“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” ~2 Timothy 4:3-4
We are never to water down the Gospel, never to undermine or underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit, and never to distort the simple plain reading of the Word of God. We are not to mix New Age into the Bible because New Age is a mix of religious and spiritual beliefs having to do with mysticism inclusive of phrases such as “Consciousness of Sin” or “Consciousness of Christ,” or “The Greater Consciousness.” The New Age is a free-flowing spiritual movement and includes the practice of witchcraft – tarot cards, fortune-telling, astrology, horoscopes, crystals, healing runes, and the like – as well as philosophies, rituals, and traditions from various ancient cultures and traditions.
Revelation 22:14-15 tells us about those who are believers and warns us about what happens to those who practice any lifestyle of sin, “Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.”
Today’s world views have infiltrated the modern churches. Cotton candied doctrine has replaced sound teaching. Modern churches have exchanged the Truth of God for a lie. There are people within the places of worship looking to be made comfortable in their sin, desiring to live whatever way they want without being held accountable. They are choosing to be willfully ignorant and defiant to the laws of God. Any church leader and any child of God MUST preach and proclaim the full counsel of God, which means they must preach against sin. In order for the Issues of Holiness and Righteousness to be addressed, the issue of sin HAS TO and MUST BE addressed.
Repentance and confession of sin to God are absolutely essential, and we are not to take advantage of God’s mercy and grace. The Scriptures say in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The first chapter of 1 John speaks about living in the Light, verses 5-10, “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts,” and the Psalmist King David declared, “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”
There seems to be a misconception when it comes to the Holy Spirit as well. Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17), “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 16:5-15 details “The Work of the Holy Spirit.” Please note verse 8 tells us the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment,” and verses 14-15 tells us the Holy Spirit points us to Christ, “‘He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’” Note the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and points people to Christ. The Holy Spirit will NEVER take our focus off of Jesus. NEVER. The Holy Spirit will ALWAYS point us to Jesus.
Since the Scriptures are God-breathed, it’s important to note, the Word is written to us. The Scriptures tell us the good, the bad, the best, the worst, the beautiful, and the ugly.
The Holy Spirit also called the Spirit of Prophecy does NOT always give flowery or sugary messages. We see this throughout the Scriptures which speak of true repentance with humility before God (Micah 6:8), “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
As children of God, we are to read and study the Scriptures and check out any preaching or teaching with the Word of God so we don’t go astray and fall for “doctrines of demons.” The reason those within the church get deceived is because they are not studying the Word of God for themselves. The bible is clear on this as well, 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us, “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” DO YOU WANT TO HEAR GOD SPEAK TO YOU? ARE YOU LOOKING TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD? NEED A WORD FROM THE LORD? OPEN THE BIBLE AND STUDY THE BIBLE. The Word is an Instruction Manual. The Bible tells you everything you need to inherit eternal life, how God wants you to live, tells you the thoughts of God. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOUR LIFE? OPEN THE BIBLE AND STUDY THE BIBLE. If you leave your bible on the shelf or table to collect dust, you will fall into sin. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11), and “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO TELL RIGHT FROM WRONG? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW IF WHAT SOMEONE SPEAKING IS IN THE BIBLE? OPEN THE BIBLE AND STUDY THE BIBLE. Always pray before reading God’s Word. Ask Him to show you what His Word is saying. Ask Him to guide you. Let your mind be controlled by the Holy Spirit as spoken of in Romans 8:1-17.
The prophet Isaiah had this message from God (Isaiah 50:11), “But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment.”
The Apostle Paul addressed the believers in Galatia about the false teachers and preachers coming into their midst; Galatians 1:8 states, “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.” The only Sure Foundation for our lives, the only Sure Foundation our faith is built on is Jesus Christ. Look to Christ. Look to your Heavenly Father. Shift your focus, and keep your focus set on HIM!
“Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” ~1 Corinthians 10-17
Linda A. Knowles
Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.