Great Apostasies of the Bible

God's Antidote For Itching Ears

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: GAB

Program Code: GAB000011

01:11 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
01:15 Our Father in heaven,
01:18 what a wonderful privilege
01:19 that is to be in Your house of worship on Your holy Sabbath.
01:23 We ask Father, that as we open Your word
01:25 that Your spirit will be in this place.
01:30 Give us clear minds and tender hearts
01:34 to understand and to receive Your word.
01:38 And we thank You for hearing our prayer
01:40 for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus, amen.
01:46 I want to invite you to open your Bibles with me
01:49 to the 2 Book of Timothy, the 2 Book of Timothy
01:55 and our study today will be from chapter 4
01:59 and verses 1 through 5.
02:02 Now before we read these verses
02:04 I would like to say something about the Pastoral Epistles.
02:10 Basically, the Pastoral Epistles are 1 and 2 Timothy
02:16 and also the Book of Titus.
02:20 Now they're called the Pastoral Epistles
02:22 because they were written
02:24 to two particular pastors in the early church.
02:28 One of them of course, was Timothy
02:32 and the other was Titus.
02:36 Now you'll be probably wondering
02:38 why Pastor Bohr would preach a sermon based on books
02:43 that were written to preachers.
02:45 You might say well Pastor Bohr,
02:47 those books were written for you
02:49 they were not written for the congregation.
02:51 Why would you preach about two books
02:54 where the Apostle Paul is giving his counsel to pastors?
02:59 Well, there're actually two reasons why.
03:04 Number one, I want you to understand today
03:07 the reason why I preach as I do.
03:12 Actually, there're some people
03:14 who think that my preaching is a bit strong
03:18 and they're probably right.
03:21 But we're gonna notice in our study today
03:23 the reason why this is the case.
03:27 The Apostle Paul had some very definite counsel
03:30 that he gave to Timothy about
03:33 what his preaching should involve and I believe
03:37 that I need to accept and receive that counsel.
03:40 Secondly, even though these books
03:42 were written to these two pastors.
03:47 The Book of 2 Timothy also explains some things
03:52 about the reaction of people to the message of the preachers.
03:58 In other words not only do the books speak about
04:00 how preachers should preach
04:02 but the books actually address how people respond
04:07 to the messages of the preachers.
04:11 Now before we read this passage
04:12 I need to tell you a few more things
04:14 about the Pastoral Epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus.
04:20 These books really are a church administration manual.
04:27 Basically, they deal
04:29 with the governance of the local church life.
04:33 You see, the Apostle Paul had established
04:35 churches all over the Roman Empire.
04:39 He had organized churches according to the gospel order.
04:42 In other words he had established leaders
04:45 such as bishops, deacons and elders.
04:49 And because the church had been organized
04:51 it was necessary to have a manual to govern the church
04:54 to describe the duties of each of these officers
04:58 of the church and to teach them
05:00 what they needed to do to administrate the church.
05:03 So really 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are books that deal
05:07 with the administration of the local church.
05:12 Now when the Apostle Paul wrote these letters
05:15 to Timothy and to Titus
05:17 he was in his second imprisonment in Rome.
05:22 In fact he was about to be beheaded by the Emperor Nero.
05:27 And as he was there in prison awaiting execution
05:32 the Apostle Paul felt a great urgency
05:37 concerning certain heresies and teachings
05:40 that were beginning to creep into the Christian church.
05:44 In fact, in these epistles
05:45 we find a somewhat different tone
05:48 than in the other writings of the Apostle Paul.
05:51 In these epistles 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus
05:56 the Apostle Paul uses certain very key expressions
06:03 such as for example he speaks of the importance of the truth.
06:09 He speaks about the faith not having faith
06:13 but the faith, the content of the faith.
06:17 He uses the expression sound doctrine
06:21 very frequently in these letters.
06:24 It becomes very clear that the Apostle Paul
06:26 is concerned about doctrinal orthodoxy.
06:30 He is concerned about
06:31 what is been taught in the Christian church.
06:34 He is interested in the preservation
06:37 of sound doctrine because he is in prison
06:41 he is about to die
06:42 he sees heresy creeping into the church.
06:45 In fact he speaks about wolfs coming in among the flock
06:49 and not sparing the flock.
06:51 And so the Apostle Paul now speaks about the importance
06:55 of the faith the truth and sound doctrine.
07:01 Now I want to read the passage that we are going to study
07:04 particularly this morning,
07:06 2 Timothy 4:1-5.
07:13 Remember, that here the Apostle Paul
07:14 is speaking to a preacher speaking to Timothy.
07:18 "I charge you therefore before God,
07:21 and the Lord Jesus Christ,
07:25 who will judge the living and the dead
07:27 at His appearing and His kingdom.
07:30 Preach the word!
07:33 Be ready in season, out of season.
07:37 Convince, rebuke, exhort,
07:42 with all longsuffering and teaching.
07:46 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine,
07:50 but according to their own desires,
07:53 because they have itching ears
07:55 they will heap up for themselves teachers
07:58 and they will turn away their ears away from the truth,
08:02 and be turned aside to fables."
08:07 Now this is the passage that we're going to look
08:09 at particularly in our study today.
08:13 And basically what we are gonna do
08:14 is go phrase by phrase and try and determine
08:18 the meaning of each phrase to find out
08:21 why the Apostle Paul is giving this counsel
08:24 to Timothy as Paul is sitting in prison in Rome.
08:29 You notice first of all that the passage begins by saying
08:32 "I charge you therefore before God,
08:35 and Lord Jesus Christ,
08:37 who will judge the living and the dead
08:39 at His appearing and His kingdom."
08:41 Now that expression I charge you originally
08:45 in Greek meant to take an oath in a court of law.
08:51 And for a legal proceeding to be valid
08:54 you have to have at least two witnesses in the proceeding.
08:59 What the Apostle Paul is saying is I'm now giving an oath
09:04 before the two witnesses the Father
09:07 and Jesus Christ his Son.
09:09 In other words, I'm taking at oath in a court of law.
09:13 I'm suddenly witnessing before God that Timothy,
09:18 you are to preach the Word of God.
09:23 In other words this introductory formula
09:25 makes this very, very serious
09:28 the Apostle Paul is giving this counsel under oath
09:31 in the presence of Jesus Christ,
09:33 in the presence of God the Father.
09:36 It must be extremely important
09:38 and the Apostle Paul is saying the reason
09:40 why I'm taking this oath before Jesus and His Father
09:43 is because I'm going to be judged when Jesus comes
09:47 and you are going to be judged when Jesus comes.
09:52 Now notice that thepassage continues saying
09:54 to Timothy preach the Word.
10:00 Now the question immediately comes up
10:03 which word was the Apostle Paul talking about.
10:06 Well, if you look at the previous verses
10:09 in the immediately preceding chapter you're gonna notice
10:12 that the Apostle Paul commenced Timothy
10:15 because he has studied the Holy Scriptures
10:17 since the time that he was a child.
10:20 And then the Apostle Paul goes on to say
10:23 that every scripture is inspired by God.
10:28 So the scriptures that the Apostle Paul
10:31 is speaking about in context are the Holy Scriptures.
10:35 In other words the Bible
10:37 if you please the written holy inspired Word of God.
10:45 So the Apostle Paul says to Timothy preach the Word.
10:50 And then he says be ready.
10:53 What does that mean be ready?
10:56 It simply means be ready
10:59 at any moment to preach the word.
11:02 In fact, the next expression
11:04 is be ready in season and out of season.
11:08 That means with advance notice and with no advance notice.
11:13 In other words, you should always
11:14 have sermons in your Bible so to speak
11:21 so that you can preach if you're asked to do so.
11:24 Not only when you're told in advance
11:26 but on the spur of the moment.
11:28 In other words, you should be ready
11:30 to preach the Word of God at all times.
11:35 Now it's important to notice that in this passage
11:38 there are nine imperatives.
11:41 Now you probably know what imperatives are,
11:43 imperatives are a command, they are an order.
11:47 Here the Apostle Paul isn't saying
11:49 "you know it would be nice if you could preach the Word.
11:52 It would be nice if you're ready
11:55 to preach in season and out of season,
11:57 when it's convenient when it's inconvenient."
12:00 The Apostle Paul isn't saying that.
12:02 These are imperatives.
12:03 He is giving Timothy a command.
12:05 He is saying "Be ready to preach
12:08 when it's convenient and inconvenient,
12:11 in season out of season,
12:13 on the spur of the moment and with advance notice."
12:17 In other words, this is an order from God.
12:21 Now the question is what is Timothy
12:24 supposed to preach out of the Word of God.
12:27 How is he supposed to employ
12:29 the Word of God in his preaching?
12:32 Well, you find additional imperatives.
12:36 The first word which is used is,
12:39 be ready to preach the Word of God
12:42 in season and out of season
12:44 and then it says 'convince'
12:47 I'm using the New King James Version, 'convince.'
12:51 Now that word 'convince' means to convict of error
12:56 because you have sufficient proof
12:59 to convince someone of their error
13:01 because you have sufficient proof.
13:05 Allow me to give you two or three texts
13:06 which use the same word, 1 Timothy 5:20,
13:11 the Apostle Paul uses this word in saying
13:13 "Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all,
13:18 that the rest may fear."
13:22 The translation here is rebuke.
13:24 In other words, individuals are sinning and these individuals
13:27 who are sinning need to be convinced of their error.
13:31 Also in Ephesians 5:11 the Apostle Paul says
13:35 "And have no fellowship
13:37 with the unfruitful works of darkness,
13:40 but rather expose them."
13:43 See there the word 'expose' is the same word.
13:45 It is to convict of error
13:48 because you have sufficient proof.
13:51 And then of course, you have Luke 3:19
13:54 where John the Baptist rebuked Herod
13:57 for marrying his brother's wife.
14:00 So basically, the Apostle Paul is saying
14:02 that the preacher is supposed to convict of error
14:06 because the preacher has sufficient proof that,
14:09 that's what needs to happen.
14:12 And then we have another imperative
14:14 convince is the first one, rebuke is the next one.
14:20 Now what does rebuke mean?
14:23 In the Greek language, in which the New Testament was written,
14:26 rebuke means, to warn in order to prevent an action
14:32 or in order to bring an action to an end.
14:35 To prevent an action or to bring an action to an end.
14:40 Perhaps, several texts from the New Testament
14:42 will help us understand the meaning of this word.
14:45 For example, in Matthew 8:26
14:47 we are told that the Lord Jesus rebuked the winds
14:52 when the storm was on the lake.
14:54 In other words, He was trying
14:55 to get the winds to stop blowing.
14:58 Stop their wrong behavior if you please.
15:02 Then you have for example Matthew 8:26
15:05 where the disciples rebuked the children
15:08 and try to keep them from coming to Jesus.
15:12 You also have Matthew 19:1
15:16 where, where you have a similar use of this word.
15:20 Basically, it means to warn in order to prevent an action
15:25 or bring an action to an end.
15:28 In this case it would be to prevent a wrong action
15:32 or to bring a wrong action to and end.
15:36 Now this isn't a pleasant job but it needs to be done.
15:40 The Apostle Paul is saying you must convict
15:44 you must rebuke and then of course
15:48 he uses another imperative which is to exhort.
15:53 Now this is a positive word.
15:55 It's a same word that is used to speak about the Holy Spirit.
15:58 We speak of the Holy Spirit as Paraclete.
16:01 We speak of the Holy Spirit as he who has called
16:04 alongside someone, the helper if you please.
16:08 This word 'exhort' means to call someone
16:11 to your side to help you.
16:14 For example, in Titus 1:9 Paul tells the elders
16:19 that they're to encourage the members.
16:22 They are to help members.
16:24 the members of the church
16:28 are told to encourage one and another.
16:30 So in other words, the work of preaching
16:32 according to the Apostle Paul
16:34 does not only involve convicting of error,
16:37 does not involve only rebuking wrong behavior
16:40 to bring it to an end or to prevent wrong behavior
16:43 but it also involves encouraging the church,
16:47 encouraging those who are listening to the preaching.
16:52 Then the Apostle Paul continues saying here in chapter 4
16:56 "that this is to be done with all longsuffering."
17:01 In other words, the preaching needs to be done with patience.
17:05 The word 'longsuffering' simply means patience
17:09 we don't use the word 'longsuffering'
17:11 very much anymore.
17:12 It means that the preacher is supposed to convict,
17:16 he is supposed to rebuke, he is supposed to exhort
17:19 or help with longsuffering.
17:23 In other words with patience
17:24 because sometimes the preaching
17:26 does not produce immediate fruits.
17:31 Now what is he supposed to exhort people with?
17:33 How is he supposed to perform this task?
17:36 Well, the fact is the passage continues saying
17:39 "exhort with all longsuffering and teaching."
17:46 Now this word teaching does not refer
17:47 to the content of the teaching.
17:50 It refers to the act of teaching.
17:54 In other words, it refers to teaching as an activity.
17:57 In other words, the preacher is really supposed to be what?
18:02 The preacher is supposed to be a teacher
18:05 because he is supposed to rebuke,
18:08 he is supposed to help,
18:10 he is supposed to convict with teaching according to this.
18:14 In other words, preaching should be teaching.
18:17 What the Apostle Paul is saying is that an individual
18:22 who is called to the gospel ministry needs to be a patient
18:27 or longsuffering teacher.
18:31 Now immediately we are asked the question
18:33 why is it necessary for a preacher to exhort?
18:40 Why is it necessary for a preacher to convict?
18:44 Why is it necessary for a preacher to help
18:48 or to come alongside someone
18:55 to encourage them why is this?
18:59 Notice the passage continues saying
19:01 and here we reach the most important part
19:04 of our study today "for the time will come."
19:11 There is a time that's gonna come.
19:14 Now what does this mean, for the time will come?
19:17 The time will come when what?
19:20 Well, let's continue reading "The time will come
19:24 when they" I wonder who are the they
19:28 that are referred to here by the Apostle Paul.
19:30 "The time is coming when they."
19:35 You know if you'll read the Pastoral Epistles--
19:36 we don't have time now to read all of the verses.
19:39 But in the Pastoral Epistles the Apostle Paul is speaking
19:42 to members of the church.
19:45 I mention that this is a church discipline manual.
19:48 This is a church organization manual.
19:51 So when the Apostle Paul says when they the time will come
19:54 when they he is not referring to Gentiles,
19:58 he is not referring to Pagans, he is referring to people
20:01 who profess the name of Jesus.
20:03 The time is coming when they
20:06 when they will not, will not what?
20:09 Notice, when they will not endure what?
20:16 Sound doctrine.
20:19 That word 'endure' means that they'll not tolerate,
20:23 they'll not put up with sound doctrine.
20:29 What is the Apostle Paul tell Timothy
20:31 that he's supposed to preach this way.
20:32 Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season,
20:38 convict, rebuke, exhort.
20:44 These are all imperatives.
20:46 Its Paul's counsel to the preacher.
20:49 And then he says the reason for this
20:51 is because the time is coming when those
20:56 who profess the name of Jesus will not tolerate
21:00 or they will not put up with sound doctrine.
21:06 Now the Apostle Paul is not talking
21:08 about teaching `as a method
21:10 the Apostle Paul is speaking
21:12 about the content of the preaching.
21:16 In other words, when he speaks about doctrine
21:18 he is talking about the doctrines
21:19 as we understand them in the Adventist church.
21:22 We have 28 fundamental beliefs, 28 fundamental doctrines.
21:26 The Apostle Paul is talking about
21:28 the doctrinal content of the scriptures.
21:30 He is saying that within the church
21:32 the time is coming when those who are
21:35 in the church will not tolerate sound doctrine.
21:39 By the way, the word 'sound' here is used elsewhere
21:42 in the New Testament to refer to someone who is healthy.
21:47 Physically healthy it has it's a word
21:49 that has to do with health.
21:51 In other words they will not endure healthy doctrine.
21:55 They'll what, doctrines we're gonna notice
21:57 that make people spiritually sick
21:59 rather than spiritually well.
22:02 Now what was the Apostle Paul talking about
22:05 when he said that they would not endure sound doctrine.
22:10 Allow me to read you
22:11 from 1 Timothy 1:9 a list of things
22:15 that the Apostle Paul talks about as referring to doctrine
22:19 which is not healthy which is not good.
22:22 First Timothy Chapter 1
22:25 and we'll begin reading at verse 9.
22:30 The Apostle Paul says this "Knowing this
22:33 that the law is not made for a righteous person,
22:36 but for the lawless and insubordinate,
22:39 for the ungodly and for sinners,
22:42 for the unholy and profane,
22:44 for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers,
22:48 for manslayers, for fornicators,
22:50 for sodomites, for kidnappers,
22:51 for liars, for perjurers,
22:54 and if there is any other thing that is" what?
22:58 "Contrary to sound doctrine."
23:02 So if people are not accepting sound doctrine
23:06 it must be that they must be categorized in this list.
23:11 Are you following me or not?
23:13 And the interesting thing is that the Apostle Paul
23:15 is not speaking to individuals
23:18 who are outside the covenant community
23:20 the Apostle Paul is speaking to people
23:22 who belong to the church.
23:25 You'll say how is it possible
23:27 that you could say thatall of this list of sins
23:30 that I have mentioned here could characterize
23:32 what is happening in the Christian church.
23:35 Well the Apostle Paul says that this is sound doctrine
23:39 if you reject these things in the behavior of your life.
23:45 So they're gonna reject sound doctrine
23:48 the Apostle Paul says preaching.
23:50 He doesn't says well, because they're gonna
23:51 reject sound doctrine just people and correct,
23:55 you know, don't tell it like it is,
23:57 just be smooth and soft,
23:58 don't offend anybody that's not what he says.
24:01 He says preach the word. Tell it like it is.
24:06 Now what are these people gonna want to do.
24:09 He says that they will not endure sound doctrine.
24:13 So what will they do then instead
24:17 but rather after their own what?
24:21 After their own lust they will pile up teachers.
24:28 Now in a moment we're gonna talk about piling up teachers
24:30 but after their own lusts
24:32 I want to talk a little bit about that expression.
24:35 The word 'lust' in Greek is the word 'epithumia.'
24:40 It can be used in a negative sense,
24:43 a neutral sense and a positive sense.
24:47 You know, I can give you a couple of examples
24:49 of the word being used in positive sense
24:52 basically it means desires.
24:54 For example 1 Thessalonians 2:17
24:56 the Apostle Paul says that he desires
24:58 to see the faces of the Thessalonians.
25:02 He desires, see there its positive nothing bad.
25:06 In Philippians 1:23
25:08 the Apostle Paul says that he desires,
25:10 he has a burning desire to depart
25:13 and to be with Jesus.
25:14 See, there it's positive
25:15 that the desire that he has spoken about.
25:18 But in most cases in the New Testament
25:20 the Greek word 'epithumia' means something negative.
25:24 It means wicked evil passions that are found inside the heart
25:29 which are manifested in evil actions.
25:32 Let me give you some examples.
25:34 Galatians 5:24 the Apostle Paul says
25:38 "that those who have received Christ
25:40 have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts."
25:45 See it's the lusts of the flesh.
25:48 First Timothy 9:10 the Apostle Paul speaks
25:51 about the rich who fall into many hurtful lusts,
25:56 there it's used in the negative sense.
25:58 Second Timothy 2:22
26:00 the Apostle Paul speaks to youth
26:03 in fact he speaks about youth for lusts
26:06 in the area of sexual relations.
26:09 In Romans 13:14
26:11 the Apostle Paul speaks about making no provision
26:14 to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
26:18 In Romans 6:12,
26:19 the Apostle Paul says "do not allow sin to reign
26:23 in your mortal bodies to obey the lusts thereof."
26:28 And then you have 2 Peter 3:3 where the Apostle Peter tells us
26:34 "that in the last days people will walk
26:36 according to their own lusts."
26:39 So basically the word 'lusts' here refers to evil desires,
26:45 simple desires that are found in the heart
26:48 which express themselves in evil actions.
26:53 And so the Apostle Paul is saying that the time is coming
26:57 when many in the church will not tolerate sound doctrine
27:02 but rather according to their own sinful lustful evil desires
27:10 they're going to do something,
27:11 they're going to pile up teachers.
27:13 Now, before I talk about piling up teachers
27:16 let me ask you, you probably wonder,
27:18 how it is possible Pastor Bohr,
27:20 that this could be a description of things
27:21 that are happening within the Christian church?
27:25 The fact is folks, if we are honest with our selves
27:29 Christians today watch what the world watches,
27:32 they listen to what the world listens to,
27:35 they participate in the entertainment
27:37 that the world participates in,
27:40 they dress as the world dresses,
27:42 they eat and drink as the world eats and drinks,
27:46 they lie and they cheat as the world does,
27:51 they divorce and get married again
27:54 multiple times as happens in the world.
28:00 You know what, I'm saying the truth
28:03 and it's happening within the church.
28:06 So you're saying Pastor Bohr, you're saying
28:09 "that these individuals within the Christian church
28:12 who are being-- who are the recipients
28:14 of the message of the preacher are actually going to want
28:18 to live according to their sinful lusts."
28:21 Absolutely, but it's worse than that.
28:25 You see not only does the Apostle Paul say,
28:28 "That people within the church are going to want to live
28:32 according to their sinful lusts."
28:34 He says, "That they're actually going to try
28:36 and justify what they're doing."
28:40 And this is where we come
28:41 to the next portion of the passage.
28:44 The Apostle Paul says "They will heap up."
28:51 The New International Version translates it
28:53 "They will gather around them a great number of teachers."
28:58 Now, you'll notice in the New King James it says
29:01 "They'll heap up for themselves."
29:05 This is a reflexive pronoun which means that the teachers
29:09 are not coming and imposing their will upon the church.
29:12 It's really the church itself
29:15 which is deciding to pile up the teachers.
29:17 They are piling up the teachers for themselves.
29:21 In other words, the church wants
29:23 these teachers to be in their mists.
29:28 In other words, the teachers are not responsible
29:32 those who are heaping up the teachers are responsible.
29:37 Allow me to read you a few statements
29:39 from the Spirit of Prophecy on how Ellen White
29:41 saw the condition of the church in her day and age.
29:46 What would she say today?
29:48 Great Controversy 523 she says
29:51 "Those who are unwilling to accept the plain,
29:54 cutting truths of the Bible
29:57 are continually seeking for pleasing fables
30:00 that will quiet the conscience.
30:03 The less spiritual, self-denying,
30:07 and humiliating the doctrines presented,
30:11 the greater the favor with which they are received.
30:14 These persons degrade the intellectual powers
30:17 to serve their carnal desires."
30:22 Early Writings page 273,
30:24 she is writing back in the 1840s what I'm going to read now.
30:29 She says "I saw that since the second angel
30:31 proclaimed the fall of the churches,
30:33 they have been growing more and more corrupt.
30:37 They bear the name of being Christ's followers
30:40 yet it is impossible
30:42 to distinguish them from the world.
30:45 Ministers take their texts from the Word of God
30:49 but preach smooth things.
30:52 To this the natural heart feels no objection.
30:55 It is only the spirit and power of the truth
30:58 and the salvation of Christ
31:00 that are hateful to the carnal heart.
31:03 There is nothing in the popular ministry
31:05 that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble,
31:09 or applies to the heart and conscience
31:12 the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come.
31:16 Wicked men are generally pleased
31:18 with a form of piety without true godliness,
31:21 and they will aid and support such a religion."
31:26 In other statement which we find in Early Writings,
31:29 227 and 228 this is this is a sobering statement
31:33 the Lord's servant says this.
31:35 "I saw a very large company professing the name of Christ,
31:40 but God does not recognize them as His.
31:44 He had no pleasure in them.
31:47 Satan seemed to assume a religious character
31:51 and was very willing that the people should think
31:54 they were Christians.
31:56 He was even anxious that they should believe in Jesus,
31:59 His crucifixion, and His resurrection.
32:03 Satan and his angels fully believe
32:05 all this themselves, and tremble.
32:08 But if this faith does not provoke to good works,
32:12 and lead those who profess it to imitate
32:14 the self-denying life of Christ,
32:17 Satan is not disturbed
32:19 for they merely assume the Christian name,
32:22 while their hearts are still carnal,
32:25 and he can use them in his service
32:27 even better than if they made no profession.
32:31 Hiding their deformity under the name of Christian,
32:36 they pass along with their unsanctified natures,
32:39 and their evil passions unsubdued.
32:42 This gives occasion for the unbeliever
32:44 to reproach Christ with their imperfections,
32:47 and causes those who do possess pure
32:50 and undefiled religion to be brought into disrepute."
32:54 Now she speaks about ministers she says "The ministers preach
32:57 smooth things to suit carnal professors.
33:01 They dare not preach Jesus
33:03 and the cutting truths of the Bible
33:05 for if they should, these carnal professors
33:08 would not remain in the church.
33:11 But as many of them are wealthy,
33:14 they must be retained,
33:16 although they are no more fit to be there
33:18 than Satan and his angels.
33:21 This is just as Satan would have it."
33:25 Powerful statements, you know, you have heard what's happened
33:29 what's been happening in the Christian world.
33:32 You know, they feel like they need to impose the law of God.
33:36 They need to have it
33:37 as monuments in front of court houses
33:39 because they see that things slipping away.
33:42 But listen folks, lives are not changed
33:44 by posting the Ten Commandments in a court of law.
33:48 Lives are changed by implanting the holy law of God
33:51 in the heart of the human being
33:53 to overcome the sinful desires in the heart.
33:56 You see, people want to be called Christians
33:58 but they want to continue living their worldly lifestyle.
34:01 And the Apostle Paul says "Timothy the time is coming
34:05 when they're not going to endure sound teaching.
34:08 They're going to pile up teachers.
34:10 That they'll teach them
34:11 that they can live in there with their sinful desires."
34:16 Now I want you to notice of interesting expression
34:18 that the Apostle Paul uses.
34:20 He says, because they have what? Itching ears.
34:27 Now what does that mean they have itching ears?
34:30 Basically what the Apostle Paul's says
34:32 is they're going to pile up teachers
34:33 they'll tell them what they want to hear.
34:37 They will pile up teachers that will tickle their ear
34:39 if you please or as the NIV expresses it "they'll gather
34:43 around them a great number of teachers to say
34:48 what they're itching ears want to hear."
34:53 We hear a lot in the world today
34:55 and even in the church about meeting people's felt needs.
35:01 By fear that many times these felt needs
35:04 are not really needs, they're felt wants.
35:08 Let me illustrate what I mean.
35:10 Let's suppose you have itch
35:14 what do you think you're most immediate need is.
35:17 To scratch, absolutely.
35:20 Your most immediate need is to scratch.
35:24 But is it perhaps the case that this might not be
35:27 your most immediate need but your most immediate want?
35:32 Let's suppose that that itch that you have
35:36 that you satisfy by scratching it is skin cancer.
35:43 Would you say that
35:44 you're most immediate need would be scratching it?
35:47 Absolutely not.
35:49 What was your most immediate need be?
35:52 It will be to go to the doctor to get the real problem what?
35:57 To get the real problem fixed.
36:00 You see many times we just want to supply our immediate need
36:05 and it's really not a need it is a what, it is a want.
36:11 And we don't want to supply
36:13 what we really need but what we really want.
36:18 You know in Jeremiah's day the same thing was happening.
36:22 Jeremiah 5:31 we're told "The prophets prophesy falsely,
36:28 and the priests they rule by their own means.
36:32 And My people love to have it so."
36:38 You know, I'm not much on the, up on the living Bible
36:42 but sometimes I read a paraphrase to see
36:44 if it catches sense of the text.
36:47 I like the Living Bible in verse 3 this is what it says.
36:51 "For there is going to come a time
36:53 when people won't listen to the truth
36:56 but will go around looking for teachers
36:59 who will tell them just what they want to hear."
37:05 Are you catching what the Apostle Paul is saying here?
37:09 Let's notice again
37:11 the Apostle Paul says "I charge you under oath."
37:14 This is under oath that I'm saying this
37:17 before God and before Jesus Christ
37:21 who is gonna judge me if I don't say it under oath.
37:24 He says preach the Word.
37:27 By the way in context that's the written scriptures
37:31 the holy inspired written scriptures.
37:33 "Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season."
37:37 In other words, be ready to preach any time any place.
37:41 "Convinced, rebuke, exhort with great patience
37:49 and by teaching as a method."
37:52 Now why?
37:54 It says "For the time will come when they'll not endure,
37:57 they'll not tolerate sound doctrine."
37:58 Now the doctrine is spoken of as content
38:01 not as the method of teaching but content.
38:03 People will not put up
38:05 with sound doctrine as doctrine itself.
38:09 "But according to their own desires their own lusts
38:14 because they have itching ears
38:17 they'll heap up for themselves teachers."
38:23 Basically, teachers who will teach them
38:25 what they want to hear.
38:29 And now I want you notice what the end result of this is.
38:34 We're told at the end of this passage
38:37 "and they'll turn their ears away from the truth."
38:41 Who does the turning here.
38:44 The same one who heaped up teachers right.
38:47 This is their action as a result of piling up teachers
38:50 they'll teach them what they want to hear,
38:53 what will they do?
38:55 They'll not only listen to what they want to hear
38:58 but they will turn away their ears
38:59 from hearing the truth.
39:02 But now I want you to notice
39:04 a very interesting nuance here in the text.
39:07 It says "they'll turn their ears away from the truth"
39:11 and now notice "and be turned aside to fables."
39:17 That's an important expression, be turned aside.
39:21 Notice that this is not their action
39:24 this is someone else's actions
39:26 because that's passive, they will be turned.
39:28 They're not doing it. Somebody else is doing to them.
39:33 In other words, they'll turn their ears away from the truth
39:35 and as a result someone will turn them to fables.
39:41 They will be turned to fables.
39:45 And you'll say, what you are talking about?
39:47 The fact is folks,
39:48 that when we turn away our ear from the truth
39:53 we're allowing free reign for Satan to come in
39:57 and delude us for Satan to come in and deceive us.
40:02 That's what this passage is talking about.
40:05 In fact, they'll become victims of Satan
40:08 because they've chosen to pile up teachers
40:11 who'll teach them what they want to hear,
40:13 they turn away their ears from the truths
40:15 and as a result they're at the mercy of Satan.
40:18 They will be turned aside to fables.
40:22 It makes me think of that parallel passage
40:24 in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-13
40:26 which we studied a few weeks ago speaking about the lawless one.
40:30 It says "The coming of the lawless one
40:32 is according to the working of Satan,
40:34 with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
40:37 and with all unrighteous deception among those
40:39 who perish" now why do they perish notice?
40:42 "Because they did not receive," what?
40:45 The love of the truth that they might be saved."
40:48 So because they did not receive the love of the truth
40:52 what is gonna happen?
40:54 It says "And for this reason God will send them," what?
40:57 "Strong illusion."
40:58 God doesn't do it, it was their choice.
41:00 They turned away their ear from the truth,
41:01 they didn't want the love of the truth
41:03 so God says okay you don't want the love of the truth
41:05 you want to hear what you want to hear
41:08 and you pile up teachers that will you what you want to hear.
41:10 That's fine.
41:11 You turn away your ears from the truth.
41:13 And now who steps in. Satan does.
41:17 In fact, it says in verse 11
41:19 "And for this reason God will send them strong delusion,
41:21 that they should believe the lie,
41:24 that they all may be condemned
41:25 who did not believe the truth
41:27 but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
41:32 You know, we live in a postmodern world
41:35 where people don't want to know
41:37 anything about truth, absolute truths.
41:41 In fact, even in the church we hear people saying
41:43 don't talk to me about doctrine
41:44 or don't talk to me about truth.
41:46 What we need is a personal relationship with Jesus.
41:52 I agree we need a personal relationship with Jesus
41:55 but that personal relationship with Jesus cannot be a genuine
41:58 personal relationship with Jesus
42:00 unless we have the doctrine right.
42:06 Let me give you an example of what I mean,
42:09 The "State of the Dead," doctrine.
42:11 You know, I have often wondered how Ellen White could say,
42:13 that the devil is going to deceive many
42:16 Seventh-day Adventist to think that those
42:18 who are appearing to them are really departed relatives
42:21 when they're really the spirits of devils.
42:24 Mean as Adventist we're saying
42:25 we know that the Bible says "that the living know
42:27 they will die the dead know nothing."
42:30 I'll never be deceived because the Bible is so clear.
42:35 How in the world
42:36 could a Seventh-day Adventist be deceived
42:38 on a such a fundamental doctrine as this?
42:41 I believe there is all ways.
42:44 Number one, Satan will saturate the media with films
42:48 which relentlessly teach the reality of life after death.
42:53 Is he doing that?
42:55 Do the people actually come to believe
42:56 what they watch even if they say, oh this is fiction,
42:58 this is fiction, this is fiction.
43:00 No, eventually you come to believe it.
43:02 Other church members come and ask me
43:04 for example about the Da Vinci Code.
43:08 Hello, Pastor Bohr, how much truth is there in this book?
43:13 None.
43:16 Oh, the Gospel of Judas, new revelation about Judas.
43:19 What are we studying our Bibles?
43:25 Do we really know what the Bible teaches about Mary Magdalene?
43:30 You know, I was mentioning in my classes this morning,
43:33 I bet if I did a survey here of those who are present
43:37 and where that text is found unto 2300 days
43:40 and the sanctuary will be cleansed
43:42 you wouldn't able to tell me book chapter and verse.
43:47 And that's the fundamental verse
43:49 that makes the Seventh-day Adventist church what it is.
43:53 So I believe that devil is gonna use the media
43:55 and he is using the media
43:57 to just bombard you with the idea
43:59 that the dead really are dead.
44:01 Secondly he is gonna use operations.
44:03 Spirit of Prophecy tells us this,
44:05 undeniably appearances of individuals
44:07 who look just like our relatives, same voice.
44:12 Third she says, that these individuals
44:15 are gonna perform miracles,
44:16 undeniable miracles in our sight.
44:20 And forth, she seems to imply
44:22 that these entities are actually gonna use Bible verses
44:25 because they're gonna know that
44:26 we are gonna say "wait a minutes.
44:28 The Bible says that the dead don't know anything."
44:31 And so they're gonna have verses
44:32 saying may be you belief wasn't right.
44:36 And then they're gonna say
44:37 what about the rich man and Lazarus,
44:39 what about the Witch of Endor,
44:40 what about the thief on the cross,
44:42 what about Paul's desire to depart,
44:44 what about absent from the body and present with the Lord,
44:46 what about Jesus preaching to the spirits in prison?
44:51 Folks, if we don't have those ideas clear in our minds,
44:55 settled in our minds we'll be flatter
45:00 for apostatizing from the faith.
45:04 Notice what Ellen White has to say
45:05 about this powerful delusion.
45:07 Great Controversy, page 552 she says
45:10 "He has" notice the devil "Has power to bring before men
45:13 the appearance of their departed friends."
45:16 The counterfeit is perfect.
45:19 Do you know what a perfect counterfeit is, folks?
45:22 It's where the federal government can't tell
45:24 the difference between a genuine hundred dollar bill and a false
45:27 or a counterfeit one hundred dollar bill.
45:30 She says "The counterfeit is perfect,
45:32 the familiar look, the words, the tone,
45:34 are reproduced with marvelous distinctness.
45:38 Many are comforted with the assurance
45:39 that their loved ones are enjoying the bliss of heaven,
45:41 and without suspicion of danger,
45:43 they give ear 'to seducing spirits,
45:45 and doctrines of devils.'
45:46 " Great Controversy page 552, page 593 she says
45:51 "This Antichrist is to perform
45:53 his marvelous works in our sight.
45:55 So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true
45:59 that it will be impossible to distinguish between them
46:02 except by the Holy Scriptures.
46:05 By their testimony every statement
46:07 and every miracle must be tested."
46:12 But how can we test it with the Word
46:13 if we don't know the Word?
46:15 You know, Jesus knew how to answer
46:17 the devil it is written because He knew
46:21 where it was written.
46:23 I fear that with many Adventist these days
46:26 we can answer it is written
46:28 because we don't know where it is written.
46:30 And perhaps, I go a step further
46:33 we can't answer the devil it is written
46:35 because we don't even know if it's written.
46:39 The fact is that Adventist need
46:40 to be the people of the book again.
46:43 We need to sit down and struggle
46:44 with the great themes of Holy Scripture,
46:46 we need to settle them in our minds,
46:48 we need to understand them,
46:49 we need to be able to explain them.
46:53 Great Controversy 625 Ellen White says "Only those
46:57 who have been diligent students of the scriptures
47:00 and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded
47:04 from the power for delusion that takes the world captive.
47:08 By the Bible testimony these will detect
47:11 the deceiver in his disguise
47:14 to all the testing time will come.
47:17 By the sifting of temptation
47:19 the genuine Christian will be revealed."
47:22 And now notice this.
47:24 "Are the people of God now
47:26 so firmly established upon his word
47:30 that they would not yield to the evidence of their sense.
47:34 Would they such a crisis cling
47:37 to the Bible and the Bible only."
47:43 One final statement from Ellen White
47:45 on this doctrine of the State of the Dead.
47:47 Early Writings page 87 she says
47:50 "Satan will have power to bring before us."
47:53 That's Adventist.
47:54 "The appearance of forms purporting to be our relatives
47:59 or friends now sleeping in Jesus.
48:01 It will be made to appear
48:03 as if these friends were present.
48:05 The words that they uttered while here
48:09 with which we were familiar
48:11 will be spoken in the same tone of voice
48:13 that they have while living will fall upon the ear.
48:17 All this is to deceive the saints."
48:21 Not the world "to deceive the saints and in snare them
48:25 in the belief of this delusion."
48:27 And then she gives us the antidote.
48:29 She says "I saw that the saints must get
48:32 a through understanding of present truth
48:37 which they will be obliged to maintain from the scriptures.
48:42 They must understand the state of the dead."
48:47 What must we understand?
48:50 Have you ever sat down to struggle with the passage
48:52 about the rich man and Lazarus?
48:55 Do you know how to explain that?
48:57 Is that clear in your mind?
48:59 Do you know how to explain absent from the body
49:01 and present with the Lord?
49:04 Do we know how to explain the passage that says
49:07 "that Jesus went to preach to the spirits imprison."
49:09 Folks, it is we're not persuaded if we don't understand these.
49:12 If we have any doubt
49:13 the devil can take advantage of that doubt.
49:17 She says "They must understand the state of the dead
49:19 for the spirits of devils will yet appear to them,
49:22 professing to be beloved friends and relatives,
49:25 who will declare to them
49:26 that the Sabbath has been changed
49:28 also other unscriptural doctrines.
49:31 They will do all in their power to excite sympathy,
49:34 and will work miracles before them,
49:37 to confirm what they declare.
49:41 The people of God must be prepared
49:42 to withstand these spirits with the Bible truth
49:46 that the dead know not anything,
49:48 and that they who appear to them
49:51 are the spirits of devils."
49:55 You know I believe that
49:56 we need to study scripture to feed our hearts.
50:02 I believe that but I believe that
50:04 we also need to study scripture to feed
50:07 and strengthen our minds.
50:11 It's not enough to just study the Bible devotionally
50:15 we must struggle according to Ellen White
50:17 with the great themes of scriptures.
50:20 Bible study must feed the heart and it must feed the mind.
50:24 It must be analyzed with unimpassioned reason
50:28 and it also must touch our affections.
50:33 It much reach the left brain
50:35 and it must reach the right brain as well.
50:39 But sometimes we are so caught up
50:40 in the relationship aspect,
50:42 in the feeling aspect in the devotional aspect,
50:46 that we really sit down and struggle
50:49 with the great complex problematic issues
50:53 that we find in scripture to give a reason
50:55 for the faith that is found in us.
51:00 Now folks, a few years ago a great preacher by the name
51:06 of Norman Vincent Peale you know who he was.
51:10 The power of positive thinking, do you remember?
51:13 His biggest disciple in the world today
51:15 as Robert Schuller from the Crystal Cathedral
51:18 down in Orange County in Southern California.
51:23 Do you know Norman Vincent Peale
51:25 this Presbyterian preacher claims to have seen
51:31 his dead father singing in the church choir?
51:37 Says he looked and he saw his dead father
51:40 singing in the church choir.
51:42 And he claims that one day in his study his mother came
51:46 and tapped him on the shoulder.
51:50 Now when he was asked
51:51 how did he know it was his father and his mother
51:53 listened to the reasons that he gave?
51:55 He said, first of all I saw him with my own eyes.
51:59 Secondly he said instinct whispers
52:02 that the death is not end.
52:06 Third he said reason confirms it.
52:11 Fourth he says psychic phenomena even supported.
52:17 And finally he said even science insist
52:19 that the universe is more spiritual than material.
52:24 In his answer not once that he ever quote scripture.
52:29 Now if that's happening outside the Adventist church
52:35 could it happen within the Seventh-day Adventist church?
52:40 You see folks, we need an external trustworthy standard
52:45 outside of ourselves to evaluate everything.
52:48 We can't trust impressions, intuitions, feelings,
52:51 emotions, miracles, science, preachers, voices,
52:54 none of that is trustworthy.
52:57 We can only trust fully and completely
52:59 the holy word of God but to trust the word of God
53:02 we must know it.
53:03 And in order to know we must study it.
53:07 So when the preacher gets up and preaches
53:10 a strong message don't storm the preacher.
53:16 You know we need to take it to heart when we sit down.
53:18 Well, may be what he is saying is right.
53:21 May be there needs to be a change in my life.
53:25 You know and perhaps it would help
53:27 if I sat down and study this in a fuller way.
53:32 You know, when I get up and preach it's sometimes
53:34 it sounds like I'm scolding the church.
53:36 Well, you know, I preach to myself every time I preach
53:39 because I'm in the same boat.
53:42 But I want you to know that
53:43 I have a passion for these things
53:44 because I really believe that we are living
53:46 in the last moments of time.
53:49 And the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that the majority
53:52 of those one in the church are gonna forsake us.
53:56 It says multitudes are gonna leave
54:00 like the blowing leaves of autumn.
54:02 That's sad, that's tragic it never has to happen that way.
54:07 You see folks, we need to take the Word of God
54:10 and we need to make it a part of our lives.
54:12 We need to dedicate time to the study of God's holy word.
54:15 Set aside all those things that consume our time
54:18 and get down to business and study that
54:20 which will truly feed our soul,
54:23 that will truly feed our mind.
54:25 You know, you can go to a grocery store
54:29 and you can see all these wonderful products in the shelf.
54:33 Do you know that those products
54:35 on the shelf are not gonna do any good?
54:39 Right.
54:40 Oh, I love to go to grocery stores.
54:45 You know, look at all the good food.
54:48 You know what, none of that will do you any good
54:53 unless you take the food home, you prepare it,
54:58 you put it in your mouth, you chew it,
55:03 you swallow it and you digest it.
55:08 You know this book on the shelf
55:11 is just like food in a grocery store.
55:15 Oh, yeah, there is lot of good food in here.
55:18 But unless we're opening it, unless we are chewing it,
55:24 unless we are swallowing it, unless we are digesting it,
55:29 it is doing absolutely no good to us.
55:34 You know that is what I'm saying folks, is that we need
55:36 to take the Bible, we're need to place the Bible inside
55:39 and by the way we eat through our mouth physically.
55:44 We eat through our eyes and our ears spiritually.
55:51 I like to read a text
55:52 which I have read many times before.
55:55 It's so beautiful that it bears reading again.
55:59 Psalm 119:9-11.
56:01 You know we talk a lot about the crisis
56:03 among our youth and everything.
56:05 You know the devil is wanting to steal the youth.
56:09 And you know how his most successful method
56:11 is been inventing all kinds of distractions
56:13 so they're not in the word and they're not in prayer
56:15 they're not in church, church is boring
56:18 because the church can't compete with the exciting things
56:20 that you'll see on television
56:21 with video games, we can't compete.
56:26 What is the real secret for having a youth
56:30 which is alive, which is thriving?
56:33 Psalm 119:9-11,
56:37 Psalm 119:9-11
56:41 here David is speaking particularly to the youth
56:44 and he says "How a young man can cleanse his way?"
56:50 What's the answer?
56:52 "By taking heed according to your word."
56:59 Then he says "With my whole heart I have sought you.
57:03 Oh, let me not wander from your commandments."
57:07 And here comes the key portion of the passage
57:10 "Your word I have hidden in my heart,
57:16 that I might no sin against You."
57:20 How about it, folks?
57:22 How about getting down to business
57:24 and filling our minds and hearts with God's word.


Revised 2014-12-17