The Word Of God.
Deuteronomy 4:2 & Revelation 22:18-20 We must not add to nor take from
Jesus gives a solemn warning in Matthew 7:13-27 concerning false prophets who will appear as sheep, but are really wolves on the inside (an EXTREMELY important point to keep in mind for later). As sure as there is a genuine, there is a counterfeit! False prophets will produce a fruit, which will allow us to be able to recognize them. Verses 24-27 go on to explain that those who hear and do the sayings of Jesus (which was the WORD of the Apostles) would be like the man who built his house upon a rock. But, any who hear and do not build upon this rock would be like the man who built his house on sand. Which house endured the storm? The one built upon the rock, or course!
THE CROWD IS WRONG!
We learn in Matthew 23:13 not only will a false prophet change, alter or refuse to preach and teach the Apostles' DOCTRINE, but he will also prevent anyone else from embracing it if he can. It is truly amazing how many "so called" preachers will do everything in their power to discourage anyone from entering that strait and narrow gate once they have found it.
We are to "mark" them which teach something other than what the Apostles taught (Romans 16:17-18). They aren't serving God. They are serving their own belly and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
The Apostle Paul admonished Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-4 to "preach the WORD," as the day was coming when men would not endure sound DOCTRINE.
In St. John 17:17-20 Jesus prayed for those who would come to believe on Him as a result of the WORD of the Apostles. He had said in verse 8 of this same chapter that He had given them (the Apostles) the WORD of God and they had received it, and believed that Jesus was sent from Heaven. Now, here in verse 20, is where Jesus actually prayed for you and me, IF WE BELIEVE THE WORDS OF THE APOSTLES (If we believe them, we will OBEY them).
The believers in Acts 8:4 went everywhere preaching the WORD. The WORD of the Apostles (which was their DOCTRINE) which also became known as the Gospel, OR Good News! The Apostle Paul gave a stern warning against any man or even an angel who communicates something other than the WORD of the Apostles. He said they are "accursed" (Galatians 1:6-12). Pretty serious business, wouldn't you say? Yet another solemn warning in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 against those who do not know God, nor obey the Gospel (WORD of the Apostles). Doesn't sound like disobedience is going to "get by" does it?
The Apostles are of God. He that is of God hears them. But remember, we must not only "hear" them but we must also "obey" them to build upon the "rock." The Apostles were NOT handling the WORD of God deceitfully. If the Apostles' WORD-DOCTRINE-GOSPEL is hid, "it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world (satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Can a person be blind who has sight? Yes!
One reason for the vast deception today is the way TRUTH is being mishandled by some who claim to be "born again." If their DOCTRINE is different from that of the APOSTLES, they are LIARS - plain and simple! If I told someone who wanted to drive from Tampa, Florida to Los Angeles, California to take I-75 north, I would not have spoken a lie. However, if that is all I told them, they may never make it to Los Angeles, California. People need TRUTH, but they need TRUTH in its ENTIRETY in order to make it to Heaven! Many churches today are built upon the sand and teach only the PARTS of TRUTH that they like, or the parts that conform to their particular beliefs. It may sound good, look good and even give people the warm fuzzy feeling of "belonging," but keep in mind the two gates: one wide and the other narrow. Neither Jesus; nor his Apostles; nor their message; was popular. However, they were not trying to win any popularity contests either!
When you hear talk like:
"It really doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere."
"The Apostles' DOCTRINE does not apply to us today. That was only for them."
"Just repeat the sinners prayer after me, and you'll be saved."
"All you have to do is just 'believe' on the Lord and you're saved (POOF, THAT'S IT)."
"We're save by grace, not by works, so it doesn't matter how or if you are baptized."
"God can't or doesn't work miracles anymore. All of that has already ended."
You should mark that individual and, according to Romans 16:17, you should avoid them. God does not NEED me, you or anyone today. As a matter of fact, if there was not a soul on planet Earth serving God today, He already has a people ready, who have paid the price and are just waiting for that long awaited trumpet to sound! However, I am certainly glad He called me, forgave me, cleansed me and filled me with His Spirit before He "closes the Gentile door" (once closed, you can hang it up).
There is much, much more that could be said concerning God's WORD and the APOSTLES' DOCTRINE (and much will be said later). But for now I hope I have given you enough Bible to be convinced that God's WORD became the APOSTLES' WORD-DOCTRINE-GOSPEL, AND that it is of GREAT importance to us today. It is the ONLY authority to base our beliefs on. Man's way never has worked and never will. We MUST do things God's way if we expect His Divine favor and blessings.
Remember, the fruit of a false prophet is that he will NOT build upon the "rock" (revelation) of who Jesus is, but will change it to some degree. Deception causes an illusion in the minds of people, which can actually cause one to believe or see something which is NOT there. When the Holy Spirit (operating in the heart of an honest person who diligently seeks TRUTH and studies the WORD of God) reveals the "fulness" of what I am sharing in this study, IT IS AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE! It does NOT necessarily come by teaching and indoctrination. It comes by Revelation to God's Word! I am just not intelligent enough or capable enough to instill Revelation in the heart of any one else. It is a work of God. Remember, though, that Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." WHAT A PROMISE!
One last thing before I go on to UNDENIABLE BELIEF # 2. To be "tuned" in
to the Spirit of God is much like that of tuning a radio. We've just got
to be on the correct frequency to hear from God. If we are off, even a slight
amount, our reception will be impaired. Static and distortion may be the
result (which is where many people are in the religious world today). If
we are totally off we will receive any one of a variety of completely different
messages. I am saying this from experience. I have been off a slight amount,
and I have been off totally, but I am so thankful that one day I finally
found that correct frequency, and it made all the difference in the world
to me. Never had I known such true inner peace, joy and contentment. No more
was I plagued with the misery and guilt of hiding behind a facade.
Bobby G. Richardson.