Bible Top 1000

Not Just "The World"
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This existing present "fatal delusion" is not confined to "the world." It has also overrun and largely swallowed up what is called "the church." Religion is Satan's greatest tool to deceive...since it is supposed to be a source of spiritual enlightenment. He has, however, used it as "a spiritual trap" leading to death.

Jesus pictured this in Matthew 7:13-29 where He spoke of two gates and two ways. The thing we need to realize about these two gates and ways is: that both are presented to men as ways to heaven. Those entering the wide gate do so in the belief that heaven awaits them at the end of that way. They're shocked to discover that they' re rejected (verse 23) in spite of their "many wonderful works" which they believe are done in Jesus' name.

"Many" travel that way; "few" the one that truly leads to life. Most religion that appears to be "Christian" is actually a fantasy in which people find out "too late" that they're bound for hell. Their "table," that which should be a source of spiritual nourishment, is actually a snare and a trap (Psa. 69:22). See also Isaiah 28:7-8.

In the midst of all of this darkness, God has a remnant! Although they may at present lie scattered abroad throughout the systems of men, wearing many religious brands, they alone, by the grace of a Sovereign God, are capable of hearing the voice of the Son of God and escaping this present darkness. He has reserved them to Himself as He did in Elijah's day. Rom. 11:2-5.

Rev. 12:15-16 pictures symbolically what is taking place: "the serpent" (Satan and all his evil host) "cast out of his mouth water" (the communication of his spirit, primarily through doctrines and ideas) "as a flood" (a lot of them!) "after the woman" (his primary target is God's people) "that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth" (the world of natural men incapable of spiritual understanding) "helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood" (received Satan's lies) "which the dragon cast out of his mouth."

When we see large numbers of lost religious people drinking up doctrines and ideas, a spiritual alarm should be sounding in our hearts. Satan's whole approach to man is to appeal in some way to his natural desires and appetites. The word of God, the preaching of the cross, comes not to cater to our natural desires, but to deliver us from them, that He might transform us and fit us for "new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteouness..." (II Peter 3:13).

Christ, the Finisher

We see Jesus as the author of our faith, but let's never forget that He's also the finisher as well. He has all of the resources of heaven at His disposal to finish what He has started!

Is it any wonder that Paul said, in Phil. 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

See how Paul encouraged Timothy in II Tim. 1:7-12: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

Let's go back to Romans 8:28. The "all things" Paul spoke of "work together for good," that is, the end result is "good." This "good" is defined for us in verse 29: "to be conformed to the image of his son." The child of this world has no power to appreciate this. He lives for self and pleasing the flesh. Christ came to deliver us from self and the sin (lack of divine strength) that reigns in our flesh.

In Us!

So was the gift of the Holy Ghost. In John 7:37-39 we read, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" Notice the clear connection between the giving of the Holy Ghost and Jesus being glorified.

Through Isaiah the Lord prophesied, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:3.

Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4:14 and said, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

In John 14:17 where Jesus spoke of the Spirit of Truth to the disciples he said, "... he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Notice the distinction! During the years in which the disciples walked with Jesus, God's Spirit was with them, overshadowing, setting them apart, and, as the need arose, even anointing them to perform miracles. Yet, at this point, the Spirit did not live in them. They were natural men, chosen, overshadowed and helped by God's Spirit in preparation for what was to come. Ezekiel had prophesied, "... I will put my Spirit within you ...." Ez. 36:26.