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Death of Discernment

by Ron Matsen

 

 

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

 

 

Death of Discernment Intro - Ron Matsen

In this segment, Ron Matsen discusses signs of the end times. This segment comes from the "Death of Deiscernment" briefing pack published by Koinon...

Of all the end-time themes discussed in the Bible—such as global disasters (Mt 24), the rise of the global super-state, the identity of the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, and the Magog invasion (Ezek 38-39)—“deception and apostasy in the church” is listed more times than any other end-time “sign of the times.”

Are we currently living in the Age of Apostasy? Ron Matsen explores the evidence and causes of apostasy and provides an antidote for apostasy in this timely study
 

DVD PRICE R 159.00

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The Death

of Discernment

by Ron Matsen

 

Of all the end-time themes discussed in the Bible—such as global disasters (Mt 24), the rise of the global super-state, the identity of the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, and the Magog invasion (Ezek 38-39)—“decep­tion and apostasy in the church” is listed more times than any other end-time “sign of the times.”

Are we currently living in the Age of Apos­tasy? Ron Matsen explores the evidence and causes of apostasy and provides an antidote for apostasy in this timely study.

© 2012 Koinonia House Inc.

 

The Death of Discernment

Session 1: The Age of Apostasy

Signs of the Times

Which end-times theme is mentioned most in the Bible?

• Global Disasters (Matthew 24)?

• The Rise of the Global Super State?

• The Identity of the Antichrist?

• The Mark of the Beast?

• The Magog Invasion (Ezekiel 38-39)?

• Deception & Apostasy in the Church?

Apostasy as a Sign of the End-Times

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Matthew 24:11,12

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

2 Timothy 4:1,2

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

Are we now IN the Age of Apostasy?

 

Indicators of Decline

• Church Attendance: Church attendance in Eng­land as a percentage of the population (both Protestant and Catholics are included in these figures):

1970 13.3%

1980 11.1%

1990 9.4%

2000 7.2%

2010 5.3%

• Decline in Biblical Literacy: In England, The Portsmouth News, 13 April 2001, asked 50 members of church clergy about their congregation’s beliefs: 48% “Did not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus” and 60% “believed that the spirit of Easter had been lost in favour of bunnies and Easter eggs.”

Cause for this Decline?

We will examine three causes—all three have an ex­ample in the history of Israel.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

Romans 15:4

1. Broken Cisterns

“Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit. Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; Be very desolate,” says the Lord. For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

Jeremiah 2:11-13

 

Darwinian (right) physical science gave the world: “Declaration over Exploration.” The result? The killing of God the Creator and the Church promoting “Theistic Evolution.”

Freudian (left) mental

science gave the world an “Escape from Sin,” where everyone is a victim. The result? This killing of God the Judge and the Church promoting “Secular Psychology.”

19th-20th century Biblical “Higher Criticism” (Johann

Gottfried Eichhorn, right), gave the world spiritual doubt. The result? Absence of personal discernment and the Church promotes its own self criticism.

2. Alliances of Weakness

• Historic Parallel

Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. Aliens have devoured his strength, but he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it.

Hosea 7:8,9

“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples…Ephraim means “doubly fruitful.” Complaint? He “mixed himself among the peoples...” This is not a call for ethnic purity, but a warning against the infiltration,

integration, and influence of evil.

• The Example of Solomon:

 

• The Worldwide Ecumenical Movement:

 

3. Sheep Without Shepherds

 

False Teachers Predicted by Jesus:

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

Matthew 24:4,5

 

Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Acts 20:26-30

 

Paul’s Warning to Timothy:

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

2 Timothy 3:13

 

False Teachers Predicted by Peter:

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

2 Peter 2:1-3

 

Deception Leading to Apostasy:

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

 

• Doctrines Leading to Apostasy:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:3,4

 

• Different Doctrines that Deceive:

 

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

2 Corinthians 11:3,4

 

Who Are the Apostates?

• Prediction by Parable:

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Matthew 13:24-30

 

 

• Those who make a Confession without Possession:

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Matthew 7:21-23

Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, “Lord, Lord, open for us,” and He will answer and say to you, “I do not know you, where you are from,” then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.”

But He will say, “I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.”

Luke 13:24-27

• Notice:

- They did not “enter through the narrow gate.”

- Yet they cried, “Lord, Lord.”

- Their claim? “We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.”

- Christ’s response? “I tell you I do not know you.”

• The Fruit of Apostasy:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away byvarious lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 3:1-7

 

 

The Death of Discernment

Session 2: The Antidote for Apostasy

 

Apostasy as a Sign of the End-Times

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

 

Matthew 24:11,12

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:3,4

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

 

2 Timothy 4:1,2

What Is the Solution?

• Repent & Return:

Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us;

On the third day He will raise us up, That wemay live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

 

Hosea 6:1-3

The Antidote for Apostasy

– “Return to the LORD…”

– “Pursue the knowledge of the LORD”

– How?

• Stay Connected:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

Hebrews 10:23-25

• Stay Sharp:

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

“Be diligent”: Greek word used 12 times in the New Testament meaning “to hasten, utmost, to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence.”

• Stay on Target:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thievesbreak in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Your Treasure reveals your Target.

Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

1 Timothy 4:13-16

The Treasure of this Target? The Bible.

Why Bible Study?

• We learn how to please God

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

Psalm 119:9,10

I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119:15,16

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth.

 

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.

Psalm 119:11-14

How to Please God?

Statutes = Commandments

Judgments = Rewards & Punishments

Testimonies = Biblical Examples

Precepts = Doctrines

Ways = Direction

Statutes (Will) = Protection

Word = Instruction

Why Bible Study?

• We learn how to please God

– How to Understand the Truth

• We learn how to combat false doctrines

– How to Defend the Truth

Combating False Doctrines

• The Charge to ALL Christians

 

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

 

2 Timothy 4:1-5

• The Warfare?

Therefore take up the whole armour of God, thatyou may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

 

Ephesians 6:13-17

Studying the Bible?

• Many different methods being practised

• Many different models to follow

• Examples in the Scripture?

Examples of Teaching?

• Paul before the Ephesian Elders:

And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:18-21

• Paul’s conclusion:

Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

Acts 20:26,27

 

The Pattern of Paul

• Paul understood the responsibility of his ministry

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:11-16

• How is this Equipping accomplished? (Eph 4:12)

• How is this Unity established? (Eph 4:13)

• How is this Perfection apprehended? (Eph 4:13)

• Paul taught them “publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20)

• Paul’s declared to them “the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27)

Bible Teaching – What is it?

• All ministers of Jesus Christ think they do,

• There are 3 major forms of Bible teaching.

#1 - Teaching FROM the Bible

• Most common form of explanation found in the church today.

 

• Generally Topical or Thematic.

• Basis of Systematic Theology.

• The Bible is used as a resource Library.

• You start with a statement (or topic) and search the

Scriptures to back up your presupposition.

#2 - Teaching ABOUT the Bible

• Historic Surveys.

• Examines the “stories” of the Bible without teaching

the “truths” of the Bible.

#3 - Teaching THE Bible

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

 

Hosea 4:6

Result of Israel’s Ignorance of God’s Word. Israel’s REVIVAL under Ezra began by READING the Word.

Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Thenall the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. …helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-7

• Isaiah’s Indictment of Israel gives us a strong clue:

Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.

Isaiah 28:9,10

Teaching THE Bible

• Chapter-by-Chapter and Verse-by-Verse:

• Example of Ezra:

– Read distinctly from the book

– Give the sense

– Helped them to understand the reading

• Example of Isaiah:

– Precept upon precept,

– Line upon line,

– Here a little, there a little.

• Advantages?

#1 Keeps the Text within its Context:

• Always a DANGER

• Remember Satan can quote Scripture

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourselfdown. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” (Psalm 91:11,12) Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Deuteronomy 6:16)

Matthew 4:5-7

Notice: In Spiritual Warfare the weapon of choice is the Word of God. Even Scripture against Scripture.

#1 Keeps the Text within its Context (Ps 91):

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.

Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:1-12

Advantages of Teaching the Bible

• Condition of this promise? “He who dwells in thesecret place of the Most High Shall abide under the

shadow of the Almighty.”

• Remember, “Text without a Context is a Pretext.”

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:19-21

#2 Demands Exegesis rather than Eisegesis:

• Reading FROM the Word rather than

• Reading INTO the Word

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

#3 Prevents “Hobby Horse” type teaching:

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:1-4

#4 Must examine ALL of the Doctrines in

Scripture (not just our favorite ones):

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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 2:16,17

#5 Gives a Balanced view of God’s Word:

• Paul’s letter to the Ephesians

– Chapters 1-3 = Wealth of the Believer

– Chapters 4-5 = Walk of the Believer

– Chapter 6 = Warfare of the Believer

 

#6 You SEE Jesus in the Whole of Scripture:

The discourse of Jesus on the road to Emmaus...

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Luke 24:25-27

Jesus before the scholars of His day...

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

John 5:39

#7 The only logical way to read a letter or book:

Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

Colossians 4:16

The Antidote for Apostasy?

• You enter “through the narrow gate” (Luke 13:24)

• You “pursue the knowledge of the LORD” (Hosea 6:3)

• You do “the will of the Father in heaven” (Matthew

7:21)

The Greatest Adventure

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Ephesians 1:15-21