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April 30, 2020 1:00 am
In the days of early church until now. Each are's used religion as a means of personal profit. The congregations on this island and especially the elder shepherds need to face the fact this is a game of religion have begun. In these false teachers who were nothing more than greedy hucksters were selling their message for the sake of sordid gain getting her out.
I got it. I just want to get it religion. By the way was their way to scam the people is a great that he was only when there is no truth behind the message and there is no commitment to being a blessing to your audience. The only motivation becomes personal and selfish as the apostle Paul wrote a letter to a young pastor named Titus.
He warned him that false teachers would arise and also advised him on how to deal with them. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davey is working through a series entitled the shepherd's mantle and he comes to a lesson today called unmasked. Let's rejoin Stephen right now for today's Bible lesson in his commentary on the letter of Paul to Titus one wears rewrites, it did not take long for false teachers to arise in the early church because wherever God sews the truth. Satan shows up to so lies, false teaching is like cancer, it enters secretly and grows quickly and it permeates completely unless it is attacked before it has a chance to spread. There was a problem on the island of Crete. As you know, the problem has been in existence have about 2000 years. In fact, it's reached the town of Cary false teaching false religion. False teachers deceived flocks twisted Scripture distorted Scripture additions to Scripture all taught by seemingly religious man nor religiously minded men whose motives are actually self-serving.
If I do believe in verse 14 he noticed immediately that the can. The content of their teaching was not the apostles teaching, but the inclusion of myths and fables along with, but these extra commandments of men made up by man. It's all man-made, tall, make-believe.
It might sound biblical but it is not the Bible and religious mythology is a and all the extra commandments were literally ripping the church apart, and whole families within the church family is there taught by men who really want to seduce the flock for their own gain, rather than shepherd the flock for their own good appalled me with the solution was. He knew the church needed to be well led and well fed, so he left Titus on the island to appoint elders in every city, as he directed him teachers elders would literally stand up to these false teachers those who would gain ground inside the church and effectively unmask them.
They were supposedly revealing deeper truth as we'll see in a minute there, exposing new insight, new wisdom on how to approach God how to live for God. They were uncovering new secrets about the way Davin and Paul will say to Titus, and then then then basically to the elders and for the sake of the gospel and for the protection of the flock reveal these false teachers for who they are on mask their motives unmask their teaching unmask even their future unless they repent a single universe with unmask their motives until you have time.
It's all about money and fame was go back to verse 10 to get a running start.
For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision that is there Jewish believers or teachers not believers, but within the Jewish community and they got to be silenced.
Verse 11 because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach note this for the sake of sordid gain. Let's go ahead and tell it like it is. Let's unmask their true motive. Thereafter, money is actually the word gain can be understood to be either money or fame power. In this case it's more than likely both money and thing you interesting that before. Titus ever got this letter the ancient world spoke of the three most evil, see the solicitations And oceans and the Cretan. In fact, a man by the name of Polybius who lived before the time of Paul, a Greek historian had already written that the Cretans and I quote lived in a perpetual state of private choral and public feud and civil strife. They are tricky and deceptive. He writes money is so highly valued among them. Greedy is so native to the soil in Crete, that they are the only people in the world among whom no stigma is attached to any sort of gain. Whatever the Lord did not matter how you got what you had, so long as you had it sordid gain in our modern vernacular we might talk about drug money doesn't matter that you're doing something illegal and manager hurting people. You got money and that's all that matters.
That's what you're after. This is the culture of Crete with Paul does next is surprising is going to appeal to common knowledge from an unbeliever really does us a couple of times in his letters to bolster his argument. He's going to quote a man who centuries earlier had made a statement about Crete verse 12 one of themselves, a prophet of their own says Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.
This testimony is true. What makes this so intriguing is that the guys are not pulling the mask of the Cretans is a Cretan who evidently I thought Cretans are always liars with this Cretans actually telling the truth. This testimony is true, so he's having some moment of honest reflection. He says here's who we really are isn't just any Cretan, though it's one of the revered prophets. Paul is quoting up amenities Plato dates him at about 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ and I want you to notice the say three things about the Cretans and Paul is say he's actually telling the truth chockablock John I thing that their own beloved prophet. They claim to be property included the reproductive s'mores would take place. They did so they just revered and honored him and he became one of their most outstanding citizens. The first thing he says is as a general rule, they are always on notice lying there, always lying. And Paul said this is the truth.
I mean this is the rule of thumb, the culture of Crete is literally given over to graft and deception and lying aren't you glad you don't live on the island of Crete. Aren't you glad you live in America you know that the imaginary art will be like USA ran a result I came across as of a survey of 7000 resumes of the carefully investigated, they just took 7000 resumes and carefully tracked everything down 48% exaggerated on their former compensation 52% change partial college or graduate school studies into completed degrees one out of every 260% exaggerated on the number of people under their former supervision we were leaving hundreds 64% exaggerated on their former accomplishment and 71% lying about the number of years they spent at their former job in the scary thing to me was the survey was taken 11 years ago. Another survey taken just four years ago found people admitting the calling in sick at work when they were taking office supplies from your company for personal use shifting blame to a coworker for something they did receiving too much change from cash without telling them downloading music without paying for cheating on her income tax switching price tags to get a lower price and lying to friends and family over a multitude of things, some trivial and some major ladies and gentlemen we live in a culture of dishonesty, but were Christians right so we ought to live differently affected you look at this list of this is out of Crete were dug all the screens were so bad. Use it as a mirror by different lying is epidemic in fact if your parent you discovered the problem didn't originate on the island of Crete. It originated in the fallen nature of your little child you never then have to teach them how to tell a lie. By the age of five.
There really good at your job to catch the let your children of course others that I've heard about like that little guy who got his Bible verse, all mixed up, but in it said a mouthful when he quoted lying is an abomination to the Lord, and a very present help in time of trouble. Frankly, lying can pay off in the in the short run 50% of the resumes and more are banking on it to get away with it. But in the end it tingles you up. It catches up. Fact of my father used to tell us four boys were growing up, he would say to us in the telling the truth is to be a lot easier on you telling a lie is when you tell the truth you never have to remember what you said that through. There is a warning then in this textile by end of the culture of your island Nepal begins a second thing he says in verse 12. Further, Cretans were evil beasts, evil beasts, this word refers to somebody is untamable whose uncontrollable. They won't be brought under anyone's authority.
We marched to the beat of her own drummer wearing a take our cues from you or anybody. Now imagine you're establishing a church and then eldership of authority and this is the culture what that challenge would mean effect during the days of Titus people already had on the island and inside joke.
They would say that there were no wild animals on the island of Crete because the people were so wild was a reputation he also refers to them in verse 12. Thirdly, as lazy gluttons. He does really goes after the phrase can be translated idols stomachs and refers to somebody who's given over to self-centered luxurious living. It's all about them and they refused to do an honest days work and you work with them. They are more creative and dedicated to somehow getting out of work than they are in working idle bellies. You need to pay me but I'm going to give you an honest days work. So here is the mission that Paul response to this testimony by an ancient cretin by adding his own emphatic verse 13 this testimony is true.
In other words, don't deny it. Don't sugarcoat it.
The congregations on this island and especially the elder shepherds need to face the facts. This is the truth in the game of religion had begun. In these false teachers who are nothing more than greedy hucksters were selling their message for the sake of sordid gain didn't care.
I got it. They just want to get it religion. By the way was their way to scam the people, and this diet is a great scam. There are many who make their living from your deceiving followers role of the shepherd, then, is to warn the flock to protect the flock.
And while you're at it. By the way, unmask the motives of these false teachers because behind the mask of pious religious language from somebody who even knows how to say Jesus and even hey, how about praying this prayer and about God and I give you a prophecy I can perform a miracle Jesus will one day say I never what do you behind it all is Amanda really only cares about money and fame to notice what Paul orders the elders to do the middle of verse 13 reproved them severely so they will be sound in the faith. We've encountered that word sound already is the Greek word gives her English word transliterated hygiene hygiene.
These men need to be made healthy or spiritually diseased the adverb where Paul says reproved them severely interesting, could be translated abruptly. Currently sharply. It refers to the skillful cutting away of the surgeon's knife to cut away that which is not healthy. So there can be healing. Many of you have your own historians of surgeries like I now was a sitting illustration have my own bike I saw a guy come walking across here in crotches sitting right around where are you right somewhere in here crotches and something where are you raise your crotches, you know we we can heal you.
I gotta tell you that your good company and right with you get the same pair I don't if you had surgery or not but I went to the doctor and he said Stephen you did it again. I said no, I did it again. He said this time. Guess what, you get surgery. There was no way that that that I could exempt myself from the severity of his blonde diagnosis. I couldn't ask but we could just settle for ice on the knee unit.
I'll take the swelling down. Or maybe one of the SpongeBob SquarePants Band-Aids and so is going back in here or or you know, maybe some really strong drugs. All three are good things, but they will not bring restoration.
It had to be dealt with invasively severely. Paul says reproved in the very center of the way. Finally the cabana in the present tense which means you all do it once and assume that did it.
It's on going confrontation to that which is not true so that the flock understand and is protected reproved them severely.
It is going to be fixed overnight Titus, you and the other zero point need to know this is for the long haul. This is not a weekend seminar on religious error. There we did that this is a three year seminary degree where your little. This is an ongoing call of those who will wear the mantle of a shepherd.
It's ongoing because error never stop. Teachers never let up the common cycles to take the church away, unmask their motives.
It's all about money and fame. Secondly, unmask their teaching. It's all about myths and fables.
Verse 14 Paul is continuing to talk about these false teachers. He says they're paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. That is the gospel. The simplicity of the gospel there invading the church with her maths and all other commandment.
In other words, they are teaching they are. They got books they got materials I got outlined thing that programs they have three points. People are taking notes their teaching, but you take time to inspect what they are teaching. It's man-made.
It's all about man they might quote the Bible but they don't really care about the Bible. So today across our countrymen will fill the pulpits who use the Bible as a as a resource, but it is not the source of teaching, which it opens the church all kinds of fads and trends in and the superstitions and error and spiritual danger and ultimately the focus is reduced because man-made teaching is all about man it's all about us three ways to fix this and fix that. Feel better and then in and live happy and told us the focus is no longer God word is the word, introduces us to the character and nature in the gospel of the doctrine of God we give you an illustration in Titus's day, the book of jubilees was making the rounds was a bestseller. It was a it was a book that supposedly contained the information of the patriarchs and and expanded their biographies, which led to all sorts of interesting stuff. The people were trying to apply in our own lives, which was leading the fall speculations and superstitions and spiritual mysticism is an and all sorts of problem. The book of jubilees.
In addition to that, by the end of the first century, many rabbis and given mystical meanings to number and the letters and then they applied that to Old Testament Scriptures led all sorts of bizarre interpretations were not done because in the second and third and fourth centuries and also give the appearance of of all these Gnostic Gospels in these extra biblical writings books like the history of Susanna by one particular book claiming to be revealed from God called entitled Bell and the Dragon like a Disney movie then give the writings of Tobit give the writings of Judith. These are writings of pure fiction, filled with error and in fact filled with questionable morality as well as false doctrine, then you have the gospel of Thomas's got a lot of attention last 2030 years written in the and in the third century came along and he claimed to contain 120 secret words of Jesus had that how we like to have 120 more words from Jesus.
I would got it made all sorts of waves and of course there were communities and follow these Gnostic Gospels. The did not resemble the gospel at all.
Just was nothing but sheer myth then you add to that the Apocrypha in the Talmud and the Kabbalah and in the early writings outside of inspired Scripture. They promote at best some kind of moral lesson. At worst, they redefine the gospel and then you get a guy like Dan Brown comes along and and rates the da Vinci code and he puts together some of these legends anything he he he researches the Gnostic Gospels and the bucket load of historical speculations and united with an intriguing book of fiction that millions of people around and believe as faculty about Jesus.
I guess married. Evidently Mary Magdalena and they had children and they grew up in the south of France. I was led to changes entirely.
The gospel people are done treating the Bible in strange ways by the there are currently 16 million pages on the web, devoted to the Bible code the Bible code is the belief that secret messages have been in bedded in the text of Scripture and so you laid out in linear fashion. Known numbers chapters verse divisions or anything is layout. All the letters and what you do is you figure out if I skip every second word and I think the first letter of that second word looking at it it it it makes a word, wow and and maybe if I do it this way. Maybe if I go this way and then over this way and then down this way I can come up with words.
Yes, you can but is not a secret message from God. It's a waste of time. 16 million pages books written letting anyone illustration the Bible code predicted Obama would be assassinated in 2009 Hillary Clinton would somehow become the leader of the free world who in turn would subsidize the enterprise and launch global persecution. I went away. That was 2009. Do they come back and apologize and say there really wasn't from God because God doesn't make mistakes.
Now go get another coded message. One author strung together a bunch of them that you would think would discredit the entire system, but it doesn't where we dismiss that one. But there's a lot more that we know God write the Bible code can be proved can be used to prove that the South actually won the Civil War and everybody said in that many of your from the south. You're from New York use a Bible code are could also prove that Germany will one World War II one Bible code prove the existence of Darth Vader and that the moon is actually literally made out of Swiss cheese is nothing more than a distraction, and there's absolutely no spiritual nourishment and chasing those thing. Evidently these false teachers were praying on the nature of man is I didn't know that that's a secret you found a secret.
Let me know when you read it all live by nature, man is easily intrigued but there is no genuine spiritual nourishment in any of these secret messages were codes for myths in these false teachers were praying for years people by giving some secret needed to know. Whenever you encounter a pastor or teacher who claims to have secret knowledge that nobody has known before, and that was revealed only to him. Ron that's false teaching. Even though Stephen Devi has more to say on this topic working to stop here for today will bring you the conclusion to this lesson on Monday's broadcast tomorrow.
Stephen will be answering some questions that have come in from listeners that something we do on the first and third Friday of each month.
If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith. You can call our Bible question line and leave a recorded message for us to play on the future broadcast the Bible question line is 910-808-9384. You can jot that number down. Keep it handy and use it when you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith.
Once again, that's 910-808-9384. The series that Stephen spent teaching from lately is entitled the shepherd's mantle. It comes from the book of Titus, I want to make you aware that Stephen has written a book that's also entitled Titus.
It comes from his wisdom commentary series during this month.
It's available at a specially discounted rate and if you'd like information on how you can get that resource give us a call today at our office number 86 648 Bible you also find this resource on our website which is wisdom online.org you can navigate to the section where we have Stephen's commentaries and you'll find Titus there wisdom for the heart is a listener supported ministry and were thankful for your gifts that make it possible for us to proclaim the truth of God's word. If you're able to support us. You can do that on our website on the wisdom for the heart app or you could send a check to wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 that's also the address you can use if you want to send Stephen a card or letter, I'm Scott Wiley and for Steven and all of us here on the wisdom team. I want to thank you for listening were glad you joined us today and I invite you to join us tomorrow for more wisdom for the heart