2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Tonight, I want to talk about preparing ourselves for Heaven.
I mentioned in my last lesson the division concerning the church, and how Satan has changed the word of God in certain translations in order to deceive men.
The focus tonight is not on this deception and but rather how to resist it.
Satan is the master of deception, he is the all time great Houdini, or magician.
A magician must have an audience, to be successful he must be able to deceive them, to do that he must create a diversion.
We are his victim, his target, the ones He hopes to deceive, God is His opponent, and we are God’s target as well in other words we are the battle field of this great spiritual war.
We must choose whom we will follow, the great deceiver or the great God.
Satan knows we will not follow him if we know the truth, hence the lies
We must be able to recognize two things the truth, and the lie
And a third; that we can be deceived by the lie if we rely on our own judgment, the perception of our own wisdom, for if we attempt to out wit Satan we are out manned from the start.
Three important issues:
- If we look at the diversion, we are in danger
- If we consider the deception, we are in danger
- If we study from a false translation, we are in danger
Whenever we take our eyes of a legitimate translation; we are in danger.
Considering the above, every time, for any reason, we take our eyes off the true word of God we are in danger.
We must have a desire to know one from the other or we are condemned to follow the lie
We must know we do not possess the truth, we lost it in the Garden of Eden, but gained the ability to know the truth from the lie.
We must understand:
In order to follow God’s word and teach it correctly we must study it correctly and understand it correctly; and apply it to our lives correctly.
Evil: Knowledge of God’s word and willful disobedience; and willful distortion of the truth in order to deceive others.
So tonight’s lesson is how do we keep our eyes on the truth that will lead to eternal life?
How can we mere humans know which the diversion is, and which is the deception perpetrated upon mankind by the greatest of all deceivers:
What is the deception?
Mark 7:7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
So the first truth we discover is Satan’s stage, where does he perform? In the Church.
Think about this how does a magician pull off his stunts? By creating a diversion with one hand, while doing the slight of hand with the other while out of view from his audience.
How does he do this in the church?
Let’s start outside the church, lets start with other groups, such as Muslims, Islam, Hindu, you name it… many will say there it is the great deception… or no it’s over there with that group, or most likely it’s all those groups, maybe we think it is the deception of the far left, or democrats, or republicans…. How often do they man that is evil?
But that is not the deception, that is the diversion with one hand, while the other hand, out of sight is doing his true deception in the church.
deceit, deceitfulness, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, cheating, trickery, chicanery, deviousness, slyness, wiliness, guile, bluff, lying, pretense, treachery; you get the idea
diversion: Misdirection this is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.
Mark 7:7 tells us where to look… Satan’s deception is found in the congregations teaching a humanly created doctrine…. Namely Calvinism, which is based upon Gnosticism and you will find no biblical ground for any of their five points.
The counter to Calvinism comes Arminianism which is completely biblical based, so now we know which group the deception is, so all we must do is follow what the bible says, reject anything that cannot be test by the fire of the word.
But we know it doesn’t end there does it? Satan will never give up, he will until the day we die attempt to deceive us in some way, and we are helpless lambs being attached by a vicious wolf, never deceive yourselves thinks, ah now, I have arrived…. Satan can no longer reach me.
We looked at the various versions of the Bible last time, right, and found many have been perverted, the dynamic versions are the translations perverted by the lies of Satan…. Not a lot that would be obvious, but in small areas, maybe just changing one word here or there, and in fact in at least one case removing an entire verse.
Now we recognize the next level of deception and avoid it and again we beat our chests and say “ah now” I have arrived at the safe ground.
Satan never gives up.
Even though you have found the right doctrine, the right church, and the right translation to study, he will still attack you…. Personally, in your thoughts, attitudes, in your family. When we are at odds with family members, or with other members of the church, or with anyone for that reason we are taking our mind off God, off the path, maybe it is our work, or worldly issues that take our eyes off the goal.
Think of it this way, it takes our eyes off the hand doing the deception and puts them back on the diversion of the other hand.
and we give Satan a small edge, a crack in our armor and he will work it and work it, until he breaks through our weak point, and again comes the attack.
We must grow, God’s word must get deeper and deeper into our psyche, it must be come who we are.
So with that said, tonight’s lesson is focused upon the above verse, and then we will get into the other issues in future lessons.
2 John 2:15 Be DILIGENT to present yourself APPROVED to God, a WORKER who does not need to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of TRUTH.
Test all doctrines by the word of God: This tells me we must study and learn the truth only from the bible, and test biblically any position preached by man (Acts 17:11)
Point One: Focus on ourselves
Are we willing to look hard at ourselves
Parable of the man who built his house in a tree
Are we willing to examine that tree?
Are we willing to cut tear down our house and find a good tree to rebuild?
Point Two Do we understand there is an absolute truth?
The coin can only be either heads or tails
Are we willing to truly seek the truth?
Are we able to recognize the truth?
Point Three: Are we willing to follow the truth no matter where it leads?
Breaking down the verse
Be DILIGENT, what does this mean? Well let’s look at a few other corresponding words
present yourself APPROVED to God
a WORKER who does not need to be ashamed
Shame comes at judgment day
RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of TRUTH
Search the Scripture John 5:39
Remember what I said: John 15:20
Let these things sink into your ears: Luke 9:44
Take heed therefore how ye hear”Luke 8:18
Take heed what you hear: Mark 4:24
Beware of the leaven (doctrine of the Pharisees” Matthew 16: 6, 12
As we wait for the return of Christ remain ready, fight the temptation to follow the world
Hold fast till I come Rev 2:25 & 3:2 – 3
Be ready Luke 12:40
Wait diligently Luke 12: 35-36
Do not care for the world… take heed Luke 21:34
Do not look back, remember Lot’s wife: Luke 17:31 – 32
DO NOT BE DECEIVED Luke 21:8; Mark 13: 5 – 6
WATCH Mark 13: 34 – 37
FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH