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Faith Toward God (18)

In our last broadcast, we began to look at how the devil introduces doubt into the hearts of people, so that they would disobey or disbelieve Gods word. Citing the example of the fall of Adam and Eve, we began to see how the devil, through the serpent, acting as the devils agent, beguiled Eve through doubt. We had seen from our last broadcast also that a critical issue in dealing with the matter of doubt, is our own knowledge of the word of God; for, when the devil realizes that you do not know the word of God, he will twist and distort it, so that you will become confused, and as a result, doubt the word of God. We saw how Eves answer to the serpents question gave impetus to the devil to beguile her. The same is true even today, particularly among those who claim to be Christians! It is therefore imperative that once you become born again, your immediate focus should be to grow in the knowledge of God and His word. The bible says in 1 Peter 2:2, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: and in Matthew 28:19-20, when the Lord Jesus gave His last commandwhat we generally call The Great Commission, He said, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. The teaching of the unadulterated word of God is missing in many churches today, and as a result, so many people claiming to be Christians, are ignorant of the word of God, and are at the mercy of the devil. Brethren, I counsel you to take bible teachings very seriously, as well as your own personal bible study.

Now, let us pick up from where we stopped in our last broadcast, as we again read Genesis 3:1-9: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

So far, we have seen that it was God who planted the Garden of Eden; not Adam, not Eve, not the devil, not the serpent; we have seen that every tree which God planted in the Garden of Eden was pleasant to the sight, and good for food; we have also seen that there were two trees in the centre of the gardenthe tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; furthermore, we saw that Adam and Eve were free to eat of every tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and that in the day that they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in that day, they would surely die! We have also seen that when the devil came to tempt Eve, it was her understanding of Gods word he was testing; and when Eve betrayed her ignorance of Gods word, she gave impetus to the devil to create doubt in her heart.
Besides creating doubt in Eves heart by making her not to trust the word spoken by God, the devil further introduced the doubting of Gods sincerity and integrity. He said, and I am paraphrasing, God knows that if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be like Him, knowing good and evil. In other words, the devil was saying, God is not being quite truthful with you guys. He knows that if you should eat the fruit of this tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be like Him, knowing everything. So Gods goal really is to keep you ignorant, so that He can continue to rule over you! What hog-wash! But sadly, many people who say that they are Christians believe such garbage. That is why you find people in depression, feeling like the whole world is against them, and some even go to the extent of committing suicide! How many times has the devil made us, through teachings of error, to doubt not just the word of God, but God Himself? How many times has the devil got us to doubt the sincerity and integrity of God, when God tells us not to do certain things? Today, the devil has started turning many people away from the truth, by teaching through his agents, that if you are a Christian, you must be rich in monetary termsthis is clearly hog-wash and a lie, regardless of who is teaching it! Beloved, the message of the gospel of grace is that we were on the way to hell, and God, through His infinite mercy sent Jesus Christ His Only Begotten Son to come to the earth and take upon Himself the punishment which we so rightly deserve, and in exchange, give unto those who believe, His life, and all that that connotes. Nowhere is it written in the word of God that Gods desire is for Christians to be rich, monetarily; indeed, in Hebrews 13:5, this is what the word of God says (reading from the Amplified Bible translation): Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]!; but the devil has made many people believe that if you are poor, then God is not with youhow untrue; and how sad that many now doubt God as a result!
Having successfully created doubt about the truthfulness of Gods word, and the sincerity and integrity of God Himself, in the heart of Eve, Eve herself then found justification to eat of the fruit of the tree of which God had said not to eat. Eve observed, and justified within herself that the fruit was good for food; that it was pleasant to the eyes; and, that it was able to make a person as wise as God. How many times have we justified sin in one form or another? Please let us note that in the first place, God Himself said that every tree He had planted in the garden was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes. So, Eve had not made any new discovery! However, Eve bought into the lie of the devil, that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was able to make her know good and evilunfortunately, knowing good and evil, is one thing; being able to do good and not do evil is another thing completely. So, even now, that we know good and evil, we find that it is evil that we do, and not good! How many times have we remained innocent, until we were told not to do something? Then, and only then, did we begin to desire to do those things that we were told not to do. Have you observed how children are uninterested in something, until you tell them not to go near that thing? In order to get us to do what God says we should not do, the devil often will introduce into our hearts, justification for why it is not bad to do what God said not to do. This was what Eve did when she said, the tree [is] good for food, and it [is] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wisein other words, How can something so good be so bad? A person may say, How can masturbation be a sin? After all, I am not having sex with anyone. And besides, it stops me from engaging in sexual intercourse. In other words, How can something that gives me pleasure and stops me from engaging in sexual intercourse which is a sin, be so wrong? Another person may say, How is my sexual preference a sin? I didnt make myself, and God who made me, allowed me to desire sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex. Besides, my sexual preference is my right! In other words, How can it be wrong for me to do what I was born to desire? A young lady justifying going into prostitution says, I was hungry so I had to use what I have to feed. Is it not better than stealing? Another young lady justifying abortion says, Its my body, and I can do whatever I like with it! Someone else said, A good God cannot destroy what He made! So, God cannot send me to hell! Another person, justifying being in the occult, said, Heaven helps those who help themselves! I am just protecting myself!actually, Heaven helps those who help themselves! is nowhere found in the bible, and it is unscriptural! This is how doubt thrives in the hearts of Christians, and how they justify iniquity! And it doesnt matter that a person is a pastor or a minister of the gospelyou will hear them say, Nobody is perfect; I am human, and not infallible! One man of God was quoted as saying, If God expects me to forgive my brother seventy times seven times, God must also forgive me seventy times seven times. This remark was made during a discussion on sexual immorality among the clergy! How sad! People who are captive to a vice or addiction, first justified it to themselves, that there really was nothing wrong about it; but upon engaging in that vice or addiction, they soon realized that they had been sold a lie; but then, they cannot get out of it! Justifying sin is something that people engage in every day; as they succumb to the doubt the devil has created in their heartsdoubting whether or not they should believe the word of God, and, the sincerity and integrity of God! Beloved, doubt, when imbibed, makes us throw the word of God overboard, disobey God, and justify iniquity by saying, How can something that is so right or good, be so wrong or bad?
Now we see how, almost immediately after Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree of which God had said not to eat, that their eyes were opened, and they saw that they were naked, and hid from God. Have you seen how, almost immediately after you have done what God had told you not to do, that you see how wrong you were; you will see how that you had been sold a lie; and then, worse of all, how you would turn and run away and hide from God? This was the lot of Adam and Eve; and it is the lot of all men who walk contrary to Gods word. But I have good news for you today. If indeed, you have come to realise today, that you were sold a lie by the devil, and that you have actively participated in the lie, and sinned, by justifying the lie to yourself; what you need to do, even now, as you are listening to this broadcast, is to go before God in repentance; make your confessions to Him, and take responsibility for your sins (The devil made me do it will not cut it)! Then, go ahead and ask God to deliver you from the vice or addiction, and, save you from the punishment of death in hell. And as God hears your prayer, you will find the peace and joy of God in your heart.

After the devil had successfully planted doubt in Adam and Eves hearts, and they had disobeyed God, and found out that they were naked, and went into hiding away from God, they made for themselves, an apron of leaves. How long do you think it would have taken before the leaves became dry and fell off, and exposed their nakedness again? Friend, there is only one true covering for sin, and it is Christ Jesus. So, when God came to Adam and Eve that day in the Garden of Eden, He called out to Adam, Where are you? This is the same thing that God did through Jesus Christ, when Jesus came to seek and save the lost. This is the same thing God is doing right now. God is again asking you, who have bought into the lie of the devil; who have justified your sinful actions; and who are now experiencing the negative impact of doubting the word of God and God; Where are you? God is asking you this question because He wants you to realize how far you have gone away from Him, and then, to give you an opportunity to ask Him to help you. He is not asking because He does not know how far you have fallen, or, because He wants to punish you; No! God wants you to return to Him; He wants you to come to Him in true repentance, so that He can heal and deliver you, and give you eternal life! Will you answer Him right now?

Let us pray!