Don’t be Fooled

Blog #57 May 3, 2023

Proverbs 1:11-14
1:11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause;
1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit;
1:13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil;
1:14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse;

There is a good reason why the sound of God's virtue needs to ring as clear as a bell in the world. Look to this passage from Proverbs and you will see the lust of the world at its best reaching out for those who are lost and alone. Groups and organizations that cater to the lust of man are everywhere. One would like to imagine humanity recognizes this threat enough to at least make these concerns illegal by civil law, but quite the opposite is true. Humanity is under siege by groups of people that live and promote a life of lust. Some of them claim Christ as their savior, and God as their judge. Brethren, grasp the full and insidious nature of the problem and realize that it is a very real threat that our covenant labor is designed to oppose. In God we have the wherewithal to accomplish the task that can redeem humanity, but we must choose to act or it will remain undone. God through Solomon warns of our need to be active, aware, and involved in offering His righteousness to the world.

Proverbs 24:11-12
24:11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
24:12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” a quote from a 1961 speech to the Canadian Parliament by then President John F. Kennedy 

The true danger we face is not Satan's lies. It is our failure to counter those lies with God's truth.
Alma 9:18-20 
9:18 And he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God, until they know them in full;
9:19 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word, until they know nothing concerning his mysteries;
9:20 And then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction.

The promises of the world tempt us with the ability to become rich, powerful, and comfortable. Not only do they promise us a prized place among the minions of earth, they guarantee it to be accomplished with very little work. Consider the original sin. 

Genesis 3:8-10 
3:8 And he(satan) said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden. And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.
3:9 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God
hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:10 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Satan began by disputing the word of God. He set out to convince Eve that God was a power hungry liar, and that she was equal to God in authority and superior to Him in potential. His lie sought to show Eve that she was just one little mouth full of fruit away from being God's equal. 

James 1:13-15
1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man;
1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Understand Eve's true sin. It was not the act of eating the fruit that convicted Eve. She was dead in sin before she ever opened her mouth to bite. She was full of rebellion before she ever met the serpent. She lusted in her heart for that which she felt she lacked and believed she needed and deserved. She was convinced that her personal desire superseded any limit God placed on her. She wanted to be equal to God in authority. God seeks that we grow to be one with Him in purpose through obedience to the mandates of truth and righteousness that He too follows. We open the gate, Satan just lights the path.

In the fourth chapter Luke is the account of Satan tempting Christ. 

Luke 4:1-2
4:1 And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
4:2 And after forty days, the devil came unto him, to tempt him. And in those days, he did eat nothing; and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

The path of temptation and the strength of Satan are revealed in these verses. It is a classic battle between good and evil that showcases the traps laid by the devil that oppose the security we enjoy because of the active presence of God and His ways in our life. Remember through all of this, Christ had fasted for forty days. The human in Him was famished and weak. The battle engaged will not be won by a brilliant repertoire of memorized Bible verses. Only by allowing the Spirit of God within to protect Him will Christ be saved.

Luke 4:3-4
4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Satan was attacking a starving man and taunting Him with His own God-given authorities. He had the ability to feed the 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, which was a God sanctioned act of charity. Could Satan tempt Christ to save His own body from starvation? Evidently..............No.

Luke 4:5-8
4:5 And the Spirit taketh him up into a high mountain, and he beheld all the kingdoms of the world, in a moment of time.
4:6 And the devil came unto him, and said unto him, All this power will I give unto thee, and the glory of them; for they are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give them.
4:7 If thou therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
4:8 Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Both lust and pride define the truth of the human condition. Satan sought to take advantage of this weakness. Did Christ the man lust for worldly riches and power? Remember both Christ and Satan knew that Satan had the authority to give unto Christ all that He was promised and God would not interfere. Did Christ care for the world of man more that He sought to bring about the Kingdom of God here on the earth? Evidently.............No.  

Luke 4:9-11
4:9 And the Spirit brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple. And the devil came unto him, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence;
4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee; and in his hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
4:11 And Jesus answering, said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Finally Satan sought to cause Christ to test His belief that God was actually His loving Father. Would God protect Him? Would God protect Christ from His own decision to be dashed on the rocks? Would God actually overrule Christ's own agency? We will never know for sure, but evidently.......................No.

Such is the way of all sin. It begins as a seed of doubt planted and grows to become an obsession fueled by pride and ambition. It challenges the trust and assurance we have in the ways of God. It convinces us that the love God has for His child is no more than a deceitful burden. It is particularly insidious in that it seeks to assure us that the temporal trappings of this world are more valuable than the spiritual blessings of our willing obedience to the purpose of our covenant and our labor with God.  

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 
10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh;
10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)
10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

This is our labor brothers and sister. Understand the powers we fight. Look once again at this passage from Proverbs with new knowledge and grow in your own understanding.

Proverbs 1:10-14
1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
1:11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause;
1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit;
1:13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil;
1:14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse;

We are promised riches. We are promised a home filled with all manner of precious things and we are promised a place among others of the same spirit. We are promised brethren. We are promised fellowship. We are promised a rich society in which to carry out our rich lives. Do these promises ring a bell? Are they familiar to you?

DC 80:1h and if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father. 

These are the promises of God. Understand the way temptation and the lies of the adversary work. They seek to mimic the truth of God and purposely leaves out key aspects by implying that they are not necessary or worse, they are false. We are promised the very best that this world can offer, but brothers and sisters understand this world is terminal. It is due to go away and with it any of the riches we have accumulated. Satan knows this and he plays on the hearts of ignorant. All that he offers us is possible and doable and it can most likely happen as Satan promises; but it is also of this earth and in that both temporal and temporary. 

Galatians 6:7-8 
6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

DC 6:3b-3c
6:3b seek not for riches but for wisdom; and, behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich.
6:3c Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.

If we have nothing else to direct us save the ability to discern true worth, we should choose those things of eternal value. All that temptation offers us within the view of eternity is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Proverbs 1:15-19
1:15 My son walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path;
1:16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
1:17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
1:18 And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
1:19 So are the ways of everyone that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. 

God admonishes us to walk away from those who seek worldly gain by preying on the weak and ignorant. When we refuse God and make this worldly lifestyle our own, it possesses us and we will not escape. The example of verse 17 tells of the misconception of spreading the net within the sight of the bird. One would assume that the bird is smart enough to see the trap and avoid it, but not so. The bird is so intent on the grain in the midst of the trap that no danger whether real or imagined can or will deter the bird from going after the seed. And it will be lost. Such is humanity is the grip of the lies of the devil. Always remember who we are dealing with.

Genesis 3:5 Yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive, and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

God recognizes the danger of this corruption and we should, too. Even as children of God we can be tempted in just this way. We see it everywhere and should recognize it for what it is. It is as dramatic as the social rebellion present in every part of our society and as ordinary as that congregation that refuses the revelation of God to grow and become Christ's Church and God's Kingdom. Instead, it seeks to depend on traditions and rituals that limit their spiritual growth, wait for Christ to return, and magically transform them into the Kingdom of God. We must be vigilant in recognizing this compulsion to leave behind the diligent ways of virtue. We need to grow in our ability to recognize and identify corruption in its purest form. We have in our hearts the tools, the ability, and the wherewithal to save humanity from sure death and eternal misery. But we must choose to use them or all is for naught.

Look to God 
In Him is the light


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