The Bait Of Satan
by John Bevere
The following article is an excerpt from our book, "The Bait of Satan."
Anyone experienced in animal trapping knows a trap needs one of two things to be successful. It must be hidden, in the hope that an animal will stumble upon it, or it must be baited to lure the animal into it's deadly jaws.
Satan, the enemy of our soul, has incorporated both of these elements in laying out one of his most deceptive deadly traps. This baited trap has captured countless Christians. It has imprisoned them unaware, severed relationships, and has widened the existing breaches between us. It is the bondage of OFFENSE.
Jesus said in the last days many would be offended (Matthew 24:10). The Greek word used most for describing offenses in the New Testament is "Skandalon." It means "To Entrap." This word was originally used to describe the part of the trap the bait was put on to catch small animals. In the New Testament it is used to describe an entrapment used by the enemy. Offense is a tool of the devil to bring people into captivity.
We read in the New Testament; "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare (Entrapment) of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
It is clear those in opposition or strife, fall into a snare or trap and are now held prisoner to do the devil's will. Even more alarming, most are unaware of their captivity! They are oblivious to their condition because they are so focused on the wrong that was done to them. They are in denial. The most effective way for the enemy to blind us is to cause our focus to be concentrated on ourselves.
No matter what the scenario, we can separate all offense into two major categories: 1) Those who are treated unjustly or 2) Those who believe they were treated unjustly. This second category believe they have been wronged with all their heart. Often their conclusions are drawn from inaccurate information or their information is accurate but their conclusion is distorted. Either way they hurt and their understanding is darkened. They judge by assumption, appearance and hearsay.
Even if we have been truly treated unjustly, we still cannot afford to become offended for the trap is the same. God spoke to me one day and said, "Why do you allow another person's sins or mistakes against you to affect your relationship with Me?" That hit me hard. I realized even though I did nothing to merit the wrong that was done to me, I would still be imprisoned as a result of picking up the offense!
Many are unable to function properly in their calling because of the wounds and hurts they have received. They are handicapped and hindered from fulfilling their full potential. Most often it is a "fellow believer" who has hurt them, this causes the offense to feel like a betrayal. In Psalm 55:12-14 David laments, "For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My Companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng."
They are who we sit with, sing alongside or perhaps the one who is delivering the sermon. We spend holidays together, attend social functions, and share an office with them. Or perhaps it is closer. . .we grow up with, confide in, and sleep next to them. The closer the relationship, the more severe the offense!
Unfortunately many today look out for themselves to the neglect and hurt of those around them. This should not surprise us. The Bible is very clear that in the last days men will be, "lovers of themselves." And we expect this in unbelievers but Paul was not referring to those outside the church but to those within it. As a result there are countless wounded, hurt, and bitter.
Jesus made it very clear it is "impossible" to live in this world and not have the opportunity to become offended (Luke 17:1). Yet, most believers, are shocked, bewildered and amazed when it happens to them. They believe they are the only ones who have been wronged. This response leaves us vulnerable to a root of bitterness. Therefore, it is important we are prepared and armed, for how we respond determines our future.
In the last part of the twentieth century knowledge has greatly increased in the church. But even with this increase it seems we have experienced more division among believers, leaders and congregations. The reason, offense is rampant from a lack of genuine love. "Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies" (I Corinthians 8:1). There are so many snared in this deceptive trap, they have come to believe it is a normal way of life. However, before the return of Christ there will be a unity among true believers unlike we have seen before. I believe now is the time we will see countless men and women released from this trap of offense. This will be one of the main links to see revival sweep this nation. The unbelievers have been blinded to Jesus because they are unable to see Him in our love for one another.
In every church across America and in other nations as I have preached this message, over fifty percent of the people respond to the call.
Although this is a high response it still is not everyone. Pride holds some back from responding. I have seen people healed, set free, filled with the Holy Spirit and receive answers to prayers when they are free from this trap. They usually report that they have sought for years what they received in a moment, as they were free from this trap.
I do not believe in writing a book just to write one. God has burned this message in my heart and I have seen its fruit remain. One pastor said to me after a service in which this message was preached, "I have never seen so many set free at one time in my life."
God has spoken to my heart that this is only the beginning and many will be set free, healed and restored as they read this book and obey the Spirit of the LORD'S prompting to them.
John Bevere has a heart to see restoration come to the Body of Christ. He served as an associate pastor at Orlando Christian Center, under the direction of Benny Hinn, before being launched into the full-time traveling ministry. He is the founder of John Bevere Ministries. John believes an entire army of God's children, who are held captive, await release from the snares of legalism, rebellion, unforgiveness and fear. It is with this heart that he travels both nationally and internationally to churches and conferences boldly proclaiming a call to repentance, restoration and order. He is the author of the national best seller; The Bait of Satan. Go to www.johnbevere.org.
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