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The Battlefield is in your mind: You choose sides by what you think about - Part 1 Created 8 March 2014

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In the book of Ephesians Paul writes that there are people around us who are directed by an evil spirit(1). In fact, Paul says that everyone who does not genuinely belong to Christ - those who have not been spiritually recreated or reborn - are controlled (not advised, but controlled) by an evil spirit(2). Do you believe that?

If you do - as I believe you should - you will come to realise that all (not most) well-meaning unregenerated people around you are doing and saying things - not according to the direction of God (no-matter how good it sounds) - but according to what Paul calls "the prince of the power of the air". These people - no-matter how harmless they appear - are "the sons of disobedience" who fulfil the lusts of the flesh and the lusts of their own carnal minds(1). Minds that are in reality turned against God(3) (even if it does not appear that way). Minds that conjure up truths that are stated out of context, half-truths, falsehoods, lies, exageration, understatements, denials and unbelief. In other words, minds that get you going in the wrong direction - whether they even know it or not.

Indeed, the minds of those controlled by Satan produce blatant lies even when it does not appear to be the case. Because therein lies the deception; it appears as if what they're saying is true. Or, it appears as if they are of the godly kind.

Side note: Can God use even the most error-ridden person to bring truth? See my answer here.

What that means for you and me - if indeed we have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit - is that we cannot trust as true anything which we are not guaranteed as having originated from the Holy Spirit. In practical terms it means that you cannot trust as true or correct or complete or relevant (without testing it against Scripture) the very paragraph or article you are reading this very moment. Not only is it dangerous to do so, it is foolish too. And, not only does that go for the product of my pen but the products of the pens of the most prolific Christian authors, 'Church Fathers' and teachers, and - that is for sure - the pens of the Dalai Lama, Bono (the 'Christian' musician) and Mike Huckabee (the Christian governor). No disrespect meant to these men.

Recently I saw a Facebook post by another Christian in which she effectively sang the praises of Gene Simmons under the heading "These Words! Gene Simmons Sums Up Everything I’ve Wanted to Say About Tim Tebow and Religious Tolerance. Brilliant". Simmons - the owner of the American Rules Football franchise LA KISS - came to the defence of Tim Tebow - LA KISS's prospective Christian Quarterback at the time. Tebow is a believer who regularly proclaims his faith unashamedly in public and seems to live it in private as well. In the Facebook post Gene's remarks were seen as 'fair', 'level headed', and, dare I say it, perhaps even 'godly'. But who is Gene Simmons? Good question. Gene Simmonds is the lead singer of KISS - a rock group that has over a very long period of time endorsed Satan to the hearts and minds of all who care to listen to them. Yes, Gene Simmons openly works for Satan. You may wish to do your own research on this.

Can you see it? Can you see what just happened there? A naïve Christian lady - along with a number of others - endorsed as 'fair' or 'level headed' a prophet of Satan because he said just one thing in defence of a Christian man. In 2 minutes of a national television interview, Satan imprinted as 'excuseable' every Satanic gesture, lyric, tune, symbol and practice Gene and his group may ever have performed in the past. I think the word naïve best describes these Christians.

Yet, dare I allocate an eternal sentence on another person? Thus, dare I "judge" Gene? No. But neither do I dare being deceived by the prince of the power of the air either. The battle is with him, not with Gene in any event. So, I do not judge Gene in the 'eternal destiny' sense. Yet, I stay away from whatever he says for as long as I have not been guaranteed that he speaks on behalf of the Spirit. So far it is pretty clear to me that Gene does not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, so his comments about another Christian fails to have any impact on my non-acceptance of his words and his ways.

But what about a quote such as this one by Deepak Chopra - what's wrong with that?: "Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future." Let's look at what else he says and the picture becomes clearer: "Walk with those seeking truth... RUN FROM THOSE WHO THINK THEY'VE FOUND IT." Now compare John 14:7 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Now, here's the issue: how many Christians (who would have learnt from the wisdom of the likes of Chopra) have you heard say something like this: "You cannot know truth"? Yet, the Bible says that you can and you must. Truth is a person. He is Jesus, and He is the way, the truth and the life. We know Him by knowing His Word - the Bible - and doing it(4). And, the Bible says, His Holy Spirit teaches us His Word in all we need to know [at any particular point in our lives]. What these Christians have been subject to is the deception of the princeof the power of the air.

So, clearly, the Christians noted above, through the 'wisdom' of some or other 'wise man', have learnt something that is the exact opposite to what the Bible teaches. What they have learnt is from the princeof the power of the air.

How about wisdom from clergymen? Compare this video by Cardinal George Pell (4 minutes 10 seconds into it) with 1 John 2:2 and John 1:12. The wisdom of this man (or his system of religion) does not tie up with Scripture. What people who accept what Cardinal Pell said in the video have learnt is not from God but from the princeof the power of the air.

Thus, is your faith and mine being accosted from every possibly angle? Yes, and it will get worse, no doubt.

Thus, I stay away from the comments or the writings of every actor or movie producer or politician or sports celebrity (no reflection on Tebow) or church father or great reformer or great evangelist or rock musician or blogger or social commentator whose sayings do not align with Scripture. Yes, unless needed in research, I sincerely try to stay away from reading, listening and viewing all that which the world produces, because behind it - whether or not it appears that way - sits the prince of the power of the air.

Is this an extreme view? No. It is simply being accountible with what I have been given by grace. So, why does God allow it? Why does He allow false information or deception? See my answer here.

Note that the Bible does say that we cannot (and should not) run away from the world. Still, there is a difference between 'running away from the world' and exposing yourself and your family to unneccessary indoctrination or false information. I think we should choose very carefully who we lend out our ears to.

I am an ex-bank manager, and I know this: To know a counterfeit bank note you only need to know what the real thing looks like. Then you can compare every specimen that you find against it. You can compare everything that comes your way against what is right and true and relevant. That which is proven acceptable is used over and over again. That which is not is ignored, discarded, burnt.

For us - Christians - Scripture is the original pattern. We need to know it well.

And, we need to test all things by it.

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Footnotes:

1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Eph 2:1-3) [back]

2) And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins
2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. 3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.
(Eph 2:1-3, Amplified Bible) [back]

3) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom 8:7-8) [back]

4) Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. (1 John 2:3) [back]

Side note:

1) Can God use even the most error-ridden person to bring truth? Yes - God can use anything He wants to in order tp serve His purposes. Still the question is misleading: Some suggest that because God spoke through Balaam's donkey He can speak through a 'worldly movie' or a 'worldly activity' or a 'worldly person'. Such arguments are foolishness. Indeed, God can use all things and all circumstances for His own purposes. But, it is not His way to use ungodly things to teach godliness to people who already follow His way. God uses all kinds of measures to bring unbelievers to Him. But of believers He expects that they will seek counsel in His Word. That is why He gave it. For a believer to convince him/herself that they're going to a secular rock concert or a wild party because 'God can speak to me even through ungodliness' is akin to testing God in the way Satan tried to trap Jesus in the desert. Satan's argument was that if Jesus did an ungodly thing such as jump from the temple roof, that God would save Him [because God can do all things]. But Jesus' answer was quite clear: you shall not tempt the Lord your God [by pursuing ungodly acts and expect Him to save you from the consequences](Luke 4:8-12). [back]

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptual. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

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