July 7

       The Spirit Clearly Says Series

 

Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:1-5

Denomination: Christian/Church Of Christ

Summary: 1- The Spirit says some will abandon the faith 2- The Spirit says some will follow deception 3- The Spirit says some will forbid good

INTRO.- ILL.- Truth In Politics. Oxymoron ! It was election time and a politician decided to go out to the local reservation and try to get the Native American vote. They were all assembled in the Council Hall to hear the speech.

The politician had worked up to his finale, and the crowd was getting more and more excited. "I promise better education opportunities for Native Americans!"

The crowd went wild, shouting "Bull-Hoya! Bull-Hoya!" The politician was a bit puzzled by the native word but was encouraged by their enthusiasm. "I promise gambling reforms to allow a Casino on the Reservation!"

"Bull-Hoya! Bull-Hoya!" cried the crowd, stomping their feet.

"I promise more social reforms and job opportunities for Native Americans!" Free services, everything you had to pay for will be free! The crowd reached a frenzied pitch shouting, "Bull -Hoya! Bull-Hoya! Bull-Hoya!"

After the speech, the Politician was touring the Reservation, and saw cattle grazing in a nearby pasture, but  also a special breed of long horn bulls in a corral. Since he was raised on a ranch, and knew a bit about cattle, he asked the Chief if he could get closer to take a look at the bulls.

"Sure," the Chief said, "but be careful not to step in the Bull-Hoja.

What’s the idea? Politicians are always preaching some message, but it may not necessarily be true. They might get into some bull-hoja.

There will always be people in the world preaching some kind of message. They may be politicians or some liberal Hollywood celebrities or the media of today, commentators, editorials or some religious false prophet or it could be some guy or gal at work.

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Not all the Jim Joneses of the Peoples Temple or David Koresh’s of the Branch Davidians of this world are preaching in pulpits across our land. Some of these preacher/prophets are in the workplace or they live next door to us, or they speak to us every time we turn in social media or other web outlets.

Matthew 7:15-16 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

The fruit of some is rather obvious and these kinds of people are not to be listened to or followed.

Matthew 24:4-5 “Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

We’re living in a time where there are more false prophets than ever before. Of course, there are more people than ever before. But there is also more mass communication than ever before with social media, TV, internet, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook etc. People are out to propagandize their faith in every way possible! They are out to get people to believe whatever it is they believe in no matter how wild or corrupt it is!

We must beware! We must beware for the sake of our children and our grandchildren! We must continue to teach the truth of the Word of God.

PROP.- We need to listen to what the Spirit says, that is, what God’s Spirit says to us and particularly as the Spirit recorded it in scripture. 1The Spirit clearly says

1- The Spirit says some will abandon the faith

2- The Spirit says some will follow deception

3- The Spirit says some will forbid good

I. THE SPIRIT SAYS SOME WILL ABANDON THE FAITH

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

ILL.- Tiger Woods abandoned his young, beautiful wife for 14 other women. And then, of course, he went into rehab for his sexual addiction.

But there is something worse than what Tiger did even though what he did was very bad. What is worse is abandoning the faith of Christ for anything else.

Do you know of anyone who has left their faith in Christ for some other kind of faith?

 

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ILL.- I know that actor Tom Cruise left his one-time Catholic faith for the Church of Scientology. Why did he do that?

The same holds true for singer Madonna who left her one-time Catholic faith for Jewish mysticism. This is a set of esoteric (select few) teachings meant to explain the relationship between the Creator and the universe (His creation).

Why did Madonna leave her Catholic faith for Jewish mysticism? Again, probably the same reason that Tom Cruise left his faith. Either she didn’t practice it or else didn’t get anything from it.

Lifestyles for many who are of the rich and famous is anything but righteous, wholesome or of any moral guide. Many brought into this lifestyle are corrupted by this evil dark world of money glamor, self-reliance and self-indulgence.   

This is true for any person even of normal means, being famous does not automatically turn you from or make you leave your faith. It is only through true faith and guidance from the Holy Spirit, can any one of us stay deeply rooted in Jesus Christ!

People leave their faith because they are either not practicing it faithfully or else it has no real meaning for them in life. And the same thing holds true for those who leave the faith of Christ.

Have you ever known anybody to leave the Christian faith behind for something else? I’ve seen plenty of people drop out of the church because they got so involved with the world: work, making money, play and pleasure, self-reliance etc. But I haven’t seen many leave the church for another kind of faith.

We had a family friends son leave to join a cult out in California years back. He was on a cross country vacation with friends after graduation from High School. He befriended a girl that led him into a cult in southern California. His parents did not hear or see him for over two years. But through prayer and a relentless effort by his family he finally left the cult and came home.

Why did he do that? I can only guess that the pull of the that young girl and being a away from his spiritual home family and church led to his change.

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

This text is shocking. It’s hard to believe or think of anyone leaving the faith of Christ to follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. That’s scary! Any way you look at it, it’s frightening and could have frightening if not tragic consequences.

 

 

                                                                                                         

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It is scary to see what is going on in our own country today. With our young people coming out of our higher learning institutions that were once Christian based colleges. These colleges are now indoctrinating our children and young adults in secular teachings.  This includes the removal of all or most biblical established truths.

Indoctrinate – Brainwash/ propagandize / Persuade / Condition

Hebrews 13:9 “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” And some people have.

II. THE SPIRIT SAYS SOME WILL FOLLOW DECEPTION

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

Some will follow deceiving spirits. Ooh! That sounds bad and it is. It sounds almost spooky when you’re talking deceiving spirits. And things taught by demons. Wow!

ILL.- Ben Alexander is the director of ESP Ministries. What does it stand for? Exposing Satan’s Power Ministries. Ben is a former Spiritual Medium from England. Spiritual Mediums are those who supposedly try to contact the spirits of deceased people. However, Ben believes and proves with scripture that these mediums are not contacting the spirits of deceased people.

Eccl. 9:5-6 “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.” 

For the believing Christians when they die they have confident faith, for their spirit is with Christ.

If the dead know nothing about what is happening on this planet then they cannot be contacted. Ben Alexander says that he believes the spiritual medium is actually contacting demons that are impersonating the spirits of deceased people. Satin will use any and all means to deceive!

Satan and his demons are scary! Why? Because they are out to deceive and destroy!

Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

 

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I Peter 5:8-9 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Only by standing firm in the faith of Christ we can overcome the evil one and his forces of evil!

If we don’t take our stand in the Lord then we don’t have any stand at all against Satan, because there is no other force greater than Satan in this world. Greater is He who is in us! Then who is in the world!

The Spirit says that some will follow deceiving spirits. Some of these deceiving spirits may well just be false teachers who teach anything and everything that is in opposition to Christ and His Word.

ILL.- For example, José Luis de Jesús Miranda (born April 22, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) was the founder and leader of Growing in Grace International Ministry, a movement that teaches the "doctrine of Grace." It was based in Miami, Florida. He claims to be both Jesus Christ returned and the Antichrist and exhibits a "666" tattoo on his forearm. He has referred to himself  "The Man Christ Jesus". You can find him on “You Tube

De Jesus grew up in poverty in Puerto Rico. He became a Pentecostal minister and then a member of the Southern Baptist convention. All I know is that the Southern Baptist must have kicked him out.

That guy is a nut or a demon! I saw a TV special about this guy and one married couple had given him or his church a million dollars and planned to give more. HOW DUPED THEY ARE! There are many deceptive spirits/people out there who are just waiting to take more than just your money if not your life! They may well send a person’s soul to hell! He has since passed away back in 2013. AS well as his cult.

III. THE SPIRIT SAYS SOME WILL FORBID GOOD

3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

Some will preach the false doctrine of saying we must abstain from partaking of that which is good from God. What good? Like marriage. Like food. And both are good, and God created!

This doesn’t mean that every marriage is good but marriage as created by God is a good thing.

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LL.- Ok I have to tell a joke here to light this heavy topic!

What to give a man who’s got everything? A woman. She’ll tell him how everything works.  Just ask my wife Sue every time I try to assemble something with reading the directions!

Newlyweds wake up one morning on their honeymoon and the man suggests: "Darling, why don’t you brew us some coffee?"
 
Wife looks confused: "But that's your task, honey."
“What? Why?”
 
"It’s all over the Bible, dearest."
 
"The Bible says nothing about who’s supposed to be brewing coffee!" 
 
The wife grabs hold of a copy and starts flipping pages at random: "See? Everywhere: Hebrews, Hebrews, Hebrews."

Why did you get married? For money? For love? For mutual support and encouragement in life? For companionship? Hopefully, you married for the right reasons, Love and knowing you can’t live without them in your life.

After God created Adam and Eve, He said, “It is good.” Marriage is good and can be a very good thing! And yet, some may say or teach that marriage is to be refused old fashion. Or you don’t have to!  But Not according to scripture.

It may be, however, that some people shouldn’t get married. There are some whose marriage may be somewhat doomed to failure in the first place because it’s not according to scripture or common sense principles. That’s for each couple to decide with the guidance of the Holy Spirit! One man to one women!

Some forbid eating certain foods or drink. LIKE WHAT? I know of some people who won’t eat celery. What’s wrong with celery? Nothing. It’s a just a personal thing with them. And this goes for many other foods. You may like something I don’t like and vice versa. I hate olives but love olive oil! We all have different tastes, however, in this text it may be referring to some OT practices of not eating unclean animals pork, Camels etc.

 (Deut. 14:6-20) For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Under the new covenant relationship, we may eat whatever we want as long as we receive it with thanksgiving, which means what? AS LONG AS WE THANK GOD FOR IT AND ASK HIS BLESSING ON IT!

 

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It’s one thing for people to express their opinion about certain foods they like or don’t like, but it’s an entirely matter to tell people they can’t eat certain foods or drink because it’s against God’s will!

But I’ll tell you what is against God’s Will and that’s not being thankful! We sin more by not being thankful to God than by eating certain foods! INGRATITUDE IS SINFUL!

Most things in life are good. They are gifts from God and should always be received with thanksgiving, prayer and praise. Then they are even better because we’ve asked God’s blessing on them be it our marriage or food.

If we put Christ first in our lives it paves the way for joy deep in our own hearts for what we have  our deep faith in Christ ,Family, Home, career, friends                   

Rosaria was an English professor at a small libra lats college, who hated the way Christians spoke against her beliefs and community. But after she wrote a scathing criticism of one of the local Christian gatherings, to her surprise, she received a thoughtful reply and kind reply from a pastor who invited her to call him. Curious, she did so.

Eventually, through her interaction with the humble pastor and his wife, and her study of the bible from where their topics of conversations started from. Rosaria came to the conviction that God was real and worth believing. She went on to note Hospitality and respect for those who believe differently than you do are powerful forces for change. The bible can speak even to people who are antagonistic to it- as long as the are willing to study it with an open mind. God is worth the sacrifice.

Sacrifice she did she lost her job, her friends, her students and colleagues, her partner her old life. 

But what was the most powerful statement form Rosaria: I learned the first rule of repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. How much greater? About the size of a mustard seed…Repentance is an intimate affair. And intimacy with anything can be a terrifying prospect.  

Sometimes we get caught up in our sin. We all have moments where our mistakes take control, where our hearts are weighed down with heaviness, when we feel so far away from God. But here’s the thing: God sees all of that. He sees our mess, our brokenness, our guilt. And He loves us anyway.

There is no where we can go to hide from His love. There is no point in our lives where He sees us as undeserving or unworthy of love. There is nothing we can do to separate ourselves from Him.

 

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So even when you feel like you’ve gone so far from His grace, know that He hasn’t left your side. Know that all you need is to ask for forgiveness, to clean your heart, and to trust in Him to lead you out of temptation and back into healing and light.

The Spirit says some will abandon the faith, some will follow deception, and some will forbid good.

We need to listen to every word that God’s Spirit says and that should begin by listening to God’s Word because the Spirit is speaking through the Word!

As this dark world tries to whitewash the Truth of God we must with every effort uphold the truth of scripture!

John 16:12-13 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

This is the real truth and nothing but the real truth, so help me God         !

 

Amen