Love them by —
–Rebuking them sharply
–Saying “To hell with you and your money”
This is biblical. Listen to this 13 minute exposition by the wonderful S. Lewis Johnson.
Love them by —
–Rebuking them sharply
–Saying “To hell with you and your money”
This is biblical. Listen to this 13 minute exposition by the wonderful S. Lewis Johnson.
One of the common accusations from defenders of false teachers lodged against Christians who make the claim, is that no one can know their heart. That no one can know their motives. They say therefore it is not fair to make such claims. Only God can judge.
|Once you know how to spot them, the fakes are easy to see.|
That’s a synopsis of their argument, an increasingly frequent one. But is it true? Let’s look at the Bible.
First, in order to make a determination whether a teacher is teaching according to the bible or is straying from Christ’s doctrines, we test them. (1 John 4:1). We test what they teach against the bible- no matter who they are! (Acts 17:11). If they preach a different Jesus, (1 Timothy 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 11:4) fail to affirm His word, deny what the bible says (or that God said it), bear no fruit, or has a life that is below reproach, among other identifiers, they are false. They must accurately teach the full counsel of God through a life that stands up to scrutiny.
Once you’ve tested a teacher and they have fallen short, you know that they’re false. Now we can look at bible verses about false teachers to learn more about what motivates them and how they operate.
Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— Galatians 2:4 (cf. 2 Peter 2:1).
[The above in context were the Judaizers preaching works, circumcision].
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:3)
Trivia: the Greek word for the term “false” above is from a root of plastós – which is the root of the English term, “plastic”
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. (Romans 16:17-18)
FMI on false teachers, these New Testament books were written to educate us as to the false teachers’ methods: Please read Galatians, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Jude
|False teachers and their plastic words … one after another. Beware.|
I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Isn’t that an evocative and a sweet description of how we fall asleep! I’ve always loved it.
Apostasy is like that. It shows up slowly, then all at once.
In Philemon 1:24, Paul called Demas a fellow worker. By 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul had declared him a friend of the world. There was approximately an 8-10 year span between the two verses.
Judas was never in the faith. For three and a half years, he followed Christ. But unknown to the disciples, Judas held secret sins in his heart, he stole from the group purse, he met with Pharisees…By the end, he sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Demas and Judas never abandoned the faith, because they never were in it in the first place.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19).
A tweet by Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore this week is causing dismay and consternation. I wrote about it here. Here is the tweet:
Beth Moore and also Christine Caine on her Facebook page, confirmed the partnership. The topic of the program series will be “unity,” Moore tweeted. Meyer said on her own Facebook page that they haven’t scheduled the programs for broadcast yet. But that the programs will be on soon.
|From Christine Caine’s Facebook page|
Since Meyer is well-known heretic who teaches unorthodox and unbiblical doctrines, Moore’s partnership on Meyer’s program has disappointed many. Yet for others who have been sounding the alarm about Beth Moore for many years, (including myself) this comes as NO surprise. We are hopeful that at last, this will be the evidence your church needs to root out FALSE TEACHER Beth Moore from your church.
In Numbers 32:23 we read that our sin will find us out. Can any apostate keep their position hidden forever? Of course, Jesus knows all. He knew Judas was not of the faith, because Jesus sees the heart. He knows what is in a man. (John 2:24). But what about us, who cannot see the heart, but only the fruit?
Apostasy is a funny thing. It is like a chain that keeps lengthening. At which link does a person declare a false teacher false (if they are)?
No sensible person will declare a teacher false after only one link appears. That is not discernment, it is Pharisaical judgment. But how about after four links? It depends on the link. It depends on what they have said or done. If the teacher has said “Jesus never came in the flesh” then that’s good enough, because the 2 John 1:7 declares that people who say that are deceivers and antichrists.
If a person declares that they do not believe in Jesus as the Resurrected Son of God, and are in fact an atheist, as the Christian metal band singer Tim “I was faking faith the whole time” Lambesis said recently, then one need not wait for more links in the chain in order to know they are false.
But what of Beth Moore, who has been on the forefront of the Christian scene teaching and preaching since 1997? At what point in the chain does one say, ‘cut it off, I know she’s false?’ Some said it early and some say it late and others say it not at all.
As Justin Peters said on Brannon Howse’s World View Weekend radio program this week, a person can follow a false teacher for a season. It stands to reason that a false teacher can teach a false doctrine for a season, too, but correct it. That is why we must be vigilant, but not hasty.
For me the final straw that broke the camel’s back moment came when Moore claimed to have been visited by Jesus. Moore said he lifted her into another dimension to see the church as “He” sees it. Moore claimed that during that vision, “Jesus” told her “My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief”. “Jesus” then told Moore to return and teach this new revelation to the church.
Jesus would never say His Bride is unbelieving. To be part of the Bride, one must believe. If one doesn’t believe, they are not the Bride. Moore’s supposed revelation is an internally contradictory statement. And since Jesus doesn’t contradict Himself, it must be Moore who is false.
Others gave the benefit of the doubt for longer periods. And still other things that we could add to the pile of proof, links in the apostasy chain as it were, stayed mostly hidden. Unless one cared to look. I did.
When the bible says to be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8, 1 Corinthians 16:13) it means be vigilant. Observant. Watchful. Once the alarm bell went off about Moore, I listened closely and I researched for evidence. This is so one can either confirm or exonerate.
For example, Non-profit tax returns are public. I read all of the tax returns from Moore’s Living Proof Ministries, as far back as they were available, to 2000. That was how I discovered that Moore donated significant money to Lakewood Church as long ago as ten years.
Or when Moore made a statement that though she travels a lot, that she is a biblical wife and leaves Friday night and is home by Saturday afternoon, thus retaining her stay-at-home status, it hit me wrong. So I researched her schedule. I knew that she had many Living Proof conferences that year, and was on a book tour that year, spent time writing alone in a cabin in the woods, and did weekly TV shows. So I looked through her public calendar, pieced together the weekends, and found the truth was the opposite. But unless one did the research, one would not know she had told a falsehood.
Link by link I built my case.
So, when did Beth Moore’s apostasy show through? For me, early. Others, later. Still others do not have ears to hear, so they don’t remain vigilant. They are not watchful. When does the tip of the iceberg of apostasy show above the surface?
Jude 1:4 says,
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Unnoticed…Yet at some point, they stumble, their sin shows. They are seen by the discerning. The discerning raise the alarm. Some don’t see it. The wolf remains unnoticed still.
Was it in 1994 when she founded Living Proof Ministries and set herself as President, (and her husband as Vice-President) and claimed on her (2000) IRS tax form that she worked 50 hours a week, yet said in interviews she was a stay at home mom at the same time?
|Source: Publicly available IRS tax return for tax year ending 5/2001|
Was it in 2003 when she donated $1000 to Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, for “ministry support?”
Or in 2003 when she described writing her book “When Godly People do Ungodly Things” as having been taken over by a force which wrote the book FOR her? (a process known as automatic writing/channeling the occult/Spiritism)
Or in 2004 when she donated $34,429 to Joel Osteen’s church for “ministry support”?
Was it in 2005 when Moore claimed to have been visited by Jesus, who lifted her into another dimension to see the church through His eyes, at which time He told gave her new revelation- that, and I quote her quoting Jesus, “My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief”, and that Moore was to return to earth and teach this? (Jesus would NEVER say His Bride doesn’t believe, it is an internally contradictory statement!!)
Or in 2006 when Moore participated in a DVD program called “Be Still” and promoted the Catholic mystical practice of contemplative prayer?
Or in 2008, when her pop psychology tainted with faith conditions (legalism) began to show through, when she wrote for example, in her book Looking Up When Life Is Looking Down, that “I believe God has scheduled a time and a way for you to get out of our pit. You’re going to need to show up for the appointment, though.”
Or in 2009 when Moore taught from Deut. directly and blatantly allegorized the passage, twisted it, and made it about ourselves when the verse was clearly about God? (which she does with all her verses in all studies?) [Living Proof Conference, Charlotte NC]
Or again in 2010 when Moore taught a passage from Hebrews in one of her studies and completely allegorized it, twisted it, and made it about ourselves, beginning an obvious pattern of bible eisegesis?
Or in 2011 when her programs on Life Today with James Robison became more about “mistakes” and not sins, and more about pop psychology and earthly desires than honoring God and learning His word? When she said “I believe” more than “The bible says”?
Or in 2012 when at the Georgia Passion conference when she led the youths in the Catholic Mystical practice of Lectio Divina and prayer walking?
Or perhaps 2013 when her language while teaching included much more of “God told me to teach you this” or “I heard God say to me” and taught from her own vain imaginings and visions than the word itself but called it ‘teaching the word’?
Or in 2013 when she praised Catholic Mystic Roma Downey and Word Faith prosperity teacher Victoria Osteen at Lakewood Church during women’s conferences they did together?
Or in 2014 when Moore said “God told her” that there will come an awakening and an outpouring, and that she and others who speak “the genuinely prophetic” will be called false, but not to believe them, the people (us) who will say she is false will be bullies?
Or finally in 2014, when she linked with heretic Joyce Meyer?
Justin Peters is a pastor, teacher, and has been invited by John MacArthur to participate with him in several conferences. Peters teaches discernment. He spoke about the Joyce Meyer/Beth Moore partnership this week. He said in the past he has declared Moore’s teachings bad, her bible hermeneutics terrible, and her approach too casual. He has said she is not qualified to do the things she has been doing. He said he’s urged women to study under other women, like Susan Heck, rather than Moore…but has been hesitant to say outright that she is false. However, this Moore-Meyer link has pushed him over the edge, and unfortunately Moore can be seen to be a wolf. Many others are finally saying the same.
Those of us with the gift of discernment who spot it early, it is often a mournful time. It’s hard to be practically the only ones saying “watch out, Moore is false” not because we want everyone to see we’re right, but because we can see the wolves carrying off the lambs and the sheep! It hurts to see women impacted negatively by false teachers. It is a grief to see them absorb and adopt the false hermeneutics Moore teaches, false approaches to the bible that these women carry with them. It is a pattern of destruction that Moore embeds, which women then use as the filter to see God’s word and His attributes. The Spirit in His will gives gifts, one of them is discernment. If you have a discerning person in your church, please understand it is a gift from Jesus, not a harassment to torture you in your love for certain teachers.
|“Plate facing page 10, An Argosy of Fables” by Paul Bransom,
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1921. Wiki CC
You would not believe how wide Meyer’s sphere of influence is. Meyer’s social media influence is huge too. Meyer has 7.6 million followers on Facebook.
Moore is extremely popular. Women trust Moore and trust what she says, so when Moore promotes and endorses books like Jesus Calling, teachings like heretic Meyer’s, and practices like direct revelation as normative, women believe it. Then women get defeated because they aren’t hearing directly from God, they aren’t climbing ‘out of their pits’ in their own strength, and they aren’t having visions where all these lively experiences happen. “Why Beth Moore and Not Me?” Moore’s sphere of falsity widens ever larger, but the more women trust her the more they are entrapped into sin and bondage.
Justin Peters said this week in an interview with Brannon Howse on World View Weekend, “If the SBC had a pope, it would be Beth Moore.”
Moore and Meyer are the two most followed and best selling women bible ‘teachers’ in Christendom. In partnering, they have become the face of falsity for most women who claim to love Jesus. It is a dangerous time.
You might be familiar with the good Christian movies Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous. They were made by the Kendrick Brothers at their home church in South Georgia, Sherwood Baptist. Did you know that the Kendrick Brothers are now making a fifth movie, but have have struck out on their own, apart from Sherwood church? Their new movie is about prayer…and did you know Priscilla Shirer AND Beth Moore appear in it?
Discernment is a never-ending process. It is important to be vigilant! (1 Peter 5:8, 1 Corinthians 16:13)
Why am I saying all this? Because women in our church have to know. They have to be told that Moore, Meyer, etc are destructive to their walk. We have to gently approach our sisters, to tell them. We ask the husbands and the leaders to be attentive to discernment issues. It seems to me that the noose is tightening and that false teachers and false doctrines truly abound.
Because of these verses:
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Here is a tremendous article from Dan Phillips, called Red Lights. He is referring to the red light warnings we can see in teachers or pastors who are not yet false but heading that way. He listed 24 of them, with scripture attached to each. Red Lights
Readers of this blog are aware that I enjoyed the good biblical preaching at the recent Strange Fire conference. That was a conference that sought to refute the claims of the Charismatic movement, to rebuke the leaders of it, and to urge the brethren to pray for discernment so they will be able to detect falsity if it creeps in to their church (or heart).
The Charismatic movement is a movement which is based on the unbiblical notion that personally delivered prophecies, babbling tongues, and healing by men laying hands on the sick (sign gifts) are still going strong as they were at Pentecost and during the Apostolic era.
These sign gifts have ceased, and the preaching at the conference showed this. One of the speakers was Pastor Conrad Mbewe. Pastor Mbewe is pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia, Africa. He spoke at John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference in Sun Valley, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2013. His first sermon was titled, The African Import of Charismatic Chaos. He has been observing the growth of the Charismatic movement in his nation and beyond, for over thirty years. He has personally been impacted by it, as he said, not just from books but in every day life.
His second message was titled “Are We Preachers or Witch Doctors?” In this sermon, Pastor Mbewe related how the African mindset of the lost person, having been drenched in witch doctor superstition, will readily accept the unbiblical precepts inherent in the Charismatic movement because the two are extremely similar.
The lost person is desperate. It is the default condition of the lost person. They are wandering, empty, their lives are void of meaning. They also have life issues that may be very difficult to deal with and because they don’t have Christ, they do not have a lasting coping mechanism.
The sick, particularly, look for cures from any quarter: medicines, homeopathic, psychology, or spiritual remedies. The sick are often all too vulnerable and willing to grasp any person who claims to have a way, a cure, a method.
This is where Lucy Nduta comes in.
This woman is from Kenya. She calls herself Prophetess Lucy Nduta, and she preaches. In 2007, Worldwide Religious News printed the following, originally printed in the East African Standard
Churches Sow Miracles
“Nairobi, Kenya – The sprouting of countless charismatic churches in the country has heralded a new breed of church leaders and worshippers with strong faith in the power of miracles. An increasing number of Kenyans are turning to ‘sowing the seed’ (giving huge sums of money for offering and tithe) at the prompting of church ministers who promise them to expect prosperity. However, it appears there are ‘men and women of God’ who are out to take advantage of the unwavering faith and ignorance of worshippers. These are people who hide self-interest under the cloak of religion. They quote biblical verses to suit their intentions and convince the congregation of the need to give more in order to receive more.”
What Lucy Nduta did was, in the name of Jesus, take sick people’s money, supposedly pray for them, and lie to them they were healed. But it gets worse, because it gets more diabolical.
Nduta preyed on people with HIV/AIDS, a scourge that particularly affects the people of the African continent. Nduta would claim that she had the power to heal people suffering from HIV/AIDS through her miracle working prayers, and then herd them to a clinic/lab she had built near her church. The sick people would get tested there, and because Nduta owned the lab, she would have the workers give clean bills of health to these unfortunately trusting people, lab reports that were totally bogus. The people really thought they were cured, and sought no further treatment. And of course in gratitude they tithed heavily to Nduta. Then, they died.
The Africa Report stated, “The police later found out that the clinics were her own creation to lure people. She was consequently sentenced to two years in prison. Despite these revelations, thousands still fill churches each Sunday waiting for miracles to happen in their lives.”
Nduta was sentenced in 2008 and got out of prison in 2010.
False pastors who shred the sheep are a scourge. When the verse says-
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”(Matthew 7:15)
Ravenous means, ‘Extremely hungry; voracious, Rapacious; predatory, Greedy for gratification’. Ravenous predators never stop. They eat and kill and eat and kill. That is what they do.
Nduta and now her son, are at it again. This report is from last week, Nov 4, 2013-
“Self-styled prophetess Lucy Nduta Mwangi has called in to defend her activities and that of her son, another self-declared prophet Victor Kanyari. Nduta says there is nothing wrong with what she and her son have been doing adding that they will continue asking for what is called seed money.
The report above ends with the announcer stating that the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya will convene to discus and strategize how to deal with the sudden rise of fake preachers in Kenya.
Ravenous is what wolves are. So if you believe that opening yourself just a tiny bit to doctrines which false prophets bring, you are very, very wrong.
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:30-31)
I had a mouse problem in my apartment. It’s an old, old house (100+ years) and it is inevitable that critters will try to get in through the cracks. I have two cats, so before this fall, I’d never had a problem inside the place before, though I knew that there were mice cavorting unseen just outside.
So at first I thought I heard a whisper of a sound when all was quiet. I put that to regular noises an old house makes when it settles. But then I saw the cats perk up when the tiny sound came along again. After a while, the cats would not only perk up from snoozing placidly at my feet while I typed at the kitchen table, but sit up and stare intently at the spot behind the sink faucet.
Sometimes their eyes and head would track a sound I could not hear and a thing I could not see. It was preternatural, to be sure.
Then I opened the large drawer under the stove and saw the beginnings of a mouse nest. I went into combat mode and cleaned it all out. I took out the pots that were under there and put them under my re-arranged and cleaned under the sink area, leaving a nice wide expanse and one mouse trap. I also put mouse traps next to the stove and under the sink in that cabinet. Plus, some D-Con pellets.
I was unsure of where the creature was coming in, but I supposed that was one of the mysteries of living in an old farmhouse.
Feeling good, having four traps set and two cats waiting, I went back to work typing at the kitchen table. After a while I heard a slight tinkle of a glass in the sink. Knowing that glass doesn’t move by itself, I got up to investigate. Immediately I saw the mouse in the sink. He scrambled up and disappeared like smoke down a crack behind where the sink cabinet butts up against the outer wall.
I admit I screamed like a girl. My friend on Facebook later said that I AM a girl. I know, but I always thought that when the moment of horrible crisis came (spider, mouse, demonic invasion, Atomic bomb…) that I would handle it with aplomb and serious intentional purpose. Nah. I screamed EEEEEKKKK! just like in the movies, and went running into the bedroom. Girl.
Later I peeped over to the crack where I saw her go out, and I marveled that the fat mouse could even fit into that crack. It’s a small crack, man! Look, it’s only half a penny wide!
And that is the widest, the rest of the counter is less than half a penny wide. It narrows to nothing by the ends. A penny is 0.750 inches. Half of that is 0.375! Yet the mouse came in and went out confidently, going and coming in through the tiniest of cracks, despite the fact that there is a large, lumbering lady in the kitchen 10 hours a day and two cats 24/7.
False doctrine is that pregnant mouse. It’s quiet. It’s stealthy. It comes in when you’re not looking, under cover of darkness. It comes in through the tiniest of doctrinal cracks.
What happens if you leave it alone? If you let it be? If you don’t challenge its encroachment into your territory? Don’t scream at it, so as not to hurt its feelings? Allow its filthy feet to trample all over your counter where you fix sandwiches for your children? Ignore the fecal matter left behind?
|Crispin Glover in 2003 Willard remake|
You end up like Willard. And if you remember the original movie or saw the remake, the rats that Willard had trained and thought were his friends, in the end turn on him and eat him up. That is what false doctrine does. It kills you, eating you alive.
Some days I feel like that guy standing there, with so much verminous doctrine around.
Taking this metaphor further, I was alert in my house. On guard. I detected minute sounds that should not be there. That is how Christians should be in life and in church. Listening for and detecting the first whispers of false doctrines being preached or offered in a curriculum, sounds and whispers that should not be there. Once I heard the sound of the mouse I was fully alert and detecting from whence it came. It helped to have the cats there, with their ability to see and hear things I could not. That is what the Holy Spirit does. He alerts you, aids you and prompts you to what He can see and hear that you cannot. Our fight is with the invisible.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Once I heard something that should not be there, I launched into action. I cleaned out my stove and under the sink. I jumped in the car and went to the Dollar Store to buy traps. I came home and immediately set them. I continued to listen and be watchful.
If you detect false doctrine, don’t wait a moment. Don’t let it go. Don’t stand around. The mouse was building a nest because she wanted to have babies. That means more vermin infestation, and soon. The mouse had a very good reason for wanting in. It was not an accident that she was busy settling in to a place she should not be. Soon there would be more, lots more to deal with. Vermin always spreads.
“How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:11-12)
“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.” (2 Timothy 2:16-17a).
Whether using the example of leaven (yeast) or gangrene, false doctrine spreads from within and affects the whole organism..
Jesus said one of the signs of His soon appearance will be that false prophets will come. In the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24, He is speaking of the Tribulation.
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24).
However the false teachers that come will pile on more and more throughout the church age. Paul reminds us of that-
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12-13)
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
MacArthur wrote, “We read that in the end times there’s going to be a rise of cults, false religions called by Paul in his letter to Timothy doctrines of devils. We read that in the last days there are going to be apostates who go around denying the Lord that bought them, 2 Peter 2. That things are going to get worse and worse and worse, not better.”
The advance of falsity throughout the world and deep inside born-again Christianity is amazing. Just the last few years have seen an incredible change for the worse. Sometimes it seems like too much! There is false teaching everywhere! False teachers encroach into all churches! Oh no, the burden is so great, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
But wait! We don’t have to protect the world. The genius of how Jesus set things up is that He made us part of His body. We are all connected but perform in different areas and with different gifts. He sent the Spirit to endow us with spiritual gifts and the Spirit enables us to serve Him in maximum fashion within our spheres. The Spirit even gave some five talents and others two talents and still others one talent. So, some have more to do but a greater capacity to do it. God is genius!
I do not have to exterminate the mice in the yurt in Mongolia. I don’t have to listen for vermin scratching at the door of the tent in the Amazon. I don’t have to wonder if encroachment is happening in the igloo in Sitka. All we have to do is do our best where the Spirit has places us, with the gifts He has given us.
Even though the Matthew 24 discourse relates to the Tribulation, I see the flood of false doctrine, false teachers, false pastors, and false everything coming as a flood. The false teachers came on strong against the first century church and they haven’t let up one bit, but only gotten more numerous like mice unattended. Is the end near? The loads of false doctrine we see is a sign. Ultimately because the bible says the end is near, the end is near, (1 Peter 4:7; Romans 13:12) but no one knows the day nor hour. So I don’t know, but this is a great verse to think about:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Just do what you can do with the Lord’s talent that He gave you. Be alert, speak up, clean house, pray hard, serve well, love Him, and do it all while waiting for Him. As James said,
“You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:8)
We tend to think of Revelation being the “hard” chapter. But Paul’s little missive to the Galatians has some tough language in it, and stern words for the Christians of his day and for Christians of all time. Paul sends curses out twice in this short passage. False doctrine is extremely important to tend to. A little leaven spoils the whole lump.
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9).
Paul mentions here that:
–Christians desert solid doctrine
–Christians accept a different gospel
–Christians be warned that some come in who trouble us
–Christians be warned that some who come in purposely distort the Gospel
–Do not ‘dialog’ with the Gospel-perverters. Instead, let them be accursed!
“Have you ever noticed how difficult sometimes it is to reject a false system because the people in it are so nice? Paul says, “I don’t care if it’s me or if it’s a beautiful angel from heaven, let him be accursed.” So many buy false doctrine because the package is so nice. Don’t you know Satan knows that?” (source)
Far from being tolerant, lackadaisical, inclusive; Christians should be exclusive, intolerant of false doctrine, and vigorous in defending Christ.
Jesus said that one way we will be able to tell it is the end times is that false teachers will come. It has been the end time since He ascended and the latter days will end when He returns, but nonetheless, He also said that the end will come like a flood, and will be like birth pains. In other words, from the beginning of the period to the end, things will get worse and worse:
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)
Actually, when the disciples asked about the signs of the end of the age, the first sign Jesus gave was that there will be deception:
|photo credit: delete08 via photopin cc|
“As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.” (Matthew 24:3-5).
When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul said that ‘dangerous times will come’. That was a prophecy. John MacArthur expounds on the verses:
“The word “times” is the word “seasons” or epochs. And the picture here is the idea that during the period of the church age there will be seasons when the church is under great danger in perilous perilous condition. This is primarily due to the encroachment on the church of false teachers and false doctrine. Verse 13 says, “Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
Evil men, impostors who come into the church rising from within become a tremendous danger to the church. False teachers and their product, false doctrine, and their converts, false Christians, are inevitable in the life of the church and exceedingly dangerous. We look at the church today and we know we’re in dangerous times. The church as we speak of it in the largest sense, Christianity or Christendom, is mixed up with all kinds of things. It is literally filled with false teachers propagating false doctrine being believed by false converts or false Christians. The church is filled with men and women who deny Scripture in their theology, who deny Scripture in their living.
The church tolerates that false teaching, tolerates that ungodly living. Even in some cases justifies it quite as it did in Ephesus where Timothy was when he received this letter from Paul. Only today it’s far worse than it was then because evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse and worse as you come closer to the coming of Christ.
We are 2,000 years nearer the coming of our Lord than the church at Ephesus and we then have to suffer the accumulation of deceit and false teaching through all of those centuries that is now encroaching upon the church today.”
The word ‘accumulation’ is a great way to put it. Not only has false teaching accumulated, more is coming in every day, in greater force and in greater number.
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Therefore, we know by the word of God that we are living in dangerous times and what is causing the danger is false doctrine. It is causing persecution from without and contentions from within. We usually think of danger as things like machine guns or unbalanced madmen, but in reality false teaching is a machine gun that kills just as surely as bullets do, and it is brought by unbalanced madmen who can’t think straight (Ephesians 4:17 and Romans 1:21).
With the fact of coming flood of false doctrine established, let’s turn to Jude for a moment. Jude 1:3 says says what to do about it,
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3)
Jude wrote that though he had other plans for his letter’s content, something had arisen which changed his mind. He used very strong language to indicate that his intent had been changed and he must now address a different topic. Various translations use the word
When Jude uses the word compelled or necessary, or must, he is using the Greek word anankēn, a root of anagke. This word means literally to “compress or to press tight. In human terms it indicates a compelling need requiring immediate action, i.e. in a pressing situation. The definition also means it calls for timely help, i.e. strong force needed to accomplish something compulsory or absolutely required.” (Strong’s)
Gills Exposition says of the verse, “by the “faith” is meant the doctrine of faith, in which sense it is used whenever faith is said to be preached, obeyed, departed, or erred from, or denied, or made shipwreck of, or when exhortations are made to stand fast, and continue in it
Jude found it necessary to warn the brethren to take action regarding the existing evils in the Church. Jude used the strongest terms possible to urge them to fight for the faith. By faith, Jude means doctrine.
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Yet we are living in strange times. Just as false doctrine is permeating everywhere, we are told to tolerate it. Just as people of the faith are littering the sea of the church in shipwrecks, we are told to step over them as they lay gasping and dying, so as not to offend them.
Jude did not say, “I planned to write to you about our common salvation but I see that false doctrine is coming in. If you think of it, would you address this? If you get a chance? Either way. But if someone makes a charge of intolerance or says that you are not loving by doing this, back off immediately and pray for forgiveness for your offense.”
Jude did not say, “There may be a false thing we need to take care of, but that’s for later. First, witness to the people by your actions, not your words, so they will see you’re not a hypocrite. Then after a few years when you’ve established a relationship based on common interests and mutual trust, mention to them delicately, without naming names! that sometimes false doctrine comes in. If you feel led. Or not.”
Brethren, it is obvious that addressing false doctrine is a must. Jude said to contend. Contending is contentious. That’s a fact. I’m not saying to BE contentious. But there is emotional and spiritual turmoil associated with combating false doctrine.
This is because people who gravitate to false doctrine are deceived, and no one likes to be told they are being deceived. There is intellectual pride there which must be dealt with by the person, and sometimes they get angry at you for exposing this to them. People who follow false teachers do so because the teacher’s teaching is comforting them in their flesh, and excising the flesh is always painful. (2 Timothy 2:17, Mark 9:47). People cling to false teaching because they like it. No one enjoys being told that something they like is bad for them. They have already invested too much, and their pride, comfort, personal reputation etc. is now tied into it.
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What does contending look like in practical terms? If you have a conversation with someone and they mention they enjoy watching Joyce Meyer, the person should be told that Joyce Meyer is a false teacher preaching heresy. If you have all the facts at your disposal, perhaps you can tell them this immediately. But more likely it is better to draw back, pray, gather the facts of why she is false and also why it is important to tell the person she is false, and take her aside at another time. This is what Priscilla and Aquila did for Apollos. (Acts 18:24-28). He was a brother, he just had some facts wrong.
John Ed Mathison writes,
They took him aside!
“How do you deal with people when they have made a mistake and obviously you know how to help them? Knowing what to do is sometimes not as important as how we do it. In Acts 18:24 there was an interesting man by the name of Apollos who had become a convert to the Christian faith. He became a fervent disciple. He desired to teach and share his faith. His enthusiasm seemed to outrun the grounding of his intellectual understanding of God’s truth. He began to make a few errors. How do you handle somebody who is in error? It is easy to confront the person in front of a lot of people and make yourself look good by showing them their faults. Sometimes the practice is to go to somebody and tell them what someone else is doing wrong, without confronting the person who is actually making the mistake. Some people simply “pray about it.” Some people criticize the errors in an indirect manner. Priscilla and Aquila did the right thing. The Bible says “They took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:26) They didn’t embarrass him. They didn’t pull rank on him. They took him aside in order to be helpful to him.”
Paul took another tack. When Peter was engaged in false doctrine and had done nothing to refute it, Paul opposed Peter to his face. (Galatians 2:11-14). Paul waded into the fray, willing to take the pain of conflict in contending with Peter, in order to defend the truth of the gospel. You see the emergency portion of the verse, “even Barnabas was led astray.” (Galatians 2:13). Failure to confront false doctrine means others get hurt! In the Galatians situation, Jews and Gentiles were split! Peter was passive, not leading in the authority of his office! Confusion, not unity, reined! And poor Barnabas was being led away by satan.
Roger R. Nicole said of contending for the faith in his article “How to deal with those who differ from me” (.pdf here), “We are called upon by the Lord to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). That does not necessarily involve being contentious; but it does involve avoiding compromise, standing forth for what we believe, standing forth for the truth of God—without welching at any particular moment.”
Ultimately, it is up to you to do your part. This means:
–reading the bible so you know when false doctrine comes in the first place
–staying prayed up so your relationship with Jesus is fresh and alive
–loving others enough to risk emotional turmoil when contending for the faith
–honoring Jesus by being a good soldier and fighting the good fight
It’s up to you also to decide whether to confront privately or publicly. I’ve done both as different cases arose. The bible shows us several ways to contend and therefore all are correct, but not all are equally applicable to each situation. How you contend is between you and the Holy Spirit, but it must be done. Paul and Jude made no bones about that.
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How to contend for the faith (2-min video)
The Berean Call: What does it mean to earnestly contend for the faith?
The Christian Courier advises in their article, “Contend Earnestly for the Faith“
“Contending Is Not Contentiousness. There are some who have yet to learn the difference between contending for the faith and being contentious for the faith. Contending for the faith is a balanced proclamation and defense of the fundamental elements of gospel truth, whereas contentiousness is a wrangling disposition that generates ill will over inconsequential matters.” More at the link
A friend of mine recently asked me how my summer went. I said god and asked her about hers. She is a lady with whom I speak about Jesus quite often. She replied that she loves her summers so she can listen to sermons and study what the person said in it. I asked who she listened to and she said she loves Joyce Meyer, and Joseph Prince. “I love them!” she said.
Joseph Prince is a false teacher.
Joyce Meyer is a false teacher.
I went away mournful. I am also perplexed. I often speak of Jesus in my daily life, whether at work, or church, or at the store. I often speak of false doctrine and false teachers, specifically on my blog and in general at church. Sometimes if a specific situation comes up, I make an appointment and lay out specific concerns to my pastors or elders, and step back to prayerfully allow them to do their leading and pastoring regarding what I’ve shared.
But outside of church, I find it difficult to approach people one-on-one when confronted with a statement such as the one I was confronted with last week.
False teaching is a serious, serious issue. It is not one where we can step back and simply say, “Well, they have most of their faith right. I’ll stay quiet.”
If I do that, I am being disobedient. We know the bible warns us again and again that false teachers will come (2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 John 4:1, Matthew 7:15, Galatians 1:6-9 …). We are commanded to do certain things about false teachers and their false doctrine, such as warn, test, rebuke, beware, resist, avoid. (Romans 16:17-18, Colossians 2:8, 1 Timothy 5:20, 2 John 1:10). This is because false doctrine kills, perverts, confuses, deceives, exploits, and destroys. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 Timothy 4:1, Jude 1:4, 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, 2 Peter 2:3…). The end for these teachers is cursing, darkest hell, and destruction. (Galatians 1:6-9, Jude 1:13, 2 Peter 2:3).
Dr John MacArthur says of the importance of warning of error, firstly that it will cost the person a lot of money. False teachers exploit the unwary with greed. The unwary ones will get caught up in false teachers telling them that if they give money they will receive health or wealth or prosperity. It’s crass, but it is true that the false teachers say this. More unfortunately it’s true that the desperate believe it and send check after check.
But even more importantly, MacArthur explained,
“People caught up in error are cut off from God’s blessing. God blesses obedience to the truth. The truth is everything. The most important thing in the universe is divine truth. And these people who hold a bible in their hand but are under false teachers are never led to the knowledge of the truth that produces the blessing.”
Therefore, how can I remain silent when a precious lady tells me she spends her long summer days ingesting poison? I cannot. She is in danger. I will prayerfully seek wisdom and counsel from my Holy Spirit, and ask Him to guide me into an opportune moment to share the truth with her. I don’t know her from church, so It will take special maneuvering to come alongside her again, but I must bow to the weight of glory and seek a chance to share with her that the danger of the hidden reefs is just as killing as the observable reefs.
I am reminded of a haunting and a sad song by John Prine. His song Bruised Orange recounts a tragedy that occurred long ago when songwriter and singer Prine was young.
Blogger Chimesfreedom recounted the episode that affected Prine so much.
“The John Prine website quotes Prine explaining the inspiration for the opening lines of the song one day as he was driving to do his job shoveling snow at a church. Turns out one of the altar boys on his way to the Catholic church was walking down the train tracks. God only knows where his mind was, but a local commuter train come from behind and they had to put him in bushel baskets – what was left. I saw a group of mothers standing near the accident, not knowing whose boys it was. When they finally identified the boy, the mother broke down, and the other mothers consoled her with a great sense of relief.
The relevant lyrics go thus:
Like a long ago Sunday when I walked through the alley,
On a cold winter’s morning to a church house,
Just to shovel some snow.
I heard sirens on the train track howl naked gettin’ nuder,
An altar boy’s been hit by a local commuter,
Just from walking with his back turned
To the train that was coming so slow.
False doctrine is like that. You could be ambling mindlessly along the tracks, lost in your own thoughts, your own world, and though the train is coming so slowly, and you could have escaped it. The slow train inexorably bears down on you with just as much killing potential as if it was a bullet train coming out of nowhere. And indeed, if you stay on that track, though the train of false doctrine is coming slowly, it will still kill you. You will be dead.
False doctrine is a tragedy because it is avoidable. You can see it coming. You can get off the track. But if you fail to heed the warning signals, you will be dead. If you are lost in your thoughts and no one warns you of the coming disaster, you will be dead. That is why it is important to warn people about it. If you had seen that young boy on a cold winter’s morning so long ago, ambling down the tracks, would you have said, “Well, surely he will turn around and see the train in time. I’ll stay quiet and hope for the best”? Of course not. It is the same with false doctrine.
Speak up. Warn.
Outside of Catholic circles, you may or may not know that Catholics pray to Mary. They believe she is co-redemptrix. They also believe she was a virgin all her life, that she never sinned, and that she ascended bodily into heaven, where she co-rules with Jesus. All this is false of course. It is blasphemy and idolatry.
Here is the translation of the prayer that Pope Francis prayed today
Pope’s Marian Prayer at Lampedusa
Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s prayer to the Blessed Mother at the conclusion of the Mass celebrated in the island of Lampedusa this morning. Oh Mary, star of the sea, once again we recourse to thee, to find refuge and serenity, to implore your protection and help. Mother of God and our Mother, turn your sweet gaze towards those who face the dangers of the sea everyday to guarantee their families the necessary sustenance for life, to protect the respect of creation, to serve peace between peoples. Protector of migrants and itinerants, assist with maternal care all men, women, and children who are forced to flee their lands in search of a future and of hope. May their meeting with us and our people not become a source of new and heavier slavery and humiliation.
Mother of mercy, ask forgiveness for us who, blinded by selfishness, concerned by our interests and prisoners of our own fears, have become distracted towards the needs and sufferings of our brothers. Refuge of sinners, obtain the conversion of heart for those who generate war, hate and poverty, who exploit their brothers and their fragility, who make an undignified commerce of human life. Model of charity, bless all men and women of good will, who receive and serve those who dock on this land: may the love received and given be a seed of new brotherly ties and the dawn of a world of peace. Amen
The bible says that we are only to pray to God. Jesus is our only intercessor. (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 7:25). The Catholic will explain that prayers to Mary (or requests of Mary to pray for us) are biblically justified, despite the clear command to pray only to Jesus, and the prohibition against communing with the dead. (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13)
In this video, a priest is teaching that because of the scene in Revelation 5:8, where the elders around God’s throne are holding harps and bowls of incense which are the prayers of the saints, that they intercede for us. He also says that in Revelation 8:3-5, that the angels do the same thing, bring our prayers to God. Yet the bible’s Rev 5 scene shows dramatically and clearly that though the elders hold the bowls of prayers, they are offering them to God, not rifling through the bowls themselves to pick a prayer to answer them. And, one would have to place Mary at the seated circle of elders so that she would be holding a bowl, in the first place, which the verse in no way describes.
This Catholic answers web page about praying to Mary states, “Secondly, because Mary was “favoured by God” [Lk. 1:30] when she was personally chosen by the Lord to become the mother of Jesus, God incarnated, Catholics believe that they have a greater chance of obtaining God’s grace for their daily physical and spiritual needs by asking Mary to intercede on their behalf. Thirdly, the above mentioned belief is partially based on the fact that Jesus is the King of kings and Mary, as the mother of the King, is the “queen mother.” Then, when studying Jewish history, it is discovered that the institution of the “queen mother” was established during the reign of King Solomon.”
However, you notice that the queen mother item is a man-made tradition. Nowhere in the bible does it call Mary royalty. As a matter of fact, Paul says simply “Jesus was born of a woman.”(Galatians 4:4)
The Catholic page continues,
In the Old Testament, we learn of the favoured position of the queen mother through the following words, “… then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, ‘I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.’ And the king said to her, ‘Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.'” [1 Kgs. 2:19-20]
Following the reign of King Solomon, many of the kings kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [See 1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc…]
Why not pray to Queen Esther? She really was a queen, AND saved all the Jewish people, something that, after all, Jesus did too. Why not pray to Queen Nitzevet, mother of King David and who was in direct line of the Messiah? Because we should only pray to “Queen Mary,” a Catholic might say? Well, where is that in the bible? You see how far off-track we get when we apply man’s traditions and extra-biblical interpretations on top of the bible.
Similar to the intercession of the Queen Mother, when a child desires a favour and cannot obtain it from his/her parents, frequently the child will make the request to the grandparent to intercede on his/her behalf, therefore obtaining the favour that was being sought. This does not mean that the child is seeking the parental favour from the grandparent. Rather, the child is seeking the intercession of the grandparents before the parents.
Likening a disobedient grandchild manipulating his two grandparents to Catholic Marian intercession is just false on the face of it. The child’s authority are the parents. Period. Going around the parents’ back means you have a disobedient child on your hands, and he should be punished.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1)
Furthermore, Catholics do not differentiate between the living (in this world) and the dead (those who departed) members of the Body of Christ (the fullness of the Church.) The fullness of the mystical Body of Christ is found in the union of all the saints, past and present, here below and those above in Heaven.”
Catholics would have to see the living and the dead as the same for their false construct to hold up, as well as purgatory and indulgences and many other false Catholic doctrines.
For more information explaining why praying to Mary is a blasphemous activity, go here. Here is a snippet:
“The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in heaven for their prayers. Why, then, do many Catholics pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers? Catholics view Mary and the saints as “intercessors” before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more “direct access” to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we, believers here on earth, can “approach the throne of grace with confidence.”
I mention the Marian prayer by Pope Francis for two reasons. First, to show how subtly the false religions twist the bible. It takes skill and discernment to see how and why the Catholic stance is incorrect. I listened to the priest three times in that video. Not because I believed him but I wanted a thorough understanding of what he was saying and how he was saying it. He used Revelation 5 very well. He is very plausible sounding. Yet the bible says that the false doctrines will sound plausible.
“I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.” (Colossians 2:4)
Secondly, in this day and age of “tolerance” I want to keep saying all the more boldly and flatly: anyone adhering to these doctrines is not saved and will go to hell if they die believing them. If Pope Francis were to die tonight, he will go to eternal fiery torment in hell. He is a child of hell (Matthew 23:33) and a curse upon the earth. (Galatians 3:10). He is in all likelihood a very nice man, that is not the issue. He is a child of the devil. (1 John 3:10).
How can I say these things with such certainty? No one becomes pope unless they have demonstrated throughout a lifetime of believing, protecting, teaching, and promoting these false doctrines. And tonight we see the fruit: praying to Mary.
I am not happy about the fact that if Pope Francis were to die tonight he would go to hell forever. Not at all. I wish no one would go there. But one must believe on Jesus alone and not a hellish amalgam of grace plus works plus a heavy dose of idolatry and blasphemy in order to be declared righteous before God.
Though I am sad that a man like Mr Jorge Bergoglio is going to hell, I am also upset that he is deluding many millions with these doctrines of demons.
Be careful not to be swayed by fine words using the bible. Be careful not to be drawn away by mystical practices which entice the flesh under guise of spirituality.
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)
Does Jesus need Mary as prayer buddy because He is too busy? Is she the heavenly secretary, bringing prayers to the overwhelmed CEO because His desk got piled too high? Never let it be so! Does He use Mary because He is distant and unloving? Then He is not God! Does He need Mary because He must be persuaded? Then He is not sovereign!
Jesus is our High Priest, loving, able, compassionate, willing to hear our prayers and grant them if they align with His will. (Hebrews 6:20, Hebrews 9:11). Jesus paid it all, and He was accepted by God as the one sacrifice for sins, therefore He now performs a most excellent office, Priest, interceding for us. Why would you WANT to pray to anyone else, when we have the most unique Being, the most perfect Judge, the most loving Shepherd, in the entire universe, who knows our name and the very numbers of hairs on our head?!
Love Jesus and love His offices of Priest, Prophet and King. He is the ONLY ROYALTY.
In Brannon House’s this week’s Worldview Weekend Hour TV Program Topic he covered 20 Characteristics of False Teachers. The teaching was one hour. I wrote down the points and their attendant verses which support the point he was making. Here is the link to the video but the WVW videos are only live for a few days and then they go behind a paywall. He put up half the teaching to the public, and that’s why if you count them, there are only 13 and not 20.
The bible says, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” (Romans 16:17). The KJV says to “mark them.” To those who claim we are unloving to point out false teachers, or that a true Christian is not supposed to do that, I refer you to the Romans verse. Also we read another instruction from the Apostle John, found in 2 John 1:10-11, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” And again, Paul instructs in Ephesians 5:11, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
20 characteristics of false teachers, Here are Mr Howse’s points:
–False teachers are insincere and use the Word for personal gain. 2 Corinthians 2:17 says, “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
–False teachers appeal to the flesh and the sin-nature of people in order to build their following. 2 Peter 2:18 says, “For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.” Acts 20:30 says “and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
–False teachers deliberately take verses out of context to attract a following.
–False teachers have a form of Godliness but deny God. 2 Timothy 3:5 says, “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
–False teachers openly reject truth. 2 Timothy 4:4 says, “and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
–False teachers willingly embrace unbiblical philosophies. 2 Timothy 4:4 says, “and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (philosophies).” Colossians 2:8 says “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
–False teachers are arrogant and self-righteous. 2 Timothy 3:2-5, “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
–False teachers embrace mysticism. (Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences. The seek after experiences by Contemplative Prayer, soaking prayer, visions, dreams, labyrinth, yoga etc…) Colossians 2:18, “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind.”
Note that the people promoting mysticism often speak of their regular angel visits (Todd Bentley’s ‘Angel Emma’, Rick Joyner & his ‘talking eagle of wisdom’, William Branham and his supposed visit from an ‘angel of the lord’…). Angel visits figure very prominently in many false visions/dreams. This attachment to angels easily veers to worship of angels. Satan is satisfied whenever our object of worship becomes anything except Jesus.
–False teachers sound educated and speak with persuasive words. Colossians 2:4 says “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.”
–False teachers are flippant in their attitude and dealings with demons. 2 Peter 2:9-12 says “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.”
“Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction.”
Jude 1:8 says “Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.”
These false teachers go on about how they have power to capture or bind satan and his demons, crowing about how they are going to banish demons, or re-take territory from them, or make rants against them. Yet Archangel Michael only said to his foe, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9) and dared not make an accusation against him.
–False teachers promise liberty and freedom from spiritual bondage but they are themselves in bondage as children and servants of satan. 2 Peter 2:19 says, “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves.” There are only two camps, the children whose Father is Jesus (John 8:42) and the children of corruption whose father is satan (John 8:44).
–False teachers have heard the Gospel, but reject it. 2 Peter 2:21 says “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.”
I hope that this list will be a starting point for you to delve further into the Word. Compare what is said here through Mr Howse and see if these things are so. False teaching can be powerful, plausible, smooth, and easily ensnaring. Please be wise and always cling to Him who has prevailed against every lie (Colossians 2:15), in whom deceit was not found in His mouth! (1 Peter 2:22).
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