Reflection Questions – The Satan File 8: The Willful King (Daniel 11.36-39, Revelation 13.1-4)
by Pastor Gene
Matthew 11:16a: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear!”
- We’ve recently seen that Satan has been preparing the world to receive Antichrist through what John calls the “spirit of antichrist” (1 John 4:3) and what Paul calls the “mystery of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:7). Both of these were “at work” when the Church began and have grown steadily in influence to our very day. These ideas oppose all that God stands for. As people whom God has “granted” eyes to see, how do you see these two things “working” today? Think morally, politically, spiritually – consider recent changes in human sexual ethics, the rise of violence, and the absence of civility. Remember: if what we’re witnessing makes no ‘natural’ sense (i.e., people acting against their own – and their nation’s – best interest), it’s probably being energized supernaturally.1
- Look at 1 Timothy 4:7-10. Here Paul encourages us to ‘DO THIS and NOT THAT.’ What is he asking us to “train” ourselves in? Why is this so vital for us to do, especially now? (Think both internally [personally] & publicly [our witness]. What are some of the ways we can “train” ourselves “for godliness? What are the amazing benefits of doing so (4:8)?
- Talk about Philippians 2:14-16. Why is it so important not to complain? How does Paul describe the generation? What’s our responsibility to it? How do we do that? (It’s in the text!)
- Daniel 8:23 tells us that Antichrist, “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” will “stand up” in the “latter time … when the transgressors have reached their fullness.” This is interesting. Do you think “the transgressors have reached their fullness” today? Why or why not? Consider how God has marked out Israel for special favor all throughout the Scriptures, and how they’re being marked out for special persecution in our day. Something supernatural going on behind the scenes maybe?
- A few weeks back, Pastor Steve Martel preached a wonderful sermon about the “full armor of God” which we’re to “put on” so that we might (1) “be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) and (2) “be able to withstand in the evil day” (6:13). Clearly, this armor has NOTHING to do with the natural and EVERYTHING to do with the supernatural. How has the “armor of God” traditionally been misunderstood by believers? 6:13 says we’re to “stand firm” AFTER “having done all.” What are these things (the “all”) that we should be doing in order to stand firm in the faith?
- Paul tells us that “in all circumstances” believers are to “take up the shield of faith”! Why? So that we might “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). Do you see anything ‘natural’ about this? No. This is spiritual warfare and it is the unchanging reality of every believer’s life. So, Paul tells us to raise this shield of faith “in all circumstances.” Even seemingly ‘natural’ events are ‘supernatural (6:12). Now, be honest: do you take these invisible dangers in your life as seriously as the Bible does? Why or why not? How might we better align our ‘natural’ view of life with the Bible’s decidedly ‘supernatural’ view?
- Consider Ephesians 2:2: How is Satan the “prince of the power of the AIR”? The Greek word translated “air” refers to “the atmosphere immediately above the earth’s surface.”2 I find these words fascinating in this age of wireless internet, streaming, radio/TV waves, & public surveillance! (And this was written by Paul 2000 years ago!) Also, the verse tells us that this “prince” is “THE spirit that is NOW at work in the sons of disobedience.” Who exactly are the “sons of disobedience”? How is Satan “at work” in them? What’s the significance in Paul using the word “now” in his own day? What’s the significance of it in our day?
1 If time permits, revisit Paul’s list of end-time spirit trend with fresh eyes in lieu of recent events (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
2 William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 23.
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