COMPROMISED BY DECEIT


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

COMPROMISED BY DECEIT
=====================
…but each person is tempted when they are
dragged away by their own evil
desire and enticed. Then, after desire has
conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth
to death. James 1:14-15

One of the touristic highlights of visiting China
is to walk on the Great
Wall. Six thousand kilometers of wall with ten
thousand strategically placed
towers stretch across the north of China, reportedly the only man-made object
observable from space. Construction of various sections began back in 770 B.C.
when rival feudal kingdoms built
walls around their territories to keep out
invading nomadic tribes from the
north. These were eventually joined into one
wall. The wall averages eight to
ten meters in height and five meters wide.

When you walk on the wall, two
history lessons make the visit somewhat somber.
First, the wall was built at
great cost. Prisoners of war, convicts, soldiers,
civilians and farmers
provided the labor. Some estimates say “millions died
for this cause”. Their
bodies were buried in the very foundations of the wall
or used to make up its
thickness. You walk on top of a cemetery.

The second lesson is that the
wall was reportedly breached by Mongol soldiers
disguised as peasants
pretending to be gathering firewood and leaving behind
pieces of fruit when
they left the area. The guards decided to go out and
retrieve the tempting
fruit. This was repeated over time. Eventually the
guards were compromised
and overpowered and the Mongol army streamed through
that tower thereby
breaching the Great Wall. So after all the effort to build
such an amazing
structure for protection, it was rendered useless through
simple
deceit.

One of Satan’s favorite tactics against believers is deceit.
Here’s an example
from China. Brother Chen arrived one spring day in 1996 at
a small rural
Chinese house church group. Some said he was “sent straight
from God.” He said
so too. He said he had known Wang Ming Dao and he spoke
with a loud booming
voice. His large eyes held their attention closely, and
his whole body shook
with vigor at the points he was making. The believers
were just so impressed
with the way he talked. He quoted lots of Scripture
and wove it into a
thrilling story.

After a few months, he began to
talk about heaven being a city of gold, and
that to enter that city they
would have to demonstrate that they had given
Jesus their gold in their
lifetime. Brother Chen said, “Jesus needs your gold
to build your mansion in
heaven and the more gold you give him now, the bigger
your mansion will
be.”

Because they were poor, the idea of having a golden mansion in the
afterlife
was very tempting. They handed over all they owned: family
heirlooms, money,
some expensive textiles from a distant ancestor. One in the
group even gave
his motorcycle.

After all the “gold” had been
collected, Brother Chen said he had to go and
“open the gate of Heaven for
them.” He left, on the donated motorcycle. He
took most of their savings and
he hasn’t been back.

RESPONSE: Be aware today of Satan’s subtle tactics
of deceit and intimidation.

PRAYER: Pray for new house church believers
in China who are easily deceived
by false prophets.

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