Program Air Date - 4-25-04



Isn't it great to know God and to have the privilege of gathering together and praising His name on this wondrous Lord's Day? Thanks for joining us on this special day. We are so happy to have you this morning for this time of offering to God. How blessed we are in this country to have the freedom to assemble this day and to give this time to our Creator. It is my hope and prayer that we will each do our part to make this time of worship acceptable in God's sight and according to His Will!

Now as we begin to focus our thoughts on God, will you bow with me before His throne in prayer. (PRAYER)

Today is the day for our Television taping of song for this program. We hope to see everyone who is able to be with us at 2:00 p.m. at our building on Kansas Expressway. Hope to meet and see many of you there!

This morning, I would also like to thank the Marionville Church of Christ for their continued encouragement and support of the Living Word Program. This congregation has helped us for many years to take the precious message of Jesus Christ to this entire area in which we live.

Let me encourage you to visit with this congregation when you are in the Marionville area. These brethren meet beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings - This Bible class is followed by a main worship assembly at 10:30 a.m. Furthermore, on Sunday evening this family of God assembles at 6:00, for another time of worship. On Wednesdays, at 7:00 p.m., these brethren provide another chance to worship God. So please take advantage of this opportunity and visit with these fine brethren the next time you are in the Marionville area. If you need further information, contact their minister at (417)463-2164. This brothers name is Jack Norris.

Now it's time to join in with the congregation in song. The name of our first hymn, "Hold To God's Unchanging Hand!"

(SONG # 1)


If you were able to choose in this life, what type of country would you want to be born in and live in? I think if you asked most of the world, they would agree that they would want to live in the great, strongest and freest county that this world has to offer! Now as Americans, we have certainly been blessed beyond measure, but most in this world are a whole lot less fortunate than we.

With this in mind, think of how wonderful the words of the Hebrew writer must have been to those who were under, controlled by and ruled by the Roman Government. In Hebrews 12:28, the Bible says, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." What a wonderful promise they had and those of today's world have through the grace of God. We "have" received a Kingdom, which cannot be shaken. So in Christ, no matter who we are, or where we live, we are all in a spiritual Kingdom that is far greater and stronger than those of this world. And better yet, a kingdom which is eternal!

Finally, look at verse 29 of the same opening gives us the answer as to why all of this is possible, there we read, "For our God is a consuming fire." Oh, what a wondrous, powerful, mighty and awesome God we serve! Isn't it great to be a follower of the King?

Our study of the morning will again focus on the, "Important Doctrines Of God." As far as the specific message of the day, we will consider, "The Doctrine Of Satan." So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "At Calvary."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thanks so much for continuing with us this morning as we now look to the doctrines of God. We've been having a great study over the past while and we just again thank you so much as you continue to listen to these wonders of the Words of God that make us better servants in His kingdom.

Today, we want to talk about something that many in this world seem to reject or maybe they don't believe in and it's sad and maybe really a wonder to me in the fact that many of the folks who live today reject the concepts of Hell or the idea of Satan or really the idea at all that there are those who practice and really primarily focus on evil things and choose evil rather than good. Well the reality is that the Bible has many doctrines, specific doctrines that we are to follow and one such doctrine that is to be understood that is found in scripture is the clear teaching or doctrine of Satan. Satan is real and today we intend to consider from scripture, not our own desires or our own thoughts or our own wants or by what some man might say. But what does the Bible say, the Word of God? What are its teachings own that man, that being, that individual that we so often have referred to in scripture? That again being the devil or Satan.

It is again a wonder to me as I have mentioned and the reason being as I look around the world I see the war, the blood shed, the death, the strife, the oppression, the vengeance, the crime, the hostilities and corruption and suffering and problems of this life and in all these things we certainly can see that as Job said that "a man who is born of woman is a few days and full of trouble," Job 14, verse 1. Certainly Job knew something that we can as well know through the Word of God that this world, this life, that which we are a part of now is difficult. It is troublesome. It has many problems and the reason being is because not of God or because of the things that are good according to God, but because of the evil one or because of those things that pertain to evil.

Now as we continue on to look at what the Bible says, we first see the introduction in the beginning, there in the first few chapters of the Bible. In fact, you might notice there in chapter 3 of Genesis that it's clear that as Adam and Eve had been created and placed in the Garden of Eden and made holy in the image of God as God said, "Let us make man in our own image." Then we see as they were in the garden that they were approached by something in the book, there in Genesis chapter 3. And what was that in which they were approached? In verse 1 it says, "And now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made and then he spoke to woman." The serpent. The serpent is referred to here as a cunning one. And notice this was before man had ever sinned. This was before we see the first sin that brought about the continuous problem of sin that we see today or the problems of death, or the pain in childbirth, or the difficulties in laboring that the earth might bring forth fruit. This was long back. This was before the first sin of that which God had created as far as His earthly creations, man and woman and those things of the earth, and yet it was a serpent as is referred to here. Well we'll be reading in just a moment and I don't want to duplicate but in the book of Revelation, we'll be looking at a verse that talks about that old serpent. Then it says, "the devil." It says that the serpent was the devil. The context or the idea of the serpent here was a beast of the field the Bible tells us, not the slithering thing that we often think of, but at that time a beast of the field that clearly was taken and used by Satan in order that he might deceive the woman. The man and the woman as we well remember in chapter 1 and verse 28 that had been given dominion over all that God had created. Everything was placed under the man. And so therefore using something that was under the man, created of God, a beast of the field, the serpent, the devil here was able to deceive and we see that the serpent spoke to her and then she responded. Furthermore, going on and understanding to know that she sinned and did that which was contrary to the Will of God.

Who was this serpent and who used it for their wicked deeds? Well as we have clarified, it is the seducer of men. It is the evil one himself. The father of lies and the one who chooses to deceive all those of this earth that he can. And why does he deceive them? In order that he might truly cause them to turn away from the Father.

There's a wonderful description of Satan found in John chapter 8. If you'll look there in verse 44, Jesus Himself said the following about Satan, the devil, or the serpent. He says, "You are of your father, the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do, for he was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resource for he is a lie and the father of it." The liar! What was the first thing that the serpent did as there Satan used him? He lied. He told a lie. He misused... Notice it wasn't just an out and out lie. He was quoting scripture somewhat, but yet he lied and misused that which he knew and he tried to trick or deceive Eve, as well as Adam and as he has been doing ever since trying to cause men to disbelieve as Jesus goes on to say here. So much so that they would not believe, that they would not accept Him. But I want to as well bring out here the fact not only that the devil is the father of all wickedness and lies and evil, but he as well says here that "he was a murderer from the beginning."

What's the outcome again of what the serpent there, Satan, did in the garden? Well, man was cursed and taken away from the garden where the tree of life existed and death was then placed upon the hood of man. All men then would die. Not only would men die a physical death eventually, but because they had been removed from the Tree of Life and the wonderful spiritual presence of God as He cared for them there, as well would suffer a spiritual death if they fell from the plan of God, if they sinned, if they did unrighteousness, those things rather contrary to the Will of God. So what a clear and interesting description from God Himself in the flesh, Jesus Christ, that certainly Satan, the devil, the father of lies, the murderer, the one from the beginning is one that has many followers because many choose evil and the things of the flesh over God. They allow the fleshly desires that are very appealing to all of us to succumb and really take hold of them and keep them from really doing what they should according to God.

So who is this Satan? Who is this devil? Well we know that he's not just a mere idea or something to scare us like hocus pocus or maybe a lie that God told. Certainly the devil is real because God Himself gives him personality, gives him a specific image and states clearly that he is a being, that he is about something that is about that is moving around like a roaring lion trying to deceive mankind and keep them from their God. Certainly Satan is real because our God says he is real. The doctrine of God says that Satan is a reality and we need to be ready for this reality because as a distinct personality we read the Bible as it tells us that he is the worst of all sprits, that he comes and strives to do all that he can once again to not only deceive and mislead, but to cause us as well to be deceivers and misleaders and partakers of sin, therefore causing others to fall away with us.

It also mentions in Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 2 that he works in the children of disobedience, that he has caused them and taken hold of their hearts and their minds and given them over to wickedness into the things that are contrary to the Will of God. Therefore God has allowed them to believe the lie. Why? Because their hearts have been seared and they have chosen Satan and evils over God. So yes, again Satan is real. He is the worse of all spirits. He is the one who is over the children of disobedience and he is our adversary.

I want you to read with me in the book of 1 Peter. I think there's a very, very interesting concept that is presented there in relationship to this man, this inspired writer of God. In 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 8, notice what the Bible tells us about the devil. It says, "Be sober. Be vigilant because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." Your adversary, the devil. Beware! Be ready! He says to be vigilant. Be sober in all things knowing that Satan is there and being ready so that when he comes you can withstand his darts as the Ephesian writer says. You can stay away from the sin, the stumbling blocks that he places in front of you and you can look to God for the strength, the grace and the mercy and the power to overcome even the things that Satan tries to do to you.

Many also ask the question, "Where does Satan come from?" Well, we might say that it really doesn't matter because the fact is the doctrine says that he is real and we've got to be aware of him. But I think the Bible gives us some glimpses and I hope you'll write these verses down because in 2 Peter again just a book over, 2 Peter chapter 2 and verse 4. You might notice in the 2 chapter there several references about Noah in chapter 2 and verse 5, about Sodom and Gomorra in verse 6, and there Lot in verse 7 of chapter 2. Before that, something that happened before that because we see that this is a chronological order. It is happening as it did in the references of Genesis. Something before that in verse 4 is referred to. Notice what it says there. "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to Hell and delivered them unto chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment." There we see something that happened even before Noah's day. I might remind you that in Genesis chapter 6 early on in the Bible, Noah is talked about and his story is given.

Before that, it says that at some point in Heaven, God had to throw some people out. Well I think that's the same reference that is being made or at least referred to in some sense, that is found in Revelation 12, verse 7-19, a war between Michael and the angels of that old serpent, the devil and how they were cast and chained and bound.

But even if that is still not convincing, I want you to look with me in the book of Timothy. In 1 Timothy chapter 3, I think there in the list of qualifications of an elder, there is something that is mentioned that is of the utmost importance, as it says in verse 6, "An elder should not be a novice..." (Why?) "lest he be puffed up with pride." But now notice what he goes on to say, "Pride and fall into the same condemnation as the devil." The devil. The comparison made of a novice here who might be boastful and proud and arrogant and think that he's something that he is not. The example that is given is the devil. The devil who fell into condemnation that we might fall in the same condemnation. If you fall into condemnation, that means that at some point, you are not in condemnation. The evidence seems clear to me that as all things as we are told in John 1 and verse 3, "All things that have been made, that were made, that exist are only because of God." God is all eternal and the only eternal one. But we see here that Satan is one who seems at one point to have been among the angels, the fallen angels and those who chose to leave the wonders and the blessings of their God.

I want to end in the book of 1 John 3. A great warning is given here again by John in John chapter 3 beginning in verse 9 as the Bible tells us again more about the cautions that we must watch for. "Whoever has been born of God does not sin for his seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God." Verse 10, "In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is he who does not love his brother." A distinction is made here and then examples given. If we are of God and children of God, we are righteous. If we are not of God and we are doing evils in this world, we are children of the devil. The distinctions are clear. What do we choose to be? God says that we can follow Him or we can follow Satan who is real as we have seen according to the scripture, the doctrine of Satan.

As we have seen throughout scripture, certainly Satan is real. And as James warns us in James 4 and verse 7, "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." God says, "I am more powerful. I am all powerful. I am eternal. I am all knowing, and if you will follow me, I can help you resist the devil who is there to test you and try you and to see truly if you have the faith that is enduring to the end so that you and I, as we have been found faithful, will be able to receive all of the wonders and blessings that God has promised us, not only of this earth, but also in Heaven someday.

(SONG # 3 - "Angels Are Singing!")


May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!

But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

Many of these items are also available on our web page, that address:

Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

May we as followers of God, always acknowledge that Satan is real and that he is our adversary! Furthermore, may we be prepared to withstand his wickedness as he tries to cause us to fall from the fold of God!

(Program closing)