Friday, January 15, 2010

Resisting The Devil - Part 2

In resisting the devil we are not to act like him. I see two extremes in the body of Christ; both are good, but one is better. I see the desire to keep the doctrine pure which is a worthy goal, but their is a tendency to be overly critical. We are always good fruit inspectors of others more so than we are of ourselves.

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Ouch, surely that doesn't apply if we are contending for the faith? What about confronting those who are evil?

Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

The Lord rebuke you. We are not to be judges and if we correct someone it is to be from the Lord's word, in love. Love? Often that is missing. Anger is often the case. People argung and debating, not in love but in anger, "contending for the faith."

On the other hand, some love eveybody. Occasionaly there will be one person among us that just loves everyone. The person may not be deeply versed in the use of God's word, but love is always there. This is the other extreme; satan in a person? No way, I love everyone. all have souls that can be saved, given prayer or time. Nothing is impossable with God. I think I tend to see this approach as closer to God's heart.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Love is forgiving when the love of Christ is in it. Even on the cross, the love of Christ was forgiving.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

The Spirit filled Deacon Stephan, spoke with boldness defending the faith and he made the Pharisees angry. This cost him his life. But as Jesus did, he spoke forgivness as he was being killed by stoning.

Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

He cared about their souls! Love cares for the souls of the lost and forgiveness is a part of God's love.

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

We are to forgive because we were forgiven. The way of love is the greater way.

1 Cor 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1 Cor 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1 Cor 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1 Cor 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1 Cor 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1 Cor 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1 Cor 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1 Cor 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1 Cor 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1 Cor 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

If we can love like that and be in Christ Jesus, we are a blessing to others. We can love the vilest sinner. Yet love to be even more affective must be in spirit and in truth. Let's face it, there are many false teachers in the world. They can lead people astray even so much so that if possible they would deceive the very elect.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

This will bring wide scale confusion, perhaps so much confusion that there will be little faith in what is true?

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

There is a problem that requires a balance. We want to resist satan in these individuals who oppose Jesus and or the Apostal Paul. We need discernment and truth, but we cannot omit love and care for the soul. Discernment is required to keep the devil out of the room, while finding some other way to reach the soul and not allow them to destroy a room, while giving them love. Love is greater than anger and truth is greater than lies. We must balance the two using discernment which means we just can't write out an enemy list. Where then is forgiveness? We can't love all and allow chaos so that no one can find the word of truth. So, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. Some rooms must be free of distractions and false teachers, but there should be opportunities for all people to be allowed where love and truth with discernment prevail. Woe is me if I hate anyone, for their soul may end up in hell. Jesus always had love and he had some hard things to say.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Compare this with his discernment concerning those who were bad spiritual leaders.

Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Jesus spoke many woes to the hypocrits; these are a few of them.

Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Yes, Jesus was upset with the sinful religious leaders, for he cared for souls. These would lead many away from truth. What then? If Jesus made the way for sinners to be forgiven, we are to show sinners the way because we care for their souls. We love everyone, but hate the sin. Let the Spirit of God lead you and remember all must be done in His love.

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