23 Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest NOT the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16)
Deceiving spirits have brought about the apostasy of the Christian faith. This was prophesied by our Lord and His apostles on several occasions. Those prophecies are cited on the Main and Prophecies pages. The book Before He Comes also talks about them:
More precisely, what caused the Christian Apostasy was false teachings that were brought about by deceiving spirits. To reverse the apostasy, the false teachings must be abandoned, and to stop the false teachings, the deceiving spirits must be stopped.
Deceiving spirits (as well as all evil) comes as a result of pride:
I the LORD will punish the world for its evil and crush the arrogance of the proud. (Isaiah 13:11 NLT)
One of the fruits of pride is contention:
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)
And contentions bring divisions:
That there be no divisions among you…there are contentions among you. (1 Corinthians 1:10-11)
This is why God is against the sin of pride, because pride brings contentions and contentions bring divisions:
God opposes the proud. (James 4:6 NIV,NLT,NRSV)
Is Christ divided? (1 Corinthians 1:13)
The proud therefore are an abomination to God:
The proud are an abomination to God. (Proverbs 16:5)
This is why God is coming to “punish” the proud:
I will punish the wicked and cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease. (Isaiah 13:11)
1 Corinthians 1:10 could rightly be translated like this:
Let there be no pride among you.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
The Great Law is a general prescription of what to do: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” And the First Law is another prescription: “Love God with all thy heart, might, mind, & strength.”
The Ten Commandments list four prohibitive “acts:” murder, adultery, theft, and lying, and one prohibitive state of mind: covetousness.
- Thou shalt have no other gods.
- No graven images or likenesses.
- Not take the LORD’s name in vain.
- Remember the sabbath day.
- Honour thy father and thy mother.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness.
- Thou shalt not covet.
There are of course many other crimes that a person could commit and Jesus addressed some of them like: “Do not lust after a woman.” Jesus said all the laws could be subscribed under one prescription: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Might I suggest as a general prohibition the following:
“Thou shalt have no pride or envy.”
Most people are not aware that our current United States Constitution is version 2.0. That’s right, there was a version before this one, and there will yet need to be an improved version (3.0) in order to fix the problems that have brought America to her knees.
What about spiritual laws? Before the Ten Commandments, what spiritual laws were people following? That we do not know from the Biblical record with any degree of specificity. Jesus added many spiritual laws, but they have been mainly overlooked. Humanity will need something far more simple yet pertinent to bring about a Millennium of Peace. Something that cuts through to the core of all mankind’s ills – the sin of pride.
Pride: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct (Random House Dictionary)
Envy: a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc. (Random House Dictionary)
And or the general prescription: “Thou shalt be humble.” Whatever works.
Humble: having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience; courteous, respectful (Random House Dictionary)
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
The reason it is wrong to judge others is that we don’t know their facts. The idiom “Until you have walked a mile in my shoes” applies. A good antidote to pride is to walk in other people’s shoes directly as in the hit TV show Undercover Boss, or indirectly through service to others. If pride is running rampant, its antidote (service) is not being used.
Because churches are the fruit of divisions, and divisions are the result of pride, churches are the main target of God’s coming wrath against the proud:
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: (1 Peter 4:17)
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: (Luke 12:48)
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matthew 5:13)
In the following stanza we see the pattern of apostasy at work:
pride–> deceptive spirits–> false teachings–> contentions–> divisions
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1 Corinthians 11)
As far as the Good News goes, we ARE to be “likeminded” or of the same mind:
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth [=] glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. (Romans 15)
Paul correctly identified the motive of dividers – money:
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16)
These were Paul’s final, departing words:
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock [no one will escape deception].
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears [he positively knew complete falling away would come].
32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, (Acts 20)
Someone who left the “dark side” has confirmed Satan is running the churches, imitating God, angels, tongues, Holy Ghost “fire,” prophecies, “signs and wonders,” and more: