Category Archives: Ravenous Wolves

Ravenous Wolves are men and women who claim to be teachers of the Light and followers of Jesus Christ but are inwardly bringing in destructive doctrines and demonic deceptions. They teach people to go the way contrary to the Word of God and lead many after their own whims and wills rather than into obedience to Christ who is our redeemer and Savior. These posts will take critical looks at such men and women.

The Love of the Truth

One of the burning fires in me is to exhort and warn the brethren to be sober and alert concerning the events foretold of the last days in God’s word.  Far too many of us are not heeding Jesus’ exhortation to “keep watch and pray”; we’ve fallen asleep and allowed our hearts to be weighed down by the concerns of this world.

I’m afraid the voice of the skeptic has lulled us to sleep and made many of us doubt the signs of our Lord’s return.

Therefore, we are going to look at something about the end times that is not often given sufficient attention, but, if we pay careful attention to it, we can see that this work is well under way!

“TO KNOW IF YOU LOVE ME”

Deuteronomy 13:1-3    If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘let us go after other gods’- which you have not known- ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

False prophets sometimes have power, but they use that power to cause God’s people to stumble.  Yet God uses their depravity to test whether or not His people love Him with all their heart and soul.  God is not satisfied with a 1/4th of your heart, nor a 1/3rd, a 1/2, nor 2/3rds, nor even 3/4ths of your heart; He demands the whole of your heart and soul.  Therefore, God tests the hearts of men, as it is written, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  God tests the deceitful heart of man and renders to him according to the fruit of his doings.

Therefore the Spirit testifies:

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12     The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We are warned of the powerful signs, lying wonders, and unrighteous deceptions that will precede the coming of the Anti-Christ and overtake those whose wicked hearts did not love the truth but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness.  Therefore, God will render to them the fruits of their doings; He will send a strong delusion upon them in the end times so that all of them may be condemned!

Indeed, the fact that this message may shock and astonish so many people today is evidence that the truth has not been received and false teachers have led us astray after a different god to serve in futility a god that is not the God who revealed Himself to us in Scripture!

2 Peter 2:1-3     But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words…

Peter correlates false prophets with today’s false teachers who have crept in with their unrighteous deception and seduced many people to follow their destructive ways!  The simplicity of obedient faith that flourishes in the Lord has been substituted with a mysterious, ethereal, faith that is dead and buried in the cemetery of inactivity!

But why has this happened to us?

BECAUSE YOU TOLERATE THEM

20 But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols.  I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality.  22 Look! I will throw her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her practices. 23 I will kill her children with the plague.   Then all the churches will know that I am the One who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

Contrary to the unrighteous deception that has leavened the Church today, Jesus examined the conduct of the Church and commanded repentance because of their wicked deeds.

And what was the Church in Thyatira’s wicked deed?  They tolerated the prophetess Jezebel (whether Jezebel was an actual person, or the spirit of Jezebel acting through multiple people, it does not matter).  The Church in Thyatira excelled in good works of love, service, faith, and patience- even increasing their work above what it was before- yet Jesus warned that He would cast into a sickbed and great tribulation all who failed to repent and continued committing adultery with her.

The scripture consistently warns us about the consequences of loving unrighteousness!

When we see the swarm of false teachers who preach deceptive lies in unrighteousness to deceive the people, we must take heed and be sober, for we are being tested to see whether or not we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind!

EXHORTATION

Test yourself and examine whether or not you have listened to lies and been led after a more palatable false god to serve him in futility.  Have you been rejected any of God’s judgments, judging Him as evil because the love of the truth is not in you?

Be real and sober- don’t deceive yourself!

Important Questions: Should the Church Name & Oppose False Teachers?

There’s a new kind of wisdom being preached that says it’s fruitless to name and oppose false teachers, and that, instead, we should apply ourselves to other more fruitful endeavors.

So that is the question we will be address.

Should the Church bother itself with naming and opposing false teachers?

LIMITTING THE BODY

Double standards are something that I try to keep an eye out for when considering what I’m hearing, and I both see and experience a double standard when I encounter this kind of wisdom; namely, that those who say that it is fruitless to oppose false teachers because we should be applying ourselves to more fruitful endeavors then apply themselves to opposing anyone who names and opposes false teachers.

So, while it may not be every member’s place in the body to name and oppose false teachers, we have to ask ourselves if there is a place for that function anywhere in the body, and, if so, does this new wisdom limit those parts of the body in which this work has a place?

GOD’S STANDARD

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron… If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

~1 Timothy 4:12-6

Among those things that Paul exhorted Timothy to be a good minister of Jesus Christ in instructing the brethren in was the dangers of deceiving spirits and demonic doctrines that false teachers speak in hyposcirsy.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. ~1 John 4:1

John follows Paul’s exhortation by encouraging the brethren to test every spirit to see whether or not they are from God because of the multitude of false prophets that have gone out into the world.

The Bereans were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. ~Acts 17:11

In God’s standard, no one was exempt from being tested; not even an apostle! Far from being criticized for testing all things that were said, the Bereans were praised for their diligence.

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. ~Jude 3-4

Jude found it necessary to exhort the brethren to contend earnestly for the faith because of the false teachers who had crept in unnoticed.

When we tell members of the body that they are fruitless for opposing those false teachers and false prophets who sneak in bringing destructive heresies into the body, we do not uphold God’s standard, we oppose it.

It is just to answer today’s question by asking another question: should the Church bother itself with opposing those members who feel led to name and oppose false teachers? Invariably most people who do not feel comfortable with one will engage in the other.

OPPOSING BY NAME?

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good concsience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. ~1 Timothy 1:18-20

One function of naming a false teacher or prophet is that it makes it more difficult for them to sneak into an assembly unnoticed and introduce their destructive heresies elsewhere. Paul did not shy away from naming people who were in error;

And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:17-18

The message of false teachers was viewed as a cancer not to be ignored; both the message and the messenger were named and opposed.

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctring that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve. ~Romans 16:17-18

The unity and liberty of the body was of such importance that Paul instructed the brethren in Rome to keep watch for individuals who bring division and bondage and avoid them because they do not serve the Lord Christ, but their own appetites. The duty to keep watch is not reserved for an apostle only, but for the brethren as a whole.

LETTING THE BODY WORK

A city that shames its watchmen will be overthrown when the enemy invades. I believe we need to acknowledge individuals who know God’s word and heed their warnings when they sound the alarm against the wolves they spot trying to sneak into the assembly.

Our shepherds need to keep watch over the flock; let us not reject their tending.

When I hear the new wisdom that discourages watchmen from sounding the alarm, I look at the state of the Western Church and I find little reason to trust this new wisdom. But what really dismays me is that those who don’t want to put their fingers on the name of false teachers will so readily apply themselves to shaming anyone who does.

This is the real travesty; our watchmen have become the hunted!

EXTREME THREATS: The Wolves- Part 6

This is the final post in this series on the wolves spoken of in Matthew 7 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5).  I have felt urged to give attention to what the scripture says about these wolves because of how serious their threat is to the church. 

We’ve now come to the 2nd chapter of the 2nd Peter; this whole chapter is given to the topic of false teachers and the damage they will do to churches that they sneak into when left uncontested.

Forewarning of havoc

1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

The Spirit testifies in Peter the same warning as we have received from Jesus and the same warning as we have received from Paul regarding the falling away; these wolves are already among us, but they are guaranteed to come in greater force and will lead a great many into their destructive way.

We see that they will secretly introduce destructive heresies to the church.  These wolves bring in the doctrines that teach the children of God to walk contrary to His word and holy calling.  By their deception sin is accepted, lawlessness abounds, and the true self-less love of Christ will grow cold in the hearts of many.

They cause the way of truth to be distorted and even hated and it is because of these false teachers that we see many people spewing hatred against the call to walk holy before God (1st Thess. 4:1-8).  Though God has commanded His children not to love the world or the things of the world (1st John 2:15), false teachers entice unstable souls through the lusts of the flesh to once again love the world and the things of the world.

And the Holy Spirit bears witness that false teachers will exploit and deceive through covetousness; with covetousness in their heart they will take advantage of the covetousness that rests in the hearts of those who listen to them and their deceptive words.

The destruction of False Teachers and deliverance of the Righteous

4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

The promise is that God, who did not spare the fallen angels, will not spare these false teachers, but will deliver them over into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment; God will spare the righteous and deliver them from His impending wrath as He consumes all those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and who despise authority.

We’re reminded that these false teachers presume what they do not know and are arrogantly self-willed, even speaking evil of dignitaries.  A lesson to the wise to warn us should the seed of despising authority begin to be planted in our hearts!

The Depravity of False Teachers

12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

The Spirit reveals something to us when it speaks of their carousing in the daytime; these false teachers have no shame for many of their sins.  Many of them do not seek to hide or cover up their shameful deceptions and destructive ways, but run openly in them.  As the wolves in our time begin to move about more freely, we are seeing how they are no longer ashamed or afraid to deny sound doctrines and teach lies or even to deny Christ Himself as the One and only way.

Instead of being without spot and blameless, as Christ presents the Church (Eph. 5:27), they are spots and blemishes running freely about in their deceptions as they fellowship with you.  Their eyes are full of harlotry as they have denied faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ and welcomed in the spirits of error and sin.  Because of this they cannot cease from sin and they entice unstable souls who do not know sound doctrines nor stand firmly on the foundation of Truth.

The Spirit again reveals through Peter that they have hearts trained in covetous practices as they are consumed by all kinds of greed (for sin, money and wealth, power, fame and glory, etc).

Their Deceptions

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Again the Spirit reveals that these false teachers speak many beautiful but empty words; their words being devoid of truth will instead allure their victims through the lusts of the flesh and lewdness.

And we receive a warning from the Spirit; it is revealed that they will allure even the ones who have actually already escaped from those who live in error.  We should take very seriously with a sober mind the warning that these false teachers will deceive Christians (the only ones who have escaped from error) and cause them to err through the lusts and lewdness of the flesh.

This is one of the reasons why I am do deeply grieved by how lewd and sensual pastors have become because I see wolves enticing away y brethren into all kinds of lusts of the flesh (whether sensual or of greed and wealth).

This condition, having once escaped the corruption of this world and again becoming entangled in them again, is far worse than if we had never escaped them in the first place.

A Final Word of Exhortation to the Brethren

Who among us can say that they did not need the warning of the Holy Spirit but were wise enough in their own understanding to resist the deceptive ways of the false teachers?  Their way is hidden in secrecy and craftiness under the veil of darkness, but, we are not left as blind children groping in the darkness, rather, because of the mercy of God and the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us, we are the children of Light, even now capable of exposing the deeds of darkness (Eph. 5:11).

When I first read these warnings in 2nd Peter 2, I was startled and deeply troubled as I feared that I was beginning at that early time in my life to go astray; I want to encourage and exhort my brethren to first turn these things we have seen from the scriptures inward and put to death any seed of the flesh by which Satan may be given place to deceive you in your own life.  Having done this, then to take of these scriptures as a sword with which you can defend yourself from the onslaught of the enemy.

We are in a day when sensuality rules, even having blinded many, and the way of truth is hated for its purity.

Consider your ways and test the spirits; do not be deceived by anyone, rather, in understanding, gird up your mind and be sober!  May the grace and peace of Christ be with all the brethren, Amen!

EXTREME THREATS: The Wolves- Part 5

In this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4), we’ve been taking a look at the scriptures concise revelation of the false prophets whom Jesus called “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15ff).

Our purpose has been to turn your eyes first of all inward, to examine yourself and repent of whatever you have seen that is wrong in your life and faith, and secondly outward, to be able to examine and discern false teachers by their fruits as revealed in the Word of God.

In our last post we observed Jeremiah’s prophecy.  Now in this post I want to begin with a prophecy from the prophet Micah.

~Micah 3:5, 11

5Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who make my people stray; who chant “Peace” while they chew with their teeth, but who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths: 11Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.”

The prophet Micah reveals another fruit of the false prophets; not only do they declare “peace”, they make war against anyone who does not feed their system.  They judged, teach, and divine for bribes, pay, and money.  They are servants of the wickedness of mammon, and to anyone that would deprive their mouths of mammon, they make war!

Micah reveals that they are so fat from their dealings that they chew their food even while declaring “peace”.  They are prophets of excess, and they profit from their prophesying!

I heartily submit to the Lord’s blessed words that whomever declares the gospel shall make his living from the gospel, and I happily aid all those who declare the gospel (1st Corinthians 9:14), just as brethren have aided me in declaring it.

Thus by the wisdom we have been praying the Lord would bestow upon us, we will be able to discern the difference between those who live off the gospel, and those who judge, teach, and divine for a bribe, pay, and money—between those who live by the gospel, and those who make war on those who do so, and between those who serve the gospel and those who serve mammon (money)!

~2nd John 7-11

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.

9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.

Anyone who does not confess that Jesus the Christ (the Messiah and Son of God) came in the flesh is an antichrist and a deceiver, and there are many that have gone out into the world.

I want to warn those in the West not to look down at this and scoff, saying, “well duh! That’s obvious!”  For there are many of these in the East, and in the West, there are many, many, many teachers that believe this, either secretly or publicly.

Likewise, John says “do not receive him or greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds”.

Our response to the departure of the doctrine of Christ is a total turning away.  We are not to receive anyone that has departed from the doctrine of Christ, even into our house or our greeting.

Even at this, there are some that would seek to deceive by rejecting this commandment and saying that it is not necessary to be so careful and that it would even be mean to reject someone; these people might say that this doesn’t literally mean what it quite literally says.  Will you be deceived?  I pray not—do not be caught up into their errors!

And lastly,

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

~1st John 4:1-6

Not every spirit is of God; there are many false prophets that are in the world, and indeed, there seem to be many more added to their number daily.

John reveals to us the Spirit of God from the spirit of the Antichrist; the Spirit of God confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, while the spirit of the antichrist does not.  Be careful not to think that this is a pass-all secret question.  There are certain false teachers that confess that Jesus came in the flesh, but yet they deny other things.  I once had a seminary teacher that believed that Jesus was born in the flesh but was not God until His baptism.  Other missionaries I’ve met believe Jesus came in the flesh, was born of the virgin Mary, (etc) but teach men to seek after material gain, wealth, and power, or submit the gospel to the wickedness of the culture and even to idolatry!  Certainly these who lead others to idolatry are not true teachers of the Holy Spirit.  What is revealed to us here is that of the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Praise the Lord for He has revealed to us by His grace and mercy the plotting of the enemy and granted that we may overcome by faith if we remain true to Him!

EXTREME THREATS: The Wolves- Part 4

In this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) we’ve been taking a look at the wolves spoken of in Jesus’ prophecy from Matthew 7:15ff.

I pray that you will be equipped by these scriptures and the Holy Spirit with wisdom to discern this extreme threat that I believe we are facing, just as the early Christians also faced, in our time today.

This is a most solemn and somber address and I likewise pray that it will be carefully considered with the weight that it deserves.

~Jeremiah 23:9-17, 20-23, 26, 30-32, 36

9My heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of the Lord, and because of His holy words. 10For the land is full of adulterers; for because of a curse the land mourns. The pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up. Their course of life is evil, and their might is not right.

My heart is broken because I look around and see vast numbers of prophets and teachers speaking by their own hearts according to their own desires, and perverting the Word of God to do so.

Now, just as it was then, God’s prophets have become like drunken men before the world (Acts 2:13; 1 Cor. 2:13)—the world says we speak foolishness in their sight, and it is to them as though we are as repulsive as drunkards overcome by wine!  We must be prepared to be hated for the name of Jesus Christ because of His Word.  When we prophesy we will be called fools and even heretics because of it!

11For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the Lord. 12“Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery ways; in the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them; for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment,” says the Lord. 13“And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: they prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to err.

Again a warning; let no profane things dwell in your heart, for you are the Temple of the Lord, and it is an abomination in God’s sight to bring the profane into His house!

Our day sees pastors clamoring to see who can push the envelope with profane behavior. Their speech, conduct, and even appearance is consumed with the same common and profane qualities of the world, and it seems they love to have it so!

But you are the house of God; your heart is His holy temple.  For this very reason we ought to examine ourselves to know what kind of holy conduct we should conduct ourselves with, and pray to the Lord our Savior, for it is He that is able to preserve us and keep us from stumbling (Jude 24) and present us blameless in His sight.

14Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah. 15“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: ‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem profaneness has gone out into all the land.’ ”

It is the work of God’s ministers to strengthen and equip the body for every good work, and it is the work of the false prophets to strengthen the hand of evildoers so that no one turns back from his or her wickedness.  They provide excuses, reason, rationale, and even false grace to sin!

Yet there is not excuse for sin, nor does the scripture ever accept any excuses for sin because you are not defeated by your sin, if indeed you are born again by the incorruptable seed of Jesus Christ, because He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world!  For “shall I sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!”  Therefore, make no excuse for iniquity, for there is no excuse acceptable to God for iniquity.

Many souls have been bound in sin by the false teachings of these wolves because they were deceived by perverse doctrines of demons that excused their sin and even deceived them into thinking that God expects them to sin and thus does not really care that  much!

We need to put away all such doctrines that teach us that God wills you to sin and thus hinders you from victory; all such doctrines are the doctrines of the demons, who want you to sin!

Indeed, test yourself to see if you have a “sin that just keeps hanging on”; examine your doctrine to see whether or not you have one that permits, excuses, or creates a cavalier attitude towards sin, because that is likely one of the reasons your sin remains.  Likewise, examine to see whether or not a doctrine has taken root that teaches you to handle sin through the law or in the flesh apart from the grace, faith, and power of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.  Such doctrines as these are likewise doctrines of demons. 

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” ’; and to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ”20The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. 21“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. 23“Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?

How many souls have been ravaged by these wolves who make them worthless by teachings that did not come from the Lord?

The Lord of hosts says, “Do not listen!”

We’re a generation where “speaking from the heart” is very popular and we need to be reminded that the carnal heart is very depraved and knows only deceptiveness when sin is full grown in it (producing death).  Except by the mouth of the Lord, we would not know truth, thus it is by the mouth of the Lord that prophets who speak the truth speak!  Do not listen to someone merely because “they speak from the heart”, rather, listen if they speak from God! 

These false prophets say, “no evil shall come upon you”, and they encourage you to indulge yourself in the dictates of your own heart, yet the anger of the Lord will not turn back from them because of the wickedness they are being taught to do!

Then Jeremiah says, “In the latter days you will understand it perfectly”!  This revelation of how bad things will be in the latter days tells us of a time when churches do not care to rebuke sin, a time when it is more palatable to excuse sin and “give grace” (though it is not grace) than to overcome sin by faith; a time when “if they had stood in His counsel and caused His people to hear His words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings”!

Oh why wont the teachers stand in the counsel of the Lord and cause the people to hear the Word of the Lord?!

26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart

They prophesy lies.  What they say is not true and does not come from God.  Do not charge their lies to God’s account!

30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words everyone from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.

Content not only to lie, but these false prophets also steal God’s word from their neighbors hearts.  Now this beholds the false prophet as your neighbor!  They are reckless and cause error to come upon God’s people.  There is caution given to us in the scriptures, and these men and women do not heed it!

36 And the oracle of the Lord you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.

Finally, the oracle of the Lord is mentioned no more, for every man’s own word is his own oracle, for the words of the Living God have been perverted!

My brethren, heed these words of God; read them and understand them with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.  May your eyes be opened to know truth and discern righteousness.  Let your ways be kept true and your foot never to stray from the path of righteousness.  Amen!

EXTREME THREATS: The Wolves- Part 3

In this series on The Wolves (Part 1 and Part 2), I’ve asked that we take a look at the scriptures in the Bible that warn us and teach us about the false teachers and false prophets that will come in the end times.

Jesus warned about their coming in Matthew 7 and likened them to wolves in sheep’s clothing, and Paul reveals that perilous times are coming and a great falling away in which false teachers will come according to deceitful spirits and the doctrines of demons to turn people away from the faith; the conditions and sins of the time are revealed explicitly in these passages.

With great clarity we see the scripture revealing the wolves by their fruits; it is, therefore, important that we know these conditions and be able to discern the fruit of these false teachers in order to turn away from them, just as the scripture likewise commands us to do.

And that is my first point: what is the proper response to false teachers?  To my knowledge, I only know of two responses the Bible gives to the kingdom of darkness.

  1. Expose it by the light of the word of Truth: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).
  2. Turn away: “Having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!” (2nd Timothy 3:5).

To my knowledge the scripture doesn’t ask us to sit at the table of wolves and try to gradually win them over in subtle variations or degrees.  The Bible does talk about bearing with your brothers in love and patience- I am not talking about dealing with the brethren, therefore, please do not apply these things to the brethren.  This is why I encourage you to pray to the Lord for discernment in these matters because you need to know if you are dealing with a true brother or a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  By the scripture and the Holy Spirit, these things are revealed (not by man’s devices).

Now, Paul gives the following charge:

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~2nd Timothy 4:1-5

We must understand the condition and climate of the times Paul is talking about; we’re warned that they will not endure sound doctrine and they will gather to themselves teachers that are pleasing to their own ears.

Of this I must earnestly warn my brethren; nothing is easier to do in our age than precisely this!  If a Church disagrees with us, we can simply drive our car to another church, and if there are no churches that we like, we can go online or to the TV!

Understand me clearly when I say that these things are not always wrong.  I believe there comes a time when you must get in your car and drive away from some churches that have gone apostate.  There are some preachers online that are very beneficial.  However, this makes it very easy for us to customize what we hear to our own liking, and that is deadly to our faith!

Regarding the times we live in, I believe we are in a time when people will not endure sound doctrine.  They crave fanciful and complicated teachings (fables) that depart from the sound truth of the scriptures, and they do not know the scriptures well enough to discern the truth.  This is a generalization, for I have met Christians of righteous zeal and holy conduct filled by the Holy Spirit, who listen to sound truth even when it may be personally painful.  But, today is a day when we are so enlightened in our own estimation that we are too good for the teachings of the scriptures.

It will suffice for now to say beware of this; examine yourself to check and make sure that you’re not becoming hardened to sound doctrine.  The grace of God permitting, I will do the same and we will be spared by His mercy to walk pleasing in His sight even in this wicked and perverse generation!

6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”

~1st Peter 2:6-8

You are picking up by now that I am not aiming this post entirely outside—that is to say that I’m not directing this post at “the preachers” and “the teachers”, which can be a vaguely anonymous collection of people, rather, this post is also aimed directly at “you” (whomever you are), and me.

All of us must come before the “stone of stumbling and rock of offense” and love Him for it!  We must look upon the chief cornerstone and see Him precious and love Him for all that He is.  Every one of us has been called before Him at the pronouncement of the Kingdom of God, but it remains to be seen who will be arrayed in fine linen garments and who will be stripped naked and found in their shame!

To us who believe, O how precious He is!  But to those who disobey, He is a mighty stone of stumbling and a rock of offense!

I aim this at “you” and me because it is by this that we must check ourselves!  The Lord has given me a call to preach against disobedience and warn the church to reconcile themselves while the time is called “now”; I have battled in myself to wage this war and cut from me every unwholesome thing and remove every sin according to the grace of God by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and I exhort you, brethren, do not resist the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, nor defile the sacrifice of Christ.

Therefore, I will encourage you all to give attention to sound doctrine and to apprise yourself of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit.  Be watchful in all things, and endure the coming trials with the joy that is set before you because of Jesus Christ our God and Savior.

Grace and peace to all the brethren and the power to endure, amen!

EXTREME THREATS: The Wolves- Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we began with the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 7:15-23 wherein Jesus forewarned of ravenous wolves who would come in sheep’s clothing to destroy.  He said, “You will know them by their fruits”. It is possible that some of the traits we’ll examine are overlooked by some Christian in false teachers because they themselves are trying to justify the same qualities in their own life; that’s why this is important that these scriptures first expose our own lives and lay our own hearts bare before God.  When we find ourselves excusing these qualities in pastors, we need to ask “why”, because the scripture certainly never excuses them.

Now we are going to begin learning from the Word of God regarding some of the things these wolves do and some of the characteristics that they have.  But, from the outset, I want everyone to know that this is in no way a comprehensive examination of all the scriptures that help you identify the wolves—to find that, you’ll have to read the Bible.

 

~Galatians 1:6-10

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

The context of what is happening here is clear; there were teachers perverting the gospel of Christ.  This isn’t simply another religion or man claiming to be Christ (though that’s talked about in other scriptures), this is addressing teachers that take the stamp of the gospel as their own but pervert it.

Something that has troubled me deeply is the catchphrase of our generation, “well, we’ll just agree to disagree”, which is used to kill any serious discussion that could lead to corrected doctrine.  Doctrinal integrity and the earnest desire to perfect our own doctrines is very much needed in our generation.  The wisdom of this catchphrase recognizes that there is a point in which two individuals may disagree and through discussion have refined their beliefs to a point where they still cannot agree, but they do not believe each other to be heretics, and thus agree to accept their disagreement.  This is good, providing the doctrines they disagree on do not introduce dangerous heresies to the church, but I want to caution against using this all too often because the ramifications of teaching a perverted gospel are serious (v9).

Likewise, he writes, “You ran well.  Who hindered you from obeying the truth?  This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (5:7-9); the consequences of receiving such perverted gospels are serious because leaven (representing deception/sin) spreads throughout the whole lump and it hinders its receivers from obeying the truth.

In the first post I wrote that the wolves are considered an “extreme threat” because they’re the only threat listed in the scripture to compose the perilous times of the end.

I want to look at these prophecies regarding the latter times:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, ~1st Tim 4:1-2

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~2nd Timothy 3:1-7

3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. ~2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4

My hope in writing this is that you will take it as seriously as it is written in the Bible; this very seriously states that there are some who are of our faith that will fall away and depart from it, and we’re seriously warning not to let anyone deceive us regarding this point because this great falling away precedes the “man of sin” (whom we recognize as the Anti-Christ).

This is brought about by deceiving spirits, doctrines of demons, lies, the destruction of the conscience, and a whole host of carnal sins; we do ourselves great danger when we accept and tolerate the plethora of sins that we see rampant in the church by not taking up the spiritual powers that we have been given to overcome and conquer sin together as a church. It’s necessary to make sure we understand that these things are perversions of the gospel of Christ; they may happen collectively (in other words, you may see all these traits together at once), or they may happen selectively (in other words, you may only see a few of these traits together).

I want to encourage you to consider all the traits listed in those passages above; they are considerable.  But I’m going to examine one characteristic as an example.  In 2nd Timothy 3:4, we see that these false teachers will be “lovers of pleasure rather than of God”.  Consider what churches and pastors we see in the U.S. today that are building themselves on the topic of sex; the pastors write book after book on the topic of sex, with God and the scripture thrown in the mix to make it “Christian”, and churches host event after event and publicity stunt after publicity stunt centered on the concept of sex.  Now, take away the topic of sex, and what would these churches have?  If you burned away all the “pleasures” these churches try to offer their members in the fires of persecution, would they remain faithful to God because of their love for Him?  These churches stamp the name of Christ and His gospel on their work but are, at their core, a total perversion of the gospel and denial of Christ.

Likewise I pray Paul’s admonition that you “be not deceived” would not escape your notice; many people are teaching many things about the end time and the deceptions that are coming (some denying it, and some turning your attention to fruitless matters).  Do not be deceived by anyone.  These times will come.  They are coming quickly.  And you need to be on guard because it is becomes of these things that the faith of some will be overthrown and there will be a great falling away.  Don’t be arrogant in thinking yourself above these things and thinking that you can just continue to coast along as you have been.

As we continue to learn the scriptures warning about the ravenous wolves that Jesus foretold would come, I want to exhort and encourage you to spend your time praying about this subject.  You must ask for righteous judgment and wisdom to discern the nature of these things because no man, blog, or book can depart these things to you, only God by the Holy Spirit.

I likewise encourage you to carefully and patiently apply God’s righteous judgment and sound wisdom of discernment to your own life.

Lastly, note Paul’s command in 2nd Timothy 3:5 to “Turn away” from all such people as he has just described.  Do not take part in fellowship with those who are walking in the darkness, having their consciences seared, or taking part of the doctrines of demons!  Surely this leaven will spread if you do!

To all my most beloved brethren in the world over, wherever and whomever you may be, grace and peace to you in the fullest of the Holy Spirit, Amen!

EXTREME THREATS: The Wolves – Part 1

I have felt compelled for some time to write about the wolves that are tearing the church apart and overthrowing the faith of the multitudes today.  But I have been strained for some time to write about it because I cannot seem to put into words the things I feel the Spirit urging in my heart.  I’ve tried, but to no coherent avail.

This is an extreme threat because it is the only threat that is listed to compose the perilous times that the scriptures have forewarned us about.

And the reason my spirit is so frustrated is because this perilous threat is taken so… cavalierly.  So many people treat it as though we have no threat at all, or that if we just ignore it long enough, this seemingly gigantic problem we face will just go away.

I’m here to tell you that when you hear the wolves howling and the lions roaring, you don’t just ignore the problem and hope they go away!  If you do that, you or someone else you know and love is bound to get eaten!

I want to say from the beginning that the answer is to prepare ourselves and become obedient to the Word of God.

That having been said, here is the opening prophecy we need to heed;

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” ~Matthew 7:15-16

 

We are told both that these false prophets will come to us appearing to be innocent, but are inwardly devastating, and that we will know them by their fruits.  These men, though they dawn the appearance of innocence and goodness, have departed from the way of truth and have become hungry and greedy; they hunger for their own desires and will not tolerate anyone depriving them from satisfying the depravity of their own heart!  Look at how it manifests; it manifests in the fruit of their own work!

Herein is my first exhortation; the church must wake up and discern with righteous judgment!

Can the church discern that pastors, who cuss, write book after book about sex, and are obsessed with real-estate and success, are not producing Godly fruit?

I hope we pay attention to Jesus’ description that they are ravenous.  These men and women are not innocent.  They are looking to feed their own appetites and to do so they will overturn every hindrance that has held them in check for times past.

Prepare Yourself in the Word of God…

 

15 Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~2nd Timothy 2:15

There is no era past in Christian history, except for the dark-ages, where Christians could recite data from their favorite sports star, but could not name the books of the Bible, or could recite from their heart entire movies from Hollywood, but could not tell you from their heart the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond one or two verses.

It’s not to say that the academic or intellectual knowledge of raw Biblical information equates to sound faith (it does not), however, it is to say that there is a zeal for God that is not in accordance with the true knowledge of God that does not save men’s souls (Romans 10:2).  It is also to say that there is an approving that is necessary of the workmen who labor in the Kingdom of God, and a message that is necessary to bring the knowledge of the truth that does lead to salvation.

I know of no other time when faith in the Word of God was so little, or belief that such a thing as truth even exists was so low.

Herein is my second exhortation, which comes from Paul’s exhortation: be diligent to show yourself approved to God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

This is an era where “Bible search engines” have replaced “rightly dividing the word of God”.  You can now make the Bible say anything you want it to by refining your word search in terms of “translations” and purpose.

Young men and women; it is imperative that you slow down and study the Word of God the old-fashioned way, you know, by reading it.  We young men, especially, have to turn off our TV’s, computers, phones, and tablets, and go into our quiet spaces to pray and diligently study the word of God.  Beginning from the basics, we must be prepared to defend the faith!

Conclusion…

We are going to move on to study the Word of God and the warnings we have in the Word of God regarding the false teachers and deceptions that will come upon us suddenly.

I pray that you will be equipped by the Word of God to discern and identify these false teachers and stay far away from they, for if we are going to overcome and be victorious in this dark generation, we are going to have to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves”!