Unless otherwise noted all Scripture references are taken from the NASB translation.
Catholicism is so very opposite of true Christianity. If someone simply reads a little bit concerning the Catholic Church they will find that Mary is elevated to the status of Jesus as a co-mediator between God and man. Within easy reading, one can also see that the Pope’s proclamations are sometimes elevated above the Word of God. On will also find that those people who are canonized and called ‘saints’ by the Catholic Church are called by name in Catholic prayer. None of this is to be found in the inspired Word of God. We who hold to the inerrancy of the Word of God are exhorted “Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14.
I began this post with an illustration concerning the Catholic Church, but this is only a very small tip of an enormous ice-burg of deceptions which are being espoused by many very, very popular and well-known so-called ‘Christian’ authors; and there are many. The difficulty is that more than just a few are swallowing the shallow and seemingly deep inspirational tidbits being tossed about. Their books are seen in most bookstores. My hope is that we who are faithful to the Word see the proverbial handwriting on the wall.
Handwriting On a Wall
The prophet Daniel writes in Chapter 5:1-5, “1 Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. 5 Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing.” It is important to know that his prisoner and man of God named Daniel was summoned to interpret what was written on the palace wall because the wise men of Babylon could not. “Now this is the inscription that was written out: ‘MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.’ 26 “This is the interpretation of the message: ‘MENE’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27 ” ‘TEKEL’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 ” ‘PERES’—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians .” Daniel 5:24-28.
Now, I am not a prophet nor son of a prophet, but there seems to be a large audience of people who are drinking from seemingly gold and silver vessels and are becoming intoxicated with empty ‘words of wisdom’ of being tossed about. Beware for these words are not from the Word of God but are simply tidbits written from experiences of people claiming truth from God. There will come a time when God will grow weary.
Here are some important words from the pen of Isaiah which speak directly to what is found in Daniel chapter 5, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.” Isaiah 55:1-2 and these words are followed with this in vv. 6-7, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
God’s Word Is the Answer for Daily Living
The point of both Daniel and Isaiah is that God’s Word contains instructions for daily living and not the empty words of books written by people. Most devotional books are not at issue here, but there are hundreds of what I will refer to as books of inspiration or encouragement which are replacing God’s Word for daily living for many people. Do not fall for this trap.
(Please, please open your Bible here and absorb the contexts of Daniel 5 and Isaiah 5 for what has been given here is for illustration. If you fail to read the contexts the emphasis upon the Word of God will be missed.)
The presentation of these books is high quality, enthusiastic, and it is difficult to know where the problem lies. Most of us are happy to have access to seemingly biblical material which is simply wrong. My hope is that these kinds of books will be seen for what they are so that people do not trust what is extra-biblical.
All that we need to know for daily living is found within the pages of God’s Word, “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:13-17.
Jesus is Lord.