Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Foothold for Abaddon and The Heathen Rage

Have you ever known anyone that is apt to fly into rages or temper fits at any given moment? Or maybe even entire families consumed with anger and rage. I liken these fits and outbursts to "evil blisters". You can always tell there is chafing and friction before the onset of one of these fits but it seems the resulting blister is prone to pop at any time.

Reading recently, I was struck by the truth in Ephesians 4:26-27.

Eph 4:26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.
Eph 4:27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

It is clear from these verses that anger is not always bad. We have a book full of instances where anger at sin and what is referred to as righteous anger is known to be good. Just look at Moses anger at the unrighteousness and sin of his people (Ex 32:19) or the anger of Phinehas (Nu 25:7-11) or Jesus' anger at the pharisees. (Mar 3:5)

Now let me ask you though, is the anger that we see in people and in homes righteous anger or is it unrighteous anger, a foothold for satan?

Verse 27 clearly states that we are to leave no opportunity for a foothold that satan can use. Going back to Moses, we have an instance where even what we think of as righteous anger resulted in Moses being forever unable to enter the land of Canaan.

Num 20:10 And Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation before the rock and Moses said to them, Hear now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock?
Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock twice. And the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
Num 20:12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe in (rely on, cling to) Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Israelites, you therefore shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. [Ps. 106:32, 33.]

When Moses had his fit of anger, he struck the Rock 2 times rather than speaking to the Rock as instructed. (Nu 20:8) If we look at Moses' emotions here, we see a man angry at the people and what they we doing. So angry that he failed to follow the instruction that he was given to TELL the Rock to give forth its water. Another place where Moses let his anger get out of control was when he broke the tablets coming down off the mountain when Israel reveled in the wilderness.
(Ex 32:19) I don't think it a good idea then losing control in a fit of anger. The consequences, as Moses found out, can have a lifetime long effect on us.

Another question to ask then is what would satan use the foothold for?

Well, we know that satan is constantly roaming and seeking someone to devour. We know that his mission is to kill and destroy. After all, that is his name.

1Pe 5:8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Rev 9:11 Over them as king they have the angel of the Abyss (of the bottomless pit). In Hebrew his name is Abaddon [destruction], but in Greek he is called Apollyon [destroyer].

So the way that I understand Ephesians 4:26-27 is that when we are angry, in most intances, it is not righteous anger and it usually leads to a foothold for satan. A foothold that he uses to kill and destroy relationships. Relationships with people that we live with, usually the people that we are closest to. We are instructed that as christians, we are to put aside all that in the verses immediately following 4:27.

Eph 4:29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
Eph 4:32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

It all comes down to who one decides to serve. Which master do we answer to? When we witness these fits and rages, one can only think that what we see is a demon possesed person raging. In fact, they are demon possesed. Maybe only for a moment but that is all the demon needs. Maybe control will return and the person will stabilize but in the end, if Christ doesn't deliver the person from his/her bondage they will continue to serve a different master and he will return more and more often. In the end, every relationship the person has will fall to the destruction brought by the destroyer.

Eph 6:11 Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
Eph 6:13 Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

Remember this the next time you see a fit or better yet when you throw one. This isn't of Christ but of the destroyer. It is a demon that only Christ can deliver us from. In fact He already has. We just need to decide which master we will serve.

Jas 4:7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.


Lin said...

Wow, I really needed to hear this. I get so angry at the injustice done to Christians by other professing Christians who are in power and use their power for gain. I have seen so much evil, cruelty and deceit done in the Name of Jesus.

I really need to be careful how that anger is manifested.

ezekiel said...

Lin, just take a look at Isaiah 1:17. We are instructed to defend and correct. We need to be very careful how we do that. If it leads to bitterness and hate and anger within us, we are bound to do things and say things that don't honor Christ.

It helps me to remember the injustice that I have committed in the past. A very humbling experience. I am living proof of Romans 3:23 That doesn't mean though that I can't or mustn't change. In fact I will if the right spirit is at work within me.

I think the important thing to remember is that we have been given a spirit that is love, well balanced, calm and self controlled. We need to always examine ourselves to see if that spirit is alive and well within us or if another spirit is in us working at opposit ends.

2Ti 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

That doesn't mean that we walk away from Isaiah 1:17
it just makes us more effective in carrying it out. The same spirit brings all of it about.

Thanks for your comment!

ezekiel said...

Well Spurgeon is certainly timely today.

April 23

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
- Rom_8:37
We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to the law for power to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Take your sins to Christ’s cross, for the old man can only be crucified there: we are crucified with him. The only weapon to fight sin with is the spear which pierced the side of Jesus. To give an illustration-you want to overcome an angry temper, how do you go to work? It is very possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus with it. How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was, and I trusted him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the same way? It is the only way in which I can ever kill it. I must go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, “Lord, I trust thee to deliver me from it.” This is the only way to give it a death-blow. Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle you? You may struggle against this evil so long as you please, but if it be your besetting sin, you will never be delivered from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus. Take it to Christ. Tell him, “Lord, I have trusted thee, and thy name is Jesus, for thou dost save thy people from their sins; Lord, this is one of my sins; save me from it!” Ordinances are nothing without Christ as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances, and your tears-the whole of them put together-are worth nothing apart from him. “None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good;” or helpless saints either. You must be conquerors through him who hath loved you, if conquerors at all. Our laurels must grow among his olives in Gethsemane.

Lin said...

Yes, very timely. Thanks

WatchingHISstory said...
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