A primary, if not the primary, way Satan will deceive anyone is by keeping us from reading the Word of God. A primary weapon of our warfare is studying the word of God. It is impossible to deceive a person who carefully reads the word of God. We need the weapon of the word of God.
WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
Weapon of the Word of God
by Delbert Young
Weapon of the Word of God
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:4-6, Acts 17:11, Matthew 16:6, 11, 33, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, 2 Timothy 4:3
[2 Corinthians 10:4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (emphasis added)
1. The Weapon of the Word of God
The weapons of warfare are the things that are used by God to bring down a thought that exalts itself above what God says. The weapons of warfare are also the weapons God uses to help us be obedient to Christ (2Co 10:6). That is what the term “Jesus Christ Lord” means. If he is Lord in our lives then we submit to what he says. We do things the way he wants them done. He is Lord or King. We know the way the Lord wants things done through his word. We need the weapon of the word of God.
A. Reading the Word Carefully
A primary, if not the primary, way Satan will deceive anyone is by keeping us from reading the Word of God. A primary weapon of our warfare is studying the word of God. It is impossible to deceive a person who carefully reads the word of God. Many may read the scriptures simply to read the scriptures. Not all read the scriptures carefully. What I mean by carefully is; reading the word to see if what we believe and what we have been, and are being taught is actually true.
In Acts 17 we are given the account of people who refused to be deceived. It is the account of the apostle Paul and Silas coming to the city of Berea. The Holy Spirit makes a very interesting statement about these people at Berea.
ACT 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed…. (emphasis added)
The Living Bible helps say the verse the way we need to understand it for use as a weapon of our warfare.
ACT 17:11 But the people of Beroea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really so. 12 As a result, many of them believed…. (emphasis added)
Those at Beroea were determined not to be deceived. They decided to check up on Paul and Silas. They did not agree with Paul and Silas because Paul and Silas could quote some scriptures and were well educated. Neither should we believe people today who sound educated and sound as though they know what they speak about.
The Berean’s desired to receive the Word and teachings of the apostle, but nonetheless, searched the scriptures daily. The reason they searched was to see if Paul and Silas were telling them the truth. Do you do that today? Do you search to see if your teacher or pastor is telling you the truth. If you are like most believers today, you do not. What you find is that you are constantly in turmoil in your family or at your work place. You do not grow in the Lord. You never disciple anyone. You never have spiritual answers to relevant questions. You are stale in the Lord. Christianity is only a religion to you, not a life style. You are a “sitting duck” for a fiery dart from the enemy (Eph 6:16).
1. Searching the scriptures
The Berean’s searched the scriptures. How did the Berean’s search the Scriptures? If we can learn more about how they searched then we can better search the scriptures ourselves, avoiding deceit. We can verify the facts presented bythose to whom we listen. The Greek word translated searched in Acts 17:11 is anakrino (Strong’s #350). The word means “to examine or judge; to investigate, enquire, scrutinize, sift, question; to interrogate the accused or witnesses.”
a. sifting the scriptures
The first thing the Berean’s did was to sift through the Scriptures and investigate the Scriptures. Sifting would be investigating the scriptures grain by grain. That sifting caused them to not be ignorant concerning the Word. They did not only read the Word. They sifted through the Word. They scrutinized the Scriptures. They compared what the Word of God said to what Paul and Silas said.
I do that and teach others to do that. I teach people to slow down when they read the Word. Sift the Word of God. It is better to grasp one verse, or even a part of one verse, or even one word, than to read an entire book and simply only read the book. Most think that if I read a lot I will learn a lot. That is not true. One word grasped from God will change a life.
Sifting would be likened to sifting flour. The lumps are taken out. Only the fine is allowed to pass into consumption. Jesus told his disciples to sift what the Pharisees and Sadducees said. He said it was like bad or lumpy leaven.
MAT 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
MAT 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Leaven is not bad in and of itself. The leaven of the kingdom is good.
MAT 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
All doctrine should be sifted. The only technique we can use to discover if it is leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees or leaven of the kingdom is to sift the Word. I encourage people to sift the Word.
Some people seem to think that only preachers can really “understand” the Bible. They think a person must go to a special school to comprehend what the Bible says. Many preachers would have you believe that lie. We are not told that Jesus ever went to a special school. The Word of God was given to everyone. I have two degrees in theology, but that is not how I learned to sift the Word of God. Grasp what I am about to say. You will know it is true and it will help you. When in Bible school the Bible is actually the least studied book. Doctrine books are studied much more than the Bible. What Dr. so and so wrote is more read than what the Holy Spirit wrote in the Bible. Take that from one who knows! The Bereans studied the scriptures to see if what the preachers told them was so.
b. memorizing scripture
I have always enjoyed memorizing scriptures. Anyone can do it. We all memorize our telephone numbers and addresses. We remember and memorize what we want to memorize. I make it a point to store away in my heart chapter and verse.
I remember a time when I used to get together with several preachers every week in my geographical area. We would talk and encourage one another. They would always quote from a book they had read and that sounded so very intelligent to me. I also wanted to sound intelligent. One day I said, “I wish I could quote from authors like you guys do.” One of the preachers said, “Delbert, I would give anything if I could quote from the Bible like you. You do not only quote the verse, you tell where it is located. That is far superior to what I do.” The other preachers agreed and I was blessed. Even they recognized the necessity to sift the Word. They were simply too lazy to sift.
If you acquire a concordance and do some word searching you will know more than most preachers. Preacher most often listen to tapes or read commentaries and books to get their messages. I am a preacher, so I know about these things. Searching and sifting the Word may sound like a tremendous undertaking, especially if you are hooked on the King James version. However, even if you will only read King James, by studying correctly, within a few months you will begin to notice that your knowledge has grown. Scrutinize the word and verse. Collect other translations and see how they interpret the word and verse. It is amazing what we can see and learn by simply slowing down and sifting rather than only reading.
Another aspect of searched the scriptures daily is the Bereans asked questions. They interrogated and questioned Paul and Silas. Interrogation would be a heavy questioning. When a person is interrogated, every nook and cranny is investigated. Every question that can be probed is asked and every question demands an answer. If I ask a question and get an answer like, “I plead the fifth!” I know that person is attempting to avoid and will possibly deceive me. That answer would not satisfy the Berean’s. Any answer similar to that should not satisfy us.
Get away from any preacher or teacher if they change the scriptures to make their doctrine work. Sincerely question such an act. If you know what the Bible says and your teacher teaches something different, then run. I have learned that once a person truly begins learning the Word they are always surprised and amazed at how much error is taught today. Television is full of false doctrine. False teaching is abundant. You may not agree with me now, but one day you will if you learn to sift the Pharisees and Sadducees. Question any teaching that is not scriptural.
I encourage people to ask me questions. My philosophy is that if my doctrine can be shaken then it is not stable doctrine (Heb 12:28). We all know some questions are only silly and do not matter nor have an answer. Such questions like, “Who were the sisters of Jesus?” (Mat 13:55-56), or, “Who did Cain marry?” (Gen 4:16-17), are not going to be answered. Most questions can be answered and if a person has a question they should ask.
Additionally the Bereans searched the scriptures and questioned daily. When was the last time you questioned your preacher? We must be consistent in searching and questioning to avoid deception. I promise you that going to church once or twice a week and reading a few scriptures along with the preacher will not provide a weapon of warfare for you. If you are reading this then you are interested in activating this weapon of warfare. If all you do is read along with your preacher you are playing into the hands of deception. A person must know that scriptures interpret scriptures. Without having a working knowledge of what other Scriptures say, a door of deception will be opened. Search the Word frequently. Once a week is not frequently. Also a person must know the context of the scriptures being used or quoted. The only way to know if a person is teaching the scripture in context is to either know the context of the passage, or to open to the passage and read the context. It is when a person knows other scriptures or investigates other scriptures that the context is known and deception is nullified. To do this we all need more than a few scriptures once or twice a week. Consistent study habits will provide the weapon of warfare needed.
I was at a funeral service once with a member from my church body. I was there to support my member. The brother of this member was actually preaching in the funeral. He preached from the text of Corinthians 2:9 which says,
1CO 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The husband of this member, which I have had the privilege of discipling, said he is completely out of context. The man used the verse to speak of heaven and how nothing we could imagine could be adequate to describe what God has for us when we die. That was true. I do believe there is something far beyond what we now experience when we die, but he was out of context. The next verse says,
1CO 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
The passage is about relying on the Spirit for wisdom now and today in this life. It is not about when we die. My disciple was quick to pick up on that and to pick up on the next verse that was not read. Those things are, in fact, revealed to us today by the Spirit who searches even the deep things of God. My disciples point is that we do not need to wait until we die to experience the deep things of God. Most today are deceived into thinking that when they die they will experience the deep things. No, you can experience them today.
B. Refuse to be disarmed and deceived
Those at Berea refused to be deceived. They were more noble than others that gobbled up anything they heard. I am about to make a statement that will most likely shock you. Much of what is taught today is in error. Please notice that I said “in error.” It is surrounded with error. A portion possibly is true, but error is in it. Unless you sift the Word, you will never know if it is truth or error.
If you will but notice, believers have been disarmed. We are told that the Holy Ghost is not for today. We have been disarmed. If you can not discern spirits then you are disarmed (1Co 12:8, 9). We are told that tongues are not for today. We have been disarmed. If you can’t build yourself up then you are disarmed (Jude 1:20; 1Co 14:4). We are led to believe that only preachers can understand the Bible. We are disarmed. We are told that biblical praise is not necessary. Shouting and jubilation is irreverent we are told. We have been disarmed. We are told that communion once a year is enough. We have been disarmed. We are told that a rapture will soon happen and believers will fly away. What a fairy tale that is! You don’t believe that do you? If you do then you have been deceived and disarmed. You will never overcome and conquer (Rev 2:7). Does that statement bother you? I ask you, who is correct so far? Where is your any minute rapture? We are told that there must be a great tribulation of seven years and then the Lord will establish his kingdom. People have been told that for centuries. You are deceived. You are missing the kingdom of God if you believe that. Why would Jesus instruct us to seek first the kingdom of God (Mat 6:33) if it was not available now? Would the Lord tell us to seek something that was not obtainable? We are so gullible to the messengers of Satan (2Co 11:14, 15). They scratch our itching ears. They tell us what we want to hear and we listen.
2TI 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Instead of searching, you most likely will get upset with me and those who attempt to tell you the truth. Rather than searching the scriptures daily to see if these things be so, you will be deceived. “Not me,” you say. I hope not. I truly do. I will simply say it this way. If you are not reading the Word of God on a consistent basis and searching to see if these things be so, then you are most likely already deceived. If you believe anything and everything that any preacher says and never check up on him then you are a fool. I know that is really edifying, but I would much rather you be upset with me than be deceived.
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