The Tempter

n this life, most people make choices which seem logical at the time, and even when they are aware that certain actions are wrong, few stop to think of a profound liability which comes with those actions. Nowhere is this more acute than playing the role of the tempter. A few examples are in order.

Some years ago, before moving to Oregon in an intentional effort to restructure my life, I moved away from many friends, acquaintances, and associates who were living their lives in the fast lane of Southern California. As I was involved in the entertainment industry scene working in  TV and music enterprises, quite a few of these people were engaged in adulterous activities. To say that Hollywood is hard on marriage is an understatement, and ironically, such vulnerabilities are hardly restricted to non-Christians, for even in the area of Gospel media, such things occur far too frequently.

When a committed union of a man and a woman takes place, it was historically said to be a union created in the presence of God, and it is God who preserves the godly relationship of marriage. The Scriptures are clear when Christ says

"For this cause shall a man....cleave to his wife...what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mark 1:7,9).

We've all read these verses, and I'm not citing them herein to make a statement on divorce, remarriage (pro or con), or anything of the kind. In that regard, with God, all things are possible.

However, the role of tempting one of the parties in such a union, even without an adultery occurring, is virtually identical to the role of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and that is an observation which merits serious consideration.

I've seen situations where a wife has a female friend who is still single, and the "friend" shows up in the role of the tempter. We'll call the friend the B Girl. Although there are endless permutations of the scenario, in one particular case, the wife and her B Girl friend used to go out dancing together when both were single, and a key facet of the dynamic involved is found in the fact the now married woman is quite a bit more attractive than her gal pal.

Whenever the ladies would go out on the town, the "friend" came to recognize her now settled down pal was invariably a magnet for the better looking men, so in what has been called a "coat tails" effect, the friend was able to get more appealing dates as a result. It's an old story, but after her good looking friend found the man of her dreams and got married, the friend found herself unable to generate enough prospects to keep her personal desires satiated. 

Naturally, instead of maturely dealing with the reality of her circumstance, she lied, and boasted to her married pal how much fun she was having, and how great it was to still be single -- no commitments, no hassles, no encumbrances, etc. In short, she loudly rejoiced that she was still free as a bird. It's not difficult for us to see the fraud of it all, for this was a thinly veiled effort to lure the married gal back to her former role of man magnet.

If we examine this dynamic for just a moment, the single friend is found to be operating in precisely the role of Lucifer in the Garden, where the married woman is clearly Eve, being lured into crossing the line. The motivation of the B Girl, is selfish, in that she was willing to corrupt her friend's relationship, in order to gain her own objective.

In prior work, we've shown the "I will" series of desires are always Luciferian. In the epic example, the Devil said 

"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:13,14).

The manipulation of others, in order to achieve the agenda to gratify self, is the telltale sign that Lucifer lives in such an individual.

In another example, a couple were Christians, but the marriage had become boring, and there was a rather scheming woman around who was jealous of what the wife had. While the philandering husband was hardly blameless, the conniver, seeking to fulfill her own selfish agenda, set out to wreck the marriage so she could have the man (and the position that went with him). Not only did she seduce him, as a "friend" of the wife, she was able to artfully maneuver the wife to the place where she never knew what hit her.

Once again, the dynamic is exactly the same as the snake in the garden. We have a God ordained institution in the marriage, as seen in the married couple. We also have a personality bent on her own selfish agenda, who was willing to tempt another in pursuit of that agenda, who sought to destroy a creation of the LORD by corrupting the union. As the process unfolds, the marriage, the institution that God had ordained, was simply collateral damage in the quest for self.

In another example, I once knew a married couple who had struggled with substance abuse. After getting clean, an associate of the husband, knowing the wife still had a weakness, sought to tempt her to smoke some pot with him. There was, by the way, no hint of a carnal relationship developing, but it was an effort to secretly corrupt the wife in order to gain more influence over her and the husband.

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the drug counter-culture, the term "bud buddies" is frequently used. These are "friends" where the common denominator is simply the bud of marijuana. Indeed, in such a relationship, without the grass, they would probably have no association at all. In what should be an obvious analogy, the tempter, seeking his own agenda ("whom he may devour" -- I Peter 5:8), is moving completely in the sway of Lucifer, even as he sought to draw a former "bud buddy" back into the bondage of regular intoxication.

Incidentally, I've seen the latter example repeated more often than I care to mention. In another manifestation of the identical cycle, it was a girl friend of the wife (who never smoked dope), who regularly tempted the husband into getting high, because he was in a position to afford the desired compound -- thus facilitating her selfish desire to get loaded.

One last example, which also illustrates the progressive nature of evil, is in order. In a case practically identical to the B Girl who tempted her married girlfriend to resume the single lifestyle so she could get more dates, I'll tell the story of John and Bob. John, was a video engineer who mentored me on technical matters in my early days of television. I spent many months with John in television production work, but eventually, he moved on to greener pastures, and began providing video services for Bob, a handsome man of substance in the TV industry.

Bob and his wife had a church background, but Bob had become enamored of the life in the fast lane found in the Hollywood lifestyle, and John was constantly bringing flashy women (and his video camera) to Bob, in the self serving plan of involving himself with the women. Wild and racy days developed -- with porn and flesh parties -- and all to the detriment of Bob's marriage.

Eventually, Bob sought to draw the line and escape this destructive lifestyle, and he told his sleazy friend those days were over. John, after several more rounds of playing thetempter, was finally cut off. Unfortunately, John could not envision the lesser life he was now forced to lead without Bob functioning as the babe magnet. Prosecutors later alleged that, in a fit of rage, he brutally murdered Bob as retribution. 

This is a true story, for John Carpenter was the video engineer who sought to hitch his wagon to Bob Crane, the erstwhile star of Hogan's Heroes, and many theatrical films as well. Although John was eventually acquitted of Crane's murder, many doubts remain. 

There are thousands of examples of the role of tempter which could be cited. As stated in the beginning of the present probe, hardly anyone involved in such scenarios realizes that the Spirit of the Antichrist, that ancient mystery of iniquity, is energized every time such a drama is re-enacted. In fact, since the Devil is a spirit, when anyone places themselves in such a social construct where they play the role of the tempter, it may truly be said the Devil is alive and well inside that person.

The lesson herein is simple, for it not only boils down to beware the tempter, it also includes don't allow yourself to become the tempter.

What is truly difficult to comprehend is how such tempterscommonly count themselves to be Christians, never realizing they are making Spiritually binding choices which will be undeniable when everything which is now hidden, will be revealed for all to see.

"....the LORD....will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts...."

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness,...Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (I Corinthians 4:5, I Thessalonians 5:4-6).

-- James Lloyd

The peculiar ability of believers, which brings them to the place where they redefine things which they desire to continue doing, when they are obviously contrary to the faith, is examined in a 2 hour studio audio. See the online video describing STRONGHOLDS AND STUMBLINGBLOCKS.

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