WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 1ST, 2021
TOPIC: HOLD TIGHTLY TO THE TRUTH
BY T. O. BANSO
“But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them — depths of Satan, really). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come” (Revelation 2:24-25 New Living Translation).
Amid the false teaching of a false prophet, Jezebel, leading those in the Thyatira church astray (Revelation 2:24), Jesus told those who had not followed her teaching to hold on to or hold fast to what they had i-e the truth they had received or “the pure doctrine of the Gospel” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary).
The Lord said, “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them — depths of Satan, really). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come” (Revelation 2:24-25 New Living Translation).
This is a message for us in our day, too. We have false teachers like Jezebel around, leading believers astray with their teachings. They are both men and women. We must do what Jesus told those in the church of Thyatira who had not followed Jezebel’s false teaching to do: hold tightly to the truth, the pure doctrine of the Gospel.
Earlier, the Pergamum church, another of the seven churches of Asia, had been indicted for tolerating those whose teachings were like that of Balaam – the Nicolaitans. “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth” (Revelation 2:14-16 New King James Version).
The Bible does not give us details about the Nicolaitans. But some Bible scholars believe that it was a sect probably started by Nicolas, one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5). “Their doctrines and lives were equally corrupt. They allowed the most abominable lewdness and adulteries, as well as sacrificing to idols; all which they placed among things indifferent, and pleaded for as branches of Christian liberty” (John Wesley’s Notes of the Old and New Testaments).
Adam Clarke’s Commentary says a similar thing about the Nicolaitans: “The Nicolaitanes taught the community of wives, that adultery and fornication were things indifferent, that eating meats offered to idols was quite lawful; and mixed several pagan rites with the Christian ceremonies.”
Thus, simply put, the Nicolaitans preached another gospel, not the gospel of Christ. They were false teachers. The apostle Paul said if anyone came to preach to the Galatians a different gospel – a gospel contrary to what had been preached – the person should be accursed (Greek: anathema) i-e banned or excommunicated (Galatians 1:8-9). Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, “Early in church history, the term anathema took on an ecclesiastical meaning and was applied to a person expelled from the church because of moral offenses or persistence in heresy.”
The Lord asked the Pergamum church to repent or else He would come quickly and fight against them with the sword of His mouth, the declaration of His judgment. In the Old Testament, the angel of the LORD, with his sword drawn in his hand, had stood in the way of Balaam, the soothsayer, ready to kill him because his way was perverse (Numbers 22:23-32).
Jude 3 says to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. We must be like the Berean Christians who searched the Word of God to confirm that what the apostles had taught them was actually true (Acts 17:10-11). The Berean Christians didn’t take hook, line, and sinker what they were taught.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). False teachings may, sometimes, make you excited, but only the truth will make you free. We must hold on to the truth, and not be easily tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).
Also, the Lord told the church in Philadelphia to hold on to what they had so that no one would take away their crown (Revelation 3:11). Hold on to the truth you’ve been taught. Let no one delude or deceive you with persuasive words or argument (Colossians 2:4).
According to Paul in 1Timothy 4:1, in the latter times, some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. Mark 13:22 says false christs and false prophets will arise and will show signs and wonders in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. Don’t be led astray; hold on to the truth.
2 Timothy 3:13 says evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. Hold on to the truth. Don’t embrace lies, no matter how beautifully presented they are. Not all preachers preach the truth. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Jezebel called herself a prophetess, but that was not what God called her (Revelation 2:20). Anybody can call himself/herself anything or answer any title; if the person is not preaching the truth, throw it away. No Bishop, Archbishop, Pastor, or General Overseer has another heaven to take you to other than the one God created and He has told you how to inherit His kingdom, the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (King James Version).
Similarly, Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (King James Version).
Every preaching must be consistent with the truths already taught in the Bible for there is no other way to get to heaven other than that which God had made. Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). Therefore, stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14a). Hold tightly to the truth.
Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 New King James Version). Take note that Jesus says the gate you should enter by is narrow and the way is difficult. The alternative is the wide gate; the way is broad. But it leads to hellfire.
Don’t let anyone try to make the narrow gate wider for you or make the way Jesus says is difficult easy. Nobody loves you as much as Jesus does. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (verse 14 New King James Version). This is what Jesus says. The Contemporary English Version puts it this way: “The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.” Be among the few.
If you’re not born again, you have not found the truth. Jesus is the truth. Invite Him into your heart. After that, He will teach the truth, which you should hold tightly to. Heaven is real and hell is real. May you make heaven in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I reject every lie and strange doctrine I have been taught that is contrary to the Bible. I repent of wrong doctrines that I have embraced and taught contrary to the Bible. Holy Spirit, help me to know the truth that will make me free. I shall hold tightly to the truth and the pure doctrine of the Gospel that I have received. I shall not become a captive of any false doctrine. In the name of Jesus, I shall enter by the narrow gate and follow the difficult way that leads to eternal life. Nothing shall lead me astray.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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