Friday, February 10, 2017

Entry 2. The Devil Comes as an Angel of Light

What I think we forget about the devil is that he knows God's Word. He knows it intricately and knows the truth. You see this when he is tempting Jesus in the desert. He is quoting scripture to tempt the part of Jesus that would want the glory and the position of being seen as God. He tempts Jesus' pride, His hunger, and His power, and he references scripture all the way through.

Now, as we all know, Jesus was equipped and ready for the attack. He was prepared in His heart and knew the Word. The devil wasn't able to plant imaginations in Him; he wasn't able to catch Him up in a fantasy. Jesus didn't fall because He knew the true Word of God.

But, let's step back for a moment and say He came to earth with dueling identities. Let's say He relied on Mary's guidance to know His purpose. Let's say He stepped out into the desert with partial knowledge of Himself. The devil's temptations would have struck an entirely different chord. And they may have even caused Him to fall into sin. 

Jesus didn't fall because He knew the Word completely: He knew Himself.

The devil comes as an angel of light. He comes as dreams, desires, loves... he often works through people. This is common knowledge. But, the Lord has revealed another form to me recently. The devil also comes as spiritual enlightenment. He comes as that aha! moment, where spirituality suddenly starts to make sense and the pieces start to fit together. He comes as a softer god, a god of love and love alone. He comes as the grace of Jesus, convincing us that grace covers all, regardless of belief. The devil comes in pulpits and watered down messages and feel good stories that have had the most important parts removed. The devil comes in sweet messages of God that ensure and instill a belief that damnation is contrary to love.

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist." -The Usual Suspects-

He has not only done this to great effect. By removing Himself he has effectively voided Jesus' willing sacrifice. He has started to become the epiphany in preacher's minds who read a certain verse in the bible and suddenly realize that hell is metaphorical and God's love covers all. The danger of the devil is not in the horror movies his underlings inhabit; after all, Christians mostly avoid them because they can smell his scent attached. 

The real danger is the love of God. This is the devil's greatest disguise. As the world continues to plummet into chaos and evils one has a hard time comprehending, the devil has firmly planted himself at the center of the church, in the message of grace above all.

Now, I don't want this to be misconstrued. I'm not saying that God's love isn't unfathomable and doesn't reach to a level we cannot comprehend. I am saying that God's love is found in the brutal, and excruciating sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. And the victory is found in the resurrection of the slaughtered Lamb, an eternal price paid for. 

Grace applies once you've accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. You are seen spotless by the Father through the washing of Jesus' blood. And His love covers you through your addictions and falls and generational curses, etc... This doesn't apply to those who don't know Jesus. Jesus has stated that He is the only door to salvation. Even our limited minds understand that a door provides access to a location. If He is the only Way (as He claims) is it not heresy to claim other religions (other gods) can get you to heaven? 

The devil has shed his 'terrifying' skin, realizing that the greatest disguise is found in God's Word. Remove Christ here, add love there, and you have a new Christianity that is marching swiftly toward the gates of hell. This is his greatest trick and we need to expose it and change it now.     



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