Section 2
Lesson 1

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Good VS Evil... And The "Wicked Good"

          The world sees that we've got the good, the bad and the ugly. But from a spiritual perspective, we've got the good, the evil... and the wicked good.

          It's no great revelation that we are in the last days. And that in the last days, that which is evil is counted as good, while that which is good is counted as evil (Isaiah 5:20).  For example, a woman's "right" to kill her unborn child is an evil policy. Yet, the world counts it as a good thing... and counts those that believe abortion to be evil, as evil. 

          But this module is not about establishing the obvious. Before we go much further into the program, I felt it necessary to identify where we personally, as individual Christians, are in the scope of this whole perverted twisting of good and evil. And then from there, delve into an aspect of Christian culture that I refer to as the "wicked good" and how it relates to us. Because, remember, this program is meant to bring us into full alignment with truth in order that we come into the full stature of Christ, and we cannot do that if we do not recognize the areas where we personally compromise even unwittingly - counting evil as good. Nor can we thrive in Christ if we fail to recognize or become immeshed with the "wicked good".

          Let's first consider where we believers may be prone to calling evil good. Though you most likely (hopefully) already know loud and clear that abortion is evil, there are other things we neglect to count as evil with the the same resolve, such as:

  1. Public Attire:  Though most would not admit this, many believers are somewhat okay with themselves or others dressing in appealing ways; immodestly, even provocatively or scantily, in public to one degree or another, since everyone else does. It's become normalized and somewhat accepted by the corporate body. I was "unfriended"  on facebook once by a seemingly strong Christian female friend who actually has a ministry. She had posted, "Which is your favorite Little Black Dress?" with three images of very skimpy, form fitting black dresses that cause people to "look". I had expressed that the Lord doesn't want His daughters being all sexy out in public. I shared how I personally had a history of being immodest in my public attire, and that God showed me how wrong it is. I was not judging, just sharing truth with a sister in Christ. In fact, it's still a habit for me to be a bit careless and buy an outfit that ends up drawing eyes to look my way. This is not right but I confess, due to being sexually twisted in my childhood, I learned that this was "my value" and was programmed in my soul to rely on looking appealing to the public to have any sense of self worth. This was one of the many lies that I adopted that needed to be corrected in my soul with truth. And I confess that I still have the propensity to yield to this lie if my eyes aren't on Jesus. God has to bring me back into line from time to time, though I'm nowhere near as negligent as I used to be. So, I sincerely wasn't judging my friend from church on facebook. But she took offense and said just because God told me it was wrong for me, didn't mean it's wrong for all. That God wants us looking sexy for our husbands during a romantic night out. And she unfriended me. Since she was such a passionate, outspoken believer, I was stunned she was so resolved for this, even to resorting to being unkind - which is dark kingdom fruit, contrary to the fruit of love, kindness and forgiveness (had she perceived my sharing as a violation).  But all this to show... This is one way we can be deceived thinking something is good when it is displeasing to God. In fact, it doesn't have to be a little black dress. Any clothing that draws eyes to look, even tight jeans and a t-shirt if form fitting or full of holes is evil because it's willfully inciting people to look upon you lustfully. It's also evil because something in you desires to be perceived in a specific way. And it doesn't have to do with clothing only, but with hairstyle, shoes and makeup - and even excessive physical fitness, cosmetic surgeries or enhancements and such which all boils down to idolizing how we want to look for others. Plus it sends out subconscious messages of wanting to be sexy; wanting to be seen, wanting to be admired, etc. I know, I was there! There's no denying it. It's a problem in the Church as much as it is in the world. Perhaps to a more subtle degree and not as blatantly in your face, but it's definitely an evil in the Church that the corporate body turns a blind eye to.
  2. Catering to Self:  The idea that you're supposed to take care of, pamper and reward yourself is everwhere. Especially in the commercial market. "Buy this, you need it... you deserve it!" The world constantly promotes self. And we, the Church, are as guilty as the non-believers for yielding to this false ideal. Even if we say it's wrong, we're still inclined to cater to ourselves because it's our nature. And it's very difficult not to when we're surrounded by a million things and ways to do so. And, it's seemingly impossible to escape the temptation! Our only refuge is to stay in close proximity to the Father and to keep our eyes on Jesus, and the truth. And even that's hard when we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off dealing with this life. We get lost in the dynamics, ideals and protocol of the world. Both God and the devil know we are vulnerable to this. But at the end of the day, catering to ourselves is of the dark kingdom and we are to resist it. This goes along with the teachings of section one, that we're to bear fruit, growing in the attributes of Christ, not chasing ourselves or getting caught up in the thorns of life. We are to love God above all else, not revolve around our "selves".

          We need to appreciate the truth that counting it okay to dress immodestly or cater to self is just as evil as killing innocent children. Indeed, murder is far more grotesque and horrific, but evil is evil. Just as an apple is an apple. One apple may taste bad while another tastes horrible, but they're still both bad apples that you aren't going to eat. 

        If we want to grow up in Christ, one very important thing we need to do is be wholly reverent for righteousness, remaining firm that evil is evil and what's good is good; not undermining anything like being immodest or desiring to be looked at or look good, or compromising in other areas like catering to self just because it's the way of the world.  We are so resolved to not compromise with obvious evils such as murdering an unborn child. But we need to be equally resolved concerning God's policies that we aren't to look and act like the world as well.

       The other thing we need to do in order to grow up in Christ is to identify the "wicked good" among us and stay away from them - as in not becoming immeshed and in unity with them. Though we know this already, there is a profound mix of wheat and tares in the corporate body of Christ. We need to remain mindful that not everyone that believes they're a Christian, not everyone sitting next to us at church, actually walks with Christ.

          The reason it's important to disucss this isn't so we can sit around and point fingers, judging who is and isn't really a Christian. No, the importance is to simply be aware for our spiritual well-being. Being blindsided about this makes us more vulnerable to the tactics of the dark kingdom, and we can get entangled with false Christians and taken down dangerous, problematic paths. We need to be wise and sharp; not gullible. And we need to start dealing with things accurately, not from a place of ignorance.

          The day is coming when the wheat and tares will have been separated. It will be clear who is truly submitted to God as Lord, and who isn't. But for now, we're all still mixed together for the most part. So it's important to discern the good (those cleansed by the blood for real) from the wicked good (those who have a form of godliness but were never cleansed due to lack of repentance and/or literal submission to Christ the King) so that you will not get entangled with them. This matters. We are warned to avoid them.

          "But if they have a form of godliness, how can we tell that they are not genuine believers? Especially when they are convinced they are Christians themselves?"

          The best answer is if we stay close to Father God, He will give us discernment. It's time we respect the Holy Spirit in us, knowing He is MORE than eager to warn us with red flags in our discernment. I mean, seriously! He's in us speaking loud and clear constantly. We're just too boogered up to hear Him and it needs to stop. Let's just trust and respect Him already. But even more than Holy Spirit telling us straight up to proceed with caution, Matthew 7:16 says we will know them by their fruit.  And what fruit is that? Well, do they truly submit to truth and have a heart for what's right? Do they have a heart like Jesus or just have a form of godliness? Do you see the light of Christ in their eyes, despite their flaws?

          Not to mention... "A time is coming when people (in the Church) will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths". 2 Timothy 4:3.
     
And, "In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people (in the Church) will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
          Now these are "church members" these passages are referring to! They are the tares that are mixed in with genuine believers in the Church. So what the Bible shows us is that tares think they are saved because they are religious, follow outward rules, traditions and regulations - which is their form of godliness. On the outside they are serving God but inwardly, they are in charge and unrepentant because they chase and/or cater to self even when doing for others. They can also be prestigious but self-righteous, prideful, unyielding, and unkind to those not in their class. Their love is conditional and they aren't concerned for the needy, widows and orphans unless it's to their benefit.  Their interest is in watered down messages which never ruffles their feathers. They do not respond to messages of conviction. Correction and transformation are not their forte. They prefer mellow teaching, just enough to soothe their conscience, and even chase false, self-serving doctrines. They typically do not want to acknowledge the reality that Jesus is returning soon for a spotless bride. Rather, they only care that God wants to bless them.​​

          Now that's not to say genuine Christians won't exhibit some of these behaviors as well, so we cannot hastily judge anyone! We must simply stay close to God, remain humble and submitted to Him, and seek discernment. We should be able to recognize the light of Christ in those who are redeemed right away. If something feels off, we need to take it up with God and use caution to not get entangled with them. Be wise and use discernment, being careful to not connect with false things, including false Christians. Again, please, don't take this as an invitation to be paranoid or judgemental. But do be on the alert in not assuming that all Christians are really your brothers and sisters. 2 Timothy 3:5 says to avoid such people. Do not yoke up with them because it will serve to hinder your life. It gives a legal place to the enemy when you come into agreement with anything false - including false believers. It enables the enemy to lure you into deeper deceptions!

          What's ironic is genuine believers are so full of grace that we're inclined to not assume the worst but instead, give everyone in church the benefit of the doubt, presuming they must belong to God. And worse, because they tend to be strong in their countenance, and because the enemy capitalizes on their giftings in order to give them high positions or draw others to admire them, we fall for it and esteem them. Sometimes we may even be jealous or hurt that we aren't in similar shoes, coveting their greatness or position. And what's worse yet is many of us want to connect with them to hopefully experience some of the favor that the wicked good tend to attract to themselves (with the help of the enemy).

          That's just a generalization, but you get the idea. The point being the wicked good among us seem so noteworthy that we are sometimes drawn to them in ways that can only hurt us. --So, in so much as this applies to you...  Stop esteeming them. Stop being jealous of them. Stop feeling inferior to them. Stop seeking their approval. Stop approving their worldliness. Stop catering to their demands and ideals. Stop pandering to their every whim. Stop idolizing them. Just stop. See them for the wicked good that they are and be set apart. Sure it may be lonely for now but you have an ETERNITY to be with your real family! Get perspective on this! You don't need their approval. It's only to your demise if you chase it. Come out of this and don't aspire to be connected to anyone that doesn't plainly exhibit the light and fruit of Christ. Be watchful and proceed with caution, being sensitive to the Holy Spirit instead of catering to your soul's longing to be accepted, elevated, esteemed or even useful. Put your whole self into God's care and let Him show you the path He has for you. Realizing He can only do so if you lay all this down.  God cannot show you your path if you're choosing to chase all this other stuff for your soul's sake. It will only hold you back. Amen.
          

Good VS Evil... And The "Wicked Good"  Question Sheet