|From the Pastors Desk|
|Tabernacle||Teaching the Word of God||Lesson 15|
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
|13 Jan 2002||Bible Lessons
When attempting a series as massive and extensive as the study of the Tabernacle, its services, its shadows and its examples there are many interruptions, simply because of the nature of a church program and the changing seasons. That's not all bad. It gives opportunity for review and reflection, which we all need, often.
It also gives each of us, on our own - separate from the classes, the opportunity to see the implications of the Tabernacle as they relate to others facts of life. I appreciate the comments, by some, saying they have seen the relationship between the truths of the Tabernacle and the Christmas-New Years season. When those types of personal observations and applications take place, I know the information taught in the classes is becoming a valuable asset in the daily details of life.
I'm going to take a short step back, and refresh some of the information we looked at just before the Christmas break, as well as some information examined during that break. One truth we will see surfacing over and over again, in the study of the Tabernacle and its services, is the fact that we are to be careful of and with God's words.
We are to observe those words carefully, and we are to search those words over and over again, in order to:
Both of these truths will be emphasized over and over and over and over again in the Biblical presentation of the Tabernacle. Those same truths are also mentioned many time throughout the entire inspired Scriptures.
These two truths have been presented at MBF on a regular basis. The fact of understanding all Spiritual truths embedded within any passage through constant comparison with all other Biblical truths is referred to over and over again in our teaching, but not nearly as often as it is present and implied in the Scriptures.
Through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, we can have an over-all Biblical understanding by allowing the Scriptures to interpret themselves through comparison and harmony with all other Biblical truth. If Believers would give themselves diligently to this process, they would cease to be whipped around by every wind of doctrine that comes along.
The sad fact is, many Believers really aren't interested in what the Bible says of Itself. Instead, they are content to find phrases in the Bible that might support what they, or some other human has said.
This procedure breeds beliefs and practices that rival the darkest heathenistic religions. That fact is BAD enough, but even WORSE than spawning phony religious beliefs and rituals, it PREVENTS the Believer from knowing what the God of all gods has said.
If we don't know what God has said, there is no way we can act and believe in a manner consistent with God's instructions. If we can't worship and live in a manner consistent with God's instructions, then we may as well be living in the sensual manner of the heathenistic religions. If we are not living by God's instructions, THEN what we are doing is heathen, because it certainly is not godly.
One of the frightening things is that many who call themselves Believers seem to want to have and to live by these false teachings. There is an avid thirst to have and live by these obvious lies, even among those who call themselves evangelicals or fundamentalists. As a result of this desire to live by religious lies, it causes one to question the mental stability of those seeking and living by such lies.
How many times does a teacher have to present absolute and absurd Biblical falsehoods, before Christians wake-up to the fact that the teacher is a liar, and should not even be given a hearing?!?!? My wife, told me that "liar" is a bad word. She's right, and the person who is one, is a bad person.
After the lesson on 12/30/01, I was given an article written by John MacArthur concerning this very subject. I will not read the article to you, but I will summarize some of what he said and give a few short quotes. John MacArthur refers to a couple of very prominent religious leaders. However, his conclusions could be applied to many, many religious leaders of our day, as well as many just plain every day people.
MacArthur makes reference to a one quite well know preacher, and some of his MANY predictions that never came to pass. Benny Hinn, on his program and at his church, preaches/teaches (or whatever you might want to call it), making all kinds of predictions which he supposedly gets from the Scriptures, or through personal revelation from God.
Frankly, if I were Mr. Hinn (or many others) and I was receiving as many wrong predictions from my "god" as he has.., I would change to a different "god" to get my sermon material. MacArthur refers to a small fraction of Mr. Hinn's predictions and never mentioned the Y2K debacle. Let me mentions some.
Mr. Hinn made some predictions in 1989, as MacArthur said, "none of which came true". Mr. Hinn said that:
These and many more did not even come close to being true, AND this all in the name of Biblical teaching and Spiritual revelation!?!??!
I don't know. Maybe I'm just not much of a Spiritual leader, compared to Mr. Hinn, but if I had made those and the many other public predictions, without any of them coming to pass, I would have left the ministry and started selling used cars.
At least in the used car business, people expect the salesman to be less than forthright. Come to think about it.., maybe that is what we have come to expect of these ministers of the so called gospel, also. But Mr. Hinn, being a much better presenter of the Biblical(?) truth than I, continued on and on and on with his, so called, declarations of special revelation from God.
Mr. MacArthur went on to pointed out that Mr. Hinn stated early in 2000, on his broadcast:
"Now hear this, I am prophesying this! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is about to appear physically in some churches, and some meetings, and to some people, for one reason: to tell you he is about to show up! So wake up! Jesus is coming, saints!"
MacArthur goes on to say, in this article (the italicized portion is my addition):
"A list of similar failed prophesies (by Hinn and many others) over the past few decades could fill several volumes. And yet, amazingly, the 'prophets' who make such fantastic claims now appear to have more influence than ever - even among mainstream evangelicals"
A great deal of the information, rituals, services and shadows of the Tabernacle were given, by God, in order to prevent just such perversion of God's own word. As we travel through this journey to and through the Tabernacle, we will see this information coming up over and over again, and it will show up in almost every aspect of Tabernacle and its services.
For our introduction or "snap-shot" of this aspect of the Tabernacle, we looked at a portion in Deuteronomy 13 . Let's go back to that passage for some review and further investigation.
Deuteronomy 13:1-11 "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 "and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you comes to pass, saying, 'Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us serve them,' 3 "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 "You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst. 6 "If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, 7 "of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, 8 "you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; 9 "but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 "And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11 "So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you.
We could go to passages that give us the "tests" for a true prophet. There we would find that if the prophet failed the test, they were to be put to death. God is "dead" serious about making sure we present His message as accurately as possible. Please understand, that in this phase of God's eternal program, we are not given the command or the right to inflict death for such crimes.
It is interesting to note that, at least by the quality of the punishment, God puts the false prophets on the same level with the homosexuals, the adulterers and many other such sinners.
If you don't know or don't have an understanding of the eternal program of God that has many progressive phases, you will have a very hard time accepting this passages in Deut 13 , as well as MANY other passages.
Some people don't like the term dispensations, so they say there are no dispensations or distinct periods of God's unique dealing with mankind. Therefore, they must contend that there has been no change in God's program with mankind.
I don't care what term is tacked onto the fact, but it is obvious that God's physical method of dealing with human sin, and His means of fellowship with mankind have changed over the course of human history.
However, if a person denies the fact that those changes have occurred and have been directed by God, then that person will have to ignore this and many other passages.
God has never changed, NOR has His plan ever changed. However, it is His plan, AND that plan is progressive.
Deny that fact, and you have denied the entire structure of the Word of God, and God progressive revelation as stated by Paul and others in many passages.
NO!!!!! We are not to stone false prophets in this stage of God's plan!! However, these passages do show God's attitude towards falsely teaching His word by professionals or by you and me.
If we take the stand that we should tolerate or ignore false teachings and the false teachers, we have then disallowed the overall teaching of the Word of God, and have become no better that the false teachers. Those are hard words, but we will see the evidence of such in lessons to come.
There is no way we have the time to take a detailed comparative study of Deut13. However, it is necessary for us to see some of the facts of God's presentation, so we can have the sense of God's attitude to such teachings, and see some of the actions we are to take to prevent such teachings from flourishing and influencing our living.
The reason they were to take such action is found in v. 11. "So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you."
If we consent to such false teaching, we will cease to hear God's word and will cease to fear God, Himself. If we have turned from God's Word and no longer fear God, then we are heathen and certainly NOT Spiritual!!
So often I hear, "But So-'n-so is such a nice person. They are sincerely trying to do the right thing. They really don't mean any harm. They live such a good life. They do such nice things." All those may be true, BUT they are still a false prophet, AND through their false teaching are turning people away from the true God.
We have lots of people in this world who are good moral people, BUT are still godless. A person can be godless and an atheist, AND be a very good moral human. A person can be godless and very religious, AND be a very good moral human. Both are good moral people. Both are godless, even though they have very different opinions of God.
There can be no true godliness until God and His Word have permeated every phase of our lives and living. If we are living by something other that the pure Word of God, we may be moral BUT Godless! Our definition of godliness is far too often limited to: They don't get drunk, they don't rob banks, they're really nice. God's definition of godliness is to be like God, as stated in His Word.
Let me illustrate by using Christ's own words...
Matthew 7:21-27 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 "Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
These people did some very GOOD things, and they did them in the name of Christ. They prophesied, cast out demons and performed many wonders. I've never done any of those things, have you? Yet, Christ said they were practicing lawlessness. WHY??? Because they heard God's word, but did not do what the Word said.
When we hear things from the Word of God but that teaching is presented in a false manner, even if we follow the false teaching that was based on the Word of God, we will be practicing lawlessness. Unless, that Word is taught in a proper and honest manner, there is no way to be a real doer of that Word.
What is taught, and how it is taught is so very important for godliness.
Let's go once again to the words of Christ for the evidence of this truth.
John 8:43-47 "Why do you not understand My (Christ's) speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 "But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 "Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 "He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
It is SO important that we hear the pure simple Word of God. It's not my words that are important. My words cannot bring understanding and godliness to your life. It is the Word of God that's important. It is ONLY the Word of God, taught through the Holy Spirit that can bring understanding and godliness to your life. I do my dead level best to make sure that my words are only for the purpose of making clear the passages we look at.
Over and over again in my ministry, I have had people say something like:
"I wish you wouldn't read so much Scripture in a message. I would really like to hear more of what you think."
What I think, really doesn't make any difference. It is what the Word of God says. If there was any way I could go from one passage to another without saying a word, and still present the understanding of the passages, then all I would do is put Scripture after Scripture on the screen and have you read it.
Someone said to me something like, "I wish you wouldn't put the Scriptures up on the overhead, because then I just can't help myself, I have to read them."
WOW!!! Isn't that GREAT?!?!!! May it ever increase!!!
The task of the Bible teacher is NOT to give his opinions, or make phony predictions for the future, or concoct crazy ideas of who the antichrist might be, etc. without number. The one and only job of a Bible teacher is to make the Bible text clear and understandable. Anything more than that, and the Bible teacher becomes a false teacher.
Folks, we need to refresh our minds about the value and the absolute need of the pure, true Word of God. Without the simple, pure, true Word of God we cannot know Who God is, NOR can we have any intimate fellowship with Him. Without the simple, pure, true Word of God we can never learn to live for Him in holiness.
We are so prone to run after the spectacular. We want something fresh, new and different. Folks, what we need is the tried, the true. We need the Old, Old story, and we need to hear it over and over again.
Clear back in 1866 Katherine Hankey wrote a poem that is even more relevant for today.
Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Tell me the story slowly that I may take it in.
Tell me the same old story when you have cause to fear,
Tell me the old, old story. Tell me the old, old story.
Proverbs 2:10-15 When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 11 discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, 12 to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, 13 from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; 15 whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths;
2 Timothy 2:15-17 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
We must be diligent, as a church, to rightly divide the Word of Truth. To the best of our ability, the Staff will strive to do so, and to the best of the Board's ability they will protect this type of ministry, so it can continue. But this is not just a command to the Staff and Board.
This is a personal command to each and every Believer. No, you may not have the time to study in detail, so that you can rightly divide the entire Word. However, there are ways of planning and using the rightly divided Word, even in your busy life. That's a subject for another time.
In the Old Testament, they were commanded to protect the pure Word of God by not allowing false prophets to teach or even live. We, of the New Testament church, are also commanded to protect the pure Word of God. Throughout the New Testament there are a number of means we are to appropriate in order to protect that Word from being diluted and destroyed by false teaching.
Some of those ways will be examined in this study of the Tabernacle. For this lesson, I would like to close by looking at one of those means of protecting that pure Word of God, especially on a personal level.
Look at 2 Timothy 2:16 . We are to shun profane and vain babblings. If the true Believers would not run after every new crazy idea that breaks onto the market, it would put most false teachers out of business. Someone has to pay for that stuff, and this is one of the few things the Government isn't funding. These false teachers are being funded by religious people.
If Believers would say, "I'm going to shut off my TV and not listen to Benny Hinn and all his phony predictions", and if they would stop sending money in to keep him on the air, that would go a long way to shutting off this type of false doctrine that leads to more ungodliness. I'm sure some are saying that they have never heard of Benny Hinn, and have never sent him any money, and that is good. I hope it is true of many.
This type of thing, is not just on a national level. This type of false teaching is also on a personal level, as we saw from the passage in Deut. In the Old Testament, they were to do away with false prophets, even a close family member, if they brought teachings that would lead astray from God. In like manner, we are to shun those, even close family and friends, that bring profane and vain babblings.
The only thing that will come from these vain and profane babbling, either nationally or personally, is an increases in ungodliness, and that increase will spread like cancer. This insidious Spiritual cancer is spreading through the religious realm, and is even having an affect at MBF.
I'm sure some are thinking, "My! Something should be done about this." My friend, there is only one person who can really bring about change in this matter. That one person is YOU!!
If every one of us would not give ear to these vain babblings, they would cease to be a problem at MBF, and that would be a big step toward negating their affect beyond our walls.
I started this lesson by pointing out the fact that God says, we are to be careful of, and protect God's words. We are to observe those words carefully, and we are to search those words over and over again, in order to:
We have spent most of the time, in this lesson, looking at the "Understanding all the Spiritual truths contained in those words". One step in doing so, is not to give ear to vain and profane babblings. Once we "give ear" to these babbling, they distort our ability to see the truth of God. We are also to protect God's Word, observe that Word and search those words over and over again. In so doing, we feed on the Word of God, and draw our strength for living a Spiritual life in a non-spiritual world.
One reason the phony Bible teachers flourish and multiply is because most of us want some new "taste sensation" in the religious realm. After all, we've sung that song for years. I've heard that passage lots of times.
The Christian herd wants a new and greener pastures upon which to feed their bored souls. Therefore, they are constantly on the lookout for something new, different and exciting.
As a result, the bored Christians often find themselves eating from the hog trough of the world that is filled with the vain philosophies as old as Satan, Himself, instead of feeding on the eternal manna from the world to come, served personally by the Holy Spirit.
|© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2002|