BIBLE STUDY SERIES #431, 432 and 433

27 February, 2000

SATANIC STRATEGY - PART III

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies, which began a number of years ago with the Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, in Genesis 12, has taken us through the sequence of subsequent Biblical passages which relate the family history of the generations of the Patriarchs and tribes of his progeny as they entered Egypt, and later emerged into Sinai through the miracles of The Exodus, heading eventually towards their Promised Land under the guidance of Moses and the direction of The Almighty God.

Our consideration of the cities of refuge which were to be appointed in The Promised Land brought up a most surprising matter. In discussing the Levitical cities of refuge, we had amplified the discussion about the relative guilt of those fleeing to these cities into a discussion of the case of Satan, the "accuser", himself. When one searches out the meaning of the name of Satan, we find that he is thus named from his activity as "the adversary" or "the accuser." Young's Concordance assigns those terms when defining the name.

Satan probably has the finest legal brain among those who do not know the ultimate Plan and power of The Almighty, and he has a strategy which he is seeking to play out in such a fashion that God Himself will have to acknowledge that Satan is His equal. Indeed, Scripture lays the scenario of Satan's aspirations before us in Isaiah 14:12-14:

12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Such thoughts and plans, in Lucifer's mind, are based upon well calculated legal manoeuvres, not vague wishes for power. Satan knows that he has been thrust from heaven, and must use his power over the present inhabitants of this earth to bring him to such an exalted status. Do not, for a minute believe that he is not carrying forward plans on a vast scale to consummate his design. He has a most logical game-plan to accomplish his aspirations.

Of course, as Psalm 2 says, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh." Remembering that "the kings of the earth" are under Satan's command, Psalm 2:1-11 sets the truth before us:

1. Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

The end is assured, but we must still pass through the strife of Satan's desperate legal war, attempting to regain what he has lost, and to claim an exalted status.

So what is this legal "game-plan", this legal strategy of Satan which is so diabolically clever that he presumes to believe that he can actually pull it off? He knows that God is the Law Giver, and that God is powerful enough to judge him. He knows that he gained his earthly dominance through lies and half-truths spoken to Eve. Jesus stated this. He told certain of the Jews who challenged His authority in John 8 that, though they were of the seed of Abraham, they were children of the devil, who was "a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Satan knows that this is true. He knows that if he has to be arraigned for judgment he will have only one true master stroke. He must make his Judge withdraw from the case because He is guilty of breaking His own Law! How is it possible that this might, in Satan's plan, actually happen? What imagined weakness in God's Plans is Satan aiming to exploit? Well, let us consider the options.

Satan knows that he cannot, even with his angelic followers and his earthly servants, muster enough power to actually carry rebellion into the heavenly reaches to assault God Himself. He has already been thrust down for his impertinence, his rebellious lawbreaking, and his devastating lies to Adam and Eve in to the limitations of the earthly realm. What Divine Laws might offer him the best opportunity to cause God to fail?

If a man or woman makes a covenant which is stated to be unconditional, then sustaining that covenant becomes a point of honour among men and women. Has The Almighty made such a covenant which, on His own oath He has guaranteed to bring to pass? Yes, He has made such commitments, and not just one or two, but a number of them. In fact the entire Bible is filled with the promises which The Almighty God has made to men and women. If, in any single one of these covenants which set out God's Word as an unbreakable commitment, Satan can bring about circumstances which deny any possibility of ultimate fulfilment, God will have told a lie. God will have broken His covenant with some part of mankind. As a liar, He cannot then retain the moral justification needed to pass a condemnatory judgment upon another who is guilty of the same offence.

Next, Satan must select certain among the many promises of God which he will attempt to make impossible of fulfilment. In fact, he will try to do this on numerous levels and in many ways. He will fight God every step of the way towards the fulfilment of God's promises. No wonder the world is increasingly feeling the pressures and turmoil of the conflict as Satan, realising that his time to accomplish his strategy is becoming dangerously short, is being devastated in many areas, physical and moral, in order to thwart God's promises of their ultimate fulfilments. When Christ returns in glory and power, it will be too late to effect his legal strategy, so Satan is becoming a dangerously wrathful enemy of God's people on the earth at this latter day in history.

Satan will certainly not begin by attacking those who are his own supporters for, as Christ Himself put it, in Mark 3:22-26, when the scribes were saying that His power to cast out devils was derived from Beelzebub,

23. ...how can Satan cast out Satan?
24. And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

Satan, then, must select for his legal attack the promises made by God to those who are followers of God. Hence the statement is made, in I Peter 4:17 "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"

Most dangerous to Satan's dominance of the present world is the whole litany of promises which centre upon the prophesied forthcoming emergence of the Kingdom of God upon this earth, the heartland of Satan's remaining powers. We who honour and obey The Lord Jesus Christ are told in many Scriptures of the coming of God's Kingdom to this earth. In Genesis 3: 14-15, even at that moment when they had forfeited domination of the earth to the lying serpent, it was foretold in the presence of Adam and Eve that The Almighty God would accomplish a victory over the Satanic liar. That passage reads:

14. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This passage is often quoted at such occasions as Christmas carol services where lessons alternating with the carols, are read in sequence giving the thread of this message. The "seed" here Who will "bruise the Serpent's head is, of course that fleshly manifestation of God, Himself, born to Mary, and Whom we know as Jesus Christ, the One Who, by His Own death on the Cross, His burial, and His Resurrection on the third day, and Ascension as Our Great High Priest was to force the eventual capitulation of Satan's remaining dominion in the earth.

We shall continue with this theme on our next study.

5 March, 2000

SATANIC STRATEGY - PART IV

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies, which began a number of years ago with the Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, in Genesis 12, has taken us through the sequence of subsequent Biblical passages which relate the family history of the generations of the Patriarchs and tribes of his progeny as they entered Egypt, and later emerged into Sinai through the miracles of The Exodus, heading eventually towards their Promised Land under the guidance of Moses and the direction of The Almighty God.

Our consideration of the Levitical cities of refuge which were to be appointed in The Promised Land brought up a most surprising matter. In discussing these cities, we had amplified the discussion about guilt to include the case of Satan, the "accuser", himself, whose name means "the adversary" or "the accuser."

Satan has to have knowledge of God's Law, and he probably has the finest legal brain among those who do not know the ultimate Plan and power of The Almighty. Isaiah 14:12-14 outlines Satan's aspirations, and he has a legal strategy which he is seeking to play out in such a fashion that God Himself will have to acknowledge that Satan is His equal.

He has desired to ascend into heaven, and exalt his throne above the stars of God which may be taken as a symbol for God's Angelic host. He has stated: "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

Such thoughts and plans, in Lucifer's mind, are based upon well calculated legal manoeuvres, not vague wishes for power. Satan knows that he has been thrust from heaven, and must use his power over the present inhabitants of this earth to bring him to such an exalted status. Do not, for a minute believe that he is not carrying forward plans on a vast scale to consummate his design. He has a most logical game-plan to accomplish his aspirations.

So what is this legal "game-plan", this legal strategy of Satan which is so diabolically clever that he presumes to believe that he can actually pull it off? He knows that God is the Law Giver, and that God is powerful enough to judge him. He knows that he gained his earthly dominance through lies and half-truths spoken to Eve. Jesus stated that the devil was "a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." Satan knows that this is true. He knows that if he has to be arraigned for judgment he will have only one true master stroke. He must make his Judge withdraw from the case because He is guilty of breaking His own Law! How is it possible that this might, in Satan's plan, actually happen? What imagined weakness in God's Plans is Satan aiming to exploit? Well, let us consider the options.

Satan knows that he cannot, even with his angelic followers and his earthly servants, muster enough power to actually carry rebellion into the heavenly reaches to assault God Himself. He has already been thrust down for his rebellious lawbreaking to the limitations of the earthly realm. Satan sees opportunity in God's Own Divine Laws, and God's commitments promised to the Patriarchal family which has kept the record of those promises down the centuries.

If a man or woman makes a covenant which is stated to be unconditional, then sustaining that covenant becomes a point of honour among men and women. The Almighty has made such a covenant which, on His own oath He has guaranteed to bring to pass. Indeed the whole Bible is filled with such promises which The Almighty God has made to men and women. If, in any single one of these covenants which set out God's Word as an unbreakable commitment, Satan can bring about circumstances which deny any possibility of ultimate fulfilment, God will have told a lie. God will have broken His covenant with some part of mankind. As a liar, He cannot then retain the moral justification needed to pass a condemnatory judgment upon another who is guilty of the same offence. That is the grand strategy in brief outline.

Next, Satan must select certain among the many promises of God which he will attempt to make impossible of fulfilment. No wonder the world is increasingly feeling the pressures and turmoil of the conflict as Satan, realises that his time to accomplish his strategy is becoming dangerously short. When Christ returns in glory and power, it will be too late to effect his legal strategy, so Satan is becoming a dangerously wrathful enemy of God's people on the earth at this latter day in history. Satan will certainly not begin by attacking those who are his own supporters. Satan, then, must select for his legal attack the promises made by God to those who are followers of God.

Most dangerous to Satan's dominance of the present world is the prophesied forthcoming emergence of the Kingdom of God upon this earth, the heartland of Satan's remaining powers. Let us review the components of such a Kingdom. Any kingdom must have a Monarch, whose word is Law. A kingdom must have a body of people who are citizens of that kingdom. The agreement which unites the Monarch and the Citizenry is the code of Law, which is a contract stating what will be the result if certain rules are obeyed, and what will result if these are not obeyed. Then there must be a cleared space within which the Law will operate without disrupting impediments which challenge the Monarchial authority and this requires a guard by some form of border to prevent insertion of alien laws and influences by those who are rebels or foreign elements. All these elements will be targeted by Satan. Let us review Scriptures which lead up to those Kingdom elements.

There were such promises made to the descendants of Adam and Eve. Let us read them, in order to gain a grasp of what was prophetically promised by God. In Genesis 3, a victory over the Serpent was promised:

14. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Here, Eve is promised that her seed is to continue through history to a point at which the "Serpent's head" is bruised. In Genesis 9 The Almighty made a Covenant with Noah and his progeny regarding their preservation:

12. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15. And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
17. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
18. And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

So Noah's seed is given the promise of protection against total racial calamity by a flood. In Genesis 17, The Almighty again made specific promises to Abram:

1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
6. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
9. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

Racial descent from Abraham is to multiply identifiably as such down the millennia and split into many nations. The passage holds more than we have time to cover today, but we can see already that there are quite a few promises which The Almighty God has promised, and not one must be allowed to fail, or God is a liar, and morally unfit to judge another for the same offence. We shall continue with this succession of passages in the next study.

12 March, 2000

SATANIC STRATEGY - PART V

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our ongoing series of Bible Studies, which began a number of years ago with the Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, in Genesis 12, has taken us through the sequence of subsequent Biblical passages which relate the family history of the generations of the Patriarchs and tribes of his progeny as they entered Egypt, and later emerged into Sinai through the miracles of The Exodus, heading eventually towards their Promised Land under the guidance of Moses and the direction of The Almighty God.

Our consideration of the Levitical cities of refuge which were to be appointed in The Promised Land brought up a most surprising matter. In discussing these cities, we had amplified the discussion about guilt to include the case of Satan, the "accuser", himself, whose name means "the adversary" or "the accuser."

Satan has great aspirations, and a comprehensive knowledge of God's Law, and he has formed a plan to retain his present power and extend it. Isaiah 14:12-14 outlines Satan's aspirations, and he has a legal strategy which he is seeking to play out in such a fashion that God Himself will have to acknowledge that Satan is His equal.

He has desired to ascend into heaven, and to exalt his throne above the stars of God (which may be taken as a symbol for God's Angelic host). He has stated: "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

So what is this legal "game-plan", this legal strategy of Satan which is so diabolically clever that he presumes to believe that he can actually pull it off? He knows that God is the Law Giver, and that God is powerful. He well knows his offence, as a murderer, and as a liar and the father of it. Satan knows that this accusation is true. He knows that if he has to be arraigned for judgment he will have only one true master stroke. He must make his Judge withdraw from the case because He is guilty of breaking His own Law! How is it possible that this might happen?

Satan sees opportunity in God's Own Divine Laws, and God's commitments promised to the Patriarchal family which has kept the record of those promises down the centuries, namely that descended from Abraham, through Isaac, and thence Jacob (renamed Israel), and the twelve tribal nations who grew from the twelve sons of Jacob..

An unconditional covenant becomes a point of honour even among men and women. The Almighty has made many such covenants which, on His own oath He has guaranteed to bring to pass. Indeed the whole Bible is filled with them, and if, in any single one of these covenants which set out God's Word as an unbreakable commitment, Satan can bring about circumstances which deny any possibility of ultimate fulfilment, God will have told a lie. God will have broken His covenant with some part of mankind. As a liar, He cannot then retain the moral justification needed to pass a condemnatory judgment upon Satan, who is guilty of the same offence. That is the grand strategy in brief outline.

Moreover, Satan will certainly not begin by attacking those who are his own supporters. Satan, then, must select for his legal attack the promises made by God to those who are followers of God.

Most dangerous to Satan's dominance of the present world is the prophesied forthcoming emergence of the Kingdom of God upon this earth, the heartland of Satan's remaining powers. Such a Kingdom must have a Monarch, whose word is Law, a body of people who are citizens of that kingdom, an agreement which unites the Monarch and the Citizenry which is, in other words, the national code of Law forming a contract which is binding upon both the Monarch and the Citizens, and finally, a domain for the kingdom to function actively, which is cleared of all impediments to that functioning.

Promises were made to Adam and Eve, to Noah, and to Abram, in Genesis, and we read parts of these on the last Study. Today, I want to review those covenanted promises made to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob (Israel). In Genesis 17, we read that Abraham was promised multiplied seed, to form many nations, which would be generally familiar with a monarchial form of government, with a claim to Canaan. The Almighty continued at verse 10:

10. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
15. And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
16. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
18. And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
19. And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
20. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

So the covenant was exclusively with Isaac's seed, but a separate promise was granted regarding Ishmael. So we see a most significant addition, after the instructions regarding circumcision. The lines of descent are marked out as distinctly racial, and not simply to be construed as spiritual only, for Sarah, his wife receives the promises regarding a son through whom the promises would be passed down regarding a lineage of kings. This shows that it is Isaac who is to carry forward the particular racial line of descent which is linked to the promises of God, separate from that of Ishmael, who is also granted multiplicity of seed and "twelve princes." It is important to realise that the promises are of genealogical descent, out of Abraham's loins, and not just a spiritual church which more or less vaguely follows Abraham's spiritual example. If this is disputed, consider Isaiah 51:1-2:

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him."

Here the references to the rock (Abraham), and the pit (Sarah) indicate the physical biological components of the human body gendering physical birth, as does the word "bare" which is the word for physical (usually painful) birth of the racial stock of the line of descent. It is important to realise that an actual race is here promised, and Satan is thus compelled to attempt to eradicate all those racial lines which stem from this couple of Godfearing people of that ancient time, as part of his legal defence strategy, as we have seen, and we shall examine further regarding that matter as our study progresses.

In Genesis 22, we can read the account of Abraham offering Isaac, his son through whom God's promises will be especially fulfilled:

15. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16. And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17. That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Taking hold of the two promises, concerning the blessing and also the multiplication of Abraham's physical seed, Hebrews 6:13-18 explains:

13. For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
14. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
17. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

So here, Satan has an excellent target. If he can destroy that blessing and that physically multiplied seed, God will have outrageously lied, and Satan can claim sufficient legal high ground for his purpose. We shall consider further on the next Study.

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