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6th Deception












It is a tribute to the Serpent's cunning that this vital part of salvation is so often ignored by modern Bible teachers. And yet, from Genesis through Revelation, the Bible teaches that God tests His people in order to determine their faithfulness. In the book of Genesis, we see that God tested Adam and Eve.


"And the Lord God COMMANDED the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:


But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, THOU SHALT NOT EAT OF IT: for in the day that thou eatest thereof THOU SHALT SURELY DIE." (2:15)



Through the experience of Adam and Eve we can gain understanding on the subject of testing. From that model we see that God tests His people by commanding certain things and then warns them of the consequences for disobedience. If the people believe God and obey Him, they pass the test. If they refuse to obey, they fail the test and will be shut off from the tree of life for eternity.


This same pattern of testing is repeated throughout the history of

God's people. The 22nd chapter of Genesis begins with these words:


"After these things God tested Abraham..."


God commanded Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him

upon an altar. As Abraham raised the knife over Isaac, the angel of

the Lord told him to stop and said:


"For now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not

withheld your son, your only son, from me."

(Gen 22:12)


God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to sacrifice that

which was most precious to him. Abraham passed the test and

received God's blessing. Modern Christianity teaches that Abraham

was blessed because of his faith. Nevertheless, the fact is that

Abraham was not blessed for his faith, but rather for the obedience

which his faith produced. The proof of that is seen in Genesis 22:18

when the angel of the Lord said to Abraham:



"...BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE THIS, and have not withheld

your son ... I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your

descendants as the stars of heaven...and by your descendants

shall all the nations bless themselves,



That is why James used the example of Abraham when he insisted that faith without obedience is a dead faith, he said:


"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is



Was not Abraham our father justified by works WHEN he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" (James 2:20f)


James was careful to emphasize that Abraham was justified WHEN he had offered Isaac. Yes, it is true that we are justified by our faith, but as James points out, that faith must be tested in order to receive eternal life. He wrote:


"Blessed is the man who ENDURES trial,

for when he has stood the TEST

he will receive the CROWN OF LIFE

which God has promised to those who LOVE HIM."

James l:12


That one sentence contains the three facts necessary to understand

the process of testing:


1. Christians must ENDURE TESTING.


2. Those who STAND THE TEST receive the CROWN OF



3. The crown of life is promised to those who LOVE GOD.


The apostle John defines how to LOVE God:


"For this is the love of God,

that we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS." (1 John 5:3)


So, there it is - God's plan of testing for all who will accept the

testimony of scripture...





As we continue to look through the scriptures we will often see this concept of testing through obedience. For example, in the book of Exodus we find that God chose the Israelites and called them out of Egypt. After they had crossed the Red Sea, God gave them commandments in order to test them. All those over the age

of twenty failed the test and died in the wilderness - except Joshua and Caleb - who through their faith were obedient.


After forty years in the wilderness, as they were about to enter the land of Canaan, Moses said to the new generation of Israelites: "And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, TESTING YOU to know what was in your heart, whether you would KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, or not."

(Deuteronomy 8:2)


Repeatedly, we see God testing His people in order to know what is in their hearts, and that test is whether we will keep His commandments or not.





In the New Testament we find this same principle of testing. For



"Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the

wilderness to be tempted by the devil." (Matt 4:1)


In that lonely desert, Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the

world if He would only bow down and worship him. While most of

us will never be offered kingdoms for our disobedience, Satan does

offer us worldly pleasures and rewards if we will follow him and

commit sin by disobeying the commandments of God.


Just as God allowed Satan to test Jesus and Job, God also allows Satan to test us in this world. One can easily understand this concept if one sees the world system with all its pleasures and rewards as the means by which we are tested.


The scriptures say that "...the whole world is in the power of the evil one." (1 John 5:19) and that Satan is "...the god of this world." (2 Cor 4:4). As we go through our time on earth, the world system under the power of Satan is like an obstacle course for the Christian.


Satan uses all his power over the pleasures of this world in order to

draw us into disobedience.


The good news is that even though we may be tempted to the limit

of our strength, God does not permit Satan to test us beyond our

ability to resist. Paul wrote:


"God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

(1 Corinthians 10:13)


Since we cannot be tested beyond our God-given ability to obey, if we disobey, our choice proves what is in our hearts. If we love God "with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength" we will choose to keep His commandments. If we love the world more than God we will choose to break God's commandments. It is just that simple.




Did Jesus teach that we must keep the Ten Commandments in order to receive eternal life? Nothing could be clearer than His words to the Rich Young Ruler who asked Jesus "What good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" Jesus answered him by saying:


"If you would enter life, keep the commandments...You shall not

kill, You shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall

not bear false witness ..."

(Matt 19:17f)


Jesus was not tricking that man, our Lord meant just what He said!

When Jesus commanded the man to "sell all and give to the poor", He

exposed the covetousness in the Rich Young Ruler's heart. The

young man chose not to obey and failed the test.





In His letters to the seven churches, Jesus refers to the testing of our faith several times. The constant theme is that the one who conquers or overcomes (Greek nikao) is the one who receives the reward.


In some letters the reward promised has to do with eternal life, for



EPHESUS (Rev 2:7) "...To him who CONQUERS (nikao) I will

grant to eat of the tree of LIFE, which is in the paradise of God."


SMYRNA (Rev 2:10) "...Be faithful unto death, and I will give you

the crown of LIFE...He who CONQUERS (nikao) shall not be hurt

by the second death."


* Remember that in James 1:12, the "crown of life" was the

reward promised to those who love God (i.e. keep His



SARDIS (Rev 3:5) "He who CONQUERS (nikao) shall be clad thus

in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of



The reader might well ask: "Does the word "conquer" have anything

to do with the believer overcoming the world system controlled by

Satan and his angels? The answer to that question is found in the

1st Epistle of John. In the fifth chapter, John uses the same Greek

word "nikao" (to conquer or overcome) three times in describing the

victory of the believer over the world. Not only did he use the same

word "nikao" - he tied it directly to keeping the commandments of



"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments...for whatsoever is born of God OVERCOMETH (nikao) the world: and this is the victory that OVERCOMETH (nikao) the world, even our faith. Who is he that OVERCOMETH (nikao) the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God."

(1 John 5:3-5)


God allows Satan and his world system to test our faith. Those who pass the test by keeping the commandments of God are those who "conquer" the world, and according to Jesus, those who conquer will be granted "to eat of the tree of life which is in the paradise of God".



With those verses in mind, it is easy to understand what Jesus meant

when He told the Sadducees that only those who are "accounted

worthy" will be the sons of God. Jesus said:


"The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those

who are ACCOUNTED WORTHY to attain to that age and to

the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in

marriage, for they CANNOT DIE any more, because they are

equal to angels and are SONS OF GOD, being sons of

the resurrection." Luke 20:34


Only those who are "accounted worthy" will become the sons of God

and receive eternal life. That simple truth is far different than

what is being taught in the churches of today, who say that those who just

"believe" will have eternal life. Listen to these sobering words of

Jesus as he promises life and sonship to those who conquer sin - and

death in the lake of fire to those who do not...


"...To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of

LIFE without payment. He who CONQUERS (nikao) shall have this

heritage and I will be his God and he shall be MY SON.


BUT as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolators, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second DEATH." (Rev 21:6-8)



I pray that those words of Jesus will strike fear and dread into the hearts of readers who have been told that they are sons of God simply because they have "believed". Only those believers whose faith has been tested by the "fiery trials" will inherit eternal life. Peter had much to say about these trials, he wrote:


"...though now for a little while you may have to suffer various

trials, so that the GENUINENESS OF YOUR FAITH, more

precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may

redound to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus

Christ...As the outcome of your faith you obtain the



Only "genuine" faith, tested by fire, will result in the salvation

of our souls. The authentic faith that saves is a faith that suffers with Christ by ceasing from sin. Peter wrote:


"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves

with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh


(1 Peter 4:1)


Ceasing from sin causes the fiery trials which test our faith. As we

struggle against Satan we share in the sufferings of Christ who

overcame the Devil so that we might also be able to overcome. This

battle against sin is the common heritage of all who follow Christ.

Peter said:


"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes

upon you TO PROVE YOU, as though something strange were

happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's

sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is

revealed." (1 Peter 4:12-13)


If we want to be glorified with Christ then we must suffer with Him.


That is why Paul said that we were:


"...heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, PROVIDED WE

SUFFER with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him."

(Rom 8:17)




Did you see the phrase "provided we suffer"? Suffering with Christ

is the condition for becoming heirs of God! Perhaps many of you

have read that verse in Romans without really understanding that to

suffer with Christ means ceasing from sin. Thus, if you have not

ceased from sin, you have not suffered with Christ, and if you have

not suffered with Christ, you will not be glorified with Him.


As you can see, is not just those who "believe" who will be saved, but rather, those who believe enough to suffer by putting to death the deeds of the body through obedience to God's law. That is why Paul warned the Roman believers that:


"... if you live according to the flesh YOU WILL DIE, But, IF by

the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, YOU WILL



and those"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God;

IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TO GOD'S LAW, indeed it cannot;

who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:7)


If anyone finds that he is unable to submit to God's law he may be

certain that he does not possess the Holy Spirit of God. For it is

only" the Spirit" that we are able to obey. Those who believe

they have the Holy Spirit but cannot "put to death the deeds of the

body" have been horribly deceived. There end will be destruction in

the lake of fire.





For those who still doubt what I am saying, please spend a few

minutes in prayerful study of the very last blessing promised by Jesus as He ended the book of Revelation...










MAKETH A LIE." Rev 22:14 KJV


From the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden till the time when New

Jerusalem, the holy city descends from God, the scriptures declare

that only those who keep the commandments of God will eat of the

tree of life.


"Here is the endurance of the saints,


AND the faith of Jesus. Rev 14:12
















Creation date: Jul 11, 2019 1:03pm     Last modified date: Jul 11, 2019 1:11pm   Last visit date: Jan 15, 2022 9:00am
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