Friday, August 7, 2009

Test Teachers

1 Timothy 4:1-16

I. Expect Bad Teachers

A. As time advances, some teachers will abandon the Holy Spirit for bad doctrines taught by bad sources. “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.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

1. Evil will mirror mock the work of God; just as God guides into truth, evil guides into error. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

2. Expect supernatural evil seeking to distract teachers and harm believers. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18)

B. The false teachers will teach doctrines which conflict with known revelation from God; doctrine that contradicts doctrine is wrong. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:2-3)

1. The church has experienced shadowy times in the past when people have preferred sin to truth.I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.” (Jeremiah 23:14)

2. Sometimes only election only is strong enough to protect Christians against the power and influence of evil teachers and false doctrine. “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 24:24)

C. God has made everything good and made it available for use when it is received from Him with thanksgiving. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)

D. God did not make anything which was corrupt in itself at the start. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

E. Peter was given specific instructions making all kinds of food acceptable; to change the rule is to oppose revelation. “And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 11:7-9)

II. Practice Self-protection

A. Good doctrine protects against bad doctrine, so teach good doctrine in self-defense. “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” (1 Timothy 4:6)

B. Do not tolerate questionable teachings; concentrate on things which promote godliness. “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7)

C. Here is a confessional testimony; exercising physically has limited application, but Bible study and the related means of grace carry eternal rewards. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. (1 Timothy 4:8-9)

D. Paul and his associates endured struggles because God rewards faithfulness. “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10)

III. Teach the Right Things

A. Paul’s doctrine is not optional. These things command and teach.” (1 Timothy 4:11)

B. Integrity matters more than things like age; do not let minor things become distractions. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

C. Concentrate on the three primary functions of Christian teachers. “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:13)

D. Concentrate on the gift God gave and which the leaders of the church recognized. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (1 Timothy 4:14)

E. Think through what God is doing. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15)

F. Pay particular attention to mastering genuine doctrine and being mastered by it; such an attitude will benefit both the teacher and the student. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

The Stone Which the Builders Rejected

Psalm 80:1-19; Mark 12:1-12 / Psalm 118:1-29

I. Jesus Taught a Parable

A. Vineyard parables factor frequently into Biblical doctrine; Jesus raised a familiar theme and gave it a revelatory twist. “And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.” (Mark 12:1) “Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.” (Isaiah 5:1-2) (winefat: archaic form of winevat)

1. The owner stayed in touch with the vintners. “And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.” (Mark 12:2)

2. The farmers intimidated the owner’s messenger. “And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.” (Mark 12:3)

3. The bad reception did not keep the owner from trying. “And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.” (Mark 12:4)

4. The pattern began to replay like a broken record. “And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.” (Mark 12:5)

5. Finally, the owner sent his own son. “Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.” (Mark 12:6)

6. The vintners decided that killing the owner’s son would get them what they desired. “But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.” (Mark 12:7)

B. The vintners carried out their wretched design, murdering the son. “And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.” (Mark 12:8)

C. Believers understand, but unbelievers won’t be convinced. “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” (Mark 4:11-12)

II. Neglected Opportunity Is Deadly

A. Destruction inevitably follows rejection; Jesus was predicting the end of the Old Jerusalem and the start of the world ministry of the church. “What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.” (Mark 12:9)

B. Bible readers should have known where Jesus was taking them; God had warned the nation in the final song of the Passover marching music which the crowds had sung as they came into Jerusalem. “And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:” (Mark 12:10) “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:22-23)

C. Grace is always marvelous. “This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Mark 12:11) “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” (Habakkuk 1:5)

II. The Neglectors Understood What Jesus Said

A. The spiritual leaders understood what Jesus was saying, but their fear kept them from confronting Him. “And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.” (Mark 12:12)

B. The leaders who would eventually kill Jesus were not interested in listening to Him seriously; their minds were closed before Jesus even taught the parable. “And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.” (Mark 11:18)

C. These people with murderous intentions could have learned from David’s example of repentance when God exposed his conscience. “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.” (2 Samuel 12:7-9)

D. Eventually everyone will answer one simple question; the answer has eternal consequences. “And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” (Mark 8:29)

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