Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 7:17 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, Lead Me.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Jude 1 (Select vv. ESV). Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 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. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Deceptive Spirits Satan and his dogs (his false teachers; his messengers) are charmers, sweet talkers, liars, deceivers, master manipulators, unholy, unfaithful, playful, witty, fun, wicked, abusive, sexually immoral, dividers of the people, and/or plotters of evil - always doing their evil deeds in secret so that no one can see what they are doing. But God sees. Satan’s messengers are false shepherds of the people, who feed only themselves. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Their main goal is to deceive the minds of believers in Jesus Christ and to destroy the true church. They may look harmless and playful, and you may feel warmth and affection for these individuals, like you would for a puppy dog, but they are of Satan, and they are out to destroy us, so don’t let them fool you. When they feel threatened because you are preaching the full gospel of Jesus Christ, they will come after you like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but they may do it in a way that feels as though they are in agreement with you, and they may even pretend to believe what you believe. Yet, they will subtly, gradually and cleverly insert lies into the truth so that you may not even notice the lies if you are not discerning. Or, they may try to dissuade you from following the gospel of Jesus Christ by trying to make you feel as though they really care about you and they just can’t understand why you won’t listen to them, and why you won’t believe them, but they can’t be trusted, because they have a snake’s bite. The Bible warns us against such men who infiltrate our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. Yet, we won’t recognize them if we are not walking closely with the Lord Jesus so that we are given a spirit of discernment to spot what they look like in character (as is described in this book of Jude) and in facial expression (in particular the eyes), i.e. their eyes may appear to be glassed over. These dogs (false teachers) are out to deceive the church and to capture as many as they can for Satan’s kingdom. They trample underfoot the covering of love that God has for his children, using the authority of Christ as their footstool. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8). Satan, through his servants, tries to get us to doubt God, to doubt God’s word and his voice to us, and to doubt our relationship with Jesus Christ. He likes to try to make us feel weak and helpless and to convince us of such in order to get us to not obey the Lord. As well, he likes to try to make us question our dependency on Jesus Christ and to even suggest we are listening to him instead of to Christ. He will say some things that are true, but he will mix lies in with it and will twist and distort the truth. He will try to show us that belief in Jesus Christ and the true gospel, which removes idolatry from people’s lives, is “legalistic” and that he can provide a church and faith that is “fun” and free from the guilt of sin. Satan will try to get us to compromise our beliefs and convictions by trying to shame us into a compromise. He will try to convince us to bring ourselves back under the slavery of sin and of men, when Jesus Christ came to set us free. As well, he will try to convince you that he hears from God and his followers will even pretend to be believers in Christ. He tries to tell us not to put our trust in the Lord Jesus but to put our trust in man. He preys on our weaknesses and tries to convince us that we are helpless and that we need him. He tries to convince us not to trust in the words of the Lord but to trust in the words of man instead, and to let men give us the counsel and direction we need, and to let man be our gods. And, he will attempt to convince us not to believe in the promises of God nor to believe the Lord’s servants when they tell us those same promises. When Satan throws his fiery darts at us, and he will use human beings as his instruments of his deceptive messages, we must know the truth so that we can put on the full armor of God. They prey on those who are emotionally weak and who doubt themselves, so we must remain strong and we must put on the truth to counteract their lies. They will try to convince us that we are weak and powerless, but we are not. We are children of the King. They will try to pull us away from doing the will of God and from sharing the gospel and will try to convince us we are crazy and/or that we are hearing from Satan. Know this! - They said the same thing about Jesus. They said he was crazy and they accused him of being of Satan, but he refuted that lie by telling them that Satan does not drive out Satan or else his kingdom will fall. Satan is not going to be giving out the gospel and calling people to repent of their sins and to turn to faith in Jesus Christ, unless he is doing it, for a time, to infiltrate our ranks in order to slowly introduce his lies and deceptions. Normally he will try to make you believe you can go to heaven and still live in your sin because of God’s grace. And, that lie is going to send many to hell. I believe the day of evil is upon us, that judgment is near, and that the lion has come out of his lair and he is out to attack, kill and destroy believers in Jesus Christ. His greatest weapon is deception and manipulation, charm, smooth talk, i.e. he will try to make you feel like he is your best friend. He may look like a warm and cuddly puppy, but he is dead and he has the roar of a lion and he is bent on devouring each and every one of us. So, we must resist him, and we must daily put on the armor of God so that we are not led into the devil’s trap. The voice of God says “Repent of your sins and believe the good news!” The voice of Satan says, “Have a good time” and he says that those who are preaching messages about repentance, obedience and judgment are crazy and need to be put away. The Lord gave me a picture today of the beheading of believers in today’s world – lock them up and drug them up so that they can’t think, pray or witness for Jesus Christ, and they are beheaded. Oh, how I pray and believe the Lord Jesus for deliverance from the evil one. Jesus, Lead Me / An Original Work / July 22, 2011 Jesus, lead me all the way. Be my hope and be my stay. Gently lead me where I should go, So Your Spirit, I want to know. Open up my heart to You. Fill me with Your love and truth. Make my heart want to obey. Be my Lord today. Gently lead always. Jesus, lover of my soul, Cleanse my heart, and make me whole; Be transformed in my heart today, As I turn from my sin and pray. Make Your will known to my heart. May I not from You depart. How I long to hear You now, As I humbly bow. Jesus, hear me now.