DECEPTION

DECEPTION

ALTHOUGH YOU KNEW ALL THIS. These words were part of my Bible reading this morning. It’s from the book of Daniel and has to do with Nebuchadnezzar’s son and his complete disregard for the holy things of the Lord. It’s the portion of Scripture that records the famous handwriting on the wall, “MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN”.

Daniel tells Belshazzar the story of when Nebuchadnezzar was humbled and became like an animal for seven years. These words of Daniel stick out very stark this morning,

“But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭5:22‬ ‭

“Although you knew all this.” Daniel was not telling Belshazzar anything he didn’t already know. This is the scary thing about self-deception- you know, but you don’t think those things apply to you. Ask Samson about self-deception. He had strength beyond human ability, was completely disobedient (although he knew all this), yet God still used him and allowed him to operate in disobedience for a time, until the Spirit left him and he didn’t even know it. Ask Saul about self-deception. He too was used by God even while in disobedience, although he knew all this.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:19-21‬

“Just as I have told you in time past”. Although you knew all this. Several years ago I was invited to speak at a church. I went and brought another lady from my church with me. After preaching the message, the pastor took up an offering for me. He specifically said, “we are taking up an offering for Crystal”, but he never gave the offering to me.

I had a witness that testified to the same in case I heard wrong. Now for the record, I do not believe I should receive anything for preaching. It’s a gift from the Lord. I do not expect anything nor do I believe a preacher should charge anything. On the other hand, if someone came to preach for our church, I believe that those who preach and teach the Word deserve double honor. We always bless the preacher abundantly.

This pastor just told the congregation he was taking up an offering for me and I never received it. I never said a word. Come to find out, there were other things going on with money in his ministry. He also had a problem with women. However, he kept ministering for years and I know people that were saved at his church. God will still use the disobedient for His own glory. This man operated in self-deception. He has since died and he was only a few years older than me.

“Although you knew all this.”

If you have access to Scripture, you know all this: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-31‬

There is direct connection between forsaking the public gathering, the translation is of a public gathering contrasted to the synagogue, not “where 2 or 3 are gathered”. (Where 2-3 is a reference to judging an accusation not meeting) and to sinning willfully. Whether the writer of Hebrews means that you are sinning when you forsake the public gathering or that forsaking the public gathering leads into sin is not quite clear. But they are linked.

Although you know all this you deceive yourself into thinking you can live as a rebellious Christian and inherit eternal life. Just because God is still using you does not mean He is pleased with you and that you will not be punished.

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭

“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” I Corinthians‬ ‭10:6-11‬

Self-deception is real. Many in these last days are deceiving themselves into believing false doctrine. They teach false doctrine. They are leading others astray. Many are going down the path of self-deception and following the dictates of their own heart. Remember these sobering words when many will say to Jesus, “Lord! Lord! We did all these things in Your name; and He will respond, “Depart from Me, you who work in lawlessness. I never knew you.” Do not let it be said of you, “although you knew all this.”

#runyourrace

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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