SATAN’S TRAPS- DECEPTION, DISTORTION, MISCHARACTERIZATION, AND OUTRIGHT LIES

In a post I received from Harvest Christian Fellowship, a church I once attended as a very young believer, head pastor Greg Laurie rightly claimed that the devil will cast doubt and call into question what God's word really says. Misquoting, mischaracterizing, and distorting it to deceive us to believe things that are simply not true.

Here's part of what Greg wrote.

"The Devil’s first words to Eve ended in a question mark, designed to cast doubt on God’s love: Has God indeed said...? He was quoting God, yet he completely twisted what God said.

The same was true of Satan’s temptation of Jesus, where he said, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down [from the temple]. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone’” (Matthew 4:6). How interesting. The Devil was quoting the Scriptures, though he left out part of the original text.

Notice that with Eve, he questioned God’s Word. He didn’t deny that God had spoken; he simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought He had said. That is what the Devil will do with God’s Word. He will misquote it. He will mischaracterize it. And he will distort it."

Now even though Greg is right about all of this. He has like so many others sadly fallen into the trap of the devil himself by believing what he was told God said in the Bible. Rather than believing what the Bible plainly says.

For example, like so many who have been deceived to believe the doctrine of original sin. The biggest lie the devil has ever told. Greg believes that the reason Jesus had to die was to take the punishment that he believes all men deserve on Himself so that we don't have to. And a greater mischaracterization and distortion of who God is, who Jesus is, and what the atonement is for has never been uttered.

Yet teachers like Greg, who in many ways openly says he tries to emulate the evangelist Billy Graham, will believe and repeat this distortion. What Paul referred to as a perversion of his gospel. As if it is what the Bible actually says. But, there are no scriptures that say this.

In fact, when we read what Jesus taught about the king who would take account of his servants in Mt.18 we see an entirely different picture of who God is and what the atonement was to achieve.

We see here the king that is representative of God freely forgives the servant when the servant asked. And that no one stepped forward to pay his debt for him. This indicates conclusively that God does not require someone to pay the debt in our place. But, that God forgives our unbelief debt simply because we turn from idols and believe Him.

But, preachers go right on teaching and preaching that God does require that, if not the actual person who owes the debt doesn't pay it, someone must. And that this is why Jesus suffered and died. While Jesus' own teaching says just the opposite.

Greg also makes this statement. "Sometimes, people make statements such as “My God would never judge a person” or “I believe in a God who . . .” and start describing their own made-up god. However, there is only one God, and He is revealed in the Bible. We don’t make God conform to us; we make ourselves conform to God."

Again all true. Yet he as well as most pastors believe all men are born with a sin nature they inherited from Adam. Twisting God's word so that they must either believe Jesus was a sinner by nature. Or that He could not have been fully human as Heb.2:14 says He was. Ending up in denial of the doctrine of Christ.

Also we see these preachers saying that this debt that all men owe is the penalty of death all men suffer for the sin of Adam. Saying that Adam's sin passed to all men through procreation. And that since they inherited Adam's sin they must pay the penalty of death that is owed God.

But, again there are no scriptures that teach this. We never see that death is a penalty all men must pay for Adam's sin. It is drawn only from the distorted mischaracterizations promoted by these who have believed the false doctrine of original sin. Even though as we see in Greg's own teachings they know that the devil does this to deceive.

So if it's not as Greg and so many others say, then why has death passed to all men as Rom.5:12 says? Well, we know it isn't because men are held accountable for Adam's sin because in the very next verse Paul says, "For until the law sin was in the world. But sin is not imputed when there is no law." Adding in the next verse that death still reigned over all men even if they never committed the same sin Adam did.

So it is clear that whatever the reason is that all men die, it most certainly is not because Adam's sin was imputed to them. Or that they are sinners by procreation and inheritance. 

What Paul got that he knew about Adam comes from the same place we must find it. From the book of Genesis and the leading of the Holy Spirit. And in Genesis we find exactly why Adam died. And exactly why all men die.

That because after eating the fruit Adam became more like God by knowing good and evil, he was now equipped to come to realize and deal with his own mortality. Because only by realizing it would he now seek a remedy for it from someone greater than himself. And that someone needs to be God who gave man life to begin with.

This is why the Bible says God sent man from the garden. Not to punish him for his disobedience as the false doctrine of original sin teaches. But, so that he would seek God for the only remedy for his mortality. He would seek God for eternal life.

I'm sure anyone reading or hearing this message knows they are mortal. And that one day they will die. And even though men like Noah Harrari are now preaching that man can have eternal life without God. There is no true promise of eternal life apart from knowing our Creator God and His Son whom He has sent.

And this is why men die. So that they will seek the only one who can give them the life they need. Life that is first and foremost a wonderful fellowship with the Creator who not only made them. But, also everything that has been made. This is the purpose for which God made men. And the reason for our existence.

This then is the birthright all men have if they will look to the savior Jesus Christ for deliverance from their mortality. To have the immortality that God planned for all men to have from before He made the world.

So don't listen anymore to those who teach about a god who requires payment of a penalty before he can love you. Making His love subject to their distorted view of justice. Don't listen to those who distort and mischaracterize the God of the Bible into a god who requires the bloody and torturous death of the innocent to appease his wrath.

Read and believe what the Bible plainly says. That God is love(1John4) and wants to have fellowship with you(John17:3). He wants you to know and believe Him to receive the gift of eternal life and immortality that Jesus came to provide for you(1Cor.15:45-54).

If you will trust in Him confess that Jesus is your Lord. And believe that He has raised from the dead(Rom.10:9,10) so that death is swallowed up in the victory(1Cor.15:54-58) of Jesus' death and resurrection. The same death Paul said is symbolized in baptism as you go under the water. And in resurrection as you come up out of the water in newness of life eternal.

Trust in Jesus and you will be saved from death to life. From mortality to immortality.

And from a Christ-less eternity where there is only wailing and gnashing of teeth. To an eternity with Him in His kingdom where there is love, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit.

Do this and you will avoid hell, a Christ-less eternity, that was not made for man. It was made for the devil and the angels that followed him in his rebellion against God. Heaven is the birthright of every man that has ever lived. It is the gift of God through Christ Jesus Paul speaks of in Rom.6:23. Believe in Jesus and this gift will be yours.

Do this.... and I will see you there or in the air!

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