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Introduction 2.5

There are many people who study the word of God very diligently, but end up in error. The bible describes them as, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7). The reason is not only that they do not study the word of God the way that he has said to do it (See #2.4), but without removing the causes of deception from their lives, they cannot recognize the truth even when it is presented to them. Therefore, for anyone who really desires to obtain the truth from God's word, this section is very important. It is not just a question of reading and understanding what to do, but also of putting it into practice in our lives. This bible study explains about deceit, deception, deceivers, being deceived, and many causes of deception.

#2.502 Don't rely on our own understanding or wisdom

PROVERBS 3:5-7 (Solomon)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

PROVERBS 23:4 (Solomon)
4 Do not labor to be rich: cease from your own wisdom.

Note: There are three admonitions here that we need to take careful note of;

(Proverbs 3:5) "do not lean on your own understanding."
(Proverbs 3:7) "Do not be wise in your own eyes."
(Proverbs 23:4) "cease from your own wisdom."

Before we receive the truth of God's word it is necessary for us to do this, but why? The reasons for ceasing from our own worldly wisdom are as follows:

(1) It is contrary to the knowledge of God (Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; 2 Corinthians 10:5).
(2) It reasons according to the flesh (Genesis 3:6; Matthew 4:2-3; John 8:15; 2 Corinthians 1:12 and 2 Peter 2:18).
(3) It judges after the eyes (Genesis 3:6; 1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 4:8-9;  2 Corinthians 5:12), which we are told not to do, "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
(4) It appeals to pride (Genesis 3:6; Matthew 4:5-6) and leads to it (Ezekiel 28:4-5).
(5) It is contrary to the preaching in Spirit and power (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:4-5).
(6) It is deceitful (Romans 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20; Colossians 2:4; 2:8; Job 5:13)
(7) It is conceited (Proverbs 26:5; 26:12; 26:16; 28:11; Romans 11:25; 12:16).
(8) It increases worldly grief and sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:17-18).
(9) It is vanity (Psalm 33:10; 94:11; Proverbs 21:30; Ecclesiastes 1:13-14; 2:21; Jeremiah 10:7-8; Romans 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:18).
(10) It is foolishness (Isaiah 44:24-25; Jeremiah 10:7-8; Romans 1:22; 1 Corinthians 1:19-20; 3:18-19).
(11) It perverts us (Isaiah 47:10).
(12) It can be considered as sinful if we compare:
(1 Corinthians 3:19) "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" with
(Proverbs 24:9) "The thought of foolishness is sin."

Also compare:
(1 Corinthians 2:5) "your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men" with
(Romans 14:23) "whatever is not of faith is sin."

Just look at the list! There is no way that man can ever get the truth of God's word by relying on his own worldly wisdom, because God's thoughts are not man's thoughts. God's thoughts are as far above man's thoughts as the heaven is above the earth (Isaiah 55:8-9), and if we wish to receive the wisdom of God, then we need to discard our own wisdom, and rely on spiritual discernment from the Holy Spirit (See #2.6).

#2.504 Don't follow false teachers

PROVERBS 12:11 (Solomon)
11 He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he who follows vain persons is void of understanding.

PROVERBS 13:20 (Solomon)
20 He who walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

PROVERBS 14:7 (Solomon)
7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you perceive the lips of knowledge are not in him.

PROVERBS 19:27 (Solomon)
27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes to err from the words of knowledge.

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and those who are led of them are destroyed.

MATTHEW 15:14 (Jesus)
14 Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

ROMANS 16:17-18 (Tertius)
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark those who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.
18 For those who are such do not serve the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

EPHESIANS 5:6-7 (Paul)
6 Do not let any man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
7 Do not you be therefore partakers with them.

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, and after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

2 TIMOTHY 3:13 (Paul)
13 But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

TITUS 3:10-11 (Paul)
10 A man who is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject;
11 Knowing that he who is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.

Note: False teachers are deceivers because they are themselves deceived, and therefore what they teach is deception. The above scriptures indicate very strongly that we should not follow false teachers, otherwise we will end up being deceived and destroyed. So how can we know who is false and who isn't? because even false teachers use, "good words and fair speeches" (Romans 16:18). The answer is that we must know the word of God for ourselves. None of us can tell truth from error if we do not know what truth is, and this is why it is so important for each of us to study the word of God as much as we can. The more truth we learn, the easier it will be to recognize error when it is taught. Then we must either resist their error (Acts 17:16-17; Galatians 2:5-6; 2:11-14), or get out of their company in order to obey God (Proverbs 14:7; 19:27; Romans 16:17; Ephesians 5:7; Titus 3:10).

#2.506 Don't be proud

PSALMS 119:21
21 You have rebuked the proud who are cursed, who err from your commandments.

16 Your terribleness has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, O you who dwells in the clefts of the rock, who holds the height of the hill: though you should make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there, says the LORD.

3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwells in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; who says in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

GALATIANS 6:3 (Paul)
3 For if a man thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Note: Pride was the original sin of the Devil, when his heart was lifted up because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28:17), and he corrupted himself. Now pride is one of the things God hates:

(Proverbs 6:16-19) "These six things the LORD hates: yes, seven are an abomination to him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief,
A false witness who speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren."

Pride is a condition of the heart (Proverbs 16:5; 21:4; Obadiah 3), and it is evil (Job 35:12; Psalm 10:2). It prevents us from hearing the truth (Psalm 10:4-5; Jeremiah 13:17), it hardens the heart (Daniel 5:20), and causes contention (Proverbs 13:10; 21:24; 28:25). Ultimately it leads to condemnation (1 Timothy 3:6). Pride is caused by:

(1) Personal power (Daniel 5:18-20).
(2) Personal strength (2 Kings 14:10; 2 Chronicles 26:15-16).
(3) Personal wealth and possessions (Deuteronomy 8:13-14; 2 Kings 20:12-19 with Isaiah 39:1-8; 2 Chronicles 32:24-36; Ezekiel 28:4-5; Hosea 13:6; Matthew 19:21).
(4) Personal beauty (Ezekiel 28:17).
(5) Victory in war (2 Kings 14:10; Daniel 11:11-12).
(6) Personal greatness (Ezekiel 31:1-11).
(7) Personal wisdom (Ezekiel 28:4-5).

In order to remove pride from our heart, we need to repent of any of these things that we have been involved in.

#2.508 Don't sin

JOB 11:20 (Zophar)
20 But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the spirit.

PROVERBS 13:9 (Solomon)
9 The light of the righteous rejoices: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

DANIEL 9:8,13
8 O Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet we did not make our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand your truth.

17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung.

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Note: Sin is a big deceiver. Once a person allows sin to come in, or stay in their life, they have allowed the Devil in to deceive them. There is no way round this without repenting of the sin. Multitudes of Christians today are wandering round deceived, because they have refused to deal with sin in their lives. Make no mistake, the fact that salvation is still future in a real sense is given by many scriptures:

(Matthew 24:13) "But he who shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved."
(Mark 16:16 RPT) "He who believed and was baptized shall be saved."
(Acts 15:11) "But we believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."
(Romans 5:10) "being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
(Romans 13:11) "for now is our salvation nearer that when we believed."
(Philippians 2:12) "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
(1 Peter 1:5) "Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
(1 Peter 1:9) "Receiving at the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

When we become believers, God gives us "a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3) for our salvation, but we need to maintain that faith. If we lose it, we will never receive our salvation manifested in a real sense. Salvation will manifest when we are resurrected from the dead at Jesus' second coming (1 Corinthians 5:5; 15:50-57; Hebrews 9:28).
Here we have every incentive to get sin out of our lives, so that we are not deceived into believing that we are saved when we are not. We only have to look at all the denominational error today, and false cults who think that they are the only ones serving God, to know that this is right.

#2.510 Don't desire material wealth or possessions

MATTHEW 13:22 (Jesus)
22 He also who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

MARK 4:18-19 (Jesus)
18 And these are the ones which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

LUKE 8:14 (Jesus)
14 And that which fell among thorns are those, who, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

1 TIMOTHY 6:9-10 (Paul)
9 But those who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Note: Jesus warned people not to lay up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19) but to lay them up in heaven (Matthew 6:20). The scripture says, "the righteous shall live by faith" (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38), which means that they live a life totally depending upon God for all of their needs. The attitude of the world is, "money answers all things" (Ecclesiastes 10:19). Money is a god to the world that supplies what they need, and trusting in money is idolatry:

(Ephesians 5:5) "For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."
(Colossians 3:5) "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."

Paul said to the Philippians, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19), so trusting in any other source of supply is idolatry. Repentance for idolatry requires the destruction of the idol, and all to do with it (See #2.532 Note), and when we come to Jesus with such things, he will tell us what to do:

(Matthew 19:21-24) "Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, Amen I say to you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

The New Testament church "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" (Acts 2:42), and this is what they did:

(Acts 2:44-45) "And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need."
(Acts 4:34-35) "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made to every man according as he had need."

If we are going to repent properly of our past covetousness, then we need also to do this. A man can never be completely free from deception without doing it.

#2.512 Don't desire strong drink or wine

PROVERBS 20:1 (Solomon)
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived by it is not wise.

7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

HOSEA 4:11
11 Fornication and wine and new wine take away the heart.

Note: Strong drink has always been a weapon of the Devil. Noah was the only man, along with his family, who was righteous enough to be saved in the day of the flood, but even he was deceived by strong drink when he became drunk after the flood (Genesis 9:20-21). Under the influence of the strong drink he exposed his nakedness to his youngest son (v22), and ended up cursing his Grandson (vv25-26). Lot was the only man found righteous enough to escape Sodom and Gomorrah when God destroyed them (Genesis 19:1-26), but even he afterward ended up committing incest with both of his daughters, while under the influence of strong drink (Genesis 19:31-38). These are examples for us not to go down the same way. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), but one of the works of the flesh is "lasciviousness" (Galatians 5:19), which means "lack of restraint", or "lack of control". When we surrender our self control, it lets the Devil into our lives, and even the world knows this. They call alcohol "the demon drink", and in many countries driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence. Satanic literature shows that drunkenness is a form of Devil worship, and every child of God needs to kill their desire for strong drink without delay. There is no way we can be free from deception without doing it.

#2.514 Don't desire dainty food

PROVERBS 23:1-3 (Solomon)
1 When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you:
2 And put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

PROVERBS 23:20-21 (Solomon)
20 Do not be among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

ECCLESIASTES 7:2 (Solomon)
2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Note: Scripture can be interpreted in both a spiritual and a physical sense, but if we consider it only in a physical sense here, then we need to ask ourselves, "How is dainty food deceitful?" Simply by being a pleasure to taste, there is a temptation to eat too much or too often. Then if our heart becomes set on doing it (Ecclesiastes 7:2), we will inherit all the problems that come with it. We should not be ignorant of the fact that the Devil will try to ensnare us into overeating, because it can deceive us (Proverbs 23:3), bring spiritual poverty (Proverbs 23:21), war against our soul (Romans 7:23; 1 Peter 2:11), displease God (Romans 8:5-13), and cause us to disobey God (Romans 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11). It is contrary to spirituality (Galatians 5:16-17; 1 Peter 2:11), and it reaps corruption (Galatians 6:7-8). It is sinful (Ezekiel 16:49; Hebrews 12:16), it can exalt our heart (Deuteronomy 8:11-14; Hosea 13:6), or cause us to forget God (Deuteronomy 6:11-12; Hosea 13:6), or deny God (Proverbs 30:9), or forsake God (Deuteronomy 8:11-12; 13:15). It is an attribute of a fool (Proverbs 30:22; Luke 12:19-20), an evil servant (Matthew 24:48-49; Luke 12:45), it leads to pride (Deuteronomy 8:12-14; Hosea 13:6), and is contrary to the cross of Christ (Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). It is also a failure to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), it will prevent us from becoming like Jesus (Psalm 35:13; 69:10; Matthew 4:2; John 4:31-34), and it could ultimately cost us our salvation unless we forsake it (Psalm 78:29-31; Luke 6:25; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 5:24).

#2.516 Don't desire women other than our wife

JOB 31:9 (Job)
9 If my heart has been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbor's door.

Note: If we have a desire for women, other than our own wife, then we are breaking the tenth commandment:

(Exodus 20:17) "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, ... nor anything that is your neighbor's."

We have also broken the eighth commandment, which says, "You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15), because we have stolen her in our heart.
We have also broken the seventh commandment, which says, "you shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14), because Jesus said, "whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
We have also broken the fifth commandment, which says, "Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12), because godly parents would tell us not break any of these commandments, and when we disobey, we dishonor them.
We have also broken the first commandment, which says, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3), because as soon as we set our heart on anything that is contrary to God's will we have exalted our own will above God's will. We have made ourselves our own God.
So it is just as the scripture says, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). Job's heart was not deceived by any woman, for he said, "I made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1). Job had determined not to look, and therefore the Devil could not get the wrong desire into him. All sin in the heart causes deception (See #2.508), so we must repent until we are free from this to know that we have the whole truth.

#2.518 Cast down vain or deceitful imaginations

PSALMS 38:12 (David)
12 They also that seek after my life lay snares for me; and those who seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 (Paul)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Note: Why cast down imaginations? Because they are usually evil (Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Deuteronomy 29:19-20; Proverbs 12:20; Jeremiah 7:24; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; Nahum 1:11; Zechariah 7:10; 8:17); deceitful (Psalm 10:2; 38:12; Jeremiah 23:16-19), and vain (Psalm 2:1; Acts 4:25; Romans 1:21). They are an attribute of the proud (Psalm 10:2; Luke 1:51); God hates them (Proverbs 6:16-18; Zech 8:17); and we are told to cast them down (2 Corinthians 10:5). Imagination is not a thing to be allowed to have free course in our lives.

#2.520 Be a doer of the word

PSALMS 111:10
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all those who do his commandments: his praise endures for ever.

JAMES 1:22
22 But you be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Note: These scriptures show that people who are not obedient to the word of God are deceived. Jesus told a parable about two men who each built a house for himself:

(Matthew 7:24-27) "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it did not fall: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

These two men both heard the same words of Jesus; but the difference was that the one likened to a wise man obeyed them (v24), while the one likened to a foolish man didn't (v26). So it is that a man who does not obey the words of Jesus is deceived, and is just building his spiritual house on a faulty foundation, which will not stand firm when the trials come against it.
Therefore, if anyone wishes to avoid deception, they must become obedient to do the word of God.

#2.522 Don't sow to the flesh

GALATIANS 6:7-8 (Paul)
7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows that shall he also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Note: Sowing to the flesh involves hearing, seeing, studying, or getting involved in anything that is not of God. All of these things refashion our spiritual heart according to the flesh, and will give us the wrong desires. These desires are called "lusts" (Ephesians 4:22) and can lead us into more sin, which will deceive us even more (See # 2.508).

#2.524 Don't be over concerned with our personal appearance

17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you.

Note: Originally the Devil was made perfect (Ezekiel 28:15), and he was very beautiful (Ezekiel 28:12-13; 28: 17). When he began to admire himself, his heart was lifted up with pride, and he became corrupt. From that moment onwards he has craved worship from others, and the fact that this is his hearts desire was revealed when he tempted Jesus. Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship (Matthew 4:8-9), showing how important it is to him. Pride shows itself when people try to make themselves look beautiful, or more attractive to others. They do it because they want the admiration, just like the Devil. God is not impressed by it, "for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). If this is one of our faults, it can lead to great deception (See #2.506), and needs to be repented of.

#2.526 Don't trust our own heart

PROVERBS 28:26 (Solomon)
26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool: but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered.

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Note: Every one of us makes decisions based on what we think in our spiritual heart. Our heart determines our purpose (Daniel 1:8; Acts 11:23 and 2 Corinthians 9:7), it devises our way (Proverbs 16:9; Isaiah 57:17), our thoughts come from our heart (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21; Luke 24:38), our words come from our heart (Proverbs 16:23; Matthew 12:34-35; 15:18-19), and our deeds come from our heart (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21-22; Romans 2:14-15). However, it is obvious from the above scriptures (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9) that we are not wise to trust our own heart. Until our heart has been renewed by God's word (Romans 12:2) and becomes full of God's word, we cannot trust it. If we do we will be deceived.

#2.528 Bridle our tongue

JAMES 1:26
26 If any man among you seems to be religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

Note: A truly spiritual man has self control (Galatians 5:23), and is able to control his speech and his body (James 3:2). On the other hand, look at the attributes of a fool:

(Proverbs 10:14) "the mouth of the foolish is near destruction."
(Proverbs 10:19) "In the multitude of words sin does not lack: but he who refrains his lips is wise."
(Proverbs 12:13) "The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips."
(Proverbs 17:27-28) "He who has knowledge spares his words: ... Even a fool when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he who shuts his lips is counted understanding."
(Proverbs 18:7) "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."
(Ecclesiastes 5:3) "A fool's voice is known by his many words."

It seems obvious that a fool is one who talks too much. Therefore, if he does not bridle his tongue, the foolishness that he speaks will go back into his own heart (See #2.46) and deceive him.

#2.532 Avoid idolatry

16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart is not deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

JEREMIAH 7:17-19
17 Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
19 Do they provoke me to anger? says the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

EZEKIEL 14:3-5
3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling-block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?
4 Therefore speak to them, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling-block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him who comes according to the multitude of his idols;
5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

Note: There are many forms of idolatry. The love of money and possessions is one (See #2.510). All types of false religion involve idolatry, because people are worshipping something other than the one true God. Repentance for idolatry requires the destruction of the idol, and all to do with it:

(Isaiah 27:9) "By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he makes all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten to dust, the groves and images shall not stand up."

This is why Moses destroyed the golden calf that the Israelites made in the wilderness:

(Deuteronomy 9:21) "And I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust of it into the brook that descended out of the mount."

This means that the "idol" has to be removed from our heart for repentance to be complete. We have to get to the place where we no longer desire worldly wealth or possessions, as Paul said,

(1 Timothy 6:6-8) "But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and clothes let us be content with that."

We have to get to the place where we no longer admire the people who we used to admire, and get to the place where we have no association with false religion anymore.

#2.534 Don't follow women teachers

1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-35 (Paul)
34 Let your women1 keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also says the law.
35 And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands2 at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 TIMOTHY 2:11-15 (Paul)
11 Let the women1 learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman1 to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man2, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman1 being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Nevertheless she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Note 1: The Greek word translated women1 (1 Corinthians 14:34), and woman1 (1 Timothy 2:12, 14) is γυνὴ (Gtr. gunē). It is translated "wife" (129x) and "woman" (92x) in the KJV, and refers to a woman of any age, whether a virgin (Matthew 1:20), or a married woman, or a widow (Luke 4:26). Looking at the contexts of the above scriptures, they all refer to wives. The references to "their (lit. their own) husbands" (1 Corinthians 14:35), to Adam and Eve (1 Timothy 2:13-14), and "shall be saved in childbearing" (1 Timothy 2:15), all seem to point to this.
The Greek word translated husbands2 (1 Corinthians 14:35), and man2 (1 Timothy 2:12) is ἀνήρ (Gtr. anēr). It is translated "man" (156x) and "husband" (50x) in the KJV. It is used of a male whether married or single, as Paul used it of himself (Acts 22:3), although the contexts that we are examining here do suggest husbands. Exactly what these scriptures mean cannot be determined from the word meaning alone, so we must analyze them along with other scriptures.

Note 2: It seems that women are generally more sensitive than men, and therefore more easily led. The scripture refers to them as "the weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7). Men are generally slower to make decisions, but more stable, and as "the heart of the righteous studies to answer" (Proverbs 15:28), decisions made after careful thought are usually better. It seems therefore, that women are easier to deceive than men, and if the devil has the ability to deceive a perfect woman like Eve (1 Timothy 2:14), how much easier is it for him to deceive women who are not perfect? Knowing this, Satan has often tried to use women (usually wives) to get to the man. Here are some examples from scripture:

(1) Eve was used to lead Adam into sin (Genesis 3:6).
(2) Lot's daughters were used to deceive him with wine and cause him to commit incest with them (Genesis 19:30-36).
(3) Sarah was used to get Abraham to have a child by Hagar her servant (Genesis 16:1-4) which proved to be a very costly mistake with consequences continuing to this day.
(4) Delilah was used to destroy Samson (Judges 16:4-21).
(5) Solomon's wives were used to turn his heart away from God to Idols (1 Kings 11:3-4).
(6) Jezebel was used to get Ahab into trouble even more with God, by killing Naboth, so that Ahab and all his descendants were to be destroyed (1 Kings 21:1-14).
(7) Haman's wife was used to get Haman to build a gallows to hang Mordecai on (Esther 5:14), but it ended up with himself and his sons being hanged upon it (Esther 7:10; 9:25).
(8) Job's wife was used to try to get him to curse God (Job 1:11; 2:5; 2:9).
(9) Herod's unlawful wife was used to get him to behead John the Baptist (Matthew 14:6-11; Mark 6:21-28).

This does not mean to say that women cannot be used by God for his purposes. Deborah was a prophetess and a judge in Israel (Judges 4:4), but when it came to lead in battle she sent for Barak (Judges 4:6). Miriam, Moses' older sister, was a prophetess and a worship leader (Exodus 15:20), but when she exalted herself against the leadership of Moses she became a leper (Numbers 12:1-15). Esther was mightily used by God to bring deliverance to Israel under the headship of Mordecai. Anna was an aged prophetess who served God with prayers and fasting (Luke 2:36-38). Philip's four daughters prophesied (Acts 21:9), and Pheobe was a servant (or deacon) in the New Testament church (Romans 16:1). Older women can teach younger women concerning their role and relationship with their husbands (Titus 2:3-5), but nowhere was a woman used to teach doctrine in the church. If the New Testament church had wanted a woman teacher, they had a perfect candidate, Mary the mother of Jesus. She knew for certain that Jesus was the son of God, and spent 30 years living with him and bringing him up, until he started his ministry. She probably knew more about him than any other person alive, yet after being mentioned with the disciples in the upper room before the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14), she is not mentioned again in all of the New Testament.
Unless other scriptures can be brought to bear on this subject, the conclusion is that Paul would not permit a woman to teach doctrine in the church, because they are too easily deceived.

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