Living in the Stronghold of Deception (Part 2 of 8)
By David Wickey
July 1, 2017
Part two of an eight-part series called Living in the Stronghold of Deception.
Genesis 3:6: 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 unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
At that time, the wisdom of this world entered the hearts of mankind. They became self-conscious. They wanted to fix their condition by the wisdom of this world, by sewing fig leaves together and making themselves aprons. To this day, we want to save ourselves by the wisdom of self or of this world. It doesn’t matter in what form this wisdom comes, as long as it is not in God’s wisdom. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin [wisdom of this world], that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe (Galatians 3:22).
Let’s speak about the wisdom of this world. This wisdom has caused much discord throughout church history, still stemming from Genesis 3:6. This wisdom has caused many holy men and women to fall and lose their way. This wisdom destroys the family unit. It keeps the church from coming into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
In this wisdom, Satan comes as an angel of light. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). It looks holy, feels holy, and sounds like the wisdom of God, but it will steal from you, and if not stopped, it will destroy you and kill you. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear. Let’s come into the good fight of faith that was made available to us by the working of the cross of Christ in us.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21)
When we believe on Jesus and call on His name, we are saved. What does it mean to save them that believe? The carnal Corinthians, baby believers, believed in Jesus, but needed to grow in maturity in Christ through the foolishness of preaching Christ and Him crucified. It is by this power that we are being saved, even our sanctification (we are in the process of being made pure). By the power and operation of the preaching of the cross, we lose our worldly wisdom and come into the wisdom of God. This is true holy salvation!
This is where many men and women of God have lost their way. Because we want to keep our worldly wisdom, which is the fruit of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we eat the wrong fruit. But by continuing in sanctification through the working of the cross, we begin to get a new mind. We lose our old mind, which is the wisdom of this world, and gain a new mind, which is the mind of Christ or the wisdom of God. This is true repentance. It was foreordained by the Godhead for the church to walk in this great salvation. It is God’s glorious gift to us of being saved. When this happens to us, we can fight the good fight of faith.
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness (1 Cor. 1:22-23). In our own lives, the wisdom of God becomes a stumblingblock to the wisdom of the world we were born with (Genesis 3:6). The work of the cross in our lives is foolishness to us, yet is the very work that saves and sanctifies us.
When we start this journey of being saved, we are like a young colt out in the pasture. We run around as free as the wind, doing our own thing. We look at the older horses that have been trained and are being used by the master. We look at them and say to ourselves that we don’t want to be like them. We want to be free in our worldly wisdom. We want to work for the master, but only in our own selfish ways and on our terms. We know how to do it better than anybody else, especially those older horses. Just look at all the young colts who are following us; we must be doing what is right. We have more revelation than others. We are better than they are. Then the time comes when the master says, “My young one, it is time for you to go into training for the master’s use.”
I was raised around horses and I know what it is like for a young colt to be broken for use. They kick and try to run away. This training becomes a stumblingblock to their way of freedom. They don’t want the harness to be put on them, and they put up a big fight.
Finally, by the firm hand of the trainer, who knows what is best for the young ones in order to be used by the master, they start to submit to the training. At first, it becomes a stumblingblock to them, but as time goes on they begin to experience a new kind of freedom. They have never experienced this kind of freedom before. They begin to see and understand that the freedom they thought they had before was not freedom at all, but terrible bondage. They begin to be used by the master. They begin to know and understand the voice of the master. They begin to know the touch of the reins. It becomes a joy both to the trained one and to the master. It is called joy unspeakable and full of glory! God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven! God’s kingdom is coming on earth. Pray for true workers, for few allow this training in their lives.
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. (1 Corinthians 1:24-26)
As time goes on, if the young colt refuses to be trained for the master’s use and continues in his own wisdom and freedom, it becomes more difficult to train the colt for the master’s use, because he has to unlearn all the vanity that he thought was truth. As he gets older and stronger in his worldly wisdom, he gets into training that feeds his worldly wisdom. He gets so strong in it that he will actually give his life for it. He says to himself, “See, I told you. I am right, and all the others that are working for their master in harness are wrong.” This horse doesn’t know that he is wretched, miserable, poor, and blind. He is of no use to his master, because he has refused the correct training. He will not be chosen by the master. In his worldly wisdom, he does not hear or understand his master’s voice. He does not know the true training that would have made him free.
Now the person who is like this colt is in great deception and doesn’t know it. He thinks he is doing the Master’s work. He was told in his worldly training to wear a certain kind of clothes to please the Master. Maybe he was told to do many good deeds to please the Master. Maybe he was told that if he confesses a certain scripture verse enough, he would come into great worldly wealth; or if he gives enough money, he would get the favor of the Master and could get what he wants. Many other teachings feed his worldly wisdom.
All this time he is learning wrong things. The master loves this horse and doesn’t want him to continue in this wrong training. He knows it will bring great sorrow in his life and he will never be useful to him. The master asks the trainer to start the true training again. Then, because of the master’s love for the horse, the trainer starts to bring in more hurtful ways to correct the wrong training. At first, the horse doesn’t know what’s going on and does not understand the devastating blows that come from the loving hand of the trainer ordered by the master. He thinks it is an enemy that is attacking him. Not understanding what is happening, he cries out to the true master, “Help me!” The master then begins to show his great love to him. Because of the love of the master, he becomes broken and begins to learn the true way and begins to be useful to the master (Revelation 3:20; Romans 2:4; Hebrews 12:5-8; Proverbs 3:11-13).
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:27-31)
Dear brothers and sisters, the wisdom of fallen man, or worldly wisdom, always glories in self and self-works (Genesis 3:6). Remember, we are all born in this worldly wisdom. One must be born again of the Holy Spirit and be trained or become a disciple of Jesus Christ, who is our wisdom. This wisdom will always glory in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).
Luke 24 tells us that Jesus has been raised from the dead. He asks His disciples, Why are ye troubled? He shows them His hands and feet. They thought they had seen a spirit.
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. (Luke 24:41-45)
The disciples went from a worldly wisdom of what they saw with their natural eyes to the joy of seeing their Master alive again, but their spiritual eyes were not yet opened to God’s wisdom. They still did not believe or come into faith until Jesus opened their understanding. So it is today. We operate in what we see or hear with our worldly wisdom. We go down wrong roads and make wrong choices. We follow a bunch of rules and regulations all in vain, or come into unholy, unhealthy mystical religion, because we have not yet been broken to hear the voice of the Master and to have Him open our understanding. The disciples saw Jesus right before their eyes, yet still did not understand. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).
Now let us look at 1 Corinthians 2:3-9. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. [Paul didn’t trust himself and was afraid he would operate in his worldly wisdom.] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. [What was the demonstration of the Spirit and of power?] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. [This is the power of God that changes us or brings us out of our worldly wisdom and into the wisdom of God, which brings us into the faith.] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them who are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought. [Who are the perfect ones? They are the ones who are growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and are in the faith. Unless we grow in Christ or come into the unity of the faith, we will never understand the true holy wisdom of God. We will be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. [The wisdom of God is hidden from our worldly wisdom. It is a hidden mystery. This can only be understood as we go into training, by the working of the cross by the power of the Holy Spirit. By the way, the Holy Spirit never works outside of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. God ordained this for us before the world was. It is for us to be created in Christ Jesus into the wisdom of God. It was made possible for us when Jesus was crucified on the cross.] Which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
As we are being trained, the Holy Spirit begins to reveal these things to us, the church. The wisdom of man cannot understand these things. Jesus Christ is the head of the church! He is the living embodiment of His life in the church!
We can operate in all kind of religious forms with the wisdom of this world and try to fix the fallen state that we were born with by putting on fig leaves, which represent self-righteousness. This includes all self-helps, motivational speaking, and self-improvement. Within ourselves, we cannot improve or fix our fallen sin nature. We must be clothed by God with animal skin, which represents the cross. Without shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). This was made possible by the shed blood of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. May we not just understand this with our worldly wisdom, but start to understand this with the heart and with the godly hidden wisdom, and come into faith.
Let’s move on to 1 Corinthians 2:12-16. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ. This can only come by the working of the cross by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
Remember there are anti-christ spirits in this world, spiritual wickedness in high places, which fight against the true work of the cross by the Holy Spirit. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-christ (2 John 7).
Even today, there are many deceivers and anti-christ spirits in our communities, churches, and the world. They look like truth and feel like truth, but they are religious anti-christ spirits. Those that are not being exercised by the working of the cross by the power of the Holy Spirit and are not walking in the great salvation by God’s grace through faith in us will go into great deception of self-works and self-righteousness and into great darkness and blindness to the truth of God. This deception has plagued the church down through the years.
Let’s look at those who are walking in the power of the truth, which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. These are true believers. These believers are the ones that will see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church [or by these believers], the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him (Ephesians 3:9-12).
Somebody might say, “I have failed too many times. I have done too many bad things. I could never attain to this. I feel like God and people have condemned me.” God would say to you, “I had you in training, and you did not know it. Because you now know that you are not worthy, your eyes will now see, or start to see, My great love for you and My great salvation plan. You are the one I will show Myself to. You are the one I will give My wisdom to. You are the one that will walk in this with boldness and confidence, because you now know this did not come from you, but from Me!”
The wisdom of man and the wisdom of this world will never understand this. This wisdom will never understand Ephesians 3:18-19, that says that you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God.
— D. Wickey
To read other parts of this eight-part series, please click on the links below:
Part 1: Fighting the Good Fight
Part 2: God’s Wisdom
Part 3: Circumcision of the Heart
Part 5: True Judgment
Part 6: Pride and Humility
Part 7: The Unlimited Power of God
Part 8: True Healing of the Church
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