Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
Stop listening to fools! Cut off those foolish friends! Get out of that false church! Turn the television off! Change your degree program! Turn that radio station off! Reject their jokes! Burn those books and magazines! Do not listen to that preacher! Get a job transfer!
God had King Solomon write Proverbs to make you wise. If you listen to this world’s contrary ideas, their ignorant advice will cause you great confusion and corrupt the wisdom you should have acquired. Worldly instruction will ruin you. Guard your ears.
Wisdom requires some censorship and isolation. Free speech, as perverted by this generation, is from hell. Speech is only free as long as it agrees with God’s Word. Any other speech should be punished. David said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person” (Ps 101:3-4). Read Deut 13:6-18.
Consider freedom and liberty. God gave freedom of eating to Adam and Eve – they were free to eat of every tree of the Garden, except the one He put off limits (Gen 2:16-17). Of course, this generation would say they had their rights to that tree as well; Satan is still alive and kicking before his eternal judgment. God gave liberty of marriage to His children – they are at liberty to marry whom they will, but only in the Lord (I Cor 7:39). So you see God has defined freedom and liberty as your choice within His revealed will.
This evil generation believes a proper education means being exposed to the false ideas of pagan religions and perverse philosophers. What a waste of time and money! And what a dangerous experiment! What is there to show for it? A bunch of highly educated people without the knowledge or understanding of a child! From evolution to abortion, divorce to sodomy, cremation to child training, and animal protection to euthanasia, they have erred from the knowledge that most illiterate peasants had just 100 years ago.
Paul warned soberly, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor 15:33). Solomon warned, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Pr 13:20). Bad teachers will eventually cause you to err from the words of knowledge – get away from them. Discretion and prudence demand that you stay away from vain ideas and lies, to avoid the risk of having your true and correct understanding corrupted by their foolish thinking.
There is no option for agreeing to disagree. Those are the idiotic and lying words of compromisers. If God’s word has addressed a matter, every man is required to agree totally with Him and hate every different idea (Ps 119:113,128). If God has not addressed a matter, then it is purely personal preference, so there is no need for any agreement. As soon as you detect a man is a fool, get away from that man to save your soul (Pr 14:7).
This proverb does not forbid being corrupted by false instruction. The proverb forbids even listening to false instruction. Consider the force of the prohibition. As Paul warned, it is self-deception to think you can listen to false ideas and not let them corrupt your manners. The issue at stake is refusing to even listen to erroneous instruction. It is not enough to say, I will not let television corrupt me. The LORD says to stop watching it.
A Southern expression says, “Eat the chicken, and throw away the bones.” But that is a dangerous game, and it is contrary to Scripture. You will easily be deceived into thinking some of the bones are chicken, and you will choke on them. It is much better to eat only pure filets of boneless chicken breast, cut carefully and only from the Word of God.
Fathers, note here the address of this proverb from Solomon to his son. It is your duty as a father to keep your son (and daughter) from instruction that causes them to err from the truth. Use whatever means you need – keep the instructional inputs in their lives noble and true. And every young person should soberly understand the need for this restriction.
The world is always teaching. Satan is behind their false ideas and popular rhetoric on every subject. He is the father of lies, so you do not have to wonder where their insane and perverse hallucinations come from (John 8:44; II Thes 2:9-12; Rev 12:9). The television and theater are two of his pulpits. The schools are his seminaries. The media are his public relations gurus. Politicians are his toadies. False teachers are his ministers.
How exclusive should Christians be? John denied wishing God speed to heretics (II John 1:10-11). Paul cursed any preaching different from his own, even if done by an angel (Gal 1:6-9). If any men could handle a few false ideas, it would be Christ’s ministers, but Paul told Timothy to identify them and withdraw from them (I Tim 6:3-5,20; II Tim 3:5). This is also the very same advice he gave to all believers (Rom 16:17-18; II Thess 3:6).
How strict should Christians be? Moses required death for false teachers, even if they did miracles (Deut 13:1-5). Paul told believers to hold apostolic tradition very secure, without wavering (II Thes 2:15). Christians are to measure all ideas by the Bible and reject anything that does not match perfectly (Is 8:20; I Thes 5:21; I Jn 4:1-6). You are to earnestly contend for truth once delivered to the church (Jude 1:3). Pastors and teachers are to keep believers from being tossed about with winds of false doctrine (Eph 4:14).
Wisdom and knowledge are precious commodities (Pr 4:7; 23:23), and false teaching will corrupt and steal these assets. Get away from the thief and pervert, who steal truth and replace it with error. The manmade traditions of the Roman church are certainly in this category, and so are the grandly presented ecumenical instructions of Billy Graham, Bill Gothard, James Dobson, Bill McCartney, and other similar compromising ministers.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, for He protects His sheep from the thieves and robbers that come to destroy them (John 10:1-18). He is the Way; He is the Truth; He is the Life (John 14:6). His whole Sermon on the Mount was to show the erroneous instruction of the Pharisees, which had caused many to err from God’s law. He restored it to God’s original intent with dogmatic authority, and the people marveled at Him (Matt 7:28-29).
God seeks true worshippers, and there are only a few. Worship with error is not good enough (John 4:20-24). God has chosen you for the perilous times of the last days, when most Christians and churches do not care about truth anymore; they care more about their own lusts and popularity, so they have replaced truth with fables and entertainment, just as Paul prophesied (II Tim 3:6-7; 4:3-4). Get away from them! All of them! Find yourself a Bible-preaching church that exalts the words of knowledge found in scripture.