Wandering From Truth
Self-deception is quite possible if you stray away from the revealed Truth of God.
Alright. Thank you very much. And hello, again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You’re doing all right today? Well, I’m fine, thank you. Nice of you to ask. Nice to be back with you just to share from the Word of God.
I’m looking now in the pages of my big Bible here, at 1 Timothy chapter four. We just got started the last time we got together. In the first verse of chapter four, 1 Timothy, “The Spirit speaketh expressly.” You remember I paused to remind you that whenever God emphasizes something, He does so because it’s important. Emphasis is added in the Scripture sometimes by repeating things. Whenever a statement or a truth is repeated, it’s because it’s so tremendously important. For example, there’s an Old Testament passage that says, “The just shall live by faith.” Turn to the New Testament, and you find it three times quoted, “The just shall live by faith.” In Romans and elsewhere in the Epistles, “The just shall live by faith.” Why? Because the only way you can get anywhere with God is by faith, not by your works, but by faith. Works, good works, follow a commitment of faith.
You find that taught so clearly in Ephesians 2:8 to 10, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Good works follow the commitment of faith.
Well, that’s just one illustration of the way God emphasizes things. Here you have it now particularly emphasized, “The Spirit speaketh expressly.” You and I live in what the Bible calls “the latter times.” We know that because the prophecies that are connected with the end of this age of grace have largely been fulfilled. Israel is back in the land, wars, rumors of wars, increasing earthquakes, increasing wickedness, the falling away from the faith going along concurrently with a stirring up of God’s church. The things that have happened recently in Christian work, although they’re shocking and upsetting, are part of the way God is shaking things up in His church, getting believers ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There’ll be a great stirring, a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God at the end of the age. And so, as I say, most of the prophecies that we know of that must be fulfilled at the end of this age of grace have already been fulfilled. “Latter times,” we’re in them.
Now, He says, “The Spirit speaketh expressly.” You’d better be aware of this, in other words. “Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies and hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, commended to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving. Of them which believe and know the truth.” Now, “Some shall depart from the faith.” That word “depart” is the Greek work “apostasy.” They’ll stand away from, drift away from, stand away from the faith.
We went on, then, the last time we got together, to discuss that phrase “seducing spirits.” And I went over a few of the passages that have to do with seducing people and things. “Manasseh, the king, brought back the old idolatry into Israel. He seduced, the Bible says, Israel. And then, in Ezekiel 13, verse 10, we spoke of the false prophets who say, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace and when they are prophesying falsely. “Untempered mortar,” the Prophet calls it.
Seduction of people oftentimes comes through a deliberate misrepresentation of what is really going on. One of the illustrations of that is that Pearl Harbor occurred while representatives of the governments involved were conferring in Washington about matters having to do with peace. And while they were saying “peace,” the war actually was beginning at the cost of thousands of lives.
Then, our Lord Jesus talked about false Christs coming with signs and wonders. Seduction of people oftentimes comes through an application and a use of the supernatural. The use of the supernatural is not limited to God. Demons in this world system have access to all sorts of what the Bible calls, “Signs and wonders.” Don’t be led astray because something seems to have occurred that is beyond the pale of natural wisdom and normal human powers. Just because somebody can do something unusual does not prove that he or she or they come from God. John the Apostle says, “Beloved, believe not all the spirits, but try the spirits whether they be of God.” And he said, “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” The great test of whether or not a thing is from God is to find out what the relationship is with the Lord Jesus Christ.
People may tell you, “Oh, yes, I believe in Jesus.” I’ve had people say that to me, “Oh, I believe in Jesus.” And I then ask them, “Do you believe that He is indeed God, as much as God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit?” “Oh, no.” See, there is the dividing line. So you need to be aware of the fact that the use of the supernatural is not proof that somebody is speaking for, or from God. Then, Paul says in 1 Timothy 3, “Deceiving and being,” 2 Timothy 3, “Being deceiving and being deceived.” Seduction has to do with deliberate deception, but it ends up with the deceiver, himself or herself, being led astray. I’ve seen this happen in people’s lives, from time to time. It’s the old story of the fisherman who told the lie so often, that he believed it himself. Self-deception is quite possible if you stray away from the revealed Truth of God.
And so, John the Apostle says, “I’m writing this to you, because I want to warn you about those who lead you astray.” The idea of seduction has to do with just leading people a little by a little away from the main highway of truth. Well, these are some of the passages that we just started to talk about, the last time we got together, seducing spirits. Watch out for anybody that says, “Look, what you believe is all right, but just add this.” Or, “What you believe is fine, but you also need this.” Or, “What you believe about Jesus is fine, but there are other things that are important. Why not think about them as well?” Leading you astray.
Now, he then goes on to use the phrase “doctrines of demons.” Did you know that the demons have doctrines, as well? Of course they do. Doctrine is what the devil believes. Now, the devil’s belief is based on the fact that you can be as good as God. You can get along, ultimately, without God. That’s what we call “secular humanism” in our day. It’s taught in schools all across the world, and particularly, in the schools and colleges of the United States. Secular, godless, humanism is taught as the religion of academia, in these days. And you have constantly to be on your guard against it.
The devil’s doctrine is very simple, but he uses it with great effect, just as he did in the Garden of Eden. Said he to Eve and to Adam, “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. You can better yourself by getting along apart from the command of God. By disobeying God, you can better yourself by going it on your own without God.” Now, that’s what the humanists say in their credo. You can read it for yourself, the one that was originally signed some years ago, and then they’ve updated it recently. The Humanist Society says you don’t need God, or the church, or a commitment to any deity. You can get along by yourself. There is enough in human nature to make you self-sufficient. That’s what they believe.
Now, when I reminded one of the leaders of that group, when I appeared with her on television a while back, when I reminded her that she had signed that document, saying that you don’t really need God or the church, or anything, she blew up. She didn’t like to be reminded of the fact that that’s where she stands because it didn’t mix very well with what she was then saying. What she was saying, actually, was that while they had spent a whole day in conference with all sorts of leaders around the theme “Fundamentalist preachers are endangering American freedom.” Can you imagine that? Well, that was their theme. And so, to be reminded that her commitment was anti-God in the beginning really didn’t mix very well.
Well, anyhow, you have this problem. You have the doctrine of the devil. What is it? You can get along without God. You can get along without obeying God. You can better yourself apart from submission to God. That is the devil’s doctrine. Don’t believe it. It is a very tempting doctrine, especially for those of you who are in your salad days, and you’re reaching for something significant in life, and you want to be somebody, and you want to be accepted by the crowd.
All of the great drives of human nature are making themselves felt in your life.
And then somebody says, talks to you about obeying God’s Word, and God’s will, and you say, “Oh, I don’t want to be fenced in. Don’t fence me in. I want to do my thing. I want to be free to be me.” All of these clichés that we’ve learned to mouth easily, that have to do with self-expression, and self-realization.
And the whole basis of it is the devil’s doctrine. Don’t bother with God. You can do better without Him. That’s the devil’s doctrine. Turn to the Word of God and find the blessed Spirit of God speaking to you through the Lord Jesus’s words, as you read them. “Without me,” said He, “Ye can do nothing.”
Nothing is nothing is nothing is nothing. You cannot qualify it. He says, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” Yes, you need God. Yes, you need the touch of God upon your life. Yes, you must obey God’s will if you’re going to get anywhere in life. Yes, you can call upon the wisdom of almighty God for the decisions that you need to make day by day. You can plug in, so to speak, to Heaven’s switchboard and have all of the Divine wisdom and plan of God operative in your life. That’s the blessed alternative to godless, secular humanism. The doctrines of demons are very simple. Their doctrine is, “You can get along without God.” God’s doctrine is, “You need me, and you can have access to me any moment for I will never,” He said, “Leave thee nor forsake thee.” Hallelujah for that!
Dear Father today, keep us in line with Thy truth and Thyself. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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