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Putting God First and Living By Every Word of God

Sabbath Greetings Brethren,

We read in Exodus that on the Night to Be Much Observed the children of Israel departed from the land of Egypt and began their journey to the Promised Land. In the third month they came to the Sinai wilderness and there they pitched their tents and set up camp at the base of the Sinai mountain.

It was there that Moses went up to the mountain to talk to God. The Lord then told Moses that He wanted to enter into a covenant with the people whom He had freed from bondage.

God sent Moses to say to the people that if they would obey His voice and keep the words of the covenant that He was going to present to them, then they would be His people, a peculiar [special] treasure [possession]. In addition, they would be for Him a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and greater than all the other nations on earth [because they were keeping His holy and righteous laws].

In essence, this was a marriage proposal to the nation of Israel by which God would be to them a Husband and Israel would be His wife (Jeremiah 31:32), and if they would submit to Him and obey all of His laws, then they would be His special people and He would be their God; He would provide for them, protect them, and make them a prosperous and holy nation, and they would serve as an example for all the other nations on earth.

Exodus 19:3 Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.

The people of Israel agreed to submit to God, obey all of His laws, and to accept the terms of the Covenant.

Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

The Lord then told Moses to prepare the people to come before Him to hear the Lord speak the words that He had given to Moses.

Exodus 19:9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe [trust] thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

So the people did as Moses said and prepared themselves for that day when the Lord would descend upon the top of Mount Sinai [also called Horeb – Exodus 3:1, 1sr Kings 19:8, Malachi 4:4,] in a fire and speak the Ten Commandments in their hearing.

God began His proclamation of the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel by reminding them that He was their God, the One who had brought them out of the land of Egypt and had delivered them from slavery. And then the very first command was that they were to have no other gods before Him.

Exodus 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying, 20:2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

In chapter 5 of the Book of Deuteronomy we read that Moses called all the people together to hear God’s commandments. Moses told them to “listen up” and to give him their full attention by first saying: “HEAR O Israel”. 

It was very important that they listen to what he was about to proclaim: the Ten Commandments of their Husband whom they had agreed to enter a marriage covenant with. They were to listen intently so that they could learn, and then keep and do all the statutes and judgments that Moses was about to speak in their hearing that day.

Deuteronomy 5:1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. 5:2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

When we hear the Word of God we must learn it (let God’s Word sink deep within our hearts) and what we learn, we must put into practice and apply God’s laws and principles to every aspect our lives and in every situation. This means we are not to just fill our minds with knowledge of God or to memorize Scriptures for the sole purpose of impressing ourselves or others. 

But we are to internalize all of God’s laws into our very core being (the inner most part of our hearts) so that we not only know them, but have incorporated them into our character enough that they become part of our nature. And if they have become part of our character we will do them not in just the letter of the law, but also according to the very spiritual intent of the law as we spiritually mature and overcome our own human nature.

Deuteronomy 5:3 The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. 5:4 The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, 5:5 (I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying, 5:6 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 5:7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

And the second commandment forbids us from the worship of idols of any kind in place of worshiping the true God, our Creator.

Deuteronomy 5:8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, 5:10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

IF they would obey Him and keep the things written in the Covenant, His promise was that He would make them to be a peculiar [special] treasure belonging to Him; they would be a “holy” [sanctified, set-apart] nation above all the other nations on earth.

The other nations would take notice and see that God was with the nation of Israel, and these nations would see that it was because the Israelites had set Him above all else and had incorporated His laws and statutes within their governance that they had become a wise and understanding people! These other nations would then come to realize (and proclaim) that it was the true God, Creator of heaven and earth that was really the source of their greatness. They would say: “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

Deuteronomy 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 4:7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Keeping the first commandment laid the foundation for the keeping all of His other commandments, for if God was put first above all other gods and everything else in their lives, they would honor Him, serve Him and obey Him by living according to all of His Word. And this is what makes a nation (or a person) Wise and Great: more so than all the military might in the world.  

The nation of Israel was to serve as an excellent, godly example for the other nations who would see these things about them. This was God’s original intent for the children of Israel, if only they had continued to serve and obey Him throughout the ages.

We Are Called To Be A Spiritual Nation

In the New Covenant God calls individuals of all races and nationalities, and if these individuals respond positively to His call upon their lives, they become members of His nation; but now it is a spiritual nation (the Israel of God) which is made up of all those who are God’s children through faith and obedience to Him.

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Romans 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

The spiritual children of God are also set apart to become a holy [spiritual] nation and we, too, are to become a kingdom of priests that show forth an example of what it means to belong to God and to live according to all of His Word.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

God’s faithful children called by the Father are becoming a holy priesthood and they therefore are to offer up spiritual sacrifices (by our words and by our conduct) that are acceptable to our God.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

All those who faithfully answer God’s call to become one of His through His atoning sacrifice, sincere repentance, and committing to sin no more by keeping the words of the Covenant are essentially saying: “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8), [I will do everything according to the whole Word of God and I will forsake all other gods by having no other gods before Him].

When Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread while He was fasting in the wilderness; Jesus refuted his temptation by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 that states that man is to live by every word of God.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

God’s laws are not Moses’ laws, but they come from the very Creator of mankind. Yes, they were given to the nation of Israel in the wilderness on that day of Pentecost so many years ago (and the children of Israel agreed that they would do the words of God’s Covenant); but these laws were fully in effect before Moses time. In fact, the Ten Commandments have been in full force and in effect since the time of creation. They are spiritual laws that work just as physical laws work, and those who break God’s commandments reap the consequences just as those who defy the laws of gravity. If one jumps off a cliff, the effect is devastating. So it is when we break God’s immutable spiritual laws.

When God calls us and we respond to His call, we enter into a Covenant with Him, only now in this dispensation it is the New Covenant. At baptism we publicly confess with our mouths that we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord (Master) and Savior (our Redeemer) and that we will live our lives for God from that time forth, that we will obey Him alone, will serve Him and follow Him for the rest of our lives, not only until our physical death, but throughout all eternity.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward [perverse, crooked] generation.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For those who believe that Jesus is their Savior and saves them from the consequences of their sins, who sincerely repent and make a baptismal commitment to go and sin no more, and who make Him their Lord; it is to them that God grants the opportunity to become a son of God. We must then use our lives to grow in the faith, applying all the principles of God’s Word to every aspect of our lives. We must cry out to God for help to overcome all of our sins and to change our human nature into His divine nature; learning and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord until we are resurrected to spirit and we become the sons of God in the very fullest sense.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord, we affirm that He is our MASTER and it is to Him that we look to, He is the God who shows us the way of salvation and we then look to Him to tell us how we are to live. As our Master over us we are to serve and obey Him above all else, and we must not look unto any idols or have any other masters over us.

Just a short time after the children of Israel were delivered from their bondage in Egypt, the One who became Jesus Christ thundered from heaven on the day of Pentecost: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. The Covenant that God made with the children of Israel is built upon the Ten Commandments, and all the law is built upon the foundation of the first commandment: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me” for if we break any of the other nine commandments then we are not serving our God, the One who commands us to have no other god; and if He is truly our God, then we will obey Him and serve only Him and do all He says.

God prohibits His people against idolatry, and He also gives a reason for that prohibition. It was the Lord, the Almighty God, who had the power to bring His people out of bondage in Egypt. When Israel was small, despised, and lowly slaves in Egypt, God loved them and choose them to be His own, and it was, He, alone, who delivered and protected them, even miraculously bringing them safely through the Red Sea.

For all this, and the fact that God owned them now, not Pharaoh anymore, He declares to His people that He alone deserves to be worshiped and reverenced.

There is no other god or idol (or man) that does what God does. Idols are nothing and can do nothing, but God is our Redeemer and will save all those who turn to Him in sincere repentance; they are those who believe in Him enough to love Him and do as He commands.

When God first calls His spiritual children, they too are called the weak and despised of the world (1st Corinthians 1:27-30 ); we are carnal and sinners in bondage to sin and to the ruler of this age and God delivers us from Egypt, washes us, applies His atoning blood to our sins, shows us how to live, and calls us His own.

The whole Word of God (every word that proceeds out of His mouth) is what we are to believe and obey. In the Book of Isaiah God is speaking through the prophet Isaiah to ancient Israel, but this is also speaking mightily to Israel in the latter days and also to the Spiritual House of Israel [His Ekklesia].

Isaiah 44:21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. 44:23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; 44:26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me…

Do we as the spiritual children of God called to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, put God first before everything else in this life and worship and serve Him rather than any other?

Not only did God create Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, but He also is the Maker of every person descended from them. Because the Creator God is the God who created us, we belong to Him! In that sense everyone belongs to God and eventually all who have ever lived will have the opportunity to be called at some point according to when God chooses for each person.

All who respond positivity to God’s revelation of who He is and what He requires when the scales are taken from their eyes, will have the opportunity to become His children.

But for the present, those who spiritually belong to God are the ones whom God has called and who desire to do all that He commands; they form the Israel of God at this time. These same ones have God’s Spirit and each faithful child of God then becomes a living stone in His Spiritual Temple and they belong to the Holy One who is the Messiah and the One who made them; and they are precious in His sight.

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

You Shall Not Depart From the Law of God to the Right Hand or to the Left

After Moses died Joshua was chosen to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Just before the children of Israel were to take possession of the land, Christ spoke to Joshua personally to encourage him and to admonish him that his success in his mission was dependent upon his (and the Israelites’) obedience to the Laws of God and not swerving one iota from them.

The New Covenant Ekklesia is a type of Joshua and the children of Israel, for we, too, are about to enter the Promised Land (the Kingdom of God), therefore these words were written for us as well. We who are called and are faithful to God’s Word are the children of God who form the spiritual nation of Israel; and as God spoke to Joshua and the children of Israel, likewise He is dually speaking to us who are living in the end times as we are preparing to enter the Kingdom of God. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”                   (1 Corinthians 10:11)

Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

This is very reassuring, Brethren, that God will be with us too as He was with Moses and Joshua, and will give us success. No enemy will be able to thwart God’s plan for us (individually and collectively), IF we are doing all that God tells us and IF we do not swerve to the right hand or to the left.

If we are faithfully striving to obey all of God’s laws, He will cause us to PROSPER wherever we go just as He promised Joshua. If we are looking to God and putting Him first in all things and living according to His whole Word, He will give us the tools we need to help us to prosper spiritually and to overcome the works of darkness.

This is encouragement for us that we, too, WILL be SUCESSFUL in all that God has given us to do even though we may still have to go through trials and persecutions in this life which only serve to prepare us and fit us for our leadership roles in God’s Kingdom. (“It is “through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom of God.”Acts 14:22)

As a holy nation of the priesthood of God, we are to live by every Word of God, to obey God above all else, knowing from the depths of our hearts that God’s Word is truth and that any departure from that Word is falsehood. Anything that is contrary to God’s Word is nothing but lies and false doctrines.   We are NOT to depart to the left hand or to the right from what God says in His Word.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

If we are to be the godly saltiness of the earth and God’s lights for the other people of the world we cannot be inconsistent nor can we be willing to compromise with God’s Word even in the little things.

God expects His spiritual children to be examples to others, now, in this life of the Way that leads to eternal life.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the importance of keeping the whole Word of God, even in the things that we might think do not matter that much. Even those things that we (or others) may think of as being least important are important in the eyes of God; and we are to teach everything that Jesus taught, not only by our words, but also in our actions and in how we live our lives. We cannot be the salt of the earth and the lights to the world if we compromise God’s ways even in the little things. 

If we are to be the teachers of God’s laws and precepts in the future Kingdom of God, then we must be willing to live those things now as proof that we will always be loyal to Him and His Word, and that we believe in our hearts that God’s ways are true and that they are the BEST WAY to live. And also that we put God first and that we will have no other gods and will live our lives for Him alone, now, and into all eternity. On the contrary, if we are unwilling to obey God in the little things that He has shown us to be right, how can He ever trust us to teach any of His truths (no matter how little or how big) to others in the future as a king or a priest, teachers of His great LAW?

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

What is “the Word of Life”? It is God’s TRUTH contained in His whole Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ shows us the Way to [eternal] life by His example and by His written Word that teaches us how to keep of all His commandments, ordinances, statutes, and judgments. The Holy Scriptures contain all of God’s sound doctrines; that if a man or woman believes in them and lives by the whole Word of God, this will lead that man or woman to salvation and eternal life as a member of God’s spiritual family.

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

God tells us that there is only ONE way to gain salvation and there is only ONE TRUTH ; there is only one MEDIATOR and that Mediator is Jesus Christ; no other person, no other gods other than our Creator God, and not even the religious organizations we belong to, nor any minister must be allowed to come between ourselves and God. He alone is our Savior!

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Moses tells us who our true Rock is and that it is Christ who is a God of truth, He does not sin, and He is Just and Right. And then Moses reminds us that it was this God who made us and purchased us to be His very own.

Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 32:3 Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he32:5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. 32:6 Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

Those of us who have been in the Ekklesia for any length of time have read these verses and may have even memorized most of them and yet it is very easy to become deceived and depart from what God tells us is truth if we are not vigilant.  We are surrounded by the false teachings and the pagan traditions of the world and, indeed, they are embedded into the very fabric of our culture. We must root out all the pagan things we have been taught in our past and we must be constantly fighting to keep far from their influence as we live in this present evil world.

In addition, we have been so deeply ingrained within us the idea that we must look to men, that God has placed “anointed” men as leaders in the Ekklesia whom we must obey and follow, and if we do not obey them then we are outside of God’s grace and not doing all of God’s will.

Yes, it is true that God has place certain ones in leadership positions in His Ekklesia and we are to learn from them, submit to them in ways that lead to godliness and order within the assemblies; they are like the farmers who spread the seed and point us to God and His Word; but we are never to put them before Christ and His sound doctrine if we see that they are not teaching sound doctrine, but are in fact, insisting on making the people keep man’s traditions that are not of God.

When we perceive that any man or woman is teaching contrary to what God plainly says in His Word, then we are to run from them. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away”. (2nd Timothy 3:5, see also the book of Jude)

The apostle Paul taught his followers to only follow him as He followed Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

In another place Paul said of himself and of his fellow workers:

2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Paul also exhorted Timothy to teach other faithful men what Paul had taught him so that they, too, would be equipped to teach others the Word of Truth.

2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Later in the letter, Paul gave Timothy his marching orders as a preacher of God’s Word and as an elder over God’s flock:

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Paul encourages Timothy, who was also called to be a faithful servant of God, to be always ready no matter what the season or time; to correct those who err in doctrine or behavior; to warn those who sin; and to exhort and encourage those who are growing toward maturity in their faith and to do all these things with patience on his part; and to remain ever faithful to do the work God called him to do in teaching the brethren sound doctrine.

 “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and  accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold,  and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable]. But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5 AMP)

So we see that the job of an elder or teacher in the Ekklesia is clearly delineated throughout Scripture. Scripture tells us that the offices that God sets in His Ekklesia are to be respected and we are to support those who labor amongst us and who are diligently doing their best to exhort the brethren and to teach the way of God more fully. 

But nowhere does it say in Scripture that any man is to be a mediator in our relationship to God, nor that we are to call any corporate organization “the church”, or “our church” in the sense that a corporation (that is formed by a man, or a group of men), is the same as the Body of Christ and that we must obey these organizations and the men who lead them in all things no matter what.

The apostle Peter also laid out the role of the elders (of which he was one) who are placed in the assemblies with his admonishment to them, to feed God’s people and to exercise good leadership over those placed in their care; but not to act as their “over-lords”!

Rather, the elders are to serve as godly examples of what it means to be a man of God for the other people who look to them as leaders in the Ekklesia.

1st Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Even though God places leaders in the Ekklessia, they are still all brethren and should be seen as our brothers in the faith and we not to revere anyone as a kind of “great one”, which often happens among the leaders in this world like the Nicolaitan doctrine that the other religions of the world espouse.

Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Rather than blindly following those who say that they are God’s “chosen” leaders and that we are to believe what they teach just because they say so and further do not encourage the people to prove the things that they teach from Scripture; we are to obey God first and foremost and not deviate in any way from His laws or sound doctrine in order to please those who we think of as leaders; and we are not to even listen to those who do not follow Christ or those who do not embrace the fact that God’s called-out are to live by every Word of God.

If an elder says that it is okay to pay others to do work we would consider unlawful for us to do on the Sabbath when we go to restaurants, or we are to send to them all our money and even take out second mortgages to send to them; or if we are told we must move a Holy Day date over a day or two [as per the postponement rules] because they want us to follow a man-made calendar; how is that being an example of the flock and faithfully teaching God’s people the whole counsel of God?

God’s Word is TRUTH and ANY departure from that Word is falsehood. The purpose of our calling is to walk in truth; we are not called to be in any kind of social club; or to fit in with some group so that we can “influence” or convince them of sound doctrine when they have demonstrated that they do not want to follow God’s clear commands.

When God calls men and women to His truth, He is calling them to a radical way of living that is different from the ways other people live, and it is not easy sometimes to stay true to Him. Many of us have been put down, rejected, mocked, and persecuted for standing up for the truth of God and for refusing to bend to those in the world (and sometimes to bend to those even in the corporate groups) and what they dictate as to what we should believe and how we should live our lives.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

We have been called to fear God and not fear men and what they may say of us. Jesus prayed to His Father that His disciples would be sanctified (set apart) by the TRUTH! And that is what we are to live and teach to others and never swerve from that truth.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

2 John 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

Psalm 119:137 Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments. 119:138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. 119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. 119:141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

2nd Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 3:17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

If we begin to see that an elder, or a whole group, is NOT teaching according to the whole Word of God and NOT according to sound doctrine, then we are to go to them and warn them; but if they will not hear then we are to reject them and remove ourselves from being subjected to their teachings and their examples any further.

2nd Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Always remember Isaiah 45:5  where God says I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me...” and Isaiah 43:11 “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.”

We are to put God first always, no one else is to be our god. There is only One God that can save mankind from death and destruction. He says that He alone is our Savior.

The very first commandment tells us that we are to have this God, the One who brought us out of the land of Egypt (an allegory for us; that we have have been delivered from the god of this world and from being slaves to sin) as our God, meaning that we are to worship and obey Him above any other false god; this includes anything and anyone else that we might look to as a “god”.

Again, the first commandment to have no other Gods is the basis for the remaining nine commandments, for to worship and obey God means that we obey Him in everything that He tells us to do and above all else.

Deuteronomy 5:7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

And the second commandment is that we are not to make for ourselves any kind of idol; this can be a concrete thing like our material things or a person such as family members, teachers, ministers; or something that is invisible/intangible like falsehoods or ideas that are contrary to God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 5:8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them…

Anything we serve or esteem more than God or look to as our savior becomes an idol. The called out faithful children of God belong to Christ, He alone made us and it is to Him alone that we owe our allegiance.

The religious leaders during the time of the apostles, commanded that they not teach about Christ and His Gospel message to the local people, but the apostles stood up and defied them and said that “we must obey God rather than men”.

Acts 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Judge Righteous Judgment

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

We hear so much these days that it is it wrong to judge others when things they are doing or teaching are not right and those things are pointed out (brought to attention). Some members of the COG become indignant when there are warnings put out of leaders and even whole groups who are misleading the people of God.

But is it wrong to discern when we, or our leaders, have strayed from teaching sound doctrine and that there are men in the COG’s who are teaching things that they ought not?

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Deuteronomy 1:16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.

Yes, it is wrong to judge others in condemnation of them or to judge them unfairly… but it is not wrong to judge righteously to determine if things that are being promoted and taught are according to God’s Word and His sound doctrine or not

Titus 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.  

By judging righteously about things and people we can keep false doctrines from spreading, and then remove ourselves and our families from false teachers, false teachings, and from potentially harmful situations. God commands that we do this kind of judging so that we can do what is right in His eyes and according to His Word… and not just blindly follow others no matter what they teach or do.

Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Jesus warned His disciples about false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be one of the sheep, but are in realty ravenous wolves that want to devour the sheep. These false prophets only want to turn those called to salvation away from God so that they will not inherit the good things He has planned for them.

At the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned His disciples about false prophets and then went on to teach them about how they will be able to spot them by their fruits, which is their behavior; and that it is by the keeping of His wise sayings (His whole Word), to be rock solid in the things of God; and then when these false teachers and trials come along we will be like a house built upon a Rock (Christ) and nothing will be able to shake us.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Later, toward the end of Jesus’ ministry when the disciples asked Jesus about the signs that would show that His return was near; the first thing He told them was to take heed that they not be deceived, for many would come in His name and would deceive many.

If they are coming in Jesus’ “name” that means that deceivers would be in the midst of God’s people claiming to be one of His. This, in itself, can fool people for many religions that claim to be “Christian” deceive people that their teachings come from the Bible when, in fact, their doctrines are actually pagan teachings that have been renamed with Christian-sounding labels; or it could be that the doctrines they teach are a watered-down version of what God’s Word teaches.

And we know that this has happened in all of the modern day organizations that call themselves Christian; and even in the corporate groups that say they are the Church of God.

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

To avoid being deceived by those who would seduce us, Paul tells us that we must LOVE the TRUTH, and we love the truth by keeping it and guarding it and never letting anyone take it from us or persuade us to turn from it… no matter who they are.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The word for “love” here is agapé (Strong’s #26) which by the context in this verse means: Helps Word-Studies – “26 agápē – properly, love which centers in moral preference. So too in secular ancient Greek, 26 (agápē) focuses on preference; likewise the verb form (25 /agapáō) in antiquity meant “to prefer” (TDNT, 7). In the NT, 26 (agápē) typically refers to divine love (= what God prefers).” (Helps Word-Studies)

So we must PREFER (love) the truth more than anything else including the teachings that embrace, or are derived, from the precepts/philosophies of men and the man-made institutions of the world.

In another place Paul warns God’s people:

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Sadly, many are going to be fooled into accepting a deceptive world religious leader and will follow him into ruin and destruction because they did not believe in and love the TRUTH.

And even though this man has not appeared yet, this has already happened on a lessor scale, for there are many deceivers who say they are ministers of light yet they persuade their members that they do not have to obey God totally and in all things, and teach them the philosophies of men rather than the unadulterated truth of God. And there are many who have left the truth because of these kinds of seductions.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

How do we discern teachers who are false, along with false prophets and false teachings?

The first thing that we are to look at: is whether they teach God’s commandments and the whole Word of God or not, that is the very first criteria. If they deviate from God’s law and say “well the law has been done away with” or “we are to obey the Jewish rabbis that determine the rules for how the Ekklesia is to follow and obey God” (i.e. demand that we keep God’s appointed feasts according to man-made rules), or try to tell us that we can pollute the Sabbath because the church leaders decided that it is okay; then we should discern immediately that they are not teaching God’s law nor His testimony and therefore there is no light [truth] in them, and then get far away from them.

When Isaiah was prophesying about those who teach contrary to God’s Word, he warned:

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

God’s laws are binding on all of mankind and are still binding on us today. They set the standard by which men and women are to live, and they are the basis of God’s righteousness and His truth. By being fully grounded in His laws and commandments we can know if someone is of God or not.

When the Israelites were about to come into the land of Canaan, the Lord explicitly told them to NOT learn the ways of the heathen people and NOT to do the things that the people who do not follow after God’s truth are so notorious for doing. God plainly commanded the people of Israel that all of these things are abominations, and it was for these abominations that God was driving these nations out from before the children of Israel.

In our modern day, it is no different. We live in a society that is immersed in the ways of “the heathen” and their occult practices and false pagan traditions are everywhere. The things of the occult permeate our movies, books, TV, the music industry, football half-time entertainment, video games, and even in the cartoons created for little children.

We are not to have anything to do with these things and we are not to learn their ways, nor try to mix them with God’s truth.

Do we go to certain “prophets” of false religions to see what they have to say about future events? Catholic prophecies, Nostradamus predictions; or recently many look to a book called the “Prophecy of the Popes” which is attributed to a “St. Malachy”? The one responsible for this prophecy is an Irish archbishop whose predictions have purportedly come true for the last number of popes and he has certain predictions of what the last pope will be like and what to look for. Many who look for what the future holds have fallen for his teachings which are only deceiving the masses and will lead to more falsehoods.

In our day, the Internet abounds with such prophets, and end-time prophecies, and many false teachings that are mere “doctrines of demons” or the philosophies and ideas that come from the minds of men and not from God’s mind.

God says that it is an abomination to go after other gods and their false doctrines, practices, and traditions. The following passages are what Moses had to say about how to spot false prophets and false teachers.

We can apply this warning to what we are up against in our day as well, for this, too, is written for our admonition. If we are quipped with this knowledge, then we can take heed when we find ourselves in the midst of those who are teaching things that they ought not, or saying that they are something when they are not, but are in fact out to deceive us from wholeheartedly following after our Lord and what He commands.

Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 

13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 

13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 13:4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 

13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

Deuteronomy 13:18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.

Deuteronomy 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

18:10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

[Hebrew word for sorceress, sorcerer, or magician (as is often interpreted) is kashaph (Strong’s #3784)  properly, to whisper a spell, i.e. To enchant or practice magic — sorcerer, (use) witch(-craft).]

Deuteronomy 18:12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

18:14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

18:15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

The Bible clearly says that this “That Prophet” is Jesus Christ, it is not any man, no matter what that man may say or think, for Peter tells us in Acts 3 exactly who that Prophet is.

Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Moses continues to compare that Prophet [which is Christ] with the false prophets and how we are to detect those who are not really true prophets at all then tells us to vehemently reject them.

Deuteronomy 18:16 According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

18:17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

18:19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?

18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

To Seek After False Gods is An Abomination

God commanded Israel to destroy every one of the Canaanites, to make no covenants with them, not to marry their sons or their daughters, nor to give their sons or daughters in marriage to these heathen, and to destroy all their gods. These nations were involved in every kind of idol worship and every kind of sexual perversion. They were devoid of any knowledge or relationship with the true and living God. God called the things that the heathen nations did abominations.

Leviticus 18:26 Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: 18:27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled.)

God says over and over that it is an abomination to go after other gods and to incorporate their practices and traditions into the worship of the true God, or to become unequally yoked with those who do these things for they will turn us away from God to do as they do. (Please see Psalm 1)

For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deuteronomy 18:12)

Deuteronomy 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 32:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

What exactly is an “abomination”?

The Hebrew word for “abomination” is toebah (Strong’s #8441). Or tonebah {to-ay-baw’}; feminine active participle of ta’ab; properly, something disgusting (morally), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol — abominable (custom, thing), abomination. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

And the Greek word for “abomination” is bdelugma (Strong’s #946) From  bdelusso; a detestation, i.e. (specially) idolatry – abomination. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

HELPS Word-studies 946 bdélygma (from 948 /bdelýssō, derived from bdēō, “to reek with stench”) – properly, what emits a foul odor and hence is disgustingly abhorrent (abominable, detestable); (figuratively) moral horror as a stench to God (like when people refuse to hear and obey His voice).

The word “abomination” comes up 147 times when entered into a Gateway Word search and it describes many, many types of abominations which are sins against God; so it becomes abundantly clear to us from Scripture that ALL SIN is considered an abomination by God. All sin, whether its called sin or an abomination misses the mark, and all are a transgression of God’s law.

The Greek word for “sin” is harmatria or harmartano. The meaning is “to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, and to violate God’s law”.

The Hebrew word for “sin” is chata and means “to miss the way, to err, to miss the mark, to wander from the way, to become unclean”. Another Hebrew word used for sin is pesha and means  “transgression and rebellion”. It refers to those who rebel against God’s intended way in their lives which is the breaking of any of His laws and statutes.

While one can point out degrees of seriousness and punishment for sin, it is clear from Scripture that according to God’s Word, ALL sin is an abomination! It is something that God hates! The apostle James says that “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

And in 1st Samuel God tells us that:

1 Samuel 15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [self justifying] is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 

The general meaning of the word “abomination” or abominable” in the Bible is: something detestable, unlawful or repulsive, it reeks with a stench and is abhorrent to God; and as believers, we, too, are to hate sin, to think of sin as detestable, abhorrent, and as an abomination.

“Abomination” then is another word for “sin” but is an even more descriptive word of the vileness and stench of what sin is and what it does. Just hearing or seeing the word “abomination” gives us a sense that whatever is being called that term, is something that is disgusting, filthy, and has a stench to it; which is a perfect description of what, in reality, sin entails.

In our modern day Babylon, the perverse things that permeate our world  (which seem so normal to those who care nothing for the sacred things of God) are highly esteemed among men but are, in truth, of a foul nature in the sight of God. In other words, those things that are highly esteemed among men are a stink in God’s nostrils. He turns His face from that stink and He separates Himself from those things which He calls abomination; because He abhors and detests sin which is an abomination. Unlike the people of the world who are still in ignorance, the children of God are called to be a holy nation and are to be a clean and holy people unto our God, and we, too, are to turn our faces from these things.

Numbers 15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

As we studied last week we are to be holy as God is holy and that means that we come to the same mind-set as God has in regard to the transgression of His Laws and precepts. When God’s plan for man is complete on earth and the Holy City, the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, there no abominable thing or persons will ever be allowed to come into it.

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Only those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be allowed into the Holy City; there will be nothing that is considered sin or an abomination allowed.

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Going after other gods, putting anything above God, or looking to any man as some kind of mediator between us and God (rather than seeing them as the helpers of our joy), departing from the teachings and the laws of God in even small matters, incorporating the pagan practices of the religions around us in our worship of God: all are an ABOMINATION to God. These are not small things that can be over-looked and think that God will forgive us if we put our leaders and what they command us above our Great God and all of His teachings.

We may think that if we follow men who are ordained leaders into sin, that it is they who are accountable for the sin; and because they are supposed to lead those placed in their care into the right path that their followers will not be held accountable by God. But Brethren, God holds each of us accountable before God for what we have done and the things that we continue to do, no matter how much we try justify the fact that we do not have to fully follow Christ.

Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Luke 16:15 And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

God expects us to diligently read and study our Bibles; to seriously prove all things that we believe or what others are teaching us (past and present), then incorporate all that the Word of God has to teach us into our hearts and then apply those things to each and every situation we encounter in this life.

The warnings in Deuteronomy 13, 18, Matthew 7, 24 and in almost all the Epistles of the apostles, are there for a very good reason and it is because Satan and his followers hate us and they have, and will, do all that they can to deceive us or scare us into departing from the One who made us and wants to give us an incredible inheritance with Him in His kingdom.

Satan and his demonic forces often present themselves as angels of light and appear to be of God; they can look beautiful and professional, and can even quote Scripture, and sometimes do miracles and make supernatural things to happen. But remember what Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.”

Jesus provides His Ekklesia with another warning from the last book in the Bible. This is to a group of people who are being faithful to His Word and who are patiently enduring the trials of living in this deceptive, present, evil age. Jesus tells them to hang on to what they have and to let no one take their crown, their reward and inheritance that God has laid up for them if they endure to the end.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

In Ephesians, Paul tells us that we are not really fighting against humans, but against the principalities and the rulers of the darkness of this world and he gives us the analogy putting on the full armor of a soldier in dealing against the invisible but real enemies of God. Paul describes who our real enemies are; and we are to defeat them by the power of the sword of truth and through the empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit which He gives to those who obey Him.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We are to use the Word of God as our offensive weapon, and the rest of God’s armor for our defense; and then Paul reminds us to pray continually. We are to keep in constant contact with our Great God (the Mighty Warrior) who will guide us and lead us in our fight against the agents of the enemy.

Through prayer and petitions for ourselves and others, we are supplied with the necessary strength and courage to stand firm and to be able to overcome. With faith and perseverance we will eventually gain the victory in our battles against the forces of evil. Without prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance, and continually being in God’s presence, we are doomed to failure, but with all of these things, and with the other pieces of God’s armor firmly fixed in their places, we can overcome the fiery darts of the wicked that are thrown at us…with all the help that only God is able to provide.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

God tells us to ask, seek, and knock for the things that we need to live this life; that means we are to pray to God for help in combating the things that Satan does to mislead and to deceive us; and if we use the tools (the armor of God and prayer) that He has provided, we can withstand the dark forces that come up against us and defeat them in God’s power…. not by our own strength and wisdom.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God is with us if we are staying close to Him and trusting Him to protect us from the forces of darkness and all the deception that they use to trip us up. We have nothing to fear if we have the Almighty One on our side and if we are seeking Him above all things and putting Him first in our lives.

We, like the ancient people of Israel, are called to be a special kind of nation; not that God’s called-out are better or called to be the Elites of the world; but as God’s instrumental nation that will be like the bright city set upon the hill that other nations will some day look to and will want to emulate, because, that nation has the TRUE and Almighty God of Creation for their God, who has provided them with all of His wondrous laws and ways which has given the people of that nation wisdom and understanding like no other nation on earth has ever had. The peoples of the land will enthusiastically come to that nation and ask to be taught the ways of God and how to put Him first in all things and how to live by His EVERY WORD.

I repeat the quote from Deuteronomy 4 that I quoted earlier in regard to the ancient nation of Israel for this passage has much wisdom and instruction for the Spiritual Holy Nation that God is going to use to teach and call all nations. This will be at a future time when all peoples will have the scales taken from off their hearts and minds and all will be able to see that only the true God, the one who created us and saves us is our Lord,  I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” Isaiah 43:11.

Deuteronomy 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.

4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

4:3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you. 4 But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.

4:5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 

4:7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 

4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? 

4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Deuteronomy 5:32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Matthew 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The Bible shows in several passages that Christ is measuring His Ekklesia with a plumbline, testing for uprightness and determining standards of justice and righteousness. He wants a clean holy nation of priests with no abominations within her midst.

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Let us seek the Lord now while He can be found with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. Our loving espoused Husband wants us to come out of the world, to stop seeking the things that the people of the world seek and put Him above everything and everyone else (See Isaiah 55:1-7).

If we are truly the called-out children of the Father God and followers of Christ; then we must serve Him and only Him and no other. We must not have any other gods before Him nor are we to go aside to any other teachings that are not of God’s TRUTH. To do so is an abomination, and to put men before God is also an abomination. We are to put God and His truth above all else and we are not to depart from His commandments or from His truth to the left hand or to the right. If we will do this, the Lord our God will be with us and we will have success wherever we go. 

Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone,

Constance

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 Feature Scriptures

Psalm 1:1-6

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,

nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

WHITE BLOSSOM TREE REFLECTION 1 COR 13 123 And he shall be like a tree planted

by the rivers of water,

that bringeth forth hisit in his season;

his leaf also shall not wither;

and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so:

but are like the chaff

which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall

not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation

of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knoweth

the way of the righteous:

but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.

Photo Credits: (Public Domain – Fair Use) Images used here are solely for educational,

commentary, and illustrative purposes only.

 

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