Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Accuser's Role

The dusty idea we want to examine on this post is the role Satan plays in the scheme of things.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. 
(Jas 1:12-15)

Temptation is a subject that has been sometimes misunderstood.

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.  (Gen 22:1 KJV)

Do these two readings from James and Genesis contradict each other? 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  (1Co 10:13 KJV)

Isn't it great that God knows how much you can take when it comes to temptation. He knows us better than we know ourselves, or are willing to admit to. I know I feel that way 99% of the time, give or take 1%. He knows how much we can carry around, or lift. He knows our capacity. Went to my doctors office this week and they've built a brand new building. I noticed they had an elevator there with a sign on it, "Capacity 1500 lbs." How did the manufacturer know that elevator could only safely lift 1500 lbs. At some point the elevator had to be tested. At some time during the proving of this elevator someone had to put 1500 lbs on it to see if it would handle it when it received that much weight. You don't really know how much temptation you can handle for sure until you are tested or proved by God. Some of us probably can't take very much, way below our capacity. God expects you to at least carry your own capacity. Using this illustration of the elevator, would you expect the elevator to perform 100% of the time when it is within it's capacity of 1500 lbs.? Of course you would and God expects us to be able to carry our capacity of temptation. God may allow 1500 lbs of temptation to get on you and stay on you, but you see that's within your limit. According to 1 Cor. 10:13 he will make a way for us to bear the temptations if we look for the way out. You see even in the most righteous people we may know of, or heard of, an internal civil war is going on. We don't need to get temptation confused. There are two kinds of temptations, the tempting like Abraham endured at God's hands and the tempting that Satan, our accuser uses on us.

When God tests us, He's trying to see if we will let the good things he has put in us come out. He never tempts us with evil. When Satan tempts us he's not trying to get us to do evil for evil's sake, he's trying to prove you have evil in you and you're willing to let it out. Satan is the accuser of mankind. His name in Hebrew "ha-satan" literally means the opposer or the accuser.  He likes nothing better than pointing to us and accusing us of the sin that does so easily beset us. Jesus is our advocate on one side and the accuser points to us from the other side.

So we see the readings at the first of this post from James and Genesis do not contradict each other. The crown of life we are seen receiving in James 1:12 is exemplified in Genesis 22 when Abraham is tested of God. So we see what the accuser's role is, just as men and women, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all have their roles.

How does Satan play out his role?

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  (2Co 11:3 KJV)

Two words we need to focus on in this verse. Those words are "any means". What are the "any means"? Well the any means for you and I and everyone else is probably different. Whatever your desires are, that's Satan's means to tempt the evil out of you.

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.  (1Th 3:5 KJV)

Almost identical two words here in this passage. Paul writes that the tempter uses "some means" to tempt us.  Using our greatest desires as bait to entrap us.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  (Jas 1:14 KJV)

We're going to take this from a fisherman's point of view. Does it make any difference what kind of fish you want to catch as to what kind of bait you want to use? Of course it can make a difference. Satan has a hook with your name on it and he knows what kind of bait it takes to entice you. The worm that is on the hook may not be bait all the time. In fact the worm off of the hook and out there for the fish to eat is a blessing from God. For an example, last December 25th was a Sunday and we saw groups of people proclaiming Christianity cancel services because of Christmas. People wanted to open presents, travel, be with families and just generally enjoy the day without having to go to church. Were these things inherently wrong in themselves? No, it's not wrong to open presents, travel and be with families, but when Satan puts that worm on his hook and dangles it in front of you, it entices you and brings about sin. We need to know the difference between blessings from God and bait on a hook.

Desire is amoral, it comes with this body. The desire itself is neither right or wrong. You see if you are led by desire you become a creature of instinct. A dog for instance, if it has a notion to do something people would consider private, a dog doesn't care who's watching no matter what he's doing. The dog is acting on instinct. If you get to acting on instinct alone (If it feels good do it) you will have no discretion at that point. Have you ever seen and heard people get loud and curse and make movements with their bodies as if no one was around, (watched any TV lately) or at least they didn't care who was around. These people have started acting on instinct alone, as brute beasts (Jude 1:10).

 The acting upon a desire is where Satan dangles his bait and hooks you and sin results and if left unchecked spiritual death results.

Satan is patient, he doesn't care so much if he gets your fast, as long as he gets you good. If you break the line or break a hook, Satan has plenty more.

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