One of the responsibilities of the Secret Service (besides protecting the president) is the investigation of Counterfeit cases. When an agent is preparing to work these cases, they will study “genuine” currency rather than the counterfeit ones. Each bill of each denomination is carefully examined so that when an agent comes across one that is not real, it is very obvious to them, and the bill stands out.
They don’t just look at the different bills, but carefully examine the paper, ink, threads in the paper, pictures, seals, signatures and everything else associated with a particular bill. Currently, the $100 bill is the largest that is being printed and circulated since July 13, 1969. At that time, the $500, $1000, $5000 and $10,000 were retired. The $100 denomination has been printed with various changes since 1861.
Now that we have established how counterfeit currency is detected, we can apply the same principle to the Word of the Lord. Why would anyone want to study anything but the genuine true word given to us by the Father? Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “Every scripture is inspired by God, and useful for teaching; for reproof; for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” (emphasis mine)
Looking at 1 John 4:1-3, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ (Messiah, Savior), who has come in the flesh is from God; but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”
For a guideline for “genuine” pastors, 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved unto God; a workman that needs not to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.”
Especially in these days, it is critical for people to study the true word of the Lord for themselves. John talked about “false prophets” and “antichrists” that were present in the first century, and they have not gone away. In fact, with the changing times, their activities and numbers are increasing rapidly. The world is already being prepared for the “ultimate” evil one, and the final false prophet that will appear after Jesus takes His church (believers) Home. Satan knows his time is getting short, even though he does not know exact day or hour that Jesus will come back. His demons are working overtime to get unbelievers to do his bidding, and unfortunately there is no shortage of these souls.
If the Secret Service agents weren’t diligent in their studies, a lot of phony currency would remain in circulation. People who inadvertently get some of these phony bills would stand to suffer loss because, when it is discovered, they cannot turn it in for real money. The same applies to Bible study. How can anyone detect false messages if they have no idea what the scriptures really say.
As a personal example, I grew up in a “Christian” home and had access to Bibles all my life. However, I allowed “laziness” to be part of me, in that I would listen to preachers and accept anything they said as being truth. After my “teen” years, I got away from regular worship but always believed I “knew” the Bible. Then, at about age 40, I attended an evangelical service at the request of my wife, and I was literally “awakened” as to just how ignorant I was. I know now, it had to be the Holy Spirit that convicted me. I also know there were several people who were “Prayer Warriors” that were holding me up in prayer to the Father. Just a quick note: prayer works; use it frequently!
At this point, I felt a real need to get a new Bible and read it for the first time cover to cover. Over several years, I went through several translations (KJV, NKJV, New American Standard) before settling on the New English Translation (NET), which has been good for my ability to comprehend the Word. All in all, over the past 30 years, I have found things that I thought were in the Bible were not there; things I did not know that were there were brought to my attention. Examples: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” and “God helps those who help themselves” are nowhere in the true word.
Listening to some pastors today sends a chill down my spine. Words that I would’ve accepted previously stand out as blatantly false. In 1977, there was a movie called Oh God starring George Burns and John Denver. One line in the movie that still is in my mind today was given by George about a mega-church preacher who said a lot of “words,” just not God’s. George told John Denver to tell the preacher to just “shut up!” When I hear a false message being given, I believe our God is saying, “Just Shut Up!”
I have been totally aware of whose word I have been giving each and every time I present a sermon, and I have made every effort to make sure I give nothing but God’s truth. These messages that I am fortunate enough to get posted fall in the same category. James 3:1 is etched into my mind, and should be there for every person who wants to pass on the Word of the Lord. “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.”
There are still some good “Bible Preaching” churches in this world, but they are getting fewer with fewer true believers. The emphasis is shifting to “feel-good” “no-fault” messages that leave out anything related to sin. The leaders are more interested in filling seats and their bank accounts than filling precious souls with the truth. Many services have become “stage productions” with light shows and “inspiring” music. People are being told that there’s many ways to heaven, and alternate lifestyles are really okay.
There are mega-church denominations that are splitting over the LGBT(etc.) movement, as many have somehow determined that God has changed His mind on this. The alternate-lifestyle people are in the minority of the population, but are the most vocal. Anyone who speaks against them is declared to be a “hater.” In fact, just about anything that is truly biblical is being challenged and changed to meet the personal needs of the false prophets.
There is no place in the Bible where the Father said certain things would only be an abomination until the 20th and 21st centuries. All of a sudden, it should be okay by Him because so much time has passed, and man has become so much more enlightened.
Fact: 2 Peter 3:8, “Now dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice; that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord, and a thousand years are like a single day.” In that respect, since Jesus was here, only about 2 days have passed for the Father. Actually, time does not mean anything to Him, as it was created for us. He hasn’t changed any of His word, and all covenants are still in place.
Another thing to remember: 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise as some regard slowness; but is being patient toward you, because He does not wish for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”
The Bible says Jesus will return to take all believers home to avoid the wrath of the Tribulation. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). When God says it will happen, you can believe it will be so. He knows when the “fullness of the Gentiles” will be (Romans 11:25), and all believers from Calvary to that point will be affected by this. The dead will rise first, followed by those who are alive to be caught up (Raptured) to meet Jesus in the air.
Sad part, there will be churches with large memberships that will not see any change in attendance after the Rapture. Jesus said a “few” (Matthew 7:13-14) because He knew what the peoples’ attitude would be today toward accepting Him. Many who believe they have a pathway to Heaven without Jesus will be lost. John 14:6 is absolute. All who accept Jesus, and know He is the only Way to the Father, will be saved.
All who follow the “many ways” preaching, or alternate lifestyles, or think they’re “good enough” or have earned their right to be in heaven will be severely disappointed. They can go to a church building every day of the week, but it’s the condition of their hearts and souls that really matters.
Look out for false teachers, preachers, antichrists and all that they represent. Seek the kingdom of Heaven, and God’s righteousness, and you will be added to the Book of Life (Matthew 6:33 paraphrased). Study God’s word in a translation of the true word that you can understand. God did not mean for His word to be a secret, but expects His word to be returned to Him with positive heavenly results (Isaiah 55:11).
He wants you to know the truth so you can be free (John 8:32); because when Jesus sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
Call on the True and Proven Lord God Jehovah’s Son Jesus to save you. He is not counterfeit!