Posted in discernment, false teachers, jim jones, wolves

Chewing up the meat and spitting out the bones- is that biblical?

In the Discernment department, I hear people frequently say they realize that so and so teaches some things that are bad, but some things they teach are good, so they will just take the good and throw out the bad. They call this method of learning the word of God “Chewing up the meat and spitting out the bones.” But is this how teachers should be followed or how scripture should be learned? No.

In Matthew 7:15 we read,

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

It’s a scripture we are familiar with, maybe too overly familiar. Let’s dig down into it again with a fresh eye.

Matthew 7 is the third of three chapters that comprise the Sermon on the Mount, arguably the most important sermon in the entire bible. Jesus is warning, exhorting, and teaching. By Chapter 7, He focuses on judgment/wrath, the broad and narrow road, and judging/discernment. Jesus spends a good deal of time teaching about judging wisely with good discernment. It is here in verse 7 He mentions false prophets.

He opens with the word “Beware.” When a command like this appears, we perk up to an even greater degree than usual. It’s like the word “woe”, indicating the need for special attention to what is being said.

The word “beware” refers to our Lord telling us specifically to be wary of a false prophet. He says they will be numerous and they will be hard to spot. But what is particularly dangerous about false prophets of which we should be aware?

So “Beware” it says – now, that word alone ought to let you know they’re dangerous. “Beware.” Literally, in the Greek it means, hold your mind back from. Don’t ever expose your mind to the influence of a false prophet. Don’t pay attention to, give heed to, follow, notice, devote yourself, don’t even put your mind in his vicinity. They’re dangerous, they pervert the mind, they poison the soul. (source)

People’s Temple cult leader Jim Jones

Beware means warning, danger! It tells us that extreme caution is to be employed. The action we
should be taking is not to give any quarter to any part of a false teacher’s teachings. To “hold your mind back from” … that is an interesting phrase. We know the scriptures transform us by the renewing of our mind. The mind is the first battlefield. Not the heart. See the scripture in Romans, it dovetails nicely with Matthew 7:15

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

It once again illustrates that there is a severe dichotomy. Either/or. You are either being conformed to the world, OR you are being transformed by the renewal of the mind. There is no chewing meat AND bones and then spitting out bones. Your mind will either be conformed or not. It will be transformed or not. False teaching will poison your mind or not.

And secondly, the verse says we should seek that which is good. We should seek that which is acceptable. We should seek that which is perfect.

The Matthew 7:15 warning and the Romans verse say nothing about ingesting poison just so we can get to some nugget we believe is good. It says nothing about allowing poison into our mind just so we can strain out what we deem as bad. We in our pride think we can chew meat and spit bones even though we are told to seek what is good and acceptable and perfect by the One who is Good and Acceptable and Perfect? We are not to seek what is imperfect and full of bones! We are then choosing not to be careful. This is setting ourselves to be smarter than Jesus! WE are too smart for Jesus? Let it not be so!

You see, we see the results of what they [false teachers] do in 2 Peter 2:2, “Many people follow their pernicious ways.” (source)

Many will follow the false prophets. Do we think we are so strong that we will not be one of the many? Do we think we are so strong that we will be able to ingest poison and spit it out before it affects us?
The subtly of that false prophet can even singe your garment. MacArthur

The second reason, after pride, not to follow false prophets altogether and avoid chewing on meat to spit on bones, is destruction.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

If we believe we can withstand all the warnings about false prophets, be able to detect to the smallest degree what is good and acceptable and perfect in their teachings, and to in effect be smarter than Jesus and ignore His warnings, then we are proud. And pride sets us up for falling into destruction.

In Maine where I lived for many years, there are sea urchins in the intertidal zone. These marine animals have spikes. If you step on them, they hurt. Some are poisonous. What people say who claim they can “chew the meat” of a false teacher’s teachings, and “spit out the bones” is that they have confidence in walking on kelp-covered, slick rocks in bare feet with tide and current pushing them off, and be able to perfectly balance and make progress without slipping and stepping on one of the spines. Or swallowing a bone. Pride. No, eventually they will slip in due time and they will step on a spike and they will be destroyed by the poison the urchin holds for them.

A third and most important consideration is this: if a teacher has shown themselves false by their fruit, and by God-given discernment you’ve realized this, then nothing they offer will be meat. It may look like meat, just as their garment may look like a sheep’s. But that “meat” the prideful ones claim they can chew happily will have worms, e coli, and ground glass in it. For nothing a false teacher has to say is healthy. Nothing. It might sound good…you might think it is helpful, but it is not.

A false prophet has neither a divine commission nor a divine message. He neither speaks for God or from God. He stands in his own authority speaking his own message, and it is utterly false. (source)

Utterly. False.

In the above linked source, the example is given about the horrific and tragic events in 1978 in Jonestown Guyana, where 908 people drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid and died in the jungle. These people had followed Jim Jones into his cult. Jones, that false teacher, brought them in a long slow descent from Christianity to Jones personally claiming to be Jesus, and when he said so, killed themselves.

There was a man named Tim Stoen. As John MacArthur described,

Here was this fellow attending the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley and at People’s Temple at the same time. Raised in a G.A.R.B. background – a Fundamentalist, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring people – but exposing his mind to that instead of holding back his mind.  

Jonestown, Guyana, Nov. 1978.
This mass suicide (304 were children) resulted in the greatest single loss of American
civilian life in a deliberate act until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Tim Stoen was married with a son, and the Stoens followed Jones from California to Guyana to the compound Jones had created. Eventually Grace Stoen left the cult and her husband, she defected. She battled for her son from the States. Tim left the cult year later. They battled for their son, hard, but the suicides occurred before they could get him out of the cult. John’s 6-year-old body was discovered in Jones’ cabin when the story broke.

Tim Stoen started out well. He had a large ministry in his church, he was regarded as an elder, was seen as mature and solid. However when Jones came to popularity, Stoen divided his mind. He ingested some bones with his meat. The bones will get you every time.

Stoen sadly discovered the hard way what happens when you do not hold your mind back from false teachers. He lost his marriage, his wife, and his son- all destroyed. He lost many years of valuable time he could have been working for the Lord- destroyed. He’d aided and abetted this cult leader in deceiving many- they were destroyed. Aside from the children, when the adults woke up, they were in hell.

False teaching destroys. Do not be so prideful that you think you can detect meat from bones, or even more foolishly believe that any part of a false teacher’s food is healthy for the body. It isn’t. Beware.

Posted in false teachers, sanctification, sheep's clothing, wolves

Has so-and-so false teacher always been false, or did it just start now?


A reader asked if the seeds of apostasy were always in Beth Moore or if they are just emerging now.

The answer is both.

There are only two states for man: we are either ‘in Adam’ (sin) or we are ‘in Christ’ (righteous). (1 Corinthians 15:22). If a teacher is in Christ, they will always grow more sanctified. Sanctification ALWAYS grows in an increasing, upward direction. Sure, sometimes it is slower than others, and for a season a teacher might teach something false, but Spirit will never allow a sanctified teacher to remain in heresy or falsity. The Spirit is in us to testify of Christ, not satan. (John 15:26). The Spirit will cause a sanctified teacher eventually to see his or her error and repent of it, and then continue growing.

There are false teachers who are in sheep’s clothing. (Matthew 7:15). Since those ‘in Adam’ always grow too, but grow in their sin, eventually they outgrow those sheep’s clothes and their falseness becomes apparent. At some point they are unable to keep up the charade. Moore has outgrown her sheep clothes.

But she has always been false.

It’s a business chart but it shows clearly what I’m talking about
in the Christian, sanctified life.
Wolves might walk for a while with us, but they outgrow their ability to hide

Posted in a pastor guards his flock, false teaching, the subtlety of satan, wolves

How a Pastor guards his flock: Jim Murphy’s sermon "The Subtlety of Satan" Part 1

Part two here. Please read it as well, I entreat you.

I listened to a great sermon on Monday, and I mentioned it in a blog yesterday, here. I decided to do a stand-alone blog entry about this sermon, because the sermon blessed me to tears and encouraged me beyond measure. Perhaps it will for you too.

The Subtlety of Satan, by Jim Murphy

Pastor Jim Murphy is pastor at First Baptist Church at Johnson City NY. On Sunday, July 8, 2012, He stood before his congregation resolved and firm. He had been convicted to share with them, and actually reprove them (and himself) of the false teachings that Christian books, curricula, and bible studies are promoting today. It had permeated his church and he was broken-hearted about that, not the least because he had been worried about these teachings but had done nothing. Well, this is something.

He said he was going to root this stuff out, and purify his local church. He said, “And you’ve heard the rumor, that Pastor Jim killed the Beth Moore trip. Let me clarify that rumor: I killed the Beth Moore trip.”

He spent an hour Sunday laying the context for how the modern church of 2012 has come to be so weak, accepting falsity for true, and being me-oriented instead of God-oriented. Though the slide away from our firm foundation began long ago, in his sermon,  he started the trip in the mid-1940s. He educated his congregation about Gnosticism, post modernism, Christian Universalism, Emergent Church, and more. He named the names of the wolves bringing these teachings, and among them were Rick Warren, Beth Moore, John Piper, Bill Hybels, Francis Chan, Rob Bell.

He also chided his congregation for being undiscerning, and that their lack of discernment came from laziness. He charged them. He charged himself. He was strong.

Rather than being unloving, as the liberals claim today, he was being the most loving of a preacher than I’ve heard in a long time. Raw, honest, clear, he was doing what pastors are supposed to do: guard his flock from wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The Sola Sisters were the ones bringing the sermon to our attention, and I thank them for that. It has gained wide notice in our circles, being on the Brannon Howse’s World View Weekend radio program, being linked to by many others, being spoken of in chat rooms. The flavor of all this notice is one of gratitude. As Brannon Howse told his listening audience, ‘I’ve been encouraging you that there are pastors out there who stand against this stuff. They are out there…here is one!’


Reactions to the sermon:

Brannon Howse radio program examining Pastor Jim’s sermon, part 1. WVW shows are available for two weeks, after that, they cost $5. Part two was broadcast today and can be listened to here.

Here are some transcripts of part of the sermon that other bloggers have posted.

Julia’s excerpts from Steak and a Bible

“Now is the time for clarity. No more messing around. No more experimentation. No more dabbling into these dangerous practices. Now is the time for clarity and that clarity comes through discernment: this ability to think Biblically. The ability to read a book and see what it is saying aside from the warm fuzzy you got from it. Discernment takes time and it takes work and shame on you for not taking the time and effort. shame on you.”

“How do you know it’s not God’s voice if you don’t know the Bible?”

“I’m here to ask your forgiveness. I expressed my concerns along the way in several areas but there were some things that I heard and saw that I was not comfortable with and I thought well, let’s just roll with this. It may be not that bad.”

“Today things change. I’m responsible for this ministry. I will be called a tyrant, a fundamentalist, controlling – you fill in the blanks – I don’t care anymore. We’re going to be making some changes and we’re going to root this stuff out of our ministry because it is unacceptable. It is not biblical Christianity and we’re going to get back to the Bible. I’m not going to make a lot of friends …”

We do NOT need mystical experiences
to validate the Word of God!

“There are pagan books floating around. I’ll be addressing that in writing. When it’s published I’ll give you a copy. You need to learn to be discerning and we’re not. Why? You need to get into your Bible. You don’t know because you don’t read and you don’t study. Number two: You need to connect the dots. The Bible says this. Why this? If the Bible says that you have been given everything for faith and practice in this book, what do you suppose that means? That you have been given everything for faith and practice in that book, which means this: you don’t have to hear voices, and you don’t have to go by experiences. You can know the truth in this book and that truth will set you free. You get that don’t you?”

“What I now have no patience for — I’m kind of at the end of my rope, I’m gonna be honest with you — is the lack of effort. I’ve addressed some of these matters. “Oh it’s no big deal.” How dare you! It is a big deal. It’s a big deal to me, it’s a big deal to God and it’s a big deal to the opposition.”

An Unnamed Christian Woman’s excerpts at My Sheep Hear My Voice

Relevance v. Repentance

“What is a Christian according to the contextually relevant teachers of today? “Someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well adjusted self actualized risk taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a no regret life of significance, has overcome his fears, enjoys a healthy marriage, is an attentive parent, celebrating recovery from all of their lusts, their habits, their hangups and practices biblical stress relief techniques, is financially free from consumer debt, fosters emotionally healthy relationships with his peers, attends a weekly life group, volunteers regularly at his church, tithes off the gross and has taken at least one humanitarian aid trip to a third world country. That’s who a Christian is. What about the Gospel? Never once do you read in that modern contextualization that a Christian is one who sees their sin, confesses their sin, repents of their sin, and receives the gift of salvation in Christ alone. That is how far we have come.”

This is long so I’m going to make a part two and talk just a tiny bit more about this, using an analogy, and ending with an encouragement. Again, here is the link for the wonderful sermon, “The Subtlety of Satan.” Please take an hour and listen…or break it up into two halves. I am sure that you will learn, be encouraged, and refreshed at listening to a pastor guard his flock.

For your consideration-
How a Pastor guards his flock: Jim Murphy’s sermon “The Subtlety of Satan” Part 2: God takes away the discernment of the elders.

Posted in bible jesus, discernment, end time, prophecy, wolves

Some thoughts about wolves and some thoughts about gratitude

From Chris Rosebrough’s Twitter stream today, thought provoking enough for me to rip them off and present them to you here. Do you have wolf stories to share? Do you have some things you’re grateful about? Please feel free to share! Here’s Chris:

“If the tweet your pastor sent on Friday is longer than the Bible passage he preached about on Sunday…#HeMightBeAWolf.”

“If your pastor is “allergic” to words such as sin, blood, redemption, penal substitution, wrath, hell &  propitiation …. #HeMightBeAWolf”

“If your pastor spends the summer preaching on the latest blockbuster movies rather than preaching God’s Word…. #HeMightBeAWolf.”

“If your pastor has ever presided over a round of “Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey“. #HeISAWolf.” (Brandon Elliott came up with that one on Chris’s stream)

“Discernment Fact: Wolves travel in packs. When a pastor invites a heretic to “preach” to his flock, chances are the pastor is also a wolf.”

“Lord I thank you for ordinary office workers who commute to work everyday & toil in the corporate world.”

“Lord I thank you for ordinary moms & dads who are emptying themselves and raising the next generation.”

“Lord I thank you for the humble men who work the trash trucks in my neighborhood and keep my city clean.”

“LORD I thank you for the daily grind, for the mundane & the same old routine. You are glorified in the ordinary.”

Back to me now. I am grateful for pastors who stand on the Word. I listen to John MacArthur and Steve Hadley, two excellent expository preachers. I listen to my own preacher every week and I’m grateful that there are still pastors in these dangerously apostate times who still preach by the Spirit like he does. Please take a moment to thank your pastor and your elders and deacons and ministry leaders and teachers for what they do.