Go To Meeting

Steve Durham—July 16, 2022

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Today I want to talk about being on guard! There are warning signs and dangers. I recently had an opportunity, if you want to call it that, or encounter with something.

We have dangers in life. They're all about us and around us. We are all watching out for those. We have danger signs out in society in the world.

For example: I did some research on accidental deaths in the United States. I thought it was interesting, calling it unintentional injuries. There were over 200,000 of those in the United States:

  • motor vehicle deaths
  • poisonings
  • falls

Things like that; accidental deaths. Those accidents can be deadly, but the can be avoided, as well. You can be on guard and watch, and avoid those hazards that are out there for us. Warnings to be on guard are all around us:

  • do not enter signs
  • construction zones
  • keep out
  • high voltage; danger of electrical shock
  • deep water
  • strong under tow

I was in Georgia one time playing golf and there was a sign: Beware of Alligators. I chuckled over that. Then I hit a ball over close to the water that there was an alligator there right by my ball. So, you definitely want to heed those warnings. You don't want to take them for granted; be careful!

They're good for us; they keep us alive and healthy. In the Midwest we're in tornado alley; the winds can get very high. Just the other day two were killed in Minnesota when 100mph winds came through. Wind can be very deadly, as well.

What about in the Church? We would say that we certainly don't have a danger in God's Church. This is sort of a refuge for us, a place away from trouble. We're not really aware of or worried about danger in the Church; it seems like an oxymoron! We think that God will protect us, which is true, He will! We're the Body of Christ, the Family of Christ. Everybody is on board with the Truth; everybody is on board with the Word of God. Every minister and teacher teaches the Truth. Everybody obeys the Word.

  • What would we have to look out for in the Church?
  • What are the dangers for us for God's people?

Some of the dangers can cost us our eternal life if we're not careful! Is becomes more important than the physical. Our eternal life is at stake!

There are many warnings in the Scriptures. Christ is telling us in:

Matthew 24:3: "And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him alone, saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the completion of the age?' Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Be on guard, so that no one deceives you'" (vs 3-4).

He didn't answer them right away, but He did give them this warning! We're told to:

  • guard the door of our mind
  • be on guard
  • be weary
  • be watching
  • be careful

Verse 5: "For many shall come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ'; and they shall deceive many."

2-Peter 2:1—Peter talking about within the Church and the community around us.

2-Peter 2:1: "But there were also false prophets among the people, as indeed there will be false teachers among you…"

We have teachers and ministers, one another that we talk and share the Truth with. As long as we have the Truth that's a good thing. But occasionally someone comes in with a false doctrine or teaching, or something that is not Biblical. Whether they mean to be or not, they become a false teacher. So, we have to watch out for that. We have to be weary and well grounded.

"…who will stealthily introduce destructive heresies, personally denying the Lord who bought them, and bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (v 1).

That's the end of that action. They don't know that, but that's the end of it. God does not like that!

Verse 2: "And many people will follow as authoritative" They look good, they sound good and look like they're in authority!

"…their destructive ways; and because of them, the way of the Truth will be blasphemed" (v 2).

That's a different way! That's not 'the Way, the Truth and the Life' that Christ said the He was.

Verse 3: "Also, through insatiable greed they will with enticing messages…"

  • you'll hear a message
  • you'll hear a discussion
  • you'll hear them talk

It enticing and there's a benefit for them in it. It's not outgoing, loving and caring. You have to listen carefully, using God's Holy Spirit to discern.

"…exploit you for gain…" (v 3).

That doesn't have to be monetary; it can be for the personal status and esteem from other people, that accolades of the crowd.

"…for whom the judgment of old is in full force… [God's judgment is in force, just like gravity] …and their destruction is ever watching" (v 3).

These are things that we need to watch for today in the Church. It's sad to say that, but we're getting to a place now where it's ramping up. I've seen it in the last year now in different Churches of God, wherever they are.

What is a prophet? A person that's regarded as an inspired teacher! or A proclaimer of the will of God! There's a gift given, as well.

1-Corinthians 13:2: "If I have the gift of prophecy… [Do we have prophets today? No!] "…and understand all mysteries… [the mystery of Godliness and the mystery of lawlessness] …and all knowledge, and if I have all faith… [the faith of Christ] …so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."

That gift of prophecy is inspired speaking that comes from the Holy Spirit. The Prophets of old—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, the 12 minor prophets—were inspired. They had specific message given to Israel or to a king. Some of the minor prophets had one message and that was it, but they taught, as well.

Today, the inspired speaking is given through God's ministers and the teachers, first, and also individuals have God's Holy Spirit as well.

John 14:26—Christ speaking: "But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that One shall teach you all things…"

That's how we understand the Truth! Without the Holy Spirit you cannot understand.

"…and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you" (v 26).

Sometimes we say that we read it, but can't remember it the next day. The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance when it's needed. That's one of the things the Holy Spirit will do.

Mark 13:11: "But whenever they lead you away and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand nor meditate on what you should say… [you can't work that up] …but whatever shall be given to you in that hour, that speak. For you are not the ones who are speaking, but the Holy Spirit."

The Holy Spirit leads us, gives us the things to say when we need to say them. It brings back the memory of those things that we have in there. That's why Bible study is so important.

So, inspired speaking, we need to see what we need to do in those cases so we can be on guard and aware and not get tripped up.

When Christ places us in the Church, He gave us teachers to help us grow in stature and measure and the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11[transcriber's correction]: "And He gave some asapostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers… [Why?] …for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God… [those two things are so very important] …unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. So that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine… [we need to stand a firm foundation] …by the sleight of men… [that's how those false doctrines come in] …in cunning craftiness… [referring to Satan's mind and how he works] …with a view to the systematizing of the error" (vs 11-14)—organizing and bringing people's affections to you so that:

  • you can gather a group
  • you can have an organization
  • you can have a following

They'll follow you and make you look good! You'll have all the benefits and gains that comes from that! All those things that Satan tempted Christ with.

Verse 15: "But holding the Truth in love… [that's what we need to do; hold the Truth steadfast] …may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ."

Don't forget that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. When you have difficulties or you see things happening, give it to Christ; trust in Christ; pray about it and let Him fight the battles and take car of the problem.

Every wind of doctrine brought in by false teachers. Just like accidents and physical things in the world, if we pay attention to the dangers around us—in the world and in the Church—they can be avoided. IF we don't pay attention to the dangers around us in the Church, we can lose our eternal life! It's that serious! The dangers can take us out of the Family of God; listening to and following those who bring in false doctrine; they are not inspired by God, but Satan! He can inspire, as well. They look good and say that they are from God, but they stray from the Words of Life given to us by God.

We're going to see an example someone who did not strictly follow and lost his life; he did not follow what God gave him.

I want to talk to you today about heeding the warnings that Christ gives us; the warnings that the apostles give us. Heeding the warning and being on guard against false prophets and teachers.

It's very important at this time in life that we do that. Don't be asleep; keep your eyes open. Things are heating up. One of the tools that we use we find in 2-Tim. And this is what helps us to discern and to divide.

2-Timothy 3:15—Paul is talking to Timothy: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise… [through the Holy Spirit and obedience] …unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 15-17). That's the purpose!

God gives us His Word for our edification and growth; to grow in grace and knowledge, and in the righteousness of Christ. That's the purpose! Anything off of that is false doctrine!

Let's look at an example of and individual, a prophet who was given God's Word and was told strictly to follow it.

"A man of God"

There are several places in the Bible where it talks about 'a man of God' but this one had no name. That's interesting.

1-Kings 13:1: "And behold, a man of God came out of Judah by the Word of the Lord… [he was given the Word of God and he came for a purpose] …to Bethel…."

To set the stage: There was a split between Jeroboam and Rehoboam and Jeroboam took the ten tribes of Israel and went north. Rehoboam stayed in Jerusalem.

Jeroboam established a false religion, a counterfeit, in the northern tribes. Now the man of God is going to give them a warning:

"…And Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.  And he cried against the altar by the Word of the Lord and said, 'O, altar, altar, thus says the LORD. "Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon you he shall offer the priests of the high places who burn incense upon you, and men's bones shall be burned upon you."' And he gave a sign the same day, saying, 'This is the sign which the LORD has spoken. "Behold, the altar shall be torn apart, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out"'" (vs 1-3).

God didn't like this and the man of God was warning Jeroboam about it.

Verse 4: "Then it came to pass when King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God who had cried against the altar in Bethel, he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, 'Lay hold on him!' And his hand, which he put forth against him withered up so that he could not pull it in again to himself. The altar also was split asunder and the ashes poured out from the altar according to the sign, which the man of God had given by the Word of the Lord" (vs 4-5). He was fulfilling his purpose!

Verse 6: "And the king answered and said to the man of God, 'Seek now the face of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me again.' And the man of God prayed to the LORD, and the king's hand was restored to him again and became as at the beginning."

Now if you were Jeroboam and saw that, wouldn't that change your heart? Wouldn't that change your mind?

Verse 7: "And the king said to the man of God, 'Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.'" That would be enticing, wouldn't it?

Verse 8: "And the man of God said to the king, 'If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with you, nor will I eat bread nor drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the Word of the Lord, saying, "Eat no bread nor drink water, nor return again by the same way that you came"'" (vs 8-9).

These were his marching orders, directly from God! The same as we have, we have God's Word—the Bible—the words that He wants us live by. Those are our marching orders, and we are to keep them strictly the way that He gives them to us and not deviate to the left or the right. Not make excuses:

Today we can do this or that, it really doesn't mean that.

It does mean that, and God means it!

Verse 9: "For so was it commanded me by the Word of the Lord, saying, "Eat no bread nor drink water, nor return again by the same way that you came."'

Verse 10: "Then he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel…. [so far, so good] …And a certain old prophet was living in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. The words, which he had spoken to the king they also told to their father. And their father said to them, 'Where is this man? What way did he go?' For his sons had seen what way the man of God had gone, who came from Judah. And he said to his sons, 'Saddle me the donkey.' And they saddled the donkey for him, and he rode on it, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak…." (vs 10-14).

He was tired; he was three quarters of the way home, almost finished his mission. He was tired and hadn't eaten anything; he was hungry and thirsty and sitting under an oak.

 "…And he said to him, 'Are you the man of God who came from Judah?' And he said, 'I am.' And he said to him, 'Come home with me and eat bread.'…. [just like Jeroboam said; do something other than what God told him] …And he said, 'I may not return with you nor go in with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place… [here's the reason why]: …for a word was given to me by the Word of the Lord, "You shall eat no bread nor drink water there, nor return again by the way that you came."'…. [so far doing everything right] …And he said to him, 'I am a prophet also as you are. And an angel spoke to me by the Word of the Lord, saying, "Bring him back with you into your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water."' But he lied to him" (vs 14-18).

See how enticing that was for him? False prophets and teachers are liars; they are from their father: Satan!

John 8:44: You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you desire to practice. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the Truth because there is no Truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie… [which this old prophet did] …he is speaking from his own self; for he is a liar, and the father of it."

  • What should the man of God done at that point?
  • What should we do?
  • What can we learn from this?

These examples are in the Bible for our edification and learning.

  • What should the man of God have done?

1-John 4:1: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

That what the man of God should have done, and that's what we should do! When something contradicts what God tells us, that Spirit in us says, 'Wait a minute, there's something wrong here,' test the spirit!

Acts 17:11[transcriber's correction]: "Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness of mind and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so."

No matter who it was, whether Paul or anyone, tested with readiness of mind looked into the Scriptures daily. They were doing Bible study daily!

1-Thessalonians 5:21: "Prove… [look into, examine] …all things…."—everything that's given to us!

Once you come into a Church and you're checking things out, and everything checks out and pretty soon you stop doing it. You assume that the person talking to you is telling you the Truth.

Those of you who were in WCG know that we had many teachers who told us the Truth. Where are they today? They aren't here anymore!

"…Hold fast to that which is good" (v 21). Prove it! Check it out!

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling! Do what God tells us to do, just like the man of God! Christ tells us to be on guard so that no one deceives you.

Back to the man of God:

  • Why did he give in?
  • Why do we give in?

The old prophet sounded good; he probably look the part, a good speaker. He said that he was of God.

  • Why wouldn't you believe him?

There are ministers who look good and sound good in the Churches of God. Of course, we see them in the world all the time. Maybe have a good reputation from the past, but now they might be getting off track for whatever reason. I'm talking about overall in the Churches of God. And they're teaching others to follow them.

2-Corinthians 11:3: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness…"—trickery, cunning, subtly!

Genesis 3:1: "Now, the serpent was more cunning than any creature of the field…" He was cunning, subtle, shrewd, crafty and sly!

2-Corinthians 11:3: "…so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

Sometimes individuals will bring deep sounding words that are intellectual and they sound good, and you think that that person really knows what they're talking about. They sound so intellectual and knowledgeable.

But it's convoluted. A lot of times it doesn't make sense. After being through it (inaudible). There is simplicity in the Truth of God. It's very simples for all of us to understand and it's straight forward.

Verse 4: "For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit… [which can inspire the speaker] …which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good."

If you do that, if you're sitting in a congregation where you're hearing that and you put up with it, it says:

James 4:17: "Therefore, if anyone knows to do good…"

Once you know that you're being fed deceit and lies and something that is not true and you sit there…

"…and does not do it, to him it is sin" (v 17).

We're talking about having a decision to make, your eternal life is at stake. There's a warning!

2-Corinthians 11:13: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers who are transforming themselves into apostles of Christ…. [looking good] …And it is no marvel, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his servants also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness—whose end shall be according to their works" (vs 13-15).

  • test the spirit
  • prove all things
  • look into it to see if it is right

I got an e-mail from a woman who asked:

How do I know if this person who has been in the Church for a long time, written many books and articles, is right and correct?

Someone said, 'They've been around and written and are proven. Their works have been proven so don't worry about it. They can stand on their past.

That's not true! I wrote back and said, 'Watch out!' and I gave these Scriptures. Always, always, always test constantly, each day!

The man of God was weary, tired and hungry. He was not steadfast and immoveable:

1-Corinthians 15:58: "So then, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Galatians 6:9: "Now, we should not lose heart in doing well, because we who do not faint will reap in due time." Hang in there! Don't be weary in well-doing!

The man of God had gotten three-quarters of the way home and he was tired, hungry and thirsty, and this guy got him at a point where he said:

He's a man of God and I'll do what I want to do; I'm thirsty and hungry; I'm tired!

He did not endure to the end. It says that 'the one who endures to the end shall be saved.'

This man of God believed the lie! Probably because he wanted to. Sometimes we do that. He compromised with the Truth of God. We do the same thing at times with false teaching, which is wrong. What is the result when we do this.

1-Kings 13:19: "So he went back with him and ate bread in his house, and drank water. Then it came to pass as they sat at the table, the Word of the Lord came to the prophet who brought him back. And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "Because you have not obeyed the mouth of the LORD and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you, but came back and have eaten bread and have drunk water in the place which He said to you, 'You shall not eat bread nor drink water,' your corpse shall not be buried in the tomb of your fathers"'" (vs 19-22).

He was going to lose his inheritance and his name, because he didn't obey God. He listened to and obeyed a man, a false prophet and false teacher. He lost his name and his inheritance.

Psalm 109:2: "For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue."

Verse 13: "Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following, let their name be blotted out." Very, very serious! Eternal life is at stake!

We don't think that when we're confronted with something like this. It's no big deal, because God doesn't drop us dead or hit us with a bolt of lightning. We think it's okay, 'I'm okay!'

What can happen to us is similar to what happened to the man of God.

Revelation 3:11: "Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown."

They're not going to grab it out of your hand. You're going to be turning loose of it! God is going to take it back and give it to them if we don't follow what He says.

Revelation 2:5: "Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; for if you do not, I will come to you quickly; and I will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent."

1-Kings 13:23: "Now, it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back. Then he left, and a lion met him by the way and killed him. And his dead body was thrown on the highway, and the donkey stood by it, and the lion also stood by the body" (vs 23-24). As a memorial of this man not doing what he was told; a lesson for us!

Later on the old prophet came and put him in his sepulcher because he wasn't allowed to be buried where his inheritance was, where his family was, and we don't know his name.

Quite a lesson for us! We're seeing that accepting the teachings of false teachers who speak in the spirit of antichrist is what it is; against God. It's not Biblical, not true; it is false teaching. It's devastating when we listen to it. It takes us out of the Church, out of the Kingdom of God, costs us our spiritual lives. So, be on guard! That's the point, be on guard!

I want to give you a situation that I ran across that kind of stirred this up. It's interesting how people will sit and listen and accept it. It's like the frog in water, and the heat is turned up and they don't know that they're getting boiled. They sat and listened. Remember:

James 4:17: "Therefore, if anyone knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

So, hearing these false teachers/prophets within the Church, what do we do? Here's one situation:

One prominent leading minister in a very large Church of God, who has been around for a long time, gave a sermon using partial truths with a spin. A lot of truth, but with spin. That's what Satan said, 'God didn't say that.'

He used emotion to get people to feel sorry for him and his past mistakes in teaching, which he said he had taught the truth in error. But he realized that he was wrong, and he said, 'Oh please forgive me. I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm embarrassed, I've been leading you astray.'

Then he used an obvious error that we had made in the Church as a point to illustrate this. He used Pentecost. He said for years he had taught Pentecost on Monday. It was wrong; 'I taught you these things.' He looked at the other ministers in the room and said, 'Didn't you do that?'

One of the things when you sell is that you get everyone to say yes, yes, and get them onboard. So today he was going to set it straight and tell them the Truth. He said that it was fairly simple to understand. 'You're all very intelligent'—playing up to them—'you can understand this new truth. If you don't understand me you're not going to make it into the Kingdom of God.'

So, they were in danger of not making it, and 'I can even (inaudible) in the Kingdom of God' is the way he put it. He said that in the past in our zeal we would read the Scriptures, and read into them things that were not so. We made them say things that were not there. In doing so, we placed grievous burdens on the people. I'm going to free you of those burdens.

He said that none of us are perfect—again, playing down—only Christ is perfect. What he was saying is that we can't keep the Law perfectly. Then he mentioned grace and forgiveness., which covers the sinner.

There is so much Truth in it, and then the switch. Truth and spin!

He says, 'I look at Scriptures today differently, and I want you to begin looking at Scriptures in the same way I do. What I want you to do is let the Scriptures speak for themselves.

That's one of the 14 rules of Bible study. I'm going to give you an example that he uses on this.

He says: If you are interpreting Scripture you are reading into it what is not there. Since interpreting the word causes confusion and areas of resistance, when you are trying to establish doctrine from a hard-to-understand Scripture, let the Scripture interpret the Scripture.

Sounds good, sounds really good. That's true! Who are they talking to? This is one of the points!

Then he says that sometimes we say that these Scriptures are written for us. They're not.

So, he's throwing away some of the rules that we understand and interpret, and know the Truth. Remember that we understand the Truth through the Holy Spirit; it's leading and guiding us. The Holy Spirit brings us into all Truth.

He said not to let anyone force you of force understanding on you that would not have made sense to the people at the time that it was written.

Then he used Revelation and the seven churches.

He said that there are no errors. Those churches: that was written just to those churches at that time.

The examples and the symbols in the book of Revelation are just to those people; the beast that rises our of the sea, the mark of the beast, no more sea, what do those things mean to the ones to whom it is written at the time? If you can find that out then you will know what it means.

That takes Daniel and Revelation out and makes them invalid. Daniel was told to 'seal up the book until the end.' The understanding was not for him, it was for us! But he wrote it back then; it was for us today.

It was written for a select group who would understand what he was saying. It was not written for us today.

See where he's going? He's taking the apostles out, taking the epistles out, taking the writing out, and Peter, John and James.

Written for the people of that day.

He discounts them and the other apostles!

If you want to understand what it means, understand what it meant to the ones who heard it and then you will know.

Another one was Ephesians 2:2[transcriber's correction]—that Satan is the prince of the power of the air.

He says that there was not TVs or Internet then, it couldn't mean that; it doesn't mean that. You have to understand what it meant for those people.

But he never tells us what it meant. Now he opens that door to shut it on how Satan works.  Of course, there were not TVs or Internet. But that's a mode from the air into our mind, the moods, emotions, what you see on TV or Internet. All things that Satan uses as a tool.

He believes that there's no personal interpretation if Scripture, then he goes to Isa. 28 and says that the text is used incorrectly.

'Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little,' we all know that is one of the ways that we understand the Scriptures say using God's Holy Spirit to discern and understand, asking for that wisdom and understanding.

The text is used incorrectly. He says that Isa. 28 is used to show how we should study the Bible.

Yes! But says,

Isa. 28:10 has nothing to do with how to study they Bible.

Those were His words!

You study it as if you are part of Ephraim. It was written to Ephraim, to people of Ephraim that were drunk. What happens to the prophets when you're drunk? You give a judgment. That's what he was saying. Precept upon precept referred to the Ten Commandments. The first stacked on the second, stacked on the third, stacked on the fourth.

He stopped there!

All those precepts have to be found in the same book. He called it 'a patchwork doctrine.' When you use a patchwork doctrine you come up with a false doctrine. If you use Isa. 28:10 you're going to end up with a false doctrine.

He doesn't mention 'line upon line and here a little there a little.' All right there in that same Scripture. How do you explain 'here a little, there a little'?

He used the part that he wanted to make a point, which all false, leading that whole group off. Then he used:

2-Peter 1:19[transcribers correction]: "We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word to which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation… [that's what he focused on] …because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs 19-21). That's how you understand, that is a true statement, but he used it improperly.

What about the Holy Spirit?

Amos 3:7: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing unless He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets."

1-Corinthians 2:9: "But according as it is written, 'The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches… [here a little, there a little] …all things—eventhe deep things of God" (vs 9-10).

Proverbs 25:2: "The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter."

1 Corinthians 2:11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man, which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God. For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man, which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God. Now, we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God… [here's why]: …so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God" (vs 11-12).

We can know them and interpret them and understand them through the Holy Spirit!

Verse 13: "Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means." This minister was not doing that!

You can make your own conclusions from  it. All I'm doing is evaluating the fruits. I'm seeing, hearing and evaluating. Not making a judgment or condemnation. I'm just saying to beware, watch out when you hear things like that.

Verse 14: "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

We ask for spiritual discernment; that's one of the gifts that you can ask for.

Verse 15: "However, the one who is spiritual discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord? Who shall instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (vs 15-16). God is instructing us through His Spirit!

This man is clearly teaching another doctrine! Not the one given by Christ. He's teaching a false doctrine! You know them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:15: "But beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, for within they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. They do not gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, do they?" (vs 15-16).

Verse 20: "Therefore, you shall assuredly know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord'…. [everyone that looks good, or says they're a minister of God bringing you the Truth] …shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven" (vs 20-21).

If the man of God had done God's will we might have known his name. He may have kept his inheritance and he wouldn't have ended up being eaten by a lion.

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?' And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness.'" (vs 22-23).

What are the fruits of a false prophet?

  • deception
  • bringing false and saying it's true
  • spinning
  • works of lawlessness, the laws are done away with
  • it's okay to work on the Sabbath Day
  • water down the Sabbath Day; there's an exception
  • okay to steal; not all the time but there's an exception, maybe hold back something
  • maybe a little 'white' lie

When is a lie not a lie? A lie is a lie, and it can be repented of, but it's still a lie!

God's Laws are clear. The same way with a covenant; God is in covenant and it's very clear. Christ is in covenant. Example: If you are baptized, you have Christ in you. You meet a woman who has Christ in her.

Matthew 19:5: "…For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh."

The two of you are one both of you having Christ, so it's a threefold cord; Christ is in that marriage. Don't let anyone tell you that He's not.

  • stealthily introducing destructive heresies
  • personally denying when a lie is told or there is something that (inaudible) you deny the Lord Who bought you and bring swift destruction upon themselves
  • the Truth is blasphemed; they become liars just as Satan was a liar.
  • insatiable greed

How does it benefit them?

  • pride
  • arrogance
  • money
  • self-esteem
  • accolades of a crowd
  • looking good

They will with enticing messages exploit you for personal gain!

  • What do we do?
  • How do we combat that?
  • don't listen to it
  • don't allow it in your midst
  • trust God's Word
  • know God's Word
  • seek wise counsel

those with the Holy Spirit

In a multitude of counsel there is wisdom! Stay close to God and focus on Christ. Stay close to Him through:

  • prayer
  • study
  • meditation
  • fasting

It's simple, and there's simplicity in Christ. Stir up the Spirit and be led by the Spirit.

2-Timothy 1:6 For this reason, I admonish you to stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power… [and authority, as well] …and of love, and of sound-mindedness. Therefore, you should not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner; but jointly suffer with me for the sake of the Gospel, according to the power of God, Who has saved us and called us with a Holy calling… [don't let anybody take your crown] …not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the ages of time" (vs 6-9). Ask for discernment of the Spirit!

Psalm 119:66: "Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I have believed Your commandments."

Verse 26 [transcriber's correction]: "I have declared my ways, and You answer me; teach me Your statutes. Make me to understand the way of Your precepts, and so shall I speak of Your wonderful works" (vs 26-27).

James 1:5: "However, if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks;and it shall be given to him."

1-Kings 3:11: "And God said to him [Solomon], 'Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life and have not asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to judge justly, behold, I have done according to your words. Lo, I have given you a wise and an understanding… [discerning] …heart, so that there was none like you before you and after you none shall arise like you. And I also have given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you all your days. Therefore, if you will walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days'" (vs 11-14).

Satan is a like a roaring lion, he's the dragon who subtly deceives the entire world. He has his ministers that work with him. We have to outwit Satan.

2-Corinthians 2:11: "So that we may not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes."

We know his wiles. We know what he does, how he does it, and how his ministers work. They appear as ministers of light; they sound good. But test the spirits; test the words that are coming out.

Their conclusions of God's Word are misguided. They're back by clever illogical arguments and intellectual sounding words. They have an understanding different from us, and we can't understand it, and we need to listen to them. On the surface they appear to be words of wisdom, logic and truth. But they are not rightly dividing the Word of Truth. They divide it wrongly!

2-Timothy 2:15: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth."

We must get back to the Truth; we must know what the Truth is. We must internalize it! Those who are in the Scriptures and generally practice the Truth, staying close to God and being on guard every minute, because our eternal life is at stake!

Just like the man of God started out well. He made it three-quarters of the way home, but he let down and gave in to false doctrine and a false prophet. He was weary and didn't endure to the end. We can learn from that example.

Christ tells us in Revelation 3:5: "The one who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

Think about the man of God; think about what we're faced with today, and what we will be faced with more and more. We have to draw close to God and learn and understand His Word, and know that we know that we know it! Don't let anybody change it. Check it out always and don't be afraid to ask. Don't be afraid to remove yourself from places where the false doctrine is being taught.

2-Timothy 3:13: "But wicked men and imposters shall become worse and worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them" (vs 13-14).

You learned them from Jesus Christ and God the Father! Continue in those things!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 24:3-5
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3
  • 1 Corinthians 13:2
  • John 14:26
  • Mark 13:11
  • Ephesians 4:11-15
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 1 Kings 13:1-18
  • John 8:44
  • 1 John 4:1
  • Acts 17:11
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3
  • Genesis 3:1
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
  • James 4:17
  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
  • 1 Corinthians 15:58
  • Galatians 6:9
  • 1 Kings 13:19-22
  • Psalm 109:2, 13
  • Revelation 3:11
  • Revelation 2:5
  • 1 Kings 13:23-24
  • James 4:17
  • 2 Peter 1:19-21
  • Amos 3:7
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9
  • Proverbs 25:2
  • 1 Corinthians 2:11-16
  • Matthew 7:15-16, 20-21
  • Matthew 19:5
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-9
  • Psalm 119:66, 26-27
  • James 1:5
  • 1 Kings 3:11-14
  • 2 Corinthians 2:11
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • Revelation 3:5
  • 2 Timothy 3:13-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ephesians 2:2
  • Isaiah 28:10
  • 2 Peter 1:20

Transcribed: 7/25/22

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