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My God, My God, WhyÖ?

Part 4 - The man eater - Part 2

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(8/16) Introduction Satan is described by Peter as a Man-Eater, who is stalking his prey like a lion, a tiger, or a leopard. But, before he can pounce, he has to be given permission. God has to give the, "Go!" We see this in Luke 22:31, "And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you (all), that he may sift you as wheat," and in the book of Job. As described in the Book of Job, what happened through Satanís opposition to God and Job is exactly what always happens in the plan of God. Satan is allowed to manifest his rebellion and bring about that which he supposes will hinder Godís people and His plan. Satan is allowed to do only that which God has planned for His glory and our good. He does nothing apart from divine permission. He does nothing contrary to Godís plan. Through Satanís opposition, Godís purposes are fulfilled, and Satanís purposes are frustrated. In spite of his failures, Satan never learns. Instead, he hastens on in his rebellion." Letís briefly consider:

I. Satanís Devices, 2 Cor. 2:11 says, "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices"Ė Briefly letís remind ourselves of what the devil is allowed to be doing:

A. The Deceiver (His target-your mind) Satan is a liar Jesus said so in John 8:44; "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." He wants to destroy the truth, and your faith and trust and obedience in and to the truth. The mind is where God communicates His will and His word and where we decide to trust and obey God so his desire is to destroy the truth about God and Godís integrity and person, and Godís will which was given for you to experience the best in this life. So he fabricates his lies and doubts and half Ėtruths; just as he did in Eden with Adam and Eve. We spoke a year ago about 8 Great Lies that America has believed; though there are many more.

B. The Destroyer (His target-your body) again John 8:44a. "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning," Now, let me say, not all sickness or afflictions are by any means Satanic. Do you understand this? But it is clear, from the Bible, that Satan wants to destroy your body. Jesus said in John 10:10, "That the thief wants to kill, steal, and destroy." Whether it is through careless behavior and lifestyle, accidents, someone elseís bad judgment or behavior, or abusing drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or even foods, he wants to destroy your body. Job is an example, as is the lady in the temple with the hump back where Jesus said, "Satan has bound, think of it, for 18 years" (Luke 13:16). But Satan also wants to destroy your faith, your family, your future, and your effective testimony for Jesus. That is always the goal behind his temptations. Never forget that!

C. The Dictator (His target Ė your will) He is allowed to rule over the world that does not follow God and he wants to still rule over those who do.

ē Notice in John 12:31, and 14:30, Our Lord calls him, the ruler of this world;

ē Eph. 2:2; Paul says, " in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,"

ē 1 John 5:19. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. His tactic or well-designed plan is to appeal to you the same way I try to appeal to whitetail buck; that is, he is allowed to appeal to:

- the desires of the flesh or body with doe perfume., or the taste or effects of alcohol, or food.

- the desires of your eyes or mind with a doe decoy. Could be a car, Satan will use a person that seems better than your spouse, or pornography, or newer better stuff than you have.

- the desires of the spirit or pride Ė rattling horns or using calls that sound like other bucks in his territory. Bucks will often come looking to drive off the intruder and get an arrow or bullet as a reward. Satan appeals to your pride to destroy you.

- His bait will always be the things of this world or the ways of this world, which is why John appeals to us in 1 John 2:15-17, "15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the worldóthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeóis not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."

- Satanís goal is to offer you the goal you want, and the glory you seek without difficulty, pain or suffering, and then to destroy you. (Repeat) Thatís what he did with Adam and Eve and what he attempted to do with our Lord and what he wants to do to you. Remember this!

D. The Denouncer Ė (His target is your heart). Revelation 12:10 says, "He accuses the brethren day and night. He never lets up (Job 1-2, cp. Zech. 3:1-2; Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"). Listen, I believe that he not only appears before God to accuse you, but he also will constantly accuse you to you. He will put it into your heart, that you are not saved. You could not be a child of God and do what you did or are doing. And, God cannot use you. You are not worthy of His love and grace. You messed up too bad. God might forgive others, but not you. You are disqualified. You are a hopeless case. You might as well keep on sinning because you will never change, you canít. God is looking for good people and you do not qualify and never will. Donít listen to him!

E. The Demise of the Kingdom of God (Rev. 12). This is just too much for today. But Satanís ultimate goal is to destroy Israel, the Church, demolish the kingdom of God, and destroy Godís creation. That is why the Church, the Bible and one small nation, a pencil point country in the world are at the center of his attack in the world. No other religion, or book, or other people are so hated and attacked as the Church, Israel, and the Bible. He wants to kill and destroy everything that God created for His Glory and our Good.

Now there may be a lot more, but this is enough to see what Satan is Hell bent on doing in this world.

II. The Destruction of Satanís Power (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8)

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage;"Ö "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. When a person comes and repents and calls out to Jesus for help and Salvation, that person is forgiven and the Holy Spirit comes alongside and inside to enable you to say, "No," to Satanís hold on you and to say, "Yes," to Godís will for you. Satan is still real, still active, but unable to control you unless you plug into him like you would your TV. The word destroy in both these texts means to render powerless, to unplug from or remove the source of power.

III. Satanís Doom.

From Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 20:10, Satanís doom is emphatically repeated. He is judged, condemned and sentenced to spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone. Jesus will say, to much of the world when He returns, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matt. 25:41). In fact, Revelation 12:12, reminds us that he knows His time is short and he is intensifying his assaults. Rev. 20:10 says, "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

IV. Godís Designed Plan

But Gary, you still havenít answered the question. I know, but I will now. All of last week and half of today is to set up the answer. We know from Job 1 and 2 and Luke 22:31, that Satan cannot do anything outside of the permissive and determined will of God. Satan knows that if he is allowed to assault man or Godís creation, that God is ultimately responsible. Can your mind wrap around that?

ē In the Garden of Eden, the sly serpent could not have tempted Adam and Eve without our Fatherís permission.

ē In the wilderness he could not have tested Jesus without the Fatherís will and permission. Matthew 4:1, "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

ē He could not have assaulted us through church attenders at a previous ministry without our Fatherís permission. Can you grasp that? You must grasp that or you cannot understand anything else I will say. We may blame the devil, but our Father said he could do it. Does that bum you out?

So here we go. He allows it for His own Glory and for our Good. Among other things Godís Glory refers to His honor, His character, His praise and His pleasure.

1. Godís Glory is revealed in His Goodness in giving us a choice. Satan is not the opposite of God, though he is called the god of this age. He is nowhere close to being Godís equal. In allowing Satan to tempt, deceive, and attack us, He is revealing His goodness to us in allowing us to have a choice. Otherwise we would be robots, prisoners, slaves, or however you want to picture it. Your love for God would be without options. But God always gives you a choice and states the benefits or consequences of those choices. Consider:

ē In Genesis 2:15-17, "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." When the serpent showed up they had a choice. God had told them their options and the end results.

ē Remember the words of Moses in Deut. 30, 15 "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. Ch.s 28-29 give the blessings or consequences of their choices.

ē Joshua 24:14-15, "Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Chs. 23-24 give the clear consequences or benefits of their choices.

ē 1 Kings 18:20, And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.

ē The books of the Prophets are all about making the right choices and knowing the results or consequences of those choices. In fact, that is one of the primary purposes of the whole Bible.

ē Matthew 7, 13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Illustration. A few days ago, I asked my wife for the mayonnaise to make a tomato sandwich. She asked me (we were dieting) if I wanted light mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise. I said, it doesnít matter, just give me one. She said, "No, I am not choosing for you, you choose the one you want." God says the same thing. I am giving you a choice. But I cannot make that choice for you. You must choose.

Every man is faced with this choice: Will I follow the ways of the world, the way of my own desires, the way of Satan, the prince of this world, or will I follow the Creator and Savior? Will I receive Godís grace by repenting of my sinful ways and trust in Godís provision for me as a sinner, or will I reject Godís grace and endure Godís wrath? Each man must choose his master. There are only two: the Savior - Jesus Christ, and Satan. By birth, we enter life under the domain and control of Satan. By new birth, i.e., faith in Christ, we submit to the Lord Jesus Christ as Master and Savior and become citizens of His kingdom. You have a choice. If you choose grace, you receive peace with God, adoption into His family, persecution from Satan and un-believers, forgiveness; the sweet fruit of love, joy, peace, a forever companion in the Holy Spirit, eternal life in heaven in the big house, and an ownerís manual to show you how to live this new life.

If you choose not to follow Jesus, you can be like Pinocchio. You can try to satisfy your own desires, and like the old beer commercial, grab all the gusto you can as long as you can, be your own man, (really Satanís slave), choose your own way, do what the majority of the world has tried to do for thousands of years: that is, to try and find real life apart from God. You can please your friends, impress the world, gain great wealth, and spend eternity in hell. Itís your choice.

2. Godís Glory is revealed in His Grace (Look at Ex. 33:12-34:7). In two ways.

1st, in rescuing lost sinners who repent; from Adam and Eve to Saul of Tarsus, to you and me. Those of us who were born into sin and followed Satanís ways, whether we knew it or not, were presented with either the truth of God, the truth of our sins, or the truth of hell, and upon repentance we received the marvelous grace of our loving Lord. When Moses asked to see Godís Glory, God said He could only show him His back. Exodus 34:5-7a says, "Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sinÖ"

But perhaps the best passage to use is Paulís words in Ephesians 2:1-9, " And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The section of scripture that has come to be very personable to me and I would like to have preached at my funeral; and; in fact, I thought of preaching it myself and video recording it for my funeral, is 1 Timothy 1:12-17, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. Do you know why God saved me or saved you? He saved us as an extreme example of what He can do, and Who He is. This boy was following the way of Satan and the world and God saved me so you would know that if He can save me, no one is beyond hope. Thatís grace for His eternal glory, and that is in your face Satan.

2nd, Godís Glory is revealed in His Grace in using Satan to train, discipline, and/or correct His children. Like a 3 year old, letís ask, "WHY?"

ē Why, did God allow Satan in Jobís life? (Job 1-2)

ē Why did He use Satan to test Jesus in the wilderness? (Matt.4, Luke 4)

ē Why did God send a distressing spirit to torment King Saul in 1 Sam. 16?

ē Why did God allow Satan to sift Peter and the Disciples as wheat, when Jesus was arrested and tried? (Luke 22:31)

ē Why did God send a messenger of Satan to slap Paul around and inflict pain?(2 Cor. 12)

ē Why did Paul say to expel from the church and deliver to Satan a confessed Christ-follower that was immoral, and unrepentant, in 1 Cor. 5:5?

ē Why did Paul deliver two guys over to Satan who were mouthy and destroying the church in 1 Tim. 1:20?

These are tough questions. But in the perfect plan of God, He uses the schemes, pain, and temptations of Satan to keep us close to Himself, or to encourage us to repent and return, like the Prodigal Son, or to show us how easy it is to slip into the pride and the ambition of Satan. So it was with Paul. His privileges were tempting Paul to believe he was more special than he was. He needed to be reminded that any gift of God was not because he was better than others but was purely a gift of Godís grace.

Listen carefully, God allowed Jesus to be tempted by Satan so we would know, that He knows how to be completely human. To know how hard it is to deal with the devilís temptations and so we would know that He knows what we feel, not by intuition but by experience. God subjected Himself to the same life and hardships we have to deal with this side of heaven because He cares and wants us to know that despite the dirt of our failures and sins, He wants to bathe us and cleanse us in His grace.

With Job, and some of us as we will see in the weeks ahead, He uses Satanís attacks to ultimately strengthen our faith and to bless us in the end, even if we donít see how while we are going through it (Rom. 8:28; Jer. 29:11; Hab. 1:5).

And like Pinocchio, or the prodigal son, God allows the empty temptations of Satan that usually give pleasure at first, but then enslaves us, to help us realize that we need to humbly return to the grace of a loving Father who will receive us with open arms and restore us to our place at the table. A lesson we would not learn without the options of a Satan.

While Satan is rebellious toward God and an adversary of Job, the suffering God imposed ultimately resulted in a deepening of Jobís faith and brought greater blessings to Job.

3. Godís Glory is revealed in Godís Justice.

Exodus 33:18-23, "Moses said, "Please, show me Your glory." 19 Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." 20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." 21 And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."Ö Exodus 34:6 "And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the childrenís children to the third and the fourth generation." The guilty are those who do not or will not repent.

Ever since the Garden thing, mankind has inherited a sin nature and sins consequences; that is, death, separation from God, love, joy, peace, light, and grace, forever in hell. BUT God has from the beginning given man a means of restoration and forgiveness, culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Those who break Godís laws are condemned to the consequences. Do the crime, do the time! It is Godís Goodness for the saved and it is to Godís Glory to judge sinners and execute justice. God offers grace, man has the right to accept it or refuse it. That is the freedom God gives you, freedom to choose. If you choose to follow the world and Satan you will receive Satanís doom and God will forever be glorified by those who received Grace. We praise the Government system when it sentences rapists, murderers, terrorists, and other law breakers are brought to justice and confinement or condemnation; likewise, God will forever be glorified when Satan and all Sinners are condemned to the Lake of Fire as in Revelation 20:11-15. And creation will be void of the suffering and sickness of sin and Satan forever. This is the glory He revealed to Moses.

V. Our Determined Results

A. Remember: God has a Good Plan even when we donít understand. (Rom.

8:28-30)

B. Write down these schemes or devices of Satan and memorize them. Do

not forget them or give Satan a foothold in the door of your life.

C. Remember that you donít have to be a victim, because of Jesusís death,

you are a victor (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 5:8). You can say, "No," to Satanís power and "Yes," to Godís will.

D. Walk by Faith; that is, Trust and Obey God no matter what (Pro. 3:5-6)

E. Do Not lose heart, or quit; instead focus on the future (2 Cor. 4:16-5:10)

F. Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) otherwise you will play right into Satanís hand.

G. Stay in Godís Word daily (James 4)

H. Pray against the Evil one every day (Matt. 6:13)

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman