Now, the gospel is being preached to the whole world-from the east to the west. God’s work will be swiftly accomplished in His due time. As the time is near, Satan is slandering us more fiercely. We, God’s people, may suffer more trials, hardships, persecution and temptation than we have ever suffered before.
Through the Bible, let’s see how Satan slanders the truth of God and how God overcomes him after all (Rev 18), so that we may also overcome, standing firm in faith with joy.
The Bible prophesies that God will overcome the hindrance of Satan and defeat him in the end. However, in the process of overcoming there are continually lots of critical moments. You and I, who live in this end time, should do our best to run the race of faith, having strong confidence, until the moment when the door of the kingdom of heaven is opened.
God said, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Holding on to this hopeful promise, let’s overcome the devil’s hindrances in reliance on God.
Today, there are innumerable churches in the world. Apparently they seem to be established to serve God; they put up crosses and cry to the people, ‘Come to our church to hear the gospel of Christ.’ Through God’s teachings in the Bible, however, we require to see whether or not they follow God’s will-whether they base their teachings and deeds on the Bible or not.
Since the creation of the world, the devil our enemy has been trying to deceive all people, even God’s people, if possible, by any means.
Now, let’s see how the devil hinders God’s children to make them give up their faith.
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerades as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Co 11:13-15
The Bible says that it is no great thing if Satan’s servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness. When Satan and his servants approach us, disguising themselves as angels of light and servants of righteousness, we should discern whether their teachings and deeds are true or false. It is very important.
Then, why do Satan’s servants masquerade as servants of righteousness? They do that for the only one purpose of leading people, even God’s chosen ones, to hell by deceiving them. If they disclosed their identity as Satan’s, no one would believe them. To make themselves look like servants of righteousness, they frequently use these words―“We love God,” “We should love our neighbors,” “We follow the teachings of Christ.”
Let’s see what Jesus said concerning their leading the souls to death by disguising themselves as servants of righteousness.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Mt 23:13
Satan’s servants, masquerading as servants of righteousness, shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces; they themselves do not enter, nor do they let those enter who are trying to. It is God’s servants who lead people to heaven, not Satan’s servants. They themselves do not enter; moreover they do not allow those who are trying to enter. They disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
When we are aware of this fact, we can rescue our brothers and sisters from the Satan’s snare, and lead them to the truth. Now, we require discretion and strong faith. When our faith becomes firm and steadfast, God will open our spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and minds to understand, so that we may not be deceived by Satan though his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Let’s see how Satan’s servants hide the kingdom of heaven from people.
He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” Mk 7:6-7
Satan’s servants use human rules as a method to make people far from God-to shut off the kingdom of heaven from them. Through men’s rules, they make people, so-called Christians, ignore God’s laws and worship the sun god detestable to God; the door to the kingdom of heaven is shut from them, and their hearts get farther from God. If they were taught by God’s servants, they would keep God’s commandments and come near to God-they would run toward the kingdom of heaven.
There are still many souls who are deceived by Satan’s servants and follow the way of death. We must not leave those souls alone but let them know who Satan’s servants are and what their schemes are. Those who have already been deceived think that Satan’s servants also believe in God because they speak about God and the Bible, disguising themselves as servants of righteousness. However, if we pay a little more attention to what they say, we can easily see that they speak falsehood completely against what the Bible says.
Satan’s servants seem to honor God with their lips. Actually, they deceive people with men’s rules and make them worship God in vain. Let’s open our eyes and look around us. How many people are de-ceived! We should not merely watch them but boldly tell them what is false and what is true.
Now, we ought to make the people, who do not distinguish truth from falsehood, know the real identity of Satan disguising himself as an angel of light. There are many who are taught by men’s rules and follow them, being confused into thinking that they worship God and will go to the kingdom of heaven by keeping men’s rules. We should lead them to God.
“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Ps 14:1-3
There is no one who does good or seeks God, for all have been taught by men’s rules. Then, who can enter the kingdom of heaven? None of those who are deceived by Satan’s servants can imagine their shutting the kingdom of heaven, for they honor God with their lips. For several thousand years, numerous people have been taught by men’s rules, deceived by Satan’s servants, and have firmly believed that they will go to the kingdom of heaven through men’s rules such as Christmas, Sunday service and the veneration of the cross.
Since they’ve been bound by Satan for such a long time, it may not be easy to awaken their minds. However, God is with us. He said that the truth would surely come out victorious. Relying on this word, we should awaken them diligently.
The Bible says that all men have together become corrupt, deceived by Satan, and that there is no one who does good, not even one. However it also says that God has left a small number of people.
“God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. … So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Ro 11:2-5
Among innumerable people like the sand of the sea, God has re-served some righteous people who have not bowed their knees to Baal. Though very few, they are to resist Satan’s servants who disguise themselves as servants of righteousness and shut off the kingdom of heaven through men’s rules.
This little flock must completely depend on God with a sure faith in Him, so that they can fight against the powers of Satan. “If I must lay down my life for following God’s will, I will die.” Without such early martyrs’ spirit, how can the little flock resist countless people on the side of Satan like the sand of the sea?
Consider how Gideon won the battle in ancient times. He depended absolutely on God, so that he and his three hundred warriors could defeat one hundred and thirty-five thousand men. They had faith strong enough to rush into the enemy base, armed only with torches and trumpets. Because of their great faith, they could win the battle.
Like Gideon’s warriors, we should have strong faith all the more as we see the day approaching. When we have such a faith and spirit, we, God’s little flock, can resist Satan’s servants masquerading as God’s servants.
In the days of Elijah, God reserved seven thousand who had not bowed their knees to Baal. So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.” Rev 12:17
Seeing the dragon, the devil, fight against the woman’s offspring, they must be the righteous; they keep God’s commandments.
This revelation shows what will surely take place in the last days. We can see Satan reign over innumerable people like the sand of the seashore. Men’s rules are a weapon which Satan’s servants use to block the door to the kingdom of heaven. However, those standing on God’s side constantly keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus, resisting the devil.
On Satan’s side stand a great multitude of people like the sand of the sea. However, God has promised to give victory to us, His little flock. The victory which God has promised us is given through our unyielding faith. As we all have unwavering faith, Satan cannot make us fall, however hard he tries. At the end, he is to be defeated.
“A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, … ” “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too will drink of the wine of God’s fury, …He will be tormented with burning sulfur … And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Rev 14:8-12
The Bible says that those who get drunk with the doctrines of the beast will drink of the wine of God’s fury. It also says that here is the patience of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Patience brings them to victory.
Now, we often see Satan’s servants working around us. They are numerous, and it is not easy to distinguish them from God’s servants.
Over a thousand years, Satan’s servants have deceived the world, disguising themselves as servants of righteousness and as angels of light; they’ve ridiculed and persecuted God’s servants, God’s children, who keep the commandments of God. Since they’ve deceived the world for such a long time, it is almost impossible to awaken people from spiritual deception in a short time. That is possible only through the unyielding faith of God’s children who keep God’s commandments. Only through their strong faith and patient endurance, Satan is defeated and the world is changed.
Though the devil, our enemy, is hindering the truth with all kinds of schemes, God does not shake at all; He regards him as nothing.
“Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, … Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. … Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.” Isa 40:14-17
Satan and his servants are fighting against God and persecuting His children, together with numerous people like the sand of the sea. However, God counts them as nothing and worthless.
When our faith is weak, Satan’s servants seem to be stronger than us and we may fear them. However, through the history of the Early Church, God has already showed that they are less than nothing. Many emperors, politicians and religious leaders ridiculed and troubled and threatened the saints of the Early Church. However, the more they persecuted the saints, the stronger their faith became and the church grew and prospered; because God, regarding all the world’s influential authorities as nothing, was with them.
So, we, who live in this last age, need to fear nothing at all. Rather, we should diligently preach the gospel of truth to the people, enlightening them to know the real identity of Satan and his servants who hinder the gospel of God and devour men’s souls.
They deceive people into believing that what God’s people keep or celebrate is not truth. Though they hinder us from preaching the gospel, we must keep our faith in Christ, obeying God’s commandments and depending on Him with patience.
False prophets are stirring up the whole world to fight against God. However, the more Satan’s power increases, the stronger we should become in faith; for God has said that they are nothing at all. Our mission is to quickly find our lost brothers and sisters and lead them to Zion. We must not forget that even for a moment.
“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. … The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” … “You will rule them with an iron scepter (“Though shalt break them with a rod of iron,” KJV); you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Ps 2:1-9
We, God’s people, have the strongest power, because God is with us. What does the Bible say about Satan’s servants who blaspheme against God and His people? It says that God scoffs at them and He will break them with an iron rod and dash them to pieces like pottery.
We are to endure until God’s appointed time comes: With strong faith and hope of heaven, we should be patient to the end, practicing God’s love by saving the dying souls. Though Satan hinders us greatly, victory will surely be ours, not his. We walk the way of desert and follow the path of thorns, taking our own crosses. However it is the way to victory. When we obtain the victory through hardships, it will be more precious and brilliant.
God is preparing a place for us in heaven, and we are going to meet Him soon. For the rest of our life, we should make the most of every opportunity to seek the lost brothers and sisters, unveiling the real identity of Satan’s servants and false prophets. Keeping on the alert all the times, let’s try hard to bear much fruit, so that our Father and Mother may be pleased.
As God’s children, let’s overcome Satan’s hindrances, standing firm in faith with a wise and discerning eye, always following God.