When I was a very young man I worked for a small local fuel delivery service. I drove a tank truck and carried fuel oil and kerosene to peoples homes and diesel fuel to farms. Let’s call the owners Mr. and Mrs. Tinley. They had bought the business probably twenty years or more earlier and when they bought it had kept the previous owners employees. There was in their employ a man named Bobby (not his real name). Who had been there from the beginning. Bobby was what might be described today as a functional alcoholic. He was also a bit of a rascal and something of an institution around town. He would sometimes be too hung over to come to work and would wander in sometime in the afternoon with one excuse or another. The Tinley’s were very tolerant of his antics as they were quite fond of Bobby.
One morning as I was getting my orders for the day Mrs. Tinley called me over and said “I need you to go to Bobby’s house and try to bring him in to work. We need him today and it doesn’t look as though he is going to make it today unless I make him”. I jumped in my truck and headed to Bobby’s house. When I arrived I had to knock on the door and yell for him for a while before he appeared at the door reeking of whiskey. I told him Mrs. Tinley was upset that he hadn’t come to work and that she said he had better come with me. He reluctantly went inside and soon came back out and got in the truck. as we started to drive away he said he needed to stop at the corner convenance store. I obliged and stopped. Bobby got out and soon reappeared with two tall cans of beer, two pickled eggs and one of those dried summer sausage sticks. Bobby said “just wait here a minute while I eat these then we can go”. Bobby proceeded to drink one of the beers and then ate the eggs and sausage stick then drank the other beer.
when we arrived back at the office Mrs Tinsley was livid and started in on Bobby accusing him of being drunk the night before and too hung over to get to work on time. Bobby said “not so fast! I was just having a late breakfast. Mrs. Tinley was not convinced and asked “what did you have?” Bobby replied incredulously “I had two eggs and sausage, ask the boy here he had to wait on me to finish”! I don’t know how I managed to keep a straight face that morning I guess I was just gobsmacked at how Bobby could manipulate the truth. Because, technically everything he said was true although misleading in the extreme.
There are a lot of Bobbys in the world. Their words don’t always mean what you might think they do. Sometimes intentionally so and sometimes not. In Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Moses is speaking to the Israelites and says.
15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you—from your fellow Israelites; you must listen to him. 16 This accords with what happened at Horeb in the day of the assembly. You asked the Lord your God: “Please do not make us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this great fire anymore lest we die.” 17 The Lord then said to me, “What they have said is good. 18 I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command. 19 I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in my name.
There is only one person which by the command of God we must listen to and obey. He and he alone can be trusted to tell us the complete truth and not mislead us. That Prophet is Yeshua! That is why he is referred to as the chief cornerstone. The solid rock upon which the church must be built. Yeshua said in Matthew 7:24-27
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash,
But, I hear you ask “what about other prophets and teachers, did they not also speak with authority”? Let me quote Yeshua again. In Matthew 19:3-9 Yeshua is talking about divorce.
3 Then some Pharisees came to him in order to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful to divorce a wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” 8 Jesus said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, but from the beginning it was not this way. 9 Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.”
Here Yeshua corrects the commandment of Moses. I declare to you that there is no one with more authority than Yeshua! Him you must listen to and obey. Please don’t make the mistake of basing your salvation on the words of any other man. Not your pastor or even Paul. Listen to the one that could correct even Moses for he alone is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.