Good morning friends. So many ideas have gone through my head on what to teach on today. Things like more on the power of our words, or a message about witnessing. I think about some posts that are filled with hate and negativity on some of the other sites I have visited this week and wonder if I should share blessings and curses. The more I have thought and prayed on this, the more at ease I feel about looking at scriptures talking about false teachers. Oh brother Jim, that means you are going to start bashing my favorite TV preacher. Not at all.
I hope you all stay with me during this teaching, as I think there will be many things that might open your eyes and also how we should react to certain things. It is easy in the natural to start cursing things that are against what we have been taught and even the things that don't line up with the Bible. I am not talking about cursing as using swear words, although I have seen that amongst those who claim to be Christians, too.
In the past few weeks, we have been looking at the things we should say or shouldn't say. I want to start today by looking at scriptures telling how we should be watchful of things being taught. For those who are in their bibles on a daily basis and start tuning in to some of these television pastors, it doesn't take long before the red flags start popping up, but should we start bad-mouthing them? No, and we will look at that in a moment.
Are we excited to get started in God's word today? I'm sure I have the attention of some, but there may be others who are a little reluctant because of who they may be listening to during the week. I do hope that you will hear, or read this message all the way through.
Please turn in your Bibles to 2nd Timothy chapter 4 and we will start with verse 1.
This letter to Timothy was sent while Paul had been re-arrested for a makeshift crime. I mentioned this in a study some time ago, but to give you a clearer picture of what was happening, it is worth mentioning again. In the year 64 AD there was a fire that destroyed most of Rome. At that time there was an emperor called Nero and was said to be a inhuman brute. Nero was thought to be the one that started the fire to destroy everything so he could rebuild it and build the best city he could. Christians were blamed for this and were killed in the harshest of ways. Some were crucified. Others were wrapped in animal skins and thrown in a arenas to be mauled to death by dogs or eaten by wild beasts for the citizens to be amused. Some were tied to posts and had pitch poured over them and set on fire to light Nero's gardens. Apostle Paul was one who was blamed for this, yet he never looses faith. Let's read.
2 Timothy 4:1-8 I testify before God and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, (2) proclaim the word; be urgent in season and out of season, convict, rebuke, encourage, with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear; (4) and they will turn away their ear from the truth, and will have turned aside to fables. (5) But *thou*, be sober in all things, bear evils, do the work of an evangelist, fill up the full measure of thy ministry. (6) For *I* am already being poured out, and the time of my release is come. (7) I have combated the good combat, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (8) Henceforth the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will render to me in that day; but not only to me, but also to all who love his appearing.
The word crown is a symbol of reward in the New Testament. Here is a special reward promised to those who love the truth of Christ’s second coming and work and long for it. Friends, I pray that is you and me. Are we being hearers of God's truth and being doers?
We see in this chapter that Paul is begging Timothy to hold on to God's truths and to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Friends, Paul's time was short, but he didn't give up fighting the good fight. He was warning Timothy of false teachers that would come. Today the church is warned and we see them behind the pulpits, but we either start finger pointing and speaking hateful things towards them, or we turn a blind eye, like everything else.
All eyes and ears are on me now and some are swallowing hard. Mrs. Smith, I think I just heard your sewing needle fall on the floor. It's right there by the chair leg in front of you. Your welcome, Mrs. Smith.
Let's now turn to Acts 20 verse 28. Say Amen when you all get there.
Acts 20:28-32 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own. (29) For *I* know this, that there will come in amongst you after my departure grievous wolves, not sparing the flock; (30) and from among your own selves shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them. (31) Wherefore watch, remembering that for three years, night and day, I ceased not admonishing each one of you with tears. (32) And now I commit you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give to you an inheritance among all the sanctified.
Friends, this is talking about many pastors out there. And what did verse 29 say? For *I* know this, that there will come in amongst you after my departure grievous wolves, not sparing the flock;
Jesus said this in Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:24-25 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (25) Behold, I have told you before.
Church, do we see this? They have been around for a while and there is a bunch now and yet thousands and millions are lured in and thinking they are part of the greatest thing since sliced bread.
At some point, I would like to do a study on all the denominations and how they came about and compare it to what the bible says and so on, but that would be a lengthy process and probably a series that I don't think many would even care to listen too. The point I want to get across to everyone is this. There are many preaching as we read earlier from Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3 and 4. For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear; (4) and they will turn away their ear from the truth, and will have turned aside to fables.
I have witnessed some of these teachings and some of these false new age goings on. Just this past week, I had a pastor call me and asked what I knew about a certain individual. I shared some things, but told him that he is in my prayers. He then shared some horrible things that this man had said about a few pastors that you and I can see on a daily basis on TV. Within that story the pastor shared with this man that we should not be condemning these people, but speaking blessings over them. Do we remember from the last few weeks what it means to speak blessings over someone?
When we say God bless you, or speak blessings over someone's life. We are saying " I declare over you that God’s full intention that He has for your life would come into fullness." Praise God!!
Now I want to share some things that many have probably never heard before. I am going to give you an example of what probably all of us have done. Ready? You're driving down the road and a car pulls out in front of you. What is your first reaction? Lay on the horn and scream out, "You idiot!!" Been there? I'm guilty. Come on, raise your hand, you know you've done it. Here is another one and I have heard many others do the same thing and I thought we were doing the right thing. You have a bar, tattoo parlor or something like that moves into your community. Anyone know where I am going with this? I had been taught to curse it and tell it to dry up at the root in Jesus' name. Been there before? Anyone? Did you know that is not the right thing to do?
What did we look at before? I declare over you that God’s full intention that He has for your life would come into fullness. That my friends is what we should be saying. We should be speaking blessings over them. I know it sounds unusual, but let me ask you this. The man, or woman that just pulled out in front of you as you were driving. Remember that? The one you just called an idiot? Who made that person? I know his or her mom and dad, but who created that person you just called and idiot? That's right, God. God, who God loved so much that He sent His One and only Son to die on a old rugged cross so that they may have eternal life. God wishes no man perish, including that person you just cursed, calling him, or her an idiot, or worse. Have I raised an eyebrow yet?
Let's look at the definition of idiot, shall we?
1: usually offensive: a person affected with extreme mental retardation
2: a foolish or stupid person
Let's look at some of the synonyms: fool, ass, halfwit, dunce, moron, imbecile, simpleton
Actually, if you study the word idiot out, it is a person so mentally retarded that within some states they were just now allowed to be able to have some privileges. That is the person who is highly educated with a collage degree, that probably is on lunch break, or going home after working a very long day and just happened to not be paying attention for that split second. Now if you were just spoken to, because that is words you use when someone makes a mistake, remember I may have pointed out something you do, or have done, but I have 3 fingers pointing back at me. I have been there.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Are our ears and eyes open? My friends, what we should be saying is something like this to that one who just made that mistake and pulled out in front of us. "Lord, I deliver this man or woman into Your hands. Lord, that the knowledge of the Savoir of the world would enter into this person and that he or she would be the spouse and parent You chose this person to be. That You would pour out blessings into the life of this individual. That he or she will fulfill the calling You have purposed for them. In Jesus name. Amen.
Sounds strange, doesn't it? Please turn to Romans 4:16. I am getting so excited. I have waited for some time to share these things with you. I know I have hinted about them for a few weeks, but now we can touch on some of them. Praise God!!!
Romans 4:16-17 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (17) (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Friends, do we catch what is said here? Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him. Here he and Sarah were in their 90's and God had said that they would have children and Abraham clung to that promise. Faith, my friends. Faith is the important key. Without faith we cannot please God.
Turn, please to Hebrews 11:1. It's the great faith chapter. Praise God!! Say, "I have faith" when you get there.
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Friends, when we get a revelation of this nugget, when we stop cursing others and ourselves, the enemy can't touch us. Our finances get better, our health improves, our relationship with God gets stronger. Our marriages and family come together as a family that God had purposed. Who doesn't want these things? Halleluiah. Glory to God. Do you see why I'm so excited? And most have probably never heard of these principles.
Okay, let's do to the tattoo parlor, or the piercing place, whatever they call them. I heard a pastor give testimony of how he would drive by and curse that place at the root and command it to dry up and close down. Many do the same with bars that might spring up in our neighborhoods. This pastor said that the Lord told him to stop cursing and to speak blessings over it. This pastor was cursing the individuals that had this place. He was told that it is not God's will that any man perish, but come to the saving knowledge of the Son of God. Glory to God.
To make this story shorter, he started speaking blessings, and within weeks it closed. Friends, this is much like the yellow book that I have been sharing with others. Praying effectively for the lost. When we learn key knowledge on how God wants us to do things and act upon them, things change. Remember the verses we have looked at often throughout the year that Jesus said about our words?
Matthew 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, Blessings and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Curses.
I have been doing a search on this word bless and wow, friends. It is a powerful word and when we get an understanding of how to use it and why, our lives and those around us could change forever. Praise God.
Bless, blessed and blessing is used 384 times and in 341 verses. There are many Hebrews and Greek words we could look at, but we are going to narrow it down to just two or three.
A primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration)
to praise, celebrate with praises
to invoke blessings
to consecrate a thing with solemn prayers
to ask God's blessing on a thing
pray God to bless it to one's use
Through the Old Testament, Abraham and others who were the leaders would "bless" a chosen son, who would then receive the control over the tribe. I'm sure there are many different types of blessings throughout the Bible. Now, in the New Testament days, those of us who are saved have the spiritual right to pray a blessing over people, homes, items, etc... Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ honors these prayers from you and me, His saints, and empowers the blessing to be active.
Friends, when we speak blessings over someone, a place or thing, we are speaking a prophetic declaration. When we declare blessings over others it's not the things that they might be doing now, but we are speaking God's full intention over them of what He has planned over them. Oh friends, we need to get this. It will change our lives if we could start right now and put away the cursing like we are accustomed to. My brothers and sisters, we need to start seeing things as God sees them. We need to start speaking the things that God wants us to speak.
Please turn to John 6: 38. I hear this all the time. To do the will of God, or our Heavenly Father. What is God's will for me? I want to look at words Jesus spoke about the will God had for Him and us.
John 6:38-40 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
In closing, I want to look at one more passage please turn to John 14:6.
John 14:6-21 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (8) Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. (9) Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (11) Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. (12) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (15) If ye love me, keep my commandments. (16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (19) Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (20) At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Halleluiah!! Jesus is the way—let us follow Him. Jesus is the truth.
Let us build with confidence upon the precious truths of His comforting promises. Jesus is the life. Let us learn to abide in Him, the source of spiritual life, until He comes back to receive us to the prepared mansions above. Praise God.
Friends, we did not even scratch the service of some awesome teachings that we will be looking into, but I hope your eyes have been opened to this teaching.
Friends, start speaking blessings over your children, grandchildren, spouse, mom and dad. Start speaking God's perfect plan for your life, your job, finances and health. Stop saying, "I might as well give up, I was not meant to be successful, I'm too old, too sick", and so on and so on.
Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Church, God made you. He does not make junk. He has an amazing purpose for you and me. Let's start praying God's intentions to be fulfilled in our lives and our families lives. In Jesus' name. Let's stop speaking things lower than God's intention in those lives. It hinders our prayers.