Educated Minds That Know Nothing

Sunday, October 23, 2011

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (1 Timothy 6:3-5 KJV).

Today’s Scripture uses some interesting phraseology:

  • “proud”
  • “knowing nothing”
  • “doting about questions and strifes of words”
  • “envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds”
  • “destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness”

These words perfectly describe most church leaders today! How did the Body of Christ ever reach such a sad, spiritually impotent state? For the past 20 centuries, much of its leadership has been teaching contrary to “the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (see today’s Scripture). “The words of our Lord Jesus Christ” does not refer to the “red print” (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:37: “…the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord(cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:1,2,15; 1 Thessalonians 5:27.

While many church leaders today boast of their seminary degrees, let us remember that “distinguished” Hebrew, Greek, and Latin scholars, are not equivalent to Bible scholars. After all, even Satan knows Hebrew, Greek, and Latin and he even knows the Bible better than Christians! Satan quoted Scripture (Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:10-11); he just quoted Scripture incorrectly, like most “Christian” leaders today. While they all quote the Bible, how many know what the Bible actually says? How many believe what the Bible says? FEW!

In today’s Scripture, God’s Word says that if any religious leader (pastor, priest, pope, theologian, et cetera) does not instruct you according to the Apostle Paul’s epistles (the “rightly divided” Word of God), you are to flee from that person. Regardless of how many degrees those men have, the Bible says that “they are proud, knowing nothing.” So much for education!

The LORD Thy God is a Jealous God

Thursday, October 20, 2011

“They [Israel] provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee” (Deuteronomy 32:16-18 KJV).

Scripture uses the title “jealous God” six times for JEHOVAH (Exodus 20:5; Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 5:9; Deuteronomy 6:15; Joshua 24:19). Jealousy (envy) is a sin when we commit it (Romans 1:29; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:21; et al.). But, just as there is a godly anger (Matthew 5:22; Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:26), there is a godly jealousy, God’s righteous jealousy.

In the Old Testament, God continually reminded Israel that He was “jealous” over her. Today’s Scripture, a portion of the “Song of Moses,” is one example. Prior to going into the Promised Land under Joshua, Moses warned Israel of her previous idolatrous ways. Once Israel went into that land, they were to destroy the pagan heathens and their idols (Exodus 34:11-17). Yet, even in God’s Promised Land, the Jews established pagan shrines to worthless idols (1 Kings 14:22-24; Psalm 78:58)! The LORD wanted Israel to Himself, and yet they ignored Him and adored vain, inanimate idols.

The Apostle Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, warned members of the Body of Christ in Corinth about provoking the Lord to “jealousy” by fellowshipping with devils (1 Corinthians 10:20-22). Paul was “jealous” over the Body of Christ, instructing us to avoid satanic deception by holding to the doctrine in his epistles (2 Corinthians 11:1-4).

Throughout the Holy Scriptures, over a dozen references describe God as “jealous.” God wants His people all to Himself—He does not want us mingling with the world’s idols (crucifixes, statues, religious paintings, selfishness, materialism, et cetera). In His omnipotence and omniscience, God is justified in being jealous over us because He alone deserves our praise, worship, dedication, and honor. After all, He is our Creator and our Saviour (if we have trusted in Him for salvation!).

The Sin of Presumption?

Monday, September 5, 2011

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV).

If one has the assurance of going to heaven because he or she is relying exclusively on Christ’s finished cross work—and not on his or her own performance—religion calls this “self-righteous arrogance.” According to church tradition, “the sin of presumption” is committed when an individual has the assurance of eternal salvation in Christ.

Church tradition demands that in order to avoid the sin of presumption, we must never rely on our good works, but we must never rely on God’s power alone either. In other words, religion teaches salvation comes by our “good” works and God’s power. That is a devil’s lie, beloved (Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5)!

Today’s Scripture says that we are “always confident,” fully persuaded that while we live in these physical bodies, we are not in heaven’s glory. As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we are equally confident that our souls will appear in heaven as soon as these physical bodies die. According to today’s Scripture, if we have no confidence in going to heaven, then we have no confidence in presently being here on earth and not in heaven.

The Bible says we need to be made right with God, and in Christ, we are forgiven and eternally saved! According to Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we need to trust exclusively in Christ’s shed blood, His dying for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection if we are to receive eternal life.

The so-called “sin of presumption” is nothing more than a “cunningly devised fable” used to keep people fearful and bound in religious systems (2 Peter 1:16). I have assurance of going to heaven because Christ was “good enough.” I boast in Jesus Christ’s righteousness that has been applied to me, and I am saved in Christ.

Art Thou Too Superstitious?

Friday, August 12, 2011

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious” (Acts 17:22 KJV).

Religion causes people to behave very strangely—they claim to see apparitions in common objects, they speak incoherently, they allegedly (and “magically”) transform ordinary bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood, and they proclaim physical healing (while still taking medication and owning health insurance!).

The Greek word translated “superstitious” in today’s Scripture is “deisidaimonesteros,” meaning, “fearing more devils than anyone else.” Are you like the Athenians? Are you like most “Christians” today? Art thou “too superstitious?”

Pagan idolatry had permeated Athens: “the city [was] wholly given to idolatry” (verse 16). Paul told the Athenians (verse 23): “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”

For fear of ignoring a deity, and angering it, Athens wanted to cover every base, so they appealed to every god and goddess. Today, many cross their hearts and purchase medals/idols for protection. They pray to anyone and everyone. Others join as many churches and religions as possible, hoping to appease whoever is the “right” God. How sad.

In the context of today’s Scripture, Paul informed the Athenians that he was preaching to them the “unknown God” (verse 23). The Athenians knew there was a God other than their silly pagan gods, but they were worshiping that one true God “ignorantly.” This describes most church members in Christendom. They know about Jesus Christ, but how many really know who He is? How many have truly trusted in Christ for their soul salvation? Precious, precious few.

Religion is vain—it will never, ever save anyone. No religion or church saves. Only Jesus Christ saves. As Paul preached to Athens, we too proclaim: Trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour (that He died for your sins, He was buried, and He was raised again), and you will be saved… that is no superstition!