Our adversary is Satan, also known as the devil, which means slanderer and accuser of the brethren. He is the father of all lies, strife, and discord, which divides people against God and one another. As believers “we are not ignorant of his devices,” as Paul said in 2Corinthians 2:11. Satan’s devices contain his plans, methods, and purposes for separating people against God and each other. We are warned in Ephesians 6:11 against "the wiles of the devil”, which are the schemes he uses to twist the Scriptures and attempt to trick us so we doubt God’s Word. Satan's goal is to convince us that God does not mean what He says, or to make us believe He is not good to us.
In the beginning God warned man, “you shall surely die”, if he disobeyed His command (Genesis 2:17). This clearly tells us that sin is serious! Likewise, Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” Through his devices, wiles, and methods, the devil twists what Scripture means and says, and plants a seed of unbelief in people. In the beginning he seduced Eve by saying to her, “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). He continued to tell Eve that God’s word cannot be trusted, and that God does not really mean what He says (Genesis 3:5). By twisting the Word of God and making sin look good, Satan’s temptation came as a lie mixed with half truth and half error. When this happens to us and we believe the lie, we doubt God’s word and disobey God, “You will not surely die.” Satan repeats the same tricks, lies, devices, and wiles that he used before; that God really does not mean what He says! As Jesus said,“The devil is a liar from the beginning”, and “Satan comes as an angel of light.” (2Corinthians 11:14) Jesus said, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37). God tells us to meditate, study, and transform our minds with the Scriptures so that we won’t be tricked by the devil’s methods of twisting Scriptures to cause us to doubt God’s Word. We do not have to be deceived!
Why Do the Righteous Suffer? Because the devil, the deceiver and liar to the brethren, tries to tell us that God is not good and wants to keep us from happiness. If we listen to the devil and his twisted truth, we cannot be free! We will now look and truly see how the devil is our worst enemy, always trying to separate us from God and from each other; how the devil is the accuser of the brethren. He accuses us directly before God, and accuses us through gossip to each other.
Job 1:1-12 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, 'Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!' And the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.' So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD."
We saw how Satan’s plan in Genesis was to slander God before man to make man doubt God’s Word… “...has God indeed said…?” Satan plants a seed of unbelief in our hearts so that we don’t take God’s Word seriously… “you won’t really die!”… The devil is trying to destroy our confidence in God.
Satan slanders man before God… “…Does Job fear God for nothing?…” trying to have God doubt Job’s trust and love for God. It is important for us to know what kind of man Job was! The Bible says that Job “…was blameless and upright…”. He was a man who “feared God and shunned evil”. When God said Job was blameless, He is saying that Job was morally blameless; that Job was a man who sought with his whole heart to please God. He was honest in his dealings with God and men; not doing things out of hypocrisy or selfishness. God did not mean that Job never sinned, because the Bible tells us that “all have sinned” and “there are none perfect”.
God was saying that Job turned aside and rejected evil when tempted by Satan or people. The secret to being blameless before God is trusting in God’s Word where we obey Scripture and reject Satan and/or friends who try to get us to disobey God’s Word. Job feared God and shunned (rejected) evil, so God said he was blameless and upright. Whenever Job was attacked by evil (the devil’s devices, wiles, methods) through people…his wife or friends “curse God and die”…Job rejected their advice; rejected it and was obedient to the Word…meaning he was blameless! Job was victorious over evil (Satan’s method of causing us to doubt God and disobey him), so Satan hated Job and attacked him.
Why do the righteous suffer? Satan attacks the righteous! He is the accuser of the brethren!
Let’s see, again, just how devious and vicious our adversary, the devil, really is! He tries to appear as our friend, but Satan is always trying to destroy us before other people and God, creating doubt and twisting God’s word to separate us from God and one another! Note that Satan is exposed in his speech before God. The Bible tells us that we are justified or condemned by our words (Matthew 12:37). Satan maliciously slanders/attacks Job before God by telling God that Job was only faithful to God because God had blessed and protected him. In other words, Satan said that Job trusted God out of his own selfishness, so his motivation was wrong. Of course, this was a lie! Job told his wife and friends that he would not curse God, even if God took everything from him and he died! Job was tested and found to be faithful in trusting God’s Word. This should warn us that we will also be tested by God to see the level of our own faith. Life is in the spirit, and the spirit never dies!
The righteous suffer because God is no respecter of persons and allows our faith to be tested by Satan to show the world that we will respect the will of God over our lives! So, God permitted Job to endure suffering and to join with God in exposing Satan’s lie (methods, devices, wiles). In verse 11 Satan says, “Just let me touch him.” Very well, says God to Satan, “go ahead, do what you like. Deal with the things that show my goodness. Take away his property.” Again, God sets the boundaries. The Bible tells us that nothing can happen to us unless God allows it. In verse 12 it says, “Do what you want but do not touch his body.” So, Satan takes away Job’s property and children, but Job still does not curse God! Through verses 20-22, in all this Job sinned not! Job was blameless. He proved to God and to man that he trusted in the Scriptures…not his own selfishness.
The devil is an adversary who hates us, and his plans and purposes are to destroy us eternally by separating us from God. He again slanders Job in verse 2:4: “…skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” We saw in Genesis how Satan deceived man about God, creating doubt in Eve about God’s Word: “...you will not really die…did God really say that?”
But, Satan cannot deceive God about man. God knew Job’s heart and that whatever He allowed Job to go through would prove Job’s faith in God and trust in the Scripture. We see here that Satan cannot deceive God. God knows every man’s heart. Satan can only accuse man before God. We can know God’s heart, too, and totally trust Him by meditating and studying God’s Word, as He instructs us.
God may, and does, call upon men of faith…like He called upon Job…to pass through testing and suffering in the interest of truth! Yet in all suffering, God is in control! Satan is always limited! All things do work together for good! Suffering shows the world that our faith, confidence, and trust in God cannot be shaken. It is not for our own selfishness by demanding our own way, but as true children of God we want and accept His will for our lives. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) How can God be unfair by giving a person eternal, glorious, perfect life? Job said, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10. And, again, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job 13:15. That is the language of a person who knows God! Would God have been unfair to Job if he had allowed Satan to take his life? The story of Job shows how Satan is committed and determined to ruthlessly destroy men and women of God! In Genesis and Job we see the devices and wiles of Satan and how he works against God’s people. His purposes are to create a spirit of unbelief in God’s Word so that we disobey it and separate ourselves from God and one another. Satan is busy in the world trying to deceive people into thinking that God is bad and he is good, causing you to doubt God’s Word. “You will not really die”, Satan told Eve.
God will test your faith! God tested Abraham when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on the altar (Genesis 22:1-14). God tested Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to bow before his image and they refused (Daniel 3:13-30). God tested Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery, Potifer’s wife falsely accused him, and he was sent to prison (Genesis 37:23-36, Genesis chapters 39 - 41). God developed and used Joseph in prison so he could one day stand before Pharaoh, interpret his dream, and lead and save both Israel and Egypt from starvation. God tested Daniel when Daniel’s enemies, who were jealous of him, caused a decree to be signed by the king, who then ordered that nobody was to pray to any other God. Daniel refused to obey this law and was thrown into the lion’s den (Daniel 6:1-28). God allowed David to suffer when King Saul falsely accused him and chased him to kill him (1Samuel, chapters 18-24). Moses suffered in the wilderness alone for 40 years being developed by God. He learned to trust and obey God so that he could be used to rebuke Pharaoh and deliver the children of Israel from bondage (Exodus 2:14-12:37). Elijah was persecuted for being faithful and threatened by Jezebel (1Kings 19:1-18). The blind man was born blind so that a miracle could happen for the glory of God (John 9:1-3).
Yes, the “rain falls on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45) because we are all living in a fallen world which is still under the Adamic curse (Genesis 3:16-19).
Saul, who became Paul, watched the death of Stephen, which later helped to bring about his conversion, etc. (Acts 6:8-8:1; 9:1-9). Stephen suffered stoning, yet gave strong testimony and glory to Jesus. Read Philippians 4:13. God enables you to victoriously go through every trial, test and persecution. God allows persecution to spread the gospel (Acts 8:1-4). The Bible tells us that “all things work together for (our) good...” (Romans 8:28), and that our trials only make us stronger (2Corinthians 12:9). We suffer to be faithful and accomplish the mission (Matthew 16:21). We suffer as a warning and to learn (Matthew 27:19). Jesus was tempted...(Luke 4:1-14).
Hebrews 5:7-9 reads: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him...” Also, we learn to follow God through suffering, thus growing in perfection (maturity).
James 1:3 tells us: “...that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” And Romans 5:3 says: “knowing that tribulation worketh patience” 2Corinthians 12:9-10 says: “...for my strength is made perfect in weakness...therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities...in persecutions...for Christ’s sake...” 1Peter 5:10 reads: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” And Matthew 5:10-12 promises: “Blessed are they which are persecuted...for great is your reward in heaven...” Please also read 1Peter, chapters 2 through 4.
Yes, the righteous suffer for a multitude of reasons! However, we learn to trust in Jesus through it all , and people watch our faith and want Jesus themselves! Satan’s methods are the same today. He truly is our worst enemy!
Yes dear saint, we live in a mortal body that is subject to decay. When Jesus died on the cross he defeated spiritual death for you and for me. As believers we can live eternally with Him after our mortal body dies. Those alive when Christ returns will be changed (given a new body) and caught up in the twinkling of an eye to meet Jesus in the air (I Corinthians 15:51-55). However, until that time comes, we are subject to the wages of sin due to our Adamic nature. Our body is constantly changing and deteriorating as we age. Sickness can afflict us unless Jesus sovereignly heals, thus allowing us to escape the fate of mankind - a body prone to disease prior to death.
We need not be ashamed about this. The righteous from Adam to Abraham, Moses to King David, and Daniel to the apostles Peter and Paul suffered the effects of aging and eventually died due to old age or martyrdom. Yes, while alive on earth we suffer in a mortal unglorified body, but with the grace of God we can be more than conquerors throughout every challenge. May God give each of you the victory as we serve the Lord together and minister to one another in love.
Founder and President
Mission: To faithfully speak to the nations of the world, proclaiming the kingdom of God; giving warning to political and church leaders, the church, and society of the signs of the return of Jesus Christ. We are "sounding the alarm" for the nations to turn from sin and to draw near to Jesus Christ.
Purpose: Our purpose is to influence and transform the nations whereby enabling peace, blessings and prosperity to come to the people. We are endeavoring to meet emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual needs through the love of Jesus Christ.
Vision: To reach 100% of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. To change the destiny of nations through reconciliation with God. To bring truth and restoration to the body of Christ and to set people free from bondage.
The mission, purpose, and vision are being realized by the following means:
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