Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lucifer Syndrome - False Leaders Display Lack of Wisdom

One of the penalties of sin, of Satan's way of life, is perversion of mind. A sinning mind does not think clearly and accurately. But a righteous mind does.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Lucifer, before he sinned, was wise. "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty" (Ezekiel 28:12). But when he sinned, his mind became corrupted. He could no longer think rightly and clearly and accurately. By sinning, by choosing the way of pride and vanity and self-exaltation, he corrupted his wisdom. "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor" (Ezekiel 28:17).

Thus it is with those who follow Satan's way of life. "For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge" (Jeremiah 4:22).

This world is full of stupid experts. Some of the most esteemed experts have six or eight year college degrees, have great IQs, have great memory (even Hitler was said to have a remarkable memory for military detail), have great knowledge of facts of all kinds. But they do not have the wisdom to put the facts together to draw correct conclusions about the most basic things, the most important things in life. And many of these men and women are leaders in government, in news media, in entertainment, in education, and in business.

Many of this world's most brilliant scientists are atheists. They have a lot of scientific knowledge, knowledge of details. They can tell you the chemical elements that make up DNA that controls our genetics. They can you, from memory, how many electrons and protons atoms of each of those elements have. But they don't know that God exists. They willfully choose not to believe He exists because they do not want to believe He exists, so they ignore the evidence, the most obvious evidence of the universe itself, and conclude, "There is no God". God calls them what they are, fools (Psalm 14:1).

It is a law therefore that sin destroys wisdom, it impedes clear thinking. But obedience to God and His way of life produces wisdom. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments" (Psalm 111:10).

False leaders and false teachers in the Church of God often make themselves known by their lack of wisdom. It is a progressive thing. As time goes on, their thinking, their teaching, and their actions become more and more muddled, off-center, and extreme. But if you look at their history, you can usually see where they left the track of sound thinking a long time ago.

I have read some things written by teachers and leaders in the Church of God environment, in blogs and websites that claim to be Church of God, that are so ridiculous, they should be embarrassed to say such things, yet they don't have the sense to be embarrassed. I could feel embarrassed for them, except I know it is good in a sense that they go to such extremes and make such outlandish mistakes because it helps others to know that they are not teaching the truth and that they are not leaders the brethren should look to for leadership and training in God's way of life. I don't necessarily mention these teachers and leaders by name, because in some cases they may be making outlandish statements for the very purpose of attracting attention and traffic to their websites so they can try to convince Church of God members to join them or send them money or be persuaded of their false claims. So I don't mention them lest I send some traffic their way.

I let a false leader speak for himself and show by the fruits he is false. Discerning brethren will see that for themselves.

God exposes such a man for what he is by his own foolishness.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:15-20).

Our words, what we teach others, are an important part of the fruit we bear, good or bad.

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:33-37).

And as that happens in a progressive sense, the followers of such a man must continuously choose, as he seems to go more and more off the "deep end", to keep on following the person or to recognize him for what he is and to admit they made a mistake to follow that man in the first place. Admitting you made a mistake, that you followed the wrong man for a long time, is painful, but the sooner you admit it, the less painful it will be in the long run. And if you stay "on board" with such a man, it will be far more painful in the end.

In a sense, as such a man shows more and more clearly that he lacks the wisdom a godly leader would have, it becomes easier for his followers to recognize that fact. It becomes more and more obvious. Yet, as it becomes easier intellectually and logically, it becomes harder emotionally, because the longer they are with that man, the deeper their emotional commitment is, not just to that man and to the fellowship of the brethren in the organization the man leads, but to their own sense of being right to choose to support that man in the first place. It is probably harder for someone to say, I made a mistake following this man for 15 years, than it is to say, I made a mistake following this man for 2 years.

Yet the consequences are more painful in the end the longer you hold on.

An analogy is holding on to a rope of a run-away hot air balloon. You hold on to the rope, hoping to hold down the balloon, but it begins to carry you off your feet. You haven't the strength to climb the rope into the basket. You have seconds to decide. If you let go right away, no harm. Wait a few more seconds, and you are faced with broken ankles. The longer you hold on, the worse the result. Broken ankles are better than broken legs, and broken legs are better than death. But if you hold on too long, you are doomed. You will fall to your death. You pass a point of no return, and at some time you know your mistake and you know you are going to die for it as you feel the rope slipping out of your hands at 400 feet above ground level.

This does not mean that godly leaders and teachers never make mistakes. But, as Commander DeVriess said to Ensign Willie Keith in The Caine Mutiny, when Keith justified his wrong behavior saying that anybody can make a mistake, "There are mistakes and there are mistakes."

When we see Church of God leaders make ridiculous statements, statements that are clearly false or biblically unjustified, or go to unjustified extremes, they set a bad example, but there is a lesson in that example (which is why God lets it happen and lets us see it), and there is a warning in the lesson. First, of course, there is a warning not to follow such a leader or teacher. That is probably the first thing we think of. But there is a more important warning or lesson. Could the bad example we see in such a leader be us five or ten years from now?

Many of these people did not start out that way. They may have had more sense in the beginning. Lucifer did not start out wrong, twisted, corrupt. But it can be a progressive thing. Anyone in the Church can lose his wisdom and become foolish if he or she drifts away from God. So the warning is, stay close to God if you want to be wise and avoid foolish mistakes. Because if you don't, you could lose the knowledge and wisdom God has given you. You could end up like the bad example you see in foolish teachers and leaders.

This whole world is in the grip of Satan's deception. The world practices Satan's way of life, and the world is deceived by it. People lose their wisdom, their ability to think clearly, just as Lucifer lost his ability to think clearly and accurately when he sinned.

Atonement looks forward to the putting away of Satan, and once that happens, Christ can re-educate the world in God's way of life. People will begin to think clearly again, those who choose to obey.

If we want wisdom, if we want to be able to think clearly to make right decisions, wise decisions, we must choose to believe and obey God. We need godly wisdom to make the choices that will bring us success in life and in doing God's work. We in the Church have the opportunity to be pioneers in clear thinking. God has given us His Spirit, the Spirit of a sound mind, to the degree we seek God, believe God, and strive to obey God.

We need that wisdom, that clear thinking, to avoid mistakes that bring pain. If we think we can make good decisions in Satan's world apart from God, we kid ourselves.

Here are links to related chapters or sections in Preaching the Gospel:

The Day of Atonement - the Putting Away of Satan, Chapter 2

Faith, Chapter 6

Passover -- the Sacrifice of Christ, Chapter 2

Why Is Faith Important to God?, Chapter 9


Anonymous said...

Author, you wrote:

"...Atonement looks forward to the putting away of Satan, and once that happens, Christ can re-educate the world in God's way of life. People will begin to think clearly again, those who choose to obey...."

Author, perhaps there is a lot more do Atonement than what you have indicated there; after all, as part of God's perfect Plan of Salvation Satan will again act as "god of this present evil world" when it comes out of that bottomless pit having been put away only for 1,000 years.

Satan's power and will is so much stronger than any human being's, unless God's Spirit dwells in you like it did in Christ:

"And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." 2 Timothy 2:26

I know you think people can just make those right choices, even without God's Spirit, but they can't. You mentioned Psalm 14. What else did that chapter say?

:3 "They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

It can't be done. Without faith, one can't please God and without God's Spirit one cannot have that faith.

For any who think that Satan is some sort of a wimp, lacking will and power, here is the end result of what happens once that thing is no longer put away:

Rev 20:7 "...Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,"
:8 "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth,"

Christ and the saints won't prevent that from happening, but will later intervene.

God is perfectly good. Satan is perfectly evil. Satan and his angels were made, but what was to be their end result?

"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed..." 2 Peter 2:12

Yes, Satan may be the most subtil beast of the field, but he has company.......and they were all made to be destroyed, and numerous other verses are available to back that up. Satan has always been perfect in all of his ways, but they are not God's ways. God "has his number," if you will...and time will tell.


SAMcClellan said...

It has never been as evident, as today, that the tide has turned, in America; from being a God-centered light in this world, to a dying ember, unless we wake up and fan the flame, quickly. Here we have the so-called leaders, and Federal Judges, advocating same-sex marraige, with one even performing such a marraige, herself; an openly gay Bishop in the Episcopal Church and those in nearly every denomination, contemplating a more "open-minded" stance on this issue; while...of all things...the Russian leader, Putin, standing against these things, and involking God, today, in his stance on the world's problems, seemingly standing where the USA used to; and America, in the shoes of the previous Socialist/Communist officials. How did this happen..? We who call ourselves Christians, have fallen away and not stood up for our Biblical principles, nor seeked leadership positions, to influence the decision making and makers, in corp or govm't roles, of influence. Many people have turned the word Love, into just another "4-Letter Word" and even blasphemed God as Love, in an attempt to rationalize immoral desires of the flesh. This didn't happen over-night, but in a deliberate and so far, successful attempt of Satan, to bring America down, and with it, the World; thru seemingly innocuous means, such as indoctrinating our children, thru Harry Potter tales, instead of our teaching them morality, thru the Biblical stories, as our forefathers did. It will be a hard sell, to turn our kids toward Godly things, since we haven't shown them, or even told them, to "Taste..The Lord is Good"...or even sang "What a Friend we have in Jesus", so they'd know they always have Him, to turn to, no matter what. So we are losing our kids in droves, when they find that there's no happiness, without Him...and they don't even know who He IS. We will have to answer for this terrible omission, on our part, to teach our children and "raise them up, in the way they should go...and when they are old, they won't depart from it". And be among those who Jesus tells, to "depart, I never knew ye". For me, that has always been the ultimate rejection..and what have I done, for Him to say otherwise; and, certainly not "Well done, good and faithful servant"...when I haven't even raised my kids according to His Word? Oh, "we were busy making money to feed and clothe them"..but, that's not going to cut it, in the end, is it? When "the roll is called up yonder"..will any of our generation, be there? We were told, after "Go" and save souls..and we haven't even saved our own soul, nor our family, perhaps. And we wonder why, all the wisdom and knowledge those leaders have, has brought us to where we are, now. It's no wonder, at all. said...


You mentioned that we are told to go and save souls. Christ told His apostles to go and make disciples of all nations, and that would certainly including bringing salvation to those who are called and drawn to Christ by God the Father. If that is what you are talking about, I agree on that point. I am not sure it you are aware of this, but the Bible teaches that God is not trying to save the world at this time, nor should the Church. Rather, the Church is to preach the gospel to the world, to make disciples of those God calls in this age and as a witness to the rest of the world.

But God is only calling a few to salvation in this 6,000 year age of man, a very small "little flock". God allows the majority of mankind to be deceived by Satan, and this is not their time for salvation. Their time will come in the general resurrection, the white throne judgment. This is a time when all who have ever lived, the vast majority of mankind that never had a real chance for salvation, either because they lived in a time and place where thay had no access to the true gospel or because they were blinded by Satan and could not come to Christ, will be resurrected back to physical life. At that time, about 1,000 years from now, they will be brought back to life and have their first real chance to hear the true gospel, repent, and accept the sacrifice of Christ for their sins and be saved. Until then, they are asleep in the grave, unconscious, waiting for that resurrection.

God is not trying to save the world at this time, but rather, God is letting the world experience to the full Satan's way of life as an object lesson. We are near the end it 6,000 years of Satan's rule over the earth. When Christ returns, Satan will be put away and Christ will finally set His hand to save the world. Christ will rule the earth with the few God has called to salvation in the 6,000 years, and Christ will bring peace and happiness to this earth for 1,000 years.

Those who come up in the general resurrection can compare the misery and destruction that results from 6,000 years of Satan's way of life with the happiness and peace that results from God's way of life for 1,000 years. Then they can make a decision as to which way is best.

If they choose to believe and obey God, they can have eternal life, but if they choose Satan's way of life, they will be destroyed completely - burned up in the lake of fire. They will be put out of their misery by a merciful God. They will not be tortured forever in hell, but will cease to exist forever.

You also mentioned "when the roll is called up yonder". I have not heard this saying before, but it sounds as if this is saying that the reward of the saints is to live with God in heaven.

The Bible teaches that the dead, including the saints, are asleep in the grave. The few who are called to salvation in this age, the few true Christians such as the apostles Peter, Paul, James, John, and those few truly converted Christians who have lived and died through the centuries, are asleep in the grave, unconscious. They will be in the first resurrection, brought back to life, raised to immortal life, made full sons of God, radiant with power, when Christ returns, and they will rule the earth with Christ. But their reward is not to go to live in heaven, but to rule on this earth.

No man who ever lived is living in heaven right now, rather heaven is the abode of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and God's holy angels. said...

The traditional churches of this world are mixed up about many things because they follow their traditions and do not believe what God says in the Bible. They think that God is trying to save the world. They think that converted Christians go to heaven when they die. They think that unrepentant wicked men will be tortured for eternity in hell fire. They think that if a person is not saved in this life, he is permanently lost.

They teach that the fourth commandment, to observe the seventh-day Sabbath, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is no longer in force. Instead of keeping the annual holy days and festivals God commands, like Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, all days ordained by God and still in force for the Church, they imitate pagan customs and keep man-invented days like Christmas and Easter, which God tells us not to do. They teach the trinity, which the Bible does not teach. They do not understand that the Holy Spirit is the power of God that comes from God and Christ. They do not understand that the reward of Christians is to be born into God's family as full sons of God, sharing in God's divine nature and power, ruling the universe forever with God the Father and Jesus Christ. They do not undestand that God is the divine family, a family we can be born into. In short, they do not understand that God is reproducing Himself in mankind, that the Christian's reward is to actually become God as a member God's family, children of God the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

So traditional churches of this world do not know God, nor do they believe the true gospel.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff there, author...

Anonymous said...

I might also add the words of John:

" 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God." (III JOHN 1:9-11)

Nothing new under the sun...

Anonymous said...

Consider also Matthew 24:48-51 and Luke 12:45-48.

In fortelling the future, God considers the character of those whom He has Chosen.

He knows in advance the things we will do based upon our characteristics.

This is why He could foretell the end time events in His Church, laodedian and all.