Matthew 7:15-20 NIV
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Webs of Deceit
The Lord gave me an interesting picture today of these false prophets (teachers) and of false believers in Jesus, too. And that was an image of an Orb Weaver Spider and its web, which is in the shape of a wheel.
I found such a spider sitting on the base of my lamp on my end table next to my bed. It blended in with the lamp so well that initially I thought it was part of the lamp, but that the lamp must be broken. So, I touched the lamp where I thought it was broken only to realize that it wasn’t part of the lamp.
It was a bug of some kind, but it took me a while, with help from others, to discover that it appears to be an Orb Weaver Spider. And then when I read about its web being in the shape of a wheel, that reminded me of a picture of a spider web I had taken outside our apartment building last October.
So, I began to research these spiders, for I sensed there was a lesson in all of this to be learned. And what I learned is that spiders, in general, are predatory, they have fangs which inject poison into their prey, and they spin webs in which to capture their prey.
So, when the spider’s victim climbs into or flies into the spider’s web, it gets stuck on the sticky threads. The spider then approaches the trapped prey and it uses its fangs to inject poisonous venom into its prey.
And this brought to mind those who are situated on the foundation of the gospel (my lamp) who are blending in with the light of the gospel so that it appears they are one with the truth of the gospel. But they aren’t. They are bugs (beasties) and predators just waiting to catch people in their traps.
They are those that spin webs of deceit to catch people so that they can inject into them their poisonous lies, malice, hostility and/or bitterness. For, although they disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness, they are liars and deceivers just waiting to catch people in their webs of deceit.
The Wheel-Shaped Web
But the Lord was not showing me spiders, in general, but he was showing me a specific spider and a specific web, too.
The spider is called an Orb Weaver Spider, and “orb” means “circular,” which could mean “global” or “habitual,” i.e., something which keeps going round and round like a wheel. Circular also means to be marked by or moving in a cycle, and a cycle is a series of events which keep getting repeated.
And to weave can mean to invent, fabricate and to spin, and to spin is to twist, and to twist is to distort, to misrepresent, manipulate and/or to alter, such as what many do with the truth. Both the false teachers and those caught in their webs of deceit can be masters at deception.
Also, these Orb Weaver Spiders have large stomachs (abdomens), and stomachs are associated with appetite, such as in these verses:
“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” Phil 3:18-19
And this includes many who make professions of faith in Jesus Christ who join in with the gatherings of the church and who blend in with the gospel, giving the appearance that they are united with the truth, but whose god is their stomachs (their appetites for habitual sin) and who do not live what they profess.
And their destiny is destruction because that is what God’s word teaches. It teaches that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh that we will die in our sins. We won’t have eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
Their minds are set on earthly things and not the things of God, for that is what they go after habitually, i.e., the things of this world, including its philosophies, its attitudes, its thinking, and its behaviors. They are thinking about how they can please their flesh instead of how they can please God.
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
So, the bottom line here is that if you are one who is caught in a web of deceit and/or if you are one who is building (constructing) your own web of deceit, while you are professing faith in Jesus Christ, and while you are trying to look as though you are abiding by the truth, you need to listen up.
It doesn’t matter what you profess with your lips or what you claim that you believe in your heart. Your fruit (produce, outgrowth, lifestyle) is what gives evidence to whether or not your profession of faith is genuine.
For, if you are like this spider, spinning your web of deceit, and this is habitual, as well as is what you are lying about, it is not going to end well for you. If your god is your stomach (your appetite for feeding your flesh), and you are habitually lying about it, that fruit does not say “Christian.”
So, just because you claim to be a Christian and you refer to Jesus as your Lord, if your lifestyle does not say, “Jesus is Lord of my life,” but it instead says, “My flesh is my god,” then Jesus is not your Lord, and heaven is not your eternal destiny.
For, it is only those who are doing the will of God the Father who will enter the kingdom of heaven (see also list of Scripture references above).
So, please know that many people will say to God on the day of judgment that they did this or that in his name, but he will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” For, they loved their flesh instead of loving God with their lives. For to love God is to obey him (1 Jn 2:3-6).
Nonetheless, there is hope. Those who hear the word of the Lord, who put what they hear into practice in their lives, they will stand in the judgment and they will receive eternal life with God.
But everyone who hears the word of the Lord and does not put the word into practice is foolish, and he/she will not stand in the judgment, but they will lose their lives for eternity and they will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. So, please take these words to heart, because time is short.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!