An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 14)

Galatians 4:8 ESV  Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.

The devil enslaves. Sin enslaves. To be in the kingdom of darkness is to be a slave to it. Owned by it. Possessed by it (I suppose in this sense every person outside of Christ is “possessed”). The devil considers his slaves to be his property, his servants. He owns them. And ownership is what I want to talk about in this article.

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An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 13)

2 Kings 6:15-17 ESV  When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  (16)  He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  (17)  Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

What if the Lord opened our eyes as He did those of this young man? That is, what if we could see people and events as they really are? The Apostle John exhorts us to “test the spirits” because many false prophets are around us claiming to speak for the Lord. We are to compare what they are saying and doing with the light of God’s Word. But what if we could literally see people for who they really are? I suspect this is going to happen when Christ comes again and judges the world. We will see who people really are. I mean, even their appearance will cease to be deceptive to our eyes. What will they look like? I think of a horde of evil beings gnashing their teeth energized by pure evil.

Well, what I would like to do in this article is to describe for you some people who are typical church members. Professing Christians who fill the pews each Sunday. Some are “pillars” of their churches. Others preach and teach. Still others are the busy bees buzzing around in the various committee meetings and “ministries.” What do they look like to the Lord? What would they look like if we could see them as they truly are?

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An Appearance of Godliness – Case Studies in Evil (Part 10)

Mark 7:6-7 ESV  And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;  (7)  in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

The kind of people we are learning about and exposing in this series are, in Paul’s words, hypocrites who have an appearance of godliness. Not only are they unregenerate (not born again), but by their words and practice they actually deny the gospel by denying the necessity of being born again.

Isaiah describes them in terms of lips and hearts. They spew out words that “honor” the Lord but in fact the person they really are (their heart) hates the Lord and all who belong to Him. All of their busy, buzzing, behive activity in their “churches” are vanity. Emptiness. In fact their religion (doctrines) are the commandments of men. Man-made. Fake. Opposed to Christ. They are of the spirit therefore of the antichrist.

Let me introduce you to Larry.

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness – Case Studies in Evil (Part 10)”