Part I

One of the greatest needs today among God's people, is TO KNOW THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE and POWER in the Kingdom of God. Many, not understanding the ORIGIN of Satan, are easily overcome by his subtle approaches and fierce accusations. It IS God's Will that saints of God realize there is A SPIRITUAL PLAN available. There is a POWER we can POSSESS that not only gives complete victory over Satan, but will cause men to see that as Jesus walked on earth without sin or guile, so can THE Church (members of the Body of Christ). "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (gates of hell = influences of satan). We pray that the Holy Ghost will discern the TRUTH to you as you read, "The Necessity of the Devil."

Our Need To Understand What The Truth Is, FIRST
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:1-5.

Do you get what this scripture is saying? He that entereth NOT by the door...: WHO is the door? Jesus Christ! Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:7-10. And how do we get to God? Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:5,6 (emphasis is mine). Yet we keep trying to "get in" by other means: either some other doctrine or laying some other foundation. There is ONLY ONE foundation: Jesus Christ! For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:11.

We NEED to STUDY God's Eternal Word AS NEVER BEFORE! There are those who are studying EVERYTHING BUT the Word of God. Their excuse is, "But I want to know what is false." W-R-O-N-G ! Settle in your heart what is THE TRUTH and anything that doesn't line up with it, you mark it FALSE and LEAVE IT ALONE! That's why we are so blown about by every wind of doctrine: 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: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:14-16.

There might be those who say, "But I can't make an informed decision, if I don't know." There's not a thing wrong with searching for knowledge--that is how we learn more than we currently know. That is how error is corrected. However, until the TRUTH is settled in our hearts and minds, what we find in our searching will only confuse us further. I'm not speaking of those who are in the "world"; I am pointing to those who profess to be members of the body of Christ. Please understand, where we get in trouble is when we don't know the scriptures for ourselves, and we too readily accept theories because "they sound good" or simply because this one or that one said so.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, it cannot be! If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. A double minded man is unstable in ALL his ways. James 1:5,6.8 (emphasis is mine). Understand this: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. II Timothy 3:16. Further, we are told that we must Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15 (emphasis is mine).

That's why we (members of the Body of Christ) stay in such a state of confusion: we've never yet settled in our hearts what THE TRUTH is! It isn't necessary that we understand ALL the false teachings and all the false doctrines, but WE DO NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE TRUTH IS! If we understand WHAT THE TRUTH IS, we won't be afraid. We won't need to fear being led astray by strange doctrines, because the very minute it doesn't line up with THE TRUTH, we know it is FALSE and we will NEVER BE MOVED by it! Remember John 10:5 told us, A stranger will they not follow, but will flee him; for they know not the voice of strangers. They don't know all the other voices--they just know it's not THE voice (of THEIR shepherd). We need to fix in our hearts just WHO our Shepherd is!

A Time For Prayer And A Time For Action
You remember Joshua--he had led God's people so successfully, but then sin got in the camp. Joshua went to his knees, praying and pleading with God. But God said to him, "Arise. This isn't the time to pray." And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face... And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, UNTIL ye take away the accursed thing from among you. Joshua 7:6,10,13 (emphasis is mine).

This is God's message to His people today. There are people praying all over the country, but here's something we ALL need to understand: there are things we need to do. There is a time for prayer, and there is a time for action. Prayer is NOT a substitute for that which NEEDS to be done! Let me give you another example of a time for prayer and a time for action: Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matthew 5:23,24. You can stand and beg and plead all you want to, but if you want deliverance, if you want God's blessings on your gift and your life--do what needs to be done FIRST.

Yes, there is a time for prayer and there is a time for action. Just as God told Joshua: "Get up off your knees Joshua, and get rid of the accursed thing and I will bless you just like I did before." Countless numbers of folks BEG and PLEAD God to move in their midst. Why do we do that?? God doesn't want us begging and pleading for Him to bless us! He is ready, willing and able to pour out His blessings upon us. Yet we must first line up with Him!

That's the part we don't want to do, though! We don't want to "line up" with God. "Lining up" with God means we would have to give up certain things in our lives that (apparently) mean more to us than deliverance does! Thus, we go along, asking God to "reset" THE Church in order. It's not THE Church that needs to be in order--it's the members of THE Church that need to get themselves in order! And WHO are the members of THE Church? Who makes up the Body of Christ? That's right, the Saints of God. The Body of Christ is HIS church, the habitation of God through the Spirit, and He has ordained a plan and set it in order. We need to conform to the Will of God! When we are in line with His Will, God is as ready to work today as He has in any age.

This is exactly why there is so much fakery in THE Church today! People don't want to "line up" with God, so they create their own signs and wonders! Let me tell you, we'd better LINE UP or our "camp" will stay in more confusion and disarray than Joshua's ever was!

THE Church (the Body of Christ) Has Two Great Enemies:
UNBELIEF (doubt and fear) and A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING (ignorance and prejudice against learning). These two things are far too prevalent amongst God's people. If we would overcome these two FOES, we could go forward for God in a much greater way than we have in the past. Until we do, we won't! That's as plain as it gets.

Now, just what is UNBELIEF? A quick definition: the OPPOSITE OF FAITH. We are NOT rooted and grounded in our faith; thus, we are blown about by everything that comes down the pike at us. When we are not firmly established in faith, worry, doubt, and fear tear at us. We don't have victory over our day-to-day lives, much less the special times of challenge that we all sometimes face.

UNBELIEF, the lack of FAITH, in our lives will defeat every lesson the Lord wants us to learn. We won't get a thing out of them, except to moan and groan over the "trials" we're going through. We CANNOT grow stronger in our relationship with the Lord if we are weak (in faith).

The second harmful element in our Christian experience is LACK OF UNDERSTANDING. Along with UNBELIEF, a LACK OF UNDERSTANDING does more harm to the children of God than anything else! When we get (acquire) UNDERSTANDING, we gain WISDOM. Understanding and Wisdom go hand in hand.

Psalm 119:104,105 tells us, Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Because we don't know His precepts, because we are NOT rooted and grounded in our knowledge of God's Word, we LACK UNDERSTANDING. We are instructed to Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:16.

God spoke through the prophet and said, "because My people lack understanding, they perish." In Jeremiah 3:14,15, He spoke to Israel and said Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Christ Reigns SUPREME...but do we truly believe that?
The church has been given the understanding concerning the kingdoms of this world, and who they belong to. God wants us to see beyond the shadow of a doubt that Christ IS all-powerful RIGHT NOW, and IT ALL BELONGS TO HIM right now! The teaching that the devil possesses so much of this world and that he has kingdoms IS NOT TRUE! The devil does NOT have ONE THING in this world BUT what people give him!!! Think about it, think about it, think about it! He cannot operate on an ounce of power BUT WHAT GOD ALLOWS! It all has been given to Christ already. CHRIST REIGNS SUPREME ALREADY! HERE AND NOW!

We have been taught for many years that "somewhere out there" IN THE FUTURE Jesus is going to TAKE OVER the kingdoms of this world. I've got a news flash for you: Jesus Christ reigns SUPREME, RIGHT NOW! When Jesus comes again, the world and all therein (the kingdoms of this world) WILL BE DESTROYED! We are living in that day and age, RIGHT NOW! The devil doesn't have a thing but what we give him!

Have you ever wondered how Jesus could shake His head "no" to the devil so easy when the devil said, "If you will just fall down and worship me, I will give you all the kingdoms of this world"? JESUS DIDN'T FALL FOR IT! Why? It was because He knew the devil is a liar! He knew Satan didn't have any kingdoms! The ONLY throne the devil has to sit on is the ONE WE GIVE HIM in our HEART. If we de-throne him there, HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY KINGDOM AT ALL! Come now, absorb it--think about it: WHO is your master? The one you serve!

Paul preached to the morning church in Ephesians 1: 15-23:

Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 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: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (bold is mine)

Did you read it there? "When he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand...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: And hath put ALL things UNDER his feet, and gave him to be the head over ALL things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth ALL in ALL." Don't you just love that word, ALL? ALL means ALL and that's all there is to it! ALL means totally encompassing; everything is included. Nothing is left out. ALL. When you re-read Ephesians 1:21-23, put emphasis on the word ALL and see what a difference it makes!

I'm telling you--it's not a matter of someday, as in "the future", when Jesus Christ will reign SUPREME: I want you to know, beyond the shadow of any doubt: JESUS CHRIST REIGNS SUPREME RIGHT NOW, and FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER! This Christ we serve is SUPREME over ALL! Paul was trying to get us to UNDERSTAND that Jesus didn't merely go back to heaven and fade into the background: He has been set at the right hand of God, and ALL things are under His feet!

The Devil's ONLY Power: Darkness and Deception
When Christ arose from the dead, He said "all power is given unto me BOTH in heaven and in earth." THE DEVIL HASN'T GOT ONE THING BUT WHAT YOU GIVE HIM! He'll come around and shake a finger at you and scare you, trying to convince you he's the "boogey man". If he can convince you of it, he will get to you. His only power is DARKNESS and DECEPTION! If we can get VICTORY over DARKNESS and DECEPTION, we can BRUISE Satan under our feet and STOMP on his old head every time he comes around.

And how do we get VICTORY over DARKNESS and DECEPTION? If we are born-again followers of Jesus Christ, we have within us a power unequalled anywhere! We sing it all the time, but do we believe it? "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." DO WE BELIEVE IT? Are we convinced of what we claim or are we just being parrots? Read this VERY carefully:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try 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 that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that 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 it in the world. 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 heareth 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 4:1-6 (emphasis is mine)

When the devil offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world, Jesus never "missed a beat". He did NOT tremble under the power of the temptation. He let him know, "Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God." In Colossians we are told, "all things were created by Christ and for Christ," and they are ALL His, every bit of them. I repeat, the devil's ONLY power is DARKNESS and DECEPTION. When we have victory over that, we have victory over Satan. The Truth SHALL MAKE US FREE. ...Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32. Please note use of the "emphatic tense". Not just "might know", not just "will know", but SHALL know!

How many times have you heard (or have you asked), "Why doesn't God just wipe out all the evil in the world? Why does He allow evil to exist?" Let's advance to Part II of this lesson and find the answers to those questions (and several others) on the same subject.

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