About the Series

I firmly believe that Jesus is returning soon. All I have to do is look around and see the actualization of what Paul warned us about in 1 Thessalonians 2:3 that says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.” Look up with hope, for He has promised us:  “when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

The Nature of Dragons

When I was a child, I would watch “Our Gang” with great delight. Those of you who are too young to have seen the TV show can still relate to the scene I describe. Two little boys are sitting in a wagon to which they have harnessed a pet goat. Ingenious as these little guys are, they have rigged a long pole to dangle a carrot in front of the goat. When they lower the carrot, the goat goes forward, always and forever to be deprived of his reward. To stop, all they need do is just raise the carrot above the goat’s eye level and—out of sight, out of mind—the animal immediately stops. We tend to think stupid goat, until we realize that we who have considered ourselves sheep sometimes look an awful lot like the goat. Why is that?

Dragons dangle carrots, too.

The chief Dragon has spent millennia studying the behavior of human beings. And it’s his long study that enables him to hitch us to a wagon. Then, without even realizing it, we are following after a goal we never intended to pursue, and our minds are so caught up in it that we don’t even recognize the motivation that drives us. And, beloved, you are no different than the rest of us!

Let’s look at the nature of the dragon. First, it is ever and always a liar (we’ll get to that in Chapter Four). Then, it is corrupt through and through. The nature of the dragon is such that camouflage is, as it were, the skin in which it lives. These things are important to know if we hope to avoid entrapment.

 

John the beloved disciple gives us perhaps the most vivid description. “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be  set free for a short time” (Revelation 20:2-3, emphasis mine). According to John’s vision, all doubt about the dragon’s identity is removed. And his purpose—to deceive the nations—is also plainly revealed. Deception may well be the most significant aspect of the dragon’s nature. His first encounter with man was to lie about God, and this is still his modus operandi today.
Few would argue with me when I say that our nation is in a downward moral swing. Click To Tweet We have churches today that cater to the itching ears of people all over the country. This is a prophesied event linked to the end times. 2 Timothy 4:3 says: “For the time will come when 
men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (emphasis mine).

There is a movement among the churches called ecumenism, which is to bring all religions together so that all may worship together. The problems with that are legion, and many books have been written on the subject. Suffice it to say that there can be no coming together because there is only one God, the God of Christ, who is Christ Himself. All other so-called gods are false, lies from the pit of hell, and what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? Or how can dark remain with light (2 Corinthians 6:14)?

Marriage has been redefined to include same-sex couples, denying that the reason for marriage is not so that the world will recognize the union of two people, but that children might be holy (1 Corinthians 7:14). God established the order in Genesis, saying “For this reason shall a man leave his mother and a woman her home, and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, emphasis mine).

Things which are evil are called good, and things which are good are called evil (Isaiah 5:20). The Ten Commandments are removed from public view, Bible reading in public is not tolerated (not to mention speaking the name of Christ), and children are taught the fundamentals of Islam in so-called world religion classes while Christianity is minimized or eliminated altogether, despite its importance in the development of the West.

America did not slide into moral decay all at once, just as tooth decay happens slowly, over time. Did you know that sugar doesn’t cause decay in your teeth? Well, actually, that might be splitting hairs. [bctt tweet=”The human mouth is filled with microorganisms; so filled, in fact, that they outnumber the billions of people on the earth.” username=”suziwollman”]

Since bacteria are organisms just like we are, they consume “food” and excrete  “waste.” (Yes, I know that the analogy is disgusting; nevertheless, stick with me here.)

Tooth decay is more properly called demineralization. When acid (the waste the bacteria form) is allowed to remain on the teeth, a “hole” in the wall of the enamel begins to form. Immediately. Although we can’t actually sterilize our mouths, we can resist the decay process by not allowing the bacteria to form colonies. Limiting the amount of time that sugars remain in our mouths and cleaning promptly and thoroughly after consuming sugars and starches can keep the bacteria from doing their work.

Lesser Poland St. Catherine of Siena

Here’s how this analogy relates to our study of compromise. You can easily see that if you could eliminate all traces of sugars and starches you consume, bacteria—although they would still be present—would have minimal impact on your teeth. Demonic spirits, like bacteria, live with us and will have greater or lesser impact on our lives depending on how we choose to combat them. (Please notice that I did not say they live in you. I believe that if we could actually see the demons at work around us, we would have a bad time of it not to panic. You may have seen movies where the demons [or gargoyles, or whatever] are visible 
and the panic that ensues!) This is, of course, an oversimplification of the problem, but it will suffice for our purposes.
I’ve often used the nature of objects to explain holiness. If you hold a piece of paper over a burning flame, the flame will consume the paper. Why is that? Because it is the nature of paper and fire to behave this way. Even if the flame and the paper “wanted” to be together, it would not be possible without changing the nature of one or the other. God is said to be a 

Photo courtesy of Antony Xia on Unsplash

consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). He is holy; we are unholy (until we belong to Christ). Uncovered as we are without Christ, we could not enter the Holy of Holies, where God dwells, without being utterly consumed, because holiness consumes unholiness. Holiness is an absolute, and thus cannot change. However, our fallen nature can be changed if we allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin (that which makes us unholy), and ask God to make Jesus’ righteousness our own. At the moment of conversion, we die to our old nature and are reborn with a whole new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Something very real takes place here, not something symbolic. For the holiness of God is a very real thing, and if the salvation experience were only symbolic, we would still be consumed in God’s presence. Symbolic salvation would have little value for eternity.

Continued next week…

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