Welcome to a new week and a new month! We can look at that two ways: feeling relieved we survived 1/12 of what is shaping up to be another difficult year, or rejoicing because the Lord has been more than faithful to sustain us…and always will be! I’m going with the latter, how about you?
Having concluded a look at false Christs, false teachers and false prophets, there is no doubt evil lurks in our world. How do people like George Soros become successful at perpetrating evil? Because they are really good at following the example of the evil one, Satan! Take a look at John 8:44 in both NASB and New Living translations. What does Jesus Himself say about the devil?
We also discussed apostasy in the church, giving rise to false teachers and prophets. We shouldn’t find that alarming either, as God’s Word addresses it! In 2 Corinthians 11, the apostle Paul defends his apostleship in verses 1-11, warning believers in Corinth not to be deceived. Read verses 1-15, paying particular interest to verses 12-15.
- What does Paul call the deceivers in verse 13?
- How do they disguise themselves?
- According to verse 14, why is Paul not surprised by this?
Paul was pointing out deception in the church, and those who spread it!
Now, return to John 8 (NLT version) and let’s get some context for verse 44 noted above.
- In verse 12, how does Jesus describe Himself?
- Following the Pharisees’ (religious leaders) denial of Jesus’s claim (verse 13), Jesus states His case in verses 14-30. Jesus is refuting doubt and deception thrown at Him by the religious elite! What do you think of His defense?
- Can you think of “religious leaders” today who refute the deity and light of Jesus?
Now the good part! Still in John 8, read verses 31-59, paying particular attention to verses 42-44. This is becoming an all out debate, and the Pharisees don’t have a chance against the God of truth! They drag Abraham into the conversation, as though putting their freedom from sin in his hands rather than God’s.
Apply that today. Are there men and women standing in pulpits teaching that freedom from sin (salvation) can come through other means than Jesus Himself? Of course there are! Those are false teachers!
Jesus continues refuting the claims of the Pharisees until, finally, we come to verses 39-44:
- In verses 39-41, what is Jesus’s response when the Pharisees declare, “Our father is Abraham!“
- According to Jesus (verse 41), who are they imitating?
- Who, according to verse 44, is their real father?
- What else does Jesus say about their real father and the truth?
- What is Jesus’s description of him at the end of verse 44?
Wow…that’s powerful! 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world!” When Satan imitates Jesus, he is a liar and the father of lies. Satan is not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent…he is not God!
So, I ask you, friends:
- Where do lies come from when world leaders lie to us?
- Where do lies come from when church leaders lie to us?
- Where do lies come from when we lie to others?
You see, Satan is a liar and the father of all lies, no matter who tells them. I suspect not a single person, other than Jesus Himself, ever walked the earth without telling a single lie. Therefore, we must not condone it for ourselves, yet judge others for doing the same. However, when deception and delusion come into play, it widens the scope. Every sin is wrong, but some have much greater consequences than others. When I lied as a child (“I didn’t do it!”), are the consequences the same as a pastor who stands in the pulpit condoning abortion of millions of babies? Perhaps my childish lie was an attempt to keep me out of trouble. Still wrong, but not not widely deceptive. A church leader’s support of baby-killing is deception on a broad scale. Both situations need the Light of the world to shine, and the truth to set us free from sin!
Aren’t you thankful Jesus introduced Himself as the Light of the world! There is great reward when we walk in that Light:
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.~1 John 1:5-7
We will continue our discussion of lies, deception and delusion tomorrow, so stay with us! Meanwhile, walk in the Light!