The Suspicion of Religion: When Spies Come to Church

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty through forty of the twentieth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the beloved physician Luke writing and recording something that he had written about two previous times within this gospel. If you take the time to read the words which are written in this portion of scripture you will find Luke writing concerning the Pharisees how they not only watched Jesus the Christ with calculated suspicion and hatred, but they actually took their actions further then that. As you read the words which are found in this particular set of verses you will quickly discover that in addition to the Pharisees watching Jesus, they also enlisted the services and help of certain men who would reign themselves as spies in the circle of Jesus Christ and His disciples. Upon reading the words which are located in this text we find that these men—whom the beloved physician Luke refers to as spies—were sent by the Pharisees in order that they might feign themselves as righteous and just men. Oh please don’t miss what is taking place and happening within the text and within the ministry of Jesus the Christ, for as if it weren’t enough for the Pharisees to watch Jesus with suspicion and judgment, they took their hatred and animosity toward Jesus a step further and actually enlisted the help and assistance of certain men who would enter in stealthily and privily among Jesus and His disciples in order that they might trap and ensnare Jesus in the words which He spoke. In fact, when you read the words which are before us you will find that the entire purpose of enlisting these men as spies go feign themselves as righteous and just men was to ensnare and entrap Jesus the Christ in His words in order that they might find excuse and reason to drag Him before Pilate who was the governor of Jerusalem at that time. This is actually quite astounding and remarkable when you take the time to think about it, for this was not the first time when the hatred and animosity of the Pharisees is and was seen in the gospels, nor even when they tried to destroy Jesus. This was not the first time when we find the Pharisees seeking an occasion to not only accuse Jesus but also to destroy Him. Throughout the gospels you will find example after example and account after account of the Pharisees, the scribes, the elders, the chief priests, and the religious system and community seeking to destroy Jesus. What we find within this passage is yet another account and another example of the Pharisees seeking to find occasion to destroy Jesus during those days.

What I find to be so incredibly intriguing about the events which unfold before us on this particular occasion is that the Pharisees didn’t merely resort to watching Jesus in order that they might see what He would do, but they actually enlisted the help of others who would enter in among Jesus and His disciples privily and stealthily in order that they might accomplish something very specific. In all reality, that which we find written within this passage of scripture is not the only time in scripture where we find those from the outside entering in among the saints and among the brethren stealthily in order that they might accomplish something very specific. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are written in the New Testament epistle of the epistle Paul which was written unto the churches in Galatia you will find the apostle writing unto these churches concerning those who entered in among them stealthily in order that they might spy out and spy on their liberty. When writing unto these churches the apostle Paul brings us face to face with the tremendous reality that there were actually those from the outside who would enter in among them unawares and did so stealthily in order that they might spy out their liberty. The events we fine written in the twentieth chapter is the first time in scripture we read of spies being enlisted in and among the circle of disciples and saints of the living God. What we fine in the twentieth chapter of the gospel which the beloved physician Luke wrote is a powerful account of those who were enlisted by a certain group of individuals in order that they might spy on Jesus—spy on His actions and His words. What’s mote, is that it would have been one thing if need men were sent by the Gentiles, or even by sinners in order that they might spy on Jesus the Christ. The truth of the matter is that these men weren’t sent by sinners and gentiles in order that they might spy on Jesus the Christ, but were sent by religion. Please don’t miss the tremendous and incredibly significance of what is taking place within this passage, for it brings us face to face with the suspicion of religion toward Jesus the Christ, and toward the freedom, the liberty and compassion He came to being upon the earth. What we find within this passage of scripture is a powerful example of religion seeking to spy out the liberty, the freedom, the love and the compassion of Jesus the Christ among His disciples and among those who walked with and followed Him.

WHEN RELIGION SENDS SPIES TO CHURCH! WHEN SPIES COME TO CHURCH! WHEN SPIES COME TO CHURCH! WHEN RELIGION SEEKS TO SPY ON THR LIBERTY AND LOVE OF CHRIST! These expressions are more than just words, for on this particular occasion we find the Pharisees taking their suspicion of Jesus a step further by enlisting the help of those who would enter in stealthily among Jesus and those who would walk with and follow Him. What’s more, is that what we find in this passage of scripture is more than just the Pharisees watching Jesus the Christ, and it’s more than just the Pharisees seeking to destroy Jesus the Christ, for this is the Pharisees sending spies among Jesus’ circle of disciples and followers in order that they might entrap and ensnare Him in His words. What an incredibly bold move this was on behalf of the Pharisees to not come themselves in order to somehow trap and ensnare Jesus in His words, but to actually send spies among Jesus’ circle of followers and those who walked with and followed Him. This was the first time when the Pharisees sought to enlist the help of outsiders who would not only feign themselves as righteous and pious, but who would also seek to entrap and ensnare Jesus in His words and speech. What we know about this time was that it was the week of Jesus’ passion, and it was almost as if religion and the religious spirit was pulling out all the stops and holding no punches when seeking to come to and come against Jesus the Christ. The Pharisees were not holding anything back in their attempt to destroy Jesus the Christ and were actually willing to enlist the service of others who would pretend their were righteous in the sight and presence of Jesus the Christ. As I am sitting here this morning I can’t help but be captivated and gripped by those who actually thought they could pretend to be righteous in the very presence and in the very sight of God in human flesh. It would be one thing to pretend to be righteous in the sight and in the presence of pastors, or evangelists, or missionaries, or apostles, or prophets, or even the saints of God as we have come to know them, but to actually try to pretend to be righteous in the sight and in the presence of Jesus the Christ seems absolutely and utterly absurd. Who in their right might would actually think about and consider the fact that they would be able to pretend they were righteous in the sight and in the presence of Jesus the Christ? Who in their right mind would and could actually think that they could enter into the presence of Jesus the Christ and somehow fool the living God into thinking and believing that they were somehow pious and righteous in His sight and in His presence. I am absolutely and utterly amazed at the thought that such men actually thought they could enter into the presence of Jesus and actually get away with pretending they were righteous, and could actually get away with pretending they were pious in His sight and presence. What’s more, is I can’t help but find it absolutely and utterly amusing that the Pharisees—those who were part of the religious system itself—thought and believed that it was possible to pretend to be righteous in the sight and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am sitting here this morning thinking about this idea and concept of pretending to be righteous and pretending to be pious among those who would walk with and those who would follow Jesus the Christ, and I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches which were in Galatia. If you read this particular epistle you will find the apostle Paul writing concerning those who entered in among them stealthily and unawares in order that they might somehow spy on and spy out their liberty and freedom which they had in Jesus who is the Christ. The apostle Paul writes concerning those who thought they could enter into the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ and could somehow pretend that they were righteous and pretend that they were saints of the most high God. Before I actually present you with the words which are found within this passage of Scripture, I feel the tremendous need to emphatically declare that it is one thing to pretend to be righteous in the sight of men, and it is one thing to pretend to be righteous in the sight and in the presence of those who walk with and follow Jesus the Christ, however, it is something else altogether to pretend to be righteous in the very sight and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Had the Pharisees trusted and believed in who Jesus the Christ truly was, and had they believed that He was indeed the Son of the living God, they would have thought twice about sending men as spies among the followers and disciples of Jesus the Christ. I can’t help but wonder how the Pharisees even thought for a single moment that those who were sent in among the followers and disciples of Jesus could pass themselves off as righteous and pious, and that they would be able to convince Jesus that they were in fact righteous. I am utterly and completely amazed that those who were sent in among the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ actually believed that they could somehow fool Jesus into thinking and believing that they were righteous and pious in His sight and presence. How did the Pharisees even think and believe that these men whom they sent in as spies into the very presence of God in the flesh could fool and convince Jesus that they were in fact righteous and holy men? It is absolutely and utterly absurd to think about and consider the fact that such men thought and actually believed they could fool Jesus the Christ with their false sense of piety and righteousness. In all reality, this is ultimately what religion has sought to do for centuries and ages within the church and among the true saints and followers of Jesus the Christ. For centuries religion has attempted to pass itself off as righteous, has tried to pass itself off as holy, and has tried to pass itself off as pure and obedient in the sight and presence of the living God, and the truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case. For centuries religion has sought to somehow pull the wool over the eyes of Christians and followers of Jesus Christ alike in order that they might somehow convince them that it is indeed righteous and holy in the sight and presence of the living God. With this being said, I invite you to consider the words which are found in the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches which were in Galatia beginning with the first verse of the second chapter:

“Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest buy any means I should run, or had run in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: but contrary wise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostles this of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles) and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do” (Galatians 2:1-10).

Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of what is written and contained within this passage of Scripture, for the apostle Paul writes concerning false brethren who unawares came and entered in among them in order that they might spy out the liberty which they had in Christ Jesus. What’s more, is the apostle Paul would also go on to list and describe the sole intention and purpose of these false brethren in his epistle, for he writes and declares how these false brethren sought to spy out their liberty in order that they might bring them again into bondage. This concept of bondage is a recurring them that is mentioned within and throughout the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches which were in Galatia, and is actually significant when you read and consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel of Luke concerning Jesus the Christ. In fact, just as the false brethren who entered in among the saints and churches of Jesus the Christ entered in in order that they might spy out the liberty that was found in Christ Jesus in order that they might bring them into bondage, so also these false disciples and false followers of Jesus the Christ would seek to enter in among the inner circle of Jesus the Christ in order that they might pretend that they were righteous and holy in order that they might bring Jesus into bondage and captivity before the governor. What we must first recognize and understand concerning religion is that before it ever attempted to bring the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ into bondage, it first made every attempt to take into bondage and captivity Jesus the Christ. As you read the four New Testament gospels you will find that within and throughout the ministry of Jesus the Christ, religion sought to bring Him into bondage and captivity, and it did so with the ultimate objective and purpose of destroying Him. It is necessary that we understand this, for while on the surface it might seem that religion seeks to take and bring you into bondage alone, this simply is not the case, nor is it true. While it seems that religion’s only objective is to bring you into bondage, we must recognize and understand this simply to not be the case, for religion’s ultimate objective is to destroy you through bondage and captivity. Religion can and will seek to bring you into captivity and bondage in order that it might ultimately and once and for all utterly and completely destroy you just as it did Jesus the Christ. Religion didn’t simply seek to ensnare and trap Jesus in His words, but religion also sought to take Jesus captive and bring Him into bondage in order that it might completely and utterly destroy Him. Along these lines of bondage and captivity, I feel it absolutely necessary that we consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle which was written unto the churches in Galatia in order that we might see how these false brethren not only sought to spy out the liberty that was found in Christ Jesus, but also sought to bring them into bondage. Consider if you will the words which are found within this epistle as it was written by the apostle Paul:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect boy the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He therefore that minsitereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:1-7).

“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one but a bond maid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bond woman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of Promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bond woman and her son: for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond woman, but of the free” (Galatians. 4:21-31).

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified but the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, b retired, if I yet preach circus ion, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you” (Galatians 5:1-12).

The words which we find in these various portions of the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches which were in Galatia bring us face to face with the tremendous reality of what religion has sought to do for centuries—namely, ensnare and entrap the saints and disciples of Jesus the Christ, and to bring them into bondage. We must recognize and understand that it has been the objective and desire of religion for centuries to take captive and to take into bondage the disciples and saints of the living God, and of Jesus the Christ, in order that it might ultimately destroy them. Make not mistake about it—religion can and will seek to take you captive, and can and will seek to ensnare and entrap you in order that it might ultimately destroy you. What’s more, is that before religion ever sought to take the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ captive, it first sought to take Jesus Christ Himself captive. Please do not miss and lose sight on this incredibly important reality, for to do so would be to miss something that is absolutely necessary within our hearts and lives. We dare not forget the awesome and tremendous reality that before religion ever sought to ensnare and captivate the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ, it first sought to ensnare and entrap Jesus the Christ Himself. What’s more, is that as you read the four gospels you will find account after account and example after example of religion seeking to ensnare and entrap Jesus in His words, and even in His actions. What we find within this particular portion of Scripture is quite astounding and quite interesting, for it is a powerful example of how religion not only sought to ensnare and captivate the Lord Jesus Christ in order that it might destroy and remove Him from the picture. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in this passage of Scripture concerning the actions of the Pharisees concerning and toward Jesus the Christ, and how they sought diligently and fervently to ensnare Him in His words and actions in order that they might take Him captive that He might be destroyed. Beginning with the twentieth verse of the twentieth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find the following words written concerning Jesus the Christ, and how the Pharisees sought to ensnare Him in His words in order that they might not only take Him captive, but also might utterly and completely destroy Him:

“And they watched Him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked Him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? But He perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And He said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be of God’s. And they could not take hold of His words before the people: and they marveled at His answer, and held their peace” (Luke 20:20-26).

What we find here in this passage of Scripture is the Pharisees seeking to ensnare and entrap Jesus the Christ in either His words or His actions—or perhaps even both— in order that they might take Him captive and deliver Him unto the governor. What I find to be so incredibly intriguing about that which is contained in this passage is how the Pharisees not only watched Jesus, but also sought to ensnare Jesus the Christ in His words that they might bring Him before and deliver Him unto the governor of Jerusalem at that time. We dare not, we cannot, and we must not ignorantly move past this absolutely incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss out on and lose the significance of that which is contained in this passage—not only concerning Jesus the Christ, but also concerning His church and His body. In fact, I am convinced that in order to get a true and proper picture of what is taking place within this passage of Scripture it is necessary that we turn and direct our attention to other distinct passages which are found within this same New Testament gospel. We must recognize and understand that this wasn’t the only time the Pharisees watched Jesus the Christ in order that they might see what He would do. If you turn your attention both to the fourteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke, as well as the sixth chapter of this same New Testament gospel, you will quickly discover that there were other occasions where the Pharisees sought to watch Jesus, and watch Him closely in order that they might ensnare and entrap Him in His words and actions. In fact, I invite you to consider each of these references, for with these two references we find three distinct passages within the New Testament gospel of Luke which describe how the Pharisees sought to watch Jesus the Christ—to watch His actions and to see what He would do, and how He would respond in certain situations:

“And it came to pass, as He went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched Him. And, behold, there was a certain man before Him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took Him, and healed Him, and let him go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things” (Luke 14:1-6).

“And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And He arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, He said unto man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus” (Luke 6:6-11).

Each of these passages are absolutely and incredibly intriguing and astounding when you take the time to think about it, for in the sixth chapter we find the Pharisees watching Jesus in the synagogue in order that they might see whether or not he would heal a man on the sabbath day. In the fourteenth chapter we find Jesus in the house of one of the chief Pharisees, and how they watched Him closely to see if He would heal on the sabbath day. They had already watched and witnessed Him heal on the sabbath day on the synagogue, and now here was Jesus on the sabbath again, and this time in the home of one of the chief Pharisees, and they watched Him to see if He would heal once more on the sabbath. Of course on both occasions we find Jesus the Christ healing that one who was found present—both the one present in the house of the chief Pharisee, as well as the one in the synagogue—and after healing each man, Jesus proceeded to correct their thinking, and even indict them for their hypocrisy toward and concerning the sabbath day, as well as their holding to man made rules and traditions. When you come to the twentieth chapter of the same New Testament gospel you will find religion still and continuing to watch Jesus, and to watch Him closely and with suspicion. Don’t be so quick to overlook this incredibly important reality, for it’s almost as if religion never stopped beholding and never stopped watching Jesus the Christ. RELIGION STILL WATCHES JESUS! RELIGION IS STILL WATCHING JESUS! RELIGION IS STILL SUSPICIOUS! The more I sit here and consider the words which are found and contained within this passage, the more I can’t help but think about the tremendous fact that religion not only began watching Jesus the Christ early on in His ministry, but they also continued watching Jesus, and were still watching Him—even during the week of His passion before He would be betrayed by one of His own, would suffer at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel, would suffer at the hands of Gentiles and sinners, and would ultimately be killed and crucified. It’s incredibly interesting to note that religion never stopped watching Jesus, and that religion continued to watch Jesus with suspicion and with a careful and cautious eye in order that they might find occasion to destroy Him. In fact, in the sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel we find that after Jesus had indicted and rebuked the Pharisees for their thinking and belief system, they sought occasion to destroy Him. What’s more, is that even in this twentieth chapter of the same New Testament gospel we find the same Pharisees still desiring to destroy Jesus, for Luke wrote how the chief priests and scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on Him. One thing that is absolutely certain when reading the four gospels concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ is not only the suspicion of religion toward and against Him, but also their desire to utterly and completely destroy Him in order that they might remove Him from the equation. We must recognize and understand that religion not only sought to watch Jesus with suspicion, but they also sought to lay hold of and take him captive in order that they might drag Him before the governor of Jerusalem at the time with the hope of bringing and putting Him to death.

If you read the words which are found in this twentieth chapter of the New Testament gospel which was written by the beloved physician Luke you will encounter the reality that religion continued to watch and was still watching Jesus—even during the week of His passion. What’s more, is that within this passage you will find that their suspicion toward Jesus had reached its zenith, its pinnacle and its summit, as they actually sent certain men unto Him and among His followers and those who walked with Him in order that they might pretend they were pious, righteous and just men. It was one thing for the Pharisees to pretend that they themselves were righteous and pious before a holy God, but to actually enlist the help of others who would themselves pretend to be righteous and pious was and entirely new tactic for the Pharisees. What’s more, is that the Pharisees enlisted the help of these men—not only that they might pretend that they were righteous, but also that they might ensnare and entrap Jesus in His words. I still find it absolutely incredible to think that these men could actually enter into the presence of Jesus and think they could somehow trick and fool Him into thinking and believing that they were righteous and devout men who walked with and served the living God. I am utterly and completely amazed that the Pharisees thought they could send men unto Jesus and among those who walked with and followed Him thinking that they could somehow convinced Him that they were righteous, devout and just in the sight of the living God. We learn and discover from the writing of the apostle Paul in the epistle which he wrote unto the churches In Galatia that false brethren crept in unawares among the churches of Jesus Christ in order that they might spy out the liberty that was found in Christ Jesus, and that they might ensnare and bring into bondage and captivity the saints and followers of Jesus the Christ. Please mark this and mark it well, for it brings us face to face with the tremendous reality that religion has always and will always seek to infiltrate the church and body of Jesus the Christ in order that it might ensnare and entrap the saints of God that they might bring them into captivity to utterly and completely destroy them. If religion sought to watch Jesus in order that they might ensnare and entrap Him in His words so as to find occasion to bring Him before the governor to utterly and completely destroy Him, religion can and will seek to do the same to Christ’s body within and upon and the earth, for what religion did to the head, it will inevitably do to the body without any questions, reservation or hesitation. What we must recognize and understand is the tremendous need to be wise and discerning in the sight and presence of the living God and to discern religion’s tactics among us to ensnare us, to entrap us, to take us captive, to bring us into captivity, and to ultimately destroy us. Oh that we would recognize the tremendous need for discernment within our lives, and that we would not be ignorant of the tactics of religion, and of the religious spirit which can and will seek to take us captive in order that it might destroy us.

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