Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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November 18, 1997
Last Updated :
November 7, 2012
Godly Peace And Fear, Faith Through The Word, Wonderful Word Of God, Urantia Book, Atheists, The Encyclopedia Of Biblical Errancy, God Does Not Lie, Endtime Deceivers, Witness Of The Spirit, Intervention Of Holy Spirit, Give All Glory To God, God's Vessels, Pride And Humility, God's Breaking Process, James and John Humbled, Peter's Humiliation And Transformation Ungodly False Accusers, Satan Liar And Accuser Of The Saints
It is precisely because many people have rejected God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, that in the Gospels, the Lord also prophesied that many people's hearts would fail them because of great fear in the Last Days. In other words, when God's Judgments begin to fall heavily upon the Earth, because they won't have faith in God; and because they won't have faith in His Word; and thus won't be able to trust in His promises of protection, or even understand what is going on around them, many people will suffer from heart attacks, brought on by their fear of the unknown. Concerning this time of uncertainty, the Lord very clearly said:
"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."
Luke 21:26, KJV
If you doubt that this is what the verse means, consider the fact that the word "failing" is derived from the Greek word "apopsucho", pronounced ap-ops-oo'-kho, which the lexicon defines as to breathe out life, to expire, to faint or to swoon away. We all know that heart attacks are one of the leading killers in our modern day. While many of these are the direct result of problems related to obesity and clogged arteries, let me tell you folks, we haven't begun to see anything yet! When the Lord's Judgments begin to fall upon the Earth, the whole world will be filled with fear! In the Book of Hebrews it is written:
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 10:31, 12:29, KJV
If you are interested in learning more about this topic of peace and fear, I encourage you to read a few of my other articles, such as "Dracula: Fighting Fear With The Word, Faith And Love!", which I mentioned earlier.
This brings us to our next point. What some people may find odd, and a bit difficult to understand, is that the way we are told to acquire faith in the Bible, and in fact, in God Himself, is by actually reading His Word. Obviously, some skeptical people will be astounded by such a statement, and will undoubtedly say, "Wait a minute! Didn't I just tell you that I don't believe in the Bible? And now you are telling me that I have to read it in order to believe in it? Isn't that circular reasoning?". Well, I am sorry, but I didn't make the rules. If God's wonderful Creation isn't enough to convince you of His existence, then you will just have to read it in black and white. You just might be surprised by the wonderful effect that God's Written Word will have on your being. The Apostle Paul said it quite well when he wrote:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:17, KJV
I have quoted that same verse many times before in order to emphasize this point; and I will keep on quoting it, if it motivates some of you to finally become curious enough, to start reading your Bibles. Believe me; if you start reading it with an honest, sincere heart, and with a real desire to know if it is true or not, God will not disappoint you. He will indeed reveal His wonderful Truth to you. Believe me; I know; because He does it with me by His Spirit all the time. I live for this! I am not ashamed to admit that I am totally hooked on the Word of God! It inspires and excites me! In similar fashion, if you begin to earnestly study the Word of God, the Seed of Faith will be born in your heart. You might not even realize when it happens; it just does; and it will be such a thrill to you! Just pick up that Holy Book, and start reading it; you'll see! Hopefully, you too will begin to say:
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law."
Psalms 119:18, KJV
"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it."
Psalms 139:6, KJV
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
Romans 11:33, KJV
". . . For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
Psalms 119:89, KJV
". . . Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Psalms 119:105, KJV
"Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it."
Psalms 119:140, KJV
"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."
Psalms 119:160, KJV
". . . thy word is truth."
John 17:17b, KJV
Sadly, there is another side to this issue. You see, there are some blind people, like those who follow the teachings of the demon-inspired Urantia Book -- which I prefer to refer to as the "Unbelief Book" in order to show my utter disdain for it -- as well as some atheists, who do in fact read the Bible; but they read it for the wrong reasons. Some of them read it along with their "real" bible sitting next to them. I am referring to another Satan-inspired tome known as "The Encyclopedia Of Biblical Errancy". The basic premise of this latter volume is that God is a liar; and thus His Word, that is, the Bible, is also a lie, and full of contradictions. As I explain in a few other articles, anyone with a half-decent knowledge of God's real Word, will be able to see how utterly ridiculous "The Encyclopedia Of Biblical Errancy" really is. The Urantians, atheists and other antichrists who foolishly use that volume, totally deny the truth of the following verses:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
2 Timothy 3:16, KJV
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
2 Peter 1:21, KJV
Now, as Christians, either we believe those verses, or else we don't. The truth of the matter, is that by their very own words, these deceived people reveal what liars and deceivers they are, when they dare to claim that the Almighty God is a liar. Consider also the following verses:
"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV
"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV
"Ye [Jesus speaking to unbelieving Jews] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
1 John 2:22, KJV
"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
1 John 5:10, KJV
"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
1 John 1:10, KJV
As I point out in "The Blood Atonement: In Jesus' Own Words", the advocates of the Urantia Book even have the audacity to deny the necessity of Jesus' Blood Atonement on the Cross. They claim that Jesus' Sacrifice was barbaric, and not even necessary for our Salvation. Once again, I am reminded of some of the warnings which are found in the New Testament, regarding the conditions which will exist during the Endtime, as we see here:
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many . . . And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many . . . 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."
Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24, KJV
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
1 Timothy 4:1-2, KJV
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:13, KJV
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [Christ's Return] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition . . . And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"
2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-11, KJV
In fact, as I have pointed out a number of times before, these workers of darkness and deception, who feign to be workers of light, have been in operation since the First Century, as we see here:
"For I [Paul] know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."
Acts 20:29, KJV
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV
Personally, I don't doubt the Divine Inspiration of the Bible for a moment. Do you know why? Well, there are actually two reasons. First of all, when I read the Word of God, I feel that very same Spirit with which the Prophets and Disciples wrote those words so long ago; and second, I believe that the Lord is using that very same Spirit, that is, His Holy Spirit, to speak to my heart as well today. Furthermore, not only is He speaking to my heart, but He is also speaking to the hearts of many of His other children as well, who also seek to understand the hidden mysteries of His Word. Isn't this precisely what Jesus promised His followers, prior to His glorious return to the Heavenly Realm of His Father? Consider the following verses taken from the New Testament:
"But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."
Mark 13:11, KJV
"But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist."
Luke 21:12-15, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
2 Corinthians 4:7, KJV
I firmly believe that the volume of articles I have written over the years, and continue to write, is a clear testimony to the awesome intervention of God's Holy Spirit in my life. While my readers may not agree with every single word that I write, I believe that there are very few people within the Christian body who fail to recognize the Spirit of the Lord speaking to them in at least some of my articles. I will be quite candid and humbly admit that not every word I write is "Thus saith the Lord", as some preachers with very inflated egos would have you to believe; so please don't erroneously assume that this is some attempt on my part to take credit to myself. God forbid that I should ever do such a thing! The Bible makes it very clear to whom belongs all of the glory, and all of the credit. Consider these verses:
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:27-31, KJV
"Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;"
1 Corinthians 3:21, KJV
"And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
1 Corinthians 4:6-7, KJV
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
1 Corinthians 9:16, KJV
"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth . . . Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:17-18, 31, KJV
"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
2 Corinthians 4:5, KJV
"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10:17, KJV
"Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me."
2 Corinthians 12:5-6, KJV
"Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
Galatians 5:26, KJV
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
Galatians 6:14, KJV
"Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ."
1 Thessalonians 2:6, KJV
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17, KJV
"How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?"
Job 25:6, KJV
"But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."
Psalms 22:6, KJV
So again, I am simply trying to bear witness of the Power of God's Holy Spirit, and know full well that it is not due to anything that I have done. As I have said many times before, I am simply one of His vessels; just like the Lord has many other vessels which He uses throughout the world in order to accomplish His Divine Will and Purpose. As the above verses state, in reality, I am just a lowly worm. I don't say this to simply appear humble; I know it for a fact. Like all of you, I have my share of personal sins and shortcomings. I have made my share of mistakes in life. But you see, as I also explain in the series "So You Really Think You Are So Humble?", that is exactly what it takes in order for God to finally be able to use us. He has to pound our pride and self-confidence out of us first; and we will be taking a look at the lives of several men of God down through the ages in just a minute.
Oh, believe me folks; I used to be one proud, self-righteous fellow; especially when I was a young Christian teenager. At that age, we all think we are so good, and that we know so much; especially if we happen to be Christians. Well, I am sure that some people probably still think that I am proud; but believe me; it is nothing like the way I used to be many years ago. The Lord had to break and humble me many times in order to bring me to the end of myself; and He continues to work on me to this day. I am still no picture of so-called "sinless perfection". Being remade in Christ's image is a never-ending process. From what we read in the Gospels, it is clear that James also went through similar experiences in his own life. On one particular occasion, Jesus sent James and John to prepare the way before Him in a certain village of the Samaritans. When the Samaritans refused to accept the Lord, consider what happened next:
"And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village."
Luke 9:53-56, KJV
What a blow that must have been to their pride! James must have eventually understood that being self-righteous and proud are simply not assets when it comes to doing God's Work. Perhaps that is why he later wrote in his Epistle:
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
James 4:6, 10, KJV
The Apostle John, who became a true Disciple of the Kingdom, as opposed to being a child of the world, offers us a hint that he too later understood the dangers of pride, when he wrote:
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:16, KJV
The Old Testament also contains many verses which deal with the sharp contrast between pride and humility. Allow me to share the following with you for your consideration:
"The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."
Psalms 10:4, KJV
"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Proverbs 8:13, KJV
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."
Proverbs 11:2, KJV
"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom."
Proverbs 13:10, KJV
"In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them."
Proverbs 14:3, KJV
"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."
Proverbs 15:33, KJV
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."
Proverbs 16:18-19, KJV
"A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."
Proverbs 29:23, KJV
Consider also, what Jesus, the most humble Servant of all, said regarding this important matter:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30, KJV
"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:1-4, KJV
"And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 14:7-11, KJV
If you would like a more in-depth explanation of what Jesus actually meant when He described Himself as being "meek and lowly in heart", I would once again like to encourage you to read the series "So You Really Think You Are So Humble?". I am sure that it will be a blessing in your life. If you read the four Gospels, you will quickly notice that the Apostle Peter was also an extremely proud man before the Lord began to work on him. Peter was full of self-confidence until the Lord purposely allowed him to commit some major errors in his life. On one occasion, the Lord had to rebuke Peter directly, telling him that he was yielded to Satan. Notice how Mark recorded the incident:
"But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men."
Mark 8:33, KJV
What a crash course in humility! The Lord didn't waste any time when His immediate followers were not yielded to the Spirit. On another occasion, in his own zeal to "save" the Lord from His coming Crucifixion, Peter chopped off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest. Probably to his own amazement, Jesus not only healed the servant, but He then turned around and rebuked Peter again; and this time before many people, as we see here:
"And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 26:51-52, KJV
"Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"
John 18:10-11, KJV
As a final example of the Lord's dealings with proud Peter, it was shortly after the above incident that, motivated by his own ego again, Peter proudly proclaimed that he would never deny knowing the Lord or being one of His followers, Again, here are the verses:
"Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples."
Matthew 26:35, KJV
"But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all."
Mark 14:31, KJV
Of course, we all know what Peter did later. As I point out in other articles, such as "Peter: Faith Tried in the Fire", not only did Peter deny knowing the Lord, but we are also told that at the time of the Lord's betrayal by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane, all of His Disciples fled in fear, in order to save their own lives. As with James, it wasn't until after Peter had been sufficiently humbled by the mistakes he had made, and had been filled with the Holy Spirit, that the Lord was able to mightily use him as one of His "vessels of honor". Consider the remarkable change in Peter's attitude in the following verses:
"And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?"
Acts 3:12, KJV
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"
1 Peter 5:5-6, KJV
These are but a few examples of how the Lord has to first humble His servants, before He is able to use them for His Glory. He did it with Moses, who killed an Egyptian when he tried to be the deliverer in his own strength. He likewise did it with King David, who committed second-degree murder and adultery. He did it with the pharisaical Saul, later to be known as the Apostle Paul, who persecuted and killed the Christians. He has done it with many others throughout the ages, and He continues to do it today with His children of the Endtime.
It is because of this very same pride, which results in a lack of Godly reverence and humility, that some people, such as the atheists and the adherents of the Urantia Book, read the Bible, not to find Faith, Truth or Salvation within its pages, but rather to find what they perceive to be "obvious" errors, inaccuracies and contradictions. As I mentioned a moment ago, their entire objective is to find a justifiable reason to accuse God of being a liar, which in turn casts doubt upon His Word; regardless of whether or not their accusation is actually true. There should be absolutely no doubt then, that they that do such things, are inspired by none other than Satan himself, the "father of lies"; just as we saw earlier in the Gospel of John, when the Lord rebuked the unbelieving Jews of His day. Let us also not forget that in the Book of Revelation, we are told that Satan, or the Devil, is the Accuser of the Saints:
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
Revelation 12:9-10, KJV
As we continue our discussion in part three of this series, we will begin to address the key issue which inspired this series; and that is, what can happen when we proudly refuse to take heed to the Lord's wise counsel, and resist bowing to His Will. Following the advice of the Apostle Paul, we will be discussing some of the events of the distant past. This will include a look at the term "El Shaddai", Judah's defeat, Jacob's sojourn into Egypt and the reasons for the Egyptian bondage, the Israelites' sin of Egyptian idolatry, God's fiery furnace and the purpose of Divine Chastisements, the Golden Calf in the wilderness, the true geographical size of the Promised Land, and much more. I hope that you will join me.
Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.
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