An Unstable Enemy

Lee Shipp

Satan's strategy had to change as this new kingdom advanced on the earth, and a multitude of kings appeared to do him much harm. Satan had to corrupt the kingdom. He had to take it out of the Spirit and bring it back to forms of religion.

It is the Church Satan seeks to dismantle. Would Satan cause a pandemic to hinder the Church? Yes! Though Satan is not against the religious meeting, he is terrified of the actual manifestation of Jesus through those who live by the Spirit.

History has well documented Satan’s persistent effort to scatter the children of God and break up their corporate life and influence. However, God and his Church prevail and will always win. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18). I am not referring to that institution that calls itself “Church"; instead, I refer to the actual expression of Christ that is demonstrated through the corporate life of his Church. The Church is the habitation of God by the Spirit.

Forms, Rituals and the Angel of Light

To gain his advantage, Satan must hinder the fellowship of that body. He does this by causing individuals to separate themselves due to offenses. Through religious people, Satan will seek to shut up the kingdom of God through forms and rituals. Satan will send his servants into the Church, masquerading themselves as the servants of God.

Do not be surprised, for Satan himself pretends to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). These servants of Satan are religious. They appear very holy. They are abusive. They love to debate and argue the scriptures. They are subversive, undermining the authority that God has established in His body. They would take the believers back to Moses and a life of carnal works to gain God's favor if allowed. They are not Jesus' kings.

Paul fought hard to preserve the believers in his day. The efforts of Satan to corrupt the gospel of grace were relentless. Paul constantly battled these forms and rituals to keep the gospel of grace at the center. This gospel of the kingdom welcomes the Spirit of Christ within the body and produces grace among the people.

Righteousness is in Christ

I remind you, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:17-19, KJV).

The point Paul is making in Romans 14 regards the strain believers were putting on one another to be holy and godly. Satan's messengers constituted holiness by what they could and could not eat. Paul said righteousness is not in food; it is in Christ. Righteousness is not in prohibitions and self-denial; this may make a Pharisee but never a Christian.

Lee Shipp is founding pastor of First New Testament Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has ministered for more than thirty years and is also president of A Call to the Heart.


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