MATTHEW 7:15_but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
II Corinthians 11:3-4 (KJV), “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he [false prophet] that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him …13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
It is easy to be deceived by smooth talkers – if you don’t know the truth. The more truth you feed your spirit, through the Bible, the quicker you recognize a lie.
The inside of this sheep’s clothing is completely opposite from the outside. A wolf will devour a sheep—so will a lion, I Peter 5:8 (KJV), “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
The devil is actively searching for those who do not know the truth, to snare them.
God of All, Help me know the truth and escape the devil’s trap. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to be vigilant in the truth—He saves me!
MATTHEW 7:15_of false prophets…
A prophet was God’s spokesperson to His people. Acts 2:17-18 (KJV) on the day of Pentecost, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
Peter was quoting from Joel 2:28-29. Israel had experienced a time of silence from God because of their disobedience. On Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon God’s people prophesy came alive again. That’s what Peter said anyway—and he was there! Prophets were people chosen by God.
The devil also has prophets. Because the devil does not possess God’s unlimited power, he can only operate within his limited boundaries. As the prince of the world he has great powers. Among them are: deception, lies, accusations, fear, temptations, interference, and theft. On our own we are no match for him.
Eve tried to match him on her own and fell into the seduction of his lies. She fell to the fear of missing out on the good things of life and disobeyed God.
You know the rest of the story.
Heavenly Father, Help me call upon You to defeat the devil and his deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows all of the devil’s deceptions—He will save me!
Beware! The Greek translation for beware is the same as our English—take heed, be on guard against. Time to listen to Jesus!
Beware is a stronger word than the previous words or phrases Jesus has used to introduce a new subject. He has used introductions to tell you to pay attention, to perk up, and to wake up: (just in case you were napping during His sermon). This new topic He introduces calls for more than your attention. It calls for caution.
This new principle is easy to fall prey to if you are not on your guard. Actually this one is a perfect descriptive of the great deceiver—the devil himself!
In John 8:44 (KJV), Jesus says to the Scribes and Pharisees, “Ye [Scribes and Pharisees] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
If you stay with Jesus for the next five verses He’ll give truth that will … once again … set you free!
Messiah, Help me to beware of Your teachings, and not be deceived. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants us to beware of His teachings—I will!
MATTHEW 7:3_And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Had the wicked servant dwelt on the unbelievable mercy rendered to him by the king, he would have bestowed mercy on his fellow-servant. However, non-believers can’t be expected to respond to life as believers. That’s why there is such a need for salty-lit-up disciples. Lifestyles that shine in such a way to draw captives to freedom, like a lighthouse to a ship lost in a raging storm. Light sends a ray of hope. Once the ship makes it to the safety of the harbor, it is time to preserve it with the salt of mercy – mercy that flows from unconditional love.
In the case of the apostle Paul the light shone on him, blinded him. When he was healed and his sight restored three days later, he was a changed man. The light blinded him to the hate that his hard heart had toward Jesus’ followers. It also blinded him to the lies (that Jesus was demonic and his followers would be the destruction of the Jewish religion) with which the devil deceived him.
The light set Paul free to become the Jesus follower who wrote the majority of the New Testament.
He was salty and lit-up!
Heavenly Father, I want Your kind of light—that blinds, but heals. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s light can blind me—It can also heal me!
MATTHEW 6:23_thy whole body shall be full of darkness…
What causes the whole body to be full of darkness? Evil. You can be totally blind, but still have light inside if your eye is single – focused on Jesus.
In the John chapter 9 account of the man born blind, Jesus pointed this out to the Pharisees. The blind man believed in Jesus and worshiped Him. Because of the blind man’s ability to know who Jesus truly was, he received sight. This was not physical sight. Jesus had already given him that. This was receiving the light of truth – giving him freedom.
The Pharisees did not believe. Jesus said they were blind. Although they had physical sight, their lack of faith in Jesus caused their whole being to be full of darkness – causing them bondage.
The evil eye sees double. It cannot distinguish truth from lies. An evil eye has stepped off the path and lost its light. Without light there is darkness.
In darkness you reach out, constantly trying to touch, to feel, to hold to something secure. You cry out, call out, hoping to hear a familiar voice.
Perhaps someone will come and help you find your way back to the path – to Jesus!
Incomparable Jesus, When I am in darkness, I stumble. Bring me back to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the path to freedom—I want to stay with Him!