WARNING: BE AWARE THAT THESE BIBLE STUDIES CONTAIN SOME EXPLICIT MATERIAL. ALL SUCH ARE DIRECT QUOTATIONS FROM RELIABLE BIBLE TRANSLATIONS, BUT MAY OFFEND NONETHELESS.
Aware of the trash that is really out there on the Net, the above warning for merely the Scriptural references included in the following studies may seem a bit overdone. But the Bible can be quite provocative--and we did not want the potential reader to be unaware of this.
As a re-assurance, beyond the plain (and shocking) meaning of Scripture--we add nothing in commentary that should offend.
PLEASE READ THE INTRO LETTER, below. The links to the specific studies are at the end.
This is a series of Bible Studies on Spiritual Adultery. The subject matter may require a little explaining.
Considering the Biblical warnings about widespread deception and a great falling away right before the End of the Age, it seemed wise to search the Scriptures and apply ourselves in Bible Study concerning the following topics: Witchcraft, Idolatry, Demons, and False Prophecy. And so we did.
The problem is that it is difficult to separate any of these topics from the overall subject of Spiritual Adultery. Try it yourself. Look up these subjects in a concordance, and you'll find the text getting into figurative, sexual imagery very quickly.
We are sensitive spiritual creatures. God has made us this way, has given us this gift... so that we might experience and enjoy Him. But our spiritual sensitivity can easily be misused or misdirected.
God is a jealous God, and it is difficult to understand why Scripture is so dramatic and vehement about the above topics, without realizing that--from God's perspective--these are deviations from our "first love". We must first recognize the tendency towards Spiritual Adultery before we can really understand the motive behind the specific problems.
To dwell in "the council of the Lord" is to believe everything that God has said about Himself, and also everything that God has said about us.
The milk goes down fine, but we often choke on the meat in either case. It takes longer to chew and digest, and must admit that we have a tendency to avoid it and go for the bottle.
For example, it is hard to believe that God is as sovereign, holy, loving, and jealous as He says He is, so we imagine a "god" more to our liking. Likewise it is hard to believe we are as wicked as God says we are, so we ignore what the Spirit reveals and develop a positive self-image. But, such illusions will be shattered, perhaps very soon; hopefully now--with a chance to repent, rather than later. Scripture is useful to this end.
We all want to believe that we are pure and acceptable before God on our own merit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gods wants His people to know that they have been and can be spiritually unfaithful. Until we acknowledge this innate tendency, why bother talking about specific applications? We won't believe them possible! What, us?
The shameful truth is, it is possible, and things will get worse before the End.
Please consider that we took six weeks to go through what you are about to see. It is hoped, by the Holy Spirit, that they are intensely convicting, and we would not advise reading more than one at a time. They only take about 20 minutes to read, but we would recommend taking about an hour to reflect, check, and pray over each study.
Here are the links together with a brief overview of each of the six studies in this series:
Our prayer for these studies is that they bring down conviction by the Holy Spirit, to confront us with the Holy One of Israel with whom we have to deal.
Spiritual AdulteryGod uses sexual imagery to describe our desire to "whore" after the latest religious fads, to believe sophistries, to embrace the world. What is obviously witchcraft, idolatry, carnal, false, or demonically enhanced is readily embraced as long as it is popular. Deviant "ministries" jostle to feed our lust to be hip & trendy. Do we recognize how intense the desire is within us to "cruise" for spiritual thrills? God has a few things to say concerning this.
WitchcraftWanting to be a spiritual "mover and shaker" without submitting to God; rebellion coupled with a desire to be a spiritual player. Some provocative suggestions are made of how witchcraft works and may have been repackaged to appeal to modern Christians. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft."
IdolatryWhen anything or anybody gets what only God deserves. Idols held in front of us eclipse God. Idolatry is so widespread in our culture that it hardy seems wrong, even in the Church. But God has spoken clearly about the destiny of idols and those who boast in them. "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."
The NameGod is jealous for His Name. God's Name represents His nature, character, and Spirit. We do something in the Name of God when His nature, His character, His Spirit does it in us. While Scripture holds the Name of the Lord in high regard, and gives stern warnings about misuse, it is currently popular to brandish the Name of Jesus about--as if it were a magical mantra--to get what carnal men desire.
False ProphecySpeaking on God's behalf inaccurately, without calling people to repentance. As a Biblical type, the "dogs". We are told false prophecy will get worse towards the end. So how can this be discerned in ourselves and others? "The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading."
DemonsThis study looks at the pathology of demonic captivity and the Scriptural use of the concept of possession. As a Biblical type, the "birds of the air". This study should be approached with circumspection and discernment. "When they sin against you... you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive."
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