Part II

Two You Cannot Fool -- God and Satan!

And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes...And...there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not...And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them...Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. Luke 8:26-39 (see also Mark 5:1-20).
Please note: this was a "real" experience. Also, I want you to notice one thing: the devil RECOGNIZED Jesus immediately! He knew EXACTLY Who Jesus was. Note how he addressed Jesus: "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high?" The devil wanted to know why Jesus had come to torment him "before his time". If you don't get anything else out of that, it SHOULD prove THREE things to you:
  1. The devil believes in God (Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19);
  2. The devil recognizes Jesus and knows Who He is (And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. Luke 4:41);
  3. The devil knows that there is coming a time of torment for him and his own (And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before THE time? Matthew 8:29 --all emphasis is mine).

We read in the Scripture where Paul went forth preaching the Gospel and he cast out all kinds of spirits. Certain of the vagabond Jews said, "Hey, we can do that. We are going to try this thing." So they put their hands on a man and began "We adjure you in the name of Jesus, that Paul preaches, come out of this man." And the devil talked back and said, "Now Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who do you think YOU are???" And he jumped on them, beat them up and tore their clothes off! (It should never be a surprise to us when the devil beats us up because we try to use our own authority! We MUST operate under God's Authority or we will fail EVERY time!)

Perhaps, right here lies the reason why the ministry over the land is not attacking this thing of casting out devils. If they're convinced within their souls they've lost their power over Satan; there isn't any need of them commanding him to leave BECAUSE THEY KNOW HE WON'T GO! Some might say that's a big statement. Well, let's LOOK AT GOD'S PLAN of redemption and SEE JUST EXACTLY WHERE THE DEVIL FITS INTO IT! We go back to John 10 where Christ gave us a great lesson here on the shepherd and the sheep, and remember He was provoked to this parable by the happenings in John 9.

There was a man born blind from birth, and Jesus came upon him. In the midst of unbelief, (these fellows didn't want to believe that He created us) He reached down and SPIT, that's right, SPIT in the dirt. He made up some mud and put it on that man's eyes. Now how many of us would allow something like that today? "You're not going to touch me with THAT stuff!" He told him to go wash (submit to the teachings of the law there yet) and he came "seeing." Now the disciples asked the question, "who did sin that this man was born blind, he or his parents." Who sinned? Jesus said, "Neither one, but that the works of God MIGHT BE MANIFEST in him. Notice that he had more than his natural eyes opened. He got his natural eyes opened up, (that was the FIRST WORK!) and he came back there praising God. He had an experience that didn't "fit" the theology of the day, so he was thrown out! He came back telling about this, and the lawyer (great learned man that he was) said, "Now don't say that. Jesus is a sinner." The man who had been blind said, "This is a marvelous thing, indeed. You fellows say he is a sinner. I don't know if he's a sinner or not--I don't even know who he is or anything about him. I'm ignorant of the whole thing. but one thing I do know, I ONCE WAS BLIND, NOW I CAN SEE!" They threw him out of their midst. That's good! You know why? Because Jesus then paid him a personal visit! The Scripture says Jesus came to him.

Why did Jesus come to him? He was a sheep. Then Jesus wrought the the SECOND WORK. John 9:35-37 says, Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, He said unto him, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" He answered and said, "Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on Him?" And Jesus said unto him, "Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee." And he said, "Lord, I believe." Jesus told those Pharisees and Sadducees and said, "I want to set you straight! You are NOT the DOOR of this thing! What ever got into your heads that made you think you could put sheep out? I am the door of the sheep. You can't take anyone in, and you can't put anyone out!!" Glory to God, our eternal destinations are NOT decided by mankind! Whether we ever measure up to what their "standards" are or not, if we are born again by salvation through Jesus Christ, we ARE heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ!!! May God help us to see that He never intended for us to take on the responsibility of setting men in, setting them out, setting them over, and setting them up! Lord, help your ministry to get a hold of all these sheep that have been thrown out. Jesus said, "I am the door, by ME if any man enter in, he shall be saved." John 10:9.
 

God Had A Plan!
Well, so who did this sin that this man was born blind? Jesus said it was neither of his parents, "but that the works of God might be manifest in him." God let that man be born blind, He let him grow up blind, He let him be right at that particular place where the works of God could be manifest in the right hour. Lord, help us to see, that it is a great program, this furthering of God's kingdom, and we just fit into a small part of it. We need to see that God is working something of a vast nature all around the world and things are happening to His glory. IF we will go on and walk with God and submit ourselves to Him, we CAN stand in this evil day!
 

The Devil In His Rightful Place
Hindering Christians is the devil's favorite place. He doesn't have to worry about hindering sinners--he already has them in his grip! Yet all that the devil does is a part of God's GREAT Plan for mankind. God wants His people to see that the devil is in his rightful place in God's Plan. First of all, we have to understand that God knows E-V-E-R-Y thing. God knew that man would sin before He made man. Otherwise, we can no longer claim He is all-knowing. Now we all know that it's been told that God created man to live (physically) forever on this earth! He did NOT do it! Then those who spout this foolishness say God made man both divine and human. Wrong again! They say that from that point, the devil entered the scene, spoiled God's plan, God stepped on the stage of action and brought forth the plan of redemption and redeemed man. It is NOT so! How in the world can we believe that God is omnipotent if He made a product and the devil, by surprise now mind you, overthrew it in it's infancy? Yet the same ones preach from Old Testament prophecy and the Revelation, telling people that God in His wisdom saw everything in these last days and knew everything that was going to happen. Would you not call it strange that He knows everything that's going to happen in the last days, when He didn't know what was even going to happen in the first days??

If the devil walked out and overpowered our foreparents as soon as God created them. then God is not a supreme being and He is not omnipotent. Nail this thought down forever: the devil has FOREVER been chained by God! God has never allowed the devil to have unlimited power! Jesus did not come to earth to chain the devil! God is ALWAYS in control of everything!

Oh folks don't like to think that way! They whine, "So why did God send this on me? Oh poor me, poor poor me!" He allows things to happen to us so that (1) we can learn and come forth stronger for it, and (2) He can get the glory out of it. God wants us to worship Him. He wants us to magnify HIM, but we want to "magnify ourselves"!
 

God Made A Plan of Redemption Before He Made Man
Let's go to the 45th chapter of Isaiah. God will show us that He knew that man would sin. In fact, the fall was in His plans. We will see that Adam didn't ordain it. GOD DID! He subjected man, and it's a necessity to bring man to a place of choice. (Otherwise, all you've got is an automaton. God didn't want that--He wants us to choose Him. The fact is that God made a plan of redemption before He ever made the man. If we can get that clear in our mind, then we will know that HE KNEW THAT MAN WAS GOING TO SIN! If He didn't, He wouldn't have made a plan of redemption for him. We've got enough sense to carry a spare tire -- let's give God a little credit! We put the spare in before we ever have a blow-out. Yet we teach that God (Who is so much smarter than we will ever be), messed up at the very beginning. We say that God's creation blew up on Him and He had to make a spare. NO! This plan of redemption is something more solid and sure than that. It was settled on in the Council Halls of Eternity long before this world was even made! God saw it all, and it is all "going off" according to His plan.

Isaiah 45:5-7 tells us, I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me; I girded thee, though thou hast not known me; that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and CREATE EVIL; I, the Lord, do ALL these things. You mean God made evil? IT was a necessity! In Isaiah 46:9,10 we read, Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. The devil would like us to believe that he surprised God and upset His plan back in the garden. If he can get us to believing that, then we will doubt much of the rest of the Word (and WORKS) of God!
 

Jesus Christ, the Lamb: Slain From the Foundation of the World
We are told in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Someone might say, "That was right back in the garden of Eden when man sinned; then the Lamb was slain for our redemption." Yet we can go back a little further than that. Ephesians 1:3 lets us know, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. "It just means that He chose that we should be holy." I agree with that wholeheartedly, but He chose us in Him BEFORE the foundation of the world.

Who hath saved us (speaking of Christ) and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN. 2 Timothy 1:9. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your father, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot, who verily was FOREORDAINED BEFORE the foundation of the world. I Peter 1:18. God wants us to know that His plan of redemption is NOT A MAKESHIFT or a SPARE or an AFTERTHOUGHT that He brought forth when man failed. The fall of man was in His mind, and also the plan of redemption, before He ever made the world and put mankind in it. WHY?
 

God Wants Us To Choose Him--He Wants Us To Be His Sons and Daughters
Let's examine this for a moment: why did God let Israel go into Egypt? So that they would come out by choice. Then He would get the glory out of delivering them. There are two things that God wants out of us: He wants us to CHOOSE HIM, and He wants us to GLORIFY HIM.

Now think about this VERY carefully: consider it thoroughly. If Adam had not sinned, his sons would not have been sons of God, they would have been sons of Adam! He couldn't give us a Savious if we had not sinned. Someone may ask, "Are you saying that God is the author of sin?" Let me put it this way: God created our adversary. And our adversary is what? EVIL. Why? There is NO victory without an adversary. Think about it! There can be no victory, God can get NO glory, unless there is an adversary! He wants us to have a one-on-one relationship with Him. He wants us to know Him as Father. He wants us to draw from HIS strength. He wants us to be overcomers through HIM.
 

If Israel had come out and there had been no Pharoah to fight them and make it hard for them, they would have said, "We delivered ourselves." But God raised up an adversary, and made it hard for them. He put them in such a pinch that they had to get down and humble themselves and admit that the only deliverance they had would be in God. If He did not deliver them, there would not be any deliverance. When God backed up that old Red Sea and delivered them, instead of coming out and saying they delivered themselves, they wrote songs and praised God, giving Him the glory. There had to be an ADVERSARY! And where did it come from? GOD RAISED IT UP! GOD CREATED EVIL!

You don't believe it? Who made that tree that He told them not to touch? He said, "I set before you good and evil." Who sat it there? God. Why did He set before them good AND evil? What good would it have done for Him to make a creature of choice, if he didn't have a choice? Let's reason a little. If we teach that God made man a creature of choice--what good would it do to make a man a creature of choice if he had no choice? Therefore, God would not have gotten an ounce of glory out of Israel's deliverance if there had not been an adversary to put the heat on them. So He said, "I raised one up." God is so powerful, there is not a thing in the world can fight Him unless He allows it.

If we had our way, we would NEVER have another temptation! We would NEVER be sick again! We would NEVER have anyone cross us and make us feel bad! Why, that would be wonderful! But you know what would happen? If we never had another temptation, another trial, another battle to fight, there would never be another prayer meeting. There would never be another "shout!" You can't "shout" unless you have a battle, and you can't have a battle without someone to fight you. AND YOU WOULD HAVE NO ONE TO FIGHT IF GOD DID NOT LEAVE THE DEVIL HERE! Do you think we need straightening out on our understanding? We sure do! Let's quit praying for God to remove something through which we can have victory.

You know what the problem is already, don't you? (1) We don't want to have to give up anything. (2) We want to be on "Easy Street". That's right. We claim God ought to make ALL our decisions for us, but would we be content with that? Are you kidding? Of course not! We say the Lord's Prayer and have no idea what it means!
 

God's Will MUST Be Done
Jesus taught us how to pray: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." GOD'S WILL IS DONE UP THERE! Angels don't "fuss" over God's Word! There is not any raising up against it. Only God's will is done up there. And He wants it done down here! Angels never felt the joys of salvation; even though God had myriads of angels, they did not worship Him by choice--they were created holy beings. So God created mankind and gave him a CHOICE: "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve...".

From the beginning God wanted sons of God. He has countless angels (created beings) to worship and adore Him. Yet they are without choice! He created us, you and me, that we might CHOOSE HIM! No where in the Scripture does He call any angel THE APPLE OF HIS EYE, but you are! Why are you the apple of His eye? Because God gets 10,000 times more glory out of you living right, down here in the midst of temptation and trial, saying NO to the devil and choosing Him, than He does all the angels walking the streets of heaven where there is nothing to tempt them. You are the apple of His eye!
 

A Mortal and A Spiritual Body In God's Plan
If God intended man to live forever, why did He give him a MORTAL body? He did not make us a mortal body after Eve ate of the fruit. We got our mortal body before she found that tree. In Gen. 1:28 we find that long before man ever sinned, just as soon as He made a male and a female, God said, "Go out and be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth." The word replenish means to "put another generation in place of". If God had expected us to live forever, He would not have given us a mortal body! This mortal body is not God's eternal plan! God's eternal plan is a SPIRITUAL BODY, not made of the dust of the earth, but spoken into existence by God's mighty power. It will be as eternal as the spirit within us is!

Paul said in 1 Cor. 15: that there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. It is sown a natural body and is raised a spiritual body. This mortal body was given us for NO OTHER REASON but to live in it long enough to make a choice for eternity. That is the plan from one end to the other! This world is not our home! That is why the Scripture keeps telling us not to get tied up to the things of this life. Don't let the spirit of this world get a hold on us! We're just living in this body long enough to make a choice for eternity. That's all we're here for! It is God's plan of salvation, ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE, Paul told Timothy.

Victory Over Battles Brings Shouts
May God help us to see that we are what we are because of the choices we make. Every day that we live, God puts before us good and evil. If we want victory over the devil, we must submit ourselves to God and the devil will be as bound. If we are willing to stay submitted to God, the devil can't be anything but be an adversary and put us in a position where we can shout and praise and glorify God. Someone said, "I wish the old-time shouts would come back in the camp." We aren't going to get them by good choir singing. We aren't going to get them by someone preaching the Gospel straight. The real shouts will come back in the camp when some Saints will go out and go through some tests and WIN SOME VICTORIES! Let me tell you, the REAL shouts come from a people who have gone through a hard place. Right down in the most despairing hour, God reaches down by His mighty power and delivers them. We won't have to sing four verses of a song to get someone to shout; they'll be shouting when they come through the door! God's done something for them!

Remember this: we cannot have victory if we have no battles. And we cannot overcome evil if there is no evil to overcome. All that has been created TRULY has been created for the Glory of God. Even evil. That's right, that's what I said. Even evil. Not that evil glorifies God--but our victories (through the power of the Holy Ghost) over evil glorifies God! Even today, we can see that God is letting the Church be TRIED and TESTED AND PRESSED AROUND with works of darkness, yet it is ONE OF THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR VICTORY THAT WE HAVE EVER HAD! God give us people who will stand on the sea of glass, mingled with fire, (stand on the Word of God, filled with the Holy Spirit) with victory! We can't have a VICTORY WITHOUT A BATTLE, and we can't have a battle WITHOUT AN ENEMY! So the adversary IS NEEDED! He has a place in God's Plan. That same PERFECT plan that includes OVERCOMING POWER for each of us who are followers of Christ!

Thank You! for considering these thoughts. And may God richly bless you as HIS ETERNAL PURPOSE IS FULLFILLED!

 


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