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Avoiding Counterfeit Violins, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
November 17, 2022 12:00 am

Avoiding Counterfeit Violins, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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November 17, 2022 12:00 am

There are a lot of charlatans in the Church today who fool God’s people by introducing something novel about Scripture or by claiming you need their help to understand the mysteries of God’s Word. In this message Stephen exhorts you to stop relying on teachers for your sanctification and start relying on the Holy Spirit.

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He's referred to as the Spirit of Grace, Hebrews 10 29.

He's called the Spirit of Life, Romans chapter 8 verse 2. The Spirit of Glory, 1 Peter 4, 14. Frankly, every aspect of the Christian's life and service intersects with truth and grace and life and glory. These are the genuine signatures of the Spirit of God on our heart and life. What role does the Holy Spirit play in the life of a Christian? Because we can't see the Holy Spirit, that doesn't mean he's not at work. That's because we can see the fruit of his work in our lives. In other words, we see the outcome of the Spirit's work as he works through us. Would you like to know what the ministry of the Holy Spirit looks like?

We're going to find out today. You've tuned in to Wisdom for the Heart, the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. Stephen is teaching through a section of 1 John, and he's called this lesson, Avoiding Counterfeit Violins.

Let's get started. In an episode of History Channel's reality show about a pawn shop, I read of one incident that occurred. A man brought a violin and asked for an appraisal.

In fact, I had one lady tell me after the first service that she'd done the same thing. Well, according to this man's story, he had recently purchased some property. On it was a house and an old barn. After purchasing it, went and inspected in this barn, was looking around, went up in the hay loft and found a chest, an old chest and opened it up, and inside tucked in there was a violin. It was carefully wrapped. He dusted it off, still in pristine condition, and he found the name Stradivarius on the inside. He assumed, he hoped, he hoped that that was legitimate and that the violin was the real deal, worth several million dollars, and to his disappointment, and the lady similarly, found it to be hardly worth the price of a used violin. The trouble is there are so many fake instruments out there and many of them signed by Antonio Stradivarius. In fact, they kind of tweaked my interest and so I did a little research to see if there's anything more recent and found that just months ago, a millionaire dealer was caught in one of the most far reaching scams tied to the Stradivarius violin and cello that had ever been caught. He was renowned as one of the world's foremost authorities on the value of these instruments, not just the Stradivarius but others, and brokered many, many deals. He was trusted by institutions and so many, in fact, around the world.

He had offices in Chicago, New York, Seoul, Zurich, Vienna. He was believed to be the final word on defining the value of the violin or cello. Less than 24 months ago, he was caught, discovered to have been defrauding his clients by selling both genuine and imitation and nobody really knew which was which until he was finally caught. In fact, in one instance, I read 30 instruments that he authenticated as valuable were sold to a major American Philharmonic.

They later proved to be just run of the mill. In fact, it nearly bankrupted that orchestra. On another occasion, he sold a cello for $300,000 when it was discovered later to be worth around $2,000. Well, after decades of dealing, he was finally caught red-handed but not until after he had built clients out of more than $100 million.

In fact, he lived in a renovated castle in Austria and had become the toast of high society in the music industry, again, that believed him to be the final word not only on the Stradivarius but the value of that instrument, the violin and cello. There isn't any scheme more opulent. There isn't any scheme where more money changes hands with more potential clients to be deceived and defrauded annually than the schemes of Satan all in the name of God. Around the world today, there are religious investors seeking, as it were, spiritual answers and they are sold spiritual imitations, look-alikes, fakes, along with trainloads of empty promises. Dealers in religion nearly blanket the globe convincing prospective clients that the name on the label has not been forged.

That's the genuine item. It really will connect you to God. It will take you to heaven. Jesus signed it. I guarantee you, Jesus made that one. From the first century to the 21st century, this problem has plagued the church so much so that the apostles all warn the church and John the apostle, certainly among them, of counterfeit ministers, counterfeit gospels, counterfeit doctrines, and even counterfeit Christians. And the average Christian is kind of left to wonder, maybe worry, how can I tell the difference in a world of spiritual limitations? Counterfeits. I'm not a theological expert. I never took that class, you know, adults 101 or how to spot a deceiver 102 or whatever.

What kind of equipment do I have as an ordinary believer to enable me to tell the genuine item from a forgery, a cheap knockoff and imitation? How can I avoid the imitation violin, so to speak, in the spiritual world? Well, if you go back to our letter from John first, John in Chapter two, you catch it fairly clearly on here. In fact, one of the reasons the apostle John was inspired by God to write this letter into existence was to deal with this subject.

In fact, look down at the verse we left off with last Lord's Day at verse 26. These things I have written to you. In other words, here's one of my purpose statements for this letter. Now notice this has to do with regarding those who are trying to deceive you.

I'm writing you this letter because there are people who are going to try to deceive you. That word deceive can be translated to seduce you. False leaders are effectively, false teachers are going to try and seduce you into being led astray, literally seducing you to wander around.

Planeta is the Greek word to wander around like some planet after them. Some of them seduced by means of charming personalities. Some are scholarly and authoritative. Some have followers from Chicago to Tokyo to Seoul, Korea to Vienna. Some are silver tongued orators.

Some possess powers of persuasion. None of them wear name tags as we've said, I'm an antichrist and I'm going to deceive you. These are antichrists. These ones who are against antichristos, against Christ or instead of Christ.

They want to take Christ out of the picture and give you something instead of him. They've already, if you look at verse 19, you remember they've already left the church. They've already left the church. Now why won't they leave the church alone? Ever wondered that? I mean they've left the church. Why don't they leave us alone? Because this is where the list of potential clients exists.

That's why. How many people have you met in some cult, some ism, some offbeat out of the Bible or apart from the Bible view and you get to talking with them and where did they come from? They came from among us. So they're always fishing in this boat. They want at the flock. They want to influence the flock.

That's one of Satan's agendas. I'll never forget several years ago, in fact when we were down the street in the other building, a woman in our congregation, we told her that she couldn't return to worship until she repented and apologized to a number of people that she was in the process of slandering and the division just kind of swirled at her feet and every Sunday was sort of a new chapter in the drama. She refused to repent and make things right. A couple weeks later she showed up at the church lobby to get a directory and I just happened to be walking by and I saw her and I overheard her request and I said no you can't have one of those directories. That's when we used to print them and I said furthermore you're not even supposed to be on this campus and you can leave now immediately. So she insisted on staying and demanding this phone directory and I said no again and we just sort of had a little standoff and finally she turned and she stomped out of the lobby but not before turning back at me and delivering a few select Greek and Hebrew words that I'd never heard before in church.

I'm pretty sure they weren't in the Bible either. But she wanted access to that directory. She wanted access to the flock.

By the way that's one of the reasons for exercising discipline. It safeguards the flock from those who will divide distort and even deceive. In fact the false teachers here that John is interested in revealing to us are really doing even greater damage. They are selling gospel forgeries.

They are selling lies and the issues are far greater. In fact heaven or hell can be determined by following the wrong Jesus. Although they've withdrawn from the assembly here in 1st John they still want to retain the contacts and that's why John has to warn the flock as I through him would warn you. They want to be able to influence the faithful and lead the faithful astray. So John warns the body of the threat of spiritual deception and spiritual defection.

How does the ordinary Christian handle this kind of threat. I mean how do you spot it. How does the ordinary believer stand a chance in detecting clever impressive spiritual forgeries especially when they they might even come with these you know these affidavits and testimonials these certificates of authenticity. Do you have anything in your home that has with it an affidavit of authenticity. One of my treasures is framed. It's outside of my office door if you were to go upstairs near my office right outside my door is a framed sheaf of paper about eight by 10 inches and on it is the writing in black ink.

It's from the hand of Charles Spurgeon. It's one of the pages from one of his manuscripts and I have it framed and underneath I have framed the the certificate of authenticity. Now what makes that page even more interesting and valuable that causes you kind of just to stand there and read it is the fact that according to his custom after preaching that sermon he would come into the office on Mondays and he would take that manuscript and he would take a pen using purple ink that was his favorite color that reminded him he said of the royalty of Christ and he would edit his manuscript. He would add little lines he'd scratch outlines and so forth and so there I have it on my sheet of paper framed. I have several phrases where he scratched through them and then written over in the margin his notes in clearly purple still purple ink. You can see it if you like. I'm selling tickets outside the lobby after this whole thing. Now who knows it could be a forgery could be a fake.

I might have been staring at you know something somebody did 15 years ago. And listen if it if it isn't real and you find out after I've died you're packing up my stuff to get get me out of here that'll be OK with me. In fact I will not be in hell because I believed it was the real thing but you get the gospel wrong. You follow an imitation Jesus you don't get the real Jesus right it's heaven or hell which is why the apostle John is so passionate about providing the believer with what we could call forgery detecting equipment. Notice verse 27 he writes ask for you and he's writing to all the believers ask for you the anointing which you receive from him abides in you you have no need for anyone to teach you but as his anointing effectively teaches you about all things it's true it is true it is not a lie and just as it has taught you you abide in him. Now this anointing we introduced in our last session together it is not a good education it's not a certificate of license hanging on some clergyman's wall it isn't some mystical power that you tap into if you just get the secret incantation down correctly. Note this this is a get ready this is a person it's a person it is what we call the third person of the Godhead. Now John has already disclosed to us in verse 20 that every believer has been anointed by Christ with the spirit the spirit is within all of you you go over to the gospel of John in John chapter 16 and Jesus promises the indwelling spirit who would teach the believer and guide the believer into truth. You mean I have within me an indwelling member of the Godhead absolutely and you need to understand that that would be what John is writing here what we you know okay it's been nineteen hundred years but they would go wow did you did you read what I just read that we've been anointed by the person of the Holy Spirit he indwells us as they ransack the New Testament letters as they're being written by the apostles that the spirit of God that's stunning because in the Old Testament the spirit of God did not indwell believers the spirit of God came upon priests or kings and anointed them for some kind of extraordinary ministry it wasn't a permanent indwelling it was a temporary overshadowing that's why you read the spirit of the spirit coming upon some Old Testament character and then leaving them like King Saul or Samson this is why David prayed what you will never have to pray take not thy Holy Spirit from me you never have to pray that he wanted the anointing so that he could be king as he ought to be king but the idea that every believer is permanently anointed permanently indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God was unthinkable what one author referred to as an unbelievable extravagance of what you know and is worthy and so the disciples heads have got to be spinning and the early church we've been indwelled permanently by an equipper someone able to detect for us the lie so let's just kind of back up here this morning and and put the pieces together and kind of discover this third person member of the Godhead who is either overly emphasized or rather pathetically under appreciated the Holy Spirit he just so happens to be according to this letter and others that I'll point your attention to the divine equipment better yet the divine equipper for faith and life now John has informed us here that every believer and I emphasize that every believer has been anointed by the spirit not just the really super spiritual you know Christian not just the believer who never you know misses church or never loses his temper no no every believer that will seek to reform us after the image of Christ so let's take some let's take some time to just revel in the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives and hopefully Lord willing will walk out of here more committed to listening to and walking with not just God the Father and God the Son but God the Holy Spirit now for starters keep in mind that each member of the Godhead is attributed certain functions as you study the Bible you'll discover they're working in perfect harmony three persons of the Godhead some functions overlap some are shown to be more specific in their relationship to one member of the Godhead for instance you read in Genesis one that God created the heavens and the earth and you go over to Colossians one and you discover it was Jesus who literally spoke he is the word that created all there is so keep keep that in mind there are some functions specifically geared toward more accomplished by the different members of the Godhead were given several functions of the Holy Spirit that effectively enables us to walk with and live for our triune God I thought it was wonderful Gary doesn't know what I'm preaching but the song selected for today had to do with praising our triune God in fact we sang one hymn text that sang glory to the Holy Spirit we're given several functions of the Spirit of God and I can't give you all of them but let me give you four of them the Holy Spirit equips us for every aspect of service in fact his his work is so comprehensive and frankly ignored and not even seen and he's all right with that but I think we ought to pay attention when we can and when we notice but you find him in the New Testament referred to as the spirit of truth that is the spirit that gives truth John 14 17 he's referred to as the spirit of grace Hebrews 10 29 he's he's called the spirit of life Romans chapter 8 verse 2 the spirit of glory first Peter 4 14 frankly every aspect of the Christians life and service intersects with truth and grace and life and glory these are the genuine signatures so to speak of the spirit of God on our heart and life the real item we will find him stamping his name upon that which is truth and grace and life and glory let me give you another one the Holy Spirit not only equips us for service he leads us into holy living Paul reminded the Corinthian believers that their bodies were literally the temple of the Holy Spirit first Corinthians chapter 6 verse 19 every believer is permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit but then Paul tells the Ephesian believers in Ephesians 5 18 to be filled with the spirit well how can you be filled with someone who already infills you or indwells you isn't that a contradiction no the word Paul uses for filling in Ephesians 5 18 be filled with the Holy Spirit as a command it's the word for controlled you could translate it dominated be dominated be under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit who indwells you so to be to be filled by the spirit is to be led by the spirit oh by the way since we're talking about someone in the Bible referred to as the Holy Spirit you can rest assured that if he's doing the leading in your lives he will be leading you toward holy living right like one of the marks of deceivers is hypocrisy they say they represent God they say they represent the Holy Spirit but their lives are not holy Jude in his little letter describes false teachers as those who follow after their own lusts they live for earth what they wear how they're bejeweled what they drive what they live in everything's about earth and their message is effectively how you can get everything you want on earth that you can help spot those liars he says in Jude's letter or Jude writes they speak arrogantly they flatter people for the sake of gaining an advantage notice they are worldly minded devoid of the Holy Spirit they have Holy Spirit stamped on their literature but it's it's an imitation it's fake because the true work of the Holy Spirit leads his redeemed in the living holy lives so the Holy Spirit not only equips us for service and leads us into holy living let me give you another one he provokes in us genuine worship if you go back to verse twenty seven or first John we're told that the Spirit abides in us that we don't need anybody to teach us he'll teach us all things now don't get confused there keep in mind the context here is one of false teachers the Gnostics were coming along and saying you really need us to teach you something so that you can come to know God through Jesus Christ we've got the secret we've got you know we've got the new thing we've got the incantation John is saying no you don't need any of that the Spirit of God will teach you the truth related to the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ and so he's saying here that specifically the Spirit of God protects us from false teaching that denies Jesus as the anointed the Christos the Messiah in fact go back up at verse twenty two you remember this one he says who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ Christos the anointed one this is the antichrist the one who denies the father and the son the one who denies the equal deity of father and son and the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah that's what John is rolling all up in that one phrase in other words here's how the Spirit of God will help you spot the counterfeit you'll detect the deceiver by how he seeks to draw your heart away from Jesus as equally divine with the father he'll also seek to draw your heart away from worshipping God incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ God in the flesh you'll spot a counterfeit gospel that way a counterfeit religion a counterfeit preacher a counterfeit author a counterfeit teacher by the fact that they will talk about God but they will not talk about his equally divine son the Lord Jesus they will not lead you to worship Jesus in his commentary D. Edmond Hebert illustrated this by retelling an incident where Dr. Harry Ironside who once pastored Moody Church he pastored Moody Church back in the early 1900s Ironside was in Los Angeles on one particular day and he came across a man preaching in the street so he stopped to listen and as he listened he understood that this man was actually detailing a heretical view of Christ held by a well-known prominent and growing in popularity cult as he stood there realizing that he happened to look across the crowd small crowd there and he noticed an older gentleman standing there and listening intently and every once in a while it seemed that he sort of smiled and nodded to himself and Ironside said he was filled immediately with compassion for a man that was obviously being deceived by this false teacher so he kind of made his way around the crowd while the preacher continued until eventually he was standing there next to him after the preacher finished he struck up a conversation with this older gentleman and found out that the older gentleman claimed to be a Christian and so Ironside said well again to identify the genuineness of that statement and label he said well what do you think about what the man preached about about Jesus the older man responded well I don't know if I could clearly answer all his arguments but I do know that as he was preaching something inside of me was saying that's a lie that's a lie that's a lie that would be the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit guards us against falsehood and while there is more to his ministry we don't have more time today we're going to stop right here for now but we'll do a little bit of review and then resume this lesson next time you've tuned in to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Davey you can learn more about us if you visit our website which is wisdom online.org once you go there you'll be able to access the complete library of all Stephen's Bible teaching ministry visit wisdom online.org today then join us back here next time for more wisdom for the heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-17 00:42:15 / 2022-11-17 00:51:34 / 9

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