Matthew 15:8: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
God’s major problem with that generation was that they taught as doctrine (divine basic truth) the commandments of men (Matthew 15:1-9).
They add to what is written, and strictly enforce what they minds fancy even if it contradicts the scriptures (Mark 7:13). They make themselves God, making others subservient to their whims and caprices.
They do not differentiate between their preference and the commandment of God. But God has said that his priest should show the difference between the sacred and the profane (Ezekiel 22:26). Rather, they think that because they thought about it, it must be God’s idea, in a blatant expression of their foolish pride.
They are not focused on what the scriptures actually says, they add their personal fancy. They do not allow the bible to say what it really says, they put their personal twist to it, in the name of pushing a pet project, achieving a personal agenda, especially for pecuniary gain.
Paul said that these people have their bellies as god (Romans 16:18, 1Timothy 3:18-21), saying: “godliness is a means for gain (1Timothy 6:1-11), if you are not making gain then you are not godly,” strengthening the greed and selfishness in man, fanning the ember of the love of money.
They build personal kingdoms, claiming it is the kingdom of God. They make themselves lords, giving themselves the license (right) to make the bible say what it did not say in context, thinking their position gives them such privileges, as they brazenly put the name of the Holy Spirit on such erroneous, emotive disorderly adventure, saying “God told me, God told me.”
Some even create their own book that they make to be of equal or not more authority as the bible. When you try to show them the error of their ways they act as if you are the fool (the uninitiated) (e.g. Jehovah Witness, Christian Science, Grail Message, and Islam).
Some others establish longstanding tradition which now rivals the bible, putting people in authority and deciding that their words are God’s (e.g. Catholics). This was exactly what the focus verse was talking about. They put tradition before truth. They claim to be God’s but brazenly disregard his word in preference to their tradition.
People have practices that are alien to scriptures and they cover it up with: “thus says the lord,” leading many others astray. Jesus said that such people work hard to make other twice as much a child of hell as they are.
The “Jehovah’s witnesses” have an historical person whose bible interpretation and writing are taken more seriously than the bible, and after many failed predictions of the second coming of Jesus many still stay there, showing that a strong satanic delusion is working in that sect.
The commit an error, saying that Jesus is not fully God. And a “Jesus” that is not fully God cannot save you, so they are unsaved, though full of piety.
They create an enclave around themselves saying that they are the people with the right interpretation of scriptures and all others are wrong. They think that their interpretation gives them a special place and they are so so wrong (the seventh day Adventist make this error also about the observance of the Sabbath day). The “Jehovah’s witnesses” are not a “Christ”ian group.
With the lips they say they are serving God, even making a lot of efforts in that direction but their hearts are far away from him, because they followed another Jesus (2Corinthians 11:4). They create a commandment for people to follow which is not according to the plain statement of the bible. The people are made to embrace only a straitjacket interpretation of the bible, which “cannot” be challenged.
It is not about what the lips is saying but about what is in the heart. There can be deception in the lip, but God judges the heart.
Let’s not just say things because that is what the people want to hear. Paul told Timothy: preach the word. Paul warned that in the last days people will heap to themselves teachers which they prefer because they will not endure sound doctrine (2Timothy 4:1-3). Sound doctrine does not leave you the way you are. It does not pander to the lust of the heart; it seeks to generate change of heart.
You can force someone to say the right words but you cannot force them to have the right heart. When the truth of God have a place in our heart (the place of love), we become one with it and no one can easily tear us away from it. Love (affection) and truth need to go together. We need the love for truth and the truth of love
Love for truth.
The bible says that as many as are hungry and thirst for righteousness will be filled (Matthew 5:6). It is similar for truth. If you are hungry for truth, it means you love the knowledge of God and will vigorously seek it. Daniel wrote that those who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). That definitely is an appeal to be hungry for his truth, having a love for it.
Doing exploits is about the knowing God, finding out the truth about him. The love of God drives us on to know him more, to spend time with him and experience his grace. Love for truth helps us to pay the price for truth in time, money and energy.
Love for truth makes us avoid those who peddle falsehood about Jesus, not giving them a moment of our time. John said that if anyone does not come with sound doctrine we should ignore such a person (2John 1). Our love for God, for his truth. makes us to display aversion to lies, and to counterfeit Christianity, religions, to anything less than total commitment to the communication of the absolute truth of the word of God.
Truth of love
Love is a heart thing. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that we love the Lord our God with all our heart (Matthew 22:37).
The heart is the seat of affection and purpose. The bible says that “as he thinks in our heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7).”
Jesus said it is not enough to say the right things but he wants us to obey him (Matthew 7:20-29), live out his truth in obedience to him from the heart.
Jesus said that the one who hears his words and does them is the one who builds his house upon the rock and it will last, as it is founded on the rock of obedience to Jesus. It flows from him, manifesting his essence. Loving God is about living according to his word. It is about pleasing him. (Colossians 1:9-10).
- Who Is Jesus? (jlue.wordpress.com)
- The Bible Teaches the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity and Scripture shows the Error of the Jehovah’s Witness (jlue.wordpress.com)
- Watchtower Teaches a Little Truth Mixed With a Lot of Error (jlue.wordpress.com)
- The Great Debate: Death and Taxes Matthew 22:15-33 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
- How to Study the Bible (anothersoldiercalledpreacher.wordpress.com)