Delusions


In the early 1980s I attended a local church whose pastor had retired.  So their Board of Elders appointed a Pastoral Search Committee to find a new pastor for that congregation.  One of the members of that Committee was a lady whose nickname was 'Sis'.

After several months of searching, the committee found a new pastor, and he served for about a year.  He was a very nice person, and had a variety of strengths, but he also had weaknesses which eventually outweighed his strengths and he was terminated.

Sis told me that after the pastor was terminated she asked the Lord why that whole episode had happened.  She said that very clearly the Lord gave her a passage of Scripture in explanation.  The passage was Obadiah 3-4:

Oba 1:3  The pride of your heart has deceived you, dwelling in the clefts of the rock, his dwelling is lofty; saying in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though you rise high like the eagle, and though you set your nest between the stars, I will bring you down from there, says Jehovah.

Sis told me that she had asked Jesus to explain to her how that passage applied to the pastoral search committee and the pastor they found.  She then realized that this man had something that each member of the committee wanted.  She wanted someone who respected women's ministries.  Another person wanted someone who was a polished speaker, while someone else wanted someone with degrees.  This man satisfied every member of the search committee, but was apparently not God's choice.

Sis later left that church with her followers, and organized a new church in that denomination, and she was the pastor.  I attended one service at that new church several years later at her invitation.  She preached a sermon based on the most quoted Christian verse - John 3:16.  It was the deadest sermon I had ever heard.

So I meditated on Obadiah 1:3-4.  I saw that it was addressed to 'Edom'.  And I saw that the root of Edom's problems was 'pride of heart'.

I have heard that God puts things in His Book for the common good because one person's problems probably pertain to everyone else.  I have also heard that a wise person addresses faults in his or her own life before addressing them in others.

So I said, "Lord Jesus, please remove all pride from my heart."  Shortly thereafter I came across a verse in Paul's Letter to the Romans, which seemed to pertain to that issue:

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

So I asked Jesus to circumcise my heart of all pride any anything else that needed to be removed from my heart.  As a result I found a new joy in serving God and others in ways that nobody else was aware of, and it didn't matter to me.

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I also found another key passage dealing with delusions.  It is in Revelation chapter 3:

YLT Rev 3:14-19  And to the messenger of the assembly of the Laodiceans write: These things says the Amen, the Witness--the Faithful and True--the Chief of the creation of God; I have known your [singular - mr. messenger] works, that you [singular] art neither cold nor hot; I would you [singular] were cold or hot. So--because you [singular] are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit you [singular] out of My mouth; because you [singular] say - I am rich, and have grown rich, and have need of nothing, and have not known that you art the wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, I counsel you to buy from Me gold fired by fire, that you might be rich, and white garments that you might be arrayed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be manifest, and with eye-salve anoint your [singular] eyes, that you [singular] might see. As many as I love, I do convict and chasten; be zealous [singular], then, and reform [singular - change your mind].

Here we find a messenger of a Christian called-out group [ekklesia] saying that he or she is rich and has need of nothing, but not realizing that he or she is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked!!  Maybe this is the epitome of delusion!

I love the fact that Jesus 'recommends' to this messenger that he or she purchase real gold in exchange for what appears to be fool's gold, etc., and to get some eyesalve to enable him or her to see, and some white garments to hide his or her nakedness to avoid being vomited out of the Lord's mouth!

That, in turn, begs the question what are the true gold and eyesalve and white garments that the Lord prefers?  May I suggest that you, dear reader, ask the Lord Jesus what they are and how to obtain them!  But I will carry on with my beliefs in case they might be valuable to you.

I believe that the true gold from God is also described as 'gold tried by fire', which is Scriptural truth combined with actual experience orchestrated by God.  It is one thing to learn out of the Book, but an entirely more valuable thing to have experiences based on revealed truths.  This is what I hope to related to you, dear reader, of my experiences of life as a Christian on this website.

I believe that the eyesalve is humility expressed by acts of true repentance, confession of sin to God and people and service out of a true servant's heart according to the Will of God.

And I believe that the white garments are actions of service to God, people and creation which are not tainted by pride, selfishness or control of others, and are pursuant to the Will of God.

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I always thought that the passage above about the Laodicean ekklesia was addressed to that group of Christians.  But a careful reading in the Greek or King James translation shows clearly that it is addressed only to the messenger of that church, and that he or she only is in jeopardy of being vomited out of the Lord's mouth!  But I also suspect that if the members of that group of Christians are like today's Christians, then most of them also are in the same danger because they are followers of their local messenger more than followers of Jesus Christ!

MORE ABOUT DELUSIONS

This account of Jesus and 'those who believed in Him' should shock us out of any smug belief we might have that believing in Jesus makes a person  'right with God':

John 8:3-59  Jesus told the people who had faith in him, "If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered, "We are Abraham's children! We have never been anyone's slaves. How can you say we will be set free?" Jesus replied: I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin! And slaves don't stay in the family forever, though the Son will always remain in the family. If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! I know that you are from Abraham's family. Yet you want to kill me, because my message isn't really in your hearts. I am telling you what my Father has shown me, just as you are doing what your father has taught you.

The people said to Jesus, "Abraham is our father!" Jesus replied, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that. But you are doing exactly what your father does." "Don't accuse us of having someone else as our father!" they said. "We just have one father, and he is God." Jesus answered: If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. Why can't you understand what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying? Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.

Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won't you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don't belong to God. The people told Jesus, "We were right to say that you are a Samaritan and that you have a demon in you!" Jesus answered, "I don't have a demon in me. I honor my Father, and you refuse to honor me. I don't want honor for myself. But there is one who wants me to be honored, and he is also the one who judges. I tell you for certain that if you obey my words, you will never die."

Then the people said, "Now we are sure that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and so are the prophets. How can you say that no one who obeys your words will ever die? Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?" Jesus replied, "If I honored myself, it would mean nothing. My Father is the one who honors me. You claim that he is your God, even though you don't really know him. If I said I didn't know him, I would be a liar, just like all of you. But I know him, and I do what he says.  Your father Abraham was really glad to see me." "You are not even fifty years old!" they said. "How could you have seen Abraham?" Jesus answered, "I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I AM."
The people picked up stones to kill Jesus, but he hid and left the temple.

Please notice that these people who believed in Jesus were children of the devil, not of God.

And I believe that the following verse explains why:

2Th 2:8-10  And then that wicked one shall be revealed: whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: him whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power and signs and lying wonders: And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish: because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

There is a love of the truth which apparently is not common to mankind, which needs to be received by a person for that person to be able to receive all the truth he or she needs to be saved and set free from delusions.

Have you, dear reader, received the love of the truth?  Are you able to hear and receive the hard truths of life without getting all upset and angry?  Do people have to 'sugar coat' messages for you to get you to listen and possibly agree?

I found years ago that when I specifically asked Jesus to give me His love for the truth that I was then able to hear and calmly receive with joy new truths which have continued to transform my life in a positive way.  Yea, Lord Jesus!!!