12 Weeks of Prayer Week 1 Day 7
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
By Pastor Mike Heil
The Unapologetic Theologian
“The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” -Matthew 13:39-40
In 2002, there was a very popular movie called, “Catch Me if You Can.” What made this movie so popular? It was the life story of a master counterfeiter named Frank Abagnale. Due to some struggles as a teenager, Frank struck out on his own and soon learned how to create counterfeit checks. Even though he was a teenager, he learned what type of paper use, what type of ink to use, how to create identical logos, and every other thing that could be learned about how to pass off checks and legal documents as truth. Soon he became very rich, and then he wanted to be a pilot, so he forged those documents and became an airline pilot at age 25. After that, he wanted to be a lawyer and forged documents showing that he had passed the bar and was a certified lawyer. As you can imagine, after doing this for ten years the federal government was chasing him everywhere. Finally, they caught him, and he was given a prison term of many years. However, the Department of Justice was so impressed with his vast knowledge of counterfeiting that they worked out a pardon for his prison term if Frank would work for the Department of Justice.
Why is this story about counterfeiting relevant to our spiritual walk is the saints of Jesus Christ? I believe it’s relevant because you and I are the latter day Saints. No, I am not referring to the Mormon church, rather I am sharing the truth that we are saints in Jesus Christ living in the latter days before Jesus returns. As I shared previously this week, Satan has directed his foul demons and evil spirits during this time to a higher level of deception and distortion of the truth (I Timothy 4:1, 2). This truth is also seen in the parable of the wheat in the tares in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. In this parable, Jesus is talking about the wheat, who are the children of God, growing up in the world alongside of the tares, who are the sons of the wicked one. Because of how closely wheat and tares appear as they are growing, Jesus says the true separation of the wheat and the tares will only come at the end of the age. Brothers and Sisters, Beloved of the Father, you and I are at that end of the age. So, if the wheat and tares appear identical in many ways, how do you and I recognize the deception of the evil one? How can we sort through all the confusion of false doctrines, distorted thinking, and the lies and tricks that Satan brings our way? I am sure anyone reading this understands, because we live in an age of technological wonders. We are bombarded day in and day out with opinions, attitudes, imaginations, and reports that spring forth from the minds of people who were tares and not wheat. How can we be sure we are following the Lord and not inadvertently being misled by Satan?
This is where the story of Frank Abagnale comes in. Once Frank was working for the Department of Justice, he became their greatest agent in recognizing the counterfeit documents and money. Why did he become the best? He became the best because he knew perfectly what a true dollar bill, or a true certificate of graduation, or a real law degree looks like. He didn’t study all the counterfeits; he didn’t have to. He easily spotted the counterfeit because he knew which one was the true one! And this is just our path to recognizing Satan’s deception. The more we know God’s truth and God’s reality through His word-holy Scriptures-the quicker and more precise we become at recognizing Satan’s lies and deceptions.
It should be interesting to all of us as the saints of God that one of the temptations Satan brought to Jesus in the wilderness involved Scripture. In Luke 4:9-10, Satan says, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you.” You see, Satan knows how to read; in fact, he knows Scripture very well. So, we cannot be shocked when a false doctrine or false teaching quotes Scripture as its basis for validity. Jesus answered Satan in Luke 4:12 when he said, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Jesus resisted and defeated Satan because Jesus knew and understood the true reality. Jesus immediately understood within Himself the Scripture that Satan had quoted had been distorted from the truth of the totality of God’s Word. In other words, because Jesus knew the real and the true so well, He immediately recognized the counterfeit.
Brothers and Sisters, those of us who are the anointed of Jesus Christ, have the master librarian dwelling within us-the living spirit of God. He will bring to remembrance, whenever we need, the proper word of God to expose and protect us from the deception of Satan! He is the master Shepherd dwelling within us who will protect us from the wolf, who tries to bring us into confusion and doubt with his lies and deception. Our privilege and desire are to know God more through His Word. As we study the holy Scriptures of God and meditate on God’s revelation to us, our mind becomes renewed and better equipped to spot the counterfeits and the deceptions of the enemy of our souls. Selah.
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