The Simplicity in Christ Part 3

M. Effective communication requires a clear conveyance of message from giver to receiver. 1. Consider very small children who are unable to process spoken language. a. Parents can successfully convey a message of love to them by tender care and supply of their needs, touch, smiles and positive vocal tones. b. Parents can successfully convey messages about boundaries by measured physical pain combined with a simple verbal “No.” c/w PRO 29:15. c. Do not wait for a child to develop oral language skills to begin messaging. PRO 13:24. d. Do not confuse messaging by punishing good behavior or rewarding bad behavior (a life-long principle!). e. Do not leave children in bondage to non-verbal communication. Encourage their reading and speaking language skills as they grow. 2. One can convey a message with such things as hand motion. PRO 6:13. a. Hand motions, though, cannot convey abstract concepts unless there is a previously established signal-interpretation model in place. b. Hand motions in one culture may be negatively interpreted in another. 3. One can convey a message through things like symbols. a. Symbols, though, are subjectively used and interpreted. This is an advantage to a deceiver who intends the symbol to convey a different message than what he holds that it means. b. The above quote by Martin L. Wagner is appropriate here. 4. The most effective communication is by oral or written language which is understood by both giver and receiver. Both sides should have the same understanding of the terms used in dialogue. a. It was by speaking that God created all things. GEN 1:3. b. The Second Person of the Godhead is The Word, not the symbol, color, hand signal, emotion, star formation, etc. c. The incarnation of God in the flesh is the epitome of messaging by language. JOH 1:1-3, 14, 18; 1JO 1:1; 5:20; HEB 1:1-2. N. It is a great goal of Satan to destroy or corrupt messaging from God “...by any means...” (2CO 11:3) in order to control men’s minds for his own antiGod purposes in keeping men from Christ through Whom the true God is known. 1. Satan has ever wanted to be God, as do his agents. ISA 14:12-14; 2TH 2:3-4. 2. Satan has an ally in our fallen nature: a mind that thinks like his. EPH 2:3. 3. How critical it is that our minds be delivered from Satan’s captivity to Christ’s captivity and girded up accordingly! 2CO 10:5; 1PE 1:13 c/w EPH 6:14. 4. How important it is that we be not ignorant of Satan’s devices (2CO 2:11), especially his subtle ones by which he deceives us away from Christ! 5. By corrupted messaging, one can be deluded into Satan’s service while thinking he is doing God service. JOH 16:1-2. a. This is a key area of evangelical conversion: the realization that you have been believing a lie and so honoring the father of lies, Satan. ACT 26:9; 2:37; JOH 8:44. b. Conversion is not always only a matter of men being convicted in their minds about their flagrant sins knowingly committed against God; it is often a combination of needed reformations that clear truth demands. ROM 12:2.

VII. Consider various means by which Satan puts himself between God’s words and men’s minds so that the message of truth is ineffective. A. Satan might destroy God’s word but he is blocked by God’s sovereignty in the matter. PSA 12:6-7; MAT 24:35. 1. Consider Eden (GEN 3:1-6). God had spoken and the message was universal: all parties knew it and its Origin. There was no way to “destroy” the information once it was given. 2. Satan therefore “spun” God’s words with a counterfeit message that added to, and took from God’s words. The seedbed of his message was doubt. Never underestimate the power of doubt to confuse, conflate or confound plain words from God. 3. To corrupt men’s minds, Satan must corrupt God’s words, a popular tactic. 2CO 2:17. 4. Once God committed His words in writing exclusively to Israel (PSA 147:19-20), the rest of the world was left with only the raw revelation of God in nature and false prophets. a. It was relatively easy for Satan to corrupt the revelation of God in nature since its structure and motions were under the bondage of corruption and subjectively interpreted by the vain imagination of man. ROM 8:20-21; 1:21-22. b. This blinded ignorance masquerading as wisdom God winked at until Christ’s resurrection. ACT 14:16; 17:30. c. The gospel went to work undeceiving the nations to deliver them from the bondage of Satan’s lies which are his power. ACT 26:17-18. d. Unable to destroy God’s preserved word, Satan has ever sought to negate its power by counterfeits as he did in Eden. It is a solemn fact that the multiplying of Bible versions, for all the academic reasons behind the same, has sown doubt in believers’ minds as effectively as Satan did to Eve. Doubt is the enemy of faith. ACT 10:20; ROM 14:23. e. Satan once had the nations deceived because they had not the word of God. Satan lost that power over the nations by the going forth of the gospel. He could not destroy God’s word but by counterfeits he could undermine and negate its influence through doubt. This all bears a striking resemblance to Eden and to REV 20:1-8. 5. NOTE: There are few things as deceptive as a good counterfeit that casts doubt on God’s word, appeals to human nature, offers advantages God never promised, and convinces men that it is from God Himself. This applies to religious systems as much as it does to “bibles.”

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