But Me…. I’m Different! – Lies of the Enemy #33– Purity 1045
Purity 1045 05/17/2023 Purity 1045 Podcast
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Today’s photo of a gravel roadway cutting through lush green farmland towards a lush spring forest under vibrant blue skies comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene in the initial moments of an afternoon of hiking most of the Gallop Road at the Merck Forrest and Farmland Center grounds in Rupert Vermont this past weekend.
Well, It’s Wednesday and tonight I will be leading the second meeting of the Celebrate Freedom Recovery/Discipleship Growth Group at my local church, so I share this photo of a pathway that has the “humps” of some of Vermont’s Green Mountains in the background to simultaneously visually remind us of our arrival at the middle of the work week and to encourage everyone to keep on “walking and talking with God” on the path of Christian Discipleship.
Leading discipleship groups can be a lot like hiking. It can be rewarding to encourage people to follow the Lord with the way they live their life, but it also can be a challenge when the people you have been given the responsibility to lead have different ideas about where you are going. When I was given to the opportunity to lead this group at my local church, I was given the Celebrate Recovery lessons on the 12 steps/8 Biblical principles model as a guideline for what was to be presented each week at the group meetings – with little instruction other “this is what we teach from” – so being no stranger to Celebrate Recovery’s format – I kicked off last week’s inaugural meeting of the Celebrate Freedom “Growth Group” according to the structure that is outlined in the Celebrate Recovery materials and I was given the initial feedback that it seemed to go well but in between that first night and today I have received reports that some members of the group expected our meetings to be more like a “growth group” model that our church uses for the fellowship of small groups on a regular basis.
I belong to a “growth group” that my brother in law runs and in that model we come together for a meal, discuss prepared questions based on the pastor’s sermon that week, and then separate the men and women for private sharing and prayer.
The small group model is really not that different than Celebrate Recovery’s model with exception that our church’s small group are a little more laid back because the message – the Pastor’s sermon – has already been delivered whereas with Celebrate Recovery the message has not been delivered. Whereas our church’s small groups can operate under the assumption that “everyone has heard the message”, Celebrate Recovery’s materials operates under the assumption that not only has not everyone heard “the message before” – it also is operating under the assumption that people will actually – slowly, bit by bit – one day at a time – with the Lord’s help – apply the principles of the teaching to their actual lives. Celebrate Recovery operates under the assumption that not only do people want to hear a teaching – they have some very real “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” that they want to be set free of and they are trusting the Lord to help them actually do it.
Whereas our church’s small groups are relational and encouraging and they provide a place where you can share your burdens, there is not necessarily the assumption that you want to “be made well” and they are more social than ministerial in nature – or at least that’s what I’ve seen. There seems to be more concern about what’s on the menu – food wise – each week rather than an emphasis on really getting the gist of the pastor’s teaching and trying to apply it to our lives.
So I have tonight I have the task of trying to be true to present the material from the Celebrate Recovery message but at the same time have to “make it more like a growth group”. Even though I set out the “Celebrate Recovery Meeting” format in the welcoming email to all the people who registered for the group, the church did call it a “growth group” – so tonight I will be changing things up a little to try to make our meeting a little more relational by “sharing the lesson” quite literally with the group as I will be seeking to disseminating it to each person and asking them to “do their part” in presenting it. I’m not sure how this will be received but I want to be responsive to the needs and feedback to the group and to do all I can do to help them grow as disciples.
I already have my Freedom in Christ and this group isn’t about me “teaching” or “preaching” – I want it to be about each person coming to know who they are in Christ and to grow into the people that they and the Lord want them to be.
While some may be challenged by something like this, I surrender it all to God and will take it as it comes. Being challenged, making adjustments, and doing something new is how God causes us to grow and when we remember to surrender to do things His way, we discover that His way is best and covers all the different situations we can face in life. Even though we have many different experiences, histories, and “hurts, habits, and hang ups” – I know that God has the answer for them all. In Christ, while we are each uniquely gifted and called, none of us are “different”.
And that brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.
So today’s big lie is:
Lie #33: I’m Different!
Today’s lie seeks to separate us from the flock of humanity and the Body of Christ specifically by telling us that “we are not like the others; we are not one and the same.” Although it is based on the truth of our own individual characteristics, talents, and situations, the truth is used against us as the enemy attempts to push us to the extremes along the pride spectrum.
“I’m different.” Can be used to make us to think more highly of ourselves (These people are idiots, they’re not smart like me!”) or can make us think that we are broken, dysfunctional, or deviant in some way. The enemy doesn’t care where the lie of “I’m different” takes you along the “Pride Highway to Hell” just as long as it causes you to not bring you to surrender to the Lordship of Christ and to live out your identity in Christ.
The lie of “I’m different” can drive us to heights of personal achievement and “god like” levels of self-sufficiency or it can keep us frozen in inaction as “I’m different” could cause us to not risk trying anything or fear the company of others.
“I’m different” can encourage our sin. This is what I do – I’m different. That’s just the way I am!” And some people will even say they are proud of their particular sin of choice as they made that activity their identity.
“I’m different” in our current culture has some denying their own biology as they claim they are not who their bodies tell them who they are. Some claim they are “really different” because they are in the wrong bodies in terms of gender and or they are in the wrong species as some people want to be their “true selves” as a member of the animal kingdom.
But as unique as our talents, characteristics, and experiences can be – in the beginning and in the end none of us are different. The word of God tells us:
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
All mankind was created in God’s image – we are not like the animals – and not evolved from them. Humans are unique but all mankind have the similarity of being blessed by being made in our Creator’s image.
In terms of our bodies, the word tells us here that we are made male and female – down to our genetic code – and we should accept who we are biologically and suspect that anything that would tell us that God got it wrong is a malevolent demonic spirit that would seek to confuse us, steal our true identities, destroy our natural bodies, and kill us.
In terms our sin and individual temptations, the Bible tells us we are more a like than different:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Temptations are common to man – the same all over – and the power over sin – the way of escape found in relationship with God who is faithful. So our individual bents or sins don’t make us different, and the cure is found through faith in Christ and the decision to follow His example and rest in His power. Everyone of us can overcome in Christ – as our sin and individual difference are secondary to who God says we are when we put our faith in Jesus.
3:26-28 (NKJV) tells us
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Those things that would divide us and tell us that we are different are washed away by our new identities in Christ. And it is through Christ we shall, live.
Which brings us to the end: where God word tells us that we are not different in our eternal destinies.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
We will all die, and we will all be judged. However through Christ we can be saved from God’s wrath and live with Him.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Now I know there is a lot of people out there who define themselves by how they are “different” but the path that leads to life everlasting – faith in Jesus – is the one way to be “truly different” from those who will be “dead” in their trespasses and sins.
So, reject the lie that “I am different” because every man, woman, and child are same in their need of a Savior – Jesus Christ. And instead proclaim that you are just like everyone else in that need, but you have decided to be the same as those who are called to be One in Christ.
For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
Corinthians 13:13 (NLT2)
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Today’s verse encourages that unlike the world that is fading away and perishing, there are three things that will last forever – faith, hope, and love. And as God is love – which is the greatest of the three – we need to have faith in Christ and live in the hope of seeing God’s kingdom come.
So love the Lord with all your heart, put your faith in Christ alone, and share the hope that comes from knowing Him.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. This resource is available online for $7.99 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).
Satan, Demons & Satanism
A Sinister Reality
by June Hunt
While satanism is characterized by its symbolism, the WORD of GOD stands staunchly against all that is satanic.
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.…”
The symbol of anarchy represents the abolition of all law and authority.
“Then Jesus … said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ ”
The symbol of the triangle is often drawn on the ground as the place where a demon would appear during a ritual.
“They sacrificed to demons, which are not God.… You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.”
The circle symbolizes the protection from evil without and the ability to contain power within.
“Pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”
(2 Thessalonians 3:2–3)
Cross of Confusion
This ancient Roman symbol questions the existence and validity of Christianity.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
(1 Corinthians 1:18)
The Roman symbol of justice was a double bladed axe in the upright position. Satanists, in keeping with their anarchy theme, invert the axe to represent “anti-justice.”
“The Lord is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.”
Diana and Lucifer
This symbol represents the moon goddess, Diana, and the morning star of Lucifer. When the moon is on the right, it represents good. When the moon is on the left, it represents evil.
“O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth.… You said in your heart … ‘I will raise my throne above the stars of God.… I will make myself like the Most High.’But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.”
Cross of Nero
An upside-down cross with the crossbar broken downward symbolizes that the prophecy “no bone shall be broken” is not true.
“These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ ”
Pentagram Inverted or Baphomet
This is strictly a satanic symbol with the two points upward representing the horns of the sabbatical goat attacking the heavens with its horns. The goat is symbolic of lust.
“All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Mark of the Beast
These are symbols for the biblical mark of the beast or Satan as referred to in Revelation 13:16–18. The letter “F” is the sixth letter of the alphabet.
“So that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.… His number is 666.”
The five-pointed star with the top point upward symbolizes power to keep away evil. The top point represents the spirit, and the other points represent wind, fire, earth and water.
“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
(1 John 4:1)
Swastika or Broken Cross
The backwards swastika, as shown here, represents the elements as being out of harmony and turning against nature. Originally, it represented the four winds, the four seasons and the four compass points with its four arms at 90-degree angles showing harmony with nature.
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.… He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
This symbol blasphemes the Christian cross by ridiculing the atonement and denying the power of the cross.
“And having disarmed the power and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
This is a sign of recognition between those who are in the occult.
“ ‘Come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ ”
(2 Corinthians 6:17)
The hexagram is one of the most powerful symbols of the occult. It is referred to as the Seal of Solomon.
“I pray that … he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®.
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Anderson, Neil T., and Steve Russo. The Seduction of our Children. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991.
Bubeck, Mark I. The Adversary. Chicago: Moody, 1975.
Bubeck, Mark I. Raising Lambs Among Wolves. Chicago: Moody, 1997.
Bubeck, Mark I. The Satanic Revival. San Bernadino, CA: Here’s Life, 1991.
Frederickson, Bruce G. Satanism: How to Respond. Rev. ed. St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1995.
Hunt, June. Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
Hunt, June. How to Forgive … When You Don’t Feel Like It. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
Hunt, June. How to Handle Your Emotions. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008.
Hunt, June. Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008
Larson, Bob. Satanism: The Seduction of America’s Youth. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1989.
LeVey, Anton Szandor. The Satanic Bible. New York: Avon, 1969.
Mayhue, Richard. Unmasking Satan. Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1988.
Mungadze, Jerry. Satanic Cults: What You Really Need to Know. Dallas: Mirror Productions, 1990. audiocassettes.
Passantino, Bob, and Gretchen Passantino. Satanism. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements, ed. Alan W. Gomes. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.
Passantino, Bob, and Gretchen Passantino. When the Devil Dares Your Kids: Protecting Your Children from Satanism, Witchcraft, and the Occult. Ann Arbor, MI: Vine, 1991.
Pentecost, J. Dwight. Your Adversary the Devil. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969.
Raschke, Carl A. Painted Black. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990.
Sellers, Sean. Web of Darkness. Tulsa, OK: Victory House, 1990.
Unger, Merrill. Demons in the World Today. Wheaton, IL: Living Books, 1971.
Unger, Merrill F. What Demons Can Do to Saints. Chicago: Moody, 1991.
Warnke, Mike. Schemes of Satan. Tulsa, OK: Victory House, 1991.
Weldon, John, and Clifford Wilson. Occult Shock and Psychic Forces. San Diego, CA: Master, 1980.
Wilson, Colin. The Occult: A History. Book Club ed. New York: Random House, 1971.
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 21–22.