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The Anvil of God

1st Timothy 4:1-6

Sunday Morning, June 13th, 2004

The Blacksmith Shop

A visitor to a blacksmith shop noticed a pile of worn-out hammers lying in a corner of the shop.The blacksmith, with a brand new hammer in his hand, was pounding away on a piece of steel over the anvil in the center of the shop.The visitor, looking again at the pile of worn out hammers and then to the great anvil, asked the blacksmith, ďHow often do you have to replace the anvil, sir?ĒThe blacksmith smiled as he responded, ďNever!It is the anvil that wears out the hammers.Ē

The Bible is the anvil upon which many hammers of persecution have been worn out and cast aside over time.The Bible teaches us that Godís Word will never wear out, become obsolete, or out of date.In fact, Godís Word will outlast the sands of time!

Mark 13:31

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

This should be a most comforting thought to Godís people, because today we live in a world full of religions and books about religion.

When God says,

Isaiah 8:20

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

We can rest assured that any religious teaching that violates the revealed Word of God is to be rejected.

Why?Because Godís Word is everlasting and it will be standing firm when all the lies about it are silenced forever.

But you know, many professing Christians today donít read Godís Word.

They depend completely on their pastor, or their Sunday school teacher, or anybody else, for that matter, that happens to have some knowledge of the Bible, to instruct them in the Word.

As long as a person sounds like he or she knows what theyíre talking about, and are seemingly genuine in their approach, well these Christians will go right along with them.

Galatians 1:6-9

6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4

3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4: For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Paul was talking about false teachers, and the surprising number of Christians going along with their teaching, even though their teaching was absolutely contrary to the revealed Word of God.

This is a very dangerous thing!

Christians should not be ignorant of Godís Word!

And yet many are!

1 Timothy 4:1-6

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;

The Spirit, as He was upon Paul, at this writing, was speaking explicitly, forthrightly, and frankly to make sure that Timothy understood that false teachers would abound in the latter days.

And that Christians, ignorant of Godís Word, would be turned away from the simple truth, the sound doctrine and genuine faith of the LORD Jesus Christ, to follow a false doctrine energized by Satan himself.

When would this happen?In the latter times.

The latter times began with Christís resurrection and will continue until his return when He will set up his kingdom and judge all humanity (Lifeís Application Bible).

We are well into the latter times or the last days right now.

Today, in this world, there are many people out and about preaching the doctrines of the devil, having had their minds corrupted from the simple truth of the Gospel of Christ, and fashioned to believe a false doctrine of Christ. We call them cults. Cults look like, sound like, and even act like genuine Christians, but their teaching is corrupt and anti-Christian.

Matthew 7:15-18

15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

When you go to an apple tree, you expect to find apples.

If you find an orange or two growing out of that apple tree, you know that something is wrong with that apple tree.

When you go to a peach tree, you expect to find peaches, and when you find a few apples sprouting out here and there, you know something is wrong with that peach tree.

The same is true with the Gospel of Christ.

The Word of God is the good fruit of Jesus Christ.

It declares the simple Gospel message of Salvation by faith, and faith alone, for salvation. And every other teaching, professing to be in harmony with the Christian faith must be examined by what ďThus saith the LORD!Ē

Matthew 7:19-23

19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

And there are many cults today that boldly deny the clear teaching of Godís Word.

And have a following that puts most well established Christian denominations, to include the Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina, to shame.

Walter Martin said, ďThe zeal of the cults to knock on doors for a false gospel, puts to shame the servants of Christ who will not knock on any door for the TRUE GOSPEL!And because of this the cults grow in numbers by leaps and bounds!Ē

Good and decent people following after the gospel of the devil!

What will the false teachers teach?

1 Timothy 4:2, 3

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.

Itís not that these teachers are ignorant of Godís Word.

Itís that they donít care about Godís Word.

Their conscience is seared.

They speak lies in hypocrisy....

They are, as Jesus put it, ďWolves in sheeps clothingĒ

They look like the Christian, they sound like the Christian, and they act like the Christian, but their doctrine is straight out of the pit of hell.

Because they teach against simple faith, and center their gospel of salvation upon fleshly works, rather than complete faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ!

You canít do this, and you canít do that!

You canít marry, and you canít eat certain meats!

Christ died to set us free from all of these restrictive burdens

John 8:32

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

But here is the devil with his gospel of works suggesting that man can clean himself up and make him presentable to God.

Only Christ can clean us up, and only Christ can make us fit for the kingdom of God.

And only Christ can set us free

The devilís gospel is a gospel of bondage

By following the devilís strict regimen of rules and regulations, man feels more righteous and self-disciplined.He feels more acceptable to God, and more deserving of heaven.He becomes proud and self assuming.

And he soon forgets that he is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: and in daily need of Christís mercy, compassion, and forgiveness.

This is what the devilís gospel is all is about.Getting our eyes off of Christ and on to SELF!

When a Mormon comes to your door he will not be talking to you about Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.He will talk to you about the need for the Law of Moses in todayís society. He will talk to you about the need for a prophet of God in todayís society. And he will go on and on about Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon. But it will be a while before he talks to you, if at all, about Christ!

The Mormons believe that the Law and the Church are the way to eternal life.

But Jesus said,

John 14:6

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The purpose of the Law of God is not to save us but to show us our need for Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:24-25

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

When a Jehovahís Witness comes to your door, He or she will not be talking to you about Jesus Christ because they know little about him and his work.They will first, for the most part, try to get you to contribute to the church as they leave you a copy of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society publication. They will also seek to find out if you are a churchgoer, and if not, YOUíRE THEIR TARGET!

Witnesses do not believe in the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet Christ, after his death, appeared to his disciples in flesh and bone.

Luke 24:36-40

36: And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37: But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38: And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39: Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40: And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

God rose from the dead physically, and we have that same promise

Witnesses do not believe in an eternal lake of fire judgment for the lost. They believe that the only hell the unbeliever will face is the GRAVE!

Luke 16:22-24

22: And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

There are churches that teach strict dietary laws, and yet the Bible teaches us that,

1 Timothy 4:4, 5

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.

God has set us free to enjoy life.

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 8:31-32,36

31: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

The cults are not knocking on your door to bring you to Christ!Theyíre knocking on your door to bring you back into the bondage of the law, and into the pews of their own corrupt church.

My first concern when talking with someone about Christ is that they see their need for Him, and that I have an opportunity to lead them to Christ or at least plant the seed.

If weíre going to be good and successful workers for the Lord Jesus Christ, weíve got to know who Christ is, and what the simple truth of the Gospel is, and the only way we can know these two things for sure, is to study the ANVIL....which is Godís Word!

Itís going to be around forever....we should get to know it well!

And weíll never be deceived by the smiling, smooth talking, sharp and clean living of the devil!

Paul says.....God has set us free to enjoy all things.

1 Timothy 4:6

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.

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