Loosely quoted, there are those that are more concerned with their reputation than their salvation.
You meet them in church every Sunday morning, they sit in the mid-week Bible study with you, you work with them and meet them on the street. They are more concerned with what you think of them than what the Lord thinks of them. They are religious, but not saved, they know Scripture verses, they may even say “Praise God” occasionally, but there is no fear of God before their eyes, their ears will not accept the truth of the Scriptures, their heart is far from Him.
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8)
It is important for these individuals to be liked, even admired, but the knowledge they have is head knowledge, it never reaches their heart. These can fit in with nearly any crowd, for they are generally wise in the ways of the world, even those who only possess a rudimentary understanding of current events can seem to be wise in this way, for they are almost always attempting to find some piece of information that they hope others have not yet heard.
If they are not lifted up by others, they will find a way to lift themselves up in the sight of those in whose present company they find themselves in.
“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1st Sam. 16:7)
I believe it takes an acutely aware sense of Spiritual discernment to spot these who are indeed spots and blemishes, for they are exceptionally well versed in what they do. And I in no way mean to infer all, but there are many who stand behind that pulpit every Sunday morning, those who bear the title “Pastor” that this poorly written letter could be applied towards.
Are they all found in 2nd Corinthians 11:15, “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” No, they are not all possessed by those who were cast out of heaven, but they may have been subverted by them.
In many men, there are fewer greater enticements than power, and knowledge obtained that others may not possess is a fine wine to many. It is a part, an offshoot if you will of pride. Very few men gain power by their fists, though when they have obtained a type of authority over others, they will not think twice about employing others for those deeds, when necessary. It is how tyrants are born.
But it starts with words, with subtlety, with a knowledge that others do not possess, and it always seeks its own. Knowledge, when used as it should not be, is always meant by these people to belittle the hearer, but with great caution so as not to make them feel so.
The intent of all this?
“For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,” (2nd Tim. 3:6)
The subtle lies that politicians offer, the man behind the pulpit who seems so well versed in the Scriptures, the one in the group of people who seems knowledgeable, the one who attempts to draw others to himself for vainglory. These are nothing to the one who is approaching. The man of perdition will speak as honey flows, his words will seem wise beyond all wisdom, he will entice with great subtlety, and those who are not blessed with Spiritual discernment will follow him.
The planet is being prepared for his arrival, you hear people speaking today who are preparing all to obey, supposedly for the good of all.
Listen when people speak, especially if they claim to be on the path to glory with you. Never be afraid to fulfill 1st John 4:1. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”