March 23, 2006
Eat the Book and Be Not Deceived
Mat 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. I had two ladies from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter day saints knock on my door the other day. I confess right off, the first thought that hit my heart when I opened the door and saw two young women with long hair, and long skirts, I thought “Holiness.” I too quickly judged by the sight of my eyes. They were dressed just like me. And a pleasure hit my heart, as I thought, oh, boy, some good fellowship. It was only after I invited them in I noticed their name tags, and with a sinking feeling in my heart sat down in my living room with them. This one young woman pulled out her Bible, a KJV, my favorite translation, and began to remark about my home, for I have 3 gospel tracts taped to my front door on the outside, and they were looking at these when I answered it. I have a sign from Joshua beside my door “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And as long as I trust God, and believe him, and seek him for my family, he will save them. (Acts 16:31 promises ) And wouldn’t you know it, I had been sitting quietly on my couch while my daughter played in her room, reading my own Bible for quite a while before they knocked. I was listening to this message Pastor Carter Conlon preached at Times Square Church last Sunday, (March 19, 2006), “A word for those who want to know God”. And it really ministered to my heart. I was rejoicing in hope, and in the Lord, and along came these two ladies right after the message went off. They seemed surprised as they looked, and saw an open, and much marked in Bible lying on the couch, with my dictionary, and some notes. I did not hesitate to tell them when they began to tell me about the Lord, that I am his. I cannot in all truth say I know him as well or as intimately as I want to or will, and I WILL, by his grace, know him better, but I love him NOW and everyday being his is a delight. I was struck by how she kept to her message, when I would speak, and mention what I was reading, because my Bible was open to 1 Sam 17. They would politely listen and then go back to their little message. It was like they had this perfectly rehearsed script, and they had to follow it. And they constantly referred to God as “Heavenly Father.” But for some reason it sounded wrong coming from their mouth. It irritated me to hear . It sounded strange. They way they pronounced it, I felt like -they were speaking about Someone who is a stranger to them. You know how if you were to refer in a conversation with a friend to President Bush, well, when you mention his name, there’s not going to be an intimate familiarity to your voice, because you aren’t familiar personally with him. That’s how it sounded when they said “Heavenly Father.” There was no mistaking their sincerity, or belief in what they were saying. But there were red flags flying up all inside me. Scriptures kept coming to mind, and when I’d open my mouth, they’d listen for a moment, and it was back to the script. But, praise the Lord, I did get my testimony in. That was the only time
they really appeared to listen. The young woman with her well worn Bible, and I could see it had been much used, and she seemed very familiar with the stories in the Bible, and seemed to have a love of reading it. As I shared with her the condition the Lord found me in, and how he saved me, and the things and the life he marvelously delivered me from, miraculously, I was surprised that tears filled her eyes. She quietly whispered, “That is an amazing testimony.” My own eyes were full of tears, because I knew how real HE was to my heart, and all I could say is no one could ever convince me He isn’t real. She mentioned her feelings she’d had with the Holy Spirit, and I interrupted her because I couldn’t help it, and I said, we are not to walk by feelings, but by faith. I have been fooled by my feelings before. You can’t trust your feelings, they will deceive you. The other girl, however, seemed harder. And she quickly steered the conversation back to the script. My heart was hurting, because I kept thinking Oh, God, I am not smart enough to debate your word with them. I wish I could make them see the truth, and they are probably thinking the same thing about me. They talked about Jesus, and God, the scriptures, sounding very Christian, but then the first girl opened her back pack, while talking about being so glad God had sent prophets. They were so glad God had talked to the prophets. I said, according to Hebrews 1:1-3 God has in these last days spoken to us by his Son and if we hear something not from his Son, reject it. Put an X on it. (I pray God prepares a special blessing for my Pastor who continually reminds us of that scripture). She just glossed over what I said, having recovered from her brief tearful moment and was back on script. She said, but there is a fuller revelation available to us and I am thankful to Heavenly Father for talking to the prophets and then she pulls out the Book of Mormon. I looked at it, and I could feel myself recoiling from it inwardly and I guess outwardly, too, because as far as I am concerned it might as well have been a snake she was holding. I said well you can stop right there because that is where you and I will never agree. That is not God’s word. It’s another gospel. Paul warned us about accepting another gospel, even if an angel brought it, let him be accursed. She quickly rose to the defense of the man (Joseph Smith) and the book. She was quick to tell me that she had prayed and the Holy Spirit had told her the book was true. I said “Put that thing away, I will not accept it. I can’t.” I had my Bible on my lap, and I picked it up “This is the only Word I can accept. If it’s not written in here, I can’t accept it. I won’t.” She put her book away, and smiled, and they talked another minute or so. She tried to reassure me that her book was true, and they both passionately tried to tell me how God had told them personally it was true. When I quoted the scripture in Galatians, about how if an angel even brought you another gospel to reject it, they didn’t even try to answer me, they just kept talking. I told them they were wrong. They couldn’t respond to the Scripture, and when they started to tell me what they believed (concerning their book) I interrupted them, and I said “I know the Lord had this Book written, I know he is coming back, and I just want my life to glorify God so others can see him in me because I don’t want my lost loved ones left here. I don’t agree with your book. It come from a man. You’ve elevated the man, not God.” They denied that, but they did leave. They asked me if we could pray together, before they left, and the scripture “How can two walk together unless they agree?” flowed through my mind, and here they’d done bowed their head, and I couldn’t pray with them. I felt so in over my head, and so bad that these two women had bought into a lie which the scripture clearly warns against. Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have
received, let him be accursed. Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. I did a little reading up on them after they left and found out that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons, received his revelation, according to what I found, from an angel in 1838. He is highly exalted among them, they sing hymns calling him blessed. Theirs is a religion of works. It takes away from the deity of Christ. It does away with the blood-for they believe by works you inherit eternal life. They say that we have to repent and be forgiven, through the blood of the atonement, but their salvation is still based on their works. They believe Joseph Smith got a word from God and called it “The Book of Mormon.” I was doing some reading on this so I will be better informed in the future, and when I read this quote it amazed me, because it was almost word for word what this lady said to me. This comes from a Google search on Mormonism, and here is the link: http://lds.about.com/library/weekly/aa070802a.htmhttp:// Joseph Smith who was called of God to be a latter-day prophet. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and is a companion to the Bible. I know The Book of Mormon is true. I have read it, I have prayed about it, and I have received a personal witness through the Holy Ghost, that it is true. I invite you to learn for yourself the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. There were a couple dates, and names I left out of this paragraph, but this is exactly what the woman told me. I said to her “the Word of God is not open to private interpretation. Nobody receives a special revelation. God revealed the same truth to all who seek it.” She disagreed, saying Joseph Smith got a full revelation, and that the Book of Mormon is also the inspired word of God. While researching their theology, I was very unnerved as I read what they said about the Holy Ghost, how he teaches them through their feelings and thoughts....................for every true believer knows that is exactly where the enemy strikes and does everything in his power to convince you the Word of God is not true, and if he can’t convince you of that he will twist it until he has you believing a lie if you listen to your thoughts. Paul warned in Galatians that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. All it takes is to believe a lie and you are in big trouble. If you believe a lie, you’ll repeat that lie. You’ll base your life on that lie. Especially as it’s related to theology. This is the bad bill of goods the Mormons have bought in to. Paul warned the church-even if I come back to you with another gospel than that which ye have received of me, don’t believe it. Don’t accept it. They talk about the Holy Ghost in ways that truly are frightening. This is a quote from the Book of Mormon, about the Holy Ghost and what he does, taken from the above website: Teaches people the truth: "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5) Now, you can pray and with a sincere heart ask the Lord for truth, but you better believe the devil will be right there to try to imitate the voice of the Lord and sell you a lie. That’s why the Bible says ‘try the spirits to see whether they be of God or not.’ (1 John 4:1) The devil deceived one third of the angels in heaven into following him. What chance does man have of not being deceived if he doesn’t stay in the Word of God, and on his knees?
This is why he says “eat my flesh and drink my blood.” If you have the Word of God in you, it won’t let you believe a lie. The Holy Ghost doesn’t work on feelings, but on faith. He’s not bound by human limitations, only unbelief and sin in your life will hinder his work. He comes to convict, correct, comfort, teach, remind, and help. And he only shows you what the Word of God says “ things to come, and of Jesus Christ.” John 14. I don’t think that necessarily is prophetic just in the end times way, but in his working in your life. Things to come, the changes in your life that will come as he works. And everything is within the Word of God. The Lord does not operate outside of his Word. That is our safety. Security. How many times did the Lord warn us not to be deceived? Rev 10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. Rev 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Rev 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. This is a magnificently described angel who stands on the earth and sea with a book in his hand and declares time shall be no more. I’ve asked myself how the word of God can be sweet in your mouth and bitter in your belly. The common thread in all these scriptures about eating the book, with the exception of John 6, is this: he was telling his people on the eve of coming judgment to eat the book, eat the roll. When the righteous are constantly vexed by the deeds of the wicked, to read the pure and holy word of God is sweet. It’s sanity in an insane world. But when you see the human suffering, because they let themselves be deceived by sin, and it is deceitful, or because they were deceived by the enemy, it’s got to be hard to stomach. No one in their right mind wants to see people judged and destroyed. God doesn’t either. I believe that’s why he waited in Noah’s day for 7 days after everything was finished with the ark, and all were on board. 7 days, mercifully waiting, and surely his Spirit was dealing with men. But no one responded. They all refused the call, so he shut the door. It was too big for a man to shut. It had to be to allow for the animals who needed to board. But also, so the men inside could not open it when those left outside realized to their horror that Noah was right and begged for entry as the water began to rise. They had trusted in what they had always known. It had never rained. They didn't believe Noah's warnings. They didn't question why would he spend so much of his life, 120 years, building a boat in a place where it had never rained. They just mocked and scorned him. But the Lord's word was true then and it still is. He’s still got the mercy call out. He’s still offering grace. Oh, Lord, help us not to trust our feelings, our flesh, our opinions, our thoughts, or our heart. Why not? Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. If you trust in flesh, it will fail you. It will go its own way. Flesh does not want God. Flesh can not be sanctified. It must be crucified. Denied. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 15:50) Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. This may sound harsh, but I have learned the hard way-this is true. My heart will try to deceive me if I listen to it. But God’s word has to be the Only and Final Word. He knows me better than I know myself. And since he was willing to die for me, I have to trust and believe him, not myself who have failed myself so many times. I have failed me. God has not. So who should I trust? My fickle heart or my Savior? My Beloved Savior, always. 1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed
to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Anything that tries to bypass the Blood of Christ is a doctrine of devils. Anything that puts something written by man on the same level as the inspired Word of God, is a doctrine of devils. This I know the Holy Ghost used men to write the Word of God, but he zealously oversaw every little detail. He watches over his word to perform, preserve and protect it. Pro 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Psa 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psa 102:12 But thou, O LORD, shalt endure forever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Psa 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Psa 12:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever. Pro 22:12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor. It is not in me to question the accuracy, integrity or validity of His Word. It’s not something I feel, it’s something I know. How? Because HE lives in ME and he tells me. His word is not always easy on the flesh or feelings. It hurts. It cuts. But it rejoices the soul, and the spirit. And that is what matters. Because flesh is temporary. My soul is not and it will dwell somewhere for all eternity. With him, I am determined. I have reached the place where I don’t have confidence in myself, my ideas, my thoughts, or feelings. I haven’t for a while now. I’ve let me down too many times. But his Word has never failed me. He warns me ahead of time. Deu 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; See, he even points out things that will deceive my heart if I am not careful. Other gods. Idols. What feels good isn’t always. What looks good isn’t always. What tastes or smells good can be dangerous. Luk 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. They come in his name, with their Bible, and their other literature, elevating the other literature to an unworthy place of comparison. Nothing is needed except the Word of God. The Holy Bible. I can’t fault anyone for using different translations, though I prefer the KJV. I have about 30 different translations. Occasionally, I like to compare how a verse is translated. But the KJV is the Final Authority. It was translated straight from the manuscripts, with no men with carnal minds trying to make it more understandable or appealing to a carnal world. The Holy Ghost does not cater to flesh or carnality. Not mine, or anyone else’s. Jer 29:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. They are going to have power, albeit demonic, to do things to awe the people and convince them. Unless you have HIS word in you, you are very likely to be deceived. Don’t take your
neighbor’s word for it. Don’t take your preacher’s word for it. Read the Book yourself. Pray and ask God to teach it to you. He will. And it will be in agreement with what he has taught all his children. He’s the same, he doesn’t change, nor does his word. He doesn’t send angels to give different or new revelations or gospels to man. I can’t find scripture for it but there is plenty scripture against it. Mar 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: Mar 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 1Co 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. There is no shortage of different doctrines out there. There is no shortage of people who will come knocking on your door, with their doctrines. Even a large part of the Christian church who profess Christianity, do not keep his word, in or out of the church. In the past, I have been in churches where the music had a rock beat, where the females were painted up and decked out and looked just like the world. In such situations, men would have a hard time focusing on the Lord and keeping their eyes on their Lord, and their Bibles, for the tempting display put on before them. I have seen the adults send their children outside to shoot hoops with a basketball while they have church. They have their raffles, (gambling) and their yard sales, church rummage sales, and bake sales, hot dog and chili suppers, all at the house of God. I’ve made my son angry because I had to refuse to let him participate or attend churches who practice these sort of things when one of his friends invite him. I have to ask myself: How is that kind of behavior at the Lord’s House honoring him, reaching the lost, or caring for the souls of their children? I’ve seen coffee and donuts in the adult Sunday School classrooms, televisions in the children’s. Jesus was furious when he saw how they’d turned his Father’s house into something other than what it was meant to be, and he drove those out who bought and sold and traded in his house. Lev 19:30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. How is any of the previously mentioned showing reverence in his sanctuary? My son got angry with me, and said well I want to have fun. Can’t I go to church and have a little fun? I told him that is what the park is for, the boys’ club, home, etc. The House of God is supposed to be where the hopeless find hope, where the blind find sight, where the hurting find healing, where the lost find God. Where sins are cleansed, and lives restored. Where the saints of God are fed and sent out into a hurting and dark world to help and shine brightly, filled with the light and life of Christ. It’s a place where the Lord is to be exalted and honored and praised and adored for he is so good and he is so merciful. Is it a crime to want to see it that way? To want to see people recognize and honor God in his own house? Too many church members come in the door and meet up with one another and immediately start talking, rehashing the week’s events and sharing news with one another. I’ve done it, and I don’t feel comfortable continuing to do so. God has been dealing with me about these things. But how many walk in HIS house and acknowledge HIM first? How many walk in HIS house and come prepared to let him use them to reach out to others who might be there in need? How many walk in his house ready to worship him? I have been guilty of coming in and doing all these things and of not doing them. But the past several months I’ve had an increasing desire to acknowledge Him first when I come in his house, to be a blessing to others, and to HIM, and to save the chit chat and ‘how are yous’ till after the service. I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone, but I surely don’t want to
offend HIM. I wonder how he feels when so many people come to his house each week, with his name on their lips, but not in their hearts across this world. When so many of us are too busy to pray and spend time with him through out our week. When too many of us neglect our Bibles, make excuses, and then to ease our conscience come on Sunday. What about when we can make it on time everywhere else but are habitually late to HIS house? How does he feel when he sees people come in to the sanctuary and let their children run and yell and play, and bring toys to entertain their children (and I’m not talking about babies here). I’ve seen kids with hand held video games in the sanctuary. What does that say to the children? How does that convey the reality of God and his holiness to the children? God loves children, but if they are not taught to respect and fear God, they will not. Do you think it hurts God’s heart and makes him feel used that people only call out to him when they are scared, in pain, sick or afraid of losing their job? Or when they need him? But other than that, they are content to keep their distance from him? I think it does hurt him. They make excuses why they can’t obey his word when He makes available all the power needed to do so. "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" 2 Pet 1:3 He’s willing to give us the desire to obey, the power to obey, and the understanding, even his fear and the faith we need to believe him, to help us do what he says we must. We are all without excuse and he deserves better than what he's received from the world he has been so good to. From children he has paid such a high price to redeem, myself included. Is it really unreasonable to ask that the ladies leave their pants at home and put on a dress to come to the Lord’s house? If they don’t have one, that’s different. If they are a sinner and need God, let them come however. But when you claim to be his, and you have his word, and you’ve heard the truth, why can’t we have enough respect for the Lord to give him our best? Dress our best in his house? Not to be flashy and be seen, but to respect the King of Kings. I'm not talking about 3 piece suits and silk dresses. I'm talking about not bringing lame offerings to a holy God. Aren’t we supposed to serve HIM not self? Who is more important? People’s desire for comfort and their habits, rather than their need to appease and revere an Almighty God who holds our lives in his hand with such mercy and love? Especially when he is WORTHY of all honor and praise and respect? I faced a confrontation this week over this in my home with someone I love dearly. It hurt. My heart cried out because God is more important than people catering to their flesh. And expecting the Lord to just understand this is just how they do things if he wants them to come to church, he’ll just have to put up with it? That is not how God operates. That is wrong. I was told that I just had too much pride because I wouldn’t bring my son to church unless he was clean and neat in appearance. That is was okay for women to wear what they wanted so long as they didn’t show too much flesh. That shorts were alright when it was summer. Everything within me cried out no! But to accuse me of pride-I had to think about that. If I let him, my son wouldn’t remember to brush his teeth or his hair. He wouldn’t shower regularly. I always felt like I was teaching him to respect the House of the Lord, and fear God. To respect himself in doing these things. He protests having to do them because he’s a teenager who’d rather be doing other things. My concern is for his soul, not his feelings. Not his desire to play outside when it’s time to go to church. But I stopped and thought carefully. Oh, Lord, am I a Pharisee? A hypocrite? Am I being unreasonable? No, the clothes aren't what saves you. But if I had a chance to go have dinner at the White House, how would I dress and behave? Doesn't the Lord deserve better? But is there really pride in me? Am I really worried about what people will think and deceiving myself into thinking I’m concerned for your feelings, Lord? But I’ve never been much of a people pleaser. It’s always been hard for me to get too close to people. But that word pride thrown at me hurt. I know what my Father’s word tells me on his feelings about pride in his children. He won’t tolerate it. It’s an abomination. It’s what caused Satan to revolt against him in heaven. Well, I know one thing for sure, I have been asking for him to turn the searchlight of his Word on and search me, and try me. I am, as David said in Psalms, asking oh Lord, let not
any secret faults or presumptuous sins reign in this vessel. If there’s a fault and I can’t see it, show it. Confirm it. I’ll repent, oh, I don’t want pride in this vessel. I want this vessel to be full of the glory of God, to glorify God. To honor God and minister a blessing to HIS heart. I don’t want the blessing, I want the BLESSER. I am not concerned with a mansion and streets of gold, I want the Lord. He’s my Reward. Just to be able to bow at his feet, and hear his voice whisper my name, to be able to look him in the face, and return his love, oh, that’s all the reward I need. What could he give me that would be better than Himself? Nothing that I know of. I have been reading a lot in his Word about the glory of the Lord and how it filled the temple, the tabernacle. How it filled the believers at Pentecost. I've never seen it. I want to see it. And somehow, I don't believe God will manifest his glory in a place where he is not honored and feared and respected. And without his presence, it's just a church building. Without his presence, the lost won't get saved. The needy won't be helped. Oh, I want to see what I've read about. When he comes, all that is going to matter is does he know you? Are you HIS? If you are HIS you won't be following after the world you'll be about HIS business. Oh, Lord, help your people see. Shine on us Lord. Shine the light that exposes the flaws and spots. Shine the Light that fills every dark space with truth. In Jesus Beloved Name I pray...