Driving from home to work, I heard the most amazing and encouraging verses from the Scriptures found in Hebrews chapter ten while I was listening to the Bible on CD:
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come-In the volume of the book it is written of Me-to do Your will, O God.’” 8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:5-10
I was so encouraged and amazed at the wonderful mighty grace of God given to us through His Son Jesus Christ, that He has sanctified us forever through the offering of His own body, because of God’s kind will. Then I had another thought. This thought brought dismay, sadness, and anger to my heart. There are so many who are consuming the bitter words of men and women rather than feasting upon the luscious sweetness of God’s glorious Word which alone teaches us about the grace of God given to us through His Son Jesus Christ. It is in the Bible that we find the truth, the doctrines, about the dire need of unregenerate sinners, all of humanity, for salvation from the degradation of sin and God’s judgment of the sinner in hell for eternity, and the magnanimous provision of salvation given to us through the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross for our forgiveness and His resurrection from the dead for our justification that we can be reconciled to God as our Father and saved from His holy righteous wrath. However, so many turn instead to books, blogs, radio and television programs, movies, seminars, conferences, music festivals for the treacherous teachings of fallen sinners which lead them astray causing them to err and turn from Jesus Christ to their own way. The holy Word of God has much to say about trusting Him and His truth as opposed to believing in the lies of false teachers and prophets who lead the lost into idolatry. Those who are His through faith in Jesus Christ greatly love His word and find it sweet to their souls!
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11
97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. 102 I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:97-104
God’s word enlightens our hearts and minds by His Holy Spirit so that we turn from evil and pursue what is good. We turn from our way and obey God’s way. We turn from falsehoods and lies and hold fast to and love the truth. We turn from idolatry and turn to knowing, loving and serving the living God.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their trouble. 18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:8-18
God uses His word to work within us a broken heart and contrite spirit when we realize our sin and our great transgression against the Lord God Almighty. He teaches us to fear Him through His Word and we gain a heart of wisdom so that we tremble at His truth and declarations of judgment upon the wicked. God honors those who honor Him by believing, respecting and trembling at His Word. God blesses those who know and obey Him.
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. 17 “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.” Malachi 3:16-17
1 “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word…5 Hear the word of the Lord, You who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66:1-2 & 5
God greatly blesses those who know Him and tremble at His Word. We don’t need lofty buildings to glorify Him. The words and works of men lead them astray and turn their hearts to hate those who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God has nothing but just judgment for them and exposes their evil hypocrisy through His Holy Scriptures.
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight. Isaiah 5:18-21
15 “Therefore thus says 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 Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’” 16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace”’; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’” 18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury-a violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. 21 “I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. 23 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? 24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord. 25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. 28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord. 29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” 30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’” 32 “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness.” “Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all”, says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:15-32
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teaches among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1-3
If someone teaches contrary to the Scriptures, teaches without reference to the Scriptures, teaches from their own thoughts and opinions, teaches from the doctrines of fallen men, teaches, saying that they have received “a word from the Lord”, then you know that person is a false teacher. They will comfort and confirm the sinner in their departure from the ways of God. They will encourage and strengthen the hand of the sinner in following an evil course. The Christian church in America abounds with false teachers. Some of the more prominent false teachers are Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Beth Moore, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Mark Driscoll, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Gregg Laurie, Joel Osteen, and many, many more. It is with great sadness that I realize that the majority of church goers care nothing for the Word of God and are content to be led astray by the false teachers of our day and days gone by. They love the bitter offerings of the wicked unredeemed and despise the sweetness of the marvelous Word of God. They refuse the mighty work that God does in the hearts of sinners through His Word by His Holy Spirit. Such is our day. May God bless us with a fervent devotion to Him and His truth, and a consistent reliance upon Him as we spend time in His word and godly devotion to Him by prayer and worship through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.