THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 7-9-06
LESSON TITLE: "GOD'S TRUTH: IT IS POSSIBLE TO PERVERT THE TRUTH"
In John 15:14 we read the words of Jesus as He said, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." Are you known by God as a friend of Jesus because you have obeyed His commandments?
Today we assemble before this friend, that we might worship and praise God through His precious name. And how blessed we are to gather together to give this time of worship to our God! We thank you for joining us today as we commit this time to the things of God, as together we will have the privilege to study from God's Holy Word and to sing praises to His wonderful name. Let's each do our part this morning in making this time of offering acceptable in His sight. Will you go to God in prayer with me at this time?
Have you truly surrendered your life to Jesus? This is where we will begin today in our songs of praise, as it is time to join together in our first hymn of the day, it's title, "All To Jesus I Surrender."
(SONG # 1)
If I were to ask you what does it take to be a true friend, there are many things that might come to mind. You might think of respect, honor, dependability, or even trustworthiness. However, most would not probably say what we mentioned earlier from the gospel of John. Jesus said that His true friends were obedient. He also clarifies what we must be obedient to, He said, "His commandments." Now these ideas show us two things.
First they remind us of just how important it is to be obedient to God and that if we are obedient then Christ knows we love Him! How wonderful it is to know that God has asked us to do certain things and that when we do them He sees this as a confirmation of friendship and dependability.
However, secondly we learn about the need to obey commands. This tells us first of all that God had to have given us commands to follow. And that if He did then we are required to know them and to obey. So where do we find the commands of God? The obvious answer is in His Word - the Bible! This means we are required to study God's Word, to understand His commands and then to obey them as faithful Children in His fold!
So what about you, have you shown yourself a friend of God through obedience to His commands. Can Jesus Truly say that you love Him because you "keep His Commandments?" If you are of God and are one of His children obedience is not an option. Remember the beautiful old song which we sometimes sing, "I'll Be A Friend to Jesus?" The question is will we really be one according to His definition?
In just a few minutes it will be time to consider our main topic of the morning. Today we will be continuing our discussion on, "God's Truth!" Our specific lesson of the day is entitled, "It Is Possible To Pervert The Truth!" So please stay with us and after our next song we will be lead in this important topic.
As far as our speaker of the day, we would like to welcome brother Andrew Bieler. Brother Andrew is a recent graduate of the Bible Institute of Missouri. He was a fine student and was very serious in His study of God's Word. We thank this good brother for joining us today and we look forward to him leading our thoughts from God's Word after our next song.
Now, won't you join in with the congregation, as we sing our second song of the morning - the name of this song is, "Angry Words."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Andrew Bieler
In Matthew chapter 7 and verse 13, Jesus prophesied that many would enter through the wide gate of destruction and would enter into Hell. Why is this? How is this possible that so many people in the world can proclaim Christ, but Christ Himself can say that so many will fail to find Him and find His narrow path? With so many people in the world who follow a path of denominationalism, we can see the chaos. We can see the mind that is not being kept with Christ and again people in the world will look into those denominations and will see the confusion and they, too, will turn away from the true path of Christ. As Christians, we need to understand that this path is narrow. We need to understand that in order to be found, it must be sought. Paul deals with false teaching that can lead people away from that path, that can lead people into that wide path.
In Galatians chapter 5 verses 7-10, it says, "You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will have no other mind but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is." Paul was dealing with Galatians who said, "You were once of one mind. You did have one mind together, but a little leaven had come in and attempted to move you away from that one mind." Now we can begin to understand how the true path is lost. We can begin to understand how that wide path of destruction is gained because where there is one mind, a little leaven comes in and removes the truth.
If you'll turn with me now to Genesis chapter 3, we can see the source of this false teaching. We can see the father of the dark leaven that comes in. In Genesis chapter 3, we read about Adam and Eve who were in the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Eden given to them by God the Father and they were made perfect and the garden was perfect. But they were also given a commandment never to eat from that Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Devil knew this. Satan understood this. If you'll turn with me to Genesis chapter 3 and starting in verse 1. "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made and he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" Right away Satan comes and attacks Eve. Right away Satan comes and attacks the very commandment that God had given them not to break. He says, "Should you not eat of this tree?" Immediately we see Satan wants to attack the Word of God and he wants to use it in order to get Eve to disobey and the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it lest you die." Here we see Eve also knew, she understood the commandment from God. She knew that she was not supposed to eat from that tree and yet we read on. In verse 4, "Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil." Satan here is the perfect salesman. Satan here knows exactly what will change Eve's mind. He knows that Eve knew that she was not supposed to eat of that fruit, but he had to find a way. He had to find a way to get Eve to disobey God, to disobey those commandments and to take that fruit. And as we read on in verse 6, "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate." And there it was. God had given them a perfect garden full of fruit and there was no sin at all for them to eat of any tree, but they had to eat of one tree that God had forbidden and that brought their destruction. That brought their doom. That brought their death. And how did it all begin? When Satan came and he brought the Word of God and he twisted it and lied and convinced them otherwise.
Eve listened to that sales pitch. Eve who was once good, who was once perfect, listened to the words of the devil and disobeyed. Her husband who did it with her also took of that fruit. He knew full well that he was not supposed to take of it, but he did it anyway. Satan succeeds.
Read 1 Timothy with me. Chapter 2 and verse 14, "And Adam was not deceived but the woman being deceived fell into transgression." Satan came to the woman and he used tricks to beguile her, but Adam had no excuse. He walked full well into that sin simply because he saw another do it. It was like a domino effect. All it took was one lie and soon an entire family was ruined. Suppose that Satan had come along. Suppose that Satan had come along in his full form, in his full wickedness, his physical form displaying all of the evil that he was capable of and he went up to Eve and he said to her, "I hate you and I have come to hurt you. I want to destroy your perfect life and end your time in the garden. I want you to eat of this forbidden fruit so that God will become displeased and you will be punished. " Would Eve have obeyed the devil? Would Eve have said, "Oh that sounds like a great idea." Satan knows that the honest truth will never lead to sin. He knows that it takes deception. He knows that it takes beautiful lies. This is how Satan attacks us today and today many still listen to Satan unwittingly because they are deceived.
In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus describes the end of time. He warns the Jews of that day, that there will be a time of destruction and that there will be a time of judgment and He gives them ways to avoid that judgment and ways to avoid that destruction. Many people think that they are religious, that they have a religious quality and that will be enough to save them from that destruction. But if that were true, then Christ never would have come to earth and give such specific commandments for us. Why did Jesus suffer as a human being? Why did He preach for those many years and then end up dying on a cross if anything was satisfactory? But just like in the Garden of Eden, God had given Adam and Eve a specific command and when they failed to keep it, they were punished. Even so, in the whole of the gospel, Christ has given us commands and if we fail to keep them, can we expect any less punishment than Adam and Eve received? What Jesus says shows that Satan sometimes uses the commands of God. Satan sometimes uses religion in order to deceive us and to make us into creatures that are deserving of punishment.
If you'll turn to Matthew chapter 7 with me and we will read some of these warnings of commandments that Christ has given starting in verse 15. "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits, you will know them." We are given an excellent example of how to be wary, of how to be warned against these false teachers, these wolves who come in sheep's clothing. We know them by their behavior. We are able to look into God's Word and to see what are the fruits of good men and what are the fruits of wicked men. If Eve had known, if Eve had studied, if Eve had understood the mind of God, when Satan came and spoke his lies and said, "God said that you shall not eat of this fruit, but I say you may," If she had known that the Will of God, that the good fruit from God was to keep those commandments, she would have known. She would have understood that the Satan who came to her brought only lies.
Again, Christ makes it quite clear that Hell will be full of religious people who did works in His own name. Just because we speak in the authority of someone does not mean that we have that authority. There are men and women in this world who will dress themselves up, who will disguise themselves as religious men, but they will preach to you things that do not come from scripture.
In Matthew chapter 7 and verse 21, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name and done many wonders in your name?' and then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me you who practice lawlessness." Christ expects obedience to His commandments just as God did in that garden and just as we know that as Adam and Eve disobeyed that commandment from God and suffered that punishment, we also can know, can trust that if we fail to keep those commandments from Christ that we, too, will suffer.
Paul gave us an interesting command to the Corinthians when he closed his second letter. In 2 Corinthians chapter 13 and verse 5, it says, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith." Test yourselves according to the scriptures, we can know the truth. According to the scriptures, we can know what Christ expects from us and according to the scriptures, we can know that perfect way, that narrow path into His light.
But how do we find it? Are you 100% sure that you are not being deceived right now? Are you 100% certain that the traditions and the worship that you partake in right now is the worship that God finds pleasing? You may have been told by men holding Bibles, you may have been spoken to by men who carry Bibles, you may have even been read to certain passages from the Bible, but have you explored the scripture for yourself? Have you compared the words of these men? Have you compared these traditions to what is found in the scripture? We can't trust men. We can't trust fancy temples, and we cannot trust the traditions of our friends and our family members.
In John chapter 8 verses 31-32, "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My Words, you are My disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.'"
Do you know that Satan has deceived you in the past? Do you know he has come to you with the proverbial forbidden fruit and he has held it before your eyes and he has said, "Has God not said that you shall not partake of this sin?" and then convinced you that it would be alright for you to do so.
The key to freedom in Christ isn't found by placing our confidence in the world. It is found by placing our confidence in the whole word, in the true word and the complete gospel of Christ.
I urge you today to re-examine your faith. Do not trust what men have said. Turn to Acts chapter 2 and read the whole of it. Learn what God expected from those first Christians on that Day of Pentecost. Read about the Ethiopian Eunuch. Read about all of the men and women who came across apostles who were teaching the true gospel of Christ and read about those who defied the gospel who became violent, who became destructive. If your faith does not match that which is found in scripture, it is time to re-examine yourself. It is time to test yourself. I urge you to do so and if you find yourself to be lacking, please do something about it. Give us a call. Send us an e-mail or seek out a Christian who can help you along your path. Thank you.
(SONG # 3 - "Are You Washed In The Blood")
Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves this worship to God!
Now, let me ask you if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these items are also available on our website at:
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
May we always proclaim and stand on God's Truth as He has given it, and may we never pervert it. For those who pervert the truth are not friends of God.