Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry


Last month I talked about keeping our sanity in insane times. As I considered what makes me question my own sanity, I came to the same conclusion. It’s the lies of other people. We know that Satan is the father of lies, and since he is the god of this age, the world is wrapped up like a mummy in them (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). No matter where you turn, there are pushes from every side to agree with a different take on what others are pushing for personal benefits or considered to be true.

When we think about the one consistent warning concerning the last of the end days in Matthew 24, it is about not letting yourself be deceived. Note, we must take heed and not let ourselves be deceived. It is up to us as to what we agree with as to being truth. Granted, we can sometimes be convinced into believing another reality, but even in such a state, we can sense something is not right. We can be conditioned to take on certain attitudes, biases, and prejudices, but in the end, we will taste the destructive fruit that it produces revealing that it is all faulty and poisonous.

We have been warned that in the end days, there will be one who will use flattery (Daniel 11:21, 32-34). Many scriptures in Proverbs warns of the destruction that flattery will bring on people because it appeals to the pride of man in order to set him up for a fall. It will highlight some aspect of man that will tear down any discernment or reservation a person may have, and open them up to whatever is being said. It is at this point they can be seduced into another reality.

This is why we are warned of seducing spirits in the end days (1 Timothy 4:1-2). They will condition and prepare us to believe flattery. In fact, they will cause us to develop ears that can be easily tickled by it because flattery will tell you what you want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Flattery is a false way that we should hate, not prefer (Psalm 119:104, 128). The people of Israel tried to flatter God in order to get Him off their backs when they were under judgment. Of course, it didn’t work; rather, it revealed how low they had fallen in their spiritual condition to think that God could be persuaded to believe their hypocrisy (Psalm 78:31-37). However, how many people are trying to flatter God today with their works, their theology, their talents, and wisdom? Instead of being exalted before the throne, they might be brought low with the words, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:22).

We also live among cons, who use persuasion or false promises to get their way. They develop scams that con people out of money, steal their affections, and entice the vulnerable into situations that will allow the con to come out on top in a situation. Sadly, you will find cons in all arenas and the ways of the present world are proving to be nothing more than one big, continuous scam.

We have such cons in Christendom as well. They are known as wolves, heretics, and hireling shepherds to name a few. We have people who try to use God’s promises against Him in order to get their way. This is a form of witchcraft. Any time you try to override the will of another, whether God or man, it is witchcraft.

Right now, indoctrination is at its height in education. Indoctrination is for the purpose of changing our worldview. We are born with a moral idea of right and wrong (Romans 1:19-20). However, in our fallen state, we can easily be indoctrinated to believe a lie as being true, but eventually such indoctrination will fail us when it comes to effectively facing the matters of life. We can also become beguiled by strong delusion that is backed by Satan, but if we consider the dark fruits, we would have to sear our conscience or become repulsed by them and take a stand against them, or flee (2 Corinthians 11:1-15; 1 Timothy 4:2).

We can all agree that we live in a world of propaganda. It is all about swaying people into thinking a certain way. It is not a matter of truth, but one of public affairs where we are being inundated with certain anti-God philosophies, (rudiments of the world), wrong presentations, perverted ideas and images (Colossians 2:8). The idea of propaganda is to present the same story so much that even though it is a lie, people will begin to believe it is true.

We also have fake nobility that is standing on skeletons and not on the firm ground of truth and righteousness. I am sure you have encountered this along the way. For the sake of “ministry,” organization, causes, and certain community departments, truth will be sacrificed along with innocent people, reputations, relationships, etc., by those who use vain words twisted into a type of logic to cover the offense in order to maintain the façade that all is well in that particular organization, when in reality problems and wickedness have been swept under some thick, dark carpet to cover the corruption taking place. Keep in mind, when Jesus came, it was to take away the cloak that allowed sin to be hidden in darkness (John 15:22). As believers we are told to expose the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:6-14).

People who promote and participate in such darkness are worse than those who are committing the actual unbecoming acts because real leadership understands the need to take away the dark carpet, let the light of truth shine on the darkness in order to confront the corruption as a means to salvage souls, relationship, and reputations. After all, a little leaven, leavens the whole lump, and will in the end destroy the integrity or purpose of the lump. No upright leader will maintain a farce for the sake of some organization that is only as strong as the integrity of the leaders and only as good as to the type of cords that bind the people. Wherever a lie must be inserted to protect the reputation of some lifeless organization while covering up the wickedness of usually just one individual while sacrificing everything else, you will find seeds of discord being planted that God hates, betrayal that breaks relationships, mistrust of those in leadership, and a fragmented team that will not be able to work together (Proverbs 6:16-19; 1 Corinthians 5:4-9).

I remember I was dealing with an individual who was a fake. She claimed to be a minister, but she was found to be delusional. In her delusion she stole various things, making her a thief. I remember saying to the Lord as a type of consolation, “Well at least she wrote a good Christian book.” I remember Him making it clear He did not need her book.

It is natural for some ministries to think that in order to protect God’s reputation, they must protect the reputation of well-known ministers and ministries. God’s main concerned is for souls. He is not interested in protecting servants who need to be exposed and chastised in order to ensure restoration, nor is He anxious over ministries that serve nothing more than a front for people. Recently, I learned that a spiritual leader who wrote about righteousness was nothing more than a hypocrite living a lie. However, his wickedness had been covered up by others for the sake of reputation and ministry. Although this leader had done something that made me a bit leery of him, I still respected his writings. After all, he must believe what he declares because He scripturally backed up his writings, but when I learned of his moral indiscretions upon his death, I realized he was given a gift of heavenly wisdom. I know God will not repent or take back the gifts He gives us even when we are in grave sin, but on judgment day, such gifts will bring greater indictments against those who use them as a point of credibility to cover their own stench (Romans 11:29). What a waste of a life—a person that squandered his calling, gifting, and testimony. And, for those who protected him instead of shining a light on his wretchedness, they will be held accountable for partaking of his sin and not properly handling it according to the Word of God.

I remember there was a time when I felt the need to somehow protect God’s reputation, He clearly pointed out His reputation needed no protection. In the end His reputation will stand, but what about His work, will it be thwarted because man is protecting some type of darkness? Will a reproach be brought against Him and will the testimony of the Church as a whole become a mockery because it is not upright in shining the light of truth on darkness?
I have learned long ago that we humans are prone to both speak and believe a lie. We are conditioned to only accept certain realities by our environments. We are indoctrinated to not only receive a particular lie, but to become loyal to it to such a degree that we are willing to die the death of a fool for it. This type of destructive loyalty erects arrogant mountains where surrender is not an option, even when it might require a foolish sacrifice. It touts its philosophies from delusional pinnacles of nonsense and waves its defiant flags from some molehill of ridiculousness even though the foundations shaking underneath it can be felt.

We must remember that when we are born, we have a clean slate upon which others will write words. As a child, my family started out writing on my slate which began to condition me with certain attitudes and ideas. From there I operated from assumptions that my family must be right, but then in time my mother, who had doubts about some things, prevented me from letting certain things become presumptions where I demanded that they were true regardless of being challenged with truth (2 Peter 2:10).

Is it any wonder that Jesus stated that our words must be “yay or nay” because past that is evil? How right He is because words often digress into some excuse, exaggeration, ridiculous story, outrageous legend, or a plain lie. He also stated every idle word will be judged. This has to do with not only worthless words, but words that have a mischievous intent (Matthew 5:37; 12:35-37).

When I became a Christian, the Word of God started to become my reality. The dreams of my old life dissipated as I realized that what the Word gave me was not some fantasy, image, or false hope, but it revealed to the me the essence of truth in Jesus Christ. Truth personified in Christ was not only liberating from what is insane, but in the midst of darkness it shined a light that took away any present insanity: and in the dark pit of despondency, it became a net of hope that allowed me to experience the flight of expectation as the wings of faith caught the current of God’s Spirit.

If we are to remain sane in these insane times, we must examine our attitude towards the truth. We must honestly compare the promises of truth with the destruction of lies. The question is, why would any believer settle for any of the forms of Satan’s lies when each of us have the liberating truth of Jesus that is attached to promises and an eternal inheritance? The only reason we choose the preferred deception is because we do not love God with everything in us. We are willing to accept the decaying bread of the world while trampling under the sweet bread of Jesus (Mark 12:29-31; John 6:35).

We must beware of what reality we are embracing. In these dark times we need to not be flippant about what is real, and become sober towards the times we are living in, and by faith be prepared to walk through it with confidence that the Lord holds our lives in His trustworthy hand, knowing the great promises that await us. As we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, 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.”

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The Goal of Gentle Shepherd Ministries is to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to make disciples in compliance with the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19).

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