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"Everything We Need for Life and Godliness" - 2 Pet. 1:3 ... Dr. Ed Bulkley is President of the International Association of Biblical Counselors. For more information, go to

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Geraldine Theology Leads to Death – Pastor Johnny Touchet

Years ago I used to watch a TV program: “The Flip Wilson Show.” There was a character on the program, (Flip Wilson dressed as a woman), named Geraldine. Her famous line after doing something wrong was always the same: “The devil made me do it!”

It is important for us to understand that Scripture does in fact teach that Satan tempts us to Sin. Consider Gen. 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” Further, note the experience of Christ Himself: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (Matt. 4:1).” (The tempter there was the same as the one in the garden). John noted, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 Jn. 2:16).” Satan is behind this evil world system.

However, this Geraldine theology has caused great pain in the lives of many believers in that they are enslaved in and to their sin by not taking personal responsibility for that sin. In Jas. 1:13-16, we come to understand that there is a simple process concerning temptation that starts within our hearts. Satan may tempt us externally. But, we are responsible to deal with that which is in our hearts. The noted process of temptation includes conception, birth, and death.

First, there is the conception of temptation. It comes from within. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust (Jas. 1:14).” Notice that temptation comes from within, that is, from the mind, and works like a hunter or fisher (carried away) to draw out or lure forth. In hunting or fishing, just as game is lured from its hiding place, so too man is lured from the safety of self-restraint into sin.

In the same verse, the language of hunting is dropped for another picture: the seduction of a harlot. It is by our own lust, craving, longing, and desire for what is forbidden, that we find the source of our temptation is our own hearts (mind, emotions, will). This is the battlefield for temptation: our minds. If the battle is won here, though bloodied perhaps, we are indeed victorious!

Solomon gives us a warning along similar lines. “And I beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding…And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of a harlot, and wily of heart…So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face she said unto him…with her much fair speech she cause him to yield; with the flattering of her lips she forced him along…her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death (Prov. 7:7-27).”

The referenced young man was void of understanding. The word Solomon used that we translate “understanding” is connected to the word often used for “heart.” In a figurative sense, the word is also used widely for the feelings, the will, and even the intellect. In addition, it is used for the center of anything.

The Lord Jesus Himself confirms this teaching. “For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, covetings, wickednesses, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, railing, pride, foolishness: all these evil things proceed from within, and defile the man (Matt. 7:21-23).”

James warns us concerning this area: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” The question is, how do we deceive our minds? We do so through television, music, or buying into teaching on self-love that tells us in regard to our desires, “Go ahead, you deserve it!” Lust may allure you with the lie, “You have a need for this forbidden fruit.” Or, with reference to your wife, you may say to yourself, “I don’t feel like I love her.” At that point your feelings are in direct opposition to God’s Word and they must be put off.

Second, there is the birth of temptation which brings forth sin. James continues, “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin (v. 15).” We looked so forward to the birth of our children. I remember Sara when she was born. She was so cute: the most beautiful thing I had ever seen at that time in my life. I looked with great joy and satisfaction in our little one. But, not so when sin comes. When sin is born in our lives it usually produces a really sickening feeling! When lust has conceived, when the evil propensity within us works unchecked, it brings forth sin, the evil act.

Again, lust when conceived will bring us to sin. We see this truth in the garden. Eve was tempted, and then she lingered, looked, and lusted. She then leapt into sin. From the moment Adam ate the fruit, our destiny of sin was established. David looked and lusted for Bathsheba, and the result was the same: sin. Every man is overtaken from within, and once that happens, if not dealt with, outward sin is the sure result.

Third, there is the death of temptation. James says, “Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death (v. 15).” When this breach of the law of God in one’s heart is given sufficient time, it brings forth death. The spurious offspring of death is the fruit of the criminal connection between temptation and sin and is the evidence that punishment/death is due to transgressors. Sin spreads like the spider’s web hidden in a dark room; it gets on you and is terribly hard to get off. For the poor creature trapped in the web, death is only a matter of time.

I grew up in Louisana near the bayou. There we would find some good food. Among other delicacies were the crabs. When I went crabbing, I took a net and a piece of chicken on a string. The crabs loved the fresh smell of meat and they would come and bite on that choice morsel. It was then that I would slowly drag them in. All the time I was pulling them in closer and closer, they did not know what awaited them. Then, at the right moment, I would scoop them into the net! They thought they were feasting, but in reality, it was they who were becoming the feast. So it is with temptation when full grown: it brings death. You become the feast!

May Geraldine’s theology die with the show. And so beloved, don’t be deceived, temptation comes from within you. Deal with it there.


Blogger Terry Walker said...

So true brother. So true. It is not what goes in us that corrupts, but what comes out of us. And while the sin of a regenerate man does not result in his ultimate spiritual death, it most certainly may kill his relationship with Christ while yet alive. At least until such time as the Lord chooses to grants repentance.

Unrepentant sin is like a living death to a true Christian. I did so for 6 years, until my first works were but a dreaded memory of what I was no longer. My very bones were dry, my flesh rotten; my life reeked of death and approaching apostasy, as if such could happen to the elect. But you cannot know your own heart, and my life showed no current evidence to support any claim in Christ. I greatly feared both life and death.

One wonders why American Christendom does not share the same fear when there is so little evidence of Christ in us today?

However, I praise the Lord for peace at last, but it was only through repentance, sanctification and perseverance that the certainty of my salvation could be known despite my 6 year slide.

Of course you know all about that. Thank you for everything, you crazy Cajun!

Terry Walker
Cooks 4 Christ

4:11 PM  

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