– Brother Bern’s Sunday Bible Study Series –
Key Theme: Christians are to always be alert and aware of Satan’s devices.
Good morning everyone. Today we have come to the last part of our lesson titled “Know the Enemy”.
We started this lesson by learning that the Devil is real. He once was called the Anointed Cherub [Ezekiel 28:14]. He was given a special duty to reflect the glory of the Lord. The Bible records his original name as “Lucifer” [Isaiah 14:12].
Later sin was found in Lucifer. He claimed, “to be like the most high” [Isaiah 14:14]. He would like to take the position as God himself. With that, God has judged him to be in the Lake of Fire forever. But he is not there yet.
The Bible warns us that we are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices [2 Corinthians 2:11]. Also, the Bible warns us that there will be the doctrines of devils in the latter times [1 Timothy 4:1].
The Devil is real. He is dangerous. He is not a fantasy or cartoon figure that the world tries to convince us.
In fact, that is part of his strategy. To convince people that he is not real. And that he does not exist!
We have seen many scriptural evidences of how the Devil has influenced this world. As a matter of fact, one of his names is called “the god of this world” [2 Corinthians 4:4].
Our key scripture for this lesson is from 1 Peter 5:8. Let us read together aloud.
(1 Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
The Devil is the destroyer of lives and homes, the great deceiver, the liar, and the Wicked One. Some people think the Devil always appears in the form of ugliness, vileness, and wickedness. But most times he comes across as “nice”, “harmless”, and even “benevolent”.
This is why the Bible warns us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Let us read [2 Corinthians 2:11].
(2 Corinthians 2:11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
I would like to draw your attention back to [Isaiah 14:14].
(Isaiah 14:14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
This teaches us that Satan imitates God. Everything good that God is and has done, the Devil imitates [copies] with a counterfeit “look-a-like”.
Now I would like you to please pay careful attention to [2 Corinthians 11:4].
(2 Corinthians 11:4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
From this scripture, we can see that Satan has (a) another Jesus, (b) another spirit and (c) another gospel.
A. Another Jesus
Apostle Paul wrote the Book of 2 Corinthians with his care for the people. He would like to warn them from false religions and false teachers. In our modern days, there are so many people who preach another Jesus. Not the one that the Bible teaches.
A red flag immediately if someone teaches
- Jesus never died on the cross.
- Jesus’ physical blood has no redeeming power. In other words, the blood atonement of Jesus is not enough for salvation.
- Jesus is not God. In other words, there is no Godhead (Trinity).
- Trusting [believing on] Jesus as Savior is not enough in itself to be saved.
- A priest can forgive your sins.
- Jesus was never born of a Virgin Birth.
Remember the Devil will do everything in his power to keep the lost blinded to the light of the gospel [2 Corinthians 4:4].
(2 Corinthians 4:4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
What we can only do is to use our spiritual weapon, prayer. And ask God to save those people!
B. Another spirit
The pervasiveness of false doctrine is greater than before in our modern days. It is sad that many genuine people have been taught with a false plan of salvation. The Bible calls those false teachers as “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Let us read [Matthew 7:15].
(Matthew 7:15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
The Bible teaches us that we are to …try the spirits [test other people]… Please read [1 John 4:1].
(1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Why do we need to test everything we hear preaching/teaching? The reason is so plain.
… because many false prophets are gone out into the world…
What is the most-often-heard question asked at IIBC every Sunday Service?
Are you saved?
When we try (or test) the spirit of another, we are simply finding out whether they have God’s Spirit.
People either are lost or saved. They either have the Holy Spirit or they don’t.
We can know if a person is saved or not by the doctrines which they believe concerning salvation and Jesus Christ.
Anyone who teaches that Jesus is not Almighty God is a liar. They are not of God and have not His Spirit.
Every false religion attacked the deity of Jesus Christ in one way or another.
Do you know what has set Christianity apart from all other beliefs and religious teaching of the world?
We put our trust only in one person to get to Heaven. And that person he is the God-Man, Lord Jesus Christ! Period. Amen!
C. Another gospel
What is the true gospel that gets people saved in our days? We do not need to guess. Apostle Paul has summarized it for us in [1 Corinthians 15: 1-4].
(1 Corinthians 15:1) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
(1 Corinthians 15:2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
(1 Corinthians 15:4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Satan is a master counterfeiter! The Bible is clear that salvation is simple!
Salvation is found in the person of Jesus Christ, nowhere else.
The only way to be saved is to simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The plan of salvation is simple, but the Devil tries to corrupt it [2 Corinthians 11:3].
(2 Corinthians 11:3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Again, the plan of salvation is simple like A-B-C.
Acknowledge that you are a sinner. You cannot earn your way to Heaven.
[Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23, Revelation 21:8]
This is the most important step. People must first realize that they are sinners. And that they cannot save themselves. Then they are on the right track.
In reality, many people will reject this stage. This is because they think they are generally good people. They might have done good things. But that is within their own eyes.
In God’s eyes, all have sinned. No one is good. [Romans 3:23].
(Romans 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
[Romans 5:8-9; Ephesians 2:8-9]
(Romans 5:8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Confess to God [say it to God.]
[Romans 10:9-10, 13]
(Romans 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
(Romans 10:10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(Romans 10:13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
That is it! The simple plan of salvation.
Be careful if some people say they believe in Christ. But
- They also tell you that the faith in Christ alone in itself cannot save.
- You need to show good and holy living as an evidence of saved persons.
- The bad and good you do in life will have an effect on salvation.
This is another gospel. Let us read [Galatians 1:8].
(Galatians 1:8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Apostle Paul wrote this scripture with a strong language and warning. Anyone preach other gospel, let him be accursed.
Remember, the gospel that we get saved is from [1 Corinthians 15: 1-4].
Anyone adds any other things else, we must be very careful.
Please also read [Galatians 3:1-3].
(Galatians 3:1) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
(Galatians 3:2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
(Galatians 3:3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Loved one. Do not fall trap like the Galatians. Some were bewitched/misled by the false teaching.
I cannot repeat this enough.
Your salvation is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is it.
In verse 2, it is a rhetorical question. The answer is so clear. We receive the Holy Spirit not because of the work of the law. We receive the Holy Spirit at the moment we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is by faith!
Believers in Galatia has started their spiritual walk as Christians. They wholeheartedly trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
But then they started trying to keep their salvation. Basically, doing the good works [keep the laws again]. This is false.
False teachers will say (1) people are saved by faith in Christ but (2) if they do not keep doing/showing good works, they will lose it.
Loved one, this teaching is pervasive today. It is dangerous for the soul for all eternity. It is a damnable heresy sending souls to hell.
You must always remember that you are saved only by Christ’s righteousness, and not by your own self-righteousness.
Satan knows the power of the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why he works with all the ways he can to corrupt it!
God has done everything he can to save us.
We never know when the time of saving grace will finish.
When that time has come, it will be too late. If you are here today and want to be saved, we will be more than happy to show you from the scriptures.
Let us read [Isaiah 55: 6-7] aloud together to conclude this lesson.
(Isaiah 55:6) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
(Isaiah 55:7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Full teaching script is adapted from The ABC’s of Christians Growth. “Study #5 E – Enemy (Satan)”, Robert J. Sargent.