Deceived Christians!

Friday, March 15, 2019

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 KJV).

I was assisting a dear brother in Christ having some extreme hardships. Understandably, he was utterly downcast. While we were together, he inquired of me, “Why is God sending me all these problems?” What a truly sad question. Oh, dear friends, it is more than that. It is a lie straight from the pit of Hell!

Religious tradition has deceived all of us to some degree. People not “rightly dividing the word of truth” have misled us (see 2 Timothy 2:14-26). They take Israel’s legalistic passages from her Law program, and put us under that performance-based acceptance system. Passages such as Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapter 28 are used to claim that God will send trouble our way because of unconfessed sin, disobedience, and so on.

When I reminded the brother we are accepted in Christ, and God has no controversy with us (Romans 5:1), he objected by appealing to various misquoted verses. Instead of listening to and believing the sound Bible doctrine I was offering him, his flesh was fighting it. His denominational background, which is appealing to his flesh, was still hampering him even after many years of learning dispensational Bible study. This is a classic example of the widespread difficulty—people “that oppose themselves” (today’s Scripture). Flawed doctrine causes them to think and behave contrary to who they really are in Christ Jesus!

Instead of seeing themselves as Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, describe them, they have a distorted sense of reality. Satan’s evil world system has taken them captive into some fantasy world. The only way out is if they make the conscious choice to learn and believe sound Bible doctrine. We cannot recover them; the Bible says they must do it. Yes, we can and should teach them about grace, but it is ultimately their decision to make. We cannot make it for them!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are the ‘warp’ and the ‘woof?’

To Esteem the Greater Words #5

Monday, September 10, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Moved by the Holy Ghost, King David remarked in Psalm 19: “[7] The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

How many in this materialistic, greedy world can say with David that they desire God’s words more than gold, even much fine gold?! Who claims those Divine words are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb?! How many in our deceived, gluttonous society agree with Job that they esteem God’s inspired words more than their necessary food?!

Such a Man is quoted in Isaiah 50:4,5: “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Here is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking of God the Father, 700 years before the former’s earthly ministry (check verse 6). Christ treasured every word that His Heavenly Father spoke to Him, so much so that He obeyed it without fail. Satan’s evil world system would not—and did not—distract Him from what information carried eternal value.

Brethren, may we be especially careful to listen to and believe Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, God’s Word to us today. “But [Jesus Christ] answered and said [to Satan], It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Most importantly, may we remember those words! 🙂

To Esteem the Greater Words #4

Sunday, September 9, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

While precious few—even Christians—know it, an invisible and spiritual battle is being waged. It involves the souls of all mankind!

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; ) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Satan’s policy of evil prevents man from understanding what God wants him to know. Competing information distracts from the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. If we Christians are not vigilant, Satan will deceive even us. Therefore, we must grow to maturity in sound Bible doctrine! That is our only hope in guarding ourselves.

Ephesians 4:13-16: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Job, in today’s Scripture, did not have a competed Bible like we do. Yet, what divine revelation he had was highly important to him. In fact, he preferred God’s Word to eating physical food….

To Esteem the Greater Words #3

Saturday, September 8, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Various and sundry ideas circulate around the world. When we remember that Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), it should not shock us that most of those ideas are lies (cf. John 8:44). Our challenge is to use the Holy Bible to guide us as we evaluate and separate fact from fiction. Therefore, it is a most serious matter when people start tampering with the Bible text. The King James Bible is God’s inspired, preserved Word for us English-speaking people. Never forget that!

Consequently, it should concern us when commentators remark, “This King James word is wrong, that verse does not belong, leave out this italicized word….” The authority is taken from the Bible and given to fallible men. Instead of Scripture correcting men, men arrogantly correct Scripture. Satan is relentless in attempting to substitute his words for God’s words. Using a corrupted Bible to gauge truth and error is wholly silly. A defective standard is most useless. If we are not willing to use a measuring stick with missing numbers and/or unequally-spaced lines, why be comfortable using a perverted Bible to judge doctrine? Ludicrous!

God gave us His inspired and preserved words to provide us with “renewed minds.” After supplying 11 chapters of basic Christian (grace) doctrine, the Holy Spirit opens Romans chapter 12: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” When we read the right Bible text (King James Bible in English), and we “study…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), we will come to recognize the truth. Then, despite all the lies swirling around us, we can esteem the greater words….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Paul circumcise Timothy but not Titus?

To Esteem the Greater Words #2

Friday, September 7, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

When the Holy Scriptures speak of “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), they refer to the system that operates in every sphere of human society. Ephesians 2:2 says: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan operating in the invisible realm], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:….”

Every aspect of human existence conveys Satan’s lie program—education, religion, economics, mainstream media, politics, and so on. They all express the Adversary’s thoughts and attitudes. No matter how decent the people may be holding the offices, the underlying system remains corrupt. Satan, in the temptations of Christ, boasted that he (not God!) exercised power in and through Earth’s governments. Jesus never denied it, either!

Luke chapter 4: “[5] And the devil, taking him [Jesus] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. [7] If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. [8] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

It should therefore not surprise us that human society, whether at its highest echelons or lowest ranks, is perverted. Sadly, so many professing Christians are shocked and hysterical. Sitting for hours upon hours every day before a television screen or computer monitor, soaking up the world’s wisdom, they give very little (if any!) attention to personal Bible study. The media—not the Scripture—tells them what to think. They know more about what lost people say and do than what God says and does. Oh, how they need to esteem the greater words….

To Esteem the Greater Words #1

Thursday, September 6, 2018

“Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV).

Friend, do you pay more attention to the words of men than the words of God?

Someone recently asked me if I watch television news programs. NO—unless I happen to glimpse them in public places or at someone’s house. I prefer to read or watch online news about topics that interest me rather than listen to five minutes of actual news interspersed between 10 minutes of manipulative commercials and 15 minutes of boring commentaries. My curiosity lies in what people have said and done; I form my own conclusions. I am not interested in hearing pundits’ opinions and remarks about what others have said and done.

Today’s “journalist” is usually not a researcher and reporter of news, but rather an individual who mentions facts (intertwined with lies) to support a personal or company agenda. Likewise, an “anchor” is often simply another political activist. They are paid—even several (up to tens of) millions of dollars!!—to parrot their organization’s approved “talking points.” By design, such “news” outrages viewers and entices them to keep watching. Meanwhile, the network sells them advertising, controlling what products and services they purchase. The more salacious, outlandish, or provocative the story is, the larger the show’s audience and the higher the ratings. They invite the same on-air guests to repeat stories for days or weeks. Viewers cannot get enough!!

The media controls information—via television, magazines, newspapers, vlogs, websites, podcasts, et cetera—so as to form (or maintain) a certain line of thinking among the public. Here in the United States, one of our “First Amendment rights” is “freedom of the press.” The “press” (media) is not to be muzzled by the government, although that does not give the press license to fabricate and mislead. Years ago, I wrote for a local newspaper. The “newspaper” was not “free” to publish certain facts, as “offended” advertisers could potentially withdraw funding. Articles or stories challenging local beliefs were thus suppressed.

Brethren, how important, therefore, it is for us to not get caught up in media frenzies. We can (and should) esteem far better words….

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The Populous World at Our Fingertips

Friday, November 24, 2017

“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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;…” (1 Timothy 4:1,2 KJV).

Recently, a relative of mine (almost 100 years old!) asked me what is wrong with the world. Society today is nothing like what she grew up in. There is such violence… such vulgarity… such madness today. Although she is not a saved lady who has the indwelling Holy Spirit to enlighten her, she at least has some sense of right and wrong. So, dear friends, what about our “crazy world?”

I explained to her that three conditions make our “crazy world” possible. Firstly, more people are living on Earth today than ever before—7.6 billion or so. A greater population, obviously, means more individuals to commit the sins of the flesh and the sins of the spirit.

Secondly, the human conscience is progressively deadened to sin (see today’s Scripture). The doctrines of Satan’s evil world system “sear” (burn and blister) our soul so there is insensitivity (non-feeling). Sin softens our sense of right and wrong. The more society accommodates sin—especially allowing it to remain unpunished—the more that society makes itself liable to worse behavior and conditions. The rudeness and crudeness shunned 50 years ago in public was increasingly permitted. Hence, it is now on our personal electronic devices. That leads to our third point.

Lastly, mass communication and social-media platforms facilitate us to see worldwide what has been occurring locally for 6,000 years. Many, many decades ago, that century-old family member of mine had nothing more than a small battery-powered radio to link her to the outside world. Her peers could not see news images (as in television). Usually, she learned of local evil (city and state, sometimes nation and world). While she still does not use a computer or smartphone, she views on her television just a small sample of what foolishness we “internet people” see. Perhaps it is better that way.

Still, thank God, dear friends! While bad news—the problem—goes forth worldwide, so does the solution—the Good News of Jesus Christ! 🙂

Bible Q&A #440: “Is ‘God forbid’ a ‘poor translation’ in the King James Bible?

Our latest Bible Q&A: “‘Ensample’ and ‘example’—same or different?