April 20, 2021: ‘Hath God Said?’
“Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:20–21, NASB).
This inspired counsel has helped me safely navigate many storms and winds of doctrine that have buffeted the Remnant Church during my 45 years as a member and 20 as a pastor. The Bible often warns us against false teachers and false prophets (Matthew 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1), yet many are deceived and led astray from the truth. Many others have given up pillars such as the sanctuary, the Spirit of Prophecy and even the Sabbath.
How can we be secure from these deceptions and from the “strong, almost overmastering delusion” that is to break upon the world? How shall we stand firm when “the majority forsake us” and join the opposition?
We must rigorously, carefully test every idea by that which God has spoken through His chosen messengers—the prophets. We must “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). False teachers twist the words of inspiration, disguising themselves as ministers of righteousness, and even the devil quotes Scripture (Matthew 4:6; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15; 2 Peter 3:16).
Remember this when presented with “new light,” to keep you safe from deception. Satan prepares men to believe a lie by first leading them to question or to doubt that which God has plainly spoken. The enemy succeeded with Eve by first asking, “Hath God said?” We must do as Jesus did, standing firmly upon “It is written.” To believe God’s prophets is still good advice for us today! (2 Chronicles 20:20).
Father, help us to test all things by the Scriptures, and to “hold fast to that which is good.” Amen.
Mark Cockerham is the pastor of the Blossburg, Canton, Hillcrest and Sayre churches in Pennsylvania.
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