When Saul committed sin by disobeying God, he blamed it on the people that he listened to their word. "I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, ... because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice." (1 Sam. 15:24)

The people around him also are the cause of the fall of Saul.

You know what the problem is today? Similar people are in our midst today.  If preachers are not careful, they will flatter them and convert  them into wolves.

T. L. Moodi, the renowned evangelist of God once gave a powerful message and got down from the stage.  A man came running to him, shook his hands and said, "Mr. Moodi, you gave a wonderful message today."  Moody replied, "Satan had told me this even before you said". That man kept quiet.

The servants of God would be at risk if they don't have the wisdom to snub these overly pious flatterers.

In Tamil Nadu there are lots of chances for the preachers to be kept on a pedestal, which may eventually lead to their fall.

Falling at their feet ... garlanding them ... treating the kerchief and other things used by them as sacred ... praising them sky-high instead of praising Jesus ... we can go on listing such blunders.

In 1985, I was surprised to find in the prayer room of a home the picture of Jesus and also that a famous evangelist.  I was shocked when I heard them explain the reason:

"Only after attending his meetings, we received a lot of blessings. Now, before doing any job, we spend a few minutes praying in front of his photograph, and we succeed in our work."

What a pity!

These types of people are dangerous.  To such people you should explain the truth and lead them to trust only in Jesus.  Or, they would cause many to fall.  Signposts showing the path can not become the actual path.

Servants of God should be careful in this matter.  Even if people get emotional and treat you as God, you should be honest and show them the real God.

Paul had that honesty.  That is why when people treated him as God and brought garlands, he rent his clothes and exclaimed, "Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you ... ye should turn unto the living God." (Acts 14:13-15)

Secondly, the ignorance of people is the reason for the rising of false prophets.  Many exploit this ignorance and spread false doctrines.

Many of us open the Bible only in prayer meetings and during church worship.  Otherwise we never open the Bible and read.

Some others bring the Bible to the meetings but do not bother to open it and read.  Believers should never feel lazy when it comes to improving our Biblical knowledge.

You have lot more to do with the Bible, beyond church worship and meetings.  Read the Bible intently and understand the content.

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to understand the Bible make use of all available means.  Only then would your Biblical knowledge improve.

Without the knowledge of the Bible it is impossible to be firm in our Christian life.

It all looks fine, but how to grow in Biblical knowledge, you may ask me.  Well, first let us know to whom God preaches the Bible.

Isaiah 28:9 answers this question.  He will teach only to those who desire the word of God, like children weaned from milk.

God does not bother about the people who approach the Bible with n all-knowing attitude.  When you stand before the Bible you should realize your emptiness, your ignorance and your defects.  The greater this realization the better would be your understanding of the Bible.

Secondly the motive for reading the Bible should be correct.  Ask yourself the questing, "Why do I want to read the Bible?" and find the answer.  Why do you want to read the Bible?

  • To preach to the others.

  • To improve the Biblical knowledge.

  • To debate with others.

  • To find the way in which I have to walk.

Of the four motives given above, only the fourth one is correct.

We need to study the Bible only to walk in its way.  When we experience this, we can preach to the others.

You should read the Bible with thirst and with an intension to make decisions.

If you motive for reading the Bible is correct, there is no hindrance to your understanding the Bible.

Even if you are not educated or even if you have not studied theology in the Bible School, if your motive is correct, you can easily understand the Bible.

Only those who have not understood the Bible properly, are easily deceived.  We learn in Matthew, Chapter 4 how God thwarted the attempts of Satan, using verses from the Bible.

So, read the Bible.  Meditate upon the verses with the help of the Holy Spirit.  If you hear a man or a man of God saying something not said in the Bible, just reject him without hesitation.  Identify those who twist the verses.

Any preaching supporting a one-sided view is unhealthy.  The Bible is not one sided: it is a two-edged sword.  One-sided preaching will make you weak slowly.

Identify persons who distort the Bible.  If possible strictly show them their folly.  If they do not listen, part company with them, because your soul is important for you.

Treat the servant of God as your guide, but make sure that the guide leads you only towards Jesus, the only way.

Depend on Jesus for everything and then, neither tiger nor wolf shall touch you.

 

(From next month on, in this section 'Warning News' we shall read about a matter titled 'Numbers All')