Throughout history people have tried to justify their positions, attitudes and/or decisions by using the name of God. For example, they say “God told me,” “the Holy Spirit told me,” or they quote or preach from the Word of God. Lucifer, the scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees constantly used the name of God or the Word of God to deceive, manipulate and control people. Lucifer, in Matthew 4:1-3, is seen trying to tempt and deceive Jesus: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
As the words “temptation” or “tempter” imply, a person has a choice to be seduced or deceived into accepting or agreeing with the proposition, statement, theological position or explanation. The responsibility falls back onto the person listening to or reading the “tempter’s” communication to make a choice to accept and comply or to reject the offer. This demands a personal knowledge of the Scriptures and a determination to be faithful in obedience to them. Jesus understood the Scriptures, thus the will of God, and was committed to be faithful in His relationship with God. We read how Jesus rejected Lucifer’s temptation with His understanding of the Scriptures.
Matthew 4:4 reads: “But he answered and said, It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
For a person to be faithful and not compromise by accepting a “temptation” in the form of a suggestion, excuse or offer, one has to have determination, wisdom, knowledge of and loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Hosea 4:6 warns: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
The following are just a few exhortations in the Word of God so we can 'resist temptation':
II Timothy 2:15 tells us to: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
II Peter 1:5: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.”
Luke 12:8-9: “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”
It is amazing how many people constantly go directly against the Word of God. They take it completely out of context and try to use it to tempt, slander, divide the brethren, and persecute the righteous. Let’s read some examples:
Matthew 16:1: “The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.”
Matthew 19:3: “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?”
Matthew 21:23: “And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things?”
Matthew 22:15-18, 34-35: “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt me, ye hypocrites? But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
John 8:3-6: “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.”
Matthew 9:32-34: “As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake; and the multitudes marveled saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.”
Matthew 12:14-15: “Then the Pharisees went out, and held council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence; and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all.”
John 7:1,10-24,32,43-51: “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him…But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment…The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him…So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?”
Jesus, all through the gospels, strongly condemned the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees publicly for twisting God’s Word to get their own way and for using the people.
Matthew 23:1-2, 23-28: “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat…Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
People today are constantly saying, “God told me; Jesus told me; Father told me; or the Holy Spirit told me…” Yet, when a person compares what God or the Holy Spirit supposedly told them, many times it is in disagreement with the Scriptures. Consequently, they could not have heard from God, Jesus, Father, or have been led by the Holy Spirit. What a travesty that many people divide the brethren and, like Judas and the Pharisees, even conspire and attack the righteous through their ignorance of the Bible or their carnal nature, rebelling against the will of God as established in the word of God. Most believers are led by their soul (will, mind and emotions) that needs to be transformed and submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
When people break the protocol established by Jesus himself in Matthew 18:15-20, they do so in the spirit of Absolom, Miriam, Aaron, Koreh, etc. They try to justify their actions of disloyalty to their leadership or person they are in disagreement with, when they talk to other people before talking to the leader or person directly. This type of violation can never be minimized or justified. It is an action of selfishness caused from their pride. Their carnal nature wants their own way over the spirit of reconciliation, which is a spirit of truth, which leads to possible repentance and renewal of relationships. But people who are led by their old nature become very determined to have their own way. They rationalize violating Jesus' clear commandments for solving disputes and instead talk to others, including their spouse. This in turn causes further harm to the body of Christ. Scripture warns that they who listen to such talk will also be affected by the 'poison'. Being married to a person does not justify talking or listening to your spouse discussing another persons problems unless your spouse has already followed the procedures as outlined by Jesus Christ. This is the way Satan causes entire families to separate, causing splits in relationships and schisms in churches.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12 tells us how we become deceived! “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Often times people will write down a bunch of Scriptures on paper or quote a lot of Scriptures trying to attack a person or convince you of their beliefs. However, they refuse to sit with you to discuss their position because they cannot debate or defend it. All they can say is, “God told me” or “the Holy Spirit told me” or “the Bible says,” but they cannot defend their views. They do not know the Scriptures themselves for a lack of personal study time; yet, they try to defend an erroneous position held by their parents, their church or denomination. Conversely, some who study the most, are the most deceived. Jesus and the disciples were constantly discussing and debating the correct interpretation of the Scriptures. They did not arrogantly and angrily attack or denounce people for their positions. They were more than happy to patiently take the time to sit with them and discuss, explain or write their position down to reach a proper understanding and the total truth. When people get mad and attack you, wanting to separate their relationship with you over doctrine without taking unconditional time to mutually reach a correct consensus if possible, then something is demonically wrong.
The spirit of reconciliation outlined in Matthew 18:15-20 was instituted by Christ to solve disputes and restore relationships. It is no small thing when a person violates this mandate of Scripture. People often say it doesn't matter that they talked to other people first and sought others to come with them to confront the person they have a disagreement with; however, it does matter! If we are not willing to follow Jesus' example, then it means we are being led by our flesh, which only causes the breach in the relationship to magnify. Oftentimes the innocent person feels betrayed and attacked. The goal is for restoration and protection of the reputation of each person involved. The hope is for the guilty party to change their mind and the relationship to be strengthened and restored; now stronger than ever before. The motive is divine love, agape love, not some form of human love we call agape and use to justify our disregard and disrespect for the word and will of God.
Colossians 2:8 warns: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
People today are constantly trying to argue and defend a philosophy, tradition or false doctrine whether it is on pre-tribulation rapture, Christmas, eternal security, prosperity or tithing, etc. They call you names and slander you if you do not agree with them. Lucifer led the first split through gossip, conspiracy and rebellion against authority. He talked to the other angels, questioning the Word of God, and criticizing policy and decisions. He was jealous of God’s position and wanted the others to give attention to his wisdom.
Judas betrayed Jesus and the other disciples out of...again...pride. He was not pleased with Jesus’ leadership or His decisions. When the oil was poured over Jesus, Judas became angry and said that the oil could have been sold and the money used for the poor. In reality Judas was jealous of the attention and blessing Jesus was receiving.
The jealousy of Lucifer and Judas led them to verbally attack and frame Jesus, to discredit His message, and turn the attention away from Jesus and back onto themselves.
Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us: “There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers.”
Homosexuality, adultery, fornication, etc., are not on the list. Pride and lying, gossip and slander come first. This is what God calls the sin of murder. God hates character assassination worse than murder because it stops His Word from being preached, heard and accepted.
Church politics today, as in the days Jesus walked the earth, are just as sinful and destructive. In secular politics the heathen talk and belittle one another publicly where there can at least be open debate and rebuttal. But in church politics, the seven sins, which are an abomination before God, occur daily. Church leaders smile at you and hypocritically talk about you behind your back without the opportunity of the truth being presented from the innocent party. Thus, they like to appear as being very “Christian” with a smile, when in reality they are very sinful, selfish and destructive. The smile should really reveal a dagger as their self-righteousness conceals their pride (weakness) and jealousy. Their cowardliness instead of faithfulness causes them to listen to other ungodly talebearers who also have a personal problem with the righteous. Together they indulge in their vanities and lusts. Without a trial the innocent are slandered, discredited and condemned. Next, counsel and strategy are now discussed and carried through on how to separate, divide and destroy God’s righteous servant. Letters are sent, phone calls are made, all as they smile and shake your hand. Yet, the messenger and message are being discredited and discounted until God’s truth no longer can be spoken.
Thus, as Jesus was attacked for His righteousness, speaking truth which exposed the sins of others, so the innocent are called villains today. Nothing changes except the names of the guilty. People today slander and try to discredit a servant of God or leave a righteous church or ministry because of jealousy and pride. They justify their hypocrisy through using the name of God or blaming their desertion on the Holy Spirit or the Holy Scriptures. Yet, they refuse to sit and discuss or confront the allegations and issues forthrightly with the intent of seeking total truth and reconciliation.
Yes, the "God card" is being played daily to escape personal accountability. Instead people wallow in self-righteousness and in “doctrines of demons.”
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