Today, Thursday February 10
“Indeed, the Devil…” Revelation 2:8-10
"And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Today’s chat is the 700th devotional from God’s Word that we have recorded. I was really sad to have to miss yesterday, but I was in the hospital having a heart catheterization. They did find several issues with some blockages which they are going to treat with medications to see if that will resolve some of the chest pains I have been having. I sure appreciate all the prayers of so many friends! I could feel your prayers and still need them as we seek the right course of treatments. Thanks again!
In our last chat we discussed the promises that Jesus made to those who were “overcomers”. Actually in the letter to every church, a specific blessing and promise was made to those believers that by faith in Jesus Christ, were able to overcome the flesh, the world and even the devil.
In the letters to at least four of the churches the devil is mentioned. The devil is a very real person with a very real agenda. There is scarcely a culture, tribe, or society to be found in this world that does not have some concept or fear of an invisible evil power. This has been attested by Christian missionaries and secular anthropologists alike. Witch doctors, shrunken heads, voodoo dolls, and totem poles all give dramatic evidence of this universal fear. One may well ask where this fear came from and of whom are they afraid. The study of the doctrine of Satan may not thrill the soul of man, but we need to be aware of his presence and the tactics he uses to discourage and destroy the church.
Satan is ignored or downplayed in most liberal churches today. These Christ-denying liberals have, of course, long since thrown out such concepts as the "old devil" and the "new birth." They now leave out the d in devil and add an o to God. It's a shame, but most words like hell, damned, and devil are found in the vocabularies of factory workers, politicians, school children, college students, and even professional people. But they are not heard from behind pulpits of liberal churches—where they should be heard. In the fifties, a national secular magazine took a poll of some 5,000 American clergymen and discovered that a full 73 percent ridiculed the concept of a personal devil of any sort. But my friend the devil is a real person and has many helpers to assist him in bringing defeat to the church and the true followers of Jesus Christ.
His existence is declared by the Bible. The devil is mentioned in at least seven Old Testament books—Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Job (12 times), Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. He is to be found in 19 New Testament books and is referred to by every New Testament writer. And he is referred to by our Lord Jesus Christ some 15 times. And he is mentioned in at least four of the letters to these seven churches.
Satan was behind the persecution of the church at Smyrna. “the devil is about to throw some of you into prison…”. Today, the devil is still seeking to throw true believer’s into the prison of fear, into the prison of pride, the prison house of sin and any other prison that will keep us from serving the Lord like we should!
But be encouraged, Jesus overcame the devil and so can we! “….I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:14) “And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)