God's War On Bullying

Chapter Five-Part 1
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CHAPTER FIVE

Part 1

 

BATTLING A VICIOUS ENEMY

 

Satan, Prince of the Power of the Air

 

Many picture the devil as a grinning cartoon character with horns and a goatee beard.  Or, as a beer-guzzling king on a fiery throne ordering lost souls to shovel coal and keep the blast furnaces going.  They suppose satan is confined in hell with lost sinners during  this present age, and his government and military complex are  located in hell.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth, although satan DOES manifest his presence through bully morons whose sick jokes and evil insults can lead to victim suicide.  If If any artwork on earth could portray the full extent of satan’s evil nature, it might cause a lifetime of nightmares to remember it.  I use stereotypes in my artwork because they provide immediate viewer recognition.  The mocking  face of satan, as depicted above, is the same Face of Evil I saw in countless mocking bullies.

 

Unfortunately, Satan’s way too busy causing trouble here to kick up his feet in hell and chug down a bottle of Scotch.  His headquarters is right here on this earth (Job 1:7; I Pet.5:8).  But Scripture promises that satan WILL be confined to the Bottomless Pit during the 1000-year Reign of Christ on earth (Rev. 20:1-3).  What glorious, glorious rest that shall be for a world tempted and tormented by his activities for 6000 long years! At the end of Christ’s Reign satan will finally be cast forever into the Lake of Fire, never to perpetrate evil in God’s universe again (Rev. 20:7-10). But at the present time satan operates as the Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph. 2:2). His evil power saturates the very atmosphere of this present-day world.

 

 

The Law of the Jungle and Cop-Out Cops

 

Who sets the trends in today’s society?  It certainly isn’t the consecrated believer!  All around you, you see and hear of godlessness, corruption in government, pedophiles fearlessly hunting children,  recreational sex with all comers, perversion, pornography, warfare, and cutthroat competition in the workplace and in school. Whoever ends up on the bottom of the pile gets thrown to the lions to be eaten up. Kids have to kiss other kids’ backsides and conform to the ways of evil to avoid being bullied.

 

Anyone who dares to be decent is thought to be a relic of a bygone era, or a bigot with a few screws loose.  Why is it the sexually immoral, vain sinner who sets the trends in society?  Because  satan is the god of this present-day world  (II Cor. 4:4).  He blinds people to the Truth of the Gospel.  He blinds them to the awful fate awaiting those who reject Christ as Savior. As Creator, God actually owns this planet, but satan is lord of today’s  evil world system which opposes all that is holy and good. Satan is the ruler who dispatches demons to go tempt some teenager to film a vicious attack on his cell phone and transmit the flick all over the Internet. It’s the devil who rules over that high school where the Word of God has been banned. He laughs whenever a bully gets off with a gentle warning after nicking a fellow student with a knife.

 

Just recently there has been a spate of news stories in the UK about pretend police officers “community support officers” who refused to step in and rescue elderly people being beaten up by gangs of youths.  Three teenage girls ganged up on a defenseless 55-year-old man.  They kicked him, punched him and beat him on the head with a stick till he ended up in the hospital in critical condition. Those “Keystone Cops” couldn’t do anything because “they weren’t authorized by their superiors to do it.”  Funny how there’s always plenty of police around when drivers exceed the speed limit, though.   Hell will be full of hate-filled teenagers who never learned the fear of God from their beer-swilling, partying parents.

    

The Christian’s Defense Against satan’s Wicked Forces

(Commentary on Ephesians Chapter 6)

 

Ultimately it is the devil, much more than the bully, who is out to destroy you.  The bully is sold out to satan, his lord and master.  Even those who have never heard of Jesus and His teachings on love are without excuse. Man is created in God’s image (Gen.1:26; James 3:9). Like a broken mirror, that image of God within man has been distorted  because of sin,  but people are still endowed by their Creator with an instinctive  knowledge of right and wrong (Romans 2:14). Even pagan cultures have laws against stealing and murder. The problem is not a lack of knowledge of right and wrong, but fallen man’s  inherent sin nature which rebels against God’s ways of  goodness and love.  God the Father freely reveals His love and kindness through His provision for all mankind in the blessings of creation (Romans 1:20).  Yet the bully is unholy and unthankful.  He repays the God who gives him life by destroying other lives which God has made.

 

Our primary battle is against the devil who controls the bully.  Ephesians 6:10-18 gives us a picture of the armor worn by a Roman soldier of Paul’s day.  It can be likened to our spiritual defense against satan.

 

Ephesians 6:10:  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.******We must resist satan in God’s strength, not our own, and we must go everywhere only in His strength, even as David did (Psalms 71:16). .  God is our refuge and strength, and He is a very present help in time of trouble (Psalms 46:1).

 

Ephesians 6:11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.******God provides a complete suit of spiritual armor for His warriors.  Every piece of it must be worn and in place.  Remember, satan is a wily snake who is forever looking for an opening to slither into your life to do damage.

 

Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ******A bully is flesh and blood, and he will someday die and face his Maker.  Spiritual warfare must be waged against the demonic forces controlling him.  Scripture indicates that there are varying ranks in satan’s kingdom of darkness.  Colossians 1:16 speaks of thrones, dominions, principalities and powers.  I believe that demons are territorial and spirits of bullying and violence are more predominant in certain areas of the earth than others. For example, while murder occurs in every part of earth, some countries have markedly higher per capita murder rates than others (example: South Africa is among the very worst). Rebuke satan in the power of the Spirit and plead the blood of Jesus over your workplace or school, even over the bus you ride home! In such situations you have no control over what characters will be in the background of your life.

 

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.*****The devil wants above all things to knock you off your feet spiritually and get you under HIS feet!  But we don’t belong under satan’s feet. He belongs under OUR feet (Romans 16:20).  Psalms 91:13 promises: Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (poisonous snake): the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.   The devil is  a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Pet.5:8).  He is called the serpent in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2. Once we have listened carefully to the Lord and done all He has directed us to do, we are to stand in confidence that He will undertake for us.

 

Ephesians 6:14  Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. ******The ancient Roman soldier wore a sort of utility belt which held his weapons so he could have easy access to them. That same belt also held the rest of his armor together.  When we know the truth of God’s Word and are living in the light of God’s truth about our salvation and position in Christ Jesus, we are spiritually strong and the weapons of the Spirit are readily accessible to us. We who believe in Christ are justified and made righteous through His Blood.  The devil has no right to sick his flunkies on us to harm or destroy us.  We have the right to intreat the Father to send angels to fight satan on our behalf, just as Christ might have done if He had not chosen to die to pay the price of our sins (Matt.26:53).  Stand your ground and tell the devil where to go. Regardless of your looks or lack of popularity, you are extremely valuable to God and you must walk in the truth of that. Unless we are girded with God’s truth, everything else falls apart and the devil has a much easier time attacking us. 

 

Ephesians 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. *****The Gospel of Peace with God through Christ is our firm foundation upon which we stand.  When God made peace with us through the Blood of Christ’s Cross (Col.1:20) and accepted us into His beloved family, He lifted us up from the dirt pile we were once in. If you are a believer in Christ, you should always be prepared to share the Gospel with any unbeliever who is willing to listen.  Who knows but the most unlikely person might melt under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, repent of his or her sins, and receive Christ as Savior?   II Timothy 2:25 tells us to gently instruct “those who oppose themselves”, and it is God Who must “give them repentance” .  We can’t make a bully feel sorry for his sins. We can’t make him want to walk in the way of peace. God must give that one the ability to repent.  When bullies oppose others in violence and cruelty, they are also opposing themselves by acting against their own well-being.  They are  steering themselves toward a devil’s hell.  If a bully really did love himself he’d want to ensure his eternal survival by accepting the peace God offers through Christ, wouldn’t he?

 

Ephesians 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.******A Roman soldier’s shield was coated with thick, durable materials packed so tightly together that no weapon could penetrate it.  The soldier could even fireproof his shield by soaking it  in water before battle.  Then, if a flaming arrow came at him, the water-soaked covering would immediately quench the enemy’s fire.  Within a true believer in Christ dwells the Living Water, the Holy Spirit (John 7:38).   When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit shall raise up a standard against him (Isa.59:19).  I know all about fiery darts.  They go right for your heart, that tender part of you which is so easily broken.  The heart is the treasure chest of your soul (Daniel 7:28; Luke 1:66; 2:19, 51). The bully will pour out his grimiest filth upon your soul, ridiculing all that makes you a unique individual. The bully knows that time is on his side and he will either drive you out of school or use school to destroy you.

 

Only the power of God can save you. The Holy Spirit is well able to prevail against the wicked spirits of the air which are engineering a bullying campaign against you.  The Word of God is a powerful agent to cleanse away the foul atmosphere of demonic activity around you, and it is beneficial for the soul (John 15:3; Eph.5:26).  In Matthew 4:1-10 satan fires fiery darts of temptation at Jesus, and Jesus quenches those darts with the water of the Word of God.  In verse 11 satan gives up for awhile and leaves Jesus alone. Next time satan tries to weigh you down with yucky feelings of worry and worthlessness, use the written Word of God to call him a liar.  The battle against unseen spirits of the air must be won before outward victories can come.

 

Bullying often involves physical abuse but I view it also as the rape of the soul.  Bullying is breaking and entering into a victim’s soul to destroy it.  The vile bully denies that person  all the dignity of being created in the image and likeness of God. What fiery devastation is caused to a young girl’s self-esteem when she is advised to go kill herself because she’s ugly and worthless!

 

Arm yourself with faith in God’s Word.  If satan is attacking your self-esteem, read Ephesians Chapter One.   Believe with all your heart that God chose you before the foundation of the earth to be accepted in the Beloved.  Cherish this divine revelation of how precious you are to God, so precious that He sent His own sweet Son to earth to be bullied and killed to save you from satan’s power. That alone should be enough spiritual water to quench the fiery dart of a vicious tongue.

 

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.*******Speaking of salvation and its implications, A parallel passage in the Old Testament is found in Isaiah 59: 16-19:

Isaiah 59: 16 And he (God) saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

 

VERSE 17  For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. *****In this future phase of God’s plan for Planet Earth, God is finished with being patient with evil men.  Now a holy zeal to take vengeance upon sinners characterizes His actions (Isaiah 1:24; II Thes. 2:8-12).

 

VERSE 18  According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands (habitable coastlands) he will repay recompense.

VERSE 19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall raise up a standard against him.

 

“Salvation” is the key word in this passage. In Isaiah’s day Israel was in a state of idolatry and moral decay. No intercessor was found to hold back God’s wrath from falling upon a crime-ridden society where men’s feet were swift to shed innocent blood (Isa.59:7). But sometimes judgment must fall first before the evils of society can be corrected.  Some Christians think that having your personal sins forgiven and not having to go to hell after you die constitutes the entirety of God’s salvation.  But God wants to save us in the here and now, not just later. In the future He will even save the entire earth (Habakkuk 2:14).

 

In verse 16 the Hebrew word “yasha” is used for the kind of salvation brought by the mighty arm of the Lord. “Arm” (Heb. Zeroa) refers to the help, power and strength of God’s mighty arm. According to Strong’s Concordance, “yasha” means to deliver, or to help.  This word is also associated with God’s role as Defender and Avenger.  God avenges wrongs suffered by His people (Psalms 18:47; Luke 18:7; Rom.12:19; I Thes.4:6; Rev.6:10).

 

I Thessalonians 5:8: But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Verse 9: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

We who believe in Christ are already spiritually saved through faith in His blood atonement (Rom.3:25-26). So what salvation are we still hoping for? The completion of our salvation in the redemption of our natural bodies to immortality (Rom.8:23).  This will occur at the Resurrection of the Righteous when Jesus returns. We who believe are not appointed to wrath (the outpouring of God’s wrath in the Great Tribulation) but to obtain salvation. Christ’s coming for us will bring us the completion of our salvation (Heb.9:28). Our destiny is to be perfected into the likeness of Christ (I John 3:2).  The bully’s destiny is to spend eternity separated from God.

 

The bully has no peace in his soul so he wants to deny others peace.  He strives to fill his victim’s head with thoughts of fear and self-loathing. Even as a rapist can physically infect his victim with the  AIDS virus, a bully can spiritually infect a person with demonic attack. The devil controlling the bully aims to put a spirit of fear and terror upon those too weak to fight back. Even after I left high school, I needed deliverance from feelings of terror, depression and inferiority. The helmet of salvation is needed for protection against wicked spirits at work in this world.  Awareness of Christ’s great salvation should fill our minds and protect them, even as a helmet protects the head of soldiers in battle.

 

What should be the main activity of those engaged in spiritual warfare?  Prayer in the Spirit.

 

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. ******The word “supplication” (Gr.deesis) refers to making a petition, or asking God for a specific request. Make your prayers specific.  If you need angels to battle satan on your behalf, ask God to send as many as it takes to get the job done.  Jesus Himself said to Simon Peter, as His enemies came to arrest Him: Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels (Matt.26:53)?  If it hadn’t been Jesus’ purpose to suffer and die for our sakes, He could have been saved by thousands of angels!  When you feel like you’re in any danger, pray for God to send these invisible ministering spirits to help you (Heb.1:14). Never pray to an angel, for that would be idolatry.  Pray to God to send them to earth to help you, and encamp round about you (Psalms 34:7). 

 

Praying in the Spirit refers to prayers originating from the Spirit within you, prayers which transcend the limits of your natural intellectual powers or understanding.  Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Verse 27:  And he that searcheth the hearts (God) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

 

That’s where our prayer language kicks in.  Our imperfect vocabulary and sketchy knowledge of a situation is bypassed by Prayer in the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is omnipresent throughout the earth.  His understanding is infinite (Psalms 147:5).  He knows where satan is about to attack and what all his dirty tactics are. He can pray to God the Father through you either in wordless groanings from within or through the prayer language.

 

I Corinthians 14:2  For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. Many oppose speaking in tongues because people  can’t understand what is being said.  But when a Christian prays in tongues in the privacy of his prayer closet, he is praying mysteries unto God, not unto men, about things beyond the understanding of the mortal mind.

 

Verse 14: For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. A person’s spirit is separate from his intellect.  A born-again human spirit has the ability to reach out to God for help.

Verse 15: What is it then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

 

We see in the above verses that praying in the Spirit is the same as praying in the tongues of the spirit.  It is also needful to pray in the understanding whenever you clearly discern a need in your life and can identify yourself what it is. Other times you will feel troubled by some burden on your soul but can’t quite put your finger on it to identify what the problem is.  It is then that your prayer language is a direct link to the heart of our all-wise, all-knowing God.

 

Be continually in an attitude of prayer (I Thes.5:17).  Especially in times of stress, danger, or sorrow.  When times are good, pray prayers of thanksgiving to God for His faithful deliverance and provision of your needs, and pray for others and their needs.  And don’t forget to pray for the salvation of your enemies! 

 

  

Television: satan’s Propaganda Machine

 

Rushed off their  feet all day and often working overtime, pressured parents are tempted to turn to the world’s cheapest babysitter: TV.  In exchange for a few cents’ worth of electricity, their kids get a comprehensive education from satan, Prince of the Power of the Air, who saturates the airwaves with his teachings:

 

1.  People are disposable.  On sitcoms and soaps, Romeo has wrung every last ounce of pleasure from his last lover, and has found a more luscious tart.

 

2.  Women have no value except as sex toys.  In TV shows, the leading man can’t work alongside a pretty woman without wanting to grope her .

 

3. He who out-cusses his opponent wins.  Real men  (and liberated women) use the “F-Word” in every sentence.

 

4.  If it’s on TV, you’ve gotta have it.  Kids from low-income families resent not owning the electronic toys, cars, and cool clothes flaunted by upper-crust adolescents on TV.

 

5.  It’s only wrong if you get caught.  Kids on TV usually keep a cool, dead conscience if accused of wrongdoing.  Only  if the evidence is stacked against them do they break a sweat.

                     

6.  Always spin-doctor the truth away to bluff your way out of trouble.   Lots of crafty politicians keep their jobs that way.  Kids admire the celebrity criminal who’s got an inexhaustible supply of aces up his sleeve.  When  confronted by authority figures, bullies spin their web of deceit and  manage to convince investigators that the  paraplegic pushed his own wheelchair down  the stairs,  or deliberately bloodied his own nose just to get them  into trouble.

                        

7.  Nice guys finish last.  Only after the nerd has pumped iron and  built up enough muscles to beat his love rival to a pulp does he get the girl, and the show has a happy ending.

 

8.  Never suppress your anger.  If somebody hacks you off, take a  swing at him, or blow up his car  (preferably with him sitting in it). 

 

9.  Violence is a fun sport, and guns are glamorous accessories. Kids go for bionic biceps and futuristic weaponry.  Their android gods grin with glee as people and planes are nuked to subatomic particles. A bully’s sweetest fanstasy is to grow from a common garden-variety  playground punk into  a real ganglord armed with an AK-47. The possibilities are endless.  Hey, just think of those big massacres in U.S. high schools we’ve heard about.  Guns can be had for a song by anyone, anywhere, in America.  It just makes good business  sense for the gun lobby to keep those pinko liberals from slapping restrictions on the sale of firearms. Profit must always come first! Hey, what’s a little blood? Gives the landscape a bit of color!

 

10.  Your “god” can be anything you want him (or her) to be! (usually indulgent,  indifferent, and  inobtrusive).  A popular cartoon show features a gang of foul-mouthed brats whose shenanigans are eulogized  by  a wishy-washy “Jesus”.  A chewing gum commercial mimics an evangelistic service.   One movie produced back in the ‘80’s depicts God as a cigar-chewing old codger who dispenses street-wise advice for “making your own way in life”. Little wonder the Fear of the Lord is outmoded, and bullies have no fear of facing His judgment.

 

Crucified by a “Christian”

 

Sometimes the problem is not so much a willingness  to let the past go, as it is the get the past to let you go!  If you have struggled in vain for years to stop reliving a humiliating scene in your life and to leave it behind you forever, this is a strong indication of demonic oppression.  Satan does not willingly let his captives go, and they must firmly resist him even after conversion to Christ.

 

Beginning a walk with God does not confer instant perfection!  It’s a lifelong  learning experience. This bullying situation occurred when I was  in my twenties.  It was largely my own fault, because I chose to ignore that Still Small Voice of God which was trying to warn me away from a great snare laid for me by satan.

 

Why was I so naive?  Because satan caught me off guard. Never before had someone pretended to be   a close friend, while harboring secret contempt toward me.  I closed my eyes to what I knew to be true about the other person.  I Corinthians 13:7 says of Christian love:  It bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and believes all things.  We are not to  quickly abandon hope that sinners may be saved, and Christians may become more Christlike. We should, in love, bear with the mistakes and faults of those who often stumble in their efforts to walk with the Redeemer.  Love is patient and kind.  But equally true is this principle:  Love is rooted in truth.  God is Love, but He is also the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life (John 14:6).  Christ bore long with Judas and treated him as a friend, but in the end Judas repaid Jesus’ kindness with betrayal.  It must have broken Jesus’ heart, but He owned up to the truth about His betrayer and  had to write him off as hopelessly at enmity with Himself (John 17:12).

 

God might allow the devil’s people to go around believing delusions, (as in 2 Thessalonians 2:11), but  it is not his will for us to deceive ourselves about people and situations.  Love is gentle and meek, but love does not lie to itself!

 

Many years ago we were friends with “Bambi” and her husband “Sammy”.  I was too quick to trust anyone who claimed to be born again.  I just  automatically assumed that every professing  believer wants to forsake the ways of sin and grow to be more like Christ.  Boy, was I ever in for a rude awakening! King Solomon’s wisdom cost him nothing and was his merely for the asking.  Mine is the “wisdom-born-of-pain” variety.

 

Bambi began to freeze me out just after we left her church to go elsewhere...but I was too “nice” to notice.  Contrary to popular belief, the concept of “nice” (being too sweet to ever rebuke anyone) does NOT exist in Scripture! Oh, but Bambi knew how to pretend that she was “only kidding” as she smiled like a crafty cat. I was much too na´ve to realize the dirty little games people play with the moods and emotions of others. I despise the manipulative control tactics people use, the studied hints they drop. That is cowardice, pure and simple. Far better it would have been if she’d confessed her resentment of our change of church to God and tried to reconcile with us over it. Thank God, heaven is a cruelty-free zone, and I won’t have to put up with her kind of meanness there, or I wouldn’t care much to go there! 

 

My husband and I would always try to give people gifts which would bless them.  My husband helped Sammy fix his van for free and provided work for him when possible. But  Bambi trashed two of my birthdays.  On one of them she sent a plaque :  To have a friend, be a friend!  I just shrugged it off as one of her quirks. Next year she sent me a “gift” salvaged from a carton of Virginia Slims cigarettes.  It was a set of cutesy picture cards, each of which featured a Victorian lady and  antiquated rules for proper feminine deportment.  One said:  Clothing and Dress:  It can either exalt her or ruin her.  Typical Bambi,  I thought, choosing to ignore the barb. Just like this Establishment booster to throw a wet blanket on my birthday!

 

 

Continued in Chapter Five-Part 2