A Spirit of RATIONALIZATION
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; -- I Timothy 4: 1
The word ‘some’ in the above verse is actually a figure of speech called Tapeinosis or Demeaning. This is an unusual Figure of Speech and it means "A lessening of a thing in order to increase it."
What you should be concerned with is the Figure of Speech. The word ‘some’ as used in this verse is referring to a vast number of people who will be deceived by devil spirits in these last days. It is really that simple to understand if you will only take the time to read Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible. If you have access to this extensive work, you can see this definition and explanation on page 159.
I am beginning to believe that many of these types of teachings should belong in the Advanced Studies category. However, since a knowledge of these specific devil spirits deals directly with the subject of your personal adversary, I am going to leave the category where it is – under Dealing with the Adversary.
Also, I want to mention that I have been covering only the most deadliest and most powerful and most active devil spirits that are functioning today. Whether you know this or not, the adversary ranks his devil spirits as either five-star generals or buck privates. You probably never knew that. Well, it's shown clearly in the Gospels, but I'm not going to veer away from the purpose and title of this teaching. I will tell you that the Greek word used for devil spirits is a combination of two different words. Some devil spirits are referred to as daimonion and other devil spirits are referred to as daimon. These are the Greek equivalents for the following.
The first type of devil spirit is the smaller and less powerful spirit. They are under the command of the latter spirit, which are the daimon. The daimonion take their orders from the daimon. Satan has his devil spirit kingdom set up just like an army. I only wish that we had time right now to go into the Gospels and show this to you from the Word. However, this is a good research topic for you to do on your own. It is most important that you do not only depend upon these teachings, but that you research the Word of God on your own and make it your own. Now, we are going to learn about one of the most deadliest devil spirits that functions today. This spirit will deceive you into believing almost anything contrary to the Word of God and is one of the most deceptive of all devil spirits. I find it most difficult to witness to a person who has this spirit. Almost always, God will have to tell you by Discerning of Spirits that you are dealing with a person who has given place to a spirit of rationalization. With all this said, let's get into the details of how this Spirit operates.
The best dictionary definition that I have found for the word’ rationalize’ is the following: To devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for one's behavior.
This is really an excellent definition for those who are not completely familiar with the term rationalization. I was particularly impressed with the phrase “self-satisfying but incorrect”. We will see this accurate representation of one's behavior throughout this teaching. Let's take a Scripture that we should all be familiar with.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- II Timothy 2: 15
How many of us get up every morning and one of the first things that we do is study God's Word and pray? We all know or should know what Matthew 6: 33 says and that is to keep God first. But here's how the devil talks you out of it. He whispers in your ear and he says, “Oh, you really don't have time to do such things in the morning. You have to get to work and anyway God doesn't really put you down for not doing His Word. You know He says that He loves you no matter what you do. Maybe you can study when you come home.” You can be selfish in this aspect of your life and you simply choose by your own free will not to keep God first. If there is one thing that God cannot stand, it is idolatry. This means keeping anything before God Almighty. I am going to make this really simple by giving you a few examples first. Then we are going to move into a tremendous record in the Old Testament that will spell out for you how this devil spirit of rationalization works within a person -- step by step.
In the above example, a devil spirit of rationalization has whispered in your ear and it is appealing to your self-satisfying reasons for not doing something correctly. As was mentioned, this type of behavior, from God's point of view, is incorrect. You may not realize it at the time, but there are consequences for this type of behavior. I said it time and time again that the secret to Satan's success is the secrecy of his moves. What you do in this situation is to entertain these thoughts and you believe them because you want to and because you lack the discipline that you need to walk by the Spirit of God. The enemy knows your weaknesses so he works on them. It is so easy to rationalize and that is the reason we do it. What the Word of God says, we should do without question and we will get blessed in our lives. I feel really excited about exposing this devil spirit to billions of people on this website. If it helps one person, I have accomplished my purpose.
This will be the second and final example from the New Testament of an area of our lives, our behavior, in which we have not mastered the principles from the Word of God. It is an extremely simple example, but I realize that I can go to almost any Scripture in the Bible to illustrate my point concerning rationalization. I chose to go to the book of James. I should mention here that devil spirits work in combination in many situations. Rationalization may team up with slothfulness or a spirit that I can refer to as philosophical or a spirit of hardheartedness. Once the enemy gets a toehold on some part of your life, he then goes for a foothold. Then it becomes very difficult to be delivered, but nothing is impossible. Let's go to the book of James.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. – James 1: 5
Let me give you a literal translation of this verse so that we can use it to emphasize, more clearly, our teaching.
Literal: James 1: 5 -- If you don't know what to do at times with the knowledge that God has given you, when it comes to making wise decisions based on the proper application of the Word, ASK GOD WHAT TO DO. He will answer your questions willfully without a second thought. He will answer the need/question/prayer freely, with simplicity and with a readiness of heart. God does not scold or reprove you when you ask Him for wisdom. Word of Wisdom is one of the nine manifestations of the spirit that is available to you.
God doesn't expect you to run to Him for every single detail of your life. But when you have a question that you can't seem to answer, you get this thought to open up your Law textbooks or to turn to the Internet and to go to some forum or to do the worst thing that, many times, you can possibly do and that is to go to another person to try to get an answer to your problem. You don't turn to prayer which means you do not ask God who is willing to help you -- without a second thought. We turn to secular or worldly sources, or what we refer to, as great men. We turn to the works of some author or some other scholar in the world. Well, let me ask you this question. Does God Almighty who created the heavens and the earth know more than the sources you are turning to for help?
If we have a habit of doing this, a spirit of rationalization will again whisper in your ear and try to direct you as to which way to turn to get an answer to this perplexing question that you may have in your life. God says in His Word that if you lack wisdom you are to ask Him and He will give you wisdom. And sometimes, God will not answer you because He knows you are not ready to be able to handle such a problem. Maybe He’s trying to tell you something. But if your personal adversary knows what you are doing, he will put a thought in your mind and he will say: “You see, God doesn't really care and in fact there is no God. You need to figure out this problem all by yourself.” And he will get you to think that this is your own mind giving you these thoughts. That's how tricky he is. He can deceive even the very elect, so do not think you cannot be deceived by Satan, because you can and you will be at times. The more of God's Word that you know, the less you will be deceived.
In putting this teaching together, I have thought of endless examples that I can give you pertaining to rationalization. But I realized that most people know what it means to rationalize a subject. I just want to make sure that you know the source of this influence. This type of spiritual attack is extremely deadly and results in many of the problems that Christians have in their everyday life. To satisfy their own desires, which are incorrect, they will come up with reasons for this incorrect behavior.
I'll have to mention another area regarding a person who is lazy and slothful and has no discipline in their life. They blame the world and they blame other people and they become bitter and some become suicidal. This website is most unusual in that we give to you the rightly divided Word of God. It is accurate and based on many, many years of research. While so many other sources will give you so many teachings that’s based on worldly knowledge and has no profit whatsoever. In fact, there are many teachers of God’s Word who guess at what the Bible says and in reality, they are working for the god of this world. I'll say one final thing before we get into the Old Testament record. The adversary, the devil, Satan, knows the Bible very well. He even knows it better than most Christians. So if he can get Christians to pull Scriptures out of context, add words, delete words and just guess at what the Scriptures say, those so-called Christians are working for the devil himself. I know that's a shocking statement, but oftentimes I wonder why God chose me to learn His Word rightly divided and present it to you accurately, straightforward, and not watered down. I just do what God tells me to do. I do not argue with God and no one, but no one talks me out of it and devil spirits of rationalization have tried.
Samuel, being a great man of God, was chosen to work closely with Saul as you will see. It was Saul who had given place to a spirit of rationalization and it destroyed his life and everything that he worked for. If I were to pick a title for this chapter, it would be:
To help you understand the context of what we are about to go over, you may want to read some of the previous chapters in the book of I Samuel. For the purpose of focusing in on only the results of this rationalization spirit, we will begin our teaching with the first verse of chapter 15. Just follow along and take your time and you will be able to see that this spirit of rationalization worked in Saul in five (5) steps. I will point out each step to you as we go through the chapter.
1. Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord.
What more could a man ask for? God told Samuel to go to Saul who was, at the time, a great leader. Well you can say that Saul got quite a promotion didn't he? It's like a dream that most of us have at our jobs. We want to rise up the corporate ladder. Saul was now to become the King over God's people, over Israel. But Samuel also told him that he must hearken unto the voice of the Word of God. You see, God has a certain idiosyncrasy pertaining to His ‘personality’. There is always a condition for you to fulfill to obtain or retain a promise of the Lord. God does this so that we will always take action. With God, you act first and then you see results. So through Samuel, God got the message to Saul that he was going to be the King over all of God’s people. “Now therefore”, said Samuel, this is what you must do. Listen to the Word of God and everything is going to be just fine. We are going to see, in the most minute detail, how Saul was tricked by the god of this world into manipulating what he was supposed to do, according to his own selfish interests. This is how strong this spirit of rationalization can be and I want you all to know this and never forget it. I am at the point where I'm not concerned with how long this teaching may be or even if there may be three parts to this teaching, just as long as you learn about this subject pertaining to your personal adversary. It must be very important because I've never felt this way about a teaching before. I am probably going to take more time with this teaching than I have with any other. That's how important it is to God that you learn this particular subject. This teaching pertains to your day-by-day decision: OBEDIENCE 1) To God 2) Against God
2. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
Apparently, God did not think very much of Amalek because of what he did to Israel. And God was about to take his vengeance upon Amalek.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. -- Romans 12: 19
I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to show you from God's Word, that He is always the one to take vengeance upon our enemies. We are never to seek vengeance on our own or we will face the consequences of our actions. When you react to what your adversary throws at you, you lose. That is what he wants you to do and in turn, he gets to control your actions.
3. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Now this verse is very important in understanding this teaching about rationalization and how it operates. Examine closely what God said. He said to utterly destroy all that the Amalekites possessed. God's Word and Will was to wipe these people out which included men, women, all of their livestock, etc. That was God's command given to Saul. He would be obedient to God or against God -- this was his own free will. Now watch how this record develops.
4. And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
This verse is basically self-explanatory. Saul gathered an army together of about 210,000 men in preparation for his invasion of Amalek.
5. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
Saul situated his army in a favorable position and waited to attack Amalek. His troops were positioned in a valley unaware to the Amalekites. So far, we see no problems at all. We do not see any rationalization, but only Saul carrying out God's Will. But lurking in the shadows in the spiritual realm, was a spirit or spirits of rationalization. The problem that we experience in our walk with God is that the enemy knows our weaknesses very well. He will work on those weaknesses when he gets the right opportunity. So far, that opportunity has not arisen in this record.
6. And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
This is an interesting verse. The Kenites were apparently living very near to the Amalekites. Saul absolutely had mercy upon this group of people and told them to move out of the area or else he would destroy them also. Why did Saul say this to the Kenites? The verse tells you why. The Kenites apparently showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt. If you go back to verse two, you will see that this was absolutely not the case with the Amalekites. That's why this situation was taking place. As you can see, the Kenites obeyed Saul’s words and departed from among the Amalekites.
7. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
Before we get into some geography, I want you to notice that Saul smote the Amalekites and then there is that word ‘until’ he came to Shur. Now watch that in the next verse. He did everything God told him to do until he came to Shur. Then something disastrous took place – outright disobedience to God’s commandments.
Havilah was a region inhabited by the Amalekites and this region extended to Shur. Shur is a type of barrier across the great northeastern highways out of Egypt, near the eastern boundary line of Egypt. It was a great defensive wall built across the eastern frontier -- a wall hardly less prominent in the history of ancient Egypt than the Great Wall of China. That is why the Scripture in King James English uses the statement "that is over against Egypt". It was a fortified wall east of Egypt.
I obtained this information from a very reputable Bible dictionary called The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. You should absolutely have a good Bible dictionary because it will help you to understand the Word of God. Remember, there is no guesswork if we are going to rightly divide God's Word. This was one of the few times I had to refer to this dictionary, but it really came in handy not only for the sake of the teaching, but also for myself and my personal knowledge of God's Word. Bible dictionaries are particularly helpful pertaining to geographic locations.
8. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
Something is very wrong here. What is it exactly that Saul did? He spared Agag, the King of the Amalekites. Now take a look back at verse three and you will see that Saul did not carry out the Will of God, but he rebelled against God. We will see how this happened. Many times greed or pride or a host of other emotions will cause a person to adjust revelation from the true God. He (a rationalization spirit) will change or alter the original revelation to fit that man's desires. Notice that desires falls in the category of the five senses.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. – Romans 8: 6
A rationalization spirit works on the carnal mind of man focusing in on a man's weaknesses. Apparently, Saul had a lot of pride and wanted to appear like a hero by capturing the leader, the King of the Amalekites. He carried out God's Will to a certain extent by utterly destroying all the people with the edge of the sword. Did the King fall under this category? Of course he did. This just gives you a rough idea of how deadly this type of spirit can be. This great leader transgressed the Word of God under direct influence of this devil spirit. Let's look at the next verse.
9. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
This verse tells us a lot and even repeats the fact that Saul spared Agag, but notice this time the verse says that Saul AND THE PEOPLE spared Agag. Once Saul began to rationalize, the spirit starts to assure him that what he did was right because he was not acting alone. This was a lie from hell. He was the man in charge and now he is saying that the people, his warriors, also wanted to spare Agag. Do you see how tricky the adversary is? He can fool even the very elect -- that's what the Word says and that's what the Word means. This is the one major record in the Word of God that explains to us how the spirit of rationalization operates. A little later on we will begin to separate those five steps that I told you are used when a man rationalizes.
We have new information also in this verse which states that Saul and the people also spared the best of the sheep, and the oxen, and the fatlings, and the lambs and all that was good. Did Saul have the right to make these judgment calls? Again, the answer is a resounding no. God already told him what he was to do and he was to spare nothing or anything, but this rationalization spirit now had a foothold on Saul and made him ‘reason’ that what he was doing was perfectly fine. We all have a tendency to do this at times. If God says to me to get up at 9 a.m., I do not get up at 8:59 a.m. and I do not get up at 9:01 a.m., I get up at 9 a.m. It took me many years and a lot of toil to listen to the details of revelation. We are never to over-extend or under-extend revelation -- what God tells us to do. So many times in my own mind as I was growing stronger and renewing my mind, I would experience problems every so often and I would ask God what was wrong. I pleaded with him to tell me. All I would ever hear is a still small voice: ‘You just won't listen.’ So guess what I started to do?
This teaching is inherently long because there is so much importance involved pertaining to your understanding. One of the methods and functions of rationalization is that it is so damn easy to do. And it belittles itself. It makes itself seem to not be that important. What's the big deal if you kill 2000 people or 2001? Well it's a major issue if God told you to do the latter and you do not by your own free will. The Word says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and that greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. So that means that we can resist this spirit of rationalization and all devil spirits. We can do it. How do we get the strength? What's our key to power? You should know this by now -- it is the renewed mind. The more of God's Word that you know and apply in your life, the stronger you become in your mind and your will. If you want to become stronger spiritually, you will speak in tongues very much in your private prayer life. This makes the spirit stronger, but the Word of God makes your mind stronger.
Seven pages and we have only covered nine Scriptures in this record in the Old Testament. But you now have a good foundation about this type of devil spirit activity and about this record in I Samuel in the Old Testament.
We are still not done with verse nine. Saul says they would not destroy all those things that they thought, in their minds, was good. What they thought was vile and refuse, they utterly destroyed. Do you see how a man's mind can get carried away with pride, and by the way, pride is another devil spirit. Saul just wanted to be the boss. Have you ever run across people like that? Oftentimes, these two spirits work in combination -- they work together. Much of the adversary's kingdom is rather well organized and one spirit may help another spirit to oppress or possess a man. I know it sounds kind of scary, but when you know the Word of God, the adversary and all his devil spirits can't touch you. They can't get near you. The devil will roar and roar and roar and try to scare you. Don't let him. He can't bite you when he’s roaring.
10. Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying,
Now isn't that something? We thought Samuel and the Lord went on a vacation to the Bahamas! We did wonder where there were. But you see God Almighty is always watching over us and He sees everything that we do and He hears everything that we say and He knows what we will do even in the future. But God will give every man a chance -- a fair chance to stand with Him. God saw everything that Saul did and watch what He says to Samuel in the next verse.
11. It repenteth me (the Lord is sorry for the people) that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.
This verse is really powerful as you can see the great commitment that Samuel had with God and his love for God. God told him that he had regretted setting up Saul as a King because of what Saul did. Saul turned his back on God and he did not perform his commandments and his commandments were simple. Samuel cried all night unto God. Have you ever prayed like this? I have. This situation is unlike some of my prayers since basically I may have been having problems in certain areas and trying to blame them on everybody. Wow. That's a spirit of rationalization. When I got humble, I told God that I was at fault for some of the things that have happened in my own life. Believe me. God does honor a prayer like that. Well, don't we all just want to blame anything or everybody for what's going wrong in our own life? Well, if you get humble, and it's not such a hard thing to do, I will give you the answer. I will tell you where to look. Look into a mirror and you will see the problem. When you get humble to God, He knows then you will listen and He will tell you what is wrong and then you can make the necessary changes and get back in fellowship and make every attempt to stay there.
Take note who God went to to tell a certain person that He was grieved for what was taking place. God loves us and He needs someone to talk to. That's why it is available for us to get born again, so that God can live within us. Isn't that amazing? God went to one of His strongest men of God and that was Samuel and He told Samuel what was happening. God actually shared His heart with one of His believers that He knew He could trust.
12. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
Now who do you think told Samuel to get up early in the morning and to meet Saul and who told Samuel the logistics of this meeting?
Verse 13 begins to illustrate clearly those five steps of Saul's rationalization. Since this teaching is long, it is a good time to conclude this Part One and to take up Part Two in verse 13. You should review this Part One in detail so that you will understand completely the upcoming events that will take place. Part Two should clearly illustrate to you the methods and devices of the adversary when he uses a spirit of rationalization on a person or on a believer. We will expose his methods and that is the secret to his success - secrecy. Also, Part Two will teach us the five general steps that the enemy uses to seduce people with one of his strongest devil spirits -- a spirit of rationalization. Thank you for your attention up to this point and make sure you study Part Two when completed. Don't talk yourself out of this essential lesson that will greatly help you live a more than abundant life and increase your spiritual understanding and awareness.