Beware of false teachers (2)

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 ESV

Take everything, every teaching, and every word then double check it with the scriptures! DO NOT take my word for it. DO NOT trust your own knowledge and understanding. DO NOT take anyone’s word for it except the Lords! Look up each verse, in context to ensure it has been rightly divided and correctly taught. Students, become more accurate in the word than your teachers.

Dear Heavenly Father – This blog is your ministry, please protect it from me accidentally misleading your children. Lord, please guard this blog against any false teachings. And please teach all of us to discern false profits and false teachings, and help us cling to that which is true and discard that which is untrue. Please open our ears to hear what you are saying. Please open our eyes to see and open our understanding that we may know you. Please continue to pour out your grace upon us! Continually, all we want is more of you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

QUICK REVIEW:
One: I did change today’s opening verse, but I feel the first paragraph and my prayer should remain as it is worth repeating.
Two: Jesus, John, James and Paul all warned us of false teachers and prophets and showed us signs to recognize them.
Three: False teachers / prophets:
Will not confess the Lordship of Jesus and the redemptive work of the cross. (John 4:2)
Are unwilling to listen to John and the disciple’s teachings, and in our modern world that means reading the Bible (John 4:6) and they are in a spirit of error.
Will NOT preach pure devotion and relationship with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Will try to trick you with smooth words and temptation like the serpent led Eve astray. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Will bring you a false Jesus, or false spirit, or a different gospel (twisting, manipulating and watering down). (2 Corinthians 11:4)
Boast about their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12)
Are deceitful and disguise themselves, like satan sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

THIS IS WHERE WE PICK BACK UP:
There really is no shortage of New Testament warnings and lessons of false teachers and prophets. We really should not skim over the topic, lest we fall victim to it. 

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20 ESV

False teachers are good at what they do, reserved enough to hold back their own fruit trying NOT to let you see the lack of godly fruit. Instead as we saw yesterday in 2 Corinthians 11 – they boast on good works.  “Look at me – giving to the poor!” “Look at me – giving to the community leaders so they will publicly recognize me!” It is great for a church and their leaders to be community outreach minded and to share with the church what is being done, so the body may participate. So please do not misunderstand me.  I am speaking of the fruit of the teacher, specifically. Is it the right fruit? Do you even know or does he or she hide behind boastful works?

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

This passage in Peter is SO GOOD and we will circle back to it – but today, let’s just pull out the traits of false prophets and leaders, like: following their sensuality, blaspheming the truth, motivated by greed, and intention to exploit people. This description makes me think it would be pretty hard to be deceived by a false prophet. I mean, these things are so opposite of the word of God.

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5 ESV

I used to read this as well and think it was pretty obvious who and what false teachers and prophets are. Why would Timothy miss it? Why is Paul, repeatedly, Jesus (also a few times), Peter, and John (as well as others) warning us about these false teachers when these seem so obvious?!

Because, like the friends of Job (in the book of Job), false teachers act like friends, make you feel they have good intentions, and are exceptional liars – they are masters of disguise. They are of the devil himself.  Beware.  Beware – because in such a time as this, it is all the more easy to be deceived.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” 2 Timothy 4:3 ESV
And because of this – there are now churches who cater to being luke warm. Some churches intentionally pick and choose scriptures and are designed for people who only want so much – who go to church to feel good. Not to grow, not to be convicted to righteousness, and not to have a real experience with grace.  They want a form of godliness and WANT to deny the power thereof!

Jesus came so we can be set free. The work of God is truth, life and freedom.  And false teachers and people who want a watered down version of Christianity that fits their agendas, associations, political affiliations and/or fills their pockets with money are trading in freedom and life for the bondage they came to God to be free from! 

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 ESV

Captive again. No! We are learning to be wise. Learning to be delivered. Learning to set the captives free. Now is the time for the power of God to fall – but where can if fall? Not in a false doctrine. Not in a fake church. Not upon ear that refuse to hear and not in the sight of eyes that refuse to see.

Dig into the word of God deeply this year, learn it and do not let yourself be deceived. Pray diligently for safety from false teachers. Talk with God and build your relationship with Him so He can clearly show you the way.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

I CONFIRM:
I confirm that through my relationship with God, I will continue to seek the truth and avoid false teachings. I will ask the Lord to reveal truth to me through His word and give me discernment.  I praise and thank Him for His grace and goodness!

MEMORY WORK: 2 Corinthians 10:4
NKJV – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”
NAS – “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
ESV – “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
NLT – “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”
NIV – “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Job 32-34 NKJV

Elihu Contradicts Job’s Friends

32 So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

Now because they were years older than he, Elihu had waited [a]to speak to Job. When Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, his wrath was aroused.

So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said:
“I am young in years, and you are very old;
Therefore I was afraid,
And dared not declare my opinion to you.
I said, [b]‘Age should speak,
And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’
But there is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
Great[c] men are not always wise,
Nor do the aged always understand justice.

10 “Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me,
I also will declare my opinion.’
11 Indeed I waited for your words,
I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say.
12 I paid close attention to you;
And surely not one of you convinced Job,
Or answered his words—
13 Lest you say,
‘We have found wisdom’;
God will vanquish him, not man.
14 Now he has not [d]directed his words against me;
So I will not answer him with your words.

15 “They are dismayed and answer no more;
Words escape them.
16 And I have waited, because they did not speak,
Because they stood still and answered no more.
17 I also will answer my part,
I too will declare my opinion.
18 For I am full of words;
The spirit within me compels me.
19 Indeed my [e]belly is like wine that has no [f]vent;
It is ready to burst like new wineskins.
20 I will speak, that I may find relief;
I must open my lips and answer.
21 Let me not, I pray, show partiality to anyone;
Nor let me flatter any man.
22 For I do not know how to flatter,
Else my Maker would soon take me away.

Elihu Contradicts Job

33 “But please, Job, hear my speech,
And listen to all my words.
Now, I open my mouth;
My tongue speaks in my mouth.
My words come from my upright heart;
My lips utter pure knowledge.
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
If you can answer me,
Set your words in order before me;
Take your stand.
Truly I am [g]as your spokesman before God;
I also have been formed out of clay.
Surely no fear of me will terrify you,
Nor will my hand be heavy on you.

“Surely you have spoken [h]in my hearing,
And I have heard the sound of your words, saying,
‘I am pure, without transgression;
am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me.
10 Yet He finds occasions against me,
He counts me as His enemy;
11 He puts my feet in the stocks,
He watches all my paths.’

12 “Look, in this you are not righteous.
I will answer you,
For God is greater than man.
13 Why do you contend with Him?
For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.
14 For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
16 Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
17 In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
18 He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from [i]perishing by the sword.

19 Man is also chastened with pain on his bed,
And with strong pain in many of his bones,
20 So that his life abhors bread,
And his soul [j]succulent food.
21 His flesh wastes away from sight,
And his bones stick out which once were not seen.
22 Yes, his soul draws near the Pit,
And his life to the executioners.

23 “If there is a messenger for him,
A mediator, one among a thousand,
To show man His uprightness,
24 Then He is gracious to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit;
I have found [k]a ransom’;
25 His flesh shall be young like a child’s,
He shall return to the days of his youth.
26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
27 Then he looks at men and says,
‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it did not profit me.’
28 He will redeem [l]his soul from going down to the Pit,
And his life shall see the light.

29 “Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
30 To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

31 “Give ear, Job, listen to me;
Hold your peace, and I will speak.
32 If you have anything to say, answer me;
Speak, for I desire to justify you.
33 If not, listen to me;
[m]Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Proclaims God’s Justice

34 Elihu further answered and said:
“Hear my words, you wise men;
Give ear to me, you who have knowledge.
For the ear tests words
As the palate tastes food.
Let us choose justice for ourselves;
Let us know among ourselves what is good.

“For Job has said, ‘I am righteous,
But God has taken away my justice;
Should I lie concerning my right?
My [n]wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
What man is like Job,
Who drinks [o]scorn like water,
Who goes in company with the workers of iniquity,
And walks with wicked men?
For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
That he should delight in God.’

10 “Therefore listen to me, you [p]men of understanding:
Far be it from God to do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to commit iniquity.
11 For He repays man according to his work,
And makes man to find a reward according to his way.
12 Surely God will never do wickedly,
Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.
13 Who gave Him charge over the earth?
Or who appointed Him over the whole world?
14 If He should set His heart on it,
If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
15 All flesh would perish together,
And man would return to dust.

16 “If you have understanding, hear this;
Listen to the sound of my words:
17 Should one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn Him who is most just?
18 Is it fitting to say to a king, ‘You are worthless,’
And to nobles, ‘You are wicked’?
19 Yet He is not partial to princes,
Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor;
For they are all the work of His hands.
20 In a moment they die, in the middle of the night;
The people are shaken and pass away;
The mighty are taken away without a hand.

21 “For His eyes are on the ways of man,
And He sees all his steps.
22 There is no darkness nor shadow of death
Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23 For He need not further consider a man,
That he should go before God in judgment.
24 He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry,
And sets others in their place.
25 Therefore He knows their works;
He overthrows them in the night,
And they are crushed.
26 He strikes them as wicked men
In the open sight of others,
27 Because they turned back from Him,
And would not consider any of His ways,
28 So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him;
For He hears the cry of the afflicted.
29 When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?
And when He hides His face, who then can see Him,
Whether it is against a nation or a man alone?—
30 That the hypocrite should not reign,
Lest the people be ensnared.

31 “For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne chastening;
I will offend no more;
32 Teach me what I do not see;
If I have done iniquity, I will do no more’?
33 Should He repay it according to your terms,
Just because you disavow it?
You must choose, and not I;
Therefore speak what you know.

34 “Men of understanding say to me,
Wise men who listen to me:
35 ‘Job speaks without knowledge,
His words are without wisdom.’
36 Oh, that Job were tried to the utmost,
Because his answers are like those of wicked men!
37 For he adds rebellion to his sin;
He claps his hands among us,
And multiplies his words against God.”

Footnotes

  1. Job 32:4 Vg. till Job had spoken
  2. Job 32:7 Lit. Days, i.e., years
  3. Job 32:9 Or Men of many years
  4. Job 32:14 ordered
  5. Job 32:19 bosom
  6. Job 32:19 opening
  7. Job 33:6 Lit. as your mouth
  8. Job 33:8 Lit. in my ears
  9. Job 33:18 Lit. passing
  10. Job 33:20 desirable
  11. Job 33:24 an atonement
  12. Job 33:28 Kt. my
  13. Job 33:33 Keep silent
  14. Job 34:6 Lit. arrow
  15. Job 34:7 derision
  16. Job 34:10 men of heart

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s