2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, showing himself as being God. 5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6 And now you know the thing restraining him, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; but only until the one who is right now acting as a restraint is out of the way. 8 Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth, and wipe out by the appearance of his presence, 9 but the one whose coming is in accordance with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God is sending upon them a working of error so that they will believe the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.
Those in the Thessalonica Christian congregation had thought the day of the Lord was already upon them. However, Paul begins chapter 2 by offering them a word of comfort and caution. He says, “Now we request you, brothers, with regard to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a word or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.
[2:3, 8] Who is “the man of lawlessness,” and what does it mean that the Lord Jesus will do away with him by the spirit of his mouth?
Many Bible scholars would agree with Knute Larson, who says, “The man of lawlessness will be a person so given to sin that he will become the embodiment of it. Here is a man so overcome with evil that no flicker of light can be detected. It is hard to imagine how horrible that will be, especially in light of some of the diabolical figures throughout history which this man will overshadow.” (Larson 2000, p. 106) Yes, most believe that the man of lawlessness is one person or man, as they believe that the antichrist will be just one person. However, they are mistaken on both counts. The apostle John clearly states there are many antichrists, which is simply anyone, any group, or organization that is against Christ. Similarly, the man of lawlessness is a composite man, made up of many individuals from the days of the apostles up unto the day of the Lord. Paul said the man of lawlessness was already at work in his day. However, he also says that this lawless one will be destroyed be Jesus in the day of the Lord. (2 Thess. 2:2, 7-8) How could one human live over 2,000 years? The lawless one will be false teachers, false prophets, and atheists, i.e., anyone trying to stand in the way of the truth. These ones stand off from the truth (i.e., apostasy), to the point that it is a defection, a revolt, a planned, deliberate rebellion. Jesus does away with the composite man [many individual rebels] of lawlessness by the spirit of his mouth, which is a figure of speech that evidently represents his commanding call to destroy the wicked in the day of the Lord.
The apostasy was foretold by Jesus Christ, Paul, and Peter.
Jesus Christ himself warned of this apostasy, in his parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matt. 13:24-30, 34-43), with the wheat picturing those who are truly Christian and an enemy [i.e., Satan] sowed the weeds picturing false Christians. Speaking of the wheat [true Christians] and weeds [false Christians], Jesus said that they are both to grow together until the end of the age, namely, in the day of the Lord. However, when the two are separated, the weeds are burned, that is destroyed. (2 Thess. 1:9) Then, in the book of Acts, we have the apostle Paul warning the Ephesian elders,
Acts 20:28-30 Updated American Standard Version (ASV)
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the congregation of God, which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
The apostle Paul’s words show that the true Christian congregation would be attacked on two fronts. First, false Christians (“weeds”) would “come in among” true Christians. Second, “from among your own selves,” i.e., true Christians; some would become apostates [stand off from the truth, attack the truth], “speaking twisted things.” These apostates will “draw away the disciples [that is, Jesus’ disciples] after them,” not looking to make their own disciples. The apostle Paul also wrote,
|1 Timothy 4:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV) [c. 61-64 C.E.]
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and command to abstain from foods that God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth.
|2 Timothy 4:2-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV) [c. 65 C.E.]
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
The apostle Peter also spoke of these things about 64 C.E., “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies … in their greed they will exploit you with false words.” (2 Pet. 2:1, 3) These abandoned the faithful words, became false teachers, rising within the Christian congregation, sharing their corrupting influence, intending to hide, disguise, or mislead.
These dire warnings by Jesus and the New Testament Authors had their beginnings in the first century C.E. Yes, they began small, but burst forth on the scene in the second century.
“[Paul says it] Is Already at Work”
About 51 C.E., some 18-years after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, division was already starting to creep into the faith, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” (2 Thess. 2:7) Yes, the power of the man of lawlessness was already present, which is the power of Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:3-4), and his tens of millions of demons, are hard at work behind the scenes.
There were even some divisions beginning as early as 49 C.E., when the elders wrote a letter to the Gentile believers, saying,
Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions (Ac 15:24)
Here we see that some within, was being very vocal about their opposition to the direction the faith was heading. Here, it was over whether the Gentiles needed to be circumcised, suggesting that they needed to be obedient to the Mosaic Law. – Acts 15:1, 5.
As the years progressed throughout the first-century, this divisive “talk [would] spread like gangrene.” (2 Tim. 2:17, c. 65 C.E.) About 51 C.E., As we already saw above, some in Thessalonica, at worst, going ahead of, or at best, misunderstanding Paul, and wrongly stating by word and a bogus letter “that the day of the Lord has come.” (2 Thess. 2:1-2) In Corinth, about 55 C.E., “some of [were saying] that there is no resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor. 15:12) About 65 C.E., some were “saying that the resurrection has already happened. They [were] upsetting the faith of some.” – 2 Timothy 2:16-18.
Throughout the next three decades, no inspired books were written. However, around 96-98 C.E., the apostle John pens three letters, wherein he tells us, “Now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) These are ones, “who denies that Jesus is the Christ” and ones who do not confess “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” – 1 John 2:22; 4:2-3.
We must keep in mind that the meaning of any given text is what the author meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his audience, and had some relevance/meaning for his audience. The rebellion [apostasy] began slowly in the first century and would break forth after the death of the last apostle, i.e., John. Historian, Ariel and Will Durant inform us that by 187 C.E., there were 20 varieties of Christianity, and by 384 C.E., there were 80 varieties of Christianity. Christianity would become one again, a universal religion, i.e., Catholicism. However, that oneness was a false or imitation, as it was by threat of torture and death.
Rebellion Against God
The man of lawlessness places himself in opposition against God, being used as a tool by the great resister- adversary, Satan himself. Paul warns us that this lawless one was/is “coming is in accordance with the activity of Satan.” (2 Thess. 2:9) Paul also told the Thessalonians “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” The identity of the man of lawlessness has be shrouded in mystery, with many scholars supposing it is one evil man, which will appear just before the day of the Lord. However, as was stated above and stated by Paul, the lawless one was already at work in Paul’s day. Again, the lawless one is a composite man [many individual rebels], meaning anyone in opposition against God, some worse than others. Some of these lawless ones set themselves up over God by their lying and false teachings, which they place above God’s Word, as well as placing themselves in opposition to those who are truly Christian. (See 2Pet. 2:10-13) This lawless one is an imitation, false Christian, who claiming that he is truly Christ, “so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, showing himself as being God.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
What or who is acting as a restraint to the man of lawlessness and the apostasy? It would seem that the apostles of the first century were preventing this great apostasy from taking hold while they were alive. In the above, we saw Paul warning that wolf like men would be infiltrating the congregation after Paul was gone. (Ac 20:29) Paul spoke of the apostasy in many of his writings. In order to keep the congregations clean, Paul taught all over the then known world, taught people like Timothy and Titus, whom he left behind after he was martyred, to teach other qualified men in Paul’s place. Paul called “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar, and buttress of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15) Paul and the rest of the apostles grew the Christian congregation all over the then known world, going from 120 disciples at Pentecost 33 C.E. to over a million in the beginning of the second century C.E. They wanted to build the purest church possible, to withstand centuries of the apostasy that began in full earnest in the second century C.E.
However, the restraint of the apostasy and the man of lawlessness (rebels against the truth), were not the apostles alone back in the first century C.E. The restraint of the apostasy and the lawless ones has been those who are truly Christian spread through these last 2,000 years, right up unto the day of the Lord. We have had both men and women who have stood out and stood up for the truth from the time of the martyrdom of Polycarp (69 – 155 C.E.), who had been a student of the apostle John. Keep in mind that throughout the Dark Ages 500 – 1500 C.E., that they may not have taught everything that was biblically true but they were living in a world of spiritual darkness. Catholicism was the dominant influence on Western civilization from late antiquity to the dawn of the modern age (Medieval and Renaissance Periods, 4th – 17th century C.E.). The Catholic Church would like us to forget the good “seeds” of discontent that were present in their midst many years before the Waldenses of the 12th century C.E., 200 years before John Wycliffe (1330-84) and Jan Hus (1369-1415) and 350 years before Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-64). (Matt. 13:24) These seeds of men were seeking the truth even in the darkest of periods, even if it meant their life.
Pre-Reformation Seeds of Truth Seekers
- Bishop Agobard of Lyons, France (779-840), was against image worship, churches dedicated to saints and church liturgy that was contrary to Scripture.
- Bishop Claudius (d. between 827 and 839 C.E.)
- Archdeacon Bérenger, or Berengarius, of Tours, France (11th century C.E.), excommunicated as a heretic in 1050
- Peter of Bruys (1117-c. 1131), left the church because he disagreed with infant baptism, transubstantiation, prayers for the dead, worship of the cross and the need for church buildings.
- Henry of Lausanne (died imprisoned around 1148), spoke out against church liturgy, the corrupt clergy and the religious hierarchy.
- Peter Waldo (c. 1140–c. 1218) and the Waldenses, rejected purgatory, Masses for the dead, papal pardons and indulgences, and the worship of Mary and the saints.
- John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384) preached against corruption in the monastic orders, papal taxation, the doctrine of transubstantiation (doctrine that the bread and wine of Communion become, in substance, but not appearance, the body and blood of Jesus Christ at consecration), the confession, and church involvement in temporal affairs.
- Jan Hus (c. 1369-1415) preached against the corruption of the Roman Church and stressed the importance of reading the Bible. This swiftly fetched the anger of the hierarchy upon him. In 1403, the church leaders ordered him to stop preaching the antipapal notions of Wycliffe, whose books they had openly burned. Hus, nevertheless, went on to pen some of the most hurtful impeachments against the Church and their practices, such as the sale of indulgences. He was condemned and excommunicated in 1410.
Reformation Seeds of Truth Seekers
- Girolamo Savonarola (1452-98) was of the San Marcos monastery in Florence, Italy, spoke out against the corruption in the Church.
- Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a monk-scholar, who was also a doctor of theology and a professor of Biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. Luther disagreed with or argued against papal indulgences, power, purgatory, plenary remission of all penalties of the pope, among many others.
- Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was a Catholic priest, who agreed with Luther in many doctrinal areas, in addition to the removal of all vestiges of the Roman Church: images, crucifixes, clerical garb, and even liturgical music. However, he disagreed with Luther’s literal interpretation of the Eucharist, or Mass (Communion), as he said it “must be taken figuratively or metaphorically; ‘This is my body,’ means, ‘The bread signifies my body,’ or ‘is a figure of my body.’” This one issues caused them to part ways.
- Anabaptists (i.e., rejected infant baptism, so rebaptized adults, ana meaning “again” in Greek), Mennonites (Dutch Reformer Menno Simons), and Hutterites (Tyrolean Jacob Hutter), felt that the Reformers did not go far enough in rejecting the failings of the Catholic Church.
- John Calvin (1509-64) published Institutes of the Christian Religion, in which he summarized the ideas of the early church fathers and medieval theologians, as well as those of Luther and Zwingli. His theological views would take too much space. John Calvin had Michael Servetus burned to death as a heretic. Calvin defended his actions in these words: “When the papists are so harsh and violent in defense of their superstitions that they rage cruelly to shed innocent blood, are not Christian magistrates shamed to show themselves less ardent in defense of the sure truth?” Calvin’s religious extremism and personal hatred made him unwilling to see and understand the radicalness of his judgments and choked out any Christian principles.
- William Tyndale (1494-1536) had to flee from England, published his New Testament in 1526, and completed most of the Old Testament after his betrayal and arrest, in a dungeon. He would be strangled at the stake, and his body was burned. The 1611 King James Version was actually 97 percent Tyndale’s translation. He denounced the practice of prayer to saints. He taught justification by faith, the return of Christ, and mortality of the soul.
- Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609), graduated from Holland’s Leiden University, after which he spent six years in Switzerland, studying theology under Théodore de Bèze, the successor to Protestant Reformer John Calvin. Rather than support Calvinism, he went against it, especially the doctrine of predestination, which was at the core of Calvinism.
The Darnel Seed of Catholicism
Roman Catholicism has tainted itself with its history of immorality and bloodshed, as well as its pagan-tainted religious ideas and practices. The centuries-long oppression, torture, rape, pillage, and murder of tens of millions of men, women, and children cannot come from true Christianity. They were the biggest offenders of the apostasy that Paul said had to come before the day of the Lord.
The Good Seed Protestantism
The Reformation gave us a return to the Bible in the common person’s languages, which the Catholic Church had locked up in the dead language of Latin for 500-years. The Reformers brought the common folk freedom from papal authority but also from many erroneous Bible doctrines and dogmas that had gone on for a thousand years. However, the Protestant denominations have found themselves so fragmented and divided; one can only wonder where the truth and the Way are to be found. All 41,000 plus denominations that call themselves Christian cannot be just different roads leading to the same place.
Over eighty percent of Protestant Christianity is liberal-progressive as to their biblical and social beliefs, which began in the late 18th century up until the present. This covers too much area for a summary, but to mention just a few, they treat the Bible as being from man, not inspired and fully inerrant. They prefer to explain away the Bible accounts of miracles as myths, legends, or folk tales. They do not believe in the historicity of Bible characters such as Adam, Eve, and Job. They say that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible but that they were written by several authors from the tenth to the fifth centuries B.C.E. and were compiled after that. They say Isaiah did not author the book bearing his name in the early eighth century B.C.E., but that two or three authors penned it, centuries later. They claim that Daniel did not write his book in the sixth century B.C.E., but rather it was written in the second-century B.C.E. They claim that the Bible is full of errors, mistakes, and contradictions, as to its history, science and geography. They claim that the Antichrist is merely good versus evil and is not to be taken literally. Higher criticism has opened Pandora’s Box to an overflow of pseudo-scholarly works whose result has been to weaken, challenge and destabilize people’s assurance in the trustworthiness of the Bible. Who needs enemies like agnostics and atheists, when we have liberal Bible scholars? We have not even delved into their unbiblical views of social justice, gay marriage, homosexual priests, abortion, women in the pulpits and far more.
Some may ask what about the remaining twenty percent of Christian denominations. Most of those are moderate in beliefs, which cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the Scriptures and give fodder to the liberal-progressive denominations. These are fence-riders, who have abandoned the Truth and the Way of true, pure worship within Christianity. Before delving into the so-called conservative parts of Christianity, let us look at the charismatics.
We have charismatic Christianity, the fastest growing segment, which emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and modern-day miracles, speaking in tongues and miraculous healing, even fringe groups that perform snake handling in some areas. All of this is unbiblical and based on emotionalism.
Those who believe that charismatic Christianity is false Christianity, persons such as this author, are said to be overly critical. Supporters of Charismatic Christianity say we “should be focusing on the fact that while many in the church continue to abandon our Christian faith, the Pentecostal/Charismatic community continues to offer the church a legitimate growth mechanism.” I would respond that a denomination founded on, grounded in unbiblical beliefs is not true Christianity and are the false teachers and prophets that we were warned were coming by Jesus and the New Testament writers. Therefore, charismatic Christianity is no Christianity at all, and all who are being brought in those groups, are being obscured from finding the path of true Christianity. Further, Catholicism brought in almost the whole world from 400 to 1600 C.E., based on the same false, illogical reasoning from above, this oneness would supposedly be a sign of their being genuine Christianity. However, conservative Protestant denominations would fail to give them a pass.
So-called conservative Christianity is so minuscule that it barely gets press. We should not confuse radical Christianity, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, with truly conservative, fundamentalist Christianity. However, even here within conservative Christianity, we find differences doctrinally, and yes, even in the so-called salvation doctrines.
Are all of the 41,000 different varieties of Christianity just different roads leading to the same place? Are all of the various conservative churches the Truth and the Way? There is no way of knowing for certain, but we know that Christ will bring back the oneness that the first-century church experienced before the day of the Lord. We need to return to the question that Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lu 18:8) Jesus would not find faith on earth at present, not at the level that one might expect, not at present. However, what he would find is many good seeds, those who are truly Christian, who is acting as a restraint against imitation, false Christianity, agnosticism, atheism and every other man of lawlessness.
Believe the Truth
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 but the one whose coming is in accordance with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God is sending upon them a working of error so that they will believe the lie, 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.
Here Paul is using truth (aletheia) as something factual, a truth statement that deals what a fact or reality is. Our eternal future is dependent upon whether we love the truth, i.e., what is true. If we do not accept and love the truth, there is no salvation for us. How can we really know whether we love the truth, or that Satan is using unrighteous deception (deluding influence) on us? (2:9) The first question is, “Can we say that we are truly seeking the truth?” Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy truth, and do not sell it.” Dave Bland writes, “To buy the truth (v. 23) does not mean to pay money for it. Rather it means for one to invest mental, emotional, and spiritual resources in pursuing it.” (Bland 2002, p. 213) ‘Buying truth’ is not as straightforward as one might think. In many cases, it means that we are paying a price; it is coming at a cost to us personally.
What if we discover that a Bible doctrine that is accepted by many denominations is not the truth? Suppose that we have spent months, even years, privately poring over this doctrine and find that it is just not biblically true. Do we simply hide that truth and not bring it up, and if it is commented on at a meeting, do we just not participate that day? What if we are reading a verse in the KJV and we decide to compare the ESV, RSV, UASV and the NASB, to find that all of these recent translations read differently than the King James Version? Do we just drop it and ignore that fact because their reading does not support our doctrinal position, a favorite verse in our beloved KJV that we have often used? What if we do investigate and, we find two articles, one that supports the reading in the KJV and one that supports the reading in the newer translations, and we find that the article for the KJV reading seems to be rationalizing and justifying as it really misrepresents the evidence?
Remember, the apostle Paul was known by his Jewish name Saul before he ever met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Young Saul had studied under the renowned Pharisee Gamaliel, one of the greatest Jewish teachers, who may have been there in the area when Jesus was amazing the Jewish religious leaders, at the age of twelve. Gamaliel was the grandson of Hillel, the Elder (110 B.C.E. – 10 C.E.), the founder of one of the two schools within Judaism. Paul describes himself as “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.” (Phil 3:5-6, ESV) Why was Paul so slow to accept the truth of Christianity, even to the point of his persecuting Christians, and being there when Stephen was stoned to death?
Paul saw Christianity as an apostate, false religion, a break off from Judaism, as it was made up of only Jews before he was converted. Paul had been part of the only true way to God, the Israelite nation, which had existed and received miraculous protection from God for 1,500 years, not to mention the 39 books of the Old Testament. He knew that Deuteronomy said that anyone hung on a tree would be accursed by God. Well, Jesus was executed by being hung on (i.e., nailed to) a wood cross. Paul knew that Daniel and other books said that Jesus would set up a kingdom that would crush all other kingdoms, and never be brought to ruin. Jesus did no such thing and was executed for treason and as a blasphemer of God. Thus, we can see why Saul/Paul was slow to be receptive to the truth.
Nevertheless, Paul did convert. Did Paul buy the truth? Did it cost Paul anything? Yes, Paul had studied under the renowned Gamaliel, meaning he would have been a prominent leader and teacher within Judaism, leading to much wealth. However, in Paul’s own words, what did he suffer for the truth? Paul told the Corinthians that he was “in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times, I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times, I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (2 Cor. 11:23-27, NASB; See also 6:4-10; 7:5; 12:7) Sadly, this was in 55 C.E., so Paul had ten more years of even more pain and suffering before he would be martyred for the truth. So, yes, Paul paid a heavy price for the truth, it cost him much. Yet, concerning such a lifetime as a wealthy, prominent Pharisee, Paul wrote, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” – Philippians 3:7-8.
Looking at Saul/Paul, we can establish whether we really have a love for the truth. Do we have such love for a doctrinal truth that we will accept it when it is contrary to what we thought was a doctrinal truth? Do we have such real love for the truth when a long-held cherished belief is exposed as false?
Imagine the courage that Paul, Barnabas, Timothy, and hundreds of others must have had in the first century Christian congregation. Imagine what is needed today with a liberal-progressive world, Islam being favored over Christianity, many thousands of false Christian denominations that claim to be the truth and the way, with liberal and moderate Bible scholars aiding atheism, not to mention some conservative scholars standing on the line, refusing to take a stand. Again, Paul warned, “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Tim. 4:3-4, ESV) He also warned, “even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” In the same letter, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (2 Cor. 4:3-4; 11:14-15) Many false and imitation Christians prefer to take the path of least resistance, as they possess the spirit of “go along to get along,” which means to conform in order to have acceptance and security, i.e., not standing up for the love of the truth just to avoid confrontation. Yes, they turn away from the truth of God’s Word. Thus, since most are turning away from the truth, do we have the courage of Christ, of Paul, and other faithful ones, to buy the truth, to seek the trust, no matter the cost to us?
In addition, we can tell if we have a love for the truth by our heart attitude. The truth should appeal to both our heart and our head. The disciples of Jesus said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Lu 24:32, ESV) It is only when we have true love for the truth; we will follow it no matter where it leads, and regardless of who is on the other side of the truth. If our hearts, like the disciples of Jesus Christ, burn within us, we will be motivated to action, because our salvation is dependent upon whether we really love the truth.
Walk in the Truth and Be Taught
Psalm 25:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words defines the Hebrew term (emet) “truth” as “faithfulness, reliability, trustworthiness; truth, what conforms to reality in contrast to what is false.” (Mounce 2006, 896) Jehovah God, the Creator of heaven and earth is our only true source of information as to the truth of humanity’s current circumstances (i.e., our imperfect condition). He has a complete understanding of everything that he has created, which includes humankind. He knows our design, which means our optimum circumstances for enjoying the life that he gave us. He is also well aware of how to deal with the rebellion of our first parents, Adam and Eve. He is also aware of what the future holds as well.
Psalm 31:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Jehovah, God of truth.
Jesus himself said to the Father in a prayer of the disciples, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Since we are able to place complete trust in every word God has inspired, we need to heed his direction about human behavior, as it is entirely trustworthy. Young Prince Hezekiah says of Jehovah, “all your commandments are true.” (Ps. 119:151) The promises that he lays out with his Word the Bible are dependable. After a lifetime of trusting Jehovah, Joshua said, “nothing failed from all the good things that Yahweh promised to the house of Israel; everything came to pass.” (Josh. 21:45) Thus, from the books of Moses to the book of Revelation, we see that God is ‘righteous and true in all his ways.’ –Revelation 15:3.
Walking In the Truth
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and were a reflection of his qualities and attributes. Even after the fall, in humanities state of imperfection, we still maintain a good measure of that image. For that reason, there is little surprise that the Creator of humankind would expect us to continue to walk in his truth, or that the lovers of truth would want to walk in his truth. How are we to accomplish this in our imperfection? The Apostle Paul provided that answer when he wrote, “this is good and acceptable before God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) We need to acquire an accurate knowledge of who God is, why he created the earth, humans, and his will and purpose for us and the earth. What does he expect of us, his followers? (John 17:3; 1 John 2:3-4) Walking in the truth is far more than mere head knowledge of who, what, where, why and how of things. This knowledge will lead to what Luke called the early Christians, “the Way.” (Acts 9:2) This taking in knowledge of the Father and the Son will be life altering, to the point where it becomes a Way of life.
Certainly, what is true of our human parents would be even more accurate of our heavenly Father as well. God finds great joy, satisfaction and happiness when imperfect humans choose to imitate his qualities and attributes over their fleshly desires, which lean toward wrongdoing, and over the god of this system of things, Satan the Devil. (Gen. 1:26-27; Pro. 23:24-25) As the Creator and Designer of us, ‘he teaches us what is best for us, leads us in the way you should go.’ (Isa. 48:17) It is a privilege to work with hundreds of millions of others that want to walk in the truth, to be used in the Great Commission, helping millions more to move from death to life. – Matthew 28:19-20; John 5:24.
We also bring glory to God when we walk in the truth. His sovereignty, the rightfulness of his rulership was challenged by Satan, and our choosing to walk with him, means we support him as ruler. (Gen. 3:1-4; Rev. 12:9) Part of Satan’s challenge was that created persons would only love him for what they can get out of him, if opposition to their loyalty arises, they will abandon him. (Job 1:6-12) Thus, our continuously, steadfastly walking in the truth, evidence that lie, because we refuse to compromise what is right for some immediate gratification. (Pro. 27:11) For those who have chosen not to walk in the truth, but have followed the path of independence, like Adam and Eve, they unwittingly align themselves with Satan. He is the “father of the lie,” “who deceives the whole world,” as he is “the god of this age [and] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.” (Jn. 8:44; Rev. 12:9; 2 Cor. 4:4) These have a closed heart and mind and are unable to see the path of truth. May we maintain the mindset of the Psalmist and the prophet Samuel,
Psalm 25:4-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Make me to know your ways, O Jehovah;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
1 Samuel 12:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile. 24 Only fear Jehovah, and serve him faithfully with all your heart, for see what great things he has done for you.
Written for Our Instruction
We can learn some object lessons from what God has disclosed to us in his Word. Paul told the Corinthians “these things happened to those people as an example but are written for our instruction.” (1 Cor. 10:11) He also told the congregation in Rome, “For whatever was written beforehand was written for our instruction, in order that through patient endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope.” (Rom. 15:4) Israelite history is a great opportunity for us to learn. God personally chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they were walking with him while others chose to abandon him. The nation of Israel was the descendants of Jacob’s 12 sons.
The Israelites became God’s chosen people, of whom he made a covenant, to which they agreed to follow. If they walked in the truth, they would be blessed by God’s presence. If they abandoned that walk like the pagan nations, they would lose his presence, resulting in the difficulties that came with living in this fallen world. Whilst they maintained their loyalty, they never became victims to enemy nations. (Deut. 28:7) Furthermore, they could depend on crop growth that was exceptional year after year, as well as their flocks of animals. (Ex. 22:1-15) Additionally, they had no reason to build jails to house criminals, because they had the perfect social system. (Ex. 22:1-15) In addition, they did not suffer from diseases like other nations (Deut. 7:15). Moreover, while they had an army, if they had obeyed, it would have never needed to be used because God fought in their behalf. (2 Ki 19:35)He promised them that they would “be blessed more than all of the peoples,” and when they walked in the truth, this proved to be true.
Deuteronomy 7:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle.
We all have the history before us of how Israel just refused to walk in the truth. They would walk in the truth for a number of years, and then they would abandon that truth until life was impossibly difficult, moving them to return to the Father. This walking in the truth, abandoning the truth, and repenting to return to the truth, went on for some 1,500 years. The final difficulty in this back and forth was their rejection of the Son of God. His words to them were quite clear:
Matthew 21:43 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation, producing the fruit of it.
Matthew 23:37-38 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.
38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!
Just who are the people or nation that the Kingdom was to be given to after the Israelites fell out of favor with God? He chose for himself a new spiritual nation, which became the Christian congregation that Jesus established between 29 and 33 C.E. He no longer had the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as his chosen people, by which other nations would bless themselves.
Acts 10:34-35 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Acts 13:46 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.
Did this mean that no Jewish person could be a part of the Kingdom? Hardly! The first disciples of that Kingdom for seven years, 29 C.E. to 36 C.E. were only Jewish people. After 36 C.E., and the baptism of the first Gentile, Cornelius, anyone, including the Jews, could be a part of this Kingdom, as long as they accepted the King, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) At Jesus’ Baptism, there was a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matt.3:16-17) Jesus’ teaching, miraculous signs, his ransom sacrifice, and resurrection, established him as the truth, having the authority and power of the Father. The Christians in the first century were given the position of being God’s chosen people. (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 43) The truth would now flow through Jesus to the Christian congregation. As Paul told the Corinthians, “For to us God has revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10) It happened just as Jesus had said it would, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to young children.” – Matthew 11:25.
However, more truth was on the horizon with the birth of the Christian congregation. There had been 39 books written by the Jewish writers of the Hebrew Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:16-17), and now there was to be added an additional 27 books by Jewish Christians, making up the Greek New Testament (2 Peter 2:15-16). Thus, there were 66 small books, written over a 1,600-year period that would make one book, which we hold today in our modern-day translations. Yes, some 40 plus Bible writers were, as Peter put it, “men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” – 2 Peter 1:21.
True and False Disciples
The question that begs to be asked is, ‘how do we know, who is walking in the truth and who only appears to be walking in the truth?’ Who truly is the dispenser of truth these days? As has been mentioned, we have some 41,000 different denominations that all claim to be Christian, and each would argue that they are doing just that.
Matthew 7:21-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’
The primary concern of any true disciple of Christ is that he is “one who does the will of my Father.” Many times we hear Christians saying, “I think, I feel, I believe,” when in reality this is not the right path. We need to establish what the will of the Father is, as opposed to our will, or the will of our pastor, or the will of the people, or the popular will. Maybe we are accomplishing some very good deeds that are done in the name of Christ, but if it is not the will of the Father; then, it is being done in vain. We need to appreciate that the Father has placed all authority into the hands of the Son.
John 17:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify you, 2 just as you have given him authority over all flesh, so that he may give eternal life to all those whom you have given to him. 3 This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 24:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
John 6:38 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
38 because I have come down from heaven not that I should do my will, but the will of the one who sent me.
John 5:24 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
What do we learn from the above texts? (1) We need to do the will of the Father, if we are to be walking in the truth. (2) The Father gave all authority to the Son. (3) The Son, Jesus, does not do his will, but the will of the Father. (4) Therefore, to do the will of the Father is to obey the Son, who is doing the will of the Father. Jesus specifically told his disciples before his ascension that he had “all authority in heaven and on earth.” Then, he gave them one commission to obey, which was to preach, to teach, and make disciples. In other words, a disciple walking in the truth is one, who is being used as a tool to bring people from all nations over from death into life.
Faithfully Walking in the Truth
3 John 1:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 No greater joy do I have than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
The Apostle John penned these words about 96-98 C.E. when he was almost 100 years old. He had spent a lifetime of making disciples and helping them to maintain their walk in the truth. This writer has spoken many times about the number of denominations today, numbering around 41,000. Those denominations that are walking in the truth today are those that reflect Scripture, as though it were a fingerprint. When a detective lifts a fingerprint from a crime scene, and there is a match to a criminal, it is done by determining how many points within the print match up. We can use this as an analogy for those who are walking in the truth. If we use the Bible as lines in a fingerprint, how many points match up? However, for the sake of argument, let us assume that the reader is in a denomination that highly reflects the Bible, and first century Christianity. How can we be certain that we will be able to maintain our walk in the truth?
There are many difficulties in this life, which can sap us of our strength to continue our walk. Maybe we have grown discouraged because of serious health problems, or family difficulties. Then, there are those that have become distracted chasing after the lifestyles that this world has to offer. What can we do, so as not to drift away, fall away, turn away, refuse, or become sluggish in our walk in the truth?
Consider Jesus Christ
Jesus did not live in an ideal time. He lived under the Roman Empire that expected taxes from its citizen, and he lived under the Jewish system, who demanded their taxes as well. Many Jews were very poor, and the Jewish Law was very oppressive on its people because the religious leaders added so many oral traditions. When Jesus finally started his ministry, he was tempted personally by Satan. In addition, those who chose to follow him were very difficult to deal with, because Jewish pride kept them seeking their own interests. Furthermore, Jesus faced those that mocked him for his message, as well as Jewish religious leaders that were trying to kill him for that message. Moreover, he knew how things were going to end, how he was going to be betrayed by one of the twelve, arrested, beaten within an inch of his life, and executed as a blasphemer. (Matt. 4:8-11; John 6:14, 15) Regardless, of all the difficulties that came his way, Jesus continued walking in the truth. What was it that gave him the ability to persevere?
Hebrews 12:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Paul informs us what it was that enabled Jesus to endure. It was ‘the joy set before him.” He knew the result of his obedience right up to the very end, and so he kept walking in the truth, as should we. We too can keep in mind the reward of eternal life. (Rev. 22:12) As we are walking through life, there may be, some very atrociously difficult times, where getting up each morning seems overwhelming. If one can focus in on the destination of this journey, it will make each step of the way, just a little easier. Therefore, we can find our walk in the truth, somewhat easier, if we see the life that awaits us.
Consider the Apostle Paul
2 Corinthians 11:23-29 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
23 Are they servants of Christ? I reply like a madman, I am more outstandingly one: I have done more work, been imprisoned more often, with countless beatings, and often near deaths. 24 Five times I received 40 strokes less one from the Jews, 25 three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I experienced shipwreck, a night and a day I have spent in the open sea; 26 in journeys often, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own people, in dangers from the nations, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers among false brothers, 27 in labor and toil, in sleepless nights often, in hunger and thirst, frequently without food, in cold and lacking clothing. 28 Besides those things of an external kind, there is what rushes in on me from day to day: the anxiety for all the congregations. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not incensed?
Philippians 4:11-13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to be made lowly, and I know also how to be abounding; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret of both being filled and going hungry, both to abound and to be lacking. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
We have to appreciate the power that is offered to us, just as it was offered to Jesus and Paul, and other servants from the Hebrew Old Testament (Ps. 55:12). It is not the power to fulfill our wishes or desires, but the power to carry out the will and purpose of the Father and the Son. Our ability to walk in the truth through such things as that, which Jesus and Paul walked through, does not come to us naturally. However, this power to endure is very much available to us today as well.
Isaiah 40:29-31 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
29 He gives power to the tired one,
and full might to those lacking strength.
30 Youths will tire out and grow weary,
And young men will stumble and fall;
31 But those hoping in Jehovah will regain power;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and not tire out.
What kinds of things would be in harmony with the will and purposes of God, by which we may be empowered? The world requires so much of our strength to cover the necessities of food, housing, and clothing. We may be worn out from work, so we need the strength to carry out our daily personal Bible study, going to Christian meetings, Christian activities, and especially our evangelism of the Good News. We may need strength to maintain our Christian walk in the face of temptations, discouragement, or some form of persecution. – Psalm 1:1-3; Romans 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 17; Hebrews 10:23-25.
Satan is the god of this wicked age.’ (2 Cor. 4:4) Christians are his primary targets, as we are alien residents to his world. Therefore, we should not be at all startled that there is the extra difficulty of living a righteous life in an unrighteous world. When we accept Christ, it is as though we have arrived in a new land, the land of Christianity. It is not an isolated nation but is embedded with a world of nations that are contrary to its very essence of God. It is no easy task to pick up stakes in the land of worldliness. We must let go of old friends, and begin to discover new ones. We must learn a completely new culture. In this land, we are the minority, and most people see us as though we are a stranger in their land. As Christians, our walk in the truth can take us through many difficulties in life, but our destination is life in a renewed world, not this wicked fallen one.
How does this analogy play out for the Christian? We must now learn how to live according to the Spirit, not the flesh, an entirely new moral code. Shortly thereafter, we will develop a new personality that is reflective of our new land of Christianity. “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of [Jehovah] and serve him with one accord.” (Zeph. 3:9) As a new member of Christ’s Kingdom, we will have already given up our former ways.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men of passive homosexual acts, nor men of active homosexual acts, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
There are far more benefits to this move from the land of worldliness to the land of Christianity. First, the land of Christianity has a population of persons that live a morally clean life, who accept and love us for who we are, not who we were. (Lu 18:29-30) Second, there is the strength that we are given to cope with this new life, as an alien resident in the land of worldliness. Third, there is God’s Word, the Bible, which if followed will generally lead to a far better outcome that the former days of being led by the flesh. Fourth, we now have the hope of life, while before it was the inevitability of death. (Phil. 4:8-9) Most importantly, we will now be a friend of the Creator of heaven and earth. – James 2:23; Matthew 7:13, 14; 1 John 2:15-17
Consider Your Spiritual Health
It is generally true that if we take care of your physical health, we will seldom fall ill; and should we fall ill, the recovery is easier and faster. The same is true of spiritual health. If we fall ill spiritually, the recovery will be easier and faster, if we were healthy to begin with. We need to keep the benefits that we have received from obeying Scripture, and the hope that awaits us at the forefront of our mind. Of course, we cannot completely sidestep the difficulties of this imperfect world or its people, but if we have maintained our spiritual health, they will not overcome us entirely because there is the resurrection hope, which no one can take from us.
- What is the apostasy that was foretold and how long was it to run?
- Who is the man of lawlessness and how will this lawless one be destroyed?
- What rebellion against God has taken place?
- Who has been acting as the restraint against the apostasy and the man of lawlessness from the first century until now?
- What two different types of seeds have grown up together?
- What is the darnel seed of Catholicism?
- What does it mean to believe the truth?
- What does it mean to walk in the truth?
- How can we know if we truly love the truth?
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Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …
…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 Or seduce
 Namely, to stand off from the truth, i.e., to not only fall away from the faith, but to then turn on the faith, rebellion.
 Lit seduction
 Or a deluding influence
 Lit with the blood of his Own.
 Or to tell them what they want to hear
 “Darnel, the weed [in Jesus’ parable of the Wheat and the Weeds] (species name Lolium temulentum,) is an annual plant that grows in the same areas as wheat. Darnel is nearly indistinguishable from wheat until the ear appears. Wheat ears are heavy and make the entire plant droop downward but darnel’s light ears stand up straight. Ripe wheat is light brown but darnel is black. Jesus’ parable of the weeds among the wheat in Matt. 13:24–40 builds on the early stage resemblance between darnel and wheat. Hos 10:4, Matt 13:24–40” – (Logos Bible Images by Richard Myers) It should be added that in the roots of these weeds entangle themselves with the wheat, which would make it inadvisable to pull the weed early.
 Lit seduction
 Or a deluding influence
 B.C.E. years ran down toward zero, although the Romans had no zero, and C.E. years ran up from zero. (100, 10, 3, 2, 1 ◄B.C.E. | C.E.► 1, 2, 3, 10, and 100)
 i.e., in cold and nakedness
 “4:3 not endure. This refers to holding up under adversity, and can be translated “tolerate.” Paul here warns Timothy that, in the dangerous seasons of this age, many people would become intolerant of the confrontive, demanding preaching of God’s Word (1:13, 14; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; 6:3–5). … their own desires . . . itching ears. Professing Christians and nominal believers in the church follow their own desires and flock to preachers who offer them God’s blessings apart from His forgiveness, and His salvation apart from their repentance. They have an itch to be entertained by teachings that will produce pleasant sensations and leave them with good feelings about themselves. Their goal is that men preach “according to their own desires.” Under those conditions, people will dictate what men preach, rather than God dictating it by His Word. 4:4 fables. This refers to false idealogies, viewpoints, and philosophies in various forms that oppose sound doctrine.” – MacArthur, John (2005-05-09). The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 60854-60860). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
 Greek epignosis, accurate or full knowledge
 Or people
 This is a reverential fear of displeasing God because of one’s great love for him. It is not a dreadful fear.
 I.e., does what is right
 Matt. 15:30-31; 20:28; John 4:34; 5:19, 27, 30; 6:38, 40; 7:16-17; 17:1-2; Acts 2:22
 7:21 Not everyone who says . . . but he who does. The faith that says but does not do is really barren unbelief (cf. v. 20). Jesus is not suggesting that works merit salvation but that true faith will not fail to produce the fruit of good works. This point is also precisely the point of James 1:22–25; 2:26. 7:22 7:22 have we not prophesied . . . cast out demons . . . and done many wonders. Note that far from being totally devoid of works of any kind, these people were claiming to have done some remarkable signs and wonders. In fact, their whole confidence was in these works—further proof that these works, spectacular as they might have appeared, could not have been authentic. No one so bereft of genuine faith could possibly produce true good works. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit (v. 18). 7:23 lawlessness. All sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), i.e., rebellion against the law of God (cf. 13:41). – MacArthur, John (2005-05-09). The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 39114-39118). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
 Or in the whole world
 Lit and in nakedness
 Lit I am not on fire
 Or “self-sufficient”
 Lit in
 Or have fellowship with
 I am not of the mind of the rest of Christianity, who believe that sharing their conversion, or what God has done in their life is our “evangelism.” Our evangelism is to preach the Good News, to teach Bible doctrine, and to make disciples by conversion, much of which is not being done in Christianity at this point and time.
 The two Greek terms refer to passive men partners and active men partners in consensual homosexual acts