28 June 2022 Anno Domini
the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4-6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The enemy arrays his forces without the gates of the Holy City – the Church. If he can penetrate the gates under siege, he will do so; but, if not, he will bring forth a Trojan Horse by which the dwellers of the city may be deceived if not relying upon God alone for their protection and defense.
From the beginning, Satan worked in the Garden to overturn that which the Lord had made. What he, Satan, cannot have, he will try to destroy it by any means possible. We see this manifested not only in politics, but even in the Church itself.
During the centuries following the Ascension of Christ, Satan made a frontal assault on the Church by persecution and martyrdom. In that regard, he failed miserably, for the blood of the saints only watered the soil of resolve of the Faith. Satan turns to more subtle means today. He has infiltrated the Church so that its members are little different from those without her gates. He has infiltrated every venue of public, political and theological discourse to weaken the walls and spread his ungodly and deadly poison. He is a formidable enemy because he wears the dress of the Christian, the smiles of a saint, and the seducing qualities of a demagogue.
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Genesis 3:1-3)
1 THE QUESTION: You will observe that the devil begins his intrigues with a simple, but inaccurate question of God’s Word. It is not a seemingly big change, but any change to God’s Word leads to grave error. In fact, his question implies the very opposite of what God said. God did not say, “Ye shall not eat of EVERY tree in the Garden”, but rather, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) This question was intended to disarm the gullible Eve. The serpent is charismatic and perhaps beautiful – just the thing that deceives the uninformed as we judge by the outward, and not the inward, appearance.
2 THE RESPONSE OF THE UNPREPARED BELIEVER: There were two trees in the midst of the Garden, so Eve answered without a full understanding of God’s Word. It is for this reason that serious Bible study is so very important to the Christian believer: “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the TREE OF LIFE also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9) The first represented our Lord, the second, the Adversary.
3 THE SERPENT OPENS THE NET: Satan now disputes, openly, the Word of God! “Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5) Like all modern-day hypocrites, in denying the Word of God, Satan offers an appealing substitute in his denial – an appeal to pride. Not only did God lie, says the serpent, but questions God’s sincerity in His Word. “Ye shall NOT surely die” – just the opposite of God’s Word; and, “Ye shall become as gods.” We see the same appeal of the modern apostates who arrogate the powers of God to themselves. Instead of taking the Word of God into the world, the modern Church has invited the world into the Church. Many have rejected the Shepherd and followed the Wolves.
Today we see the Word of God again turned upside down as the Church prefers the serpent to the Lord. ‘Good’ has become ‘bad’, and ‘bad’ has become ‘good.’ “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21) We live in perilous times, not only for the body, but for the soul as well. Put on the whole armor of God, my friends.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)