There's Death in the Pot!

Day 179: 180 Days behind the Curtain

“They served some for the men to eat, but when they ate the stew they cried out, ‘There's death in the pot, man of God!’ And they were unable to eat it” (2 Kings 4:40).

You may have heard the phrase, “Don’t eat the berries!” Not knowing what you’re eating or what you’re serving is risky business. The earth contains myriads of edible looking produce that could drop a healthy human dead in a matter of heartbeats. In Genesis, we read the ill-fated words, “The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at” (3:6). Eve at least had been told that there was death in the fruit, but nevertheless, she delighted in it anyway, shared it with the entire population of the earth, and it resulted in death for all.

For Elisha, just because there was famine in the land didn’t mean there must also be spiritual famine. Here he was engaged in breaking spiritual bread for the hungry souls of the young prophets who were gathered before him. This teaches us that though earthly bread may be scant, there is always an endless supply of the broken Bread of life prepared for the devoted and hungry saint. When provisions run low, don’t let your devotion follow suit.

Concerning the stew, Elisha had entrusted someone else to go gather ingredients for the stew and the servant gathered unknown gourds from a wild vine. Thus the pot became poisonous and could have killed them all had Godnot intervened. This speaks to the dangerous habit of trusting other people to feed you God’s Word without studying it yourself! However, the great difference between being poisoned by false teaching and literal food poisoning (Elisha’s pot) is, you can quickly tell if you’ve eaten blighted food; but being poisoned by false teaching doesn’t bare such obvious signs. No, it kills slowly and silently, all while the partaker remains numbed out from how the false teaching caters to his or her sensual appetites.

Parents, who are you entrusting to teach your children, and what are they being taught without your knowledge? We live in the age of a great paradigm shift where television internet and media have become the teachers and mentors of the next generation; where all that is death and poison to holiness and eternity is laid out as a cheap smorgasbord at an exponentially increasing rate. Husbands and fathers, who are to be spiritual leaders, are allowing sexual sin, idolatry, and anger into their heart and then feeding their families from this death-pot. What about our pulpits? From what fields are church leaders gathering their ingredients?

A watered-down gospel (which is no Gospel), half-truths (lies), Sunday morning puppet shows, comedic videos, worldly compromise, crude jokes, politically-charged rantings, humanism, postmodernism, and gnosticism, to name of few—all these are bitter wormwood and death in the pot for the soul. Those that practice and teach these ideals are gathering bitter gourds from a wild vine and feeding it to countless victims, to the deaths of both the giver and the receiver.  

Elisha’s response to discovering the ill effects of the poisonous pot was one of urgent haste. This speaks of his humility and true pastor’s heart. It’s tragic that upon being confronted in their false teachings, the majority of pastors preachers and teachers refuse to remedy the poisoned pot because of their insolent pride. Rather, they offensively and aggressively retaliate, and with hypnotizing words continue to minimize and justify it with more false teaching.

The meal (or flour) that Elisha threw into the pot contained no known natural abilities to remedy the poison, but rather implies that it was a miraculous attendance of divine healing that was needed to purify the poisonous contents. This is exactly what we need today in our churches...a supernatural move of almighty God to deal with pot-poisoning teachers and those who blissfully swallow it down by radically pouring in His pure unadulterated Truth into these blighted pots.

What’s in your pot? Are there foreign contaminates that could kill you, poison your family, or make your church bitter? You had better seek the Master for the miracle meal to cure the poison. If the poison is false teaching, go to God’s Word. If it is false living go to His cross.

For Thought:

Read Acts 17:11. A “Berean” always checks the pot for any wild or poisonous ingredients. Be one.

Deception never announces itself ahead of time! If the Devil wanted to successfully poison humanity, he would preach behind a pulpit, which he does in so many churches. Would he then open his sermons with, "Ok, everyone, what I'm about to say will deceive you, lead you away from sound doctrine, and hijack your chance to come to a true knowledge of (my enemy)"? He would never say, "What I'm about to teach you will make you feel really good but it will kill you," no more than a drug dealer would. And it is fair to say that we have many more drug dealers behind pulpits than we do doctors of divinity.

The most dangerous of lies must be dipped in proverbial chocolate, put on a silver platter, and served with the nicest of smiles and least offensive of language; otherwise no one would eat it. You can expect the most deadly and poisonous teaching to be shrouded with elements of truths, even biblical truths. You had better know what you’re being fed, and the only way is to diligently study the Word of God, not just merely read it like we most often hear. Your very soul and eternity depend upon it!

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David Frazier and his wife Kim. David is the founder and president of Arkase Bible Institute and Paraclete Biblical Counseling. David is an alumni of Master's International University of Divinity and holds a BA in Christian Studies, MA of Biblical Counseling, and Th.D.

When the Church Declared Herself Incompetent to Counsel

Since God created life He must also possess all the solutions to all of life's problems. If there is one problem God cannot solve, He could not be God. God is also good, therefore the instrument of His revelation to man, the Bible, must also contain all these solutions. If there is one single root problem of life that God's Word does not speak to with solution, He would be a withholding God, a contradiction to His infinite goodness. Therefore, even logically, the Bible must contain all the solutions to all of life's problems . . . just like it claims it does!

Here are some insights from Dr. David Tyler:

"Biblical cures for relational problems are foreign to modern people. The words sound distant and hollow to the average person in the pew. The average Church attending Christian today struggles to understand the depth and magnitude of his sin and, sadly, so do many, many pastors. Psychiatry, on the other hand, sounds scientific and mainstream. The long disease descriptions have abbreviations, categories, and are associated with specific behaviors and medications. The words are familiar and full of present day context thanks to advertising, talk shows, self-help books, government programs, and a psychologized educational system. While the church is talking about what are viewed as ethereal problems like salvation, justification, and sanctification, the psychologists are giving out advice for the problems “real” people face.

The intrusion of psychological thought into the Church is not the “fault” of the social or medical sciences themselves. Fault lies squarely with the local church. Historically, the evangelical church has been weak in dealing with problems occurring between people. Bad or nonexistent counseling coupled with a poor understanding of the fundamentals of theology created a vacuum toward the end of the 19th century just as the fathers of modern day psychological thought were rising to prominence. The Church was mystified by explosions in the sciences and it was becoming more liberal socially. This combination naturally opened the door for the pseudo-scientific theories of Freud, Darwin and others, leading to the mess we are in today.

The psychologized church of the present day generally does not advertise itself as such. One can find psychologized churches within most, if not all, the mainline Protestant denominations. Chief among the psychologized churches are those dedicated, in whole or in part, to recovery. On the one end of the spectrum, some churches offer programs aimed at a particular segment of the population, such as divorce or “addiction” recovery. They offer discipleship programs for hurting people groups assuming this will serve as an outreach activity to an un-churched population. Other churches form small groups, not to study the Bible through sound hermeneutics and exegesis, but to act as de facto psychological group sessions where everyone feels safe discussing all their problems. Recovery churches preach the gospel of the twelve-step program. Regardless of whether the church has dipped its toe in the recovery waters or jumped in head first, some degree of compromise with the sufficiency of Scripture has been made.

We live in a world where there are many interpretations of the same set of facts. One person looks at a butterfly and is moved by the splendor of God who created it. Another looks at the same butterfly and is moved by evolution’s ability to make such a delicate insect. One man looks at a child’s behavior and sees a sickness that is said to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that could be corrected through the use of medications. Another man looks at a child’s behavior and sees rebellion and sin. It is not the facts (the child’s behavior), but the interpretation of those facts (sin vs. sickness) at the core of the issue. Many explanations of life and the world do not recognize the authority of God and are, therefore, incompatible with a biblical worldview. The right things are not said because the right things are not believed. Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and believed an interpretation that was contrary to God’s truth. From that point forward, the war of words has been raging. Today, Christians are listening to sinful man’s (or the serpent’s?) interpretation of the facts, rather than God’s."

Dr. David Tyler is the President of American Association of Biblical Counselors (AABC), and Dean of the Biblical Counseling Department at Master's International University of Divinity (MISD). Visit his new Facebook page: Biblical Counseling