TRICK OR TREAT
by Bob Thompson
LIKE "CHRISTMAS" AND "EASTER," "Halloween," or "Allhallows Eve," the evening before "All Saints Day"— (Nov. 1st), is a hand-me-down from paganism, Autumn Festival of the Druids, and the Roman Catholic "All Soul's Day" (Nov. 2nd). For most children, it will be an evening of masquerading for "trick or treat!"
But in some fields, the word "trick" carries with it a deadly meaning. Webster defines "trick" as'". . . something designed to swindle, deceive." Could a more appropriate word be found to describe the methods employed by the Devil, the greatest swindler of them all? This masterful trickster is described in 2 Cor. 11:14 as one who transforms himself "into an angel of light." With clerical collars, social graces, "good words and faire speeches," and Bibles in their hands his ministers also are "transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
BUT NO ONE NEEDS TO BE DECEIVED by these unscrupulous though winsome servants of the devil, for "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the be half< of them whose heart is perfect toward Him . . ." (2 Chron. 16:9). Untold millions have gone out into a Christless eternity of torment and fire because they have unwittingly allowed this "swindler" to blind them to, and rob them of, salvation and a home in heaven. Here are some of his lies as contrasted with the Word of God.
THE DEVIL'S LIE—"You are not such a bad fellow. You haven't killed anyone or lived a life of open immorality. You have also been a member in good standing in the church of your choice for many years. Surely, when you die, God will have mercy on your soul and save you."
THE WORD OF GOD --"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God . . . all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags . . . not by works of righteous ness which we have done, but according to His mercy hath He saved us . . . for by grace (meaning, the unmerited favor of God) are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. . . . He that believeth on the Son hath life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:23; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Jn. 3.36.
THE DEVIL'S LIE— "Everyone has a right to his own opinion, so join the church of your choice. All churches are doing some good, even if they don't agree. `All roads lead to Rome,' and all churches lead to heaven. They are God's representatives."
THE WORD OF GOD -- "God is not the author of confusion . . ." "There is one body (church) . . one faith . .. one baptism . . ." "Whatsoever is not of faith (the Word of God rightly divided—see Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 2:15) is sin." "Upon this Rock (Christ Jesus-1 Cor. 3:11) I will build my church . . . for by one Spirit are we all (believers) baptized into one body . . ." "Prove all things . . . try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 Cor. 14:33; Eph. 4:4-5; Rom. 14:23; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Jn. 4:1.
THE DEVIL'S LIE — "You have no right to judge!"
THE WORD OF GOD — "Judge not that ye be not judged . . . thou hypocrite . . ." Notice, it is the hypocrite who is told not to judge, not Christians. God commands His people to "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment." Also "He that is spiritual judges all things . . . set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church." "Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them." If we have no right to judge between wolf and sheep, grapes, and thistles, good fruit and evil, how shall we "know them"?—See Matt. 7:1, 5; 15-18; John 7:24; 1 Cor. 2:15; 6:14.
THE DEVIL'S LIE — "Hell is but the grave. There is no such thing as eternal conscious punishment. The
Bible says, 'that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts . . . so that a man bath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
THE WORD OF GOD—Yes, "that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts . . . etc." but these servants of the devil do not tell you that Solomon in this book of Ecclesiastes is writing of things "under the sun," apart from the knowledge of God's Word on the subject of life after death. So far as man can see "under the sun," death ends all. But God has also written these solemn warnings: Lu. 16:19-31; Matt. 25:46; Isa. 33:14; John 3:36; Rev. 14:10-11; 22:1-5; Heb. 10:26-29. Please read carefully.
Psa. 9:17 says, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." If Hell is but the grave, then all men, both the righteous and unrighteous, as well as all nations, those that remember God and those that forget Him, will be turned into hell. Such a conclusion renders this verse utterly null and void.
THE DEVIL'S LIE — "Jesus Christ was a mere mortal. He laid down His perfect life forever and was raised a spiritual creature."
THE WORD OF GOD -- "Christ told the Scribes and Pharisees, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up . . . but He spake of the temple of His body!" "God had sworn . . . that . . . according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne .. . His soul was not left in hell, neither did His flesh see corruption." — John 2:19-21; Acts 2:3031. See also John 20:20; Acts 1:11 with Zech. 14:4. Yes, Christ was physically raised to the right, hand, of God the Father, made "head over all things to the church which is His body," and will someday return in that same glorified body to sit upon the throne of David in the land of Palestine. See Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 12:10; 2 Sam. 7:12-13; Rev. 19:11-16:
TRICK OR TREAT —WHICH? Will you allow the devil to trick you into receiving his damnable doctrines, or will you allow God to treat you to His matchless grace. Salvation is a gift! It is free! It has been purchased at the infinite price of God's own Son living the life we could not live, dying for our sins, being buried, and "raised for our justification." This is "the Gospel," the good news, by which man is saved. "It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (not believeth and, gets water baptized, or joins the church of his choice, etc.) -- Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-5.
Yes, the sin debt has been paid, Christ has risen, justice has been satisfied, the banquet has been spread, and the Lord says "come!" "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."— 1 Car. 10:13; Rev. 22:17.
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