THE REAL LEVERAGE of the ENEMY

BY:  E. M. ‘ED’ DUPAS

MARCH 17, 2006

WHAT ABOUT SATAN’S POWER?

SATAN WIELDS GREAT POWER, WHICH HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO HIM BY HIS FOLLOWERS.

HOW DOES THE ENEMY MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE MINDS OF MEN?

WE WANNA BE JUST LIKE OUR DAD

SPEAKING OF LEVERAGE

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FATHER’S CHARACTERISTICS?

GOD IS THE LORD

GOD IS JUST

GOD IS TO BE REVEALED/GLORIFIED

GOD IS LOVE

GOD IS JEALOUS

GOD IS A FATHER, A GOD OF FAMILY

GOD IS ETERNAL

WHAT MAKES IT WORK SO WELL FOR THE ENEMY?

CONCLUSION

WHAT ABOUT SATAN’S POWER?

We have heard at times that Satan has great power.  At other times have been told he has no power but what we turn over to him.  Here are a couple of scripture verses that seem to suggest that the enemy indeed has great power.

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matt. 24:24) (NASB)

“And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.” (Rev. 13:2) (NASB)

The truth lies somewhere between the two opening sentences above, and it is this:

SATAN WIELDS GREAT POWER, WHICH HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO HIM BY HIS FOLLOWERS. 

Meditate upon this for a while and you may find some interesting side thoughts emerging.  For example, we ourselves have/wield no strength but what has been given to us from our Father.  In a sense, we are appropriating His power to supply our very life force.  What is especially interesting is that Satan counterfeits this power arrangement, but in reverse.  Can you see that we draw our strength from our God, our Father, while Satan, described as the father and god of many in the world, draws his strength from his ‘children.’  How interesting is that?  You have heard it said that the Kingdom is upside down from the world, and we see that the god of this world is upside down from the God of the Kingdom.

If you want support from the Word that the enemy (referred to as the dragon) draws his strength from men, consider the following comment from the Apostle John:

“And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Rev. 12:9) (NASB) 

Ever wondered how the (small) serpent in Genesis becomes the great dragon of Revelation?  What has changed?  I’ll tell you what has changed… it is the population of the earth!  As the collective carnal ‘mind’ of men has grown, the enemy has gained more power to wield.  Here again we can compare Satan to God to show they are opposites.  God’s word said that he does not change (Mal. 3:6), while Satan’s growth is tied to the buy-in of the minds of men.  In fact the source of ALL power is God, even that used by the devil.

HOW DOES THE ENEMY MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE MINDS OF MEN?

The cover is about to be blown from the enemy’s best-kept secret!  Using biblical imagery and with apologies to the Apostle John, this might be called the Revelation (Gk: apokalupsis) of Satan. Once the secret is revealed we will know what must be done to overcome him, and why.  Notice that I didn’t say ‘defeat’ him.  There is no need for thatJesus took care of that at Calvary, and provided the means to overcome the enemy in each life.  Whether and how we will do it is something else, which you shall see.

You might say, “I already know what must be done… we overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony…” (Rev. 12:11)  Isn’t that what we have always heard and said?  What about the remainder of Verse 11, which says “and they loved not their lives, even unto the death?  This last phrase not only tells us what must be done, but hints at why it is necessary to be willing to die.  More about this later, but to learn where the enemy’s real strength comes from we must go to the first chapter of the Book.  Two well-used but often little-embraced verses are:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26-27) (NASB)

Those with hearts to hear don’t need an explanation of my phrase “little-embraced.”  Suffice it to say that man’s spirit not only looks like his Father (image), but has His nature and characteristics (likeness).  For a little deeper treatment of this, you might want to read my article Show Us the Father.

Now to the point  I won’t bore you by detailing every possible stronghold the enemy may establish in our hearts, but I do believe that a word to the wise is, as they say, sufficient.  For the moment please set aside any belief that you may hold about being wicked, a sinner, unworthy or anything else.  I am not here to debate those beliefs.  I wish to call your attention to something far deeper, something that has the potential to at last enable us to take hold of our lives, (to possess our souls, as the Apostle Luke puts it). 

WE WANNA BE JUST LIKE OUR DAD

The bible says “My people perish for the lack of knowledge. (Hos. 4:6) Ask ten preachers to talk about this and you might get as many as ten different stories.  The knowledge we need begins with this:  OUR SPIRIT, WHICH IS OUR ESSENCE, IS A REPLICA OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.  This is the key to understanding.  Look around you at those in the world.  How many people do you know who have matured to resemble their fathers (or mothers) in appearance as well as character?  Most of this growth toward the ‘image’ of their fathers was unconsciousthey didn’t even know it was taking place. That’s just the way things work.  Do you not know that our spirits work the same way?  That is the divine order of things.  The Apostle Paul, in I Cor. 14, 43-49 explains that it is in the spiritual as in the natural. 

Now for the coup-de-gras  WITHOUT OUR KNOWING OR TRYING, OUR SPIRIT IS DESIRING TO BECOME LIKE ITS FATHER.  This it true for every man  Even in those whose carnal reasoning minds desire to follow the god of this world, their spirit is quietly desiring to follow the God of all heaven and earth. 

SPEAKING OF LEVERAGE…

Are you familiar with the martial arts defensive skill called jiu-jitsu?  A small man or woman skilled it this art can prevail against an adversary much larger and stronger.  This is done by using the opponent’s own strength against him.  When an attacker comes against you, he must commit some of his weight and force in movement.  This usually shifts the balance of the attacker momentarily.  By discerning the movement and the change in balance, a jiu-jitsu expert can add his strength to the enemy’s commitment of force, taking him farther than he planned to go, sometimes totally off-balance, sometimes in a different direction.

This is a decent allegory of how the enemy works, for we are stronger than the (defeated) devil.  Remember that we were made “a little lower than God.”  The enemy, through deception, enlists our own power to try to bring about our destruction.

Now let’s look at how the enemy accomplishes this.  Having been made in the likeness of our Father, it is our unconscious desire to be like Him… in fact, JUST like Him.  We are all subconsciously trying to resemble our Dad, whether we think we are or not!  This is such an unshakeable attribute in our spiritual natures, that if the enemy were not in the world, we should all gravitate toward our Father, by the shortest possible route.

However, the enemy IS in the world, by our Father’s design, and we must overcome him somehow.  That somehow requires that we be armed with knowledge.

Here is the knowledge we must have…THE ENEMY USES CHARACTERISTICS INTRINSIC TO OUR SPIRITUAL NATURE TO LURE US AWAY, USING OUR PASSION (STRENGTH) AGAINST US.

I am going to repeat that so you don’t miss it… THE ENEMY USES CHARACTERISTICS INTRINSIC TO OUR SPIRITUAL NATURE TO LURE US AWAY, USING OUR PASSION (STRENGTH) AGAINST US

How does this work?  Well, quite simply, we usually sense the desires of our spirit gently, if at all.  We may recognize them as gifts, talents, or passions, or dreams.  If we are to follow them in the natural, they must be translated into the physical, into things discerned by the flesh, largely through the five senses.  You might say that the enemy makes sure something is lost in the translation.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FATHER’S CHARACTERISTICS?

Let’s look at just a few characteristics of our Father, whom we unconsciously are searching to be like.

GOD IS THE LORD

In our desire to be like our Father we have an unconscious desire to rule and be in charge.  God planned for us to have dominion of the earth to be the executors of His will and plans for the earth.  God saw to it that we were predisposed to take charge in the earth.  However, when man “left God behind,” as it were, the enemy was there to translate this predisposition into worldly pursuits.  The result is that he lets us believe we can be like our father (glorifying ourselves) in the world when we rule over men. 

GOD IS JUST

Deep within us is a sense of justice, which if spiritually dispensed, would be good.  If only we could see with spiritual eyes!  However, even Jesus refused to judge, because He had to contend with his flesh, and knew it could never be trusted.  The enemy has perverted a beautiful innate sense of justice inherited from God into selfish things, like criticism, dispensing blame and punishment, insisting on declaring earthly winners and losers.  All of these are far from the heart of the Father.

GOD IS TO BE REVEALED/GLORIFIED

This aspect of our Father’s nature is connected to His salvation of the world, in that as He is revealed and glorified, the world will be drawn to Him.  We likewise desire to be revealed and glorified.  The problem is, our carnal minds, in interpreting this urge into the natural, comes up with self-serving attitudes, revealed as pride, which is a root cause of many kinds of evil.  For example, it is very possible that when we dress immodestly, exposing plenty of skin, the enemy is deceiving us at some unconscious level, making us feel that we are revealing ourselves, and being more like the Father.

GOD IS LOVE

These three words summarize our heavenly Father more fully than any others.  When God named himself, he repeatedly chose from his attributes, such as “God who provides,” or “God your banner,” or “God who heals.” All of God’s names can be contained in the words “God is Love.”  God’s love flows outward, always giving, never taking.  The enemy translates this attribute in our minds to something that makes sense in the world.  After all, it makes no sense to always be giving.  That would only result in one day having nothing left to give away.  No, surely it is better (in the world) to gather together more, so you would have even more to give!  That is how the lie makes sense to our earthly minds.  This change in perception has given rise to an array of types of love on earth, such as brotherly love, erotic love, the ‘love’ of stuff, and jealous (possessive) love.  Some of these can be good, but all fall short of our spiritual call to ‘agape’ love.

GOD IS JEALOUS

When our Father describes Himself as jealous, He goes on to say that His desire is to keep us from other gods and idols, to keep us under His blessings.  This godly jealousy was born of love for his children, and the desire for their best.  On earth, jealousy usually carries with it a root of greed or insecurity, resulting in possessiveness, a perversion of a wonderful trait inherited from our Father.

GOD IS A FATHER, A GOD OF FAMILY

Because God is Love, He was led by His nature to create something to love, including offspring, and a glorious universe for them to dwell within and grow.  His creation of children may have been somehow rooted in His desire to be revealed and glorified.  After all, did He not promise that His sons would rule with Christ one day?  Thus He will be revealed and glorified through His children.

We can find on earth a decent model of the Father’s will for the procreation of offspring.  It can be seen in healthy families, under God.  However, for those who don’t yet know the nature of their Father, the enemy makes sure they are not disappointed.  He provides many ways to encourage them toward procreation. He turns a beautiful deep-seated urge to propagate into all forms of evil and criminal sexual acts, replacing the glory of God by sensual pleasure.  He has even tried to satisfy some minds that the height of sexual pleasure is a kind of encounter with God.

GOD IS ETERNAL

Of course, because our spirit is the image of God, it too is eternal.  However, the enemy translates this knowledge on earth into a desire to live forever in the flesh, which gives rise to a fear of death, as though it were truly an enemy.  So we engage in all sorts of ‘survival’ activities aimed at keeping ourselves alive longer, or hedging our bets against (worldly) losses caused by death.  We buy beer that reminds us to grab for all the gusto we can while we can.  Wars and battles are fought to preserve life as we know it.  The irony is that this is not life at all.  We were lowered out of Life into death.

WHAT MAKES IT WORK SO WELL FOR THE ENEMY?

What makes all this work so well for the enemy, is that we can’t be delivered from the behaviors, at least not totally.  That is, we can eliminate certain behaviors, but not the deep godly attributes that give rise to them.  For instance, if one is bound up in addiction to tobacco, he may be delivered by ministry and repentance.  He may go his way, never taking another cigarette, and be successful in this way.  But what about one who is bound up in gluttony?  Unlike the person delivered from tobacco, the glutton can not choose to avoid food for the rest of his life.  That is the conundrum we face with Satan.  What I am saying is that we can’t be delivered from those things that are so deeply rooted in our nature that we can’t live and grow spiritually without them.

THE MOST DIFFICULT ‘SINS’ TO OVERCOME ARE THOSE IN WHICH WE ARE SUBCONSCIOUSLY TRYING TO BE LIKE OUR FATHER, WHICH IS OUR DESTINY.  So, this is where the enemy has chosen to conduct his fight for our souls.

CONCLUSION

It is easy to see the problemwe are trying to fulfill spiritual (infinite) purposes in a natural (finite) world, filtering our godly attributes through limited carnal minds, which are the enemy of God. (Rom. 8:7)  This may be like trying to perform microscopic laser surgery with a meat cleaverthe results just won’t be pretty!  So this is why we received the mind of Christ.  We must learn to follow it.

In conclusion, I want to revisit to Revelation 12:11, which reads:

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”

Now I hope you can see why the last part of this verse is so important that the enemy has often encouraged us to ignore it.  Because all our tendencies to be like our Father can be interpreted for us by the enemy through the flesh (via the carnal mind), they can and have been distorted.  Our only hope for deliverance from him (to be overcomers) is to put to death the flesh and its desires.  Surely this is what Jesus had in mind when he said “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24) (NASB) 

Can you see why I said early on that knowing how to overcome the enemy is one thing, but whether and how we will do it is something else?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE REAL LEVERAGE of the ENEMY [E. M. ‘Ed” Dupas] 3-17-06          1

 

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