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Take Heed That No Man Deceive You - January 26, 2006

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Take Heed
That No Man Deceive You
Jesus warned his hand picked group of followers not to allow themselves to be deceived by anyone.
If that had not been a real possibility, he would not have wasted his breath.
Not only was deception a danger to the very first followers of the only Christ (and to the early church. The scriptures contain several examples), but we are repeatedly warned, in scripture, that the danger will increase as time passes and will actually become acute in the last days.
Any discerning Christian knows the last days have arrived. We are living in them, and the danger of deception is greater, at this moment, than at any other time in history.
Jesus said, "take heed." That means take seriously the warnings, and take precautions, against being deceived. So how do we do that?
There are a couple of very specific ways to get started.
Precaution #1: Ye shall know the truth....
Where is truth found?
Truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ. He doesn't just tell the truth. He is the truth.
The Word of God--the Holy Scriptures are those that speak of him. Truth is found in the Holy Scriptures.
Knowing what the scriptures say is the only way to know the truth..., which includes both knowing Jesus (the Living Word) personally... and knowing what the written word says about all things pertaining to life and godliness.
Precaution #2: He that hears my words and does  them....
Even the devils believe... and tremble.
Knowing the word is not enough. 
Believing mentally that Jesus is the living embodiment of life, truth--and that he is the only way--is not enough.
We must learn what the Word of God says, and then be obedient to it--easier said than done.
But even that is not enough.
The Pharisees (some of the biggest phonies in Jesus' day) put on a good show of obeying, to the letter, the written law of God--and couldn't be convinced that they were walking, stinking dead men.
But they were surely missing something weren't they?
So we need not get high-minded about our own obedience to God.
It's a heart thing. Romans 10:9 says so. We believe and obey from our hearts. Mental assent is worthless. It must be a heart-felt surrender.
Precaution #3: Love not the world neither the things that are in the world...
Take an inventory
Are you in debt (for more than a home and transportation)?
If so, you are demonstrating a love of the world and the things in it.
That is why Christians are so easily deceived by charletons who see them as nothing more than merchandise.
Because they are hurting financially for more reasons than just the economy.
They are hurting financially, because they are in debt
and don't want to lose their stuff!
Therefore, those who preach that gain is godliness are raking in the cash--from Christians who are greedy for gain.
The scriptures are clear that the reason people will not endure sound doctrine in these last days is because of their lusts.
Those who cater to those lusts have tremendous followings and monetary support.
But those who refuse to cater to those lusts--and preach the truth--are not endured.
The great delusion, which will cost so many their eternal souls, will have monetary gain (materialism) at the root of it.
Jesus said so himself when he said the love of money is the root of all evil.
Zechariah chapter five outlines the meteoric rise of the man of sin--who will steal the souls of so many just prior to Christ's physical return (need a King James to see it--Satan has succeeded in smudging the trail and eliminating the clues in most of the other translations).
He will rise on the wings of religion and economic prosperity, and those who crave riches will be snared by him.
Money is a means to an end--not an end in and of itself.
Education is a means to an end--not an end in and of itself.
But today, more than any other time in the history of mankind, materialism and education are being exalted above all else and have become gods to so many.
The gods of materialism and education are reigning supreme in our western culture.
And God's people are sacrificing precious things at their alters.
How many children are unnecessarily given over to day care workers to raise while their mothers worship at the alters of education and materialism?
Yes, there are those who, of necessity, must entrust their children to others while they work to support them, but so many more are doing it just to get more things and to have more money--materialism has become their god.
They are not only willingly, but eagerly sacrificing their children, their most precious treasures this side of heaven, at profane, worthless alters.
How many churches will not accept a pastor (no matter how great his calling, anointing, commitment and dedication and obvious obedience to the Word of God?) unless he has multiple degrees?
Sin! That's what it is.
Putting a degree before obedience to God is nothing more than demonstrating the pride of life and a haughty spirit.
Take heed that no man deceive you....
And how do we get trapped in this mode?
By filling our minds and spirits with the things of the world through our eye and ear gates (and the other physical senses)--by disobeying the scriptural command to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:20-23).
We invite the world to tell us what goals we should have, what we should like to wear, how we should look, what things we should want etc., etc., etc..
We do this by bombarding ourselves with the world's propaganda--by watching, reading and listening to their advertisments via television, books, magazines and radio.
And since the average Christian doesn't spend 5 minutes a day in the Word of God--truly seeking his will and taking time to listen, we are like frogs swimming around in a slowly heating cauldron--completely unaware when the water reaches boiling point and starts snuffing the life out of us.
Jesus is the life. He said his words are life.
If something is not life--then it is death. There is no in between.
It is either the one--or the other....
Which is it...?

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Today's "On Track" Reading Begins At
Matthew 24:4

Be careful what you eat...

               ... to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet

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