If you were trying to teach someone to identify a cat, how would you do it?
Would you show them pictures of rabbits and aligators and dogs and whales and zebras and every other animal in creation and then tell them, “That is not a cat”?
Would you show them pictures of Maine Coons and Abyssianians and Himilayans and Manx and Persians and Russian Blues and Siamese and tell them, “This is a cat”?
The answer’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? If you want to teach someone to recognize a cat, you show them pictures of cats. You might give them a cat to touch, or take them someplace where they could watch cats. You might even flick on a video about cats for them to see, or give them a book about cats to read. Toy cats would help, too! The point is, to learn to recognize a cat, you study the real thing.
It’s the same with anything we are trying to learn. We don’t learn to play the saxophone, by learnig to play the trombone. We don’t learn to cook, by ordering take-away. We don’t learn the types of flowers in our garden, by studying what isn’t a flower.
When we study the authentic item, we recognize the inauthentic easily. Bank tellers now have high tech means for testing counterfeit money, but they used to learn to recognize the coutnerfeit by studying the authentic. They learned everything there was to learn about real money, so that the counterfeit would stand out a mile away.
THIS IS A CAT
We live in a time when false prophets, false religions, false doctrines, and false teachers are rampant. They have always been around, but their numbers are multiplying. Gaining an audience is easier than ever; so is earning a profit. And, just as God raises up His true servants, so does Satan. The Devil is very good at promoting his own, but he is even better at deceiving the seeker. Why, he’s been doing that since the Garden! Adam and Eve walked with God, yet they were deceived by that lying serpent.
Well, the protection we need from being deceived isn’t going to be found by acquainting ourselves with these lies and liars. There are videos on YouTube, blog posts everywhere, and articles and books enough to fill a library that are full of these false religions and false prophets and false teachers. And, there are just as many that tear them apart piece by piece, telling you how they are each wrong—according to whomever is doing the telling. One video title I just saw was something to the effect of “Different Kinds of Witchcraft Christians Need to Know!” No, thank you! I don’t need to know about witchcraft. I need to know more about Jesus!
If we claim to be Christ followers, than knowing Him more should be a pleasure. How do we get to know Him? By reading His Word. We need to know what the Bible says. We need to study the Word of God, so that when someone makes a false claim we’ll know immediately to turn a deaf ear to them. We have to become that kind of people, especially in the day in which we live. Studying the counterfeit won’t help us recognize the authentic. It is knowing God’s Word that will equip us.
Bear in mind: we don’t have to become biblical scholars. We don’t need to dissect the cat and discover what a cat liver looks like compared to a dog liver. However, we do have to open the book. Being in the Word daily—throughout the day—will cause it to become ingrained in us.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Could it be more clear? If you want to stay in the light of truth, if you do not want to stumble on this path you’re walking, know God’s Word.