Ensnared By The Devil

by David J. Stewart
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"In meekness instructing those that OPPOSE THEMSELVES; if God peradventure will give them REPENTANCE TO THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRUTH; And that they may recover themselves out of the SNARE OF THE DEVIL, who are taken captive by him at his will." 2nd Timothy 2:25,26

       What a powerful passage of Scripture!  If there is one word that perfectly describes those who are sifted by Satan, it is the word "snared."  The word "snare" simply means "a trap, a deadly trap."  Jesus plainly told Peter that Satan was desirous to HAVE him, that he may SIFT him.   But Satan couldn't "sift" Simon Peter until he first "had" him.  Those who are ignorant of the Word of God are easily taken in by the Devil.  I can't help but think of all the people in this world who are enslaved, in woeful bondage, to the Devil.  In so many ways, Satan has dominion over the masses.

Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat."  It is clear from Verse 23, Jesus was referring to a future time when Peter would backslide and deny Christ.  What came over Peter?  Fear.  Fear caused Peter to deny Christ and forsake his Lord.  Fear is a dangerous enemy.  Many believers have committed horrible crimes out of fear.  David had slept in adultery with Bathsheba, another man's wife.  Bathsheba became pregnant with David's child.  Her husband Uriah was away, fighting faithfully in battle for his king (David).  In FEAR of facing Uriah, David deliberately sent Uriah into the most dangerous place in the battle where men were guaranteed to be killed.  Uriah was killed (2nd Samuel 11:17).  What a wicked sin!  David had committed a horrible sin.  David had become ENSNARED by the Devil.  One sin often leads to another.  Lust tempted king David to commit adultery, and then fear tempted David to commit murder. 

This is the way sin always works?  It's like a spider's web, the more you try to free yourself from the web designed to hold you, the more entangled you become.  Or in different terms--Once you let Satan get his foot in the door, he'll move in with you.  Another saying is, give the Devil an inch and he'll take a foot, give him a foot and he'll take a yard.  Satan is like a disease that only looks for more healthy tissue in the body to parasite from.  Satan only comes to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).  Thank God, we don't (and shouldn't) be afraid of Satan because "...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1st John 4:4).  For the believer in Christ, Jesus Himself lives within our body in the form of the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 8:9). 

No one "falls" into sin, we "choose" to go into sin.  Peter gave into his fears and denied Christ, but he didn't have to.  David gave into his lusts and commit adultery, then he gave into his fears and commit murder.  Then in denial, David walked in his stiffnecked pride for one year, refusing to acknowledge the horrible sins he had committed.  It wasn't until God Sent Nathan the prophet to indict king David, that David was finally brought face to face with what he had done.  This is so typical of sinful humanity, we run and hide from the truth, we close our ears and refuse to listen to the truth.  I want to make just a few statements concerning our main text Verse in 2nd Timothy 2:25,26...

"In meekness instructing those that OPPOSE THEMSELVES; if God peradventure will give them REPENTANCE TO THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRUTH; And that they may recover themselves out of the SNARE OF THE DEVIL, who are taken captive by him at his will."

  1. Notice the phrase, "those that OPPOSE THEMSELVES."  King David was blocking himself from seeing the truth of what he had done.  David was his own worst enemy.  This is so typical of people today.  So many people are walking in darkness, ensnared by false religion, materialism, worldly philosophies, and the works of Satan.  When you try to speak words of wisdom to them, they laugh and employ wild card excuses like, "You can't believe everything you read" or "people will say anything to sell a book."  They just don't want to hear the truth.  Fortunately for David, he came to his senses and repented of his sins.  Sadly, most people refuse to listen to God's Word.

    I've witnessed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many unsaved people who have the demonic attitude that, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE if you're sincere in your heart towards God.  Folks, that is a damnable lie from Satan himself.  It DOES MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE.  Jesus plainly taught that God can ONLY be worshipped in SPIRIT and in TRUTH (John 4:24).  This means 2 things: 1) You must be born-again, 2) You must follow the Word of God.  Thus, the Catholics cannot worship God because they do NOT follow the Word of God, not have they been born again.  This is why Jesus said in Mark 7:7, "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."  Those who follow church traditions, the Pope, the Lutheran minister, the sacraments, infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, holy communion, speaking in tongues--CANNOT worship God.  Why?  Because they are following heresies not taught in the Word of God.  The Word of God is Truth (John 17:17), and those who want to worship God must worship Him within the guidelines of the Bible.  Jesus is Truth (John 14:6), and those who want to worship God MUST worship Jesus.  Those who refuse to worship Jesus CANNOT worship God because Jesus is Almighty God (John 1:1-3,14; John 10:33; 1st Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 1:8). 

    When Catholics bow to Mary, they are wasting their time.  You CANNOT worship God through Mary.  Mary was a sinner, did not remain a virgin, and certainly had no power over Christ becoming incarnate.  God never asked Mary's permission, she simply obeyed.  Mary wasn't a feminist and thankfully didn't believe in abortion.  Worship God, not Mary (Exodus 20:4-5).  Yet, Catholics arrogantly obey the traditions of men instead of the Bible.  Even the Catholic Duoay Bible contains the truth, but Catholics are not taught to study the Bible.  I heard a priest on TV saying that the only sure way to be safe in all matters of faith and morality was to "listen to the Pope."  No sir!  That is a sure road to Hell.  You had better listen to the Word of God, and not to some imposter who claims to speak for God. 
     
  2. Please notice the phrase, "REPENTANCE TO THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRUTH."  This is true Biblical repentance, NOT the forsaking of one's sins, but the acknowledgement of the Truth.  So many heretics are creeping into the church today teaching that a person must forsake their sins to be saved.  This is a lie.  God offers us eternal life as a FREE GIFT, paid for by Jesus' blood at Calvary.  To add anything voids the gift.  The Word of God clearly teaches that a man becomes a new creature when he is IN CHRIST, not before (2nd Corinthians 5:17).  You don't give up your sins to get saved, you try to live right because you ARE saved.
     
  3. Notice the phrase, "THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL."  God certainly forgave David for his sin when David repented and sought forgiveness, but please notice 2nd Samuel 12:10, "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife."  Though God forgave David, a curse was placed upon David because of his own sin.  Did God curse David?  No, it was the sin that cursed David.  Everywhere David went, he was known as a backstabbing, adulterous pig, a murderer, and scum.  People even threw rocks at David in disgust for his sin, "And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust" -2nd Samuel 16:13.  Hence, God will forgive your sins, but your character and name will be ruined for life here on earth.  I think this would be a very appropriate time to mention Proverb 22:1, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."  Read the rest of David's life and you'll see that his children lost respect for him, the people lost respect for him, some of his friends turned on him, and then he was driven from his own kingdom by his son Absalom.

Have you been ensnared by the Devil?  Are you in opposition to yourself?  Have you been blinded from the truth of God's Word?  This is Satan's work, to blind people (2nd Corinthians 4:4).  Satan appears as Christ, as a light (2nd Corinthians 11:4).  The New Age crowd is continually speaking about the "light," but it is not the Light of Jesus, nor of God's Word.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." -John 8:12

Perhaps you've heard all this talk before.  Perhaps you've heard the term "born-again" umpteen times and think it's all a big joke.  If that's you sir, or mam, the Word of God has a Verse for you in Matthew 6:23, "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"  In other words, if you've heard the Truth of God's Word, but think It's a bunch of lies (darkness), then you are truly in darkness without hope.  If you have heard the Truth of the Gospel, yet don't recognize it as Truth, then there is NO other Truth to give you...you are woefully blinded by Satan!  Romans 1:16 declares that it is the GOSPEL which is the POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION.  There is no other "power" to save you apart from the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.  May God's Spirit break through your hard heart of stone and cause you to REPENT TO THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRUTH...

"In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil...." -2nd Timothy 2:25,26


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