"But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies."
(2 Peter 2:1)
PESTS IN THE PANTRY
A glistening grain of rice. 'How nice!' thinks the female weevil, as she scurries over and bores a little hole in it. And into this hole she carefully deposits a fertilized egg, equally carefully sealing up the hole so it looks like it was never there. On the outside, everything looks hunky-dory. It's a solid grain of good rice, or so it seems! But on the inside? Well, that's another matter altogether...
In due course the egg hatches, and the ravenous little larva relentlessly feeds on all the good stuff inside the grain, steadily growing and growing until it reaches a stage of full adulthood. And then it eats its way out of the ruined rice grain. Immediately, the act of mating and fertilization occurs, and the female weevil spots a fresh grain of glistening rice. 'How nice!' she thinks, as she scurries over and bores a little hole in it... And so on and so forth...
IN TIME, THE ENTIRE WEEVIL-INFESTED SACK OF RICE IS TOTALLY RUINED. GOOD FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. EACH INDIVIDUAL GRAIN DESTROYED FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
PESTS IN THE PULPIT
A congregation of evangelical Christians. 'How nauseous!' thinks the Enemy, who hurries over and bores a little hole in it where its spiritual armour is weakest. And into this hole he carefully slips a false teaching, equally carefully sealing up the hole so it looks like it was never there. On the outside everything looks hunky-dory. It's a solid fellowship, as sound as a pound, or so it seems! But on the inside? Well, that's another matter altogether...
In due course the false teaching surfaces, relentlessly eating away all the good stuff inside the church, steadily growing and growing until it reaches a stage of full-blown apostasy. Then the false teacher emerges from the ruined congregation, on a mission to multiply, and the cycle of church infiltration and ruination continues unabated. The Enemy knows of another congregation of evangelical Christians. 'How nauseous!' he thinks, and rushes his false teacher over to bore a little hole in it where its spiritual armour is weakest... And so on and so forth...
IN TIME THE ENTIRE SPIRITUAL EVIL-INFESTED DENOMINATION IS TOTALLY RUINED. GOOD FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. EACH INDIVIDUAL CONGREGATION DESTROYED FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
PESTS IN THE PERSON
But let's take this analogy a very important step further. A church is not bricks and mortar, a church is the people who gather within that structure. Indeed, there is actually only one Church, of which all born-again believers are a part, living bricks if you will, and held together with the mortar of the Holy Spirit. What applies to a denomination, or to an individual fellowship, applies firstly - and always so! - to an individual believer. A church as a whole can only succumb to spiritual evil if the persons who constitute that congregation of the saints INDIVIDUALLY - and only then COLLECTIVELY - succumb to it.
Every single one of us bar none, has points of weakness which the Enemy is ever ready, waiting and eager to exploit to the fullest. He always knows exactly what buttons to press to get a result. He knows precisely where to bore those little holes where someone's armour is weakest, and sneak in one of his locked-and-loaded Laodicean eggs. And after the incubation, hatching, and eating away of Truth in that person, the mature deception-bug emerges, mates and continues the sorry cycle.
THE DESTRUCTION OF A CHURCH FROM THE INSIDE OUT BEGINS WITH THE PLANTING OF A FALSE TEACHING AND ITS INCUBATION IN THE SOUL (i.e. MIND, EMOTIONS AND WILL) OF AN INDIVIDUAL.
My friends, we've now reached the point where it is not just the odd sack or two but nearly the entire storehouse that is infested and ruined. Only a Remnant remains uncontaminated, but mark well that even that Remnant is extremely vulnerable. Anyone who thinks that he or she is immune from deception is already deceived in holding that very thought. No-one is immune. Period.
A grain of rice has no defence against the weevil's ravagings. But thanks be to God that in His incredible grace we have access to the strongest defence imaginable against spiritual evil, in the form of the Word that was written and the Word that was made flesh. Even when our soul has been infiltrated, the Word of Truth can still oust that seditious intruder. Why has apostasy reached such epic proportions? Because Scripture has been thrown to the winds, and experience has usurped its rule in peoples' lives. In this "post-modern" world, there is held to be no absolutes and truth is whatever you want it to be, not what it unalterably actually is, now and eternally. Where the Bible is neither read nor upheld in all its fullness, Satan will bore holes without number!
Friends, be diligent to follow the laudable example of the Bereans and check absolutely everything against Scripture. Don't let spiritual evil bore its subtle and insidious way in. If it already has, don't let it remain, don't let error grow into full-blown apostasy. Far too many have already allowed this to happen. Don't be one of them. Ask the Lord in His great mercy for wisdom and discernment, and both treasure and unceasingly use these most precious gifts. Yes, you may end up being at odds with most if not all around you. Faithfulness comes at a cost, it always has. But is the price not completely worth paying? Surely what matters is to one day be able to hear these words from the lips of the Lord of Glory:
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
PLEASE, MY FRIENDS, GUARD YOUR SOUL ZEALOUSLY AND JEALOUSLY! BE A WISE AND NOT A FOOLISH VIRGIN AND HAVE YOUR LAMP FULL OF THE OIL OF UNADULTERATED TRUTH, FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF PURE TRUTH IS SIMPLY ABSOLUTE EMPTINESS!
"TAKE HEED THEREFORE THAT THE LIGHT
WHICH IS IN THEE BE NOT DARKNESS."