How Do I Know? The Bible Tells Me So.

Written by Emilee Danielson on . Posted in Digging Deeper 3 Comments

Hey Thats Not What The Bible Says

I have watched this video at least a dozen times, and still laugh out loud. With every view, I catch new details that previously went unnoticed. Details or lies that slip by me. These two guys flip through Bible stories so quickly and with such unassuming charm that it's impossible to identify ALL the lies the first time around. It was made a few years back at a church to make a great sermon illustration and they nailed it.

Ironic how something filled with so much error, can be so true. There is no shortage of people claiming to know God, love God, and to speak for Him. But, the Bible has a stern warning for those listening. Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves." The warning could not be clearer. And the warning shot has been fired multiple times. (Matt. 24:4-5, Mark 13:21-23, Acts 20:28-31, Rom 16:17-18, Gal 1:8-10, Eph 4:17-19, 2 Pet 2:18, 2 Cor 11:13-15, 2 Tim 4:2-5, just to name a few.)

Identifying the false prophets

There are those willing to use God's Word for their own benefit. Read Act 16. The slave girl, who had a demon spirit in her, is following Paul around crying out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation". That sounds GREAT! But then Paul then turns around and casts the demon out of her. That should be a wake-up call for us. What she was saying was so positive, but there was something horribly wrong. Paul knew it, he wasn't afraid to confront it, and he didn't make any friends by doing it. Contrast that with the favor Paul had for Lydia earlier in the chapter. She was a true convert. What was the difference? As good or as right as it appeared, the slave girl was being used for the personal benefit of men. But Paul was not content leaving her in that state. He did not think for a moment–oh well, at least she believes in Jesus and that's all that matters. No! He knew the truth, exposed the lie, and paid dearly for it.

Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

There are two unfortunate realities: (1) people will look to use the name of God and the gospel of Christ for their own benefit (the ravenous wolves) and (2) many Christians are totally incapable of identifying them (the sheep's clothing). Whether they are immature Christians or not really Christians at all, they cannot distinguish between the Lydias and the fortune tellers of life. It all sounds good to them and after all "who are we to judge"? But, Paul seems to seamlessly navigate the human aspect of his ministry by discerning the "live" from "Memorex". How does he do this? The answer is found earlier in Chapter 16. It says they moved from place to place "by the Holy Spirit".

It’s your responsibility to know God's Word

Paul had something that not many had in his day. As a Jew, he had an extensive knowledge of God's Word. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, he had the Holy Spirit enabling him to see that Word come alive in the events that unfolded before him. Today, we have what Paul had. You have God's Word at your fingertips! But, do you have it etched on your heart? Be on Guard! Many will twist it in order to embrace a false righteousness and a false grace, but that is truly deadly. False Righteousness + False Grace = False Hope.

The Holy Spirit is given to those who fully accept the Truth that is Christ.

For many on that day will say "Lord, Lord..!" but Jesus will answer them, "Get away from me, I never knew you." Matt 7:21-23. It is YOUR responsibility to know God's Word. The Holy Spirit is given to those who fully accept the Truth that is Christ. If that is you, then you now have all that Paul had to navigate with discernment. Do not sit blindly by and accept things because it has a "Christian" label attached to it. Don't buy in because the person seems very nice and is well respected. Above all, DON'T buy in because it may have a benefit to your lifestyle in some way (three things Paul was NOT known for). There are fakers out there. Lots of ‘em.

I write this not because I have somehow risen above the danger, but rather I am as vulnerable to such deception as the next human. America has become a culture marked by selfishness, laziness, and a lack of discipline. This has infiltrated the church buildings as well. I have seen for myself, pastors preach an entire sermon and never even open the Bible or actually quote, word for word, any scripture. I've heard Bible stories completely mangled in order to push forward a popular yet ungodly social agenda all under the guise of "love". I heard about a young woman saying, "I can read my Bible at home, I like to hear the pastor tell stories". This tells me two things: (1) she doesn't like hearing God's Word in church and (2) she isn't reading her Bible at home either. Seriously, how easy for someone to feed her a lie? Don't let others spoon feed you. Don't listen with blind trust while you sit on your hands. Put your trust in Jesus, the One True God as revealed to us in the Bible. Then "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1 How will I know? The Bible tells us so.

Suggested Reading: Acts 16