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(know your enemy) SCRIPTURE - 1 PET. 5:8                                                  JANUARY, 1997



"Dec 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy."
These words, spoken by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, bring to mind a fact that we all need to face in our lives. And that is, no matter how strong you are, how much intelligence you have, how well liked you are, or how much power you have, you can be brought to your knees, by someone, or some thing that, if you knew what was coming, you could have squashed it out, like an ant. In the martial arts, your size and physical strength, in many instances, can be used against you, by a smaller, weaker opponent. In all types of sports competitions, it is common, for representatives of opponents, scheduled to meet at a certain time, to scout out the opposition, to plan strategy on how to defeat them. Your victory or defeat, most times, hinges on how well you know your adversary.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they had planned it, for some time, prior to that. Some of the military commanders, that planned and directed the attack, were educated in American colleges, and military schools. Through all of this, America, the most powerful nation on the earth, felt that it was invulnerable to any attacks, by any one. This complacency, cost us dearly, in lost lives, ships, and prestige.

Now what is the point to all of this, you might ask??? It is this. You have, or rather we all have an enemy, that seeks to destroy us, by any means necessary. This enemy, stalks us constantly. He looks for any avenue, that he can use, to enslave us, to tear us down, and kill us. Some of you might say, 'Let him come. I have my AK-47. My pit bulls, and my ADT alarm system. I am a 7th degree black belt in Karate. Let him come and try to mess with me.' Friend, if that is the way you really feel, then guess what ?? He already has you. For this adversary I am speaking of, is the devil. And unlike most of our other enemies, nothing that you can do physically, will stop him. It takes special preparation, to defeat him. And rest assured, he can be defeated. The question is, how???

First, and foremost, you have to know your enemy. You need to know why he is your enemy. You need to know what tactics he will use, and how to identify them. Then, you have to know what weapons to use, and how to use them. Just like America, and the Japanese. We had all the weapons to defeat any enemy, but because our enemy knew our weak spots, we were nearly taken out, by a smaller, less powerful force.

Look at the middle part of the scripture, where it says, 'he goes about, as a roaring lion....', showing, that just like a lion, that is searching for food, he will creep up on his prey, using all the cover he can, so that his prey, won't see, or recognize the danger, until it is too late. This is what the devil does, so well. He's been at this type of thing, since the garden of Eden. He makes most people, especially the unsaved, believe they are in no danger. He is so good at it, that many times, he gets them to believe, that he doesn't even exist. Therefore, their guard is down, and he can come right on in, and destroy them.

When I talk to some people, especially the young ones, and I mention the devil, they look at me, as if to say, 'man, you still believe in a devil?? Don't you know that is all a bunch of nonsense??' When I hear that, I know that he has them, right where he wants them. This is why our young people are destroying themselves, and each other. By not believing in the devil, and having to blame some one, or thing on their problems, they resort to violence, which usually results in death. Our young men are killing each other, and our young women, are out here, giving up their minds and bodies, degrading themselves, because it somehow, makes them feel part of the group. And they are. They are part of the herd, that the lions have picked out, to attack. And, the devil, doesn't care if you believe in him or not. Unlike God, who created us, to worship Him, the devil doesn't care. All he wants to do, is destroy you. [ST. JOHN 10:10A] says, The thief, comes not, but for to steal, kill, and destroy, ..... And he does his job well.

As a thief, he will steal your strength, your joy, peace of mind, your loved ones, and your blessings. As a killer, he will kill you, your spouse, your children, your mother, your father, sister, brother, and any one else close to you. He will do it through violence, sickness, disease, suicide and by what ever means he can. As the destroyer, he seeks to destroy families, friendships, plans for the future, or any thing, that may lift you up. He most of all, wants to destroy your relationship with God, if you have one. If you don't, he wants to keep you from developing one. He will try to kill you first. Why does he want to do all of this??? It is because, you, my friends, are made in the image of God. You are His pride and joy. God delights in His people. Now, the devil, hates God. He used to be God's most beautiful angel, until he tried to make himself equal with God. For that, he was cast out of Heaven [ISA. 14:12-17, EZEK. 28:12-19]. And he had been trying to get back at God, and couldn't. That is until, God made man, and put him on the earth. It was then, that the devil [a.k.a. Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the serpent, and other names] decided to target us, to get back at God. He knows, that God is a righteous and just Creator, who hates sin. Therefore, like the devil, all of his angels [demons] are destined to go to hell. Hell, another place that people find it hard to believe is real, was not made for man originally, but for the devil and his angels [MATT. 25:41]. But, because man, is following after the devil, he will suffer the same fate [ISA. 5:14].

The devil, has people believing the lies that he tells them. That is because, he is the father of lies [ST. JOHN 8:44]. He will deceive you in to believing that God, being so full of love and mercy, will overlook your sins, and accept you in to Heaven, anyway. Or, he gets you to believe that any one of the thousands of other religions, that he has formed, are just as good. He, knowing the bible, better than most of us, can take a scripture, and twist it around, and make it say something that it doesn't. All sorts of false teachers, preachers, and doctrines, proliferate the world today [2 COR. 11:12-15]. A young lady tells me, that she has been going to churches for a long time. Yet, she says, she never knew that a person had to be saved, in order to go to Heaven. She finally decides to start going to a church that I recommended, and what does the devil do?? He makes her sick, so she can't go. He knows that if she goes, she will hear the truth, and get saved. This young lady, and another are friends. When talking to them, I see how the devil is working on them, to keep them from the truth, by making them too busy, to read specific things, that will let them know what they need to be doing, and what they can have, if they get saved.

He even has a doosey of a plan. He makes people think that God, is the one that makes them sick, to punish them. When tragedy strikes, and a person dies, many believe, that God, took them. Your house or property gets destroyed by a tornado, or something, insurance companies call it 'an act of God.' It is the devil's plan, that many, will get mad at God, and turn away from Him. Then they will end up in hell, with him. Another thing he does, is play on your intelligence. The more educated you get, the more susceptible you are, to his scheme. When presented with something from the bible, the well educated person will be told, by him, Don't believe those old wives tales. What did you learn in college?? You are too smart to fall for that dumb stuff.?? He, like the martial arts expert, is using your strengths, against you.

He knows all of our weaknesses, which can be categorized in three areas, 'The lust of the eyes. The lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. [1 JN. 2:16]. Everything he does, is geared to these three areas of our lives. That's what he did to Eve [GEN. 3:1-6], and that is what he tried to do the Jesus [MATT. 4: 1-11], and that is what he is using today.

He also uses isolation, and intimidation. He will either try to make you feel, that you are the only one, that is falling for ' this Jesus mess.' Or he will intimidate you, with threats of ridicule or violence. His arsenal is huge. He has been known to turn family, and friends against those that name the name of Christ. He will make you an outcast. It's not unusual for other Christians to come against a person, that truly seeks God's perfect will for their lives. That's right, he's in the Church.

God says, 'My people are destroyed, for a lack of knowledge [HOS. 4:6]. This lack of knowledge, not only concerns the things of God, but also the wiles of the devil. You can't defend yourself against something, that you don't believe exists, or is bound up somewhere, and can't get to you. You will have your guard down, and that's just the way he wants it. The last part of the subject verse, coupled with the first four words, let's us know, that the devil, can't get to everybody. He can only get to you, if you have your guard down. But, God, has given us all of the things we need, to overpower the devil, and they are all wrapped up in the name of Jesus. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds [2 COR. 10:4]. We need to have on the whole armour of God, as recorded in [EPH. 6:10-18]

In closing, who are you a servant to?? To whom do you owe your allegiance?? If you say nobody but yourself, then you are serving the devil by proxy. Since there are only two ways to go, or two masters to serve, then, if you are not serving God, through Jesus Christ, you are serving the devil. Jesus said, 'no man can serve two masters, he will love one, and hate the other, ... [MATT. 6:24]. Choose you this day, who you will serve. As for me, and my house, we will serve the Lord [JESUS CHRIST].