Tag Archives: false prophets

False Prophet Blasphemy

ISAIAH 66:2 “But to this man I will look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.”

False prophets abound everywhere; but who is it that trembles at God’s word?

Those who tremble at and revere God’s word with the highest of esteem are usually scoffed at and reviled.  Taking a firm stand against false prophets is seen as divisive, demonic, and carnally minded; the contemporary generation views prophecy as something that is subject to their will and vain imaginations.   We hear things like “you should be so critical of prophetic words” or “this author may have made a few mistakes that could have been worded better, but….”

People don’t seem to understand that when it comes to prophetic words, error is far more than simply a matter of a “few mistakes that could have been worded differently”.   When someone presumes to speak the living and infallible word of God, they must be held to that standard!  A prophetic word is not something crafted by the mind of mortal men.  Despite modern trends, a prophetic word is delivered to the prophet by God in the exact form God wants it to be delivered to people.  If a prophet is “wording” his prophecy, he did not receive it from God, he has derived it from his own empty imagination!

It’s necessary to be clear here: if someone is honest and humble, and says upfront that what they are presenting is their own opinion or interpretation, then mistakes can be understood and addressed constructively and any errors can be easily mitigated by God’s word and by a committed Church body that is intent upon unity in truth and love.

But if someone prophesies and delivers errors in God’s name, then they are a false prophet and will be held under the eternal judgment awaiting false prophets (Jude 3).

Tremble at His word! 

To speak lightly, saying, “the Lord said” (or to indicate in another way direct divine revelation) is no small matter.  Guesswork is not acceptable when speaking the word of the Lord, neither is mystic-divination.  The only thing that can be presented in God’s name is direct and divine revelation received from God. 

I am not a cessationist, but neither will I be swept into this abominable flood of perversion being passed off as Charismatic (i.e. “of the Holy Spirit”)!

If someone speaks a word in God’s name, it must carry the full weight and glory of God’s word.  What is being passed off today in God’s name is nothing more than a flood of “arrogant words of vanity” (2 Peter 2:18 Modern English Version).

A generation of Christians are being instructed in the ways of blasphemy! 

2 Timothy 3:1-2, 5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; for men will be… blasphemers… And from such people turn away!”

The word Paul used here for blasphemers, translated in the NASB as “revilers”, is the Greek word βλάσφημος (blasphemos, #989), which means “abusive, speaking evil,” (see Acts 6:11, 13; 1st Tim. 1:13;  2nd Tim. 3:2; and 2nd Pet. 2:11 (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).  HELP’S Word-Studies states that it “reverses spiritual and moral realities”.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary offers this remarkably poignant insight on what constitutes blasphemy:

“Blasphemy can include flagrant actions and disdain for God’s Word, His promises, and His people. Scripture bears consistent witness to the severity of the offense.

When God first appears to Moses in the burning bush, He emphasizes the sacredness of His name (שֵׁם, shem), Yahweh (made up of four Hebrew consonants, יהוה, yhwh), which reveals His person and character as the covenant-keeping, redeeming God (Exod 3:13–16; 6:3). In the exodus story, God performs mighty deeds for the sake of His name (Exod 9:16), a concept reiterated in numerous Old Testament passages (e.g., Psa 25:11; Isa 43:25; 48:11). The “name of Yahweh” (שֵׁם־יְהוָה֙, shem-yehwah) carries profound significance, referring “to His full being and power” (HALOT, 1550). To assail God’s name is to attack Him personally and directly.

Speaking both to Moses and the people of Israel, God strictly prohibits the misuse of His name: “You shall not take the name of the Lord (יהוה, yhwh) your God in vain, for the Lord (יהוה, yhwh) will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exod 20:7 ESV). The Hebrew term “vain” (שָׁוְא, shaw’) refers to what is empty or purposeless; it can also mean something false or deceptive, in such contexts as prophecy (Ezek 13:3–7), worship (Isa 1:13), and speech (Deut 5:20). A breach of the first two commandments naturally leads to a violation of the third (Exod 20:7).”

Citation: Mills, D. W. (2016). Blasphemy. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Blasphemy refers to using God’s name for empty, purposeless, false, or deceptive reasons!

Anyone who presents the constructs of their own imaginations as the divine revelation of God – in other words they present these things in God’s name – has presented that which is empty and false in God’s name!  To do this is to blaspheme the name of God.  According to God’s 3rd commandment in Exodus 20:7, God will not hold the person who does this guiltless!

Thank God for His unfailing mercy, because Jesus said “all kinds of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven men.  Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven.  But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31-32).  If you have been guilty of blasphemy by speaking empty or false things as if they came from God, then turn away from this sin and repent.  God will abundantly forgive you and provide the grace that you may stop this practice and be counted among those upon whom God looks, who “tremble at His word”!

We must note for the purpose of clarity so that Satan cannot take advantage of this teaching that there are different kinds of blasphemy; the unforgivable blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is specified in Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:20-30, and Luke 11:13-23, 12:10.  It is specifically attributing to Satan the divine work of the Holy Spirit.

The end times will be filled with blasphemers; let us not join in the emptiness of those who would presume to speak vain and false things in God’s name so that they can promote their own way, their own agenda, their own fame, and their own prosperity.  Let us humble ourselves before God and revere His word!

Let us seek the full weight and glory of God’s inerrant word!

Many False Prophets Will Arise

Matthew 24:11 “And any false prophets will rise and will deceive many.”

In Jesus’ discourse on the end time’s He warned us that there would be “many false prophets” to “deceive many”.

Jesus used a powerful word twice, “πολύς” (polus, Strong’s #4183), which means “much, many, great,” and is used in passages like Luke 5:6; Acts 11:21; it denotes great abundance (e.g. Matt. 9:37; 1 Pet. 1:3; Matt. 24:30) (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). Jesus is saying that there will be a great abundance of many false prophets to arise, and they will deceive a great abundance of many people!

Nothing is more clearly evident to me than the reality that the Church has been overrun by a horde of ravenous wolves. Truly, “they speak great swelling words”!

2 Peter 2:17-19 “These men are wells without water and clouds that are carried by a storm, for whom the gloom of darkness has been reserved forever. For when they speak arrogant words of vanity, they entice by the lusts of the flesh and by depravity those who barely escaped from those who live in error. Although they promise them freedom, they themselves are slaves of corruption, for by that which a man is overcome, to this he is enslaved!”

Nothing could be a more apt description of the so-called prophets of our day, peddling their books and descending upon the Church like a raging storm; they puff up the pride, ego, lust, and desires of unstable Christians and promise them deliverance of that which they are powerless to deliver!!

How many dreams, visions, and words from God have been delivered as if from the tempest of a dark storm in our modern day, only for them to be forgotten in the continual stream of false prophecies that sweep people away who do not test the words?

Brethren, do not be deceived by these wolves; though they speak great promises of power, glory, health, hidden mysteries, freedom, and wealth, they will by no means escape the severe punishment God has in store for those who presume to speak on His behalf when He has not spoken!

Test all things. “Seeing then that all these things are to be destroyed, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, while you are waiting for and desiring the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will be consumed by intense heat?” (2 Peter 3:11-12)

The Biblical Test of a Prophet and Prophecy

I acknowledge upfront that the following teaching places me squarely in the minority; it has gotten me in a lot of trouble with my charismatic brothers and sisters. But I believe this with all my heart.

I believe there are two tests that apply to New Testament prophets and prophecy:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22, “And you may say in your heart, ‘How can we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not occur or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.”

Deuteronomy 13:1-3, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass concerning that which he spoke to you, saying, ‘let us go after other gods’, which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them’, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, 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.”

I am not a cessationist; I believe in the continuation of prophecy as well as all the gifts of the Spirit according to the will of God to distribute them. But I do not believe that Jesus Christ came to lower the standard of prophecy, which we remember “the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ”. I do not believe that Jesus came to corrupt His own testimony.

So I want to consider something from the New Testament in light of these two prophetic tests:

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “The coming of the evil one is in accordance with the working of Satan with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of unrighteousness among those who perish, because they did not receive the love for the truth that they might be saved. Therefore God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Today we are seeing an unprecedented flood of unrighteous deception from prophets who do not speak the truth; many practice astrology and prognostication (forbidden in Isaiah 47:13-14), and are openly speaking presumptuous words as if from the Holy Spirit. This flood of unrighteous deception is deadening the hearts of those who call on Jesus’ name to the love of the truth and causing many churches to become inhospitable to the truth.

God said in Deuteronomy 13:3 “you must not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, 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” and in 2 Thessalonians 2:12 “Therefore God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” God is being faithful to His word.

Consider this Scripture:

Jeremiah 23:25-26, “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.”

Jeremiah 23:30-32, “See, therefore I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal My words, each from his neighbor. See, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their tongues and say, ‘The LORD says.’ See, I am against those who prophesy false dreams, says the LORD, and recount them and cause My people to err by their lies and reckless boasting. Yet I sent them not nor commanded them. Therefore they shall not profit this people at all, says the LORD.”

I believe those who present themselves as speaking by divine inspiration must be tested according to these Biblical tests, and if their words are found to fail, or if they come to pass but the lead the Church astray from God’s word, then they are false prophets and wolves dressed in sheep’s skin.

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!

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 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”!