FREEDOM

By Atif Himadeh

 

Freedom is a concept praised and raved about by people everywhere.  Proclaimed as a principle by various political currents, it is a goal fought for by nations and peoples of every tongue.  It was for the sake of freedom of opinion and belief that John Bunyan spent twelve years in jail when he could have been released if he would have signed a document pledging to Protestant authorities that he would no longer evangelize.  John Bunyan emerged victorious in the end, opening the door to freedom of opinion and belief in Britain.

Freedom is the cornerstone needed to establish a powerful and blessed nation – freedom that is presented to all people, with their various principles, teachings, traditions, and beliefs.  Freedom is a taste of relief enjoyed by souls in bondage on their way to complete and total independence.  Many independent peoples have suffered under the rule of an unjust dictator who deprived them of their freedom because he himself was under the bondage of Satan.  Consider the rulers of the world who have ruled with iron hands, under the influence of their despicable desires.  Nero, for example, was possessed by a demon who desired the fall of his city; therefore Nero rejoiced when he saw the city burning in flames and the blood of the people being shed.  Those who suffer from this mental illness should be placed in a psychiatric ward, but as Nero was the ruling dictator, he suppressed individual freedom and lorded it over the people, treating them violently and punishing them brutally, especially the followers of Jesus Christ who believed in Christ as the Son of God who died on the cross.  A slave to his demonic desires, Nero himself did not breathe the air of freedom, and his people were under the reign of a dictatorial and unjust ruler who had no compassion or mercy. 

Many subsequent rulers followed in the footsteps of this unjust emperor, suppressing the freedoms of belief, expression, and faith.  The loss of individual freedom in society portends the breakup of a nation and its inability to advance to the top.  A society in which complete individual freedom of opinion and belief is lacking is a dead society, one that is doomed to destruction no matter how much it advances.  Similarly, an individual who is not set free from the bondage of sin but remains under it's control is doomed to destruction as an individual.  Whosoever commits sin is a slave to sin and will pay the price of sin on the Day of Judgment.  The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).  That death is an eternal death in hell, a separation from God, the source of light and the source of life.  Anyone separated from the source of life has no life, but is in a state of constant death because he cannot see the face of God.  He remains forever in a place of torture that God calls the “lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”

God does not want to subjugate people; He wants them to be free.  That’s why He came to earth to set men free: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

God appeared in flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and partook of the flesh and blood of man kind and in His death on the cross, He destroyed  the power of death, that is the devil (Satan).  Satan, who denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross, wants bondage for people.  He knows that whosoever believes in Christ is liberated from his control and becomes one of God’s children: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

God does not want bondage for people, He wants freedom.  Freedom lies at the center of God’s will for every member of society.  God wants complete freedom for human beings, but human beings desire and enjoy bondage.  God wants freedom of belief for human beings, because he does not want to subjugate them.  God allows people to believe in whatever they want; He does not force them to believe in Him.  He has given people the complete freedom to believe or not to believe, but on the Day of Judgment, God will have the complete freedom to judge people according to the laws of heaven that state, “For the wages of sin is death….” (Romans 6:23).  The Lord Jesus also said, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

That means that whoever commits even one sin is to be punished with eternal death in hell.  God has not appointed religious men to judge people.  People on this earth have the freedom to believe in whoever they want, and no person, religious or otherwise, has the right to condemn a fellow human being to death, imprisonment, or torture for not believing in God or for interpreting the Bible or another religious book in a different way.  What a shameful act it was for religious men to send people to courts to be tried and to condemn them to death or torture.  What a shame it is today for some religious people to condemn those who do not believe in the same religion to death.  A human being, even if he were the head of all the heavenly religions, is still a human being, and his judgments are still human judgments. He does not have the right to condemn a fellow human being who has the same freedom.  No human being has the right to condemn any other human being for what he believes in his heart. God can defend himself, and He will not  appoint a weak human being to fight for Him or take His job.

Every person is able to share his interpretations of the Word of God, and if his interpretation is wrong, God is able to defend Himself.  God does not need you or me to defend Him and to kill those who do not believe in the same God that we believe in.  Every individual should enjoy the complete freedom to accept any belief he wants.  Our duty is to try to convince others of the soundness of our opinions, but we do not have the right to kill them if they do not share our views.

Nothing is greater than the freedom that God has given people.  He has given them complete freedom to believe what they want; at the same time, however, He sent out His apostles and told them to go into the world and preach the Gospel.  The word Gospel means “good news.”  The good news that God has given to people through the message of the saints is this: “Christ came to the world, was born of a virgin, was crucified and buried, and rose again on the third day.  Now, whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”  Whosoever believes in Him is set free from the bondage of Satan, who wants all people to remain in darkness and wants to subjugate them.  In order to maintain his followers, he tells them that Jesus did not die on the cross, that He is not the Son of God, and that “our doctrine” teaches that whosoever believes that Jesus is the Son of God and was crucified, will be killed.

Satan is the enemy of freedom.  He does not want anybody to have freedom; rather, he wants everybody to be led to his eternal prison and to remain there in darkness and painful suffering forever.

Break the chains of darkness, my friend, and go after the light.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”  When you believe in the Son, He will deliver you from the claws of Satan: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

My friend, do you wish to remain in bondage?  Get rid of Satan’s control of your life and wear the robe of faith, faith that liberates you and gives you eternal life.  Do not go to a prophet whose bones are still in his grave; go to Jesus who rose from the dead on the third day.  Do not go to an apostle or prophet who was unable to defeat death and the grave; go to the Lord Jesus, who said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

            The Lord Jesus is the resurrection and the life.  He proved this by raising Lazarus from the dead four days after his death, and by raising Himself from the dead on the third day, defeating death and Satan, emerging victorious from the grave, and ascending to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of glory.

If you want freedom, go to the fountain of freedom and drink from it as much as you please.  However, do not expect to receive freedom from Satan’s bondage if you continue to live in sin and strive after sinful desires.

Satan will present you with laws that make it easier for you to sin.  He will say that adultery is not sin, and he will allow you to commit many sins.  While the Lord Jesus says that whoever marries a divorced woman has committed adultery, Satan says that adultery is not a sin and that marrying a divorced woman is not a sin.  Satan wants every angel and every human being to fall; he works hard to accomplish his dream of placing everybody under his control, thereby elevating his status to one above that of God and enjoying the praise and obedience of every one of God’s creations.  God, however, did not allow Satan to realize his dreams; He came down from heaven to earth to bind Satan and to set human beings free.  God’s goal was, and still is, the destruction of the serpent’s head, Satan, the biggest rebel against God.  Satan disobeyed God’s orders and taught the angels to rebel against God thereby becoming demons.  Not content with that, he began to tempt human beings and to send out his followers, who disobeyed God, to assist him.  Satan began to help all those who would submit to him through demons and sorcery.

In this way, Satan gained secure control over sorcerers, fortune-tellers, and others who deal with witchcraft, demons, and astrology.  Such people deal with demons that have fallen in the eyes of God, that are on their way to hell, and that strive to take as many people with them as possible.  All those who deal with sorcery and demons command the demons, and the demons obey.  A sorcerer has pledged constant commitment to Satan and has submitted his soul, heart, and mind to Satan’s use.  For this reason, Satan does not hesitate to appear to sorcerers and speak to them.  His demons are capable of performing spectacular things.  Anyone who avails himself of sorcery to try to solve his love problems or his health problems is using Satan, thus submitting himself to Satan’s control and becoming a prisoner of his demons.

God demands that people obey him and disobey Satan.  Whoever fears God and does His will, will be protected by an angel sent by God: “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7).

You might ask me, “How can you prove all of this?”

First of all, you need to know that God never intended for us to see angels except in rare cases.  Whoever believes in Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and fears God, has a guardian angel sent from God: “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7)

Whosoever fears God and believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was crucified for his sins has a personal guardian angel constantly with him.  He is in no need of witchcraft or astrology or sorcery or fortune-tellers.  He has an angel sent from God to deliver him from falling as he is walking: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11-12).

This guardian angel delivers the believer from the dangers of the sea, the dangers of other people, and the dangers of demons, too.  The works of darkness have no control over this person because he is in the light.  Light always defeats darkness: no matter how dim the light may be, it always has the power to defeat darkness.  You might tell me, “We are now in the twenty-first century, in an era of modernity and advancement, and we do not believe in the superstitions of the Dark Ages.”  Is that true?  Are you aware that many people are involved in sorcery?  Are you aware that this unhealthy practice is widespread in North and South America in various ways; especially in India and the East?  You have the freedom to have your own opinion and beliefs, and to make your own choices; you are able to ask for freedom from the bondage of Satan.  As a human being, you do evil things that you do not want to do; you find yourself being lured by sin and desire and greed. Then you begin to feel fear slowly creeping up on you.  You are afraid of Satan, of demons, and of punishment for your sins when you stand before God.  You begin to do many good works in an attempt to atone for your bad works, but God said, “The wages of sin is death.”  You may not know that one sin is enough to send you to eternal death in hell, but you are still worried and internally troubled without knowing the cause of your worries.

            If your brother or son or sister has died, you probably felt painfully sad.  Such fear results from bondage to Satan, but when you are set free from Satan’s control you have peace with God: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).  Fear fades away, and you get peace, confidence, and assurance.  You get peace because the Lord Jesus has reconciled us to God: “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).  You get confidence because you have placed your faith in Jesus, who said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).  You get assurance of your salvation because Paul the Apostle said, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).  Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

            Have you been set free from sin?  Have you been set free from Satan’s control?  Have you cast aside all forms of sorcery and magic?

            Come to the Lord Jesus now, and receive salvation from bondage.  Delight in the true freedom that God gives to your immortal soul, so that you can have joy and peace on this earth, and so that your heart can enjoy the full freedom that brings it joy and peaceful comfort.  Your heart may weep every time you commit a sin, even when you are enjoying the desires and entertainments of this world.  Even when you are viewing the most humorous scenes, your heart weeps with sadness.  Your heart will not enjoy true joy until you receive peace through Jesus Christ by believing that He died for your sins, that He shed His blood to wash away every one of your sins, and that He rose again and is sitting at the right hand of glory interceding on your behalf.

            Pray this prayer: “Lord, forgive my sins with the blood that you shed on the cross, and give me everlasting life.  Set me free from Satan’s bondage.  I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Glory be to You.  Amen.”

 

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