Pichforks, tails and pointy horns, the master of Hell, a fallen angel? These are common pictures of Satan today. The Bible paints an entirely different picture of this cherub who was created "full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."
Who and what is Satan? What is he like and what does he like? Transformed now, into an angel of light, where is he to be found, and what is he doing and inspiring? These articles will begin to open your understanding about Satan, the devil, the slanderer, a deeply religious being who is deceiving the whole Earth. His deception begins with the deceiving caricature that people think of when they think about Satan.
God Had a Son ...God Had a Son before Mary Did studies the revelation of the relationship between the Father and the Son throughout the Old and New testament scriptures. Satan's role in heaven and his activities on the Earth now are also revealed. The book is not yet available so check back often. This book has blessed us in its preparation and we are sure it will bless you as you come to understand the wonderful love betwen the Father and His Son. This book is not yet available but will be soon, at cost price from our eBay store. Check out the eBay store for other good gospel materials and music.
THE LUSTS OF THE DEVIL
John David Clark, Sr. - June, 1992
Because of Christian myths about Satan that have been passed down through the centuries, he is not well known. What does the Devil really want men to do? And how does he go about persuading them to do it? What are his real desires? To find answers to these questions, we begin with this scene of fiery contention, taken from the eighth chapter of the gospel of John:
Jesus answered them . . . “I speak that which I have seen with my Father, and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.”
They answered and said unto him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus saith unto them, “If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard from God. This did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father.”
They said unto him, “We be not born of fornication. We have one Father, that is, God.”
Jesus said unto them, “If God were your Father, ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God. Neither came I of myself, but he sent me. . . . 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. . . . And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. He that is of God heareth God's words. Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
Growing in the knowledge of God includes being liberated from childish, carnal notions of good and evil. It includes realizing that sometimes what appears to be evil may in fact be good, and what first appears to be good may be very evil indeed. Jesus said it in these words, “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with God.” So, growing in grace means that we become reasonable, from God’s perspective of life, even as some may believe that we are becoming less reasonable.
One of the remarkable experiences of a believer’s life is when he puts into practice some new understanding from God and then endures the reaction of others who are still without that understanding. I remember occasions in which I began to live according to a refreshing and clean truth which Christ allowed me to see, only to be stunned at the unfriendly, even angry, reaction from others-often even from those who professed to be followers of Christ. In all things, it pays to consider seriously the implications of God’s words through the ancient voice of Isaiah:
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. And let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
How surprising it is sometimes when the holy Spirit begins to open to our hearts the hidden ways of God! It is amazing how that, after Jesus touches our hearts, earthly things that once seemed important interest us no longer, and how that spiritual things, once foreign to us, seem so desirable, even precious. That transformation from unbelief to faith is a transformation that does not cease when one is born again. There is much change even for the born-again person to undergo in order to attain to the knowledge of the Father. A revealing statement concerning this truth is found in Hebrews 5:14, where the writer says plainly that in order to discern good from evil one must be “of full age” in Christ. In other words, no newly converted person possesses the knowledge of God. Experiences must be had and revelations must be given in order for any child of God to be able to know his Father. A newly born-again person knows his heavenly Father less well than an earthly infant knows his.
So far beyond our comprehension is God’s mind that it is impossible to commune with Him at all, except for one thing: the holy Spirit that Jesus died for us to receive. It is supremely important to receive the holy Ghost. The Spirit, Paul taught, is our only “access” to the Father. It is the only means we have of ever coming to a right understanding of our God’s nature and will. According to Jesus, the Spirit alone will lead us “into all truth.” And to show the insanity of our own natures, you and I both know from experience that most human beings do not desire that precious gift and think it strange for anyone to be baptized with the holy Ghost and speak in tongues! Using the best judgment available to their carnal minds, some men even warned us of being fanatical in our devotion to Jesus. They used Scripture to show us that tongues had ceased. And as we pursued God’s righteousness, they desired our company less.
This is not a harsh criticism of others; it is only a description of man’s spiritual condition before God helps us. We know that until God gave to us a desire for His holiness, we all shied away from people who loved Him deeply! And until God called us, there was nothing we could do about how we felt. We all must have God’s help if we are ever to think rightly about anything.
If someone you know is closer to God than you are, it is nothing but God’s mercy at work in your life that you do not hate that man, consider him deluded, or condemn him as a liar. God’s ways are so far beyond our own that if God doesn’t help us, we cannot recognize God’s work in anyone closer to God than we are. We also need God’s help to recognize evil when we see it because Satan has, in wicked wisdom, disguised his work so as to make it appear to be good. And without having the truth revealed to us, we will fall for one of Satan’s attractive devises. Paul said that Satan himself “is transformed into an angel of light, . . ., his ministers “transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2Cor. 11:13-14). To which comment Jesus adds this striking statement, “If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Mt. 24:24). Who are these shrewd men? Who are they who speak well of Jesus and claim to be his servants, even as they undermine every holy thing Jesus died for?
When Jesus told the respected elders of Israel that “the lusts of your father [the devil] ye will do”, he was speaking to men who would have died rather than commit fornication. As a matter of fact, in that same chapter of John’s gospel some of them had demanded the death penalty for a woman caught in adultery! They despised drunkards, thieves, and harlots as human waste, and would not have dared to keep company with any irreligious man. They made long prayers to God; they were extremely careful of their dress; they travelled to far places and spent small fortunes on missionary endeavors; they rendered tithes on every iota of increase and financed construction of monuments to great men of God (the men their forefathers murdered). They fasted at least twice each week and, according to God, “they seek me daily and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice. They take delight in approaching to God” (Isa. 58:2). Still, Jesus said that they rejoiced to perform “the lusts of the devil”! How can such things be?
Clearly, “the lusts of the Devil” is not the same as “the lusts of the flesh”, and so, the “lust of the Devil” does not include adultery, murder, robbery, and the like. The men accused by Jesus of fulfilling Satan’s desires were doing none of those things. Addicts, drunkards, adulterers, harlots, and other such people are not fulfilling Satan’s desires, as Christian teachers would have you believe. On the contrary, such people disgust the devil; he wouldn’t have them. They are losers on every count, useless to themselves and everyone else; they are fulfilling their own lusts, not Satan’s. Yet, because of ignorance of God, most people shake their heads at these unfortunate souls and, comparing themselves to them, judge themselves to be righteous before God. How foolish!
It is Satan’s joy for Christians to teach that the Devil makes men love drunkenness and immorality. As long as we think that, Satan remains unknown to us. Those who have no more self-esteem than to live filthy, immoral lives are despised and condemned by both Satan and his ministers. That kind of life does not fulfill Satan’s lust, but our own. People love to believe, and they pay ministers handsomely to teach, that an immoral lifestyle is the Devil’s desire for men, so that they can then pity themselves as hapless victims of that “mean old devil”. But they are fooling only themselves. If the Devil were utterly destroyed by Jesus today, men would still be sinners tomorrow.
Let’s rid ourselves of the myths about Satan that Christian ministers have propagated and get real with God. Satan uses and desires good things. He likes some things that God likes. His kingdom is structured and orderly. His angels are disciplined and under his command. He is witty, sociable, and hard-working. And he despises men who are not.
Satan’s successes are not the school drop-outs, drug addicts, or terrorists. He holds them in great contempt. His successes are ministers who speak well of God and Jesus and who lives in such a way that they may have influence over others, yet who will not submit to the power and truth of God! Satan’s successes are those who have control over their own will, who search the Scriptures (perhaps even in the original languages), those who visit the sick and help the needy, and those who appear to be consecrated to God but are secretly proud of all that they accomplish. Satan’s joy is men who deny the power of God in their lives even as they exalt its glory, men who speak in glowing terms of Christ, whose true servants they slander with eloquent speeches. Jesus told his disciples to do the things that such men say to do, but not to do as they do “for they say, and do not” (Mt. 23:1-3).
The apostles themselves later warned the saints that such men were coming for them:
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves . . . having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such turn away. . . . These be they who separate themselves (organize their own congregations and invent their own rules and doctrines), sensual, having not the Spirit. . . . For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh. . . . While they promise them [their congregations] liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption.”
If Satan were your neighbor, you’d like him. He is a religious fellow who would do you favors. He’d mow your grass if you were out of town; he would volunteer to feed your cat, too. The fool who lives near you who stays up late with blaring rock and roll music is not working for Satan. Satan wouldn’t have him. He is not performing the lusts of the devil. He is fulfilling his own lusts, caring for neither the devil nor God, nor you, nor even himself, for that matter.
The lusts of Satan are fulfilled when men do some good deeds but have no power to do righteousness. His lusts are fulfilled when man sermonizes, but never tells the whole truth; when he prays, but not with the unction of the holy Ghost; when he receives a baptism, but not that of the holy Ghost and fire; when he carries out a symbolic communion as Jesus did with his Spirit-less disciples; when he visits the sick, but never heals them; when he condemns sins that are easily seen but clings to those that men cannot detect; when he talks of the Spirit, but refuses to follow its guidance into all truth. The devil’s lust is for men to worship God, but in a way other than in spirit and truth. He desires that men should read the Bible, but not that they should ever come to a right understanding of it--and he uses his ministers to that end.
In the Middle Ages, appropriately called “the dark ages”, Christian myths arose concerning both Christ and Satan which many still hold as true. One such myth is the traditional picture of Satan as a hideous, horned beast with a long tail and a pitchfork. The Scriptures state clearly that Satan is a perfectly beautiful and an incredibly wise creature (Ezek. 28:12), whom, if he would show himself, men would admire. This is one reason he does not show himself. It is too beneficial for Satan for men to imagine him to be an unattractive figure. Were he exposed, it would blow his cover. Realizing this one small truth plays a huge part in one’s coming to a knowledge of holy things. Many things that are useful and helpful for civilization are in Satan’s will for man as well as God’s. Satan has been in heaven. He has seen the order and discipline of the angels. He is disgusted with anarchy, and he despises both gangsters and pillaging, rampaging mobs. When men surrender completely to their own perverse, covetous nature, and when they begin to plunder, vandalize, and injure others, Satan stands helplessly by and watches. That coming world ruler to whom the Bible refers as “the Beast” and to whom Satan will give “his power, and his seat, and great authority”, will not allow riots in the streets. He will be a very shrewd man, an appealing character, a no-nonsense “law and order” ruler. He will not carry a pitchfork, and he will be loved by the whole world.
This is enormously difficult for our minds to take in, yet it is true. Christianity, the institution that claims to be the Bride of Christ, has done more to divide and confuse God’s sheep than all the wicked tyrants of man’s sordid history. From its inception with the Roman emperor Constantine, Christianity has been Satan’s alternative to God’s true family. Christianity is, to this date in human history, the most perfect expression of the lusts of the Devil that has ever appeared on earth. The Beast that will come will bring about a more perfect expression of the Devil’s lust, but he isn’t here yet. All we can do now is to observe Christian teachers at work and marvel at them and at their powerful influence over so many people, including God’s own.
Listen, my dear friend. The holy Ghost baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues is the experience of new birth. That is the experience that makes one a member of the body of Christ that belongs to God. No one is a family member until he is baptized with the holy Ghost! Christian ministers, struggling to serve Christ within the confines of Satan’s religion, encourage men to be born again, even as they teach them that they can be born again without receiving the holy Ghost baptism! They exhort everyone to be righteous, even as they turn men away from the righteousness of God found only in the power of His Spirit. They tell men to “get saved”, even as they steer them away from the saving power of the God, ignoring the words of Jesus and his apostles, who plainly said in one way or another, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Is it the lust of the Devil for you to be baptized with water or with the holy Ghost? Is it the lust of the Devil for you to be born into God’s family on earth (the body of Christ) or to join one of the churches of Christianity? Is it the lust of the Devil for you to read aloud a “Sunday School Lesson” prepared by someone from the headquarters of a Christian sect or to proclaim the truth of the gospel? To dress in choir robes or to be clothed with “the robes of righteousness” available in the Spirit? To be called a good Christian or to be made a good man by Christ? To appear godly or to be godly?
Please remember that Jesus is the one who first mentioned the “lusts of the Devil”, and he told us that the elders among God’s people sought to do what the Devil “lusted “ for them to do. Now, my friend, what do you now think the lusts of the Devil are? Can you any longer think that the “lusts of the Devil” are for men to hijack airplanes, or to assassinate governors, or to rob banks?
My friend, I know how strange this may sound to you, but I also know that it is true: the lust of the Devil is that men become “good Christians”, keeping the holy days appointed by the “apostolic fathers” of Christianity and performing with sincerity the ceremonies that Satan’s ministers invented along the way, such a “communion services”, water baptismal rites, and the like.
Paul wrote, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” To be led by God’s precious, holy Spirit is the only hope any of us has of escaping Satan’s pretty snares. He knows how to make the wrong look right to us, the unholy appear to be holy. He knows what our flesh wants to see and hear. Oh, how we need to stay filled with the holy Ghost, the “Spirit of Truth”! Otherwise, we will certainly fall victim to some lie. We need so much to be delivered from our own opinions by the revelation power of God; otherwise, we will find ourselves belonging to one of Christianity’s sects, contending against others for our own special brand of deceit. What brand of deceit did you choose to endorse? What kind of liar are you? What flavor of confusion do you prefer?
No Christian Church is God’s family. Every church that can be joined is something Satan and/or men invented as an alternative to the true body of Christ! Come out from among all of them, my dear brothers and sisters, and let Jesus make us one in his love! There is no other way for us to be made one, as he prayed that we would be (Jn 17). We will never be united, but always remain divided if we remain within Christianity’s white-washed walls. Oh, come out, my dear fellow believer. There is no real safety therein. Please come out with us who have heard and obeyed the call of Jesus to follow him “outside the gate”, where there is peace and genuine communion with God. We love you, and we want you to rest here in the light of God’s love with us.