Using Truth to Confront Error

 INTRODUCTIONIt has become increasingly popular in many churches across the United States to call into question, or, actually disagree with the Word of God. It is reported commonly that many so-called Christian pastors are changing their views on many doctrinal positions to conform to the culture. It is reported that many of these Christian pastors, so-called, have taken a stance that “homosexual marriage” should be legal, or is legally permissible. Many of these same so-called pastors, whose job it is to “rightly divide the word of truth” and to correctly “shepherd the flock of God”, have stated such things (1) God did not create the heavens and the earth in six literal days; (2) There was no such literal persons as Adam and Eve; (3) There is no such thing as the garden of Eden; (4) There was no world-wide flood; (5) There is no such thing as heaven and hell, it’s just what you make of them in your mind; (6) Science has proven that the world is billions of years old; (7) There is no such thing as the great doctrine of substitutionary atonement and many other statements that contradict the Word of God. Some of these pastors, so-called, have asserted that the flood of Genesis 7 and 8 was only a regional flood; God did not bring the children of Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea, it was the Reed Sea and it only had a few inches of water (this raises a very problematic issue, to wit, how did the entire Egyptian Army drown in a few inches of water). Another matter that is under attack repeatedly from so-called Christian pastors is that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are merely allegory, not historical truths.THE VALIDATION BY JESUS            Jesus, himself, the Living Incarnate Word of God, validates the truth of the Holy Scriptures in multiple places. In John 14, Jesus said concerning Himself, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and no man comes unto the Father but by Me”. Again in John’s account of the gospel Jesus speaks of asking the Father to send a Helper. “The Spirit of Truth”….who “……will teach you all things……”In John chapter 16, Jesus says regarding His “going away”, “for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you…..” However, when He, The Spirit of Truth has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:6-15)            The Old Testament also validates the truth and, therefore, the accuracy of the Holy Scriptures. The Psalmist writes:            “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making      wise the simple; the statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the    Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the           judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them your             servant is warned, and in keeping them is great reward. (Psalm19)            The Psalmist also says that God’s Word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalms119).             In Numbers 23:19 we read:            “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of a man that He should repent. Has He said,      and will He not do? Or, has He spoken, and will He not make it good”?Biblical truth, the Word of God, is under attack in our day and age, unlike any time in the past. The attack is coming either  through ignorance, lack of study, lack of education, or intentionally from Christian pastors, so-called. Of course, Jesus Himself said, “take heed that no one deceive you. For many will come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. …….then many false profits will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24) The apostles also, being taught by the Holy Spirit, who Jesus said, will lead you into all truth, also warned of false teachers and false prophets. For example, the Apostle Peter says in Second Peter “But there were also false prophets among the people even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” (II Peter 2) Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, urges us “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” He gives the reason as being “for certain men have crept in unawares, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude vs. 3-4)SCRIPTURAL DIRECTION There are today churches that do not even purport to preach sound doctrine, but the conditions described above, are found in many so-called “conservative evangelical churches.” What if anything can be done? Peter gives an admonition as follows:                        “Therefore, beloved looking forward to these things, (a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells) be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction as they do also the rest of the scriptures.  You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:14-18)It is also Peter, who commands the pastors (the elders) to “shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willing, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the chief shepherd appears you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” (I Peter 5) The Apostle Peter also directs us as to what we should be doing in light of the fact of the coming day of the Lord when he says in Second Peter three “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct, and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:11-13)The admonition then is to stand fast! Stand fast!  These so-called Christian pastors are clearly undermining the Word of God, either through ignorance, lack of education, or intentionally. These men are choosing, for whatever reason, to believe the word of men, or to profess themselves wise, and not to believe the Word of God. The Apostle Paul addresses these things when he says in his epistle to the Galatians in chapter one, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than that which you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1) Paul also tells the church at Corinth “do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers………For you are the temple of the living God…….therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) These positions that these false teachers are taking are dangerous. In order to help us to understand how dangerous, we look first at who Jesus is; second at the fact of the undermining of God’s Word; and third, what we should do.JESUSThe writer of Hebrews gives us a description of Jesus in the very first chapter. He says “God, who at sundry times and in divers manors spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 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….” Thus we see Jesus is the last Word of God. Interestingly, we see in the gospel of John, in the very first chapter, that the eternal Word of God was the first Word of God. When God spoke, the gospel of John tells us that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1) We also see from the description in Hebrews that God has spoken His lastWord in the Son of God. Jesus is the heir of all things. He is the maker of all things. He is the brightness of the glory of God and the express image of His person. Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. It is Jesus who has purchased us from our sin. How dare anyone presume to dispute the Holy Word of God? We see the Apostle Paul saying in the second chapter of his epistle to the church at Ephesus that “we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus.” He Himself bore our sin in His own body on the cross that we might be dead unto sin and alive unto righteousness and by His stripes we are healed. (I Peter 3:24) One of the truths that has been under attack is the whole idea of the substitutionary atonement of Christ.  However, the Apostle Paul  tells us in second Corinthians “that He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (II Corinthians 5:21) Paul clearly, here (and other places), validates the great doctrine of substitutionary atonement by Jesus.THE DISPUTE OF THE GENESIS ACCOUNT OF CREATIONWhat has the fact that an increasing number of professing Christian pastors are declaring that they do not believe that the earth was created in six literal days, or that God brought about a world-wide flood to destroy sinful man, or that there was a real literal Adam and Eve, have to do with the doctrine of Jesus, the second person of the Trinity? Eternally, never changing, always the same? He is the only mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus? These ungodly positions taken by these men, are unbiblical positions. This failure to understand that the word of God is “our only rule of faith and practice,” calls into question everything that God has revealed in scripture. This is the age old attack. The serpent attacked Eve in the garden with the same attack, speaking to Eve, and saying “Has God said….?” It is the undermining of the Word of God. It is reported that a law professor on one occasion asked one of his students a question concerning the assigned case for overnight reading and study. When the student gave an answer, it was apparent to the professor that the student had neither read, nor understood the principal set forth in the case. The law professor, addressing the student, is reported to have said, “Your answer reminds me of a clock striking thirteen. Not only does it call into question what you are saying at the present time, but all that has gone before.” Such is the severe damage that those who, “professing themselves to be wise,” bring about when they announce that they no longer believe that the world was created in six literal days, or, that there was not a world-wide flood, or, that Adam and Eve were not literal persons created by God to live in the garden of Eden.Jesus Himself says in Matthew chapter nineteen , “Have you not read that He who had made them at the beginning made them male and female……?” Thus, clearly Jesus is authenticating the validity of Genesis 1:27 which says, “so God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.” We also read in the second chapter of Genesis that “this is the historyof the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,……” (Genesis 2:4). Thus, God’s word clearly states that what is found in Genesis, written by Moses, is the historical accountof the creation of the heavens and the earth and the creation of man, both male and female. In Genesis chapter two we go one to see that the male was called Adam and we see in Genesis three that Adam called his wife’s name Eve “because she was the mother of all living.”  Jesus thus authenticates and validates the Genesis account. It is a historicalaccount. Jesus is Truth itself. He is the living Word. God’s Word is Truth. He is our life, our redeemer, he is our sanctifier.When Jesus is praying in John chapter seventeen and states in the seventeenth verse His request that the Father “sanctify them in His word, His word is Truth,” He is specifically referencing the Old Testament and impliedly its validity and authenticity. As Paul says in his letter to the church at Ephesus ,“…give [no] place to the devil. These are attacks by the evil one. Do not listen to them! Take heed that you be not deceived”! THE PROBLEM OF UNDERMINING THE VALDITY AND AUTHENTICITY OF GOD’S WORDThe essence of the problem of those who state that the world was not created in a literal six days, or that Adam and Eve are not real, or that there was not a literal world-wide flood etc., as set forth herein above, is the damage that it does to the remainder of God’s Word. This is nothing but the continuation of the attack of the serpent in Genesis three when he said to Eve “Hast God said….?” It is like a clock striking thirteen. How do we know anything about the Lord God? It is only from His Word that we receive revelation of Him! Therefore, if one does not believe that the world was made in a literal six days, and states for his basis, that it has taken “billions of years” for the earth to evolve, how CAN one know the truth of what Jesus says when He calls the people to “Come unto to Me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give ye rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls?” How does one know that it is true when Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there you may be also, and where I go you know and the way you know.” (John 14) If one can pick and choose that portion of God’s word which one believes to be true, how does one know which portion of God’s word to believe? It has been reported that some of these men are actually saying God’s word is not inspired in all places. It’s only inspired in spots. And they take the position that they are inspired to spot the spots. Thus, when Jesus says that “I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me” how can they know to believe in Jesus. The simple truth is, they do not. If the trumpet sound an uncertain sound, how does the Army know where to go? Thus, these statements and basis by which many of these professing pastors call into question the authenticity and validity of God’s word are shameful and they undermine all of scripture. Come out from them and be ye separate from them!BIBICAL AUTHORITYWhat we see repeatedly in scripture is a direct contradiction to these false teachers. We see this statement from second Timothy chapter three verse sixteen that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16,17) A note appearing in the Geneva Study Bible as a part of a commentary on this particular verse of scripture states concerning the authority of scripture, in pertinent part the following:“The Christian principal of Biblical authority means that God is the author of the Bible, and has given it to direct the belief and the behavior of His people. Our ideas about God and our conduct should be measured, tested, and where necessary corrected and enlarged, by reference to the Bible. Authority is also the right to command. God’s written word in its truth and wisdom is the way God has chosen to exercise His rule over us, and scripture is the instrument of Christs’ Lordship over the church.”(1)            We are created in Christ Jesus to be holy and without sin as we see in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 1:4) We see the same thing in Romans eight where Paul writes under the inspiration and authority of the Holy Spirit to the effect that we have been saved so that “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit.” (Romans 8:4) Truth is the means by which holiness is attained, but error and deception are inherent to evil. Deceit always looks like truth! Truth is discerned by God’s people as a sheer gift. Truth is basic to Godliness. Indeed, we see in second Timothy three fifteen that ….” the Holy Scriptures…. are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”. Moreover, the specific contentions by many of these men that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are not historical truths are particularly damaging. It is in these initial chapters of Genesis that we see that “in Adam all die” therefore we can understand that in Christ who is the last Adam, all in Him shall be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:12-28) Therefore, if one does not believe in the first Adam, how can one believe in the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ? WHAT WE ARE TO DO            If you are in a church where the person occupying the pulpit is taking any of these positions, or perhaps others that I have not stated herein, but  positions which undermine the truth of scripture and 1-Geneva Study Bible page 1922the authority and validity of God’s word, what should you do? First, be like the Berean Christians, who “received the Word with all readiness and searched the scriptures…to find out whether these things were so.” Get a commentary like Matthew Henry, or Martyn Lloyd Jones, or William Hendrix before yougo.(2) Look at, read, and study the sixth chapter of Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus. Pay particular attention to verses ten through twenty where we see that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this age and spiritual wickedness in high places.” Therefore, be sure that you have you armor on. Check yourself out with what is written in scripture and see to it that you have got on the whole armor of God, that you will be able “to stand against the wiles of the devil.” “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Pray to the Lord and tell Him that you are weak, but He is strong. You are dependent on Him. Ask the Lord God to help you because you are otherwise helpless. Remember that “we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of spirit of power, and of love and of a sound mind”.            Second, stand fast! Write out your argument, then go to the one expressing such matters and showhim that he is wrong.  Tell him that he cannot possibly rely upon the authority of man to contradict the authority of the Word of God. If  he says that science shows that there have been billions of years ask him which scientist has been around that long. This position is nothing more than that of those who do not likethe Word of God, therefore they do not approve of the Word of God. They do not validate its authority and validity because they would otherwise realize that they have been created and they have a master and therefore required to be in submission to Him. Remember we are at war! In a book by S. D Gordon entitled Quiet Talks on Prayer, you see that Gordon describes praying as being the language of warfare. Gordon states:“The greatest agency put into man’s hands is prayer. To understand that at all fully one needs to define prayer. And to define prayer adequately, one must use the language of war. Peace language is not equal to the situation. The earth is in the state of war. It is being hotly besieged and so one must use war talk to grasp the facts with which prayer is concerned. Prayer from God’s side is communication between Himself and His allies in the enemies country. (Emphasis in the original)Now, prayer is this: a man, one of the original trustee class, who received the earth in trust from God, and who gave its control over to Satan: a man, on the earth, the poor old Satan-stolen, sin-slimed, sin-cursed, contested earth; a man, on the earth, with his life in full touch with the victor, and shear out of touch with the pretender-prince, incessantly claiming that Satan shall yield before Jesus’ victory, step-by-step, life after life. Jesus is the victor!(Emphasis added) Satan knows it, and fears Him. He must yield before this man who stands for Jesus down here on earth”. (From a sermon by Frank M Barker, Jr. September 6, 1981. If you are not sure of a commentary or do not have access to a  valid commentary supporting the authority of God’s Holy Word, please email me and I will try to assist you in getting such a commentary.)”           2-Commentary- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Matthew Henry, and William Hendrix-If you are not sure or do not have access to a valid commentary supporting the authority of God’s Holy Word, please email me and I will try to assist you in getting such a commentaryFear not! We do not have to fear, and it is not fitting for the child of God. We must be like Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah when confronted by Nebuchadnezzar and commanded to worship him or else be thrown into the fiery furnace. These men, who had been given the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, told the terrible king Nebuchadnezzar that they were not careful to answer him in the matter because “our God is able to deliver us.” They went on to say, however, that nevertheless ,should he not, they were not going to worship Nebuchadnezzar. That should be our attitude. We are not going to listen and we are not going to tolerate unrepentant ,manifest heresies. We CAN confront. We can be like the commander of the American forces at Bastogne during WWII when the Nazi Army staged the counter- offensive that came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge and surrounded the American forces at Bastogne and demanded that they surrender, the American commander responded “Nuts.” Those American forces fought and ultimately God sent other American troops to rescue them, and the Lord God changed the weather to allow the American Air Force to resupply them.In another historical event reported in the apocryphal book of Second MacAbees, an old scribe by the name of Eleazar, who was ninety years old, was commanded by the forces of the Assyrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes, to eat pork. Eleazar refused. The Assyrian guards wanted him to fake it and told Eleazar that he did not have to actually eat the pork, but just pretend that he had eaten the swine’s flesh and they would protect him. It is reported in Second MacAbees (not contained in the protestant Bible as part of the Cannon) that Eleazar replied:“It does not become our time of life to pretend, and so lead many young people to suppose that Eleazar when ninety years old has gone over to heathenism, and to be led astray through me, because of my pretense for the sake of this short and insignificant life, while I defiled and disgraced my old age. For even if for the present I escaped the punishment of men, yet whether I live or die I shall not escape the hands of the Almighty.”This should be our attitude in confronting those who, “professing themselves to be wise have become fools” (Romans 1) and are actively undermining God’s Holy Word. CONCLUSIONMake the Holy Scriptures your only “rule of faith and practice.” Search the Scriptures to see f the speaker is speaking TRUTH. Pray without ceasing. We are at war. Put on the whole armor of God and use the weapons of our warfare that are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Trust the eternal Word of the Living God. Fear not! Confront! Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever more. Amen!With you friend and brother in ChristWilliam Gray

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