and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|June 1, 2013||
Volume 12 Number 11
The Pulling Down of Strong Holds
The concept of "evil men and seducers" creeping in among us while we are unaware that they have come (see Jude 1:3-4) is very difficult for many of us to believe. It is only when we remember that Satan’s method of operation is called the "wiles of the devil" that we can begin to grasp this concept. Satan is a thief. His objective is to steal us for himself away from Yahshua (Jesus), through whom we have everlasting life. If, however, He is unable to steal us, then he will try to either kill or destroy us:
10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. -John 10
As is common among thieves, Satan, as well as his "ministers" (demons), wears disguises. While Satan poses as an "angel of light," his demons operate through some that appear to be "ministers of righteousness:"
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -2 Corinthians 11
These supposed "ministers of righteousness" are likely to be popular and approved of by many in the world. While appearing to be proclaiming the Word of God, they are lulling us into an undiscerning spiritual sleep. While we are asleep, they use their disguise as workers for Yahweh as a means for planting deceiving "tares" among the wheat:
24 Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. -Matthew 13
As Yahshua explained, the "good seed" are the children of the kingdom of heaven. The "tares," on the other hand, are the children of the "wicked one." They are focused on this world and on the things that the "prince" and "god" of this world, which is Satan, has to offer them:
37 He answered and said to them, He that sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. -Matthew 13
Those among us that do not love the truth, which is the Word of God, fail to be diligent in maintaining the integrity of the "whole armor of God." Consequently, they fall into spiritual sleep and are persuaded by those that appear to be "ministers of righteousness" to believe popular smooth-sounding lies, some of which may even be supported by lying signs and wonders:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. -2 Thessalonians 2
Satan’s "ministers of righteousness" do his work by planting subtle seeds of doubt into the thoughts of new generations of undiscerning minds. The most vulnerable are those that are unable to distinguish between the children of the kingdom of heaven and the children of the kingdom of this world. Consequently, as Paul warned, they naively trust those that, for their own personal gain, come in among them bringing "good words and fair speeches:"
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Yahshua the Messiah, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. -Romans 16
The protection of the "whole armor of God" requires that we diligently pray in the Spirit and watch so that we can detect the operations of the "wiles of the devil" among us:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; -Ephesians 6
When we become too comfortable in our situation, we are also more likely to become lazy in spiritual discernment and more susceptible to being lulled into spiritual sleep. That is when we are most likely to allow others to persuade us to accept things that are contrary to Yahweh’s word. This is what happened to Israel when they "grew fat" and were called "Jeshurun," which means "upright one:"
15 But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked: you have grown fat, you have grown thick, you are covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. -Deuteronomy 32
No longer diligently keeping the Word of God, Israel became vulnerable to the entry of demonic spirits into their lives. They opened the door to them when they worshipped other gods, which were made as the images of idols:
16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. -Deuteronomy 32
Not taking Yahweh and His word seriously, the people of Israel found themselves in direct disobedience to His commandment:
4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I Yahweh your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; -Exodus 20
According to Yahweh’s word, demonstrations of spiritual affection toward images, as in the kissing of calves, is sin:
2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. -Hosea 13
When we are persuaded by Satan’s "ministers of righteousness" to reject Yahweh’s clear instructions, we unwittingly give ground to Satan and allow his demons to gain influence in our lives. Idols offer a means by which those that have rejected the truth of Yahweh’s word have fellowship with the powers of darkness. They provide opportunities for devils (demons) to enter into fellowship with their worshippers:
19 What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything?
20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. -1 Corinthians 10
Yahweh says that our sins, which we commit when we either ignore or reject His word, separate us from Him. Consequently, when we offer prayers to Him as we continue to sin, He says that He will not hear them:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, that he will not hear. -Isaiah 59
How can we claim to walk with Yahweh without agreeing with Him and His word?
3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? -Amos 3
God is Light. Unless we are walking with Him in His truth, then we are walking in darkness:
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: -1 John 1
If we claim to be walking in the Light, then we cannot be yoked together in fellowship with those that are walking in darkness:
14 Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? -2 Corinthians 6
Just as there can be no agreement between the Messiah (Christ) and Belial (another name for Satan), believers cannot be in spiritual fellowship with those that have rejected the Word of God in favor of idol worship:
15 And what concord has the Messiah with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God Yahweh has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. -2 Corinthians 6
Those that walk with Satan are not in fellowship with the Light, but with the "power of darkness." Yahshua sent apostles, such as Paul, to preach the gospel of faith for forgiveness of sins to turn the people of this world from the darkness to the Light:
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. -Acts 26
When we reject Yahweh’s word, we have rejected the Light that guides us into life:
105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -Psalms 119
(To Be Continued)
Come to Understandingis sent out twice per month free of charge. To add someone to our list of readers, please contact us at:
Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies
You may view this and past editions online at:
Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
Ó2013Institute for Biblical and Historical Studies. All rights reserved. You may freely copy this publication, provided you acknowledge its source and inform us of your use.