It is striking that in the wilderness temptation, Satan used the Scriptures in his attempt to entice no less than the Lord Jesus Christ.
"And saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Matthew 4:6).
The devil continues to use this tactic against born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. As those devoted to the light and authority of the Bible, we respond when someone speaks in terms of "It is written." Thankfully, many preachers, teachers, and authors faithfully communicate the truths of God's written Word. However, it is also true that many don't. Indeed, if Satan seeks to deceive us through human voices and personalities, where more strategic positions could he place his agents of darkness than pulpits, Sunday School classrooms, and Christian literature? The sheep tend to easily let down their guard when deceivers wear the garb of shepherds. The fact that the Lord said, "My sheep hear My voice… and follow Me" does not preclude the possibility that we might also follow false preachers, teachers, and authors (John 10:27). Indeed, it was to believers that the Apostle Paul warned, "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" (II Corinthians 11:4).
"Another Jesus… another spirit… another gospel." Our enemies have no qualms about using the blessed name, influence, and message to mislead us. They often use holy things to perpetrate their unholy work of deception. We are all susceptible because the devil and his minions are cunning foes. If we think we are beyond being deceived, we are deceived already, likely in far more serious ways than we can imagine. Again, remembering that the devil sought to fell the Lord Jesus with "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" should direct a necessary splash of cold water into all our faces (Ephesians 6:17). Upon being brought to our senses, we must then determine to prayerfully seek the true light of Scripture rightly communicated, interpreted, and applied. The challenge is great, but our Lord is greater. He can keep us under the sound of His authentic voice as long as we realize that other voices may seem similar to His. Long ago, the Apostle John joined Paul in warning us, and we do well to heed the counsel of both our brothers...
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
(I John 4:1)
"For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
Weekly Memory Verse
Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord."
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