Hardened Hearts Have Become the Rule Rather than the Exception

My study today drove home the reality of the times we live in. This is accomplished by identifying the means by which people have been able to continue abiding in this strong delusion.

Don’t you sometimes listen to the lies that are being poured down like rain on people all over the world and wonder how it is that they can continue to lie and be lied to? Well, I do. I try listen to the news and I read the mis-information being dumped onto the internet and I am stunned, to say the least! It’s good to know your enemy, but it’s a sad commentary of where we are as a people.

I have come to accept that this is the way things are because the egos behind the attitudes that are flying all over the place were predicted in the scriptures some 2000 years ago. With great frustration I have to admit that having scriptural confirmation of what is happening does not make it any easier for me as an observer of those willing to perpetrate and those willing to swallow the lies. They really can't help themselves any longer; they are driven by forces that even they cannot understand. They are out of control because they are no longer in control of their own lives.

1 Timothy 3:16 begins this passage by reminding us of the great mystery of godliness:

(16) By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.

Then, starting with Chapter 4 verse 1 we are informed that there will be a great falling away from the faith:

(1) But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
(2) by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
(3) men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
1 Timothy 3:16-4:3 NASB

As I meditated on this passage, I was reminded of the effects of having a stronghold in your life. Verse 2 talks about hypocrisy being seared into the conscience of those who will have fallen away. Have you ever tried to operate under the weight of a stronghold? It’s not possible to get away from it, except by the power of God. The anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage to sin is the only thing that can break the stronghold set up by these deceitful spirits or our ties to those doctrines of demons. These people continue under this stronghold because they have to do it their way, in spite of what God has instructed them to do.

Romans 1:28 tells us that God has given them what they want:

(28) And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome, (AMP)

These people have been branded, like cattle, with the words of deceitful spirits and with doctrines of demons. They set up rules and regulations that appeal to our flesh. We think that we are doing God’s work, but what we are doing is satisfying something inside of ourselves that is fueled by improper motives.

I heard a pastor speak about people who come to him with complaints about those who are NOT being served by his church. He said his response was to tell the person that they must be the one who was called to start a ministry to those he was concerned about. This might be true, but I happen to know that if you do feel led to start a ministry, you can’t do it at that church and if you do it outside of you have to do it without the support of what might e your home church. Then, the prevailing attitude becomes “if you are not with them, you are on your own!” This is what I would call a doctrine of demons because of the ones who are consistently left out of major ministries.

There is another organization that teaches the Holy Spirit is not a part of the Godhead because the bible never gives Him human attributes. This is part of their argument against a God who is three-in-one. But isn’t this just more of the hypocrisy of men who cannot accept what they do not understand? Then they label it a “logical” conclusion?
There is a way to conduct yourselves that will help you to avoid the deceit that is saturating the air and the internet. 1 Peter 3:8-17 gives us a very thorough summary of what godliness “looks” like:

(8) To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
(9) not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
(13) Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?
(14) But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
(15) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
(16) and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
(17) For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.


In today’s climate, those who are able to walk in the manner laid out above are the evidence of the mystery of godliness. Have you seen them? It is as if they float through life, always a safe distance above the fray and the kicker is that they appear to have no visible means of support! When they should be downcast by their circumstances, they are the most joy filled people in the bunch! That’s a true mystery in itself! They are rare today, but they stick out like a sore thumb without seeking out the attention of others. They don’t get pulled into the never-ending debates being waged around the world because they know they must choose each battle as if lives depended on it.

They understand the importance of staying close to the Lord and the need to step out boldly when He instructs them to do so. They bring peace into situations where there is none to be found. They are willing to suffer for what is right, but it’s not the way that will always seem right to man. Though the air is full of preachers, there are very few true shepherds that are in it just for the sake of the sheep. If you find one, sit at his or her feet. You will find great wisdom and godly knowledge that will carry you through the foul times that await us. Then teach others what you have learned. Those who have an ear will know if you speak the truth and it WILL set them free!

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