Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
The Psalmist uses yet another title for God’s Word: “thy precepts.” The Psalmist gets his understanding through God’s written Word found in the Bible. As a result of having this enhanced understanding available from nowhere else, the Psalmist asserts that he hates every false way. When you have come to accurately understand the truth about something taught in the Bible, you will recognize at once any misinterpretation of that truth taught by others. I experienced hearing a “false way” just this morning. The very famous and highly respected speaker on the radio program attempted to prove from Scripture the doctrine of limited atonement. This doctrine holds that Christ did not die for all men, but only for the elect, those predestined by God in eternity past to be among those called to salvation and eternal life. The speaker dismissed the word “all” with a passing reference to the statement “for all hold John as a prophet,” declaring that there were many that did not believe John was a prophet. The speaker did not give the Bible reference for this one, but checking Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible at Exodus 9:6 where there is a listing of all the occurrences of “all” in the Bible which display this limited sense, I spotted the reference in the listing to Matthew 21:26, the text the speaker quoted.
It is true that in Scripture, “all” does not always mean “all.” But this fact must not be used to detract from those passages where “all” clearly does mean “all.” When the Bible declares that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), and again, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), and yet again, “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15), surely in these cases it is clear to the ordinary reader that “all” really does mean “all” without limitation. It will not do to dismiss these instances of “all” with a passing reference to a case where clearly “all” is used in a more limited sense.
This most prominent Bible teacher in this instance is guilty of mishandling the Word of God to bolster a particular doctrinal viewpoint, a viewpoint which is utterly mistaken and not in accord with God’s Word.
If I were to publically debate this speaker (I’m sure that will never happen!), I would immediately on this point bring up 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.”
For how many did Christ die? This text clearly specifies all. In what sense is “all” to be taken here? While opinions may differ, the answer is most clear. Christ died for the all that the Apostle Paul here labels “then were all dead.” It is obvious that the “all who are dead” has reference to those who are spiritually dead. How many are spiritually dead, initially? Romans 3:23 tells us “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Are there any who are born in this world who are not born “spiritually dead”? I think not. Therefore, the death of Christ on the Cross was for all, and the doctrine of Limited Atonement is false doctrine. Those who teach “limited atonement” as one of the so-called doctrines of grace are teaching falsehood.
In our text, the Psalmist said he hated every false way. Surely the doctrine of Limited Atonement is false doctrine, and the so-called “Doctrines of Grace” are a false way, and are to be hated.
The speaker on this program (“Grace to You”) concluded with a flippant reference to 2 Peter 2:1, a text which reads “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” The speaker asserted that Peter’s reference to “the Lord that bought them” was said by way of sarcasm.
I guess, to get around a troublesome text, one need only pin a label on it to disarm the inconvenient truth being expressed. This, again, is handling the Word of God deceitfully (2 Corinthians 4:2). The text at 2 Peter 2:1 affirms that the blood of Christ, the Lord who bought them, was shed even for these false teachers. This is another firm proof that Limited Atonement is a false doctrine. How anyone can blatantly deny the plain truth of this text and not be convicted by qualms of conscience for doing so is beyond me. Further in 2 Peter chapter 2 is unassailable evidence that these false teachers were once genuinely saved individuals because in identifying them, Peter uses the strongest word available for “know” when he says “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (2 Peter 2:21). The Greek word involved here is epiginosko, a strengthened form of ginosko, a form which means full and accurate knowledge, not mere head knowledge. The same Greek word is used for 2 Peter 2:20, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” If Peter had intended to convey that the knowledge of Christ these false teachers possessed was mere “head knowledge,” not saving knowledge, he hardly would have chosen the strengthened form of the verb “to know” as he did.
Jesus warned us to “take heed what ye hear” and also “take heed how ye hear” (Mark 4:24; Luke 8:18). The Psalmist has instructed us how to do that: compare what we hear with what is taught in the Word of God written in the Bible. If we do that, like the Psalmist, we will hate every false way.
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 631.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 676 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Psalm 119:104.
(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them further given below:
Psalm 119:104. Through. ver. *98, *100. precepts. ver. +4, 15, 27, 35, 40, 45, 56. Jn 17:17. Ro 2:18. 1 J 5:3. I get understanding. God’s written Word in the Bible is the appointed source of understanding. Furthermore, since we get understanding by our study of God’s Word, as declared in this verse directly, the Bible teaches it is understandable. We don’t need some supposed authority or teaching authority to tell us what the Bible says, though of course we may benefit from genuine believing Biblical scholarship to inform us of things about the Bible, its times, its language, its grammar, to help us get even more from our reading of the written Word of God. ver. 9, 24, **130. Ps *19:7. Ne 8:12. Jb *6:24. Pr 2:6, 10, 11. **4:7. **8:9. 16:21. 18:15. *28:5. Lk 24:32, 45. He 6:1. 2 P *3:18. therefore I hate. When individuals, churches, denominations, and religious groups teach contrary to what is written in the Word of God in the Bible, they are teaching a false way. Those who love God’s Word properly hate every false way, and avoid such false ways, following the teaching of the Bible itself, not so-called traditions, which are, after all, only the traditions of men. ver. 113, *128. Ps *36:4. 45:7. *97:10. *101:3. Pr +*8:13. 13:5. Am *5:15. Ro 6:2. 7:15. *12:9. Ga 5:12. 1 Th +*5:21, 22. 2 Th %2:10. He 1:9. Ju 23. false way. ver. *29, *30, 101, 118, +*128, 163. Ps 49:13. Pr *14:12, 15. **18:17. Je 44:4. Mt *7:13. Ep 4:14. **5:11, 12. 1 Th *5:22. 2 Th *2:10-12. 2 J *9-11.