IF IT LOOKS SO GOOD. . . TACTIC OF THE ENEMY PT.3
THE TREACHEROUS HISTORY OF TARES
In the Book of Acts on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended. In response to that powerful outpouring, Peter went out and scattered the good seed of the Word of God and 3000 people received that Word and began to spread it into the world. Yet another came to spread his word, but this time under a religious disguise, as a counterfeit. . . he too could not be stopped. Paul went to Ephesus and preached “the full counsel of God” from house to house fervently but still the tares came entangled with the wheat.
Acts 20:29-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Acts 20:30
“From among yourselves”– the wheat and the tares grow up together in the church. So it has gone on throughout history. Yet Jesus commanded it to be so: “let them both grow together.”
Peter also warned of false teachers who existed within the church in 2Peter 2:1-3:
2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;
Notice that the same phrase appears: “among you.”
Human efforts cannot rid the church of error completely. We can ask The Lord to cleanse our own hearts. We are called to be loving watchmen to expose evil because of care for the safety of our brethren. But only the Lord will finally separate all the tares/darnel from the wheat at the time of harvest and have the knowledge and authority of what to do with each set.
THE MERCIFUL SIDE
Those who sow the good seed are Jesus and His workers. Their field is the world. The good seed are His church, His Body, the sons of His kingdom. The enemy is the devil and the tares/darnel are the enemy’s sons. Remember throughout all of this that the tares/darnel are counterfeits of the wheat. The servants, His Angels, noticing the danger to the wheat crop, are tempted to uproot the tares…but the Sower stays their hands. Why? Because He fears losing some of the good seed. God is always merciful. There is always a chance that prayer and correct instruction will turn people from the deception they heard from the evil ones and will return to that fork in the road where they lost their way and repent and come back to God. Only He has the right to decide and judge which are wheat and which are tares. Only He has eyes righteous and holy enough to see into their hearts, to see if they are still open to the truth.
2 Timothy 2:20, 24-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor…24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
We are not to judge; we are to mercifully pray and correctly teach. Look at the story of Achan in Joshua chapter seven for an incredible example of how we are to act towards one who caused the death of his fellow Israelites and disgraced the Name of the Lord – all for greed. It is time for the reckoning to begin. Achan knows he will die. God has already declared that will be the case. Joshua would have had every earthly reason to be verbally angry and perhaps even curse Achan. Yet, look at Joshua 7: 19 and notice how Joshua addresses Achan: he calls him “son.” He calls this murderer, this robber, this man who shamed God – son. Every time I look at that section of the Bible I remember that any time the Lord would have me give a word of correction there must be that same attitude of Joshua in my own heart. I must have patience, humility, and the recognition that I am as much a sinner saved by grace and liable to deception as the one I have been sent to. I must also remember that it is the error in doctrine that is being corrected, not the person. Only God can truly judge and even He waits until “the harvest at the end of the age.” ( Matthew 13:39
WHY ARE ALL THESE DECEPTIONS SENT?
THIS IS A TEST!
The whole chapter of Deuteronomy 13 is a warning about deception, but the most alarming verses are 1-3:
If a prophet arises among you and gives you a sign or wonder 2.and the sign or wonder he foretells comes to pass and if he says, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them. 3.You shall not listen to the words of that prophet; for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your mind and heart and with your entire being. (Deuteronomy 13: 1-3 AMP)
Read carefully: the man called himself a prophet of God. He came from among them, like the tares are among the wheat, like error comes alongside truth. And, incredibly, what he said came to pass! It looked good! Yet, God says not to listen to him; on the contrary, He says that the prophet is to be put to death for talking rebellion and going after “other gods you have not known.”
The Lord says all this deception is sent as a test to know whether we love Him totally. Ironically, the remedy for deception is for us to do our own “testing.” In 1 Thessalonians 5: 21 we are commanded by God to “prove all things until we can recognize what is good; to that hold fast.” The word “prove” in Scripture is a metallurgist’s term. It is also referred to in Jeremiah 6: 27-30. An assayer or prover is to test ore closely because fool’s gold looks so much like real gold. Once the assayer tests the ore and discovers it is gold, he then tests it further to see how pure that gold is – 10k, 12k, 24k, Interesting isn’t it? God tests us to see if we are gold and how pure gold we are. Likewise, we are to test all teachers and teachings to see if they are gold and how pure they are. In Acts 17: 11 the Bereans were commended as being “more noble” because they took the Scriptures so seriously that they even tested the teachings of Paul. Notice that they did not use the fluctuating criteria of emotions or experiences in their testing; they used the only one reliable, trustworthy, infallible standard – the Word of God.
Isaiah 8:20 commands:
Direct people to the teaching and the testimony; if their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Where is the purest gold found? in the City of God (Revelation 21:21). We are only fit for this Golden City as we, too, are purified and immerse ourselves in pure teaching. In John 17:17 Jesus Himself said: “Sanctify them by the Truth. Thy Word is truth.”
The only remedy for deception is the objective truth of God’s Word. Yes, I’m aware that I’ve said that three times in the last short three paragraphs. But you have to understand something. I started my walk with the Lord over 40 years ago. During that time I have seen so many rallies, conferences, “revivals,” “healing services,” etc. where so many were carried away by shouts of “More, Lord, More” and “ Fire, Lord, Fire.” I’ve seen people who were “healed” – and I was one of them – for 3 to 4 days because of the high level of emotion in the air – yes, that can happen – and it was not real, neither was it the truth or God. We must discern what is light and what is darkness. We must test the origins of any revival, its teachings and its total conformity to Scripture. Only by testing can we know what is true and to be embraced and what is deception and to be avoided.
Image Cited: Featured Image: John 8:32
Hand of Wheat: Photo by icon0.com
FOR COMPLETE VERSION GO TO HOLDINGHISWORDHIGHER
Search posts by publish date in right column June 6, 2020