Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P28 (04-12-21)
So we are to avoid those who teach things contrary to sound doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, we are to rely on the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, to reveal truth to our innermost being, so we can walk in the newness of life. For it is for freedom that Christ set us free. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Does your heart yearn to know the truth? Consider the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son. What do these stories tell us about the heart of God, His love and acceptance of us, His compassion and understanding of us in our weak and dead condition. He seeks out the sinner that he might restore him back to Himself. Such is the love of God. Indeed, we love because He first loved us. He initiated His love to us first, and we respond to that love.
So the Holy Spirit teaches us about the love of God, that we may walk as Jesus did. Jesus walked in perfect love. God is Spirit, God is love, and love is the fulfillment of the law. He met the demands of death for sin for us, since it is impossible for us to meet such demands. As the second Adam, the only man born with the Spirit of God in Him, He lived as man, to show us, who are not God, to know how to live, in total trust and dependency in God through that same Holy Spirit He has given us. For Jesus said that He did nothing of His own initiative, but did only what He saw His Father doing, and said exactly what His Father told Him to say and how to say it. He gave us the illustration of the vine and the branch in John 15, to show us what it means to walk in the newness of life.
What authority are they relying on? Their own notions. What are the results of that type of thing? It says, do not get involved in it. That is a red flag to you. You see people talking about the worship of angels. You see people talking about things we have been dealing with, masquerading as apostles of God, seeing angels of light come to me. They are false prophets, false apostles, deceitful workmen, people masquerading as apostles. There are no more apostles. Those are red flags. When you hear it, get away from it. It is not in the word of God.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 is another red flag.
1 Timothy 6:3
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,
Here is the result. Here is a person teaching false doctrines, a person does not agree to the sound doctrine.
1 Timothy 6:4-5
4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
A person conceited and understanding nothing. A person conceited thinks he is something. If I ever think I am something, I do not understand anything. False humility is talked about. There is no such thing as false humility, unless it is trying to act humble. Humility comes from reality. The reality of who God is in light of who I am is humbling if you believe that. When I know what I am in light of who He is, there is nothing else to do except to be humble. When I see what He has done in light of what I am, totally incapable of doing anything, how can I be conceited thinking I can do something when Christ says apart from Me you can do nothing.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Conceit is a preoccupation with me and what I am doing instead of Him and what He is doing. It really came from the garden of Eden. In the garden of Eden, man decided to be like God. So if I am going to be God, then instead of perceiving myself in light of who God is, I am perceiving God in light of who I am. And there is your difference. Am I perceiving God in light of who I am?
As we deal with the area forgiveness, if my child goes out and does something, then he needs to come back. What are you doing? Perceiving God in light of what you are doing. If that is what I do, that is what God ought to do. So instead of perceiving myself in light of who God is, I am perceiving God in light of who I am. That is conceit and pride. That is trying to be God. I do not want to bring God down to how I forgive. I want to be elevated up to how he behaved. As Christ Jesus forgave, so forgive one another. As you forgive theirs, God will forgive you. That was Old Testament teaching, when Christ Jesus was not living in you and the provision had not been made yet. Now that provision has been made, that even in doing that, that you are a lost sinner, and are despicable. That is why Christ had to come to give you new life. As a new creation, now elevate yourself. Do not bring God down to where you are. Go up to where He is. Instead of perceiving God as you perceive Him, perceive yourself as God perceives you.
You are conceited and you understand nothing. There is also an unhealthy interest in controversies. There is a healthy interest in controversies. Then there is an unhealthy interest in controversy. Controversy for the sake of controversy is idiocy. But when you are talking about controversy for the sake of coming to the truth, then that is beneficial. But controversy for the sake of controversy itself is an unhealthy controversy. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies over words. We quibble over words that result in envy and strife and malicious talk about each other. Evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind. Words that result in envy.
I can teach in such a way that it results in envy. I can teach in such a way that results in strife. I can teach in such a way that it will encourage suspicious talk and evil suspicions. What is gossip about? What does it do? It results in envy strife, malicious talk, and evil suspicions and creates constant friction. That is what gossip is designed to do. Those kinds of controversies and quarrels should have no place in verbiage of a Christian.
If we have envy, strife and selfish ambition, there are all kinds of evil. There is no room for competition in the Christian realm. Competition is praised and honored. The more you beat somebody, the higher you get. Competition is good. That is the world. With every winner, there are a ton of losers. In Christ, there is no competition. We belong to the body. Each part of the body has a different function. We are not in competition with each other. Where competition is encouraged, and it is encouraged in many realms of Christianity, you will have evil suspicions, strife, malicious talk and constant friction between men of corrupt mind.
Let us go on with a red flag discussion. In other words, when you hear things like this, put up a red flag. It is a warning to you that you may be listening to a false teacher. We are talking about 1 Timothy 6:3-5.
1 Timothy 6:3-5
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They [teachers] have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
Folks, does that sound familiar? Once again, the bible clearly states that anyone who is teaching that godliness is a means to financial gain. There will be teachers called false teachers who teach that godliness is a means to financial gain. From God’s vantage point, they are called a false teacher. From man’s standpoint, they are called a real source of encouragement. From God’s vantage point, they are false teachers. Whenever you hear a man teaching that godliness is a means to financial gain, you are dealing with a man that God says has been robbed of the truth, and is a man of corrupt mind, called a perverted mind.
If you are listening, mark down 1 Timothy:3-5. I do not want you to believe what I am saying because I am saying it. I am not the one who initiated that. I am just recording to you what the bible says. Anyone getting on television, or wherever else it might be, and saying that your godliness or what you do or your tithe or your money is a means to gaining more money, or if you are just so godly and you just stay so godly, as if we could, that you are going to be wealthy and wise, that is a man who has been robbed of the truth, and is a man with a corrupt mind. That is what God called him, a false workman, masquerading as something he is not.
So when you hear that folks, you do not have to sit around and wonder if this guy is okay. If a guy is teaching you that godliness is a means to financial gain, financial reward is a reward for godliness, then you got a man robbed of truth and with a corrupt mind.
These things we talked about are subtle because they give an appearance of godliness, but now let us look at the scoffers. Let us see what the scoffers will be saying in regard to the second coming of Christ?
2 Peter 3:3-4
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
Scoffers will say, “What is this stuff, that Jesus is coming back? He is not coming back? Where is he? We have been waiting for him for 2000 years. Everything is going on as it always has. This second coming is just a farce.” If you have the unfortunate experience in sitting in a church or under teaching that is scoffing at the second coming of Christ, there again you are in the presence of a false teacher, and warned of that by the word of God.
Can that happen? Of course it can. I have been in churches where right out of the pulpit someone is saying this second coming is not true doctrine. They will say, “Christ is not coming again or Christ coming is because he is living with us right now and that is the second coming.” That is not true. Jesus said, “Just as you see me depart, you will see me come again. I left this earth physically. You will see me come again physically and you will see my feet plant right there in the middle of Jerusalem. Just wait on that to occur.” Yet man says He is not coming back.
4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
We tried to go over some different teaching that relates to the day and age in which we live. The only solution to any of this is to walk in the newness of life. Christ left us with the command to love your God with all your heart and to love one another.
21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
The show of your love for God is your love for one another. This is the command.
1 John 3:23
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
That is the command He left us with. Why? Love is the fulfillment of everything. “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” It is all a by-product yet it says in scripture.
1 John 4:10 (KJV)
10 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
It is not that we loved God but He loved us first. Until we understand His love for us, our love for Him is in response to His love for us. It is only when Christ reveals His love for us that we have the ability to respond back in our love to Him, and then we become filled to the measure of the fullness of His love. Now there is no place for that love to go but to splash out to other people.
3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh
Do not have any confidence in the flesh. That is not where confidence is. Paul talked about that.
4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Noticed he said legalistic righteousness and not true righteousness.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Of course, that certainly has occurred when we understand our identification with Him, in His death, burial and resurrection. We need to realize when we are talking about these things of Christ, in this day and age in which we live, and it has been going on, but we have more ability to see the false prophets today through the media than we did before. There have always been false prophets in the world but they just hang around by themselves. They were there and they interacted with people but now there is so much opportunity of mass production of both good and evil. And evil is just a perversion of good. Whatever was meant for good, Satan turns it for evil.
But we start with a proper premise. When you start with a proper premise on truth, you have to realize that in Hebrews 1:1-2.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
So we know how God spoke to our forefathers. He spoke through the prophets, at many times, and He spoke in many and various ways. He spoke in dreams. He spoke in visions. He spoke in appearances, in some form or another. All of those things were to our forefathers. Here is the contrast. But, in these last days, and those last days were from Christ on. In these last days, from Christ on, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things and through Him He made the universe.
In these last days, from Christ on, He is not speaking to us any more through new prophecies. He is not speaking to us in many and in various ways, through dreams and visions and angels. He is speaking to us through His Son. His Son came to this earth to speak words we could understand, to have actions we could see and comprehend, and to go to a cross to do something for us we could never do for ourselves. That is through His Son.
These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
Then that Son said, “I am going to go away but it is good for you, the apostles, that I am going away because when I do, I will send the Holy Spirit to you.” He is the great counselor. Sometimes you wonder. But He said He will send a wonderful counselor to you, and that is not one of us. He is the Son of God.
14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
I will take the things of mine and make them known to you. I am going to tell you what is going to happen in the future. And He did. When He did, those apostles wrote those things down, instructed by God the Holy Spirit to do so. Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they recorded the very mind of God for us to be able to look at it and read today. That is the very Spirit that lives in us to interpret what the Spirit wrote to us.
That is all through His Son. There are no additional prophecies out there. There are no additional visions, dreams and appearances. It is all now spoken to us through His Son. When we come to realize that, we can stop seeking because we have already found.
As we conclude our lesson together, it is important to realize that before Christianity spread through the first century world, the word of God was a word more often associated with fear than of hope. A pagan had no concept of a just God who loved him. For most men, the gods were unjust, unconcerned and unpredictable. Religions were there as an attempt to attract a god’s attention to placate this vindictive attitude toward men that they perceived their god had. For others, especially among the Greeks, god was simply an unknowable force. Philosophy replaced religion and man’s intellect was there for deification. The world’s religions are diverse but all share a single attribute. Mankind’s religions are attempts to convert God to our way whereby Christianity was God’s plan to convert men to His way.
We fell and when Adam fell and became like god and we came into this world in Adam, being like God, then man attempted to make God like us. Jesus Christ turned man’s religious system upside down by teaching them about a God who is not only interested in them, but who actually took the initiative to restore a relationship with man. And in Luke 15, as an example, he compared God to a shepherd, who searches high and low for a very single lost sheep out of a hundred. Why? To show a God of love, of understanding, compassion, a God who sees you and understands you, and loves you, and not one who came to do a side show, not one who came to be a miracle man. But a God who came to meet the deepest need of your heart, and that is to teach you of His love and acceptance of you in all ways. In Luke, Jesus told them this parable.
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
That is the mind of God, that He will search high and low for one person that is lost, and then return. Even the angels in rejoice over one sinner who repents.
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
That is a God who desires all men to be saved and come to repentance.
He gave another example of a woman who diligently searches her home for a single lost coin.
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Or He says to a loving father who desires to return to a lost and foolish son, as we learn in verse 11-24, called the prodigal son.
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses,
He is saying, “I would like to have some pig food. I am so hungry.” No one gave him anything. Now that is important, that he comes to his senses.
he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him
Why did he see him? He was looking for him. He was longing for him. When he saw him coming, filled with compassion for him. He did not wait for his son to come to him, but he ran to him. That is a picture of Christ coming to us. He did not wait for us to come to him. We were still out reveling in our sins. But He came to us.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Scroungy on the outside, probably dirty and smelly, but the father, that was my son returning home.