Monthly Archives: March 2013

What about traditions?

False teachings, Traditions and Faulty Philosophy are common words we attribute the enemy’s “tares” among the seeds of truth.  If you went and Google’d “tradition”  its defined as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way; A long established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way.” You can tell that these things are age-old, deeply rooted mindsets, irregardless of their value and truth.

Being a true follower of Jesus Christ of Nazareth – the Son of God, He who died on the cross for all humanity and blotted out all our sins and reconciled us to the Father, one needs to pay attention to the warnings about the dangers of the “traditions of men”.

We already talked about the true path of Eternal life, confirmed the message of the wedding feast and learned about bearing fruit.  We have been warned about the “subtle deceitfulness” that permeates in this world (and yes, there’s a lot out there so go discern). This issue about “traditions” is big in the arena of life. The list below paints a picture of how God views the traditions of man looking back since the days of Moses as they came out of Egypt.

Leviticus 18:3

After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.

*note: “ordinances” may also means ‘custom’, or something prescribed

Lets see the context of the NT reference found in Matthew 15:1-12~

1 . Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to [his] father or [his] mother, [It is] a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;

6 And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

7 [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.

9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

10 . And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

In verse 12, notice the word of interest ‘offended’ as we discussed before, there is always this significant trademark reaction which reminds us of the tell tale signs when this happens to us. The same incident from Mark’s viewpoint below shows even more the impact of men’s ‘traditions’ – it replaces God’s commandments.

Mark 7:5-16~

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, [It is] Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; [he shall be free].

12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

14 And when he had called all the people [unto him], he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one [of you], and understand:

15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

It is perfectly clear what Jesus said – that, by keeping with traditions:

  1. we sin against God,
  2. we reject God’s commandments replacing it with our own,
  3. we put to no effect His commandments,
  4. we worship Him in vain

Now, this is the part when it gets ‘itchy’ and  people then begin to justify their actions by trying to explain the context of scripture to suit their inclinations and their desires. Remember the passages from: 2Timothy 4:3-4

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

also 2Peter 3:16,

16 As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know [these things] before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

here in Jude 1:18,19,

18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

Traditions come in all shapes and sizes so lets put them in perspective. If you dare to agree, I see 3 major classes of traditions:

1.) Includes every practice that is not of God : warned about in God’s word; anything that opposes what the scripture says Ungodly tradition can become our downfall if we allow it, by ignoring the warnings or not knowing God’s commandments. Even in the days of Moses as we read from Leviticus, God is not happy with the vain practices that go against His will. He warned them even before:

Deuteronomy 18:9

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

Having good intentions does not excuse us from God’s anger. We recall the Israelites who just witnessed God’s power in the Exodus. Things went well for them , having escaped Egypt, saw the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire,  miraculously crossed the Red Sea, they sang songs to praise God, ate the manna but later put up the golden calf:

Exodus 32:7-10~

7 . And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]:

8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it [is] a stiffnecked people:

10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

Jeremiah 10:2-4 – warnings don’t end, we shouldn’t follow what the ungodly do!

2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

I know a few pagan traditions that are embraced by many professing Christians today: Christmas/ Santa, reindeer  elves and the tree, Easter/ Egg hunts,  Halloween/ Trick or treating, horoscopes and lucky charms.

There are other traditions we’ll have to talk about separately, false teachings that some major churches today practice. Sadly if the members only took time to read their Bibles (like the 10 commandments in Exodus 20), they shouldn’t fall prey.

Mostly, people simply don’t know. But one need not be in a library to read about them, in this day and age, there’s no excuse not to learn anything. The sad part is getting folks offended when told the truth. The frame of thought seem to be – ‘My friends are doing it, I don’t want to be left out or be the odd one’. This is another very dangerous position.

 

2.) The Old Testament Traditions  – Procedural, numerical, organized, rudimentary practices. All of which are part of the God-given rules called the Law. To me, the original God given laws thru Moses expresses the justice system of Heaven and was lovingly designed to keep God’s children a chosen people separate from the other peoples in that they are to be pure and so blessed among all nations. Though it wasnt able to make one righteous in the sight of God for by now we know ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’. Instead the law was to be used to judge His people. See more about the law in our study of Romans 2 here.

But as it is written, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, the Lamb of God, when He died, put the New covenant into effect. His death was the last and final act of sacrifice that was needed to reconcile us to God. Even the strictest compliance to the Law will not save anyone. Its only by the blood of the Lamb. Anything else is done in vain.

1Peter 1:18 & 19:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 

It is further explained that the way His people pursued God’s law does not meet His standards, it says in Romans 9:31,32~

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32 Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

 

Walk in faith in Christ. See Colossians 2:6 -14…

6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him:

7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 . And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

 

3.) The New Testament “traditions” – No ordinances here. In the following verses, the same Greek word “paradosis” was used to refer to “tradition” which the apostles taught by the word (of God) or by the testimony in their epistles or letters. If you follow the teaching of the author of Salvation, Jesus Christ the Messiah, you’ll never go wrong. God sees the heart and cannot be mocked by rituals and man made ceremonies.

2Thessalonians 2:13-15~

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 . But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

2Thessalonians 3:6~ warning in the letter

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

 

The “traditions” I desire to set as examples and leave for my children to continue would be these, So help me God:

  1. Daily reading and doing what God’s word, the bible, says (Joshua 1:8, Mark 12:29)
  2. Putting other’s need ahead of my own (Mark 12:31)
  3. Praying without ceasing (1Thes 5:17; Mark 14:38)
  4. Thanking God always (Ephesians 5:20)
  5. Singing praises to God always (Ephesians 5:19)
  6. Sharing the gospel of repentance to others (Luke 24:47)
  7. Keeping with the gathering of fellow believers, encouraging and helping each other (Hebrews 10:25)
  8. Teaching my children the ways of God in everything I do (Deut 11:19)

 

If you observe the change in the governance, technology, literature, arts, music, and everyday life for the past few centuries till now, you clearly notice that mankind has drifted further away from God and went more to worldly, temporal things.  Worldly traditions have indeed flourished and even morphed into fads and trends causing more people to stick to them and remain blinded and deaf to the truth of God and His coming judgement.

In 2 Peter 3, here’s advice to those whose eyes are open and ears that hear: verse 11 .

[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

verse 14

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

verse 18 

But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.

In Colossians 3 we find…

1 . If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

May God bless you and keep you from falling and stumbling. May you find peace and be on your way to the path that God is taking you. All this I pray in Jesus Christ our Messiah, Lord grant our request. Amen

Psalm 150 – Praise Ye The Lord!

This is the last psalm in the Bible. Its one of the shortest but it teaches us a very profound lesson about the various ways of praising the Lord our God. The first mentioned is giving praise to God in His Sanctuary. The words sanctuary, temple and house and body are often times interchangeable in scripture.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says~

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s

In this case, ‘praise Him in HIS sanctuary’,  means, yes, praise Him with your body!

When in Christ, we no longer live by our own but in Christ who lives in us!

see Galatians 2:20~

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

God’s will and purpose for you is to serve Him and give Him glory in all you do, use your body to glorify Him and give Him praise!

The psalm says ‘praise Him in the firmament of His Power’ – I’m thinking: ‘the Heavens’, lets praise Him in the Heavens and pray for His Kingdom to come and destroy the works of the enemy in our lives and in this world.

Then its says “praise Him for His mighty acts …according to His excellent greatness”. You see, all glory belongs only to our God and to Him alone because He’s the only one able to give life, He is our Great and Awesome God, He’s never surprised about anything. His ‘excellent greatness’ is everywhere – look at the world around you, the mountains, nature and the creation, the seas and the celestial expanse, and much more…your very breath and life! He wants to give us better things than these, a better world in Eternal Life with Him. If only we’d love Him more than His gifts.

The  rest of the psalm tells of other ways to praise Him (which seem mostly musical, but definitely have a hidden wisdom there too) – for we all have our unique individual styles like instruments in an orchestra. Whatever ministry you are in, whatever talent you have, whatever thing you are good at, praise God with it as it is His will and purpose for you to praise Him, worship Him and glorify Him with that gift.

 

Psalm 150

play – Mar 16 Psalm 150 – Praise Him

@Sound Check> Here’s a quick take I made today. The earliest one made back in October 27, 2012 had a detail I couldn’t fix at this point. Psalms and any other word of scripture need to be as accurate as possible to the Word of God, its no joke to mess around with God’s Word. I pray we don’t make that mistake. Grant us wisdom and discernment, O God. In Jesus Christ’s name,  Amen.

Psalm 47 – O Clap your hands

Sing Ye praises with understanding! Here is a psalm which describes God’s coming and its pretty accurate with the accounts of other books written in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. So wonderful it inspires the reader of the glory of the coming of the Lord and the wondrous promises and great hope we have in Him. Great promises are in store for the ones He called for Himself, His own people. The shields of the earth belongs to Him, so who can be against us who are called His children, who can withstand God? This could very well be the victory song we’ll all sing in the end of days.

The psalm was for the ‘sons of Korah’, which reminds me of the same children the Korahites who lead the singing and the praising during King Jehoshaphat’s reign (see 2 Chronicles 20). This is when the king called for the dramatic ‘gathering’ of all the people (in Judah) to pray together for the Lord’s protection against three enemies that were attacking them. At this point, King Jehoshaphat humbled himself and lead his people, seeking God and taking that stand to raise arms not for war, but for praising and worshiping the Lord and claiming the promises God made to their father Abraham. Indeed God was faithful to His word and ‘cleaned up’ the enemy not by the might of Judah’s army but by His power which ended up with the enemies ambushing and slaughtering each other in a form of a ‘divine confusion’ (which is common in the Old testament record where God shows His Glory to His people and the heathen). Later, when the people searched for their enemies, what they saw in front of them was a scene of dead bodies and 3 days worth of treasures left for them to plunder! What a gift! This is the God we serve, if only we remain true to Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Obedience is the basic form of worship. Praise the Lord God, Great and Awesome, the Lord of Hosts!

Psalm 47

click on this link – November 2013 Family version – “O Clap your Hands”

play – Sept 30 Psalm 47 orig

@ Sound Check> The latest recording was done in November 2013, in one of our family prayer meetings, truly sweet sounding song with an acoustic guitar. The September 30th recording is the first unrehearsed-recorded version of the psalm and its a whole chapter if you noticed. Truly a wonderful take, I don’t know where that second voice-sounding tone came from, its a bit of an ‘odd’ harmonic that I could never replicate after tuning my guitar a few weeks after this take. Its almost like a choir of angels singing in the background if you listened closely. Great and Wonderful God, Praise be your Name, and for your gift of this song. Another blessing from the True and Ever-Living God!

I peer through the window as I sing this song, I imagined what a great and exciting time to sing this, the day Jesus Christ returns, a Glorious and Triumphant entry it will indeed be!

Psalm 51 – Create in Me (A Prayer for Pardon and Renewal)

This Psalm is the first song that I got in the series of psalms that the Lord revealed.  Its a prayer song for pardon and renewal. To me, its a song coming from a desperate heart desiring God’s restoration of Joy and Peace with Him, knowing God will do it.

This passage was revealed to me back in 2011 when my life was in a bit of a disarray, it was a time when I needed peace of heart. I didn’t know this desire so much as to word it out to God and ask it but He gave it to me anyway. At that point, I was just deeply burdened by things around me. Questions arise in my head – was I doing the right thing, was I supposed to do something else instead or am I being too hard on myself, etc… As a new (revived) Christian, I had regrets about the decisions I made, I made a lot of immature choices, I didn’t understand a lot of things, made vows that I wasn’t too ready to do but at the onset was filled with courage to stand up for. It is wonderful to just let God have His way and be led by His Spirit, but almost always, I needed to be encouraged later. The psalm’s message shifted my perspective as I asked God to restore me, to change me and not necessarily my present situation.

Back then, I can’t say I made a lot of great choices, I often later felt otherwise. Looking back now, I realized how God arranged the circumstances in those days to establish my ways today. We really need to be encouraged all the time and remain in that joy of knowing that God’s Salvation is at hand and He is in charge of this life. Since then, this prayer has always been my peacemaker and quiet time song when I need to re-charge and regain my stand in this battle.

Psalm 51:10~12

img002

play – Psalm 51 : 10~12 – Create in Me

@Sound Check> The song file is the newer version that I recorded last year in November. But 2 years before around maybe March 2011 is when I remember recording the first version on my now obsolete mini mp3 recorder. Being the first song, its used to have its lyrics taken from the NIV.

God’s trees bear good Fruits!

One of the important stages in our lives as believers is the growing up stage and moving on to the next step in maturing in the faith and catching up with the learnings that we have long since been blinded to while we were yet sinners. This begs the question: so what do I do after this wonderful gift of a new life in Christ? Whats next?

IMG_4350

 

 

 

If you only dare to look for the word “fruit” in the Bible, the KJV will lead you to a couple of passages, here’s a few of them:

John the Baptiser says in Luke 3:8-9

8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

in Luke 13:9 Jesus tells of a parable that alludes to this “bearing fruit” concept which also reiterates…

And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.

Yes, its pretty clear that Christians who proclaim they are, should bear fruit in their being. It seems quite obvious what the outcome be if they didn’t.

What type of fruits are we talking about here? Its not anything we can really muster on our own without sensing we’re only trying to be someone we’re not or for other people who knows the real life we live to say its mere showing off, or temporal that the effects are fleeting. They really can tell cant they. We’re talking about fruits that can only come from the root of everything we believe in – Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

in John 15:4-5, Jesus says:

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

In Galatians we are taught of several fruits that are essential for believers to have. Its time we reflected on our own lives about these things, not to say we have this and that and so we finally got it, definitely not, but to see if we have followed Christ’s example about all of them in spirit and in truth.

Galatians 5:22,23:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

  • Love – The greatest of all; unconditional even unto death for those that don’t deserve it
  • Joy – true gladness of heart coming from the hope in the Lord for everything
  • Peace – True security and calmness in the Lord in any situation
  • Longsuffering – Patience and endurance while in the world, undergoing temptations, persecutions, handling afflictions
  • Gentleness – true gentleness in character and demeanor, integrity. Top notch moral values
  • Goodness – Kindness of heart for others in need and lost, not only ones close to you which should have been your first priority anyway.
  • Faith – One that doesn’t rely on sight, knowledge or on oneself or others but only in God. Faith that can move mountains.
  • Meekness – true Humility. Accepting mistakes. Not wanting recognition for ones’ achievements, letting the person have the glory understanding that your Father in heaven knows everything. Knowing that everything on earth is temporal and seeking the heavenly treasures of God instead.
  • Temperance – Self Control: in arguments, in getting angry, at a time of testing/ temptation, following that still small voice reminding you what you ought to do instead of satisfying that urge, always resisting the devil (see James 4:7)

Jesus wanted us to glorify the Father by bearing much fruit, lets do so by following how He spoke, responded, acted and thought.

John 15:8 says-

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

 

The next season

Observe the pigs, in their lifetime, they don’t do much but eat, make a mess, sleep and wait for the day of the butcher. They serve their purpose in life feeding the guests. Compare these to the cows that give milk, do some work, then provide its meat, it goes a long way serving the farmer. So does sheep that gives its coat and grows a new one before it also is required later for the slaughter. Mind you farmers treat cows and sheep better than them filthy pigs.

Did you ever noticed that grain crops need to be sown only once, later harvested then much later the waste thrown to the fire? After all this you see the farmer in the next season doing the same thing but with new seeds to grow fresh stalks of wheat, rice or corn…

Spring time breakout

Spring time breakout

Id really rather be a fruit tree that one can expect to pick fruits from in season never having to plant all over again. Of course it takes a few years to grow from seeds to a mature tree, but to the gardener that prunes and cultivates it, its worth the wait. He knows this tree will bear much fruit in the next season.

You have a God that loves you more than these. He treats you as His own child, He wants you to grow and be fruitful now and in the next season. Our wisdom is so negligible compared to His. Were so content just to get by in this world, spoiling in the gifts we get from Him, that we’re alive and were happy and free to do what we like. We hate and curse Him in our pain, forgetting our own mistakes and the much discipline that we need. Instead of enduring the hurt and learning from our failures and allowing Him to heal us, we respond in arrogance and rebellion.

Consider this, after doing your best to recover them, what would you finally do with a helplessly dying pig or the disease stricken milk-less cow or a field of dead wheat stalks or a crooked, fruitless tree in the middle of your yard?

In a separate season, the season of cleaning up, all these will be destroyed and burned up.

Would you soon bear fruit and make it to the next season?

The Battle for Truth

No matter how much we strive, the truth remains.

We are told not to get fooled by the subtlety of the world…

2 Corinthians 11:3

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

There are people who “subtly creep” in, whose intentions are wicked since the beginning…

Jude 1:4

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the last days its been said  about scoffers and/or mockers.

2Peter 3:3

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

We are also warned of false teachers.

2Peter2:1

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

 

We heard about men avoiding the Word and taking teachers for themselves to send a “tickling” message to their ears. Messages that they want to hear.

2Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Were told these people want to avoid the truth as it doesn’t fit their desire.
The wicked will be wicked and they are “driven by their own lusts”.
God has given them over to their own delusions so much as believe the lie they tell themselves.

2Thessalonians 2:11,12

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

By grace you are here today, being given the discernment to hear the truth and thus know the lies and half-truths when you hear them. The liars and their lies wont endure long.
Remember the passage about the enemy scattering seeds of weeds (tares) among the good ones?

This is how the enemy works. Matthew 13:24-30

24  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 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?

28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 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.

There can only be one truth and one source. He gave us His Spirit to direct us and give us wisdom and discernment and bringing to remembrance the things which Jesus said and taught.

In John 14:26, Jesus Christ says-

But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

It should be our practice to spend our time reading the word of God not only for encouraging ourselves in the Lord as David did on 1 Samuel 30:6…

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

 

but also to feed our mind with the words of God.

Matthew 4:4 says…

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

His Word is alive and powerful it is also  “profitable for reproof and correction”. It separates the soulish portion of our being from what is spiritual.

 

Hebrews 4:12

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.

To be able to discern according to God’s will, one will have to ask God to set his mind to the desires of God’s Spirit rather than the fleshly desires that connects to this world. Normally when I’m in one of life’s crossroads, I try to take the way that least feeds my pride. It ends up better.

Romans 8:5-6-

5 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.

6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.

 

Secondly, praying will enable us to avoid temptation.

Matthew 26:41

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

 

It shouldn’t be different the way we talk to the Lord in our quiet time from the way we pray when confronted in a bus crowd by a foul mouthed teenager asking for money or at home when praying to the Lord for guidance as to how and what to say to the person knocking at the door trying to preach a strange doctrine or on the driveway as we notice an old neighbor we don’t get to talk to so often.

 

Note this phrase: “subtly creeping in”. Remember, there’s only one Truth. The other one is a lie. If what you know is not a lie according to God’s Spirit telling you through His word, then you know which one to believe.

Jesus said in John 15:26…

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Therefore test the spirits:

1John 4:1

1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

 

God bless you with more discernment and maturity in your faith.