Updated: Nov 3, 2018
If you want to understand what is happen in the last days and the thing that is is destroying so many people, families, churches and even nations this is the book to read. The first thing we need to do is to be watch and see what is happening and be prepared so this will not happen to you.
John is able to show us clearly that in the last days many will be offended. in Matthew 24:10-12 we read:
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Can we avoid offences? In Luke 17:1 we read:
17 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no [a]offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
This bait of Satan is deceptive and insidious, and is something every Christian has encountered. Offended people most often do not realize their condition and live lives full of anger, outrage, jealousy, resentment, strife, bitterness, hatred and envy. This leads to attacks, insults, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal and backsliding. Many are snared in this trap due to knowledge. In these last days knowledge has increased incredibly, but when knowledge comes without genuine love then it causes offence. Knowledge puffs up but love edifies. (! Corinthians 8:1).
When we allow God to set us free of offense we can be set free, filled with the Holy Spirit, receive answers to prayer and freedom from what has bound us for so long. The biggest thing that holds us back from dealing with this is pride.
What is this bait?
In Luke 17:1 the word offend comes from the word "skandalon". This is the part of the trap that holds the bait. It means laying a trap in someone's path. People caught in this trap are unaware of being captive and must become awake to their condition. In 2 Timothy 2:24-16 we read that we are to escape the trap of Satan and not be held captive from offense.
24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Pride hides the offense
Satan keeps people offended by hiding the offense and cloaking it with pride. When we are proud we cannot admit our true condition. We see ourselves as a victim and we then can justify our behaviour. We will be mistreated and cannot escape this. We have to instead be strong enough to not retaliate, but come to God to deal with the issue
How to deal with offense
Humbling ourselves is essential. Pride hides our real condition. Jesus speaks to the church at Laodicea in Revelations 4:14-20 and shows that even though they thought they were doing OK, God saw the truth. We also need to allow God to reveal the truth. We need to buy gold from God refined in the fire.
Gold that is refined and free of impurities is soft, tender and pliable. In Hebrews 3:13 we read that our hearts are hardened when we let sin deceive us. We become insensitive and unable to hear God's voice. We lose sense of the truth and are easily deceived. This refining is done in the furnace of affliction. In Isaiah 48:10 we read:
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
These trials, afflictions and tribulations are the intense heat that reveals sin and the impurities in our lives are brought to the surface. Even though this sin was hidden to us, God knows this sin exists and uses trials to reveal them and allow us to deal with them. We need to repent, receive forgiveness so God can remove these impurities from our lies.
Stop blaming other people
When we are freed from deception we can see correctly. We no longer justify our bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, envy and resentment. In Revelations 3:18 we read "Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see". We then can see our real condition and can stop blaming other people.
I encourage you to read this book and allow God's Word to enlighten the eyes of your understanding. Allow God to reveal your true condition and become free of any offence that you are harbouring. Do not let pride stop you from seeing the truth from God's eyes and repent so you can be set free to be all God has made you to be.
How We Judge Ourselves
In Chapter 14 we read how we see and judge ourselves differently to others. We are not concerned with right or wrong, but to help the stumbling brother more than proving ourselves correct to them. We look at our intentions and judge ourselves by what we were trying to do, but for other people we look at the surface and what they actually did or their actions. The warning is that we can intend one thing but it can look totally different to someone else. Our true motives can be hidden, so we need to go the Word of God and use it to filter our actions and intentions.
God is calling us to reconcile even if the offence is not our fault. We need to be more mature and take the first step even when the other person has done the wrong thing in our opinion.
How To Respond To Someone Who Is Offended By Us
Our natural response is to defend ourselves and this fuels the other person's anger or offence. Instead a good way is to:-
Listen until they have finished speaking (Keep our mouth closed)
If we do not agree, let them know you respect what they said and will go away and search our intentions and attitude.
Let them know I am sorry that I have hurt them.
If they are accurate say, "You are right. I ask your forgiveness.
Do We Strive For Peace At All Cost?
The trap we fall into is that we can stop doing what the Bible says. We give in so there is peace. When reading the book, I thought this was the case until I read the final page. This revealed the truth of how God wants us to live and that a peacemaker goes in love and confront, bringing the truth so the reconciliation will be long term. Artificial and superficial relationships are based on fear. God is calling us to make peace with a bold love that cannot fail. (Bait of Satan, p.163)
If you want to know any more, please read the book. The edition with the devotion supplement is worth doing so you can take 30 days to work thought the content, guided by the commentary and questions.
If you have time, watch John Bevere speak about offence below.