Written by Lee Stevenson. Sorry I am not very good at editing. I did this article in sections.
Now the thing that will protect us the most is putting on the full armor of Jehovah. I will discuss that at the end of this article but first I want to discuss the most common weapons Satan uses to lure us away.
Fear has been used by Satan many times. He has used intimidation tactics , used fear in the loss of wealth, fear of being homeless, fear of change and many other types of fear to get people to lose faith. We have to remember in times past when God’s people had to flee and leave their homes and possessions behind God provided provide for them and sustained them. Even when God’s people were severely outnumbered they prevailed because God protected them. Fear can be a sin if we are doing what God requires and we lose things or our lives are threatened and we start fearing man more then God and give in to their will instead of God’s. Fear of failing God or of not having faith in him and trusting him is a sin. So if Satan or his people can instill improper fear and get us to lose our faith they can sway us. I have seen many reject bible truths because they knew they would be rejected by their families or would even be hated. The world warned if we followed in Jesus foot steps the world would hate us so that includes member so our own families. We have to work very hard to build our faith in God because very soon all types of fear are going to be used to try and break our faith. Even if we die we have no reason to fear if we die faithful to God because he will remember us during the resurrection. God is the life giver. There is no one with more authority. So if we obey him above man then we can be sure he is with us. As long as our faith remains strong we have the upper hand because no one is more powerful then God.
(Isaiah 35:4) 4 Say to those who are anxious at heart: “Be strong. Do not be afraid. Look! Your own God will come with vengeance, God will come with retribution. He will come and save you.”
(Matthew 6:33, 34) 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. 34 So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.
(John 6:26, 27) . . .. 27 Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for everlasting life, which the Son of man will give you; for on this one the Father, God himself, has put his seal of approval.”
(Romans 8:37-39) . . .. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers 39 nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Psalm 27:1) 27 Jehovah is my light and my salvation. Whom should I fear? Jehovah is the stronghold of my life. Whom should I dread?
Distractions are another way our faith can be weakened. Jesus was visiting Martha and Mary. Martha seemed caught up in making a big feast for Jesus. She most likely was overfilled with joy that he was there. Jesus knew that the Jewish system of things were going to end very soon and wanted all his disciples to be prepared. So when Mary complained that Martha was not helping her Jesus pointed out that she needed to keep things more simple. Just as the Jewish system ended this system is going to end on a world wide scale. By keeping our lives simple and free of distractions we can focus more on spiritual things which Jesus was pointing out to Mary. The more things we own the more thing not spiritually related we get involved in the more we increase our anxiety and the less we can focus on spiritual matters like praying, reading and researching God’s word and sharing what we learned with others. Could you imagine if no one took the time to teach God’s world. How many would still not have the answers they are seeking. You never know when a moment you gave to vanity may have been a moment someones eyes had been opened by you. The things in this system will perish soon, so why accumulate or get involved in things that will perish? The treasures stored up in heaven is forever and so is the promises that come with those who endure and are faithful until the end. If we put the pursuit of money or other things over the pursuit of spiritual things we are not storing up treasures in heaven. The bible warned you can be a slave to the treasures of the world or store up treasures in heaven but we cannot be slaves to both.
When Jehovah’s great day comes it is going to come in a day we do not expect. We are warned people will be confident there will be peace and security so will pay no attention to the signs of what is about to occur. The bible warns us many would take no note of the times we are in until it was too late and God’s great day would be suddenly upon them. Just as in Noah’s day Noah and his family heeded God’s warnings and built the ark as they were instructed and Noah and his family survived the destruction that came upon the earth. Many will heed God’s warnings and stay alert and walk through the great tribulation. In order to learn what God requires so you can be one of the ones who walks through the great tribulation and do not suffer the destruction that those who ignore God’s warnings or who oppose him do we need to learn what he requires.
(Luke 10:38-42) 38 Now as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village. Here a woman named Martha received him as a guest in her house. 39 She also had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and kept listening to what he was saying. 40 Martha, on the other hand, was distracted with attending to many duties. So she came to him and said: “Lord, does it not matter to you that my sister has left me alone to attend to things? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 In answer the Lord said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and disturbed about many things. 42 A few things, though, are needed, or just one. For her part, Mary chose the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.”
(Matthew 6:28-34) 28 Also, why are you aSolanum jamesiinxious about clothing? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin; 29 but I tell you that not even Solʹo·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. 30 Now if this is how God clothes the vegetation of the field that is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe you, you with little faith? 31 So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to wear?’ 32 For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. 34 So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.
(1 John 2:15-17) 15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. 17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
(Matthew 6:19-24) 19 “Stop storing up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. 23 But if your eye is envious, your whole body will be dark. If the light that is in you is really darkness, how great that darkness is! 24 “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches.
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-5) 5 Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. 3 Whenever it is that they are saying, “Peace and security!” then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like birth pains on a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape. 4 But you, brothers, you are not in darkness, so that the day should overtake you as it would thieves, 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We belong neither to night nor to darkness.
(Matthew 24:36-41) 36 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 41 Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandone. . .
(Revelation 7:13-17) 13 In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat, 17 because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them and will guide them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”
Doubt can draw us away from God. Not only that but doubt can result in apathy and we may lose focus and start being drawn away from God and become part of the world which is passing away. The bible has warned us what is about to occur, if we doubt God’s word we could be misled and not realize the time-frame we are in. Most of the prophecies concerning the last days have been fulfilled indicating we are in the final minutes of this system. Now more then ever we need to over come any doubt we may have. We can do this by taking in God’s word and applying it in all we do. If we have doubt we may start putting our faith ourselves or man more then God and be drawn away from God. Man will perish but God cannot die and will endure forever. There is no one wiser we can be certain of his wisdom by the grandeur of his creation and the knowledge it would have taken to create such things. There is no one more powerful then God so we can be sure he will fulfill the promises he gave us that give us a future hope. If we have doubt we may become one of the mockers mentioned. who claim God’s great day is not near. Since we have inherited sin from Adam and Eve each day we need to work to over come these imperfection and become new creations and do our best to imitate Christ. Very soon we will be put in some very difficult situations but we do not have to worry God says he will fight for us and our enemies will become as dust under our feet. Even death will be done away with. Satan created doubt in Adam and Eve and got them to disobey God. Adam and Eve knew what God required. They had no reason to doubt God he had only done good things for them and gave them good work that would be happy work to do. So they should not have listened to Satan when he was trying to deceive them. Not only this but he convinced Eve she would not die. We still hear this lie being told today when people say you do not die you either go to heaven or hell. The hell fire teaching was not taught by Jesus. The fire of destruction was taught by Jesus. Jesus words induced hope and trust in God and taught us how much God loved us. His words encouraged us to draw closer to God.
(James 1:5-8) 5 So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7 In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.
(Matthew 21:22) And all the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.”
(Hebrews 11:6) Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.
(Jeremiah 17:5) 5 This is what Jehovah says: “Cursed is the man who puts his trust in mere humans, Who relies on human power, And whose heart turns away from Jehovah.
(2 Peter 3:2-11) . . .. 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.” 5 For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water. 7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that now exist are reserved for fire and are being kept until the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly people. 8 However, do not let this escape your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 10 But Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion,
(2 Corinthians 5:16, 17) 16 So from now on we know no man from a fleshly viewpoint. Even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, we certainly no longer know him in that way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; look! new things have come into existence.
(Malachi 4:1-3) 4 “For look! the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the presumptuous ones and all those practicing wickedness will become like stubble. The coming day will certainly devour them,” says Jehovah of armies, “and it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But on you who honor my name, the sun of righteousness will shine, with healing in its rays; and you will skip about like fattened calves.” 3 “And you will tread the wicked underfoot, for they will be like dust under the soles of your feet on the day when I take action,” says Jehovah of armies.
(Isaiah 25:7-9) 7 In this mountain he will do away with the shroud that is enveloping all the peoples And the covering that is woven over all the nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it. 9 In that day they will say: “Look! This is our God! We have hoped in him, And he will save us. This is Jehovah! We have hoped in him. Let us be joyful and rejoice in the salvation by him.”
(Genesis 3:3-7) . . .” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” 6 Consequently, the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something desirable to the eyes, yes, the tree was pleasing to look at. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward, she also gave some to her husband when he was with her, and he began eating it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.
We need to learn to forgive. The bible warns holding onto anger can give Satan an opportunity. If we hold onto anger we are judging others. It does not matter if the person repents or not. We have to keep in mind God is the judge and he gave that right to Jesus because he is our king. We are imperfect and our hearts are imperfect. Not only that we cannot read others hearts to know if something they have done was intentional or not. God can read hearts, he has given Jesus the ability to read hearts and Jesus will judge. We do not have that right Jesus earned the right to the throne. The princes gathered from the earth will judge with Jesus but while on earth we are not to judge others. God does lay guidelines on who we should associate with and if our anger was because of a sin committed we should be cautious associating with them if the are unrepentent, when possible. But we need to learn to forgive even our enemies so that we do not hold anger in and leave an opportunity for Satan. If someone has wronged us or has sinned against us we should talk to them about it. If it is serious enough we should talk to an elder but we should not judge them or hold anger towards them. We are to let love guide all we do. Jesus set the example by forgiving those who persecuted him and he prayed for those persecuting him. Anyone can love those who love them but it takes getting to know God and Jesus to be able to love all even those who hate you. We have to remember if we are forgiving God will forgive us but if we judge others we will be judged likewise. We are told if we let love guide us it covers a multitude of sins.
(Ephesians 4:25-27) 25 Therefore, now that you have put away deceit, each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, because we are members belonging to one another. 26 Be wrathful, but do not sin; do not let the sun set while you are still angry; 27 do not give the Devil an opportunity.
(Leviticus 19:17) “‘You must not hate your brother in your heart. You should by all means reprove your fellow man, so that you will not bear sin along with him.
(Matthew 5:23, 24) “If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away. First make your peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.
(Matthew 5:43-48) 43 “You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(Matthew 7:1, 2) 7 “Stop judging that you may not be judged; 2 for with the judgment you are judging, you will be judged, and with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you. . .
(Luke 6:37, 38) 37 “Moreover, stop judging, and you will by no means be judged; and stop condemning, and you will by no means be condemned. Keep on forgiving, and you will be forgiven. 38 Practice giving, and people will give to you. They will pour into your laps a fine measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing. For with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you in return.. . .
(1 Peter 4:7, 8) 7 But the end of all things has drawn close. Therefore, be sound in mind, and be vigilant with a view to prayers. 8 Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
There are many temptations that we can be overcome by. Since we are born imperfect and inherit sin we have to take in God’s word to teach us to be aware of our sinful nature so temptation cannot overcome us. Satan has been very busy making sin much more accessible. Once we give in to temptation we do not only separate ourselves from God but often times our sin can effect others negatively causing them harm. When we give into sin it can rob us of our joy and drag us down into a life that is very hard to recover from. I have seen many in my life get involved in self destructive behavior that ended in either them acquiring diseases from immoral behavior, or from alcohol or drug abuse that resulted in them dying at a very young age. Not only this but it effected many around them negatively and even cost their families large amounts of money. I have seen marriages end from those giving in to sin that destroyed the lives of innocent children. Giving into sin comes with more then spiritual consequences we also have to deal with the mess we create after we sin. So we can fully see why God gets so hurt in his heart when we sin. He desiresnone to perish but desires all to repent and attain eternal life. King David once sinned against God and it resulted in a mans life being lost. He desired the mans wife so he manipulated things so that the man would get killed in battle. This was after he had relations with the mans wife and caused her to become pregnant. He did these things to try to hide his error. You can tell this effected some of his family because one of his sons committed even grosser sins. So the example we set could either draw others closer to God or could get them to sin against God. Job would not even look at a woman in an inappropriate way. He stated he had a covenant with his eyes. In other words before he had an inappropriate thought he would stop looking. David repented but he had to pay the consequences for his sin. Satan can use sin to trap us so that he can harm us.
(1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) 12 So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
(2 Samuel 11:2-4) 2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the rooftop of the king’s house. From the rooftop he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about the woman, and he reported: “Is this not Bath-sheʹba the daughter of E·liʹam and the wife of U·riʹah the Hitʹtite?” 4 Then David sent messengers to bring her. So she came in to him, and he lay down with her. (This happened while she was purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Afterward, she returned to her house.
(Job 31:1) 31 “I have made a covenant with my eyes. So how could I show improper attention to a virgin?
(Matthew 5:27, 28) 27 “You heard that it was said: ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
(James 1:22-25) 22 However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does.
Satan uses adversity to try and draw us away from God. He hit Job with so many things at once that while one messenger was delivering bad news another would enter. Satan did not get Job’s faith to falter or get him to reject God. Because of that God rewarded Job. Very soon things like this will happen on a world wide scale to those who choose to remain loyal to God and refuse to do and act of worship to the beast. Through this adversity we will need friends we can count on and trust to be loyal to Jehovah. So now more then ever we need to choose our friends wisely. The bible even cautioned us about having many friends. It is better to have a few friends that we know we can count on to help us with adversity. True friends will not abandon or avoid you when you are going through tough times but will be by your side through thick or thin. Most of all we need to stay close to Jehovah and put our burdens on him and he will sustain us.
(Job 1:16-21) 16 While he was still speaking, another one came and said: “Fire from God fell from the heavens and blazed among the sheep and the servants and consumed them! I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another one came and said: “The Chal·deʹans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them, and they killed the servants with the sword. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, yet another one came and said: “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house. 19 Suddenly a great wind came from the wilderness, and it struck the four corners of the house, so that it fell on the young people and they were killed. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” 20 At that Job got up and ripped apart his garment and cut the hair off his head; then he fell to the ground and bowed down 21 and said: “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, And naked I will return. Jehovah has given, and Jehovah has taken away. Let the name of Jehovah continue to be praised.”
(Job 42:10-15) 10 After Job had prayed for his companions, Jehovah removed Job’s tribulation and restored his prosperity. Jehovah gave him double what he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and all his former friends came to him and ate a meal with him in his house. They sympathized with him and comforted him over all the calamity that Jehovah had allowed to come upon him. Each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. 12 So Jehovah blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the beginning, and Job came to have 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 pairs of cattle, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He also came to have seven more sons and three more daughters. 14 He named the first daughter Je·miʹmah, the second Ke·ziʹah, and the third Kerʹen-hapʹpuch. 15 No women in all the land were as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.
(Proverbs 17:17) 17 A true friend shows love at all times And is a brother who is born for times of distress.
(Ruth 1:16, 17) But Ruth said: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I will go, and where you spend the night, I will spend the night. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May Jehovah do so to me and add to it if anything but death should separate me from you.”
(1 Samuel 19:2) Since Saul’s son Jonʹa·than was very fond of David, Jonʹa·than told David: “My father Saul wants to have you put to death. Please be on your guard in the morning, and go to a secret place and remain hidden.
(Proverbs 18:24) 24 There are companions ready to crush one another, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. . .
(Psalm 55:22) 22 Throw your burden on Jehovah, And he will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to fall.
(Jeremiah 29:11-14) 11 “‘For I well know the thoughts that I am thinking toward you,’ declares Jehovah, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of calamity, to give you a future and a hope. 12 And you will call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’ 13 “‘You will seek me and find me, for you will search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will let you find me,’ declares Jehovah. ‘And I will gather your captives and collect you together out of all the nations and places to which I have dispersed you,’ declares Jehovah. ‘And I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to go into exile.’
Division is another method Satan uses to draw people away from God. Some may not like what they are hearing so will find teachers who will teach what they want to hear and now what they need to hear. Those who teach what people need to hear will be hated by the world we have to remember Jesus warned the student would be not better then the teacher. We know what they did to Jesus. We can expect to be persecuted and ridiculed also. They even taunted him when he was on the torture steak. At that time Jesus had been made king by God. He was being taunted and they were telling him if you are truly the Christ save yourself. We will most likely be given the same kind of treatment but we do not have to answer them. God will answer for us. Taunts like that do not deserve or require an answer. If we are arrested we do not have to rehearse what to speak. God will send the holy spirit which will instruct so we will know what to say. The pharisees and sudducess caused divisions because theu taught traditions and other things that were not a part of true worship or what God required. They also lacked humility and would promote themselves which caused divisions. They would do things like pray in public to put a show on. We need to keep humble and not make a show of our faith in God. We need to make certain what God requires because we were warned in the last days there would be many false teachers.
(Luke 22:63-65) 63 Now the men who held Jesus in custody began to mock him, hitting him; 64 and after covering his face, they kept asking: “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other blasphemous things against him.
(Luke 23:34-38) . . .. 35 And the people stood looking on. But the rulers were sneering and saying: “Others he saved; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” 36 Even the soldiers mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was also an inscription over him: “This is the King of the Jews.”
(Luke 12:11, 12) 11 When they bring you in before public assemblies, government officials, and authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak in defense or what you will say, 12 for the holy spirit will teach you in that very hour the things you should say.”
(Acts 6:8-10) 8 Now Stephen, full of divine favor and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 But some men of the so-called Synagogue of the Freedmen came forward, along with some Cy·reʹni·ans and Alexandrians, and some from Ci·liʹcia and Asia, to dispute with Stephen. 10 But they could not hold their own against the wisdom and the spirit with which he was speaking.
Satan will use slander to turn people against those who worship in truth. These rumors and gossip are divisive and can effect our spiritual brothers and sisters. We have the example of Korah because he knew God’s word as well as Moses he thought he should be the one leading Israel. He started gossiping and got others to back him. This was in defiance of God because Moses was chose by God to lead Israel. It is best if we do not get involved in gossip or the spreading of rumors. I have seen false rumors break whole families up. Korah had caused others to rebel against Jehovah and it cost many lives. We have have to keep in mind Satan is called the accuser. Those who choose his side in this spiritual battle are also going to copy his behavior and will be constantly making accusations. Something I experienced when I first learned bible truth is that I had given up many sinful habits. My past sins were constantly being thrown in my face and held against me by the world. Even though I repented for many years they would still throw those sins in my face and falsely accused me. At first it caused me deep distress but then I came to realize they are not my judge. Jesus is our king and judge he knows the truth so no matter what false accusations they make Jesus knows the truth. Something to keep in mind Satan and Devil are terms and not names. Satan means adversary or accuser so we can be certain not only him but those who do not worship in truth will constantly doubt your reasons for your faith. Now more then ever when being accused we need to turn to God in prayer and he will strengthen us. We know that Satan has been cast out of heaven and has great wrath and is seeking to take many down into the pit of destruction with him. The persecution and the accusations are going to get much worse but the bible tells us these are a signs that our redemption is near so we are very very close to all this suffering being over.
(Numbers 16:28-35) 28 Then Moses said: “By this you will know that Jehovah has sent me to do all these things, that it is not of my own heart: 29 If these people die a natural death as all men do and if their punishment is the same as that of all mankind, then Jehovah has not sent me. 30 But if Jehovah does something extraordinary with them and the ground opens and swallows them and everything that belongs to them and they go down alive into the Grave, you will certainly know that these men have treated Jehovah disrespectfully.” 31 As soon as he finished speaking all these words, the ground beneath them split apart. 32 And the earth opened and swallowed them up, along with their households and everyone who belonged to Korʹah and all their goods. 33 So they and all who belonged to them went down alive into the Grave, and the earth covered them over, so that they perished from the midst of the congregation. 34 All the Israelites who were around them fled at their screaming, for they said: “We are afraid that the earth may swallow us up!” 35 Then a fire came out from Jehovah and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.
(James 4:11, 12) 11 Stop speaking against one another, brothers. Whoever speaks against a brother or judges his brother speaks against law and judges law. Now if you judge law, you are not a doer of law but a judge. 12 There is only one who is Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and to destroy. But you, who are you to be judging your neighbor?
(Matthew 10:36-39) 36 Indeed, a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and whoever has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his soul will lose it, and whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it.
(John 15:17-20) 17 “These things I command you, that you love one another. 18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. 20 Keep in mind the word I said to you: A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have observed my word, they will also observe yours.
(1 Peter 5:6-11) 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time, 7 while you throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 8 Keep your senses, be watchful! Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone. 9 But take your stand against him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by the entire association of your brothers in the world. 10 But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called you to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish your training. He will make you firm, he will make you strong, he will firmly ground you. 11 To him be the might forever. Amen.
(Revelation 12:10-12) 10 I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”
Pride is one that many of us have been guilty of at one time or another. Pride is what got Satan in the position he is in now and he will be destroyed some day. Jesus remained humble by keeping in mind that his father had more knowledge then him and that all authority and power came from God. No matter what we do there is nothing we could do that would be greater then what God can. Jesus told us he only did what he had seen his father do. He never took credit for the wisdom and gifts God had given him. He always gave the credit to God. If it was not for God we would not exist so no matter how much money we have, how many friends , how much power we have it does not draw us closer to God. Being humble and realizing we are just human and things of the world are not what makes us who we are. God guides and teaches us. Jesus showed so much humility, love, loyalty and faith in God that he entrusted him with the heavenly throne. God has put everything under Jesus authority even the angels so he can fulfill the work of restoring the earth and heaven to their original purpose. The heavens have already been restored because Satan and the demons have been cast out. Now the earth will be restored and the original purpose for the earth will be fulfilled and the earth will be filled with peaceful people and there will be no more wars, suffering or pain. There will be no more tears or death. When this work is done Jesus will show his humility again by handing the throne back to God and he will subject himself to God. So no matter how much knowledge, wealth, power or notoriety we may achieve we should keep in mind the example Jesus set who knew how much authority he had but still washed the apostles feet which was something that servants would do. The bible warns us if we exalt ourselves we will be humbled. If we humble ourselves we will be exalted. When being persecuted it is difficult not to look down on those doing the persecuting but keep in mind the Apostle Paul and one time persecuted God’s people and we know he worked very heard to spread the good news when his eyes were opened. If we look down on our persecutors we react in a way that could set a bad example and possibly hinder them from learning the truth.
(Ezekiel 28:16, 17) 16 Because of your abundant trade, You became filled with violence, and you began to sin. So I will cast you out as profane from the mountain of God and destroy you, O covering cherub, away from the stones of fire. 17 Your heart became haughty because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom because of your own glorious splendor. I will throw you down to the earth. I will make you a spectacle before kings.
(John 5:19, 20) 19 Therefore, in response Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, the Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son does also in like manner. 20 For the Father has affection for the Son and shows him all the things he himself does, and he will show him works greater than these, so that you may marvel.
(John 14:27, 28) . . .. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I am.
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing. 27 For God “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him. 28 But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.
(John 13:3-9) 3 So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he came from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the evening meal and laid aside his outer garments. And taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. 5 After that he put water into a basin and started to wash the feet of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him: “Lord, are you washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him: “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will understand after these things.” 8 Peter said to him: “You will certainly never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him: “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him: “Lord, wash not only my feet but also my hands and my head.”
(Luke 14:7-14) 7 He then told the invited men an illustration when he noticed how they were choosing the most prominent places for themselves. He said to them: 8 “When you are invited by someone to a marriage feast, do not recline in the most prominent place. Perhaps someone more distinguished than you may also have been invited. 9 Then the one who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Let this man have your place.’ Then you will proceed with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when the man who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, go on up higher.’ Then you will have honor in front of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” 12 Next he said also to the man who had invited him: “When you spread a dinner or an evening meal, do not call your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors. Otherwise, they might also invite you in return, and it would become a repayment to you. 13 But when you spread a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; 14 and you will be happy, because they have nothing with which to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous ones.”
(Romans 12:14-16) 14 Keep on blessing those who persecute; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same attitude toward others as toward yourselves; do not set your mind on lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become wise in your own eyes.
(Acts 26:9-18) 9 I, for one, was convinced that I should commit many acts of opposition against the name of Jesus the Naz·a·reneʹ. 10 This is exactly what I did in Jerusalem, and I locked up many of the holy ones in prisons, for I had received authority from the chief priests; and when they were to be executed, I cast my vote against them. 11 By punishing them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to recant; and since I was extremely furious with them, I went so far as to persecute them even in outlying cities. 12 “While doing this as I was traveling to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests, 13 I saw at midday on the road, O King, a light beyond the brilliance of the sun flash from heaven around me and around those traveling with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice say to me in the Hebrew language: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? To keep kicking against the goads makes it hard for you.’ 15 But I said: ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said: ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet. This is why I have appeared to you, to choose you as a servant and a witness both of things you have seen and things I will make you see respecting me. 17 And I will rescue you from this people and from the nations, to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by their faith in me.’
One thing I almost forgot to mention many of the weapons Satan uses is designed to isolate you especially from spiritual things. Very soon there will be many times we will not have our spiritual brothers and sisters. We may be imprisoned, or isolated because tactics Satan has used to separate us. Many of us have family who reject bible truths. When the beast is fully empowered by the nations family will turn on many of us. These things are designed to isolate us in hopes Satan or his people can break us spiritually. In those times we will need to really on God and Jesus more then ever. We need to believe God cares for us and they he hears us and they we are not truly alone. He will put pressure on us to try and separate and isolate us from God spiritually. In those times it is very important to read God’s word and be persistent in prayer. We have the example of Jesus when he was fasting and alone in the wilderness. So Jesus would have been hungry and alone. Satan seized this opportunity to try and tempt Jesus. Satan even used scriptures to try and deceive Jesus. Because Jesus knew God’s word so well even when he was hungry and alone he did not give in to Satan. We have to be very careful we do not become over confident and isolate ourselves by associating less with spiritual brothers and sister and by not attending meeting. The bible warns this can cause us to fall and we are more easily temped. So you can see isolation is another weapon used against us by Satan. When possible we must do our best to prevent Satan from isolating us.
(Matthew 4:1-11) 4 Then Jesus was led by the spirit up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After he had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he felt hungry. 3 And the Tempter approached and said to him: “If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.’” 5 Then the Devil took him along into the holy city, and he stationed him on the battlement of the temple 6 and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’” 8 Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” 11 Then the Devil left him, and look! angels came and began to minister to him.
(James 4:7-10) 7 Therefore, subject yourselves to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones. 9 Give way to misery and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into despair. 10 Humble yourselves in the eyes of Jehovah, and he will exalt you.
(Hebrews 3:12-15) 12 Beware, brothers, for fear there should ever develop in any one of you a wicked heart lacking faith by drawing away from the living God; 13 but keep on encouraging one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you should become hardened by the deceptive power of sin. 14 For we actually become partakers of the Christ only if we hold firmly down to the end the confidence we had at the beginning. 15 As it is said, “Today if you listen to his voice, do not harden your hearts as on the occasion of provoking to bitter anger.”
(1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) 12 So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
What is the suit of armor of God and how do we put on the full suit. Well to understand that we need to understand each aspect of that suit of armor. We need this suit of armor because this spiritual battle involves world governments and other authorities, we are battling Satan and the demons and those who have chosen Satans side in this battle. Satan and his demons can easily influence man so we have not only the inherited human imperfection to deal with but we also are dealing with those who have been influenced by Satan and the demons.
The belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness are mentioned in the same sentence. If we wear the belt of truth which is taking in God’s word and applying it and letting it guide all we do it will help to keep us blameless so when accused or if we are arrested we can have peace of mind knowing we did no wrong. We can also have peace of mind knowing no matter what happens Jesus will redeem us.
Our feet need to be shod in readiness to declare the good news. So we need to teach others what we have learned. In doing so it helps put it deeper into our hearts, builds our faith and helps others learn how to put on the full suit of armor. Not only that but there are many looking for answers. The good news of the heavenly kingdom gives all who put there faith in God hope. If we did not know about the heavenly kingdom what hope would we have. If someone had not told us about the good news of the heavenly kingdom what would it be like for us now? We most likely would be living in a state of panic and confusion like many are now days. Our hope gives us peace that those who do not accept the bible truth will not experience.
We are to take up the large shield of faith. So we must trust God will guide is through what is about to occur. He will protect us and take care of us no matter how bad things may seem. Already many have had their homes taken from them because of their faith in God. Some have been imprisoned. Some are going hungry but Jehovah God is sustaining them. He has in the past no matter how much the odds seemed to be against someone who was loyal to him. In the end those causing the harm were judged and destroyed. This is going to occur on a world wide scale. We have no need to be afraid because even death will not separate us from the love of God and the love of Jesus. God performed man amazing miracles in the past to protect his people and I am certain he will again. No matter what accusation or what harm we are threaten with we can be certain like Daniel we are worshiping the one true God and he will protect us like he did Daniel and his companions when they were throne in to the fiery furnace.
The helmet of Salvation that is in God’s word. By learning about the ransom sacrifice of God’s only begotten son and the purpose for it. We get a better understanding of God’s love. He gave his only begotten son to make atonement for the sins of Adam. Because of that ransom sacrifice , death was defeated. So those who make it into the new earth will not die. Those who experience a resurrection of righteousness will not die either. So if we do our best to imitate Jesus, be faithful and loyal even death will not have a hold on us and we will be resurrected.
We must put on the sword of God’s spirit, which is God’s word. If we let God’s word guide all we do then we will be protected not only by God but by the wisdom his word will impart to us. Very soon we will be forced into positions were we have to be certain when to make our yes mean yes and our no mean no. If we do not know God’s word and have it written on our hearts we could have doubts as to when we should say yes or no. This could cost or lives.
We are to persist in prayer. At times it may seem God is not listening. Sometimes we have to repeatedly pray let God know it is him we trust and not ourselves or man. If we do not get an answer then it may be a no answer and we need to believe God knows what is best and when the best timing for things are. Sometimes the answer to the prayer may be delayed because we are not quite ready to have it answered and have some growing spiritually or it may not be what is best. If we persist in prayer it helps us to think on it more and more and adjust our prayers which would show God our spiritual growth and determination. If we get a no answer it does not mean God does not love us. It may mean that at the time giving a yes answer may not be what is needed. Sometimes we endure things to help to temper and strengthen us and build our faith and wisdom. One thing I found is if I am praying asking for a yes or no answer I ask for a specific sign that will be so unique I will have no doubt what his answer is.
(Ephesians 6:10-20) 10 Finally, go on acquiring power in the Lord and in the mightiness of his strength. 11 Put on the complete suit of armor from God so that you may be able to stand firm against the crafty acts of the Devil; 12 because we have a struggle, not against blood and flesh, but against the governments, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places. 13 For this reason take up the complete suit of armor from God, so that you may be able to resist in the wicked day and, after you have accomplished everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm, therefore, with the belt of truth fastened around your waist, wearing the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having your feet shod in readiness to declare the good news of peace. 16 Besides all of this, take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the wicked one’s burning arrows. 17 Also, accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word, 18 while with every form of prayer and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit. And to that end stay awake, constantly making supplication in behalf of all the holy ones. 19 Pray also for me, that the words may be given to me when I open my mouth, so that I may be able to speak boldly in making known the sacred secret of the good news, 20 for which I am acting as an ambassador in chains, and that I may speak about it with boldness, as I ought to speak.