Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
December 16, 2000
Last Updated :
March 10, 2018
Backsliding And The Muck Of This World, Snake Oil Prosperity Preachers, Learn To See Things The Way That God Sees Them, False Apostles And Deceitful Workers, Filthy Lucre And Sin Of Monetizing Our Faith, Satan Cannot Own Us Because Jesus Already Owns Us, Jesus Paid For Our Sins With His Blood Or Pound Of Flesh, Fiery Fate Of Satan And Unrepentant Sinners, Choose Life Or Death And Blessing Or Curse, Modern Apostasy And Atheists And Mockers, Let The Blind Lead The Blind, The Two Paths, Jesus Christ Bore The Burden Of Our Sins, Your Way Or God's Way, Sinners With No Righteousness Of Our Own
Continuing our discussion from part one, isn't that just amazing? Do you realize how very sneaky, and how very subtle the Devil can be? Those last verses from the Apostle Peter's second Epistle clearly say "the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." If we backslide into the world, we are like a dog which has turned to its own vomit, or like a pig which has been washed, jumping right back into the mire. We were once cleansed by God's Word, and now we are as filthy as ever again. Other people can't even see our spiritual light underneath all of that muck. Forget about a bushel. We are covered in worldly mud which has quenched our flame. Consider these two wonderful verses:
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
Psalms 40:2, KJV
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
John 15:3, KJV
But when you look at those prosperity preachers up there on the stage, you don't see that at all, do you? You don't get the impression that something is seriously wrong with them. You don't see the filth of the world all over them. Of course you don't. You don't see someone who is totally backslidden from the Lord and living a dishonest, vain life in the flesh. You see, that is because you are looking at them with your eyes of the flesh, instead of with your eyes of the spirit. I am reminded of what the Lord said to the Prophet Samuel when He sent him to anoint David as the next king of Israel:
"But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7, KJV
Oh no. Those snakes in fact tell you the exact opposite of the truth. They stand up there in their squeaky clean suits, and they tell you that they are doing just fine. They are doing great. After all, just look at how they are dressed. Look at their expensive jewelry. Look at that fine car they drive. "This is God's blessing!" they all say. And then they throw out their hook: "You can have this too! Just give me your money, and God will bless you too!" Sadly, many people become just as deceived as those snake oil preachers, and so they throw them their money, and they give them their pound of flesh. I am sorry to inform you, but you've been had!
So, instead of being mesmerized by all of the bright lights and their convincing stage performance; and instead of being taken in by their crafty words which promise you wealth; you need to ask God to show them to you as they really are, and as He really sees them. If you need a clue, then consider the following powerful verses:
"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
As I just said, those snake oil prosperity preachers tell you the exact opposite of the truth, both about themselves, as well as about what is contained in God's Words regarding their shameful behavior. As a matter of fact, and in case you are not already aware of it, both Jesus and the Apostles totally condemned fleecing God's sheep like that for the sake of acquiring personal monetary gain. As I point out in a number of other articles, the Apostles referred to such a practice as "filthy lucre". Furthermore, we all know how the Lord entered the Temple courtyard with a whip and angrily proceeded to overturn the tables of the moneychangers, and others who sold their merchandise there. Consider the following group of verses and be warned:
"And through COVETOUSNESS shall they WITH FEIGNED WORDS MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
2 Peter 2:3, KJV
"Not given to wine, no striker, NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LUCRE; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous . . . Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"
1 Timothy 3:3, 8, KJV
"For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, NOT GIVEN TO FILTHY LUCRE . . . Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
Titus 1:7, 11, KJV
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; NOT FOR FILTHY LUCRE, but of a ready mind;"
1 Peter 5:2, KJV
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for YE DEVOUR WIDOWS' HOUSES, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
Matthew 23:14, KJV
"And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: WHICH DEVOUR WIDOWS' HOUSES, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation."
Mark 12:38-40, KJV
"Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; WHICH DEVOUR WIDOWS' HOUSES, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation."
Luke 20:46-47, KJV
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Matthew 21:12-13, KJV
"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."
John 2:13-16, KJV
"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Mark 11:15-17, KJV
In light of the preponderance of Scriptural evidence which I have presented here, I hope that you clearly see that Satan IS indeed the god of this present world, and he CAN tempt us with worldly pleasures, in order to try to seduce us, and to win our allegiance and obedience to his will. By this stage in our lesson, you should not doubt this point whatsoever; unless, of course, you purposely wish to deceive yourself.
But, in spite of that Evil One's machinations, do you know what? If you are a predestinated child of God, then Satan cannot possibly own you. Yes, he can still tempt you, but he cannot own you. Do you know why? Because the Bible plainly tells us that we are already owned, and we have already been purchased at a very great price. That price is the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for the sins of the world. Jesus paid Satan his pound of flesh the day He died on the Cross for you and me. Thus, Jesus alone has the right to be our Master; and as we learned in part one, we cannot have two masters. Here again are some good verses to validate these points:
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8, KJV
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"
1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV
"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:"
Galatians 1:3,4, KJV
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
1 Timothy 1:15, KJV
"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 1:3, KJV
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Hebrews 9:28, KJV
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
1 Peter 2:24, KJV
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:7, KJV
"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:2, KJV
"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."
1 John 3:5, KJV
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:10, KJV
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Revelation 1:5, KJV
So you see, Jesus has already paid the price; not only for our sins, but also to make us HIS property. We belong to Him now; and that certainly beats belonging to Satan, does it not? Of course, if you really prefer to follow that serpent, and rebel against God's Will for you life, then you should not be too surprised if you meet the same fate as well. It is not a pretty picture. Consider the following verses:
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
Revelation 20:10, KJV
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:14-15, KJV
"For our God is a consuming fire . . . It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Hebrews 12:29, 10:31, KJV
In the words of the ancient Patriarch and conquering hero of Israel, Joshua, the moral of the story, and the decision we each have to make is basically this: We either serve God, or else we serve Satan and the false gods of this world. Moses and the Prophet Jeremiah delivered very similar messages to the people as well. We either choose blessing or curse. We either choose life or death. Consider the following group of verses:
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:15, KJV
"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known."
Deuteronomy 11:26-28, KJV
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."
Deuteronomy 30:15-20, KJV
"And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey."
Jeremiah 21:8-9, KJV
In spite of this sober warning from God's Word, some foolish people will continue to scoff at messages such as this. These haughty souls obviously prefer their spiritual blindness and worldly comfort. In fact, they even take a certain amount of delight -- and yes, even pride -- in ridiculing those people who, out of their love for the lost, try to help bring them to the Light. The more we endeavor to help such atheists and Sadly, this modern-day Apostasy, or falling away from Biblical truth, perfectly mirrors certain things which were stated almost two thousand years ago, by Jesus Himself, as well as by two of the Lord's closest followers; Peter and Paul. Consider the following verses:
". . . Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:8, KJV
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
2 Thessalonians 2:3, KJV
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
Jesus' enemies of old were the very same way. They were so blinded to the truth, by their own choice, that they could not even sense the grave spiritual danger in which they found themselves. They consciously resisted the Light of Jesus Christ, and walked in spiritual darkness. Thus, they are described in the following way in three of the Gospels:
"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."
John 3:19-20, KJV
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Matthew 13:10-16, KJV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:16, 24, KJV
"And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other."
Mark 3:5, KJV
"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
John 9:39-41, KJV
"But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."
John 12:37-41, KJV
As we saw a moment ago, that ditch or pit is very hot indeed. It is a terrible Lake of Fire; and as Jesus also tells us in the verses below, the path leading to it is a very broad one. A lot of people walk down that path due to their ignorance, their pride, and the spiritual blindness of their hearts. I can just picture them slowly trudging down that wretched road similar to sad, dumb, brute beasts which are weighed down by their worldly power, by their wealth, by their fame, and especially by their sins and unbelief:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14, KJV
Why is this so? Quite simply, it is because they never took heed to Jesus' words when He tells us to cast our burdens of sin upon Him. After all, He alone was foreordained to bear the weight of the sins of the world. Instead, they want to live their lives their own way. They want to struggle with their problems on their own. They want to prove that they can manage on their own. Likewise, they want to believe that they can be good and righteous, without any help from God. However, it is all just vain, self-righteous works of the flesh which don't really amount to anything in the end. As Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew:
"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
Following are some additional verses which clearly reveal that we have no righteousness of our own. We are all sinners by default. As such, no matter how hard we try to be good, no matter what works we perform, we will still fall short of God's required standard:
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
Isaiah 64:6, KJV
"If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?"
Psalms 130:3, KJV
"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:"
Malachi 3:2, KJV
"As it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, no, not one . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:10, 21-23, KJV
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and GOING ABOUT TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESs, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Romans 10:1-4, KJV
"And be found in him, NOT HAVING MINE OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
Philippians 3:9, KJV
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
"FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
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