The Unsuspecting Christian

[17] Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. [18] For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

Romans 16:17-20 NASB…

Many Christians go through their daily routine never suspecting that the enemy is laying snares for them. This scripture tells us that the “unsuspecting” are subject to being deceived by Satan’s ministers who can come as angels of light. The Lord Jesus taught us, in the model prayer, to ask God to DAILY “deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13)

Peter warned us to “gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you” when the Lord returns for His Bride (I Peter 1:13).

Following are some characteristics of an “unsuspecting” Christian:

  1. They are easy targets for flattery and seductive speech due to walking in pride. (As biblical Christians we are to “set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-10)
  2. They believe anyone who uses the name of Jesus or Christ and can speak the Christian language is a true believer. (The Lord Jesus said concerning the last days that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24)
  3. They believe every supernatural appearance, event, spirit or voice is from God. (The Holy Spirit warned us through the apostle John to “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world”. (I John 4:1-3)
  4. They dabble in or have an unhealthy interest in occult practices, i.e. sorcery, witchcraft, divination, omens, astrology, mediums, spiritist, necromancy, etc. (Paul warned us that “those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
  5. Participate in yoga (even Christian yoga), eastern meditation, “spiritual formation” or other New Age practices that “bind” or “empty” the mind to reach an altered state of consciousness where you open yourself up to the demonic dimension and the lie that you are Divine. Practices rooted in eastern mysticism or eastern religions (Buddhist, Hindu, etc.). (The Lord Jesus teaches that man is not Divine but “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:1-16)
  6. They read books by religious mystics, which could be written by pagan authors or Protestant or Roman Catholic mystics. (The Holy Spirit through the writing of the apostle Paul warns us that in the end times “…God will send upon them [i.e. those who did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved] a deluding influence so that they believe what is false…”. (2 Thessalonians 2:11) Eastern mysticism, dressed up in Christian garb, is invading the Church and contains the “lie” that man is Divine and offers the false promise of peace and unity. The writings of these mystics can open the door to these dangerous practices.
  7. They do not give the Bible priority in their life. (Lord Jesus said “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” (Matthew 4:4)

If this is you, please consider the spiritual war that is swirling around you unseen, but nevertheless very real, and with eternal consequences. Paul warned us to “not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27) Why? Because he will take it. Many of the characteristics listed give the devil an opportunity to destroy you, your spouse, your children, your church, your witness, etc. Therefore, I encourage you to:

8] “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and…be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5: 15-18

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness…” 2 Corinthians 11:14

“…beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen”. (Jude 24 -25)

Father God, please protect us from the evil one today so we do not stumble. Use us Father to do your will on the earth and to be a blessing to others. In Jesus Name. Amen

Carl

When One Knows Oneself Well….

“When one knows oneself well, one is not desirous of looking into the faults of others.” –John Moschus (ca 550-619 AD)

Woe is me! Woe is you?

Let us not be the judge of others since there is only one True Judge, Jesus the Righteous.

Let us remember that pride always sees the faults of others.

Let us pray for one another.

Carl

Payday for the Proud

“GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”    James 4:6

I don’t know about you, but I definitely need the grace of God daily.  I don’t need Him to oppose me or resist me because of pride in my life. I need Him to enable me to walk in the Spirit and be a blessing to others, not a stumbling block to others.

Here is scripture I found in Isaiah that speaks of a day of reckoning. It is a good reminder of what happens to the proud and those who reject God’s Word. May it be food for your spirit man.

“For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty, and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.”

“And the pride of man will be humbled, and the loftiness of men will be abased, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

“But the idols will completely vanish. And men will go into caves of the rocks, and into holes of the ground BEFORE THE TERROR OF THE LORD, AND BEFORE THE SPLENDOR OF HIS MAJESTY, WHEN HE ARISES TO MAKE THE EARTH TREMBLE.”

“In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, in order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, BEFORE THE TERROR OF THE LORD AND THE SPLENDOR OF HIS MAJESTY, WHEN HE ARISES TO MAKE THE EARTH TREMBLE.”

Isaiah 2: 12, 17-21 NASB (emphasis added)

In Isaiah, God is about to bring judgement on the “house of Jacob” who has forsaken Him, for idols. Terrible judgement is coming on them. The proud will be humbled.

In Revelation 6: 14-17 we see the same futile “hiding” by the proud in the future. They still have their idols and have rejected the gospel of the Lord.

“And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;

and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “FALL ON US AND HIDE US FROM THE PRESENCE OF HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB;

FOR THE GREAT DAY OF THEIR WRATH HAS COME; AND WHO IS ABLE TO STAND?”

(emphasis added)

He describes these people and their idolatry in Revelation 9:20:

“And the rest of mankind, who where not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of sliver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.”

Thanks be to God, our Father, because He sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. We will not be on the receiving end of “the wrath of the Lamb”.  Let us walk humbly before our God and greatly rejoice in His love, grace and mercy.

May His peace be upon you! Keep yourself from idols!

Carl

Advice From George Mueller

We should always read and meditate over the Word of God with reference to ourselves and our own heart. This is deeply important, and I cannot press it too earnestly upon you. We are apt often to read the Word with reference to others. Parents read it in reference to their children, children for their parents; evangelists read it for their congregations, Sunday school teachers for their classes. Oh! This is a poor way of reading the Word; if read in this way, it will not profit. I say it deliberately and advisedly: the sooner it is given up, the better for your own souls. Read the Word of God always with reference to your own heart, and when you have received the blessing in your own heart, you will be able to communicate it to others.
Whether you labor as evangelists, as pastors, or as visitors, superintendents of Sunday schools, teachers, tract distributors, or in whatever other capacity you may seek to labor for the Lord, be careful to let the reading of the Word be with distinct reference to your own heart. Ask yourselves, “How does this suit me, either for instruction, for correction, for exhortation, or for rebuke (2Ti 3:16)? How does this affect me?” If you thus read and get the blessing in your own soul, how soon it will flow out to others!
–George Müller

George Mueller (1805-1898) founded Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England where 10,024 orphans were cared for during his lifetime. He also founded 117 schools where more than 120,000 children received a Christian education. He did all of this without letting the financial needs be known to anyone except God. He met all his needs.

Regarding his quote, remember that pride always sees the faults of others. Therefore, when Carl is walking in pride, the truth seen in the reading of the Word or the preaching of the Word can easily be applied to someone else. And I miss out on what God wants to do in my own life. Not good!

Carl will be better off if he humbles himself and submits himself to God and His Word. Then I am open to receive what truth the Lord is trying to show me in His Word.

Let us receive Brother Muller’s instructions.

May His sanctifying grace and tranquilizing peace be upon you.

Carl