The Evil Face of OUR Adversary!
September 25, 2001
America Under Attack: The Aftermath
[Editor’s note: The two untouched photographs above, published by national news services, capture the massive explosions of the World Trade Center twin towers on Manhattan Island after two terrorist-hijacked commercial airline planes slammed into the world famous 140-story skyscrapers. Readily discernible in the fire and smoke of the explosion, from both of the different perspectives of the photos, is the evil face of the true adversary behind these unspeakably dastardly deeds. These amazing photos ostensibly bear the very image of Satan himself, and presumably are God’s miraculous proof to us of the evil one’s existence and that he is the ultimate “terrorist” behind the hatred-driven havoc wreaked upon America on September 11, 2001. The image on the left bears the devil’s face against the backdrop of a distorted cross, representative of Satan’s counterfeit portrayals of himself as the Messiah. The image on the right bears a lion-like face a la the Biblical description of the devil who roams about on Earth “AS a roaring lion,” mimicking “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah,” and deceiving multitudes of untaught into believing that it is The Lion of the Tribe of Judah who is perpetrating the diabolical schemes that he himself, Satan, authors.
As the death and presumed dead toll continues to rise exactly two weeks after the attacks, these incredible events and the prospects of more future terrorism within our national boundaries, also continue to engender an entire range of emotions for Americans. Notwithstanding our collective pain, grief, sadness, and righteous indignation, in the immediate aftermath of these heinous atrocities, heroic and indefatigable rescue efforts, nationwide record relief campaigns, and untold investigations and probes by a host of federal agencies to discover what went wrong and how to avoid future recurrences go on, and necessarily so. Yet, none of these vital and needed responses in any way diminish the empathy, sorrow, and support Americans feel for the victims of these awful attacks and those who loved them.
In the same way, our attempts to draw out from these events the spiritual parallels and applications in no way minimizes the grim realities resulting from the overtly evil actions of the human perpetrators of these cowardly and diabolical acts. The fact is the only way we can even begin to understand why such horrendous occurrences take place in our world is to assess and assign ultimate blame to the chief architect, the mastermind, in this case, the true and ultimate terrorist, who is not a mere human at all, but rather a fallen spirit being.
Indeed, these acts of terrorism against our country have cast Americans, as well as people around the world, into profound consternation concerning many things related to individual and collective security. Multitudes reel in nearly overwhelming fear, trepidation, and uncertainty, in the aftermath of these dastardly deeds, and look for answers to underlying questions long obscured beneath the facades of unprecedented personal prosperity and national wealth, and the harried lives preserving and maintaining it engenders. In short, people are looking for answers.
Well, there are proven answers. They may not be what some want to hear. They may be controversial to some and conflict with their personal belief system or religion. But, there are answers, and to find them the created must turn to the Creator. We must read the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Then we must not merely mentally assent to those answers, but rather truly accept and absorb them into our psyche and life.
For more than twenty-five years (at the time this article was written) I have been studying and speaking about, via various media, what God’s Word, elucidated by the Holy Spirit, reveals concerning the nefarious workings of the supreme author of all evil and adversity. A book devoted to this topic is in the making and will be published soon. However, with the terrible events of September 11, came the remembrance that some very apropos commentary and teaching on this topic had been penned in an existing a book I authored, The Mystery of the Kingdom. The following article consists of excerpts from that book.
In no way is the article published in order to “make hay” commercially from the awful national tragedy that was so suddenly and surreptitiously foisted upon us. Rather, these words are offered in an attempt to do what ministers are called upon to do in countless situations around the world every day — to somehow speak words of comfort as well as courage and understanding to those facing adversity that inevitably and eventually touches the lives of all humans and which at the time and on the surface often seem inscrutable and senseless. That simply is the role of human shepherds — to comfort and strengthen those who are walking through “the valley of the shadow of death.”]
Nowhere has God promised that life on this planet, in this world, would be a rose garden; not to believers, not to anyone. Much to the contrary, Jesus forthrightly declared, “In this world you will have tribulation” (Jn. 16:33). The Apostle Paul said, “Through MANY tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
Indeed, life in this present world is full of tribulations, troubles, trials, difficulties, dangers, and snares. It has always been that way, but in these last days in which we live, the collective and individual experience we call “life,” is especially replete with such adversity. And, though this reality may be perplexing and even enigmatic to many, it certainly is not something that has caught God unawares, because some two-thousand years ago the Spirit of God predicted through the Apostle Paul: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come” (2 Tim. 3:1).
Now before we go any further we must settle one thing. Make no mistake about it, believers are in no way impervious to tribulations. No one who lives in this present world on planet Earth is impervious to tribulation. It comes with the territory, as they say, and believers live in the same world that unbelievers live in. In fact, the real truth, as troubling as it may be, is that believers may be the target of more adversity than unbelievers. This was the essence of what the Apostle Paul wrote to the young minister Timothy, who had learned greatly under the tutelage of Paul, not only from his extraordinary revelation knowledge, but also from his exemplary life, which was replete with afflictions and persecutions:
But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me! And indeed, ALL who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus WILL BE persecuted. (2 Tim. 3:10-12)
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul declared that everyone who sincerely desires to live godly in Christ Jesus in this world indeed “WILL BE” persecuted. Believers, the Born Again children of God, are the only ones who are “in Christ Jesus.” Paul said all believers “who desire to live godly” will be persecuted. He didn’t say they might be. He said they “will be” persecuted. It is not even required that a believer be entirely perfected in godly living in order to be persecuted, necessarily, but just have the “desire” to live godly in Christ Jesus. Not only are believers not shielded from adversity, but rather the more conformed into the Image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29) and less conformed to the world (Rom. 12:2) a believer becomes, the MORE persecution he will experience in this world through those who are not conformed into His Image, who walk “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2).
So, affliction and persecution, troubles and trials, tribulations and all manner of adversity are an integral part of life in this world. But where “in the world,” as the saying goes, do they come from? Are they just random, non-orchestrated, coincidental occurrences? What or who is behind it?
Contrary to religious ideologies held and propagated by many religions of the world, including much of traditional Christianity, which teach that God perpetrates evil upon the world and it’s inhabitants, Holy Writ, i.e., Scripture, the Word of God, attributes authorship of all adversity to the “adversary,” Satan: “Your adversary, THE DEVIL, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
Albeit, one quick caveat is warranted, which is that it would be totally unscriptural, on the other hand, to purport that God cannot, has not, or does not impose various forms and degrees of temporal judgments and disciplinary actions on individuals, groups, and even whole nations. God can, has, and does anything He pleases — anything, it is important to note, in agreement with His Word — for He is truly Sovereign and truly God. Nevertheless, pure adversity, perpetrated with the malevolent threefold purpose of but for to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) is only attributable to Satan; he is the exclusive perpetrator of it.
You see, when Adam committed high treason against God in the Garden of Eden, he handed over to the fallen arch-angel who then became, Satan, the dominion and surrogate lordship of this world which God had originally delegated unto the “Sons of men” (Adam’s progeny) [Ps. 115:16]. Thereby, Satan became “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), “the ruler of the world” (Jn. 14:30). By virtue of Man’s fall into perdition, Satan now had rulership over the elements and order of this world. The entire Creation became enslaved to the effects of his unrighteous nature — corruption (Rom. 8:21). From that moment on even unto today, the entire creation has eagerly awaited the manifestation of the redeemed Sons of God, true believers, who would resist, oppose, and arrest Satan and his adverse works through the authority given them “over all the power of the enemy” (Lk. 10:19) by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consequently, Satan has the power in the present age to inflict adversity upon all human beings, especially those who do not resist him. He never ceases in his evil and adverse works, some of which, according to Scripture, are to: steal, kill, destroy, deceive, harass, hinder, depress, oppress, possess, tempt, accuse, pervert, blind, captivate, torment, terrorize, confuse, condemn, provoke, afflict, corrupt, and persecute.
Satan is our adversary, who is totally and completely AGAINST us, but God is FOR us. David said, “This I know, that God is for me” (Ps. 56:9). If he didn’t know anything else, he knew one thing — that his God was for him, and not against him. If a believer does not know anything else, he needs to know one thing for sure — God is for him, and not against him.
Satan authors adversity, but God authors good! God is forever trying to bring good into our lives. The Bible says, “every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights” (Jas. 1:17). In the verse preceding that verse, God specifically warns us not to be deceived concerning that fact. Yet, so many people are deceived because they have bought the devil’s lie that God is the one who is bringing all the bad into people’s lives. But that is only a vicious lie, under which he camouflages himself and his own destructive works.
So many people are blaming God for the terrible things the devil has been doing all along. They have been duped into believing God has been bringing all the adversity and difficulties into their lives. They begin to blame God.
Yet, the Bible tells us explicitly that when we are experiencing a temptation, test, or trial, we should not say, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone” (Jas. 1:13). It is not God who is assailing our lives with evil and adversity. As Job was admonished by Elihu, “Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty do wrong….Surely God will not act wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice” (Job 34:10‑12).
“God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all”(1 Jn. 1:5), which means there is absolutely no evil in God. Therefore, it would be impossible for Him to use evil toward us. Since, as James said, “God cannot be tempted by evil,” it would be a gross perversion of His Divine Righteousness for Him to bring such things upon anyone else, but rather, as the passage explicitly says, “He Himself does not tempt anyone.”
Contrary to the pious-sounding teaching of some religious expositors, God in no wise intends for believers to be cowering in trepidation and an “ostrich mentality,” and be foolishly ignorant of the wicked and minutely planned schemes of the devil. All such attitudes and actions would only give the enemy an overwhelming and decided advantage over us. Rather, God explicitly warns against that: “in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2:11). The word translated “schemes” here, and in the passage, “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11), actually connotes “strategic battle plans” in the original language. It speaks of military generals gathered around a battlefield map, carefully plotting out strategic battle plans.
This is precisely what the Holy Spirit is revealing about our enemy, the devil — that he carefully contrives strategic battle plans to launch against believers. His tactics are well conceived, and are by no means happenstance. He has a strategic battle plan tailor‑made for each individual believer. He looks for chinks in the believer’s armor, which is precisely the reason it is so essential that every believer “put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
Any battle-wise, battle-tested soldier will tell you that the most stupid and potentially fatal mistake a soldier can make is to be uninformed concerning the “modus operandi” of the enemy. If you are informed concerning the enemy’s usual methods, then you have a distinct advantage over him, rather than vice-versa. One of the most vital and extensive parts of a soldier’s battle training is instruction on the means and methods of the enemy; in other words — his strategic battle plans. Anyone who does not give attention to that block of instruction is not only stupid, but more often than not will soon be dead.
Likewise, it is stupid and oftentimes deadly for a believer to be ignorant concerning the strategic battle plans of his adversary, the devil. That only gives him a decided and unnecessary advantage. God does not intend for believers to be uninformed or ignorant concerning Satan’s schemes and devices. Rather, He wants us to be informed concerning them, in order that we “may be able to stand firm against” them.
The next most essential element of a soldier’s battle training is instruction on his own weapon. He must become thoroughly familiarized with every aspect of proper usage and maintenance of that weapon. His survival depends on it. He must learn how to become a skilled marksman with his weapon, and how to insure that it continuously remains in proper working order.
Similarly, believers are in an all-out, life or death, battle. It is a spiritual battle, fought in the spiritual realm, against spiritual foes (Eph. 6:12). Thus, we must use spiritual weapons, for fleshly weapons are utterly useless and powerless in this spiritual battle: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Cor. 10:4).###
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Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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