We live in a time that an element in society is very hostile towards the God of the Bible and Christianity. They are the people who expose the important issues in the Bible. We can learn much from them. The same pattern is found in the Bible. When Jesus was on earth, people did not know that He was the Son of God. He looked like any ordinary man (which He was on the one hand), but there were hostile witnesses that exposed His identity.
- At the synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus began to teach. “Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.” 1 The scene is where a group of Jews were together in the synagogue. Suddenly one of them shouted these words at Jesus. The Bible says the man was possessed by an evil spirit (we prefer the term, ‘influenced’). Possession implies helplessness. He functioned normally, but in the important area of his relationship with God, he was influenced against God.
- Another example is in “the region of the Gadarenes [where] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met [Jesus]. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” 2 The demons knew Jesus was the Son of Almighty God. They understood His authority to enforce judgement.
These hostile witnesses explained who Jesus was.
Atheists in general loath God and even mock Him openly. Taking our cue from the Bible, it seems as if they are influenced by a hostile spirit that motivates them. The only spirits hostile to Jesus and God, ever identified in the Bible, is the devil (Satan) and his demons. Some people might object that they believed in such nonsense in primitive societies, but we live in the modern age. That doesn’t sell. Look at all the films with supernatural elements in them. Why do so many people believe in aliens and in the supernatural?
Aliens, terribly strong demons, and many other monsters are common in films, TV programs and other media. In addition the flood of anti-Bible films and programs are increasing. The devil hates God and singles out the true Biblical doctrines for his ridicule and opposition. The hideous monsters depicted in many films have an uncanny resemblance to the workers of the enemy of God, the devil and his demons.
The rising tide of anti-God propaganda means that the devil is inadvertently teaching what the important aspects of the Bible are. For example, the devil is not interested in the twelve sons of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 3 He knows they are side issues. He concentrates on the important aspects of the Bible. For example, Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code explains that the Bible is just a human book (then we know the opposite is true, the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit 4); Aronofsky made a film, Noah, that deviates extensively from the Biblical text (then we know that the world wide flood of Genesis 6-9 is important).
God has a very particular enemy who rules over the world (‘…the whole world is under the control of the evil one.’ 5 He has the means to influence society to promote God-hatred. Almost from all sides the Bible is under attack. There is a rising flood of atheism and anti-Bible sentiments.
Atheists in general hate God. They loath, ridicule and despise Him, and are not hesitant to say whatever they want to about Him. Let us take note of the areas of attack (for example, creation, the world-wide flood, Jesus’ divinity, virgin birth and resurrection) because they are an indication of important Biblical truths.
- Matthew 8:28-29
- Genesis 22:20-24
- 2 Peter 1:20-21
- 1 John 5:19b