Daniel 3:15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
Revelation 13:15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Most people believe they can detect a lying spirit, but given the abundance of religions and denominations in those religions … we better take another look at our surety in this matter.
Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 Timothy 4:2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
We are to believe God’s words to us from His Holy Spirit above ALL others’ words. Do you do this? Do you spend time with God listening and learning from His Spirit to be able to place His words of life above all others?
If you do, it’s your greatest defense and protection. It will lead you down paths of life (rest, peace, joy and righteous love).
If you don’t, it’s your greatest downfall. It will lead you down paths of hardship, affliction, pain and suffering.
What does your life reveal about what path you are on? Your life is your testimony.
Sovereignty of God’s Words
In abiding in the sovereignty of God’s words, I’m not talking about your pastor or favorite teacher giving their opinions about God’s Word and truth. I’m talking about what YOU have learned YOURSELF from God directly about God, you, others, His truths, and this world.
Make a list of your beliefs. Then next to them write where you learned that belief from (e.g. heaven, hell, salvation, end times, anti-christ, surrender, worship, service to God, relationship to God, love, forgiveness). You should be moving to learning from God Himself in all things. 1 John 2:27
We are to put God’s words to us; words spoken to our spirit by the Holy Spirit above all others regardless of what “authority” or position they hold in this world. God desires to lead us down the paths of life, but if don’t heed His word above all others we won’t travel very far with Him. Putting other’s words first can and often does lead to great bondage and damage to our souls. For this reason, we have the Holy Spirit. But our part is to listen to and follow Him.
When it comes to God, we’ve been ill-taught to rely on others in a way we were never meant to. We put people in authority and put their words over the promptings of our heart. We put the masses concepts of God over seeking to know Him as He is from God Himself. Surely that many people can’t be wrong … really? Mark 13:22
Especially in these days, if we haven’t developed a strong connection with the source of truth we have a high propensity to be greatly led astray. 2 Thess 2:10
Masquerade as Angel of light
It’s easy for Satan to masquerade as an angel of light; to mimic the words and appearances of what we deem good and loving, for he has manufactured those images. 2 Corinthians 11:14 He is the designer of the sheep’s clothing and over the thousands of years has gotten quite good at it; the external humble, loving, and good person.
If we don’t have a solid foundation of truth and built our house (soul) upon the Rock, it will be easy to fool us for he knows the scriptures better than most professing believers who spend very little time seeking and learning from the Holy Spirit. He knows how to twist them just enough to keep us blinded and sending us into bondage. Scriptures people don’t know because haven’t been taught them one-on-one by the Holy Spirit. The very words that can free us if we would trust God to teach us, he uses to bind us with a few twists and misinterpretations. He has created false doctrines. He has created a false image of God; how to serve Him, worship Him, and how He works. Question is, if you haven’t sought to know about God from God Himself, then who do you really know and worship? He gives signs and wonders, like healings, to misled people and more deeply ensnare them into his doctrines of death.
Some masqueraders are caught in their hypocrisy, but many continue to mislead because those listening to them lack a love for truth and thus fall for their false doctrines that keep them bound in lies and out of abundant life.
Beware of the images you hold of “godly” people, and putting your trust in them because of that image. Instead seek to know God as He is and His truth.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
While you are enjoying hamburgers, friends, and fireworks, consider what true liberty is. It isn’t doing what you want; as we’ve been led to believe in America of the free. The liberty presented of and by the world is an illusion.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one
The whole world is under the sway of the wicked one. In Matthew 4:8-9, “Satan” offers Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He will bow down to him, because they are his to give. This earth is Satan’s/evil’s domain. (Satan is the cumulative force (energy) of the human self-determined will) You don’t have to look far to see this truth in religion, government, education, financial systems, consumerism, and media. If you take time to dig a little deeper, you will see just how real his kingship is on earth. Satan is a created being. There are the children of God, and then there are the seed of the wicked one. John 8:44, Matthew 13:25 His presence, work and influence are very real, not mystical as he would have you believe. All is inundated with his messages and influence. There are really only two choices in regards to true liberty; following Satan’s way/messages or God’s. Only one brings freedom.
Many times I’ve said, be careful of the influence of others. Satan’s spirit floods the airwaves. It’s his copycat of the Holy Spirit. He sends out his propaganda of who we are supposed to be, do and want. He tells us want it important, valued and accepted. The messages are EVERYWHERE. Like lost sheep going to the slaughter, most people serve them. We make great sacrifices for them. We own them as truth, life, happiness and the American way. This is his world and the kingdoms of this world serve his purposes; thus true liberty by this world is an illusion. 2 Corinthians 4:4
It’s easy to spiritualize Satan’s sway over the world negating its power, but it’s foolish and blinding to do so. His manipulation, control, and influence abounds and yes in America too, which is cloaked in the illusion of liberty. True, in America we are able to “do what we want” more than many countries, but is that really freedom, or just another from of bondage? Your enemy is extremely shrewd. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful I don’t have to sleep with an Uzi under my pillow, but I don’t want us to be unwise in the enemy’s tactics, thinking it is America of the free, when it’s just another form of bondage, which many are blind to and is increasing daily.
Some may be outwardly slaves, but free inward. Others can be outwardly “free” but in bondage inwardly. What is the worse? True bondage or freedom begins with the mind. What truths we hold bind us or free us. When we hold and live by the truths of God, we are loosed from Satan’s sway. A mind united to God in truth is the only one that is free; because God is perfect in truth and love. Ultimately what we deeply desire can only be fulfilled through unity with God, thus He is our freedom, and any other way is bondage.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty
America exemplifies this bondage of the mind. The bondage of the American mind is apparent in the epidemics of obesity and diseases, sexual addictions, work alcoholics, drug addicts, debt, and stress. We bind ourselves by following Satan’s messages. We are not healthy as free people would be, we are deeply sick as we are trapped by heeding the lie from the beginning, “do what you want.” But are we really doing what WE want? Or want Satan wants?
America symbolizes Satan’s modus operandi (MO), “do what you want”, in the name of liberty. Yet, as I mentioned, he is manufacturing what we “want” by his propaganda. It’s how he manipulated Eve, it’s how he tempted Jesus, and it’s how he tempts and manipulates us. Though this statement has an appearance of liberty, it moves you away from truth to self, thus bondage. (Following God is truth and life, following self is bondage and death) The gay pride movement is an example of this MO at work. They are doing what they “want” and as society supports and reinforces their actions, these poor souls are becoming more deeply bound to pain and sealing them to a fate of slavery to that pain. We are to love the person, not the pain. But this isn’t happening and in the name of liberty and “do what you want” these souls are in deeper bondage than they were before because now it’s who they are, instead of a symptom of a deeper hurt. This is one example of many inward bondages masqueraded as outward liberty.
Look at the hours spent serving Satan’s messages (anything contrary to God’s truth). Look at the time spent deeply seeking God and His truth. Now do you wonder why we are in the state we are in? It’s time to be honest with ourselves. Who is America really serving? Who are YOU really serving?
As you set out to honor liberty today, honor the only true liberty and the only One it comes from, God. God’s presence and truth in you is the only true liberty. The liberty painted by this world is a masquerade of Satan that only puts you in further bondage. Be wise.
The greatest prison is our mind. Thus, liberty is of the mind, and that is what Christ came to give us among many other treasures. The truth sets us free. Though it isn’t an easy journey to be renewed in God’s truth because of the pressing in of the world upon our minds, but if we seek we will find.
The True Liberty
Liberty is of the mind
A gift to receive, to find
Given from the One above
Found through the sacrifice of blood
A door to an unadulterated way
A path to truth, for this pray
May you walk this narrow road
Difficult as it sets a new mold
Reshaping your mind to a new kind
Removing the veil holding you blind
Seek for truth on high
Allowing your bondage soul to fly
Look not to what you see
But to the One of Eternity
Through the awkward teenage years, I had a close friend who had a significant impact on me. Not only because we were around each other ALL the time, but it was an influential period in my life, as it is for most. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if she hadn’t been a part of it. It reminds me of the movie, Sliding Doors, a thought provoking story about the choices we make. Our decisions obviously have a huge impact on our lives, and choices about our friends have far-reaching ripple affects because of the power of their influence on us.
In day to day life, it’s important to understand our capability to be influenced. Right now we are being impacted by society, spouses, friends, religious leaders, family, and co-workers, in good and bad ways. This is why the Bible tells us to be wise about who are friends are and who we fellowship with, for their influence is extensive. (Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fellowship)
When a strong emotional element is part of the relationship, then the influencer gains even more power in affecting us – elements like acceptance, fear, guilt, loneliness, insecurity, attention, love, value, and purposefulness. Interestingly, most of these elements come into play when involved in a religious institution, like the church system (different from the true church, body of Christ). Thus, it’s tremendous power over people.
Because of the influence of others especially in the church system, it’s critical that we abide in the pure word of God (separate from others’ interpretations/opinions), on a daily basis. Take time to meditate on God’s truth. Learn to listen to His instruction and to hear His voice distinct from the others. Learn to trust Him to be the Teacher and have a foundation built on His instruction, not a human’s. Give an attentive ear, mind and heart to His Word and His instruction for a period each day without the influence of others’ words along with it. If we do this, in time, we will be wiser and more discerning among those who influence us. We will gain the ability to test all spirits as we are instructed in 1 John 4:1.
Matthew 10:16 “hold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Years ago, I set out in the search for truth. I asked God to reveal the lies and deception I was taking part in. As I put His Word first above all others and abided in it daily, He started opening up my eyes and still is. It amazed me how I easily trusted the words of others – especially religious leaders. How I didn’t really test them. How I couldn’t test them because I wasn’t in the Word with a passion to know God and His truth. I didn’t put the Word first in my life. I relied on others to interpret and explain it to me and that was one of my biggest downfalls.
From personal experience, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s very profitable to spend time alone (months) simply in the Word of God with no other interpretations or opinions trusting the Holy Spirit to teach you. John 14:26 The Apostle Paul, spent time alone, so what he learned, he gained from God, not man. Galatians 1:11-12, 16-17 It makes ALL the difference. Why? Because are easily influenced by others and because of the heightened emotions religion brings.
If we are abiding in the Bible, but continue to embrace the interpretations of others, we can’t help but be strongly influenced by their words. Their philosophies will be a filter by which we read the Word. We have enough of our own filters to deal with, or should I say for God to remove and replace with the truth. If we are relying on others, we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to remove those faulty filters that twist the Word of God. If we come to God with a desire to know the truth and nothing but the truth, He will expose the deceptions in our heart. A love of the truth is what saves us in these days from the massive and growing deceptions in and outside the church community. 2 Thessalonians 2:10
Because of the extensive influence of the church system, it has become a feeding ground for deception. God’s Word says the enemy will take over the sanctuary. Lamentations 2:5-7, 14, 4:12 Though, it can be difficult to accept, especially because it’s the object of many believers’ trust, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. When we are in the midst of Satan’s shenanigans (the self-will of man), it’s difficult to see and believe that our church would be influenced by him. In these days, we need to abide in God’s pure truth on a regular basis and put our trust fully into Him and not in man or the church system. Because of the deception that abounds, God is calling many of His people out of the church system and to Himself as the sanctuary. He is fulfilling the role the teacher, shepherd, protector, fortress, comfort, and help.
I know this post has gotten quite serious but the warnings in the Bible in regards to this issue are extensive. We have nothing to fear when our trust is truly in God alone. How do you know where your trust truly is? Remove those things from your life and you will soon see.
My prayer is that we will take time to recognize and acknowledge the influence those around us have on us; to ask God to give us clarity about what relationships and situations to embrace and which to let go. If it’s a letting go, know He’ll provide every need – I’ve seen it time and time again. He is more faithful than we know as we truly put our trust in Him.
I was thinking how this world is saturated with “evil”; philosophies, ideas and beliefs full of deception that cause all kinds of pain, destruction, horrific acts, and death to our spirits. The extent of evil became overwhelming, but then I realized, most of the world is going to be evil because for the time being God has put Satan, the personification of our self-will, in charge of this world. 1 John 5:19, Ephesians 2:2 I think for two main reasons; to show us that following self doesn’t work and the power of God’s love to redeem us out of this world into His Kingdom.
Satan, our self-will, doesn’t submit to God therefore he can’t bring about anything that is truly good, pure and of love because only God’s ways produce these things. As prince of this earth, our self-will governs all the major powerhouses; politics, education, business, media, and religion. (Here I am defining religion as the man-made system and doctrine supposedly established on truth which creates a belief structure dictating certain behaviors.) Most of us don’t think about our religion, our safe haven, as overrun by evil, but if you open your eyes you will see it is one of the worst as the Bible states repeatedly.
For example, in the man-made system that blankets true Christianity lies bondage, legalism, focus on self, and customs that separate us from God – the formula of religion, which reads: if you were a good Christian you would be in church, tithe, baptized with the right amount of water, walk the aisle, honor this day, don’t drink that, and so on. Evil, anything contrary to true goodness, disguised as good is the worst form of evil – because people are easily led astray. Any belief system that goes against God’s truth is evil.
Evil in religion is most damaging because people put their trust in it. It forms the foundation of people’s beliefs and views about them, others and God. When it is full of lies and deception it is incredibly destructive leading to spiritual decay and death.
We are here in these bodies to learn that following self or man’s will, in religion and everywhere else, doesn’t work. For creatures with a free will, we have to learn whose will to follow. We are all seeing the ramifications of the reign of self in our lives and the lives of others and it isn’t a pretty picture. God created us to be united to Him, dependent on Him and for Him to be in charge not us. Any other way destroys life, physically and spiritually.
So what do we do to avoid being consumed by the evil around us particularly in religion?
1. Cultivate a relationship with God not with religion. Many of us have spent more time nurturing a relationship with the church and ministries than with God. This flip flop leads to one thing, spiritual death. God called us out of religion and into a relationship, because religion, man’s list of should do’s and have to’s, is easily corrupted.
2. Develop a relationship with God so we can submit to His will. We can’t submit to someone we aren’t personally acquainted with. Without intimacy, there is no true knowledge or trust and therefore no submission.
3. Abide in the truth, the Word of God. Self-will, the cornerstone of evil, is built on a foundation of lies because it promises things it can never deliver because only God can; truth, freedom, peace, rest, joy and love. Therefore the only way to come out of it is by countering it with the truth. The truth sets us free. Without reading and meditating on the Words of God on a daily basis, we won’t know the truth to be able to discern what is true and what isn’t. When we do abide, we gain discernment in all areas including religion.
God’s people are the ones He called out to show those lost in deception that His ways lead to true life, joy and love – everything we desire. However, without the Word as the cornerstone of our lives, our self-wills will reign and our spirits will be overtaken by the world and we won’t stand out. Without the Word there isn’t truth and without truth we remain in bondage to our self-will. We will continue to live in fears, afflictions, lies, depravity and lack of love manifesting our own evil.
The result of Satan’s governance in religion is churches have put our life source, the Word of God, at the bottom of the priority list. It has been tossed aside, interpreted instead of read, and is no longer the priority. Why? Because it has power, life, and transforms lives – the one thing Satan doesn’t want. Most churches are bypassing the requirement for our lives that Christ is our Lord. People have tunnel vision about what the Word says about Christ’s Lordship. Because they are listening to their leaders and not in the Word themselves, they believe the gospel is about a ticket to heaven and that is a lie that causes death to our spirits. Going to heaven is a result of His Lordship in our lives. We need to examine what it means for Him to be Lord. When He is Lord of our lives, then the Word is at the center of our days because He is the Word, and we stand outside of evil as a beacon of light, truth, hope and love.