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Speak unto us Smooth Things

Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book,

that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children

that will not hear the law of the LORD:

Which say to the seers, See not;

and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things,

speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

Isaiah 30:8-11


In the days that God commanded the Prophet Isaiah to write down the words above, the children of Israel were a rebellious and lying people. They were also a very religious people. Religion, rebellion, and lying are often ingredients of the same stew. These people had no intention of giving up their religion and they certainly didn’t want to give up their sin. This is exactly what is going on today. These liars didn’t tell the prophets to stop prophesying - they just told them to change the message (and many of the prophets were willing to do so).


The devil typically would rather mix truth with error in churches than shut them down. False religion that caters to the sin and worldliness of people has been one of the devil’s most effective tools throughout the ages and he is not about to discard a tool that has worked so well.


It has been said that today a preacher will either have a limited message or a limited fellowship. What is meant by this is that if a preacher wants a big crowd and the approval of the “brethren” then he must not preach the whole counsel of God (he must consciously decide to be silent about or change some of the rough things that God commands his servants to preach). Conversely, if he truly loves God and people, he will preach all that God commands him in love and few will listen to him. He will also be shunned or attacked by the overwhelming majority of other preachers.


Jeremiah was another faithful prophet in these days. He loved the people and he saw how God was trying to bring them to repentance by chastening them, but they were refusing to respond. He then thought that the “great men” (religious men of prominence) would hearken to God’s warnings, but he found that they also had utterly rebelled:


O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they

have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive

correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.

Jeremiah 5:3-5


I know of two pastors who have relatively recently decided to “break the yoke” and “burst the bonds”. This is tragic and I pray for them daily. I watched one of them step onto the slippery slope of compromise several years ago and I heard all of his evolving excuses as he slid further and further down. Once God’s man decides to compromise and be dishonest about it, a process similar to the following almost always takes place regarding the sin(s) that he will not speak against:


Silence

Toleration

Approval

Hostility toward the faithful


It is very difficult to reverse this process. Those who are wise will recognize their error early and heed God’s call to repentance. This goes for those in authority within a church as well as those under authority.


Compromise doesn’t seem so bad at first:


And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6


When people want to compromise, they tend to become quite good at justifying their actions. Perhaps Eve’s reasoning went something like this: “I know that God has told us not to eat this fruit, but after all it is beautiful and God made it. He wants us to be happy, and I’m pretty sure that eating this fruit would make me happy, so I doubt that he’d mind if I took just one bite. This serpent appears to be better educated on this subject than I am and he’s caused me to rethink this. God has given me Adam to have fellowship with, but this is an opportunity to expand my fellowship to include this serpent also. Surely if God was still serious about this he’d use some additional method of revelation to warn me. God has given me to Adam to help him and I can do so by sharing my new-found wisdom with him also.”


There is a little word that comes in handy in cases like this. It’s “no”.

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