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The Danger of Being Misled (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
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May 21, 2021 8:00 am

The Danger of Being Misled (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 21, 2021 8:00 am

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

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Be careful who you are taking lead from. Be careful who gets to influence you, who is influencing your decision and influencing your lifestyle choices.

You can't just follow any old body and end up in the right place. And so he gives a word of admonition. He says you're tolerating that woman Jezebel. Hello and welcome to this Friday edition of Destined for Victory.

Wherever you are and however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day. In his last message, Pastor Paul Shepherd began looking at the church at Thyatira, the fourth of seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. In case you missed it, you'll find that message on demand at Today we come to a problem that plagued an otherwise healthy, faithful body of believers. For all the good the church was doing, it had what we might call a tragic flaw, and it was destroying its members from the inside out.

Just who was this first century Jezebel, and how had she led the children of God astray? Answers come your way next in Pastor Paul's message, The Danger of Being Misled. Let's listen. Be careful who you let speak into your life. Be careful who you are taking lead from. Be careful who gets to influence you, who is influencing your decision and influencing your lifestyle choices.

You can't just follow any old body and end up in the right place. And so he gives a word of admonition. He says you're tolerating that woman Jezebel.

Interesting, interesting use of the phrase here. You're tolerating Jezebel. But if you're familiar with your Old Testament, you know who he's referencing.

And here he's calling someone in the first century AD by the name of someone who lived centuries before, in the days when King Ahab reigned over Israel. And he had a wife named Jezebel. If you've never read about Jezebel, you need to take some time and check that sister out. You begin to see her name in 1 Kings 16. And in subsequent chapters, you'll find her spoken of right into 2 Kings.

And you will find that this sister was so far out of the will of God, it wasn't funny. But yet she had tremendous influence over God's own people and led many of them astray. And here you have in the first century church at Thyatira, you have the Lord saying through John, you all are tolerating a woman and he calls her Jezebel. It doesn't mean that this lady's name in that church, her actual name was Jezebel, but it means she had the very spirit and character and dynamics of Jezebel.

And that's not paying her a compliment. There are some scholars who speculate that it was the bishop's wife who was in this place of authority, but we can't say that with any certainty because the text doesn't give us that information. If it was the pastor's wife, that's really bad. Anytime the teaching pastor, the teaching elder, the bishop of the church is married to a hellion, that would be horrible. I'm so glad I married a godly woman. So glad. Married somebody who loves the Lord even more than she loves me.

That's saying a lot because she loves a brother. Don't get it twisted now. That girl loves herself some pastor Paul.

Get back to my message. Where am I supposed to be? And it would be a shame if it was the pastor's wife, but we don't know who it is. We know there is an influential woman in that church who is leading people astray. So I want to just draw from this passage just a few practical lessons that we can learn from the situation, the dynamic that the church in Thyatira is in. Number one, be careful who you allow to play a significant role in your life.

Be careful. Be careful who you allow to play a significant role in your life. You can't just hitch your wagon to any old star and think you're going to get where God wants you to go. There are some people if you hitch your life, your wagon, to them they'll fly you all over the universe of confusion and take you so far out of the will of God you don't know how you got there. There are people who are gifted at leading others astray. And so you have to be careful.

Don't put it on them. You have to be careful about the people you allow to play a significant role in your life. It certainly speaks to people when it comes to marrying, and I talk about it an awful lot because I'm sick of seeing bad marriages developed in the church. Some of the saints are in bad marriages because they weren't under good teaching before they got married. There are a whole lot of people who say, oh, pastor, if I had you as a pastor before I got married and heard this truth. Some of them can't say amen because their spouse is with them right now.

But they know in their heart, oh my goodness, if I had some teaching. But listen, all we can do is just pray for one another and strengthen one another, those that are in no situation. But what I'm trying to do is rescue the crew of folk who haven't tied themselves yet. Listen to the pastor.

For God's sake, listen to me. Do not hitch your wagon to somebody just because they're cute. Don't hitch yourself up just because they're fine. Don't hitch your wagon just because he's the height you always dreamed of.

The complexion you always dreamed of. Got the steps and traps and things you always... She got that figure you always wanted, brother, because you're not marrying a figure. You're marrying a person. And if they don't have godly values, if they're not scared to break God's heart, I promise you, you don't want to hook your life up with them.

Because after a while, it won't matter how they're built. After a while, it won't matter what they look like because they can get you into a world of misery. Don't hitch your wagon to any old star. If you're trying to live a thoroughbred life, you can't mate up with a mule. Absolutely true. And this principle goes beyond marriage. It's about every influence in your life. Be careful what books you read. There's a whole lot of mixed up philosophy out in our world. And it sounds good and it's on the New York Times bestseller list. But it's garbage and it's poison and it's spiritually deceptive and you need to stay away from it. You say, well, how do I know?

A lot of things sound good. How do I know? That's why you got to get acquainted with your Bible so that you have a sifter, you have the ability to say, uh-uh, that's not true because according to Matthew, you got to be able to sift truth from error.

You say, well, I'm relatively new. I can't do that by myself. That's why you get into fellowship. That's why you hook up with other folk who are going in the same direction that they can walk with you and study with you and pray with you and teach you how to discern truth from error. This message is good.

I'm going to get this CD myself. This goes beyond just the key relationships. You really have to begin to live a discerning life. So be careful who you allow to play a significant role in your life. Second practical lesson I take away from this passage, not all leaders carry titles. Not all leaders carry titles. This woman called herself, did you notice the language, calls herself a prophetess. That means the church didn't recognize her as that or else he would have said the prophetess in your church. She would have had official recognition.

It said you got to stop tolerating Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess who says she is from God and nobody who is really under God's authority can vouch for it. You have to realize that not all leaders have titles. In fact, I've seen more people led astray by people with no titles than I've seen with people with titles. Because the people with titles, you tend to hold them to a higher level. You tend to expect them to come correctly but sometimes we can get fooled by people in our lives every day on the phone, on the email with them and they don't carry a title and you don't realize that they're influencing you and you're drifting away from the shore of spiritual safety because of their spiritual influence. Not every leader has a title. I've told you many times before, leadership is not about titles. I know a whole lot of people with a title.

They could lead you across the street. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd who is Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Listen to the broadcasts on demand at

That's where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store. Well, Pastor Paul joins me after today's message but first, let's join him for the rest of today's teaching, The Danger of Being Misled. You ever been on a committee with a chairperson who doesn't know how to lead, isn't called to lead, isn't gifted to lead? You're sitting up there, everybody around the table know this isn't a leader. Meanwhile, you find somebody on that committee who has a real true gift of leadership and they just, if they're wise, they learn how to lead without being conspicuous. They say, have you considered going in this direction? Perhaps we should think about that. They plant the seed in the mind of the person who's not really a leader. And then they say, yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

Yeah, let's do that. Leadership isn't about a title. Leadership is influence. Show me the person who influences the other folk in the room, I'll show you the leader.

Doesn't matter whether they have a title. If they're influencing other people, if they're causing people to follow their lead and accept their premise and move in their direction and they're being motivated and inspired or they're being corrected and chastened by that person, that is the real leader. Not every leader carries a title. So you have to be aware of the fact that some of the people who can have tremendous influence do it under the radar. In fact, I've been around churches a long time. Whenever I see confusion break out in churches, more often than not, it's because there's some unnamed leadership that's influencing things and not in a good direction.

And when that happens, you're supposed to stand up. This bishop and this church should have taken their stand and said, we will not tolerate ungodliness in this church. You got to stand up, take your stand.

If it was his wife, oh well. Baby, I love you, but you're wrong. You just got to take a stand. In matters of faith, we have to be more fearful of God than anybody else. Can't be scared of hurting your feelings because you are one of the best givers in the church.

If you're wrong, you're just wrong. Take your money and get right. And I've had to tell people. I've been passing long enough to have to tell folk, good folk.

I knew money was about to walk out the door when I was talking to them. But I fear God more than the faces of people. And so you have to be aware that not all leaders carry titles. Leadership is about influencing.

So watch the people who are influencing you. Third practical lesson I take away from this section of the letter is sound leaders are people under authority. Sound leaders are people under authority. In fact, it's very interesting that one of the meanings of the name Jezebel is unhusband. One of the root meanings of that name means someone who isn't under any authority. Who operates with a sense of independence and non-restraint. Person who says, you can't tell me what to do.

Ever met him? Some of them in here right now. They're not saying amen, they're grunting.

They're thinking he's up there tripping. Because they don't like the whole idea that there is somebody who has to sign off on what I do. And Jezebel, when you read her story in the Old Testament, she was a married woman, but she was still unhusband. In fact, she was married to the king. His name was Ahab, and she was the real ruler in Israel during that time. He was the king of record, but she was running the show. She was a Canaanite, she was not an Israelite. So he married the wrong person to begin with. And then instead of leading her into the worship of God, she led him into the worship of Baal. And not only did she lead her weak-kneed, milk-toast husband, nothing more disgusting to me than a husband who can't, he got to get permission to just about do everything. That's just a waste of a man.

He's sitting there right now, I don't think I like this message, do we, honey? Sound leaders are people under authority. A person with authority must also be a person under authority. In fact, when you read that story of the centurion in Matthew, Matthew's Gospel chapter 8, you find a centurion coming to Jesus because he has a servant who's grievously ill. This is a centurion, this is a Roman.

This is not a Jew. This is a Roman coming to Jesus. A Roman soldier, a Roman centurion, a man of authority, he has at least 100 people who report to him.

At least 100. And he comes to Jesus, he says, I need you to heal my servant. Jesus said, okay, I'll go with you. And he said, no, I'm not worthy to have you come to my house. Then listen to what he says, he says, I am a man of authority.

I say to this one, come and he comes, I say to that one, go and he goes. He says, I'm not worthy to have you come under my roof. He's a man, he understands authority. And he understands, I outrank a whole bunch of people in my army, but you outrank me. And I'm going to submit to your authority and I'm not going to ask you to humiliate yourself by coming to my house. I know I'm a Gentile, I know I'm not, I can sense that you are a man who matters in heaven. He said, please, sir, just speak the word.

Don't embarrass me, don't humiliate me by coming to my house. He's a man of authority who recognizes he's got to be under authority. And when Jesus spoke the word, before he spoke the word, he turned around to his disciples, he said, y'all don't have faith like this. We have to learn to be people under authority. You can't be autocratic, nobody can speak into your life, no one can chasten you, no one can admonish you. All you do is the barking orders, you don't do the listening and the submitting. I'm scared of folk who can't say I'm sorry. Scared of people who can't say you're right, I'm wrong.

Scared of people who can't say I don't know how to deal with this, would you please help me? You've got to be a person under authority. You've got to be able to have not just high ranking people, if you're going to be in the center of God's will, you've got to have people who might not have a whole lot of clout, but they have wisdom from God. You've got to be willing to let them speak into your life. That's why Ephesians 5 21 says, submitting one to another in the fear of God. You have to learn that in the kingdom of God, God might put the word of wisdom you need in the mouth of any believer. And you have to be willing to submit and say yes, that's a word from God, I'll do that. In this church, the elders sit with me regularly and I don't just bark to them and tell them everything about what I see and the way we need to do it, I listen and I say, help me discern, let's understand what God's will is, let's not move until all of us are in agreement. And when somebody says, I'm not quite sure that's the way to go, then we stop and pray. I don't stop and say, well, I'm the man of God up in here.

That's the way churches get in trouble when nobody can speak into your life. Then he says, I gave her time to repent. The other lesson I take away from this is God is merciful, but we must be willing to yield to his leading.

Got to give you time, got to work on your stuff. He's long suffering, but God is not to be mocked. Can't play games with God.

You got to be willing to realize he is Lord. And he said, I've given her time to repent and she hasn't, so I'm going to chase in her with suffering. Do you know there are times when the suffering we go through is not just being in this sinful world, sometimes it is the direct result of our own disobedience.

And when that happens, you got to realize God is loving you enough to give you old fashioned spanking. And I know that I can't go there. Some of y'all wouldn't even hear the message if I went there, so I'll just leave it there. But let me tell you something, sometimes we're under God's discipline and it's all meant to bring you to a place of repentance. And the final word there is, he says, to those of you who haven't fallen in and aren't living in sin with this woman and following her teaching.

He said, I got one simple word for you. Hold on. Hold on till the end. Keep on doing what you're doing. You who are suffering sometimes for doing right, for doing the will of God.

The Bible says, hold on. You might be going through a tough season, but if you're in the center of God's will, God's going to bring you out in his own time and in his own way. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message.

The danger of being misled. Always glad to have you with us. As we wrap up another week on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul has been kind enough to join me from his studio in California. Pastor, I love the name of the series, You've Got Mail, that old AOL slogan and romantic comedy movie that came out.

You've Got Mail is also the title of this series, a great title. You're sharing about the seven letters John wrote to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. We understand Revelation is much about the future, but there's something in this mail for us as well, and you believe that.

I do. I want people to get it that back in the first century of the church's existence, the apostle John got direct mail for the churches in Asia Minor. And he shared it when he was released from his exile on the Isle of Patmos. And as a result, we're able to be blessed because what I have found out is that those messages were not just for those seven physical churches. Those messages were for the church down through the ages. When you look at every message, there's something in there for each of us today. And so my attempt in this series is to unpack those things and help us understand that Revelation isn't a scary book.

It is a book to help you get your act together and become the person God has destined you to be. As we often say here on the broadcast, in Christ, you are destined for victory. Thanks for those words of encouragement, Pastor.

Just this reminder before we leave you this week, as you may know, Destined for Victory is a listener-supported ministry, one that depends on your prayers and financial support to keep these messages airing the whole year through. And for your generous gift today, we have a gift of our own to share with you, a booklet from Pastor Paul called Traits of a Virtuous Woman. Pastor wrote this booklet to honor mothers in particular and godly women in general.

As you follow along, you'll discover several important traits that all women should embody. That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, a booklet from Pastor Paul based on Proverbs 31, and our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. So call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift as always to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. Let me give that again.

It's Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. We should never look at a time in our lives when we knew the Lord better, when we were closer to Him, when we were more intimate with Him than we are right now. That should not be that you have to look backwards to see your best time in Christ. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, checking your spiritual vital signs. 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 / 2023-11-16 03:29:12 / 2023-11-16 03:38:07 / 9

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