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 Quenching the Fiery Darts of Satan by Paul West

Paul warned Timothy that everyone who endeavored to live a godly life would suffer persecution (II Timothy 3:12). Undoubtedly, the bulk of this persecution comes not only from physical entities, but from spiritual ones as well. That’s because we wrestle not against anti-Christian governmental authorities and belligerent people who oppose the gospel, but against invisible powers and principalities, against wicked spirits in high places who seek to control our minds and distort our thought patterns (II Corinthians 10:3-5). Indeed, the powers of darkness are just as active and influential here in North America as they are in communist nations and other countries closed off to the gospel.

In the game of chess, one player makes a move and the other opponent then reacts to the move with a strategy of his own, usually in defense or attack. The same can be seen in the spiritual realm. Paul, for instance, was very clear about his intentions to forgive a man so as to not allow Satan the advantage of entering into his own life (II Corinthians 2:10-11). He explained this was because he was not ignorant of Satan’s devices. Paul knew the moves he had to make in order to safeguard his soul. He knew that as long as he harbored unforgiveness toward any person, the powers of darkness would have an advantage over him. And so he followed the direction of the Holy Spirit and forgave the man in question. Satan’s entry into Paul’s life was blocked!

God’s Word shows us how to prevent the powers of darkness from taking advantage over us. In fact, the Bible not only shows us what we are to look for, but how to respond to Satan’s schemes when we are attacked. When we submit ourselves to the defensive directions God’s Word, the Holy Spirit alerts us to every attack of the enemy and equips us with the grace we need to overcome in the moment of our testing. This grace is given to all those who humble themselves and bow their will to the power of the cross (James 4:6).

By humbling ourselves, we allow the Lord to break us. The Word of God says that we are like vessels (2 Timothy 2:20-22). And when a vessel is broken, light begins to shimmer through the cracks and shards. The inside of the cup then becomes exposed as the light shines in and out of it. And with this light, we begin to see how the powers of darkness move and the tactics they so often use to beset us.

To defend ourselves from their schemes, God gives us several pieces of spiritual armor. Above all, He gives us what the Bible calls the “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16). Shields, like all other pieces of armor, are defensive. They are used to deflect arrows and block sword thrusts. In this case, we are told that Satan has “fiery darts” which he hurls at us in battle. These darts are poisonous impulses and corrupt suggestions which seek to enter our minds and paralyze our walks with God. Darts can come in the form of unforgiveness and grudges, sexual lust, the love of money, the cares of the world, the fear of the future, religious pride, accusations and criticism. These flaming darts are aimed at the mind and seek to penetrate our thought life. If they enter in and stick, the fire they bring ignites into blazing strongholds and we become consumed with depression, defeat, fear and doubt. This is Satan’s consuming fire.

The Lord has decreed that it is often necessary that we go through these fiery trials (I Peter 4:12), as the purpose for them is to break us to the point where we able to receive His grace and be a ministry of life to others. But before this can happen, we must first suffer many defeats, and these defeats are designed to crush our pride. During these defeats we learn that we are not strong enough to quench Satan’s darts in our own power, and that simple faith, void of any kind of human willpower or determination, alone is the victory (I John 5:4). But what is this victorious faith based upon?

Before we answer this, we must first understand that the Christian life is both a battle (2 Timothy 2:3-4), and a rest (Matthew11:28-30; Hebrews 4:10). This seems like a paradox! When we realize the war has already been won on Calvary (Colossians 2:15), we can think there is nothing for us to do now but to sit back and relax and enjoy life. But this is not so. We still find ourselves in the midst of a campaign where the forces of darkness battle for our minds and seek to vex our souls. This is because when Jesus defeated Satan on the cross, Satan was not destroyed. The power for him to tempt God’s children and the possibility for them to fall into sin was not done away with. Satan was still allowed to keep his grip over the world’s system the same as he always had since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the garden. The significance instead would come to those who were predestined to have their “old men” slain in Christ before the foundation of the world, and be installed with “new men” who would no longer be slaves to sin, but fashioned in the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:4, 2 Timothy 1:9).

This blessed transition is not available to the unconverted. Satan still has control over the children of the world, for they are his own (John 8:44). He has blinded his own children to the truth of the gospel (II Corinthians 4:4), so they would remain enslaved to his obedience (2 Timothy 2:26). Indeed, the whole world is in the grip of the wicked one (I John 5:19). But God’s children, blood-ransomed, are no longer in his grip!

Though God’s children may indeed fall into sin, theirs is no longer a habitual practice like the children of the devil. This is because God’s children have a “new man” living in them, a quickened spirit, made in the image of Christ (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24), and this “new man” does all he can to prevent Satan’s fiery darts from polluting the mind, for he has replaced the “old man” who has been killed by God (Romans 6:6). The “new man” installed in his place is not a slave of the devil, but rather a slave to the righteousness of God (Romans 6:18). Like Jesus, his only will is to obey his Father (John 4:34). But, as we see from scripture, this “new man” must be systematically fed and strengthened by God’s Spirit (Ephesians 3:16), lest a fiery temptation overwhelm us and we succumb to the deceit of sin.

The Holy Spirit gives us a great lesson in spiritual warfare through the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan. Notice that Satan came to Him with these suggestions: “Turn the stones into bread” and “Jump off the temple” and “Worship me for riches and fame”.

The first temptation sought to draw out the principle of self, to induce Jesus to use God’s power on Himself autonomously. Jesus struck back with the context of the scripture rightfully re-aligned upon God and rebuffed him. The second temptation sought to draw out a carnal assumption – jump and the angels will catch you - based upon spiritual pride. Again Jesus fired back with scripture dispelling the assumption and elevating God back to His place of sovereign reverence. Seeing he could make no headway with the Son of God, Satan then catered directly with raw appeal to the flesh: worship me and the world is yours. He uses the exact same method with us!

If Satan realizes he cannot twist scripture to his advantage, he will seek other ways to win us. Many believers who are well-versed in sound theology are nevertheless in bondage to internet pornography. Others run after money and worldly success and think they can still love and serve God, despite all their knowledge of Greek and Hebrew acquired in seminary. Satan’s flaming arrows enter their minds, and there they stick, laying down poisonous roots and blinding their victims with the smoke. In truth, so many scholars and pastors and theologians who can properly dissect God’s Word with exegetical precision are yet inwardly defeated and thus totally ignorant of the enemy’s devices!

If we are to quench these darts with the shield of faith, we must understand the object in which our faith is invested. In this case, the object of our faith is the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:25). Yes, faith in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ is the shield that quenches the fiery darts of the wicked one. If we can understand the full advantage God has afforded us through the blood of Jesus, we will see the quenching shield come up at once! Every dart can then be quenched, and we will escape each satanic attack of the mind unscathed, just as Daniel escaped the fiery furnace with not a single thread of this garment singed.

As already mentioned, the Christian life is both a battle and a rest. The battle is in keeping our eyes upon Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and the rest comes from exercising the faith He authors in the sanctifying work of the blood of His cross. When we understand what “justified by the blood” means, our inner man suddenly finds divine strength to resist the enemy (Romans 5:9). To say we are “justified by the blood of Christ” means that we are made perfect in the sight of God by virtue of our faith in that promise. It’s that simple. When you are weak enough, you will come to see this truth, believe it, and then find your rest. Satan will not be able to harm your mind anymore with his darts, for you will have light on the eternal measure of God’s unconditional love for you and your position of blessed sonship in the Risen Savior through His holy blood (Romans 5:5; 8:38-39). And if you sin, there is no condemnation when you humble yourself and confess the sin. In that very moment, the blood of Christ cleanses you completely (I John 1:7). Faith in the blood restores you to a state of perfection. It doesn’t merely cover your sin, as you cover a stain on a carpet. If it only did this, Satan could pull back the cover anytime and still accuse you. No, the blood cleanses the stain to where it is gone forever, with no trace, as if the stain never occurred. This is how God can say, “Your sins I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). Do you have faith for this? Be it unto you according to your faith!

As soon as the Holy Spirit alerts our conscience to any kind of invading danger from the enemy, we are required to do three things: Firstly, we must resist the initial impulse. This can be difficult and we will undoubtedly suffer to some extent in the flesh even when our inner men are strong, but by doing this we follow in the example of Christ our Forerunner! (1 Peter 4:1) Secondly, we must quench the impulse with the faith that Satan was defeated on the cross, and that the blood of the Son of God imputes to us a state of impeccability before the Father (2 Corinthians 5:21). As a result, there will be no more satanic condemnation to the conscience (Hebrews 9:14). This is the testimony of the blood we use to overcome the powers of darkness (Revelation 12:11). And finally, we must unsheathe the sword of the Spirit and rebuff Satan’s attack just like Jesus our Forerunner did with “It is written.” As Jesus was, so are we to be in this world (I John 4:17).

If Satan hurls a fiery dart tempting you to be unforgiving toward someone who has wronged you, after you quench the dart, counter his attack with a scripture like: “Be kind and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). If you are tempted with a dart to be selfish and greedy, you can counter it with “Let each of you look not only on his own interests, but the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). If you are tempted to be superficially judgmental in spiritual matters, counter the dart with words of Jesus Himself: “Do not judge by appearances” (John 7:24). If you are tempted with money: “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction” (I Timothy 6:9). Fear of an uncertain future: “Be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). If you are tempted to be envious of unbelievers living in the lap of luxury, you can use these verses to swing back: “Do not envy the wicked” (Proverbs 24:1) and “My feet had almost stumbled, for I was envious of the boastful” (Psalms 73:23).

For every dart Satan hurls, you have the shield of faith in the unlimited power of Christ’s blood, and the sharp sword of scripture to repel his attack. But, dear soldier, the initial responsibility to resist is always begins with you.

So fight the good fight of faith! Amen.











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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2014/1/8 12:34Profile
RogerB
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 Re: Quenching the Fiery Darts of Satan by Paul West

Thank you for this. Was looking at it again today. It's the things that Jesus is building in us that help us stand. You had great points.


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James R Barnes

 2014/1/8 16:09Profile
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 Re:

Thanks! I preached this message last Sunday in a small Pentecostal church and from what I understand it was very well received. An older gentleman came up to me after the message and confessed he never understood the full effect of the cleansing blood of Christ until that morning. He had been taught his sins were merely "covered" and had never understood the dire significance. I brought a box of the books "Understanding Mortification" and "Designs of Darkness" and they took them all home, everyone in the church. The pastor of the church even ordered 10 additional copies of "Understanding Mortification" to take to the prison where he ministers. Praise be to God!


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/1/9 9:00Profile
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 Re: Quenching the Fiery Darts of Satan by Paul West

The Lord impressed on me that He will allow these persecutions for He is preparing us in these times to remember He is our source. I believe He is preparing a remnant who have been tried in the fire like Daniel..3.
We will be tried in the fire and we will not smell like smoke or we will. He will use his fire to purify us.

Praise for the fire...
He is the air we breathe..
No pain is greater than not being in HIS Presence.
Just a thought.


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Frannie

 2014/1/9 10:10Profile
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 Re: Quenching the Fiery Darts of Satan by Paul West

Thank you for this excellent post, Brother Paul. I have walked with the Lord for a long time, but sometimes the darts come so fast and furiously that we can't see the forest for the trees so to speak. I appreciated the reminder at the end - so simple - but how to counter the enemy with certain Scriptures. The Lord has given you a gift for clarifying spiritual truth in very practical ways. Thank you!

 2014/1/9 22:29Profile
PaulWest
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 Re:

Quote:
I appreciated the reminder at the end - so simple - but how to counter the enemy with certain Scriptures. The Lord has given you a gift for clarifying spiritual truth in very practical ways. Thank you!



I believe a young child should always be able to connect with your teaching on any given point - the most profound spiritual truths should be made simple and understandable. This is what Jesus did in the parables, and it is how I would like to model my own ministry. Ten year olds and preteens need to know how to pray for grace when they are tempted to sin. If they can understand it, I know adults will too!

Thanks for reading! God bless.


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/1/11 9:30Profile
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 Re: Quenching the Fiery Darts of Satan by Paul West

Paul wrote:

"If we are to quench these darts with the shield of faith, we must understand the object in which our faith is invested. In this case, the object of our faith is the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:25). Yes, faith in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ is the shield that quenches the fiery darts of the wicked one. If we can understand the full advantage God has afforded us through the blood of Jesus, we will see the quenching shield come up at once! Every dart can then be quenched, and we will escape each satanic attack of the mind unscathed, just as Daniel escaped the fiery furnace with not a single thread of this garment singed."


Are you saying that faith "in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ" enabled Daniel?

note: Daniel, according to Scripture was not put into the "fiery furnace."


Look to Job to understand the ways of God....concerning the works of Satan.


Job 40:6
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

Job 40:7
“Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me:

Job 40:8
“Would you indeed annul My judgment?
Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

Job 40:9
Have you an arm like God?
Or can you thunder with a voice like His?

Job 40:10
Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor,
And array yourself with glory and beauty.

Job 40:11
Disperse the rage of your wrath;
Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him.

Job 40:12
Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low;
Tread down the wicked in their place.

Job 40:13
Hide them in the dust together,
Bind their faces in hidden darkness.

Job 40:14
Then I will also confess to you
That your own right hand can save you.

Job 40:15
“Look now at the behemoth,fn which I made along with you;
He eats grass like an ox.

Job 40:16
See now, his strength is in his hips,
And his power is in his stomach muscles.

Job 40:17
He moves his tail like a cedar;
The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.

Job 40:18
His bones are like beams of bronze,
His ribs like bars of iron.

Job 40:19
He is the first of the ways of God;
Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

.............

Job 41:1
“Can you draw out Leviathanfn with a hook,
Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?

Job 41:2
Can you put a reed through his nose,
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

Job 41:3
Will he make many supplications to you?
Will he speak softly to you?

Job 41:4
Will he make a covenant with you?
Will you take him as a servant forever?

...................

Job 41:33
On earth there is nothing like him,
Which is made without fear.

Job 41:34
He beholds every high thing;
He is king over all the children of pride.”


Satan is king over all the children of pride. Then the beginning of God's work is...

Job 40:12
Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low;
Tread down the wicked in their place.

Because...

1Cr 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

1Cr 1:28
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,

1Cr 1:29
that no flesh should glory in His presence.

1Cr 1:30
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—

1Cr 1:31
that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”fn


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Jeff Marshalek

 2014/1/11 10:48Profile
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 Re:

Thank you for the correction. You are right, Daniel was not put in the furnace.

As for Job, Job did not have true New Covenant grace to confront Satan and put him to flight, and this accounts for his discouragement and assessment of his own self-righteousness. He was the most righteous man of the age, but he lived at a time before the cross. In fact, no man under the OC could face Satan (or even a demon at that) with the grace of God, nor is it recorded anywhere in OT scripture. Satan did as he chose, as alloted by God, and men and kings were puppets in the hands of the spiritual powers and principalities unless God intervened.

The case I was making with Daniel was simply a corollary of the fire not being able to harm. But you are right: it was the 3 Hebrews who were put in the furnace. I appreciate the feedback and correction!

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/1/11 11:11Profile
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 Re:

Paul wrote:

In fact, no man under the OC could face Satan (or even a demon at that) with the grace of God, nor is it recorded anywhere in OT scripture.

I would suggest that no man after the cross can face Satan either. God does not change, nor do the precepts of Scripture. For the Scripture say...



Job 40:14
Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.


God says to Job that it is impossible for him or any man "that thine own right hand can save thee." This precept has always been true. You are correct in that Job became prideful in his obedience to the law of God. And according to Scripture, God used Satan to...

Job 40:12
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low;

Once Job was brought low...listen to his response to God's work.
Job 42:1

Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

Job 42:2
I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Job 42:3
Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Job 42:4
Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

Job 42:5
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

Job 42:6
Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.


Now Job sees...is this an example of God's grace that enables man to overcome Satan?


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Jeff Marshalek

 2014/1/11 12:11Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I would suggest that no man after the cross can face Satan either. God does not change, nor do the precepts of Scripture.


Brother, I am not saying that we face Satan alone, in our own strength, independant of God. That is suicidal. Under the New Covenant, however, we are told to "resist" Satan and the powers of darkness. Resistance indicates a face-to-face encounter, a failure to budge. No man under the Old Covenant could "wrestle" with principalities and spiritual powers in high places. They could only wrestle with flesh and blood - that is, against the Jebusites and Amalekites and Phillistines. Under the New Covenant, however, the redeemed children of God go to war in the spirit, clad in spiritual armor.

It is a mistake to look to men under the Old Covenant when trying to understand the overcoming life and spiritual warfare. They were put there as examples and lessons - and yes, you are right about God not changing - but His covenants did.


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Paul Frederick West

 2014/1/11 16:02Profile





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