Satan’s Greatest Deception; Substituting One Man’s Sermon for Corporately Seeking God
What historically has been Satan’s greatest triumph? How could he confuse as many people as possible, and keep them from coming to know Jesus? I think the regular believer gatherings described in the Bible are God’s primary method to develop his flock. The Word tells us these gatherings are God’s prescription to instruct strengthen and encourage his church. When we seek God, listening for his Holy Spirit, and share what we hear we naturally grow closer to God. Sure, we can hear God’s Holy Spirit as we read and study God’s word, and as we seek him in prayer, but that is not the primary way that God described in his word to instruct strengthen and encourage his church.
NIV 1 Cor 14;26 ‘Orderly Worship’ 26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. … 31 For you can all prophesy[instruct] in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
How did the devil accomplish this feat?
Step 1: The Devil confuses the biblical roles and responsibilities of believers and their Pastors. Somehow the devil convinced believers to turn over their responsibilities to their Pastor’s. I think this has a strong parallel with Israel’s desire for earthly kings in 1 Samuel 8:19. Their worldly desire for a King did not fade even when they knew it was against God’s will. Similarly today, churches continue to ignore the clear meeting outline described in God’s Word.
Step 2: He infiltrated God’s church with worldly doctrines, keeping believers from a critical aspect of knowing God, these weekly periods of seeking and sharing God’s Holy Spirit. When we abandon God’s prescription for growing his church and substitute our best efforts, and human wisdom we push God out of the driver’s seat. We steal control from him.
Step 3: The Devil infiltrated Pastors training sites with un-biblical doctrines, cloaking the truth so completely that they are blind to their true biblical role of slave, coach, and encourager (a Sheppard) and readily accept this worldly CEO or Church King role.
So what do we do now? Summary:
1. Don’t listen to those not following believer gatherings command 1 Cor 14;37-38
2. Teachers of false doctrines are conceited & understand nothing, still thinking that godliness is a means to financial gain.1 Tim 6;3-4
3. Those refusing to obey are caught in the devils trap 2 Tim 2;26
4. Our assignment is to pray that God would release them from the devil’s trap 2Tim 2;24 ;
5. & to; Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister. 2 Thess 3;14
NIV 1 Cor 14;37-38 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.
NIV 1 Tim 6;3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing.
MSG 2 Tim 2;24 God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, 25 working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey . You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, 26 enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.
2 Thess 3;6-15′ An Exhortation to Proper Living’ 6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. 10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” 11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. 14 Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.
2 Tim 4; 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine . Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
MSG Isa 1;13 “Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings- meetings, meetings, meetings-I can’t stand one more! 14 Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. 15 When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. 16 Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. 17 Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless. 18 “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is God’s Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. 19 If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings. 20 But if you’re willful and stubborn, you’ll die like dogs.” That’s right. God says so. Those Who Walk Out on God 21 Oh! Can you believe it? The chaste city has become a whore! She was once all justice, everyone living as good neighbors, And now they’re all at one another’s throats. 22 Your coins are all counterfeits. Your wine is watered down. 23 Your leaders are turncoats who keep company with crooks. They sell themselves to the highest bidder and grab anything not nailed down. They never stand up for the homeless, never stick up for the defenseless. 24 This Decree, therefore, of the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the Strong One of Israel: “This is it! I’ll get my oppressors off my back. I’ll get back at my enemies. 25 I’ll give you the back of my hand, purge the junk from your life, clean you up.
MSG 1 Cor 7;17 And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches. 18 Were you Jewish at the time God called you? Don’t try to remove the evidence. Were you non-Jewish at the time of your call? Don’t become a Jew. 19 Being Jewish isn’t the point. The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following his commands. 20 Stay where you were when God called your name. 21 Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. 22 I’m simply trying to point out that under your new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful “enslavement to God” you would never have dreamed of. 23 All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. 24 Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.
MSG Heb 4;12 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. 13 Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it-no matter what.
NLT Mar 15; 5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition . 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, 8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ ”
NLT Mar 7;5-13 So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition ? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.” 6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ 8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition .” 9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition . 10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 12 In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. 13 And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition . And this is only one example among many others.”
Please reveal your truth to all. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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- March 10, 2009 / 7:52 pm