NOTE: This is a continuation from the last post.
The scripture about Satan coming to “kill, steal and destroy” is well-known. Most of us can repeat it without thinking too much about what it really means. The order of this scripture is very important. Nothing in the Bible is an accident nor is it in there for literary effect. The order in the Bible matters. Kill comes first, then steal and then destroy. Why?
It’s hard to imagine what could top being killed. But spiritual death has to occur for Satan to have authority over you. Remember Jesus’ death on the cross was a literal death, but it also represented our release from a physical death. If you are a born again (saved) Christ follower, you have been freed from physical death. Your redemption means that while your physical body will decay and die, your spiritual body will continue to live forever with Jesus in Heaven. Satan cannot “kill” a saved Christian. If you aren’t saved, you won’t go to Heaven, no matter how “good” you are so get saved today. (See the extra section at the end of this article on how to do that)
Many people believe the wars and battles in the Bible are proof that God is an angry God. They believe God causes all sorts of bad things to happen. They believe God is waiting to punish them for the slightest mistake. When you live in fear of God, you can’t receive his love so you never see how much God loves you.
The wars outlined in the Bible were to chronicle history so no one would forget why things are the way they are today. The Jews were fighting wars against pagan cultures, who placed a low value on human life. (God places a high value on human life) Pagans were constantly at war with the Jews and each other. If you wrote down all the kings and battles, you’d see that they fight each other, then switch alliances, then fight their allies, then kill everybody they just fought, and so on. Without God’s love there is only strife.
There are times when God instructed the Jews to kill everyone, including women, children and their animals. This sounds horrible today, but when you realize the very bloodlines of the people the Jews were supposed to kill back then are the very ones who are attacking them today, it makes good sense. If the Jews had been obedient to God and wiped out their enemy, they would not be fighting them now.
This may sounds like overkill to you, but if you want to get rid of a cancer, you wipe out all cancer cells because if you don’t, it will return and destroy the whole living organism. You literally have to kill it all, every last bit of it. This is exactly what Hitler tried to do to the Jews. Ironically, Hitler was from one of those bloodlines the Jews were supposed to totally exterminate.
(Rabbi Daniel Lapin has a fabulous audio teaching on this called “Clash of Destinies” www.youneedarabbi.com)
These bloodlines were also the root of all the false teachings about God we see today. They made sacrifices to their pagan gods because they believed natural disasters were sent from God. They aren’t. All suffering is the work of the enemy (Satan). Satan literally will destroy everything in your life if you give him access to it. Satan takes from you in the area where you give him access. When the pagans worshipped false gods, they allowed the enemy to have unlimited access to this world.
Think about it this way. If you live in a really nice house with a fenced yard, but leave the gate open, stuff you don’t want will wander into your yard. That is what demons do. They see an open gate and they wander in. At first you may get a stray or two, but if that gate is always open, eventually your yard is full of stray cats, rats, juvenile deliquents, trash, vagrants, criminals, etc. At some point those nasty things in your yard decide they want into your house too. So what do they do, they wait for you to open the door and then they rush in. They eat your food, sit on your nice sofa, track their filth around, use your bathroom and eventually start sleeping in bed with you.
Demons turn your nice clean house (life) into a disgusting place you don’t want to live in either. Only you have to live there because God gave you one house (body). By not being vigilant, you allowed all sorts of nasty things into your life. Once your house gets disgusting, you stop taking care of it too. You let it run down and you start inviting other nasty things in because what the heck, it’s already trashed. This is why people who start out enjoying a beer or two on the weekend soon become alcoholics and then move onto other destructive behaviors – drugs, prostitution, stealing, etc.
You cannot allow a small thing to open that gate to sin. The good news is if you’ll let God in, He will make your house new again. That’s what being born again means. You literally get a second chance at life. Accept Jesus as your personal savior and Jesus sends a cleaning crew to your life and spit shines it for you. But you have to keep the gate closed to sin so your life doesn’t get trashed again!
Let’s look at the second thing Satan does. Satan comes to steal. Remember first Satan comes to kill. So Satan first killed your spirit so you won’t listen to God anymore. The enemy convinces you that God doesn’t love you or care about you. He does it using problems, condemnation and judgment usually coming from other “killed” people in your life. You blame God for everything bad happening to you because you don’t know Satan is the destroyer, not God. So you’re spiritually dead and you are dog tired from all the problems you have.
So Satan steals your joy, your happiness, your love, your grace, your money, your relationships and your purpose. You aren’t listening to God anymore so God can’t even help you figure out how to fight back. So you literally are impoverished in every way because Satan has taken everything valuable that God freely gave you the day you were born.
All this happened because you believed Satan when he told you the lies that turned you away from God. Unfortunately, most of Satan’s lies come out of the mouths of other people. Maybe when you were a child your parents, teachers or peers said or did things to make you dislike yourself. Or someone judged you harshly and made you doubt God’s love for you. Those people were spiritually dead (and unfortunately that includes some people at church, including some pastors). They were dead and probably had most of their gifts from God stolen by Satan already. They lived in a destroyed house but didn’t want to live there alone, so they tried to make you move in with them. Once you moved in, you started pulling others in with you, didn’t you? You became the very person who first destroyed you. Abusers were first abused. The very thing that brought you such pain is what you become too.
You didn’t know you shouldn’t have listened to those spiritually dead people. How could you know? But you know now. Think about every person who ever told you a lie about God’s character and reverse it. God’s character is pretty easy to understand. God IS love. He is the very essence of love. God loves you no matter what and would never do anything to hurt you. So if it hurts or makes you feel bad, it’s a lie of Satan. Reverse it.
It’s pretty easy to reverse the lies of the enemy. For example you would say, “When my third grader teacher said I was bad at spelling, she was a liar, and I reverse that right now in the name of Jesus. I always spell words correctly because God gave me a sound mind. It says [find the appropriate Biblical verse to prove the lie is wrong and quote it here]. I am smart because God said so and he never lies.”
Continue to reverse any lie Satan brings to you. You do not have to accept the lies of the enemy. If a thought comes in your head that is condemning or judgmental, immediately say, “I refuse to accept that. God says I am beautifully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) This little truth will change your life!
So now you have all three characteristics of Satan. He’ll kill you. He’ll steal from you. He’ll destroy you. But it’s all based on lies and he only has access to do these things if you allow it. Don’t allow it.
Jeremiah 15:2-3 (NIV)
And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity. I will send four kinds of destroyers [demons] against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy.”
Third Grader Translation: Some will die from stupidity, some will not. Don’t listen to Satan.
HOW TO GET SAVED:
You don’t have to be “good” to get saved. You just have to believe that Jesus is good enough for both of you. And trust me, he is. Say this prayer out loud and believe Jesus can do what he says he can do:
“God, I’m tired of trying to do everything myself. I’m messing it all up. I want Jesus to run my life from now on. Jesus, I make you my Lord and Savior, and ask that you come into my heart today. Amen.”
That’s it. You may not feel like anything happened but it did. God and the angels are dancing for joy over your decision. Soon you’ll notice you have a peace you never had before and others will see it too. Read the Bible and find a Bible-based church to help you learn more about Jesus.