SAMPLE MATERIAL FROM A BIBLE STUDY BOOK IN THE SERIES
PROVE ALL THINGS
Learning From the Word
The Lord teaches us by His Word, or His Book, the same way teachers teach their children in school, by the book. The word chastise in the Greek primarily denotes to train children. It suggests the broad idea of education by correcting with words, reproving, admonishing and instructing. When we can grasp this, we can then know that God is not the author of evil, but it is our wrong decisions that produce evil and its consequences. If we are walking defeated Christian lives, it is not God s fault. He made a way for us to overcome by obeying His Word. When the trials of life overwhelm us and we are defeated, it is because we did not pass the test. In school, when a child fails a test, we do not blame the teacher, as the fault lies with the child who did not do his lessons and homework well. However, when Christians fail the tests in life, may times it is God who is blamed. He gets the blame for taking little children’s lives in accidents, for sending sickness upon His children, for burning down houses, for earthquakes, storms, etc. Could it be that if we did our homework by praying and studying the Bible, that many of these things could be prevented? Yes, they could; the lack is ours, not God’s.
We believe in the motto, “Prayer Changes Things,” yet how much quality time do we spend in prayer? How many hours do we devote to Bible study as compared to the hours we watch TV or devote our time to other time wasting endeavors? Yet, when something bad happens in our lives, we do not take the blame to ourselves because it is so much easier to blame God. God gave us mighty weapons in His Word to overcome the devil and defeat him at every turn. Is it His fault we are not aware of these weapons? We have the book that tells us how to be an overcomer. That book is the Holy Bible. I would say few people reading this would not have access to a Bible. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and His operation manual for living in this world is the Bible. If we have Him in our hearts and read His manual, there is not one problem that we cannot overcome. We find few overcomers because we find few apt students. We find a lot of people that know the Word of God but they do not apply it to their lives. In school we must apply what we know to pass the exams. If we do not know our subject, we are doomed to fail from the start. That is why we must know Him first, for in Him is all knowledge and wisdom.
If we are walking with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will always do His job of reproving us for sin. (John 16:8: And when he (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment….) Sometimes we suffer under Satan’s false accusations when we are not guilty at all. How can we determine when it is the Holy Spirit that is convicting us and when it is the enemy that is condemning us? When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, He always shows us the way out and always extends to us pardon. When the devil is condemning us, he never leaves us a way out, he accuses us, and he condemns us to failure. He would whisper to us, You will never change; you can never overcome this weakness. God is angry with you and He will punish you for this. You might as well go back into the world. God’s way is too hard. You are doomed to hell, anyway. Why, you have committed the unpardonable sin, etc. These are a few of the lies Satan tells us when we have failed and sinned, and every one of them brings condemnation and fear. God always lifts us up and helps us when we have failed Him, and shows us there is a better way. He enables us to overcome if we do it His way.
If we forsake evil and turn to Him, we are never condemned; but if we continue to sin, we are condemned along with the world.
John 3:18-21, He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. If we judge ourselves, we shall not be condemned with the world because we are a part of a new world.
The Lord gave a parable in Matthew 5:25-26 that gives us a guideline as to how we can judge ourselves and remain free from Satan’s condemning lies. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. The Amplified Version of the Bible makes this even a little easier for us to understand. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way traveling with him, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; Truly, I say to you, you will never be released until you have paid the last fraction of a penny. We know that Satan is our accuser and our adversary (Revelation12:10), so when we are walking with him, or keeping company with him by sinning, and he accuses us of that sin, we are to agree with him. If we have lied, and he says to us, You are a liar and all liars go to hell, we are to agree with this statement, when guilty. We must not stop here, however; we should then ask God’s forgiveness and tell the devil, Yes, I have sinned, but I have asked God to forgive me and His Word also says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness ( I John 1:9). If we do not confess our sin, then we come under the judge’s jurisdiction. We find that the judge is the Word of God, and the Word of God does declare that all liars end up in hell. (Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.) So the judge (God’s word) takes us to the officer or the guard. The guard is representative of the Holy Spirit, as He guards the Word. If the Holy Spirit does not know us, then we must pay the price for our sin.
By agreeing that we are guilty and asking the Lord for forgiveness, we can avoid the condemnation and the penalty. When Satan then accuses us, the Holy Spirit will have pardoned us because Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we do not have to pay it. Praise God! Even as Christians we can come into bondage and be held prisoner in our bodies, our emotions and our minds if we fail to ask for forgiveness of our sins. Satan has a legal hold when we have unconfessed sin in our lives. We should also ask the Lord to forgive us for those things that we do not, as of yet, recognize as sin, even as David did in Psalm 19:12: Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. The more of God’s Word that we know, the more we shall be able to recognize our sin and be cleansed of it. Ephesians 5:26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word… Yes, the more of God’s Word we have in our hearts, the more we shall be able to prove and test all things. To know and understand the Word of God is to know the truth, and in knowing the truth we indeed shall be free.
We then, being free, will not have to stand before God’s judgment for sin. What is God’s judgment on sin? It is the penalty for broken spiritual laws. This penalty is brought on by our own sins (unless we receive Jesus, as He took the penalty for us on Calvary). The judgment of God can be averted by repentance and prayer. Disasters come to cities, and most of the time it is spoken of as “the judgment of God coming upon the people because of their wickedness. If Christians were praying for their cities and asking God to be merciful and to deliver and touch the people of that town, we would see fewer disasters. Christians should be in prayer daily for their communities, seeking God on behalf of the city officials and praying for truth and peace to reign in their local areas. We, as Christians, have been failing, thus allowing Satan to bring disaster to areas because there are no interceding Christians.
Sins of Omission
There are two kinds of sins. One is that of commission (sins that we commit) and the other of omission (things we omit). The sin of omission is the failure to do the things we know we should do. It is being committed every day when we fail to pray for our cities and governments (James 4:17). We might ask ourselves this question, If it were up to us to be responsible in prayer for our city’s welfare, would our prayers be sufficient for that task? This will reveal to us that the lack is not on God’s part, but on our part, in that we do not pray diligently. It will take more than a few times of praying, “God bless America,” for our country to have a real revival and turn from its wickedness. It will take real intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare for the victory to be won.
God is not responsible for the tragedies in our homes, cities and country. We are responsible. Ezekiel 22:30-32 says, And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God. From this verse we can see that it is our own ways that bring destruction, not God. Destruction is simply the result of sin. How terrible to blame God for tragedy and disaster: It is man’s nature to do this, because it is much easier to blame God than to take responsibility for his own failures and sins. Ezekiel 33:20 states, Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. We see the Israelites were guilty of the same sin of blaming God for His alleged injustice, instead of seeing their own sins. They were God’s people, yet they were full of sin. Today we find the same scene. Many of God’s people are the very ones blaming God for their tragedies, losses of loved ones, sicknesses, sorrows, etc. They are blinded to their sin, as it has taken a subtle form of self-righteousness. They feel if they attend church regularly and give their tithes, they have fulfilled their obligations to God. They do not recognize their complacency and their love for the world, as the clergy has allowed them to bring the “world” into the church.
One of the greatest ills in the church today is the mixture of the church and the world. The church is no longer separated from the world, but looks just like the world. The world does not recognize Christians because they do the same thing the world does. They eat and drink the same things, go to the same places, etc. In Exodus 12:38 we find an account of a people called the mixed multitude.
The background of this account tells about Israel being led out of Egyptian bondage by Moses. When they left, some of the Egyptians who had married the Israelites left with them. Also there were those that were half-Egyptian and half-Israelite. The Old Testament has many accounts of “types” that are lessons for us today. I Corinthians 10:5-6 says, But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. The example we are to see here is a lesson of what happens to those who are not true Israelites at heart. We see in Numbers 11 that after the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness awhile, they began to gripe and complain. This spirit spawned from those that were of the mixed multitude. The mixed multitude were those in the outermost part of the camp. They didn’t come to the center of the camp where the tabernacle was pitched, as they didn’t want to be exposed by the glory of the Lord. Their allegiance soon waned under trial and persecution, and they longed to go back to Egypt where the fish, cucumbers, melons, garlics, leeks, and onions were. Soon their lust for these things overcame them, and they were destroyed by the fire of God and the wrath of the Lord.
Today we find the same problem in the church. The lust for the things of this world, plus uncommitted hearts that contain a mixture of this world and the Lord’s kingdom, will ultimately bring the judgment of God. It was not God’s intention for Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, as He wanted to bring them to the promised land that was flowing with milk and honey. It is the same today; He wants to bless His children, but their rebellion and lack of commitment do not allow Him to do so. The Word of God proves we have a loving and just God. As we seek Him and grow in His Word, we will not suffer His judgment on sin. The judgment of the wrath of God comes only upon sin in this world. If we have Jesus in our hearts and have been forgiven of our sins and have renounced the things of this world, then we have no need to fear the wrathful judgment of God. It will not fall on God’s children who are striving to follow Him. Praise God!
In concluding, let us look to God to prove all things. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:10). Only by coming before Him with a teachable spirit can we be taught the truth and recognize error. As we become more acquainted with the real, we will be able to better discern the counterfeit. The devil has a counterfeit for every truth of God. However, we need not fear being deceived if we are in fellowship with the Lord, for He will deliver us from every evil as we continue to follow Him.
Our daily prayer should be “Lord, cleanse me from all error and renew my mind. Lord, I desire to know the truth even if it means correction and embarrassment for me. Change my thoughts and heart to be your thoughts.”
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