Three Deceptions –

 

 

            The first counterfeit of Satan is to convince us that we don’t have, can not live by, and aren’t expected to live by, this other life. In a portion in this introduction we will be talking about how to live by this other life, how to live by the Spirit, how to live the Christian life. There is only one person who can live the Christian life and that is Christ. And, until we come to the place we can say, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me, we are far from the mark.

            The second deception is a misleading gospel, an inadequate truth. I’d like us to look quickly at Luke chapter 18. I’m just introducing this Revolutionary Gospel; hardly introducing it. I’m just going to make a quick point to maybe raise some questions in your heart, questions that I’m hoping will cause you to say, “I need to hear more.” Perhaps you already know it. But, on the whole, the church has an inadequate gospel, an inadequate truth, a partial truth.

 Jn. 4:24

Gn. 3:22

 

            You all know, of course, that I can say what’s true and communicate a lie. The issue is not saying what is true. Satan in the Garden did say what was true. He also mixed it with a lie but in there was that which was true. “You’ll be like God.” At the end of chapter 3, God says, “They have become like us, knowing good and evil.” True – it just wasn’t the whole truth. “You surely shall not die.” Yet they died. That day they died, and they became a living soul not a living spirit and it was the spirit that died. And it was the spirit that had compatibility with the Father. He’s a spirit; and the Son, He’s a spirit; and the Holy Spirit, of course, is a spirit. God is a spirit and they that worship Him shall worship Him in spirit and in truth.

            I know I’m covering a lot of ground and it is because within the following pages I will be repeating some things many times so that it will finally sink in and connect. I believe if you are testing the spirits, you are bearing witness right now with what the Spirit is saying. In Luke chapter 18, beginning in verse 31 we see this interaction between Jesus and the disciples taking place within three, may be four days, at the most a week, of Jesus’ crucifixion. This is at the end of His three and one half years’ ministry.

Verses 31 – 33.

 

   Then He took the 12 aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”

 

            Jesus, four days before His death, is saying to His disciples, “I must go to Jerusalem where I will be killed, buried, and will rise on the third day.” Death – burial – resurrection; a three day work. And His disciples had no idea what He was talking about. Now, follow with me. This is important. We’re going to spend more time on this even in the introduction, but we’re going to spend several chapters on this issue.

            Jesus began His ministry, Matthew chapter 4, going about Judea, and Galilee, preaching the gospel. And, numerous times, many times, throughout the 3 ½ years, the Holy Spirit relates to us that Jesus was preaching the gospel. In Luke chapter 9 it says, in verse 1,

 

   And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases.

 

            And He sent them out to proclaim the gospel.

            That was about a year and a half to a year and 10 months into His ministry, which would have been another year and a half to a year and 10 months before this event here. For almost two years the disciples were also preaching the gospel. Can you preach the gospel without touching on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? If your gospel begins and ends with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and its work, you’ve missed the gospel that He preached. He most certainly had a three day work, and as Paul says in 1 Cor. 15, “It’s of first importance.” It just puts us into a place where we can now receive the fullness of the gospel. But we now learn how to live a life that is not our own. Jesus spent 3 ½ years dealing with life, not sin and death, life and how to live it. And if our gospel ends with death, burial and resurrection, we will end up with the Laodicean church that is overcome by every temptation that comes along.

            We will end up looking just like the world around us. We will be divorcing at the same rate as the world. We will be aborting our babies at the same rate as the world. Our children will be going off to college and ending up in the world at the same rate the world is. And the reason this takes place is that we’ve not learned that we were created for life. And not created for a sweet by-and-by life, but from the very beginning the very Christ life, victorious life, overcoming life, abundant life. Am I coming through?

 

The Second Deception –

 

            The second deception the enemy must work on that Laodicean church is to convince her of an inadequate gospel, a less than complete truth. I said I could say to you what’s true and communicate a lie. I have a friend named Tim. I’ve been in Tim’s home many times and if you were to ask me what kind of family he has I would say something like, “Well, the truth is I’ve been in their home many times and they have not one time offered me a cup of coffee. I’ve been there for every meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and not one time have they offered me a cup of coffee.”  That’s absolutely true, but the rest of the story is, they know I don’t drink coffee. I can say what is true and communicate a lie.

            I can also say what is less than complete and communicate the whole truth. We have eleven grandchildren and almost every one of them goes through this phase. Around three or four years old they start coloring with crayons and they start drawing figures. Little Katy comes running in one day and she has this picture, on the bottom of which her momma has scrawled “Papaw.” And the picture here is of this kind of crude melon shaped head. And out of the side of the head where the ears ought to be are these two little hands sticking out. And where the neck ought to be there’s two little sticks with feet turned out. I suggest to you that it was a perfect picture. I suggest that it communicated everything little Katy was wanting to say to her Papaw. Am I communicating with you?

            Is it possible the Laodicean church has accepted a gospel that can cover her sins but can not empower her to live an overcoming life?

 

The Third Deception –

 

            The third deception that the enemy must work, the first being a form of godlessness that denies its power and life; the second being a misleading gospel or an inadequate truth; the third being a counterfeit salvation – a costless way.

Mt. 28:19

Mt. 4:19

Mt. 16:18

            Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” He did not say, “Go and make Christians.” Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” He did not say, “Go and build churches.” He did say, “I’ll build My church.” Isn’t it interesting that we give so much of our life to building churches and this work of making disciples seems so neglected? Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you…” they were not made the instant that they left their nets. There is a reason why the scriptures talk about having been saved, are being saved and shall be saved.

            Turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 10. In 1 Corinthians we have a text that ends in verses 11 & 12. We’re going to read verses 11 & 12 and then we’re going to go back to verse 1 which is our focal text. Whatever is spoken of in the first 10 verses, verse 11 says,

 

    Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Three Deceptions –”

  1. brotherjohnny Says:

    Very good teaching.
    It is very reminiscent of Nee’s teaching. I wonder if he was an influence in Johns understanding of scripture.

    It is good to be reminded that it is Christ who lives the life that is well pleasing to His Father and not us….and yet part of the mystery is that He does so in and through us.

    In my experience, I have found that this is most often a matter of faith.
    It is a matter of taking God’s word for truth in that YES I HAVE DIED ON THE CROSS WITH HIM, … I AM DEAD AND MY LIFE IS HIDDEN IN GOD,…and IT IS NO LONGER I WHO LIVES BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME…

    It is a matter of reckoning it to be so.
    While there is another side, the side of knowing a tree by it’s fruit, we must start at the seed, to the root, through the vine….
    We must abide in Him. As we abide, our fruit is good.
    It is when we step out of Him…apart from him, that our fruit is thorny and bitter.

    We abide by faith, the faith that He has planted in our hearts, and as we know from scripture and experience that faith involves believing and acting upon God’s word, inspite of what our environment or natural senses, or our natural mind might tell us.

    Because of the work of Christ, God’s word to those who believe God’s word is this:
    “You are forgiven. You are clean. You are righteous. You are holy. You are wise. I LIVE IN AND THROUGH YOU. I LIVE _AS_ YOU…..”

    “But Lord, I don’t feel righteous. Look at how I have been acting….”

    “IT’S BECAUSE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT YOU NO LONGER LIVE. YOU WERE CRUCIFIED WITH ME. I TOOK ALL THAT IS “YOU” TO THE CROSS. ABIDE IN ME. I FORGAVE YOU. I AM YOUR LIFE. I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. I AM YOUR FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY, SO STOP TRYING. COME TO ME. ABIDE IN ME. FOLLOW ME.”

    While I agree that a simple telling of the death and resurrection of Jesus is a matter of “first importance” I will say that the church suffers quite a bit because those two events are not sufficiently ‘unpacked’ and presented for reception.

    Much has been said about the cross in many circles, but very little about the resurrection.
    SURPRISED BY HOPE, by N.T. Wright, is probably one of the most important books written to date concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    At one time I was very skeptical about Wright, and (as usual) I don’t agree with every ‘jot and tittle’….but after reading him I find him to be a very gifted (in the truest sense of the word) student and teacher of the scriptures.

    Anyway…
    This is great stuff that you are sharing here, Jerald.
    May the Lord use it to His glory as it finds it’s way across the world wide web!!!

  2. JeraldD Says:

    Thanks Johnny. John did interact with some of Nee’s “Little Flock” when he was in China and some other leaders of the Underground Church there.

    As I read your reply, it really resonated with me in my heart. I think you’ve got it brother. According to Romans 6 we did die with Him but other tests show us that we live in Him and He now lives through us. That’s our condition. But….how now do we live (as Chuck Colson says)?
    As I’m come to understand, we live because He rose from the grave. We live because He came to not only show us how this life was supposed to be lived but that He IS life. But there’s more. It’s not just the living, it’s how it’s done. That’s why He said, “Follow Me and I will make you….” It’s the being made….

    Hang in there Johnny. There’s a lot more coming.
    By the way, I’ve put the teaching in chronological order on another page so it can be read from start to finish without any breaks. It’s under “Pages” and is called “1st – The Basis of Teaching.” I plan to continue putting each post in it’s place on a separate page so that new readers can read it through from the beginning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: