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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20140504: "Destroying Deception"

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Senior Pastor

Phil Roland

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Pastor Ray Scott

 

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TRUTH AND DECEPTION
SERMON STARTER

          We live in what may easily be called the Age of Deception. Some have called our present age with its world-wide web and round-the-clock news casting, "The Age of Information," but I prefer to use the title, "The Age of Deception." One teacher I respect put it this way, "All heresy is aimed at a genuine need in the body of Christ, but actually meets that need in an IMBALANCED way."  This concept can refer to religion or it can refer to the socio-economic theories we believe in.
          The early church was scarcely any different. In the first centuries of Christianity there were people of a low sense of integrity, writing pseudo books and epistles while attributing them to famous authors. Most famous pseudo-book titles include, "The Lost Epistle of Thomas," or the "Hidden Second Epistle of James." There are also other deceptive books, "The Book of Philip," and a early letter from Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria. Most of these pseudo gospels and epistles were penned by Gnostic writers attempting to integrate their Greek philosophy into Christianity.
          Today, we have to wade through lies, thinly wrapped in the skin of truth. Technically, no matter how you wrap it, a lie is still a lie, and truth needs no attractive packaging. Truth will always cause your spiritual heart to ring. Lies will always leave you feeling empty in your gut. As my daughter, Lisa puts it,
"Red flags are not Party Favors!"
          It doesn't matter whose religious philosophy you admire, Rev. Paul Hagee, or Joel Osteen. It makes no matter which political direction you wish the country to follow. Your spiritual life and  your socio-economic life depends on who or what you believe in and follow.
          In our present age there are many deceivers and many who are deceived, but there are few that seek after God and His Truth. This sermon is for the few.  

 

Pastor Phil  <><<
May 4, 2014 - Sheepfold Ministries
Pastor Phil Roland

TRUTH AND DECEPTION
JOHN 14:6 - GENESIS 3:1-5
 "Christians must be warned of end-time deceivers.  They look good, sound good, and seem nice, but if you taste their fruit cautiously, you will see it is all rotten. Pray for wisdom and discernment.”            Pastor Phil  <><<
Matthew 24:4-5
"And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."

I. WHAT IS TRUTH? - John 18:38
"Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all."
            A. TRUTH = Greek, "AL-LAY-THE - IA" - "That which is uncovered"
                        1. Present Judicial System wrings out Truth
                        2. Involves arguing and haranguing to get at Truth
            B. What Truth is NOT
                        1. Truth is not simply whatever works.
                                    a. This is the philosophy of Pragmatism
                                    b. "The end justifies the means"
                                    c. Lies may outwardly appear to work: they are still lies
                        2. Truth is not simply what is understandable
                                    a. A group of people may conspire to perpetrate a lie
                                    b. Though all agree to tell the same story: it's still a lie
                        3. Truth is not what makes people feel good
                                    a. Even Bad news can be true
                                    b. Truth isn't aimed at feelings or popularity
                        4. Truth is not what the majority says is true
                                    a. 51% of a group can reach a wrong conclusion
                                    b. Even 12 people on a jury can be wrong
                                    c. Always remember, a majority crucified Jesus
                        5. Truth is not what is comprehensive
                                    a. A scholarly presentation can still result harbor a lie
                                    b. A local cult leader, Joe Proprey used a computer
                                    c. He used Power Point and Strong's Concordance
                                    d. More impressive, he even used a digital projector
                                    d. He convincingly led many weak believers astray
                        6. Truth is not defined by what is intended
                                    a. Good intentions can still be wrong
                                    b. The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions
                        7. Truth is not simply what is believed
                                    a. A lie believed is still a lie
                                    b. You can be sincerely wrong

TRUTH AND DECEPTION. cont., p.2

          C. JESUS IS TRUTH - Truth is a person - John 14:6
                "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
             comes to the Father except through Me."
                        1. Truth is NOT in a philosophy
                        2. Truth is NOT words in a text book that's revised yearly
                        3. Truth is NOT in scientific theory
                        4. Truth is in the One who said,
                                    "I am the way, the truth and the life!"
                        5. We measure what is true by His life and His words

II. WHAT IS DECEPTION? Genesis 3:1
"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
            A. Satan's Main weapon is his Mouth
                        1. Heb. = "NA - KASH"= "One who whispers, hisses, enchanter
                                    Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
                        2. Satan used a lie to create a false sense of reality
                        3. Satan then seduced Eve with a lie
                        3. Eve used the same lie on Adam and he, too was deceived
            B. Ancient Greeks used a special word to describe pleasure
                        1. This was the word they used for watching the Theater
                        2. Deception is being pacified and placated by unreality
                        3. Pain and confusion result from believing a lie.
            C. Hitler used Satan's methodology to deceive the German people
                        1. Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister:
                        "If you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, people will                                        eventually come to believe it."
                        2. Here's Hitler's Formula for Public Talking Points
                                    a. SAY IT SIMPLY
                                    b. DAY IT OFTEN
                                    c. MAKE IT BURN
            D. Modern advertising cultivates a desire for a product
                        1. At first you want it, you really want it
                        2. It arrives in the mail and isn't what you expected
                        3. The presentation made you salivate with anticipation
                        4. The reality left you disappointed and broke
            E. Satan's Strategy of Deception:
                        1. Distort what God says by changing the emphasis
                        2. Question God’s Motive (always the result of twisted meaning)
                        3. Leads you to question God’s Goodness and integrity
                        4. Challenge and distrust Spiritual Authority
                        5. Satan led Eve to rebel against God just as people to now
                        6. Sin blinds the spiritual eyes and ears - Jeremiah 17:9
                        "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked;                                 Who can know it?"
TRUTH AND DECEPTION. cont., p.3

III. HOW CAN WE KNOW TRUTH AND AVOID BEING DECEIVED?
            A. KNOW THE WORD OF GOD - John 18:37,38
            "Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You
             say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I
             have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone
             who is of the truth hears My voice." 38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?"
             And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to          them, "I find no fault in Him at all.
                        1. Living Truth in Human Flesh stood before Pilate
                        2. He was completely non-discerning
                        3. We must be able to discern truth from error
                        4. The Word of God is our standard for truth - John 17:17
                           "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
                        5. Jesus is God's Living Word of God - John 1:1; 1:14
                                "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
                         the Word was God.14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among
                         us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
                         Father, full of grace and truth."
                        6. Eg. Inspirational Story, Pastor Jeremiah Steepek
            B. Know the 3 most important things about God's Word
                        1. Jesus is God in the Flesh - 1 John 4:2,3
                        2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that
                         Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that
                         does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of
                         God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard
                         was coming, and is now already in the world."
                        2. He died on the Cross, was buried and rose from the dead
                                3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that
                         Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
                         and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day
                         according to the Scriptures,"    1 Corinthians 15:3-4
                        3. On the Cross He bore our sins in His own body
                        24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we,
                          having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes
                          you were healed."  1 Peter 2:24
             C. PRAY FOR WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT

TRUTH AND DECEPTION
Genesis 3:1-5 (NKJV)
1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' "
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.
5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

 

 

 

 

 

PASTOR JEREMIAH STEEPEK'S DECEPTION

 

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning.
He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him.
He asked people for change to buy food – no one in the church gave him change.
He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back.
He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.
As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such.
When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation.
“We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.
The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with all eyes on him.
He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

PASTOR JEREMIAH STEEPEK'S DECEPTION, cont.

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame.
He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”
He then dismissed service until next week.
(Pause)

Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ should be more than just talk. It ought to be a lifestyle that others around you can love about you and share in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question: How many of you think that you probably have some deception in your lives? Don’t forget – Satan led 1/3 of the angels astray from the very
presence of God in heaven, and caused Eve to disobey in a perfect
environment (she had never been abused by a husband, frustrated by kids,
abused by a pastor, or mistreated by a boss).
Psalm 25:14 (NKJV)
14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.

Psalm 119:165 (NKJV)
165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.

If you’re stumbling, offended, and have no peace...then you don’t love
the word.

“Attending to”the word, Prov. 4:20-22;
“Delighting”in the word, Ps. 1:1-3
“Meditating”in the word, Josh 1:8

HEAR AND OBEY

 

 

James 1:16-17 (NKJV)
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

James 1:22-24 (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Isaiah 66:2 (NKJV)
2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist," Says the LORD. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.

Matthew 24:4-5 (NKJV)
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.

Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Luke 21:8-9 (NKJV)
8 And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them.
9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately."