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Don't Buy the Lie

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2021 8:00 am

Don't Buy the Lie

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 18, 2021 8:00 am

An examination of the message God gave John for the church at Pergamum. (Included in the 7-part series You’ve Got Mail.)

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Truth is objective. Oh, there are features of relativism, but there are some core foundational truths that God established before the foundation of the world. They are true and everything that defies or opposes them is false. The truth about the truth on today's Destined for Victory. Hello and welcome to another great day of teaching with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. As we continue our study of revelation, we're going to move along to God's message to the Church of Pergamum, the third of seven letters recorded by the Apostle John when he received the revelation from Jesus Christ.

As you follow along, keep this in mind. The world may tell you that truth is relative, but that's not what the world's Creator says. When God says it, that settles it. Whether anyone believes it or not. So stay with us now or visit pastorpaul.net to listen to any recent broadcast on demand, including today's message.

Don't buy the lie. Here's Pastor Paul. We arrive now at the word that God gave to the Apostle John by the appearance of Jesus on the island of Patmos where John was in exile.

And he said, I want you to write down. I want you to take dictation as I give you a word to share with churches when you return from exile. And we have already taken a look at the words that were given to the churches in Ephesus and in Smyrna.

Now we arrive at the word to the church in Pergamum. And here, the Holy Spirit says in the Scriptures that this is a word from Him who has the sharp double-edged sword. Of course, you know, if you have just a cursory knowledge of the New Testament, you know that when you see that term, the sword in spiritual language, you are talking about the Word of God.

We know that not only from the book of the Revelation, we also know that from Ephesians chapter 6 where the Apostle Paul told us that we're not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So he tells us, put on the whole armor of God. And when he begins to list the armor of God, one of the things he says there in Ephesians chapter 6 is, and you got to make sure you have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We also know from Hebrews chapter 4 that the Word of God is quick and powerful.

It is sharper than any double-edged sword. And so we know that this is a word from Him who has the sharp double-edged sword, none other than Jesus Christ Himself. He says, in my mouth is my word, and my word determines the will of God. When God speaks to us, we know what He wants. We know God's will by what God says. And so the Word of God, out of the mouth of Christ and His apostles, lets us know what the will of God is. So right away, He is saying to this church, this is a word from Him who has that powerful, definitive, final word in His mouth. I want you to realize that God is saying to this church and to us today, when I speak, you must take heed because I'm speaking a divinely inspired word to help you understand how to live in accordance with my will.

Why? Because the Word of God is what is going to judge us in the end. I want to let you know, you are headed toward judgment. I am headed toward judgment. The Bible says, after death, the judgment. What are we going to be judged by?

What we thought, how we felt, what other folk told us, no. We're told we're going to be judged by the Word of God. And so He is letting this church know that this is a word from Him who has that powerful and definitive word in His mouth.

In other words, the first thing you want to do to understand this word to the church at Pergamum is you want to understand that God is making clear, my word is supreme. My word is to be held up above any and every opinion of man. You know, the saying is, God said it, I believe it, that settles it. And we like that saying, and I know what we mean when we say it, because if you believe the Word of God, then you'll be blessed by it.

But if you want to be accurate, you got to take out that middle phrase. The accurate statement would be God says it, that settles it. Whether you believe it or not, God's Word is forever established in heaven. When God speaks, He's not saying, what do you think about that? How do you feel about that?

Pass out a survey. Let me know what everybody thinks. When God speaks, it is so. In fact, you're in a universe that was established by the Word of God.

He stepped out into nothing and said, let there be. And it was through God's Word that all that has come into existence has done so. The Word of God is powerful. The Word of God is definitive, and it will judge us in the end.

Now, this is where we have to start if we're going to understand this letter, because He is saying, I am not just speaking something that you can take heed to if you want, or you can discard if you want. This is the Word of Him who has the sharp double-edged sword, the Word of Him whose mouth declares the will of God and the Word of Him who will judge us in the end. And so, this is one of those messages where you got to buckle down and see, Lord, what is your will for our lives?

How do you want us to live our lives? Because it is the Word of God that establishes the will of God. Now, take a look at what He goes on to say. First in verse 13, I love the fact that in most of the letters to the churches of Revelation and to the church today, most of the letters began with some word of commendation. I love that before God hits you with the right, He sets you up with the left. If there's something to affirm, God affirms it. If there's something to encourage about what you're doing to do His will, God says it. And here He tells this church, He said, I know first of all where you live.

In other words, I know the challenge of the city you live in. He describes it as a place where Satan has his throne. What's He talking about? He's talking about the fact that there in Pergamum in Asia Minor or Rome in Asia, today it would be Turkey. There in that particular area, He said, I realize that Satan has his throne, that there are some real spiritual enemies that you're facing there. Because this was a town that had both emperor worship, I told you from one of the other letters that there was emperor worship going on in some of the towns where they literally worshiped the guy who was Caesar at that time, who was the head of Rome at that time, they had emperor worship.

But on top of that, here in this town, they also had idolatry to the Greek gods, gods such as Zeus and other popular Greek gods. And so their lives were characterized by false worship, whether they worshiped Caesar on a throne, or whether they worshiped Zeus or one of the other false gods, there was worship that was not worshiped to the true and living God. And He said, as a result of people being in false worship, Satan has his throne there because Satan always has interest in you worshiping anything or any body other than God Himself. So He describes it as a place where Satan has his throne.

And He says, I know that's where you're living. He said, yet you remain true to My name. You remain true to My name. You did not renounce your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, who was one of the martyrs from that church. He said that faithful witness who was put to death in your city simply because he was my child, he was a leader of my church, and he was put to death in your city, yet you remain true to My name.

You did not renounce your faith in Me. Let me tell you something, we in 21st century America, and we in the church of this time have to realize that God has called the church down through the generations to remain true to His name. Why true to His name? Because His name is the only name in which we find salvation. Acts 4 12, neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved.

Now see, here's where the gospel message begins to divide the men from the boys, so to speak. Here's where if you're a true follower of Christ, you got to understand that when you're true to His name in a hostile environment, that means I don't care who's worshiping Zeus, I don't care who's worshiping Caesar, I don't care who's an atheist or agnostic around me, I stand for the name of Jesus because in that name I find salvation. I want to let you know you got to remain true to the name. His name represents His character, that's why He says you're true to My name, you're true to who I am, you're true to My character, you're true to My real identity.

We live in a world where people don't mind you being religious, don't mind you being spiritual, but they resent you saying the name is the one we must worship. Don't go away, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd is coming right up. We want to thank all of you who sustained Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support, gifts that helped Pastor Paul share the gospel with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is a listener-supported ministry and right now, as we recover from the pandemic and the challenges of the past year, your help is needed now more than ever. Many people are more hungry for answers than they've ever been before, answers that can only be found in Jesus Christ and you can help. So as God leads, please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today.

Call 855-339-5500, that's 855-339-5500 or give online at pastorpaul.net. Do you know the easiest way to turn truth into a lie? Just add water, that's what we have today in our postmodern culture, a watered-down version of the truth that may go down a little easier but leads people further away from the truth. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, Don't Buy the Lie. We live in days where folk want you to say, well, you know, that's fine for you, but when you declare that that is the way for everybody, that's the problem I have.

Well, I'll pray for you and your problem. I can't help that you have a problem with the name because that's the only name by which we can be saved. Jesus declared himself in John chapter 14, verse 6. He said, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me.

That's from the mouth of Him who had the double-edged sword. So if no one comes to the Father but by Him, I can't preach something different, He called me to preach His Word. And His Word said He is the way, not one of the ways. His Word said He is the truth, not part of the truth.

His Word said He is the life, not one of the ways by which you can tap into eternal life. See, we love smorgasbords, we love free choice and opportunity and you just pick and choose what you want to believe. And now you have folk believing it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere in your belief.

There's a Greek word for that, baloney. Of course it matters what you believe because there is a way, Proverbs 14, 12, that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. The Bible says it matters what you believe which is why God sends His Word so that we can know His truth. And He says to this church by way of affirmation, you remain true to my name. When we help people who are in addictions in our ministry and we have them in recovery and believing God for deliverance from the bondage that they have been in, we are very clear we're not teaching you about some higher power.

You can't just grab any old higher power you want. He's got a name. His name is Jesus. Name is Jesus, not just the high breath. You know, these days on talk shows and all, to be politically correct, people even if they want to say something about deity, they'll say, you know, God or whoever it is you worship or God as you perceive God to be.

And they're trying to make people feel good by spreading it all out. We just call it God and then whoever you think that is, go up and grab it. No, no. He's got a name. I have a name. You can't just call me any old thing and expect me to answer.

You can holler Steven all day. I'm not turning around. That's not my name.

I know some Stevens, wonderful fellas. They will answer when you call them, you call me Steven. I'm not looking at you.

Why? Cause that's not my name. That is not my identity.

My parents set that forever settled in heaven. I am Paul Earl Sheppard. I was at the airport the other day. And when I checked in for my flight, the man looked at my name. He said, you're a preacher?

I said, yes, I am. He said, you have to be what a name like Paul Sheppard. My parents settled that. And I told him, I said, yes, I was named for the Paul of the Bible. My middle name Earl comes from one of my dad's dear friends throughout his lifetime. And one of my mentors, Dr. James Earl Massey was a wonderful theologian and scholar and preacher of the gospel.

And so Paul Earl and then Sheppard was my surname came from a family and what have you. And he said, you had to be a preacher. I said, yes, God was letting folk know years before I ever got in a pulpit.

And he had called me to shepherd his people, even when I didn't want to shepherd them. I had the name. Listen, a name identifies character, identity. That's who the person is. And he says, you remain true to my name.

There is no general higher power, some general force, and you can describe it any way you want. No, he has a name. He has a will that has been communicated through his word.

Definitive. If they ever asked me to come over and pray for one of those, you know, inaugurations or pray for Congress before their session or anything like that, they ever call me. And if the person ever comes by and says, well, now, in order to be politically correct, we need you to not name Jesus in your prayer and all that.

He'll be wasting his time. Because when I'm praying, I'm having a conversation with somebody. And if I'm talking to that somebody, I'm going to call him by his name. And y'all can send the congressional cops after me if you want to. But I'll get my prayer out before they get me.

I'll be running around. Father, in the name of Jesus, I just thank you, Lord. He has a name. His name is Jesus.

You are true to who I am. Name represents your true identity. And he has a name. His name is Jesus.

He is our Savior. See, truth is objective. That's the thing that bothers a lot of people who want to believe that truth is subjective and relative.

Oh, there are features of relativism, you know, throughout your life. But there are some core foundational truths that God established before the foundation of the world. They are true and everything that defies or opposes them is false.

And that will never change. And God declared that just in nature as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. You see in nature that there are certain foundational truths that God established when he created the world. That's why the Bible says the heavens declare the glory of God. And the firmament is a display of his majesty.

It lets you know that God put some things in nature. For instance, how do you know where north is? You know where north is because God put it in nature. You can just grab a little cheap compass and it will show you where due north is. So that's not up for grabs. Your north is not necessarily my north.

See, that's what I resent. Just because you have found that north to work for you doesn't mean that that is the north that I have to live by. You know that wouldn't make sense in nature. You know the only way you can get where you think you're going is to have some real direction. Get out on a boat in the middle of the ocean and think you can decide where north is and see where you land out. Get up in the sky up above everything where you can't chart things by the earth's layout and decide where north is. No, no, they navigate by actual coordinates that have been established before God said let there be. North isn't up for grabs.

And if we think it is, that's why we live in such confusion. Let me illustrate. I've done it before.

Let me do it again. At the count of three, I want all of you to point north. Now think where we are. We're sitting here at this sanctuary and so think now.

There are lots out there. All right, so count of three, point north. One, two, three. Now look around you, look around you, look around you. You see where people are pointing a little bit of everywhere. Some folks pointing over there, some folks pointing over there, some were pointing in this direction, some of them were back behind them. A few folks just pointed up. I guess they say, Father, I stretch my hand to thee.

No other help I know. You know why we're confused about where due north is? Because we don't have an instrument that indicates it. It has been established in creation.

You get a compass, somebody can stand up right now with a compass and say, ladies and gentlemen, this is north and point in the accurate direction. And guess what? They are right and everybody who doesn't like it is wrong. Some things are foundational truths. God is saying to this church, you're true to my name. I have a name. I have an identity. I am not Zeus. I am not Caesar. They are not gods. I'm the true God which makes them false gods. Do not back down off of people when they resent the fact that you claim to serve the true and the living God. That's exactly who I serve. When he declares himself to be the way, the truth, and life, he has demonstrated that throughout redemptive history and he certainly demonstrated it with his death and his resurrection.

So there is no debate worth having. Jesus Christ is the way. And he said, you remain true to my name. You haven't renounced your faith in me. Nevertheless, he says, I have a few things against you. See, he's complimenting him the best compliment he could.

He said, now let's talk. Have a few things against you. He said, you have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. And then the next word is their direction, repent. He says, I need you to repent because you are tolerating some things that you should not be. We live in a culture in which almost every institution has launched an all out assault on God's truth, the educational system, the political system, the entertainment industry.

Truth is being attacked on all sides every day, every hour, every minute. That's why listeners like you are so important. Your support of Destined for Victory and other like-minded ministries makes it possible for the absolute truth of God's word to be preached all over the world. Thanks in part to friends and listeners like you, Destined for Victory now airs in more than 400 stations around the world and at pastorpaul.net. Lives have been dramatically transformed, many have professed their faith in Christ, and yet there are still so many left to reach. As you help us do that with your generous gift this month, we have a gift of our own to share with you, Pastor Paul's booklet Traits of a Virtuous Woman. Based on Proverbs 31, this booklet dives into some of the ways that godly women can have a profound impact in the lives of their families and all those around them. Women will find biblical instruction on what a godly woman looks like, and others will be strongly encouraged to honor those women who have sown seeds of wisdom and grace into their lives. That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you today by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. Let me pause long enough to tell somebody who has some forces in your life trying to curse your progress, trying to curse the good things that are happening in your life. I got a word for you, no weapon formed against you will prosper. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Don't Buy the Lie. But until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-17 15:52:41 / 2023-11-17 16:01:43 / 9

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