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The Parables #23

BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL. . . . . Continued.

The instinct of the believer when the  devil’s scheme is discovered. “The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” Verse 28.

How wrong believers often are about the things of God. Here we find the servants not knowing where the tares came from and then seeking to dispose of them contrary to the mind of their master. How low and humble you and I must ever be!

The activities of the wicked are a vexation to the people of God. “Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood,” Psalm 144:11.

We must be jealous for the work of God but not overly so!

“And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us,” Luke 9:49-50.

“But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!” Numbers 11:26-29.

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God,” 3 John 1:9-11.

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The Parables #22

BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL Continued.

It is the Lord Who uncovers the devil’s scheme. Were we not taught by the Lord we would be continually deceived. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils,” 1 Timothy 4:1.
But as we see in this verse there is One Who counters the devil’s lies – the Holy Spirit. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come,” John 16:13.

Remember the Saviour’s words to the seven Churches of Asia. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22.
Let me give you two examples of the Lord exposing the devil’s deceits. One in the OT and another in the NT.

“And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations,” Ezekiel 8:3-6.

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration,” Rev 17:1-6.

The deceitful of the devil’s schemes are seen in John’s reaction. He was taken up with the earthly glories of this woman and lost sight of her wickedness. So it will ever be with us were it not for the Lord pointing the true nature of sin.

The devil’s schemes continue right until the end of this age.

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The Parables #21

BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL – Continued.

3. The devil is the arch deceiver. Note the various names, evil names, God gives him here in this verse. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him,” Revelation 12:9.

Again, note the warning of God about this evil being, the devil.

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ . . . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works,” 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15.

Here is a glimpse into the future of the devil’s evil plans and the defeat to which God shall bring him.

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10.

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The Parables #20

One last passage of God’s Word before we move on to another consideration which arises from this parable. Despite the fact that the Christian brings good to this world the Christian is hated. Here is what the apostles were considered to be . . . .

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

Now we come to another consideration.

III. BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL DECEIT.

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way . . . . . the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil,” 25, 38-39.

1. Notice the craft of the devil. “While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.” Also, the ‘tares’ look like the ‘wheat’! Imitation Christians and counterfeit Christianity are weapons of the devil to hinder and harm the purpose of God.

2. Such deceit is not seen at first. “When the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also,” verse 26. The evil scheme was not seen at the first.

3. The Lord uncovers the evil plot. Were we not taught by the Lord we would be continually deceived.

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The Parables #19

The influence of God’s people is overall beneficial – Continued

We find the same wonderful truth in the OT.

Just think of this word “Good” as in good seed. This word, the strongest word used of ‘good’ means “a harmonious completeness.” There are many people in the world who are considered “good” and we would have to acknowledge that they do good things, show love and kindness to others and yet they need to be born again before they can enter heaven. That puzzles many. There is something ‘incomplete’ about there goodness. There is something lacking. They do goodness is marred by a desire to gain favour with others, to gain the praise of the world or even to try to get to heaven. That makes their goodness faulty, incomplete!
The Christian seeks to do good “to the glory of God”! That makes their goodness complete and whole!

Look at these verses as we further consider the good that God’s people do in this world. “And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy (Jacob’s) sake,” Genesis 30:27.
“And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field,” Genesis 39:5.
“And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee (Jehoram the son of Ahab), nor see thee,” 2 Kings 3:14.

It is made clearer when we consider the world’s view of the Blessed Saviour. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” Isaiah 53:3.

“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.” Psalm 22:6-8. As with Christ, so with the believer!

How undervalued are the people of God. “Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:13.  “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used,” Hebrews 10:32-33.

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

Stream or download The Parables #19