Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

June 14, 2008

Volume 7 Number 12


Seducing Spirits

According to Paul, the Spirit of God is clear. In the "latter times," some who once knew the truth of the gospel will depart from the faith. Instead, they will listen to "seducing spirits," which will convince them to accept the "doctrines of devils:"

1 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; -1 Timothy 4

How could one who once knew the truth of the gospel be convinced by "seducing spirits" to depart from the faith?

They can be deceived by their senses. Satan can show himself to them in the form of a beautiful "angel of light," and his ministers appear as "ministers of righteousness:"

14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. -2 Corinthians 11

Many who do not know the Word of God may also lack the discernment that is given by the Spirit of God. Therefore, they then fail to recognize and understand that these deceivers are subtly undermining the truth of the Word of God. The ministers of Satan are then allowed to creep in among the congregation, denying the truth of the gospel:

4 For there are certain men crept in unnoticed, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Yahshua the Messiah. -Jude 1

They use the "seducing spirits" of Satan to convince many that what they teach is more important than what Godís Word says. They convince the people to put aside their Bibles and accept the words, the books, the videos, and even the music that these "righteous" ministers offer.

Paul cautions on the importance of being able to recognize and avoid those who are teaching anything contrary to the gospel. They deceive those who unknowingly accept and believe their "good words and fair speeches:"

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.

18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Yahshua the Messiah, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. -Romans 16

The gullible who are loaded with sins, whom Paul calls "silly women," are particularly vulnerable to the deception. Satanís "righteous ministers," appearing to be godly teachers, creep in among them:

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women loaded with sins, led away with diverse lusts, -2 Timothy 3

Unfortunately, those who receive the teachings of Satanís ministers never learn the truth. They are diligently studying what they want to hear instead of the truth of the Word of God:

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. -2 Timothy 3

These people are much like Eve. She believed the lie instead of the truth. The serpent told her what she wanted to hear. Therefore, she listened to his teachings instead of to the Word of God:

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die:

5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. -Genesis 3

Once we become convinced that we are as gods, we persuade ourselves that we can establish in our own minds that which is good and that which is evil. Yahweh, however, warns us:

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! -Isaiah 5

Paul cautions that those who once knew God can get so caught up in their own prideful wisdom that they become fools:

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, -Romans 1

As fools, they change the glory of God into the glory of the images which they make with their own hands:

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. -Romans 1

As fools, they convince themselves that their plan for life is higher than Godís plan. As they change the truth of God into a lie, calling good evil and evil good, they do what they want to do:

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men performing that which is shameful, and receiving in themselves that repayment for their error which was necessary. -Romans 1

Because they have rejected the knowledge of God through His Word, He gives them up to a "reprobate mind" to fulfill the desires of their own hearts:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; -Romans 1

While claiming to be open-minded, they have closed their minds to the Word of God. The seducing spirits of Satan have gotten hold of their minds, convincing them that their thoughts are more important than those of God. Even so, He reminds us:

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55

Those who have rejected Godís Word are listening to the thoughts that the seducing spirits of Satan have planted within them. Deceived by their pride, they cannot humble themselves to know the things that are offered by God:

11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. -1 Corinthians 2

However, even those who have received that which is offered by God still struggle with the seducing spirits that want to control them through their flesh. Paul describes his own condition:

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? -Romans 7

Unless we are discerning, we will listen to the seducing spirits of Satan as they try to persuade us that they are really from God. They are imitating spirits, which are sometimes called spirits of "antichrist." Unless we test these spirits, we may be deceived into thinking they are the Spirit of God. John cautions:

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

To test the spirits, we must find out what they say about Yahshua the Messiah (also called Jesus Christ):

2 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Yahshua the Messiah has come in the flesh is of God: -1 John 4

In other words, we should see if our teachers and our particular version of the Bible consistently agree that Yahshua is God manifest in the flesh:

16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. -1 Timothy 3

Yahweh proclaimed that His Word would accomplish its purpose:

11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. -Isaiah 55

Through His Word, we can test the spirits and discern between them. Those who are in Yahshua the Messiah and reject the deceiving spirits of Satan are freed from condemnation as long as their lives are led by the Spirit of God:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in the Messiah Yahshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. -Romans 8

Because the Spirit of God is life, those who live in the Messiah are no longer under the control of their fleshly bodies. They are alive and live because of His righteousness:

10 And if the Messiah is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.-Romans 8

 

 

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