Monday, June 23, 2014

The Ol' Switcheroo

A few years ago, a young lady we knew got saved and went off to college.  In her college town, there was a woman who led a church with whom she got involved.  Before you know it, the young girl had moved out of her dorm and into a house owned by this church, where she committed herself to doing whatsoever it was this church requested.

When asked what she was doing, she would say that she had given her life to the Lord.  In reality, she had given her life over to a witch who through enchantments and seducing spirits had perverted her away from the Lord.  Because of the amount of religious activity in which the young girl was engaged, she convinced herself that she was pleasing and in fellowship with the Lord.  However, she was drifting further away from Jesus every day because she was drifting further away from the Truths of Christ.  She fell for the ol' switcheroo, believing that outward works meant one was holy.

I warn you.  Do not ever think that a bunch of activity means you are close to the Lord.  Oftentimes, a bunch of fervor in religious circles is a cover for those who are actually running away from Christ. A lot of good - but dead - works at best will make you the equivalent of a Catholic nun. You become Mother Theresa, a woman who gave her life over to good works for the poor in India, yet died doubting there even was a God.  Why did she die in unbelief?  Because she never grabbed hold of the truth of God's word and let that word impart new life to and change her by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is looking to mold you from the inside out, and external works will never be an acceptable replacement for this required inward cleansing (Romans 8:29).  No amount of good works alone will ever keep you when the times get rough, but only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42

Take a close look at the verses above.  Martha was busy doing this and that in an effort to serve those who were in her house.  Meanwhile, Mary simply sat at Jesus' feet.  To the carnal eye, it would surely seem that Martha was the better Christian.  Yet, according to Christ, Martha was in error.  True faith is not based on the temporal and external.  Jesus did not desire to have them rushing about doing deeds of service, but to sit quietly and take heed of His word.  These are the two choices reflected in the sisters' actions, and Mary had chosen the one good part which is needful.

This is always the dichotomy in the church: being encumbered by much work as an act of holiness or resting in Christ to receive revelation of His word so that you may be holy.  If there is anything within that you are not yet ready for God to address, then you will run to external works as a means to keep Him from dealing with that issue.  This is why people place themselves under the law.  Until people are ready to give their whole hearts over to the Lord - their desires, hurts, bitterness, traditions, unforgiveness, ambitions, etc. - there will always be some reliance on external works to prove that they are following God because they have stopped short of the manifested life of God within being that testimony.

Yet notice as well what Martha does!  Martha accuses Mary and seeks to indoctrinate her with that same error.  Those who are relying on being justified by outward works will always accuse those who are walking in the law of the spirit in Christ Jesus - a law of liberty - of not being spiritual.  They point to their own many works as evidence of their righteousness, while completely missing the heart of God.  Martha is so blinded by her error that she even beseeches Christ to admonish Mary.  How was this possible unless Martha's perceptions about Christ were false?  She was so deceived by this image (idol) of Jesus in her mind, that the one in obedience to Christ seemed to be the enemy. What is Satan attempting to do with such accusations?  Separate you from the word of God.

If we are rushing around trying to "do" for God at the expense of receiving the truths of His word, then we will find ourselves drifting farther away from Him.  By necessity, such must gravitate to false doctrine as a replacement for His word, leading to a false perception of Christ; another Jesus (II Corinthians 11:4).  You cannot hold on to lies with both hands, but at the same time be transformed into truth.  Unless we seek God for eyes to see the spirit operating in such delusions, we will surely miss the mark.

I have spoken before about the spirit of python referenced in Acts Chapter 16.  However, below are some thoughts from a sister in the Lord regarding what God has shown her recently on this topic as it relates to the practice of some in physically "taking up serpents". This divining spirit is hard at work to lead astray the people of God, and although it comes in the form of many different false doctrines, we must hold on to God's word so as not to be deceived.  If we do not retain a love for the truth, then we will believe the lie (II Thessalonians 2:9-10).
Two important areas are demonstrated here. Paul, who is led of the Holy Spirit, performed a sign and wonder when he casts the unclean spirit OUT of this girl. The Lord performs great signs and wonders through His true children, even today. However, where there is Truth, there is also a false imitation. What is the difference? Paul works by the power of God. The girl was working by the power of darkness. Paul set the girl free from her bondage to the dark spirit. The girl's masters had her imprisoned by and through the wrong spirit...

A python is a serpent; it is a snake, but we must notice that there is not an actual, physical snake in front of Paul. It is a woman with a spirit of imitation, deception, and cunning. This woman speaking by the spirit of a python/serpent "appears" to be speaking the truth, but Paul, by the Holy Spirit, knows that something is amiss - something is false. He knows that the spirit of a python/serpent/divination is using her. What does Paul do? He casts this divination (python) spirit out of her. "For these signs shall follow those who believe..."

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Jesus is speaking to men who are driven by that which is false! Even though these "serpents" and "vipers" believe themselves to be justified in their actions, Jesus addresses them for who they are. Again, the Lord is directly “taking up” serpents, but these serpents are men filled with the wrong spirit. The Lord is not actually handling a physical animal -- He is handling and rebuking the wrong spirit in these men...

A person who knew nothing about my prayers and who really knows nothing about me suggested a recorded sermon...The preacher stated that the devil had possession of this damsel with the spirit of divination.
The devil was using her in a very subtle way to bring corruption to the church of the living God.  He said the next words and I quote them word for word: “There is combativeness coming in [into the church].  Wherever that which is representative of Christ or that which is Christ ... the plan is not only to drive Him [Christ] out, but to corrupt that vehicle that is manifest to Him.  And we know that to be the church of the living God.”  He went on to say that we are witnessing this today. The devil/python spirit is "preaching" the "gospel", using all of the right phrases to deceive many. Satan's plan is not to bring glory to the Lord, but to subtly draw believers away from the True Gospel of Jesus Christ. The woman with the spirit of divination "appeared" to be glorifying Jesus Christ, but there was a subtle difference. The wrong spirit was driving her for the purpose of bringing about corruption to the Body of Christ. Paul discerned the false spirit of python/divination driving her and casts out that spirit.

The plan of Satan is to deceive - to bring in false teaching in order to taint that which is pure. There are many things that have been imposed upon Christianity today that do not represent CHRIST. And many in the church have allowed such false teachings that are led by a serpent spirit. We must ask ourselves "IS THIS CHRIST?" about everything that we allow INSIDE the church. The main point of attack from this python spirit is to take something that is of Christ and replace it with something that is not of Christ - and the change is subtle. Will the church call out and cast out the true python spirit or allow that spirit to remain while, unfortunately, chasing after things that can be seen or touched. It's the unseen darkness infiltrating the church, and many are not willing to discern the real enemy and how he presents himself.
Remember brothers & sisters, God is not after mere external works, but He is looking to recreate us in the image of His Son Jesus.  We are not perfected by that which is temporal, but by He who is eternal. It is only as that which is within is cleansed that our external works can also be approved (Matthew 23:25-28), so that must be our focus.  Be on guard against doctrines of demons which would lead you back to a reliance on the world and external performance instead of true faith in God in all things.  Don't accept a counterfeit of religious activity for being perfected and accepted in the Beloved.  You cannot afford in this late hour to be a whited sepulcher, outwardly beautiful but inwardly dead.

Posted below is also the sermon to which the sister above references.  I pray it is a blessing to you.

    1 comment:

    1. Martha's busyness and Mary's wanting to be in the Presence of Jesus remind me of a poem by John Milton.

      On His Blindness
      By John Milton

      When I consider how my light is spent
      Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
      And that one talent which is death to hide
      Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
      To serve therewith my Maker, and present
      My true account, lest he returning chide,
      “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
      I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
      That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
      Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
      Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
      Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
      And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
      They also serve who only stand and wait.”


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