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Posts Tagged ‘guile’


KJV and NKJV Scripture:

– But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 11:3

– The Scriptures were not given to us to confuse us – but to instruct us.  Certainly God intends that we should believe His Word with all simplicity. – M.R. DeHaan

The word simplicity means easy to understand.  It is something comprehensible and not complicated; plain and not perplexing.  Even if it is a detailed process requiring expounding, a simplistic approach makes it much easier to keep things in correct order.  Spiritual simplicity is an existence free from guile or deceit.

Conversely, subtlety is difficulty in understanding, or making elusive or hard to detect.  It is employing deceit to subvert and achieve goals.  One intent of subtlety is to corrupt a process undetected as long as possible.  If someone finally does notice, it’s often too late to reverse or repair the damage already done.

The teachings of Jesus are always correct – but the teachings of the devil are always corrupt.  Satan is the deceiver of this world, the night and day accuser of man (Revelation 12:9-10), and the master of all confusion and illusion.  There is no truth in him (John 8:44), but he can make his lies seem very believable.

Christ’s yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30).  The devil’s yoke yanks Christians around in dozens of directions daily, often duping them into thinking every new fad or doctrine in the church is the proper one to follow. For a while at least, until they find out it all did not satisfy their spirit as advertised (Proverbs 27:20).

Still, Satan remains subtle but pernicious (2 Peter 2:2), a seductive and persistent presence.  Roaring around the world he is the prince of (John 14:30) – as a spiritual lion who does not sleep, seeking souls to devour.  Steadfast Christians in faith are not exempt from his devices (1 Peter 5:8-9, 2 Corinthians 2:11).

Believers who mind earthly matters (Philippians 3:19) and remain entangled in life’s affairs (2 Timothy 2:4), stay ensnared by Satan’s lies, blinding their minds in unbelief from ever seeing the simplicity of truth (2 Corinthians 4:4).  The devil isn’t alone.  He has angels of light and right to help (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Unstable, wavering, and straying Christians walk in the err of confusion with God (Ephesians 4:14, James 1:6-8,16, 2 Peter 3:17).  They remain influenced by Satan.  If they turn aside after him (1 Timothy 5:15), they are now unbelievers who’ve departed God, and often see Scripture as contradictory and inconsistent.

These fall prey to itching ears and unsound doctrine. Turning from the truth and swerving to words making it sound as if God should be serving them (2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 Timothy 1:6-7, Luke 17:7-10).  They also pervert certain passages or verses just so they can justify living in the world much like they always have.

Never realizing Satan or one of his ministers could be preaching from the pulpit (Ephesians 6:12) or sitting in their pews (Revelation 2:13).  So, they continue on in disobedience and unbelief (1 Corinthians 14:33, 1 Peter 2:6-8).  Unsure of what God’s plan is for their life, and frequently doubting if there really is one.

So, they hatch their own plans, and do what is right in their own eyes (Proverbs 14:12).  Making things up to do in their mind (Numbers 16:28) – and hoping God doesn’t mind.  Then, they get confused after as to why things didn’t work together for good (Romans 8:28).  In turn, some simply stop doing anything.

As the lead verse indicates, there is a simplicity in Jesus clearly missing in today’s Christianity and the church.  Our Father is straightforward about many things, giving us commandments to humbly obey until death like Jesus (Philippians 2:8).  These are not recommendations, suggestions, or advice to consider.

This is all so we can keep moving steadily and straight ahead along heaven’s narrow path (Matthew 7:14), if we desire to be made partakers of Christ (Hebrews 3:14).  It is so we follow the process of repentance and do not fall away off course (Hebrews 6:4-6).  This gives place for Satan to set a new one (2 Peter 3:17).

God’s commandments only become confusing or unclear when they interfere with something else a person has already decided they are going to do in the world – or in the Word.  This is how false dreams or lying divinations start.  When people say “The Lord says” and He never spoke to them (Ezekiel 13:6-7).

Tony Khuon once said, “The goal of simplicity is to achieve the lowest amount of complexity – for the highest amount of fulfillment.”  God’s Word is full of simple sounding passages and verses about how He commands us to live as believers.  So our joy may be full, if fellowship truly is with Jesus (1 John 1:3-4).

For example, how to prove His will is found in Romans 12:1-2.  The key to happiness is found in Job 5:17 and Hebrews 12:5-11.  The way to enter His rest is found in Hebrews 4:9-10.  The pathway to a peace passing all understanding is found in Philippians 4:4-7.  And, Joshua 1:8 contains the only key to success.

All the above verses are clearly written and easy to understand.  There isn’t any doubt as to what God is talking about.  One cannot read them and then think, “I wonder what He really means by that?”  However, people with tendencies to over complicate matters in the world – are prone to do the same in the Word.

Unless they allow God to transform their minds daily towards His simple truths, they’ll stay conformed to the world’s way and keep on succumbing to Satan’s trickery (Romans 12:1-2).  They will see Christianity as complex, difficult, and thorny – and Jesus is not. It’s not why Christ wore a crown of thorns at Calvary.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But the tongue no man can tame … it is an unruly evil, full of poison. – James 3:8

– Therefore, if we seem to be religious, and we cannot bridle our tongues, we deceive our own heart – and our religion is in vain. – James 1:26

Just by putting the smallest of bits in the mouths of big horses, man has been able to get such creatures to obey him.  Mighty ships driven on the oceans by the fiercest of winds, can still be kept on course and controlled with the smallest of helms.  Even so, the talk from our tiny tongues can chart the course of our days.  They can bring forth obedience or disobedience – blessings or curses (James 3:3-5,10).

However, no man can tame them.  They are unruly. We can speak right words or wrong ones.  We can emotionally or spiritually poison another person just by the talk from our tongues.  We can corrupt any good manners we may have established, simply by the words we speak ( 1 Corinthians 15:33).  If we love life and want to see good days – we are to refrain from speaking evil and guile (1 Peter 3:10).

Death and life are in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).  One slip of them can shipwreck the faith of even the closet brother or sister (1 Timothy 1:19).  Another slip can set off sparks and kindle a fire like hell (James 3:6).  Burning down spiritual buildings, consuming belief, and leaving Christian lives smoldering in the ashes.  We are not like the phoenix.  We cannot always rise from such ruin.

We are to ask God to set a watch before our mouths, and to keep the door of our lips (Psalm 141:3).  We can pray, preach, go to church, do charitable work – and appear to be very religious in the eyes of many others.  However, once a single wrong word escapes our mouth – it is on the lam.  It is not like a fleeing convict trying to make a breakaway – whom we can just go capture again and bring back to prison.

God warns us repeatedly about the power of our words to others … in His Word to us.  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse one can break spirits (Proverbs 15:4).  We can increase the joy or sorrow of another.  We can wound their heart or mar their mind with thoughtless talk.  Just one careless word can reopen an emotional scar from years ago, or aggravate an inner wound from yesterday.

Be warned – we will all give an account of every idle word we speak on earth to God.  By our talk and communications below heaven – will be justified or condemned by our Father above (Matthew 12:36-37). However, only God can teach us to tame our tongues (lead verse).  This comes from being born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) – when Christ comes to dwell in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17),

So we are taught the truth with no lie – and learn to put off lying tongues (Jeremiah 9:5, 1 John 2:27).  So we learn to speak and act more and more like Jesus each day (Ephesians 4:20-32).  So we practice the gospel we preach (Romans 2:19-23, 1 Corinthians 9:14).  So we don’t just weigh in on whatever is going on in Christianity – but so our words start having weight – in showing the lost the way to the Cross.

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