Golden Pillar Class Study, teacher Dave Licon.

God wants to help us learn how to serve him and have victory over the enemy so he can send us out to help others. Some in religion profess to love God but use scriptures to comfort them in their sins. The most common one is John 3:16. They quote quote it but aren’t interested in what God says about how to live for him. They don’t believe in his name. An angel told Joseph that Jesus will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) but some don’t accept it. They don’t like the light, don’t want to be corrected and don’t want to be delivered from their sin. There are others who are broken and want God’s help. Those who are doing truth come to the light, like the moths outside come to the light on your porch. They love that light. God’s people are honest and love light. We love the light to receive correction so we know God’s pleased with us.

John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son…to condemn the world; but that the world…might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the…Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come…and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest…wrought in God.

It’s good news that God wants to save us from the prison house of sin. It’s bad news to say we have to stay in sin! The Lord gives us patience, compassion, empathy, and understanding to help souls. We don’t learn the scriptures so we can win an argument, but to help people. If we don’t ask God for his help and direction to send us, then we’re already on the wrong track. When we were in sin’s darkness, we stumbled and didn’t know what was wrong with us. We felt we had no hope. When someone testified to us or we heard the truth, God opened the prison door and light came in so we could see how to get out of sin if we wanted to. God said, you can come out if you want out but don’t go back. Jesus died on the cross to deliver us. Our focus is to make heaven and our mission is to rescue souls. God gave us something we can use to help others. A lot of religions may be concerned for people and do nice things, but they don’t really care about their soul.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me…Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek…sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

When we get saved, we get in a battle and have to endure hardness. The devil is right there trying to shut us down as soon as we get started. He wants to get us side-lined by being wrapped up, focused, and distracted by our life with our family and job first. Paul says we can’t be entangled in affairs of this life. We need to fight for victory. God chose us to be soldiers.

II Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

We defeat the devil every time we stay focused on Christ. He’s first – his objectives, his desires, his thoughts. If we’re not good to do our devotions by reading and praying, we’re not going to do well. It doesn’t mean we’re looking at really bad things but if we don’t focus on Christ, we’re focused on the wrong things and darkness will come in.

Matthew 6:19-23 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

The devil wants to deceive us so Christ isn’t first anymore. We can go to church and have devotions but find out Christ isn’t first anymore. You can’t serve God and self or the world. We don’t fight for self, sin, religion, or doctrine but we fight Satan now. The battle we fight starts in our mind. The devil will use imaginations like, Oh they don’t like me, or things somebody said, or false things we were taught. God is able to pull down strongholds in our mind from childhood, false opinions and ideas, or anything the enemy uses against you. We must cast down imaginations every day. We need God’s help and grace to fight the devil.

II Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

God prepares us to be a good soldier. We need God’s word and Spirit to teach, correct, and make us complete (thoroughly furnished). At home you have things you need so you have what you need when things happen.

II Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God wants to send us out into his harvest. We have to ask God to send us because we don’t know what’s happening with our neighbors or others. We pray for our neighbors but we don’t know what’s going on their lives or when is the right time to talk to them about the Lord. He can open a door or tap us on the shoulder at the right time when he wants us to talk. He sends us forth as lambs among wolves. As lambs, we’re gentle and patient. We’re lambs that God gives swords that are like fine surgical instruments. We don’t take the word to prove what we know or to indoctrinate people. The word is sharp enough to discern thoughts. The word isn’t meant to hurt but we’re careful and prayerful about how we use it.

Luke 10:1-3 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two…into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he…The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray…the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go…I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Avoid doesn’t mean we cut people off but we’re not arguing with them about scriptures. We must be gentle and study so we can teach what we’ve learned that will help them. Some oppose themselves and don’t even know it. We have to show ourselves friendly with people so we show them we care about them.

II Timothy 2:23-26 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

The gospel reveals the righteousness of God and those who hold the truth in unrighteousness. It doesn’t come by getting baptized, joining the church, learning the catechism, or shaking the preacher’s hand. We need Jesus to make us righteous.

Romans 1:16-19 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as…written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest…God hath shewed it…

Jesus put light on the Pharisees and scribes who were hypocrites so he could reveal light to people. They were hindering others because they knew what God said but didn’t do it. Those who hold the truth in unrighteousness use parts of God’s word in a wrong way. They say nobody can be free from sin or we’re all sinners but saved by grace. They use scriptures out of context to convince people that they can’t be saved to sin no more. They don’t help people to be delivered from sin. We can’t trust a minister that’s says a baptism certificate means we’re saved. Jesus said we can tell by the fruit in our life.

Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

False prophets look like a lamb but are ravening for your soul. You know them by their fruit. People see you aren’t sinning.

Matthew 7:15-17 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

The enemy tries to trick people with 2 big lies. Big lie #1. Nobody can live without sin. It means that Jesus died on the cross but doesn’t have power to deliver you from sin; Big lie #2. The devil came from heaven. It means there’s chaos in heaven.  God can’t manage heaven, so how can he help you manage your life? They say the devil was an angel in heaven that got kicked out. Spiritual math of those lies 2 lies results equals: God has no power. Jesus sent the 70 disciples out. They were preaching and casting out devils in Jesus’ name. Jesus saw Satan was cast out of those people so when they reported to him, he was saying “I know it.” We see lightning in the sky, then hear the report of thunder. God called the sky heaven to Abraham.

Luke 10:17-20 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Genesis 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

The devil gives false prophets the ability to transform themselves into ministers of light. They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing.

II Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

God will give us a great reward us if we live for him and battle in righteousness for the Lord. We aren’t laboring in vain and he that wins souls is wise, so we need the Lord’s wisdom.

Proverbs 11:30-31 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.