Beware of false teachers (4)

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 ESV

Beware of liars and those wearing a mask. Beware of those who put on a theatrical performance in disguise. Beware of filters. Beware of the enemy stealing, weakening, damaging and destroying your weapon.

Dear Heavenly Father – I have committed this blog to you – it 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: Jesus, John, James, Matthew, Peter and Paul all warned us of false teachers and prophets and showed us signs to recognize them. And in Job, we also see by example and not with warning how false teachers and prophets can even be counted among our friends.
Two: False teachers / prophets excel at deception, disguise and trickery.
Three: There is a growing demand for them, because people want to only hear what they want to hear.
Four: There are real life and death consequences for being a false teacher / prophet as well as wanting to be led by one and letting yourself be deceived by one because you did not do your due diligence. 

THIS IS WHERE WE PICK BACK UP:
If you know me personally, you know that I occasionally enjoy the silly filters for selfies or video chatting on the internet.  I enjoy the giggles of looking like a puppy or bunny or even an alien while chatting and being silly with my friends. I also have used filters on selfies – my profile picture on some of my social media accounts is filtered with lighting effects and boosts to color and contrast.  None of my profile pictures are so far from the truth that you wouldn’t recognize me – but yes, some of the ones I have played with in those filtering programs no longer look anything like me – they are a complete lie. Yes, the slightly filtered ones can also be viewed as a lie. I could argue that they are just silly fun – but we all know one compromise leads to another and none of us want to go where that leads.
I am NOT saying having fun with filters is evil or bad (unless being used for evil, like catfishing) – Especially since I confess, I do it too. I am using this as a metaphor to build on. So hang in there with me. 
Now, I will also confess I filter all of my social media posts.  I do not share everything wily-nilly.  I actually do not use it very much at all (and less and less as the days go by). I do not use it for ministry – God did not tell me to. If I am ever instructed to, I will, but not now. So I post pictures of my pets, share links to my friend’s businesses and to fundraisers for good causes, acknowledge Christmas, New Year’s Day, Hanukah, etc. and wish everyone well. I post pictures of meals and silly selfies. It is not a good indication of who I am or what I am doing. It isn’t the whole truth. If you judge me by it you will not know me at all.

Let us now consider false teachers and false prophets – since this is our study. They filter. Like some of my selfies, they make things look better than they are. Like some of my selfies, they sometimes distort things so much you cannot recognize them in reality. They carefully filter everything: the way they look, the way they want you to perceive them, the way they talk, the things they show you that they do, etc. They keep you ‘in the dark’ about everything else, like my social media feed.
Filtering the Word of God and doctrine as well, as they pick and choose which verses they want to teach on and believe and which they want to toss aside. 

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 ESV

Ok, be careful with this verse. If you read this AND get your flesh on you, you might be running headlong into chaos and confusion which is NOT of God. So, let us break things down a little bit first!  Filters originally were colored or shaped films that went over your camera lens and blocked or distorted light (either blocking part of the spectrum or changing the way it hits the lens). When we look at filtered things, therefore, they are literally in the dark – light has been removed.  Replacing the missing or distorted light will correct the image or the way we see.

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

When we have a relationship with Jesus we are given light. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says we ARE the light of the world! We are given the light and become a conduit of light! If false teachers and prophets are in a shadow, under a filter, and leaving things out – just by being in their presence your light is shining and exposing them, if to no one else, but to themselves. Let God do the work of God – we do not need to use our earthly wisdom to fight in vain. 
However, if God tells you to confront a person and directly expose, you better listen and have all parts of the process correct; like who are you exposing to and are you causing strife and division. Protect the children of God whenever engaged in confrontation with the flesh. And always remember we battle NOT against people! We NEVER battle people. So, if God told you to, seriously pray about it before you do.  Just doing the due diligence to remove the darkness from yourself so you radiate the MOST light you possibly can is enough to expose the way this verse means. The spirit world does not operate with the same rules as the physical world. Trust God – you will see.

And now that we are all super leery of everyone who is speaking the Word of God, let us take a deep breath and ask God to help us go back to the hunger where we receive the word of God as if we were starving!

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11 ESV

We can receive the Word eagerly AND still examine it thoroughly! It is more noble – it is required, lest we stumble and fall.

MOST IMPORTANTLY – and please remember this above all else – we must protect the pure Word of the Lord.  As we studied a week ago, the WORD is our SWORD. It is the weapon. THE WEAPON. Do not dull it. Do not damage it.

For this reason, false teachers/prophets are deadly. They are used by the enemy to steal, weaken, damage and destroy our weapon. Use the pure unadulterated words of the Lord whenever possible! God’s Word has a mission from God and they will complete it.

“so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 ESV

In such a time as this, there are many false prophets and teachers and the internet makes them very easy to find and access.  During the end times there will be a strong delusion over the earth, and I am sure it is from these filtered teachings. So, beware.
Also, beware of those muddy water internet meme that distort scripture or filter it – do not share them (even when well intended) because they turn you into a false teacher.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:16 ESV

Just turn them off. Unfollow them. Leave those churches.  Make sure wherever you are getting your bible studies and devotionals and sermons it includes the entire Bible. If they speak of heaven then they better be speaking of hell. If they speak of blessings then they better explain curses. I must admit there are some extremely controversial passages that God has me study and I do not want to share here and cause someone to be offended – but I cannot omit passages or verses. I answer to God – and there is great destruction for those who wrongly divide the Holy Scriptures.

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,” 1 Timothy 4:1 ESV
This – this is where we are. Demons aren’t even trying to deceive anymore while some false teachers are.  Watch and pray, therefore – and learn what the Bible actually says for yourself.

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 38-39 NKJV

The Lord Reveals His Omnipotence to Job

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now [a]prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the [b]line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
10 When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
11 When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It takes on form like clay under a seal,
And stands out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
And the [c]upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea?
Or have you walked in search of the depths?
17 Have the gates of death been [d]revealed to you?
Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.

19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory,
That you may know the paths to its home?
21 Do you know it, because you were born then,
Or because the number of your days is great?

22 “Have you entered the treasury of snow,
Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is light [e]diffused,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth?

25 “Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water,
Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one,
A wilderness in which there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate waste,
And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
28 Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
30 The waters harden like stone,
And the surface of the deep is frozen.[f]

31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,[g]
Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out [h]Mazzaroth in its season?
Or can you guide [i]the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
That an abundance of water may cover you?
35 Can you send out lightnings, that they may go,
And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?
36 Who has put wisdom in [j]the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust hardens in clumps,
And the clods cling together?

39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they crouch in their dens,
Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
41 Who provides food for the raven,
When its young ones cry to God,
And wander about for lack of food?

God Continues to Challenge Job

39 “Do you know the time when the wild mountain goats bear young?
Or can you mark when the deer gives birth?
Can you number the months that they fulfill?
Or do you know the time when they bear young?
They bow down,
They bring forth their young,
They deliver their [k]offspring.
Their young ones are healthy,
They grow strong with grain;
They depart and do not return to them.

“Who set the wild donkey free?
Who loosed the bonds of the [l]onager,
Whose home I have made the wilderness,
And the [m]barren land his dwelling?
He scorns the tumult of the city;
He does not heed the shouts of the driver.
The range of the mountains is his pasture,
And he searches after every green thing.

“Will the wild ox be willing to serve you?
Will he bed by your manger?
10 Can you bind the wild ox in the furrow with ropes?
Or will he plow the valleys behind you?
11 Will you trust him because his strength is great?
Or will you leave your labor to him?
12 Will you trust him to bring home your [n]grain,
And gather it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s?
14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground,
And warms them in the dust;
15 She forgets that a foot may crush them,
Or that a wild beast may break them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers;
Her labor is in vain, without [o]concern,
17 Because God deprived her of wisdom,
And did not endow her with understanding.
18 When she lifts herself on high,
She scorns the horse and its rider.

19 “Have you given the horse strength?
Have you clothed his neck with [p]thunder?
20 Can you [q]frighten him like a locust?
His majestic snorting strikes terror.
21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength;
He gallops into the clash of arms.
22 He mocks at fear, and is not frightened;
Nor does he turn back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against him,
The glittering spear and javelin.
24 He devours the distance with fierceness and rage;
Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded.
25 At the blast of the trumpet he says, ‘Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
The thunder of captains and shouting.

26 “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom,
And spread its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle mount up at your command,
And make its nest on high?
28 On the rock it dwells and resides,
On the crag of the rock and the stronghold.
29 From there it spies out the prey;
Its eyes observe from afar.
30 Its young ones suck up blood;
And where the slain are, there it is.

Footnotes

  1. Job 38:3 Lit. gird up your loins like
  2. Job 38:5 measuring line
  3. Job 38:15 Lit. high
  4. Job 38:17 Lit. opened
  5. Job 38:24 Lit. divided
  6. Job 38:30 Lit. imprisoned
  7. Job 38:31 Or the Seven Stars
  8. Job 38:32 Lit. Constellations
  9. Job 38:32 Or Arcturus
  10. Job 38:36 Lit. the inward parts
  11. Job 39:3 Lit. pangs
  12. Job 39:5 A species of wild donkey
  13. Job 39:6 Lit. salt land
  14. Job 39:12 Lit. seed
  15. Job 39:16 Lit. fear
  16. Job 39:19 Or a mane
  17. Job 39:20 make him spring

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