By Pastor F. M. Riley
March 11, 2014
“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Much every way: chiefly, because unto them were committed the oracles of God.
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightiest be justified in thy sayings, and mightiest overcome when thou art judged.”
After 60 years in the Lord’s ministry, intensely studying His Word and seeking to live by it, I am personally convinced that present day Laodicean Christianity [?] has come to the exact same place that ancient Israel and the Jewish people were in. In Judges 17:6 and 21:25, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Israel and the Jewish people paid a terrible price for choosing to turn away from the inspired truths clearly stated in God’s Law and God’s Word given to them by the prophets. I am made to wonder what makes people today, including some “professing” believers and some claiming to be “men of God,” think they can choose to spurn the truths explicitly stated in God’s Word and there be no consequences for such wickedness?
Regardless of how many readers may receive it, or reject it, this study is an admonition and a warning to those who “profess” to be “Christians” to turn back to the inspired Word of God in deed and in truth, receive it at face value as literal truth, and allow it to permeate your entire soul and life. Yea, “…let God be true…”
The Text for this Study
In chapter One of Romans, Paul, inspired by God, reviewed the moral and spiritual decline of mankind in 1:21-28, as humanity went farther and farther away from God, ending the chapter by describing in 1:29-32 the “sins” that even at that time prevailed in the Roman Empire. What Paul was pointing out is that separate and apart from the saving grace of Christ Jesus men [and women] are total failures in every area of life!
In 2:1-16, Paul began reviewing the history of the Gentiles, pointing out to them over and over that there will be a “judgment” to face for having put away the knowledge of God as revealed in His Word. Has it occurred to our readers, that when Noah and his family came forth from the Ark following the flood, every person in Noah’s family [meaning every person on earth] had a knowledge of God, especially of His wrath against wickedness, [1:18-21] to pass on to their children, grandchildren, and other descendants? Yet, the Word of God clearly reveals that the Gentile nations of the world, morally and spiritually, went downward from the flood in the days of Noah right to this present time. So much for mankind’s boasted “progress!”
Then in Romans 2:17 and continuing through 3:8, Paul turned his attention to the Jewish people, pointing out that the Jewish people were just as spiritually deficient as the Gentiles, and by their example, were even causing the Gentiles to “blaspheme” God, 2:24. The Jewish people in Paul’s day literally hated Paul’s ministry of grace and reconciliation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, many religious Jews hate Paul’s ministry right to this present day. Now let’s turn to Romans 3…..
In 3:1-8, Paul is defending his ministry by pointing out that the Jews had a distinct advantage over the Gentiles because “…unto them were committed the oracles of God,” 3:2. The Greek word translated as “oracles” in 3:2 literally means “words; sayings; utterances; the inspired writings of the Holy Scriptures.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 379, Strong’s No. 3051. In other words, the Jews
had an advantage over the Gentiles, because the Jews had the inspired Word of God as a “light” to reveal to them how the Lord God of Heaven wanted them to live. Significantly, very little of the “light” of the Word of God was even given to the Gentiles until after the first coming of Christ.
Right here in this study is a good place to emphasize to every reader that we Gentiles owe the Jews a deep debt of gratitude for providing us Gentiles with the Word of God, and thereby with the way of salvation, Romans 10:17. The entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, was written by Jewish writers whom God chose to write down His Word as His Holy Spirit inspired them, 2 Peter 1:19-21. It is only by the GRACE of God that these inspired Jewish Scriptures were passed on to us Gentiles in order that we too could come to know God and the way of salvation. Then how very ungrateful is every Gentile believer who despises and puts down the Jewish people. Such an attitude or action is shameful and wicked!
Then in 3:3 Paul pointed out that even though “some [of the Jews] did not believe,” their “unbelief” did not and could not make “the faith of God without effect.” The “faith of God” referred to here is “the faith” one places in the gospel of God’s GRACE in Christ Jesus for salvation; the message which had been committed to Paul to teach and preach. In other words, the gospel of God’s grace in Christ would be effective in saving believing Gentiles regardless of how many Jews chose not to believe it. Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Hallelujah!
Finally, in 3:4, Paul, referring to the unbelief of the Jews making “…the faith of God without effect,” Paul clearly stated, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
There are truths in this Scripture which are seldom pointed out or emphasized by many preachers and Bible teachers today, which I want our readers to see…..
The Greek word translated as “let” in this Scripture is usually overlooked or ignored by most who read it. Yet it obviously means “to allow,” and thereby lays responsibility squarely on those who read or hear God’s Word to allow the Word to set forth God’s truth. The wicked Jewish Rabbis bitterly resisted the ministry of Paul. In this Scripture in context, Paul was instructing them [and every person who reads this] to abandon their resistance and receive the inspired Word of God at face value as the literal truth of God. This was a very fitting statement to the Jewish Rabbis, for right to this present day, the Jewish Rabbis teach the Jewish people that the Scriptures are just an “allegory.” In other words, they teach that the Scriptures are not to be taken as literal truth, but are only moral examples. Sic! Right here I suggest reading Isaiah 3:12. With such “leaders,” is it any wonder then that the Jewish people as a nation are still in a state of unbelief?
Folks, we believers can choose to receive and believe as truth the literal and actual statements of God’s Word just as they are given, or we can change them, “interpret” them to our liking, explain them away, or bald faced deny them. The choice is ours! Paul’s admonition in this context was for the Jewish people [and the Gentiles] to allow God’s Word to be true exactly as stated. For what the Word actually and literally says, regardless of whether it “fits” someone’s theory, personal opinion, interpretation, or “theological position” will remain the truth that is going to stand for time and eternity. This Scripture clearly implies that a “choice” has to be made, and one had better make the right choice. Paul himself had made that choice to “…let God be true,” even if it meant making liars out of the religious Jews who were so vehemently opposed to his ministry and message. Praise the Lord for such conviction!
Folks, any time one chooses to willfully reject, change, or deny what God’s Word actually and literally says, all they have done is chose judgment over truth! Wake up!
The Bema Judgment
In view of this inspired admonition to “let God be true,” just how much value and respect do our readers really have for the great truths of God’s Word? No, you do not have to answer the question or give an account to me for rejecting the actual and literal statements of God’s Word. I am not your Judge! Yet according to God’s inspired Word, every believer will be required to give an account for our handling or mishandling of the Word of God to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself explicitly
stated, “But if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day,” John 12:47-48. In other words, each person who refuses to believe and receive the Word of the Lord as literal truth, will be required to face the Word which they have rejected, or which they have twisted, perverted, corrupted, or outright denied, and explain why they would not “let God be true.” Wouldn’t it be much better to just believe what God’s Word actually and literally says, rather than having to face it as our accuser as we believers stand before the Lord at the “bema” seat?
I suggest that every reader claiming to be a true believer read 1 John 2:28-29. The “bema” judgment to determine the believer’s rewards can be an occasion of great joy and rejoicing, or it can be a time of shame and tears for not having believed the Word as literal truth and faithfully lived out the Word in your life as a witness before the lost and unbelieving in this world.
Folks, there is a “bema” judgment to be faced by every true believer, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10. The “bema” judgment is not to determine our salvation, for the question of salvation has already been settled for time and eternity the minute we received Christ as our own personal Savior. Rather, the “bema” judgment is to determine the rewards which each of us believers will receive in glory, for our faithfulness, or lack of faithfulness, in living for and serving the Lord during this present life. At the “bema” judgment each of us New Covenant believers will be required, among other things, to give an account of how we have handled or mishandled God’s Word. Our regard for God’s Word in this present life will be one of the factors determining our rewards (or our lack of them) in the future Kingdom of Christ and the eternal Kingdom of God, Colossians 2:18-19; 2 John 1:7-11. Take heed!
The Great White Throne Judgment
Yet since the Word of God was given to show forth spiritual light and truth for the benefit of all mankind without reservation, the unbelieving lost also have a responsibility to read, study, hear, and believe God’s Word as literal truth, Revelation 20:12. Notice carefully that in this “White Throne Judgment” passage, there is a reference to “books” [plural] and to “the book of life” [singular]. These “books,” I personally believe, are the 66 books of the supernaturally inspired Word of God, and they are there at the White Throne judgment as evidence that the unbelieving wicked refused to believe and obey the Word of God. The additional book, the “book of life” is there as evidence that the names of those who are judged at the White Throne are not written in the “book of life.” They will have had a lifetime to hear God’s Word, and yet refused to believe it and receive Christ as their Savior and Lord. Nevertheless, at the Great White Throne, they will be compelled to confess Christ as the Savior they rejected. What a terrible scene of eternal damnation! I suggest that our readers carefully read again Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:9-11.
Application to the End-Time
Today we find the churches and the ranks of Christianity in a state of gross apostasy, exactly as predicted in the inspired Word, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:1-1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 4:1-4. Why has so-called “Christianity” come to such a state of spiritual apostasy? It doesn’t take a spiritual genius to understand that it is simply because many today who “profess” to be “children of God” are nothing more than “religionists” who are determined to do what is “right in their own eyes” rather than to “let God be true, and every man a liar.” There is hardly any real respect for the authority of God’s Word today, even in the churches and the ranks of Christianity. There are certain shallow top of the water subjects in the Word of God that are proclaimed and held as truth today by the majority, but the great foundational doctrines of God’s Word are avoided like the plague by most preachers and churches. I know this to be true by personal experience and observation.
Time after time when proclaiming the great truths of the Word in my Bible studies, I have had critics accuse me of sowing the seeds of division by my teachings. When I have directly read or quoted the Scripture to them, proving and justifying my point by God’s Word, I have had them blatantly reject the literal statements of the Scripture, saying “That is just your interpretation.” How
ridiculous! What a cop-out! I have repeatedly pointed out that most of the statements in God’s inspired Word do not need to be “interpreted.” They just need to be believed for what they actually and literally say. Is this just too hard for some “professing Christians” to comprehend?
I have also had some say that we should never be divided by doctrine, but rather should just “love one another.” Boy, this sounds good, especially to immature “carnal” believers who never get serious about studying the Word of God. But what does the inspired Word itself have to say about this? I’m going to tell our readers, whether some want to hear it or not. I urge our readers to pay attention…..
The Greek word translated as “doctrine” in the New Testament is the word, “didaskalia.” This word literally means “teaching; instruction; to teach or instruct; teaching; precepts; that which is taught; doctrine.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 144, Strong’s No. 1319. This word occurs 21 times in the New Testament and is translated as “doctrine” 19 times, “learning” once, and “teaching” once. Those who then claim that “doctrine” isn’t important, are in essence stamping their approval on anything one wants to believe, claiming that the only important thing is that we “love” one another. In other words, this brings us right back to where the ancient Jews were, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” Judges 17:6. Sic!
How well does this work? For example, just try believing that God does not really exist, in spite of the fact that His Word repeatedly states that He does, and that He is our Creator and Judge, and see if your unbelief will buy you a drop of water in hell! Listen…..
 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers,” Acts 2:42. This was the first church of the Lord Jesus in the city of Jerusalem on and following the Day of Pentecost, which is the example for every true Bible, believing church, throughout this present church age. How many churches today are still seeking to follow this example? Well…???
 “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you,” Romans 6:17. This makes it clear that the believers in the church at Rome were saved by believing and obeying the doctrine that was preached and taught to them by the Apostle Paul. Hello!
 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” Romans 16:17. Here is a clear admonition in the Scriptures that true believers are to “avoid” those who are not teaching the same “doctrine” that was taught to the Lord’s church in Jerusalem and in Rome by the Apostle Paul.
 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee,” 1 Timothy 4:16. This is stated clearly enough for anyone claiming to be a “believer” to understand. Paul explicitly told young Timothy to “continue” in the “doctrine” of God’s inspired Word as the means of his own salvation and the salvation of others. Are our readers listening?
 “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine,” 2 Timothy 4:2. Carefully study this entire passage [4:1-4] and it will be glaringly clear why Paul was admonishing the young preacher, Timothy, to preach with “longsuffering and doctrine.” How many preachers are paying attention to these inspired instructions given to Timothy about these end-times in which we are living today?
 “Holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayer,” Titus 1:9. This inspired command is contained in the qualifications for an “elder” [elder; bishop; pastor]. It is due to ignoring these qualifications that many are in pulpits today, explaining away, corrupting, and denying the great truths of God’s Word. God’s people [true believers] need to take heed!
I could list and examine the other 15 Scriptures in the New Testament where the “doctrines” of our Christian faith are mentioned. But I have listed enough to demonstrate that “doctrine” is an integral and vitally important part of our “faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3. Without
“sound doctrine” we would have no faith, no Savior, and no hope for the future. Who then has the Scriptural authority to teach that God’s people should abandon “doctrine,” and just “love everybody?” Well…???
That “man in white” in Rome, Italy who is trying to get all the churches to lay aside “doctrine” and just unite in “love for one another,” is a liar and a deceiver. Listen to and follow him, and others like him, and you can count on spending your eternity in hellfire and damnation, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12. Take heed! Those readers who know me, know that I teach and have always taught that God’s people [true born-again New Covenant believers] should love one another. But no place does the inspired Word teach me or anyone else that we believers are to “cozy up” to every “religious” dog that comes down the street barking, “I’m a Christian! I’m a Christian!” If some of these “religionists” in the churches today were really “Christians,” then they would love and believe God’s Word for what it actually and literally says, and seek to uphold it and live by it in their daily lives. Some may be able to fool men, but God still looks on the heart, and He is not fooled by anyone. Hello!
Folks, when one who “professes” to be a believer rejects the literal truths of God’s Word, what they have really done is willfully CHOSEN JUDGMENT OVER TRUTH, for there will be judgment to face for having rejected the literal truths of the Word of God, John 12:47-49.
Every serious student of Bible prophecy knows that each of the seven letters to the seven churches recorded in Revelation 2 – 3, represent periods of time during this present “church age” [dispensation of grace, Ephesians 3:2] when the Lord God deals with problems in the churches in a certain manner. These church letters fall in the second division of the Book of Revelation which the Lord Himself set in place in Revelation 1:19.
The last church letter the Lord had John write was the letter to the Laodiceans, 3:14-22. Sadly, this is the church letter that represents the state and condition of the churches and professing Christianity in the very day in which we are living RIGHT NOW.
And what did Christ point out as the prevailing condition in Laodicean “Christianity?” Christ Jesus Himself explicitly stated that the Laodicean churches are “lukewarm,” Revelation 3:15-16. Carefully study this church letter for yourself. The context and statements in this church letter are very plain and to the point. The Laodicean churches are “neither cold nor hot” in relation to living for and serving the Lord. In other words, the people in the Laodicean churches today do not want to renounce their claim of believing in and serving God, but at the same time they do want to cling to the things of the world and that which is pleasing to the flesh, 3:17. Christ plainly stated during His personal ministry that “No man can serve two masters,” Matthew 6:24. Are you listening?
Christ Himself pointed out that these Laodicean “Christians” [?] do not have…..
 spiritual discernment, “thou knowest not,” 3:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:14.
 the true riches of God, but rather are spiritually poverty stricken, 3:18; Luke 16:11.
 the imputed righteousness of Christ, but are only lost “religionists” “naked” before God, 3:18; Romans 4; Genesis 3:7-10.
 true spiritual health, but rather are so spiritually unhealthy that they make the Lord Himself sick to His stomach, 3:10; Acts 27:34; 3 John 1:1-4.
Why are the Laodicean churches in this kind of moral and spiritual mess? Because those “religionists” composing the Laodicean churches reserve to themselves the right to sit as critics of the inspired Word of God, rather than simply receiving it for what it actually and literally says. These are the people who are always injecting their own opinions, ideas, interpretations, fantasies, and “theological positions” into the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, doing their best to persuade others to join them in their unbelief. Reminds me of the Pharisees during the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus, Matthew 23:13-15. These “religionists” want to criticize and correct what the Word of God actually and literally says, and are just too spiritually dumb to understand that it is the Word of God which is the critic of man, rather than the other way around. Read it for yourself…..
“For the Word of God is quick [alive; life giving], and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner [kritikos…critic] of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12.
Likewise, “To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20.
Then, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book,” Revelation 22:18-19.
Finally, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15.
Dear readers, when you pick up a correct translation of the Bible, you are holding in your hands the most supernatural “treasure” of holy instruction ever bestowed upon fallen mankind. Your Bible should be treasured, respected, studied, and received as literal truth for what the Scriptures actually and literally say. No man [or woman] has any Scriptural right to change or adjust anything stated in the Holy Scriptures to make them say what they want to believe. No one! Those who do so are willfully “Choosing Judgment over Truth.” Take heed!
Dear readers, it is obvious that we who are true believers are in this present evil world, but God’s Word makes it just as obvious that we do not have to be a part of the world and its evil, John 17:6-19. Likewise, we are obviously living in the Laodicean church period, yet we do not have to be a part of Laodicea. The Lord made it quite clear in this Laodicean church letter that there is a way to separate and sanctify ourselves from Laodicea, 3:19-22. At this very time there is a “remnant” in and among the churches and the ranks of Christianity who love the Lord Jesus and the great truths of His Word more than they love life itself. This “remnant” is not involved in twisting and corrupting and denying the Scriptures, but rather they receive God’s Word at face value as literal truth and seek to share the great truths of it with others. It is this “remnant” of New Covenant believers who knows that Christ is standing at the door to salvation and to Heaven, knocking in a last minute appeal for “any man…to hear His voice, and open the door,” 3:20. Dear reader, Christ Jesus wants YOU at the wedding supper in glory. He wants to be able to “come in” to YOU “…..and sup with” YOU, and YOU with Him. How much does that mean to you?
Notice that the very next thing the Lord mentioned in the Laodicean church letter is that those who take heed to His appeal will become “overcomers” and will rule and reign with Christ in “His throne,” 3:21. This means receiving Christ Jesus as your own Savior and Lord, through “faith” in His sacrifice for YOU at Calvary, and His glorious resurrection, as clearly taught in His Word, [Romans 10:8-13; 10:17]. Dear readers, we today are living right at the end of the Laodicean church age, and the coming of the Lord for His people will occur at any minute now. Are YOU saved?
I did not ask if you attend church, belong to a church, have been baptized, or are faithful in church attendance? My question is, Are YOU saved? I suggest reading carefully 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 2 Peter 1:10. No, my question is not based on pride or presumption. It is the inspired Word of God which emphatically tells the true believer that we can and should have assurance of our salvation. Read it for yourself, 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:14-16; 8:9.
If any reader of this study lacks salvation or the assurance of salvation, then feel free to contact me. I will do whatever I can to help any reader find salvation, assurance, and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Folks, remember…..when one willfully makes the choice to reject or corrupt or deny the plain statements of God’s Word, what they have really done is to Choose Judgment over Truth! May the Lord God have mercy on us all, giving us the grace to hold His Word as a sacred treasure, and as we read and study it, to “let God be true, but every man a liar;” Romans 3:4.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
Thanks again to those dear brothers and sisters in Christ who pray for this ministry and this old preacher on a regular basis, and to those who send gifts from time to time to aid in this Bible study ministry. Your prayers and gifts have meant so much. From my heart I thank you.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be reached by email at:
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