New Hope Revival Ministries

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Smiths Station, Alabama 36877
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Satan's Bluff

Steven Shelley

Steven Shelley

New Hope Revival Ministries

6 min read

The Open Door

On February 18, 1996, I saw a vision of the Bride of Jesus Christ. She was dressed in royal splendor, arrayed in an exquisite wedding gown that shimmered with light as she moved.

She was standing in front of a magnificent open doorway. I saw as she stretched her right foot forward and placed it directly on the threshold. By all appearances, she was preparing to step into whatever was beyond this great door. I remember the brilliant light, the swirl of colors and the Heavenly music that emanated from the door.

Suddenly, Satan was there. He appeared determined to do whatever was necessary to keep her from entering the open doorway. I realized that he was fully aware of the awesome presence just beyond the door, as he had once stood in this majestic place himself.

I also knew this was an old battle that had been going on for many years. The enemy’s face was filled with jealousy, hatred, and rage. He was not about to permit her entrance into what he had forfeited long ago.

I knew he had often changed strategies but the motive for his warfare had never changed. He had afflicted her with sickness and disease and exhausted her by bringing chaos and strife to her loved ones. Weakening her resolve by lying to her, he sought daily to disqualify her and make her feel that she was not worthy to step into this place of glory and authority.

“Weakening her resolve by lying to her, he sought daily to disqualify her and make her feel that she was not worthy to step into this place of glory and authority.”

I was shown the battles of her past, the discouragement, believing for a season the lies that Satan and his imps screamed in her ears. She struggled to keep her gown spotless as she moved along her wilderness journey to get to the door, and cried tears of betrayal and rejection as the enemy created discord and confusion among those she loved and trusted.

Her heart had been broken and waves of grief washed over her again and again. I heard her prayers, sometimes whimpers of intercession, other times roaring with anointed prophetic declarations that caused me to wonder if this was the same meek Bride I had viewed previously. I also saw her run with the wind of the spirit and the swiftness of an eagle toward her goal.

The hardest part to watch was when the enemy’s lies caused her to freeze, making no forward progress. Sadly, there were many cycles of this paralyzing inertia along the way.

Standing on the Threshold

Now her journey was almost over as she stood at the threshold of all that she had fought for. Once again, the enemy arrived with ambitions to keep her from entering in. The once opened door had almost closed with only a small ray of light shining through.

I saw myself step into the scene with the chivalry of an older brother. I felt empowered and ready to take on the enemy but I was immediately knocked to my knees and grabbed by a host of demons. They proceeded to drag me away from the doorway and prevent me from offering assistance to the little Bride. While still on my knees, I was given instructions to call the devil’s bluff. There was a brief struggle. I dealt some blows with my fists and received as much right back. I was pitifully outnumbered.

A more intense struggle ensued. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stepped into view. He was aware that fear had taken hold of me and that my strength had waned. With a strong muscled arm he shoved the door open once again, and I saw the radiant light and remember feeling the generous warmth that flowed out. I looked inside and felt strengthened by the sight of God’s glory just beyond.

I almost cannot describe what I saw, but I remember the knowing that overwhelmed me. In this moment, I knew what would be on display in the last great move of God on planet earth. I knew the power and authority that His Bride would walk in and I had full understanding of the adoption of sons. I knew that His character and attributes would be displayed through the remnant called to overcome Satan’s devices. I saw that great grace would be needed and provided … we just had to get that little Bride through that door.

“His character and attributes will be displayed through the remnant called to overcome.”

Empowered by what I saw and knew, my courage was renewed. I stood up to face the enemy. As the imps retreated I was left alone to face the devil. He stood tall and massive and his shadow seemed to swell as he moved toward me. I could see the Bride cowering within his reach. If his size was any indication of his strength, both she and I could be easily crushed in his fist. Suddenly, he turned away from her, directing his full attention toward me. The air turned hot and humid and I could hear my heart beating in my ears.

Suddenly, I remembered what was at stake. I spoke to him with all the authority I could muster and I boldly rebuked the beast in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He seemed to flee one way and his looming shadow another way. He spun around to face me, but was clearly in shock and knew that this battle was not going to go in his favor.

The Enemy’s Disguise

It was then that I realized the enemy was in a disguise. He was wearing a mask and a cloak. I reached up and snatched away the mask and with another swipe I pulled off his robe. What a shock! Was this the one who had caused the nations to tremble? Could this be the one responsible for so much pain and destruction? I could not believe my eyes. Standing before me was a pitiful looking creature, not much larger than an overgrown rat.

What an elaborate charade our enemy has pulled off. In reality, he only possesses the power allowed by God. William Branham use to say that Satan is just a tool in the hand of God to perfect the saints.

“Satan is just a tool in the hand of God to perfect the saints.”

This experience helped me understand that Satan is no match for what God has placed in His little Bride. We have been given authority over all the powers of the devil. He cannot keep us from entering through the open door, nor can he keep us from our inheritance waiting beyond the door.

I watched as the Bride stepped across the threshold, unhindered by her now-exposed enemy. She would no longer believe his lies. She would no longer cower to his intimidation. His facade was removed, and he could have no power over her unless she gave it to him.

Satan now had to slink away and hide, his punishment far from over. He would have to exist in the knowledge that this Bride, representing a whole company of believers, would be moving on to all that God had for her. He would be forced to watch as the Sons of the Kingdom moved into their place of authority — a position that Satan desired for himself, but lost in his vain attempt to exalt himself above God.