[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Are You Spiritually Protected?
All over the world, there is an invisible war—not a war for money, power, or land, but for minds, hearts, and souls. And the enemy is Satan the Devil.
Many have no idea there is a struggle at all, and the Devil has them completely in his clutches. Frankly, even many of you, watching right now, are in the devil’s grip and don’t even realize it.
But God is waking some up. Some do understand, and as God opens their eyes to the reality of that spiritual war, they long to fight back. To take back their mind. To take back their families. To take back their lives.
The good news is that Jesus Christ is willing to fully equip us for our fight against the devil and to support us every step of the way. But we must be willing to use the tools He provides us for our struggle.
Are you willing to fight back in this spiritual war for your mind? If so, then join us for this episode of Tomorrow’s World, where we will teach you how to Armor Up Against the Devil.
The Devil’s Greatest Deception
Now, here at the beginning, we should take some time to disabuse some of our viewers of a very deceptive myth. Polls vary widely in terms of what people believe, but research by the Barna Group has suggested that even among self-identified Christians, most believe the devil “is not a living being but is [merely] a symbol of evil” (“Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist,” Barna.com, April 13, 2009).
My friends, those individuals are deceived and have fallen for one of the devil’s most popular lies: that he does not exist!
Make no mistake: Satan is very real! Jesus Christ Himself calls the Devil a murderer and the father of lies in John 8:44, and when Peter argued with Him about the Savior’s coming death, Jesus addressed Satan personally and directly, as we read in Matthew 16:23:
“But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’”
The Devil is real and he is powerful. And he will do everything in his power to influence you and your family—to keep you from truly knowing God and from seeking God’s purpose for your life!
Hopefully, you want to fight back! But before we do so, we need to understand what we’re up against. The Apostle Paul describes our plight in Ephesians 6:12:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Jesus Christ Himself declares in the inspired words of Scripture three times that Satan the Devil is “the ruler of this world.” His description is recorded in John 12:31, John 14:30, and John 16:11. The Apostle Paul calls the Devil “the god of this age.”
And as the ruler of this world, his influence on every facet of society is vast.
We certainly see it in our entertainment industry, which embraces and promotes themes, concepts, and images that are the very opposite of the laws, commands, and way of life taught by God in the Bible. Yet entertainment is hardly the limit of the Devil’s influence. We see that influence in our educational institutions, our halls of government, and—frankly—even many of our churches.
Increasingly perversity and sin is celebrated while righteousness and godly virtue is vilified! In fact, things have gotten so bad that even many of those pushing back against the latest perverse fads don’t even realize how much perversion they have already accepted as “normal”!
Ephesians 2:2 describes Satan as “the prince of the power of the air,” and, indeed, his influence is pervasive—woven into the very fabric of society.
And seeing the obvious wrongs, many of us are content to pat ourselves on our backs, thinking we’ve got it right! All of “those folks” are deceived and confused, but not us, right? You might think, “No, I’m not among the spiritually confused and deceived! I’m a good, clean, church-going Christian! I see through the lies and perversions of this day and age! The devil certainly doesn’t have a hold on me!”
Yet, most of you watching this very program right now have your vision of reality partially obscured by his deceptions, even as you believe you don’t. Don’t get mad, but I’m not here to make you happy. I’m here to help you repent. And the warning of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:12 applies to all of us:
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall [!].”
Jesus Christ inspired the Apostle John in Revelation 12:9 to describe the devil as one “who deceives the whole world.” And, my friends, those who are deceived do not know they are deceived!
Our very own confidence that we are not deceived—thatwe have the enemy figured out, that we understand who the real bad guys are and what the real truth is—can be the very tool the devil uses to keep us in a state of deception!
My friends, God has not abandoned us to face the Devil unequipped! With the help of Jesus Christ, we can defeat the Devil in the war for our mind, if we will take full advantage of the tools God provides.
Knowing the Truth, Living the Truth, and Supporting the Truth!
In Ephesians 6, beginning in verse 10, the Apostle Paul tells all of us,
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10–11).
God has not left us defenseless against Satan! Quite the contrary—if we are willing to follow His lead and act on His instructions, Almighty God gives us everything we need for victory! Paul continues in verse 13:
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
If you are willing to stand, face the temptations of Satan the Devil, and strive with all your might to overcome under the leadership and guidance of Jesus Christ, then this armor—the Armor of God—is exactly what you need in that fight. And how well you understand every piece of that armor decides whether you become the victor in battle, or just another casualty.
Paul describes that armor in detail in verses 14 through 17 of Ephesians 6. Let’s begin with Paul’s admonition concerning the first piece in verse 14:
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth….”
This is the middle part of an ancient soldier’s armor, corresponding to a belt or girdle, sometimes called the corselet, protecting the trunk. This portion is what kept the other parts in their place, attaching to the breastplate, for instance, and providing a place for the sword to be hung.
In “armoring up” against the devil, Paul first points us to truth.
Defeating Satan requires a passionate devotion to the truth of God, and to truth over falsehood, in general. Jeremiah 17:9 warns us that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We often lie to ourselves, rationalizing the things we want over those things that, deep down, we know are true.
How much does truth matter to you? When you hear uncomfortable truths explained to you from your Bible, are you willing to change your life in response to that truth, or do you make excuses, hoping it will fade from memory?
Anyone wishing to defeat the devil must care about the truth!
Now after describing the belt of truth, Paul then tells us to
“… put on the breastplate of righteousness…” (v. 14).
The breastplate protected the chest and the heart of the soldier. And God says our breastplate is to be righteousness! If you want to protect your heart and the source of your life from Satan the devil, you will seek righteousness!
Jesus commands this of all who long to be true Christians, in Matthew 6:33:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
And God doesn’t leave us in confusion about the righteousness of God. He inspired King David to write of God in Psalm 119:172 that “all Your commandments are righteousness.”
Are you seeking to live in concert with the Ten Commandments of God? Jesus said that hate and lust break the sixth and seventh commandments. Failing to observe the seventh day Sabbath breaks the fourth. Little white lies are still lies and violate the ninth. In whatever way you willingly break the commandments of God instead of seeking to allow Christ to overcome in that part of your life, you are sinning, and your heart becomes more vulnerable to the devil! You are missing a major part of your armor!
The next piece of the Armor of God Paul that describes involves our feet, of all things:
“… and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…” (Ephesians 6:15).
Even today, we sometimes refer to troops sent fight as “boots on the ground.” To be a nimble and agile fighting force, soldiers had to be prepared to move and march at a moment’s notice—always at the ready. This part of the Armor of God asks how devoted we are to supporting the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which Jesus Christ is taking to all nations in many ways—including through the program you are now watching.
As longtime viewers of Tomorrow’s World know, we never ask for donations on our program, and all the literature we offer is always absolutely free, with no strings attached. When you contact us for your copy of “The Occult and the Spirit World,” it’ll be no different. Jesus said to His true ministers, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Not all are faithful to that command, but we refuse to do it any other way.
That effort is made possible by many of you who have become donors and co-workers with us, and by the love and financial support of the members of the Living Church of God, who meet every Sabbath in congregations all over the world.
And Jesus Christ notices those who support His Work. He notices when you share your copy of Tomorrow’s World magazine with someone else, or tell them about our program or ministry. Christ is passionately using His people to take this message all over the world, and when you care about that, as well, you are beginning to fulfill the charge of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus….”
Faith, Hope, and the Word of God—The Holy Bible
Paul continues in Ephesians 6:16:
“… above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
Now according to Paul, our living faith—our deep and abiding trust that God means what He says, trust strong enough for us to obey Him—acts as a shield against the “fiery darts of the wicked one.”
And the wicked one can and does attack us. Many of us—many of you watching right now, face health trials, financial crises, family and relationship troubles, and personal tragedies. Life in this world is hard, and continuing to obey our Creator and our Savior can seem difficult. Such trials can seem to cloud our vision of Their love, care, and concern for us.
We must cling to our faith in God in those times! To defeat the devil, we must cultivate that living faith that knows God is there, and which looks to Him for a coming eternity that transcends all the trouble the devil can create in this world. To defeat the devil, we must seek God with a living faith, like that described in James chapter 2, which will manifest itself in obedience to God’s word—not a dead faith, which isn’t strong enough to move from our heart to our hands… from our mind to our actions and choices.
Next, Paul moves to another, vital part of God’s armor, telling us in Ephesians 6:17,
“And take the helmet of salvation….”
Elsewhere (1 Thessalonians 5:8), Paul calls this piece of God’s armor the “hope of salvation.”
The implication is that our hope in God’s salvation protects our minds in the same way a helmet protects a soldier’s head. And in this sin- and temptation-drenched world, increasingly twisted by Satan’s demonic worldview, our minds need all the help they can get!
We live in a world that, to many, seems increasingly hopeless. Society seems to be unraveling as our social bonds are ripped apart by infighting and conflict in which disagreements turn into hatreds. Many of our political leaders seem, at best, powerless to make the kinds of changes that will make a real difference, or, at worst, seem not to care—worried about little more than the next election and proverbially fiddling as Nero is said to do as Rome burns around them.
In such an environment of moral and societal chaos, individuals become desperate. Some raise up political leaders or social influencers to almost cult-leader-like status, believing they will solve all this confusion, and sneakily deceptive worldviews creep into our minds. Some deviate from the truth in slight and subtle ways, while others are utterly perverse in their falsehood.
But a focus on the real hope of salvation, offered by Almighty God, and the real eternity that salvation represents can help protect our minds from hopelessness and tempting influences—reminding us of eternal truths and those things that truly matter in the world… a world that will one day pass away into the dustbin of history.
Regrettably, even our so-called “Christian” churches teach a false, shallow idea of salvation that falls so infinitely short of what God actually intends. If you are interested in understanding that salvation—a message that has likely never been preached from behind the pulpit of your Sunday worship service—then requesting today’s free DVD is a great way to start your journey.
In the meantime, we finally arrive at the last part of the armor of God—and the only offensive weapon in Paul’s list! He continues in Ephesians 6:17,
“… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God….”
How many people who call themselves “Christian,” let alone those of other faiths, are woefully ignorant of the word of God, today?
While the United States is claimed by some to be a “Christian nation,” a look at the reality behind the slogans would make you wonder. In its 2022 annual “State of the Bible” survey, the American Bible Society reported that the proportion of “Bible Users” in the U.S.—that is, Americans who use the Bible at least 3–4 times a year outside of Church—has plummeted to only 39% (p. x). And, frankly, 3–4 times a year is a miniscule amount of contact with the Living word of God!
Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”—which, itself, is a quote from the Old Testament. Can you imagine trying to live on three to four meals a year?
How can anyone expect to fight against the Devil when they will not pick up their sword?
Don’t be caught in a swordfight emptyhanded! The sword of the Spirit, the word of God, is your only weapon in your fight to defeat the devil! And it is a weapon of incomparable power!
My friends, putting on the Armor of God—not missing a single piece—is crucial to achieving victory in your personal fight against Satan the Devil in the battle for your heart, mind, and soul.
Have Courage in Christ
We’ve discussed the Armor of God, described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the footwear of preparedness for the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
But being equipped with the Armor of God will not gain us the victory we need unless we also have courage.
The wars of this world have all seen their share of soldiers understandably terrified of the danger that awaits them on the field of battle. And the Devil is counting on fear to stop you, too.
But a soldier, even armed and protected with the Armor of God can achieve nothing unless he is willing to charge into the fray. And that takes courage.
Satan makes a life of spiritual complacency a comfortable one in this life. Going along to get along, so to speak, is easy. Repenting of sin and making real changes in your life, especially when others around you don’t understand those changes—and might even feel hurt or offended at those changes.
In seeking to follow God in reality—not just with lip service, but with a changed life—can bring discomfort, stress, and even hatred from some quarters. And, of course, Satan will do all He can to throw obstacle after obstacle in your way.
But we can take heart. The encouragement Jesus gave His disciples 2,000 years ago applies just as powerfully to us today: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And writing to the followers of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John reminds us of this fact, telling us “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
So, take up the Armor of God with courage of heart! Because those who are willing to humble themselves and charge into battle soon find that they are not fighting alone… Rather they are standing side by side with the greatest spiritual warrior in history—the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
I hope you will choose to fight.
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