Avoid The Crafty And Deceptive

Do not be afraid of wicked men of this world. Their time is coming, and the Lord will judge them. But do not be fooled into thinking they are only the people out in the mainstream of power, influence, and the secular world. On the contrary, in this day and age, they are right in the middle of churches. Even voted into the seats of authority, behind the pulpit, and at the helm of many Christian organizations and charities.

Beware of them. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and led by the spirit of the devil seeking to deceive, lie, kill, and pull away many from the actual knowledge of God. Some may be unknowingly plotting along the path of destruction, but God knows who is trustworthy. Regardless, they will have no excuse because of the conscience He gave them.

“Beware of false prophets(teachers), who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20

Some still walk in righteousness, humility, and an upright heart led by the Spirit of God. But many have turned to their own desire. They have turned to entertainment, intellectualism, doctrine, theology, and following the teachings of man. Their true motive is to build themselves up, stepping on the backs of the small to ensure everyone can see how high and mighty they are. But remember this saying, and take it to heart, “the bigger they are, the harder they will fall.” 

Be careful not to follow their ways. They have become tainted by their sinful desires. Their fruits are the opposite of the fruits of the Spirit. They demonstrate boastful, arrogant, and ill-intentioned hearts. They have puffed themselves up instead of becoming a humble servant. They seek their own gain with selfish ambition and a haughty spirit to be a ruler over the flock. They desire to be a leader in the Church with a worldly kind of authority. The most important characteristics of a leader are love, patience, mercy, and a servant’s heart.

Pray to the Lord that He may give you eyes to see and ears to hear, steering you clear from them. They are crafty and sound good to the untrained ear. But they use some truth mixed with lies, which produces nothing but lies. So, unfortunately, they deceive multitudes, not sparing any they can get their hands on.

You will learn how to decern truth from falsehood when you study for yourself the Word of God. So then, when you seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit, He will teach what is true in all things, and you will not be led astray by the smooth words of the false prophet.

I know that after my departure, fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years, I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. Acts 20:29-31

Listen to the warning Jude gives and keep a sharp eye out for those who do not follow the word and ways of Jesus Christ. Those who are not humble and who do not promote godliness are working for the other team.

But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.

These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. Jude 1:10-13

I tell you, there will be a great punishment for those men and women who claim to follow God and yet are vile in heart, mind, and soul. Especially those who led His little ones into sin.

And He(Jesus) said to His disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, Luke 17:1-3

There will come a day when the Lord Jesus Christ will make all things new, and the wicked and arrogant will be no more. Instead, the righteous will become wise, hear, and understand what is right, holy, and true. On that day, all things will be made right in the eyes of the Lord.

But until that day, be watchful, careful, and sober-minded. Ask the Lord to reveal the snakes and the wolves so you may avoid being trapped by their smooth and crafty speech. So you can escape their grasp, rebuke them, and warn others that they may not fall into the hands of the devil.

For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things, he stands. Isaiah 32:6-8

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