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The Beginning


The End of All Things

Part 10


The Bottomless Pit


       With only a small ray of light it is easily seen that the great red dragon, Satan, the devil, that ancient serpent, is not the story book creature most of us believed him to be in times past. The light of Christ has pierced our minds, and for the most part, we see that this infamous foe is none other than the religious spirit that has blinded the masses by masquerading as an angel of light, whether on the individual basis or corporately. This enemy has gained such authority, power, and prestige that it seems impossible to oppose; but the grassroots of Christ Jesus have taken it to task. In doing so, their personal dragons have been bound with unbreakable chains of truth by these forerunners of the Kingdom of God. They have the word of God, a message from on high, the angel from heaven, if you please, and by this they have chained and cast that spirit of lies and accusations into the bottomless pit. This angel, the anointed message, the living word of truth, has rendered the accusers of the brethren completely idle, leaving them with no foundation to stand on. The light of truth always gains victory over dark accusations and lies. Of course, this individual victory does not stop the dragon from spreading its religious facade over the world and accusing those who are ascending to the throne of God. But personal battles for many are over. That war has been won!

However, until it is overcome and chained throughout the world, this spirit will continue to reign supreme over every level of life, whether it is the one in every person, the one in our friends, relatives, and local church, or it is the one ruling in all the religious systems of the world. And the higher one rises to the throne of truth, the greater the opposition and accusations will be. It is little wonder that Job was so accused by his friends; for although being unaware of it, he was ascending to the throne of God to where he could see Him with seeing of the eye and not just hearing about Him by the hearing of the ear. "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Job 42:5.

The Thorn

We see this spirit first as the serpent in the field of our carnal minds and finally as a flying dragon in the heavens all over the world, and everyone of these operations is a thorn in the flesh of the saints of God.

These thorns are very much like the one that afflicted Paul so much of the time. Many have thought that his thorn was either lustful temptations, a physical handicap, or a problem with his eyesight. There is a verse or two that gender such speculations, but they are not sufficient for sound teaching. However, when we note the scriptures that actually have to do with thorns, and are made aware of their context, we will see what they represent.

The Greek word for thorn in 2 Corinthians 12:7 is skolops and was also used by the translators of the Septuagint to describe [1] the enemies of God's people, which is very typical of Satan's calling, and it is not one that is an election sure. This infamous calling is on the dark side and can be seen with the synagogue of Satan; namely, the Pharisees and Sadducees. Collectively, this is the thorn that buffeted and afflicted Paul. "...There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure" 2 Cor. 12:7. I do not recall any place in the Bible where the lust of the flesh, a physical handicap, or disease is called a messenger. A messenger is someone with a word, and those opposing Paul opposed him by words of slander. They had a message and they delivered it very well. Satan by definition, of course, is someone who is adverse, who is an opponent, and who attacks; and was it not the Jewish leaders who opposed Paul, attacking him with adverse words for the purpose of destroying his influence upon the people which would bring them back to circumcision and the law? This in turn would separate them from God by taking the place of Jesus Christ. This would be instead of Christ, antichrist, if you please.

It was not possible for them to serve two masters. It was either Life or the law. If both were taken into their bosom, death would have been their fruit; for there is no fellowship between the two. Legalism and Life have nothing in common and cannot flow from the same spring.

Let us note a couple of verses from Paul, a man who was very well acquainted with the thorn of his flesh, and see how those in Christ differ from the spirit of religion that rules over people (Italicized parentheses supplied for emphasis):

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive (as the Pharisees and Sadducees); but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose; if God peradventure will give them repentance (change of mind from the legalism of the Pharisees and Sadducees) to the acknowledging of the truth (who is Jesus Christ) and they may recover them out of the snare of the devil (the Pharisees and Sadducees)." 2 Tim. 2:24-26.

Each of the apostles suffered to one degree or another at the hands of the religious leaders, and John commended the overcomers while warning the ones in danger who were ignorant of the wiles of the devil. He said:

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: (the Pharisees and Sadducees): because greater is He (Jesus Christ) that is in you, than he (the children of the devil, the corporate body of the Pharisees and Sadducees) that is in (and of) the world." 1 John 4:4. And "8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning (when he tempted Eve to be as God, but without God). For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (is not missing the mark); for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God (our self-righteousness is as filthy rags), neither he that loveth not his brother (self-righteousness will feign love) ." 1 John 3:8-10.-"20But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye [2] know all things (you know by the Spirit, by that which is living and true). 21I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth (regardless of the accuracy of the letter). 22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son (to impose religious practices takes the place of Both and is a declaration that they deny the Father and the Son) ." 1 John 2:20 -22.

Everything we have cited has the marks of the old religious serpent that masquerades as and angel of light, and few can hardly believe that such a ruse could have possibly gone on for so long. When the light of truth does come, many will defend the lie to the death, others will be furious and allow their anger to consume them while turning from God completely. Others, however, praise God for the truth that sets them free and ascend to the His throne of grace.

There was another religious order that was a thorn to Paul and the others. They were called Judaizers, and they could easily be numbered among the synagogue of Satan, especially prior to 70 A.D..

To understand more about Judaizers, and to see more clearly how they are relate to the synagogue of Satan, we will quote from an online encyclopedia called the [3]Wikipedia:

"Judaizers is a term used by Pauline Christianity, particularly after the third century, to describe Jewish Christian groups like the Ebionites and Nazarenes who believed that followers of Jesus needed to keep the Law of Moses. These groups taught that gentile followers of Jesus needed to become Jewish proselytes and observe the various requirements of Judaism, most importantly circumcision, or at least that the Jewish followers of Jesus needed to do so with Noahide Law decreed for gentiles....

"Paul also addressed this question in his Epistle to the Galatians in which he condemned those who insisted that Jewish law had to be followed as 'false brothers' (Galatians 2:4)....

"The influence of the Judaizers in the church diminished significantly after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Jewish-Christian community at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans during the Great Jewish Revolt. However, Christian groups following Jewish practices did not vanish immediately; though most had been suppressed as heretical by the 5th century, in some (particularly Coptic) churches, Old Testament practices have survived to this day, including circumcision, and in the Ethiopian Orthodox church, dietary laws and Saturday Sabbath as well." -- End quote.

You see, not only were the Pharisees and Sadducees holding people under bondage to the law, so were the Judaizers. They were all of the Synagogue of Satan. They opposed truth and life which separated the people from God as it drew them into the bondage of religion's prison.

Hopefully, we can see that the works of the devil who sinned from the beginning are very religious in nature. If we can, we will also see that the following verses speak the same spirit and builds barricades to He who is life:

"3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. "8Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are not gods. 9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements (religious practices), whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage (to these religious practices) ? 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years (which are religious practices). 11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." Galatians 4:3-5, 8 -11. And, "In whom the god of this world (religious leaders) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 2 Corinthians 4:4

Let us now ask, can we not see that every fragment of the old, legalistic, dead letter of the law, and the religious practices were opposed to life in Christ, and this is what the people were being warned against? Moreover, those who moved in the power of that spirit accused the believers of not being loyal to the sacred law of God. This was adverse and contrary to the living reality of Christ Jesus. It took the place of His living presence. In a nutshell, it was instead of Christ! It was antichrist! And it is the same today! We have a world full of religion that is instead of Christ. It is antichrist, and that devilish system that has blinded their converts to the truth has them looking to a single, solitary man as "the antichrist." The great American hero, somewhat brain damaged Forest Gump, had it nailed down pretty good -- "Stupid is as stupid does."

Notwithstanding, the dead, legalistic, age-old scenario of the mind-binding Pharisaical order of the past is just as prevalent today as it has been since the serpent questioned, "Hath God said?" It was then that the ancient serpent placed a thought in the soul's mind that there was a better way, a way that the great "I" could have control over its godhood. When that thought was conceived, a shroud covered the eyes, and dead religion was born.

Eve, a type of the soul, ate, and although blinded by the god of the world, her eyes were opened to self, to independence, to death. She found another way, a way of thieves, a way that was not of the truth. It was something other than and contrary to the tree of Life. To her, and the soul of every man to come afterwards, something greater than God was known, which was self. However, the knowledge of self, self-hood, if you please, had a great price to pay. It cost her and humanity everything. It cost the sum total of life. But before the closing of the final curtain, we see the reverse. When Jesus comes to a person, and His words are believed and received, this costs everything as well; but this time the cost is not life, but death. The lie destroyed life and the truth destroys death. What a difference between the religion of doing and the Life of being!

Which do we prefer? The answer is obvious to most. Preferring Life, however, does not stop the accusers on all levels from attempting to keep us from it. Whether it is our friends and families who accuse us, or people of the church system when we come closer to the throne of God, it is the same spirit. Moreover, our own nemeses within ourselves will do the same, and will continue doing the same until they are cast down to never rise again. They are all thorns in our flesh, especially our own.

There are many facets to this infamous foe, and contrary to what we see, and whether it is on the individual plane or corporately, he will be defeated at every turn -- first by the sons of God as they ascend and invade the ancient serpent's domain within themselves. And then he will be defeated by being bound with the chain of truth by the angel and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years, spiritually speaking. But this is not the end. Up to this point, he has been defeated twice; but there must be a third and final victory.

Even though he is bound, this is not sufficient. As long as he has not been dealt with, and as long as there is a carnal mind on the face of the earth, he poses a danger. This enemy has to be dealt with.

For example, we have all had those times when Satan was bound and cast into a pit with no foundation; but he did not remain there forever. We might wonder when this victory could have been. I believe there have been many occasions; but, for one, when we were assembled together by the hand of the Lord, and His word (His angel) descended from the heavens like chained lightning. When we were enraptured by the high praises of God. And when our love and joy and worship joined in with the spirits of just men made perfect. It was at times such as those that the dragon of the air was bound, gagged, cast down, and rendered completely idle.

There was only one thing that mattered during those high assemblies -- God! We were all in one mind and one accord. At times such as those, there was not one adverse thought, desire, or temptation of any kind. We were free! Nothing of the world had a hold on us. To suddenly want to organize what was going on wasn't a consideration. Some may have wanted to do so afterwards, that is, when the dragon was released from his prison for a season. But while the angel from heaven was present, while the word of God resounded as thunder, that spirit was bound and cast down.

Although as great as it is to cast Satan out of heaven and to the earth, and to hold him captive, these are but two temporary phases of our personal victories over the lie and death. After this we must deal with that relentless enemy of life that has deceived all who dwell on the earth. Rev. 13:14. It is then that he will be permanently dealt with, and that dealing has to do with fire. He will be destroyed by the Great and wonderful Fire of God -- the Lake of Fire!

To be continued...

Elwin R. Roach

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1. "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Numbers 33:55. "And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 28:24.

2. know: Grk. eido; to see, same as optomai to gaze with wide open eyes at something remarkable; and horao, to stare discern clearly (physically or mentally) attend experience

3. Wikipedia: A free content, multilingual encyclopedia written collaboratively by contributors around the world. (Wiki wiki: Hawaiian term meaning fast).



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