Satan is almost constantly bombarding us in our mind with thoughts that are contrary to the Bible.
Jn 8:48-Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
Jn 7:27-Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.
Jn 7:40, 41-Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
Jn 7:52-They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
These are just 4 examples of Satan speaking to people, and they believed Satan’s lying thoughts in their mind.
Throughout our life, these wrong thoughts will bombard us. We have to make a decision whether to believe these lies of Satan or to believe God’s Word.
In the case of Christians, the Lord gives them the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to correct them and to guide them in the ways of righteousness. If a Christian becomes deceived and fails to follow the leading of His Word and His Spirit (which are always in harmony), the Lord has also ordained pastors and elders to watch over His flock, to guide and correct them with His Word. It is written, Heb 13:17-Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
You do not give an account of your minister at the Judgment. He does give an account of you. If your minister asks you to witness to a person, but you have a thought otherwise, so you disobey—you are in sin and rebellion against God.
If your minister asks you to clean the sink in the church, but you have a thought otherwise, so you refuse—you are in rebellion against God.
If your boss at work tells you to put cans on the shelf, even though you think you have already done that, if you refuse—you may be fired. Employees that will not obey their boss can cause confusion and chaos in a business.
Likewise no church can operate with people that will not obey the one that God has put in charge. A house divided against itself shall not stand. It is written, Likewise, ye younger,submit yourselves unto the elder, Yea, all or you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
A standard thought Satan puts into the thoughts of unbelievers and carnal or worldly Christians is this: Your minister is wrong because. The carnal person does not recognize Satan’s voice of deception and rebellion, because they are worldly-minded. They are a first or second grade Christian, but their minister can recognize it usually immediately. When Satan speaks to a person in their mind, usually they never recognize it. That is why Satan is able to deceive the whole world-Rev 12.
Following is another example of how Satan makes us think we are right, when we are really wrong.
1 Sam 15:3-Samuel commanded Saul: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. However Saul only obeyed part of this command, for he did not destroy all as he was commanded to, as Satan put in his mind to disobey.
Note how Satan put lying thoughts in Saul’s mind. 20-And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1 Sam 15:21-But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
Jn 14:15-If ye love me, keep my commandments.
A minister may tell his flock to be baptized, as Jesus indeed also did. But then many will have thoughts from the devil, not to do so—because. The reasons Satan puts in a person’s mind could fill a book. Satan may tell the person, you have no need of baptism as you was baptized when you were an infant, or you were sprinkled, or you have already been baptized 3 times. The list can be almost endless.
Life is a test to see to what degree a person will obey the Scriptures, including obeying their minister as God speaks through him. Does God have to explain His reasons for doing things to man? No, He simply expects His people to obey, as His ways are higher than our ways.
Ezek 33:1-33-Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
To put it simply—when a sinner repents, trusts in Jesus, and gets baptized, he comes out into the newness of life. All his sins are washed away, by faith in the shed blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
But if he never truly repented or did not have genuine faith, at the time, then no transformation took place. He is still in the flesh.
But if the repentant sinner did trust in Jesus and obeyed God in baptism, his sins are forgiven and gone, but if he turns back into willful sin, all his righteousness is equally gone and forgotten. But if he can repent again, trust in Christ, and obey God in baptism, all his unrighteousness which he had done is gone, washed away by the blood of the Lamb.
Luke 7:29,30-And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel (or Word) of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Luke 7:29,30 NIV-(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)
To refuse baptism because you are not repenting is right. To refuse baptism, if you are repenting, is to not repent. As it is written, The Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God…They rejected the counsel or Word of God against themselves.
Again, a baby or carnal Christian is just beginning to learn what is right and wrong. This is why God places over them someone to help guide them in His ways. It is written, Heb 13:17-Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Your pastor may not always explain to everyone in his congregation why he makes certain decisions, but if it is in line with God’s Word and he asks you to do something, you should obey it as unto the Lord.
Will you have thoughts from the devil to disobey God’s Word and your minister? Of course, you will. Life is a test to see if you will obey Satan’s voice or God’s Word, which often comes to you through your pastor.
Yes, you will hear Satan’s voice loud and clear in your mind, perhaps saying, “I just don’t see it your way. I just don’t believe my pastor is right. I think he’s wrong. I know more than he does. He doesn’t understand me or my situation. He just doesn’t understand.”
Hell is full of people like Saul.
It is written, IF YE LOVE ME KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. It is further written, OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOUL.
To OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE.
To disobey your pastor or minister that is trying to correct you and lead you in the paths of righteousness is to disobey God. Most churches are filled these days with the disobedient, mixed in with some believers. This is not the way it was meant to be.
For the disobedient are rejected by God, and therefore have no part in the church, unless they repent.
If you question and contend and strive with your minister now, you would also do the same in heaven, for that is what the fallen angels did with God. They followed Satan and were cast out.
It is written:
1 Cor 5:6,7-Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out (or get rid of) therefore the old leaven…
Gal 5:7-9-…Who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. (In other words, your disobedience did not come from God, it comes from the devil.) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (In other words, a little disobedience from someone can spread throughout the whole flock.) A disobedient Christian does not belong among the flock of God. A wolf does not belong in a herd of sheep, lest it destroys some of them.
THE THREE PEOPLE
A dishonest heart cannot admit it is dishonest. A lying heart cannot admit it is a lying heart, because it lies to itself.
Acts 17:31,32,34-Paul preached. He said, regarding God—
HE HATH APPOINTED A DAY, IN THE WHICH HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS BY THAT MAN WHOM HE HATH ORDAINED; WHEREOF HE HATH GIVEN ASSURANCE UNTO ALL MEN, IN THAT HE HATH RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. AND WHEN THEY HEARD OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD,
Now note the three groups that heard God’s Word.
AND OTHERS SAID, WE WILL HEAR THEE AGAIN OF THIS MATTER.
HOWBEIT CERTAIN MEN CLAVE UNTO HIM, AND BELIEVED.
All of them heard the same Word of God, yet some reacted differently than others.
So it is today, when you and the world hear the words of the living God.
Which group are you in?
When God’s Word comes forth, do you hear it, but then think it does not apply to you, thus you disregard it?
Or do you hear it and just think about it, but no change takes place in your life?
Or do you hear God’s Word and immediately believe it, and it changes you, because you repent?
Self-centeredness and a dishonest heart can take you to the lake of fire.
Thoughts that fill your mind and contradict the Bible can take you to the place of eternal torment.
It is written, Ja 1:21,22-HUMBLY ACCEPT THE WORD PLANTED IN YOU, WHICH CAN SAVE YOU. DO NOT MERELY LISTEN TO THE WORD, AND SO DECEIVE YOURSELVES. DO WHAT IT SAYS (NIV).
23-ANYONE WHO LISTENS TO THE WORD BUT DOES NOT DO WHAT IT SAYS, deceives himself.
Some people will not die to themselves. They just will not do it. They will not allow God’s Word to change the way they are. So tomorrow they are the same way they are today. Their thinking continues to be wrong. What they do continues to be wrong. They do not walk by faith. They walk only by sight.
Their desires are centered on what they want to do, not what God wants them to do.
They just cannot trust that God will provide for them, if they will serve Him. They just cannot believe God’s Word as it is written. They need to see worldly evidence or worldly proof that God will provide for them. His Word and promises are not enough for them, because the thoughts in their heart say they have to provide for themselves Thus, they refuse to walk by trusting in God. They must see the evidence God will provide for them first. They cannot understand that we are to walk by faith, not by sight.
Then there are those that want to do their own will. Their own desires are more important to them than what God wants them to do. Perhaps they just want to do certain things or experience certain things, so God’s will for them takes a backseat to their own will. They will not deny themselves and obey God in all things.
It is like they are in a fog, regarding God’s Word. They hear God’s Word, they sort of believe God’s Word, and they sometimes try to obey God’s Word, but they are not broken. They want heaven, but they also want certain things in this life.
There are some people that are so deceived that they might say, Yes Lord, I want You, but I am not ready to totally commit to You, because I want to do something else first. Such people may get what they want now, but they will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
It is a good thing to greatly fear the Lord, yet only a few will do this, because they deceive themselves and believe they can do what they want.
A person needs to understand in their heart, they are a sinner and that because of their sin they are already under condemnation and headed toward eternal separation from God.
But God came to this earth in human form and shed His blood on the cross. He died a horrible death to pay the penalty for our sins. If a person will believe He died for their sins, and repent, and trust God,
and fear God,
and obey the Gospel,
and serve Him in accordance with God’s Word, then they will forever be with the Lord, with eternal joy and will receive rewards beyond anything the human mind can imagine.
Do you understand that when you say a sinner’s prayer, you promise to serve and obey God?
Now, if you will not obey your promise, if you will not trust in Jesus Christ for all things, if you will not walk by faith, then you have broken your word, and you are a liar. You are dishonest. You are self-centered. You do not fear God as you ought. Your own desires are more important to you than His desires for you.
Such a person is not a child of God. They deceive themselves.
If a person begins serving God, but then shrinks back and does not repent, they will surely perish. For it is written:
Heb 10:38-39-NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH:
BUT IF ANY MAN DRAW BACK, MY SOUL SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
BUT WE ARE NOT OF THEM WHO DRAW BACK UNTO PERDITION (or hell, or eternal damnation); BUT OF THEM THAT BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL.
The evidence that you believe and obey the Gospel is not in your words so much as it is in what you do.
If the weight of your sins is so heavy upon you that you cannot bear it, then Jesus is the answer.
If the weight of your sins and your self-centeredness is not so heavy or is just a little, then your love for Jesus will be little. For it is written, Luke 7:47-WHEREFORE I SAY UNTO THEE, HER SINS, WHICH ARE MANY, ARE FORGIVEN; FOR SHE LOVED MUCH: BUT TO WHOM LITTLE IS FORGIVEN, THE SAME LOVETH LITTLE.
Behind a dominant personality is self-centeredness. Behind self-centeredness is pride. Self-centeredness says I am important. I want people to look up to me. I am needed. People need me. I am the center of my own universe.
Bottom line: behind a dominant personality is pride, and God resists the proud. God resists self-centered people. God resists those that put their will before God’s will.
Only those few, those very few that deny themselves, deny what they want and pick up their cross, and follow Jesus daily, as He commands—
Only those very few will reign and rule with Him for eternity.
All the others that thought they should do their own will, that thought they should should serve the world, because God will not provide for them as He promised—
these shall perish to the lake of fire, because they would not believe God’s Word neither would they walk by faith. They only understood how to walk by what they could see.
If a person cannot trust in God to provide for them as they follow Him, neither can a person really trust in God to give them eternal life through the forgiveness of their sins.
So how can we tell a person believes God’s Word? Here is the answer. The Word works in them and changes them. Their thinking changes. The spirit of their thoughts or mind changes. Love replaces anger. Love replaces contention. Humility replaces pride. Brokenness replaces self-centeredness. Peace of mind replaces being uptight. Trust in God replaces trusting in yourself.
It is written, Heb 4:1-2-LET US THEREFORE FEAR, LEST, A PROMISE BEING LEFT US OF ENTERING INTO HIS REST, ANY OF YOU SHOULD SEEM TO COME SHORT OF IT. FOR UNTO US WAS THE GOSPEL PREACHED, AS WELL AS UNTO THEM: BUT THE WORD PREACHED DID NOT PROFIT THEM, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH IN THEM THAT HEARD IT. God’s Word is of no profit to you, if you will not trust in Him to provide for you. God’s Word is of no profit to you, if you do not believe He will keep His Word.
Does the Word of God go in your one ear and out the other, or does it take root and change you?
Is God’s Word the living Word to you, or only words in a book that have little effect in changing you?