Posted in discernment, scripture, spiritual armor, spiritual warfare

Have you laid down your sword of the Spirit?

Jesus promised us trials in this world, but He followed that promise with a reminder, He has overcome the world. (John 16:32-33). There are many reasons we undergo trials. Sometimes it’s to count it all joy that we are participating in the trials Jesus underwent. Sometimes it’s because the testing we receive through a trial helps us discern the will of God. (Romans 12:2). Trials produce endurance (James 1:2-4). Testing and trials prove our faith. (1 Peter 1:6-7).

We live on a battlefield, and it isn’t even our home turf we are fighting for. Our home is in heaven, we are strangers and aliens here. Satan wants to subdue us, break us, entice us into a snare and immobilize us. We are warned to remain vigilant (1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 26:41). So we fight, relentlessly, constantly.

1 Corinthians 16:13 says, Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

The Lord didn’t leave us defenseless. He gave us armor. We are outfitted from head to toe, and we hold a mighty sword.

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:18)

The sword is specifically the word of God. It is the only offensive weapon in the Christian’s armor. The helmet, breastplate, shield, belt, and shoes are defensive.

The sword mentioned in the verse is not a broadsword. It is a sharp dagger, which all soldiers had at hand.

Sword: CC0 Public Domain Free use No
attribution required. Grass, EPrata photo

What happens though is that a Christian may be vigilant for a while, and then he lays down his sword (which is the scripture). He is sitting at the campfire, mending his shoes or polishing his breastplate. The vigilant soldier keeps the sword handy for taking up when the battle heats up again. But some lay it down in the grass, and wander a bit away, looking for daisies to pick, or to follow a butterfly. They wander farther and farther, and then suddenly the battle heats up and they are caught without their only offensive weapon! They go back to try and find it but weeds have sprung up and hidden the sword.

Matthew Henry says,

Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armour of God, which he prepares and bestows. The Christian armour is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armour till we have done our warfare, and finished our course. (Matthew Henry)

Don’t let too many days go by without reading the Word. When Jesus was tempted by the Devil, He countered with the word. And the fact that the Ephesians verse distinguishes between the two types of swords, the broadsword v. the dagger and specifically used the word for dagger in this case, means that the the Christian is to wield it with precision. Jesus knew exactly which scriptures to use in reply to the devil. A Christian who knows some scripture but not many isn’t going to be an effective soldier nor a good witness.

There is no armor specified for the back, but only for the front of the body; implying that we must never turn our back to the foe (Lu 9:62); our only safety is in resisting ceaselessly (Mt 4:11; Jas 4:7). Jamieson Fausset Brown)

Is your Bible in the weeds, metaphorically? Or is it by your side, in your heart, on your mind? Be a good soldier, and have your offensive weapon ready when trials come. They will come. Jesus promised it. And He always keeps His promises.

Posted in encouragement, ephesians, spiritual armor, spiritual battle

Fighting the good fight in full spiritual armor

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

1. PUTTING ON THE ARMOR (6:10–13)

a. What: to be strong in the Lord (6:10).

6:10. Paul exhorted believers to be strong in the Lord and in the might (kratei, “power that overcomes resistance” as used in Christ’s miracles) of God’s inherent strength (ischyos; cf. “the power [kratous] of His inherent strength” [ischyos] in 1:19). Hence believers can be strengthened not only by the person of the Lord but also by His resources (cf. Phil. 4:13).

b. How: to put on God’s armor (6:11a).

6:11a. The form of the Greek imperative put on indicates that believers are responsible for putting on God’s (not their) full armor (panoplian, also in v. 13; all the armor and weapons together were called the hapla; cf. 2 Cor. 6:7) with all urgency. The detailed description of the armor (given in Eph. 6:14–17) may stem from Paul’s being tied to a Roman soldier while in prison awaiting trial (cf. Acts 28:16, 20).

c. Why: to stand against the devil’s strategy (6:11b–13)

6:11b–12. The purpose of putting on God’s armor is to be able to stand against the schemes or stratagems (methodeias, used in the NT only here and in 4:14) of the devil or adversary (cf. 4:27). Christians are not to attack Satan, or advance against him; they are only to “stand” or hold the territory Christ and His body, the church, have conquered. Without God’s armor believers will be defeated by the “schemes” of the devil which have been effective for thousands of years.

The struggle is not physical (against flesh and blood); it is a spiritual conflict against the spiritual “Mafia.” Though the ranks of satanic forces cannot be fully categorized, the first two (rulers and authorities) have already been mentioned in 1:21 and 3:10.

Paul added the powers of this dark world (cf. 2:2; 4:18; 5:8) and the spiritual forces of evil. Their sphere of activity is in the heavenly realms, the fifth occurrence of this phrase, which is mentioned in the New Testament only in 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12. Satan, who is in the heavens (2:2) until he will be cast out in the middle of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:9–10), is trying to rob believers of the spiritual blessings God has given them (Eph. 1:3).

Hoehner, H. W. (1985). Ephesians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 642–643). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Posted in discernment, false teachers, jesus, spiritual armor

The most dangerous people in the world

There are dangerous people in the world. We know that some are more dangerous than others. Some people are extremely dangerous. Dictators can be considered among the world’s most dangerous people. Pol Pot, Hitler, Lenin, Idi Amin, Muammar Gaddafi among many others through time go down into the history books as heinous criminals committing mass murder.

World Trade Center on 9/11

Terrorists are certainly dangerous. The 9/11 terrorists who killed 3,000 people by suicide bombing via airplane were shockingly absent of any sense of conscience whatsoever. The 9/11 terrorist leader who organized the US terror attack Osama Bin Laden was supremely dangerous.

The ISIS militants are a dangerous group, beheading with impunity and terrorizing populations all throughout the Middle East.

Sociopaths/serial killers are among the most dangerous people on the planet, also. We shudder at the very thought that we might be captured and tortured all for the corrupt whims of a conscience-less, evil mastermind.

Throughout history, the names of Ted Bundy, Adolph Hitler, bin Laden, Jack the Ripper, Al Capone, Charles Manson remain shudder-worthy because their crimes of evil were so shocking.

But none of those are the most dangerous people on the planet. It seems crazy to even think that there is a more dangerous class of person more devastating than a war-starter, dictator Hitler. That there is a more sinister evil among a community than serial killer Ted Bundy. There truly is is a more dangerous person in the world.

Who could it be? Who is worse than the man known for burning millions of people alive in a gas oven? Worse than the serial killer’s evil at the end of a sharp knife? Worse than a terrorist whose very name indicates their putrid heart filled with terror and crime? Who??

Beth Moore.
Pope Francis.
Rick Warren.
Billy Graham.
Ellen G. White.
Creflo Dollar.
Aimee Semple McPherson.
Joel Osteen.

False teachers within Christianity. No dictator, serial killer or terrorist can hold a candle to the evil that false teachers do. Why?

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28).

All a dictator can do is oppress you or kill your body. Jesus is life giver and eternal Judge, and it is He who determines where your immortal soul and resurrected body will go when your short life on earth is over. Fear THAT. What false teachers do is nudge you, compel you, jostle you down the eternally broad road to hell. They appear as pleasant sheep but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. They’re soul killers, and that is eternally worse than anything any dictator or terrorist can do.

Some of the harshest language in the New Testament is reserved for false teachers. The damage they do to your soul is likened to gangrene, a stealthy and putrid killer of the body. Except, what false teachers bring is death to the soul. False teachers are a serious problem.

Was Jesus polite to false teachers? No. See video- 2 min.

How can we spot false teachers? The bible mentions them frequently (as false prophets, wolves, sons of hell, spies, hypocrites etc) The bible condemns them frequently. So let’s take a look.

First as mentioned above, they come in disguise. They look like sheep but they are actually preying on you as a vicious wolf. (Mt 7:15). They won’t look like a false teacher and they won’t sound like a false teacher. Galatians 2:4 reminds us that false teachers come in as spies, stealthily. (2 Peter 2:1).

False teachers substitute the call of God with their own made-up call, whether it is to self- esteem, or pride, or earthly gain, false teachers always shift your gaze from Christ as the central point of life. They can speak well, mesmerizingly sometimes. If we take the most extreme example of a false prophet, the antichrist, he appears at first to give everything to everyone what they want, and insinuates himself into a solid position of influence by smooth speech and flattery. (Daniel 11:32). False teachers are good at what they do.

Another way false teachers shift your gaze from the Holy One is to substitute empty rituals for the simplicity of the grace of Jesus. Walk a labyrinth. Meditate contemplatively. Pray in a circle. Fast in this way and this often. Light a candle, confess to a priest, speak the rosary. John MacArthur said in his sermon “How to Evangelize Religious People“, that the more a religion has symbols, (and by extension, rituals) the more false it is.

And this is how it is, my friend, with false religion. They love the symbols. When we were in Moscow a few months ago, slipped into a Greek Orthodox church–literally repulsed by extravagant symbolism. You stand in one spot and this parade goes on of people with all these elaborate dressings and head dresses and waving censors, and icons all over everywhere. It literally blasts your senses; it’s so garish, bizarre, and people walking in endless circles and mumbling incomprehensible drivel and waving things in the air–and these poor, sad souls trying somehow to connect with the external. But religion that has nothing inside proliferates the symbolic. Look at the Roman Catholic Church, just full of it…full of it. False religion loves symbols.

False teachers bring false rituals along with the eventual religious symbolism as their doctrines mature.

The nursery for false religion is false teachers infiltrating the real religion, Christianity. If it comes to your church, stop it before it gets to that point.
“Suppress the heretics while they are young, that is, when they begin to show their malice and destroy the vine of the Lord.” Geneva Bible, on Song of Solomon 2:15

Third, their teachings spread like gangrene. (2 Timothy 2:17). Gangrene develops when the blood supply to an affected part is cut off. Gangrene is caused by interruption of blood supply to an area which causes tissue death. Left unchecked, gangrene kills all the living tissue it touches. In Galatians 5:9 Paul wrote of false teachers again, saying, “a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” In both the yeast and the gangrene examples we understand that the negative influence of false teachers and their doctrines will leave no part of the body untouched if not dealt with swiftly.

Source

Next, think about this- if faith brings joy, then its opposite, doctrines of demons, bring confusion, fear, discouragement. (Galatians 1:7, Acts 15:24). Pastor Justin Peters often shares during his discernment conferences how discouraging it was to follow the false faith healers. He did so as a youth, hoping for a healing from his Cerebral Palsy. Others who follow Joyce Meyer and her ilk eventually become despondent when their abundant life doesn’t show up, or those who follow Joel Osteen find that no matter how hard they try, nothing they’ve declared has come true and every day is not a Friday. Then they either redouble their efforts at trying pointlessly to find peace through false teachings or they become angry and leave the faith, blaspheming it. (2 Peter 2:2).

In Matthew 23:15 Jesus remarked to the false teachers of the law that they made sons of hell twice as bad as they were. The next generation of disciples learning at the feet of the false teachers are always worse than the generation before. (also, Revelation 2:21-23).

One extremely telling indicator of a false teacher is that they diminish the offense of the cross. Their message will increasingly speak of anything else except that. Oh, they’ll mention Jesus, they’ll fling around some bible verses (out of context and incorrectly) but they cannot bear to dwell on the cross. (Galatians 5:11, Galatians 3:1). The cross is an offense to a false teacher, because false teachers are not saved.

There are other ways to detect the false ones who creep in among us, but suffice to say, they are there. They are dangerous, extremely so. False Christian teachers are the most dangerous people on the planet.

False teachers are not committed to Scripture. They may speak of Jesus and the Father, but the heart of their ministry will not be the Word of God. They will either add to it, take away from it, interpret it in some heretical fashion, add other “revelations” to it, or deny it altogether.

Let’s compare Hitler to Pope Francis. Or Muammar Gaddafi to Benny Hinn. It is an unutterable tragedy what Hitler did, its reverberations are still like an open wound on the world’s conscience and heart. He killed 6 million Jews, and others too, including the mentally retarded, gypsies, and homosexuals. Yet Pope Francis is enslaving 1.2 Billion people. And that’s just the Catholics right now, not even mentioning all the previous generations of people unfortunately deluded by empty ritual and false teaching. Billions upon billions have gone to hell under the false teaching of the Catholic church.

Or how about Benny Hinn and his charismatic gospel of healing and wealth. It is sweeping Africa and India right now, not to mention America. There are over 500 million people in the world at this moment who self-identify as Charismatic.

There was an independently produced documentary about middle school students in Tennessee who appealed to the world to send in 6 million paper clips to their classroom. They were doing a project on the Holocaust, and one student asked, ‘How much is 6 million? I can’t picture it.’ So the paper clip project began. They eventually gathered over 6 million clips. The stark reality of seeing with their own eyes the representation of that many people lost to the gas chambers was shocking and brought the reality of all those lost souls to the fore.

But what if you gathered 500 million clips representing the Charismatics under the influence of that false ‘Christian’ doctrine? And then gathered 1.2 billion clips representing the Catholics? And 3 billion more, the estimates of how many lives and souls of people in the world right now are influenced by Joyce Meyer’s doctrines of demons. Plus Joel Osteen, whose message reaches 28 million people a month. This number doesn’t even count his books, podcasts, and conferences. Add to that total the 30 million copies of Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, a book that was named several years ago as one of the top 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Add some more, the 215 million people in over 185 countries who have heard Billy Graham’s messages, and those who ‘came forward’ only to be assigned to a Catholic counselor, or a rabbi.

All the teachers I listed above claim themselves to be part of Christianity. You see the magnitude of the problem.

False teachers are the most dangerous people on the planet. The spirit of antichrist is alive and well and working its way as leaven through the bread. But there is manna from heaven, bread from heaven that is gloriously more potent than any piddling false teacher. Jesus Christ and His truth.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26).

The safeguard against false teachers is the Word. All truth is there, all joy, all faith, all hope and all peace. Read His word and pray to have it applied to your mind and heart. The Spirit will teach you and in so doing you will be able to withstand the detect the false doctrines when they appear. Wear your spiritual armor.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:14-18).

Wearing your armor even the most dangerous person on the planet cannot harm you. There is One who is more dangerous than any and He is your defender and your avenger:

and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. (Revelation 1:13-16).

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

Little Foxes Eventually Grow Up

The Pathology of False Teachers

Posted in grace, jesus, prayer, spiritual armor

Put on your armor and cling to the Rock!

Here is some good scripture for you. I hope it motivates and comforts you, as it does me:

“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”

“16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:10-20).

Look back at the first verse, be strong, this is a command, but do it in HIS might. We know we are not strong, we are weak. Therefore the Spirit helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26). The Lord sends ministering angels. (Hebrews 1:14, Hebrews 13:2). He sends armor, as we read above. This support is sent to us because we must never forget we are in a battle. We are not warring against people. The ungodly act the way they do because they cannot help it. The Godly act the way they do because the flesh is weak and we stumble, but we are to love and restore because we stand on the same blood-soaked ground together that Christ died for us. Those are the only classes of people, unsaved and saved. Therefore, we do not war against people. Our battle is spiritual. (Photo- be strong and stand firm, you’re on the Rock! photo credit: Dru! via photopin cc)

In the case of the Spirit, He is in us and we follow His lead. We do nothing except follow. In the case of the angels, we are unaware of how or when they help us, but we trust His word that they do. We do nothing because we don’t know they are there. In the case of the armor, we must do something- put it on and wield it.

Whatever portion or part of the armor you need today, wield it. I am wielding the shield of faith so as to extinguish the darts of the evil one. Barnes Notes explains beautifully why this one is the most important of the suit of armor:

“Faith here is made to occupy a more important place than either of the other Christian graces. It bears, to the whole Christian character, the same relation which the shield does to the other parts of the armor of a soldier. It protects all, and is indispensable to the security of all, as is the case with the shield. The shield was an ingenious device by which blows and arrows might be parried off, and the whole body defended. It could be made to protect the head, or the heart, or thrown behind to meet all attack there. As long as the soldier had his shield, he felt secure; and as long as a Christian has faith, he is safe. It comes to his aid in every attack that is made on him, no matter from what quarter; it is the defense and guardian of every other Christian grace; and it secures the protection which the Christian needs in the whole of the spiritual war.”

Look at the part of the verse which states we are fighting against the “cosmic powers.” Does that make you feel like a superhero? It should, partly! It is Christ in us who overcame and overcomes the cosmic powers, He is THE Superhero. But it is completely amazing that He uses us in the battle! Life on earth is really a long training session in Gladiator School, lol.

When He sends us out as sheep among wolves, He does not leave us alone! (Matthew 10:16). He does not save us just to leave us alone in the middle of the pasture with a pack of wolves out to get us. We are not alone. Oh, the wolves are there, and will try hard to devour the sheep, but those who endure and hold fast will be shown in the end to be the righteous ones. (Matthew 10:26). Meanwhile, we have armor, and help.

The passage above goes on with even more tremendous ammunition- prayer! Verse 18 reminds us of the power of prayer as we do our acts for God. Never feel like you’re ‘bugging God’ with too many petitions. We are told to do so. ‘Make supplication at all times in the Spirit’. Oh, wait, that was another very present help that’s listed in the passage! The Spirit! He is so gracious to send all these helps!

When you have the whole armor on, stand firm. After all, He sent His Son to retrieve us from the clutches of the evil one. He overcame so that we would not be snatched out of His hand. He sends squads of angels. He gives armor. He sent the Spirit to dwell in us. He gave us each other to encourage each other. He encourages prayer, listens, and answers. He sent His word to strengthen us and equip us. Wow!

He sent His grace, which is sufficient. His grace alone is sufficient to win the battle. Yet how much more abundantly does He equip us to withstand these present evil days!

Stand firm. Have faith. Love God and Fear His name. You will be all right 🙂

Posted in bible, spiritual armor

More about the Belt of Truth

We put on the full armor of God. If you read the whole passage in Ephesians 6, you will notice that all the weapons are defensive. It is all protective gear, not to be used in offense. I want to focus on the first thing Paul says to put on, the belt.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,” (Ephesians 6:13-14).

The Roman soldier’s belt was important. I can imagine with all the time Paul spent in prison that he had plenty of time to watch soldiers gear up. The belt was so important to a Roman soldier that it often had two buckles, or at least two places to be tied on. It was called a cingulum or a balteus. It performed several duties. First, it held the other pieces of armor in place. Cinched up tightly, the belt would hold fast the breastplate etc. Secondly, everything hung from the belt. Foremost, a soldier’s sword hung from it. He usually hung a length of rope, an empty bag to put loot in, his lunch. There were loops on the belt because everything hung from it. Everything.

Now, when Paul says, ‘put on the belt of truth,’ we tend to take for granted the most important question. What is the truth? What truth does he mean? Do you know?

Clarke’s Commentary gives the answer:

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth of God; unless this be known and conscientiously believed no man can enter the spiritual warfare with any advantage or prospect of success. By this alone we discover who our enemies are, and how they come on to attack us; and by this we know where our strength lies.”

Do you know what the Gospel is? Do you know? We toss around the term, but do we know the basics of what Paul said was the Gospel message? (Gospel means “Good News”).

1 Corinthians 15:1-5 has it:

“15:1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.  For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”

So we must know what we believe and why we believe it. We must be ready to make a stand and give a reply as to why we have this Good News, this eternal hope. 1 Peter 3:15 says “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”

Now, we have the basics down, the belt of truth and why we must cinch it tightly, what the truth is, why we believe it and why we must be ready to articulate it.

Now for the consequences of having a loose belt.

Too many people today study the bible a little and then coast. Or they think that is enough. Or they think that theology doesn’t matter. All wrong. It is dangerous to know but a little.

In Revelation 3:15-16 Jesus decries lukewarm Christians. ““I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Barnes Notes explains: “”That thou art neither cold nor hot – The word “cold” here would seem to denote the state where there was no pretension to religion; where everything was utterly lifeless and dead. The language is obviously figurative, but it is such as is often employed, when we speak of one as being cold toward another, as having a cold or icy heart, etc. The word “hot” would denote, of course, the opposite – warm and zealous in their love and service. The very words that we are constrained to use when speaking on this subject – such words as ardent (that is, hot or burning); fervid (that is, very hot, burning, boiling) – show how necessary it is to use such words, and how common it is. The state indicated here, therefore, would be that in which there was a profession of religion, but no warm-hearted piety; in which there was not, on the one hand, open and honest opposition to him, and, on the other, such warm-hearted and honest love as he had a right to look for among his professed friends; in which there was a profession of that religion which ought to warm the heart with love, and fill the soul with zeal in the cause of the Redeemer; but where the only result, in fact, was deadness and indifference to him and his cause. Among those who made no profession he had reason to expect nothing but coldness; among those who made a profession he had a right to expect the glow of a warm affection; but he found nothing but indifference.”

It is the Word that makes us hot. The more tightly you cling to it, the hotter you get. Constant study brings us truth which is constant revelation of Jesus which brings more constant love and zeal for Him. Lackadaisical study brings lukewarm Christians and lukewarm deeds and that is an indignation to Jesus.

When the serpent questioned Eve, she had an answer. And it was mostly right, too. But her belt of truth was a little too loose, some crud had gotten in under it. She added a little to the doctrine, and the serpent saw his opening. He went in for the kill. (Genesis 3:1-5).

The fall of man came after that. Now, if we mess up the ONE DOCTRINE that God had given at that time, what do you think satan can do with a people who play fast and loose with many of the doctrines that we have now?

You say, ‘well, I know enough. Satan won’t bother me.’ That is wrong too. Look how bold satan is. He tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4). In the second temptation, satan tempted Jesus by twisting the WORD OF GOD. He tempted the WORD with twisting the Word! What do you think he will do to you? Especially if he sees that you know just enough to be dangerous, complacent (Revelation 3:15), or studiously ignorant of the truth? (2 Timothy 3:7).

Of course, Jesus made an appropriate reply, and it should be a goal for all of us to be able to refute scripture twisting. Satan takes a little truth and wraps it in a big lie. Or he takes a little lie and wraps it in big truth. For example, back to the conversation satan had with Eve. “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”” (Genesis 3:2-5)

Satan was telling the truth, they would not surely die…physically. Satan was lying, they would surely die…spiritually. Satan was telling the truth, they would know good and evil. Satan was lying by omission…in not telling them what would happen after they knew good and evil (and he should know, shouldn’t he?). And all because her belt of truth was too loose. She knew just enough to be dangerous.

We must wrap the truth around us so tightly it is like a second skin.

We have to know our bibles well enough to detect lies and to sort out what is the truth. We can do that with the belt cinched tightly. If it is loose, then satan will come and insinuate himself between the truth and your body and you will lose.

Now, I am not saying we can know the bible as well as Jesus like when He replied to satan in the wilderness, of course! But we must be diligent to always study. If we know the truth well, when we hear something a little off, we will know it is a little off. We must have an active prayer life and be close enough to the Lord so that when we hear something that doesn’t sound quite right, we can appeal to the Spirit to lead us in the bible to where we can find the answer.

Cinch up, soldier! Put on the belt of truth and let us do what Paul urges even in himself:

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Eph 6:19-20)
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