Dear friends let us bring to your attention the preaching of Pastor Sunday from morning service of the summer fast, August 3rd on the topic “How does the spirit of flattery, delusion, and seductionact?”
The first action of flattery and delusion:
Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
The devil insists that:
- God is not honest with people.
- He doesn’t want them to know what He knows.
- If people understand and find out about that then God will stop being an authority for them.
- People will find out that God is bad.
- And people will become the same as God is.
- That is why God forbade to eat fruits from this tree.
- People will not die.
1.The spirit of delusion promises exclusive, forbidden knowledge – knowledge that nobody has
Genesis 2:17: “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The tree that they were forbidden to eat from was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Delusion comes through wish to know something that nobody knows.
God forbid those things that we shouldn’t know
God forbade only one tree that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A person always wants to taste something that is forbidden, he has to know all secrets. And the devil uses this wish saying: “I’ll open to you everything that God Himself hides from you!”
The first action of the spirit of delusion is that he gives the truth that the main source hasn’t given.A person is offered to hear something that was hidden from him and wasn’t told to him before.
What Eve’s answer will show her commitment to the truth? Eve had to answer to the devil:“I know God, He is my Creator and I have no doubts in Him. I don’t need anyone else except God to tell me any additional information. I’m no one without Him and I don’t want to be anyone without Him. I trust Him!”
Cast doubt on God’s words meantthat Adam and Eve didn’t have complete love to God in their hearts. To think that God hides something and God is not fair proves that such a person has a wormhole in his heart. The devil uses it as a hook to catch a person with lie. But who is that person to have doubts in God?To have doubts in That One Who created him?
Eve believed that criminal
That was Eve’s guilt and trouble.She preferred to believe the criminal’s words who promised to tell her the truth. She had doubts in the words of her Creator whom she betrayed in such way. It was the biggest strike to God’s heart. There are researches that assert that before the fall Adam and Eve were living in Eden with God, knowing Him for many years.
Example: problems of fathers and children
Fathers can teach their children not to date and live a pure sexual life before marriage. On the other hand classmates can press: “Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a girlfriend? I’ve already tried, you don’t know what you’re missing”. Young people are angry with their parents and they think that their parents don’t want them to be happy and tend to break all prohibitions.
Prohibitions are the manifestation of love
Facing parents’ prohibitions, children think that their father and mother are against them and they hide something from them and don’t want happiness for their children. In reality everything is quite the contrary: if they prohibit means they love. Because of that fact that parents love their children and want to save them from different troubles they prohibit their children to do something in their lives.
Impressions are deceitful
The devil affirms that he is so fair and kind but honestly he is the one who wants to destroy people.
Those who believed his words and listened to his advices are already drug addicted, prostitutes, alcohol addicted and those who are divorced. And all life troubles pursue people only if they had doubts in their parents’ words, betrayed those who gave their lives for them.
Example: some bridegrooms
Former drug addicted who has AIDS got acquainted with a 19 year old girl who hadn’t dated and kissed with anybody. This “admirer” started to see her home and write poems. It happened that they had sex and the girl for one time got HIV and became pregnant. As soon as the admirer got the news that his beloved is pregnant he disappeared and no one could find him.
When those people who love her tried to bring her to reason she didn’t listen to them. An opinion of a man who just appeared in her life was more important than her mother’s opinion who was carrying her during 9 months, gave her birth and brought her up during these 19 years.Close people became enemies at once but a strange person became the one who loves and understands. The spirit of delusion acts like this.
2.The spirit of delusion passes itself off as truth fighter
The spirit of delusion always presents itself as it takes care of good of mankind and justice: “It’s not fair that they hide something from you! They deceive you! They are all evil and bad. But I’m just, let’s fight for justice.” Is it true that God who created people didn’t know what is better for them?God knew that cognition of evil will destroy them and won’t bring them benefit. Why do you want to know what can destroy you?God forbade them to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because He loves them, takes care of their future and their safety.
The example of Absalom
His fall started with that he aspired to knowing the truth that nobody knew and then positioned himself as justice fighter. In such way he brought people to such a delusion that they started war against the king (2 Samuel 15:2-6).
Seeking justice that destroys relations is out of place
It is impossible to be a good and justice fighter if you always go against and provoke division. The Bible says: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom.12:18). The Bible warns against such people and recommends to avoid those who bring division.
3. The devil sows doubts
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ” What the devil says is to sow doubts at the same time as God sows faith.
The devil cuts off an access to the source. He sows doubts and does everything for a person not to have an access to the source and to understand what is good and what is bad.What prevented Eve to come to God and ask: “the serpent came to me and said that You, My Lord deceived me. I want to ask how it wasindeed.”It is important not just reject accuser and everything he says but at least give a chance to another side to speak out.
It’s important to dispel doubts
A person should react upon doubts at once:to protest; to eradicate doubts; to talk to a person about whom these doubts are and ask:”This is what I heard about you. What will you say about this?”
If a person doesn’t do this then the seed of doubts will stay and start grow.
God gives us covering: church, pastor, familyare the best protection for us.
The fact that a person (church) has loved, has been taking care of me, has been doing a lot of good things for many years is a conclusive evidence that to consider other people’s opinion more than those whom I’ve known for many years is at least silly.
Example: what did people tell about America in times of The Soviet Union
Very often television becomes an instrument of manipulation and delusion. There was such an impression that in America:there were Wild West morals, there are only black people who we need to feel sorry for because they are mocked by bourgeois, Americans are terrible people. Those who were in America can confirm that everything that was shown by soviet television didn’t correspond to the facts.
4. The spirit of delusion comes as an angel of light
2 Cor.11:14 “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” It’s not surprising that people are caught by delusion. If the devil comes in his real image all will recognize him immediately and won’t be caught by any delusion.
5. The spirit of delusion doesn’t tell the whole truth
The devil doesn’t give the whole knowledge, he gives only a small part of the truth.Eve became a victim of delusion because she didn’t come to God to clarify the whole situation: she believed things that only one side told her – the devil.
A danger of partial truth: it becomes lie
Only knowing the whole truth and the whole picture a person is able to understand that part of the truth that was given to him is an absolute lie.
“Partial truth is always dangerous” (an English proverb).
Partial truth is an absolute lie (proverb).
The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted, Georg C. Lichtenberg
6. The devil hides consequences
When Eve answered the satan that it is forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because doing this they will die the devil said: “No, you will not die!” The devil hid the consequences of those steps he encouraged them to do. God knew more than the satan who deceived Adam and Eve: He said that if they tried fruits from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would die and they died.
Even if God deceivedthem and withheldinformation, and didn’t want people to be the same as Himself in any such way or if He broke his part of the covenant; still Adam didn’t have any rights to break his part of the covenant and to break the commandment and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Even if a person did something incorrect against us it is not for us to do the same and react incorrectly.
A person who loves the truth thinks like this: Why should I be in disobedience?Why should I go against them?
I love the truth so much that even if someone behaves incorrect I won’t do this.
If there isn’t love to the truth a person finds compromises: “He behaves incorrect and I will do the same”. Then he starts to reap consequences of his decision.
Example: a person left his church in bitterness
He believed rumors and didn’t even try to clarify then he started to abuse his pastor though the word of God says: “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” (1 Chr.16:22). Afterwards this person had a lot of troubles: he started to do drugs, he was changing churches as he couldn’t find his place though he assured everybody that it would be very easy for him to find a good church.
7. Praise one person and humiliate another one
“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”(Genesis 3:5)
There was a great opportunity to become as God is and Eve agreed to betray.
Eve was impelled by self-interest
“the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food (Genesis 3:6)
“Good for food and pleasing to the eye are self-interest. If a person is looking for something that good for food and pleasing to the eye but not for serving God then this person will be caught by delusion.
Eve was impelled by egocentrism
Eve was worried that something was hidden from her: her ego suffered – it was her God who wanted to deceive her.If a person looks for his interests – I, me, my and not for Christ, the Kingdom of God, God then he will be easily caught by the spirit of lie, delusion and seduction.
The spirit of delusion points to the worst, the weakest points of other people
Deceiving in such way the devil:
- convinces that other person is worse
- brings division: if he is bad it means you can’t be with this person
- putsyou against this person.
The spirit of delusion undermines the authority of a person who is higher
In fact the devil assured Eve that she can be on the same level with God because God is not of great value. It is the spirit of Lucifer who points to weak points for him to become higher:
- At the cost of humiliating other people
- At the cost of humiliating somebody’s merits
Example: to know the secrets about your leader
The spirit of delusion says: “I will tell you about him such things that you will understand that he is the same person as you are! If you know his secrets you will understand that he is much worse than you are”.People are ready to receive such revelations that is why they are caught by delusion because they really want to be gods in their eyes.
After accusations around pastor Sunday it was seen that many believers:
- Stopped respecting pastors,
- Started to dispute pastors’ words
- Started to have doubts whether it is important to attend the church and instead of being a part of the church community,they preferred to stay at home.
Mistakes and falls of pastors don’t mean that you should behave as Ham towards them. You need to honor the Word of God that commands to honor elders and be obedient to authorities despite the pastor can make mistakes. A person who loves the truth chooses to react correctly despite that other people behave differently.
Example: it was a communist doctrine
PavlikMorozov betrayed his parents for the sake of the party and the spirit of delusion made him the hero of his country.But it’s not a heroism! To betray your father and mother who gave birth to you and poured their blood for you is really mean and basely. The truth says the different: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).
We have to follow evangelic truth
Love to the truth rejects to betray those whom we awe for everything we have at the moment. Communists come and go but God and His truth, His standards stay the same.
Let’s ask God to work upon our hearts and eradicate any root of delusion, seduction and flattery and ask Him to give us victory upon any spirit of lie.
Questions for your home assignment:
- Describe the way of the devil’s actions according to Genesis 3:1-7 where he delivers people to delusion.
- How do people who are in delusion use forbidden knowledge to flatter other people?
- Why is it important to check the whole information invoking the source? (Genesis 3:1-7).
- What did Eve have to do if she loved the truth?
- Why do prohibitions and punishment seem to be the manifestation of love?
- Why shouldn’t you leave people with whom you have had long relations in favor of new friends?
- How does the spirit of delusion pretend to be a truth fighter?
- Using the example of Absalom describe actions of the spirit of delusion (2Samuel 15).
- What is the role of doubts at work of the spirit of flattery?
- What systems of protection did God give us against the spirit of flattery?
- What role does the partial truth at work of the spirit of flattery play?
- Even if God, leader or pastor are not right how did Eve, followers have to behave?
- How did greed and egocentrism of Eve manifest?
- Explain how the spirit of flattery undermines authority of seniors.
- What arguments did the devil use to deliver Eve and Adam to delusion?
Summer fast, August, 3rd, Kyiv
The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of god for All Nations
Translated by Lena Vylegzhanina
Edited by Philip Isaacs