THE SNARE OF DEATH
By Pastor Sam Ayorinde
FOR man also knows not his time (of death):
as the fishes are taken in an evil net and as the birds are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time when (calamity) falls upon them.” (Eccl. 9:12 Ampl.)
“Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come. As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall suddenly upon them.” (NIV.)
“A man never knows when he is going to run into bad luck. He is like a fish caught in a net, or a bird caught in a snare.” (TLB).
Snare, by its meaning is a devise used for catching small animals and birds, especially one that holds their legs so that they cannot escape. Also, it is a situation which seems attractive but is unpleasant (unfavorable) and difficult to escape. This can be best illustrated as the farmer will cleverly search the path of such animal and place the trap there with the food that is favourable to entice it. So that whenever the targeted animal is going about looking for what to eat, and it easily find the bait, it will attract it and will automatically go for it and thereby be entrapped. At the end, its agony of death and great regret of passing through the route will be the reason of joy for the hunter. This is exactly what the devil is doing to man and thereby rendering him impotent and invalid. This is not only operative in the spiritual realm but also in the physical world.
Though, the strategy and forms of devil’s operations vary but the purpose of doing it is still the same: to captivate people in order for them not to get into their fulfillment. The word of God rightly declared him as: “…your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8 KJV).
Amplified Version of the Bible explains more of him thus: “…that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”
While Living Bible says: “satan , your great enemy, he prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victims to tear apart.”
With all above scriptures, we know devil to be our enemy, who in all ways, seeking for the means of tearing apart and thereby rendering our living impotent. The task ahead of him (the devil) is being carried out together with his cohorts, otherwise known as the forces of darkness (the wicked ones). They were those Apostle Paul referred to in Ephesians 6:12 as “the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The wicked ones have the same characteristics with the devil their master, and some of them are listed below:
* They are only wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
* They store up violence and robbery in their palaces: “for they know not to do right, saith the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.” (Amos 3:10).
* They know not the way of peace. “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths, whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” (Isaiah 59:8).
“Their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: And, the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes…” (Romans 3:15-18).
* There is no faithfulness in them but wickedness. “For there is no faithfulness in their growth; their inward part is very wicked, their throat is an open sepulcher, they flatter with their tongues.” (Psalm 5:9).
* They plot to strike the just (righteous ones) with sword. “The wicked plotteth against the just and gnaseth upon him with his teeth. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.” (Psalm 37:12, 14).
* They are so strong and irreversible in their decision except if God intervenes in rescueing victim(s). “The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them, I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.” (Exd. 15:9).
* They are always deceitful and not good. “Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, o thou deceitful tongue.” (Psalm 52:3-4).
* They always encourage themselves in evil matters to lay snare privacy for the innocent ones. “Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: that they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in evil matters: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search, both the inward thought of everyone of them, and the heart, is deep…” (Psalm 64:3-6).
These and other numerous wicked characteristics are found in them which really portray their deeds. Also, read Prov. 4:14-17. With the above fact, we can clearly agree that they are merciless in their dealings. The easiest way to escape their traps is to refrain from their path and be vigilant in the Lord.
THE LIMITATION OF MAN.
In all we are saying, as the targeted animals or birds cannot easily discern when and where the trap is set and thereby fall into it suddenly, so also the son of man is limited in knowing the future. At times, we walk as the blind, who goes about trying to achieve an aim without the knowledge of the danger laid before him. Being a sinner is the surest way of isolating yourself from the ever secure presence of God. And, no one leaves the secret place of Most High that will not be captured by the enemy. Any time a goat or fowl leaves the securing shelter of its owner, it is exposed to thieves and could be taken away at any time. Devil as a thief, also looks for our souls to entrap, such that we are considered unfit for the purpose for which we were created. Without God, Who is able to see all things, including our future, at a glance helping us, we cannot have any success in life; for these forces around us are more stronger beyond natural. Therefore, to remain a sinner would not help you out of the trap set ahead of you. “For man also knoweth not his time, as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men (you inclusive) ensnare in the evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them” (Eccl. 9:12 KJV).
* Men generally know nothing than their past. “For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow.” (Job 8:7).
“For he (man) knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be.” (Eccl. 8:7).
* As a sinner, you are out of God’s righteousness and devil on the other hand is busy propagating his own righteousness across the globe (and you too) which is self righteousness – a righteousness not of God. I tell you, you are not secured. It is the path of eternal destruction in hell. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Rom. 10:3).
* Being an unrepentant sinner, the deceit of the devil has overshadowed your heart and darkened your understanding about the true image of our Lord Jesus, who is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world (Eph. 4:18). Your darkened and stoning heart shall be exposed to the lime light of the word of God today, even now and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Dear reader and you listener(s), don’t you think it’s so shameful for you to be one of those we are still preaching the message of salvation and being born again to? With so numerous years you claimed to have been in the Church, only to find out that you have not yet accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you are not a redeemed fellow yet. Though you have once confessed His Lordship, but because of a situation you claimed to have been reasonable, you thereby quit Jesus and backslide. And now, you are one of those who abuse God for their making and for what they are passing through. You, who should have been an effective preacher of the gospel, unfortunately have been entrapped down by the devil to be a follower, and you’ve become so strong in opposing Christ, your creator and His gospel. Well, it is not too late for you to repent, because you are still living. But, be informed, tomorrow may be too late; for the devil, the present landlord of your heart will not want you to take the right step of faith unto your freedom from his captivity, which is the salvation of your precious soul.
Therefore, be strong and don’t mind him. He is so destructive in his plan and operation. And if he has destroyed anything in your life, Jesus, the Saviour and reformer has the key to reform whatsoever the devil has deformed, either in your carrier, in your matrimonial home, in your academic pursuit, in your financial life… etc, the Lord will be enthroned and He will take perfect control and you shall be declared a successful and hero of your generation. But before all these divine interventions, you must come in contact with Jesus Christ sincerely and tell Him wholeheartedly “Master, come and take your rightful position in me.” He has never disappointed anyone and would not disappoint you in His leading, in as much that you remain intact with Him.
THE SNARES DEVIL USES.
Among so numerous strategies that the devil is using in captivating people, I want to discuss six points that are prevalent, which people count reasonable for their resistance to the divine offer of salvation. They are as follow:
WEALTH: Though money is desirable and good to have, it is a pity that many had done away with Jesus in pursuit of it. When you are running after wealth at the expense of your life, it is very dangerous; for it is the root of all evil. Let me give you the true meaning of money as explained by Pastor Mike O. Omoasegun:
M – Most dangerous weapon use by my master (the devil) to rule the world.
O – One who loves me, never has me (Eccl. 5:10).
N – No matter who you are, you cannot live without me, yet, I am the root of all evil (I Tim. 6:10).
E – Everlasting hell is the final home of those who run after me (II Tim. 3:2).
Y – You can only enjoy me when you first seek the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33).
With the above fact, we need to realize that the true wealth and honor come from God…
“Both riches and honour come of thee (Oh Lord) and thou reigneth over all; and in thine hand is power and might, thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” (I Chro. 29:12).
Therefore, the path to financial liberation is humility under the power and the fear of God as written in Proverbs 22:4 “…by humility and fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.”
THE PLEASURE OF SIN: The greatest population of the world today does not cast their vote for Jesus Christ because they believe that there are too much of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ that are directly in opposition to the sinful lives they are living. Let me tell you the truth, the lifestyle that oppose Christ now shall be judged by Jesus Christ on the last day. It is then you will highly esteem Jesus, but it must have been too late. Turn away from following the world and its system of living, it will rather kill you and end your soul in eternal death in hell fire. Follow Jesus Christ now and you shall live even now and in eternity with Him. “…as the day of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:37-39).
FASHION & BEAUTY CONTEST: This is one of the major weapons devil is using to lure people into his kingdom. Many people in the name of beauty, have lost their sweet savour of their saltiness. They have compromised their faith, though they are still going to the Church and people are calling them Christians actually they are not. Competing with the world is never the means of winning them for the Lord Jesus Christ. Many are walking on the street half naked without been ashamed. What baffles me is that the old age ones are also found inclusive. Those who should have been using their remaining days to think of their end and life after death. This automatically promotes corruption and immorality in our land and they claimed it to be civilization.
People are busy digging their graves and are still celebrating it. Instead of better improvement, the condition is even getting worse everyday. This is also permitted in the Church of God nowadays. Sad to say, the ministers (though not all) are even promoting it more. When you are hearing and seeing corruption and ungodliness among the ministers (either secretly or publicly), what are you expecting from the young people who are just growing in faith; who are yet to stand their ground? Much more! The attitude of devilish half naked mode of dresses had caused many innocent brothers to fall from the grace as they were enticed (seduced) and ensnared by their webs (the strange women and ladies) and were defeated. For detail information about the manifestation of these strange women, read Proverbs 7:6-27.
You might have been one of them who are being used strongly by the devil to cause set-back for the gospel, or you are just thinking of being one of them, refrain from it, because the end of it is of great sore of bitterness. It shall be visited by the wrath of God. And, if you are not part of them, beware , not to be captured. If you had been captured already by their sting, and you are thinking if there is any way out? I am telling you, surely, there is a way out, only if you can apply it now. That way out is Jesus Christ. Come to Him now, His saving arms are still open to embrace you and set you free totally.
SEARCHING FOR KNOWLEDGE OUTSIDE GOD: As precious and powerful the knowledge is, when it is been searched for outside God and His will, it is evil. Though it is the plan and expectation of God for man to be creative in their living, but the present technology advancement that are working directly in opposition against God and His Word is greatly increasing the acts of ungodliness in the world. People are being entrapped through their ambitions of knowing things outside the will of God. This is what brought about homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, pornography, promiscuity and other ungodly practises and technology that are reigning in the world today. Many people on earth had even substituted GOD with technology and science in their lives, and thereby professing that there is no God and that the world was formed by evolution. They clued with their vain knowledge and are resisting the offer of the living God. All these are working against the purpose of God for man. Run away from all these evil, for it will not go unpunished and later end you in great disaster in hell.
AFFLICTION & SORROW: This is another strong weapon that the devil is using to cause stumbling block on the way of many people. Too much affliction either of sickness, debt, ill-luck, barrenness, joblessness, late marriage, disappointment, marital crisis, sudden death of the husband, wife, children or any of one’s favourite relatives or friends… etc. Whatever you are battling with, is been used by the devil to engrave in your heart and in the heart of people around you that God is not good and that He cannot deliver the victim (you) from the sting of affliction. The devil do tell some people that there are certain things God can do and things He cannot do. He (the devil) limits God’s unlimited ability in the hearts of people through agony and affliction.
This is devil’s strategy to isolate man from his creator. The truth is that: Nothing is impossible for God as clearly stated in His word, Luke 1:37. As it was, so it is and it will be forever. His power and ability to do things that seem impossible is unlimited. Therefore, He will save you and deliver you from all your numerous afflictions and sorrow that so much encompassed you. The Lord is mighty at the battle; God of host is His name. He will grant you victory and you shall have rest round about.
FALSE PROPHETS: Truly, the Bible says where there is no vision (of prophet) people perish, but at this end time, the anti-christs are many who called themselves the ministers of righteousness, but what is coming out of them (the fruits they bear) is a sure proof that they are agents of hell fire, with the sole aim of populating the kingdom of the devil, having caused many saints to backslide through their deceit.
Apostle John rightly exposed the mysteries thus: “They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not of us.” (I John 2:9). Apostle Paul also declared them to be false ministers who transformed themselves to deceive people and end them in hell fire. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.” (II Cor. 11:13-15).
Now, let us examine them in another perspective, considering the presentation of the Amplified version of the Bible: “For such men are false apostles (spurious, counterfeits) deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ (the Messiah). And it is no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; so it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. (But) their end will correspond with their deeds.” (II Cor. 11:13-15 Ampl.).
The fact about these false ministers of God is that they are in the ministry to populate the kingdom of the devil by leading people astray from God. To know them is never by their faces or the names they bear but by their actions, utterances, and through what they believe and teach. The Bible says “by their fruits you shall know them.” They don’t normally preach repentance nor salvation on their pulpit; while some are so pretending to the extent that preaching salvation is not their problem but they are never the doers of what they preach. What they preached against is what they are found doing in their closet and occasionally in public. They chose it favorites to be opposing Christ and the massage of the CROSS through their character. They are having their power given directly from the devil, such as charms and other occultist power in their various kinds of operation, to give an effective global ministry. And whosoever they discovered that can expose their mystery will be dealt with forcefully in order to keep him silence. To worse it all, they have certain rituals they are giving unto the devil, at the agreed time, to keep them flying in the race, those whom heaven has closed against, unless if they genuinely repent and confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives and make a u-turn to the Lord to serve Him alone and no one else.
Many other ministers, who are genuinely called by God for effective ministry of the gospel with a lot of promises of divine establishment, have lost their call and directive from God through unconfused secret sins and they are roaming about seeking for the possible means of survival. They are in the ministry busy looking for fame and what to eat, not minding that they are no more fulfilling the heartbeat of God for their lives and ministry. Many church members had backs lidded when they saw their so-called leaders, swimming in the pool of sins and they too tried to emulate them. Actually, they are reproach to the body of Christ on earth. They thereby became the stumbling blocks that the devil has made on the route of the kingdom of God to cause set back to the travelers, if care is not taken.
As I have said earlier, it is true that the scripture says “where there is no vision, people perish…” but the best vision that will grant solution to life and future is in Christ, through Holy Spirit and the Word of God (Holy Bible). Falling captive of these false ministers (prophets) is you pitching your tent with hell fire and signing the agreement of eternal death with the devil, because they are walking toward the same goal (purpose). You may see them pulling crowds in their respective ministrations, it is because people love darkness rather than light since their works are evil, while others that were caught in their web are ignorant of the mystery behind it.
Dear reader, from now henceforth, beware of them, they are set traps for you; though attractive in looking, but so poisonous. Those enemies of the gospel knew no peace in their hearts. They are the ones corrupting the efforts of the true and active ministers of the Living God. They are wolves in cloak of sheep to entice the innocents for capture. Once again, BEWARE of them.
Note: Not all prophets (noble ministers) seeing on the pulpit today, either known or unknown, are false ministers. There are ministers who were sincerely called by God and they are still in right standing with God. They are the ones that the Lord has established on His throne to transform and deliver the captives from the hand of the devil and from the pit of hell. There are great miracles wrought through them by the hand of God and many of them are privileged of having countless numbers of people under their ministrations. What makes the difference is their existence that always put the devil to shame.
But to know who is who, you need to be spiritually sensitive and be led by Holy Spirit. I am not here to criticize any minister or to destroy their personalities, but to call all ministers to order, so as to examine ourselves to know whose side are we. As a matter of reality, everybody knows himself and what he/she is doing when no one sees him/her.
All these aforelisted points are the ways of temptation to man. The source and strength of our victory is the Lord Jesus Christ, the hope of the world. Apply Him now and you shall not be put to shame. Deny the world and its sinful system of operation and move closer to Jesus and be made an overcomer.
Judgment Of God On The Wicked Ones.
• Desolation and evil shall befall them suddenly without remedy (Isaiah 47:10-12).
• Calamity and sudden destruction (Prov. 6:14-15; 24:22; 29:1).
• They shall stumble, for their ways shall be made darkened and slippery (Prov. 4:19; Psalm 35:4-6).
• The vengeance of the righteous (innocents) shall be visited upon them (Psalm 69:22-23).
The Kingdom Guide For You.
• Know the living God, accept Him and love Him wholeheartedly (I Cor. 8:3).
• Serve Him with a perfect heart and a willing mind. Don’t be an outcast fellow (I Cro. 28:9).
• Have a mutual and right relationship with God who knows your future.
• Be watchful about the time and age. In Luke 21:34-35, Jesus said, “…And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unaware. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
• Don’t make any man your standard of living but Christ alone. Therefore, let Christ take the leading of your life from now henceforth, there is life in Him (Prov. 22:6). Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out of thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her, be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward.” (Isaiah 52:11-12).
Therefore, in conclusion of the whole matter, be it climbing to attain, running to obtain, walking to sustain, crawling to retain or standing to maintain, do your BEST NOT to abstain from the race to the kingdom of God. His grace is sufficient to you all. Remain blessed and remember …in righteousness shall you be established… (Isaiah 54:14). JESUS IS LORD.
PASTOR SAM. AYORINDE B. O.