Tag: Angel of Light

The enemy!

J.C. Ryleby J.C. Ryle

“The Gospel of Luke” 1858

“Simon, Simon–Satan Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat!” Luke 22:31

We learn here–what a fearful enemy the devil is to believers. Satan was near Christ’s flock–though they saw him not. He was longing to accomplish their ruin–though they knew it not. The devil desires the destruction of souls, more than the wolf craves the blood of the lamb!

The personality, activity, and power of the devil are not sufficiently thought of by Christians. This is he who brought sin into the world at the beginning, by tempting Eve. This is he who is described in the book of Job as “going to and fro in the earth.” This is he whom our Lord calls “the prince of this world,” a “murderer,” and a “liar.” This is he whom Peter compares to a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” This is he whom John speaks of as “the accuser of the brethren.” This is he who is ever . . . working evil in the churches, catching away good seed from the hearts of hearers, sowing tares amid the wheat, stirring up persecutions, suggesting false doctrines, and fomenting divisions!

The world is a snare to the believer. The flesh is a burden and a clog. But there is no enemy so dangerous as that restless, invisible, subtle, experienced enemy–the devil!

If we believe the Bible, let us not be ashamed to believe that there is a malicious devil who is ever on a deadly prowl. It is a solemn proof of the hardness and blindness of unconverted men–that they can jest and speak lightly of Satan.

If we profess to have any real religion, let us be on our guard against the devil’s evil schemes. The enemy who overthrew David and Peter, and assaulted Christ Himself–is not an enemy to be despised. He is very subtle and malicious. He has studied the heart of man for six thousand years. He can approach us under the garb of an “angel of light.” We have need to watch and pray, and put on the whole armor of God.

It is a blessed promise, that if we resist him–then he will flee from us.

It is a still more blessed thought that when the Lord comes–He will bruise Satan under our feet, bind him in eternal chains and cast him into the lake of fire!

“The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever!” Revelation 20:10

by J.C. Ryle

 

Beware of Snakes!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

The legendary preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”

Often the question is whether something is “right” or “wrong”, and may be answered quickly and easily. But sometimes we are faced with a much more difficult discernment: the difference between “right” and “almost right”. I love to take the kids to the zoo, and whenever we go we always go into the snake house to look at all those beautiful slithering reptiles– but more often than not they are so well camouflaged that they aren’t easy to find. Once you’ve spotted one, however, and recognized its markings, it becomes much easier. So George, why are you telling me about your trips to the zoo?

The Bible identifies our enemy as a serpent, and just like the ones at the zoo he camouflages himself extremely well. Satan knows that the Lord has given us authority over him, so he has to seek ways in which we fail to recognize him. He knows that defending ourselves would be much easier if he came out and said, “I’m here and I hate you!” So he lurks in the background, in unsuspected places waiting for an opportunity to steal, kill or destroy— and much of the time we don’t realize he’s there until we find ourselves in the thick of an attack. And what is his “camouflage”? Looking as much like a good guy as he can, so we would never suspect his true nature and intentions. That’s why Spurgeon gives us the advice about discernment between “right” and “almost right”; and why the Lord Himself told us to be “wise as serpents”!

Pray to become skilled in discerning your enemy’s camouflage, remembering he comes as a “minister of righteousness” or an “angel of light” who knows how to blend into your world, and to look and talk like a friend. Don’t go by feelings alone, be careful about flattery, know your Lord through prayer and let God’s Word dwell richly in you being filled with His spirit. You want to be well defended against the subtlety of the Serpent, especially these days!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten