Tag Archives: Satan’s lies

October 12; Guard Your Heart

John 5:16-47; Mark 6:6-11; Matthew 9:35-10:42; Luke 9:1-5

God gave the twelve disciples the ability to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” (Matthew 6:8) Jesus charged them with the mission of preaching His message throughout the territory: “The kingdom of heaven is near.”

What I am going to say is going to be controversial to many. But hear me out. The fact is, Judas Iscariot is listed by name as one of the twelve given this ability. Judas followed Jesus as much as the other eleven, was used by God along with the others, had the same message, and the same gifts.

I’ve heard people say Judas didn’t really believe. Scripture does not say that. We know from Scripture that something happened in Judas, and he eventually walked away from the Truth, betraying Jesus. But what we read here in Matthew gives us every indication that he and the other disciples were on a mission for God together.

Most people I know firmly believe a believer can’t stop being a believer, once saved always saved. I think that is a dangerous theology, according to Scripture. I read account after account of God’s “chosen people” walking away from Him, worshiping idols, blatantly disobeying God after worshiping Him. I think of Solomon. I know there are arguments against that point of view, but let’s forego the debate for a minute.

Here’s my concern and it’s being played out in 2019 through the “Bethel Movement.” Christians all over the world are gravitating toward this lie. Bible believing churches are singing Bethel praise songs, Christian radio is playing Hillsong, Amanda Cook, Jeremy Riddle, and others. People who love the Lord get satisfaction praising God with abandoned while repeating, “You’re a Good Good Father.”

What’s wrong with that, you might ask. I would encourage you to look into this movement for yourself. It is gaining strength, and Christians are abandoning the Truth in hoards. The god they are praising is not the God of the Bible. But they would have you believe the Bethel Movement is the awakening of true Christianity.

Look into it, but not before you know what the Bible says. Don’t look into Mormonism, or the Bethel Movement or any other cult without knowing what Scripture says. Not a verse here and there. The Bible is the complete Word of God. Period.

Guard your hearts. Stand for the Truth of Scripture. I think it’s more important today than it has been at any time in my lifetime. This is serious.

It’s true that no one can snatch a believer out of God’s hand. Satan will never have the power to override your will to be true to God.

Unless you let him.

Ezekiel 26-30; Take That, Satan

Ezekiel shares that God likened the king of Tyre to Satan. A model of perfection, adorned with beauty, guardian of cherubs, blameless until the day he chose wickedness. His heart became proud, corrupt, and dishonest, so God threw him out of His Presence. And Satan landed on earth.

Who of us has not been prideful, corrupt, or dishonest ourselves at one time or another? A flash from my past came to mind as I sat here thinking about this. Forty-some years ago, when ATM’s first came on the scene, I pulled up to the ATM of a bank near the grocery where I was heading. I put my card in, punched in $40.00 from checking, then took the money from the machine. It was like magic!

I immediately realized it had given me one too many $20’s. I remember sitting there for a second, before driving away.

I stole that $20.

I even remember rationalizing my sin by telling myself God must have wanted me to have it, seeing that I was living paycheck to paycheck with a few unpaid bills sitting on my desk at home.

Wow. Hadn’t thought about that in years. But I realize how much Satan’s influence is here on earth. He whispered the same lie in my ear that he whispered in Eve’s. “You deserve this.” And I fell for it just like Eve did.

I’m not the same person I was in my twenties, thankfully. Not too long ago I was putting groceries in my car when I realized a jar of onion powder was not in a bag. I checked the receipt and realized the cashier had not charged me for it. I found myself beginning to rationalize not paying for the onion powered. “It wasn’t my fault she didn’t see it.” “I want to get home to put the frozen stuff in the freezer,” “I don’t want to walk all that way back into the store for a measly buck and a half.” But I shut out those thoughts, and I took the jar back into the store to pay for it.

Now, I’m not saying that so you’ll think I’m some kind of saint. I’m not. But I share that to make the point that, even though Satan’s influence is as strong today, God is still stronger.  God gives His children every weapon we need to resist the devil. And God wins every time we allow Him to fight the battle.

Satan won’t stop shooting arrows, but we can put on the armor of God and not allow those arrows to penetrate. When Jesus places His righteousness on us when we repent of sin, His righteousness lives in and through us. We  begin to think, and act, like Jesus. And Satan has no power against Jesus! That’s great news!

And there’s more! Ezekiel reminds us that Satan is already defeated. God speaks outside of time, telling us:

… So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more. (28:18b-19)

Take that, Satan. You are already toast. God wins. You lose. And those of us on God’s side win with Him.

Who’s side are you on?

 

August 15 – The Oracle From God

Jeremiah 23-25

The Bible talks a lot about false prophets. They are out there! They’ve always been out there. They claim to have a message from God – but it’s not true. They write books and blogs, go on talk shows, and stand before some congregations every Sunday. They label themselves Christian, and even can quote Scripture. But they are polluted and wicked, (23:11) and “intend to make (God’s) people forget (His) name…” (vs 27).

Jeremiah says the more they proclaim this “oracle” from God the harder it will be to recognize the Truth.

For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord because every man’s own words will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. (vs 36)

Do you know the Truth when you hear it? Do you recognize a distortion of that Truth? You’ve got to read and re-read God’s Word for yourself. In these pages is the only Truth. And it doesn’t come by one or two verses taken out of context.

Read the whole Bible. Memorize passages that God lays on your heart. Ask Him to help you recognize the lies.

And He will.

July 1 – The Deceiver Isn’t God

I Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18

Micaiah’s vision has me thinking. It sounds like God allowed one of His angels to cause the prophets to lie. Does God make people sin in order to get His will done? That just doesn’t fit with God’s nature, the One who demands we be holy, the One who loved the world that He gave His Son that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved.

I don’t remember any Scripture that describes God as being the deceiver. Yet here it is: “The Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets…”

I went to Matthew Henry to see his take on these verses. He says the spirit who volunteered to deceive Ahab was Satan himself.

So I re-read the passage and noticed that Micaiah saw the Lord on His throne, and all the hosts of heaven standing on either side of Him. Then a spirit came forward. I had assumed it was one of the heavenly hosts. But I see now it was the deceiver.

This vision reminds me of what we read about Job. Satan doesn’t make a move without God allowing it. And, if God allows Satan to make a move, God has every means to use it to show Himself, to draw people to Himself.

I need to be aware that Satan is standing out there ready to trip me up, to throw those daggers, to put a little doubt in my head. I can be assured that God will never be surprised by Satan’s attacks. And that no matter what God allows Satan to throw my way, God is able to handle it far and above what I can imagine.

I don’t want to be like those prophets I read about today, who ran with Satan’s lies. I want to be like Micaiah and stay true to the Lord. Even if the backlash is prison, or sickness, or hardship, or death.

May 15 – The Deceiver

2 Samuel 13-15

Absalom, King David’s son, was pretty devious. First he plotted, then carried out his plan to kill Amnon. Then he decided to turn his attention to his dad. Absalom wanted to be king. And he could be patient.

He started by sitting at the city gate, greeting people as they entered. What a nice guy, they must have thought. Then Absalom began talking to them, listening to them, sympathizing with them.

Next, after he had gained their confidence, he began throwing out little suggestions to undermine David’s kingship. “Too bad I’m not judge, ” he told them. “I’d take care of things for you.”

Pretty soon, Absalom had a following. Then he made his move.

Satan uses those same tactics. He doesn’t always present himself with pitchfork in hand. In fact, he can be charming, intelligent, funny, and patient.

He’s a funny gay couple in your favorite sitcom. He’s a rationalization for a sin you’ve committed. He’s a look at someone else with whom you compare yourself and say, “I’m not as bad as she.” He’s a talk show host who promotes positive thinking, or a TV preacher who says you have power within you to get what you want. It’s the popular notion that you must put yourself first in order to be happy. It’s the pressure to tolerate false beliefs and sinful choices. It’s that “Don’t judge” abuse of His Word.

Satan has been called “the deceiver.” Do we recognize his tactics to take our eyes off Jesus, to doubt our faith, or compromise that which God wants us to hold firm? Let’s use Scripture as our plumb line, our rule book and guide. If what we hear doesn’t agree with the Bible (and not just a verse here and there) let’s reject it as an attempt by Satan to subtly win us to his side.

Father, I pray for your children. May we be grounded in Your Word, may we recognize the lies, and stand up for the Truth. Defeat Satan in our lives, in the lives of our loved ones, and in the world.