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Old 07-24-2009, 02:43 PM
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johnlf johnlf is offline
 
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Default The Great Smear

As I was driving to work today I was thinking of all the hatred and suffering in the world. So many people are trapped in pain, fear, and hatred. Many wonder how these things could be. Some declare "If I were God then I would do this" or "If I were God then I would do that", necessarily implying that there is a better course of action than the present one.

God by nature is perfect:

Perfect in righteousness
Perfect in knowledge
Perfect in power
Perfect in mercy
Perfect in love

But do we really believe that? Or do we question if God is really perfect in all these ways? That is the reason for the great smear. The great smear is the attempt to get men to question God's character, decisions, attributes, and even his very existence. Much of the drama in our lives centers around this grand scenario.

Satan, on the other hand desires only to steal, kill, and destroy. But not just for its own sake. He also seeks to besmirch God's character in men's minds and the minds of the angelic host. Ever since his fall, Satan has been trying to prove to the world that God is not who he says he is. The great smear.

10 Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.

11 For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.

12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.

13 Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?

Job 34
King James Bible

This very question had probably come up because of some accusation made by Satan. Satan's primary assertion was that men, and more specifically Job, only served, loved, and feared God because of the favor he showed to them:

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face

Job 1
King James Bible

1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Job 2
King James Bible

And yet, even though Satan was allowed to take everything Job had, including all his wealth, children, and even his health and beauty, Job did not do what Satan predicted he would do, in fact he worshipped God:

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job 1
King James Bible

9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Job 2
King James Bible

15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him

Job 13
King James Bible

Advantage: God. Satan was openly proven wrong before the whole universe and God's justice was vindicated! One day God will STAND UP and do what his critics have charged falsely against him for not doing yet. HE WILL PUT DOWN EVIL ON THE EARTH, IN PERSON. But it will be in mercy as well in that he will have evacuated and protected his people before he does:

9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.


Job 40
King James Bible

Last edited by johnlf; 07-24-2009 at 02:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2009, 01:31 PM
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Brother Presswood Brother Presswood is offline
 
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Originally Posted by johnlf View Post
But do we really believe that? Or do we question if God is really perfect in all these ways? That is the reason for the great smear. The great smear is the attempt to get men to question God's character, decisions, attributes, and even his very existence. Much of the drama in our lives centers around this grand scenario.

Satan, on the other hand desires only to steal, kill, and destroy. But not just for its own sake. He also seeks to besmirch God's character in men's minds and the minds of the angelic host. Ever since his fall, Satan has been trying to prove to the world that God is not who he says he is. The great smear.
Another successful tactic of the devil is to get men and women, even Christians, to hold to a higher authority than the Word of God. So many Christians would never dream of questioning or doubting God's Word, so Satan supplies them with a counterfeit that they elevate above the Word of God. That counterfeit is "personal experience."

Anyone who has ever tried to talk someone out of a personal experience when it contradicts the Bible, knows just how strong this tactic of Satan's is.
  #3  
Old 07-26-2009, 02:08 PM
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Jassy Jassy is offline
 
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Brother Johnlf - excellent study!

God does indeed hold the advantage, for we are told - in advance - what the outcome will be. We know that the Lord Jesus Christ has already triumphed over sin, death and Satan.

1 Corinthians 15:54 - So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 - O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1 John 5:4 - For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


But you really wouldn't KNOW that, considering the focus of most of the churches in the world today! Of course, we are still in the world and Satan is the "god of this world." (2 Corinthians 4:4)

We are to be aware and not be fooled by Satan and all that he has done, is doing, and will do to thwart true Christians and keep them from the TRUTH.

2 Corinthians 2:11 - "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

As you've well-noted in your post, one of Satan's favorite devices is the SMEAR campaign that he has boldly brought right into the churches. And many certainly ARE "ignorant of his devices." So the focus of the church becomes ever-encompassing, weakened, blurred and unprofitable. They become either false witnesses or witnesses who have lost their salt and their position in Christ. It's not their salvation that is at issue, but the strength and power of their witness that is affected. Many simply don't witness because the churches don't teach that anymore, nor do they lead them in this.

I was just thinking - off the subject a bit - about the meaning of salt. Not only do Christians become salt that has lost it's SALTINESS or TASTE but they become Christians without any PRESERVATIVE value. Now think back, before refrigeration... how was food preserved? By adding salt and "curing" it!! So, if Christians have lost that ability to PRESERVE - then that explains the inability of the Church to recognize the TRUE Bible which they are to PRESERVE! And, in addition, many have lost the entire PURPOSE for which we are yet left in this world. For what are we being PRESERVED?? For our WITNESS!! (Sorry to go off topic!)

I thank God that His Word forewarns us and reminds us what we are to hold to - how we are to remain in Him:

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Thanks again for the study, brother.

Jassy
  #4  
Old 07-26-2009, 02:39 PM
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Forrest Forrest is offline
 
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Many simply don't witness because the churches don't teach that anymore, nor do they lead them in this.

Jassy
That comment certainly has elements of truth to it, Sister. But I see in scripture the real problem is not following Jesus. We should simply teach one another to know, love, and follow Jesus Christ.

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

As a pastor, I spent years teaching plans, programs, methods, and formulas but failed to see this simple truth in scripture. "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Know, love, and follow Jesus and witnessing of Him will be spontaneous and natural. Teach, proclaim, share, exalt, magnify, and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. And while we're at it:

Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
  #5  
Old 07-26-2009, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Forrest View Post
That comment certainly has elements of truth to it, Sister. But I see in scripture the real problem is not following Jesus. We should simply teach one another to know, love, and follow Jesus Christ.

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

As a pastor, I spent years teaching plans, programs, methods, and formulas but failed to see this simple truth in scripture. "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Know, love, and follow Jesus and witnessing of Him will be spontaneous and natural. Teach, proclaim, share, exalt, magnify, and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. And while we're at it:

Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Brother Forrest,

You are right that, if we know, love and follow Jesus (as Paul did), then we will want to share our faith with others. The one simply and naturally follows the other. I can barely contain my JOY in sharing my faith with others! All of the plans programs, methods, formulas - and even such meritrous awards as Bibles, tracts or nice plaques - are not going to matter a whit, if a person does not LOVE enough to share their faith in Jesus.

Thanks for your input brother!

Jassy
  #6  
Old 07-26-2009, 08:22 PM
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Amanda S. Amanda S. is offline
 
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Quote:
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

As a pastor, I spent years teaching plans, programs, methods, and formulas but failed to see this simple truth in scripture. "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Know, love, and follow Jesus and witnessing of Him will be spontaneous and natural. Teach, proclaim, share, exalt, magnify, and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. And while we're at it:

Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Bro. Forrest,

Very well put! I couldn't agree more and I'm sorry to say that I've missed the meaning of these verses...So often we read our Bibles with the same thoughts and expectations and we think we've already learned the lesson it contains.

Thank you Brother for the admonishment.
 

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