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Having been taught of men through the ungodly influences of the enemy to ignorantly resist, even actively oppose as "not of God" nearly everything in our lives which God could use to correct us, what have we left for God to use if indeed He does desire to correct us?
We have been taught to summarily reject and label as "demonic" nearly everything that seems negative to us. We have in effect been taught -that if it seems too negative to us, then it is not of God, that God did not send it, He did not allow it, and He has no purpose in allowing anything that we don't happen to like or don't want. (Let's here it for our omniscience and newfound wisdom in the deification of the Mind of man!)
Systematically, we are justifying ourselves by the doctrines of men in the rejection of those things which are not approved of in the sight or perception of men. We refuse to acknowledge the Hand of the Lord, even concerning the merciful corrections of our Lord. (Heb.12) We have turned a deaf ear to His admonitions to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. (cf. 2Cor.13:5)
We are taught to reject rather than glory in infirmities. (2Cor.11:30 2Cor.12:9,10) We are willing to rejoice in trials (2Cor.8:2 1Pe4:12) and to endure affliction (Mark 4:17) just as long as we can blame them all on the devil. We are eager to reign with Him but we deny the cost: if suffer with Him (2Tim.2:12) we shall reign with Him.
The People of God are being taught that God does not afflict, nor wound, -and that He does not send evil.
God Himself said of Himself: "See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand" (Deut.32:39) Despite many examples both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament where God Himself sends outpouring of evil against those who are ignorantly opposing themselves -due to our biased human perception we steadfastly oppose God's purposes in suffering by refusing to believe that a loving God would allow evil, much less send evil or turn man over to his own evil. How is it that we tend to take this position? Because of man's inability to perceive the Wisdom of God -according to man's own limited perspective of the plan and the purposes of God.
The very thought of suffering mental, physical or even financial affliction in this day and age is so foreign to us. Because of our preoccupation with self and our own level of comfort, anything painful or unpleasant to our flesh has become so abhorrent to our minds that we have devised many ways to rid ourselves of those things which we call the scourge of the enemy.
But if we systematically (see Mark 7:13) make of none effect those things that God might use (to chasten and scourge every son whom He receives -see Heb.12:5-8) then what do you expect God to use to correct us -will we leave Him no choice but eventual annihilation?
Simply because something seems unfair to us, even when it seems evil in our sight that does not mean it is not allowed by God or that it was not sent by a loving God to be used by Him for good and not for evil. By setting ourselves up as judges (as to whether or not we think God has a purpose) in these things, we have inadvertently made ourselves judges of God.
In everything we are to pray with all prayer and supplication and to make our requests (not our demands, our requests) known to God and we are to pray that all things will be done according to His purposes (not ours) as it pleases Him.
No matter how negative it may seem to us according to man's own perspective: when God turned Jesus over to His enemies it was for our good and not for evil! When God turned Job over to Satan, it was for his good according to the purposes of God -and not for evil. Even as God turns His own people over to Satan (to sift us as wheat) the purposes of God for doing so are for good and not for evil. And God does do these things so that our souls might be saved. The word of God as many examples of how God uses, allows and even sent evil which was used for God according to the scriptural plan of God, in accordance with the express purposes of God -and so God sending things that seem negative to us should not be discounted by men (in their own ungodly positive only warped perception) as not being within the scope of the sovereign Will of God.
God's ways are not as our ways and His thoughts are not as man's thoughts. (cf.Isa.55:9) The ways and doings of man are by his own nature, in opposition to God. (cf.1Cor.2:14) Apart from submission of man to God in Christ, man's thoughts, his will, his feelings -even his perception of what things he accepts as good and what he determines for himself are not the ways "of God." In his own mind, the thoughts (& perception) of man is twisted -and through Satan's influence ("the evil") man's thoughts and his own perception of things are used by the enemy to oppose God.
In other words, Satan uses those things which be "of man" to oppose those which are "of God." (cf. Rom.8:7) Man ignorantly (and even willfully) opposes God -in his own ways and doings. Man does not perceive things as God does and yet he presumes to judge God's ways and doings and even exalts man's own (devilish) wisdom (see James 3:13-16) which is from below, above the Wisdom of God. Consider carefully that this was exactly what Satan vowed he would do -he vowed that he would exalt his throne (how? -in man) above the throne (Christ) of God, to exalt his ways (in man) above the Way of God, exalt his will (through man's will) above the Will of God (in Christ) and his wisdom (which is devilish) above (Jesus Christ who Himself is) the Wisdom of God! (cf. Isa.14:13 1Cor.1:30)
Man tends to view things from man's perspective, instead of according to God's eternal purposes in Christ. In Christ, we are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price and we are to submit ourselves to God in everything. In spite of the wisdom of God's command to acknowledge Him in all of our ways, it is the foolish tendency of man to exercise his own right to make up his own mind -although by now you would think man would have learned the wisdom of submitting ourselves in everything to Him who is the Only Wise God.
It is not enough for us that God sent His Son to die to restore us to Himself and to be made Wisdom unto us (cf.1Cor.1:30) but the rebellious tendency of man is to still think himself capable of determining godly counsel by (his own use of scripture) to try to weigh and measure things for himself. In his own image of God (according to what man sees in the word of God) man believe's it is right to make up his own mind as to what is or is not "of God."
Making up our own mind, deciding for ourselves what is or is not of God according to man's own perception and understanding of the written word of God is man trying to force God to conform to man's own image of God.
Man makes his own determination of what is or is not of God -according to man's own images and likeness of God in a perverted reversal of the potter and the clay. Man even uses the scripture to justify him self in doing so. Hence "teachings and doctrines of men" are used by man to determine what is or is not of God and even to oppose God, according to that which is right in man's own sight.
Man tends to view things in term of forces -positive is good and whatever seems beneficial to man or seems positive to man is deemed as "good" in his sight. What ever seems bad, or sounds negative or is unpleasant to man is so abhorrent to him that he considered it evil.
Worshiping the god of forces -man tends to take this same perspective (or measure of truth) to the written word of God and without really ever submitting his ungodly perception to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, man uses the word of God to command and to teach those things which are of man and not of God.
Attempting to exert our own will over that which we are convinced in our own minds is not God's will according to that which seems right to us in our own sight is ungodly and was rebuked by Jesus as demonic activity. (cf.Mt.16:23) Teachings which encourage such practices ought to be rebuked in the churches as demonic also. Who are we to preach and teach against suffering in the Body of Christ just because it does not seem right to us in our own sight simply because we lack God's revelation of the purposes of God in Christ.
We ought to know better than to let Satan use our reasoning and logic and powers of mental manipulation to supplant the truth of God's word. If man could do so, he would worm his way out of conviction, correction, adversity, trials etc. and would go to just about any length to eliminate anything and everything that was not right in his own puny estimation of what is good and profitable to man.
So shortsighted and proud is the nature of man that it has not yet occurred to him to even consider what he may be forfeiting by fracturing the scriptures in a vain attempt to evade everything that is not pleasing to our flesh or tickling to our ears. Little do we know what we forfeit when we fail to submit ourselves to the Wisdom of God and the Counsel of God by His Spirit.
Through the "wickedness" of Satan's influence upon the thoughts, minds, will, and feelings of man, through demonic manipulation of our limited human perspective there is much deception of the discernment of those who are called of God and are in respected positions (places of spiritual authority) in ministry.
There is much "wickedness" going unnoticed in places of spiritual authority because these things are made to seem right (even godly) to us in our own sight. However, whenever we act according to our own human perception of what is right, we open ourselves up to deception. (See 1Cor.11:10-12) Whenever we follow man even in those things, which are of man's best intentions, we can be deceived even in our best intentions. Even in man's most noble endeavors to please God -even those things which are born out of man's most fervent desire to please God, we are as subject to deception as was Eve, Peter or the disciples (cf. Luke 9:54)
With out her spiritual covering, Eve (as a type of the mind, will and emotions of man -his own soul) did not know what spirit her counsel was of. Not any more that James and John knew what spirit they were of (see Luke 9:54) when they wanted to call down fire from heaven upon the village of the Samaritans because they would not receive Jesus. -Not any more than Peter knew what spirit he was of when he openly opposed the purposes of God in the suffering and death of Jesus. Peter certainly did not know what spirit he was of, when he spoke out against that which did not seem to him to be the plan of God (because it did not fit Peter's agenda, vision or aspirations.) And Peter did not know what spirit he was of when he took Jesus aside and rebuked the Lord Himself for speaking the Will of God by the Spirit of God.
No matter how noble our purposes or good our intentions -no matter how godly we seem to think we are in own sight -we are no more exempt from these evil influences than Peter was.
Evil does manifest itself through man's own ways and doings -even man's most (seemingly) noble aspirations and "supposedly godly" desires, -desires for what he perceives to be the things of God. Be that as it may, without regard for Peter's feelings, Jesus withstood Peter to his face, Jesus (see Mt. 16:23) rebuked Peter -and the Satanic source which had motivated him. Jesus identified and rebuked the Satanic source of what He knew was a demonic attempt to subvert the plan of God for salvation (through tempting Jesus to reject the necessity of His own suffering and death.)
Satan literally tried to uses Peter's own human nature (the things of the soul of man: his perception, his will and his feelings) to supplant the Kingdom of God just as he is even today using those same devices to try to undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ and to supplant the kingdom of God -through those things which are approved in the sight of men.(Continued on next page...)