|Vol. VI Number 10||March 10, 2002|
In the Bible we are told to try the spirits to see whether they be of God or not. Now there are many spirits in the world today that are tempting the Christian. These spirits are the definitely not of God and are easy to spot. But the ones that John was writing about were the subtle ones who are really disguised and come across as being of God.
1 John 4:1-6
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Now there are many temptation that ere extremely easy to recognize as being from the devil. John was not writing about these easy to recognize temptations, but the ones that are well hidden. These are the ones where the tempter causes the Christian to ponder what is right or wrong. These are the ones where the Christian does not know the right answer off of the top of his head. These are the ``gray'' areas that we haven't learned about. These are the areas that deal with holiness, righteousness, and living for the Lord. These are areas where Satan will tempt you to do something that will eventually cause you a lot of pain and anguish.
Now you are wondering what is LeRoy talking about? When I was attending Gateway College of Evangelism, I was attending a church in Florissant, MO. The pastor of this church borrowed a lot of money to finance building a new building. This building was a beautiful church building. But the financing of the new building became a burden to the pastor and he started preaching about money. Since he was not preaching the word of the Lord but his major concern became making the monthly payment. The bank was threatening to for-close on the property. Now borrowing money from a bank to build a church was not a sin, but if the pastor had listened more closely to the Lord and trusted in the Lord he would not have gotten into the bind. These are the temptations that I am talking about where the devil entraps you with an idea that you think is right and sounds very good.
Satan will use every means at his disposal to entrap, and enslave a believer in Christ. He will use temptations like going into debt to promote the work of the Lord. He will claim that that the Lord will provide to meet all of your needs so why not borrow the money now and start the work immediately instead of waiting until you have a firm financial base. Needless to say, listening to this line of thought can get you into a lot of trouble.
There are other ways that Satan uses to ensnare the Christian into his diabolical traps. Satan will use your spouse, family, friends, and others around you to question your strong convictions and beliefs. He will even quote the Bible to persuade you into something. It must be remembered that Satan is so good at deception, that he was able to deceive a third of the angels in heaven to follow him. This strong deceptive ability is what the Apostle John is warning the believers about. To be able to stand up against the deceptions that are this strong you must be strong in the Lord and be willing to question who is telling you what the will of the Lord is for your life.
Now Satan uses all of the above to trap the Christian, the Minister, and all of the Saints into a trap that he has set for you. You need to try the spirits and question who they really are. This is only done through much prayer and fasting. This is only achieved through knowing the Lord as a friend
Now there are a number of people that Satan tempted throughout the Bible with the above methods. For instance Abraham was fearful that the Egyptians would find out that Sarah was his wife. Elijah was fearful of Ahab. David lusted over Bathsheba. Peter though swearing to follow the Lord denied him thrice. The seventy when they came back to Jesus were rejoicing that even the demons obeyed them. All of the above examples are warnings to us that we have to stay focused on the Lord Jesus and not be distracted by the situations around us. By continuing to stay focused on the Lord we have the power to continue to overcome all of the temptations of the wicked one. When we are distracted that is an open door to Satan to come in and deceive us.
3014 E Street Philadelphia, PA 19134 Church Office Phone: (215) 634-3637 Published by: Rev. LeRoy D. Cressy (215) 535-4037
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Copyright © 2002 LeRoy D. Cressy
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