Forms and consequences of self-deception.
Believers who have experienced the power of the cross of Christ should follow Jesus’ instructions despite the Pergamos and Thyatira type of circumstances. The Churches in Pergamos and Thyatira did not promote teaching contrary to apostolic teaching. However, they tolerated those who advocated teachings and practices contrary to the sound gospel. Revelation 2:14; 2:20 – 21. Jesus specified the practices He hates. To the Church in Pergamos, He said, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold to the doctrine of Balaam. Thus, you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Revelation 2:14 – 15. NKJV.
Also, to the Church in Thyatira, He said, “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants…” Revelation 2:20, NKJV. The greatest danger in self-deception arises when believers tolerate the spirit of compromise. Balaam was invited by the king of Moab to curse the people of Israel. Balaam should have refused to do so without asking Lord if that would be preferable. Instead, Balaam concluded that he should go; however, he asked Lord if he should do so. Lord allowed him to go, but He told the Balaam that he should speak what He instructs him to speak.
However, after Balaam spoke the words he was told to speak, the king of Moab refused to give him the promised reward. The reward was tempting so, Balaam, without cursing Israel, instructed the king of Moab how to defeat the people of Israel. Balaam, therefore, introduced a compromise that the king of Moab could implement to lead the people of Israel away from their God. Numbers 24:14. Moses blamed Balaam for the women of Median, and possible of Moab, enticing the people of Israel to engage in practices honoring the gods of Median and Moab. The people of Israel did not worship the gods of Median and Moab; however, they participated in the celebrations honoring the Ball. Numbers 31:15 – 16. Jezebel enticed Ahab, the king of Israel, to “sell himself to wickedness in the sight of the Lord,” and thus, he led the people of Israel astray. 1 Kings 21:25. Israel continued to worship the God of their forefathers; however, they introduced, apparently innocuous, practices of those who worshiped the God of Jezebel. A compromise, however innocent, is a dangerous practice nevertheless.
The persecution of the Christian Church will not come from outside sources but inside the Church. The danger arises when Churches, in the interest of tolerance, and political correctness, adopt the attitude of compromise in Jezebel’s and Balaam’s spirit. When the Churches in Jezebel and Balaam’s spirit allow an individual or group to advocate and promote the ideas contrary to the sound teachings by Jesus and the apostles, the self-deception is inevitable. Either we are surrendered and committed to our first love, Jesus Christ, or do not belong to Him. There is no middle ground. The self-proclaimed experts in the Scriptures deceptively introduce the man-conceived teachings, which, often unnoticeably, diminish and downgrade the all-inclusive sufficiency of the Cross of Christ. Not I but Christ should be the commitment of every yielded believer. The yielded believers cannot hold any a teaching equal to, or in addition to Jesus Christ. Nothing, regardless of how good-sounding it is, should be allowed to stand between a believer and his Savior. Jesus Christ was one hundred percent successful in what God sent Him to accomplish on our behalf. Jesus, on the cross, proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED” and, therefore, it is. Jesus completed the work Father sent Him to do. John 17:1 – 4.
The forms of compromises continue in the next blog.