Friday, January, 27, 2023
A mandate for all professing Christians: when the Lord Jesus Christ was presented with deceit and falsehoods, He immediately answered the devil with these three powerful, deceit-shattering Words, “It is written” (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10), the context of which was specifically regarding the fact that “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him” (Prov. 30:5), and “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). Post-Calvary, it’s imperative that believers follow the example of Christ in resisting Satan’s deceptions and falsehoods that contradict the written Word of God. This truth is our defense and guides us through all end-time deceptions.
For our benefit the Apostle Paul said by the Spirit: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8). Contextually, those adjectives describe God’s Word that, “It is written”. Only God’s Word is “true”, “noble”, “just”, “pure”, “lovely”, “of good report”, of “any virtue”, and “praiseworthy”. Why? Because Jesus said “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35). One of the many deceptions in the organized church today is that most not only tolerate, but embrace deceptions conjured by the fallen nature and spirit of man because deceptions tickle the ears and seduce the need for inspired truths, deceitfully justifying human reasoning, traditions of men, assumptions and conjecture, all of which are deadly to enduring faithfully to the end as the Lord Jesus Christ taught at Matt. 24:13. Only you can decide whether you will believe that, “It is written”, or not.
God said by His Spirit that, “we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He [God] angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He [God] swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in [the Promised Land] because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:14–19). This passage warns of our present end-times, for we, like ancient Israel, are on the cusp of inheriting our eternal Promised Land.
Therefore, “Be sober, be vigilant, [rely only on the truth wherein “It is written”] because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8–9). Only you can decide to be “steadfast in the faith”. Let nothing deter you from your God-given free will to confession, repentance and faith in Jesus’ overcoming example to believe and speak that which “It is written”. His truth will lead you to eternal life.
So, because “It is written” that Jesus Christ gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), believe Him, and let His truth lead you in preparing to endure to the end as He taught. To do otherwise is foolish and unbelieving, preferring rather the corrupt words of men to the Words of God. Do not allow unbelief, and the appointment of Christ’s end-time teachings as relevant only to others, e.g. pre-trib rapture Dispensationalism, precede you into eternity because all who do, sow in unbelief, and in unbelief they shall reap. I tell you on the authority of Jesus Christ and His Word that, the pre-trib rapture has deceived many professing Christians and has created a faith that will reap shock, regret, anger, hatred, and deep offense when the Antichrist is revealed “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:9–10). Yes indeed, Antichrist will be revealed in the near future who will be Satan’s representative to lead the fourth beast-kingdom of Dan. 2:40 and 7:7. The decision to believe Jesus Christ and personalize His testimony, or not, is entirely yours.
There’s much to be said for remaining steadfast to the Gospel wherein “It is written”, otherwise the proclivity to take the word of mere men, pastors and teachers, is seductive because these are all seen while the God and Author of the Bible remains unseen…for now. But the day is coming wherein “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). In that day Christ will judge leadership that parsed out His Word in partiality to gain the favor and praise of men and women to suit their traditions, who departed from the “It is written” truths. In that day leadership will be held to a much higher standard, “For a bishop [Strong’s G1985 “an overseer” and “a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly”] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, [by God’s inerrant Word] that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:7–9). And all believers having the Word, though not in leadership, will also be judged.
We live in a day when, if the denominational traditions of men are not followed in the organized church by those who hold to God’s, “It is written” Word, he is no longer welcome in that church. If one does not toe the line of anti-truth traditions, he is rejected / silenced by leadership. But that is also how it was in Jesus’ day, which is why Jesus said, “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do” (Mark 7:8, 13). It’s important for every true believer to understand why Jesus said “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13–14). The flesh does not want to hear that the gate and path of faith that leads to eternal life is “narrow” and “difficult”, and for that very reason most pastors and teachers in organized churches refuse to present the Gospel in that context. And that, dear reader, is exceptionally unfortunate, because many, rather than being given to the personal study of the Word, put their faith and trust in what they hear from the pulpit and think all is well, when in fact, what they hear reinforces the fallen flesh and tickles their ears.
This is also why most pastors and Bible teachers in organized churches refuse to teach end-time truths regardless of how many biblical end-time signs are being fulfilled. Many in leadership do not have Spirit-led discernment or knowledge of the truth and therefore largely teach only what the people want to hear, which does not include the difficult way of the end-times. So, is it any wonder then why God said that, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6)?
Marlin J. Yoder