April 29, 2006
A Page from the Devil’s Playbook
May 15, 2006
*Note: I started this study in April, and have hesitated on publishing this because although I knew it helped me, I ended
up going in a new direction with this I hadn't gone before. This study contains text which is blue, from the book 1
Maccabees, one of the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha, included in the KJV 1611. I pray God help his people to
be aware and awake and praying, one for another.
Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye make
clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of
them may be clean also.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye are
like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye
also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of
hypocrisy and iniquity.
The word "Pharisee" means, ironically, "set apart". I want to give you a little background here on who they were and how
the Pharisees began. They began as a remnant of people who would not at the cost of their lives, forsake the law of God. These
people were called by several names, one, the "Assideans" or "Hasideans" who were unwilling to compromise God's law, even
to the death. After Darius was dethroned as king of the Persians and Medes, by Alexander, a Greek, he ruled much of the whole
earth for about 12 years, having conquered so much of it the rest of it gave in to him. He permitted the Jews their religion,
their laws of worship and sacrifice. They prospered under him. When he got sick and knew he was going to die, he gathered
his closest most trusted servants, "such as were honorable, and had been brought up with him from his youth, and parted his
kingdom among them, while he was yet alive" quote from 1 Maccabees 1:6. (Apocrypha).
1Ma 1:9 And after his death
they all put crowns upon themselves; so did their sons after them many years: and evils were multiplied in the earth.
Now, just a note here, I had never considered the Apocrypha as something I had wanted to read, but while researching the
Pharisees, and their awful beginnings, that is where it led. The word Apocrypha means “hidden” and is applied
to writings where there is a question as to who wrote them, or whether the text is inspired or not. I have not read very much
of these texts, and what I did seemed to be a historical account of the struggle of the Jews during the 400 years after Malichi
before Jesus. This study concerns the book 1 Maccabees, which was included in the KJV 1611 Bible. The book relates the history
of the Maccabean revolt against king Antiochus IV Ephiphanes during the second century BC. History reveals he was a very cruel
man. I should also mention this book is considered as inspired by the Roman Catholic church and Greek Orthodox church, and
is included in the Roman Catholic Bible. (Deuterocanonical). I am not going into any dispute over Catholic doctrine, but having
read the Bible, and I’m learning to know the Lord for myself, I want no part of any religion that tells me I cannot
go straight to the throne room of my heavenly Father who cleared the way for me to do so and invites me to come boldly to
the throne of grace (Heb 4:16) but says rather I must go through a man who intercedes for me. There is one Advocate, and that
is Christ Jesus the Lord, who shed his blood for my sins. I go to my Father through his name, because of the blood. Hallelujah!
But, let’s move on here, and I pray you will bear with me, because this gets interesting or I wouldn't take time to
go into it. I’m being brief here, for the sake of time and space, and there is a lot more information available, but
I am trying to include what is pertinent to what I was studying. After Alexander died, his servants all ruled the kingdoms
he gave them, and generations later, things had deteriorated so badly that people pretty well just did what they wanted to.
There was a man who came on the scene named Antiochus IV Ephiphanes.
1Ma 1:10 And there
came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and
he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.
If you have read any of the history of the 400 years between Malichi's writing and the birth of Jesus Christ, this name
will be familiar to you. Daniel prophesied about him. As I read this first chapter of 1 Mac, I was amazed as scriptures started
flowing through my mind. Daniel mentioned some of what I read. Jesus mentioned some of what I read. Dan_11:21-32. Mat_24:15 Mar_13:14 Mat_24:2
Antiochus was a very wicked, evil man who must have hated God a lot. Surely, he was full of the devil. His name means "opponent".
As I read about what this man did, I could not help but see him as Satan. 1Ma_1:11 says in 137 a.d. when Antiochus Epiphanes (pronounced "an tee uh kus eepif uh neez" ) began ruling, wicked men
of Israel, who persuaded many, went and made a covenant with all the heathen around them, because they were tired of living
under the law of God, convinced, I believe by Satan himself, that the law of God was responsible for their sorrow. When you
are a Believer in God and his word, and try to live a holy life, according to his word, you will encounter resistance from
the adversary of your soul. He will come against you-through those closest to you who are not saved. Through situations, and
circumstances. He will attack your mind with vicious thoughts and you better know if you are praying and believing God, your
heavenly Father will prepare and warn you ahead of time. The devil hates God, and everything God loves-that includes the people
God created in his image. The Christian life includes suffering, and don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t. The
Son of God himself had to suffer-should we think we are any better to escape suffering? Some will suffer more than others,
but all that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer. But this precious Christ Jesus is a priceless reward and he watches over
his own with a zealous and loving eye. I love what the apostle Paul said about his own suffering, which was greater than any
in the Bible, greater even than the physical suffering of Jesus-
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a
far more exceeding and
eternal weight of glory;
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Phi 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe
on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the
keeping of their souls to him in well
doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
From day one, in the garden, the devil set out to deceive and destroy God’s creation. He did everything he could
to break the fellowship of God and man. He caused Eve to question the command God had given them not to eat of the tree. He
tries to cause people to doubt the accuracy and truthfulness of the Word of God. When believers suffer, he will lie and tell
them it’s because of God being angry with them, because he’s unreasonable, unfair, if you just walk away from
him and go back, it will get better. Did not Israel become convinced of this in the wilderness when God wanted them to enter
into the promised land, the adversary was right there magnifying the giants in their minds, inciting them to fear. The people
of Israel had suffered greatly. They had been attacked by their enemies, many had been killed. Their cities had been burned.
They had suffered a great deal because of their rebellion against God. When you forsake the word and law of God, which is
for your protection, and security, then you leave yourself very vulnerable.
1Ma 1:11 In those days
went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round
about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow.
1Ma 1:12 So this device
pleased them well.
They went to the king Antiochus (big mistake) and he gave them permission to leave the law and do as the heathen did. And
they wildly embraced the customs and practices of the heathen. They forsook the holy covenant. Not all the people but many
1Ma 1:16 Now when the kingdom
was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms.
1Ma 1:17 Wherefore he entered
into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy,
1Ma 1:18 And made war against
Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death.
Antiochus proceeds to conquer Egypt. On the heels of his completely smiting Egypt, he heads straight for Israel and Jerusalem.
1Ma 1:19 Thus they got
the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof.
1Ma 1:20 And after that
Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem
with a great multitude,
Oh, folks, look where the enemy heads when he invades the city where God’s people live.
Remember, this is a warfare between Satan, the adversary of our souls, and the Lord Jesus Christ who has already defeated
the old devil, who just can’t give up and admit defeat and since he can’t hurt the Lord, he turns to hurt those
the Lord loves. He manipulates people into betraying their faith in the Lord, and walking away from him, and don’t you
know it hurts the heart of God to see people behave so cavalierly about the things of God-when he paid such a high price that
we might have abundant life, eternal life? That devil knows who God is, he has been there, in his presence. He knows how wonderful
it is, and he’s so full of hate and malice and envy because he knows he’s doomed, and he’s trying to take
as many down as he can with him.
1Ma 1:21 And entered proudly
into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof,
1Ma 1:22 And the table
of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden
ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off.
He proudly enters the sanctuary of the Jewish temple, which had been rebuilt, starting with the return of the exiles from
Babylon, under Ezra and Nehemiah. Apparently, it had been restored to its former beauty, because 1 Ma 1 gives a sickening
description of how this Antiochus and his army invades the city of Jerusalem, marches proudly and defiantly into the temple,
taking all the treasures of the temple, the gold and silver vessels, the hidden treasures he found, the candlesticks of light,
the golden altar, and all its vessels, the crown, the golden ornaments before the temple, he pulled off. He took everything
which represented gifts from and service to God. He took away the golden altar- oh, and an altar represents prayer and communion
with God, doesn’t it? Isn’t that what you think of when hear the word altar? Prayer? Communication with our Father?
Where you got saved? Where you found God? He took away the candlestick of light-the testimony, the light of truth in a dark
and desperately wicked world. He took it away. He took the shewbread- which was a type of the Word of God- he gives seed to
the sower who then ministers it to the sheep. Didn’t the Lord pray, “give us this day our daily bread?”
That’s what the shewbread represents to me.
2Co 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown,
and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
God has such great provision, he tried to show the people through physical illustrations along with the word from the prophets
how he cared so much for them. He took everything into account. And when they forsook God, they left the door open and then
enemy came in and stripped them bare.
1Ma 1:23 He took also
the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found.
1Ma 1:24 And when he had
taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly.
1Ma 1:25 Therefore there
was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were;
He massacred the people, and then, after two years of harsh rule, heavy taxation, he sent his chief tax collector to the
cities of Judah and Antiochus' man came in speaking "peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit. "For when they had given
him credence, he fell suddenly on the city and smote it sore and destroyed much people of Israel." 1Ma_1:30. He burnt the city to the ground, took the women and
children captive. Then they rebuilt the city of David, filling it with a great and strong wall, mighty towers, and made it
a strong hold for the enemy. They sent wicked, sinful men to occupy and fortify themselves there. Can you see how the enemy
deliberately and purposely attacked and profaned the holy things of God and stripped them away from a people who had neglected
them and forsaken them? No wonder God warns us not to neglect our salvation and not to go for days on end neglecting his word
or spending time with him. We need him, church! We must have this to keep ourselves strong in HIM.
1Ma 1:29 And after two
years fully expired the king sent his chief collector of tribute unto the cities of Juda, who came unto Jerusalem with a great
1Ma 1:30 And spake peaceable
words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very
sore, and destroyed much people of Israel.
1Ma 1:31 And when he had
taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side.
1Ma 1:32 But the women
and children took they captive, and possessed the cattle.
1Ma 1:33 Then builded they
the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a strong hold for them.
1Ma 1:34 And they put therein
a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves therein.
1Ma 1:35 They stored it
also with armour and victuals, and when they had gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there, and so
they became a sore snare:
1Ma 1:36 For it was a place
to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel.
1Ma 1:37 Thus they shed
innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it:
Now the next few verses got to me, for they are horrifying. As I read this, what Daniel said and what Jesus said in Matthew
24, began to make so much more sense. And you have to remember-Daniel was talking about this-before it happened. By the time
Jesus came, this had already happened. And he warned it was going to happen again. The following is an excerpt from 1 Maccabees
1 from the KJV that includes Apocrypha. As I read this, I felt horrified and dismayed, because this sounded so familiar, although
I had never read it before. And it also sounds like something that could very easily happen again in our generation, where
the antichrist spirit is thriving and spreading like wildfire in this world. Underlines are mine.
1Ma 1:41 Moreover king
Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people,
1Ma 1:42 And every
one should leave his laws:
so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king.
Remember things are heading toward a one world government now. Whose idea do you think it is that we all need to be one
people? Remember the devil has a fake and tries to counterfeit everything God has and does and is. Jesus prayed we'd be one.
But people can't seem to agree, even in the Christian faith-when he came he divided. He said he come to send division on the
earth not peace.
Luk 12:51 Suppose ye
that I am come to give peace on
earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
He divides light from dark. Truth from error. But who is the one who is behind the pressure to conform to the world and
be like it? Who is the one the young people are fighting that is inspiring the cruelty of peer pressure? It's sunk to an all
new level of cruelty in our schools today. The malice in these kids' mouths comes straight from the devil. The governments
that are preaching 'tolerance' for everything except Christ. They say we must tolerate the Muslims, the Bhuddists, the Wiccans,
we must allow everyone their freedom of expression-but Government forbid that people pray in the name of Jesus Christ at a
graduation or city council meeting, and even our military chaplains now are facing persecution. WHERE do you think that enmity,
that bone deep hatred of Jesus Christ comes from? From the one Jesus Christ defeated, and made an open show of over 2000 years
ago. (Col. 2:15) He has no power over anyone who belongs to Jesus Christ and believes in the Lord unless they are unwise enough
to give it to him by believing his lies and doing as these people did, forsake the word and love of God.
1Ma 1:43 Yea, many also
of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath.
1Ma 1:44 For the king had
sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land,
How, you say, do you sacrifice to idols? Give them a place in your life. Give them things meant for God, like your time,
your energy, your thoughts, your life, your children-instead of spending time with your children teaching them about God and
bringing them to his house, and teaching them the scriptures, send them to the movie theaters to watch movies where HIS name
and Commandments are blasphemed and broken. Let them spend hours playing violent video games which the enemy uses to negatively
influence the minds of our children. Let them spend hours on the computer surfing the internet or listening to ungodly foul
mouthed singers or rappers indoctrinating your kids with rebellion, anti-authority anti-Christ messages. Buy into the lie
that it’s just a phase they’ll grow out of, and give the devil space to pollute their minds and spirits with the
filth of the world. Let them spend time playing at people’s houses you aren’t very familiar with where they can
hear and see God only knows what. When they start getting on your nerves and you just need some “space” instead
of thanking God they are home and safe and not on a “missing child” poster, go tell them to watch TV. Then they
can go watch the box the devil uses to pump junk into the minds and hearts of people. In the past year, I have really grown
to loathe television. I have a four year old daughter who likes Dora the Explorer. They have even brought magic and witchcraft
into Dora now, and I have been covering my daughter with prayer and trying to wean her off that junk, while asking God to
forgive me for allowing it in the first place. It’s a battle when you are the only Christian in your home and the world
has reigned there. As you grow and learn the ways of God you begin to see things that are wrong and his word working in you
will change you. At times, it has caused arguments with my precious husband-but too much is at stake to back down. You have
to behave and speak in love, but you have to be firm and sure. Steadfast. The Word of God working in your heart and life will
cause you to stop doing things as it sanctifies and sets you apart from the world. So many of the cartoons now are full of
violence, bad behavior and even bad words. Too many teach tolerance of things that are wrong. God grant us wisdom and understanding
on how to guard our homes and children, for we are in need.
1Ma 1:45 And forbid burnt
offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days:
1Ma 1:46 And pollute the
sanctuary and holy people:
1Ma 1:47 Set up altars,
and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts:
1Ma 1:48 That they should
also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:
Forbid burnt offerings and sacrifice and drink offerings in the temple. Today society is full of self-seeking, pleasure
hungry, ambitious people who have been so spoiled and pampered they know nothing of sacrifice and offering their lives and
time to God. When I read this, “leave their children uncircumcised” that sounds hard to understand. Why would
it matter? Well, God is so precious and the Holy Ghost is the best Teacher I’ve ever had or ever could! I must pause
a moment to thank him, and ask him to never let me take lightly the things he opens to my understanding. Oh, don’t take
him for granted, seek him, we need him, saints!
Circumcision is the cutting away of flesh that is in the way, that can trap bacteria and cause infection in males in their
genitals. Sensitive area, I know. But spiritually speaking, if you aren’t “spiritually circumcised” which
is painful, too, let me tell you, then you are still trusting in your own ability to do things. You are trusting in your flesh,
your thoughts and ways, and think you can do that and still please and serve God. Your flesh, your thoughts, your carnal ways
will kill you. Period. They do not and will not listen to God. Your flesh wants no part of God. It has to be crucified. When
they left their children uncircumcised, they would grow up ‘self-sufficient, proud, arrogant,’ and where does
all that lead? Isn’t that what God kicked the devil out of heaven for?
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground,
which didst weaken the nations!
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most
Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz,
and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship
of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Eze 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked
up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Much of Ezekiel 28 describes the effects of being uncircumcised and how it leads to pride, arrogance and self-reliance.
We have to depend totally on God for everything. I even need him to teach me how to worship him. How to pray. Everything.
How to parent my children. How to be a good wife and mother. How to serve others, how to be kind. How to see, think, hear
and understand. How to walk. How to dress and speak. With the law of kindness in my mouth. Not arrogance, not sarcasm, or
scorn. See why the enemy wanted the children uncircumcised? Because he knows it’s not in men to direct their own paths
and when they think they are wise enough to do so they end up destroying themselves.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Pride is something God hates and won’t tolerate in his children. Satan knows this. He knows it’s sin as far
as God is concerned for people to trust in their flesh, rather than the love and help of God. Isaiah talks about this in chapter
30:1-7. Proverbs warns that pride goeth before a fall. The way of a man seems right in their own eyes but the end thereof
is death. (Pro 16:18, Pro 14:12, 16:25.) Why does the devil want people to be proud and arrogant? To do things their own way?
1Ma 1:49 To the end they
might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.
1Ma 1:50 And whosoever
would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.
Sure, he wants to get that word out of sight and out of mind. He will steal it from you anyway he can. Through distraction,
pressure, fear, attacks of unbelief he will fire at you, those fiery darts that he shoots into the mind of a believer to try
to cause them to doubt the promises of God. This wicked king targeted those who defied his law and the women who indeed had
their children circumcised, he slew, and ordered the children hanged by their necks. There were some who would rather die
than give in to the demands of the enemy. They loved God and would not betray him. I believe the martyrs will sit closest
and be most honored in heaven. Next, the missionaries who sold out to God, I think. And praise the Lord for every one of them.
What a great cloud of witnesses we have to be encouraged by.
Do you see what happens when you forsake God and try to make a deal to live with and like the world? Jesus warned us beforehand.
This reads like a play by play book of the enemy that will happen again. Even now, it is this way in many parts of the world-like
Sudan, Korea, China. There was a group of godly people who wanted no part of this "one world" system, and held to the law
of God. They rose up and warred against the evil, and over the next several hundred years, the story of the Jews is full of
battles, war, defeat, and slaughter. They won some and lost some. But there was always a remnant that held on to the law of
God, and it was preserved, as much as the enemy tried to stamp it out and make them forget. And indeed by the time of Jesus,
the Jews no longer spoke Hebrew, they spoke Aramaic. They mostly couldn't remember the language, except for the Pharisees
who by then had deteriorated into a group of legalists, were power hungry, and proud and arrogant people. They considered
themselves better than the common man of Israel. They loved prestige, attention, political gain, recognition and were vain.
They were all about appearances. But they did not know God. They did not have love and compassion for the people, for the
most part of them, at all. Perhaps Nicodemus did. Maybe a few others. But most of them were rigid authoritarian men. There
is a religious spirit that is just as dangerous and deadly as the anti-christ spirit because they have one thing in common:
they hate Christ. Religion will kill you, just as sure as pride will. The life of Christ is about humility, servitude, dependence
on God. Religion is about pride, works, critical attitudes, harshness, self-reliance. I pray God help us all be awake, with
our minds girded up with his truth, and in close fellowship with him, and laying aside the weights that beset us, forsaking
the sins that would stop us, and trusting and following him totally. When he comes, all that is going to matter is does he
know you? He doesn’t fellowship with any darkness at all so we must be full of his LIGHT. NONE OF THIS WORLD. We are
in it but not to be part of it. He can teach us and show us how to do this. Daily. Trust him. Love him. Seek him. Depend on
him. He will not fail you or forsake you.
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