Don’t Be Fooled Again

Sage advice and intuitive discerning lyrics are applauded for their revelations of cultural paradigms and human propensities. Lyrics like those from the mind of Pete Townsend, of “The Who”, recognizing that “change” is just the same thing dressed in different clothes. “So we get down on our knees and pray, we won’t get fooled again”. History testifies to the fact that the mistakes of the fathers, are more often than not, repeated by their children.
Like a dog that returns to its vomit, is a fool that repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11(NASB)
The whole of humanity continues on the highway of fools. It would be irrational to say: If I had been alive in the time of Noah, I would have been on the ark. If I had been alive at the time of the exodus, I would not have grumbled, nor would I have questioned the motives of God, or worshiped the golden calf. If I had been a live at the time of the prophets, I would have listened to them and taken a stand on their behalf. If I had been alive at the time of Christ, I would have been one of His followers. I would not have abandoned Him upon His arrest. I would not have called for His crucifixion. But you were not alive then, you are alive now; now is your opportunity to do what you say you would have done.
‘Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who build the sepulchers of the prophets and decorate the tombs of holy men, saying, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets, had we lived in our fathers’ day”. So! Your own evidence tells against you! You are the sons of those who murdered the prophets! Very well then, finish off the work that your fathers began. Matthew 23:29-32(JB)
The common denominator throughout the generations of human-kind is a complete lack of knowledge of the truth about God. The ability to recognize the elements of an expected event is subject to the voracity of the current information at the time of the event. Consider this answer that the Son of God gave for the reason the scribes and Pharisees dismissed Him as the One, the expected Messiah.
And the disciples put this question to Him, ‘Why do the scribes say then that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True;’ He replied ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognize him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands’ The disciples understood then that He had been speaking of John the Baptist. Matthew 17:10-13(JB)
Recognition depends upon the truthfulness of the information and the ability to rightly understand it. A degree from an institution of higher learning is no guarantee your understanding is trustworthy or even accurate.
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 “Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Matthew 10:25-27(NASB)
34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34(NASB)
27 “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Matthew 11:27(NASB)
These are a sample of many texts which convey the importance, the necessity, to know God; therefore it is necessary to study all the information God has been pleased to give us, that we may acquire the knowledge to know Him. God has certain requirements and expectations which are revealed by this information. God provided this information to His prophets, including the last, and greatest Prophet, His only begotten Son. All the required information we will be held accountable for, is contained in the “Law and the Prophets”, and the testimony of Jesus.
Two thousand years have passed since the Son of God delivered His testimony, how certain can we be that His testimony remains trustworthy? The testimony of Jesus, the message/teaching He gave to His twelve disciples, is one of the distinguishing features of the “last of the offspring of the woman; those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17). The testimony of Jesus is the “Eternal Gospel” (see Revelation 14:6). The testimony of Jesus is the “Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 24:14). An “eternal gospel” never changes, is never lost, it remains forever. The significance and application of this eternal gospel, this testimony of Jesus, provides the required information to pass from death into life, and to enter the kingdom of God. The gospel of the kingdom explains what we need to know, to know God.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3(NASB)
The preparation of the 144,000(Revelation 7:3, 4) comes to light in the time just prior to the great tribulation. The Son of God revealed to His disciples that this preparatory process would began in the days leading up to His return (Matthew 24:42-51). Absent from this process, is a specific “face to face” calling of the person described as the “faithful and trustworthy bond-servant”. This person is the one foretold by the Son of Man, as the “Elijah” who would accomplish the restoration (see Matthew 17:11). He, like John the Baptist, would not have a “face to face” call from God. He would learn everything from the study of the record of His eyewitness’s testimony. This person is described as “the head of the house” and has the responsibility of feeding his fellow bond-servants. This food is the testimony/words of the Son of Man, which He received from His Father; it is the seed He “planted” in His disciples. Two of His disciples, Matthew and John, wrote down the words of His testimony, and these words have been preserved by God for the appointed time lf the end.
13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. John 16:13-15(NASB)
25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:25-26(NASB)
The Son of God did not leave us alone upon His return to His Father, His sent His Mother, the Holy Spirit, to not only preserve His testimony, but to teach those willing to listen to the words of His testimony. This is not Mary, I am speaking of, it is the Holy Spirit of God who is responsible for this. The Holy Spirit is described in Revelation 12 as a woman in the heavens. This woman is about to give birth; she gives birth to a male child who is caught up into the heavens and sits on God’s throne to rule the kingdom of God.
“I gazed into the visions of the night. And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, one like a Son of Man. He came to the one of great age and was led into His presence. On Him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship (given a kingdom), and men of all peoples, nations and languages became His servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will His kingdom ever be destroyed. Daniel 7:13,14 (JB)
At the time of the end this same woman gives birth again, to the last of her offspring, these are those who keep the commandments of God and have/hold to the testimony of Her Son. If you really do not believe that the testimony of Jesus is reliable because of its age, then you cannot believe resolve of God. This resolve is to ultimately and finally cleanse the earth of all impurity/sin/rebellion. God will accomplish this in a lawful manner. The testimony of His Son, put into practice, is the only lawful way for this to be accomplished. This is the reason why the evil one has, is, and will continue to make the testimony of Jesus of little, to no affect. The writings of Matthew and John, as well as that of Mark, must take precedence over every other writer since the Son of Man went back into the heavens. To know the truth about God, we must learn from His students/disciples. We must listen to the words as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. If we turn our back to the truth, we are turning our back on God, for God is truth. The testimony of Jesus is the guidebook to follow along the narrow way that leads to the kingdom of the Father. Jesus does not carry, drag, or push us; He accompanies us through the presence of His Spirit.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil; And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed; but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’ John 3:19-21(JB).
It is vital that we learn what God expects us to know concerning our salvation and to enter His kingdom. He has warned us about the believability of imposters, posers who cunningly pass themselves off as the Messiah, or an apostle or prophet; these are deemed “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. The warning we have been given should not be treated casually. There is a conviction among Christians that those who worship God, go to church, live a “good” Christian life, cannot be deceived, don’t be fooled, our only protection comes from knowing the truth. Lies are the home of all that is evil. To believe a lie is to give your assent to this world, the kingdom of darkness. God does not hold you accountable until you have heard the truth; which then enables you to make right choices.
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false Revelation 2:2(NASB)
Confidence is good thing when we know the facts in evidence. Confidence can be lethal when we merely believe or assume, even if everyone else we know shares the same belief. Christians believe that every word, verse, chapter and book in the Bible is divinely inspired, is there evidence that would confirm this belief? The evidence I have found has demonstrated that God does not “protect” His word from alteration.
“How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie. Jeremiah 8:8(NASB)
The law of the Lord, here stated, is the first five books in the Bible. God spoke the words of the Law to Moses on Mt. Horeb. The lying pen of the scribes was their interpretation of its intent or meaning. The parable of the planting of the “wheat and tares” describes the believability of lies introduced/planted by the devil, insinuating a sense of certainty, by giving humanity what they desire, not what they need. As the parable describes, the field is the world. The good seed represents the sons of the kingdom (kingdom of God). The bad (tares) seed represent the sons of the devil. The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. Both grasses are allowed to grow until harvest, as this is when the distinctive differences will be clearly evident. The reason the tares were allowed to grow to maturity the differences would be clearly evident. Prior to harvest, some of the wheat could have been uprooted. So it appears that by allowing both to grow together until harvest, allowed the tares to protect the wheat from premature removal. You are what you eat; seed is both for planting and eating. The seed the Son of Man planted represent the words He spoke (His testimony). His disciples, by representation, ate these words and grew into plants bearing fruit; the fruit are the grains of wheat.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37(NASB)
“And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23(NASB)
This parables use of the symbols of seed and sower, help us to understand the meaning of the symbol, seed and sower, and then how the devil imitates the action of the Sower. The soil represents the world. The soil (people of the world) receive the food/seed of both who scattered seed. It is evident that the words of both are represented by seed that is sown. At the time when the wheat reaches full maturity the grains of the tares have an observable difference. The record of the words/testimony of the Son of God is contained in Matthew, Mark, and John. Luke was not a disciple of Jesus, nor an eyewitness to His ministry. Luke’s account does not agree with any eyewitness and is therefore unreliable.
If anybody does not keep within the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he cannot have God with him; only those who keep to what He taught can have the Father and the Son with them. If anyone comes to you bringing a different doctrine, your must not receive him in your house or even give him a greeting. To greet him would make you a partner in his wicked work. 2John 9-11(JB)
The standard of truth is the testimony of Jesus any teaching that differs in any way from the teaching of the Son of God, is a lie. Paul’s teaching is markedly different; by his own admission His “gospel” was different from that of the two disciples, Peter and John. He scolds the membership in Galatia, in his letter to them.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10(NASB)
Compare the gospel of the kingdom, Jesus testimony He received from His Father, with the teaching of Paul, and you will see they are completely different. The “gospel of the kingdom” is the “eternal gospel” proclaimed by the first angel (see Revelation 14). Jesus taught obedience to the commandments was a requirement for anyone to receive eternal life (see Matthew 19:16-22). Paul taught salvation by faith operating through grace, not by keeping the law (Ten Commandments). In the text of the letter to the Galatians, Paul calls down a curse on the Son of God, how; because the Son of God preached a different gospel then Paul did. It is not the purpose of this article to thoroughly vet all the differences between the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of grace. Do your own research, compare the teaching/words of the Son of Man with the teaching/words of Paul, and you will see that Revelation 2:2 applies to this self-proclaimed apostle.
God expects righteousness; a righteousness that is real and not gifted. The narrow gate and the hard way is the way of the righteous. This is not because it is too hard to be righteous; righteousness is a way of living, just as sinfulness is. The difficult part is the persecution and ridicule brought upon these by the “faith/grace” group. The Ten Commandments are the covenant of love, the marriage covenant, between God and His people/kingdom. To break one of these commands is to break the marriage vow. God understands and forgives, His loving kindness is everlasting. He will not allow repeated disobedience.
There is a difference between lawful and legal, between law abiding and legalistic. Look up the difference between “common law” and “Roman civil law”. Common law is best summed up by the counsel, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Civil law is legislated and is codified by a committee of elected or nonelected officials. The Catholic Church during the dark ages is a prime example of authoritative Roman civil law.
When a person comes to the understanding of the fact that they are a sinner, and as such are dwelling in darkness, they must choose whether to remain a sinner or to become holy. If the choice is to become holy, the first step is to pray for God’s guidance and instruction. The Spirit of truth will lead us into all truth; this is how the sanctification process is accomplished. Every unrighteous element will be made known to the sinner and they must confess each sin and God will forgive that which has been confessed completely, and will grant each penitent sinner cleansing, and strengthen each one along the way to holiness and the kingdom of God.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30(NASB)
Jesus testimony contains a clear warning that all must take great care to keep from being deceived.
And Jesus answered them, ‘Take care that no one deceives you; because many will come using My name and saying, “I am the Christ”, and they will deceive many. Matthew 24:4(JB)
Not all who claim to be preaching for the cause of Christ are being truthful; only those who are proclaiming His words, the words He spoke in the presence of His chosen disciples. Many self-proclaimed apostles have come along after Christ returned to His Father; all are frauds. Only those who uphold and preach the words of the testimony of Jesus are serving Him as He instructed. Anyone who promotes and teaches a different message than the one recorded by the eyewitness disciples, are lying and blaspheming the word of God. Each individual is responsible for what they choose to accept as truth. Only those who are honest with themselves will know and recognize cleverly designed deceptive teachings.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, not figs from thistles, are they? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “ A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20(NASB)
Here the key is offered, the key to knowing who is telling the truth regarding the source of their message, their fruit. Quite simply, the fruit of truth is true, the source of all that is true is God. God gave His Son a message for the sons of men, we need to learn the words of His testimony and plant them in our heart where they will take root, sprout and grow to maturity. The words of the Son of God are seeds of truth, they are the fruits of His testimony. The words of the great deceiver are seeds of treachery; he is the source of all that is not true. The Son of God uses the example of plants producing fruit. A grape vine will always yield grapes; a thorn bush will never yield grapes. A good tree and a bad tree, each tree bears fruit. The source of truth, represented by the good tree, is the Son of God, followed by His disciples. The source of lies, the bad tree, is the evil one, also called the enemy; he also has disciples/apostles. Someone who is not honest with themselves will say this; the fruit of both trees is good; because they are growing side by side in the same orchard. They confirm this conviction by the belief that God would never allow anything bad in this particular orchard; because he owns the orchard. This conviction is held by everyone who has determined in their own mind that every word in the bible has come from God alone. In this example the bible is the orchard, God is the good tree, and the evil one is the bad. If you are honest with yourself, take a close look at the teachings in the “New Testament” and compare all teaching included there, you will see without a doubt that the teaching of Paul differs completely from the testimony of Jesus. The only evidence offered in support of Paul are his own words and the words of his followers Luke and Apollos (who may have been the author of Hebrews).
He put another parable before them, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off….Matthew 1324-25(JB)
Then, leaving the crowds, He went to the house; and His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Explain the parable about the darnel in the field to us’. He said in reply, ‘The sower of the good seed is the Son of Nam. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the evil one; the enemy who sowed them, the devil…Matthew 13:36-39(JB)
This parable concurs with my illustration above, the seeds of wheat are good; the seeds of darnel/tares are bad. The bad seed is planted after the good, and after the sower had gone away. This illustrates that the work of the devil planting the seeds of deceit after the Son of Man left the earth and returned to His Father. The seeds of darnel were scattered among the wheat, not separate from them. The angel messengers asked if they should remove the darnel, but were told to let both grow until harvest (the end of the age), because some of the wheat may be uprooted along with the darnel. At the end of the age the darnel is collected first; so it is, at the end of days, the fruit of the bad seed is piled up for destruction. It would stand to reason, that the Bible contains both good and bad seed. The words of God and the words of the enemy/devil have been allowed to “grow” together until the harvest (end of days) when the fruit of the evil one is clearly differentiated from the fruit of the Son of Man. What this means, this growing together, is those who eat the words planted by the Son of Man represent the wheat. Those who eat the words planted by the enemy are the darnel/tares. Don’t be fooled, not all words in the bible are words of life, some are words of death. All words/seeds planted prior to the testimony of the Son of Man are trustworthy, only those “planted” after He returned to His Father in the heavens are deadly.
God the Father gave His Son the words of truth, and sent Him to this world to testify to the truth about God. Since that time there has never been a need for any other prophet, messenger, or apostle with a different message, more words, clearer meaning or interpretation. All who have claimed or represented themselves as having received information which God has instructed them to give to the “church” or a certain group etc. are frauds. Only those who uphold the words, the teaching of the Son of Man are to be trusted. The Son of Man gave us all the information we need to receive eternal life, anything else is eternal death.
7 “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:7-10 and 20-21(NASB)
I believe that this prayer may have been offered on the night of His arrest. What amazes me is that even though the Son of God knew what He was about to endure for the sake of the righteous and righteousness, He was concerned about what would become of His words, those precious words of life which He gave to His disciples. And in this prayer He asks His Father to bless those who read his words that His disciples (Matthew, John, and Peter-through Mark) that His words will be preserved so that all who listen to them, at any time in the future, that they will be made one with He and the Father, just as they are one. The words of the Father, as given to us by His Son are most precious, more precious than gold, platinum, diamonds, or anything of value, for they are the words that give eternal life.
Now is the time to prove what you would have done if you had been there, at the time of the flood, at the time of the exodus, during the days of the prophets, at the time of the testimony of the Son of God. Don’t be counted among those who are fooled again.
Rick Sterling

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