2 Kings 17:1-18:12
New Testament: Acts 20:1-38
Summary: Paul in Macedonia and Greece, Eutychus Raised from the Dead, Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders
for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. ~ Acts 20:27
Paul would not pervert the Word of God in order to receive the approval of men. He taught the whole counsel of God’s Word amidst much fleshly opposition. False teachers who love selfish ambition will not teach the whole counsel of God’s Word because their motives are self centered and they seek the approval of men rather than God. Paul said, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Paul said to the Philippians: “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention (or selfish ambition).., but the other of love” (Phil. 1:15-17). Paul was having problems finding a teacher to send to the Philippians because the teachers all had impure motives and loved selfish ambition. Paul said: “For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” (Phil. 2:20, 21). In Acts, Paul warned the overseers: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock… I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (through selfish ambition)” (Acts 20:28-30). Paul continued, … . I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). Those who love selfish ambition cannot lead a congregation to be sanctified. This is why false teachers will lead many in the last days who will say, “Lord, Lord,” but they will not enter into the kingdom of heaven because they did not do the will of God. They were not sanctified and perfected in love. False teachers can never lead a congregation to be holy and righteous. They cannot teach righteousness, because they are blind to righteousness. They will not consistently or seriously preach about God’s judgment upon sin, nor will they seriously and consistently preach against sin. Such messages offend the flesh and will keep them from receiving glory from men. Such preaching would also cause them to lose church members and the appearance of success which they need to build their reputation. The powers of darkness are always reminding them of this. They compromise the Word of God. Their hearts are stubborn and hardened. They are at ease in Zion, building ungodly numbers for God. These numbers become like their false teachers: “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:39, 40). The powers of darkness deceive the heart of the false teacher by making him believe he needs to look good in order to bring the congregation to God. This is the boastful pride of life. He begins to believe that everything that is good for him his name and reputation is good for God. He believes that his apparent success has come as a result of God’s favor and blessing on him. He is totally bereft of the spiritual understanding and discernment that would show him that the powers of darkness always cooperate with the ones who practice pride and greed. He does not know that both he and his congregation are …. wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. ~ Acts 20:28-30
I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. ~ Acts 20:33