Satan's strategy has always been to get as close to truth as he can. The counterfeiter continues to spread his lies and the result is that people continue to miss the Truth.
During our foundational bible teaching with pastors in Monrovia, Liberia, two stories illustrate this principle emphatically: Cain and Abel and the giving of the Law.
You remember the story right? Cain and Abel both brought offerings to the Lord. Abel brought a lamb because he was a shepherd. His offering was accepted by God. Cain brought fruit and vegetables because he was a farmer. His offering was rejected because he brought rotten fruit and vegetables. God wants us to offer Him our very best. Cain was angry and killed Abel.
Close, but not quite.
You remember the giving of the law right? Moses and the Israelites prepared themselves at Sinai to hear from God. God gave them the 10 Rules. Those 10 Rules gave mankind the guidelines that are required to have a right relationship with God. Follow them and you will be saved. God wants us to do our best.
Close, but not quite.
The truth is that Cain's offering was not rejected because he brought rotten fruit. It was rejected because vegetables do not shed blood! God's requirement was bloodshed - an innocent animal killed in the place of the one making the offering. A substitute....the innocent for the guilty.
The truth is that the Law was given not to make us right with God. It was given to show man just how perfectly holy and righteous God is and how perfectly helpless man is to measure up. We are all "bad products". All our attempts at good works in following the Law for salvation are rejected because good works don't shed blood. The 10 Rules show us our need for the Substitute who perfectly fulfilled the Law for us and then died in our place. A Substitute...the Innocent for the guilty.
How does "close, but not quite" affect these pastors and the people they are leading?
It's devastating! Simple understand is compromised. People are held in bondage. They live in fear and confusion. The freedom of the Gospel is unable to set them free. Their understanding is clouded. Their perspective tainted.
In the words of one pastor:
"I have been around teaching all my life and I myself have been teaching. But this workshop has made it clear that something must die in the place of someone . Blood must be shed...a substitute is needed! I am clear on that one now. I was teaching the wrong thing."
Pray for these men as they pass on truth to those around them. Culturally, they have believed so many "close, but not quite" principles.
And a BIG "Thank You" to you for partnering with us to make this possible. Together we are making a significant impact in a small number of pastors who will turn their world upside down!