WhichBibleThis is more for those who speak and read English but anyone in other languages should examine the origin of their Bible also to make sure it is founded on the same root foundation as the English King James Version of 1611.  Some Bibles in other languages have followed the perversions that we will discuss here:

Greek Manuscript

 

I am putting two articles here that are on other of our websites:

  1. Satan, Demons, necromancers, drunks, occult and Bible Translators writing modern Bibles

Who wrote the Bible that you are reading?

I have just finished reading a fantastic book by G.A. Riplinger entitled, “New Age Bible Versions.” Among other things, it details who the writers were of the Greek Text used to translate the NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, REB, RSV, CEV, TEV, GNB LIVING, PHILLIPS, NEW JERUSALEM, and NEW CENTURY versions of the Bible. If you own one of these, you probably bought them because they supposedly come from the most ancient manuscripts and they are more accurate and authentic than the old standard King James Version of the Bible. WRONG!!!!! If you are reading one of these versions, it is a compilation of the work of Satan, Demons, drunks, necromancers, channelers, ghost followers, Nazi staff members, Lucifer worshipers, Plato, Origin, Philo, and many other NEW AGE (demon inspired) thinkers who want nothing more than to bring in a One World Government under a New World Order, with the Anti-Christ as the ruler of the world, and Marxism as the world political system. What angers me the most is that supposedly God fearing ministers of the Gospel have, like the Pied Piper, led their congregations by a passive attitude that will open up the door to the religion of the Anti-Christ one day.

 

I just wrote an email to a good friend of mine, a minister, who sent me an email with a quote from one of these OCCULT translations of the bible. He is a good man and a soul-winner. I then realized that the Bible is true when it says that in the last days deceivers will come that will deceive, “if it were possible,” the very elect. I then knew that it is happening right before our very eyes. People purchase Bibles thinking that there are godly men that have made these new translations with much care along with prayer and that they are delivering what is the most accurate copy of the Word of God in existence today. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. Since the book that I cited above gives more evidence than I can possibly give here, I want to tell you about the men that did the translations of the revised Greek text and some of their friends and acquaintances. Once you have read this, if you can continue using one of these OCCULT versions of the Bible, God help your soul.

 

The two main perpetrators of the crime of mutilating the Word of God are Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort who lived in the 1880’s and their work has caused a virtual death blow to the pure Word of God. John R. Kohlenberger of Zondervan which published the NASB, Living Bible, Amplified Bible, NIV, and RSV said that all versions that have come after the King James Version from the RSV to the present versions have come from the text that was developed by these two snakes who feign themselves translators of the pure Word of God. Wilbur Pickering, author of The Identity of the New Testament Text states, “…..The W-H critical theory is erroneous at every point…” What about these wannabe translators and destroyers of the Word of God?

 

Westcott went to Cambridge in England as an undergraduate. While there he organized a club called “Hermes.” The name Hermes is defined as “…the god of magic…and occult wisdom, the conductor of Souls to Hades,…Lord of Death…cunning and trickery.” (Riplinger’s book) There is a legend that witches made the sign of the cross upside down and this all started with worshipers of Hermes. One of their contemporaries, H.P. Blavatsky who wrote Secret Doctrine, and also a worshiper of Lucifer identified Hermes with Satan. She quotes:

 

Satan or Hermes are all one…He is called the Dragon of Wisdom…the serpent…identical with the god Hermes…inventor of the first initiation of men into magic…the author of serpent worship.

 

This Lucifer worshiper, a woman, had a logo of a serpent biting his tail, the symbol of Hermes. The writer of a book called, Occult Underground, states that Hermes is the entry point of scholars and philosophers into the OCCULT. Westcott, who, with his friend Hort, translated the Greek Text that has been used for all modern translations of the Bible, met with his Hermes Club every week from 1845 to 1848 discussing a variety of subjects, some of which had to do with mythology and heathen philosophy. Today the School of Hermes is listed as a NEW AGE organization in a New Age network magazine. These New Agers along with Blavatsky, the Lucifer worshiper, call Christ of the New Age by the name of Hermes who is really Lucifer or Satan.

 

Some modern day New Age Thinkers like Sharon Gless trace the recent interest in “channeling,” as do history books, back to one origin, Westcott and Hort. You may ask, do you mean that the same men that have produced the Greek Text that is being used to translate the Bible to modern day English are also the same men that led the way for people to engage with talking to demon spirits? The answer is YES. Not only did Westcott start his Hermes Club, but both Westcott and Hort got deep into spiritualism (demons) and organized a society called the Ghostly Guild. It was while they were engaging in this psychic activity and receiving the “doctrines of devils” spoken of in the Bible in I Timothy 4:1 that Westcott and Hort contrived their corrupt Greek Text with all the occult background of their sinister lives. Philip Schaff who was on the Greek Text committee with Westcott and Hort helped foster an occult revival with much of the markings of H.P Blavataky, the Lucifer worshiping Satanist who lived in the same period of history. The fathers of the modern channeling movement were Westcott and Hort and the mothers were the Fox sisters and H.P. Blavatsky. James Web states:

 

Ghost Society [was] founded by no less a person than Edward White Benson, the future bishop of Canterbury. As A.C. Benson writes in his father’s biography, the Archbishop was always more interested in psychic phenomena than he cared to admit. Two members of the Ghost Club became Bishops [Benson and Westcott] and one Professor of Divinity [Hort]. At the same time that they were speaking to demon ghosts, Hort stated that the King James Bible was “VILLAINOUS.”

 

Hort’s son states as follows:

 

Hort seems to have been the moving spirit of … ‘the Bogie Club’, as scoffers called it, [it] aroused a certain amount of derision and even some alarm; it was apparently born too soon.

 

At the same time as they were seeking the “doctrines of devils” Hort was referring to evangelical Christians as “dangerous,” “perverted,” “unsound” and “confused.” In their ghostly paper, Westcott states:

 

But there are many others who believe it possible that beings of the unseen world may manifest themselves to us…Many of the stories current in tradition or scattered up and down in books, may be exactly true…”

 

In an index of The Founders of Psychical Research we find the company with which Westcott and Hort were associated:

 

Automatic Writing, Benson, Biblical Criticism, Mme H.P. Blavatsky, Clairvoyance, ‘Control’ Spirit, Crystalgazing, Charles Darwin, Sigmond Freud, Ghost Club, F.J.A. Hort, Hypnotism, ‘Inspirational’ writing and speaking in early British spiritualism, C.J. Jung, Levitation, J.B. Lightfoot, Mediumship, Mesmerism, Multiple Personality, Plato, Society for Psychical Research, Spiritualism, Swedenborne Society, Synthetic Society, Telepathy, Trance Medium, B.F. Westcott.

 

Next, history goes on to record that Westcott and Hort were involved in the Society for Psychical Research (S.P.R) which, along with H.P. Blataky and her books, Isis Unveiled, and The Secret Doctrine did much to lay the foundation for our modern NEW AGE belief system. These men that created a Greek Text from which all modern Bible copies have been written were heavily involved in the OCCULT. Does this sound like a reliable source for your NIV or other modern day translation of the Bible? This S.P.R., it is reported, was favorable to theosophy [Lucifer Worship].

 

There is so much more that space can hardly do it justice. All of the quotes in this article come from R.A. Riplinger’s book sited at the beginning of this article. Other associations of these “Ghostly Guild” Bible translators are the Eranus Club, the Counsel of Twelve, the New World Order, reading “Goblin Stories” at Christmas, practicing meditation, and even concocting a New Testament Scheme for corrupting the Word of God. Here is how they put their plan to create a corrupt Greek Text that will alter the Bible as we know it:

 

[S]rike blindly… much evil would result from the public discussion…I have a sort of craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text, issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy will have great difficulty finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and which it would be banished by subsequent alarms…If only we speak our minds, we shall not be able to avoid giving grave offense to…the miscalled orthodoxy of the day…Evangelicals seem to me perverted…There are, I fear still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority and especially the authority of the bible…At present very many orthodox but rational men are being unawares acted upon by influences which will assuredly bear good fruit in due time of the process is allowed to go on quietly; but fear that a premature crises will frighten back many into the merest traditionalism.

 

Did you read what he said? They purposely created a demon inspired text for the Greek that they planned to have out around the world to take the world by deception and craft. Not only did they consort with demons and Lucifer worshipers, but they were known to be sipping the bottle in order to get their jollies while purposely corrupting the Word of God. It is said that J.B. Philips, one of their colleagues daily made angry statements against fundamentalists by calling them “perferid,” “firebreathing” “asses.” They hated fundamentalists. Hort, in writing to a contemporary named Lightfoot states:

 

But why did you send beer (Trinity Ale) instead of coming yourself…Dr. Tregelles…found in the possession of the Bible Society some extremely important palimpsest [New Testament Greek manuscripts which have been erased and written over] of the first eleven chapters of St. Luke…”

 

One of their group admitted to being a drunk and became a spokesman for a brewery. They literally would “nip and snip” while working on their “scheme” of trashing the Bible for coming generations. It is said that the New Greek Text in the Book of Luke and the 1000 verses of the book shows 1000 changes. In fact their entire New Testament text shows 6000 places where their “spirits” changed the original Greek and it had nothing to do with making the Bible more accurate. One of the prominent Greek scholars of the day, John Burgon, Dean of Westminister at the time said this of their lack of scholarship:

 

For the Greek Text which they have invented proves to be hopelessly depraved throughout…[I]t was deliberately invented…[T]he underlying Greek…is an entirely new thing, is a manufactured article throughout…[T]he new Greek Text…is utterly inadmissible…Proposing to inquire into the merits of the recent revision of the Bible, we speedily became aware that…the underlying Greek Text had been completely refashioned throughout. It was not so much a [new version] as a ‘New Greek Text’. The New Greek Text…was full of errors from beginning to end: had been constructed throughout…[I]t was no part of your instructions to invent a new Greek Text, or indeed to meddle with the original Greek at all…[B]y your own confession–you and your colleagues knew yourselves to be incompetent. Shame on…[those] most incompetent men who–finding themselves in an evil hour occupied themselves…with falsifying the inspired Greek Text…Who will venture to predict the amount of mischief which must follow, if the ‘new’ Greek Text…should become used.

 

 

We see this happening today by the sheer volume of new translations printed and the use of these corrupt versions coming from the pulpits of a majority of churches today. There is a sinister genealogy in the influences of these demon inspired writers. It goes from Plato who followed the mind of a demon to Clement and Origen, the school of Alexandrian thought along with Constantine and Philo who was a favorite read for both Blavatsky and Hort. The sad thing about all of this is that the Heretic of the early days of Christianity that left corrupt texts in the trash of Alexandria is now the hero of the Westcot and Hort new corrupt Greek Text. One telling sign of why the newly found “Older” manuscripts of Siniaticus and Vaticanus were found less worn than newer copied manuscripts is that those that were accepted as authentic Bible texts were read more often and when they were copied they were replaced by the new copies and the old worn copies were destroyed. Yet we have drunken, satanic, demon influenced, Ghostly Guild necromancers creating a text that is not from the original with the sinister intent that in generations to come their work may pollute the Scriptures to the extent that a NEW WORLD ORDER will be brought in with an OCCULT BIBLE that fits the age of THE ONE – Anti-Christ. It is totally beyond me why any Bible believing Christian would want to read or preach out of these OCCULT versions of the bible.

 

What is most telling is a peak at the private thoughts of these villains of Biblical corruption which should drive any wise minded Christian back to the only true copy of the Bible that we have in the modern day, the King James Bible (KJV).

 

  1. 1840 – “…he took a strange interest in Mormonism…procuring and studying the Book of Mormon.”
  2. 1842 – “In the evening I go with Tom to the wizard: but he does not dare perform before us.” (Westcott…)
  3. 1845 – Westcott, Hort, and Benson start the ‘Hermes’ Club.
  4. 1846 – Refers to evangelicals as “dangerous” and “unsound.” (Westcott)
  5. 1846 – “New doubts and old superstitions and rationalism, all trouble me…I cannot determine how much we must believe; how much in fact is necessarily required of a member of the church.” (Westcott)
  6. 1846 – In speaking of a heretic Dr. Hampden, he says, “If he be condemned, what will become of me?” (Westcott)
  7. 1848 – Hort refers to the “…fanaticism of bibliolaters.” He remarks, “The pure Romish view seems to me nearer and more likely to lead to truth than the evangelical.” (Hort)
  8. 1850 – Hort speaks of “…confused evangelical notions…” He says, “I spoke of the gloomy prospect should the Evangelicals carry on their present victory.” Westcott was, “troubled in thought about this passage” (blasphemy against the Spirit).” (Westcott)
  9. 1851 – Hort refers to, “the common orthodox heresy: INSPIRATION.” (Hort)
  10. 1851 – Westcott, Hort and Benson start the “Ghostly Guild.” Hort also joins ‘The Apostles’ secret club.
  11. 1852 – Westcott and Hort distribute “Ghostly Guild” literature. Westcott in referring to the traditional Greek Text says, “I am most anxious to provide something to replace them.”
  12. 1853 – “It was during these weeks with Mr. Westcott, who had come to see him, [Hort] at Umbersiacle, that the plan of the Greek Testament was first definitely agreed upon.” (This was when they decided upon the ‘Scheme’ to edit the text, provide commentary, and contribute new grammar.)
  13. 1855 – “How certainly I should have been proclaimed a heretic.” (Westcott)
  14. 1851 – “The principle literary work of these years was the Greek Text of the New Testament….” “Evangelicals seem to me perverted…There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, especially the authority of the Bible.” (They plotted to go on quietly so their corrupt translation would slyly work its way into the religious world).
  15. 1860 – “I reject the word infallibility of Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly.”
  16. 1861 – “[T]his may sound cowardice — I have sort of a craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. I mean, a text issued by men who are already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy will have great difficulty in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms.” (Hort)
  17. 1866 – “All the questionable doctrines which I have ever maintained are in it.” (Westcott)
  18. 1870 – “…strike blindly…much evil would result from the public discussion.” (Westcott)
  19. 1871 – “I shall aim at what is transcendental in many peoples eyes…I suppose I am a communist by nature.” (Westcott)
  20. 1872 – Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot begin the Eranus Club (the “we three” of the Ghostly Guild.) Sidgwick and Balfour of the upcoming Society for Psychical Research also join Eranus.
  21. 1881 – “Our Bible as well as our Faith is a mere compromise.” (Westcott)
  22. 1889 – “Life and truth grow more and more mysterious. (Westcott)
  23. 1893 – “He sometimes with much seriousness professed to be much drawn to BEER…” “His zealin the cause of pure BEER involved him in a correspondence which was published in the newspapers in the later part of 1893 and his picture together with some of the following words spoken by him was utilized for the adornment of the advertisement of a brewer of pure beer.” “My idea is that they might have a public house in which good BEER alone would be sold…I consider pure BEER…to be an innocent and wholesome beverage…[S]ubstitutes for malt…is now what the purchaser demands nor expects.” (Westcott letter to Brewer’s Society against inferior BEER)
  24. 1896 – “The Prohibitionists once more showed themselves to be unstatesmanlike…”
  25. 1899 – “But from my Cambridge days I have read the writings of many who are called mystics with much profit.”

 

Now what to you say about your NIV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, REB, RSV, CEV, TEV, GNB LIVING, PHILLIPS, NEW JERUSALEM, and NEW CENTURY versions of the Bible? What a fool you are to have been mesmerized by the evil demon spirits that have caused you to swoon while the Word of God has been removed and you are reading just what these Satanic, demonic necromancing drunks and occult promoters who not only corrupted the Word of God but they also fostered the NEW AGE MOVEMENT that will eventually lead to the New World Order of the Anti-Christ. And to think that it was just as the Bible says, Matthew 24:24-28 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (25) Behold, I have told you before. (26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. (27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (28) For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

 

It is time for us to wake up, Judgment day is coming and we need to be reading the HOLY WORD OF GOD, not what Satan, Demons, necromancers, drunks, occult and Bible Translators have created for the NEW AGE LEADER, Lucifer and the Anti-Christ.

Pastor David Williams

2.  New Age Versions Replace Jesus with Satan

The Capstone (Representing Satan) has replaced the Cornerstone

I was shocked today when I was studying what the new translations of the Bible (NIV, SASB) have done to purposely replace Jesus with Satan and also to replace Satan with Jesus.  In the Book of Isaiah 14 where the KJV says in verse 12 that the one that has fallen from heaven is Lucifer, son of the morning….  the new versions have changed the terminology and they have actually removed the word Lucifer completely and in place of Lucifer they have put the phrase “morning star” which is a reference to Jesus in the Bible.  This is so insidious and it has nothing at all to do with translating from the Greek.  The translators are actually New Age zealots that are purposefully trying to create a Bible that all religions will accept, even Muslim, Buddha, Hindu, and more.  They actually believe that it was Jesus that fell from heaven and that Lucifer is The One that is prophesied to come and rule the world.  In fact, dozens of times they have replaced the word God, Jesus Christ, and Jesus along with the pronouns referring to God with the phrase The One which is a reference to Satan.  They even go so far as to say that Satan and Lucifer are different.  In dozens of places in the new translations of the Bible, they use terms that are New Age, the Age of Aquarius, Luciferian, and world New Age.  The best reference for this corruption of our very Bible we read is New Age Translations by Riplinger.

One of the most astonishing things that these New Age Satanist Translators are doing is to change the foundation of the church from Jesus.  The Bible says, “…other foundation can no man lay, … which is Jesus Christ…” and “…upon this rock will I build my church…”  There are five passages in the Bible that specifically refer to Jesus as the chief foundation or corner stone that have been miserably changed by these Satanic inspired translators:

  1. Matthew 21:42  head of the corner changed to capstone
  2. Mark 12:10      head of the corner changed to capstone
  3. Luke 20:17      head of the corner changed to capstone
  4. Acts 4:11         head of the corner changed to capstone
  5. I Peter 2:7       head of the corner changed to capstone
All of these passages have been changed to something that is completely different than what the scriptures intended, namely, that Jesus is the chief corner stone, the head of the corner, the foundation stone, the foundation that no man can lay but is laid by God.  The picture above this article shows an occult symbol, “The All Seeing Eye.”  This is called the “Capstone” of the new age movement and it represents the combining into one of all religions into a mysterious force that is hidden to the point that only the left eye shows and the right eye is blacked out.  This mysterious force and the symbol is the “Capstone” or Satan, called Lucifer in Isaiah 14 who fell from heaven because he wanted to be like God and sit upon the throne of God.  The Tower of Babel in the Bible shows what God thought of the tower that would reach to heaven or have “heaven as the top” or have heaven as the capstone.  It was Satan worship and God put a stop to it.  It is interesting that the only eye that sees is the LEFT EYE.  It seems that the left wing political liberals are truly following this same sinister force, SATAN, Sanat, Santa. No wonder they want a global government and religion.
NIVToday I got out a copy of the NIV that I have for such study and looked up every one of the versed listed and I was in total shock.  They have made Jesus, the “foundation stone” into Satan, the “CAPSTONE.”  I was shocked that “capstone” is in each of the verses listed.  Look at the illustration and tell yourself that that “All Seeing Eye” is Jesus.  That is precisely what the New Age Versions are trying to do.  I truly believe that any church that uses one of these New Age Versions is truly helping Satan build his church.  I don’t see how anyone that uses these translations can be truly saved since calling upon the Lord would be calling upon Satan.  We have a very serious problem in this country.  We are literally creating the religion of the Anti-christ and providing him with members and a version of the Bible that embraces all religions.  The universal church is nothing more than the synagogue of Satan.  The only church mentioned in the Bible before the Book of Revelation was the Local church.  This is why we are starting a local New Testament church, an Independent Baptist Church.  Why?  We believe that a satanic bible and the belief in the universal church indicates that what people call a church is not really a church at all.  It is truly time to “…come out from among them, and be ye therefore separate, saith the Lord….”  No matter where you are or to what church you belong, if they believe in these new age translations or in the Universal Church, get out now before the judgment of God comes on you and your family.  The Bible says that Judgment is coming on the church, the house of God.  Don’t be in one of those false churches with false satanic bibles when the judgment comes.
Pastor David Williams

WITHSTANDING THE DEVIL

Scripture Reading: James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 2 Cor. 2:11

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.  (2 Corinthians 2:11)

The devil is known also as Satan (Rev. 12:9- “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”). He was first a cherubim, created by God (Ezek. 28:12-14 – “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”) and he was an archangel (Rev. 12:7 – “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,”; Matt. 25:41 – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”). Later, he rebelled against God by uplifting himself to be equal to God. Because of this, God judged him (Isa. 14:12-15 – “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” [In versions after the KJV, especially the NIV the word Lucifer is removed and replaced with “Morning Star” which is a name for Jesus.]; Ezek. 28:15-19 – “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”) and he became Satan, the adversary of God. In the original text the word Satan means “an opposer, an adversary.” The devil opposes everything that God does. In addition, he always sets himself against God’s children.

We want to look at the way the devil attacks God’s children and how they withstand him.

I. SATAN’S WORK

We will look at Satan’s work in four aspects.

A. Satan’s Work in the Human Mind

Second Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” This shows us that Satan uses every high thing as a stronghold to surround man’s thought. In order for the Lord to gain us, He must first overthrow the strongholds of Satan. He must do this before He can charge into man’s thought and take it captive.

1. Satan’s Reasonings and Temptations

What are reasonings? This word in Greek can be translated “imagination” or “thought.” Satan often surrounds us with many imaginations. Men are foolish; they think that these thoughts are their own. Actually, they are the strongholds of Satan, and they prevent the mind from submitting to Christ. Often Satan injects a kind of imagination into our mind. If we think this imagination is from ourselves, we fall into his snare. Often thoughts develop which have no basis in fact; they are merely imaginations. Many so-called sins are imaginary in nature; they are not real. Many of the so-called problems among the brothers and sisters come from our imagination; they have no factual basis. Often Satan injects a wild thought into our mind, and we are completely oblivious to his work. When he injects a sudden thought into our mind and we accept it, we are accepting his work. If we reject this thought, we reject his work. Many thoughts are not our own; they are actually concocted by Satan. We must learn to reject these thoughts from Satan.

Most of Satan’s temptations come through the mind. Satan realizes that God’s children will rise up and withstand him vehemently if he attacks openly. This is the reason he tempts us by sneaking in stealthily and planting a thought in our mind unconsciously. Once the thought gets into us, we begin to think about it. If the more we dwell on a thought the more we feel justified and right, we have fallen into his snare. The thought that we have accepted is Satan’s temptation. If we reject Satan’s attacks in our mind, we will shut off the most vulnerable entrance of his temptations.

Many problems among God’s children are problems in the mind; they are not real problems. Sometimes when you see a brother or a sister, you may feel that he or she has a problem with you or that there is a distance between you. This may result in a barrier between you. Actually, there is nothing between you. The so-called problem is merely Satan’s attack in your mind or the mind of your brother or sister. Such problems are unnecessary problems. God’s children must reject sudden thoughts and sudden feelings. They must learn never to give in to Satan.

Here, we need to issue a warning. We should not be overly concerned about thoughts from Satan. There are people who go to one extreme of paying no attention at all to Satan’s thoughts. There are also people who go to the other extreme of paying too much attention to thoughts from Satan. A person can easily be cheated if he is not alert to thoughts from Satan. At the same time, a person can lose his mental sanity if he is obsessed about thoughts from Satan. If a person pays too much attention to Satan’s temptations, his mind will become confused, and he will easily become a prey to Satan’s snares. As soon as a person’s eyes are not focused on the Lord, he will find himself in trouble. On the one hand, we need to see that Satan does attack our mind. On the other hand, we need to realize that as soon as we reject his attacks, that is the end of them. If a person has to reject Satan day and night, something is wrong with his mind; he is heading down the wrong road. On the one hand, we must be familiar with his wiles; if we are ignorant of them we will be cheated. On the other hand, we cannot be overly concerned because that will also lead us into deception. As soon as our eyes are set on him, he has gained what he wants. This distraction will render us useless, and we will become obsessed with his thoughts day and night. Any brother or sister who is overly concerned with such thoughts has already been deceived. We must learn to maintain a proper balance. An excessive concern is wrong. If a person’s mind is constantly worried about thoughts from Satan, he is in reality giving ground to Satan to enter into him. We must never go to the extreme.

2. How to Reject Thoughts from Satan

How do we reject thoughts from Satan? It is easy to reject these thoughts. God has given us our mind; it is ours, not Satan’s. We are the only ones who have the right to use our mind; Satan has no authority over our mind. All we need to do is not allow him to think. Satan can only usurp our mind with deception. He will give us a thought, and we may think that this thought is ours. Actually, it is from Satan. As soon as we recognize that it is not ours, we have overcome.

Satan always tempts and attacks a person by stealthy, surreptitious, and covert ways. He does not shout loudly, “Here I come!” Instead, he deceives with lies and falsehood. He does not let us know that he is the one who is doing the work. Once we are aware of an attack from Satan and expose him and his disguise, it will be easy to withstand him. The Lord Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32). The truth is the fact. We will be set free once we know the fact. The power of Satan is in his lies; once his lies fail, his power is gone. Therefore, as soon as we realize that Satan is attacking us and that this is the fact, we are freed. Some children of God say with their mouth that Satan is the instigator behind everything, but their spirit has no assurance that those things are actually from Satan. Although they say that they are withstanding Satan, they do not know the reality of Satan’s work. As a result, they cannot withstand him. However, as soon as they identify Satan’s work, they can withstand him, and as soon as they withstand him, he flees.

Satan attacks our mind mainly through deception. He makes us think that his thoughts are ours when in reality they are from him. Once we expose his lies, we will reject the thought from him. To withstand means to refuse. When Satan gives us a thought, we should say, “I do not want it.” This is what it means to withstand. When he injects one thought into us, we should say, “I do not take this.” When he injects another thought into us, we should repeat, “I do not accept this.” If we do this, he will not be able to do anything with us. One servant of God in the Middle Ages said, “You cannot stop birds from flying over your head, but you can at least stop them from nesting in your hair.” This is a good word. We cannot stop Satan from tempting us. However, we can stop him from nesting, from gaining a beachhead in us. This power is ours. If we ignore the thoughts that enter our mind, these thoughts will stop.

On the positive side, we need to exercise our mind. Many people have lazy minds. This makes it easy for Satan’s thoughts to lodge in them. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” We can take account of spiritual matters. We need to exercise our mind concerning spiritual matters. If a person always sets his mind on sinful things, Satan can easily inject his thoughts into him, because his thoughts and Satan’s thoughts are not much different. But if we always set our mind on spiritual things, Satan will not be able to inject his thoughts into us easily. Satan is able to inject his thoughts into many people because they are passive, because they have too much spare time, or because their thoughts are unclean in the first place.

There is another point that deserves attention: Our mind must not be attracted to satanic thoughts. There are many people whose minds are attracted to satanic thoughts. They have no interest in the wonderful, spiritual experiences of other brothers. Yet they become very interested when it comes to gossip. Since they love Satan’s work, they cannot reject satanic thoughts. We need to hate Satan’s work in order to reject his thoughts. All filthy thoughts that damage one’s fellowship with the Lord and love for the Lord are from Satan. These thoughts will not come to us if we are not attracted to them in the first place. But if we incline our heart toward these things, they will come to us easily. Therefore, we must learn to reject everything that comes from Satan.

We must pay special attention to rejecting all filthy thoughts. Satan always places filthy thoughts in man to induce man to sin. The starting point is one filthy thought. If we allow it to continue, it will bear the fruit of sin. Therefore, we must refuse any thought that comes from Satan.

However, there is a great problem: What should we do if the thought refuses to leave after we have rejected it? We need to realize that we only need to withstand unwanted thoughts once. Withstanding is a one-time act; we should never withstand twice. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This verse says to withstand the devil and the devil will flee. We must believe that when we withstand the devil, he will flee. It is wrong to continue withstanding for fear that the devil is still around. Whose words do we believe? The Bible says, “Resist…he will flee…” If there is a voice within that suggests that he has not fled, whose voice is it? It is Satan’s voice! Many people choose to believe Satan’s words. Therefore, they lose. We must declare after we have withstood him, “I have already withstood the devil. He is gone from me.” The feeling that he is still lurking around is a lie; it is not real, and it is not from the Lord. He must run. He has no ground to stay. We must be clear that it is right to withstand once, but wrong to withstand a second time. The first withstanding glorifies God’s name. The second withstanding questions God’s Word.

Many people make the mistake of checking with their feelings after they have withstood the devil. They ask, “Is the devil gone?” Their feeling tells them that he is not gone, and they try to withstand him again. Once there is a second withstanding, be sure there will be a third, a fourth, even a hundredth, and a thousandth. In the end we will feel as if we are completely helpless in rejecting it. But if we ignore him completely after we have withstood his temptation once, we will experience victory. We must care for the fact of God’s Word and ignore our own feelings. The fact is that as soon as we withstand the devil, he flees. If we think that he has not fled after we have withstood him, we are being deceived by our feeling. If we believe this feeling, the devil will come back. We must learn to believe God’s glorious words. Once we have withstood him once, there is no need to withstand him a second time because the matter has been settled already.

These are the issues relating to Satan’s work in man’s mind. We must realize that Satan attacks man’s mind. We should reject any thought from Satan. At the same time, we should realize that once we reject his thoughts, the matter is finished. Furthermore, we must not be overly concerned with his attacks. Otherwise, our mind will be thrown into confusion, and we will be ensnared by the devil.

B. Satan’s Work on Man’s Body

The Bible shows us clearly that many physical diseases are the result of Satan’s attack.

The fever of Peter’s mother-in-law was an attack from Satan, and the Lord Jesus rebuked the fever (Luke 4:39 – “And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.“). Something must have a personality before the Lord can rebuke it. We cannot rebuke a cup or a chair; we can only rebuke something that has a personality. Fever is a symptom; the Lord could not rebuke the symptom. But Satan was behind the symptom with a personality of his own. Therefore, as soon as the Lord rebuked the fever, it was gone.

In Mark 9 we see a dumb and deaf child. In man’s eyes dumbness and deafness are sicknesses. But the Lord Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, saying, “Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.” (v. 25). The dumbness and deafness of the child were outward symptoms of his demon possession; they were not ordinary illnesses. We must realize that many sicknesses are medically defined diseases. But there are many sicknesses that are actually attacks from the devil. The Bible does not say that the Lord healed the sickness but that He rebuked it. The boils on Job’s body could not be healed by medicine; they were not medical illnesses; they were attacks from the devil. Unless one first deals with the devil, he has no way to deal with such sicknesses.

We admit that illnesses often occur through man’s negligence of natural laws. However, it can quite often be the result of Satan’s attack. In such a case one only has to ask the Lord to rebuke the sickness, and it will go away. This type of sickness often comes and goes away suddenly. It is an attack from Satan rather than an ordinary illness.

The complication lies in the fact that Satan does not want us to uncover and expose the illnesses he has inflicted. He always hides behind natural symptoms and makes us think that every sickness is the result of natural causes. If we allow him to hide behind these natural symptoms, our illness will not go away. Once we expose his work and rebuke him, the sickness will go away. One Christian had a very high fever and suffered greatly. He could not sleep and did not understand what was happening to him. Later, he was convinced that it was Satan’s work. He prayed to the Lord about it, and the next day the fever went away.

When a Christian becomes sick, he should first find the cause for his illness. He should ask: Is there any proper reason for this sickness? Is this out of natural causes or is it an attack from Satan? If there is not a proper reason for the illness and you discover that it is indeed an attack from Satan, you should withstand him and reject him.

The work of Satan on man’s body results not only in illness but also in death. Satan was a murderer from the beginning, in the same way that he was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44 – “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”). We should withstand not only Satan’s sickness but also his murdering. All thought of death is from Satan. Every notion of death as a means to escape from anything is from Satan. Satan made Job think of death. He did this not only to Job but also to every child of God. All notions of suicide, death wishes, and premature death are temptations from Satan. He tempts man to sin, and he also tempts man to die. Even thoughts of danger during one’s travels are Satan’s attacks. We must reject these thoughts whenever they come and not allow them to remain in us.

C. Satan’s Work on Man’s Conscience

Revelation 12:10 says, ” And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” This shows us that part of Satan’s work is to accuse us. This work is carried out in man’s conscience. As soon as a person is saved, his conscience is quickened, and he begins to know sin. Satan knows this. He knows that the Holy Spirit touches the conscience of God’s children concerning sin. He knows that He guides them into confession and prayer for forgiveness before God. Consequently, Satan steps in to counterfeit the Holy Spirit’s work. He accuses man in his conscience. Such an attack is found frequently among God’s children, and it causes much havoc.

Many children of God cannot differentiate between the Holy Spirit’s reproach and Satan’s accusation. As a result, they are hesitant to withstand anything. This gives Satan further ground to exercise his accusations. Many children of God could have been very useful in the hands of God, but their conscience has been weakened to the uttermost by Satan’s attack. They are bombarded constantly with the accusation and feeling that they have sinned in this and that matter. They are unable to stand up before God or before men. As a result, they become spiritually handicapped for the rest of their lives.

It is true that we should pay attention to the reproach of the Holy Spirit once we become Christians. However, we also need to withstand Satan’s accusation. We need to pay attention to the difference between the Holy Spirit’s reproach and Satan’s accusation. Many so-called reproaches are counterfeits; they are, in fact, Satan’s accusations.

1. The Difference between Satan’s Accusation and the Holy Spirit’s Reproach

What is the difference between Satan’s accusation and the Holy Spirit’s reproach? We need to distinguish between them.

First, all reproaches from the Holy Spirit begin with a small feeling from within. This inner feeling becomes stronger and stronger and convicts us of our mistakes. Satan’s accusation, however, is a continual nagging within. The reproach of the Holy Spirit grows stronger and stronger as time goes on; the accusation of Satan is the same from beginning to end. As time passes, the inner sense of the Spirit ascends by degree; but the accusation of Satan is a constant, muddled nagging that stays the same from beginning to end.

Second, each time we yield to the rebuke of the Spirit, we find the power of sin diminishing in us. Each rebuke of the Spirit diminishes the power of sin a little. Therefore, any rebuke from the Spirit weakens the power of sin; it results in a diminishing of sin. This is not the case with Satan’s accusation. Every time he accuses us, we find the power of sin to be just as great as before.

Third, the reproach of the Holy Spirit brings us to the Lord, whereas Satan’s accusation brings us disappointment. The more we are reproved by the Holy Spirit, the more we are strengthened within to deal with our problem before the Lord. But Satan’s accusation brings about despair and resignation. The reproach of the Holy Spirit causes us to come before the Lord and to rely on Him; Satan’s accusation causes us to turn back to ourselves and to be disappointed.

Fourth, if it is the reproach of the Holy Spirit, confession before the Lord will follow. This confession will result in at least peace, if not joy. There may or may not be joy, but there is always peace. Satan’s accusation, however, is totally different. There is no joy and no peace, even after one confesses his sins. This is like coming out of a major illness or going through a theatrical performance—nothing remains after the act is over. The reproach of the Holy Spirit has a result—peace, if not joy. However, Satan’s accusation leads us nowhere.

Fifth, the reproach of the Holy Spirit reminds us of the blood of the Lord. With Satan’s accusation, there is always the Satan-injected thought: “There is not much use. Perhaps the Lord will not forgive you.” This thought will be there even when we know that we have the blood. In other words, the reproach of the Holy Spirit leads to faith in the Lord’s blood, while Satan’s accusation causes us to lose our faith in the Lord’s blood. When a certain feeling comes, simply check whether we are reminded of the blood as a result of this feeling or whether we have been distanced from the blood. This will tell us whether the feeling is a reproach of the Holy Spirit or an accusation from Satan.

Sixth, the result of the reproach of the Holy Spirit is power from God; one will rise up on his feet and run faster. He will go on with renewed zeal, cast aside his trust in himself, and have more faith in God. However, the result of Satan’s accusation is the debilitation of the conscience. The conscience of such ones is smitten before God. They have no faith in themselves, and they have no faith in God either. It is true that the reproach of the Holy Spirit takes away our strength and our trust in ourselves. But at the same time it causes us to have more faith in the Lord. Satan’s accusation is not like this. It takes away our confidence in ourselves as well as our faith in the Lord. The result is that we become a debilitated person.

2. How to Overcome Satan’s Accusation

Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Him here refers to Satan, who accused the brothers. How do we overcome him?

First, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb. On the one hand, when we sin before the Lord, we must confess our sins. On the other hand, we must say to Satan, “There is no need for you to accuse me! I come before the Lord today by the blood of the Lord!” To overcome Satan, we must show him that we are forgiven through the blood of the Lamb. All our sins, major or minor, have been forgiven through the blood of the Lamb. This is the Word of God: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).

We must realize that the blood of the Lamb is the basis of our forgiveness before God as well as the basis of our acceptance in Him. We should not be so presumptuous as to think that we are good. Neither should we be so foolish as to condemn ourselves from morning to evening. It is foolish to be proud, and it is also foolish to keep looking at oneself. Those who consider themselves to be good are foolish, and those who are blind to the saving power of the Lord are foolish as well. Those who believe in their own power are foolish, and those who do not believe in the Lord’s power are foolish as well. We must see that the blood of the Lamb has already fulfilled all the demands of God. It has also overcome all the accusations of Satan.

Second, we overcome because of the word of our testimony. This word of our testimony declares the spiritual facts; it declares the victory of the Lord. We must tell Satan, “There is no need for you to trouble me! My sins have been forgiven through the Lord’s blood!” We need to exercise our faith to declare that Jesus is Lord and that He has won the victory. We need to speak out the word of our testimony and let Satan hear this word. We must not only believe in our hearts but also declare it to Satan with our mouth. This is the word of our testimony.

Third, we must not love our soul-life even unto death. “The blood of the Lamb” and “the word of their testimony” spoken of previously are two conditions for victory over Satan. The refusal to love one’s soul-life even unto death is an attitude. No matter what Satan is doing, even if he is putting us to death, our attitude should be such that we still trust in the blood of the Lamb and still declare His victory. Satan’s accusation will stop if we stand fast in this way. He cannot overcome us. Instead, we will surely overcome him!

Some brothers and sisters receive so much accusation from Satan that they can no longer discern whether it is an accusation from Satan or a reproach of the Holy Spirit. They should stop confessing their sins for a while; the Lord does not want us to do things foolishly. Instead, they should pray to the Lord and say, “If I have sinned, I will confess my sins and ask for Your forgiveness. But now I am under Satan’s accusation. I pray that You cover all my sins. From this point on, everything is under Your blood, and I will not be bothered by anything anymore, whether it be sin or otherwise!” Those who are in such a condition must forget about everything for a while before they can differentiate clearly between Satan’s accusation and the Holy Spirit’s reproach.

3. How to Help Those Who Are under Satan’s Accusation

We must never add to the burden of the conscience of those under Satan’s accusation. First, we should help them to do only what is within their ability to handle. If we ask them to do what is beyond their ability, they will fall easily into condemnation. We must be sure that they have enough strength before the Lord to go on before we give them stronger advice or urge them to move ahead. Second, where there is the clear work of the Holy Spirit, we should raise the standard a little, for with the clear operation of the Spirit of the Lord and the spirit of revival, the Lord’s word has the ability to uplift the capacity of a person. If we raise the standard very high when the Spirit of the Lord has not done anything, we are not helping these accused ones to go on; rather, we are giving Satan opportunities to accuse them even more.

We must not be careless in pointing out the failures of others. Suppose a brother has failed in certain areas, yet he can still pray, read the Bible, and attend the meetings. As long as you have the assurance within that you can help him, a little push may be all that is necessary to bring him through his trouble. But if you do not have the assurance within and you do not have the power to uplift him, your exposure of his failures will only quench his prayers, his reading of the Bible, and his meeting life. The smoking flax must be rekindled; it must not be smothered. The bruised reed must be supported; it must not be broken. We should not make ourselves the standard and put the conscience of others under condemnation. We must learn not to do things that would offend the conscience of others.

We must point out Hebrews 10:22 to those who are under Satan’s accusation: “Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” With such a sprinkling, our conscience should no longer feel guilty. The principle of the Christian life is a life free from any condemnation in the conscience. When a Christian is condemned in his conscience, he will be weak before God and will be debilitated in all spiritual matters. Satan’s goal is to derail us from this principle. This is the reason he accuses us unceasingly. We need to lay hold of this principle by applying the blood. The more Satan tries to make us feel guilty, the more we should apply the blood to all of our sins. The brothers overcame him not by their own strength, but by the blood of the Lamb. We can declare, “Satan, I admit that I have sinned. But I have been redeemed by the Lord! I have never denied that I am a debtor. I am in debt, but the Lord has paid my debt!” We do not need to deal with Satan’s accusation by denying that we are debtors. We can deal with him by declaring that our debt has been paid.

D. Satan’s Work in the Environment

All circumstances are arranged by God. However, there are many things in our environment which, though permitted by God, are the result of Satan’s direct and active work.

Take Job’s experience as an example. His oxen and donkeys were taken away, his house collapsed, and his children were killed. These were all things in the environment. Though they were permitted by God, Satan was the one directly instigating the attacks.

Peter’s failure was another example. The cause of his fall was partly due to himself, but partly due to Satan’s attack in the environment. The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” (Luke 22:31). Peter’s fall was the direct result of Satan’s work. Yet it was something permitted by God.

Paul’s thorn was clearly the work of Satan. Paul said, “…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Cor. 12:7). This is the work of Satan. It is Satan who attacks God’s children in the environment.

An even clearer example can be seen in Matthew 8, when the Lord Jesus ordered the disciples to depart to the other side of the sea. He knew that powerful demons had to be cast out on the other side of the sea. After He and the disciples stepped into the boat, suddenly a great tempest arose in the sea so that the boat was covered by the waves. The Lord was asleep. The disciples came near and roused Him, saying, “Lord, save us: we perish.” (v. 25). A few of the disciples were fishermen; they were very experienced sailors. However, they realized that the waves were more than they could handle. The Lord Jesus rebuked their little faith; then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea. The winds and the sea have no personality of their own, yet the Lord rebuked them because the devil was behind them. Satan had stirred up the winds and the waves.

In conclusion, Satan not only attacks our body, our conscience, and our mind, but also attacks us through our environment.

How should we react to Satan’s attack in the environment?

First, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Both James 4 and 1 Peter 5 tell us to withstand Satan. These two portions also tell us to humble ourselves before God. When Satan attacks us in the environment, our first reaction should be to submit to God. We cannot withstand the devil if we do not submit to God. Our conscience will condemn us if we withstand the devil without submitting to God. Therefore, our first reaction should be to submit to God.

Second, we should withstand the devil. When God’s children encounter unreasonable and inexplicable things in the environment and have the clear sense within that these are attacks from Satan, they should withstand him. Once they withstand, the attacks will be behind them. On the one hand, they need to humble themselves under the hand of God. On the other hand, they must withstand Satan’s work in the environment. When they humble themselves, and their attitude before God is firm, God will show them that it is not Him but Satan who is doing the work. Thus, they will be able to differentiate God’s arrangement from Satan’s attack. Once they are clear and once they withstand the devil, the attacks will go away.

Third, we must reject all forms of fear. Satan has to find a lodging ground before he can work on God’s children. He cannot work where he has no ground to work. Therefore, his first attack is to gain a beachhead. He then attacks us from this beachhead. We should not give any ground to him. This is the way to victory. There is one area which can become Satan’s greatest stronghold—fear. When Satan tries to put us through trials, the first thing he does is to put fear into us. An experienced sister once said, “Fear is Satan’s calling card.” Once you accept fear, Satan steps in. If you reject fear, he will not be able to come in.

All thoughts of fear are attacks from Satan. Whatever you are afraid of, you will surely experience. Job said, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25). Job experienced everything that he feared. Satan’s attack in the environment comes mostly in the form of fear. If you withstand the fear, the things that you fear will not come. But if you allow the fear to remain, you will give Satan the opportunity to do the very things that you fear.

Therefore, in order for God’s children to withstand the work of Satan, the first thing they have to reject is fear. When Satan puts a fear in you for this or that thing, you must not give in to this fear. You should say, “I will never accept what the Lord has not measured to me!” Once a person is delivered from fear, he is delivered from Satan’s realm. This is what Paul meant when he said, “Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27).

Why do we not need to fear? We do not fear “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). If we are fearful, it is because we are ignorant of this fact.

II. WITHSTANDING SATAN BY FAITH

First Peter 5:8-9 says, ” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” God’s Word shows us clearly that the way to withstand Satan is by faith. There is no other way to withstand him. What should our faith rest on? How should we exercise our faith to withstand him? Let us consider what the Word of God says concerning this.

A. Believing That the Lord’s Manifestation Is to Destroy the Works of the Devil

First, we must believe that the Lord was manifested for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:8 – “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”). The Son of God has come to the earth; He was manifested. When He was on earth, He destroyed the work of the devil wherever He went. Often Satan’s work was not obvious; he hid behind natural phenomena. However, the Lord rebuked him every time. It is clear that He was rebuking Satan when He rebuked Peter’s speaking (Matt. 16:22-23 – “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”), when He rebuked the fever of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:39-“ And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”), and when He rebuked the winds and the waves. Although the devil hid behind many natural phenomena, the Lord Jesus rebuked him. Wherever the Lord went, the power of the devil was shattered. This is why He said, ” And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.” (Matt. 12:28). In other words, wherever the Lord went, Satan was cast out, and the kingdom of God was manifested. Satan could not remain where the Lord was. This is why He said that He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.

We should also believe that in manifesting Himself on the earth, the Lord not only destroyed the works of the devil, but also gave authority to His disciples to cast out demons in His name. The Lord said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19). He gave His name to the church so that His church might continue His work on earth after His ascension. The Lord used His authority on earth to cast out demons. He also gave this authority to the church.

We must distinguish between what the devil has and what we have. What the devil has is power. What we have is authority. All that Satan has is power. But the Lord Jesus has given us authority, which can overcome all the power of Satan. Power cannot prevail over authority. God has given us authority, and Satan will surely fail.

Consider an illustration of how authority overcomes power: A traffic light on a road controls traffic. When a policeman turns on the red light, all pedestrians and cars have to stop. No one is allowed to dash through a red light. The pedestrians and cars are much more powerful than the red light in terms of power. However, no pedestrian or driver will dare dash through the red light because of the presence of authority. This is an example of authority prevailing over power.

Authority prevails over power; this is God’s established policy in this universe. No matter how strong Satan’s power is, one fact remains sure—the Lord Jesus has given His name to the church. This name stands for authority. The church can cast out demons in the name of the Lord. We can invoke the Lord’s name to deal with Satan’s power. Thank God that no matter how great Satan’s power is, the Lord’s name is immeasurably greater. The authority behind the Lord’s name is strong enough to overcome all the power of Satan.

The disciples went out in the name of the Lord. They were surprised when they returned. They told the Lord, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” (10:17). The Lord’s name spells authority. His giving of His name to us means that He has given His authority to us. The Lord said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (v. 19). Whoever desires to withstand Satan must learn to know the difference between the Lord’s authority and Satan’s power. No matter how great Satan’s power is, the Lord’s authority is able to overcome him. We must believe that God has given this authority to the church. The church can cast out demons and withstand the devil in the name of the Lord Jesus.

B. Believing That the Lord’s Death Has Destroyed Satan

Second, we must believe that through death the Lord Jesus has destroyed him who has the might of death, the devil (Heb. 2:14 – “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”). The manifestation of the Lord Jesus destroyed the works of the devil, and the death of the Lord Jesus destroyed the devil himself.

The Lord’s death pronounces the greatest defeat for the devil because the Lord’s death is not only a punishment but also a way of salvation. In Genesis 2:17 God spoke of death: “… for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This death is surely a punishment. Satan was delighted at this word. Since man would die if he ate the fruit, Satan tried his best to seduce man to eat it, so that death would reign in man and he could claim the victory. However, the Lord’s death constitutes the greatest way of salvation. It is true that God said, “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This death is punishment. But the Lord has another death. The second death is a way of salvation. Death can punish those who sin. Death can also save and deliver those who are in sin. Satan thought that death could only punish the sinner. He seized upon this fact and reigned through man’s death. However, God saves and delivers man from sin through the death of the Lord Jesus. This is the most profound aspect of the gospel.

The Lord’s death on the cross takes away not only our sins but also the whole old creation. Our old man has been crucified with him. Although Satan reigns through death, the more he reigns through death, the worse his lot becomes, because his reign stops at death. Since we are already dead, death can no longer sting us. He has no further reign over us.

“For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God said this so that man would not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But man ate it and sinned. What then should be done? The result of sin is death; there is no way to change this. However, there is a way to salvation, a salvation which goes through death. When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross for us, the old creation and the old man were both crucified with Him. This means that Satan’s authority can only go as far as death. The Scripture says, “…that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14).

Thank and praise the Lord. We are those who are already dead. If Satan attacks us, we can say to him, “I am already dead!” He has no authority over us because we are already dead. His authority extends only to the point of death.

(Note – When I learned this truth years ago, God gave me this song:

Thank God I am dead, I’m freed from sin.

The Lord Jesus Saved Me and He cleansed me within,

He searched ‘til he found me and He gave me life anew,

And the life that He gave me, He’ll give to you.

 

So go tell your brothers and sisters alike.

Tell them of Jesus and this wonderful life.

Tell them of heaven and glory to come,

Of Christ dead and risen God’s only Son.)

Our crucifixion with Christ is an accomplished fact; it is God’s doing. The Bible does not say that our death with the Lord is something that belongs to the future. It is not some experience that we hope to attain one day. The Bible does not tell us to pursue death. It shows us that we are already dead. A person is not dead if he is still pursuing death. However, our death with Christ is a gift from God in the same way that His death for us is a gift. If a man is still pursuing crucifixion, he is standing on fleshly ground, and Satan has full control over those who stand on fleshly ground. We must believe in the Lord’s death. We must also believe in our own death. Just as we believed in the Lord’s death for us, so also we should believe in our death in Him. Both are acts of faith, and neither has anything to do with human pursuits. As soon as we strive to realize these facts, we expose ourselves to Satan’s attack. We have to lay hold of the accomplished facts and declare: “Praise and thank the Lord; I am already dead.”

We must see that, in the eyes of God, our death with Christ is an accomplished fact. Once we see this, Satan can no longer do anything with us. Satan can deal only with those who are not dead. He can rule over only those who are facing death and who are on their way to death. But we are no longer facing death; we have already died. Satan can do nothing about us.

In order to withstand Satan, we must realize that the Lord’s manifestation was a manifestation of authority, and the work of His cross has released all those who are under Satan’s hand. Satan no longer has any authority over us anymore. We are above him. We are those who are already dead. Satan’s way is terminated by death, and there is nothing more that he can do.

C. Believing That the Lord’s Resurrection Has Put Satan to Shame

Third, we must believe that the Lord’s resurrection has put Satan to shame. Satan no longer has any way to attack us.

Colossians 2:12 says, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” This verse speaks of death as well as resurrection. Verse 13 tells us how we died and resurrected; verse 14 tells us what the Lord did at the time of His death; and verse 15 says that the Lord Jesus stripped off the rulers and the authorities and “….having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Verse 20 says, “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ….” and 3:1 says, “If ye then be risen with Christ,” These verses begin with resurrection and end with resurrection, and the verses in between speak of triumphing in the cross. We stand in the position of resurrection, and we triumph in the cross.

Why can we do this? The statement we made earlier explains this: The Lord has died, and we also are dead in Him. Satan, who has dominion over the old man, can follow us only as far as the cross. Resurrection is beyond him. Just as Satan had nothing in the Lord Jesus while He was on earth (John 14:30), so also he has nothing in Him in resurrection. Satan has no place at all in the new life. He has no authority at all in the new life and cannot touch our new life!

When the Lord was hung on the cross, it seemed as if myriads of demons were surrounding it. They thought that they could destroy the Son of God. It was to have been their greatest victory. Little did they realize that the Lord Jesus would go into death, come out of death, and overcome the authority of death! Here is the glorious fact: The Lord has come out of death! Therefore, we have the boldness and the confidence to say that the life of God is well able to cast away death!

What is the resurrection life? The resurrection life is a life that cannot be touched by death. It is a life that transcends death, that is beyond the boundary of death, that comes out of death, and that death cannot hold. Satan’s power extends only as far as death. The Lord Jesus proved how great the power of His life is through His resurrection. He dismantled the power of Satan. The Bible calls this power the “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). When this resurrection power is expressed through us, everything of Satan is cast down!

We can withstand Satan because our life is a life of resurrection. This life has nothing to do with Satan. Our life issues from the life of God; it is a life that comes out of death. Satan’s power only goes as far as death. Whatever it does to us is limited to this side of death. But our life has come out of death. We have a life which he cannot touch. We are standing on resurrection ground, and we look back in triumph through the cross. Colossians 2 speaks of triumphing in resurrection. It is a chapter on resurrection, not death. We do not triumph in death through resurrection; rather we triumph in resurrection through death.

In order to withstand Satan, every child of God must declare with a strong faith, “Thank God, I have resurrected! Satan, what can you do? What you can do goes only so far as death. But the life that I have today has nothing to do with you! This life has been tested by you already. What else can you do? You are powerless! This life has transcended over you! Satan, get away from me!”

We cannot deal with Satan on the ground of hope. We can only stand on the ground of resurrection, the ground of the Lord. This is a very basic principle. Colossians 2:12 tells us that we must believe in “faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

We need to take the same position before Satan as that which we take before God. The Bible tells us to put on the robe of righteousness when we come before God (Isa. 61:10; Zech. 3:4-5). Our robe of righteousness is Christ. We need to put on Christ to come before God. In the same way, we need to put on Christ to come before Satan. God cannot find our sins when we put on Christ. Likewise, Satan cannot find our sins when we are in Christ. When we take this stand, Satan can no longer attack us. We are perfect before God and perfect also before Satan. What a glorious fact!

We must not be afraid of Satan. If we are afraid of Satan, he will laugh at us. He will say, “What a fool there is on earth. How can this one be so foolish?” Anyone who is afraid of Satan is foolish, because he has forgotten his position in Christ. We have no reason to fear him. We have transcended over his power. We can stand before him and say, “You cannot touch me! No matter how strong and resourceful you are, you are still one step behind!” On the day of the Lord’s resurrection, He led the enemy captive and openly shamed him. Today we are standing on the ground of resurrection, and we triumph through the cross!

D. Believing That the Ascension of the Lord Is Far above the Power of Satan

Fourth, we must believe that the ascension of the Lord has put Him far above the power of Satan. Ephesians 1:20-22 says, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” This means that the Lord Jesus is already seated in the heavenlies and is far above all the power of Satan.

Ephesians 2:6 says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” This is our position, the position of a Christian. The Lord Jesus is resurrected; He is seated in the heavenlies far above all the power of Satan. We are raised up together with Christ and are seated together with Him in the heavenlies, far above all the power of Satan.

Ephesians 6:11 to 13 says, ” Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Chapter two shows us that we are seated together with the Lord in the heavenlies. Chapter six shows us that we need to stand firm. Chapter two says that we need to sit, while chapter six says that we need to stand. What does it mean to sit? To sit means to rest. It means that the Lord has overcome and that we can now rest in His victory. This is what it means to depend on the Lord’s victory. What does it mean to stand? To stand means that spiritual warfare is not a matter of assault but of defense. To stand does not mean to attack; it means to defend. Because the Lord has overcome completely, we have no need to attack again. The victory of the cross is complete, and there is no further need to attack. Here we see two attitudes: One is to sit, and the other is to stand. To sit is to rest in the Lord’s victory, while to stand is to withstand Satan and to stop him from taking away our victory.

Christian warfare is a matter of warding off defeat; it is not a matter of fighting for victory. We have already overcome. We fight from the position of victory, and we fight to maintain our victory. We are not fighting to win a victory. We fight from victory; victory is something that is in our hands. The warfare spoken of in Ephesians is the warfare of the overcomers. We do not become overcomers through fighting. We need to distinguish between these two things.

How does Satan tempt us? He causes us to forget our own position and our victory. He blinds our eyes to our own victory. If we give in to his tactics, we will feel that victory is far away and beyond our reach. We must remember that the victory of the Lord is complete. It is so complete that our whole life is included in this victory! Once we believe, we overcome. Satan is defeated and we have overcome in Christ. Satan wants to steal away the victory which we have gained. His work is to taunt us to secretly find out if we still have the faith. If we do not know that victory is already ours, we will fail. But if we know our victory, his work will fail.

Therefore, we counter the work of Satan with the work of the Lord Jesus. We withstand Satan through the Lord’s manifestation, death, resurrection, and ascension. We are standing today upon the accomplished work of the Lord. We do not need to try to overcome in any way when Satan attacks us. Once we have the slightest thought of trying to overcome, we have failed, because our position is wrong. How great is the difference between a person who tries to overcome and one who withstands by knowing that he has already overcome. To withstand the devil means that we withstand him by the victory of Christ.

This matter indeed needs revelation. We need to see the manifestation of the Lord. We need to see His death, resurrection, and ascension. We need to know all these things.

As Christians we must learn to withstand the devil. We must say to Satan under all circumstances, “Get away from me!” May God be gracious to us so that we may all have such a faith. May we have faith toward the four things the Lord has accomplished for us, and may we exercise strong faith to withstand Satan and reject his work upon us.

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(Written originally by Watchman Nee in China during the Chinese revolution and died in a prison camp but these lessons have been the foundation of my life for 38 years.  David Williams – site Admin.)

READING THE BIBLE

Scripture Reading: 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Psa. 119:9-11, 15, 105, 140, 148

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.   (2 Timothy 3:15-17)

BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalms 119:9-11)

I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.  (Psalms 119:15)

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  (Psalms 119:105)

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.  (Psalms 119:140)

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.  (Psalms 119:140)

 

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF READING THE BIBLE

Every Christian should read the Bible because it is ” All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Tim. 3:16). It shows us many things that God has done for us and the way He has led men in the past. If we want to know the riches and vastness of God’s provision for us, we must read the Bible. If we want to see God’s step-by-step guidance for men, we must read the Bible as well.

God’s speaking to man today is based upon what He has already spoken in the past. God rarely speaks things which He has not already spoken in the Bible. (This is why books like the BOOK OF MORMON or the QURAN are considered false teaching.  They don’t match any of the main thought of the Bible.  It is also why the books of the Apocrypha that Catholics use are also rejected by Bible scholars since they also contain thoughts and teachings which are foreign to the whole body of inspired writing in the 66 books that we call the Bible.)  Even though a person may be quite advanced in his spiritual walk, God’s revelation to him will still be confined to the words that He has spoken in the Bible. Hence, God’s speaking today is merely a repetition of His own word. If a person does not know what God has spoken in the past, it is difficult for him to receive His revelation in the present because he lacks the basis for God’s speaking.

Moreover, if God wants to speak something to others through us, He will also do it on the basis of what He has spoken in the past. If we do not know what God has said in the past, He cannot speak through us to others, and we are useless in the eyes of God.

This is why we need to let the word of God dwell in us richly. By letting His word dwell in us richly, we know His past ways and hear His present speaking. Only then can God use us to speak to others.

The Bible is a great book. It is a monumental work. Even if we spent our whole life on the Bible, we could only touch a part of its riches. It is impossible for a person to understand the Bible without spending time to study it. Every young Christian should do his best to labor on God’s Word so that when he grows old, he can nourish himself and supply others with the riches of the Word.

Everyone who wants to know God must study His Word in a serious way, and every believer should realize the importance of reading God’s Word from the very beginning of his Christian life.

II. BASIC PRINCIPLES IN READING THE BIBLE

There are four basic principles in reading the Bible: (1) Discover the facts, (2) memorize and recite the words, (3) analyze, categorize, and make comparisons, and (4) receive God’s enlightening.

We must follow the sequence of these four steps when we read the Bible. We cannot jump from the third to the first step or from the first to the third step. First, discover the facts in the Bible. Second, memorize these facts. We must know and memorize God’s Word accurately and exactly. We cannot afford to leave out or ignore any portion. If we do, our reading will profit little. Third, analyze, categorize, and make comparisons with the facts. After we have analyzed the facts accurately, categorized them properly, and compared them clearly before God, we will have the ground to take on the fourth point—God’s enlightening.

The Bible contains many facts that are spiritual in nature. When a man’s inner eyes are blind, he cannot see these facts. But once he discovers these biblical facts, half of the light contained in the Word will be his. God’s enlightening is just His shining upon the facts that are recorded in His Word. Discovering the facts is half of our job in reading the Bible. When we read the Bible, the first thing we have to do is discover these facts.

For example, gravity is a fact. The law of gravity existed long before Newton, yet for thousands of years no one discovered it. One day, an apple fell on Newton while he was asleep under a tree. Through this he discovered the law of gravity. There is no question about the existence of facts. The question is whether or not these facts have been discovered.

For example, the Bible mentions something in some places and does not mention it in other places. One place mentions one thing while another place skips it. One place says it one way while another place says it a different way. The same word can be in the plural form in one place and in the singular form in another. Sometimes the Bible emphasizes the Lord’s name while at other times it emphasizes a man’s name. Chronology is clearly mentioned in some places, but totally skipped and seemingly neglected in other places. These are all facts.

A person who is good at reading the Bible is surely a careful person before God. He cannot be sloppy or muddled. Every iota or serif of the Bible is unalterable. God’s Word says it, and it is so. The moment God’s Word is opened up, you should know what its emphasis is. Many people are very careless. They listen to men’s words carelessly and read God’s Word carelessly. They do not see what God’s Word emphasizes and are ignorant of the depths in His Word. The first thing a person has to do is discover the facts. Afterwards, he has to memorize these facts and analyze, categorize, and compare them. Only then will he receive light from the Lord. In this way he will get the supply and also supply others. He will receive nourishment and also nourish others.

This is why it is important to use the King James Version of the Bible because all other translations have been taken from the corrupted Westcott & Hort Greek which was purposely altered and changed to alter Biblical teaching and create a complete different meaning than the original Word of God emphasized and intended.  Three examples are the fact that the Holy Trinity is completely removed by leaving out the verse I John 5:7.  Another example of corrupt translating of the Bible is that the word Lucifer is removed from Isaiah 14 and replaced with the word “Morning Star” which refers to Jesus in Scripture.  Also, at least 4 times in the New Testament Jesus is called the occult word “capstone” in place of the original Bible term “foundation stone.”  These are only a few of the thousands of ways the Holy Bible was altered in every translation after the King James and why a serious student or reader of the Bible would never read any other version except the King James Version.  To read a more detailed discussion of this topic, please read Satan, Demons, necromancers, drunks, occult and Bible Translators writing modern Bibles and New Age Versions Replace Jesus with Satan.

Here I will give a simple illustration. If we read the Bible carefully, we will find the New Testament expressions in the Lord, in Christ, in Christ Jesus, etc. It never says in Jesus or in Jesus Christ. It only says in Christ Jesus, not in Jesus Christ. These are facts. We must memorize and jot down these facts one by one. Find where it says in the Lord and what the context is. Find where it says in Christ and what the context is. Find yet another place where it says in Christ Jesus and what the context is. If we know all these portions by heart, we can compare them. Why does it say in Christ in one instance instead of in Jesus? Why does one place say in Christ Jesus and not in Jesus Christ? Why does the Bible never say in Jesus or in Jesus Christ? What is the reason for this? When we analyze and compare the Scriptures in this way, looking to God for enlightenment, we will see something.

Once the light comes, everything will become very clear. Jesus is the name given to the Lord while He was on earth. Christ is the name given to Him after His resurrection when God anointed Him. “God has made Him both Lord and Christ.” Do you remember these words in Acts 2? Christ is the name given to Him in His resurrection. In reading Romans we find the words Christ Jesus, which mean that the Christ today is the very Jesus who was on earth in the past. Christ Jesus is His name today. (This is another place where new translations have altered the Bible by changing these words or leaving something out.)  This means that the Christ today is the very Jesus who was on earth before. His name before resurrection was Jesus Christ. This name implies that Jesus would one day be the Christ. Jesus was His name when He lived on earth as a man. These two expressions—Christ being once Jesus, and Jesus eventually becoming Christ—mean two different things. Moreover, we can only be in Christ, not in Jesus. We can only be in the Lord and in Christ Jesus, not in Jesus Christ. When the Lord was on earth, we could not be in Him. If we had been in Him when He was on earth, we would have taken part in His cross and His redemption. This is contrary to the truth. We have no part in His incarnation at Bethlehem. He was the only begotten Son of God, and we have no part in that.

How then can we be in Christ? First Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of Him [God] are ye in Christ Jesus.” It does not say in Jesus. After the Lord Jesus died and resurrected, we became joined to Him in His resurrection. Through His death and resurrection, God has made Him the Christ, and God has joined us to Him through the Spirit. We received His life at the time of His resurrection. Regeneration does not come through incarnation but through resurrection. Now we should be clear.

This is the way to read the Bible. This is how we study the Bible. First, discover the facts. Then memorize, analyze, categorize, and compare these facts. After this pray to the Lord and wait on Him; He will enlighten you and give you sight. These are the four principles of reading the Bible. We cannot skip any one of them.  And we cannot read from a corrupt translation of the Bible or all these meanings will be altered from their original intent as inspired by God.

Let us give another illustration. Consider the word about the coming of the Holy Spirit in John 14 and 15. In reading these passages, we must pay attention to the promise of the Lord Jesus and discover whether there are any special facts related to it.

John 14:16-20 says, ” And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. ” What facts can we discover here? These sentences first use He or Him but later change to I. There is a change in pronoun. Here is a fact: The words He and Him have been changed to I.

According to the four principles of reading the Bible, how should we deal with this passage? First, we should discover the facts. In this case, the pronoun change from He to I is a fact. Second, we must remember this fact. Third, we must analyze this fact. Here are two Comforters. The Lord says, “I will pray the Father, and He [the Father] shall give you another Comforter.” The word another in the expression another Comforter means this is the second one. “And He [the Father] shall give you another Comforter.” This means that the Father will give a second Comforter. If there is a second Comforter, there must be a first Comforter.

The first thing we can ascertain is that the Lord is speaking of two Comforters. The Lord said that the disciples already had one Comforter, but that He was going to give them another. What kind of Comforter is the second? “… that he may abide with you for ever.” Who is the He? The Lord Jesus said, “…world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.“ Why? “…for he dwelleth with you.” He was with them all the time. The world cannot receive Him and has not even seen Him. What about them? The disciples had seen Him; they knew Him. They knew Him because He was abiding with them all the time.

The Lord said, “…for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” After this point the pronoun He is no longer used. In the next sentence the Lord said, ” I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” In studying this, we find that He is I, and I is He. In other words, while the Lord Jesus was living on earth, He was the Comforter. The Holy Spirit was in the Lord, and the Lord was the Comforter. When the Lord was on earth, the Holy Spirit was in Him; He and the Holy Spirit were one. This is why He said that the disciples beheld Him and knew Him and that He was with them.

But then what happened? The Lord went on to tell them that another Comforter would come. Following His death and resurrection, the Lord said that He would come back to them and that God would give them the Holy Spirit. But how was this to be accomplished? The Lord Himself would come to them again in the Holy Spirit. He did not leave them comfortless. After a little while they would see Him no longer, but then they would see Him again, and He would abide in them. Verse 17 says, “.. he dwelleth with you.” Then verse 20 says, “I in you.” Thus, the I in the second section is the He in the first section. Once we see the change in pronouns, we see the difference in the two Comforters. The first section refers to the Holy Spirit in Christ. The second section refers to Christ in the Holy Spirit. He refers to the Holy Spirit in Christ. I refers to Christ in the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the Lord Jesus in another form. The Son is the Father in another form. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the Son in another form. There is only a change in form. (And yet they are three separate beings at the same time that they are one. I John 5:7)

From this example we see that the first basic principle in reading the Bible is to discover the facts. If we cannot discover any facts, we cannot expect to receive any light from God. It is not a question of how many times we have read the Bible, but a question of the facts we have discovered through our many times of reading.

Paul was a person who knew how to discover facts. Consider what he said in Galatians 3. He saw from Genesis that God would bless the nations through the seed of Abraham. God used the word seed in its singular form, not in its plural form. This refers to Christ. First, Paul discovered this fact. He saw that the nations would be blessed through the seed of Abraham, and he saw that this was a unique seed. From this he realized that this seed referred to Christ. If it had been plural, it would have referred to the many children of Abraham, that is, the Jews, and the meaning would be completely different. Paul read the Scripture thoroughly and discovered the facts.

In the Bible there are many facts. Whether or not a person is rich in God’s Word depends on how many facts he has discovered. The more facts he discovers, the richer he becomes. If he cannot discover any facts and if he reads through the Bible in a hasty and mindless way, he will not understand much.

In reading the Bible, we must learn to discover the facts. After this we should memorize, analyze, and compare these facts. Finally, we should kneel down before God and ask for light.

III. DIFFERENT WAYS TO READ THE BIBLE

We should read our Bible during two different periods of time. We should have two copies of the Bible for these two occasions. One period can be in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Or we can do both early in the morning by reading one way during the first half of our time and another way during the second half of our time. These two periods of time must be separate. In the morning period or the first half of the early morning reading, we should meditate, praise, and pray as we read the Word, mixing our reading with meditation, praise, and prayer. This period of reading is for receiving spiritual food and for strengthening our spirit. Do not read too much during this time; three or four verses is sufficient. The afternoon time, or the second half of the early morning reading, should be longer. During this time, we should read for the purpose of learning more about God’s Word.

If possible, we should have two Bibles. The Bible used in the first period should not have any marks or notes written in it (except dates, which we will mention later). The Bible used in the second period can contain whatever we have been touched with, either by jotting down notes or by circling or underlining words or passages. The Bible used in the first period can contain dates—dates on which we came across a special verse, made a deal with the Lord, or had a special experience. We should write down the date next to such a verse, indicating that we met God through this verse on that date. Do not write down anything other than dates. The Bible used in the second period is for understanding, and we should write down all the spiritual facts we discover and the light we have received. Now let us discuss the way to read the Bible during these two periods of time.

A. Meditating on the Word
during the First Period of Time

Concerning meditating on the Word, I think the best thing is for me to quote George Müller. He said:

It has recently pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost, though now, while preparing the fifth edition for the press, more than fourteen years have since passed away. The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit. Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing to give myself to in prayer, after having dressed myself in the morning. Now, I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord.

 

I began therefore to meditate on the New Testament from the beginning, early in the morning. The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon his precious word, was, to begin to meditate on the word of God, searching as it were into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the word, not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that, though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. When thus I have been for a while making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the word may lead to it, but still continually keeping before me that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened, and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, either very soon after or at a later time, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man…

 

And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is, to obtain food for his inner man. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that, as every one must allow. Now what is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the word of God; and here again, not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts. When we pray, we speak to God. Now, prayer, in order to be continued for any length of time in any other than a formal manner, requires, generally speaking, a measure of strength or godly desire, and the season, therefore, when this exercise of the soul can be most effectually performed is after the inner man has been nourished by meditation on the word of God, where we find our Father speaking to us, to encourage us, to comfort us, to instruct us, to humble us, to reprove us. We may therefore profitably meditate, with God’s blessing, though we are ever so weak spiritually; nay, the weaker we are, the more we need meditation for the strengthening of our inner man. There is thus far less to be feared from wandering of mind than if we give ourselves to prayer without having had previously time for meditation. I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I ascribe to this mode the help and strength which I had had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials, in various ways, than I had ever had before; and after having now above fourteen years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it…

 

How different, when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day come upon one!— George Müller, Autobiography of George Müller, the Life of Trust, 1861, reprinted 1981, pp. 206-10.

 

B. General Reading
during the Second Period of Time

A new believer who recently has received the Lord should not engage himself in intense research of the Bible for at least six months because he is not familiar with the Bible as a whole yet. He should rather spend a few months to read through the whole Bible and familiarize himself with it in a general way. After this he can begin serious study of the Bible.

In familiarizing himself with the Bible, he should read the whole book chapter by chapter, consecutively over and over again. The best way is to decide the number of chapters in the Old and the New Testament one wants to read each day. The reading should neither be too fast nor too slow. It should be regular, continuous, and general in nature. George Müller read the Old and New Testament a hundred times during his lifetime. Those who have just received the Lord should learn to read the Bible and remember the number of times they have read through it. It is good to write a letter to notify a more elderly brother the first time you have finished reading through the New Testament. It is also good to leave a blank page in your Bible to record the number of times you have read through it. You should write the date and the place you finished reading it the first time, the second time, and so on. Each time you finish reading it, you should mark down the occasion. Identify clearly whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament you have read through. I hope that you, like Mr. Müller, can read through the Bible a hundred times during your lifetime. If a person wants to read through the Bible a hundred times, assuming that he lives for fifty years as a Christian, he will have to go through the whole Bible at least twice a year. You can see why you need to spend much time to read the Bible.

The principle of reading the Bible is to go through it chapter by chapter, over and over again. Those who are more advanced in the Lord should pay attention to the way the newly saved ones read their Bibles. Sometimes it does good to examine the dates recorded in their Bibles, to check how many chapters they read every day, and to find out where they are each week. We should all pay attention to this work and should not slacken. We should remind those who are progressing too slowly, “Half a year has past. How come you have not finished reading the New Testament once yet?”

If a person reads his Bible according to the above way, after some time his knowledge of the Bible will increase. If possible, one should try to memorize one or two verses each day. In the beginning, a person may have to force himself a little to do this. It may come as quite a dull chore. But after some time he will reap the benefit of it.

C. Intense Study
during a Specifically Apportioned Time

The first kind of daily Bible reading—praying and meditating over the Word—is a continuous lifelong practice. The second kind of reading—general reading, involving some kind of Bible study—can begin after at least six months are spent gaining some knowledge of the Bible.

Every Christian should have a definite plan of studying the Bible. If you can set aside half an hour a day, develop a plan to study the Bible for half an hour a day. If you can afford an hour each day, develop a plan that includes an hour of study. Whatever time you can afford, make a plan that will fit your schedule. The worst way to read is by “inspiration,” that is, casual, unplanned reading that begins at whatever page one feels, at times reading voraciously for ten days and at other times not reading anything for ten days. This is the wrong way. We should not adopt this “inspirational” method. Everyone should have a definite plan of reading. In reading the Bible, we need to be restricted and disciplined.

However, do not set too high a standard or too long a time for yourself. If you set too long a time, it will be hard to maintain the schedule. This is worse than having no plan at all. Once you decide to do something, stick to it for five years, ten years, or fifteen years. Do not stop after two, three, five, or six months. This is why you should consider carefully before the Lord the amount of time you should set aside for your study. One hour each day should be quite sufficient. Half an hour may be too short; one may not get much done in half an hour. Of course, if time does not allow you to have an hour, half an hour is still good. One hour, however, is the optimum period of time. If one can afford two hours, it is good. Normally, there is no need to spend more than two hours. We have not seen a brother or sister who studies for three hours a day who can maintain this schedule for long.

There are twenty-eight different ways to study the Bible, which are covered in the book The Ways to Study the Bible. Of the twenty-eight ways, the study of the progression of truth throughout the Bible is the most difficult. For many people, this method should not be attempted until a much later time. The method of word study is a much easier approach. One can also study metals, minerals, numbers, names of persons, geography, etc. These can be supplementary studies; we do not have to devote all our time to these special ways. There are also the chronologies in the Bible. If we have the time, we can take a look at them. Besides these, there are other ways to study the Bible, like studying prophecies, types, parables, miracles, the Lord’s teaching on earth, or doing a book-by-book study, etc. We should go through all these methods one by one.

Let us assume for now that a person has one hour a day to study the Bible. He can allocate his time in the following way:

1. First Twenty Minutes—Studying by Subjects

The experience of some people suggests that an hour of study can be divided into four sessions. The first session of twenty minutes is for studying specific subjects like prophecies, types, parables, dispensations, the Lord’s teachings on earth, or a specific book. One can read all the related passages and find the verses that deal with the subject chosen. If one is trying to study one book at a time, he should select the book he wants to study. He may choose Romans or the Gospel of John. After he finishes one book, he should go on to the next. He should study the whole book and find out the content of each book. If you decide to dedicate twenty minutes of your time each day to this kind of study, do not prolong or shorten it. We must learn to restrict ourselves and never be a careless or loose person.

2. The Second Twenty Minutes—Word Study

The second twenty minutes can be used for word study. There are many special terms like reconciliation, blood, faith, joy, peace, hope, love, obedience, righteousness, redemption, mercy, etc., which are scattered throughout the Bible, and they all are very meaningful. If they are grouped and compiled together, we can get a better grasp of their meaning. For example, we may study the word blood. First, we should jot down all the chapters and verses that mention the blood. Then we should analyze the meaning of each occurrence. What has the blood done for us before God? What type of persons does the blood deal with? What and how much has the blood accomplished for us? In the Old and New Testament, we can find many verses which speak of the blood. We can analyze them all. This cannot be accomplished in one sitting. One cannot hope to see much result on the first day. If he has access to a concordance, he can save much labor.

3. The Third Ten Minutes—Gathering Information

One can choose specific topics and spend the next ten minutes solely gathering information concerning them. There are many topics in the Bible, such as creation, man, sin, salvation, repentance, the Holy Spirit, regeneration, sanctification, justification, forgiveness, freedom, the Body of Christ, the Lord’s coming, judgment, the kingdom, eternity, etc. You can choose certain topics and then gather information about them from the Bible. The most one can handle at one time is five topics; if there are more than five topics, there will be too many clues, and it will be difficult to handle them all at once. Do not gather material for one topic alone; this is too time consuming. One may find material for more than one topic in a chapter. For example, you may be studying about the Holy Spirit. But the particular chapter you are on may not have anything on the Holy Spirit. But you can definitely find other topics in the same chapter. It is not a bad idea to gather information on two, three, four, or five topics at the same time. But do not take more than five at one time.

Each topic may require some time to complete its study. Every day you have to add more material to your study. Write down all the materials (verses) you have gathered, and from these write down the main words and meanings of each passage. It is useless to merely jot down the verses. You must know what the verses are saying. Suppose you are studying the Holy Spirit in Ephesians. In writing down “sealed with the Holy Spirit” in 1:13, you should also write down the meaning of the word seal. First, write down the verse, then the related terms, and finally the meaning of the verse. You should gather all the information this way. One day when you need to deal with such a topic, these materials will be on hand for you to apply.

4. The Fourth Ten Minutes—Paraphrasing

The final ten minutes can be used to paraphrase the Bible. This exercise is very useful. Paraphrasing the Bible gives fresh insight into a passage. By paraphrasing the Bible with simple words, we express a passage in a way that others can understand at a glance.

For example, you may be doing a chapter-by-chapter study of the book of Romans. If a teen-ager comes and says, “I have read Paul’s word in Romans, but I cannot understand it,” you will have to think of some ways to explain this book to him using your own words. A paraphrase is not a commentary; you are merely using your own words to convey what Paul said so that those who do not understand it can understand. In order to do this, you have to learn to paraphrase the Bible with your own words. Take the book of Romans and try to paraphrase it with your own words. Paul wrote the Epistles in his words. Now you should try to write the same thing in your own words. Try your best to do this. Do it properly and intelligently so that you can understand it and so that other brothers and sisters who read it can understand it as well.

Such paraphrasing will show how well we know the Scriptures. Using our own words to reiterate the apostles’ thought is a good way to prepare us for biblical exposition. Paraphrasing is the first step; exposition is the second step. First we should learn to paraphrase the text of the Bible with our own words. Our training before God must be in the proper order. Do not try to expound the Bible before learning to paraphrase it; this is too hasty. Learn to paraphrase the Bible first and then learn to expound it. If we cannot paraphrase the Bible well, it is impossible for us to expound it well. We must paraphrase first and then expound. We must all learn this basic lesson. First, paraphrase Paul’s Epistles, then paraphrase the remainder of the New Testament.

In paraphrasing the Bible, try to avoid using the words of the Bible. Use your own words instead. The main lesson to learn here is to express the meaning of a passage with words that are within your grasp. After you have tried one book, you will know how precious the experience is and how profitable the exercise is. A careless and sloppy person cannot paraphrase the Bible. You must pray much before the Lord and read the Bible properly before you can paraphrase it correctly. After you finish a book, go back and revise your work once or twice, modifying it with appropriate words and polishing your sentences. This will give you a better impression of the book, and you will come to know what the apostles were talking about. You need to paraphrase a passage before you can have a deep impression of it.

In order to paraphrase the Bible, one must first study it thoroughly. He must understand what a passage says and what is implied in the passage. He can then incorporate all his knowledge into his paraphrase. This requires a thorough understanding of a verse. A person can only paraphrase the Bible when he has a clear grasp of what it says. Through practicing a little every day, and through careful reading and meticulous writing, one will eventually be able to paraphrase one of Paul’s Epistles. He will then be able to understand Paul’s word and will be able to use other words to convey the same meaning.

We have mentioned four things already. First, study by topic; second, do a word study; third, gather information; and fourth, paraphrase. We should go through all twenty-eight methods one by one. A definite schedule of Bible study is an exercise for us. We must gird up our loins, be restricted and regulated before the Lord, and not be loose. If we have made up our mind to study for an hour, keep this hour. We should not shorten or lengthen the time, unless we are sick or on vacation. Other than such exceptions, we should always keep our schedule. If we persist in this exercise daily, we will soon reap the harvest.

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(I would like to caution against putting too much emphasis on paraphrasing the Bible because the exact words of the Bible are written the way they are for a reason.  As long as the paraphrase does not take away the original meaning of the scripture, there is no harm.  However, great harm has been done by some who have written paraphrases of the Bible and caused people to read that as a version of the Bible but a careful study of these paraphrases has revealed that too many times the paraphrase has taken away the original intent of the scripture.  Also, a new tool has been created since Watchman Nee wrote these lessons which will greatly help in doing word studies, researching meanings, and much more.  The tool is called e-Sword, The Sword of the Lord with an Electronic Edge.  I have given you the link here to download this great software which is completely free.  In addition, once you have downloaded e-Sword, there are dozens of dictionaries, commentaries, and other books which have been linked with every verse of scripture.  There are even Greek and Hebrew commentaries and dictionaries linked to the English version.  I highly recommend this for the Bible Study part of your Bible reading sessions.  I have used e-Sword for many years in writing of sermons and Bible lessons.  May the Lord Bless you as you use this fantastic tool for His Glory.) 

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