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FIVE WOES or FALSE PROPHETS EXPOSED AND CONDEMNED
Text: Habakkuk 2:4-20
Subject: False Prophets and False Religion
Date: Tuesday Evening—February 15, 2011
Tape # Habakkuk #20
Readings: Darin Duff and Allen Kibby
When we read about the many events of history recorded in the Old Testament, we miss the intent of the Inspired Record if we do not read and interpret those events allegorically. Yes, the Scriptures must be understood literally; but a literal understanding alone misses the intent of Inspiration altogether. The historical record of Sarah and Hager is historically factual and true as recorded in the Book of Genesis. And God the Holy Spirit who inspired the Book of Genesis tells us in the Book of Galatians that Sarah and Hager and their sons Isaac and Ishmael are an allegory, a spiritual picture.
If we would understand the Old Testament Scriptures we must always remember that Christ crucified is the message of the Old Testament, just as Christ crucified is the message of the New Testament (Luke 24:27, 44-45). Everything in the Book of God speaks of Christ and the salvation of God’s elect by His obedience, His blood, and His grace.
- This is not a book about history. This is the Book about Christ.
- This is not a book about science. This is the Book about the Savior.
- This is not a book about prophecy. This is the Book about Propitiation.
- This is not a book about religion. This is the Book about Righteousness and Redemption.
- This is not a book about morality. This is the Book about mercy, and grace, and salvation in Christ!
Everything in this Book is about Christ. The written Word of God is all about Him who is the Living Word.
- Every prophecy is about Christ.
- Every ceremony of the law typified our Savior.
- Every commandment of the law pointed to Christ, shows us our need of Christ, and shuts us up to the Lord Jesus Christ as our only Hope, our Savior, our only Salvation!
And every event recorded in Old Testament history was brought to pass by God’s providence that it might serve as an allegory, type, picture of God’s great grace and of the salvation of our souls by Christ Jesus (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11).
(Romans 15:4) “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
(1 Corinthians 10:11) “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Tonight, I want you to open your Bibles to Habakkuk chapter 2. The title of my message is — FIVE WOES orFALSE PROPHETS EXPOSED AND CONDEMNED. Here is a prophecy of an historic event, Israel’s Babylonian Captivity. It literally came to pass, exactly as it was prophesied. But the whole thing is a portrayal of God’s grace and the salvation His elect in overthrowing mystical Babylon, the Great Whore; and that Great Whore, Babylon, represents all false religion in the world. Remember, there are just two religions in the whole world(Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
- Free-will and Free-grace
- Works and Grace
- Self-salvation and God Salvation
- Jerusalem and Babylon
There is no question that our nation, along with the rest of the world, is a nation under the judgment of God. As far as I know, throughout the world, in every nation under the sun, the wicked rule. Perhaps you think that is a strong statement. Politicians in every democratic society of which I am aware…
- Openly promote homosexuality, asserting that any objection to that deviant perversity is bigotry.
- Do everything possible to promote fornication and unwed women giving birth to children, or even worse murdering unwanted, inconvenient children.
- Use every means possible to eradicate any mention or thought of the Lord Jehovah, our God, and our Savior Christ Jesus as God the Lord, while rushing to pass laws protecting Islam, Hinduism and atheism.
Yes, the wicked rule everywhere; and when the wicked rule the people mourn.
(Proverbs 29:2) “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
When the wicked rule, the people they oppress “mourn,” the people moan, and groan, and sigh before God under the tyranny of the wicked. The people mourn, groan and sigh, as John Gill wrote more than 250 years ago, “under their tyranny and oppression, and because of the sad state of things; the number of good men is lessened, being cut off, or obliged to flee; wicked men and wickedness are encouraged and promoted; heavy taxes are laid upon them, and exorbitant demands made and cruelty, injustice, and arbitrary power exercised; and no man’s person and property are safe.” Continue reading
This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture – Salvation is the work of God alone, a gracious work of God wrought for and in chosen sinners, without their aid or assistance, through the mediatorial work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gracious, irresistible operations of the Holy Spirit. Here are seven Bible descriptions of salvation. I ask only that you read them carefully and honestly, comparing Scripture with Scripture. If you will do so, you will see clearly that “Salvation is of the LORD!”
1. “THY SALVATION” – “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD” (Gen. 49:18). Salvation belongs to God. It is his prerogative and his work alone. He gives it and withholds it according to his own sovereign will.
2. “ETERNAL SALVATION” – “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9). Salvation is an eternal work of the eternal God. It was devised and secured, predestinated and purposed, and, in the mind of God, it was performed, finished, and perfected in the covenant of grace before the world began. Read your Bible and you will see that this is so (Rom. 8:29-30; Rev. 13:8). Continue reading
“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” — Psalm 130:3-4
Satan is a master deceiver. He is such a subtle, crafty deceiver that he often uses the Word of God itself to confuse people. He is particularly good at using Scripture texts as stumbling blocks, which he piles in the path of sinners seeking the Lord, or to trip and harass God’s pilgrims as they seek to follow Christ through this world. In this study, I hope to clear away some of those stumbling blocks, by answering some questions about forgiveness. I cannot here answer all the questions people have asked me about the forgiveness of sins. It would be futile for me to attempt that. However, I have carefully and prayerfully chosen seven questions which I want to answer.
1 Are there varying degrees of sin, of guilt, and of punishment?
Without question, the Word of God clearly teaches that there are no varying degrees of innocence, righteousness, or holiness, and no varying degrees of reward for the righteous in heaven. The teaching of decrees of reward in heaven is totally contrary to the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. However, the Scriptures do teach us that there are varying degrees of sin, of guilt, and of eternal punishment. Continue reading
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” — Acts 20:28
Believers cannot exist in this world in spiritual health without the strength, ministry, support, and help of a local church family. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that every child of God know the purpose and value of the church of God in this world and commit himself to it.
The text, which heads this page, is taken from the Book of Acts. One great purpose of that book, which is really a brief history of the early church, is to show us how God works in this world through his church. It is the inspired record of the progress of the church during its first thirty years of existence in this world. The most prominent figure in the church during those first thirty years was the Apostle Paul. It is this man, Paul, who is speaking in chapter 20. He is giving a solemn charge to the elders at Ephesus regarding their responsibilities as the servants of God. He says, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
What is the Church of God? Continue reading
Reading: Romans 10:1-17
I received a letter from a preacher yesterday. I want to read a portion of it to you, because it is directly related to my message this morning.
“Dear Pastor Fortner,
I really appreciate being able to come to you with some questions that have arisen in my spiritual life and ministry. I really have no pastor to ask these things. They have somewhat disowned me. When you have time could you please help me with the ending of a message, preaching the gospel, compelling men and women to come to Christ? Do you have an inquiry room such like Spurgeon did? Do you ask troubled souls to maybe seek you out?
I know for sure we can’t save them nor make them. I am totally against this ‘soul winning’ foolishness. I do believe we are to witness and warn sinners of the wrath of God and plead to men and women to flee to Christ our hiding place. Do you wait until the sinner receives assurance from the Lord that they have been saved, then make that profession public?
Thanks for any help you may be able to give. S___ B_______”
This is what I wrote in response.
“Every faithful Gospel preacher is troubled by these matters of great importance. The great problem is in us. We have a great desire, inspired of God, to see sinners converted by his grace. Therefore we pray and study with diligence, and ardently devote ourselves to the preaching of the Gospel. We have another fleshly, carnal lust for success, desiring to see things happen. Therefore we are tempted to employ the use of carnal pressures to get people to make a profession of faith. We need to remind ourselves incessantly, asking God the Holy Ghost to burn it in our hearts, that it is Christ who builds his Church and adds to it daily such as should be saved. This he does by the preaching of the Gospel. Continue reading
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3
Why should we study doctrine?
People often object to any talk about doctrine and the study of doctrine, because they wrongly imagine that it is an unnecessary cause of strife and division. The fact is, we cannot have any unity at all if we do not have doctrinal unity. Doctrine is not everything in Christianity; but nothing is more important than doctrine. Gospel doctrine is the foundation of all true faith, the basis of all real comfort, and the inspiration for all worship, obedience, and devotion.
I often hear people say, “Let’s not discuss doctrine. Let’s just get on with evangelism.” “Let’s not talk about doctrine. Let’s just worship the Lord.” “Don’t preach doctrine. Just preach Christ.” That makes about as much sense as a basketball coach saying to his team, “Boys, don’t worry about the baskets, or the ball, or those lines out there on the court. Let’s just play basketball.” You cannot have basketball without the baskets, the ball, and the lines; and you cannot have evangelism, worship, and Christianity without doctrine.
The study of doctrine is important, because it is foundational. In Psalm 11:3, David asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Obviously, we recognize that “the foundation of God standeth sure” (2 Tim. 2:19). Yet, we also know that in this dark, apostate age in which wicked religious men and women walk in darkness, without knowledge and without understanding, “all the foundations of the earth are out of course” (Ps. 82:5). The religion of the world constantly attacks, assaults, and seeks to destroy the foundation of doctrinal truth. When men seek to destroy the very foundations of our faith, what can the righteous do? Here are three things we can and must do… Continue reading
“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.” With these words David declares the sovereignty of God and calls for us to give him praise. ( Psalms 135:6 )
There are no attributes of God more comforting and delightful to his children than his great and glorious sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, and when enduring the most heavy trials, we rejoice to know that our God has sovereignly ordained our afflictions; that he sovereignly overrules them, and that he sovereignly sanctifies them to our good and his own glory. Every believer rejoices in the sovereignty of God. There is no truth of Holy Scripture for which we must more earnestly contend than God’s dominion over all creation, his sovereignty over all the works of his hands, the supremacy of his throne and his right to sit upon it.
God’s saints rejoice to hear him say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” (Matt. 20:16). Nothing is more comforting to God’s saints in this world than the knowledge of the fact that “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115:3). We rejoice in God’s sovereignty! But there is nothing revealed in the Bible that is more despised by worldlings and self-righteous religionists. Natural, unregenerate, unbelieving men and women are happy enough to have God everywhere, except upon the throne of total, universal sovereignty. They are happy to have God in his workshop, creating the world and naming the stars. They are glad to have God in the hospital to heal the sick. They are pleased to have God in trouble, to calm the raging seas of life. And they are delighted to have God in the funeral parlor to ease them of pain and sorrow. But God upon his throne is, to the unregenerate man, the most contemptible thing in the world. And any man who dares to preach that it is God’s right to do what he will with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he sees fit, and save whom he will, will be hissed at, despised, and cursed by this religious generation. Be that as it may, it is God upon the throne whom we love, trust, and worship. And it is God upon the throne that we preach. Continue reading
Christ our Example
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
What is the believer’s rule of life? By what standard must our lives be governed, as the children of God in this world? How should we behave? What principles are we to live by, as we walk before God and men in this world? By what law are we to live?
These are questions which concern all of God’s children. None of God’s people are lawless, rebellious antinomians. All who trust Christ want to honor God. All who are born of God want to do the will of God. We want to do what is right before God and men. The grace of God experienced in the soul teaches us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12). As we are admonished in Holy Scripture, saved sinners want to “be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
A man or woman who is chosen, redeemed, and regenerated by the grace of God has a principle of godliness and righteousness created in his or her heart. Such a person wants to live in a manner that will be pleasing and honoring to God, for the glory of Christ. If you do not love God’s law, you neither know God nor love God. Your religion is a refuge of lies. Your pretense of faith is a delusion. Continue reading
Via Email from Pastor Don Fortner
As you know, I completed the book of Daily Readings (Discovering Christ Day by Day) on December 31st and will no longer send these out, as I did last year. The book is now at the publishers and should be released in a few months. However, Bro. Larry Brown has put the entire year’s readings together in *.PDF format. I have attached it to this email.
I am sending this to all on our church family mailing list and to a few friends who have expressed an interest in having it. Please feel free to give the attached file to anyone who wants it.
Thank you, Larry, for putting these readings together.
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Pages : www.DonFortner.com
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Here is the PDF version : Discovering Christ Day by Day 1 OR click on the Image of Pastor Don to get the PDF Book .
With thanks and gratitude to Don Fortner for the permission to place the PDF book on our website. We pray many will be blessed by the material. Also see Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures – FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD BY Don Fortner
Please visit the above websites for more Biblical edifying material by Don Fortner.
The Saints at Corinth
1 Corinthians 1:2
Paul begins his letter to the Corinthian church by reminding them that they had been sanctified in Christ and been called of God. He assures them of continued grace and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, and of his continual thanksgiving to God for the grace bestowed upon them by Christ (vv. 3-4). He then proceeds to assure them of his complete confidence that the gospel and the boundless grace of God had been confirmed to them by the operations of God the Holy Spirit upon them in effectual calling, causing them to ever look for Christ’s coming (vv. 5-6). He goes so far as to assure these Corinthian believers that our ever-faithful God, who had called them into the fellowship of Christ, would at last bring them blameless into glory in the resurrection (vv. 8-9).
The Corinthian Church
All these assurances of grace and glory were given by divine inspiration to the church at Corinth. I cannot imagine a local church anywhere in the world, at any time in history, plagued with more evil than the church atCorinth. Among these saints, horrid immorality was winked at as a matter of indifference (chap. 5). Yet, they embraced the notion that by abstaining from physical pleasure they could make themselves more holy and spiritual (chap 7). God’s faithful servant, by whom they were taught the gospel, was scorned among them. Pride caused them to disdain the poor and the weak. Those who possessed, or thought they possessed, great spiritual gifts looked down their noses at those they considered less spiritual. Though the Corinthian church was probably the wealthiest of the New Testament churches, it was the most miserly in giving. They horribly abused the ordinances of God, making the person by whom they were baptized a matter of pride and spiritual superiority, and turning the Lord’s Table into a carnal, religious feast. And they denied the resurrection of our Lord.
All these things divided the local church at Corinth into factions, threatening to destroy it. Yet, when Paul wrote this Epistle to them, he addressed them as “them that are sanctified (having been sanctified) in Christ, called to be saints” (1:2), assuring them that God would confirm them unto the end and make them “blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 6).
A Needful Lesson
I call your attention to these things because they set before us a very, very important lesson, a lesson of which we need to be constantly reminded. ― God’s saints in this world are often plagued with moral weaknesses, poor judgment, spiritual evil, and doctrinal error. So long as we are in this world, God’s saints (all of us) are sinners still. We dare not make excuse for our own sins or the sins of others Continue reading
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” — Hebrews 11:1-3
WHAT IS FAITH? Very simply stated, faith is taking God at his Word and acting upon God’s revelation. On one occasion, when the disciples had fished all night and caught nothing, the Lord told them to cast their nets on the right side of the ship. Taking him at his word, they cast the nets one more time and took in more fish than their boat could hold (Luke 5:1-7; John 21:3-7). When they needed money to pay taxes, the Lord sent Peter out to catch a fish with the promise that he would find the money needed in the mouth of the first fish he caught (Matt. 17:24-27). Believing Christ, Peter went fishing! When the Lord told Peter to come to him upon the water, Peter believed that he could; and he did (Matt. 14:28-29).
Faith simply believes what God reveals both about himself and about all things in his creation and acts accordingly. Faith submits to God’s revelation regarding himself, his Son, and his salvation, the creation of the world, the fall of man, and the providence of God, grace, the resurrection, and judgment. That is the nature of faith. It takes God at his Word.
THIS FAITH IS AN INDEX OF THE HEART. Continue reading
Listen to sermon while reading.
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” (John 12:31-33)
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). — This is never more clearly and extraordinarily demonstrated to be the truth than by these statements which fell from the lips of our Savior. It is a great marvel to me that God should, in his infinite wisdom, choose to judge the world, destroy the devil, and save his elect by sending his Son to become a man that he might suffer and die upon the cursed tree! Oh, mystery of mysteries, — “God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Oh, the height of God’s love! Oh, the depth of his mercy! Oh, the breadth of his wisdom! Indeed, his ways and his thoughts are beyond us, as high as the heavens are above the earth. Continue reading