“A knock on the door you hear, a knock on your head you don't” (Dixie Waters).
Are we alarmingly unaware of the schemes Satan is using to behead God’s plan for His people on this earth? Could we unknowingly be promoting this dangerous deception in our nation, church and home? We are counseled to be wary of the schemes of the devil and combat his battle plan to destroy God’s work by enlightening others of his methods of destruction. We are told,
“Our efforts must be earnest and persevering to resist the attacks of Satan. . . . He works most successfully in darkness, injuring those who are ignorant of his devices. He could not gain advantage if his method of attack was understood” (1).
Satan is battling the Head—Jesus Christ—by attacking the head of the world, the church and the family. The scary truth of this sinister plan should shock us from our nonchalant attitudes and inspire us to fight the devil’s assault—as if our very heads depend on it!
Satan’s Attack Against the Head of the Nations
“It's a lot easier to lose your head than to keep it” — Suzanne Collins.
What country leads the nations in freedom, prosperity, military power and wealth? After WWII, the United States of America rose as the world’s superpower. Why has this leading global status been entrusted to the USA? Many would say that the Lord has blessed this country because of its founding godly principals. One Christian author states:
The greatest and most favored nation upon the earth is the United States. A gracious Providence has shielded this country, and poured upon her the choicest of Heaven’s blessings. Here the persecuted and oppressed have found refuge. Here the Christian faith in its purity has been taught (2).
Perhaps, then, it is not so surprising that Satan would strive to destroy the only country in the world that has been founded on Christian principals and protects religious freedom. Have we seen an unprecedented attack on Protestant Christianity recently in the United States? Unfortunately so. According to World Net Daily:
A report by two U.S.-based religious freedom groups says anti-Christian persecution is on the rise in America.The joint report by Texas-based Liberty Institute and Washington based Family Research Council says . . . government agencies around the U.S. are trying to push Christian expression out the door (3).
There is little argument that Satan is gaining ground through anti-Christian movements by the extreme left in the United States government; however, the bigger surprise is the assault on Protestantism by those professing to be Protestants themselves. For example, Lutherans and Catholics are uniting, ushering in an alleged end to the Protestant Reformation. A 2016 news report by the Huffington Post confirms, “The Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) presented a report in Geneva . . . that the ‘struggle of the 16th century is over,’ and ‘the reasons for mutually condemning each other’s faith have fallen by the wayside’” (4).
The ecumenism movement between Protestants and Catholics seems only one step away from absorbing Protestantism into Catholicism, but is this a positive outcome for Christianity in the U.S.? Ellen White declares:
The people of the United States have been a favored people; but when they restrict religious liberty, surrender Protestantism, and give countenance to popery, the measure of their guilt will be full, and “national apostasy” will be registered in the books of heaven. The result of this apostasy will be national ruin (5).
The United States of America, founded on religious freedom and a safe haven for the world, is under attack. Both secular and religious powers are eating away its Christian foundation, and the average citizen is blissfully unaware of its implosion. Abraham Lincoln declared long ago: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Satan’s attack against the Head of the Church
“Christ is the head of the church. . . we are members of His body” Ephesians 5:23, 30 (NKJV).
How could Satan attack Christ who is the Head of the church? He is not powerful enough to assault the Almighty Son of God; therefore, he slyly combats His church instead. For example, recently a movement of individual conferences within the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are acting independently from the authority of the General Conference, head of the SDA world church. As this conflict intensifies, divisiveness is multiplying faster than a cancer cell. Fortunately, we are given constructive counsel regarding this dispute:
Let every department of our work, every institution connected with our cause, be conducted on considerate, generous lines. Let every branch of the work, while maintaining its own distinctive character, seek to protect, strengthen, and build up every other branch. . . . Each worker must give his own branch special effort; but it is the privilege of each to study and labor for the health and welfare of the whole body of which he is a member (6).
Ellen White further states, I saw the burden of the message should be the first, second, and third angels’ messages, and those who had any hope in God would yield to the force of that truth (7).
Will God’s people strengthen each branch of the Lord’s church, come into unity, and give their allegiance to Christ’s commission of spreading the Three Angels’ Messages to the world? May the Lord defeat Satan’s attempts to divide and conquer the Seventh-day Adventist church which Christ has commissioned to tell the world of His soon coming!
In addition to attacking the structure of the SDA Church, the devil is also assaulting the doctrinal truth of God’s Word. For example, a leading professor of religion at one of our top Adventist universities stated that we have no way of knowing the ultimate “Truth,” and there is only “your truth and my truth” (8). These shocking statements echo the New Age philosophy of Leonard Sweet, a proponent of the emerging church, who was invited to speak at the Seattle One Project SDA gathering in 2014. He is quoted as saying, “Fundamentally, truth is relational” (9).
We are warned as God’s people to beware of human philosophies that do not uphold the absolute truth found in the Bible. John 17:17 states, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” The devil desires to destroy both the church’s structure and doctrinal truth found in God’s Word, thus beheading its mission of telling the world of the imminent coming of Christ.
Satan’s attack on the Head of the Home
“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church" Ephesians 5:23.
In today’s society, traditional family roles are nearly a thing of the past. According to an article published by CBS News:
What we see in our reporting is really that gender roles are converging more than ever before in society, whether you look at women taking combat positions in the military or fathers staying home -- almost nobody is living out the kind of gender script or marriage script that their parents did. And we find a lot of social confusion. (10).
This article also addresses some startling statistics on the current gender role exchange:
Stay-at-home dads, for example, have increased from 1.1. million in 1989 to 2 million in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. . . . Only 40 percent of college degrees are going to men versus 60 percent going to women, which is a flip of where we were in the 1970s," Myers said. "Economically, under 30, single, unmarried women are out-earning single, unmarried, childless men under 30 by almost 20 percent (11).
Interestingly, this new social change has had a significant impact on Christians, both within the home and the church. One of the most decisive debates right now is Female Ordination (leadership). Could the principles behind this debate be tied intricately to the changing social roles of men and women in the home? Could the fact that we have wandered so far away from God’s original ideal for the family be the root cause of these difficult issues facing the church and society today?
Battle Plan Strategy:
The devil is the director of deception and division. His “head attacks” are certainly producing an unbelievable amount of “headaches” in our nation, church and family. However, Christ has not left us defenseless in this fight. He has given us crucial counsel to win the war against Satan’s schemes.
1. Know your enemy.
An important aspect of winning a battle is simply being cognizant of who the real enemy is. Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but . . . against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Satan is the mastermind behind all controversies and conflicts—NOT PEOPLE. Our fight is against him, not with each other.
2. Realize your own weaknesses.
Additionally, we must realize our own deficiencies that often inadvertently aid in the devil’s diabolic devices. We are told, “Schism and division are not the fruits of righteousness; they are of the wicked one. The great hindrance to our advancement at this time is the selfishness that prevents believers from having true fellowship with one another” (12). We must be willing to repent of our own selfishness and resolve to study and speak God’s Biblical truth in love.
3. Surrender to the One who guarantees victory.
Just knowing the enemy and realizing our own weaknesses cannot begin to bring us true victory. The only hope we have of winning the fight against the devil lies in the complete surrender of our lives to Christ and a daily determination to obey God’s warnings in His Word. Our greatest offense lies in praying for the Holy Spirit to work mightily in behalf of our nation, church, and family.
Praise God that under Christ’s headship, we have nothing to fear! He ensures success by promising us in Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” May this day of the Lord’s ultimate victory come very soon!
- White, Ellen. Spiritual Gifts. vol. 4, 98.
- White. The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 398.
- White. Maranatha: The Lord is Coming, 216.
- White. Publishing Ministries, 158.
- White, Ellen. Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 228.
- White. 41 Letter to F. E. Braucht. 24 Feb. 1903.
1. Waters, Dixie. “Quotes on Head.” Goodreads. Jan 2007. Web. 6 Mar 2017. < (http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/head?page=4)>.
2. White, Ellen. Spiritual Gifts. 4. Battle Creek, MI: Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, 1858, 1860, 1864, 1945. 98. Print.
3. Collins, Suzanne. “Quotes on Head.” Goodreads. Jan 2007. Web. 6 Mar 2017. < (http:// www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/head?page=4)>.
4. White, Ellen. The Spirit of Prophecy. 4. Battle Creek, MI: Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, 1870, 1877, 1878, 1884, 1969. 398. Print.
5. Carl, Michael. "Persecution of Christians on Rise-in U.S.." WND. 1997. Web. 6 Mar 2017. <http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/persecution-of-christians-on-rise-in-u-s/#IgLRVF2FA9zbQuJy. 99>.
6. Heneghan , Tom and Tom Miles. "500th Reformation Anniversary: Catholics, Lutherans To Mark Split Together.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 2017. Web. 6 Mar 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/500th-reformation-anniversary-catholicslutherans-to-mark-split-together_n_3454146.html>.
7. White, Ellen. Maranatha: The Lord is Coming. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1976. 216. Print.
8. Lincoln, Abraham. "Abraham Lincoln Quotes.” BrainyQuote. 2001. Web. 6 Mar 2017. <https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin143183.html>.
9. White, Ellen. Publishing Ministries. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983. 158. Print.
10. White, Ellen. Manuscript Releases. 5. Silver Spring, MD: Ellen G. White Estate, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1993. 228. Print.
11. "The Emerging Church, Perils and Possibilities for the Adventist Faith Examined by Panel."Adventist Today. Adventist Today Foundation, Web. 6 Mar 2017. <http://atoday.org/emergingchurch-perils-possibilities-adventist-faith-examined-panel-scholars/>.
12. Clark, Peter. "From the Mag: Missing the Point." Relevant. Relevant Media Group, Mar. 2002. Web. 7 Mar 2017. <http://archives.relevantmagazine.com/relevant-story>.
13. ”The Future of Men" explores evolving gender roles." CBS This Morning. CBS Interactive Inc., Web. 16 Mar 2017. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-future-of-men-jack-myerstraditional-gender-roles-new-world-jodi-kantor/>.
15. White, Ellen G. 41 Letter to F. E. Braucht. 24 Feb. 1903. Silver Spring, MD: Ellen G. White Estate, 1903. N. page. Print.
Melissa Sexson Hanson is an avid student of Bible prophecy and an active member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She has elementary education and English secondary degrees from Union College and is currently working as a freelance writer with the purpose of preparing souls for Christ’s soon return. She writes from Arkansas.