The Deceiver

01 August 2009

Recently the men of my congregation met and discussed several matters regarding our community. One of the matters discussed was the increase in email traffic which focused on the activities of the current U.S. administration and the concern it was generating among some of our families.

News and rumors regarding violations of the constitution, health care rationing, socialism, geriatric euthanasia, government funded abortion, and other serious matters abound. Some emails have alleged government conspiracy. The prophet Isaiah had a few words to share about that:

"You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. (Isaiah 8:12-13)

These echo the very words of the Messiah:

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Do not mistake His point. His point is not "the sparrows do not fall" but rather they do not "fall to the ground apart from your Father." The same applies to us: when we fall (not if) we will not be apart from our Father. Please do not mistake my point on this either. There are definitely matters of concern that we should address lawfully as G-d fearing citizens of our country. What we should not do is to become so absorbed in the skittering flights of fear, panic, and paranoia that have gripped conservatives since the election that we neglect our responsibilities as citizens of G-d's kingdom. Paul cautioned the believers in Ephesus:

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16)

 

This echoes Messiah's own teaching:

Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall. (Matthew 7:22-27)

 

The Deceiver seeks to distract us from the very One we should be focused upon: Messiah Yeshua-

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Yeshua, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

 

"Conservatives" does not equal "Believers"

While many conservatives commentators have expressed concern, outrage, anger, and various other emotions about the state of the union over the past six months they often suggest by their actions that they are not believers. If so, we should weigh that possibility into whether or not we give credence to their claims especially when they appeal to the "Christian conservative". I do not suggest I know whether they are saved or not. That is knowledge reserved to G-d alone. We should, however, consider these words of Scripture:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:19-26) [emphasis mine]

And this passage from 1 John:

By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4:17-21)

When we (or conservative commentators) run around like chickens scared by a fox and squawk our heads off are we acting out of fear of our circumstances or out of love of Messiah? Is the fruit of the Spirit (including peace and joy) evident in our lives? Are we busy with the business of the Kingdom? Can we say as Messiah did that we are "about our Father's business" (Luke 2:49 NKJV)? Here are just two examples of the things that can distract us from being about our Father's business: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raCRSjnT0Wc and this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UOKTNFMgQ8.

We should examine such things soberly and diligently (see my examination of the first video's claims) and then move on about our Father's business. We should not be distracted or paralyzed into inaction. For the sake of discussion let's consider that the claims in the video are true and the Antichrist is now running the country. How does that change our mission as citizens of G-d's kingdom? Are there commandments we should now neglect? Should we no longer be about the great commission?

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20) [note "disciples"... not "converts"]

 

Did He not preface His instruction with "all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth"? May we live in faith and trust that He does have all authority and ignore the distractions that would lead us into inaction and disobedience!

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim 1:17)

 

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