Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Truth vs Error 6/07/01

1 Timothy 4:1-16

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Is it important to learn of the things of God? If so, how much knowledge is enough? How old do we have to be before we do not need to learn anymore of the things of God? Are we interested in learning? Why learn of the Bible?

In the last verses of Peter's second epistle we receive some insight into an answer to some of these questions. Concluding with his last words of encouragment, comfort and direction, as Peter writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he tells us of the importance of not being led away be the error of the wicked, but that we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Life is about learning, therefore we will be in need of a Teachers all of our lives, with the Holy Spirit being our Teacher, who teaches us of Jesus Christ, who came to reveal the heart of His Father to us, the heart that desires to save all. Depending on our age, we rely upon those in whom the Holy Spirit lives and who are guided by the Holy Spirit to assist us growth in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. This knowledge comes from the revealed Word of God, the Bible, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Whether we are elderly, middle aged, a youth, or a child, we are continually being bombarded with information, with much of it being basic knowledge that is beneficial and needful for this life. Most of the information of this nature relates to how to get along in this life and as long as it does not involve other people or effect other people, one could say that these things are somewhat neutral biblically speaking. Nevertheless, they yet are addressed in the Bible as the Bible gives principles for every aspect of our physical life.

Other information that we are being invited to believe and trust in does not come from the foundation of Truth. This type of information and knowledge involves our eternal destiny and often times what seems right and feels right is not according to Truth. In the 14th Proverb, it is said in this way.

KJV Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

To be able to discern what is right and what is wrong, we must first of all know the truth.

KJV John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It is also mandatory that we rightly build upon the foundation of Truth.

1 Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

If we are in the truth we will hear and follow Jesus Christ.

KJV John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

KJV John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
KJV John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

As we consider the information barrage that we are faced with each day, perhaps it will be helpful to use the two main contrasting approaches that are commonly used by all to determine what is truth.

Truth begins with the Bible, is explained by the Bible and therefore the Word of God is Truth.

Error begins with the various media commentaries/opinions/interpretations, is explained/rationalized outside of the Truth of the Word and ends up as one's truth.

We could ask ourselves these questions: Where is the starting point for my search for the truth? How do I know that I am teaching or preaching the truth? How do I know that I am not believing and teaching something out of my own imagination in my mind? Let us consider this 4th chapter of Paul's letter as we think on these all important questions.

The two letters that Paul wrote to Timothy are commonly referred to as the Pastoral Epistles which means that they primarily speak to those who have been given to preaching and teaching, but yet contain principles which apply to all believers. This text is found in the 1st letter of Paul to his young co worker, Timothy, who is anywhere from 30 to 40 years old according to various commentators. Paul is leaving Timothy at Ephesus to "charge them that they teach no other doctrine'" and that they not succumb to fables and endless questions about "whose family/group they descended from." He then goes on to teach about various subjects over the first three chapters in the letter, ending with an encouragement to Timothy to stand on the doctrine of Christ. Teach the Truth and resist false teachings. Paul was planning to come to Ephesus, but in the meantime, he instructed Timothy to conduct himself according to the counsel that had been given to him.

KJV 1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, (pedigrees, ancestries) which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
5 Now the end of the commandment (goal of instruction) is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1 Timothy 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

As Paul begins this fourth chapter, He (Spirit) speaks of the reality of false teachings and their effect upon believers in the "latter times." We could say that their starting point (false teachers) was at the top of the column on the right side of our comparison chart. The teachers departed from the Truth, fell into error themselves and therefore taught error.

KJV 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Paul calls Timothy/us put "these things" into remembrance to those to whom he is teaching/leading. "These things" seems to refer to everything that he has written previously in the letter. But here he points out that which was the cause of their going away from the truth, (v 1) of how their conscienses became hardened and of how they began to lie in their teaching and preaching. (v 2) He then gives two examples of the specifics of what they were teaching which was not according to the Truth. (v 3-5) They went away from the Word. Oh, Lord, help us to see, to believe and to obey Your Word.

6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things command and teach.

In verses 6-11, we are told that when we remind our hearers of "these things," we will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, being nourished, (feeding upon, living on) the words of faith and of good doctrine (teaching) of that which we have already attained. (followed/following) We that teach must be continually be nourished by the Word that we are preaching and teaching, so that we will be nourished and fed by the Lord Himself. The feeding of oneself is placed before the teaching aspect of the ministry and not after ward. May we be mindful of that important truth. May we spend time with Him in His Word for the purpose of being fed and nourished by the Bread of Life. He then again contrasts the false starting point with the true starting point. (v 7-8) The word godliness is used here with its meaning being "reverence/piety towards God." The word is used 15 times in the New Testament, 10 times in the 1st Epistle of Timothy, 1 time in Titus and 4 times in the Epistles of Peter. Here are a few of the references:

KJV 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

KJV 1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

KJV 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

KJV 1 Timothy 4:11 These things command and teach. Be directl in the teachings of "these things.!"

Paul then closes this chapter with some personal and specific instructions to his dear young "son." It seems as if there were those who were counting his youthfulness against him (Timothy), so Paul gives direction to him, saying to 'be an example of the believers." By putting on display that which he was as a child of God, he would put to silence those who would have a tendency to block out the purpose and effect of the ministry of Timothy. Paul then listed six things that Timothy was to be an example of the believers in, and then he gives more specific directions as to how to conduct himself as a "good minister."

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

He tells him to continue to read the Scriptures, to exhort people to believe them and to follow them, and to teach them. He is not to neglect that gift that has been given to him by God through the church, he is to meditate/think upon "these things, " to give himself wholly to them, so that his growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ would be evident to all. Lastly, he is told to take heed unto himself and unto those things which he is believing.teaching, to continue in them. For in the teaching of the Truth, he will be saved as well as those who hear him and that which he is teaching. What is not said here, but which is implied is that the opposite would be true also, in that if he would teach as those who were pointed out in the beginning of the chapter, both he and his hearers would be lost. .

So now we come again to the comparison chart, which shows the two starting points. Paul showed Timothy the two starting points and illustrated of how they progressively lead either to the Truth or to error.

May He help us to follow the counsel that is given here in the Word which is before us today. Whatever we hear and whatever we read, may we carefully compare it with the Scriptures, for they will explain and interpret all information which ultimately is commentary upon the Bible. It is needful for us to utilize teachers in our seeking to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, but may we be mindful that of all the teachings/writings available to us today, only the Bible is inerrant and infallible.

Truth begins with the Bible, is explained by the Bible and therefore the Word of God is Truth.

Error begins with the various media commentaries/opinions/interpretations, is explained/rationalized outside of the Truth of the Word and ends up as one's truth.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 07 Jun 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
A Memorial Day Prayer 5/31/10

In the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Our Father in heaven, the earth is yours, everything on it, in it and above it. We as your people know that you are our Creator and our God, that you have made us and that we have not made ourselves. We are your people and we are the sheep of your pasture.

Therefore, in the beauty of your creation on this day of remembrance and reflection, we enter into your presence with thanksgiving, into your courts with praise, and with thankfulness we bless your Holy Name. For you are good, your mercy is everlasting, and your truth endures unto all generations.

Today we gather at this place for this is hallowed ground into which the true heroes of democracy have been laid to rest. Lord, may it be that as we look upon their memorials, we would freshly remember that through their selfless sacrifices our freedoms have been preserved and protected from bondage and tyranny. As we reflect upon these things, may we consider our beliefs, our attitudes and our convictions and how we may contribute to the ongoing responsibilities in the protection and preservation of liberty and justice for all, under You, Dear Lord.

May the dedication and sacrifice that our fallen heroes have demonstrated be truly recognized, acknowledged and appreciated by us anew today. May their example inspire us to carry freedom forward into the future, into the next moment--Not next year, not next month, not next week, not the next day, but the next moments of our lives.

May we never forget that freedom is costly. It has cost in the past, is costing a dear price as we speak today and will continue to have a costly price in the future.

Thank you, dear Father, for the grace you have shed upon us as a nation, and may you continue to bestow upon us your grace. May this grace that we enjoy not be perceived as giving ourselves license to serve ourselves, but that as recipients of your grace we would truly love and serve our neighbor. Help us to remember that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but that sin is a reproach to its people." Bless us as we remember the examples of those who have offered their lives in a sacrifical manner, give us the grace to reflect upon that which has been done for us, and through this remembrance and reflection, may we respond with a heart of gratitude and service toward our neighbor today and tomorrow. In the Name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 01 Jun 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Truth vs Error 6/07/01
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob