Written by His Grace,

Penned by:†††††††††††† Kevin K. OíConnor

Date Penned:†††††††† Feb. 11, 2005

Main thought: ††††† To examine how appearances can be both beautiful and deadly.

False Appearances

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:11-13 (in Context) Proverbs 14 (Whole Chapter)

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 16:24-26 (in Context) Proverbs 16 (Whole Chapter)

Matthew 16:6  ďBe careful,Ē Jesus said to them. ďBe on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.Ē  Matthew 16:5-7 (in Context) Matthew 16 (Whole Chapter)

Matthew 16:11 How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.Ē Matthew 16:10-12 (in Context) Matthew 16 (Whole Chapter)

Matthew 16:12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Matthew 16:11-13 (in Context) Matthew 16 (Whole Chapter)

Exodus 15:23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah. [ Marah means bitter . ] ) Exodus 15:22-24 (in Context) Exodus 15 (Whole Chapter)

Water and Bread those two things meant to help keep body and soul together and yet here we can see that there are times when things will appear like life giving water and bread, but instead they will end up killing us. Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:14-16 (in Context) Matthew 7 (Whole Chapter)

We can have all the appearances of being Godís kids and yet totally miss the mark. We can cast out demons, do incredible miracles of healing, talk the talk, and appear to walk the walk, BUT not be His! The Lord said that we will know them by their Fruits, NOT their words or their works. Works are so clearly seen like water and bread. But, what can be killers are those things in the water and bread that we DONíT see.

Mark 13:20 If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. Mark 13:19-21 (in Context) Mark 13 (Whole Chapter)

Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the electĖif that were possible. Mark 13:21-23 (in Context) Mark 13 (Whole Chapter)

How could even the elect be deceived if that were possible? What was done when Christ walked this earth that we just havenít seen much of and yet we know God is very capable of? Miracles, Yes Miracles are of God, But, so are they from satan. There are those who seek the water of Life but not the Life itself. This may be why the Lord prevented man from the tree of Life once we chose to rebel; Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."  Genesis 3:21-23 (in Context) Genesis 3 (Whole Chapter) It seems like every time God does or gives something wonderful, satan immediately tries to duplicate it for our own destruction. Take Life, the greatest gift there is and yet we take it and corrupt it with the pride of life which ends to our own destruction; 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:15-17 (in Context) 1 John 2 (Whole Chapter) The miraculous is no different; Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ĎLord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?í Matthew 7:21-23 (in Context) Matthew 7 (Whole Chapter) The problem with seeking the gifts of Heaven without seeking the Giver of Heaven, is that our sinful, selfish pride remains in control. There will be those who emphasize and focus on the workings of God and not God Himself Ė stay away from such as these. They appear right because they hold up the signs of God, BUT God is looking for Relationship with us. We are more than bodies of perfect health or the lack thereof, bank accounts filled with wealth or its lack, people of great renown or who are hardly known. He loves us deeply and completely and grieves for us when we harden our hearts to His Love. The throne room of our hearts is where He desires to be NOT the outside area that is so easily seen by all. The outside areas of our lives will reflect the beauty of Christ IF HE is the focus of our hearts and our thoughts. But, how sad it will be for those who have made the display of Godliness their focus and not their relationship with Him. Sure He can bring perfection and beauty to those outside areas as well, BUT, all of those will pass away and the innermost part of our being will not. That is why it is so important for our focus to be on relationship with Him, not for what He can do but for WHO HE IS! The greatest relationship exists only when there is the greatest surrender of our wills to His, not for what He can do for us, BUT for WHO HE IS! Jesus knew this which is why He now experiences Joy and Rewards beyond ALL OTHERS. And, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit now enjoy this ultimate relationship with each other, so He desires it for each one of us with Him.

What really gets our attention? Miracles! Satan knows this and if he can get our eyes looking for the miraculous, than he will have won our hearts. Satan can imitate every miracle of the Holy Spirit, BUT he cannot imitate the Fruit. No wonder the Lord said you will know them by their Fruit; Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:21-23 (in Context) Galatians 5 (Whole Chapter) Why is this? Because the fruits flow out from who we are, not something we put on. Yes, Our God can raise the dead, give sight to the blind, heal the lepers, hang the stars in the heavens, prepare mansions of beauty and delight for those that love Him, but more importantly than all of the power of God, is His heart! Satanís purpose if for us to miss the mark of the bullís eye of our existence which is not the second ring next to the bullís eye, but the bullís eye itself which is to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. The first thing satan would have us do is to focus on any of those outside rings or even the one right next to the bullís eye of Loving our neighbor as ourselves. For, if he can do that, we will have missed the mark; Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:36-38 (in Context) Matthew 10 (Whole Chapter). God knows that if we hit the bullís eye, every ring around it will be in its perfect place; Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:32-34 (in Context) Matthew 6 (Whole Chapter).  But, if we aim for and hit one of the outer rings, we will have missed Godís desire for each one of us.

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You desire for us all to live a life free from pain and suffering here below, but more than all of the suffering we could ever experience, You desire for us to know You. Not for all that You can do, but for Who You Are! Thank You for Your Heart of Love. In Jesus Glorious, Eternal Name, Amen.

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