The† Sleight† of† Men
So many times, when I first got involved with the Word of God, I could not help but notice a certain characteristic of my leaders.† There were leaders for a city and an assistant branch leader for that same city.† They always had a glow about them and appeared to be so peaceful and so confident.† But the most outstanding characteristic that I noticed was that they kept to themselves.† They were nice when they spoke to you and you could see the love of God in their heart and in their actions.† But before you know it, they seemed to disappear and to stay by themselves.† Why?† I wondered for so many years until I began to do this website.† The following Scripture is going to tell you about evil men and how they manipulate you.
That we henceforth †be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and †cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;† -- Ephesians 4: 14
It is Godís Will for us not to be children and immature when it comes to spiritual knowledge.† When we are that way, we are tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive.†
Letís take a look back for a moment, at Ephesians 2: 2 to a similar type of verse that focuses on our old man Ė our old ways.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:† -- Ephesians 2: 2
We have old man habits that are hard to break, but we can break them.† We used to walk according to the course of this world Ė according to the prince of the power of the air.† And that is Satan.† He is the spirit that works in the children of disobedience Ė disobedience to Godís Word.† That is why God wants us to study about Him because light overcomes darkness.† Darkness cannot stand light.† Now letís go back to Ephesians 4: 14 which shows us what happens to us when we get involved with deceptive men and we return to our own vomit Ė our old man ways and manner of life.
We need to put this verse underneath a microscope and study it up to the point where we have renewed our mind to what the verse is saying.† Of course, the most obvious phrase that we will study first is Ďthe sleight of mení.
The word Ďsleightí in Greek, in the lexicon, is defined as dice playing.† Can you imagine that?† In the New Testament, it is referred to as a game or gambling.† This results in entrapment by deceit.† If you have no knowledge of the truth which is Godís Word, you are susceptible to this type of attack and way of life.† Men will gamble with your life as if he were rolling dice on a gambling table utilizing cunning craftiness.† And you have no control over what he is doing if you do not know the Word of God and walk with the power of Jesus Christ within you.
I found this verse to be most dynamic and gave me a lot of answers about why so many things happen the way that they do.† If you understand Ephesians 6: 12, you will understand that we are always in a spiritual battle.† Many people will not accept this and all I can say is ďwonderfulĒ -- they have their own free will to accept or reject the Word of God.† I do not rejoice in this iniquity.† However, there is something in the above verse that we finally learn once being involved in the Word of God for a long time.
Why were those leaders that I knew so well keeping so much to themselves?† It is because every man is a liar and he will gamble with your life and he will deceive you whatever chance he gets.† That again, is why God does not want us to fellowship with darkness Ė those who are not born again of Godís spirit.† The amazing part about this Scripture is that I have become like my former leaders.† I keep to myself and I mind my own business.† I have casual acquaintances with almost everyone that I meet, but I do not get involved in their life unless they want to know the rightly divided Word of God.† To my own amazement, I began to feel a sense of peace within me as I applied this new way of life.† I totally understood why my leaders did the same thing.† To teach the Word of God, you must be at peace or men are going to come at you and play your life like a deck of cards.† You are going to be distracted and your peace will be taken away from you.
At one point, I was receiving emails from people who were, in reality, counterfeits.† They were thorns in my flesh sent to me by the god of this world to distract and agitate me.† I did not know what to do, but God showed me what to do.† This website is self-sufficient.† You do not need emails to understand the Word of God.† So I took the email address down, but yet it still appears in certain search engines.† Once in a while I get an email that always seems to be a disaster.† The enemy plays on my soft heart Ė he used to play me like a deck of cards.† Finally, after banging my head against the wall trying to help people who were not seriously interested in learning Godís Word, I decided to stop reading any email that may come to me.† In fact, to keep to myself so that I can teach Godís Word like I am doing right now, I have another person helping me.† They see any emails that people are trying to get to me and they proofread them and then almost all of the time, they are deleted.† I donít even see them.† Can I get that point across to some of you?† Do you understand why I had to do this?† The enemy was trying to take me out and he is always trying to take me out.† The problem that he has is that I am always trying to take him out.† Satan is the master of deception and he is the one that motivates people to play with peoplesí minds as if itís a game.†
I think itís time to move on to another verse.† But I ask you to reread that verse 4: 14 and to study it well and you will see how this happens in your own life.† Many people use people for their own benefit Ė they play with them and you may not even know it Ė until now.† No one wants to be treated in this manner so study and be mature in your renewed mind so that you are not a babe in Christ and susceptible to these kind of attacks.† Keep God first.† Study His Word first.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -- Matthew 6: 33
It is strange that I was going to use this verse to conclude the previous section.† Instead, I cannot help but see that it is a transition to the next section which of course, is talking about keeping God first.
You see, if we keep God first, then your personal adversary cannot touch you.† Now isnít that exciting?† When you think that the devil who is the god of this world canít touch you, itís exciting.† How do we keep God first?† Itís so simple because we must know that His Word is God.† I said it time and time again.† We only know each other by our words so of course, we only know God by His Words.† Now, we get to know Him only one way and that is to study God.† Weíre going to get into some basic verses, but they are extremely important.† You see, the ministry that I used to study with actually fell apart and it did so only because of one reason.† The believers got away from the basics of Godís Word.† They were warned by the founder of the ministry that this was happening.† But they chose to ignore the warning.† So letís take a look at an extremely important basic foundational truth.† You must apply this principle or you will be taken out by the sleight of men.† You should read that sentence 10 times so that it sinks into your mind.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.† [emphasis added]† -- II Timothy 2: 15
I underlined rightly dividing.† And itís time that I simply told you the truth.† You are not going to find the rightly divided Word of God except on this website.† I have searched other websites to see what they had to say and one guy started to talk about extraterrestrial beings.† Do you want to study with those sites?† Go ahead.† Now take a look at the way God arranges words.† Itís artistic to say the very least.† God says that He wants you to be a workman that needs not to be ashamed because you can rightly divide the Word of truth.† When a man tries to trap you with his words and the sleight of his heart and complete deception, by knowing Godís Word, you will know exactly how to answer him and you will trap him in his own deception.† What the enemy is doing lately is he is going back into hiding.† No one is interested in the Bible, but they are interested in their iPads and their cell phones and their trucks.† How in the world can someone buy a truck when they donít need a truck?† Iíve got three cars and are all like brand-new because God taught me how to detail a car.† I had a dealership only yesterday that would not move my car into the service bay because it was raining outside.† Now that car mustíve looked pretty good.† All the technicians were impressed with this classic car that I own and itís really not worth that much money on the free market.† But it is 20 years old and itís like brand-new Ė just like brand-new.† And if I have to say, itís the only American sports car that was ever built Ė thatís a Corvette.† So some of you read these teachings and you may say, well, this is not that exciting.† Well God will show you how to have excitement in your life. I like to do some things not because I want to show off, but I like to steal the whole show and God will show you how to do it.† It blesses people.† So study and study and study.† And when you think in your mind that you donít have the time to do all of the studying because you have so many other things to do, I will share a little secret with you.† When you study Godís Word diligently, you will have more time to do those other things that you think you are putting aside.† Godís a mind blower and He wants to show you the power that Heís got.† Give him the opportunity.† At first Ė study, and then, you will see the results.† In the world, the saying is, Iíll believe it when I see it.† With God Almighty, it goes like this, youíll see it WHEN you believe it.† And remember that the word believe is a verb and connotes action.† Letís take it to the sleight of men and show him the real power of the true God.†
Okay, letís move on to a different Scripture and a slightly different subject that relates to our teaching.† You may need to understand a few of the manifestations of Holy Spirit.† One manifestation is called word of knowledge and it is an amazing manifestation.† It works in harmony with word of wisdom.† I hardly give a thought to what Iím going to write next because God gives me word of knowledge Ė He gives me information that by the five senses, I could never know.† Then after I have that knowledge, He tells me what to do what it and this is referred to as word of wisdom.† There are seven more manifestations of the spirit.† These two manifestations along with discerning of spirits are known as the eyes and ears of the church.† Iím simply trying to help you to understand other major principles of the Word of God which may stimulate your interest.† Now we must get back to our topic.† Another way that men will sleight you is through flattery.† Flattery is a very dangerous device for men with two hearts.
They speak vanity every one with his neighbor:† with† flattering lips and† with a double heart do they speak.† Ė Psalm 12: 2
The double heart is referring to someone who is two-faced.† They are saying one thing but their motives are completely different.† Most people seem to love flattery.† Be careful.† It is almost always a counterfeit meant to win your trust and then manipulate you.† It is better to rebuke someone Ė to reprove and correct them, than to flatter them.
He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. †Ė Proverbs 28: 23
Evil men will gamble with your heart and Ďplayí you by using a device known as flattery.† Whenever someone flatters me, a red light goes off in my head.† There are many references to flattery in your Bible, especially in Psalms and Proverbs.† A good Concordance with help you research this subject extensively.†
The following is a strong example where men will manipulate you to no end.† It is a seriously misunderstood Scripture that we will now examine.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather† give place unto wrath [the wrath of God]:† for it is written, Vengeance is† mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.† Ė Romans 12: 19
When the sleight of men provoke you to seek vengeance, they are causing you to gamble with your life.† In the first place, it is Godís job to seek vengeance.† Most people will seek vengeance today, but it is the smart man that walks away.† You must know what the Word of God says to have this self-control.† Giving equals receiving so the evil person who has hurt you will receive it back maybe 10 times.† Itís Godís laws.† They are immutable Ė you canít break them or alter them in any way.† Donít ever let someone provoke you to violence or revenge.
Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul:† let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.† -- Psalm 70: 2†
You should learn this Scripture by heart.† It has always helped me to know that God will always bring this to pass upon evil men.† God will always repay for you, His children.† Just let Him do His job.
We are now going to shift gears and turn to other different occurrences that we experience in our life.† The following is one that is very aggravating and I have experienced it many times mainly with people who were close to me.† Itís called dwelling on the past.† If we would only not do this and we would forget about the past, we would profit.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [attained]:† but this† one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, †-- Philippians 3: 13
What Paul was saying was that he is forgetting his ancestry.† He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews and he had his education at the feet of Gamaliel, and he had other reasons for earthly acclaim.† Paul is now looking ahead and forgetting those things which are behind.
This situation again applies to many different areas in our life.† We may have lost a loved one or even a pet or maybe had to break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend.† These are the things that the world drills into our heart and causes us hurt and pain.† It has been said, and I agree to a certain extent, that time heals all wounds.† We may have worked for years and years to forget about that girlfriend or about that dog was so precious to us or about a loved one that we lost.† When you have a close friend or almost anyone that is talking to you, they may say something to you which is very unexpected.† Letís say they bring up your old girlfriend.† This once happened to me.† I had to get my high school ring back from a girl that I once dated.† She was a real looker and will blow any manís mind.† I asked who I thought was my friend to go to her house and to pick up my ring.† When he got the ring, he came back to me and he said to me, ďWhat the heck is wrong with you?† My God, she had on these tight jeans and her long black hair hanging down and honest to God, I could just about control myself she was so beautiful.Ē† Now how the heck did that make me feel?† It made me feel like I made a big mistake - it made me feel regret.† I did not want to hear these things let alone a visual description of her.† I knew what she looked like.† But my so-called friend was just digging it into me.† The more he said to me, the more it hurt.† Where was he coming from?† He was playing with my head to try to make me feel inferior and just plain stupid.† These people, whether you can notice it or not, are trying on purpose to make you feel bad about yourself and your decisions.† I worked real hard to forget about this person and here was a friend that was bringing it up to me Ė right to my face.† I have taught you many times to look behind the scenes and not at things with a five senses attitude, but spiritually.† This was my personal adversary that inspired my friend to say these things.† This is a part of the sleight of men.† My friend was playing with my mind and it was causing me doubt and hurt and I kept thinking about it for maybe weeks after that.† By the way, just so you know - Godís wheels grind slowly but they grind finally.† This girl approached me about five years later and apologized to me for what she did.† Well, it was a bit late, but it was better than nothing.† I think I saw her one more time after that and never again in all of my life.†††
I want to go back to the Scripture and go over it again so that you can better understand a more literal translation of certain sections of the Scripture.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [attained]:† but this† one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, †-- Philippians 3: 13
That part that says Ďforgetting those things which are behindí literally means to prove them wrong.† Anything that we have done before we have gotten into the Word of God is worldly in nature and somewhere, it is wrong.† As time goes on, and the more of the Word of God that we learn and apply, the more we will see that those things that we did in the past were wrong.† So be aware of someone who comes up to you in a seemingly innocent manner, and starts bringing up to you things that happened in the past that were negative in your life.† Be careful of that person.† To even better understand this Scripture, we need to look a little bit into the context of the Scripture.† So letís take a look at verse 14.
I press [follow after] toward the mark [finish line] for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.† -- Philippians 3: 14
Spiritually, it can be said that we are in a competition.† We are in a race or in a track meet and the finish line determines the winner.† The apostle Paul is saying that he will press toward the finish line which will culminate in the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.† You cannot do this by dwelling on the past Ė especially a negative past.† You must discipline your mind to forget the past and to move forward.† So once again, and for the last time, I am going to say you to beware of the person who you think is close to you or is a good friend and they come up to you and they bring up the past.† You could politely say to them that you would rather not talk about such things.† This can either work one way or can make matters worse.† The adversary is persistent and he is working on this person to bring you down, to play with your mind, to shuffle your thoughts like a deck of cards.† This is an unusual way that the sleight of men will deceive you, but it happens often.
Now we are going to get into a different subject that is more direct as concerning our topic, the sleight or deception of men.† This next subject and final subject of this teaching should really get the point across and as I said many times, there is no use in repeating myself in these teachings over and over again.† Once the point is made, itís time to stop.† The rest then becomes up to you as to whether you are going to apply the teaching or, by the sleight of men, you will be deceived into ignoring what you have read.† Remember, you always have a choice so we really have no excuse to turn our back on God.† We have free will.† I could say that 1000 times and some people will make excuses.† ďWell I just couldnít help it.Ē† There are really no excuses whatsoever not to do the Will of God.† The only reason we do not do it is because we are tricked due to a lack of strength in our mind.†† So be strong and do the one thing that will give you the more than abundant life and that is to believe and apply the revealed Word and Will of God.
Iím going to go to a Scripture and subject that all of us are familiar with.† Take notice how I am staying with the basics of Godís Word.† You remember that the ministry that I studied with got away from the basics of Godís Word and fell to pieces.† It was never the same again and I got away just in time and I took those basics with me and they are right here in this room and mainly in my mind and heart.† People say to me that I do all this work and I give it away.† Oh, I get paid for it.† God is my friend and He takes care of me in every single situation.† He never misses a trick that the old enemy is trying to pull on me.† Am I perfect?† Absolutely not.† But when I blow it, God is always there to help me and to cover me for my mistakes.† Letís get to the Scripture since Iím sure youíre familiar with it and it goes on day after day in this world and everywhere you look and hear you see it.† It is as devilish as can be and the one place I see it more than any time is when I sometimes watch some television.† Itís just a natural accepted way of life and itís sin.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor:† for we are members one of another.† -- Ephesians 4: 25
Oh, but I had to lie.† It was better off for the person.† I had no choice.† NOT TRUE.† You never have to lie.† If you donít want to tell someone something, there are ways around it.† The one thing I learned in the ministry that I studied with was that you could politely excused yourself from any situation.† I also learned that what natural man does not know will not hurt him.† Natural man is a person of body and soul and not born again.† That type of person could very well become a thorn in your flesh.
Now when people lie to you, they are manipulating you and they are playing with your mind.† They are trying to get you to believe something thatís not true so that they can influence something that youíre doing in your life.† I was very much a marketing and management major in college and I just could not pursue that field because of the way that advertising was brought to the American public.† Mostly all advertisers and marketers lie to you.† They will do anything to make you buy their product.† You need to be extremely careful if you are going to buy something from a television advertisement.† People are getting ripped off by the millions every single day by the sleight of men.
Another thing that happens is in the American family.† They watch television and they see that the characters on the show lie to one another.† It is an accepted norm.† Lying is sin and lying is from Satan and the devil who is the god of this world.† So how do you like that?† I am caught in many awkward positions when people ask me questions that are usually personal in nature.† Not too long ago, I was swimming laps in a pool and the person who I thought was very friendly started to ask me some questions that were really none of his business.† When a person starts to ask me about my swimming schedule and they want to know what nights I swim and what nights I donít, there is something wrong.† You need to be very careful.† Now I know you can look at this from a five senses point of view and you can say that this person was just trying to be friendly.† But when a person says something or asks you a particular question that makes you feel uneasy, youíve got to watch the source.† Now you can believe that or not.† Itís up to you.† Youíve got free will.† I would never teach something like this if I werenít 100% positive that it was correct.† So be careful of the liars and the ones who bring up the past and the ones who flatter you and the ones who provoke you to violence or vengeance.† But keep God first and study His Word and you will surely receive the strength and spiritual perception to see and to discern truth from error.† Always be on guard for the sleight of men because the enemy never quits, but the spirit of God in Christ in you is greater.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them [all the negatives and devil spirits in the world]:† because greater is he [Christ in you] that is in you, then he [Satan] that is in the world.† Ė I John 4: 4