Archive for the ‘Judgement’ Category

The Pied Piper was supposed to be a savior of sorts to the people of Hamelin. He would rid the town of its rat infestation once and for all and charge only one-thousand guilders for doing so. The mayor, in a moment of elation, offered more coin than that, but he didn’t really mean it.

If you are familiar with the story, you will know that the piper did free the town of its four-legged rats, but the rats that ran the town council cheated him of his pay. Bent on revenge, therefore, the pied piper then lured all of the children away –never to return. This was easily accomplished. As the piper had previously told the council, “I’m able, by means of a secret charm, to draw all creatures living beneath the sun…”

I have often thought the tale of the Pied Piper to be an excellent metaphor of how easily God’s children are led astray. Let’s consider, for a moment, some of the similarities.

Our adversary, the devil, wanted “payment” for his self-perceived greatness, but God refused. Angry, and bent on revenge, that old devil sought to lead God’s children away from Him forever. Like the pied piper, he arrogantly believes that he is able, by means of a secret charm, to draw all creatures living beneath the sun.

If the devil were to show his true colors, none of God’s children would ever be foolish enough to follow him. Therefore, he clothes himself brightly, and deceitfully appears as an angel of light, enticing those who are willing to follow him with enchantments hard to refuse.

“Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while…”

You wouldn’t think that God’s children could be so easily beguiled, but the devil has been sharpening his skills from the dawn of time. Therefore, he knows full well how to appeal to mankind’s carnal natures. Ironically, the devil’s deceptions often come in religious wrappings.

Scripture aptly teaches that the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3 NIV). Obviously, this passage is speaking of those believers who willfully follow the sweet music of certain theological pied pipers.

Sadly, some believers earnestly seek truth yet fail to discern unsound doctrine simply because they trust in the undeserved “credibility” of those false teachers. I certainly don’t want to speak against any of God’s truly appointed ministers, but I do want to encourage you, dear reader, to make sure that those ‘big name’ ministers, from whose tables you have been dining, are truly men and women of God!

Again, Scripture says: Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15).

We have been warned! There are pied pipers (aka wolves) out there, wearing minister’s garb, who are leading people astray. It is quite easy to follow these kinds of leaders because they are very charismatic. Furthermore, most of their teachings are biblically based; which explains why these ‘ministers’ gain such popularity despite their spiritual corruption.

Nevertheless, being deceived is certainly no sin and it can happen to all of us at some time or another. How, then, do we guard against the deception of these false “ministers of righteousness.”

First: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). If you KNOW the truth, you won’t be easily deceived by that which isn’t.

Second: It is important that we know those who labor among us; we should carefully examine the teachings of every spiritual leader we are inclined to follow. If any of those teachings fail to line-up with scripture, we should seriously reconsider our affiliation with that person, no matter who they are -or how spiritual they seem to be.

Please understand, I am not talking about those who maintain a slightly different interpretation of Scripture than ours; that is to be expected to a certain degree. Rather, I am talking about those whose teachings are in direct contradiction of Scripture.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16: 17 18). Like the pied piper of Hamelin, these false teachers have the gift of charm and they are using it for their own profit.

Praise God for the faithful ministers who unashamedly preach and teach the truth of God’s word! Let us give them our full support. As to supporting these spiritual pied pipers, however, let us say no. We should tell them the same thing the good people of Hamelin told their city council:

“Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking,
To find the remedy [you are] lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”

Browning, Robert. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. London: Frederick Warne and Co., Ltd., 1888
*book quotes are on pages 14, 17, and 13 consecutively. Photo taken from page 41

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photo credit: Forbes.com

Have you ever had one of those relatives whose very name made you cringe? Mine was a particular aunt. She always came to visit for a week or so without her family, but boy did I know all about my cousin Kathy even though I had never seen her in person.

Auntie dearest always sang Kathy’s praises
Ad nauseam, and they went something like this:

“Kathy is prettier than you! Kathy is smarter than you! Kathy is the closest thing to an angel this side of heaven.”

Then one day it happened; I finally got to see Kathy.

Laughing out loud would have been rude so I restrained myself and laughed silently. This was Kathy? This was the princess whose beauty could hardly be surpassed? Well, I guess love really is blind.

Kathy wasn’t overly intelligent either. Nor was she more creative, better at cooking, nor anything else I had ever heard about her. In fact, the only attribute in which Kathy seemed to be superior was ego.

After all those years of resenting my “perfect” cousin, I found myself feeling rather sorry for her. She might even have been likeable if she were not so self-centered. To her detriment, she had been conditioned to believe that the world revolved around her and should bow down to her. If Kathy had any natural beauty, I couldn’t see it through her ugly self-exalting (and mother-exalting) vanity.

A great many years have passed since I stepped out of Kathy’s shadow into the light of reality, but I have encountered others very much like her and her mother along the way. I pay them no heed and I certainly don’t allow myself to feel inferior to them no matter how superior they present themselves.

You and I need never compare ourselves to others because our heavenly Father doesn’t. There is no question we are all terribly flawed and markedly lacking, but we are children of the King (of Kings) and as such will one day be perfected.

Furthermore, each of us is special and unique. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light
(I Peter 2:9).

Though we are never to be puffed up in pride because of our heavenly status, we can certainly walk confidently in it. After all, our heavenly Father doesn’t care how brilliant our minds are. He cares only that we love him with our whole heart, soul and mind. And, He is not concerned about our physical appearance. When he looks at us sees only our heart (I Samuel 16:7). God is not even concerned about our ability –He is only interested in our AVAILability.

Satan, on the other hand, forever lost his heavenly status because of his puffed-up, self-exalted pride. No wonder he takes his fierce wrath out on God’s children. This deceiver also has a song that he sings Ad nauseam. Its lyrics go something like this:

“You’re not good enough. You’re not spiritual enough. God can’t use you! Did God really say that?”

If that weren’t enough, Satan wants us to live in the shadow of his child, whose name is condemnation. But the reality is that there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1).

We might have to tolerate some unbearable relatives now and then, but we never have to tolerate the lies of the accuser of the brethren. And that’s the truth!

postscript: Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and he is the father of all lies. (John 8:44) In fact, Satan is not really his name, it is his title. In the original Hebrew he is called hasatan, which means the (ha) deceiver (satan).

~ p.s.s. Kathy is not my cousin’s real name. Furthermore, these events took place more than thirty years ago while we were still quite young. We haven’t seen each other since, but I assume that “Kathy” is now a very down-to-earth person and I hope to see her again some day.

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