VIDEO “Religious Deception” – Discern Religious Deception

Matthew 13:24-30

As Jesus says, the field is the world, in which He has established His church. The church is not of the world (John 17:14), but within it, just as a farmer may designate a specific plot of his land, separated from the rest, for a particular, unique crop.

However, Satan the Devil has also been at work, sowing his own seeds within the field. Using fragments of God’s truth, Satan has founded false religions and counterfeit Christianities that preach distortions of truth. Like the tare that grows masquerading as the wheat, members of these false churches may appear good, pious, and very generous. Worldly Christians may possess a seemingly good heart and act with fine intentions, but when the top layer of goodness is peeled back exposing their core, they reveal deceived hearts lacking understanding or true love.

Further, the world’s churches are in constant rebellion against God, refusing to keep His commandments and rejecting the absolute authority of His words. The world’s ministers even pervert the Word of God with infusions from such pagan religions as Buddhism, Hinduism, or other mystic or New Age faiths. Through syncretism and false doctrine, these churches accomplish the will of their evil father: deceit and destruction (see John 8:44).

Satan’s malignant influence is not felt only within the world. He has planted his own seeds, sowing false brethren and even ministers within the very church of God. However, as Christ reveals in this parable, God permits this intrusion of well-camouflaged counterfeits. Tares in God’s church will appear religious and devout, with no obvious warning-flag identifying them to unsuspecting church members.

Ted E. Bowling
Taking Care With the Tares


 

Derek Prince on the subject of “Religious Deception”. With so much deception in the world, this is a Must Hear! Derek passed away in 2003. We feel he was a good Bible teacher, and this teaching is well worth listening to. This audio teaching offers a solid scriptural base that every believer should have. He discusses heresy; spiritism; witchcraft; doctrines of demons; and gives plenty of important scriptures to back it up. We added the printed the scripture references to help you if you are taking notes.

 


How to Discern Religious Deception (Derek Prince)

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


 

 

 

Pierced Love

Today's Devotional

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. Isaiah 53:5

 

She’d called. She’d texted. Now Carla stood outside her brother’s gated entry, unable to rouse him to answer. Burdened with depression and fighting addiction, her brother had hidden himself away in his home. In a desperate attempt to penetrate his isolation, Carla gathered several of his favorite foods along with encouraging Scriptures and lowered the bundle over the fence.

But as the package left her grip, it snagged on one of the gate spikes, tearing an opening and sending its contents onto the gravel below. Her well-intended, love-filled offering spilled out in seeming waste. Would her brother even notice her gift? Would it accomplish the mission of hope she’d intended? She can only hope and pray as she waits for his healing.

God so loved the world that—in essence—He lowered His one and only Son over the wall of our sin, bringing gifts of love and healing into our weary and withdrawn world (John 3:16). The prophet Isaiah predicted the cost of this act of love in Isaiah 53:5. This very Son would be “pierced for our transgressions, . . . crushed for our iniquities.” His wounds would bring the hope of ultimate healing. He took on Himself “the iniquity of us all” (v. 6).

Pierced by spikes for our sin and need, God’s gift of Jesus enters our days today with fresh power and perspective. What does His gift mean to you?

By:  Elisa Morgan

Reflect & Pray

How have you experienced God’s pierced love? How have you seen Him transform a broken life by His amazing grace?

Dear God, thank You for Your gift of Jesus, sent over the fences in my heart to meet my need today.

The Promise of His Kingdom

Jesus talks about the kingdom of God often. In the Gospels alone, the word kingdom appears almost 120 times. As we study Scripture, we get a picture that the kingdom is both a present opportunity to experience God’s love and a future promise not yet realized.

The Lord says the kingdom is in our midst (Luke 17:21) and promises He will make all things new (Revelation 21:5). He teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10) and reassures His followers that theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3; Matt. 5:10).

But God’s kingdom is more than just a place—it’s His reign over all the world throughout time and all eternity. God promises us He is present, working to redeem and draw each of us to Himself and calling us to a future with Him. One day His work in us will be complete, and we’ll stand renewed before Him.

Think about it
• When you think about kings and kingdoms, what comes to mind? How does that influence the way you think about God’s kingdom, for better or worse?

• How can the kingdom of God be both present and not yet present? What does that tell you about the work He is doing—in both our own life and the world around us?

The World Without End

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Isaiah 64:4)

This beautiful Old Testament promise has been appropriated by Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9) and applied to the New Testament believer guided by the indwelling Spirit of God. It looks forward to the ages to come when all those “things which God hath prepared for them that love him” will be given in their fullness.

It is noteworthy that both “the beginning of the world” in our text (Isaiah 64:4) and “world without end” (45:17) are translations of the same Hebrew word, olam, which means essentially “indefinitely long ago” or even “eternity.” Thus, the wonderful plan God has prepared for His people, to be implemented and enjoyed in eternity future, was formulated by Him in eternity past.

We were then chosen “in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). He had even planned our redemption from sin through His Son, “with the precious blood of Christ, . . . Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:19-20).

We may not, in this life, really comprehend with our minds such marvelous things, but we who “wait for him” can believe them with rejoicing in our hearts, for “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Thus, we can unite with thankful and understanding hearts in Paul’s great doxology: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). HMM

Ungifted Hands, Not A Problem

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

—Philippians 2:13

 

The important thing is that the Holy Spirit desires to take us and control us and use us as instruments and organs through whom He can express Himself in the body of Christ. Perhaps I can use my hands as a further illustration of this truth.

My hands are about average, I suppose—perhaps a little large for the size of my body, probably because I had to do a lot of farm work when I was a boy. But there is something I must tell you about these hands. They cannot play a violin. They cannot play the organ or the piano. They cannot paint a picture. They can barely hold a screwdriver to do a small repair job to keep things from falling apart at home. I have ungifted hands….

You will agree that it would be foolish for me to try to bring forth any delightful organ music using such ungifted hands. Is it not appalling, then, to think that we allow this very thing to happen in the body of Christ? We enlist people and tell them to get busy doing God’s work, failing to realize the necessity of the Spirit’s control and functioning if there is to be a spiritual result.   TRA030-031

Move in our midst, Holy Spirit, that everyone in the Body might actively serve, each one using the gift they have been given for Your service. Amen.

 

Seeing the Invisible

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

—1 Corinthians 2:10

 

We must press on in the Holy Spirit. If we do not see beyond the visible, if we cannot touch that which is intangible, if we cannot hear that which is inaudible, if we cannot know that which is beyond knowing, then I have serious doubts about the validity of our Christian experience.

The Bible tells us: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

That is why Paul goes on to remind us that God has revealed these mysteries to us by the Holy Spirit. If we would only stop trying to make the Holy Spirit our servant and begin to live in Him as the fish lives in the sea, we would enter into the riches of glory about which we know nothing now. FBR152-153

What I am trying to describe here is the sacred gift of seeing the ability to peer beyond the veil and gaze with astonished wonder upon the beauties and mysteries of things holy and eternal. BAM094-095

Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. POG073

 

A Golden Daybreak

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

No matter what our condition, the Bible speaks to it. For the distressed or depressed, God has a message of hope. Wrote James Stewart, “God does not mock His children with a night that has no ending; and to every man who stands resolute while the darkness lasts, there comes at length the vindication of faith and the breaking of the day.”

The last chapter of the Old Testament, with its promise of the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, and the last chapter of the New Testament, with its announcement of the Bright and Morning Star, gives us God’s Word about the breaking of the day. In that hope, we lift up our hearts.

The focus of our hope is the Lord Jesus, and the fulfillment of it was not completed during His first visit to earth. He will come again, and the hope of His return shines most brightly in times of darkness. In the gloom of this present era, let us keep our eyes on the eastern horizon, to watch for the dawn.

Jesus came to a world shrouded in darkness. Our world is still wracked by the anguish of its self-inflicted disease of sin. The Bible declares that the human race is fallen, corporately sinful and all alike condemned. Ours is a sad solidarity of weakness and wickedness, with separation from God as the consequence of our folly.

During World War II seven Jewish refugees were sheltered beneath the Cologne Cathedral in Germany at the invitation of the archbishop there. They hid for some time in that basement before they could flee. After they had left, it was found that during those grim days they had written messages on the walls of their shelter. Among the graffiti were these words: “I believe in the dawn, even though it be dark; I believe in God, even though He is silent.”

I too believe in the dawn. I am confident of the eventual breaking of God’s new day, the fulfillment of His program for the world. Today, men love darkness rather than light, and in the darkness we are beset by terrorism and war and violence. But when Christ comes again, he will bring light and peace.

Let us look beyond the darkness, and look with hope for the golden daybreak when Jesus will come in triumph and glory.

Edward Read, I Believe in the Dawn