Lying Deceptions: We Must Avoid Them
By Billie Marie Zal
When I am puzzled in spirit I go to God and ask Him to give me the answers. There is so much confusion in today’s world, both Christian and otherwise. On the one hand, we hear preachers telling of great victories and claiming to “win the whole world for Christ,” and on the other hand, we flip the dial of the TV and see a rock concert where kids are openly giving the sign of satan worship to the camera’s eye. The rock concerts appear to far outnumber in crowds the healing and revival campaigns, and we wonder where it will all end.
I am convinced in my spirit that somewhere along the way something happened to divert the Body of Christ from “Paul’s Gospel.”
First of all, satan has effectively convinced the Church that there is virtue in wealth and numbers. I recently heard a well respected man torturing the Scriptures in order to prove that Jesus was not poor. It broke my heart. He claimed that Jesus owned His own house, that the disciples had a bank account (the money bag), and that even the prophets of old were never poor.
I am wondering if anyone out there really knows the Word of God? I thought of picking up the phone and calling in protest, but what good would it do? The prayer partners are there only to pray with you and to get your name and address. Criticism is not tolerated; if we dare raise a voice of disagreement we are called “heretic hunters.” I don’t mind being called names, but the Bible does say that “he that rebukes a wicked man getteth himself a blot” (Proverbs 9:7).
Anyhow, nowhere in the Word of God does it say that Jesus owned His own home. The minister used the verses in John, Chapter 1, verses 38 and 39, to “prove” that Jesus owned His own home. But if we understand the Spirit of the Word we cannot be convinced that the man’s word is true.
When Simon Peter and Andrew began to follow Jesus, they asked Him the question, “Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest thou?” And Jesus replied, “Come and see.” Then we read that they did go and see an abode with Him that day.
Now if we truly KNOW Jesus Christ and are acquainted with His life, we will immediately understand this Word. In Luke the entire message of the Beatitudes emphasizes the reality of the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:20-26).
Since our Lord cannot lie, the underlying meaning of this message is that as His disciples we cannot have it all now and receive rewards in Eternity. Therefore, when He showed the disciples “where He dwelt” we can assume that it was probably a cave. Who else wanted Him? As is His way, He let these men choose for themselves whether they would follow Him in His poverty and share His poverty with Him, or go their way. Praise God, they chose to stay!
Already the shadow of the Cross cast its shadow across this little band of believers. But they followed Him anyhow. And since the Word of God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we must, in our lifetime, follow Him in His poverty and embrace His cross. There can be no other way.
Going on then to the next error in teaching: The prophets were not poor. I suspect that many of them were poor. Elijah had to flee for his life and was fed by ravens until the brook dried up. Jeremiah was hunted down, despised, and forsaken by the very people to whom God had sent him. Prophets were to be supported by God’s provision to others. But hireling prophets came in, told the people what they wanted to hear, and the true prophets were left destitute.
John the Baptist ate locusts and honey. And eventually he was beheaded for speaking the Truth. Elisha was sent of God to proclaim God’s displeasure and coming judgment. It would seem that he had “no certain dwelling place” because a “great woman in Shunem” gave him a place to stay in her home. She and her husband “made him a little chamber with walls and set in it a bed, a table, a stool and a lamp stand.” In today’s religious society we are told that we “deserve the best because we are the King’s kids.” But Elisha was so thankful for her kindness that he later raised her child from the dead.
When God eventually gave some men wealth, they had been through a spiritual history that prepared them for it. Human nature simply must be dealt with or wealth changes us. Even Soloman, the wisest of men, was overcome by all the riches that were poured out in the kingdom and he ended up marrying women who worshipped heathen gods that demanded child sacrifices! He simply went too far, and in the end he suffered the loss of God’s fellowship.
I am thankful for the few who do not succumb to the power of wealth and numbers. The man who spoke the night I was born of God’s Spirit was a millionaire. But he spoke with the simplicity of a child, and the hand of the Lord was upon him. Later on, I discovered that he gave most of his wealth away to help others. He kept enough for himself and his family to live well, but he dedicated his life, including his possessions, to the Lord Jesus Christ. I wish that I could tell him today the impact that he made on my life, and the thousands of souls he has touched through my life just because of that one simple sermon that he preached on a snowy Chicago night at Moody Church. It was called “Being a fool for Christ.” And I never forgot it.
One more emphasis being put forth today by ministers and evangelists is the fact that “we don’t have to be sick.” God never lets anyone be sick, they say. But again, do you know the Word? Job was almost consumed by a horrible skin affliction and by the time God got through with him he was transformed. He put his “hand upon his mouth” and said that “NOW I SEE GOD. . ." His self righteousness (though he was a Godly man) had kept him from perfect communion with the Lord.
Then there was the blind man whom Jesus healed. When people asked Him, did this man sin, or did his parents sin? Jesus answered, “He was blind for the glory of God.” This truth is repudiated daily. But it is Truth nevertheless. While it is true that in God’s perfect plan for mankind there should be no sickness, the Adamic nature is in us. And sickness is a part of our heritage as human beings. I heard a minister say the other day that no one ever has to be sick. I don’t agree. And I wonder how that makes some dear lover of the Lord feel who is ill or confined to a wheelchair. We as a Church are in danger of being taken in by the great deception which Jesus warned us of as the sign of the end of the age.
Last of all, there is this undue emphasis on the Church “making our nation moral again.” God didn’t call the Church to make the nation moral. The Church is a Heavenly Body, in union with her Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God the Father.
In other words, we are an “other worldly people.” In fact, the Word says we are a “peculiar people.” I don’t believe that Jesus Christ ever attacked the nation and its laws. He walked among men and was Truth and Light. Those who were looking for Him found Him. He did not bother to get into political arguments. There is no time for that. We, as members of His Body, are “the salt of the earth.” Our lives should so reflect His love that people will just be aware of us as a quickening influence.
I never got on my bandwagon, politically speaking. I hate abortion. Of course it is murder. I hate racism. It is abhorrent to the God of ALL creation and was never intended to be. I hate injustices but injustice will be with us till the end comes. Why bother to argue when people have already made up their minds and nothing short of the grace of God will change them.
I was offended in spirit recently when a TV preacher shouted out nasty remarks about one of our U.S. Senators, and he even named him by name over national religious broadcasting. The worst Jesus ever said about an official was when He called Herod a “fox.” But Jesus DID speak harshly to those religious leaders, the Pharisees, who considered themselves to be the pillars of the Truth and holier than other Jews. He told us that we are to pray for our leaders and lift them up to God. But we are not to get deeply involved in political issues because we are called to be a light unto the world, as Jesus Himself was a Light unto the world. Activism and the Beatitudes do not go together, ever.
I have spoken with young women who aborted their babies. They came to me - one was so remorseful about what she had done, that she was considering suicide. God gave me wisdom and she left, free from guilt and washed in the blood of the Lamb. Abortion is with us and we can pray and be ready to help anyone who needs help. But to become an activist cannot be God’s will. Again, read the Beatitudes. We are to live them, if we want to be well pleasing to the Father.
We are living in a dangerous time, the end time. It is imperative that we “ready ourselves for the Rapture” and clean house in our lives. Jesus is going to give out rewards not so much for what we do, but for WHAT WE ARE! Let’s avoid spiritual deception, pray for those who stand on the brink of it, and wait for certain GLORY!!!
(From the November, 1992 Wingspread)
The newsletter is going to be a little late this month. As you all may know by now we were hit by a very bad ice storm. They say it is the worst in Arkansas’ history, and I know it’s the worst in our history.
Very old, large trees are down everywhere. Most of the damage is down at Brian and Gail’s house. There are trees down on most all of the kennel houses and roofs, and the carport was completely demolished by an huge Elm tree that also took out part of the main kennel roof, and did damage to the basement stove pipe. A large tree limb also went thru the roof of Brian and Gail’s house which was like a punctuation statement from the devil himself. Power and other utility lines are still down everywhere, however we did get electricity back over the weekend. Rodney and I had electricity on Saturday, but it was late Sunday when everyone else on the mountain got electricity restored, just after we had bought a generator to power the kennels.
For several days trees were snapping off around us with the sound of a rifle shot followed by a big crash. The ice laden branches were falling with a crashing also. Big, old beautiful trees everywhere are peeled at the top like bananas. It looks like a war zone. Some of our dogs were shacking with fear, and our little cat, Precious hid out for four days until the ice melted.
Rodney and Walnut have been out with chainsaws and they cleared paths down the hill and in the driveway so that we can care for the dogs and get to the cars. Gail’s car was hit by falling limbs, and so was Jay’s truck. It was four or five days before the driveway was cleared to where we could get the vehicles out.
It will be months before this is cleaned up and things are rebuilt. Someone from our insurance company was out to look at the damage this morning. They will be back, and we’re hoping that we’re compensated enough to cover everything. It’s going to cost tens’ of thousands of dollars, though, and a lot of the expense will be getting the trees off of the buildings. It’s hard to paint a picture, or capture it in a photograph, the total devastation, yet in the midst of it all we are so thankful that our homes were spared, for the most part, and no one was hurt.
Gail and I stood looking at the trees as the sun hit the ice covered branches the other day. It is a beauty that is like an out of the world experience. She said, “No one but a Christian would appreciate this after having lost so much.” And that’s true. Satan tried to take the property thru the IRS and he failed. He tried to injure Brian to the point where he couldn’t work, and he succeeded only for a short while. This is the result of his fury. But, God allowed it, and there is a reason for it, which we may or may not come to know.
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I have been concerned lately with how many people I talk to, or who write to us, who honestly think that they are Christians. Or they think that because this life here on earth has been tough, and they have done the best that they knew to do, that God most certainly will accept them into Heaven.
The devil (the one a lot of people don’t believe in) has many ways of attacking people. In this
Generation I think he has lulled some people into a sleep, spiritually speaking. And he has seen to it that a person is judged by his behavior only. Does he go to church? Is he a good family oriented person? What about his works? Is he not a drunk or abuser? Is he kind and friendly, etc.
But this is so important. I can’t impress upon you enough with how important it is. Your eternal life hinges on these truths. Jesus said “you must be born again (from above) (John 3:3). Where did the idea come from that all you have to do is recite the “sinner’s prayer” or testify to your belief in Jesus? That is not biblical. The devil doesn’t care if you believe. He does, too. He spoke to Jesus during the 40 days that our Lord was tested in the wilderness. And he knew that Jesus was the Son of God.
I’d like to share with you what George Williams wrote in his Commentary on John 3: 3-21:
“Christ at once raised the moral question with Nicodemus. He immediately stopped a religious discussion by telling this most religious man and profound believer that he was so sinful, so hopelessly corrupt and fallen, as to be incapable of reformation, and so darkened morally that he could neither recognize nor experience spiritual phenomena unless born from above. This fundamental truth is obnoxious to man, for it humbles him.”
We need a wake up call. We need to know that we need help spiritually or we are lost. Sometimes God lets us hit rock bottom, and often that’s the best thing that can happen to us. Our very best efforts will not ever be enough to save us and redeem our soul.
God had a wonderful plan for humanity. We were all to be like a Son, with a birthright and inheritance beyond anything we can imagine. But by one man’s sin (Adam) all humanity lost their inheritance and place in God’s family.
How the “new birth” happens is beyond me to explain. I believe it is different for every person and a very personal experience with each one of us. Billie often talked of that night in Chicago at the Moody Church when she was changed, never to be the same. Most of us do not have a date for our salvation, but it’s got to do with knowing you need God, and a faith in Christ that grows and grows, and having no excuses for who you are and what you have done.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world THROUGH Him might be saved. It’s all done by Christ. Pray that your faith may increase. All eternity is at stake.
“Eternity hangs by the integrity of God.”
- Dr. Gene Scott
“Forever, Oh Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.”
- The Holy Bible - Psalm 119:89
Prayer Requests for February, 2009:
For Marlin Resinger, McAlester, Oklahoma, who is trying to get an interstate transfer to Arkansas to be near his family.
For Willie Harper at Joliet, Illinois, who is recovering from stomach cancer.
For Robert Heffernan, Grady, Arkansas, that he’ll get use to the new forearm crutches and that he’ll be able to walk on his own soon.
For Robert Ross at Helena, Oklahoma, and for his family, that they will grow to know Jesus.
For Ira Jo Jones and everyone at the Robertson unit at Abilene, Texas.
For Ed Ewing, Tulare, California, who has diabetes and problems with his legs and feet.
For Frank Williams, Jr., Death Row, Grady, Arkansas, that the courts will rule in his favor.
For Sister Ann & all the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock. Four of the nuns are very ill and this has put more work on Sister Ann. Pray for their strength and health.
For Pastor Scott & her ministry in Los Angeles, where the word of God is still going out to the world at http://www.drgenescott.org.
For James Devers at Helena, Oklahoma, for his health. He is having pain in his lower back and leg.
For Anthony Grayson, Fallsburg, New York, who is working on a new appeal.
For Ed Ewing, Tulare, California, who is 87 years old and having complications caused by diabetes.
For Cleveland Cook at Florence, Arizona, who has Hepatitis C, that the chemo he is taking will work.
For Freddie Lee Lott, Galesburg, Illinois, that his cancer stays in remission.
For Willie Scott, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, for his health and that he’ll remain cancer free.
For all of us at Wingspread as we recover, clean up, and rebuild from the ice storm.
Eddie is getting physical therapy a couple of times a week and is doing much better. And Brian is starting to put weight on his broken leg (“healing leg”) again.
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