Satan's Devices, Materialism, Socialism, and Expressionism - Lesson 9
We continue our study of Satanís devices which are energized by the lust of the mind.
This lust is pictured in the scriptures as the imaginations of the mind, imaginations of the mind that suppose an existence without God.
It is an imagination whereby man and what man senses is the only reality.
It is an imagination where there is no accountability to oneís maker, for the creator of men cannot be imagined, and therefore there is only accountability to other men.
And in a world without God there are no absolutes for only from perfection can come absolutes.
But the imaginations that are produced from the lust of the mind imagines the perfect man.
This imagination posits philosophies which must be tested in the laboratory of humanity and refined until the perfect man is realized.
But these philosophies are simply Satanís devices to entrap men and women to his side and away from any knowledge of the plan of redemption that God has though his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our study we are looking at only a fraction of his devices.
But our command from God is to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
We are to have Christís mind in these matters, and not only have it, but use it to cast down these devices that are meant to catch and hold men from the truth.
We have looked at the device of humanism which proposes that man is the ultimate reality in the universe and therefore it is man and only man who determines his destiny.
Based upon this godless premise man develops a set of ethics but his ethics are always changing.
They are changing for they come from the imperfect man and will always come from the imperfect man in spite of the humanistís goal of reaching for the perfect man.
The second academic area on your list is Philosophy, the contrast being between Materialism and self-denial.
The philosophy of Materialism holds that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is matter.
It is the philosophy where only that which can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, heard or in some way measured is real.
And therefore materialism has no place for God in its doctrine.
Most people in our country would deny being materialists but if you examine their lives you would find lives that are being lived without giving place or honor to their creator.
A life that is solely wrapped up in that which is material is a life that is in fact living out the belief that only that which is matter exists and is of any importance.
Any philosophy whose major thrust is materialistic rather than spiritual is in basic disagreement with Godís Word.
For Satanís devices always take the world in temporal directions instead of directions which are eternal for the things which are eternal are not seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or heard.
Paul told of this in 2 Corinthians 4:18, While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Satanís gifts are only from that which can be seen.
Satan tells us to look on things that are temporal, things that are realized by the flesh, things that are realized only in this life.
But Paul tells us to not look at the things that are seen, meaning to have a dim vision of these things.
But he tells us instead to have a clear vision of those things that cannot be seen.
This message is repeated in that familiar hymn which tells us to turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in his wonderful face and if we concentrate on Christ the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.
But instead of this the devil promotes the looking at things made of matter, things that will pass away but God tells us to look at things which will last forever.
Those who belong to God are to look on the things which cannot be seen, things like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Jesus said to look on things that were riches eternally as He put things in priority as to their lasting quality.
He told us of this priority in Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
So what is the priority? God says to focus your life on things that are spiritual and after that the things that are natural shall come to you.
He again gave us a priority of life when he told us to deny ourselves and lose our life for his sake and in losing this life you will find it for all eternity.
He said that the gaining of the whole material world was not equal to the value of one soul.
For the whole material world is temporal but every soul is eternal and will live somewhere forever.
The Devilís devices are cried out to the world in this familiar calling.
I have only one life to live so I must live it to the fullest.
This is the saving of oneís life that Jesus talked about which will only result in losing it.
If followed, this is the ultimate sacrifice of the permanent on the altar of the immediate.
But the child of God is called upon to see the material of this world as that which passes away but for a short season is allowed by God to be invested in His kingdom.
The materialist has a mind to consume any material he has in satisfying his own lusts but the Christian is to have a mind of using any thing material that he has been given for the glory of God and the advancement of his work.
Of all of Satanís devices I think Materialism is the one where most Christians of America fall short.
We live in a culture where that which is material is revered.
This is a Satanically motivated culture where the more one possesses the more status one has in this world.
Godís word resounds loudly against this culture of Satan when it tells us to take no thought for what you shall eat or drink or about your body or what you shall wear.
And then Jesus relates worry about such things to lack of faith.
Satan hates your faith in God and goes about using devices such as the philosophy of Materialism where matter is all in all and God is excluded.
Satanís way is a way of immediacy but Godís way is a way of waiting for the best.
Oswald Chambers who lived from 1874 to 1917, said it this way: Love can wait and worship endlessly;
Lust says, "I must have it at once."
But those who live the Christian life have found it to be a life of waiting, a life of waiting on the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 is a command is it not? Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
It takes faith to wait for the best, but God is pleased by faith.
So pleased that someday it will be the Fatherís good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
But we are to remember that all "somedays" require waiting.
The third area whereby Satanís devices are revealed is in the area of politics.
Throughout the centuries Satan has promoted various political systems but the system that is most apparent today is the system of socialism.
We will contrast socialism with the system we consider most Biblical for our time, the system of capitalism.
Godís system is a system of merit for he has said in His word, Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.
We have already said that whatsoever God establishes, the devil desires to establish the opposite as he did in the garden of Eden.
So Satan has come up with a system that says you do not reap what you sow.
Instead you may reap what others sow. Or others may reap what you sow.
Socialism is a system which advocates collective ownership.
It is a system that administers the means of production and the distribution of that production by an equalitarian approach.
It is a system whereby those who sow do not necessarily reap.
It is a system where everything tends toward equality and class differences disappear.
It is not a system of merit but a system whereby equality reigns.
Now God is equalitarian with regard to His grace.
He is no respecter of persons.
He sends the rain upon the just and the unjust.
He is not willing that any should perish for our Lord died for all mankind.
All men are equally sinners and come under the sentence of death equally.
But God is not equalitarian in the sense of going against his command of sowing and reaping.
When our Lord spoke of the man who called his servants to invest talents for him he did not treat the servants equally but gave one five talents, another two talents and another one talent.
He did not forgive the one who hid his talent but took it away from him and gave it to the one who had brought him the most profit.
There was no desire for equality on the masterís part.
But there was on the masterís part a desire to comply with Godís economy whereby whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.
This is the economy that we as Christians are to engage in.
Even in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ we are told that every man shall dwell under his own vine and his own fig tree.
This tells us that there will be private ownership of property with the responsibilities that come with ownership.
Our country was founded as a Republic.
And as a republic we have a constitution which broadcasts rights regarding individuals and limits greatly, edicts by the government which determine your destiny.
Socialism dwells on the collective.
It is basically rule by many who determine what is best for the rest, that is: their destiny, rather than an individual determining what is best for himself or trusting God to determine what is best for himself. In God we Trust!
The individual, if a Christian, is then put into the position of paying for things clearly forbidden in the scriptures.
We see so very clearly the rise of socialism in our country whereby our government is determining more and more what is best for you.
It is trying to maximize your dependency upon the government and lessen your dependence upon God.
Only God is the one who knows what is best for you but Satan again wishes to wrest from God that determination and he does it though political systems.
This is another of Satanís devices.
The fourth academic area in our study is psychology which means the study of the mind.
You can study the mind and postulate all kinds of things and propose different methods for defining and maintaining a healthy mind.
And these methods bring about certain behaviors which are acceptable or not acceptable in the prevailing culture.
Satan again is prominent in this area for his device is counter to that which God propounds in his Word.
His device of course, assumes a world where man is considered to be the ultimate reality without accountability to any, other than another man.
So in this reality there is promoted a freedom of expression without boundaries.
So the course of this world constructed by Satan is the course of Expressionism in contrast to the biblical precept of Discipline.
Expressionism is wrapped up in this 1960ís mantra, If it feels good do it.
It is based upon an elevation of emotion as the prime mover.
This philosophy now days is being taught from birth.
It is taught by motherís who place no barriers or hedges around their children.
It is continued in our government schools where self-expression is pounded into the studentís minds.
The idea of a disciplined mind and body is alien to most modern educators and looked on as something which hinders rather than promotes a productive life.
It is apparent from the Bible that the disciplined approach to life is the approach that brings the greatest happiness and health to the mind and body.
God was careful to give children parents to love them.
And parents who love will always erect hedges of protection and barriers which keep their children out of Satanís way.
What kind of love is it to allow a child to express himself before the pit of a poisonous snake.
What foolish self expression is allowed when the parent does not provide a hedge between his child and the highway.
In Hebrews and Proverbs and elsewhere in the scriptures we read that proper discipline is the result of proper love.
So much of the time, self-expression results in rebellion and in some drastic cases even results in death.
Only a devilish system would promote such an idea.
Failure of the parent to deal with rebellion is not evidence of love but is evidence of an uncaring mother or father who is without natural affection.
The Bible goes so far as to say that a father who does not deal with rebellion is a hater of his son.
Proverbs 13:24, He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Dr. Henson in his Projector 1973 article wrote this about discipline:
When is a violin string free? Is it really free when it is lying loose in the cellophane wrapper in the music store or when it is stretched taut (disciplined) on the violin? I watch in amazement as an accomplished gymnast performs knowing full well the hours and hours and hours of practice, discipline if you will, which were necessary before the performance was possible. There are some far-reaching implications for the Christian in this idea. My favorite illustration of discipline involves a rather famous concert pianist. Some years ago he had just finished a brilliant concert when a matron minced up to him and said, "Oh, I would just give anything if I could play like that." The pianist looked at her for a moment and then replied, "Would you give eight hours of practice every day for twenty years?" Many Christians want the performance without the practice. We want the results without the discipline of training.
Anyone who learns has learned by discipline.
Discipline is to precede self expression.
The famous concert pianist expresses himself but it all came about because of discipline.
The devil promotes self expression without discipline.
Learning takes work.
It takes work on the part of the learner but it takes even more work on the part of the teacher, whether it be a teacher in the classroom or the mother or father in the home.
Any system of thought which pushes the idea of self-expression in opposition to discipline is not biblical.
When parents allow a child to begin his life without proper discipline, they are guaranteeing that child and themselves dreadful difficulties later.
The enforced obedience of the child to the parent is but the primer class whose purpose is to lead to the voluntary obedience of a child of God to the Lord as they are reared up.
Rebellion against authority, parental or otherwise, is a sin for a Christian young person because it is in fact rebellion against God.
If a parent allows his child to go his own way in willfulness and disobedience for years, there should be no surprise when this moves in later life to gross sin and immorality.