From the minister's desk
Realizing now that ‘the Father of Lies’ is very shrewd and deceptive, we can free ourselves of the lies he has caused us to believe. Understanding how his covert lies work, many have seen their spiritual man discouraged, depressed and dead. His lies are deceptive and dangerous to our souls.
Believing that you don’t have to “give as you prosper or purpose in your heart and be cheerful, not grudgingly” was one of the devil’s lies. He deceived you into thinking ‘I don’t have to give my money if I need to buy food, clothes and pay my rent.’ He had you thinking that the Lord don’t care about you, so you have to take care of yourself. The truth is “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete (measure) withal, it shall be measured to you again.” Lk.6:38 If you have been holding back from the Lord’s command to give as He has directed, just know that you have not been receiving the full blessings He wants to give to you. Mete out as Jesus said.
Believing that you do not have to attend worship or Bible class regularly is another lie Satan tells.
“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” Heb.10:25 He had you thinking that as long as you say you have God in your heart, you don’t need to be in bibles classes or assemble with other Christians. How can you exhort, encourage and edify one another? Satan said that you don’t need other people, especially righteous people who think they are better than you. Just hang out with him and the world if you want to have much more fun, more friends and get a lot of stuff. Live your best life now. There is no life after this! Now that you have been reminded of what you once believed, repent. God loves you, Satan want to take you from God.
Believing that God will not destroy a person just because they don’t do what the scriptures says.
“For if we willfully sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins… how much more surer punishment do you suppose one is thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Vengeance belongs to me, I will recompense says the Lord. The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb.10:26-31 Repent. God will destroy those who disobey Him. Satan will destroy them who obey him!
Believing that you don’t have to ask forgiveness every time you do God or somebody wrong. ‘Life is too short to be thinking about that. Most people will forget in time and didn’t God say He is a forgiving and loving God?’ Jesus said, “Be ye therefore merciful as your Father also is merciful. Judge not and you shall not be judged: condemn not and you shall not be condemned: forgive and you shall be forgiven.” Lk.6:36-37 Our Father is God, not Satan! Since “We will receive a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” Heb.12:28-29 Satan knows this but can’t repent. We can, so “repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord… whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of the prophets since the world began.” Acts.3:19-21 There is life after this life! Where will you spend it? Repent of the lies you’ve believed and be revived, restored and refocus “your affections on things above.”
Last week we looked at two of Satan’s most believable lies. ‘God is a Cosmic Sadist and God is a liar.’ If you truly believe your bible, “God is not a man that He should lie…” Num.23:19 “It is impossible for God to lie.” Heb.6:18 It can certainly be believed that the one who God created can lie! That is why he (Satan) is called by God ‘the father of lies.’
This week consider three more of Satan’s lies that are most believable today. ‘Man is God’s slave, there is no destiny and this life is everything.’ Satan had already gotten Eve to believe that God is a tyrant, his word can’t be trusted, and he is holding back the truth from her. Now he suggests that God made man to be His slave forever. Satan offers her autonomy. ‘You can be your own person, set your own destiny because you will be as a god. God will never allow you be anywhere near His level.’ That’s a lie! God created man to ultimately make him higher than the angels. No angel was given charge over God’s creation. Also, in the world to come, man is in God’s eternal plan. There we will be like God Himself and partake in his uncreated and eternal life and share with Him the rulership of the universe. Heb.2:5-8 “For unto angels he has not in subjection the world to come… but now we do not yet see all things put under him.” This is referring to man. Man will be exalted even more than Satan use to be.
There is a destiny for all of us and Satan. To be where God is if we are obedient and to be where Satan will dwell eternally if we are disobedient. Yes, we do get to choose our destiny! But what has happened to the message of eternal destiny? How often do we remind ourselves that “if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1Cor.15:19 Eve rejected the message of eternal destiny in exchange for ‘present knowledge, satisfaction and fulfillment.’ Even in our time the here and now spirit dominates more than the “yet to come.” One is seen as a fool to deny himself the immediate fulfillment of this present moment in favor of some better but future realization. “Do it now, live your best life now for tomorrow is not promised.” The spirit of ‘now’ has more influence than versus ‘then,’ even in the church today. Choose your destiny wisely. Choose God!
This life is everything belief can certainly cause the misinformed, unbelieving and gullible to miss out on the destiny of heaven. Many subscribe to the ‘heaven on earth’ ventures, though scriptures said that “eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, neither has it come into the heart of man, the things God has prepared for them that love Him.” 1Cor.2:9 This life is not everything. Paul said, “For our light afflictions which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2Cor.4:17-18 Jesus asked a profound question in contrasting this life with the life after, “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Are you willing to give up life eternal in heaven for this temporary life on earth?
Don’t be deceived or lied to by the Father of lies. Hell is too hot, and eternity is too long to listen to Satan over God. Who do you believe? Who do you think really loves you? What has Satan done for you? Who has offered you sweet rest from your labors? Listen to the voice of God!
This month’s lesson will remind all of us that we are not only susceptible to Satan’s lies, but live with them and are tripped up by them daily. Satanic activity on earth takes many forms. He operates overtly in activities such as witchcraft, sorcery and other occult related practices that are well known in many areas of the world.
But his most devastating work and attacks are his covert attacks on unsuspecting victims. His overt (public) activities has deceived millions, and his covert attacks through false doctrine has led millions astray. Here are a few of Satan’s most believable lies which scriptures clearly disproves; ‘God is a Cosmic Sadist, God is a liar, Man is God’s slave, Man serves God only for human rewards and adversity results in turning from God.’
Is God a sadist or tyrant? Satan’s most effective work is found in the mind of men. He is a liar from the beginning. Remember, “he was more subtle than any beast of the field which God had made.” Look at how he phrased his question to Eve. “Really? Did God say you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Gen.3:1 What a clever ploy. The implication is that God filled the garden with many delightful, delicious fruits and has forbidden man from eating any of them just to frustrate him. God is inflicting an impossible set of rules on man. Therefore, it is impossible to please God. Eve unknowingly moves closer in Satan’s direction when she misrepresents what God said; “Neither shall you touch it.” 3 Satan’s desire was to reverse God’s instructions, turning God’s permissions into prohibitions. The instructions were clear and concise, “Of every tree in the Garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it…” 2:16-17 Rejecting the hundreds of permitted things and reaching for the one forbidden thing is a common practice of the human race from earliest childhood all throughout life. Scriptures says, “No good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly.” Psa.84:11 “All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient.” 1Cor.6:12 God is a God of permission, not prohibition. “… God gives us richly, all things to enjoy…” 1Tim.6:17-19 Satan is a liar and he continues to insist that God is a sadist, a tyrant and everything is prohibited. God is not a sadist, Satan is!
Is God a liar? Notice in Eve’s conversation with Satan, after he got her to respond wrongly to his first question, he boldly makes an assertion or statement. “You shall not surely die.” 3:4 He is saying, “God is lying to you. He cannot be trusted, and his word is not true.” Satan now affirms to Eve that there is another system of truth that takes precedent over the word of God. So, begin the first problem of the universe, the problem of truth. Even today we are dealing with “alternative truths.” Ever since the first lie, the world has repeatedly asked the question, ‘what is truth?’ Satan’s answer is anything except the word of God.
Just about all of the problems of our present age have come because we have turned from the truth of revelation (revealed in God’s word) to the sinking sand of mere human philosophy. The current version of Christianity filled with man’s corrupt theology has produced a corrupt moral standard. Churches are now declaring that trial marriage is legitimate. The Bible says, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” Exo.20:14 Nation laws have been passed to say, homosexuality is legal and is a legitimate expression of feelings. The Bible says, “… those who commit such things are worthy of death.” Rom.1:32 Some advocate a revolution against the government. Bible says, “… the powers that be are ordained of God.” Rom.13:1 The list is endless of the lies perpetrated by ‘the Father of lies.’ We must turn from the voice of Satan to the careful, diligent study of the Bible.
I remind you of the fact that God created the angels of which Lucifer, Satan, the devil was among them. Is the creature more believable than the creator? To many, yes! If you believe Satan, you have to believe in God because Satan speaks of Him and claims to be smarter than Him. Scripture tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, … all things were made by him; and without him was nothing made that was made.” Jo.1:1-3 God through Paul said, “let God be true and every man a liar.” His response was to a question; “what if some don’t believe? Shall their unbelief make the truth of God of none effect? Rom.3:3-4 God is not a liar, everything and everyone that opposes God is a lie. Where do you stand? We will resolve the other lies later. May God continue to bless and keep those who believe Him and His Word.
To those of you in the congregation who have supported me in this ministry, I need you to know that I am eternally grateful. I pray that God will bless you tremendously in His own way. I know that I could not have survived this long without God and those of you who have been here with me and some even longer. Many have come and gone in my time as your minister and I want you to know that leaving you has never crossed my mind. I have committed myself to the Lord and His work, wherever he places me. I am thrilled and honored that He placed me here with you.
Long before the complaints popping up now, I’ve heard directly and indirectly through others of the discontent some have had with me and my preaching. But I am more thankful that none have been able to disparage my life and work. It is true that if you love what you do, it keeps you focused daily on doing better and therefore keeps the distractions at bay. I love what I am doing for the Lord. I want to share with you, God’s Wonderful People, my concerns and what drives me to do what I do with, for, to and because of you. I am concerned for your souls and my own.
I truly consider myself a servant in the Lord’s army, kingdom, vineyard, church, etc. Whatever you call it, I know where my heart is, where my help comes from, whom I serve and how I am charged to serve. I have been given a promise to look forward to, commandments to obey and a group of people to lead in the Lord. I do take my orders seriously.
I am instructed to “take heed unto myself and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this I shall both save myself and them that hear me.” 1Tim.4:16 So I can’t preach itching ear sermons. I can’t try to please people over God. So, people will rebel and express themselves, but I will not give in.
I ‘ve been charged to “preach the word, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For in my time they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables. But I must watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of my ministry.” 2Tim.4:1-5 This is what God is going to hold me accountable for. I am concerned.
Like you I must “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called and has professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1Tim.6:12 I am trying to help you to fight the good fight by equipping you with God’s armor, but you must put it on and use it. You don’t have to like it, but to defeat Satan, you must wear it and use it in this fight. You ought to be concerned.
Peter said and I have read about, seen and heard “the false prophets and teachers” in my own lifetime, among us and the brotherhood. I have heard the “damnable heresies” and seen the “pernicious ways many are following,” even to the point of “them speaking evil of the truth. They are covetous, greedy and with feigned words make merchandise of God’s people.” 2Pt.2:1-3 The sad part is that the people love it.
I am told that “if I put the brethren in remembrance of these things, I shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words and of good doctrine, whereunto I have attained.” 1Tim.4:6 In putting you in remembrance, I must “…warn you or I will surely die…” Ezek.3:16-21
So, I hope you can see and understand why I am the way I am. I hope that you will join me and continue to work with me and support in the Lord’s work. For I know that He will prevail, and I want to be found in His favor and receive His promises. I pray you do to.
We are preparing ourselves for the Lord, His work and Heaven. “Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.” What else is more important in this life than to be prepared for the next life? Though many may not believe that there is a next life, that does not may it true. God said there is, and the scripture says, “For what if some did not believe, shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true and every man a liar.” Rom.3:3-4 We do not compare ourselves to the world, nor do we “compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measure themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.” 2Cor.10:12 We only seek to give unto you what thus says the Lord.
“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen is better than the fat of rams.” 1Sam.15:22 It’s not what you know but what you do with what you know! “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccl.12:13 Don’t just know God-Obey God.
Like Moses, many of us were minding our own business when something or someone came into our lives, causing us to pay attention to something we’ve been ignoring or was ignorant of and we haven’t been the same since! With Moses, it started with him, seeing an Egyptian killing a Hebrew, which he was also. (Ex.2:11) With us it may have been someone’s door-knocking or talking to us at work or some other place about God and the Church and we haven’t been the same since! But now that we know God and have committed ourselves to Him, we must be about doing God’s work! We must obey God.
Ex.7:1-5… God said, I have made you special to Pharaoh and I have given you someone to help you do my work! I’ll tell you all I want you to say and do and Aaron will tell it to Pharaoh. I will perform many signs and wonders to Pharaoh and all of Egypt that they may know that “I am the LORD.”
Jesus says to us, “You are the salt of the earth; …You are the light of the world..., let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mt.5:13-16 “My Father will send the Holy Spirit unto you to abide with you, comfort, teach, help and guide you in all things.” Jo.14:26 We have helped to know and do the will of God. But we must obey and do all of God’s word.
Don’t use or allow age to hinder you from doing God’s will. Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them. Age did not stop them. Moses was 80 and Aaron was 83 years old when they confronted Pharaoh. Ex.7:6-7
God told them what to do, when to do it and what would happen. They did it and was challenged by sorcery, but God’s power prevailed! 8-12 You know that God is real, God is just. God is a jealous God. We can’t serve Satan and expect to live with God. We must come to know God and obey God.
Rom.6:16-18 says, “Know ye not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey;… but thank God that you were servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you. Being made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.” Now we must continue in the doctrine of Christ until God calls us out of this world.
Looking at Moses life, don’t make the mistakes he made, mainly letting people come between you and God. Moses was called “a friend of God.” God loved Moses. Moses knew God and the power of God. But somebody or something got to him over time and he disobeyed God and did not make it into the Promised Land with the people he led for 40years. You and I could easily lose our place in Heaven by letting other people get to us, causing us to disobey God. You know what some of that looks like; not worshipping, not engaging in ministry, not fellowshipping one with another, not loving one another, going to other places rather than bible classes, etc.
Paul posed this question to the Saints in Galatia; “You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? Gal.5:7 We must be careful not to let others hinder us from doing what we know to do in Christ. That will not be an accepted excuse. James made it plain; “To him that knows to do good and do it not, to him it is sin.” Jas.4:17 We are seeking to know the Lord, trust in His Holy Word and do as He commands.
Church, let’s prepare ourselves for the Lord, let’s do the will of the Father that we may not only get to see Heaven, but be with them eternally in Heaven. Don’t Just Know God-Obey God.