Sermons & Sunday Schools

Discerning the Propensities Found in the Character of False Teachers, Part 2

In this sermon, Pastor Babij examines 2 Peter 2:15-16 and the comparison of false teachers afflicting the church with ancient Balaam. Pastor Babij explores the OT narratives regarding Balaam in Numbers 22, 24, 25, and 31 to reveal another propensity of false teachers: these teachers leave the right way for the wrong way. This wrong way is full of pride and greed, so wise believers today must beware of teachers following the way of Balaam and instead look for teachers who are humble, self-controlled, and genuinely intent on doing good.

Full Transcript:

This morning we’re back in 2 Peter and I want you to turn to chapter 2 because we’re going to look at several verses, 14-16. Have your Bibles ready because we’re also going to be in the Old Testament, in Numbers 22. Remember where Numbers is? It’s right after Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus. I’ll be reading a lot of Old Testament passages so be ready to look at the Word of God.

Let’s look at 2 Peter 2:14-16:

Having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.

Let’s pray, Lord this morning as we look at Your Word, open it to us and help us to understand it and put the principles into practice in our daily lives. Make us Christians who are discerning and know what’s going on, especially by way of what’s being taught today. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.

So we have been considering the character and conduct found in false teachers and have been given an illustrative picture of who they are. The Apostle Peter dealt at length with false teachers and has still more to say. False teachers and their teachings are a far greater problem than we realize. It just goes to show how much God considers these false teachers to be and these Scriptures before us serve as a severe warning to every person who would dare to deny Christ.

Peter is writing this right before he dies and he thought this subject was to be dealt with at length before he departed. Jude was going to write something completely different and stops to realize he had to write about false teachers above anything else. Paul told the Ephesian church when he was leaving them that false teachers would come right from their own midst and outside the church as well.

You wonder is it really that much of a danger? Well if you look at Scripture then you have to conclude that yes it is. No matter who the teacher is or how smooth and charismatic, no matter how fluent and great an orator, no matter how creative and sharp a thinker, no matter how authoritative in presence, no matter how well liked and appreciated, no matter how popular and well known. If he or she denies the Lordship of Christ in their teaching and lifestyle and if he or she regularly mishandles and twists the Word of God, then he or she is a false teacher.

They must be immediately abandoned and exposed and you cannot let them in your mind. They have teaching that is destructive to the forward progress and movement of a Christian who wants to obey the Lord and live a life of godliness and holiness. So we already saw in Scripture the few messages that glimpsed into God’s sovereignty and that is that the Lord knows how to reserve the unjust for the day of judgment and punish them. The Lord will deal with sin and the ungodly justly and fairly.

So false teachers will be judged and also will go apostate and destroyed. It already told us in Scripture in 2 Peter 2:12-13:

But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you.

They will receive full payback for the wrongs they have done. This is the reward they earned: God’s justice. At the end of verse 14 it says there are cursed children and I ended it last time saying this is an hebraism used all over the Word of God to describe those who have gone astray. It includes children of destruction, wrongdoing, wrath, and disobedience.

Now we come to 2 Peter 2:15 and ask this question of why false teachers are destroyed. For the rest of 2 Peter 2, the Apostle Peter wants to gain a clear description of false teachers so that God’s children can quickly identify them and dismiss their teaching and not follow their way. The character and conduct of false teachers are exposed here in this Scripture.

So we have been discerning the propensities found in the character and conduct of false teachers and we have already looked at the first one that false teachers have the propensity of being prideful. The second thing is that they have the propensity of being unteachable and thirdly that false teachers have the propensity of being controlled by unblemishing lusts. This morning we want to look at a fourth propensity and that is to leave the right way for the wrong way. Notice what it says in 2 Peter 2:15:

Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.

This passage of Scripture is narrowly revealing to us that there is a right and wrong way that you can go in life. The term the way is the pattern or road one chooses as they move through life. In this case, the false teachers knew the right way to live yet forsook it for another way. The apostate’s wandering was not due to a disorientation or getting lost but a willful apostasy against God and a rebellion against His Lordship. These good for nothings don’t live according to conscience guided by right and wrong, or truth and morality, or holiness and godliness, as Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.

It was Yogi Berra, a baseball player and coach who was famous for pithy sayings. He said one time that, “When you come to a Y in the road, take it. You can’t stay at the Y in the road because there is really no neutral position or choice.” You are going to take one way or the other way. You are either going to take the right way or the wrong way. The false teacher started on the right way but forsook it. They couldn’t stay neutral though and had to take another way.

In this case, they took the old, world’s way and the way of the flesh. The charges against these false teachers are they they once knew better than to do what they’re doing. They’re not acting in ignorance but have left the straight way and have wondered off course deliberately. The wisdom literature in proverbs addresses the issue of those who lead the straight and upright path of wisdom for another path that turns out to be a crooked path.

Turn quickly to Proverbs 2:11-17, and you will find that this is wisdom given to young people that are going to be working in the kingdom of the king. The king wants wise people to work for him. So that’s what Proverbs is about: teaching young people what it means to be wise. So they steer away from being foolish and naive and from being a scoffer. So it says in Proverbs 2:11-15:

Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things; from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.

That is something you need to be aware of. Not all people who claim to speak the truth are not always in their heat and in motives leading or desiring to lead people on the straight path, but instead on the crooked path. These false teachers leave the right way, the way of life, the way following Jesus, and the way of the apostolic doctrine delivered to the Church in order to follow something or someone else. They can’t stay neutral but they must do something else, like cleverly devised fables, destructive heresies, and sensuality. They follow greed, money, and power for boastful pride and self-will.

In 2 Peter 2:15 it says:

Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.

Now I want to look at that from the Old Testament. Turn to Numbers 22, which is an illustration and example of the prophet Balaam. It is examining his way of thinking and motive for living. King Balak was a Moabite king. He was part of an anti-Israeli coalition. The Moabites were descendants of Lot. They have been spared by Israel and by the Lord up until this point but they fell into hedonism and spiritual bankruptcy because of idolatry. The ended up worshiping the gods of Kimash and Baal. And of course they came to the point where they found out their gods were not as helpful.

So King Balak became afraid of Israel and her God. He heard what the Israelites had done to the Amorites. He also heard that the Israelites took care of them in such a way that they annihilated their whole group of people. It says in Deuteronomy 3:2:

But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have handed him and all his people and his land over to you; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.

So they killed him and his sons and all his people until there was no remnant left and they possessed his land and annihilated everybody. There was no next generation. With that information, then I want you to look at Numbers 22:1-4 which says:

Then the sons of Israel journeyed, and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho. Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel. Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this horde will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time.

Here is the situation, Israel is camping outside their territory and they realized all the history of what happened to the nations who try to go up against Israel. So Balak says he will not go up against them with his army and has to find another way. So the book of Numbers chronicles a new method of seeking to destroy the children of Israel. The method for destruction was not a formal attack against Israel. It was an attack from within. Balaam waste only gentile prophet or soothsayer who seemed to be a friend of Israel.

Balaam had been following in the history of Israel and their God and we see his knowledge of what God did with Israel against other people in the three oracles of Balaam later on in Numbers. Balaam had an underlying motive for his craft. He was seduced in part by the love of money. Balaam loved the wages of unrighteousness which is what Peter says. Balaam took the way of his own sinful heart and his own habitual sin and notice what it says in Numbers 22:7:

So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak’s words to him.

Now remember Balak is the king of Moab who doesn’t want to fight against Israel. Balaam is the prophet that they’re seeking out to hire with money. So they have in their hand the payment of divination. They’re going to pay him for doing something for them. Balaam was the best at his craft in the region and because of this he pretty much named his fee because he was so good. Ultimately Balaam wanted gold more than God and he wanted to serve the king of Balak and do what he says.

Now the narrative was unusual because Balaam’s heart was bent on silver and gold but at the same time, there was a reverence for God that comes our of Balaam. In fact he was saying a lot of things from Scripture that were true. So he has a severance for God but at the same time he has a motive in his heart for gold and possessions and money.

So he has an appearance of religiousness to cover his covetous practice. That’s exactly what false teachers do and it doesn’t mean they don’t use the Bible or truth in Scripture, they just have an underlying motive as to why they are doing or teaching it. We can’t always see the motive but we can sure be discerning enough to know how God works to be able to pick out false teachers the they begin to teach and write books and be on tv and the internet.

In fact in Jude 1:11, which is the next book after 2 Peter, it says:

Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have given themselves up to the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

It also says in 2 Peter 2:15:

They have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness.

So it’s very clear in Scripture everywhere you look you find the motive of Balaam. But when you read Numbers you can’t always pick it out unless you see the details. So let’s go back to Numbers 22:8-13 and what it says. King Balak of Moab wanted to hire Balaam the prophet to do something for him. Balak sent messengers to summon Balaam to put a curse on the children of Israel. So Balak knew that Balaam was a well known prophet. In fact Balaam was a dreaded wizard and conjurer and some think he was associated with the school of diviners that are described in the Mari letters, as RK Harrison noted in his book.

Look at what it says in Numbers 22:6:

Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.

See that’s why they hired him because they heard that whenever Balaam says something, the people are really cursed or blessed. He became famous because of that. So nighttime was the best time for diviners to consult with their gods. Balaam knew that the God of Israel was the mighty God. He has been chronically following His mighty deeds and does first defer to God’s counsel.

He actually wants to cash in big time with this deal with Balak. But God says he cannot do what Balak wants. It you look at Numbers 22:13 it says:

So Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak’s leaders, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.”

So you would think that’s over and what God says is final. But the King Balak wasn’t going to be satisfied with that so what does he do? He sends another delegation to Balaam with more money. Balak raises the ante here with a larger, more impressive entourage and the promise to Balaam is that if he curses these people, Balak will grease his palm very handsomely. Notice what it says in Numbers 22:15-17:

Then Balak again sent leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than the former. They came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Let nothing, I beg you, hinder you from coming to me; for I will indeed honor you richly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Please come then, curse this people for me.’”

So we would not take this method in our part of the world but they didn’t want to go to war with the Middle Eastern part of the world so hiring someone to curse the Israelites was very common. This mystical way of thinking about life was very common to them. This was used by kings to come against their enemies and put their fear in their hearts.

Now let’s see what Balaam tells King Balak’s officials. It says in Numbers 22:18-21:

Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the Lord my God. “Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the Lord will speak to me.” God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.” So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.

So this great offer of wealth has lead to Balaam consulting God again hoping that God would change his mind. Everyone has a price and maybe Balaam’s price was wanting to cash in on this deal. So Balaam presumes on God’s character hoping that He will have some flexibility with him and maybe allow him to curse the people. Now why did God tell him to accompany the envoys of King Balak then?

God let him go but God was angry because he went. God was angry because Balaam’s covetousness over mastered him which was the driving force on why he was going. He wanted to curse Israel so he could get money. Look at what it says again Numbers 22:22:

But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him.

Balaam was carnally motivated so it infuriated the Lord and moved him to offer a most unusable warning to the prodigal prophet. The angel of the Lord in our text is seen to be a Christophany in Scripture. Christ shows up in the Old Testament from time to time and usually it is designated by the title the Angel of the Lord.

Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord but the prophet did not see the Angel because he was blinded by greed and covetousness. In Numbers 22:23:

When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way.

So he beat him once because he donkey saw the Angel of the Lord but he didn’t see them. So the donkey tried to veer off the path so he beat him. The drawn sword speaks of the wrath of God because the Lord is ensuing a solemn warning to the prophet who is eager for financial gain and can’t see the Angel of the Lord. In Numbers 22:24-32 it says:

Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. The angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.

There is where Peter is drawing from where he talks about that they left the way. The word way is like a snake which has a certain way on a rock. A ship has a certain way in the ocean and a man dating a woman has a certain way about him. In this case God is revealing the real motive of Balaam’s heart to go curse Israel so he can get paid. God exposes it through this story here and He says to Balaam that He is against him and that Balaam is supposed to be representing God.

His ways and conduct are opposite to God’s and Balaam was rebuked for his sinful lifestyle. God chose to use a dumb animal, a donkey, to show that those who live in sin live like a dumb animal and those who teach false doctrine are equated to dumb animals. Here the donkey is presented as wiser than a human being and as being rational and clear. The human being created in the image of God is viewed as being blind and ignorant.

So Balaam has chosen to live in an insane lifestyle. He wants to use the right words but have the motive be what he wants, not what God wants. That’s why Peter says in his text that the donkey restrained the prophet’s madness because he was living a life of insanity and selfishness. No mater what he did, all he wanted was to get money in order to satisfy the sinful flesh while rejecting or even re-interpreting all of the sound counsel and wisdom of the Lord.

So what does this mean for the children of Israel? They were standing on the threshold of the promise land coming from the desert. It was intended to encourage the children of Israel to put blessings instead of curses in the mouth of the prophet. It also bolsters up what Peter was saying that God knows how to rescue His people. Numbers tells us that no enchantment was going to come against Jacob and no divination was going to come against Israel.

God is the Rescuer and the Protector. He will bless those who bless you and curse those who use you. Moses was not unaware of this situation when he wrote this about Balaam. It says in Deuteronomy 23:5:

Nevertheless, the Lord your God was unwilling to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.

But King Balak still wanted to go on and curse Israel. Balaam could not curse what God has already blessed. In fact if you look over the Numbers 24:10:

Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have persisted in blessing them these three times!”

That’s what him meeting with the donkey on the road meant because he could only go the way God directed him to go. So Balaam did not get payment for his job assignment. A the end of the whole ordeal, Balaam ends up giving a series of three oracles of judgment concerning what happens to the foes of God’s people Israel. If anyone comes up against God’s people, something will happen.

In those oracles, Balaam says that God gave Israel victory over Egypt and made them superior over King Agag and that there will be a sad destiny for the Moabites who are going to be crushed. He said that the destiny of Edom will end the fate of Canaanites in the hands of the Assyrians and Israel will have the upper hand and the end of the Assyrian domination will come. So why did God protect the nation of Israel? He chose them, not because they were great in number or righteousness. Actually they were stiff necked people. But it says in Deuteronomy 32:10:

He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the apple of His eye.

So where did all this lead? Balaam’s covetousness led to sexual immorality, idolatry, and judgment. If you look in Numbers 31:8 says:

They killed the kings of Midian along with the rest of their slain: Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the five kings of Midian; they also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword.

It led him to his own death and notice what it says in Numbers 31:14-16:

Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. And Moses said to them, “Have you spared all the women? Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the Lord.”

So in other words Balaam was teaching Balak how to actually get Israel. He can’t curse them but he can say how to get them. He says to tell Balak’s women to have sex with the Israelite women. He is going to destroy the uniqueness of Israel and that will lead to idolatry where God will not be the only true God. And that all will lead ultimately to judgment.

If you notice in the passage of Scripture that was read this morning, that’s exactly what took place. now the men that did start procreating or having sexual relationships with the women of Man and Midian and they began to start to think that there’s no problem with it. But God was very angry. If you look at Numbers 25:4-5, 9 it says:

The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” So Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor.” Those who died by the plague were 24,000.

So was it working but God put a stop to it and warned them that they were tricked and didn’t see it. Look at Numbers 25:16-18:

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor.”

See this is how you get Israel. Balaam taught Balak how to do that even though Balaam himself could not bring a curse upon Israel because God has blessed them. So Balaam’s name became a synonym of all these sins: greed, immorality, and presumption. This caused God’s people to be led away from the straight path into all kinds of sinful behavior. If you remember back in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, when it was talking about the church of Ephesus in Relevation 2:14:

But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.

The sin of greed leads to all kinds of other sins. Some people have the motive of to say on the outside they’re a Christian and that they know the lingo and actions. But inside they really are not a Christian and really don’t want what God wants in their life but whatever they want. They think that God wants them to be happy so they can do whatever they think will accomplish that.

There’s a straight and narrow way and Christians need to stay on that way. There’s also a broader, selfish way as well and we have to determine what road someone is on when they come to teach.

The point is that Balaam is an example of a false teacher who was wordy and led God’s people into sin and destruction. All false teachers deny the Lordship of Christ become worldly by seeking possessions, money, popularity, success, acceptance, and security that the world can give them. They forsake the right way and go to the wrong way for there is no neutral way or straddling of the fence. The wrong way leads people to sin and destruction.

So most false teachers allow greed and selfishness to rule them and that is the motive of their heart. The basic message they say is that God will give healing, wealth, and other material blessings in return for money and vice versa. This is where it starts but it just gets worse as it goes along. They end up holding the Bible but they never open it up to really preach it and actually live it out. That’s quite different when you look at their life.

The true gospel doesn’t sell as a modified message and as an appeal to the base desires of this simple nature. The Word of God, when it is preached, goes against your sinful nature and what you thought about God. It replaces it with truth and directions how to live in holiness and godliness and how to deal with your relationships. That’s why Peter says in verse 15-16:

Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness but he received a rebuke for his own offense, for a mute donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the insanity of the prophet.

This is equivalent of saying and showing that you believe God but in your heart you don’t. Showing that you want to do the right thing in the world, but in your heart you don’t. God sees the heart. There are several admonitions I can throw out to you as I close this morning.

The first one is to persevere to make every effort to participate in the divine nature as Peter has been teaching. In order to demonstrate the genuine nature of your faith, you should have an observable display of the qualities of the divine nature that you see in your life as you grow in Christ. By doing this you make your salvation sure and your Christian walk becomes stable. No matter where our country goes, that plan of God does not change. His plan for the church is to preach and live the gospel.

Adorn the gospel with your life and do what you ought to be doing so that God grows you by His Word. Secondly, don’t be naive to think that you can’t be influenced by false teachers for it is everywhere. Theirs are the most popular books, which are pretty much motivational works in psychology. Pride and greed are clear marks of a false teacher.

True teachers should stand out clearly in stark contrast to false teachers. In 2 Peter indulges the flesh but a true teacher has their flesh under control. A false teacher despises authority but a true teacher submits to authority. A false teacher is a daring and self-willed person. A true teacher is humble, teachable, reverent, and speak good of others. A false teacher is unrestrained by lack of knowledge and hindered by ignorance. A true teacher is restrained and does not exploit others or exhibits their own knowledge.

A false teacher is involved with reveling, partying, and carousing. A true teacher is self-controlled and disciplined. A false teacher looks out for opportunities to sin and are trained in greed. True teachers look out for opportunities to do good and are trained in generosity. A false teacher goes astray but a true teacher follows the way of righteousness and does not divert from it. A false teacher promises blessing and does not deliver blessing. A true teacher is fruitful and a source of blessing to others most likely because they just teach God’s Word as written.

True teachers model godly character and as a result they become a source of blessing to all kinds of people. You can be that kind of person too. There’s another admonition that I want to share. If you are going to take up the Word of God and teach it, then remember that there is a stricter judgment on teachers. James 3:1 says:

Do not become teachers in large numbers, my brothers, since you know that we who are teachers will incur a stricter judgment.

That’s a frightening judgment for anyone who is going to take up the Word of God and teach it to someone else. Preach if the people don’t like it and keep doing it until you have the people who want it. 2 Timothy 2:15 is an admonition to us:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

They are not ashamed because they rightly handle the Word of God. They never let up but just keep going. It is hard work but also profitable. I pray this morning that you would grow in discernment by knowing the Word of God so when you are confronted or read a book, you can immediately pick up this lingo that shows they don’t understand the Scriptures and how they live out what they say.

So I pray that we would all stay close to the Word of God and not very off. It is the most sold book in the world every year but it is not popular. As soon as you open it up and read it, you say woe is me because I need to get right with God.

Let’s pray. Lord I thank You this morning for Your people and the Word of God. It exposes our hearts so clearly and when it does Lord, I pray that we would not run from You but to You with our sin. We know You are faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Make us faithful and persistent to the Word of God. Give us perseverance to not step back in the old life but to continue forward. When we do that, we will receive peace and joy and a blessing in our souls. The hope of eternal life will become much clearer and much easier to see. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen. Let’s stand together.