Sunday, March 12, 2006

Falling for the Lie

The recent barrage of church burnings by three college students is a perfect example of those who fall for the lie. Most of us probably sensed that there was more to the story when it was first revealed that these troubled kids claimed to have done it "just for fun." Now we know that these boys have been involved with Satanism.

Several days ago, one member at my message board posted a link to an article about this terrible string of church fires. At the time, I certainly didn't think that what they did was only done as a joke. In my gut I knew that there had to be much more to the story, thus, my response back then was:

"This is just truly awful! I find it hard to believe that it was done as a joke. Could these young people be that evil and heartless? Guess so...What puzzles me is that if it was a joke, why were only Christian churches targeted? What caused these thugs to single them out? I think that there are a LOT of unanswered questions..."

The idea of carrying out a prank such as this just for fun seemed absurd to me. There had to be a sinister reason behind it all.

Of course the press was reluctant (at first) to report that the boys did something evil. They simply labeled it a "prank" or a "joke." Typical...

My previous post, Feedeth on Ashes or God's Love discussed and explained the difference between falling for a lie verses falling for the lie. Now that we know that the boys were involved in Satanism, it is clear that they had fallen for the lie.

The original lie:

The Temptation and Fall of Man
(see also Rom. 5:12-21)
Genesis 3:1-4 NKJV
3Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Wanting to be like God might sound noble and good, but notice that Adam and Eve decided to disobey God in order to achieve such a goal. They fell for the lie of Satan. The original KJV states verse 5 this way:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (bold added).

This gets to the heart of the matter. Wanting to be as gods is clearly a statement of desire to be your own god rather than following, worshiping, and obeying our Creator God. Adam and Eve were tempted to know evil. They already knew the good. They had a relationship with the LORD God that was described as "walking with Him."

Rebellion is what unrepentant, unregenerate man is all about. At the Fall, Adam and Eve didn't immediately die physically, but they immediately died spiritually.

This is why the Messiah, Jesus Christ, came to restore man back to a personal relationship with God the Father through his redemptive work at the cross.

These boys are in deep trouble. They are not only in immediate trouble with the law, but, what's even more disturbing is that they are in eternal trouble with the ultimate Lawgiver. We must pray that their eyes will be opened to the fact that they have fallen for the lie of Satan. The agreements they have made with the Enemy must be exposed for they desperately need the grace of God that is only offered through deep and true repentance in Jesus Christ.

You see, God's Word tells us that until they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, realizing that he ransomed them (and all of us) with his own life through the triumph of his crucifixion, they cannot be cleansed of their sin.

Born-again Christians agree with God for their need to die to sin, to the flesh, to the world, and to the Evil One. When we are crucified with Christ, we take up the cross and crucify the flesh with all its pride, unbelief and idolatry. We have "put off the old man" and now are indwelled with the Holy Spirit to guide, sanctify and walk in newness of life. That is what "being dead to sin and alive with Christ" means. Through Christ, and through him alone, we get to put on the new person in all holiness and humility, in all righteousness and purity and truth. With Christ in our lives, He is the one who strengthens us.

It is only through belief in Jesus and recognition of his authority and rule in our lives that we have everlasting victory over Satan and his kingdom. Satan has been judged and cast down. His rule and authorities were disarmed at the cross. This disarmament needs to be done in our own individual lives. How is it done? Once we confess and repent of our sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over our lives.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ. He is the Head over all! Bringing Christ's kingdom and authority to rule over our lives means the defeat of Satan's grip on us. Prior to Christ's indwelling in our hearts, Satan can have his way with us. Satan's domain is not a place where anyone should want to be.

The Bible says that "greater is he who is in me (you) than he who is in the world." The one in the world is Satan. The One in me (you, as a born-again Christian) is Christ through the person of the Holy Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit is our Counselor, Comforter, Strength and Guide. He seals us in Jesus Christ forever. No matter what, no one can snatch us out of his hands!

What a great promise!

Honoring Jesus as Lord of our lives enables us to be led into truth. When we open up and give our lives (body, soul and spirit) completely over to Christ we are then choosing to be filled with Him! This choice enables us to walk in step with the Lord in all things.

When we stumble in the flesh, (as can sometimes happen when we resort back to the "old self" given through the lie), the Holy Spirit is there to lead us back to our proper place as a child of God. We must be connected to God and listen to his leading.

In the article link above, you will read that these boys were looking for knowledge. A worthy cause, however, they were looking in the completely opposite direction of where true wisdom and knowledge is found. It's not ever found in the grip of Satan and The Lie, but only in the knowledge and wisdom of the Word of God.

The armor that God gives us contain many articles of protection:
1. The belt of truth.
2. The breastplate of righteousness.
3. The shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace.
4. The helmet of salvation.
5. The shield of faith.

But the one offensive piece of armor that God gives His children is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God which wields God's power against the Evil One!

Praying in the Spirit enables us to be strong in the Lord and in His might...not our own might. When we attempt to do things on our own, in our own strength, we often fail. Why? Because we give Satan an "in" to deceive us with his lies.

Giving all the glory, honor, praise and thanks to Jesus Christ releases us from trying to do the impossible in our own strength. What it does is release the power of the Holy Spirit of God in our lives and allows His strength to carry us through absolutely anything.

In the verse below, notice that it doesn't say:

1. I can do all things in my own strength...

or

2. I can do some things through myself...

It says:

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

5 comments:

Susan Smith said...

Christine said: "When we are crucified with Christ, we take up the cross and crucify the flesh with all its pride, unbelief and idolatry."

It is impossible to commit suicide by crucifixion. Many Christians believe Jesus forgives their sin, but how many truly believe by faith that they have been crucified with Christ on the Cross more than 2000 years ago? We are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves: It is the gift of God. (see EPH 2:8).

Surrendering the spirit, soul and body to the Lordship of the Messiah is not possible by the power of the flesh. HE lives in us. "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (see COL 1:27).

This is a powerful post, Christine. You are doing a great job of ministering the Truth to every reader. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan!

Glad to see you back here at my blog. I have missed your comments which are always filled with much wisdom.

Your comment that many Christians believe the Jesus forgives their sin but may not truly believe by faith that they have been crucified with Christ at the time of the Cross was an excellent observation.

Accepting Christ as Savior is but one step. Accepting Christ as Lord and allowing him to reign over our lives is the next crucial step.

Sadly, I can't even count the people whom I have seen say the prayer of salvation but then not follow through by allowing the Holy Spirit to direct and guide their lives.

Jesus told us, "by their fruits you shall know them." If someone acts one way at church on Sunday but falls into overt paganism during the week, then we know that something isn't right with their soul. You said this perfectly when you stated:

"Surrendering the spirit, soul and body to the Lordship of the Messiah is not possible by the power of the flesh. HE lives in us. "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (see COL 1:27)."

Thank you for your encouraging words about my post! It is my constant prayer that those who read this blog and don't know the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Word will discover it through our sharing here. Holy Spirit, touch their hearts and lives, I pray.

SaltnLight said...

This is so good and so clear. Thank you both for what there is here.

I am presently going through some tough times with my health and have bouts of depression as well. The depression is some sort of thing concerning being alone more than anything. Not that I have no church family, that is not the case in fact, the greatest issue in this is that I cannot pin point why the depression is here at all.

I have the most wonderful and caring church one would ever hope for. Recently I took on some part time work so there is plenty to keep my mind occupied but during the evening when darkness falls the waves of saddness and tears start.

Love in Christ, Saltnlight

Susan Smith said...

saltnlight said: "The depression is some sort of thing concerning being alone more than anything."

I can understand. During the more than 30 years I abused alcohol, loneliness seemed to always be there. This happened for years even after I was delivered from the sin of homosexuality. I functioned well at my job, but in the evenings when darkness approached, I often reached for alcohol to relieve the sadness and loneliness. Having a prayer partner and reading the written Word of God with a friend at night helped me stay sober often, but the company of friendship of another human being did not deliver me. I realize today that the Lord is my deliverer… back then AND today. TODAY is the day of salvation; in the day of salvation HE helps us (see 2CO 6:2). I was saved yesterday, I am saved today and I will be saved tomorrow. Salvation is a lifestyle more abundant and blessed than any other on earth!

I have learned so clearly in my life that AFTER we are born again, then we are DAILY delivered from evil, just as we “take up our cross daily” and deny ourselves if we desire to follow Christ (see MAR 8:34). I had to lose my self-life (verse 35). In our flesh (self-life) there is NOTHING good (see ROM 7:18). My deliverance from loneliness, depression and alcohol abuse did not happen overnight. For me personally, the depressive spirit was dwelling in my flesh practically every day when the sun began to go down. Today I have learned to keep the SON up in my spirit, soul and body as I read the living Word of God each evening. Praise HIS Name. (ss)

Saltnlight said...

Thank you Susan:

It is getting far less in the past couple of evenings. Trying to rear it's ugly head last evening and then when I began to pray and call out to Christ it disolved.

Some of us women of my church are studying Romans and are at present in the 7th chapter. The very answer for the sinner or redeemed is found in that book and especially in chapter 7.

Paul makes it clear abundantly that it is not us who fix it, it is God and the Trinity. We are selfish and so prone to fall into lust and perverse desires.

When Christ delivered me from the sin of lesbianism it took quite a while for Him to get me to a place where I could even hug another woman in church. Finally though He has brought me to the point where love is healthy love and not the flesh.

God bless you Susan and your ministry.