The Powers of Darkness

Recognizing Satan's Tactics in the Light of God's Word

The intent of the Holy Bible is not to focus on Satan and his work. However, we do find much in the Bible that exposes his character and works.

Satan was at one time an angel, but he turned against God, his creator, and wanted to be like Him. The practices of the dark kingdom of Satan are not new. They are typical of his efforts through the ages to rival the kingdom of God. He is offering an alternative to what God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, is accomplishing.

We read in Exodus of the power of the magicians of Egypt who tried to reproduce the miracles that God did by the hand of Moses. In the book of Job, Satan is exposed as very jealous of Job's faithfulness to God. He used cruelty and deprivation to try to force Job to turn from God.

Satan's methods are characterized by: fear, threats, promises of pleasure or power, intimidation, and suspicion. Some of the first things he introduces to us seem very interesting and intriguing. He suggests, "Would you like to know the future or have insight that others are not able to have?" He may offer cures that are beyond the realm of science. Astrology or fortunetelling may seem innocent enough, but this is soon followed with certain magic words or formulas, observing certain days and fearing unlucky numbers. The thought is introduced that there are certain spirits to be respected and feared because of the power they may have over us. Thus Satan snares the unwary into the realms of fear of him and his spirits.

Too many individuals have been caught up in curiosity of things that, at first, appear to be rather innocent. By experimenting with the Ouija board, horoscopes, palm reading, and many other such practices, they have made themselves vulnerable for evil spirits to further trouble them.

The goal of Satan is to erode and finally destroy the Christian's faith in God. The Christian experiences victory by having a faith in Christ and in Him alone. The desire for knowing the unknown or the lust of power motivates one to sometimes experiment with that which is of the Satanic realm. A simple trust in God puts one at rest with what is unknown and makes one completely confident in the power of Christ.

Complete text of: The Powers of Darkness

That which is begun out of curiosity or experimentation soon entraps one in a web of fear; fear of what might happen, fear of greater powers, fear of other people, fear of Satan himself. These fears envelop the individual who has allowed himself to become involved in dubious practices. In response to this fear Satan claims to have an antidote. He offers more power if one will subject himself to certain rituals or other obediences. Fear of other spirits can be counteracted with a possession or greater power ourselves, he says. Thus a person is introduced to successive tiers of power that, rather than causing the individual to reach greater levels of peace, cause a never ending downward spiral into the depths of satanic abomination. The security promised by Satan proves elusive, being replaced by the need of protection from a still higher power in this wicked domain. This is the system of Satanism.

Satan's plan is to supplant God. Satan was created to worship, not to be worshiped. He is not a supreme power; he cannot overcome the Lamb of God; he cannot give security; he is not interested in our well-being. Nevertheless he continually works to exercise power over people to bring them into subjection to him. He tries to create mistrust toward God and His kingdom. He is endeavoring to establish an organization with himself as the master. This is developed through a system of fear and illusions of power. He works marvels to create awe in people's minds (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). The effect of this system is to destroy peace and security in individuals, homes, and governments. It captures people, causing them to feel seriously threatened if they try to escape.

Satan is the bitterest, most malicious, most vicious, most terrible enemy you have. He is totally without honor. He is a liar. There is no truth in him—"He is a liar, and the father of it [untruth]" (John 8:44). He is a murderer, a destroyer. He is the very embodiment of hatred and evil. He is totally wicked through and through, with absolutely no redeeming good.

Satan is the instigator of all evil. There is neither crime nor sin too evil or too filthy for him. He is the cause of all hatred, all murder, all child or wife abuse, all drug abuse, all immorality, all broken homes, all contention, all witchcraft, all dishonesty. He delights to cause crimes of passion and evil, crimes committed against innocent people who happen to fall into the hands of depraved or perverted persons. He is ruthless and unforgiving. Suffering does not inspire compassion in him. Bloodshed and death are tools he uses to gain his ends. He has come "to steal, to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10).

Satan's eternal destiny is already decided. There is a place of eternal fire prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41). He is interested in getting as many people as he can to suffer that torment with him. He knows he can do this by undermining and finally destroying our faith in God. He will do this either by openly challenging God's Word or by subtly encouraging lukewarm, careless, permissive Christianity.

There is deliverance from the clutches of Satan. He would have you to believe that there is no way out. The Bible tells us that Jesus has come to set the captive free. He has come to give life. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). In His life on earth Jesus demonstrated His power over Satan by resisting the temptations of Satan and by casting out evil spirits by God's Word (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 9:25-26). Jesus conquered the power of Satan by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

Can we avail ourselves of this victory and overcome the arch enemy of our souls? First, we must realize that we have been captured by Satan and are bound by his fear. We must admit that this is sinful and that we are lost if we remain in this state. As we realize that we are unable to deliver ourselves from Satan's grasp, we must cry out to God for deliverance with all our heart. We must repent of, and turn away from our sins. We need to accept by faith the atoning blood of Jesus Christ for our sins. We must yield ourselves to God, accept His forgiveness and faithfully obey His Word. As we meet these conditions He gives us peace with Him, quiets the uneasiness in our hearts, forgives our sins, gives us a new nature and makes us one of His children. This is what it means to be born again. Anyone who resists the call of God is still in Satan's kingdom, and the deceiver will eventually take that person with him to everlasting torment.

If you do not understand the plan that God has made for you, study God's Word, pray to Him with an honest heart, and He will show you the way. God is calling you to Himself and wants you to escape from Satan's bondage. May God bless you. Read Psalm 91.

Additional reading:

Luke 11:20-23 .......One stronger than Satan

Romans 6:20-23 ....Free from sin

Isaiah 61:1 .............Liberty to the captives

Romans 8:1-2 ........Free from condemnation

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Peace of Mind in a Troubled World


“Peace, where is peace—for our nations, our homes, and most of all for our hearts and minds?” This desperate cry has been heard through the ages. Is it also the cry of your heart?

People are weary and worried. Without a doubt there is a need for direction and counsel, security and confidence. We need, and want, peace of mind.

Peace of mind—what a treasure! Can this treasure be found in a world of so much conflict and despair, turmoil and trouble?

Complete text of: Peace of Mind in a Troubled World

The great search is on! Many people are seeking peace in fame and fortune, in pleasure and power, in education and knowledge, in human relationships and marriage. They desire to fill their heads with knowledge and their purses with wealth, but their souls remain empty. Others are seeking to escape the realities of life with drugs or alcohol, but the peace they seek eludes them. They are still empty and lonely, still in a troubled world with a troubled mind.

Man in Turmoil

God created man and placed him in a beautiful garden to enjoy perfect peace, joy, and happiness. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed, they were at once stricken with guilt. Where before they had longed for the presence of God, now they hid themselves with shame. Guilt and fear replaced the peace and happiness they had known. Man’s sin was the beginning of a troubled world—and a troubled mind.

Although our soul longs for God, our sinful nature rebels at his ways. This inner struggle causes tension and distress. When we, like Adam and Eve, are self-centered in our desires and ambitions, we become anxious and fretful. The more we focus on ourselves, the more troubled we become. The uncertainties of life and the changing, decaying world shake our security and disturb our peace.

Although you may not have recognized or acknowledged it, sin could be the reason for your uneasiness. Many people search among outward and material things to find peace. They blame the troubled world for their troubled mind, but fail to look within their own heart.

Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace

There can be no peace until all aspects of life are brought into harmony with the One who made and understands us. This is only possible by a complete surrender to Christ. He is not only master of the world but knows our life from the beginning to the end. He was thinking of us when He came into the world “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79).

Jesus offers light for darkness, peace for strife, joy for sorrow, hope for despair, and life for death. He says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Repentance Brings Peace of Mind

When you feel the heavy load of sin weighing you down, the remedy is to “Repent… and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). Jesus invites you to this most meaningful, life-changing experience. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Will you accept his invitation?

When you come to Jesus, you will find forgiveness and freedom. Instead of resentment and unforgiveness, your heart is filled with love and mercy. With Jesus reigning in your heart, you will love your enemies. This is possible through the power of Christ’s redeeming blood.

Abiding Peace

As a Christian, faith in God and trust in his care is the antidote for fear and anxiety. How restful it is to trust in an unchanging God who is from everlasting to everlasting. He loves us and will always care for us. So why worry and fret? Learn to do as we read in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” We also have the promise, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

With Jesus Christ in your heart, your search for peace is over. He will give peace and a calm that comes only from trusting Him. You will be able to say with the poet:

I know a peace, where there is no peace,
A calm, where wild winds blow,
A secret place where face to face
With the Master I may go.
-Ralph Spaulding Cushman

You will have peace of mind in a troubled world! Open the door of your heart to Christ—just now—and someday He’ll open the door of heaven for you, where perfect peace will reign for ever and ever.

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Eternity defies man’s imagination and comprehension. It is not an object, nor a place; it is not a period of time. It has no beginning and it has no end. Everyone from Adam to the last one born will be in it.

The word eternity is used in Isaiah 57:15 where it states that God inhabits eternity. He is eternal, with no beginning and no end. This can be said only of God, for man has beginning but his soul has no end. The dictionary agrees with the Bible that eternity is a duration without end; the state into which the soul passes at death and in which it remains forever and ever.

The opening statement of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), has reference to the creation of the heaven and the earth and all things therein (Colossians 1:16-17). God has decreed that all things shall cease to exist: “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

Man is a creature of time—he takes time, uses time, and depends on time. His life is controlled by time. Time, however, as important as it is, has no relation to eternity. Eternity is unique and incomparable. It has no measurable length, breadth, depth nor height. It offers no opportunity to change the eternal destiny that was chosen in life. It is everlastingly the same.

In all of creation, only man, clothed with a changed and immortal body, will make the transition from time into eternity. Man is the only creature who has the “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7) and who lives forever as God does.

With the end of time, eternity will reveal many wonders and miracles that cannot be understood in our day. When the Lord returns, all eyes shall see Him (Revelation 1:7). He will sit on a throne and all nations shall be gathered before Him in judgment (Matthew 25:31-32; 2 Corinthians 5:10). There God will judge according to his record of every man’s works (Revelation 20:12-13). The skeptic finds these matters impossible. All eyes means multiplied billions, those of every land and sea, the resurrected dead as well as the living. It boggles the mind to think of all nations gathered as one before the judgment throne. Those who think it incredible must note that time has fled and eternity has no limitations. The restrictions of distance and time found in earth life are absent in eternity.

Complete text of: Eternity

Eternity, as the Bible reveals it, has three aspects—the judgment, the dividing of the righteous from the unrighteous, and the everlasting. This judgment will be final, with neither appeals nor reviews. During man’s lifetime, God places before him the choice between right and wrong, endeavoring to bring him into a right relationship with his Creator. Those who will not give heed will, in the final judgment, receive their sentence and then be sent to an eternal punishment. Those who yielded to God in life will have had their sins judged before, while those who did not yield will have their sins follow them into the final judgment (1 Timothy 5:24).

After the judgment every man shall be rewarded according to the record in the books, including those whose names are in the book of life (Revelation 20:12). The term reward as used here is a recompense for acts performed, good or evil.

Eternity will know only two classes of people—the saved and the lost. God will classify them as such by their acceptance or rejection of his great saving plan for mankind while in their earth life. There are only two destinations in eternity for all people—heaven for the saved and hell for the lost.

To those whose names are found written in the book of life, the eternal Judge will say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34); and to those whose names are not in the book, the Judge will say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).

To some these words will be shocking, and again others will expect them. There are those who pass from time into eternity through death who have prepared to meet God; they died with an assurance in their hearts that they will be with the Lord in eternity. They expect those welcome words, “Come, ye blessed.”

There are also those who in life are already condemned and pass over not prepared to meet God. They have a “fearful looking for of judgment” (Hebrews 10:27). At that great day they will call upon 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” (Revelation 6:16).

This immense throng will also include the disappointed: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).

What all eternity holds for the immortal beings is not detailed in the Bible. Jesus did, however, say that those who overcame shall sit with Him in his throne (Revelation 3:21); they will be robed in white, and will have no need whatsoever (Revelation 7:14-17). They will enjoy every blessing prepared for immortal souls.

Those to whom the Judge will say, “Depart from me” shall go into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12), into hell fire that shall never be quenched (Mark 9:43); they shall have part in a lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:15; 21:8). These souls will be mentally alert, knowing people (Luke 16:23); they will feel the torment of hell fire (v.24); they will understand (v.26), and they will remember earth life (v.28), but for the lost there will be no benefits in eternity.

Eternity will see Satan, the old dragon, totally and eternally defeated, and an everlasting punishment meted out which will become his gross wickedness. For this purpose hell was primarily prepared (Matthew 25:41). What a gruesome lot to share an eternal place of torment with that most hideous and wicked being, and with all his damnable, evil spirits!

The third aspect of eternity, which is the state of finality, is beyond human grasp. Man’s mind is limited to beginnings and endings. Because of this, man must rely on the truthfulness of God’s Word. God is the author of all things and also of eternity.

If a bird would pick up one grain of sand and carry it to the moon, and in that fashion would eventually carry all of earth away, eternity would still have just begun, but would be no nearer the end. For the wicked this is the most distressing thought possible. However, for the righteous who will be in eternal bliss in heaven with God and all the holy angels, it will always be welcome.

Now in life, while there is yet time, our eternal destiny can be decided.

Are you ready for eternity? This question demands your answer in this life. Today is the time to prepare for eternity.

One prepares for this great meeting by accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior of man, who died on Calvary’s cross for man’s sins and was raised for his justification (Romans 4:25). This acceptance must be more than a mental resolve; it must be a heart matter, a total surrender to God. This also makes one a follower of Jesus—one who walks with Him, obeys his teachings, and is led by his Spirit.

Failing to so receive Christ will result in eternal banishment from God. Life is too uncertain, death is too sure, and eternity is too long to further risk delay. God’s Word is to be accepted now.

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

“Eternity!—Where? It floats in the air:
Amid clamor, or silence, it ever is there,
The question so solemn: “Eternity!—Where?”

“Eternity!—Where?” oh, “Eternity!—Where?”
With redeemed ones in glory or fiends in despair?
With one or the other: “Eternity—Where?”

“Eternity!—Where?” oh, “Eternity!—Where?”
Friend, sleep not, nor take this world any share,
Till you answer the question: “Eternity!—Where?”


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