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Evil Teaching Seduces The Church

1 Timothy 4:1-3
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. (NIV)

The Holy Spirit taught Paul that Christians can be lured away from Christ by false teachers. These people mislead believers; they are hypocrites themselves and are not telling the truth. They have not followed Christ although they pretend to be part of the church, but really they are being manipulated by demonic spirits. They appear devout because of their strict way of life but they demand that their followers behave in ways that are not part of the essential Christian lifestyle.

The truth is that when people come to Jesus for mercy and grace, He opens their eyes to the truth and sets them free from bondage. But Satan and his demons want to enslave people, dictate their basic human choices and deprive them from living as free people under God’s grace. We must be alert to recognise such people, and ensure that we are not sucked into their error ourselves.

It is good to have clear leadership in the church, and most people want to follow a strong leader. But when a strongly opinionated leader gathers a following which leads people away from the church, remember these verses. But also remember the truth that God is not a ‘kill-joy’. He freely provides us with everything for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17) so we should receive and give thanks. As Paul says (Galatians 5:1), “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Prayer 
Lord of truth and liberty. Thank You that Jesus has not come to enslave us in religious rules, but to set us free to relate with You by the power of the Holy Spirit. I am sorry when I have allowed the disciplines of my Christian life to become demonically controlled behaviour patterns, telling younger believers that they must do the same. Please help me to give thanks for the rich variety of blessings You give to me and learn to live in the liberty which come to those who are free from guilt and free to serve the Saviour. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams