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#1. WHEN IS WATCHING TELEVISION A SIN?

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#1. WHY IS WATCHING WORLDLY TELEVISION CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE?

Introduction 1

This bible study explains clearly when watching television is wrong and when it isn't. In the beginning God created man in his own image, and gave him dominion on the earth (Genesis 1:26-27). However, because "the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance." (Romans 11:29), and "whatever God does, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it;" (Ecclesiastes 3:14), generally, whatever God or the Devil desire to do down here on the earth now, they have to work through man. God has submitted himself to do this. Therefore, from the day that we are born, both God and the Devil have an earnest desire to win our hearts for themselves, because our heart determines our purpose (Daniel 1:8; Acts 11:23; 2 Corinthians 9:7), it devises our way (Proverbs 16:9; Isaiah 57:17), our thoughts come from our heart (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21; Luke 24:38), our words come from our heart (Proverbs 16:23; Matthew 12:34-35; 15:18-19), and our deeds come from our heart (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21-22; Romans 2:14-15). Ultimately the state of our heart will determine our eternal destiny. Thus whoever we permit to gain control of our heart effectively has control of us, and can work through us. How do they get control of our hearts? By sowing their seed in our hearts from the time we are born, and this is primarily through what we hear (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 18:15; 23:12; 23:19; Ezekiel 3:10; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:15), and what we see (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11:18-20; Proverbs 4:20-23; 23:26). We can see how God works through us once he has put his spirit or word in out heart:

(Amos 3:7) "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets."

The prophet speaks what God wants to do, and then God creates the fruit of his lips (Isaiah 57:19). Those who have submitted their hearts to God's control, he then works through:

(Ephesians 3:20) "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us."
(Philippians 2:13) "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
(Colossians 1:29) "I also labour, striving according to his working which works in me mightily."
(1 Thessalonians 2:13) "the word of God, which effectually works in you who believe."

On the other hand, we can see how the Devil works through us if he can get his spirit or word in our heart:

(Proverbs 16:30) "Moving his lips he brings evil to pass."

If the Devil can get us to say the wrong thing, then because our words are creative, he can bring evil to pass through what we say (Isaiah 57:19). Look at these examples:

(John 13:2) "the Devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him (Jesus):"
(Acts 5:3) "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?"

Look how the Devil had to place the ideas into their hearts before he could get them to sin! Satan told God concerning Job, "But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face." (Job 2:5), but then he had to put the idea into someone's heart to get them to speak it. Just as he used eve to get Adam to sin in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), Satan then used Job's wife to tell him, "curse God, and die." (Job 2:9). Jesus gave us the answer, and showed us how to walk free from sin when he said that the Devil, "has nothing in me." (John 14:30). To walk free from sin then, we need fill our heart with God's word (Psalm 119:11), and give no place to the Devil's word (Ephesians 4:27). Those who give no place to God's word simply become, "wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge." (Jeremiah 4:22). Here then we have our basis for studying television. Whoever controls the programmes, be it God or the Devil, will fill our hearts very quickly if we watch it, because television is a most effective tool for heart transformation, using both the eyes and the ears at the same time to feed information in. Here then are some scriptural reasons why we should not watch worldly television.

#1.02 WITH TELEVISION WE LEARN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL

GENESIS 2:16-17
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

Note: The only thing that Adam was told not to do in the garden of Eden was this, "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it:" (Genesis 2:17), and the reason was that the knowledge of good and evil was not a good thing to have. They were created pure and holy (Genesis 1:31), and refusing the knowledge of good and evil was the only way to stay that way. There is no denying that television presents everybody with the opportunity to learn the knowledge of good and evil, and if God's instruction to a perfect man like Adam was not to obtain that knowledge, then it must still be his instruction for us today. God attaches so much importance to his words that it is written:

(Psalm 12:6) "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
(Psalm 111:7) "All his commandments are sure."
(Psalm 119:86) "All your commandments are faithful:"
(Psalm 119:140) "Your word is very pure:"
(Psalm 119:151) "All your commandments are truth."
(Psalm 119:160) "Your word is true from the beginning:"
(Psalm 119:172) "all your commandments are righteousness."
(Proverbs 8:8) "All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverse in them."
(Proverbs 30:5) "Every word of God is pure,"
(John 17:17) "your word is truth."

In fact God is so particular about every word that he has said, that he will not alter "the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34). He has told us not to add to his words (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6), or suffer the end time plagues (Revelation 22:18), nor diminish from them (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32), or lose our salvation (Revelation 22:19; 20:15). God has not changed (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), and if he allowed Adam to die for his disobedience, then every one of us who disobeys will die spiritually the same day also. Those who say that learning the knowledge of good and evil does not affect them spiritually, are just confessing that they are spiritually dead already.

#1.04 BECAUSE IT IS BEING CONFORMED TO THE WORLD, OR LOVING THE THINGS IN THE WORLD

ROMANS 12:2 (Paul)
2 And do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

GALATIANS 6:14 (Paul)
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

JAMES 4:4
4 You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

1 JOHN 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

Note: Are the programs that are on television "of God", or "of the world"? Who invented television, was it God, or the world? If God had wanted us to have television, and spend our time watching it, why didn't he give one to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? Or failing that, surely Jesus would have invented it, because he came to earth specifically to do God's will (Matthew 26:39,26:42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38). The fact is that modern technology is a preparation for the antichrist. Without such things as computers and satellite television etc. it would be impossible for one man to rule the world, and monitor everyone having his mark (Revelation 13:18). Television was invented by "the world", for "the world", and literally nothing that secular television produces is godly.

#1.06 BECAUSE IT IS SOWING MIXED SEED IN OUR HEART

LEVITICUS 19:19 (God)
19 You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle gender with a different kind: you shall not sow your field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and of wool come upon you.

Note: In the parable of the tares Jesus is the sower (Matthew 13:37). In the parable of the sower, he sows the good seed, which is the word of God (Mark 4:14; Luke 8:11), in the heart of the hearer (Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12; 8:15), which is the field. According to Paul, "the law is spiritual:" (Romans 7:14), and when we are told, "you shall not sow your field with mingled seed", we are really being told not to sow our hearts with the knowledge of good and evil. Only by fulfilling the spiritual meaning of commands like this can we fulfil what we are called to do:

(Romans 8:4) "That the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit."

So when we see the knowledge of good and evil by watching television, we are disobeying this command.

#1.08 BECAUSE IT IS A FAILURE TO MEDITATE IN THE WORD OF GOD

JOSHUA 1:8 (God)
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.

PSALMS 1:1-3 (David)
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

PROVERBS 4:20-22 (Solomon)
20 My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.

1 TIMOTHY 4:15
15 Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all.

Note: How much time does God want us to spend in his word? These scriptures show us:

(Proverbs 4:21) "Do not let them depart from your eyes:"
(Joshua 1:8) "you shall meditate in it day and night,"
(Psalm 1:2) "in the law of the LORD ... meditate day and night."
(1 Timothy 4:15) "give yourself wholly to them;"

God has also given us the reason why he wants us to give our time to his words, because:

(Proverbs 4:22) "They are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh."
(Joshua 1:8) "then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success."
(Psalm 1:3) "whatever he does shall prosper."
(1 Timothy 4:15) "your profiting may appear to all."

On the other hand, the Devil does not want us to have life, or health. Nor does he want us to prosper and have good success, nor does he want our profiting to appear to others. He will use any means that he can to keep us out of God's word, and television is just one of his alternatives.

#1.10 BECAUSE IT IS A FAILURE TO THINK ON THE GOOD THINGS ABOVE

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 (Paul)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.

COLOSSIANS 3:1-2 (Paul)
1 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection1 on things above, not on things on the earth.

Note 1: When we ask, "What things are true?" we find:

(Psalm 119:151) "All your commandments are truth."
(Psalm 119:160) "Your word is true from the beginning:"
(John 17:17) "your word is truth."

When we ask, "What things are just or righteous?" we find:

(Psalm 119:172) "all your commandments are righteousness."
(Proverbs 8:8) "All the words of my mouth are in righteousness;"

When we ask, "What things are pure?" we get:

(Psalm 12:6) "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
(Psalm 119:140) "Your word is very pure:"
(Proverbs 30:5) "Every word of God is pure,"

So in this scripture (Philippians 4:8) we are really being told to think on God's commandments and his word, and it is essentially the same as the previous section.

Note 2: The word translated Set your affection1 (Gr. φρονεῖτε, Gtr. phroneite) is the second person plural, present active imperative of the verb "phroneo", "I think", or "I mind". This word is telling us to "keep on thinking" or "keep our mind" on the things above, and is really agreeing with the previous scripture (Philippians 4:8). Now be honest! Are we obeying these scriptures when we listen to worldly television programmes? No way. In fact we will be thinking about earthly things, and setting our minds on things of the earth, exactly what we are told not to do, because the way that we set our minds on things is by watching and hearing. If we think about evil things, then the same is going to go into our hearts (See #1.16; #1.18), and it will affect us. Don't look for the exception:

(Galatians 6:7) "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap."

#1.12 BECAUSE WHATEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN

ROMANS 10:17 (Paul)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

ROMANS 14:23 (Paul)
23 And he who doubts is damned if he eat, because he eats not of faith: for whatever is not of faith is sin.

Note: When we are watching television, are we receiving faith from God by sowing faith in our hearts? Faith comes from the word of God (Romans 10:17), not by watching worldly television, and the alternative is that we are sowing sin in our hearts, because "whatever is not of faith is sin." (Romans 14:23). Who then are we pleasing when we watch television, God or the Devil?

(Proverbs 22:8) "He who sows iniquity shall reap vanity:"
(Galatians 6:7-8) "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting."

#1.14 BECAUSE ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN

1 JOHN 5:17
17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not to death.

Note: When we are watching television, are we sowing righteousness in our hearts? or unrighteousness? Righteousness comes through faith (Romans 3:22; 4:5; 9:30; 10:6; See #1.12), by seeking after it (Psalm 24:5-6; Zephaniah 2:3; Matthew 5:6; 6:33), and by learning it through God's word (Psalm 119:7; Proverbs 2:1-9; Isaiah 26:9; 2 Timothy 3:16), but the alternative is that we are sowing sin in our hearts, because "All unrighteousness is sin:" (1 John 5:17). If we sow sin in our heart then we will think sin, because our thoughts come from our heart (Matthew 9:4; 15:19; Mark 7:21), we will speak sin, because our words come from our heart (Isaiah 59:13; Matthew 12:34; 15:18-19), and we will commit sin, because our deeds come from our heart (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:18-19; Mark 7:21-22). This will bring us condemnation, because we will be judged according to our thoughts (Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 4:14), according to our words (Matthew 12:36-37; Titus 2:8), and according to our deeds (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 16:27; Romans 2:5-6), in other words, according to the state of our heart. Therefore, take heed:

(Proverbs 4:23) "Keep your heart with all diligence;"
(Proverbs 22:8) "He who sows iniquity shall reap vanity:"
(Galatians 6:7-8) "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting."

#1.16 TELEVISION ENABLES US TO SEE EVIL AND IS CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE

PSALMS 101:3 (David)
3 I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of those who turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

PSALMS 119:37
37 Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity; and make me alive in your way.

PROVERBS 25:5 (Solomon)
5 Take away the wicked person from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

ISAIAH 33:15-16
15 He who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands from holding of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil;
16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

EZEKIEL 6:8-9
8 Yet will I leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries.
9 And those who escape of you shall remember me among the nations where you shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which has departed from me, and with their eyes which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

JONAH 2:8
8 Those who observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

Note 1: Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1; 1:14; Revelation 19:13), and though we read the written word, it becomes the "living Word", which is Jesus, when it enters into our heart. Because our eyes are effectively one of our spiritual mouths, and through them the words go into our heart, there are many admonitions to keep the word of God before our eyes:

(Deuteronomy 6:6-9) "And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart: ... you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates."
(Deuteronomy 11:18-20) "Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. ... And you shall write them upon the door posts of your house, and upon your gates;"
(Proverbs 4:20-21) "My son, attend to my words; ... Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart."
(Proverbs 23:26) "My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways."

As long as we do this we are obeying the word of God, but as soon as we stop, and begin to watch television, we have decided that something is more important to us than obeying God.

Note 2: We have just seen the evidence that what we see goes into our hearts, so whatever we continue to look at, this is what we are renewing our minds with, and this is what is going into our hearts. If we look at the wrong things, then our mind will be renewed with the wrong things, our heart will be filled with the wrong things, and we will continue to reinforce the wickedness that is in us. Therefore the word of God warns us not to look at the wrong things:

(Psalm 101:3) "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes,"
(Psalm 119:37) "Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity:"
(Proverbs 23:32) "do not look upon the wine when it is red,"
(Isaiah 33:15-16) "He who ... shuts his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
(Ezekiel 14:6) "turn away your faces from all your abominations."
(Matthew 5:29) "if your right eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you,"

If we are prepared to obey these scriptures, then we will be denying "our old man" the food he needs to stay alive, and he will gradually die, but if we do not, then be warned:

(Proverbs 22:8) "He who sows iniquity shall reap vanity:"
(Galatians 6:7-8) "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

#1.18 TELEVISION ENABLES US TO HEAR EVIL AND IS CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURE

PROVERBS 9:6 (Solomon)
6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

ISAIAH 33:15-16
15 He who walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands from holding of bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil;
16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

MARK 4:24 (Jesus to his disciples)
24 And he said to them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you: and to you who hear shall more be given.

Note: Elihu indicated that our ears were equivalent to one of our spiritual mouths when he said, "the ear tries words as the mouth tastes meat." (Job 34:3). The fact that what we keep on hearing repeatedly goes into our heart is revealed through several scriptures:

(Proverbs 22:17) "The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge."
(Proverbs 23:12) "Apply your heart unto instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge."
(Proverbs 23:19) "Hear you, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the way."
(Ezekiel 3:10) "all my words that I shall speak unto you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears."
(Matthew 13:19) "one hears the word of the kingdom ... that which was sown in his heart."
(Mark 4:15) "when they have heard ... the word that was sown in their hearts."
(Luke 8:12) "those who hear; then comes the Devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts,"
(Luke 8:15) "which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it,"

All these scriptures are encouragement to keep on hearing the word of God so that we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind, from "the old man", into "the new man", which is Jesus. But are we doing this when we watch television? Unless we are watching a God inspired program, such as a spiritual service, or scriptural preaching message, then the answer is no. Consequently, if we keep on hearing the wrong things, we are feeding "the old man", and reinforcing the wickedness in us, whereas what we need to do, is to stop hearing the wrong things altogether, starve "the old man", so that he will gradually get weaker and die. Thus there are admonitions in the word of God not to hear the wrong things:

(Psalm 101:7) "he that tells lies shall not remain in my sight."
(Isaiah 33:15-16) "He who ... stops his ears from hearing of blood, ... He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
(Mark 4:24) "Take heed what you hear: with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you:"
(Luke 8:18) "Take heed therefore how you hear:"

This latter scripture is for those who cannot avoid hearing the wrong thing at times, and is telling us "don't keep on hearing it", because repeated hearing is what causes it to affect our hearts. There is no way that watching television will fulfil these scriptures, and if we are to survive in the spiritual wilderness that we are in, then we need to stop feeding our spirits on the non-profitable things of the world, and obey the word of God.

#1.20 BECAUSE IT IS SPIRITUAL ADULTERY

JAMES 4:4
4 You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Note: When a woman who has a husband, goes with another man, and is intimate with him, allowing him to sow his seed in her womb, we know that that is adultery. In a spiritual sense we are considered to be married to Christ (Romans 7:4), and when we are seeing or hearing the word of God, we are being intimate with him, and allowing him to sow his seed in our heart, which is our spiritual womb. Compare the parable of the tares, where Jesus is the sower who sows the good seed (Matthew 13:37), and the parable of the sower, where he sows the good seed, which is the word of God (Mark 4:14; Luke 8:11), in the hearts of the hearers (Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12; 8:15). The enemy who sowed the bad seed was the Devil (Matthew 13:39), so when we sit and watch evil on the television, such as fornication, violence, deceit, hypocrisy, fear, etc., we are allowing the Devil to sow his seed in our hearts, and that is committing spiritual adultery with him.

(Exodus 20:14) "You shall not commit adultery."
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) "Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; ... nor adulterers ... shall inherit the kingdom of God."
(Galatians 5:19-21) "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery ... those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

#1.22 BECAUSE WE BECOME A PARTAKER OF THEIR SINS

1 TIMOTHY 5:22 (Paul)
22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep yourself pure.

REVELATION 18:4-5 (John)
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Note: If we watch television, and we pay a license fee, or rental, then we need to ask the question, "What is the money that we pay out used for?" If it goes to a television company, then it is going towards the production of all the wicked programs that it produces. If they show pornography, violence, murder, horror, rape, theft, witchcraft, or any other wickedness, then our money is being used to produce these programs. We might say, "Well, I don't watch that type of thing", but some people do, and our money is going to produce the very things that are corrupting the world today. How should we feel about that? Each of us must examine our own conscience concerning this. The benefit that we may get from watching such things as Godly programs, must be weighed against the cost to others. Sadly, some Christians are spending more money each year promoting the wickedness of the world by such means, than they do on promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ. How does God feel about that? How will we answer our Lord on judgment day if people have gone to hell because they have been corrupted by programs that have been financed with our money?

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