiritual world.  There is a hell, an eternal lake of fire.   This angelic enemyship that we face has one goal in mind regarding the life of every believer; their goal is to lead all believers astray.  Any area that we are not stable in doctrinally, is an area open to deception.  This means that anything that we think or do, that is not oriented to the way God thinks, is open to deception.

Angelic enemyship is designed to infiltrate our soul with deception, which is demonization of the soul and personality of the believer or unbeliever living in the cosmic system. 

There are degrees of deception.  As a believer, it depends on how long you reside in the cosmic system without the use of rebound and recovery.  This deception is thought transference of demon doctrine to the believer or unbeliever in the cosmic system.  All believers and unbelievers in the cosmic system are under some form of satanic deception.  This is why the apostle Paul said in COL 2:4  "I keep on communicating these things in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument."

In 1CO 3:18, Paul said, "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish [realize that he is a fool] that he may become wise."

The woman in the garden, who was perfect and didn't have an Old Sin Nature ended up deceived by the craftiness and subtlety of Satan.  This is why in 2CO 11:3, the apostle Paul said, "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray [or deceived] from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ."

It is the "mind" which is led astray, not the body.  We may think that nothing is really happening in our life, when in reality, something is, without us knowing about it.  While 1Jo 4:4 is true "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."  that does not mean that we do not need to be warned and be alert.  In 1CO 16:13, Paul warned us to "Be on the alert, stand firm in doctrine, act like spiritual adults, be strong."

In EPH 6:18, he said "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,"

As we have seen, the protection that we need is only given by God inside the Predesigned Plan Of God (PPOG) or inside the wall of fire of ZEC 2:5.  When our angelic enemies are using their forces against us, they'll appear as though they are being inactive.  That is why when you have tranquility and peace, that's the time to build and prosper spiritually. 

Another principle that angelic enemyship uses against us is to hold out bait to entice us.  Satan has been dealing with members of the human race for over 6,000 years.  He can read us almost perfectly.  He knows the types of human personalities that exist and how to lure them away from the plan of God.  This is why John commanded us in 1JO 2:15 "Do not love the world, nor the things in the world."

Our angelic enemies use the things of the world to lure God's people away from the plan of God.  By holding out bait, angelic enemies keep believers on the march in the cosmic system; then at the proper time, lie in wait to ultimately deceive them.  This is why Paul said in 2TI 2:4 "No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier."

This doesn't mean we are to be hermits and not "live" in the affairs of everyday life.  Rather it says that we "do not entangle ourselves in the affairs of everyday life."  By holding out bait to the believer, our angelic enemies can cause the believer not only to live in the ways of the world or the cosmic system, but to be in bondage to it.

2TI 2:24-26 "And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will." 

By bringing in situations of pressure and suffering and inflicting damage, angelic enemies can make it possible for the believers to draw near to them rather than draw near to God.  Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy.   This is why we should "know our enemy" and analyze the enemy's plans so that we will know their shortcomings as strong points for yourself.  Our angelic enemies also have shortcomings and weakness.  Their weakness toward us is always is based upon our strength in The Lord Jesus Christ.  They know this they try to separate us from operating in the power of God.  If we are strong and secure in certain areas, our angelic enemies are prepared for that annd they will evade us in that area.  They will bring in situations of success and victory so that we may become arrogant.  They know the principle behind PRO 11:2 "When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom." 

PRO 16:18  "Pride {goes} before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling."

Their aim is to take captive as much as they can by their strategic plans.  This is the art of offensive strategy.  Therefore, there are some principles concerning our angelic enemies: we must know when to fight and when not to, meaning when to be on the offensive and when to be on the defensive, EPH 6:11-13.  Never rebuke Satan and the kingdom of darkness, resist Satan and the kingdom of darkness.

We must know our real enemy, EPH 6:12, and understand how they war against our soul and how we are to stand against them.  This means to "hold your ground."

We must also know the value of unity because the one whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious.  EPH 4:2-3, "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

We must know the importance of discipline and preparation because only those who are alert and prepared will be victorious.

Paul warned the pastors at the pastors' conference in Ephesus to be alert as shepherds over sheep in Acts chapter  20.  Therefore, we are to know our enemy and know ourself.

We should examine and investigate the enemy's plans so that we will know their shortcomings and weakness as our strong points.  Our angelic enemies have been tempting members of the human race for over 6,000 years.  When it comes to warfare, they master in the art of subtlety and secrecy.  Think about it, our real enemy is invisible and inaudible.  The areas of our life that they intend to attack, they do not want us to know about.

Paul said in EPH 4:14 "We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming."  

Only the truth can keep false thinking and false doctrine out of the soul.  

Point 4. Demons are called the Enemies of God, 1CO 15:25; HEB 10:13.

Demons are a category of fallen angels operating under the command of Satan today.  Operating under Satan's discipline, they are the enemies of God 1CO 15:25

HEB 10:13 "He sat down on the right hand of God, from that time on, waiting until His enemies, [and in this context the enemies are the fallen angels] have been allotted the footstool of His feet." 

Point 5.  Unbelievers are the enemies of God, ROM 5:10, COL 1:21.  

All unbelievers are in a state of alienation, hostile in thinking, and evil in deeds.

COL 1:21 says "And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds," 

All unbelievers are said to be in a state of alienation.  The state of alienation comes from the fact that all of us are born with an old sin nature.  From this point on we are in a state of alienation until we are born again. 

COL 1:21  "And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds," 

There are two ways in which that hostility is expressed.  

First in thinking human viewpoint and secondly in evil deeds.  Whether you like it or not or agree with it or not, unbelievers are said to be of their father the devil, JOH 8:44.

Point 6 is that the fallen angels and unbelievers, will be judged and sentenced to the Lake of Fire, REV 20:10-15

The unbeliever is like the fallen angel, in that the fallen angel has made the decision in some angelic history of the past, and has been consigned to the lake of fire even though he is not there as of yet.  The sentence has not been executed even though it has been given says MAT 25:41 "the eternal fire has been prepared for the devil and his angels." 

But the sentence has not been executed, and will not be executed until the end of human history, after the Millennium, REV 20:10

However, a sad principle is that this place that many call Hell, had to be enlarged to make room for members of the human race who remained enemies of God, ISA 5:14.

The fallen angels represent a category of creatures that had the chance over a long period of time to make a decision and did not do so and therefore they are Satan's servants during this part of the angelic conflict.  Many subjects that are not directly addressed in the word of God can be theorized as to the truth behind the subject if you fall back on the character and nature of God.  A question that a lot of individuals have regarding principles behind the angelic conflict is "Did one third of the angels fall or did they all fall and two-thirds came back to Christ?"  Remember the elect angels are said to be elect or chosen.  For example, in 1TI 5:21  "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality."   The information we have on the prehistoric past is very vague, but there are certain passages and principles of doctrine that give us insight into what may have transpired in eternity past. 

Both categories of the enemies of God, the fallen angels and unbelievers, will be judged in the lake of fire and we need to note the reason.  When God created the universe, He formed a race of super-creatures, classified in the Bible as angels.  Angels are rational be-ings with the ability to travel throughout the vast universe God created for them. 

God made them perfect, without sin, acceptable to His absolute righteousness.  Because volition is a necessary component of a rational mentality and of capacity for love, God gave the angels free will so that they might under-stand His character and worship Him.

Furthermore, God established a system of angelic authority and organiza-tion within which the angels lived and functioned.  He perfectly blended freedom, authority, and responsibility, creating a structured environment within, whereby each angel could express his own volition.  In the beginning, the most exalted of all the angels was the anointed cherub, called Heylel translated Lucifer-, the son of the morning, ISA 14:12.  Entrusted with responsibilities he was also granted privileges beyond those of any other angel, but he abused his freedom through arrogance and rebellion against God, EZE 28:12-19

Arrogance is the worst of all sins because it is the distorter and obscurer of reality, an enemy of every rational creature.  Arrogance was the self-deception that caused that magnificent creature called Heylel or Lucifer to compete with God rather than love and wor-ship Him.  Arrogance is also the reason for his horrible future and suffering according to MAT 25:41, just as arrogance already has caused his frustration and discontent through the thousands of years since he revolted against God.

We do not know how long ago Satan fell, but in spite of his protracted ar-rogance and suffering, he remains the most talented, attractive, and personable creature to come from the hand of God, Eze 28:12; 2CO 11:14.  His force of persuasion is as compelling today as when he convinced one third of all the angels to join his prehistoric revolution against God, REV 12:4a.  Satan's fall and his leadership over thousands of angels led a revolt in the prehistoric warfare called the angelic conflict.  A conflict that continues to this day and will be concluded only with the final judgment at the end of human history.

A comparison of Scripture with Scripture leads to the conclusion that God held a trial in eternity past.  In this prehistoric trial, God was the judge and the pro-secution; Satan was the defense.  God considered all the evidence and pro-nounced a guilty verdict. 

He sentenced Heylel or Lucifer and all the fallen angels to "eter-nal fire," MAT 25:41.  Further Biblical evidence for the prehistoric trial of fallen angels is found in Satan's titles. 

The words "devil" and "Satan" are not names but titles, both of which mean "accuser" or "adversary,"   Heylel or Lucifer means "translucent, light of the dawn," iden-tifying a creature of exceeding beauty.  Called the devil and Satan he was the defense attorney who represented himself and the fallen angels at the prehistoric trial and because he continues to act as an attorney now that the trial has entered its appeal phase during human history, Job 1:6-12; 2:1-5; ZEC 3:1-2MAT 25:41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;"

This eternal fire has been prepared for the devil and his angels, but because the sentence was not immediately executed, and, in fact, will not be carried out until the end of human history (REV 20:10), we can ac-curately infer that Satan appealed the sentence.  The elapse of time between the sentence and its execution indicates that human history is part of this momentous trial, the appeal trial of Satan.

One of the main reasons for undeserved suffering is because human history is a part of an appeal trial given to Satan and the fallen angels.  Because of that God calls mature believers to the witness stand to testify concerning His justice and His supreme grace. 

Therefore, we are called not only to witness to the world but to be a witness before both the elect and fallen angels,1CO 4:9, EPH 3:10.

We are in the midst of a conflict between God and the elect angels verses Satan and the fallen angels and this is the result of angels being in opposition to God, which began with the fall of Satan and continued until all angelic creatures had made a decision for or against God.

What case could Satan possibly construct to reverse the verdict of perfect, omniscient, and just God?  

Perhaps we can speculate from a common objection that is frequently repeated in the devil's world, unfortunately even by some Christians, although many cults ascribe to it. 

Satan's appeal probably followed this line of argument: how can a loving God cast His creatures into hell?

Human history provides the answer.  

When Satan appealed his sentence, God convened an appeal trial which is coterminous with human history.  Conse-quently, man was created to resolve the angelic conflict and become part of that trial.  Before He created man, God anticipated man's fall and in His matchless grace designed a plan of salvation for all mankind through faith in Jesus Christ.  This is not something an unfair, unjust, unloving God would do and it is why salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone.  Fur-thermore, God created fabulous assets, privileges, and opportunities for every believer so that he might enjoy fellowship with God.  God's grace is freely available to every human being but for anyone who refuses to believe in Jesus Christ, the only alternative is divine judgment. 

Human history displays God's magnificent character and gracious policy to Satan, to all the angels, and to mankind,LUK 15:4-10.  

Both fallen and elect angels are observing how human history is turning out.  History also demonstrates that no one goes to the eternal lake of fire or hell but by his own negative volition, JOH 3:18,36.

In one small corner of the universe called planet Earth, man was created a lower creature than the angels, limited in strength, intelligence, and mobility.  But like the angels man is rational and possesses the same free will that angels possess.  The resolution of the angelic conflict lies in man's exercise of volition for or against the Lord Jesus Christ, for or against the plan of God.  Angels observing human beings will witness proof after proof of Satan's own guilt and condemnation and proof after proof of God's perfect justice and grace, JOB 1:6;2:1-3; LUK 15:7,10, 1CO 4:9; 11:10;EPH 3:10; 1TI 3:16; 5:21.  So, the appeal trial of Satan is coterminous with human history. 

In human history God is duplicating every situation that Satan used as a basis for argument and objection in his prehistoric trial and a major issue in that trial was the concept of suffering. 

Satan argues that men, like angels, will not be able to handle suffer-ing, especially if they consider the suffering unjust.  The only reason anyone re-mains faithful to God, Satan charges, is because God blesses him.  This was the argument in the book of Job. 

Job, however, discredited Satan's theory and was entered as evidence in God's case against Satan.  Despite a period of failure, Job remained faithful to God not because God was blessing him but because of the doctrine he had learned and eventually applied.  As a mature believer, Job possessed the resources to take extreme suffering in stride and to identify his cir-cumstances as suffering for blessing rather than punitive suffering.  Satan likewise was given tremendous assets prior to his fall. 

He did not fall through any fault or negligence on God's part; he failed through rejection of all God had provided.  Satan has no legitimate case, no excuse. 

Numerous other figures in Old Testament history such as Abraham, Moses, David, suffered intensely, but their suffering did not reduce them to being miserable, whining creatures.  Their strength in suffering demonstrated the power of metabolized doctrine to sustain great happiness under every circumstance of life, to equate living and dying, prosperity and adversity.  Only Satan and his fallen angels are to blame for the state to which they have fallen and that's why they hate to see any creature remain faithful to God in spite of the suffering they go through.  Satan argues that men, like angels, will not be able to handle suffer-ing, especially if they consider the suffering unjust.  Another argument is that no one will remain faithful to God if offered sufficient wealth or power.  In other words, everyone has their price.  This argument is a direct defense of Satan's own fall from his office of anointed cherub, the highest-ranking status among angelic creatures.  The issue is will the creature's lust for power, fame, wealth, or any other attainment be more powerful than the plan of the Creator?

Will man choose self-promotion and self-aggrandizement independent of God, or will he execute God's plan and allow God to promote him?  

This is the evidence test Satan leveled against the humanity of Christ during the Incarnation, MAT 4:1-11.

Satan had been created in perfect innocence as Adam was created in perfect innocence.

The angels have free will as man has free will.

Adam freely and deliberately chose to follow the pattern of arrogance which characterized Satan's original revolution.

The fall of Adam duplicates the fall of Satan.  The rebellion of Satan in the Garden of God resulted in the fall of angelic creatures, REV 12:4a.  The disobedience of Adam in the Garden of Eden resulted in the fall of mankind,ROM 5:12a.

In angelic history God had provided a decision-making process by which angels could express non-meritorious positive volition.  Likewise, God provided salvation for all mankind so that man can express non-meritorious positive voli-tion through faith in Christ, JOH 3:16.  Through the exercise of free will, angelic creatures are divided into two categories: elect and fallen, HEB 2:2; Rev 12:7.  Through free will mankind is divided into believers and unbelievers,JOH 3:36.  It could be said then that the reason the angels are called "holy angels" is because God made them holy by providing for them some non-meritorious way to receive His righteousness, REV 15:4; REV 16:5.

In REV 7:10-12, resurrected believers praise the Lord for salvation and the angels join in by twice saying Amen, in which they concur, agree, express that they believe it! 

They say "Amen" concerning salvation because they personally understand it. 

In the Tribulation, while angels bring divine judgment upon the earth, no angel is allowed to execute this judgment a part from Jesus Christ because He alone is worthy, REV 5:2-5

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