Article Based On A Sermon
27 October 2007

Standing Against Satan

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Back in 1974 there was a girl of nineteen who was kidnapped. She was actually taken from her apartment in Berkeley, California and kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). At that particular time there were quite a few of these types of armies around. There was the Red Army Faction over in Germany, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, because the Baader and Meinhof were two of the people that were principally part of that gang. The Red Brigade, over in Italy also was about that same time in the seventies. This Symbionese Liberation Army was over in the San Francisco, California area at that particular time.

The young girl's name was Patty Hearst, and it might ring a bell to some of us who are of that generation, and will remember the particular incident, because Patty Hearst's kidnapping was very unusual. What actually happened was that she was kidnapped, I believe it was in early February, and then by April, she suddenly appeared on the news as part of a team of bank robbers.

She had been brainwashed in the interim period. And what actually happened was, tape recordings were played on the television quite regularly of her giving various addresses to her father, who was a wealthy news magnate. And step by step her mind was changing -- she was being brainwashed. Just two months after that abduction, she robbed a bank as part of the SLA, and she had in fact taken on their cause, their ideas and ideals.

Mr. Armstrong actually made a quote. It was in the eighties, shortly after this particular time. It was when she had already been captured, and the case had come to court, and obviously it had gone through the papers quite extensively. And in 'In a World Held Captive,' he said:

"The news has been replete with stories of kidnappings and aircraft hijackings. Bizarre among them was the Patty Hearst kidnapping, in which the victim was brainwashed into preferring the criminal life of the kidnappers to the respectable status of her parents."

She had a privileged lifestyle, and yet she came to the point where she preferred what the kidnappers had, to what her parents had. Happily, Patty's mind later became cleared of the delusion."

"But most astonishing of all is the actual fact of the colossal kidnapping of all time - in which the captive for 6,000 years has willed to pursue the life of the evil philosophy of the arch-kidnapper - Satan the devil. The willing victim in this case is the world that inhabits this planet earth. Yet this world has been so completely deceived that it cannot realize what actually has happened to it."

Now Mr. Armstrong used that particular event of Patty Hearst's kidnapping to point out that the entire world is really in the same position -- it has been kidnapped. And at the same time as being kidnapped, it has also gone along with the kidnappers. It has identified with the kidnappers' mentality, their frame of mind, and their thinking.

Now we in the Church are indeed in a battle for our minds. If you turn over to Ephesians 4, Paul brings out several points regarding this battle;

"Be ye angry, and sin not [and this is how you do it]: let not the sun go down upon your wrath [do not allow it to stew. That is how you might be angry, but you don't sin, you make sure that it doesn't lead on]: Neither give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:26-27)

How does the anger when it starts stewing, lead to sin? Well, because it gives place to the devil. The devil is able to get in there - the battle for our mind. Remember the devil means slanderer. That battle for our mind is left wide open, and our armour is down, and we lose the battle in that sense.

So, what I want to do today is actually begin another series of sermons on Ephesians 6. The armour against our spiritual brainwashing, is what you could say, because here in Ephesians 6 it talks about "...[wrestling] not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and against powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world..." (Ephesians 6:12)

It is spiritual wickedness (or wicked spirits) that is being broadcast, which is also brought out in Ephesians, which we will read about. This is the broadcast, which we are to have armour against. And each of the points that you find when you start reading from Ephesians 6:14 gives an aspect of this armour that we need to have.

Quite frankly, so many in the Church today are under pressure, they are having difficulties, they are in a battle, and the battle is in and for their mind. Whatever the difficulty is, be it a job loss, be it problems with children, it involves a battle in the mind. The actual problems that we have, go on in our mind in the way in which we approach things. So often we are losing this battle, yet we are told about how to win. How to gain the advantage over the arch-enemy, and to recognize just what is going on. So I am going to begin this series of sermons based on Ephesians 6, about the armour against this spiritual brainwashing. Notice here in verse 10:

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." (Ephesians 6:10)

So the entire series will bring out the fact that we have got to be strong. Not in our own might; if we try that, we will fail, and fail miserably. But we are to be strong in the might that has been given to us.

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)

The title for this sermon is: Standing Against Satan. It is the standing that I want to concentrate on, and withstanding. If you notice in the first few verses, this is what is continually being brought out. The words 'stand', and 'withstand' are being mentioned repeatedly. It goes on;

"..that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood..." (Ephesians 6:11-12)

So often when we have problems and trials, the object takes our attention. If you've got a car that has been bought three months ago, and still hasn't quite arrived yet, the object of our attention is the dealer. But, no, it's not the dealer, it's the spiritual wickedness in high places. This broadcast is actually influencing the dealer. The reason why I bring that out, by the way, is that we bought a car three months ago, and we still have yet to drive it anywhere, apart from the dealer and the garage to get it fixed. It is at the garage at the moment. So we will see what actually happens. This goes back to the anger, and not letting the sun go down on your wrath. That applies greatly in this particular case!

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood [it is not dealers and garages], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

When we get into problems, when we have battles to fight, we have got to make sure we understand that. That it is not the people involved. Christ said: "...Father forgive them; for they know not what they do..." (Luke 23:34). And they don't, because it's Satan's broadcast they do not understand. It is a world held captive.

"Wherefore take unto you [this is addressed to the Church and us today] the whole armour of God [it's not our armour, it's God's armour], that ye may be able to withstand [notice the word again 'withstand', it is a construct, using the same word translated as 'stand' here and elsewhere] in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)

Again, be aware that the Bible has been written primarily for us today. When we look at this book of Ephesians, written by Paul, there is a good chance that this book would probably have found its way around the mail route, and ended up where? Philadelphia and Laodicea, and eventually back to Ephesus and then to Paul for canonization. From the apostle that actually founded the church, these words would have been valuable.

It is interesting that in the era that we find ourself in, and the shattering that has taken place, we are waiting for the actual Laodicean Church to arise. And in this particular time, this book of Ephesians has come down through the eras also and has been left and preserved specifically so that we can read and learn from these words.

These are not words designed only for those way back when! These are words designed for us today, and specifically for us today, because we are looking at the printing process that has come into existence in the last few hundred years. Plus the preservation of the text, the translations, the groups around the world disseminating this text, so that everybody can have access to these words.

Now it says here; "...that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13). It is interesting as well, that it says: "having done all." The margin says, "having overcome all." Overcome all what? Overcome, as it says: "... principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

Overcome the darkness of this world and all that is thrown against us from that source. Then what? Then we stand. In Luke 21 we find this word to 'stand,' or this concept of standing, and I believe this is what Paul is alluding to in this particular passage.

"And take heed to yourselves [remember this is written primarily to us, on whom the ends of the age have come], lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth [so it is obviously talking to the end-time generation]. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things [in other words, the 'place of safety' is very real, that you are physically able to escape these things] that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:34-36)

So looking at this section here in Ephesians 6:

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day [go through the trials and the problems we find ourselves in today], and having done all [or having overcome all, and having been strengthened by these trials], to stand [When? When Christ returns]. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about..." (Ephesians 6:13-14)

So this concept, standing against Satan, is in the sense of withstanding. But also Paul is using this other aspect, alluding to the fact that, having done all you will be able to stand when Christ returns. Then Paul deals with seven points that will help us to stand, and avoid the brainwashing of Satan, which the world is subject to, and us as well.

Just think about Patty Hearst. One day she was living her life as per normal, and in a matter of two months, she had been brainwashed. I know there are certain cases where the SAS and various other individuals go behind enemy lines. They are trained specifically to put up with the brainwashing process, because they know that this kind of thing happens. Now Patty Hearst had none of that. She went in totally unprepared. She was just an ordinary nineteen year old girl, still a teenager, and she did not withstand.

Yet here, it is saying, "Look, we've got to make sure that we do withstand this." The brainwashing process, which Satan would certainly love to go ahead and inflict on the people of God. We can withstand it, providing we use these keys that are here in the Bible. So, initially this standing against Satan is the introductory sermon, dealing with some of these concepts. The things I want to go into are:

The Context Of Ephesians (PLAY FROM 17:37)

Let's have a look therefore at the book of Ephesians -- what the book is all about, hitting some of the high spots and just try and get a feel for the book itself, and to realize how chapter 6 sits in the context of the whole book.

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 1:1)

These people were living lives, the same kind of life that Christ Himself would live, - or at least that was the aim - if He was there. This is why he says: "...to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 1:1). Faithful, walking as if they are in Christ Jesus.

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation [or the throwing down] of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Ephesians 1:4)

In other words, this group of people that he was addressing here, these saints, were chosen, and they were chosen right the way back. A group has got to be in existence, and it was determined that would be the case right from the time when Adam and Eve took of that tree. When they decided to go their own way and take the knowledge of evil, of right and wrong to themselves.

"Having predestinated us unto the [sonship] of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." (Ephesians 1:5)

So this is what it's all about. This predestination, the fact that we are to be holy and without blame before Him in love. The reason for that is so that we can be sons and daughters of God. And this is the profound nature of this book. It is talking about what we have got to do at this time - now, in our daily lives - in order to fulfill the purpose for which we have been called. It is to do with our predestination as part of an entirely new world. As Mr Armstrong will bring out, and we will go and read that in a little while. That is the essence of it.

"That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we [the 'we' that he is talking about there are the Jews] should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." (Ephesians 1:10-12)

They are the ones that first understood about this salvation, which means rescue. Rescue for the purpose of being sons and daughters of God. That is what it's all about.

"In whom ye [that's the Gentiles in Ephesus] also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation [just realize what these words really mean; the gospel, the good news of your salvation. Salvation, what do you mean? To become part of the very Kingdom of God]: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," (Ephesians 1:13)

They were called by the Father, they were given to Jesus Christ, they were baptized and had hands laid on them. And they were sealed with the very Spirit of God as part of the very Family of God.

"Which is the earnest [the down payment] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:14)

Until the entire church - the called-out ones - come into the very Family of God! It is talking about the plan of God. People read over this out in the world, but we shouldn't, mustn't read over this. So often we can get some spiritual mumbo-jumbo in our mind, and we can then miss the point. If you read what it actually says; with the knowledge and understanding that is given to us through the revelation from keeping the Holy Days, this book becomes utterly profound. When it comes into Ephesians 6 about the armour of God, these points are absolutely major. They are not just sitting in isolation at all by any stretch!

Here he is talking about Christ:

"Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come [so the supreme pinnacle, the one right under the Father will be Jesus Christ, but notice]: And hath put all… under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all… to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:21-23)

Every single thing that we live in, that we are part of within this created world that we find ourself in, every galaxy, every star, rests on the Word of God that came from the Logos, this One that became Christ. The One that fills all in all. He fills the entire universe with His creative power through His Word. Yet that Being it says here, has been given, the head over all things to the Church, because that Being has a wife. That wife and He are of the same flesh. This is the very gospel. We are predestinated to be sons and daughters, as part of that. It goes on into Ephesians 2:

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we [that's the Jews, that's the ones that believed earlier] all had our [conduct] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

So there is no difference between the two groups. Paul in Ephesians 2 talks about how the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile is broken down, so that the Spiritual Israel of God is now one. And the Ephesian Church is included as part of that very family of God.

"For through him we both [both Jew and Gentile, both sides, those that are being called at the present time] have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God [you are part of that Israel of God, you are part of the sons and daughters of God]; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets [the prophets being the Old Testament prophets, the apostles being the ones who actually walked with Christ through the time that He was there, and those that are sent], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together [aligned and revolves around] groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:18-22)

Becoming part of the very Family of God. Begotten - and eventually born - sons and daughters of God with the Spirit of God living and dwelling in us and witnessing with our Spirit that we are the sons of God, as it says in Romans 8. This is the context of these verses over in Ephesians 6.

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;" (Ephesians 3:14-16)

Now there's the battle! The battle is not with the car dealer. It is not with the problems we have with our families. It is in the inner man. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." This Being that walked the earth, which was God in the flesh, is also going to have others who are the same kind, like Him, as Christ walking in the flesh.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height [this is the very God Head, this is the very family of God. It is God Himself, reproducing Himself, reproducing His character, reproducing His Way within human beings]; And to know the love of Christ [what is God? God is Agape, that way of life, that mindset], which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-20)

That we may become, "like our Father. Perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect." That's what Matthew says. That is what it means. But we can't do that on our own strength. It is done through the power of God. That is what this book is talking about. Gentiles being part of the very family of God. Not just Israel physically, but the Israel spiritually as well.

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:13)

Just read what that says. "Till we all come...unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13): As it says here; "...that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God" (Ephesians 3:19). The character that we have, has got to be the character of God. The fulness of that character, all aspects tested, and ready for the purpose that has been put on our shoulders. That is what we're part of. That's what we've been called for.

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:14-15)

So we are in fact the brothers and sisters of Christ. The stature and fulness of Christ. Not tossed about by some satanically-minded preacher, or satanically-minded philosophiser - we've got the armour there to withstand against these ideas that will subvert, that will actually tear us down. Notice:

"For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them [this is the context of Ephesians 6]. For ye were sometimes darkness [you had sometimes been deceived, you were sometimes the Patty Hearsts of this world, had put your lot within the kidnapper's court], but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:5-11)

Get rid of them. If you have thoughts coming into the mind that are against the stature of the fulness of Christ, get rid of them. You have the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, and that therefore allows us to fight.

"For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (Ephesians 5:12)

There are certain things that are going on in this world today, that really turn the stomach. An example; we had a discussion about a news item this past week, it was on abortion, and it was an article from 'The Daily Mail'. It was posted on the news items but we did not put the link to it, and we did not quote them, except in very, very minor detail, because I don't feel it's necessary to go into the detail that was in that news article. Yet, it was in a major paper here. But quite frankly, as it says here; "For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret" (Ephesians 5:12). Some of the things that are happening today are vile - they are totally vile.

Let me just read what Mr. Armstrong said 'In a World Held Captive,' He says:

"Jesus is referring to the present evil world [this is on page 19], said it is built on a foundation of the sand of Satan's way of vanity, covetousness, envy and jealousy, competition and strife, violence, rebellion, contention, unhappiness, suffering and death."

"THIS WORLD IS DOOMED TO CRASH! And great shall be the fall thereof."

That is why we've got these news items there. Look at what is going on in the world. Recognize what the scriptures say and be aware of what is actually happening right now. He says:

"Jesus did not come to repair or remodel or make over this building - this world - this civilization."

You go to the churches outside and they are trying to save people for Christ. That is not what it says in scripture. God has got to call. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44). That is what Mr. Armstrong said over and over again. He says here:

"Its foundation is faulty - that of Satan. Its superstructure - its systems of government and legal systems of law and justice, its systems of faulty and materialistic education, its religions, its social systems and customs - all its superstructures - are faulty producing discontent, unhappiness, contention, competition, and strife leading to violence and destruction, anguish, suffering, poverty and death."

So all the things that are in this particular world are leading to all these negative areas. Again, you can go into the news items and see that.

"Those are the supporting columns and the beams of the superstructure of the building that is in this world. Jesus did not come to reform this world - to bring it a "spiritual revival..."

Mr Armstrong hammered over, and over and over again: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..." (John 6:44).

"I pray not for the world, but for them..." (John 17:9) Talking about the disciples, but not the world."

"The Church is the start - the embryo - of an entirely NEW and DIFFERENT BUILDING."

So when we are looking here in Ephesians generally, and trying to get the context of chapter 6, we find the subject of predestination being addressed right at the very beginning. We find within the book that here are the Gentiles that are with the Jews at that time - those that first believed - and the two together are forming a building and it is a new building. It is a new civilization. It is an entirely new and different way of life as far as this world is concerned.

An Insane World (PLAY FROM 35:24)

When we look at the world itself - going onto the second point - turn over to Romans, chapter 1. These scriptures succinctly set out about the way in which thinking then develops into the world we see today.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [suppress] the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." (Romans 1:18-19)

In other words, they can look out of their eyes, the same way you or I can. We see day in and day out an organized world. This organized world is not just in one area, but is in every single area! You can look out into the stars, you can look down into the atomic structure, you can look at the animals, the plants, the rocks, everything. It is all organized. It is all designed.

So any human being that is looking out of his eyes, or even a person who is blind, should be able to feel his way around and understand by what he can hear. To come to a concept that there is no God? There is a real problem there. There is a deficiency in that mind. There is a certain perversion of that mind. The perversion doesn't start with something sexual, like homosexuality. The perversion starts with the denial of God. That's where the perversion starts. To the degree people deny God, they are perverted. They are deviant.

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:20)

It doesn't matter which individual, you do not have to have been called (John 6:44). You are looking at something which every single human being must be able to recognize, must be able to comprehend.

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. (Romans 1:21-22)

They became mad. They became insane. There is a certain deviancy there in the mind, as it says in verse 28:

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge [in their organised knowledge system], God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;" (Romans 1:28)

Check the margin there. It is a mind that is 'void of judgment', which has a certain deviancy and madness also. We find ourselves living amongst people in this deviant and mad world, who can see the same things we can, and yet they are coming to conclusions that are insane. They are simply not logical. You cannot look at this world and say: "Look there is no designer. There is no need for a designer."

The statistical probability of this world existing as it is just on a cosmological scale, an atomic scale.....they have got to get up to multiverses to try and explain just what we see in the inanimate world! Then add to that, the chance occurrence of a DNA molecule, with the chance occurrence of an enzyme to unzip it, to match it in the primaeval slime, that just happened to be in that particular position. The numbers are mind-numbing. You take every single atom in the universe. You combine it with its fellow and you separate it one a second and you start at the beginning at the big bang and you go right through to the present. You only have just come up with once in the entirety of the universe of being able to have an enzyme that will unzip DNA. It is that complex. That is 10 to the power of a hundred and twenty something - to one.

But to come up with DNA itself - that is 10 to the power of two million! Just to write it, you are writing noughts for three and one half miles! That is just writing the noughts on the end of the number. Every nought multiplies what you have just written by ten. You do it for three and one half miles just to express the possibilities. They say; "Oh well yes, but it was predisposed to have this." Okay, but why? It doesn't matter even if it's predisposed. Somebody predisposed it! To have what we have around us, and can see out of our eyes on a daily basis, and to deny a designer, that man is a fool! There is a mind that is void of judgment.

"... a reprobate mind [a mind that is void of judgment], to do those things which are not [proper];" (Romans 1:28) They want to go in a certain way, therefore, they will believe a lie. That's an insane mind.

Over in Ezekiel 28 we find the same kind of mind here as well. Talking about this individual that became Satan - the adversary, became the devil - the slanderer, verse 17 says:

"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom..." (Ezekiel 28:17)

He looked at himself, saying: "Oh, aren't I wonderful," but in comparison to whom? In comparison to God. He compared himself to God and he elevated himself above God. This individual was a created being and a created being that elevates his mind above the Eternal - who created him - is an insane individual. As it says here; "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom..." (Ezekiel 28:17) It is the same thing, his mind became void of judgment! We are looking at a mad world.

We are looking at ourselves in situations sometimes where what is happening seems insane. The entire insane system is going to have to be destroyed. The whole lot has got to go because it is an insane system, based on a deviant mind that is influencing and has influenced mankind all the way through. This mankind that is held captive, that has gone along with his kidnapper. It is not going to be patched up by Christ. He is going to wipe the whole thing away. Now in Isaiah 14:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:12-14)

"I will be the same as the Eternal." This is a created being. This is not rational! The vanity got in there, and once the vanity got in there, there was an insanity that crept in there as well. Therefore, when we look at this society, we are looking at an insane position, an insane world. What we find then in Revelation 12, is coming from a being that reckoned that he could be equal to the Eternal. Ridiculous!

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him [he's got power, yes he has, for a limited space of time]. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death [they had a mind focused on more important things]. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." (Revelation 12:9-12)

Not only is he mad in an unintelligent way, in the way he actually thought he could turf God off His throne, but also he has great wrath. He is boiling mad because he knows he has but a short time. He can see the end coming, and the end of all this insanity will come, it will actually arrive. What will replace it will be an entirely new civilization, a civilization based on the people in whose mind is the Way of God. In whose mind right now is the armour of God, that can withstand against this insanity. We have the armour that will stand against, and protect us from this insane being.

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for [three and half a years], from the face of the serpent." (Revelation 12:13-14)

This is bang up to date. We are looking at now, right now. Therefore, we need to understand these things. It is a mad world. We need to appreciate just how insane it is. When you look at the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, what happened there. She had a leading family - and she was leaving her family, leaving wealth, position, and stability, to do what? To shack up with a bunch of bank robbers. That is just not rational. Yet, with brainwashing you can accept the non-rational, and Satan knows that. If we are being brainwashed, and if we haven't got the armour against it, then we can go down that route. We can accept the insane position.

The End-Time Doctrines of Demons (PLAY FROM 47:45)

Now there are certain things mentioned at the end time. When you are looking at the end-time doctrines, and particularly the end-time teachings, it is coming from a demonic source. Notice in I Timothy 3:

"These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (I Timothy 3:14-15)

He is talking to Timothy and he is saying; "Look, I'm going to come pretty soon, but even if I don't get there early, at least you will know how to conduct yourself with what you have authority over." He was an evangelist over the Church, at this particular time.

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness [now when we look at the mystery of godliness, it is much along the same lines as you are looking at in Ephesians,]: God was manifest in the flesh..." (I Timothy 3:16)

Christ was Emmanuel. He was God with us. He was God in the flesh. He actually became flesh, and walked as flesh. He wasn't just one member of a trinity that happened to have some kind of theophany floating around down here which is the Simon Magus lie. He became flesh.

"... justified in the Spirit [when He was baptized the dove appeared and John the Baptist knew who He was. He was therefore identified clearly in the Spirit when He went through baptism], seen of angels [when He actually came out of the tomb, angels were there, and witnessed the resurrection], preached unto the Gentiles..." (I Timothy 3:16)

Now we come to the same kind of things that we find in Ephesians where it is talking about 'we who first believed' - being the Jews - and 'you the Gentiles' of the Ephesus Church, who were also part of that same building, part of that same Kingdom, which is going to replace Satan and his kingdom.

"...preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world [these Gentiles believed, then came the impregnation, the earnest of the Spirit took root and they actually became part of the begotten family of God, and then, our reward:], received up into glory." (I Timothy 3:16)

Becoming part of the first resurrection. This, as it says here; "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness..." (I Timothy 3:16), that we have the measure and fulness and stature of Christ. That is what he is talking to Timothy about here. That is the context here. What then happens - there is no chapter break - it goes straight into chapter 4:

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times [so we are looking at the latter times, the times of the end, here it is addressing the people at the time of the end] some shall depart from the faith, giving heed [listening] to [deceiving] spirits, and doctrines of devils [doctrines of demons];" (I Timothy 4:1)

The concepts are coming from this insane mind that we are talking about. A position and thinking that literally doesn't make sense. But people, as it says here in I Timothy 4:1:

"...shall depart from the faith [the true Church, the true way of life], giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of [demons]; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (I Timothy 4:1-2)

Now turn back to Ephesians 4 and notice an interesting point:

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ;" (Ephesians 4:17-20)

In other words, get the right focus. That is not where we are looking at, we're not looking at these individuals or their lifestyles. They've been seared with a hot iron, as it says in I Timothy 4:2, or as it says here, "being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness,". They do just what they want. But you haven't so learned Christ.

"If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former [conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephesians 4:21-24)

Defined by the very Word of God. As it says earlier on, in Ephesians 4:

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:13)

Here in I Timothy 4, it says: "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (I Timothy 4:2) They seem to go on, and they will continue in a certain direction. And in is worth noting that in Matthew 24:49, one of the problems at the end time is going to be eating and drinking with the drunken. It talks about the wine of her fornication and the drunkenness that is there within Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and the abominations and filth of the earth.

Again, it is coming from a warped mind. You try align that system with the True Church, and it is an impossibility. You can't get the Catholic Church and align it with the True Church at all because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8) You cannot look at what the Catholic Church did in the Middle Ages and align it with Christ. Therefore it is not the True Church. It is very simple. You don't have to go into all the rigmarole, and all the various ramifications of what they believe today. And also the things that are spawned from there; it is the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. The Protestants that spawned from the Catholic Church fit that bill. It's as simple as that.

"Forbidding to marry..." (I Timothy 4:3)

Celibacy is one of the things you will find at the end time - ascetic celibacy. We find that in the Catholic Church, because of the belief in asceticism. But it goes beyond that as well, you find and look in society generally, and you find forbidding to marry, insomuch as forbidding to elevate the institution of marriage above something like homosexuality. That falls in the same kind of category!

The other thing also, is an immoral lifestyle. You can't go ahead and give marriage the kind of emphasis that it needs and deserves against an ordinary immoral lifestyle, which approves of just shacking up together, and just living together regardless. Yet, that is not the way of God.

Remember what it says in the beginning: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of [demons];" (I Timothy 4:1) So don't be surprised if we see some things like this actually within what was the Church.

"... to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." (I Timothy 4:3-5)

Now prayer is the blessing you ask on the meal - the fact that you give thanks in prayer when you eat something, eat meat. But it is also by the Word of God and Leviticus 11 tells us what we need to know regarding that subject as well. So it is by the Word of God and prayer that is sanctified, made fit for eating. But it is talking about these people saying you should abstain from meats, which God had created to be received.

We do find today vegetarianism as something being pushed. It is pushed even within schools today. One of our daughters was indoctrinated at school, and became a vegetarian. She is eating meat now, but at the time we were not at all happy. These people were indoctrinating the children, girls particularly, to become vegetarian and at a growing cycle in their maturing bodies, where they need to have the right nutrition, so they are able to have healthy children in the future. Where does that kind of warped thinking come from? It comes from the insane mind that is throughout the entire world.

Madness? You see vegetarianism on one side, and you see on the other side even cannibalism being accepted in various societies. Let me read an obituary about a Mr David Muffett, who was administering in Northern Nigeria at that particular time in the 1960's. It says:

"Muffett liked to regard himself as a hard riding Bush District Officer of the old school. He allowed nothing to stand in the way of justice and good administration. Yet although he was resilient and thick skinned, he was also sensitive to local tradition. In 1960 he apprehended a Northern Nigerian tribal Chief who had eaten the local tax collector. He had apparently been so impressed with the man's ability to acquire money on demand that he understandably tried to assimilate his powers. It was not so much this particular misdemeanor that bothered Muffett. What really worried him was that a UN delegation was due to visit the area, and 'I wasn't about to have one of them eaten. I considered that would be a highly retrogressive step.' The Chief, who was surprised to learn that the current colonial authorities disapproved of his eating habits, was duly sent to jail. But 'only until the delegation had departed beyond the reach of his culinary aspirations.'"

I thought that was quite interesting. It was a slightly 'tongue in cheek' rendition, but you know, it is a mad world, and that literally happened in Nigeria back in the 60's.

There are these insane positions that people hold, and you are looking at these end time doctrines. You have on the one side that you can't go ahead and eat an animal, you can't go ahead and hunt a fox; but you can murder your unborn children. These are insane, crazy positions to hold. That you can murder your children, but you mustn't hunt a fox? This thinking is coming from a mad world, and a mad mind, and we need armour to protect us against such a mindset.

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but [you test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth [Strong's 3670 homologeo] that Jesus Christ is come [or 'coming' present progressive word] in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world." (I John 4:1-3)

That is how you make the distinction. Is what is being said, is what is coming out of the mouth a reflection of the living Word of God? Do the words reflect what this Bible says? Remember the sword of the spirit is the word of God and this is part of the armour.

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world [listens to] them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (I John 4:4-6)

That is how you make the distinction. You look at what is coming out of the mouth. Does it square with the Word of God in the flesh? Not just the Word of God by some academic. But the Word of God walking in the flesh, the way that we need to walk, becoming perfect, having the same attitude and character of God. That is what it's about. That's what it says here.

In these end time doctrines of demons, we do need to make sure that we can in fact test the spirits, test the breaths that are coming out of these prophets and make sure that we understand where the truth came from. It had to be revealed. Where did it come from? Where was it revealed? It was revealed at this end time through one man and that was Herbert Armstrong. Does that say that he could do no wrong? No, it doesn't. He was a human being. It comes from the same Word, this living Word, it came from Jesus Christ, and it is to do with the way in which that Word then walks in the flesh and is able to operate as a human being - as if it were Christ Himself walking in that flesh. Measuring it against this book, but it is not just this book, it is a living Word.

The Wiles Of The Devil (PLAY FROM 01:03:34)

We come to point number four; the wiles of the devil, of the slanderer. Really, he doesn't change his spots, in that sense. We see this classic case in Genesis 3:1 where it talks specifically about these wiles:

"Now the serpent was more subtle [more wiley] than any beast of the field which the [Eternal] God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1)

In other words, it doesn't come straight on, it knocks you sideways. Again, it doesn't come absolutely head on, but you've got to face it! The armour, that you'll find in Ephesians 6, is all on the front. You have to turn and face wherever it comes from. But, it comes in like a snake.

"And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die [he therefore doubts God, he goes against the Word of God, 'don't worry about dying']: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil [appealing to her vanity]. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise..." (Genesis 3:2-6)

In other words, she then looked at it, lusted after it, wanted something for herself. She didn't look at the revelation, didn't think about the revealed knowledge that had been given to her probably the day before. She didn't look at that.

"... she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened," (Genesis 3:6-7)

As God then says to them "... Who told thee that thou wast naked?..." (Genesis 3:11)

Satan also got in there and started to besmirch the sexual relationship in marriage, between these two who were husband and wife, and that is exactly what we find over in I Timothy 4 where we read before.

So we see vanity. We see 'you decide'. We see 'God lied to you', coming from what? Just a creature. God didn't say, "Right, you've got to watch this one. This one is Satan. This one is the enemy. This one is the adversary. This one is the devil or slanderer." I'm pretty sure He didn't say that. He manifested as a serpent, just as another creature that simply just said something to them.

That is what we find many times. We will find ourselves in a situation where we will be tested, and what's coming through will be coming from somebody else. But the spirit that is there, the attitude of mind that is there, where is that coming from? This is what we need to find out. We need to understand when we are looking at Ephesians 6, we say: "Well okay, we're not wrestling with flesh and blood, we're wrestling with principalities and powers." The attitude of mind is coming from the spirit, the god of this world, yes. And he is also the prince of the power of the air.

You find how this is actually handled in Matthew 4. I don't want to go into too much of the aspects of the armour of God itself this time. I'm talking basically about standing against Satan, against this attitude of mind, this battle we find ourselves in.

"But he answered and said, It is written , Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

So this is how Christ countered. Verse 7:

"Jesus said unto him, It is written again , Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [verse 10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4:7,10)

In every single case He used the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, which is what Eve should have done. She should have said, "But God said, don't touch it, so buzz off." But she didn't. She allowed the vanity to be there. She allowed, 'you decide'. She allowed , 'Oh well God lied.'

All of the various things we see within our newspapers, on our televisions, throughout the entirety of this end-time society that we find ourselves in - we have to be on guard as we too can accept this deviant, perverse, mad, insane position, just the same as Patty Hearst accepted her kidnappers' position. Because the world has been kidnapped. The world has accepted this position, and if we don't have that armour we will find the same thing will happen with us as well.

Our Spiritual Wrestling Match (PLAY FROM 1:08:32)

So we've got a wrestling match. Turn over to I Peter 5:

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time [you don't go ahead and take the vanity-filled route, you allow God to do the exalting in His due time, and allow yourself to be worked by God]: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you [even in the trials and difficulties that we find ourselves in, if we are in contact with Him, we can cast our cares on Him, for He does care]. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil [so your adversary, enemy, the devil, and slanderer], as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith [the shield of faith is part of the armour of God], knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (I Peter 5:6-9)

But we have to be different and the way we handle those afflictions has got to be different.

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6)

In other words, if we want to have the kind of excellence that is necessary to fulfill the purpose that God called us to, and gave us to Christ to be trained by, you need to have the humility there.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

That is a promise. So again, if we find ourself being bombarded with thoughts that we shouldn't have, the solution is resist. How do we know they are thoughts we shouldn't have? Measure them against the Word of God. If Satan finds there is a resistance there, he has got to flee. The same way as he fled from Christ when He said; "Go away with you Satan, because God said..." That is exactly what Eve should have done, but didn't.

So in our spiritual wrestling match we need to: "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:8-10) That is where fasting will come in.

But a major part of this is how we go about in our relationships and dealings with others. In Luke 23:34, we can see a certain approach, a mind that we need to have, which Christ had even when skewered on the stake. He said: "Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) He recognized the fact that these people had been kidnapped. Their minds had gone along with the very kidnapper himself.

"Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law..." (James 4:10-11)

So even within the Church we have to be very careful of this, because when we start speaking evil of one another within the Church, we start speaking evil of the law because these people within the Church are repenting. Yes they make mistakes. All of us make mistakes. Every single one of us needs to go to God in repentance and change, so that we keep the law and are obedient to the law. If we are in fact speaking evil of one another, we are actually starting to speak evil of the law because these individuals are keeping the law under the strength of Christ, under the strength of the repentance that is there.

Turn over to Revelation 12: "...Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down [the word devil means slanderer, so the devil, the slanderer is cast down], which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb..." (Revelation 12:10-11)

So the way in which we overcome the problem here, our spiritual wrestling match as far as brethren are concerned - that we find over in James 4:11, where it says you are judging the law if you judge your brother - we have got to make sure that we understand what it means when it says in Revelation 12:11 here: "...that they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Revelation 12:10-11) .

These people were actually not only applying the blood to themselves, but applying the blood also to others and allowing that blood to be applied to others. That is the vital point. It is a vital aspect that we need to understand within that spiritual wrestling match that we find ourselves in. That blood of the Lamb is not just applied to us, and then we go ahead and take it out on other people. We apply it to other people as well within the Church.

So in conclusion, turn to Matthew 24, because you're looking at the need to stand against the wiles of Satan, against the wiles of the devil, when Christ actually returns.

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)

So here are all these people who have gone in the same way as the kidnapper. Their mindset is deviant. It is perverse. They cannot see what in fact is about to happen. They look upon it with complete mourning, and they have been well and truly deceived. In Luke 21:27, far from mourning as these people will be doing, it says:

"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled [it is all going to be happening predominately in one single generation]. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth [all the tribes of the earth are going to mourn, they are already in the power of the kidnapper]. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:27-36)

It is that standing which is so vitally important, that we withstand at the moment. In Revelation 6 these same events are being mentioned:

"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places [that is the sign of the Son of man appearing in heaven]. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:13-17)

And if we turn finally back to Ephesians 6, here is the answer:

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:10-11)

So we stand against what Satan throws at us. Against this insane mind that has taken the world captive in such a way that they will actually reject release! When the 'SWAT teams' surrounds the earth and finally comes in, they will say, "Oh, no, no, go away." They will be like Patty Hearst. That is what they are going to say. But we stand against the wiles of the devil, and we have the right protection there. Ephesians 6:

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood [when we are in trials and problems, it is not flesh and blood we are having to wrestle against], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [that is what we are fighting against, it is a battle for the mind]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all [or having overcome all], to stand [so we can in fact stand in the future, when Christ returns. Not the same as the world who has accepted the kidnapper]. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth," (Ephesians 6:12-14)

This section of Ephesians 6 continues, point by point each aspect of this armour of God which is what we will begin examining next time.