A Way that Seemeth RightJanuary 10, 2007
I Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
Over the years, I’ve heard various commentators discuss how religion causes wars and leads to a number of complicated social issues. The ongoing contentions between Israel and the muslim world is often held up as a prime example of this belief. They point to the number of sects that proclaim “we’re right and everyone else is doomed unless they join us. As a result, many place all religions into the same cauldron of confusion. Indeed, many wars over the centuries have come about over a host of religious contentions. Since the beginning, Satan has been assaulting man, who is made in the image of God. Thus a “religious war” serves a threefold purpose of bringing about hardship, obscuring the truth, and removing souls from the land of the living. The devil and his minions create, and then take full advantage of the array of doctrines that cover the earth.
These various doctrines have but one primary purpose; to obscure the truth that Jesus Christ paid the sin debt of the world and that the gift of salvation is freely offered to anyone who will call upon his name. When a person comes to Jesus and is born again, they become a new creature. They pass from death into life from the moment they first believe and they begin to learn what it is to be truly “alive.” The devil has to combat this, and so he plays to his strength by creating a lie. By creating a host of falsehoods which “seem right” or seem like “warm fuzzy concepts” he can not only draw folks away from the truth of the gospel, he can cause the gospel message to “blend in” with all of the other “nice sounding messages. He also has the element of flesh that he can manipulate in bringing about the intended result.
This has been going on since the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had one restriction. Don’t partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If you do this, you will die. The presence of this tree in the midst of the garden with its single accompanying restriction, meant that their relationship with God was by choice. This choice was present all of the time, day and night.
Just a side note before continuing. God never told them not to touch the fruit, only not to eat it. During the conversation with the serpent, Eve said that we cannot eat “or touch” it. When the conversation started, she was already hugging the side of the strait and narrow road. Every word of God is important and any alteration is a recipe for disaster.
The serpent, who was more subtle than the other beasts of the field offered up an alternate view of truth. “Ye shall not surely die” Adam and Eve were presented with two different points of view and they chose the one that appealed to the flesh but killed the spiritual ralationship with God. The laws of seduction haven’t changed since the beginning. Today things are much more complex as there are so many competing voices, but the mechanics are the same.
Lust of the flesh – this fruit will open your eyes and you will be like God.
Lust of the Eyes – the fruit looked very tasty. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Pride of Life – knowledge puffs one up. This is the very reason that Paul had a thorn in the flesh; to keep him from allowing pride to enter in. He gloried in this because the power of God was on him. This is a topic for another time, but it really applies here also.
Todays world is filled with doctrines; the very thing that bewildered me as a kid. “Where did all of this come from? Why is truth so hard to dicipher? They can’t all be right. Maybe they are all partially right. Maybe they’re all wrong.” Questions upon questions; I think that it’s partially the reason that I still have headaches. The diversions from the truth in their diabolical complexity, are a demonic masterpiece to be sure. They have led to the ruin of billions who were on a path, handed down from one generation to the next, that seemed right and made sense, but was erroneous to the core.
Acts 20:28-29 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”
These words, delivered by the apostle Paul to the elders of the church at Ephesus tell of a very present danger that exists today. That of error getting into the church. If you can picture the scene, these men, in the course of their former conversation worshipped a host of other gods and embraced various doctrines. In this case these were probably worshippers of Diana as they were Ephesians. They were now established in the faith and Paul was warning them of what would take place (not might, would) after his final departure.
The church, the body of Christ, is the light of the world, and as such, is under continuous assault. A person can sneak in underneath the radar and lead folks away after himself; proclaiming to have a truth that’s not being upheld. Splinters take place when a disagreement comes about and turns to an unreconcilable schism. This is when discernment and understanding of scripture is paramount. I mean real prayerful understanding as true revelation comes from God and will aways line up with scripture. He will never lead astray a person who is sincerely seeking truth. From the account of Cornelius the centurian, we know this to be true.
I’m not sure as to why I went down this particular path this morning. It’s a topic which, at its best, causes controversy. We live in an age in which the truths of the word of God are under assault like never before. Last night while working, I was thinking to myself, what’s the biggest danger today? I think it has to do with ensuring that we’re not being deceived. John the baptist thought on this. John was a man who had been prophesied of; to be the messenger, and was filled with the Holy Ghost from day one. When he was in prison, he sent his disciples to Jesus asking “Are you the one or do we look for another?” I don’t think that he wasn’t lacking in faith; he was just being careful. Double checking to make sure that he hadn’t somehow, taken a misstep. We must remember that as we read these accounts, the people in them were living in real time; just as we are living today.
II Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect throughly furnished unto all good works.
Our final authority. Just as the Bereans searched the scriptures daily, we all must give this the utmost attention. I need to close this up. I was expecting this to be a shorter post as it was totally unplanned. It was done fast and I apolagize for any grammerical errors.