"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Monday, September 12, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in 2 TIMOTHY – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER THREE: Parts ONE & TWO

INTRODUCTION: In this and in the next (and last) chapter of 2 TIMOTHY Paul issues warnings of darker days, followed by exhortations to continue in “the faith” (vs.14; in order to counteract such darkness) and to be watchful (2 TIM 4:5; in such times of darkness).
Rebellion against and intolerance of the pure doctrine of the Word will be the modus operandi of these last and dark days – not just by the rebellious world, which is understandable, but even by the professing, visible church – which is truly dismaying (as distinct from the possessing (of the Spirit) church, invisible – as being present throughout various churches who represent a righteous remnant, and who will endure faithfully to the end, keeping “the faith”).

These things are representative of “the beginning of birth pangs” that the LORD spoke of (MATT 24:8) concerning “the last days” which will increase more and more as we draw nearer to the coming of the LORD.
An interesting note: “beginning” here can also mean “beginner” as the Greek word used is arche – also defined as a leader, ruler, magistrate, etc.
Egypt had its angel of death judging that nation for its rebellion against the LORD and unwarranted persecution of Israel. I can see where the LORD allows fallen angel overlords to unleash their chaos in this evil time.

We’ll examine the complexion of the last days; the descriptives used are alarmingly familiar to us in the 21st century. We’ll also examine the oppossers of GOD, who resist the truth.

Paul is nearing the end of his letter to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith; the words are all the more potent because he is also nearing the end of his earthly life. The last thing he expounds upon in this portion of the epistle is about the Scriptures, “all [of the] Scripture” and its authority.


2 TIMOTHY 3:1-3
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money [covetous], boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving [without natural affection], unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,

The word for “perilous” in Greek is chalepos, meaning “a decreasing of strength [weakening, wearing away, wearing out, degrading], difficult, dangerous, furious, fierce”. In other words, not at all good times; times that will mirror in their complexion with the attitude of the devil, expressing “great wrath” because of his humiliation (REV 12:12).

These will be days of trials and tribulations, hardships, and harassments. These are not days that might be, but those days that “in due time” will occur. The GOD-established infrastructures that lend towards peace, stability, flourishing lives, and homes will degrade and become dilapidated by determined and devilish design.

Remember that our GOD is a GOD of order; confusion and chaos are works of Satan, who seeks to undermine the order established by our Creator and replace it with his own [new world] order that will welcome anti-Christ and the last days global system.

(Marxists use this tactic all the time; sow disorder, chaos, mayhem, and malice into a society, get various factions warring against each other, and slip into the centers of power unnoticed and initiate a coup! And that’s what this world can expect – an anti-Christ inspired coup!)

While Christ has indeed redeemed the world, paying for it with His own blood – as well as souls that by faith will receive Him (JN 1:!2-13), Satan is still calling the shots in the world system: he is still here via “squatter’s rights”, but he will lawfully and righteously be evicted one day soon when Christ returns to establish His own world order!

For every descriptive mentioned in these opening verses, there is a biblical counter that is according to the will of GOD.

Take “lovers of money” for example – what did the LORD Jesus say?

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Being “boastful” and “proud” is the very opposite of the humble, who will exalt the LORD above all else – including themselves. Meekness is not weakness, but genuine greatness in the estimation of our LORD and King who will exalt the humble (EPH 4:2; COL 3:12; 1 TIM 6:11)!

Being blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unholy and unloving are obvious in their opposition to the Word of GOD, and plainly evident today; “unloving” is translated in the KJV as “without natural affection”. Something as natural as a mother’s love.
This strikes home that we are most certainly living in the last days, when women with raised fists and brazen voices shout out “I just had an abortion and I can’t wait to get pregnant again, so I can abort that one too!” Women who have absolutely no natural, motherly affection for their unborn child grieves the hearts of saints as well as the Savior.

Being unthankful – it’s a primary characteristic of the godly, to be thankful to the LORD (PS 107:1; 118:29; 1 COR 15:57; 2 COR 1:11), even under the most wretched circumstances, because even in the worst of such times, we know that whatever we face in this temporary world is temporary – and that the day will come when we leave it all behind and enter into eternal glory, there to rejoice in the LORD, world without end!

I recall seeing a preview of The Simpsons (a show I never watched), where the son was asked to say grace at the meal to which his father’s boss was the invited guest.
The boy bowed his head and said, “Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing!”

The typical sentiment of an unthankful heart that doesn’t recognize that the Creator gave us able bodies and minds to carry out a day’s labor, Who provided circumstances and resources whereby we would find gainful employment, and blessings besides in the way of food to buy, clothing to purchase, homes and vehicles to acquire – all made of resources found in the Earth that He created.

Thankfulness to GOD is a sure protection against covetousness, envy, and bitterness.

Vs. 3 “…unloving [without natural affection], unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good…”

Unforgiveness and bitterness are cold and cruel chains around the human soul that bind them and cause them to suffer far more than the one to whom they refuse forgiveness. It is a kind of bondage that leads to hard-heartedness and an increasing disability for meaningful relationships.

“Live in a state of forgive-readiness” a pastor once said to me. “As you wake in the morning, commit your way to the LORD and decide, that no matter what happens to you, because Christ has forgiven you of all your sin, you will forgive others!”
Wise words indeed!

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Peter asked the LORD how often he should forgive his offenders and suggested seven times. The LORD corrected him and said, Seventy times seven (MT 18:21-22).
I am intrigued that the LORD gave that specific multiple. That equals to 490 times – the same number of years in Daniel’s prophecy in Chapter 9. A correlation? I think so!
In other words, we keep forgiving until Christ the King and Judge returns to Earth and let Him deal with those who’ve offended us (rather than ourselves).

There are all kinds of people who despise goodness; they used to call such good people “goody two-shoes”. Today’s expletives are far worse. This says a lot about them – who would hate that which is good, but one that is evil? Our goodness is not our own, any more than the light we have is our own: both came from the Good Shepherd Who is the Light of the world. And sadly, it’s really the LORD Jesus that they hate (not us - - so much):

JOHN 3:20
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed (JN 7:7; 15:18; 1 JN 3:13).

We have witnessed our society at a fever pitch in their lack of self-control. They indulge themselves in various passions with little or no restraint and won’t tolerate anyone telling them that they are wrong for doing so. This is of course what happens when you allow the flesh to feast, when one yields to the sin nature – it can never be satisfied, nor it’s hunger contented, nor its thirst slacked.
Left unchecked it can and will become a raging fire that leaves nothing behind but ashes, which is exactly what Satan wants!

Of all of these deplorable descriptives, what’s the one that is at the head of it all? What notorious characteristic is number one on this list that describes “perilous times”?

Vs. 2 … For men will be lovers of themselves…

Self-love, self-esteem: The Spirit of GOD Who inspired these words is stating that self-esteem is just as wicked as pride (because these really are one and the same thing!), blasphemy, being disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, etc.

The apostle Paul’s estimation of his own self-worth was summed up in ROMANS 7:18: … for I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells… and the character of sinful humanity continues in the following verses:

2 TIMOTHY 3:4-6
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Regarding traitorous behavior: loyalty is rare these days; too many are stabbed in the proverbial back because of traitorous opportunism: “if I can move up, but have to step on you to do it, sorry! Not sorry!
How many pastors have betrayed the LORD and His Word in order to get a larger congregation, greater notoriety, a higher percentage in the church offerings, in order to conform to the more politically correct, Socialist, Liberal-minded modern church, etc.?

Faithfulness towards GOD, towards the saints, towards the truth of GOD’s Word are the Divinely appointed directives for us as warriors who love the truth! We can do nothing less!

“Headstrong, haughty”: Being rash, or belligerent goes hand in hand with “haughty” – read that, unteachable. This has never become more apparent than in today’s social media: everyone is a Bible expert now (though at times, when you corner one of these teachers, they admit that they’ve yet to even read the entire Bible just once!).

Being unteachable is also a sign of pride, and pride is part and parcel with false doctrines (The LORD warned His disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” MATT 16:6). These religious leaders set about to promote their own doctrines, actually supplanting the doctrine of GOD! If that isn’t pride-soaked idolatry, then I don’t know what is!

GOD has given us all things to enjoy (1 TIM 6:17); He isn’t against pleasure – in fact, when one considers this created world we live in, there are innumerable pleasures that the LORD has provided for us: the beauty of a sunrise, or the birth of a baby; the sumptuous delight of a well cooked meal; the bond of dearest friendship; the serenity of a fishing trip on a placid lake or a camping expedition in the deep, restful forest.

The sweet fellowship in a church of GOD-loving saints. Or the intimate relationship between man and woman as husband and wife.

However, it’s when one loves various pleasures more than GOD, this is the issue. Or even if you love “the easy life” more than GOD. The man Job proved himself, just as GOD knew he would, in his love for his LORD more than anything and everything he lost!

Vs.5 “…having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

That is to say, according to what the Greek implies: “having something that resembles godliness but contradicting, disavowing, refusing (to abnegate) the power thereof” that is, the power of godliness – which ever and has always been GOD Himself, in the Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Albert Barnes comments,
“…but denying the power thereof”. Opposing the real power of [true] religion; not allowing it to exert any influence in their lives. It imposes no restraint on their passions and carnal propensities; but in all respects, except in the form of religion, they live as if they had none. This has been common in the world. The most regular and bigoted adherence to the forms of religion, furnishes no evidence in itself that there is any true piety at heart, or that true religion has any actual control over the soul. It is much easier for men to observe the forms of religion than it is to bring the heart under its controlling influence.” (emphasis mine).
Opposing godliness is opposing GOD Himself, the One Who enables godliness in redeemed sinners, and such opposition is indeed the veritable spirit of anti-Christ.

Dave Hunt observed that given the trends of the Industrial Revolution, the subsequent advancements of science, the resurgence of materialism, intellectualism, skepticism, and adherence to existentialism, and evolution, that the world would become more and more agnostic if not atheistic – that religions of all sorts would eventually die off and result in rotting corpses, having given way to the ‘superior enlightenment’ of mankind.

Yet as we look at the world today, religion is not merely “alive and well” but thriving in the New Age/Spirituality, Hinduism, Wicca and the occult and paganism – in the world of Islam and even in the so-called evangelical circles (which while increasingly apostate, is still quite prosperous with some churches numbering in tens of thousands, in facilities that would rival international headquarter campuses).
Let us not forget the dominating juggernaut that is the Roman Catholic church, with more and more Protestant denominations that are officially “returning to Rome” with no small encouragement from the Emergent Church Movement that has infested Christian churches worldwide.

Vs. 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This is practically the motto of the Emergent Church: they are indeed “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
They disdain the certainty of objective truth, of absolutes, of grammatical hermeneutical veracities that can be plainly understood. They insist that the questions are more important than the answers, and if any answers are to be found, they must be found by subjective, intuitive, non-analytical methods of mysticism rather than a devotion to the study of the Scriptures and coming to and delving into the truth as delivered by GOD: Mr. Truth Himself!

And all of these fierce and formidable factors are coalescing and homogenizing into a global network with religious affinity towards pantheism, mysticism and the kind of devilish dwelling that make the Mother of Harlots feel at home! It’s rather evident that we are seeing the makings of “the global church”.

The late Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marianne Williamson (along with Neale Donald Walsh) – New Age Spiritualists have gone on record as to say things like,

“the church has no monopoly on the Christ; He is one with us all, and every person in the world makes up a part of His church”!

Greg Reid, author (check out his latest and greatest, WAR of the AGES!), podcaster, and speaker had the keen insight that just as Christ has His bride, the church – the false Christ will likewise have his ’church’ – Mother Gaia, and the Earth dwellers that pay homage to them both!
So much for the admonition from elder JAMES!

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

TTUF has a considerable amount of information by way of video teachings and articles regarding what was called The EMERGENT Church Movement (referred to now more as The Progressive Church movement – “the name has been changed to protect the [guilty]” Joe Friday might’ve said!
Check out all of these on TTUF!

We are to turn away from such as these; separate ourselves, divide from them. With such cries for “unity at any cost” from too many churches in favor of ecumenism, may I say that “divided we stand – on the truth!”.

There are those who accuse biblical Christians of being divisive – but this is our call of duty: to admonish, reason, and prove from Scripture the truth as revealed by the Word, to pray that GOD will open the eyes of the spiritually blinded, and if this fails, then to separate ourselves from, and avoid those who spread or even just endorse false doctrine (ROM 16:17). Their false claim that we are the ones causing division is rightly placed on their own shoulders.

I say this because it is the Word of GOD, the Spirit of truth that unites all Christians (EPH 4:3; JOHN 17:21-23) who love the LORD and the Holy Scriptures. Any unbiblical belief or doctrine (leaven) is external to the church, and if it’s brought into the church, that in itself brings division, deterioration, and eventually destruction.

Whereas we who will “hold fast the form of sound words” (2 TIM 1:13) and “abhor that which is evil [and] cleave to that which is good” (ROM 12:9), are also those who don’t need to strive for unity, but “keep [maintain] the unity” already granted to us by the indwelling Spirit (EPH 4:3)


2 TIMOTHY 3:8-9
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved [reprobate] concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

I find it fascinating that of all the oppossers of the truth, that Paul would choose these two, the Egyptian magickians of Pharaohs court.
Cain opposed Abel – and murdered him (GEN 4); Moses also had Dathan, Korah and Abiram who opposed the Law Giver of Israel (NUM 16); Elijah had Ahab and Jezebel as adversaries (1 KINGS 18) – why did the Apostle choose Jannes and Jambres as examples comparative to “these [who] also resist the truth”?

I think one possibility was that these Egyptian magickians mimicked the power of GOD, but did so by the power of Satan, and then they could only pull off the masquerade so far until they had to admit, “this is the finger of GOD”! (EX 8:19).

Also, this was not merely a contest between supernatural powers, but an ideological war to prove who was the true GOD; and the LORD GOD showed Himself supreme as He took down, one by one, the ten primary deities of the Egyptian religion and with them, all of the entrenched dogmas that were part of the Egyptian religion for centuries.

Likewise, these resisters of the truth have their demon inspired power, while claiming the charisma (giftings of the Spirit) through Christ. We see this sort of thing in the Word – Faith movement where some wolf in wolves’ clothing (no need for the sheep wardrobe these days!) will send rows of congregation members to the floor, being “slain in the Spirit”, laughing maniacally, barking like dogs, clucking like chickens, exhibiting symptoms that are kundalini in spirit, not the Holy Spirit; they prophesy all sorts of nonsense and when proven wrong – their following just grows all the more (?!?).

And they come with their own dogmas, now almost fully ripe having the seeds of liberal theology and beliefs (read that apostate) planted nearly two centuries ago (check out the book written in the 19th century by Samuel James Anderson, entitled: CHRISTIANITY vs. ANTICHRISTIANITY In THEIR FINAL CONFLICT).

This hellish harvest will reap this rotten fruit and poison unsuspecting souls who crave to have their ears tickled and won’t tolerate biblical truth (2 TIM 4:3).

After examining all of this, the apostle then turns to Timothy and addresses the needful issues and exhortations to his spiritual son, ensuring that he will hold them fast and secure, and having such assurance, he shall go to his execution with this confidence:

2 TIMOTHY 3:10-12
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to [will] live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Doctrine teaches us how to live as Christians; so any talk about putting doctrine aside for some supposedly higher purpose is actually saying that they are putting biblical doctrine aside for some other doctrine – our lives are filled with deeds, actions, conduct, and these are based on one belief system or another – in other words, doctrine.

In today’s church, there is a big push for ecumenism, and even pantheism (for those elements of today’s Christianity that’s delving into mysticism by way of meditation (eastern, not biblical).

Paul’s “manner of life” lined up with his doctrine – essentially, he practiced what he preached!

His purposes were according to his faith in Christ, which allowed him to suffer long in his trials (perseverance) and persecutions, afflictions, etc. He calls Timothy to recall what he carefully studied in the life of his mentor. And Paul was alive to tell the tales of his perils because the LORD delivered him out of all of these:
“…in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting’s often, in cold and nakedness –besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2 COR 11).
I seriously doubt that we can find many promises on plaques hanging on the walls of American Christians that say:

~ Yes, and all who desire to live godly in ~
~ Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. ~

And yet how can we avoid the obvious question? Has the church here in the USA become so anemic, so watered down, so bland and so tame that it lacks the ability to offend anyone?
The Cross of Christ is an offense in the minds of the unregenerated (GAL 5:11; 1 COR 1:23). To be confronted with the truth of one’s own sinful heart, the need for repentance, a surrender to Christ, without any of which one will spend an eternity in hellfire is by the very nature of these truths offensive.

Yet today we have “a new and friendly Gospel” that preaches “the good life, the healthy, wealthy life; the positive thinking, socialism-oriented Gospel, and comfortable life” (GAL 1:6-7); that welcomes everyone, even those outside of Christ, with open arms into heaven.

Such a sentiment is a virtual slap in the bleeding Face of our Savior Who suffered agonies unimaginable to procure for us salvation and a right to eternal life! If people could legitimately make it into heaven some other way, why then would the Father ever permit His beloved Son “in Whom [He is] well pleased” to go through the passion of the Cross, which entailed infinitely more than the mere physical agony of that Roman device!

This is to say nothing of the offense Satan experiences when the biblical Gospel is shared, believed by a repentant sinner, and his roster of prisoners of war is diminished by one. Naturally, he will rouse his own slaves (contrary to their own benefit; PROV 8:36) to persecute those who come with the liberating message that can free Satan’s slaves from his devilish clutches!

Yet even among the biblical churches, less than 3% of the attending Christians regularly share their faith. I think for this reason, among several others, GOD will sent persecution and “squeeze” His true saints until the Gospel oozes out of their hearts and into the ears of their persecutors!

2 TIMOTHY 3:13
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

The Greek word for “seducer” (KJV) and here, “imposter” can refer to “a wizard”, in the sense of a muttering sort of speech, just the kind you’d expect from a seducer.
One sometimes wonders if these televangelists really believe what they say, or do they realize that they are conning people? In this verse, we’re led to understand that while they are deceiving others, they themselves are also being deceived! They believe their own lies. The deceivers and their lies will grow worse, and worse still, just as our LORD expressed when it comes to false prophets in the last days (MATT 24:11,24).

False doctrine is considered spiritual leaven, and a characteristic of leaven (yeast) is that is spreads silently, but persistently until it corrupts entirely. So if one allows just a bit of deception into one’s life, this will invite more deception, and altogether it will spread until one can’t even recognize truth from lies because they have no discernment.

2 TIMOTHY 3:14-15
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Yet just as evil men and seducers will grow worse, we saints of righteousness must likewise continue to shine brightly in the things we have learned in the Holy Scripture (DAN 12:3; MATT 5:16). The fiery Word of GOD will ensure that any leaven – be that false doctrine (MATT 16:6), or pride and sin in general (1 COR 5:1-2,8) will be burned away.
It’s interesting to note that yeast (“leaven”) can be killed by heat, it can be rendered inert by cold, but it thrives in lukewarmness – we can understand now why lukewarmness nauseates our LORD!

When I see the little ones file into their Sunday School classrooms, I have to admit to a bit of envy – I myself was saved at the relatively young age of (just shy of) 18 years of age. But to know Jesus and to learn biblical truth at eight years of age!

Timothy learned from his mother and grandmother who taught him faithfully, and were apparently commended by the apostle Paul himself. Timothy knew the Holy Scriptures from his childhood – and it made him wise for salvation through faith in JESUS!

I myself wanted to get involved in teaching the youth – but the LORD put me with 1st and 2nd grade students in Sunday School! He revealed the wisdom in this:

I was grieved with the world that teens were born into (this was back in the mid to late 90’s!), but the LORD had me instilling biblical truth into the hearts of these five and six year olds – before they became teenagers (around the years of 2003 to 2010), and hopefully avoid some of the issues that come about at that time of life, by such biblical truth planted.

A Word To Parents: Remember that your Sunday School teacher is one who comes along side you in your instruction of godliness for your children: they are not your substitute!
Consider yourself as the primary component of this team, between you, your spouse and the Sunday School teacher that is ministering to your child.

Without you being involved, the Sunday School teacher can’t be as effective as they would be otherwise. And pray for your Sunday School teacher; solicit them in prayers for you as a parent! Between the Holy Spirit, yourself, and your Sunday School teacher, these are the means by which your child will grow up and ably meet the challenges that they will undoubtedly face!

One more thing in the instruction of children, from 6 to 16 years of age: train up these children to know not only what to believe about the Bible, but also why they should believe the Bible!

Too many Christian young people are nonplussed when their college or university professor challenges their faith and they’ll need to know WHY they believe the BIBLE, not just WHAT they believe about the BIBLE!

Excellent apologetics ministries exist, with extremely helpful materials you can utilize in raising your children in the faith! Particularly on the issue of evolution, a bad theory that has inundated our society!

Check out www.crossexamined.org for general apologetics and www.creationministries.org for materials that expose evolutionary lies and deceptions.

2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

“All Scripture” – how much is “all”? Does this include the book of Enoch? The Gospel of Barnabas? How is it decided which Scriptures are inspired (“GOD-breathed”) and which are not?

Christian societies and churches no more ‘decide’ on which are authentic Scripture or inauthentic any more than a coin collector decides which coins are priceless and which are practically worthless.

The coin collector is an expert on coinage; they know what to look for and they recognize authenticity when they see it, because they follow certain standards and criteria!

Likewise Christians can recognize authentic Scripture from inauthentic by certain standards and criteria, what Bible scholars refer to as canon.
Thus the parchments, vellum and extant Scriptural sources that follow the same qualifications as the earlier Scriptures are recognized as being truly GOD’s Word. Those earlier Scriptures are compared to the first writings of Scripture – the book of JOB probably being the first written record of the LORD’s inspired Word, and the five books of Moses.

For the test of canon and how we recognize authentic Scripture, we may conclude that none of the books of the Apocrypha are inspired Scripture. The author of Maccabees testified against himself by saying, “Whether these writings are truly GOD’s Word or not, I cannot tell; let the reader decide”! Such a statement was never made by any of the holy prophets and apostles, whose writings were filled with a plethora of “Thus saith the LORD”s!

Nothing that the Spirit of GOD created was inherently flawed; GOD created Adam from dirt – but the Man was created in innocence and was perfect; his freedom of choice left a door open, that if he so chose, he could rebel against GOD, and once entered through, would obtain a sin nature and would then become inherently flawed. After the creation, with the completion of Adan and Eve, GOD pronounced it all “very good” (GEN 1:31). A misleading statement if in fact He ever created a flawed creature!

Since GOD is truly the author (having only used His prophets and apostles as “living pens” to convey His truth to parchment; 2 PET 1:21), He is no more capable of producing a flawed document than He Himself could be flawed. For this reason we understand that the Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, plenary (in the original extant documents). While there is some loss of information through translation from the Hebrew, Aramaic and the Greek into more modern languages like English, the essential truths of Scripture remain intact so that everything we need to live a godly life is contained in the Word (2 PET 1:3).

GOD ensures that His undiluted truth shall remain to all generations (PS 100:5). His Word is “profitable” – that is, serviceable, helpful for:

1) Doctrine – that which is right and true.

2) Reproof – to point out what’s not right, not true.

3) Correction – how to get it right.

4) For instruction in righteousness – how to stay right.

I heard it once said, “The Word without the Spirit – you dry up. The Spirit without the Word – you blow up. But the Spirit with the Word – you grow up!”
Understanding that the very same Spirit that inspired the Scriptures is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, after bearing all of the sins of the entire world upon His righteous soul! And that same Spirit resides in the hearts of the children of GOD to teach us, lead us, empower us to live righteously in Christ Jesus and deny our sin nature!

The WORD of GOD is a complete kit (no other accessories needed – unlike plastic model kits that say things like: “glue, paint, batteries not included”).

We need nothing from psychology, from philosophy, from the writings of mere human beings (this is not to say that godly books written by godly saints aren’t beneficial! I got a sizeable library!); we certainly are not in need of books such as the Book of Mormon, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (by the Jehovah’s witnesses) or the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita or the Tibetan Book of the Dead! Books by liberal, professing but non-believing Christian authors!

The Word of GOD equips us so that we are prepared to every good work, which are ordained for us beforehand that we should fulfill them!

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

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