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  • Writer's pictureBishop Keith Butler

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Not everything that sounds spiritual is from God. Remember, the devil is a spirit, too. The Apostle Paul reminded the church of Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 that the devil can act like the Holy Spirit and try to convince you to go against God. Not only that, the enemy uses people who seem to be Christian and know how to act deeply spiritual, but what they are receiving isn’t from the Word or the Holy Spirit but from deceptive spirits of the enemy.

How can we tell when the Holy Spirit is speaking? It will always line up with the Word of God. The more time you spend hearing and reading the Word, the more you protect yourself from deception. The Word of God is your litmus test to determine what is from God and what is from the enemy or your flesh.

How can you discern God’s voice? Imagine for a moment that you are a parent taking a child to a large event, when suddenly, the child veers off and is separated from the parent. As the parent calls the young one’s name, the child can discern the right voice from a sea of other voices because they know the tone, sound, and pitch of the one that has held them.

Many voices are trying to get your attention today. The enemy uses media, politics, and the marketplace to fill our ears with strange voices that would lead us astray. But Jesus said His sheep will know His voice. You can discern from the voice of God and the voice of the enemy.

Practical Application

The Apostle John also encouraged believers to “Test the spirits” (1 John 4:1). Don’t swallow every pill offered. Don’t listen to everything that sounds spiritual. Investigate by reading the Word. Pray and listen to the Holy Ghost. Finally, if you’re unsure, seek confirmation from your pastor.

Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 2:11

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:1-7)

The devil wants to manipulate you to follow his plan. He knows he can’t force a Christian to do anything, but he can try to twist the truth to those who are ignorant. Then when they swallow his lies, he continues to manipulate and lie until the believer falls into his traps.

In Matthew 4:1-7, we see our enemy, the devil, tempt our Lord. Jesus was led of the Spirit into the wilderness, so God knew the enemy would attack Him. Guess what? God knows the devil will come after you, too. But God never puts you into a fight without giving you everything you need to win.

The number one thing you need to defeat Satan is a solid knowledge of God’s Word because the devil can quote Scripture. He quoted Bible verses to Jesus in the wilderness, but the old serpent didn’t quote them accurately or thoroughly. He used Psalms 91 to try to convince Jesus to commit suicide by throwing Himself down from a temple. 

Beware of anyone who says, “God told me," without having more than one Scripture to back it up. Manipulation thrives in ignorance. Attend church and listen to sermons, but always verify. Never blindly accept a preacher’s words. Instead, dig into the Bible. Context matters. The less we know of Scripture, the more susceptible we become. So, like Bereans, let’s examine every teaching against the Word (Acts 17:11).

Practical Application

Memorize key verses to fight deception. When faced with challenges, remember how Jesus responded: “It is written.”

Psalm 91:11; Psalm 34:7

  • Writer's pictureBishop Keith Butler

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:23-30)

The Church is Christ’s body—the fullness of Him who fills all in all. When we partake of the bread and cup in Holy Communion, we symbolically share in His body and blood together.

This isn’t individualistic; it’s communal. Paul said that the reason many get sick and die prematurely is that they don’t rightly discern the Lord’s body. They don’t view their brothers and sisters in Christ as part of His body, perhaps because of differences of opinion or background or some kind of disagreement. 1 Corinthians 11:23-30 is a solemn passage. It tells us strife can kill.

People often don’t receive from God because they hold grudges, anger, or even hatred against another believer. The Lord’s body includes every believer, even those with whom we disagree or don’t see eye-to-eye. Unity matters.

When someone offends you, don’t harbor it; get it right and walk in love. Walking in love and honoring one another can be a matter of life and death. Choose life.

Practical Application

You can increase unity within the church by being actively involved in serving others. How can you serve others this week and bring healing and joy by being a part of the body of Christ?

Exodus 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:12


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