Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth (Part 2)

Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth (Part 2) Bondage or Liberty; Deception or Truth I. Truth makes us free. JOH 8:32. A. Truth is our first line of defence against Satan. EPH 6:14. B. Truth (when received and obeyed) sanctifies and purifies us. PSA 119:9; PRO 16:6; JOH 17:17; 1PE 1:22. C. If we have not a love of the truth, we are liable to be turned over to delusion. 2TH 2:10-11. D. Since delusion and deception are Satan's power over men, nothing less than repentance to the acknowledging of truth will set someone free. 2TI 2:25-26. 1. Repent: “To feel contrition, compunction, sorrow or regret for something one has done or left undone; to change one's mind with regard to past action or conduct through dissatisfaction with it or its results.” 2. Acknowledge: “To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true.” 3. The only truly free person is the person who is fed up with the lies that he has heard, the lies that he has read, and most of all the lies that he has been living and so submits himself completely to Christ and His truth. 4. This process of acknowledging truth that leads to genuine liberty involves a need to be truthful about ourselves and our errors. 5. Deception is essentially being enticed (by others or by one's own carnality) to deem a lie an acceptable substitute for truth. 6. We will never be at liberty until we stop deceiving ourselves about what constitutes right thought and action because deception blocks deliverance from bondage to a lie. ISA 44:20. II. Freedom demands that we confess and forsake our sins. PRO 28:13. A. Confess: “To declare or disclose (something which one has kept or allowed to remain secret as being prejudicial or inconvenient to oneself); to acknowledge, own, or admit (a crime, charge, fault, weakness, or the like).” B. Forsake: “To give up, renounce....To break off from, renounce (an employment, design, esp. an evil practice or sin; also, a belief, doctrine). To abandon, leave entirely, withdraw from.” C. The opposite of confessing and forsaking our sins is to cover or hide them. 1. Adam tried covering his sin. JOB 31:33. a. Adam first tried to hide from God to avoid detection. GEN 3:8-10. b. When that didn't work, he shifted blame. GEN 3:12. 2. Our attempts at avoiding detection and denying responsibility for sin are so many efforts to cover it. 3. We deceive ourselves when we think that covering sins as did Adam is the way to prosper. a. That is the first and most dangerous form of self-deception. b. Rivaling that is when we deceive ourselves about the consequences of our sins or foolish decisions. c. We must ever renounce the notion that God did not see or does not mind our sin and folly. d. We must ever renounce the notion that sin can be covered by anything but confession and forsaking. e. We must ever renounce the notion that unconfessed and unforsaken sin is of no consequence. III. Satan sells his lies by deception and the better the deception, the bigger the lie that can be sold. A. Paul's great concern was that saints might be deceived as was Eve. 2CO 11:3. 1. Beguile: “To entangle or over-reach with guile; to delude, deceive, cheat.” 2. She who was beguiled was deceived. 1TI 2:14. B. Consider Eve's deception. GEN 3:1-6. 1. Eve was without sin when Satan deceived her. Do you think that you who are a sinner would be more immune to Satan's influences than Eve? 2. Mark the order: a. Satan cast doubt on God's truth and perverted it. v.1. b. Eve took liberties with God's truth, as if naked truth were not enough to counter Satan. vs.2-3. (1) This is one of Satan's greatest deceptions since the fall: convincing men that the truth alone is inadequate to please God---we have to add our own ideas. (2) The traditions of men make the word of God of none effect and lead to our being further deceived. MAR 7:13; COL 2:8. c. Satan denied God's truth about consequences of sin. v.4. d. Satan offered a rival gospel of independence from God. v.5. e. Eve rationalized away the truth based upon sensual fulfillment. v.6 c/w 1JO 2:16. (1) Mind that yielding to the lie was a means of satisfying a legitimate human need: food. (2) Whenever we are tempted to meet a legitimate need by acting contrary to God's will, this is temptation by “the lust of the flesh.” (3) Food, comfort, sex, happiness, peace, rest, success, acceptance, significance, etc. are all legitimate human needs. But we sin when we meet these needs by acting independently of God. f. Whether we know it or not, every time we yield to temptation, we have done the same thing: reasoning that the perceived advantages of a lie are more valuable than truth. C. Satan tried essentially the same tactic on Christ. MAT 4:3-11. 1. He cast doubt on God's word: “...If thou be the Son of God....” v.3 c/w MAT 3:17. 2. He appealed to legitimate physical need. v.3. 3. He perverted the truth. v.6. 4. He implied that doing his bidding would not have harmful consequences. v.6. 5. He offered a rival gospel of independence from God. vs.8-9. 6. But he lost this battle to a constant appeal to unaltered, unadorned truth given by revelation. D. Basically, Satan had deceived Eve into thinking that she could achieve fulness by acting independently of God and His truth. 1. Jesus Christ's life on earth was the model of NOT acting independently of God. JOH 5:30; 6:38, 57; 8:28, 42, 54; 14:10. 2. There is no fulness acting independently of Christ. COL 2:9-10. 3. There is only futility in doing so. JOH 15:4-5. 5. There is no good thing that we can do independently of Christ. 2CO 3:5-6 c/w PHIL 2:12-13; 4:13. 6. The person who seeks to achieve emotional, mental or spiritual fulness independently of Christ will never make it. a. The Book of Ecclesiastes stands as a witness to this fact. b. Pay particular attention to Solomon's conclusion about finding true fulness. ECC 12:13-14. c. Mind how much of modern day psychological and psychiatric counseling is based upon the fallacy of helping people find fulness without God. That is exactly what Satan wants people to think! IV. Satan has many devices by which he deceives men to hold them in bondage away from God and the fulness that can be enjoyed in Him---all of them being denials or distortions of God's revealed word. 2CO 2:11; EPH 6:16. A. Satan will use carnal wisdom and humanistic reasoning as he did with Eve. GEN 3:5-6. 1. Paul says, “...the world by wisdom knew not God...” (1CO 1:21). c/w ROM 1:22. 2. Paul purposed not to preach man's wisdom but to declare Christ. 1CO 2:1-5. 3. We are warned against the spoiling characteristic of philosophy. COL 2:8. 4. Unbiblical human wisdom, “oppositions of science falsely so-called” (1TI 6:20) can corrupt or destroy one's acknowledgment of the truth about God's existence, His power, His promises and His purpose for man and his environment. a. It tends to make man the pinnacle of all things and therefore his own god. b. It tends to assume that man is through gradual self-improvement attaining unto perfection. c. It tends to reduce man to nothing more than a highly evolved animal locked in a chaotic struggle for survival which leads to expensive, futile and often fatal mechanisms for survival and personal peace. 5. We must renounce the deification of human wisdom by ever subordinating it to the truth of God. ROM 3:4; PSA 119:128; LUK 7:35. B. Satan will use emotions to deceive us. 1. The heart is the seat of emotions, such as fear, desire, joy and sorrow. DEU 28:67; PSA 37:4; ISA 65:14. a. Heart: “As the seat of feeling, understanding, and thought. = MIND, in the widest sense, including the function of feeling, volition, and intellect. The seat of one's inmost thoughts and secret feelings; one's inmost being; the depths of the soul; the soul, the spirit.” b. Emotion: “Psychology. A mental ‘feeling’ or ‘affection’ (e.g. of pleasure or pain, desire or aversion, surprise, hope or fear, etc.), as distinguished from cognitive (of or pertaining to the action or process of knowing) or volitional (pertaining or relating to the action of willing) states of consciousness.” 2. Thoughts that are guided by the feeling of the heart are liable to be unstable and corrupted since the heart is deceivable, deceitful and desperately wicked. ISA 44:20; JER 17:9. 3. Emotions can respond to thoughts. Right thinking produces right emotions. 4. When intents are realized or not realized, our emotions respond accordingly. 5. But emotions can also initiate thoughts and intents. Hence, the need to control our emotions. a. Given that the heart is the seat of emotions, we do well to guide our heart rather than letting it guide us. PRO 23:19; 4:23. b. The world says, “Follow your heart.” God says “Guide your heart.” c. It is the fool that trusts the feelings of his heart instead of God's wisdom. PRO 28:26. 6. Dominating emotions subvert rational faith. LUK 24:36-41. a. Fear can overwhelm and eliminate faith. MAR 4:35-40. (1) Satan is as a roaring lion (1PE 5:8-9) which paralyzes and enervates its victims with its roar. (2) The fear of man is a snare. 1SAM 15:24; PRO 29:25. (3) The fear of death is bondage. HEB 2:15. (4) Fear is juxtaposed with soundness of mind. 2TI 1:7. b. Experience teaches us how difficult it is to focus the mind when under the pressure of emotion. c. We should therefore expect Satan to attack us by stirring emotions to interfere with faith since Satan is to be resisted stedfast in the faith. 1PE 5:8-9; EPH 6:16. 6. The heart that is guided by rational thought will be stable and at peace. ISA 26:3; MAR 5:15. 7. We must renounce relying upon the deceptive feelings of the heart as a guide and instead rely upon God's revealed truth to guide us into liberty. PSA 119:45; 73:24. C. Satan will use miracles to deceive men. REV 13:13-14; 2TH 2:9. 1. Many are deceived into thinking that miracles are infallible proof of spirituality. 1CO 1:4-7 c/w 3:1. 2. Many are deceived into thinking that miracles are infallible proof of charity. 1CO 13:1-2. 3. Many are deceived into thinking that miracles are infallible proof of election. MAT 7:21-23. 4. Jesus warned that many would be deceived by miracles. MAT 24:5, 11, 24. 5. Paul warned about perilous times when the truth would be resisted by miracle- working reprobates. 2TI 3:8. 6. We must renounce relying upon miracles as determinants of the validity of a person or doctrine, even as God warned Israel. DEU 13:1-3. 7. We are to walk by faith, not sight (2CO 5:7) and faith is according to the word of truth. ROM 10:17. D. Satan also deceives by getting us to focus on outward appearances of things which appeal to our senses and appetites. 1. Remember that Eve “...saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired...” (GEN 3:6). Looking good and being desirable do not justify indulging in what God has forbidden. 2. Satan cloaks his deceptions in outwardly righteous garb. 2CO 11:13-15. a. The Pharisees appeared outwardly righteous. MAT 23:28. b. Mystery, Babylon the Great is richly appareled, materially prosperous and full of sensual delights. REV 18:16-23. c. Paul warned about those who have “...a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...” (2TI 3:5). 3. God judges according to the heart, not the outward appearance. 1SAM 16:7. 4. Jesus taught, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (JOH 7:24). 5. Jesus appeared “...as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (ISA 53:2). 6. An undue deference to outward appearance brings men into bondage. 2PE 2:18-19. 7. We must renounce any tendency to judge the validity of something based upon its outward appearance and resolve to agree with God in judging according to truth, measuring all things by His word. ROM 2:2; 1JO 4:6. E. Satan also deceives by convincing people of extra-biblical revelation that tells them to do something less, more or otherwise flatly against what Scripture declares. 1. This was, after all, the very gambit he used in Eden! 2. How many people will say things like, “The Lord told me...” or “An angel told me...” or “The spirit has lead me...” to believe, say or do something. a. The Lord will tell you nothing other than what He has written since: (1) He is faithful, consistent and immutable. JAM 1:17. (2) He is not a respecter of persons (ROM 2:11) and therefore does not give out special revelation which exempts the recipient from His impartial law or binds the recipient to do things not written in His law. (3) for Him to do so would be to imply that there is ongoing open revelation which negates the “more sure word of prophecy” (2PE 1:19) of Scripture. b. The only thing an angel had ever better tell you is to read your Bible and in faith act accordingly. GAL 1:8. c. There are many spirits but we are to test them by the apostles' word since they are not all of God. 2CO 11:4 c/w 1JO 4:1-6. 3. Only where the Spirit of the Lord is may liberty be found. 2CO 3:17-18. F. Another deception that Satan uses lead us into bondage is the notion of making decisions based upon circumstances rather than God's truth. 1. Circumstances are the pros and cons of a given decision. They are things such as means available, time available, people available, cost, opportunities, etc. 2. In some situations people can be heard asking, “What is God trying to tell me?” a. Behind this question is the belief that circumstances are signposts from God informing us of His will. b. It must be understood that God is not trying to tell you anything. He has already told you in His word what He wants to say. ISA 8:20. 3. In order for circumstances to provide direction, they must be interpreted. Since many different interpretations can be given, the subjective element enters in. a. Consider this in a situation where you are hindered from doing something. (1) You might think God is trying to tell you that He does not want you to do it. (2) Or you might think God is testing you to see if you will persevere. (3) Or you might think God doesn't want you to do it now but rather later. (4) Or you might think the devil is trying to prevent you from doing what God wants done and you should therefore persist. b. Consider this in a situation where there appears to be an open door---an opportunity to do something. (1) Do open doors indicate what God specifically wants done? Or are they opportunities which God permits, leaving us to decide whether we avail ourselves of them or not? (2) Not all open doors are pathways of obedience or pathways to good things. (3) The door was open for Jonah to go to Tarshish when God commanded him to go to Nineveh. JON 1:1-3. (4) Some open doors lead to elevator shafts or jail cells. Beware! 4. Relying on circumstances alone to determine right or wrong can be very misleading. It is actually akin to pagan superstition. ACT 28:3-6. 5. We must renounce the fickle messages of circumstances as a means to determine right or wrong and instead take heed to the word of truth if we would walk in liberty. PSA 119:104, 130.

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