Defeating the Flesh

Numbers 11:1-9 (HCSB) Now the people began complaining openly before the Lord about hardship. When the Lord heard, His anger burned, and fire from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and he prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So that place was named Taberah, because the Lord’s fire had blazed among them. Contemptible people among them had a strong craving for other food. The Israelites cried again and said, “Who will feed us meat? We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now our appetite is gone; there’s nothing to look at but this manna! ” The manna resembled coriander seed, and its appearance was like that of bdellium. The people walked around and gathered it. They ground it on a pair of grinding stones or crushed it in a mortar, then boiled it in a cooking pot and shaped it into cakes. It tasted like a pastry cooked with the finest oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.

Numbers 11 31-35 (HCSB) A wind sent by the Lord came up and blew quail in from the sea; it dropped them at the camp all around, three feet off the ground, about a day’s journey in every direction. The people were up all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quail — the one who took the least gathered 50 bushels — and they spread them out all around the camp. While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the Lord’s anger burned against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague. So they named that place Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved the meat. From Kibroth-hattaavah the people moved on to Hazeroth and remained there.

When most people think of worshipping the Devil, they think of 666, rituals, burning incense, sacrifices, candles and sorcery (and all those things are true); but pure satanism is much simpler. So simple in fact that you may be a satanist and not even know it. The very essence of satanism is to do your own thing.

This following statement was taken from an article written on 02-18-03 by journalist Eric Gillin in an interview with Church of Satan high priest Peter H. Gilmore…“What they [satanists] essentially believe, is that life should be lived in the pursuit of pleasures, and we only get one chance to do it. Sounds like America to us.”

It is interesting that satanists declare America an “absolutely satanic nation.” What is even more disturbing is “why” they consider America a satanic nation, that is, because of our freedom to DO AS THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW.

Pursuit of Happiness – The pursuit of happiness is defined as a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don’t do anything illegal or violate the rights of others.The right to “the pursuit of happiness” affirmed in the Declaration of Independence is taken these days to affirm a right to chase after whatever makes one subjectively happy. Further, the Declaration doesn’t guarantee the right to happiness, the thought usually goes, but only the right to pursue what makes you happy.

So the Satanists equate independence from God with satanism (doing your own thing instead of obeying God’s Word). This is what the serpent offered Eve, that is, independence from God. Satanists define satanism as “freedom from God’s Laws.” Satanists say, “Hey, in America we can legally do wickedness.” They define satanism as “the pursuit of pleasures.” “If it feels good, do it” they say. Welcome to SIN SIN America!!!

Satanic Beliefs

The Church of Satan neither worships the Judeo-Christian devil nor does it believe in the being’s existence. “Satanism” to church members is more like a philosophy than a traditional religion. The following three lists are starting points in understanding the church’s belief system.

The Nine Satanic Statements articulate what “Satan” means to the church:

Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.

Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.

Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit.

Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates.

Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek.

Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires.

Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development”, has become the most vicious animal of all.

Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.

Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years.

1 John 2:15-17 (HCSB)Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.

Satanism is all about doing it YOUR WAY instead of GOD’S WAY. Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey (1930-1997) taught his followers that they were their own gods an goddesses, their own final authority“…and he must, as a satanist, knowing this, realizing what his human potential is, eventually, and here is one of the essential points of satanism, attain his own godhead in accordance with his own potential. Therefore, each man, each woman is a god, or goddess in satanism.”—Anton LaVey (1930-1997), Church of Satan

Christianity began as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When it went to Greece it became a philosophy. When Christianity went to Rome it became an organization. When it went to Europe it became a culture. But when Christianity came to America it became a business. Apostasy is widespread in these Last Days

2 Timothy 3:1-5(HCSB)But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people! 

2 Timothy 4:3-4(ESV) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW. Or as the Bible says in Proverb 14:14(ESV) The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.

Titus 3:3-7 (HCSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us — not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy — through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

The Manifestation and Struggle with the Flesh

How does the flesh manifest itself in human beings? The Bible answers the question this way:
Galatians 5:19-21(HCSB)19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Examples of the flesh’s outworking in the world are evident. Consider a few sad facts taken from a recent survey on the effect of pornography in America. According to the study, every second in the U.S.:

• $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography

• 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography

• 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines

And every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is being created in the United States. Such statistics underscore the statement made by the prophet Jeremiah who mourned that Jeremiah 17:9(ESV)“the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

The Consequences of the Flesh

The Bible says that living in the flesh produces a number of unfortunate consequences. First, Scripture states that those who live according to the flesh, and who never desire change or repent from their sinful behavior, will experience separation from God both in this life and the next:

Romans 6:21(ESV)“But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things (Sinful Practices)of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

• Romans 8:13(ESV)13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

• Galatians 6:7-8(ESV)Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Further, a person also becomes a slave to his/her fleshly nature:

Romans 6:16(ESV)16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

This slavery always leads to a destructive lifestyle and deteriorated living. As the prophet Hosea said,Hosea 8:7(ESV) “For they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind”.

The fact of the matter is that obeying the flesh always results in breaking God’s moral law. Nevertheless, in a very real sense, a person can never break God’s moral law, although he can certainly disobey it. For example, a person can climb up on a roof, tie a cape around his neck, and leap off the roof in hopes of breaking the law of gravity. However, he will quickly learn that he cannot fly; he cannot break the law of gravity, and the only thing he breaks in the end is himself, while proving the law of gravity in the process. The same is true of moral actions: a person may disobey God’s moral law through fleshly living, but he will only prove the moral law of God true by breaking himself in some way via his own behavior.

Overcoming the Flesh

The Bible provides a three-step process for overcoming the flesh and restoring oneself to a right relationship with God. The first step is a walk of honesty where a person acknowledges his sinful behavior before God. This involves agreeing with what the Bible says about everyone born of human parents: people are sinners and enter the world in a broken relationship with the God who made them:

Psalm 130:3(ESV)If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,

    O Lord, who could stand?

1 John 1:8, 10(ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The next step is a walk in the Spirit, which involves calling out to God for salvation and receiving His Holy Spirit that empowers a person to live rightly before God and not obey the flesh’s desires. This transformation and new walk of life is described in several places in Scripture:

Galatians 2:20(ESV)“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” 

Romans 6:11(ESV) 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

  • Galatians 5:16(ESV)”16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

• Galatians 3:27(HCSB) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. 

  • Romans 13:14(HSCB)But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

• Ephesians 5:18(ESV)”And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

• Psalm 119:11(ESV)I have treasured Your word in my heart

so that I may not sin against You.

The last step is a walk of death, where the flesh is starved of its desires so that it eventually dies. Even though a person is born again through the Spirit of God, he must understand he still possesses the old nature with its desires that war with the new nature and the desires that come from the Spirit. From a practical standpoint, the Christian purposely avoids feeding the old, fleshly nature and instead practices new behaviors that are driven by the Spirit:

1 Timothy 6:11(HCSB)”But you, man of God, run from these things,(Sinful Actions)and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,love, endurance, and gentleness. 

2 Timothy 2:22(NLT)“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

1 Corinthians 9:27(HCSB)27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

  • Colossians 3:5(HCSB)”Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.

• Galatians 5:24(HCSB)”Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

  • Romans 6:6(HCSB)For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 

Ephesians 4:20-24(HCSB) 20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off your former way of life, the old self[j] that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed[k] in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.


Susanna Wesley, mother to the great preachers and hymn writers John and Charles Wesley, described sin and the flesh this way: “Whatever weakens your reasoning, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes away your relish for spiritual things, in short – if anything increases the authority and the power of the flesh over the Spirit, that to you becomes sin however good it is in itself.” One of the goals of the Christian life is the victory of the Spirit over the flesh and a change of life, which manifests in righteous living before God.

Although the struggle will be very real (which the Bible makes clear), Christians have assurance from God that He will bring them eventual success over the flesh. Philippians 1:6(ESV)”For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus”.

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