A Life Governed by the Word of God – Part 1
(Originally written in June 2000, slightly updated and setup for the web)
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Government: - 1. The act or process of governing. 2. The office, function, or authority of one who governs. 3. Exercise of authority; rule. 4. The agency or apparatus through which an individual or a body that governs exercises authority and performs its functions. Though this verse is speaking of a savior, who is all the titles listed, from Counselor to Prince of Peace, He is a savior who rules over the kingdom made up of His people who have wholly submitted to His supreme authority. This savior would be one who governs the lives of His subjects, those whom He has redeemed, and He does so with loving counsel, guidance and direction for their lives. He would be savior to those who became a part of His kingdom and the government of their lives would be His responsibility and to those who submitted to Him He would also provide peace, a peace that cannot be found anywhere else in this life. Its as the song says, “Peace, peace, wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above.” It’s that peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). The Hebrew word shalom, translated as peace, means encompasses the total welfare of the person, i.e. health, prosperity, and peace. It speaks of rest, safety and wholeness that provide a deep inner peace, not just a surface peace brought by favorable circumstances.
Of course this ruling Prince of Peace Isaiah is speaking of is the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom came 2,000 years ago and exists in the hearts of His people. It is a kingdom that Jesus said is within the believer (Luke 17:21). In John 18:36 Jesus said; “My kingdom is not of this world” so we know that it is not a physical political kingdom of this realm. Matthew 13:24-30 is a parable about the Kingdom of God called the parable of the wheat and tares. “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” The explanation is given in Verses 37-41. “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.”
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” The Lord Jesus ascended to the throne two thousand years ago and the increase of the government of His kingdom has continued until now and will until Jesus comes for His Bride. Daniel 7:13-14 describes His ascension to the throne after His resurrection. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” It’s what happened between John 20:17 when Jesus told Mary at the tomb “touch me not” and 20:27 when he told Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger…”
This leaves us with one most important question. If the Lord Jesus Christ is who He said He was, if He is the Lord of Glory (James 2:1), the Lord and Master as He claimed in John 13:13-14, and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16) then he truly reigns in supreme authority over His kingdom. Are we not then His subjects and if true believers and followers of Christ - then must not our lives be governed by Him? The question is then, what does it mean for our lives to be governed by Jesus? To sum up the dictionary definitions above, simply it is “to guide, to direct, to control all actions and behavior of those under authority.” That goes along with the scriptures. “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master…” “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Luke 19:27 “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” The supreme question and issue is this – Is Jesus Lord over your life, reigning over your life, your actions and decisions. This is the central point of Christianity. It’s all about the Lordship of Jesus not about religiosity and religious actions and religious deeds. The Pharisees did plenty of those things (they fasted, prayed, memorized scripture, lived religious lives, separated lives) and Jesus rebuked and condemned them even though all the things they did are things He desires of us. It isn’t what you say; it isn’t even what you do, but what and who is Lord in your life and who is making the decisions in your life. Have you submitted the government of your life, surrendered the throne of your heart, to the Lord and Master? For it is then, when He is Lord of all, that He is truly your Savior. That’s why 2 Peter 1:11, 2:20, 3:2, 3:18 speak these words again and again. “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” The two must go together, you cannot have the one without the other. If He is not your Lord, then He is not your Savior. He is both or neither, yet today this is an unheard and unpreached thing in the churches today. In fact, He not only wants to guide and direct decisions and actions of our daily lives, but even the words we speak and the very thoughts we allow to go through our minds.
You say what? Isn’t that a bit radical? No, it’s Biblical. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” 2Corinthians 10:5 “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.”Is that enough to convince you? The Bible says in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses let every word be established. I have given you three, but there are many more. God doesn’t want our thought life to be out of control or to run free because the things we think and meditate upon, we will move toward and become. Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
In Matthew 9:4 Jesus told the scribes “Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” God doesn’t want us to think and meditate upon evil, but upon good. He wants our hearts to be filled with good. What we think, we will speak, what we speak shows others what is in our hearts and we act upon. Matthew 12:34-37 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Luke 6:43-46 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Notice what Jesus says to a people who called Him Lord? Calling Him Lord is not sufficient, but you must submit to His Lordship and obey Him or He is not Lord. (V.47-49) “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Need to see it again? Matthew 7:21-27 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Was this not spoken of a people who thought they belonged to Christ? For some reason they thought they were saved and that they should have the eternal life that He promised His followers who believed upon Him. You see true faith goes hand and hand with obedience. True faith brings action and causes you to do something called “works of obedience.” You go from works of self-righteousness, works to be worthy of salvation, works to earn and deserve forgiveness, to works of obedience by faith. That is why James said what he did in
James 2:18-23. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Abraham’s works were the works of faith and obedience in being willing to offer Isaac his son as He was commanded. He had to believe that God would raise him up from the dead, if necessary, because God had promised Abraham that Isaac was the promised seed through which a great nation would come.
Hebrews 11:17-19. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” The story is in Genesis 22:1-5. “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Notice what Abraham said to the servants who were with them. He believed that he and the lad, his son, would return again. God wanted to see if Abraham loved him more than his son and that he would give him even that only begotten son that he had for waited 25 years to be born. God wants no idols in your life. He will allow you to have only that which you will not make an idol, meaning something that you put in front of Him, something you love more than Him, something that would keep you from believing and obeying Him. That is the most important thing for He wants first place in your life, not second or third. Deuteronomy 6:5 “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”In the Bible the phrase “Lord thy God” is used 304 times. So, if He is your God, then He is your Lord.
Now, Jesus is not only Lord in the lives of the individuals who have come to Him for salvation and surrendered to His Lordship, but He is also Lord over the nations and the heathen. The difference is that the one is saved and the other isn’t. Every man and devil will one day bow the knee before Him and confess that He is Lord. Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Psalm 66:7 “He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves.” Psalm 103:19 “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.”
So don’t be fooled about who seems in the natural to be in control and ruling this nation or any other nation. This country is not controlled and ruled by a political party or any human authority. America is not being controlled by big business or Wall Street or the government. Ultimately behind all governments is the Lord Jesus, who sits upon the throne of the universe as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:16 “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Daniel 4:34-35 “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Psalm 33:9-11 “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” Psalm 135:6-12 “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast… Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings… And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.” Isaiah 46:9-11 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” God alone is in control and none can do but what he allows and anything he can change at will for he rules and reigns over all creation. Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
It is amazing how our foolish politicians boast about our country’s power and influence in the world and how we brought down the Iron Curtain and defeated communism to establish ourselves as the most powerful nation on earth and now the only superpower. That is laughable. We did not do any such thing and communism is not dead and communists still hate America and pure democracy. The Russian bear is not dead, only in hibernation and he will arise again. Furthermore, all nations and their dictators or leaders are but as a drop in the bucket, a speck of dust before the Lord. The Lord rules over them all and sits up and pulls down at will. Isaiah 40:15, 17-18, 22-23 “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing… All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity… It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” Jeremiah 10:10-13 “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” Psalm 62:9 “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.”
Notice the image of a balance or scale in both Isaiah 40:15 and Psalm 62:9. God sits on one side of the scale and places on the other side all the nations of the earth from throughout history and sees them as less than nothing. He tells them to go ahead and try to measure His strength and ability against that of all the world, all its might and power or all its armies and weapons and put them all on the scale and they are but vanity to him, they are no more than a drop in a bucket or mound of dust. Isaiah 52:10 “The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Revelation 11:15-17 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
Recently we have seen in the news how the Chinese communist leaders have been jailing thousands of members of a religious cult there called Falun Gong. In the process these communist leaders have also jailed scores of Christians, mistaking them for cultists because of their passive ways and worship practices. When there came an outcry concerning these actions, the communist leaders just turned a deaf ear and remained hardnosed, as in the days of Tineman Square massacre. But God has news for the Chinese communists, they are not in control and they cannot control his kingdom, for they are all before him as a mere speck of dust and He can blow away the Bamboo Curtain just as easily as he blew away the Iron Curtain, like a pile of dust. This very week in June 2000 it was announced that the first Christian religious broadcast will begin to be aired in China in July and there would be no restrictions on the content of the program. I believe that in China will be one of the last great moves of God to allow the people to hear the gospel and many Chinese will come to faith in Christ as the Christians gain new freedoms. God is going to blow away the Chinese government and open the prison doors holding the people of God unjustly and though the world will not acknowledge or know that it was He who did it, He will do it. Today the Christians there are greatly persecuted, but their day is coming, because no government or persecution has ever been able to stop the spread of the gospel when it was God’s time.
Do not think for a moment that Satan is in control of anything or any country. He is in control of nothing but what God temporarily allows him to seemingly control. Yes there is great moral decay in America today, yes there is a rise in wickedness, in homosexuality, in abortion, in perverseness of every kind and violence and the occult and witchcraft and the new age and atheism, all who hate Christians. Some think that Satan’s minions are taking over the country and establishing his kingdom of darkness in the place of what was once a godly nation run by moral laws that came from the Bible. Do not worry of any such thing; it is all only temporary and subject to change. God is about to move in judgment. Isaiah 14:5-7, 12, 15-16 “The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing… How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! … Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms.”
Yes it looks like Satan is having a hay day at the present and he is shaking nations with a great outpouring of wickedness. Remember, he knows that his time is short and he is full of fury and out to gather all the souls he can for hell. But though he is seeming to move unhindered today in every arena and area of life on earth, weakening the multitudes with all sorts of immorality and lusts and violence it is all going to change in God’s time, when the cup of iniquity is full. Know that the devil and all his workers of iniquity are under the Lord’s thumb and can do nothing except as they are allowed to do, for the Lord’s own purpose. Don’t forget Job! They can only go as far as the Lord allows. God has always had the upper hand and final say, as He did in Noah’s day, at the tower of Babel, in Moses day, in Jesus day and he will have the last word in our day. Isaiah 37:16 “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.” Isaiah 43:10-11 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:22 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Psalm 86:10 “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.”
Yes Satan is working overtime to convince the world and us that he rules over the kingdoms of the earth. He even tried this stunt with Jesus when he was tempting him for 40 days. Matthew 4:8-9 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Now this is an amazing thing because it is impossible for a person to see the kingdoms of the world from one mountaintop. How did he do it, some kind of vision? I don’t know and it isn’t important but that Jesus knew that he was nothing but a pretender and fraud. Nothing that Satan did or said during the temptations even moved Jesus in the least. He knew that He was God in the flesh, the one who created all things, including Satan and that Satan wasn’t in control of anything. The world was not the devil’s to give him, Jesus knew who created the world and all that was in it and this was just another of Satan’s fantasy’s, like thinking he could become like God. Satan can only rule by permission of authority of God and that, which is given to him by man when they believe he has power over them. The Lord knew the end of things and that one day he would personally cast Satan into the lake of fire for all eternity with those who follow him, both man and devil. Praise the name of Jesus, who alone is worthy of such praise for He alone has redeemed us with His blood. Know that God is not one bit concerned or anxious about Satan. He tells him what to do and Satan does it and obeys God’s every command to him. He is doing what God created him to do and does what he is sent to do and nothing more or less. God is not fretting over the present condition of this nation, He is only letting the people have what they desire and have cried out for, before He judges them.
Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” It is not a physical kingdom that Jesus came to set up but a spiritual kingdom within the hearts of men. He is building His temple of living stones that we should be the place of habitation of His Spirit. And it is within this kingdom that is in the hearts of His people that He reigns supreme, guiding us, healing us, governing our lives, actions and behaviors. Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” This verse speaks of an endless rule and authority of Christ that began 2000 years ago and will last for all eternity. Yet there is another deeper meaning, this increase of his government also refers to the fact that the will be an increasing submission of our lives to His rule and Lordship. Is The Lord’s government over your life increasing day by day? Are you constantly and continually yielding more of your life, your decisions and actions under His control and surrendering the government of your life to His Lordship? Are you bringing your behavior and thoughts more and more under his authority by asking Him to take your life and fill it more with His life and spirit? Or are you defying his rule and authority whenever it is in conflict with the desires and will of your flesh? Everyone of us is either being filled more and more with his life or with the life of our flesh, the question is which one are we yielding to and feeding, our fleshly man or our spiritual man. That is the one that is getting stronger. Remember what we learned about discerning the need for personal revival. We said, “A backslider is a person who was once emptied of their own ways and filled with the ways of God but gradually allowed their own ways to seep back until they are all but empty of God and full of themselves again.” Which are you being filled with? Which are you yielding yourself to, the desires of the flesh or of the spirit? Remember Romans 8:5-8, 13-14 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God… For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Now let’s look at how God governs his kingdom. If Jesus is in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, ruling the universe with all authority, then how does he rule and govern his kingdom on the earth? We find the answer in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 1:1-2 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Jesus is God’s explicit message to us; He is the divine Word of God made flesh and in the likeness of man. And the Father has sent to us the Holy Spirit to remind us of the words that Jesus spoke to us when he was on the earth. Thus, Jesus first governs his people by his written word that has been given to us. It is His revealed will and purpose for us. The scriptures are the ruler’s scepter by which He makes His word and will known to us.
Hebrews 1:3, 4:12 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high… For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” If you want to know what it is to hear the testimony of one who submitted their life to be governed by the Word of God we can find it in Psalm 119. Psalm 119:9-11, 105, 109, 128, 130, 133, 162 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee… Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path… My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law… Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way… The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple… Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me… I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” We know about David’s terrible failures and the resulting problems, experiences and trials of life that he went through because of his sin. But even though King David faced some awful times in his life because of his moral failures concerning Bathsheba, he continually allowed himself to be governed by God’s Word and God continually brought David’s life back to divine order when he stumbled because he kept his life under the supreme authority of God’s Word, written or through the prophet speaking to him.
Our society today wants nothing to do with the authority of Christ of the Word of God. The scriptures are a subject of mockery and derision. The Bible, as the Ten Commandments, have been kicked out of our schools, courts, and all public places by the Supreme Court. They have told us we can’t have public prayer in school or sporting events. Just today, 6/19/00, we hear the Supreme Court has made a new ruling from a case in the Houston Area that a member of the student body cannot offer prayer or devotion before a school function or sport because it interferes with others right not to have the religion of the majority pushed upon them. They say it was a victory for the religious majority. Really? We have outlawed the Christian faith under the guise of “separation of church and state.” We have made it illegal to live the Christian life the way God has commanded us to and we are being denied our guaranteed constitutional rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech to please those who hate our God. We have outlawed Christian morals and morality and replaced it with immorality and amorality. We have rejected all absolutes and said there is no absolute morals or authority and so this country floats aimlessly like a uncontrollable ship without a moral rudder. Our god is self and materialism. While nations that have been under dictators and oppression are being opened up and gaining new freedoms including those freedoms we are loosing and we are heading more and more toward bondage and governmental dictatorship.
It was even said in a court by an attorney, “You may believe that when a witness places his hand on the Bible and swears to tell the truth “so help me God,” he is obligated to do so. But that oath doesn’t bind anyone to speak the truth. In fact, it has no meaning whatsoever.” Invoking the authority of the Bible in the court of law today has become illegal. Asking someone to place his or her hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth is meaningless, in fact, not done any longer.
Recently many things have been happening concerning the Christian faith. A Christian judge in Alabama was ordered to take down a plaque with the Ten Commandments. A schoolteacher in the Bronx recently lost her job for merely placing a Bible on her desk. You can legally display any kind of filth, blasphemy; things of the occult or devil worship or anything else, except that of the Christian faith. In fact, for the most part our society gets enraged with anyone who dares mention God’s Word in any public place. Many are saying that President Bush has no right to use the name of God or speak of his Christian faith because he is violating the constitutional “separation of church and state.” That is a total lie and the opposite of what our founding fathers meant or did in practice. You have Moses with the Ten Commandments in the walls of the Supreme Court. The only nation in the world that had those words in their constitution was that of the old U.S.S.R.. Yet in Russia today you can now freely carry and pass out Bibles and if they see a person with Bibles, whether on the streets or in government buildings or in customs, they will stop you and ask if you have a spare copy for them.
Isaiah 2:4 says, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people.” God will surely judge this nation for the death millions babies that have been a sacrifice to the devil on an altar of convenience and pleasure. All through the Bible, it was violence and bloodshed that brought God’s judgment, whether in the flood of Noah’s day or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah or for the sacrificing of children to idols. (Genesis 6:13, Psalm 11:5, Ezekiel 7:23-24, 12:19-20, Obadiah 1:10, Micah 6:12-15) Even Satan was kicked out of heaven for violence (Ezekiel 28:16). God hates the shedding of innocent blood. (2Kings 24:4, Psalm 106:38-41, Proverbs 6:16-17, Isaiah 59:1-3,7, Joel 3:19) Isaiah 30:9, 14 “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD… And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters” vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.”
I don’t care how long this prosperity bubble lasts or how high the stock market may rise, God is still on the throne and one day it is all going to come crashing down and the prosperity party will be over. The current great prosperity is only a sign that judgment and economic collapse is on the horizon and soon to come to America. Its kind of like when God gave the children of Israel their request for meat, then while it was still between their teeth, he slew the strongest of them. Isaiah 40:6-8 “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” In the end the only thing that will stand the test of time and eternity is the Word of God and that which is rooted in it. 2 Peter 3:7 “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” All else will pass away, but the Word of God will stand forever. Only those who believe and submit to that Word will stand for eternity, all others will end up in the lake of fire that is unquenchable.
As time goes by, with all the hoopla about revival everywhere, fewer and fewer professing Christians are submitting their lives to be governed by the Word of God and Christ, that Word made Flesh. Few today want to hear sound doctrine, but want to hear sloppy, gooey messages of peace, love and prosperity with no mention of a judgment for sin or a devil’s hell to be shunned. They want to have their backs patted and their flesh pumped up with messages to build up self, self-esteem, self-realization, self-fulfillment, self, self, self; rather than how to become empty of self and full of the Spirit of God. They speak of being “slain in the spirit.” What spirit is that? God wants us slain in our flesh that we can be made alive by the spirit. This theology is just not scriptural, nor is there a Biblical pattern or example of much of this charismatic slop that is meant to cater to the flesh and emotions rather than feed the spiritual man.
All such are not true believers, nor true worshippers according to the scriptures and they are building their spiritual houses on sand without the true foundation of the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Jude 1:3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” They spend years in church, by “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2Timothy 3:7). They hear cute sermonettes for christianettes, one or two verses and a lot of psychology, humanism, human wisdom and cute stories to fill in the rest with very little substance. The message is geared to excite and incite the fleshly emotions and is presented like a staged show of Hollywood. And they call excited pumped up flesh and wild music the spirit of God moving. Believers travel from meeting to meeting to hear “a word from the lord” through the mouth of some self proclaimed and celebrated prophet and end up being deceived by a charismatic charlatan fortune-teller speaking from a spirit of divination. I want to remind you that I have always been Pentecostal, full-gospel, believing in all the gifts of the Spirit being for today and have seen and experienced all the things of God’s Spirit. You can’t have a false without a true. You can’t have a lie without a truth or a counterfeit of what is not real. The problem is that most in the church today doesn’t know the difference between the two because they have never experienced the real and true power and Spirit of the Living God, only a bunch of imitation and pretense and fleshly show.
How do believers come to such deception? 2Thessalonians 2:10-12 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Deuteronomy 13:1-5 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.” Ezekiel 14:9 “And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.” Jeremiah 23:11 “For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.”(wormwood – false religious doctrines of devils; profaneness – compromise has gone into the land of the hearts and lives of the people)
Jeremiah 23:14-18 “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?” (V.21-22) “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” (25-32) “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.”
Consider the professing Christian who hears the Word of God being clearly preached to him and he begins to come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit – yet he just quickly shakes it off by quenching the Spirit and turning a deaf hear. Why does he do this? Many times it is because this person has a dream or an ambition of some kind that he or she is unwilling to bring under the subjection of God’s Word. They want to do something great or be something great but they don’t want to endanger their dream. So they go to some meeting to hear a “word” from some prophet that will tell them things about their life that no one could possibly know. Then after telling them things about their past and present the prophet begins to tell them amazing things about their future. Then this Christian won’t judge the “word” they received from the so-called, self-proclaimed prophet because they don’t know the Word of God! So now they will stake their lives on this man’s word which will never come to pass because he has told them their past and present by a familiar spirit, a spirit of divination and a lie about their future. And the Christian has come under a delusion. Believing a lie to be the truth because he can’t tell the difference between the truth and a lie and he can’t discern the spirit of the prophet because he had wrong motives to begin with which allowed the devil to use the prophet to trap them in a delusion that will being destruction to their lives. I have seen this happen to numerous people. If any prophet or anyone else tells you something that is God’s will for your life or future or what God wants you to do and it is not a confirmation of something God has already been dealing with you about, but something new that you have never heard before, run for your life! Don’t believe a word that has been said or act on it. God will always confirm His word to you and He uses others to confirm not tell you something that you never though about or that God hasn’t already been dealing with you about. It is surely DECEPTION!
You might say, how can you say such a thing and make such statement as fact? Just this past week in the middle of June 2000, I witnessed just such happening on TV, channel 14, by a man who professed to be a “prophet of God” who gave the most fleshly, sensual, demonic show full of absolute absurdities that I have ever witness and I taped it on cassette because I don’t have a VCR. Seeing it would be twice as powerful as hearing it, but it is still enough for most anyone, saint or sinner, to realize that he was a fraud and lying prophet sent to deceive the unsuspecting carnal and fleshly professing Christian who was not led by the spirit of God and does not know the ways of God nor the character of God.
It is very dangerous to seek guidance, direction, counseling or prayer from someone whose personal life and faith you do not know. That’s why the Christian life is one of personal discipleship. If we follow the pattern of the New Testament and weren’t a bunch of spiritual gypsies looking for greener grass on the other side of the fence this couldn’t and wouldn’t happen and men like this would have no audience. Ezekiel warns us of what is happening to many. Ezekiel 14:4-6 “Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.” Isaiah 66:1-4 “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.”
God’s Word condemns all fleshly ambitions. And the Spirit of God is faithful to expose every hidden lust within you. But if you refuse to come under the supreme authority of His Word, God has clearly stated that when you go to some man to speak words to you and you are not under the government of His Word, He will permit that man to speak to you as an idolater, in fact the prophet will speak directly to your idolatry. Ezekiel 14:7-10 “For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him.”
We see an example of this in the life of the wicked king Ahab. This king asked for a word from the Lord from his prophets and they spoke to him only flattering words and told him what he wanted to hear, that which pleased his flesh. 1Kings 22:1-29, 34-35 “And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses. And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah. And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them. And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king’s hand. And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak. So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD? And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead... And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.” The evil king didn’t want to ask of the true prophet of the Lord because he didn’t want to hear the truth. When we desire to be told that which our flesh wants to hear, God will give us false lying prophets to minister to the idols in our hearts! Remember, 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Another reason so many don’t want to hear the truth is because they have wrong ideas of who and what God is and what He will ask or require of them if they submit their lives to Him. They think that if they give themselves to the Lord and make themselves available to Him, that He will ask them to do the thing that they would most say they don’t want to do, something that to them would make them miserable and would be terrible and as if God was punishing them – in response to their offering their lives and obedience to Him. I have heard excuses given like, “if I did that, if I told the Lord I would obey Him in anything, I just know God would ask me to go live in some jungle in Africa,” or other thing that is absolute repulsive in nature or thought to them. This is almost blasphemous; it is an absolute rejection of the truth of God’s love for us and His mercy toward us; and it is the believing of an absolute lie from hell that is something akin to the lie that Satan told Eve in the garden to get her to doubt God’s Word and to think that God was holding something back from her that was desirable. God doesn’t think or operate in such a way to make man miserable for no reason, but everything God does in our lives or asks us to do is that which is for our best interest and our best eternal reward. Psalm 37:4-5 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” That says the opposite. That as we seek God, He would put within us His desire for our lives and we would receive it in such a way that it would become that which we desire to do, then and only then as we commit our ways unto Him, to follow Him and do His will, will He bring it to pass in our lives. God wants us to serve Him willing and voluntarily and cooperates with His servants. God does not go around asking those who love Him and serve Him to do the thing that is most undesirable to them and that they would be the most unhappy doing. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Lamentations 3:25 “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Psalm 40:5 “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”These scriptures should help convince us that the devil has been speaking lies to us. God doesn’t even call every one who is saved into the ministry or to be a missionary or whatever. Very few believers are called into some kind of full time ministry at all. If all were called to be in the ministry, then there would never be a church of believers, but only a gathering of fellow ministers. The church would be all pastors and leaders and no sheep.
When you ignore God’s Word and will not come under it’s governing authority, you open yourself up to all kinds of deception and will be easily swept away by every wind of doctrine. Let me give you an example of this. If you gathered up a group of randomly chosen believers and had them view a videotape of a church service in which bizarre manifestations took place, including things that were inane, silly, crazy and some bordering on immorality you could quickly tell those which have no spiritual discernment. It would be even more obvious if they were all in the meeting itself. Those who are not rooted and grounded in the truth and have no discernment of spiritual things would start shouting, cheering, clapping, laughing and applauding the whole thing and think it was a work of the spirit of God. They will believe that all the unscriptural manifestations are the Holy Spirit even when they are unholy in nature. They will think it is so wonderful how the Lord is moving in their midst because their flesh loves the show and manifestations. Those who know the truth and are spiritual and discerning would immediately be in awe and unbelief at the happenings and shake their head and turn away from it all.
They have every kind of flesh church you can think of and many are finding their way onto “Christian TV”. Music that is almost unbelievable, that is hard to be listened to, that is better described as noise pollution than music that is supposed to be full of the spirit, but what spirit? I have heard of watching the super bowl in the church by large screen TV normally used to project the image of the preacher and almost everything of the world that you can imagine. That was done and actually advertised on TV in advance by one of Houston’s largest churches. They said come to our service and at 12 noon, we will stop and the Super Bowl will be live on our screens and you won’t have to miss a single minute of the game. The church has a large food court and so they didn’t even have to go hungry. The only thing they didn’t have was booze.
I have heard many messages in which only one verse in the Bible is quoted and it is filled with stories, quips, psychology, human wisdom and even nonsense. These things will not build up the people in the things of God and will not make them biblically literate or knowledgeable about the things of God. How will they ever be able to make the right decision in life based upon the Word of God when they don’t hear it or know it? How will they be able to test false prophets and preachers if they don’t have grounding in the word and the presence of the spirit to lead and guide them in all truth? The first requirement is that they must have a hunger and desire for the truth that they might walk in it to please God. John 7:17 “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” That is the starting point if we are to not be deceived and misled by false preachers and charlatans. Other believers who are actually hearing a lot of scripture are hearing it twisted and misused to prove the point of the preacher who is using the word to his own advantage, usually to get the people to give him more money. Jude 1:16 “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men”s persons in admiration because of advantage.” They want to take advantage of the people because they are hirelings out for the money and not the good of the flock and they minister to the fleshly lusts and desires of the people and lead them into covetousness and idolatry and say its God!
To keep from being deceived in these last days we must first submit ourselves to the total and final authority of the written Word of God. Matthew 24:24-25 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.” This is how many will be deceived by the devil. Revelation 13:13-14, 19:20, 13:7-8 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live… And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone… And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
We were told to believe no voice that speaketh anything contrary to that which is already given to us by God in His Word. It alone is the final authority and there will be nothing added to or subtracted from it. Galatians 1:6-9 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” 2Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
The Bible is our only authority and source book. The one who comes must first believe that the Bible has the final answer and say on any matter that God has spoken to us on. If we are going to be benefited by it then we must submit ourselves, our feelings, likes and dislikes to it. Isaiah 66:2b “…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Do you tremble, quake or shutter a the Word of God? Isaiah 66:5a “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word.” James 1:21, 25 “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls… But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” Allow king Jesus to govern your life through His Word and you will truly have a blessed and fulfilled life full of the joy of the Lord.
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