Read Bait of Satan Study Gde by John Bevere Free Online
Book Title: Bait of Satan Study Gde|
The author of the book: John Bevere
Edition: Creation House
Date of issue: November 1st 1997
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 29.41 MB
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Loaded: 1130 times
Reader ratings: 3.8
ISBN 13: 9780884194477
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Deception is so...unfair!
A deceived person, by the very nature of deception, has no possible way of knowing they are being deceived. That is, unless someone shines a light onto the issue, revealing the truth to them and exposing the lies for what they truly are...lies and deception. I was given such a revelation this past week, when I read "THE BAIT OF SATAN: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense” by John Bevere.
If you had asked me two weeks ago if I was offended by anybody, or if I was holding onto any offense, I would have honestly said, “No...not that I know of.” Not because I would not want to share that information with you, or recognize I had any faults but, simply because I am a pretty laid-back person and I tend to easily forgive people. Yet, before even finishing the first chapter of this book, I was already in tears as God began showing me people whom I had allowed to offend me. For the first time, I was able to see through the enemy’s deception in this area and could recognize where I had stepped in his traps. I was, in fact, holding onto some offenses, not allowing God’s work to be as effective in those areas of my life and ministry.
Right at the very beginning of the book, John teaches that the Greek word for “offend” is skandalon, which refers to the part of a trap where the bait is set. So, even just by looking at the word “offend”, we can see how an offense can be a tool that Satan, our enemy, will lay in our path to catch us, or trap us. Our enemy wants the trap to remain hidden, so we will be unaware of the danger we are headed toward, and even more importantly, he wants us to remain unaware of the very fact that we have been trapped, therefore, keeping us from even attempting to free ourselves from the trap at all! How easy the hunter’s job is, if the animal he has trapped does not even realize he has been trapped and does not fight or struggle to get free!
“Well, that doesn’t make sense!” one might say. “How could a person be trapped and yet not even realize it?” Bevere addresses this when he writes, “One way the enemy keeps a person in an offended state is to keep the offense hidden, cloaked with pride. Pride will keep you from admitting your true condition.” (p. 7)
Pride then leads to selfishness, as we become more concerned with the preservation of ourselves than with the well-being of others. This selfishness causes the offended Christian to become focused inward and we lose sight of what God is doing in and through others. We become guarded and defensive; seeking to protect our “rights”, rather than with open arms being ready to embrace others and come to their defense! This selfish pride causes us to view ourselves as victims, but just because we may have been mistreated does not mean we suddenly have the right to hold on to an offense! For as Bevere writes, “If we don’t risk being hurt, we cannot give unconditional love. Unconditional love gives others the right to hurt us.” (p. 16)
THE RESULT OF OFFENSE
When people get offended, and hold on to the offense and let it grow and fester, it will infect them like a poison. They begin to believe everyone is out to get them. Obviously, this attitude makes it even more difficult for them to see where in their lives they need to grow, change and mature. As they continue to isolate themselves, seeking their own protection, they end up inviting abuse. If they do not soon recognize and put a stop to this destructive mindset, this can quickly become a circular pattern; take an offense, become defensive, seek isolation, invite abuse and then back to offense.
Proverbs 18:1 says, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” But, as Bevere writes,
“God never created us to live separately and independently of each other. He likes it when His children care for and nurture each other. He is frustrated when we...feel sorry for ourselves; making everyone else responsible for our happiness...an isolated person seeks only his own desire, not God’s. He receives no counsel and sets himself up for deception.” (p. 55)
Further on he adds,
“When you’re out of the will of God, you will not be a blessing or help to [others]...even the good relationships will be strained...Offended people react to the situation and do things that appear right even though they are not inspired by God. We are not called to react but to act.” (p. 50)
However, when we read Psalm 1:1-2 and 119:165 we see that it says, “Blessed is the man…[whose] delight is in the law of the Lord...great peace have they which love [or delight in] Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.” Bevere points out that when we choose to delight in the Word of God, even in the midst of adversity, we avoid being offended.
IS OFFENDING SOMEONE EVER ACCEPTABLE?
One of the many things I liked in this book was when Bevere showed, in chapters 9 and 10, the difference between: (a) Jesus being WILLING to offend various people because He knew it would either expose a deception or lie they had believed in error, or because He was not willing to bend or avoid the truth, and (b) Jesus being UNWILLING to offend someone if it would not have served a greater purpose...even if he would have been fully justified in doing so! It showed me: There is both a time to offend and a time when it is wiser not to offend.
I think most of us tend to avoid offending people at all costs, myself included. However, sometimes the action which would be the most beneficial for everyone may very well be taken offensively. The question is, “Are we more concerned with truth and the ultimate well-being of others, or with our reputations and what people think of us?” Yet, on the flip-side, there are other times when we act out of selfish, prideful motivations and put our “rights” before the needs of others and risk offending people unnecessarily, with no higher motivation in mind aside from our own self-centeredness, thus no benefit to anybody is gained. As Bevere points out, we would do well to learn from Jesus’ example in this regard: “...He chose to use His liberty and freedom to serve...He never wanted freedom to be a license to demand our rights and cause another to be offended and stumble” (pp. 113, 116)
NO GRAY AREA, NO MIDDLE GROUND, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT
One of the strongest statements John Bevere makes in this book, and possibly my favorite quote in the book, simply because of how bold and shocking it is to our western, privileged way of thinking, is on page 137 when he says, “Jesus eliminates any gray areas for grudges. In fact He says that our attitude is to be so far removed from avenging ourselves that we are willing to open ourselves to the possibility of being taken advantage of again.” Wow! There is no playing around with this statement, is there?! It flies right in the face of our culture’s popular, “Look out for Number One,” mantra, doesn’t it?! But, when we stop and think about Bevere’s statement...it is exactly the attitude of unconditional love Jesus took with us. He willingly went to the cross; laying down His life, though He was innocent. He took all our sin upon Himself; suffering through the worst possible torture and death. He paid the highest price...even while we rejected Him and His gift to us! (Romans 5:8) Now, if THAT was not love, what is?
One of the last things Bevere says in his book is this:
“If we keep the love of God as our motivation, we will not fail. Love never fails. When we love others the way Jesus loves us, we will be free even if the other person chooses not to be reconciled to us...the love of God is the key to freedom from the baited trap of offense. This must be an abounding love...that continually grows...so many in our society today are deceived by a superficial love, a love that talks but does not act. The love that will keep us from stumbling lays down its life selflessly—even for the good of an enemy. When we walk in this kind of love, we cannot be seduced into taking the bait of Satan.” (pp. 162–163)
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
At the time of writing this, I have only just finished reading THE BAIT OF SATAN and have not yet had an opportunity to speak with the people with whom I have held the biggest offense. I have, however, gone before the Lord in prayer; admitting my offenses to Him, forgiving those people who had hurt me, releasing them from any blame in my heart and cancelling any debt I felt they owed me. Almost immediately I began feeling the weight of my offenses lifting and a peace and joy fill my heart as I thought about each person and prayed for them and for our relationship to be healed, restored and strengthened. I know to see the full work of this restoration is a process and may take some time, but I am encouraged to feel such a difference already in my heart over the last two days since finishing Bevere’s book. I am now praying as God provides the opportunities, I would be able to speak with each of these people, to confess my offenses to them and seek their forgiveness. Hopefully, we will see our friendship strengthened and our ministry together bear fruit again...yet, even if they don’t receive my attempt to mend our relationship, I will know I have been freed from the trap of offense in which the enemy once imprisoned me!
I have been so blessed by the message of John Bevere’s book, THE BAIT OF SATAN, and hope to see God’s work of deliverance set many more people free from the trap of offense. I plan on recommending this book to others at my church, in my ministry and in my family. May God bless John Bevere for writing this timely and powerful book, and may God bless every believer who reads it and chooses to obey the Word of God and the principles in this book. May you find freedom and healing from the hurts and offenses of this world; and may you stay freed from the trap!
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Read information about the authorMarked by boldness and passion, John Bevere delivers uncompromising truth through his award-winning curriculums and bestselling books, now in more than 60 languages, including "The Bait of Satan," "Drawing Near" and "Driven by Eternity." He is an international speaker and co-host of "The Messenger" TV program broadcast worldwide.
John enjoys living in Colorado Springs with his wife, Lisa, also a best-selling author and speaker, and their four sons.
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