Defending a Lion – Part 4

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In this four-part sermon series, Dr. Michael Youssef highlights:

– 3 things that will happen when you read, heed, and obey the Word of God
– 5 telltale signs of the postmodern cultural invasion
– 7 deadly mistakes we make while reading the Bible

This series will bolster your confidence in the power, authority, and superiority of Scripture!



the Word of God. If we don’t read it regularly, if we don’t follow it closely, the lost nous can be very serious. The bible says that in the last days is going to be a famine for the word of God, it is a burden of my life to equip you for those days that are coming upon us. I want to tell you today about seven deadly sins that you must not commit As you read the Word of God, coming up next on leading the way, mm hmm I have a confession to make up front. I am terrible when it comes to reading instruction manuals. I really detest reading instruction manuals. If somebody gives me a gizmo, I don’t read the instruction members. I press every button until one works. Uh that’s the absolute truth. By the same token, I genuinely admire people who are persistently and meticulously can read operating manuals and follow it. Uh I deeply appreciate people who follow instructions step by step by step and it works for me the same way with my sense of direction. Ah many of you know this. Every time I try to follow my instinct driving somewhere, I don’t end up in another city, I end up in another state, even people when they give me direction, I still get lost. Many years ago, I was asking for directions in new york city. Just think about that. And I thought, well this guy in the um Newsstand, you know, he would know so and I just wanted to know which way is north. I said, sir, which way is north? He yelled at me. I mean he said listen look here buddy. He said we have uptown, we have downtown, we have crossed town but we have no north. I must confess to you that now at this age I kind of laugh at myself. I really do. I laugh at myself for am I not able to read instructions or not being able to follow instruction books or whatever it is, but I can tell you when it comes to the spiritual instruction book. It is not a laughing matter that operating manual that is given to us by God. If we don’t read it regularly, if we don’t read it carefully, If we don’t follow it closely, the lost nous can be very serious, very serious indeed. I have been imploring you not only to regularly read and heed and obey the word of God, please hear me right. Because it’s very important because it is not what I say. Ultimately, it is not what they say. It is what the word of God says. I want to tell you today about seven deadly sins that you must not commit. As you read the Word of God, seven deadly sins that you must avoid at any cost. When you begin reading the word of God, some of you might say well, Michael, why do you start with the negative? Well if I don’t start with the negative, you want another positive. When it comes through the first deadly sin is proof. Texting, proof texting. What is proof texting. Okay, let me put you to the test. What have I been saying for decades that I have been privileged to preach in this place. Put the text where in its context, when you take a text out of its context, that’s called proof. Texting in other words, you basically take the text out and run with it. I want to give you an example. In fact with every one of those. I’m going to give you examples from the scripture. So you know practically what I’m talking about Second Corinthians chapter 12: verse nine, The Apostle paul said the Lord said to me my strength becomes perfect in your weakness. So a person who’s struggling with some moral weakness and he was trying to get the victory over his moral her moral weakness will see this text. I said God’s strength will be perfect in me. I don’t need to deal with these moral issues. No, that is not what it means because the Apostle paul is talking about physical illness, physical element that he had experienced. And he said three times I prayed Lord heal me. But the Lord did not heal me. In fact, he said to me that my strength will become perfect in your physical weakness. Sometimes God blesses people in spite of the first physical weakness. In fact sometimes I believe he blesses us because of some of those physical weaknesses. I know of a man who had amazing gift of healing really was and yet he himself suffered a great deal. You see that’s what paul is saying. He’s not talking about moral weakness. He’s not talking about things that we need to repent over. So in context you would understand it that it is something to do with physical element that he was living with. Because not doing that is called proof texting and beloved. Let me tell you if you proof text, you’re gonna find yourself upper creek without a paddle. Now, you’ve been forewarned second deadly sin about reading the bible that you must avoid at any cost is that you need to know when to take the scripture literally and when you take it figuratively. Oh, Michael is saying you don’t take the whole bible literally. Wait, wait, wait, be patient. Because if you understand there are certain linguistic principles, whether it be in the hebrew or the Aramaic or even in the greek language, but mostly in the Semitic language, there’s certain things that certain linguistic rules and principles that you must understand. I’ll give you an example. There is something in all the Semitic languages really known as Hebraic, hyperbole. Something so important. It’s vitally important. It is so serious that you have to exaggerate the point in order to realize the seriousness of it, That’s what it means again. The example is when jesus said if your eye causes you to stumble, do what gouge it out right now, I’m not gonna ask you raise your hand if your eyes ever cause you to stumble, I’m not going to ask you, but I’m gonna raise both hands. I am looking at you, I see some glasses but I don’t see too many gouged eyes. So you understand what I’m trying to tell you why because this is what you call Semitic hyperbole. Our Lord is saying that this is something so so very, very important that you must not allow anything to get in the way of accomplishing it. Don’t allow anything to get in the way of you entering into heaven. Don’t allow anything to get in the way of you being saved, don’t allow anything to get in the way of you going to heaven and because he has to make that point, he blows it up so you can see it. And so jesus is saying it is vitally important for a christian believer. I’m talking to believers now, I’m not talking to non christians, christian believers not to allow their eyes to constantly wonder in lust and in envy and in greed and the rest of it. It’s so dangerous, it’s so dangerous that could impact your eternity or take for example the communion our Lord jesus said, this is my body, this is my blood. What did he cut a piece of his flesh and got him to bite on it? No, it’s symbolism the body symbolizes the bread symbolizes his body and the wine symbolizes his blood that was going to be shed on the cross. See the same thing if I am speaking any of the Semitic languages, I will get a picture out of my pocket and I’ll say to you this is my grandson. So now that’s not your grandson in english you would say this is a picture of my grandson right? But in the hebrew language they don’t speak that way. So you have to understand what is symbolic and what is literal 3rd Deadly Sin in Bible Reading is ignoring the historic and cultural context of the bible. Just because God called Elijah to confront king Ahab and queen jezebel and the prophets of bail and then he sent fire consumed his sacrifice. It doesn’t mean that I or anybody else go down to city hall and say to pagan Mayor, Mayor, bring you a bull out here and let’s see if we can have context. No, no God was speaking and using a certain man at a certain time for a certain purpose. What do we learn from it that our God is a mighty god that all the six so called god or the bail or astronaut or astro. They’re not really gods at all. And that is the point that the scripture would teach us not that we would go and do like Elijah did fourth deadly sin about bible reading be sure to get a good translation of the bible. In fact, I would encourage you to have maybe two or three in front of you as you’re studying the scripture because as you read one or 23 you will get the meaning much better. You don’t have to go to seminary. But sometimes these translations, it will give you a real feel for that. Otherwise you’d be like this lady who absolutely pestered her pastor by telling him that there are perfect people other than jesus christ because she was only reading King James bible. There’s nothing against king James. Listen to me. There are some people think that this is the translation that paul used. They really do. It’s good enough for some paul. It’s good enough for me. Listen, I have seen everything through the years. But finally when the pastor said, well, where is it in the bible? She said psalm 37 verse 37. It says Mark the perfect man. Well if she had read a different translation, she would have discovered that the words are notice. But in the old elizabethan english, he said, Mark, notice the blameless man. 5th Deadly Sin about Reading the Bible is you must avoid at any cost reading into the bible what you want to read into it. Oh my goodness! That is the curse of the age. I’m telling you. I know there are some people who say, well I opened the bible and wherever my eyes fall on, that’s the text for me. That is the wrong way of reading the bible six are moving quickly. The 6th, Deadly Sin by Bible Reading is this don’t think ever that you’re brilliant enough to understand the scripture without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Can I get an amen? Listen to what the apostle paul said to timothy in second timothy, chapter two verse seven reflect on what I’m saying. Here it comes for the Lord will give you insight into all things you see, I have never opened the scripture in early hours in the morning, every day as I woke up and I start with the Word of God without praying. Holy Spirit opened my eyes that I must see wonderful truth from your word, illuminate my mind so that I can learn from your word what you want me to learn. Otherwise the bible will become either just an intellectual exercise in reading it or we’ll just twist the words to make it what you wanted to make. Finally, number seven, number seven, failing to apply what you have just read in the scripture. I know, I know, I know it takes time to do that. It takes to you cannot microwave the scripture, You cannot microwave application And I know this is the age of social media or 90 characters or less and all that stuff. We just don’t have the detentions fan. We have really taken all of that into our reading of the scripture, but beloved, you will not grow, you will not learn and you will not apply the word of God. If you constantly in a hurry, if you have to wake up half an hour early, go to bed. Half an hour later you see a B. Simpson said God has hidden every precious thing in such a way that it is a reward to the diligent. A prize to the earnest and a disappointment to the slothful soul. A nut is hidden in a funny case, A pearl is buried beneath the waves of the sea. The gold is imprisoned in the rocky bosom of the mountain. The gym is found only after crushing of the rock that encapsulates it. The very soil gives its harvest as a reward to the labor of a faithful farmer, Henry ford even used to say cut your own word and you warm yourself twice. You warm yourself cutting the wood and then you warm yourself later. The second time when you burn the wood, beloved to read the bible for its maximum effect for its maximum impact upon your life. You must avoid those seven deadly mistakes. But then I want to go on to give you very quickly three questions that you must ask yourself as you read and he’d and obey the word of God. The first question to ask yourself is what does this part of the bible that I’m reading, say to the original readers of it because each one has a context it was written or said to people at a certain time. So you must ask the question, what did it mean to the original reader? The first person who read it, to whom it was written, secondly, what is the real meaning of this passage that I’m reading? And thirdly, how can I apply this to my life? Let’s look at them very, very quickly. What did it mean to the original reader? We have been seeing how the bible is written by 4 40 individuals and in a span of 1600 years. And yet it says the same thing. It’s one theme. Old testament, jesus says jesus is coming. The new testament says he’s here there. You allow the Holy Spirit to guard your thoughts just as the Holy Spirit guided the thoughts and the hands of the writers of the bible. For example, let me give you an example Moses was speaking to the Israelites who for 400 years were up to their eyeballs in idolatry of Egypt. They knew very little about Yeah, wow. It’s just what they heard through oral tradition. And so they really had very little knowledge. So moses speaking to people who did not know who Yala is or experience his power as they did later when they crossed the Red Sea and gone into the wilderness. On the other hand, 1000 years later, Ezekiel and Jeremiah remember God did this, God did this, God did this. So they knew Yahweh. And yet they turned their backs on him. They saw him perform miracles before their eyes and yet they wanted to worship bail. And so Ezekiel and Jeremiah, they’re talking to rebellious people versus what moses was doing. They rejected God’s instruction, they rejected God’s command or look at the new testament. The Apostle paul has written too many churches, different cities, philippi, Corinth, Corinth, Thessalonians, but each letter was addressing and giving answers to certain problems that that church was facing. He was dealing with a specific problem and giving them biblical and Godly answers. So it is very important to know what the problem was and what the solution is. Secondly, you have to ask yourself what does the bible mean by what it says, make no mistake about it. The reason today, many people reject the bible, they never really read it, but they reject the bible as the word of God because a trans contrary to man’s nature, it really does. It’s the bible is counterculture for example, the world says sock it to your enemy, right? And we say yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean this is very natural, right? I mean that’s a very nature says yes, socket your enemy and then jesus comes in and said love your enemy, what bless those who curse you do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you see the world says that’s bunkers The world says look out for number one That’s all that matters, number 1? But jesus comes in and he says, whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake and for the gospel, we’ll save it. Listen to me, it does not make sense to the world. That’s why they reject the bible, It does not make sense to them. And it is laziness on the part of preachers to say, well if it’s hard to understand, it’s hard to accept reject it, you don’t have to accept it, move on, take what you like. Leave out what you don’t like. That’s laziness instead of were called of God as preachers and teachers of the Word of God to explain the difficult things. And that is why you must always ask the question, What does the bible mean about what it says? So how do I know this? Well, first of all, ask the Holy Spirit already said that twice, asked the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind and he will ask him, he will do it. Use a good trusted commentary on the bible, a good trustworthy commentary, Keep it handy look up. If you get into an issue is so difficult and you don’t know, just look it up, double check things. Don’t just take it for granted. Make sure you’re on the right track. 3rdly and lastly, lastly the final question to ask yourself is this, how can this apply to me? How does this apply to me when I’m facing problems in my business, in my work, my home. How is this going to apply to me? It’s very important. It’s very important if you’re like me, I spend the first fruit of the day with the Lord and the bible open in front of me. But I found that most mornings, as they open the Word of God, and I’ll read it and the Holy Spirit begins to speak to my heart, Michael! This word, It’s for you. This encouragement. It’s for you. This rebuke. It’s for you. This challenge is for you! This warning. Have I ever got more of those than I can count? This warning is for you. This exaltation is for you Charles Spurgeon, one of the great preachers of yesteryear. And just in case you think this man pile degrees after his name. He dropped out of school at the age of 15. He taught himself greek and Hebrew. He taught himself the word of God. He allowed the Holy Spirit to open his mind to open his heart and teach him. He written hundreds of books. Most remarkable man that I have ever read about. Here’s what he said about the bible, he said. This book has wrestled with me. This book has smitten me! This book has confronted me. This book smiled upon me. This book frowned on me. This book clasp my hands. This book warmed my heart. This book weeps with me and sings with me. This book worships with me and it preaches to me. It maps my going and my coming. It is a young man’s best companion. And it is still tomorrow morning, an evening chaplain, beloved as we conclude the series of messages, I want to tell you. There are a lot of bible apps out there, lots of bible reading plans that can be overwhelming. The bible says that in the last days they’re going to be a famine. Listen carefully, but that famine is not going to be for bread and water is going to be a famine for the word of God. And when I hear that only 18% of Christians read the word of God. God regulate, I can tell you the famine has begun. And so it is a burden of my life. And the reason for living is to equip you for those days that are coming upon us and they’re coming faster than we think faster than we anticipated. So, get ready for the spiritual battle. The Lord is on your side and the good news is we have read the last chapter and it says that we win. Mhm Mhm. Never give up on biblical truth. Never give up on the infallibility of the Word of God. When you understand the backdrop to this second epistle of timothy. When you understand the importance of this message for our generation, I would do whatever it takes to get out the Word of God. Start remembering God’s past blessings today. That same. God wants to bless you, encourage you and use you again. You don’t want to miss next week on leading the way. Hello, my friends, you know, the Apostle paul wrote his last letter, The 2nd Timothy Epistle and that was his legacy. I’m expounding on this and it is my legacy. I am pleading with every bible, believing christians to read this book. Never give up. We’re seeing in our culture today, people giving up for all sorts of reasons. Never give up order it now, no matter how hard these days, maybe no matter how trying those times may become. No matter how challenging the situation is, don’t ever give up on the gospel truth. Learn the keys to spiritual endurance, overcome spiritual burnout, and train up the next generation to stand firm on Biblical truth with Dr Yousef’s new book. Never give up at the end of his life, imprisoned in a roman dungeon. The Apostle paul urged his young disciple, Timothy, never give up on prayer. Never give up on Biblical truth. Never give up on the faith that was once for all, entrusted to the saints In his brand new book. Never give up, Dr. Michael Yousef unpacks, Paul’s rich words of encouragement found in 2nd Timothy words that will help you endure, flourish and thrive in the midst of doubt. Danger and despair. Don’t be ashamed of the word of God. Don’t deluded to the point of unrecognized Ishan. In this encouraging book, Dr Yousef unveils four unique aspects of what it means to never give up biblical truth a timely message. As christians around the world face mounting pressure to compromise their faith and abandoned their biblical values. Dr yusef also shares personal examples from his life and ministry, of how he found the strength to stand for christ amid the pressure to compromise. Pre order your copy today for your gift of any amount and received two bonus resources exclusively from leading the way. Be empowered to live for christ in difficult times and learn how to leave a lasting legacy of faith for the next generation. Whatever the future may bring, don’t surrender, don’t be intimidated. Never give up on biblical truth. Pre order your copy of Dr Yousef’s newest book. Never give up by giving a gift of any amount. Contact us today. Mhm passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth. Leading the way with Dr Michael Yousef. Thanks you for your faithful support through your continued prayers and gifts

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Dr. Michael Youssef was born in Egypt and lived in Lebanon and Australia before coming to the United States and fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming...

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