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The Light of Biblical Truth by Teresa Cassle

 9.4.11

 Teresa is a beautiful woman who blogs at Music from Broken Chords and has blessed many of our days with words that bring glory to our Saviour and a devotion that flows from a woman who has found in God her refuge, a strong tower in time of need.

Thank you, Teresa for your willingness to share with us today.

Katie Lloyd Photography*




 “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” 
Psalm 119:105

"The whole Scripture is a light shining in a dark place; a lamp or torch to be carried in the hand of a believer, while he passes through this dark world; and is in the present state of imperfection, in which he sees things but darkly. This is the standard of faith and practice; by the light of this lamp the difference between true and false doctrine may be discerned; error and immorality may be reproved, and made manifest; the way of truth and godliness, in which a man should walk, is pointed out; and by means of it he may see and shun the stumbling blocks in his way, and escape falling into pits and ditches; it is a good light to walk and work by." John Gill


Several years ago I lived in a very dark place. My Dad had a major stroke when I was in High School, and eventually had many mini strokes and brain bleeding that resulted in Dementia. I spent most of my twenties and early thirties helping to take care of him. I never regretted it and I loved him dearly. He was my best friend. I had other family members who had their own difficulties and often made trying to do the right thing where Dad was concerned difficult. Dad was sick for about 10 years and it took quite a toll on our family and obviously some members felt the burden too much to bear or deal with sometimes. I often picked up the slack and worked several jobs trying make ends meet but eventually worked my way up into a better position at one of them. My Dad had to have 24 hour care and we took turns watching him. After several years of this I took a much needed vacation. When I returned I quickly realized that he had deteriorated horribly. After a few weeks it became apparent that another relative had legal rights to his care, and had neglected those duties severely. Eventually I had to make very hard decisions and face the fact that some of my family members were taking advantage of my Dad. I ended up reporting my family, who I loved very much for neglect and elder abuse. It was a horrible situation and I was confident that things would get better for my Dad. I came home from work one Friday night and realized that was not going to happen, social workers were coming on Tuesday but my Dad died the next day. Actually the anniversary of his death was yesterday.

It’s really hard for me to talk about these things. I have long forgiven people, and the hardest thing was forgiving myself for waiting too long to do anything. I carried this despair around for two years, it was like someone threw a blanket of pain, guilt and grief over my head and I was smothering in it. To make matters worse during this same time my boyfriend broke up with me, and I was demoted at my job and eventually the position I worked so hard for was eliminated. I was alone, confused and consumed by depression and sadness. Taking care of my Dad was like taking care of my child and I did not know what to do with myself. I was so financially strapped that I got a newspaper route for extra money. I got up every day at 2:30 A.M and went out into the dark alone and terrified. Reeling from grief, and roaming around seedy parts of town I was not familiar with had now become my daily routine. It was one of the bleakest times of my life. I was channel surfing on the radio one night and I came across Charles Stanley. For the first time in my life I understood sin, repentance and that “good people” do not go to Heaven, saved people do. I understood the Gospel for the first time in my life even though I invited Jesus into my heart at an altar when I was six. Even though my life on the surface seemed a dark, dismal place the light of Jesus Christ was now guiding my path… I was changed radically from that day. I never really felt joy or peace until that moment and I am so grateful for my name being added to the Lamb’s Book of Life, I would not take back one minute of that pain or suffering but I had no idea the twists and turns my journey would take.

I had never heard the word Doctrine but I read my Bible, and I watched “Christian” television. I remember thinking how so much of the things I was reading had nothing to do with the people I watched on television and what they taught. Television said a good church consisted of Hillsong type of praise and worship and positive, “me” affirming things that were similar to Oprah Winfrey. This confused me but it was more exciting than what I thought Church was like. I wanted that same excitement and zeal the people I saw on television had. I was invited to a large Charismatic church. From the moment I entered the door I knew something was “off”. I stayed for three years because there were some good things in the sermons, and the occasional thing that did not line up with God’s word, but there were people there that I loved and it was exciting and lively. I just “chewed on the meat and spit out the bones”, so to speak and that was OK, right? I always questioned these things in my heart but I was told that really spiritual people had favor with God, He blessed them. I drove an old beat up car, had very few clothes and impressed no one. I knew according to the scripture that God placed no value on these things and I should not either. We were told the more money you gave to “God” the more He would accept and bless you. I think of all the things I did then with wrong heart motives, and I realize how much that “Gospel” they preached was the Gospel of “Me”.

I still occasionally read my Bible, but eventually I really started to believe some of the things they were saying. I started reading the books they promoted, they appealed to my flesh but not really what was in Scripture. Who was I but a little nobody, these folks had money and a huge church, the Pastor had several Doctorate’s. How could I question them? Eventually I longed to find my purpose or my ministry and end up blessed and favored like these people. My mind and heart were torn between the fleshly desire being promoted there and the desire to serve God and His value's, I was trying to serve two Master's and I had no idea what that meant. I was told that God was doing a “new thing” and Doctrine was “dead”. I really wanted to be successful and blessed like these people, but I never understood why many of them were arrogant, often unloving and selfish. I knew that was not a fruit of the spirit and I also did not believe in the tongues they spoke. I never could understand why I did not do any of the things the most hyper spiritual people did. I thought something was wrong with me. I am so thankful that eventually I started to understand something was seriously wrong with them. I started reading blogs and doing research on the teachers and books they promoted. I am so thankful that God in His mercy removed the scales from my eyes and I left after three years with a hunger to hear Gods word like I had never had before. I started to realize how those false teachings appealed to the carnal part of me, I was a new-born Christian, just drinking up whatever pablum they fed me. The wolves in the Pulpit took advantage of that. I started reading about the Doctrine’s of Grace and a whole new world opened up to me. I realized that what we all need are “Shepherds according to God’s heart, who will feed believers with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15, Acts 20:28-31 ) The Bible became a beacon of truth to my parched soul.

I eventually found a wonderful Church where God is worshiped in spirit and truth. The error of false doctrine and warning others has never been so important as it is today. I think we can all agree that false teaching, like the Bible warns us about is spreading like a virus. My former Church is now having a “Revival” where hundreds are “converted” under a Gospel that has little to do with Scripture and everything to do with Pragmatism, Mysticism and the Word of Faith movement. My heart breaks for these people, and with everything in my being I want to shout the truth of Scripture from the rooftops. Deception is rampant and often it’s not as obvious as the kind of things going on at my former Church.

Jesus Christ said in Matthew 16: “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” Often the decline in sound teaching comes from within. Pastors, writers, popular speakers, seminary professors and publishers all may claim to adhere to Orthodox Christianity, but when examined under the light of scripture a perversion of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has taken place.

J.C.Ryle in “Warnings to the Churches”, Divers and Strange Doctrine’s Lists symptoms of False Doctrine.

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

1. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their “earnestness” makes many think they must be right.

2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

3. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

5. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

6. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

7. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself “as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

8. There is a wide-spread “gullibility” among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, “Do not be carried away!”

While most of the modern Church rejects the importance of sound doctrine, correct doctrine was an obsession for both Christ and the Apostles. ( Ac. 20:28-31; Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 6:3-4; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; Tit. 1:9; Mt. 1:9; Mt. 5:21-48; 7:15-27; 2 Jn. 9-11). There are many reasons why our Lord regarded doctrine so highly. (a) Correct doctrine is foundational to biblical Christianity. The system of doctrine taught by Scripture defines God, Christ, salvation, ethics, sin and everything a person needs for faith and life (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Without correct doctrine the object of our faith is false and all is lost. (b) Correct doctrine is crucial because false and man-made doctrine drives out, replaces and nullifies true teaching (Mt. 15:1-9; Col. 2:8, 20-23). The apostles had the responsibility to lay the foundation of the church by planting congregations and by delivering their inspired teachings and writings. If the shepherds became corrupted, so would their followers.

Every true Christian should know and love the truth. After all the Church is supposed to be “The Pillar and Ground of the Truth” ( Timothy 3:15) Biblical truth should be our foundation and as John MacArthur states that “not knowing what you believe is in itself by definition, a kind of unbelief”. Genuine love for the truth and the courage to defend it is built into saving faith. In Jesus own words “They have known the truth, and the truth shall set them free” (John 8:31)

Teresa


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If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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