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Tabernacle Defending the Faith Lesson 16
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
January 20 2002 Bible Lessons
Operation Outreach
1 Corinthians 10:11-14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARENow all these things happened to them (Israel in the wilderness) as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but
God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved,
flee from idolatry.

Any account, example, shadow, type etc. found in the Word of God can easily be corrupted or taught as a outright lie by those who are "untaught" and "unstable". This inaccurate teaching may be deliberate, or it may be inadvertent. The motive does not change the results. It is SO important to understand this fact as we study any Biblical subject. We certainly should be aware of this fact before we study the details of the Tabernacle and its services.

If we separate a Biblical illustration from the total context of the Scripture, we are in real danger of teaching something that is foreign, or even opposite from the teaching of the Word of God. God gave us illustrations in His word, NOT to present a different truth than presented elsewhere in Scripture, BUT to illuminate a truth that IS already taught elsewhere in the Scriptures.

The job of the proper Biblical teacher is:

  1. To MATCH the illustration with the truth taught.
  2. To determine what aspects of that truth the illustration is designed to illuminate, and apply the illustration ONLY to that portion of the truth.
  3. To teach the truth illuminated by the illustration, and NOT to use the truth to preach about the illustration.

Much of what is pawned off as Biblical teaching, is someone's personal opinion springing from a Biblical illustration, APART from the truth it was divinely designed to illuminating.

We MUST always keep in mind the purpose for which the Holy Spirit had these accounts penned and preserved. We have previously looked at several passages that state God's purpose for recording these events. In a nut shell, they were recorded for US, so we would not sin as the Israelites in the wilderness sinned, and so we would know who God is, and how to live in holiness with Him in an unholy world. We will examine the purpose, as stated by God, from time to time in this series.

For this lesson, I want to expand and follow-up some of the truths present in the past few lessons. We are to be very careful that we do not present the truth of God improperly, and we are to prevent others from doing so.

One of the methods prescribed for the Israelites, by God, was to kill any false prophet who continued to present his own predictions without repentance. God's prescription for the New Covenant church, in order to prevent false doctrine from being presented and accepted, is different from that given to Israel in the wilderness. In future lessons, as time permits, we will examine the reasons for such changes.

For now, I want to direct our attention to 
the New Covenant means of 
from false doctrine, and the 
of revealed doctrine.

One of the means, but not the only means, for Israel in the wilderness was stoning the false prophet to death. That certainly was an effective means for preventing the spread of false doctrines and teachers. Sad to say, the Israelites did not use this God given method very often. Instead, they tolerated both the false teachers, and the false teachings. This tolerance was one of the main factors in the national downfall.

One of the premier aspects of our God given tools for combating false teachings from becoming a part of daily living, and to protect the true teaching of the Word of God from corruption, is that we MUST be aware of the danger!!! A fact that many and maybe most Believers either ignore, or are ignorant of.

Take another look at 1 Corinthians 10:11-14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE. The Holy Spirit IS talking about examples recorded in the Old Testament, and especially about those examples surrounding the Israelites in the wilderness. The Holy Spirit points out these examples SO THAT we will not be ignorant of the danger.

These examples are for  OUR  admonition.  
These things were recorded for us. 

An admonition is the directing of the attention through a mild rebuke. A rebuke is only needed when there is an absence of proper action or response. God, knowing our natural tendencies, gave a preemptive admonition.

This admonition starts by taking a "jab" at our elevated "self-image". Even in Christian circles, we are taught and have accepted the lie that: "We are somebody, and we are sufficient of ourselves."

First of all, that is a lie from the pit of hell, and found its place in human philosophy clear back in the Garden of Eden. That lie of Satan has continued to grow, and has become a vital part of the New Theology of today (which is as old as Satan, Himself).

When I think that I have the knowledge of God and His plan through rational human thinking, or that I can handle the testings of life by my own experience and power, THEN I have become a total and complete SLAVE of Satan and his plan.

Don't get me wrong. Some people are really somebody in the worldly system of sin. AND some people are able to live a good moral life, acceptable to the worldly system of sin.

However, in God's sight and in the Spiritual realm, we are nothing, we are dead, we are desperately wicked, there is no fear of God in our native nature and we can only produce the works of the flesh and wickedness.

On the other hand, IN CHRIST, we are Sons of the King of all kings and are heirs of God, AND we can do all things IN CHRIST, Who strengthens us.

In Christ, 
I am somebody,  
only in Christ.

Two things we need to have, in the forefront of our thinking, as we attempt to protect ourselves from false doctrine and preserve the true doctrine of God, is to remember that:

  1. These examples were recorded by the Holy Spirit for OUR admonition.
  2. We are not capable of "standing" in this Spiritual warfare.
  3. Please go back to the beginning of this lesson and read again 1 Corinthians 10:11-14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE.

    Another thing that MUST always be in the forefront of our thinking, when we are striving to protect ourselves from false teaching, and to preserve God's pure teaching is:

  4. Any test that comes our way, is "Old Hat". It has been, still is and always will be common to all men as long as time exists.

Satan does not have any new tricks!! All of his stuff is "old", recycled and temporary. It tickles my "funny-bone" when I here people say that Christianity is outdated and needs a "face-lift". Yet, the examples they want used for this "face-lift", area those of Satan's many faces, which are MUCH older than Christianity.

We're a "strange" lot, aren't we?

That does not mean the "tests" that comes your way are fantasies. Every test that comes to you, IS REAL and should be treated from that frame of mind. However, because this testing is common to all, we have a great deal of resource material to help in our understanding of the test, and combating it.

1 Corinthians 10:11-14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARENow all these things happened to them (Israel in the wilderness) as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but
God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved,
flee from idolatry.
  1. These examples were recorded by the Holy Spirit for OUR admonition.
  2. We are not capable of standing in this Spiritual warfare.
  3. Any test that comes our way is "old hat". It has been, still is and always will be common to all men, as long as time exists.
  4. The next two "items", in this list of 1Cor 10:11-14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE, are things that become reality through USE. These two items are things we can learn about academically, but for them to become a reality in our lives, we must put them into practice.

    We can learn of the existence of these two items by simply reading about them. We must KNOW of their existence BEFORE we can understand them, and that knowledge comes through faith by hearing the Word.

    Romans 10:17 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARESo then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Hebrews 11:6 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREBut without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Many of us will never know the real life of faith, BECAUSE we have too little of the Word of God in our minds and lives. God didn't promise saving-faith or living-faith by: Being good, Experience, Service, Giving, Being a Missionary, etc. etc.

    God promised us faith by hearing. It didn't say faith came by having heard (past tense - once or twice), BUT by hearing. A very present and progressive process. We need to keep on hearing, and we need to keep on hearing, and we must not stop hearing if we want to live by faith.

    Once we are in the process of constantly "hearing" the Word of God, then we can put that faith into practice in all areas of life whether in: Being good, Service, Experience, Giving, Being a Missionary, etc. etc.

    Through the faith generated by the constant hearing of the Word, these extra Biblical activities can give credence to and strengthen our faith, etc. But only the constant intake of the Word of God can produce faith. That might explain why so few of us have any real living-faith.

    Glance back at 1 Corinthians 10:11-14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREand the list of three things seen from this passage. With that background, let's see two other areas:

  5. God will never allow us to have a test that is beyond our ability to handle.
  6. With every test that God allows, He provides a way of escape, so we will be able to bear up under it.

Keep in mind that the truths in this passage are from the background of the examples presented by the Tabernacle and its services.

Very seldom does God, personally SEND a test, but often He does allow the test to come, and ALWAYS what He allows, is for our betterment. A classic illustration of this fact is the book of Job.

God will not allow a test to come our way that we are UNABLE to bear up under. God ALWAYS provides a "way of escape", a way so we need not become a slave to the elements contained in that test.

Most of us simply want God to remove the test, so we can feel at home, and be more comfortable in this sin cursed world. Sometimes God does remove the test. Most often He allows the test, and attaches to that test, a means by which we can escape its Spiritual devastation. Through the use of that means, we also become Spiritually strong enough to bear up under the test without Spiritual detriment.

As a matter of fact, each time we use God's means of escape, we become stronger in our walk with Him, and our Spiritual life in a godless world. Because of the Spiritual benefit that can come from bearing up under the test, and because of the Spiritual devastation that comes by surrendering to the test, we are admonished to "FLEE FROM IDOLATRY". A subject we will introduce in this lesson and examine later in the series.

God had given the Israelites, through the Tabernacle and its services, the command and the means to protect themselves from false teachings and teachers, and to preserve the pure Word of God.

Instead of using God's means of escaping this test, they tolerated the false teachers and false teachings. As a result, they became slaves to both the false teachers and the false teachings, and turned from God and His Word to the idols of those false teachers.

Not staying true to God's Word, quickly led them down a path to worship almost anything but God, and ultimately to their destruction as a nation, both physically and Spiritually.

We have looked at this downward spiral before, but we can't review these steps often enough. The first step in this process of conforming to the world and worldly practices is that simple step of "curiosity".

The old adage that "curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back" is only partially true. Curious about the wrong things is the first step downward, AND having that curiosity satisfied will never bring Spiritual wellness.

Satan used this first step of curiosity to destroy the human race in the Garden. Satan implanted the idea in Eve's mind that the fruit of the "tree" would make her wise like God.

Eve looked at the tree, saw in her mind that it was a tree that would make her wise, and thought "I wonder how it would feel to be 'like God'?". Her curiosity got the best of her. We don't need to know "evil" to do good. We need to know goodness or godliness to do good.

Ephesians 5:11-13 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREAnd have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

Examining the "unfruitful works of darkness" to satisfy our curiosity leads to the next step, that of being tolerant of those deeds. After all, humans have a right to do as they please, so I'll just "put-up" with those things that are a shame to even speak of.

It doesn't take a very "high" degree of tolerance to evil, until we begin to accept those "unfruitful works of darkness" as somewhat natural and normal. Once we have accepted these things as normal, it will not be very long until we will defend the rights of people (including ourselves) to commit such deeds.

Once we've defended the right to commit these sinful acts, we are only one short step from experimenting with these acts, ourselves. After all, they are very "normal" actions, so why shouldn't I at least try something that is "normal"?

Quite often when an act of sin is experimented with for the first time, there is great fear that God is going to rain down fire or something worse. When God's judgment of such sin is not instant, our minds conclude that God must not really care. Therefore, we may as well subscribe to this way of life, that just a FEW "steps" before we held in disdain.

Once we have subscribed to such action, we will become evangelists for that action, promote and sing its praises. People do not like to sin alone, misery loves company.

starts with that first step of  

That was a quick review of those downward steps to conformity. However, just a review of these downward steps WILL NOT prevent a person from running down those steps to Spiritual destruction. Far too many of us know a great deal of truth, but we are so self-centered that we would rather go contrary to God, than to accept ourselves as something less than #1.

God's Word is all for positive motivation in all areas of the physical, mental, Spiritual, etc. BUT the Word of God does not accept the false concept that by our own nature and ability, we can become self-sufficient apart from God's grace and power.

As with the example (Israelites in the wilderness), so our reality. We are to be on guard against false teachings and teachers. We are to use the methods provided by God to bear-up under the test, and not be overcome by it.

With those facts in mind, let's look at a couple of passages that describe some of the ways of escape already provided by God. If we are not using, or are not willing to use the ways of escape already provided by God, how can we expect God to provide additional ways of escape when faced with test after test??

2 Peter 3:13-18 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARENevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

As with almost any passage we could go to for comparison, we can't take the time for a complete study of this passage 2 peter LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE. Just time to pick up some highlights that directly apply and illuminate our present subject.

In the last part of v. 16 through the end of this passage, we are presented with those who have twisted the Scriptures. These are "untaught" and "unstable" people. Not untaught in the sense of no education, nor unstable in regard to their mental capacity.

The Greek word translated here as "untaught" is only used once in the New Testament. It does not refer to lack of education or mental deficiency. It has to do with the lack of specific information concerning the present subject.

These people had never bothered to seek out the information, or no one had presented the information to them. Even so, the major problem was not their lack of knowledge of the subject. The greater problem was that EVEN though they did not have the needed information to qualify as teachers of the subject, they were, none the less, twisting the information they did have as well as what the didn't have, and presenting themselves as Biblical teachers, as well as claiming that their conclusions were right and Biblically sound.

When a person doesn't have the information, or is "untaught" in a subject, that person should not speak as an authority on that subject, especially with the intent of leading others to think in their same "untaught" manner.

That's true of computers, medicine, auto mechanics, science, etc. It is especially true in the field of Biblical matters and the eternal destiny of those they are attempting to teach. We need to be very careful what we say, because someone may hear us and actually believe what we said and follow our teaching right into hell, or loss of eternal rewards.

It seems as though some think that if they have two different translations of the Bible and a concordance, they are qualified to say or teach whatever they think the Bible might be saying to them.

Sad to say, many of these have never taken the time to carefully learn the truths of the Word in harmony. The phenomena of "untaught" people attempting to teach and lead others in a so called Spiritual manner was true in the wilderness with the Israelites, it was true in Paul's day and it is true at MBF.

This group of "untaught" people teaching and leading others away from the truth of the Word of God includes those who have little formal education, people with PhDs, and those with Rev. in front of their names, and many others. An "untaught" person who will twist the Word of God for personal honor and satisfaction is also an "unstable" person, according to our passage v. 16.

The Greek word translated here as "unstable" is only used twice in the Bible. Both times this word is used by Peter. One time here in 2 Peter 3 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREand the other time in 2 Peter 2:14 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE

Unstable = (Greek) Unfixed (as to the stars for direction); Vacillating, and so doing with resolve as though certain of their misdirection.

What a description!!!! Here is a person who does not have their course set by the stars, so they wander around in total darkness, basing their course on what they think the direction might be. You certainly would not want that person as your navigator. Yet, many follow just such a person when it come to their Spiritual direction.

The last part of the definition is also quite telling. These false teacher not only "slide-around" with every new theory that comes along, but they do their "flip-flops" and "changes-in-direction" with such resolve that others think they are certain of their course.

However, if they were to answer to God as to where they got such a theory based on His Word, they would stand speechless. By the way, they and each of us will have to answer before God for every idle word. Therefore, it would behoove each of us to make sure our stand and teachings are based solidly on the Word of God. I'm sure that by now, each of you have a mental picture of someone in you past, or even in the present who matches those descriptions.

It is one thing to know that this type of person exists even within our assembly, but what are we to do about them and their teachings? The Old Testament was quite clear as to what Israel was to do with false prophets. They were to stone them!! Sometimes I long for the "good-'ol-days". No! Not really. What I do long for, is for people to follow the clear teaching of the Word of God in this manner.

What should we do about such teachings and teachers? A full Biblical answer would take far more time than we have left in this lesson. However, our passage gives us some very good guide lines.

First of all, our attitude and actions should be controlled by the Word of God, or as v.13 says, according to His promise. Our minds, attitudes and hopes are to be set on what we will be when Christ returns v.13. With that hope in mind, we should live, looking ahead to those things.

Stop for a moment. When you think of the future and the coming events set forth in the Word of God, are you anticipating those things and events with joy, or dread?? Peter by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says we should be looking forward to them. An expression of joyous anticipation.

Maybe you are 
the things to come with fear and dread.  
If so, you are a 
prime target 
for these unlearned and unstable teacher.

We are to look forward to His coming. With the joyful anticipation of His coming, we are to be diligent so as to be found BY HIM in peace, without spot and blameless.

Notice the impact of that phrase "found by Him, Christ". When Christ comes back, will the way you are now living, your actions and your attitudes convince Christ that you are truly living in peace... OR would Christ pronounce those action and attitudes as selfish and self-centered??

Here is the mode of operation that should be a reality in the life of every Believer.

  1. Looking forward to His coming.
  2. Being diligent so as to be found BY HIM in peace, without spot and blameless.

Having this base or mode of operation, THEN (v. 17) we are to be on guard LEST we be led away into the same wickedness as these "untaught" and "unstable" teachers.

We are to be on guard, so we will not be drawn in by these false teachers, AND at the same time, we are to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever."

Over and over again, we are told... no, we are commanded to continually take in the Word of God. There is no way you can get too much of the Word of God!!

Look again at those four areas of action needed to protect against these false teachers. It still seems like it would be easier just to stone them, but I guess we better stick with what the Word commands for this aspect of God Eternal Program.

  1. Looking forward to His coming.
  2. Being diligent so as to be found BY HIM in peace, without spot and blameless.
  3. We are to be on guard, lest these "unlearned" and "unstable" people entice us into their wicked ways.
  4. We are to continually give ourselves to growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 11:23-27 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREBy faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command. 24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king;
for he
as seeing Him
who is invisible.
© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2002