By Buel Hallpike
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Introduction – Born free yet in chains!
Yahweh did not create mankind to be puppets. We were created with a mind and freedom to choose. If He wished, Yahweh could have programmed the first couple to obey Him. Instead He commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die (Genesis 2:16-17). Man exercised his free will by choosing to obey the serpent and to disobey Yahweh. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree. Since then mankind has been obeying the voice of Satan as though they were compelled to do so.
Unlike the account in the Garden of Eden, where Satan was visible, albeit in the form of a serpent, he has become more subtle, by working through the hearts and minds of individuals giving them his choices instead of Yahweh’s. The majority of people yield freely to his enticements, not realising that the enemy is just as real bombarding their minds as he was visibly in the Garden of Eden. They behave as though they are automatons, without a mind of their own and must do as they are programmed to do.
Satan has no power to compel persons to choose his ways, but he succeeds nevertheless as though he had such authority. He succeeds because like Eve in the Garden of Eden, mankind is easily enticed by that which appeases their appetites, promises instant gratification or allows them to nurture some weakness. When Satan gives a nudge that appeals to one’s self interest, the majority of people comply without questioning his suggestions.
The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). Regrettably many persons who claim to be followers of Yahweh are marred by the same satanic influence and Satan is succeeding in breaking their relationship with Yahweh, just as he had done in the case of Adam and Eve.
This article is written because of the writer’s awareness of many believers who are trapped in one way or another by Satan’s trickery. It is intended to open our eyes to the stranglehold Satan has established in our lives, and to mobilise Yahweh’s soldiers for victorious warfare against Satan and his servants in these last days. You may need to re-read this article each time you are overwhelmed by inexplicable forces, which threaten to create a gulf between you and Yahweh. You constantly need to examine your responses to inducements to see if they are of Yahweh or of Satan.
Satan the puppet master
A puppeteer may use any of numerous methods in order to give the impression that his/her inanimate object actually possesses life. The puppet master does not have to be visible, but could manipulate the object from behind the scenes. Whatever method is used, the result is the same: action or speech appears to be coming from the object, when in fact it is the work of the person skilled in puppetry.
This is similar to the strategy, which Satan uses, except that he does it not to entertain, but to increase evil and chaos in the world, which Yahweh created. Satan is cunning. He infiltrates the minds of individuals including persons in governments, churches, groups, organisations, families, marriages – in short everyone who will be submissive to him, and thereby he spreads his fiendish work of rebellion against the Almighty that will ultimately lead many people to eternal damnation. But because he is kept well out of sight, you do not always understand the subtle forces that are at work in or around you, which cause you to react in a manner that displeases Yahweh.
His main attacks are directed at your heart (the centre of your affections, feelings and emotions), and your mind (the headquarters of your thoughts and beliefs) to lead you astray from the guidelines Yahweh has given. Without realising it you may feel, think, believe, say, or do exactly what he has enticed you to. You are liable to accept without question the negative impulses - unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, prejudice, depressing thoughts and feelings, lust, selfishness, envy and erroneous doctrines he transmits to you. In other words, you can unwittingly be Satan’s puppet when you surrender yourself to his leading instead of Yahweh’s.
Because he tempts you with the very things that come naturally to you, you are likely to give in to him as though you were forced to do so. Even though you may afterwards admit your error, you still remain vulnerable to his wily but vicious onslaught. Yielding once makes it easier to yield again and again. You are like a puppet being dangled by an invisible string, until you do something about it.
As we get closer to Yahshua’s return, Satan is intensifying the pace, range and frequency of his pernicious assaults. The Bible tells us that in the last days Satan will be making a last-ditch effort to wreak havoc on the earth. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time (Revelation 12:12).
Daily, you hear and see evidences of his activity all over the world, but you fail to see, think or believe that the same thing is actually happening in or to you. Peter warned us: be vigilant: because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Your puppet master does not announce his entrance he just gives a hint, which may be appealing to you. Each time you entertain his suggestion you have admitted to him that you are his puppet.
Strings attached? /Who is your slave master?
Your initial reaction may be to deny that you are Satan’s puppet. So let us examine this more closely. Are you without a trace of sin in your life? Do you ALWAYS do those things that please [Yahweh]? (John 8:29). When you displease Yahweh by doing or saying whatever comes naturally to you, whom are you obeying?
Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed Yahweh, there has been a predisposition in all of us to give in to certain characteristics that we simplistically regard as being part of our nature or of our personality. But when these are in direct conflict with Yahweh’s word, are we not then behaving like Eve in the Garden of Eden, by allowing Satan to lure us into his paths of unrighteousness?
Let us be more specific. Yahshua does not believe in half-sins. He called hatred in your heart, murder, and lust in your heart, adultery. We could extend this further and call white lies simply lies; or petty thefts, just stealing; or half-truths designed to conceal something, as deception. Now all these are some of the attributes of Satan.
The list of categories of persons who will not be able to enter the holy city includes the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (Revelation 21:8). The fact that cowardly or fearful persons will have their lot with the murderers and sexually immoral, suggest that ALL who have not repented of their sins, regardless of the nature or enormity of their offence, will be in the same category, for sin is sin. This means that the fearful person is as much a stooge of Satan as a murderer, liar, sorcerer or sexually immoral. For when you fear you are putting your circumstances or someone above Yahweh contrary to Yahweh’s commandments (Exodus 20:3-4).
Yahshua said, Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin (John 8:34). Each time you yield to Satan you are his puppet. It is not the temptation that makes us puppets, but rather, yielding to it. Yahshua was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
A slave has a slave master. So who is the sinner’s slave master, but Satan? Peter wrote by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage (2 Peter 2:9). If you are consistently reacting in a predictably offensive or sinful manner to certain stimuli, or harbouring feelings of bitterness or of malice, it is because you have become a puppet of Satan, and are doing what he suggests. Satan is no respecter of persons. It is a Biblical fact that as the descendants of Adam and Eve, we all have a sinful nature. The more we submit to Yahweh, the less will be our tendency to sin, but nevertheless, some elements of sin remain in each of us. The apostle Paul put it so aptly for all of us when he wrote, I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice (Romans 7:18-19). When we are unable to do the things we know we ought and instead yield to what we should not, it is because Satan, who is our puppet master, has bound us by invisible puppet strings to himself.
Yahshua said to those who thought they were children of Yahweh, You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44).
When you feel that you must retaliate in kind to an offensive word or action, is that Yahweh’s spirit or the devil’s? Yahshua said blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). So whose puppet are you when you try to get even with your offender? When you have an uncontrollably bad attitude towards others, are you being a child of Yahweh or of Satan? When you compulsively spread rumours about others (gossip), who is enticing you to do that? When you instinctively assume the worst in others and judge them wrongfully, who is motivating you, Yahweh or Satan? When your doctrines are inconsistent with Yahweh’s instructions, whose commands are you obeying, Yahweh’s or Satan’s? When you manifest an unforgiving spirit, are you then acting according to Yahshua’s teaching or to Satan’s enticements? When you feel it necessary to always have your own way without regard for others, are you demonstrating Yahweh’s love or Satan’s arrogance, self-centredness, hatred and pride? When you covet that which belongs to another is that Yahweh or Satan inspired? When you yield to unrighteous passions in order to satisfy the lust of the flesh, are you doing this to please Yahweh or to please your satanic nature? When you seem to be growing cold towards Yahweh and others, are you then fulfilling the first and second commandments to love Yahweh and your fellowmen? Or are you obeying Satan? Always remember this verse: by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage (2 Peter 2:9).
The Bible in many places has told us the things that Yahweh hates. He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence (Psalm 101:7).
These six things [Yahweh] hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Here are some more Biblical examples of evil (Satanic traits) that will not be in the new heaven and the new earth:
“Evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness (Mark 7:21-22); cheating, idolatry, homosexuality, sodomy (1 Corinthians 6:8,9); uncleanness, lewdness, … sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, … drunkenness, revelries (Galatians 5:19-21).
Before you think you are not guilty of any of these sins, bear in mind that according to Yahshua’s teaching in Matthew 7:21-22, 27-28, nurturing an evil thought is indistinguishable from committing the act.
Using the Bible you can determine whether or not you are a puppet of Satan. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. In this the children of [Yahweh] and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of [Yahweh], nor is he who does not love his brother (1 John 3:8,10).
Paul expressed to Timothy the hope that those who oppose the truth may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). In other words such persons are puppets of Satan.
If a sick person does not admit to being ill, it is unlikely that such an individual would be able to obtain a cure for his/her illness. There are many instances, when patients have refused to take medication because they reject a prognosis of their malady. When it comes to spiritual disorder, we need first of all to know that something is wrong, when compared to the standards set by the Bible. As with a physical illness, we should see if we could rectify the problem. When we realise that we are unable to wrench ourselves free from Satan’s grip in a particular instance, then it is time to earnestly seek the help of our Spiritual Physician for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
It is essential that we all begin to understand and admit that there are areas in our lives where the enemy has been working in the background of our hearts and minds, pulling strings to get us to be more like him, even while we assuage our consciences by singing songs such as ‘O to be like thee Blessed Redeemer’. It is time to remove the façade and face up to the satanic strings Satan has attached that prevent us from being more like our ‘Blessed Redeemer’. Until we do, Satan will continue to operate in our lives, defeating us with monotonous regularity.
Your real enemy
No military general would go to battle without knowing who were his enemies. And neither would he be confident of success in warfare if he underestimated the strength and disregarded the strategies of his foes. You will not gain spiritual victory in your life if you do not know your real enemy. If you think it is the person who annoys or distresses you, and you focused your revenge on that individual, your firepower would have been misdirected. You would be simply adding fuel to an already inflamed situation and playing even more into the hands of Satan. The irritating person is most likely a puppet of Satan. When you become irritated and respond negatively towards that individual, you have also become a puppet of Satan, and you are merely carrying out the wishes of the devil and his demons, just like your offender.
You may not be able to snap the satanic puppet strings in others, but you can most certainly break and destroy the ropes with which Satan is holding you. Why do you look at the [satanic] speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the [satanic] plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3).
Our real enemy is not humans, things, or circumstances. If you disagree, then try fighting a puppet that says or does things you dislike! Let this thought be constantly with you: we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere (Ephesians 6:12 The Amplified Bible). The unseen enemy is far more dangerous than the visible one. Attacking your human opponents will not bring you spiritual success. On the contrary it is more likely to fester feelings of animosity, which the Bible repeatedly condemns. Do not be deluded. Each time you carry out Satan’s commands, instead of Yahweh’s, you have become a slave of Satan. Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).
Like a skilled puppeteer, Satan knows which strings to pull to get you to respond in the way he chooses. Have you ever noticed, the frequency with which you are being irritated by similar remarks that get you responding in the same old way with the same old unrighteous attitude? Has it occurred to you that you automatically yield to certain inducements to say or do things that displease Yahweh? It is time to break the satanic cycle. Satan cannot compel you to react in a certain way. Nevertheless your responses to certain wrong stimuli have been reliably spontaneous over many years. Satan knows your weaknesses and gets delight from playing upon them. You have become his slave without even knowing it.
You may be blaming your responses on tiredness, personality, physical ill health, environment, stress or any of a host of factors while to Satan’s glee, you ignore the real culprit. When you know that Satan is using your adverse circumstances to achieve his evil intent, you are able to cry out to Yahweh for help and He will come to your rescue. At the times of your weaknesses you can become strong. Difficult situations are not opportunities to succumb to the enemy, but to gain victory over him. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for [the Messiah’s] sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
You are not playing games with Satan. You are at war with him. Do not allow Satan to entertain himself by playing with your puppet strings even at your lowest moments. Just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness (Romans 6:19). In other words, CUT THE STRINGS!
Examples of Satan’s purposes and activities
Satan’s purpose is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). He demonstrated his intentions quite clearly in the trials of Job and in his temptation of Eve. In both cases he wanted to rob his subjects of their relationship with Yahweh, so as to bring about their ultimate eternal separation from their Creator. In the case of Eve, Satan succeeded. Sin created a gulf between Yahweh and man.
In Job’s case, Satan said to Yahweh, “Does Job fear [Yahweh] for nothing? … But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" (Job 1:9,11). Satan wrongly assumed that if Job had lost all he had, Job would no longer fear Yahweh. Satan attacked everything Job had, but failed to get the desired response from Job. Instead Job said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. [Yahweh] gave, and [Yahweh] has taken away; Blessed be the name of [Yahweh]. In all this Job did not sin nor charge [Yahweh] with wrong (Job 1:21-22).
Having thus lost his first round, Satan tried once again. This time he said to Yahweh, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face! (Job 2:4-5). So Satan went out and caused Job much physical and emotional distress. Even Job’s wife became an agent of Satan when she said to her husband, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse [Yahweh] and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from [Yahweh], and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:9-10).
Bear in mind that Job did not see Satan or know that Satan had been the driving force behind all Job had been experiencing. Satan as a spirit being was hidden from view, while he was actively scheming to break Job’s relationship with Yahweh.
As Job’s trials and temptations intensified, he said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). Although Job was shattered by the continued severe life-threatening tests, yet his resolve to trust Yahweh remained firm.
In spite of the scathing criticisms of his so-called friends Job said, "I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see [Yahweh]" (Job 19:25-26). Job’s faith in Yahweh went beyond this life. Although his life was the source of misery, which he hoped would soon come to an end, nevertheless, his eyes were set on the eternal goal. No suffering in this life could cause him to deviate from meeting his Redeemer. He could have easily yielded to the satanic bombardment and turned his back on Yahweh. He did not. This is proof if we needed any that no one has to give in to Satan’s suggestions. The trial of Job is an indication of how far Satan would go in order to wreck one’s loyalty to Yahweh.
Except we are very careful, the satanic nature, which we inherited from Adam, will always take precedence over our allegiance to Yahweh when we are tested. Each time we give in to our satanic nature we are in effect demonstrating our loyalty to Satan, just as Eve did. It happens every day to many believers. Beware!
After Satan infected the hearts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the evil in their hearts began to sprout. Their son Cain murdered his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8). A later descendent, Lamech murdered a young man (Genesis 4:23). But that was only the beginning of an avalanche of evil that would fill the pages of the Old Testament history and permeate every crevice of human existence as long as time would last.
In Noah’s day, [Yahweh] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Even after Yahweh destroyed the world by flood, mankind still continued to do evil. This is demonstrated in the attempt to build the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-8), and the abominations in Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-25). Later on Yahweh miraculously delivered His people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 13 and 14), yet they turned to idolatry (Exodus 32), and were disobedient while they wandered in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:5).
Because of sin, the united nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms (1 Kings 11:29-36; 12:1-20 and 2 Chronicles 10) and they rejected the word of Yahweh’s prophets. As a result they were taken into captivity (numerous chapters in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah and Nahum).
Jeremiah explained the true state of man’s heart, when he wrote, the heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Thus fallen man has acquired the basic characteristics of Satan, yet many persons do not understand this because, duped by Satan, they call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20. But this depravity of mankind could not satisfy Satan’s inexhaustible capacity for evil. He tried to penetrate even the sinless heart of Yahweh’s Son when he tempted Him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He entered the heart of Yahshua’s disciple, Judas (John 13:2); and wanted to sift Peter as wheat (Luke 22:31).
Horrendous acts of brutality are being performed daily by nations, terrorists and individuals whose sinful hearts are being led by Satan the archfiend and chief murderer.
Doctrines of those who desire to worship Yahweh in spirit and in truth (John 4:24) are often contaminated with spurious unbiblical beliefs that have come out of paganism and mystical religions, including Roman Catholicism. Like Eve in the Garden of Eden, many accept Satan’s twisted version of truth in preference to what the Bible explicitly says, or prefer to ignore the unmistakable words of Yahshua and Yahweh in favour of the misunderstood and seemingly more appealing words of Paul. Satan has so distorted the minds of genuine believers that they believe obedience of Yahweh is obsolete and willingly uphold teachings that promote an effortless discipleship. Satan is the originator of damnable doctrines that are in direct contradiction to the words of Yahweh and Yahshua. If you accept false teachings you are a puppet of Satan.
In these last days, Satan’s efforts are redoubled. The abominations of the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are revived now on a much larger scale and have reached epidemic proportions globally. Developed countries are spearheading same-sex marriages with an uncanny fervour under the guise of human rights. At home they force their immoral policies upon Bible-observing citizens. Abroad they use their superior financial strengths to browbeat Third World countries into accepting their demonic program. Yes, and all who desire to live [righteously] in [Yahshua the Messiah] will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Fooled by Satan, those governments are incapable of learning the lessons of Sodom and Gomorrah. The pilgrim pathway is becoming more and more difficult.
This same satanic spirit has driven governments to enact laws and pass judgements that violate other Biblical principles. Parental control of children is fast being outmoded and teenage privacy is more important than parental responsibility. Those who should be establishing firm foundations for our nations’ future are tearing down important social and religious structures that in the past had provided stability.
These things are unstoppable except by divine intervention, for Satan is intensifying his efforts to beguile an unsuspecting and sedated world. Yahshua forewarned us that because lawlessness [sin] will abound, the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). We are witnessing mercilessness even in places that should be taking care of the sick and elderly. Satan is showing up everywhere! Do not be part of the mad and maddening crowd.
We are in the last days when according to the Bible, perilous times would come. For under the leadership of Satan, men [have become] lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of [Yahweh], having a form of [piety] but denying its power… of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:2-7). Times can only get worse until Yahshua returns. Evil men and impostors [are growing] worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13). Depraved mankind has gone too far to voluntarily turn back. You will not be able to cope if you are subservient to the same demon spirit that is at work in the world.
You are not untouchable
Paul gives this solemn caution to all believers: let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). Since Satan dared to tempt Yahshua, he will not ignore you. Many well-known preachers and evangelists who had successful and effective ministries have been disgraced because they did not resist the enemy, and perpetrated acts that are commonplace among sinners. Theft of church funds, homosexuality, female and male prostitution, income tax and other fraudulence, sex trafficking, fighting in public places, pornography, infidelity, child abuse and rape are among serious wrongdoings committed by practising religious ministers.
Their temptations are not unique. Paul describes them as such as is common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). They are poignant reminders of man’s inherent weaknesses, and that we all fall short of the glory of [Yahweh] (Romans 3:23).
But it is not only the misdemeanours that hit the headlines, which demonstrate the influence that Satan wields even among believers. Any transgressions against the instructions in the Bible even though concealed are satanic. The Bible gives us many warnings in order that we can avoid the snares of the enemy and none of us should think that these admonitions do not apply to us. Proverbs warns us that Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Peter said to Yahshua, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble” (Matthew 26:33). That same night he denied that he knew Yahshua. You may not regard yourself as being a servant of Satan, but you are nevertheless, if you harbour some of his thoughts and practise his attitudes.
Equally damaging to over confident believers are Satan’s sedating doctrines. One example is the belief of ‘eternal security’ or ‘once saved always saved’, which imply that regardless of what you may do, you will
go to heaven make it into the holy city. (Please read our article ‘Eternal security’). All beliefs that are unsupported in Scripture are based on Satan’s twisted versions. Therefore if you uphold them you are committing the same error as Eve in the Garden of Eden. Another example of Satan’s concocted and contorted theology is the popular theory that we do not need to keep Yahweh’s commandments, since ‘grace’ has displaced Yahweh’s laws (please read our article 'Be not deceived! Part 2 The ‘Grace’ Deception'). A serious and prayerful study of Yahweh’s truths is the best way to overcome the truth-coated lies, which Satan feeds to unsuspecting ‘believers’. Please read our articles ‘In Search of Truth’ and ‘Be not deceived! Part 4 Final – Choose truth’
You are not outside of Satan’s radar, simply because you repented, were baptised in water, claim to be filled by the Holy Spirit and play an important role in your assembly or are highly respected in religious circles. Credentials are useless for gaining entry into Yahweh’s kingdom. Paul wrote, I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
You cannot be too careful to enter eternal life, but you can be too careless or confident and end up where you had not expected to be. The safest way is to be humble - staying on guard at all times against Satan and being completely yielded to and guided by Yahweh’s Holy Spirit.
Beware of deceptions
Delusion among worshippers is nothing new. It began with Satan tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden and gained greater prominence by the flirtations of the children of Israel with paganism throughout Old Testament times. In the New Testament we have prophetic references to it as well as a commentary of what was happening in those times.
‘Deception’ is Satan’s trademark. He is the originator and propagator of all that is false. Yahshua warned his disciples that deception would increase (Matthew 24:4-5, 11). John the apostle wrote many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess [Yahshua the Messiah] as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Messiah (2 John 7).
Paul wrote about false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of [the Messiah]. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Jude wrote that certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, [sinful] men, who turn the grace of our [Elohim] into lewdness and deny the only [Elohim] and our [Saviour Yahshua the Messiah] (Jude 4).
The Satanic deception that began in the Garden of Eden and continued in the days of the disciples gained great prominence through the work of the Roman Catholic Church, which claims to have a direct line with one of the apostles (Peter), but is nevertheless rigged with many unbiblical beliefs and practises, some of which are rooted in paganism. That church’s zeal was initially fed by the financial and legal support of the Emperor Constantine.
Protestantism is the product of the Reformation in the 16th century, which was a religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that sought to correct certain beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. It was not a root and branch attempt to be rid of all false teachings from their parent church, or to adhere to all the teachings of the Bible. So some practices of their former church continued. This blending of truth and false teachings has continued to this day. Breakaway assemblies usually preserve without questioning, some teachings they believe to be true, simply because they had been handed down to them in some previous assemblies.
Thus the heresies that were apparent in Jude’s day germinated then grew into a large tree that bore fruits containing seeds of errors from which more error-filled fruit-bearing trees were produced. The progression continued ad infinitum and today we have thousands of different denominations that have developed through processes of syncretism. They are not of the original pure seed that Yahshua sowed. Yes the enemy the Devil has sown and will continue to sow false seeds (Matthew 13:39). He is actively bombarding persons with false doctrines. No one is beyond his reach. False doctrines will be with us until Yahshua comes.
Yahshua warned us, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15).
Observe that the wolves will have the outer appearances of sheep.
Indeed some wolves may not even know they are deceivers because they themselves have been so fully deceived by the master of all deception, who is Satan.
Satan is at work in all religions of the world. In spite of their seemingly righteous front many of their adherents disobey the word of Yahweh just the same. His influence is as evident in sections of Christianity that believe Yahweh’s laws are obsolete, as is also the case in false religions that do not use the Bible as the basis for their beliefs. Please read our article ‘Be not Deceived! Part 1 Truth overcomes deception’.
The false religion of Islam is spreading its cancerous roots worldwide and to their delight most governments, as puppets of Satan are asleep to the threat they pose. This political-religious system that is in direct opposition to Biblical teachings will stop at nothing to fulfil its ingrained aim of world dominance, and they are being freely given the platform on which to do so. In spite of the repeated acts of violence being perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Allah, most western governments believe the Muslim lie that Islam is a peaceful religion. How duped have mankind become! One day this monster will show to the world its long-held intentions, but it will be too late. Do not be misled by the puppets of Satan!
As if Islam were not sufficient of a threat, a potent mixture of Islam with Christianity has emerged called 'Chrislam'. This diabolical alliance is spreading from the place of its birth in Nigeria and is gaining acceptance by a number of churches in the USA. Over fifty churches in the USA have agreed to sponsor Chrislam services. Chrislam waters down the plain Biblical truths. They are happy to share united services with Muslims; refer to the Almighty either as ‘God’ or Allah; see no problem in regarding
Jesus Yahshua as a prophet just like Mohammed; or reading alternately from the Quran or the Bible. Two faiths that are poles apart and are opposed to each other in doctrines are coming together to form a new religion of compromise that certainly does not honour Yahweh or His Son. In this way, Satan is trying to make Islam more acceptable to Christians. This is scripturally unsound and satanic. Paul told the Corinthians, Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The stage is set for the emergence of Satan’s greatest puppet and deceiver, the counterfeit Messiah, called the Anti-Messiah, who will have the full support of world governments and religions. Satan has infiltrated strategic positions worldwide so that he can extend his influence in every crevice of our society and carry out his final assault on a gullible and unrighteous world.
Do not be Satan’s puppet. Stand up for the truth!
You can and must defeat Satan in YOUR life
Because of the emphasis we have placed so far in this article on the power of Satan as a puppeteer, you may think that defeat at the hands of Satan is inevitable. We have had to highlight the tremendous unseen force of evil that has been operating in the world since the fall of Adam and Eve, and is now very active in the lives of most persons. For it is essential to be fully aware of your enemy. Turning your back on your foe and treating him as though he is not and cannot possibly be in your life is a dangerous strategy that plays straight into his hands. But when you become conscious of the ways in which he has been operating in your life, you are then able to recognise him at an early stage and to take up your stand against him. You do not have to be Satan’s puppet in whatever guise he may come.
Each day you are continually bombarded with occasions to think, speak or act negatively. As you begin to understand that it is Satan who is feeding you with these thoughts, you will realise you must make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its [satanic] lusts (Romans 13:14). You will be better able to appreciate and apply James’ advice to resist the devil (James 4:7). You will become more vigilant; because [you know that] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
But vigilance alone is not enough. You cannot fight the devil by merely recognising when he is attacking you. James did not only tell us to resist the devil. He also told us to submit to Yahweh (James 4:7a). Like young chickens fleeing to the wings and safety of their mother hen when danger threatens, so you must run to Yahweh each time you see the enemy trying to gain a foothold. When you are tempted to say the wrong word, show the wrong attitude or do the wrong thing, cry out to Yahweh for help. Whatever words you may choose to call upon Yahweh, make sure they are a heartfelt cry of desperation, as you genuinely want to escape the grip of Satan. You must instantly recognise and hate the inherent danger that is loaded in his unholy suggestions and fly to Yahweh for refuge. [Yahweh] is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Use your free will to glorify Yahweh and not Satan.
The enemy seeks to oppress and wear down the saints of Yahweh. Daniel tells us that one of Satan’s agents shall wear out the saints of the most High (Daniel 7:25 KJV). This means that troubles in one form or another will come to you thick and fast, causing you to feel helpless, hopeless, overwhelmed and even defeated. That is because Satan is exerting greater effort to wear down and wear out Yahweh’s people, so that if possible we will all end on the dump heap to which he is heading.
We are told that the day of Yahshua’s return will not come unless the falling away comes first (2 Thessalonians 2:3). One possible cause of the falling away is likely to be the great Tribulation, which Yahshua said would be so severe that unless [Yahweh] had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days (Mark 13:20).
Satan will overload and distract you with things that have no eternal value so that you will lose your focus, forfeit your eternal life, or fail to carry out Yahshua’s commission. Do not yield to him. Stay focused and run with endurance the race that is set before [you] (Hebrews 12:1).
The enemy will always be on the attack for he wants you to be defeated. When you think you have gained victory in one area, he will try another. That is his job. Our job is to resist him and to see him off every time he comes for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). You do not have to give in to Satan. Instead submit to [Yahweh]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Do not allow Satan to break your resistance. He is already defeated, so you do not have to buckle under his pressures.
He will cause you to think you have no choice but to do what he is suggesting. He is a liar. Yahweh will always be at your rescue when you cry to Him in your distress (Psalm 18:6). When it seems that you are overwhelmed you must go to the Rock (Psalm 61:2). Psalm 105:4 tells us to Seek [Yahweh] and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
Yahweh told the house of Israel “Seek Me and live” (Amos 5:4). If Eve had sought Yahweh when she was tempted, the history of mankind would have been quite different. We are no match for the enemy. We need to dwell constantly in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1) if we are to be delivered from the snare of the fowler (Psalm 91:3).
Yahweh continually tells us to “be strong” and to “fear not”. Why? Because He wants us to be victorious! When you give in to fear, you are not trusting Yahweh. It is as if Yahweh has become redundant! If instead you would have confidence in Yahweh, who is your refuge and fortress (Psalm 91:2), you could be strong even in adversity.
When you feel you are being pulled in all directions by overwhelming pressures, it then becomes a spiritual conflict. For you can either give in to frustration, feeling helpless and depressed because you cannot cope (as Satan’s puppets think), or you can defy such feelings and think instead Yahweh is on my side; I will not fear (Psalm 118:6). How you react under difficult circumstances is the test of whose puppet you really are.
You must not only recognise that Satan wants you to fear, but at times of greatest trials you must also draw upon the spiritual resources you have had in your arsenal, which are seldom if ever used.
Not even the imminence of death must cause you to fear. David said Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me (Psalm 23:4). You will reinforce your confidence in Yahweh who is [your] refuge and strength, [and] a very present help in trouble. Therefore [you] will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling (Psalm 46:1-3).
When you have this firm and constant trust in Yahweh, you will not be shaken by whatever the enemy throws at you. Therefore you will not react with fear, frustration or depression, as Satan wants you to do.
But this will take practise. In the everyday occurrences that Satan uses to get you to carry out his fiendish wishes, you can now affirm that you will not respond in Satan’s manner but in the way that is pleasing to Yahweh. With Yahweh at the centre of your thoughts, you will be determined not to give in to the adversary whatever happens. By overcoming Satan in everyday temptations and trials, you will be preparing yourself for the more difficult situations that will eventually come to you. If you cannot stand the daily heat, you will not survive when the furnace is heated seven times more than is usual. Brethren, difficult days are surely coming, and you must be accustomed to using your ammunition before the need to do so is desperately urgent. Practise an unruffled trust in and allegiance to Yahweh in readiness for the days that lie ahead, then you will not be responding to any personal disasters in the way that Satan desires of you.
Yahshua conquered Satan in temptation, and so can you. Whereas Eve did not recognise Satan and succumbed to his crafty temptation, Yahshua on the other hand knew him and rebuffed each of Satan’s attacks. Yahshua stood His ground because he knew the truth and what He should do. He passed all tests thrown at Him in His earthly life, and promised us that in spite of whatever we may face, we should be of good cheer, because [He has] overcome the world (John 16:33).
We desperately need to acquire this strength of confidence especially in these last days, when evil men and impostors [are growing] worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). The time to begin to practise is NOW. Like Nebuchadnezzar of old, Satan is increasing the heat of the furnace beyond anything you had experienced before. You will need to be able to demonstrate a fearless determination to defy his threats and power.
Get into the habit of daily practising an unyielding spirit of revulsion to ANYTHING Satan may suggest to you. You cannot afford to let him gain a toe in your life, for he will soon take up residence and overpower you. Be always ready to declare war on Satan.
Whenever and in whatever form Satan may come to you, say to him in words borrowed from the Hebrew boys, “let it be known to you, O [Satan], that [I] do not serve [you] (Daniel 3:18), and will not obey whatever you say”. Stand your ground every minute of each day. With practise and in time you will cut the strings with which he had bound you, and like the Hebrew boys you will be unscathed, because Yahweh will be with you.
The Hebrew boys stood their ground because they knew Yahweh’s word that said, You shall have no other [elohim] before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved 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; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, [Yahweh] your [Elohim], am a jealous [Elohim] (Exodus 20:3-5).
You also need to know and to be able to stand, upon the word of Yahweh. Yahweh’s word is NON-NEGOTIABLE! Be as inflexible when it comes to applying the word, as you ought to be in resisting the enemy. The two go hand in hand. That was the Hebrew boys’ and Yahshua’s strategy, and you will need this if you will escape the overpowering grip of Satan. Take up a determined stand for Yahweh against Satan. Tell Satan you are no longer his puppet, and then act it out each time you are tempted to yield to his suggestions. Let the demons of hell know that you belong to Yahweh and that you will not be their servant any longer. Mean it, and stick rigidly to it making no room for the adversary, in spite of the trials and temptations you may face.
Because your allegiance to Satan had become deep-seated over many years, your next encounter with him will not defeat him once and for all, for he wants to maintain his grip in your life. He will keep coming back, but with practice you will learn to recognise his ploys at an earlier stage. Each victory you gain WILL make you stronger and more prepared for the next encounter.
The world is saturated with persons at all levels of our society who are puppets of Satan. Sadly, even the majority of believers have fallen victim to Satan’s seduction. We cannot change the world but with Yahweh’s help, we do not have to be Satan’s instruments of unrighteousness.
If a puppet could somehow suddenly gain life and thought, the puppeteer would immediately lose his/her power over it. Believers need to awaken from their Satan-induced slumber and become alert to every sly entry by Satan into their hearts. Satan is constantly seeking to gain a foothold into each of us. Except we resist each temptation he places in our path, we will be his puppets. We have a choice. We are not Satan’s robots. James told us to Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Paul advised us not to give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). You cannot nurse your evil inclinations and resist the enemy at the same time. There must be a clear line drawn. On one side are the things that please Yahweh and on the other side, the things that please Satan. There is no room for compromise or blurring of the edges.
You must get into the habit of acting contrary to Satan. Begin to recognise whose spirit you are manifesting by the things you say or do. As a child of Yahweh, you must stop yielding to Satan’s subtle prodding for you to give in to your fleshly desires, expressions and attitudes. It is time you moved on to higher ground into victorious living that deliberately focuses on displeasing Satan and pleasing Yahweh. Satan will still be vigilant to trap you into his ways, but you must be even more determined to show your contempt of him by refusing to yield to ANY of his suggestions. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24). YOU must choose whom you will serve, and never deviate when your choice is Yahweh.
If you are a part-time follower of Yahshua and of Satan, then you are in fact simply a servant of Satan. You need to deal with your inconsistencies IMMEDIATELY by crying to Yahweh for help and for His forgiveness. Otherwise you are heading for Satan’s final abode in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). Yahshua said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? … Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" (Matthew 7:16,19).
It is possible to be freed from the hang-ups, suspicions and evil traits that have dogged believers for too long, when we realise that we are doing favours to Satan and displeasing Yahweh. It is a straightforward choice we must all make each moment of every day throughout the rest of our lives, to choose good (Yahweh) and not evil (Satan). This means that you must stop speaking or acting in your old unrighteous manner and instead begin to respond in the way that will please Yahweh. Say and mean it like Joshua “[I] WILL SERVE [YAHWEH]” (Joshua 24:15).
You do not have to be defeated when Satan suggests how you should react in certain circumstances. You have the power and obligation to disobey him, for the war has been already won. The Son of [Yahweh] was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36). BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO RESIST THE DEVIL. Resisting Satan demands the same vigilance as is required in order to eliminate weeds from our gardens. Every time the adversary appears, get rid of him! At the same time keep on building a closer relationship with Yahweh and Yahshua by prayer, meditating on and obeying the word.
It is easy to condemn the activities of Satan in the world. It is more difficult to turn the spotlight to our own hearts and expose and eradicate EVERY inclination to be like Satan. The satanic puppet strings in you must be totally severed so that you can be completely and solely yielded to Yahshua and become a light that shines in the darkness. Begin NOW by making and carrying out the resolution that whatever happens you will not be Satan’s puppet again!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in [Yahweh] and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of [Yahweh], that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).
"Our beliefs must fit in with the Scriptures especially when the Scriptures do not support our beliefs". Buel Hallpike
© Buel Hallpike 8 June 2014