Romans 15-16, Psalm 140
30 years ago, after my mother died, and the woman prayed Psalm 23 over me, and I asked for and began going through God's Word, one of our friends simultaneously became a Jehovah's Witness. At the same time that I was starting my journey, we had a knock at our door and invited in a friend of our friend, a Jehovah's witness. After a nice conversation, they set us up with a nice couple from their Kingdom Hall who met with us regularly on Thursday nights. Their study manual was a book titled: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. This couple was morally upright, pleasant, and seemed to have a firm handle on Scripture, especially since both myself and my wife were 100% Biblically illiterate at the time. The only thing that saved my wife and I, was at the same time we were studying with them, I continued my own personal study through Scripture in the Bible given to me by a chaplain at my hospital. It was through this that I was able to discern truth, and see through their position. The sad truth is there are "many Lord Jesus Christs" being taught by the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, those in the New Age movement, those who teach the prosperity gospel, etc. But they're not our Lord Jesus.
Paul warns in Romans 16:17-18, "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple." Though we are taught not to judge others in a spirit of condemnation, we had better discern or we will be led astray. Jesus warned of this in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:15, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Paul expands on this warning in his letter to the Galatians, in 1:6-8, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed." John stressed this same warning in 1 John 4:1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." In those days the false teaching was coming from the Judaizers, the gnostics, etc. Now we have a plethora of false teaching seeking our attention, and readily available on every Smartphone and computer.
The battleground for our walk, our beliefs and our souls is real. Most in the world don't give God a second thought and therefore they are off the radar of Satan. But start your walk, pick up that Bible, attend a Bible teaching church, start to act on your faith and a bullseye has been put on your back. There are no ceasefires from the other side, and unless we are rooted in God's Word and continue to grow in our foundation of the Bible, we will find ourselves defenseless. There is a continuous fight over us. We read in 1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." But on the other side we see in 2 Chronicles 16:9, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him...". With no shortage of opinions and influences seeking to influence us, may we all stay grounded in God's Word and feed the Spirit rather than the flesh. Jesus says in John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth , and the truth shall make you free."
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: