By Pastor Alex Ruelo
What is the bait of Satan? When you hear it , what comes to your mind right away? What does he use to make you fall or stumble? What is it that makes you a servant of sin?
When Jesus was on earth, His disciples experienced His presence because they were with Him when He performed all of His miracles. They were there when He healed the sick and when He raised the dead. But in Luke 17:5, it says, “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Can you imagine being with Jesus during all the time He was performing miracles and not being able to say this? Reading back to Luke 17: 3-4, it says, “So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” And what did the apostles answer? “Increase our faith!” Can you imagine? After Jesus tells them to forgive all those who have offended them, that is their reply.
An offense is the bait of Satan. When a person offends you, Jesus said forgive them. Even if they sin 7 times a day, you must forgive them. Everybody knows that the ends is near. It is the season. Nobody knows the time and the hour but you will feel it. And everybody is also talking about it. Matthew 24: 10 says, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Jesus Christ said that when the end is near, many will be offended. The word ‘many’ comes from the Greek word ‘polus’ meaning “a great number.” You have to understand that when you say many it is more than 50% at least. And at this time, the word offense is so common. There are so many things wherein people get easily offended. And it is not in the big things. It is the little things most of the time. It is a progression. Offense, betray then hate. Proverbs 18:19 says, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.” Back in the old times, during the times of David, they build walls. The purpose of the wall is for protection against those who want to enter and harm them. They want to protect themselves inside the walls they built. When a person gets offended, they build walls. Just like in a marriage. When your husband or wife offends you, you build a wall. And then little by little, you start betraying them.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” During these times, it is not walls you should be worried about but strongholds.
Paul says that though you walk in the flesh, you do not war in the flesh. Let this be a reminder that the world you live in is not a playground but a battleground. The war you fight is not in the flesh but in spirit. Because of the offenses that you take into account, the enemy puts lies in your head and that becomes the stronghold. That is what he uses to bait you and lure you into betrayal and sin.
You can even get offended by God. Seriously? Yes. And that happens when you do not get what you want out of life. Your expectations of God are so high that when your prayers are not answered, you get offended. You get offended by people, by things, and even by God, but those offenses are just in your head, in your imagination, in the lies the enemy feeds you so that you will betray the ones you love. John Bevere said, ”Betrayal is when I seek my benefit or protection at the expense of one I have a relationship with.“ God’s design for love is that you will keep on giving. But because you are offended and you start betraying, you start to protect yourself until you have nothing to give anymore.
On this note, Israel has two major bodies of water: the Sea of Galilee in the North and The Dead Sea in the South. The Sea of Galilee gets water from countries above it so the water flows freely and it is very abundant in fishes and other marine life. It flows all the way down South and into the Dead See. Because it has no further outlet, the Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water in the world, unable to house fishes or any other form of life. Sometimes, you are like that. You receive God’s love all the time but because of all the offenses people have done to you, you protect yourself too much that you cannot share His love to others anymore. You become dead.
I John 3:14-15 says, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” John is talking to Christians here. Hate is to love less. It is a vacuum. You can be around people who have offended you not knowing that you already hate them. Just like Absalom and Ammon. Absalom hated his brother; he neither spoke good or evil to him. But in his heart, he did not know that he hated his brother. It can happen. Keeping an offense in your heart can turn into hatred. And in this hatred, you betray.
Matthew 24:11 says, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Who are the many? The many offended. Because you are offended, satan will take advantage of these offenses and he will deceive them. Jesus said the false prophets are wolves in sheep’s clothing. He did not say that the false prophet’s are wolves in shepherd’s clothing. Many are looking for them in the pulpit preaching. But they are just among you, walking with you everyday. The enemy is raising so many soldiers to deceive you, offend you and use the people around you. Jesus warns you not to be deceived. Offenses are what satan uses so that you will betray and hate. When you begin hating the people you love, the enemy will take advantage because you are wounded. And when somebody is wounded, he is weak and can easily be captured.
When you are weak and alone, you can easily be captured. When you are offended, you tend to isolate yourself. But this should not be the case. When you sin, you should surround yourself with godly people because you will be protected and they can make you strong. If not, the enemy will take so much advantage of you. Proverbs 18:1 says, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” It is so clear that when you isolate yourself from the enemy of God, that is when the devil will lock you up in his cage and try to bind you forever.
Matthew 24:12 says, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” This is addressed to you, Christian. The love that was used in this verse is from the Greek word “agape.” Agape love is not received by all. It is mostly Christians who received this. This is unconditional love but this love can also grow cold. But in verse 13, it says, “he who endures til the end will be saved.”
David said in psalms 55:12-14, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.” You will be offended by those who are very close to you. You already expect the world to offend you. But you will not be offended because you already know they will offend you. But those you least expect, the people that you love will hit you like a ton of bricks. Your expectation of people close to you is so high that is why you get offended easily.
Jesus said in Luke 17:1, “Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” In other words, as long a you live and are living in the flesh, you will get offended. They will come fro everywhere, even in the littlest places. The word offense comes from the Greek word ‘skandalon.’ It is the trigger of a trap in which the bait is placed and which, when touched by an animal, springs and causes it to close, causing entrapment. It is not the bait itself. It is only the trigger of the bait. And when you step on it and it closes, then you are trapped. Skandalon always denotes an enticement to conduct which could ruin the person in question.
Offenses will destroy you. You probably do not know that you got offended. You are probably in the hate stage and do not still know it. Forgive. Forgive your wife. Forgive your husband. Forgive the people who have offended you.2 Timothy 2: 24-26 says, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 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.” You who have been deceived and offended, come into your senses.