spiritual warfare

The Serpent’s Subtilty #6

Friday, September 19, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

“Subtil” (“subtle”) means, “very intelligent, sneaky, ingenious;” a synonym is “sagacious.” In order to foresee Satan’s schemes and survive his attacks on our minds, we must recognize and remember the simplicity in Jesus Christ, those precious grace doctrines we learn from God’s Word rightly divided (today’s Scripture and its succeeding verse, verse 4).

Let us re-read verse 4: “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” Paul feared that the Corinthians would accept a false teacher, for a false teacher always quotes some Scripture to appear righteous (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)—Satan quoted just a few words of Scripture to appear good to Eve (Genesis 3:1) and Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10-11).

Beloved, someone quoting Scripture does not automatically mean that Jesus Christ is leading or speaking through that individual. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If any man think himself to be a prophet [speaking on God’s behalf], or spiritual [led by God’s Spirit], let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). If every professing Christian congregation actually believed that Paul is God’s spokesman to us, over 95 percent of the world’s pulpits would be vacated, the pastors and priests fired for fulfilling 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, exposed as “destitute of the truth” (1 Timothy 6:5)!!

Yea, even today, our Lord Jesus Christ is jealous over us. He wants us doctrinally pure, undefiled by (false) religion, false “gospels,” false “Jesuses,” false “spirits,” false “ministers,” false “bibles,” et cetera. Satan’s tactics have worked so well he has never changed them. As he did with Eve, he still counterfeits the truth. May we never abandon our King James Bible; our Saviour-Head, Jesus Christ; Paul, our Apostle; and 1 Corinthians 15:3,4, our Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God. What sagaciousness!

The Serpent’s Subtilty #5

Thursday, September 18, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

Some of Paul’s converts in Corinth, Greece, were questioning his apostleship, doubting that Jesus Christ had really sent him to them. False teachers had caused them to become anti-Paul, and thus, anti-Jesus Christ: they rejected Jesus Christ speaking through the Apostle Paul. That is the context of today’s Scripture. We want to focus on verse 4 now, particularly the phrase, “another gospel:” “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Paul feared someone would “[accept] another gospel, which ye have not accepted.” What does that mean? Prior to Paul, Jesus and His 12 apostles preached “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35; cf. Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 24:14). Acts 20:24 says that Jesus Christ committed “the Gospel of the Grace of God” to Paul’s trust (cf. 1 Timothy 1:11). “Paul’s Gospel” (Romans 2:16) is 1 Corinthians 15:3,4: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day.” Paul preached that Gospel to the Corinthians (verses 1,3)!

Unlike Peter, James, and John (Matthew 10:5-7; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19-26; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 John 1:9), Paul never preached Israel’s kingdom, her gospel message to prepare for her “at-hand” (approaching) kingdom. To learn about the gospel that Paul preached, we must read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We are not saved by repentance, water baptism, confession, et cetera; we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork without our works (Romans 4:1-8). Unfortunately, there is so much emphasis on Israel’s salvation verses in most churches today, that few ever realize that Jesus Christ revealed additional information to Paul years later, special doctrine found nowhere else in Scripture. Like Eve, Satan has deceived them; they are misapplying, misquoting, and watering down Scripture, denying the contexts of Israel’s verses, et cetera. Satan’s relentless attack on God’s Word continues….

The Serpent’s Subtilty #4

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

Some of Paul’s converts in Corinth, Greece, were questioning his apostleship, doubting that Jesus Christ had really sent him to them. False teachers had caused them to become anti-Paul, and thus, anti-Jesus Christ: they rejected Jesus Christ speaking through the Apostle Paul. That is the context of today’s Scripture. We want to focus on verse 4 now, particularly the phrase, “another spirit:” “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Paul feared someone would “receive another spirit, which ye have not received.” What does that mean? Paul preached God’s Grace, not His Law. Romans 8:15: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Paul preached, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Unlike Peter, James, and John (Matthew 5:17-19; Acts 10:35; James 2:8-26; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:2), Paul never preached law, commandment-keeping. To learn about the spirit that Paul preached, we must read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We have not received the spirit of bondage, law keeping, to please God; we are pleasing to God in Christ (Ephesians 1:6). God’s grace, not His law teaches us how to live (Titus 2:11-15). “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18).

Unfortunately, there is so much emphasis on God’s Law (whether Mosaic Law or Messianic Law) in most churches today, that few ever realize that Jesus Christ revealed additional information to Paul years later, special doctrine found nowhere else in Scripture. Like Eve, Satan has deceived them; they are misapplying, misquoting, and watering down Scripture, denying the contexts of Israel’s verses, et cetera. Satan’s relentless attack on God’s Word continues….

The Serpent’s Subtilty #3

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

Some of Paul’s converts in Corinth, Greece, were questioning his apostleship, doubting that Jesus Christ had really sent him to them. False teachers had caused them to become anti-Paul, and thus, anti-Jesus Christ: they rejected Jesus Christ speaking through the Apostle Paul. That is the context of today’s Scripture. We want to focus on verse 4 now, particularly the phrase, “another Jesus:” “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Paul feared someone would “preach another Jesus, whom we have not preached.” What does that mean? Paul was preaching “Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25). There was a special way to view Jesus Christ—primarily, Him being the Head of the Church the Body of Christ. This message was committed first to the Apostle Paul; God kept it secret prior to Paul. Peter, James, and John never preached it. To learn about the Jesus Christ whom Paul preached, we must read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We do not follow Jesus’ earthly ministry (Matthew through John)—it was to Jews only (Matthew 15:24; John 4:22; Acts 2:22; Romans 15:8). The Bible says, “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16). Jesus Christ now has a heavenly ministry through Paul… to reach us Gentiles (1 Corinthians 14:37; cf. Romans 11:13)!

Unfortunately, there is so much emphasis on Matthew through John in most churches today, that few ever realize that Jesus Christ revealed additional information to Paul years later, special doctrine found nowhere else in Scripture. Like Eve, Satan has deceived them; they are misapplying, misquoting, and watering down Scripture, denying the contexts of Israel’s verses, et cetera. Satan’s relentless attack on God’s Word continues….

The Serpent’s Subtilty #2

Monday, September 15, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

We read in Genesis 2:16,17: “[16] And the LORD God commanded the man [Adam], saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

The Bible student will carefully compare this with Genesis 3:1-4: “[1] Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? [2] And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: [3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. [4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die….”

Satan first questioned God’s Word. Then, Eve misquoted it (note the underlined, bolded phrases—Eve added to God’s Word, subtracted from it, and watered it down). Satan finally denied God’s Word, although he knew what God had told Adam (and what Adam had told Eve). If Satan can cause you to doubt God’s Word to you, and you do not even know what God said to you, you are sure to fail!

The Devil actually quoted the Bible to Jesus Christ when tempting Him as he had enticed Eve thousands of years earlier (Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10,11)—Satan again butchered the text, obviously, but he certainly preached a message that appeared good (he did quote Scripture!). Unlike Eve, Jesus knew better; He knew and believed what the Scriptures really said, so Satan could neither deceive nor distract Him.

Likewise, we must learn God’s Word to us, lest we misquote it and fall into Satan’s trap….

The Serpent’s Subtilty #1

Sunday, September 14, 2014

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

Satan, commonly called “the Devil” or “that old serpent” (Revelation 12:9), is one of the most misunderstood individuals in Scripture. The average church member is completely oblivious to exactly what he wants accomplished and how he operates to achieve it.

We should know our enemy, beloved—after all, he aspires to defeat us!! Just as a soldier does not haphazardly enter the battlefield, but first is briefed about his mission and the activity of the opposition, so we must study our Bibles to see how Satan wages war with us Christians (his overall goal is to thwart God’s plans). In today’s Scripture, Paul clearly explained that if we could understand the method Satan used to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden, then we could comprehend how he will trick us.

Let us read verses 1 and 2 with today’s Scripture: “[1] Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. [2] For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. [3] But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

As God’s spokesman to us Gentiles (Romans 11:13), Paul had a righteous jealousy. He did not want doctrinal error to spiritually defile us as illicit sexual activity would physically spoil a virgin. We Christians are joined to Jesus Christ; we are His Body forever, so we have no business dabbling in (false) religion. Six times JEHOVAH told Israel that He was a “jealous God,” so they were not to participate in heathen religion (Exodus 20:5; Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 5:9; Deuteronomy 6:15; Joshua 24:19). If we are to withstand Satan’s war against us, we too must learn to identify and avoid “doctrines of devils….”

Kooks for Christ

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake (Matthew 5:11 KJV).

Are you a “kook for Christ?” Happy are ye!

Satan is a very shrewd enemy, having perfected his strategy for 6,000 years. Equipped with above-human intelligence and practice with mankind during all those millennia, he knows us better than we know ourselves. If he is unsuccessful in attacking the message (if he cannot entice us to corrupt/change God’s Word), then he will focus on us—attack us and discourage us, to discredit us, to force us to quit.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that, like he and the other apostles suffered for Jesus Christ, they too should be willing to do so: “[9] For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. [10] We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised” (1 Corinthians 4:9,10).

Our Lord Jesus said to His Jewish disciples in today’s Scripture: “[11] Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. [12] Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11,12). Jesus reminded them that, like all the saints of old, they too would suffer because of Him. Yet, God would not overlook their suffering; He Himself would reward them in due time.

When people give us bizarre looks for preaching the pure Word of God, call us evil names, think of us as crazy, physically attack us, we should be thrilled to suffer for Jesus Christ. What an honor! Even when professing Christians side against us by allying with lost people, we need not be bothered or discouraged. As a dear Christian friend and brother in the ministry says, “I would rather be a ‘fool’ for Christ, than an idiot for the Devil!” :)