Today, Monday October 18
The Devil Joins The Church
3 John 1:9-11 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
“If you can’t beat them, join them.” You might have heard that quote many times over the years. Well, that is exactly what the devil did in the first century church. At first the devil opposed the church and the early followers of Jesus with persecution. In the first chapters of Acts where we have the history of the church, Satan had the Apostles beaten, thrown in prison and even put to death. The church was scattered when the persecution became even greater when it was led by Saul. But the more the devil stomped on the flames of the Gospel the more it spread around the world with multitudes becoming believers and the followers of Christ who were willing to die for Him.
So the devil changed his strategy and joins the church. Remember the verse yesterday in 2 Corinthians 11:12-15. “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness….” That is what happened to the church that John is writing to here in 3 John. And his name was Diotrephes! The devil is still using this same strategy today! So we need to be aware.
How do you detect a “Diotrephes”? John said he is the one “who loves to have the preeminence in the church”. You might recall what caused Satan to get kicked out of heaven. It was his pride! He wanted to replace the God who created him because he thought he was better and greater than God (Isaiah 14 & Ezekiel 28). Pride is what motivates a Diotrephes! “To have the preeminence” means that his constant attitude is one of “promoting himself.”
He is one who wants to have a more powerful position of leadership. He wants to get the recognition on special occasions for what he does in the church. He wants to get the applause! And it is my experience over my years of ministry that he will show up in every church. And the quicker and sooner you recognize and deal with “Diotrephes”, the better it will be for your church or fellowship of believers.
All of us must be on guard for the “spirit of pride”. I’m pretty convinced it can happen to any of us and especially to pastors and gifted church leaders. Today we should commit to pray for protection for the church against this problem and these types of persons!