Know your enemy (?)

For believers, it’s important to know who the enemy is. As believers in Christ, do we truly know our enemy?

1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Did you know that most children who experience abuse are abused by someone they know (and usually trust), NOT by a stranger?

Were you aware that family members often choose to side with sexual abuse perpetrators and against their victims, especially if the abuse was committed within the family?

Can you imagine? Those who molest children look and act just like everyone else (PDF).

What young innocent child would imagine that a loved one would want to inflict excruciating pain on their little bodies?

Recall the apostle Paul said…

“But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:12-15).”

Jesus said… Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15).”

“Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.”

Where is the enemy?

Matthew 26:21 “Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

Psalm 41:9 “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

Acts 7:51-53 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

Jesus sent out His disciples, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 10: 16-24

As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ my enemy is not always the most obvious character. I remember when I was in elementary school I had a best friend. We were tight. We got into Jr high and things changed. One day, she completely turned on me. I got wind that she was planning to jump me after school. And boy did she! When I think about it today, I wonder, when did Satan enter her? I had no clue. Learning that friends could turn on me was a lesson I could have done without. But, Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him. He knew that Peter was going to betray Him.

This past year, I had to learn that awful lesson again. I wrote about it earlier, that my brother betrayed me. He was accusing me of all sorts of evil. I don’t consider myself a Democrat, but because I would not side with Trumpters, I was labeled that and worse. Why would my brother betray me simply because I would not side with his politics? Politics had never influenced our sibling relationship. And he made sure to tell me he was a Christian. How was I supposed to process that? This is a lesson that needs to sink in. We just experienced four years of division, not only in our communities, our churches, but within our families. It’s going to be one hundred times worse when God starts separating the wheat from the tares.

There is great danger in continuing to be under a false teaching. Church leaders and Republicans, conservatives want to push their narrative that the enemy is a democrat, a liberal, a Christian liberal, a pro abortion, a pro welfare, and other groups, and yet the Scriptures tell me that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. The Scriptures teach me that the enemy may be one of us. And Jesus made sure to warn us of this.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

So, Judas, was a disciple of Jesus. The betrayal came from within. It makes sense that our betrayal will come from within the Christian ranks. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” is actually of God. And what will Jesus say when the day finally comes…

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:31-46

The enemy does not want to be exposed. He would rather remain in the background, silent, manipulating. The original Star Trek series had a great episode to explain the silent enemy. The Day of the Dove. This entity provided the hate, the weapons and the battleground. It’s important for me to impress upon fellow believers that false teaching is far more dangerous than any political agenda. Recall Pilate did not find any fault in Jesus, but he gave in to the demands of the Pharisees. Testing the spirits is critical to our walk with Christ.

Be blessed. Be alert.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

1 Peter 5:8

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