(Take the time to read both the curses and blessings in these two chapters)
Song: We Believe Newsboys
Sermon: “Nullifying the Word of God”
Closing Song: Your Words (feat. Harvest) Third Day
Benediction: Deuteronomy 4:40 “Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.”
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Read before sermon
Acts 20:30 “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
2 Corinthians 4:2 “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
2 Peter 3:16 “He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
Sermon: “Nullifying the Word of God”
Today I want to continue talking about the deception in the church. We saw last week what happens when we don’t listen to the instructions found in God’s word. You then end up following made up, man made and demonic teachings with the sole purpose of turning you away from the truth. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Jesus told us “Do not be deceived!” yet here we are with 90% of the church falling away to other gospels. 90% is just a number showing that there is but a remnant left of those seeking truth. Truth is nowhere to be found as Isaiah said. Satan is the master deceiver which we were warned. Oddly just recently we had people looking to the stars (September 23, 2017) for a sign but they missed the one right before their eyes. They missed the warning do not be deceived. In the very same chapter they thought they had found a clue, missed the words telling us what was to happen. Revelation 12:7 “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” This is not a future event but something that has happened, will happen and continue to happen until the end of his time. Since the devil knows his time is short, he is working hard to take as many as he can with him to the eternal fire. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Here are just a few verses talking about satan and what he can do. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Zechariah 3:1 “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and satan standing at his right side to accuse him.” Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him.” If he came to Jesus he will come to you. 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” God will allow that to happen. Job 2:3 “Then the Lord said to satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” Matthew 16:23 “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Mark 4:15 “Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.” Luke 13:16 “Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” Luke 22:3 “Then satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.” 1 Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Revelation 2:24 “Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned satan’s so-called deep secrets.”
These are just a few of his tools against us. Today I want us to look at how satan is nullifying the word of God. This is a massive deception where the bible is changed without actually changing it. John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Last week we talked about men who follow his lies. 2 Corinthians 2:11 “in order that satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” One of the great schemes of satan is distorting and nullifying God’s word. He is the master at using scripture. He did it against Jesus when he used scripture to tempt him. We must be aware of this happening because since it happened to Jesus, it will happen to us. Unfortunately this has already happened to most as most in the church have not heeded Jesus commands. Jesus said in Mark 7:6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
What I am about to talk about is not new. I would say we are on the tail end of it but the deception has really picked up speed in this last half century or so. We have a choice to either worship in Spirit and in truth or be judged for not following God’s commands. The word nullify means, “to make something invalid or ineffective.” Since the church stands desolate and powerless I would say the word of God has been nullified. That is pretty easy to see. First of all we need to understand that God will keep his promise to David but we also must understand things can get pretty bad before he raises someone up to fulfill that promise. 1 Samuel 2:35 “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.” In the meantime things have gotten so bad, the church lies in desolation as we talked about last week. The word of God has been nullified all through the generations since preached. Just to show you a few examples we saw Saul do it. 1 Samuel 13:3 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” We saw David do it. 2 Samuel 12:9 “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?” We saw the Israelites do this when they attacked Jericho. Joshua 7:11 “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” Why do people have such a hard time comprehending God will do that today also?
This is what has happened to us; we cannot stand against our enemies because we have not followed the commands of our God. Here is why. Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” This is also said in Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”
Revelations ends with a warning and a promise; don’t change scripture and I am coming soon. These last weeks we have looked at antichrists, teachings of false prophets and teachers especially in the end times scriptures such as Daniel and Revelation. Even though God said no one knows the time, they all think he was kidding and they just have to figure out the clues he gave us to figure out when that time would be, even though he said no one knows which also means no one will know. The numbers don’t mean what they think they mean. They do not stop there, they add words to scripture and subtract words because they have to prove their doctrines true. These doctrines only come from their own imaginations not the word of God and many are doctrines of demons. 1 Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” The KJV says “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” The church has been seduced. Now many of these people seducing the church by the world’s standards are highly successful. Most would say they have succeeded and their ministries are often emulated, that's why books sell by the millions, but here is the part they missed. Job states very clearly Job 24:22 “God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life. 23 He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways. 24 For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like heads of grain.” We also know blackest darkness is reserved for them. Jude 11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” These men and women will not get away with what they have been doing. David said, 1 Samuel 26:10 “As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.” God is in charge; don’t forget that.
We saw last week how someone like John MacArthur has changed scripture and has led a rebellion against the word of God. A cult is anyone who has their own bible. Some are really easy to see and some are a little harder. Someone like the Jehovah’s witnesses rewrite the bible with subtle changes to suit the beliefs and doctrines. The Jehovah’s witness have their own version of the bible called the New World Translation. This bible has been edited to correspond to their beliefs. They also change meanings to suit their teachings. How scary is that? Hence the word cult. You can see it when they talk about Hell, Jesus and other areas. Then you have the Mormons who have added a whole book to the bible. On their website they call the book of Mormon “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” They say, “The Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible. It is holy scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible.” As one young Mormon told me one time, the book of Mormon basically nails down the meaning of the bible. One nail allows it to spin, two nails makes it definite. Now the church would never do this right? Change scripture to suit their own beliefs or add their own book to explain what their group believes the bible is saying. I have said this before but almost every denomination has a book / handbook of some sort with their beliefs written down. So what is the difference between the Mormons and each group with all their different beliefs? When you become part of their group, whatever it may be you have to agree to believing, teaching preaching those beliefs. We can’t have you selling a whopper at McDonalds now can we.
So I would have to say that most churches are doing the same as these cults and adding meaning to the word of God according to their own beliefs but are churches actually changing scripture to suit their own doctrines and theology like the cults are and if they are what does that say about the gospel they are selling. I think you know the answer. It is another gospel. Funny the book of Mormon tells you right up front it is another gospel. But lets take a look at what is happening today. Remember satan is very cunning and will use the word of God against you. Most are not going to fall for these cults yet many do. Now here is the deception. In the church today they are not rewriting the bible as the JW’s but they are rewriting it in a very cunning way. First they pick the most appropriate translation. For example since the King James Version was written by the hand of Paul and the other writers, it is the bible of choice because that is they bible they sent out to the people to read. Colossians 4:16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. It was not the first manuscript written by the way. So once they have their bible of choice, they write commentaries where their beliefs are laid out verse by verse. This is what this verse means but the problem is usually it is based on their particular traditions. A commentary is not a concordance. Then what has become very popular these days is combining the commentary with the bible, so as you read the scriptures, you also read the part at the bottom that tells you what the top part means. This is devious. There seems to be a lot of study bibles today. Each group seems to be writing their own version. I took a quick peak on Bible Gateway and saw MacArthur, Stanley, Case for Christ (Strobel), Lucado. I then went online and no I am not going to list them but you should see all the study bibles listed. Almost everyone of significance has one. Sounds like everyone has gone their own way because they are all different. There is only one way, one truth and one life. Now the bible is the same but the teaching is quite different in all of them. You will have the same version, same passage but a totally different interpretation. Christian Bookstores.com had this to say. “Choosing a study Bible is a daunting task, second only to choosing a Bible. It seems there is an endless number of study Bibles of all types & translations. Study Bibles reflect particular interest, like archaeology, apologetics—theological & denominational perspective—or by popular authors. There's no easy answer.” Actually there is an easy answer and that is the Holy Spirit, worshipped in Spirit and in truth. Remember the bible is written inspired so it has to be read inspired by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The problem is we went beyond the maps, tables, weights, concordance and what I like in my bible is cross referencing in the middle. They then added their own denominational distinctives or perspectives to God’s word. This is where the deception has entered and the bible was changed and nullified without actually changing God’s word. It’s pure genius. I said last week satan does not always use the profound he can use the ludicrous like the rapture etc. but know he is a vile genius. I have always said if you have a study bible, the word of God is the top part, the words of men is the bottom. Know the difference.
So what happens as each different set of beliefs about the gospel of Jesus Christ gain momentum, the word of God is changed, rewritten, added to and subtracted from. The same happens with commentaries. When I was at seminary you were told you need a library. You see this makes you look smart. I was going to buy a series of commentaries but during a project on the topic of Glory I noticed somewhere around 22 different commentaries I had twenty-two different views. What I learned later was that scripture makes a great commentary. This happens with sermons also. This also tells us that God has turned his face from shining on us and everyone has gone their own way. But that is not the way to go. Paul said 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord.” We have been warned extensively about this happening. The deception is at hand and millions are falling. Let me ask you a question; what are being deceived with. What books are you reading, what are you listening to online on the radio, who do you like to hear preach etc. You see many are taught one way and they don’t even know they are wrong. So people sit there or listen and they say oh that is what that means, this guy is really good expectorator I mean expositor.
Being led astray is just that, you are off track and the truth is nowhere to be found. So even though you are holding a bible in your hands, it has been changed right before your very eyes. Yes the person can say no I have not changed God’s word but they have. By saying this is what it means by scissors and paste is a lie and deception. So these people take you to where blackest darkness is and there you find yourself with them because you simply thought this is a great church, great program, great vibe, great speaker, great singing, comfy seats, great coffee etc but you did not test the spirits nor did you read the fine print. Always always find out what those who are teaching you believe. For example here is one churches beliefs. “The only gifts in operation today are those nonrevelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Romans 12:6-8). We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today,(my words- pretty sad that the woman bent over by satan won’t be healed. No wonder there is not many healings. Scripture says clearly that we can have that gift” Then you have the rapture of the church. “We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation. Then you have election. “We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies. Security. We teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.” Just because you go to church or preach, does not mean you were chosen. Again last week we talked about the narcissist. Why even preach. What’s the point of Jesus even coming and dying or rising for that matter? Why tribulation? Why warn about deception? Why warn about falling away or do we just delete those verses like the cults do. Why even waste your time getting ready for church if this is the case? Those are just a few examples and there are more. Who cares if you like the comfy seats, the program, the people are nice; it is a false doctrine run away and do not be involved. It is that simple. Check the fine print of being deceived. If people actually read their bibles but wait a minute there is a famine of hearing the word of God. Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.”
What’s the big deal; it’s the bible. So in this case this innocent study tool changed the landscape of the church. They started introducing these new doctrines and they spread like wildfire. For example Scofield’s bible which popularized dispensationalism and all that goes with it came out in 1909. One person said, “Whether counted by sales, by persistent devotion of readers, or by longevity in print, Scofield’s Reference Bible is undoubtedly the most famous—and infamous—study Bible in all of Protestantism. This now hundred-year-old Reference Bible became a trademark of Fundamentalist Orthodoxy, and made John Nelson Darby’s Dispensationalism the principal guide to Bible prophecy.” Another said “He wanted to explain the text rather than provide commentary on it.” Some said this was the first of it’s kind but now study bibles are everywhere. But a picture is worth a thousand words. Look at this picture at the bottom.
For example his commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  caught up Not church saints only, but all bodies of the saved, of whatever dispensation, are included in the first resurrection. See Scofield Note: "1Cor 15:52" as here described, but it is peculiarly the "blessed hope" of the Church and 1 Corinthians 15:52 -4) Two resurrections are yet future, which are inclusive of "all that are in the graves" Jn 5:28. These are distinguished as "of life" 1Cor 15:22,23 1Th 4:14-17 Rev 20:4 and "of judgment" Jn 5:28,29 Rev 20:11-13. They are separated by a period of one thousand years Rev 20:5. The "first resurrection," that "unto life," will occur at the second coming of Christ 1Cor 15:23 the saints of the O.T. and church ages meeting Him in the air 1Th 4:16,17 while the martyrs of the tribulation, who also have part in the resurrection Rev 20:4 are raised at the end of the great tribulation. The beliefs caught on like wildfire. So back to MacArthur he rewrites the bible by writing study bibles and commentaries to suit their own beliefs. He carries on this tradition and does it with great zeal.
MacArthur does this in his commentary on revelation. I borrowed this from his jet tour of revelations. He states, “Now we come to chapter 4, and we leave the Church Age. People always say, “Where, where does the rapture come in?” It’s in the white spaces between chapter 3 and 4. Yeah, the church on earth in chapter 2 and 3, and all of a sudden, we appear in heaven, and I want you to see what happens. The theme of Heaven is worship. We go from earth to heaven.” So even though the book of revelations starts off saying John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” But according to MacArthur it ends in chapter 4. When Paul wrote for example to the Romans he started off by saying to all in Rome, or to the church of God in Corinth. He meant the whole letter was to the church but for MacArthur this doesn’t work for his theology so he adds and subtracts. I found it interesting in the same jet tour he says “The book begins with a blessing, chapter 1 verse 3, “Blessed is he that readeth…” It ends with a blessing, chapter 22 verse 7, “…blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.” Actually if you read chapter 22 it ends with a severe warning about those who change scripture. It is true you will be blessed but you have to keep the words of this scroll.
At no time in history has the word of God been this readily available. The internet has connected the word of God to almost everyone who has a device of some form from a phone, watch, tablet, laptop to a home computer. There is more information available at the push of a button than ever before but along with that truth has been squashed with false teaching and preaching. If you have questions ask it and someone will answer you. Take the site gotquestions.org. If you listen to them you have added and subtracted along with them just to name one example. I used that one because it comes up a lot when searching. You say, I don’t know what this means so you look it up and most people take the answer to be truth. Instead of listening to the Holy Spirit for guidance and using scripture as your commentary, you then take a view and make it the word of God even though God’s word does not say that. Worst of all you don’t repent.
We read earlier Deuteronomy 28 concerning the blessings and the curses. What we have today is the same as Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” Isaiah tells us very clearly Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. 5 Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness— only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with olive oil. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers. 8 Daughter Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a cucumber field, like a city under siege. 9 Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11 “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! 16 Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. 17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; 20 but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.”
Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.”
We have been deceived and continue to be deceived by those in the church. The church has agreed to disagree while being deceived. Someone is right and someone is wrong; there is no other way. The Holy Spirit leads to truth. There is only one gospel of Jesus Christ not multiple versions of it. Don’t wait for the antichrist, false prophets and teachers they are here in force and it will get worse. If we are to defeat satan, we had better be following the truth. Man’s words bring death and destruction but the word of God brings life and prosperity.