Category Archives: False Prophets and Teachers

RIGHT JUDGEMENT

                                              RIGHT JUDGMENT

 

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.  Philippians 1:9-10 kjv

 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  John 7:24 kjv

 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  1 Thessalonians 5:21 kjv

 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  Proverbs 9:8 kjv

16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16 kjv

 

 

One of the most profound and destructive lies spouted by both Christians and non-Christians alike, is that believers in Jesus Christ are not to ever judge anyone or anything. We are simply told to live and let live, as our culture and even our Christian friends disintegrate before our eyes…falling into apostasy, and away from all that is true and right before our great God.

In Matthew 7:1-5, the passage most often quoted when the issue of judgment arises, Jesus Christ makes it clear that “judging” others is wrong…if the person doing the judging is guilty of the very same thing they are pointing out to the recipient of the judgment:

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold a beam is in thine own eyeThou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Based on the above passage (and John 7:24, quoted at the top of the article), it is clear that Jesus is not rejecting all judgment, but is only condemning hypocritical judgment. He even instructs his audience at the end of this passage, that once they have removed the plank from their own eyes, they are free to help their brothers deal with their own sin as well. A few verses later, Jesus goes even further, warning the people to be on guard for false prophets, whom they will recognize by their fruit, thus, making it clear that we must not only evaluate (aka judge) the fruit of others, but we must also have a clear standard by which to test that fruit. That standard is truth. What is truth? According to Jesus, Christ while he is praying to his Father, “Thy word is truth,” (John 17:17b), and the Bereans knew that well….

In Acts 17, the Bereans were noted to be more noble than other believers because they tested every single thing they heard from their teachers, with scripture. They used the word of the Lord as it should be used – as a sharp two-edged sword, separating truth from error, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart and laying bear everything before the one to whom we must all give an account (Hebrews 4:12-13). The Bereans, even with their lack of resources compared to today, relentlessly used the word to ensure that they weren’t ingesting false teaching shrouded in charisma, the wisdom of the world or sweet-tasting lies.

Jesus made several other statements about his own judgments, which explain why they were truly righteous, rather than being sanctimonious or hypocritical. In John 5:30, Jesus stated that his judgments were “just” because he sought not his own will, but instead sought only the will of his Father. In John 7:18, Jesus reminded the Jews gathered outside the temple that he was not on earth to seek his own glory but instead was seeking only the glory of his Father who sent him. The eternal truths of God are the only things that matter when exercising biblically sound judgment.

As Philippians 2:5-11 states so eloquently (see the entire passage at the end of this article), the humble and obedient attitude Jesus had toward his Father during his earthly life, must be our attitude when making scripturally mandated judgments. Humility, biblical truth and obedience to the unambiguous teachings of Jesus Christ are the measuring stick we must use when testing our hearts for jealousy, pride or anger, as we both give and receive reproof, encouragement and exhortation to and from those we love and respect in the body of Christ. The only way we can be certain that our judgments are “right” is if they line up perfectly with the word of God, and if they are spoken in gentleness and love.

An excellent example of a “right” judgment is found in Galatians 2:9-21, when Paul, very publicly and without equivocation, rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy and fear of man, which was leading others astray. After an unidentified friend of James started influencing the brethren for the worse by encouraging them to turn back to elements of the Jewish law, Peter began to withdraw from his Gentile brothers during meals. It became such a problem that even Barnabas was deceived (vs. 13) into believing that the grace of God was not enough, and that believers must still honor certain Jewish customs and traditions in order to maintain their salvation.

When Paul saw that Peter and the others, “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,”(vs. 14) he called Peter out and reminded all of the gathered brothers that they were saved by grace alone and not by works of the law. While the passage does not explain how the situation was resolved, I am certain that Peter humbled himself and repented, gladly turning away from his metastasizing sin, so that no one else would be led astray. The truth of Jesus Christ was Paul’s only goal in bringing this issue up publicly. He was not concerned with the short-term embarrassment this confrontation caused, even to a much-beloved personal friend of Jesus, such as Peter.

Paul clearly loved Peter, but he was no respecter of persons when it came to contending for the truth of the gospel. We too shouldn’t place men above the clear truth of the word (1 Cor. 4:6), meaning that we must never be afraid to challenge our brothers in Christ who are teaching (or practicing) that which is manifestly false according to the scriptures. Paul revered the saving gospel message and knew that Jesus Christ alone bore his sins in his body on a cold, hard cross, broken and bleeding in the presence of his enemies. Therefore, he did not shrink back from a brief, but necessary moment of disunity among the brethren. Instead, he fixed his eyes firmly on the truth of Jesus, pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him (Philippians 3:7-16).

Paul also made the point in 2 Corinthians 10:12,18, that we are not to measure ourselves by our brothers or sisters in the Lord. Other fallible men are never our standard. As Paul said, those who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves are not wise. It is not those who commend themselves who are approved by God, but it is those whom God commends. We must never test ourselves or others by what men think or say…even men we love and respect. Instead, we must judge rightly by using the penetrating blade of the word of God as we test everything…prove everything. Men can and often do become idols, and can subtly replace the truth of God in our lives. Let us do as the Bereans and test, first ourselves, and then our brothers, with the eternal scriptures, not to criticize or wound, but to prepare each other to meet the Lord face to face. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”

As Jesus noted in John 3:19, men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Most of us don’t want the truth, so when our entrenched ways are tested by those who dare to love us enough to challenge us with the word of God, we fling it back in their face imploring them not to judge. Paul pointed out this problem when he rhetorically asked the Galatians if he had now become their enemy by telling them the truth (Galatians 4:16). Don’t we, as servants of the living God want truth, even the sharp, soul-piercing truth of the word of God? I pray that myself first, and then everyone else who longs for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior, will speak and receive life altering biblical truths in gentleness, meekness and love.

 

EPILOGUE

God’s judgments are always right, and he has given us a sharp two-edged sword with which to rightly cut away the clever and wicked deceptions of this age from his pure and everlasting message. We MUST wield this sword in power and grace, not only to protect ourselves, but also to protect his precious little flock from the sweet sounding lies of western “Christianity” which lead down the broad and primrose path of eternal destruction. Jude tells us, in no uncertain terms, to earnestly contend for this great faith, given to us by Jesus Christ and his Father. We honor that command by growing in love, knowledge and judgment, so that we are able to approve that which is excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 1:9-10kjv). The only way we are able to mature in Christ is to eat, drink and breathe the everlasting word of God…not as taught by fallible men, but as taught by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). May we all invest our hearts in the things of eternity as the clock of time…winds down.

 

***BONUS KJV SCRIPTURE***

Revelation 2:2 This…is what God loves, and why he commended the church at Ephesus:

2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars….

 

Romans 16:17-18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

 Titus 1:13

 …Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith….

 Titus 2:15

 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 Titus 3:10

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject….

 2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

1 Timothy 4:16

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

 1 Timothy 5:20

Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

 Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the crossWherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

False Prophets and Teachers

The Written Word of God

The Bible Version Controversy: The War Over God’s Word

Ecumenism Part 1: Jesus Christ as He is in the Word, is the Only Way to God 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE LIVING GOD: Ecumenism Part 2

HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE LIVING GOD: Cowardice and Joining Together With Unbelievers

 

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils.22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?              1 Corinthians 10:20-22

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men….  2 Corinthians 5:11

 

As our time on this planet melts away, I feel a great urgency to encourage all believers, myself first, to test each and every action we undertake in the name of Jesus Christ, against the eternal word of God, lest we be deceived by the sweet-tasting lies of this world and face a God who is disappointed with us when we stand before him. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, when speaking about the judgment seat of Christ (which all believers will face), “Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” It is my passion, stemming from my own past failures and brokenness, to persuade everyone I know who calls upon the name of the Lord, to test everything…prove everything, while there is yet time so that we will not experience terror on that day, and as John says, that we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his appearing (1 John 2:28).Preach the Word Boldly and Do Not Be Ashamed

False teaching, the patterns and traditions of this wicked world and the love of money and recognition, abound in the modern church. May everyone who reads this article, test their hearts and their actions against the Holy Scriptures, and flee from that which is not clearly supported by the word of truth. False Prophets and Teachers: Wolves Among Us

One of the areas that is most disturbing to me in terms of patent apostasy, is the move towards ecumenism. This grieves me deeply because the scriptures are so very clear on that topic, yet so many good men are involved in prayer groups and gatherings where Muslims, Buddhists, and Jewish friends are treated as brothers before God…allegedly all under the same heavenly Father. There is no brandishing of the sharp double-edged sword of the gospel of truth, which leads to repentance, and there is no discussion of the reality of the fires of hell for those who do not turn from sin to the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Therefore…in fact…there is no concern for the eternal destiny of these “friends.” The false, short-term relationships created by such events will perish in the flames, along with those men’s souls, when this world ceases by the breath of God. Hell and the Wrath of God Almighty

As the scriptures state, without equivocation, Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word, and that blade is swinging, dividing parents from children, brothers from sisters and friends from friends.(Matthew 10:34-39; Ephesians 6:17). How much more does Jesus Christ want us to divide from those who do not even believe that he, as God and man, bore our sins in his body on the cross? He wants (and even demands) that the truth of God separate us out from the world – not to create meaningless disunity, but rather to create true unity among those who truly know and love the God of the Bible, all under the headship of the one who made us and loves us with an everlasting love.

Perhaps the most comprehensive and direct passage on the issue of separating from unbelievers is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, quoted below:

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

 2 John 1:9-11, also states, in no uncertain terms, that if we invite one who does not hold to the doctrine of Christ, into our house, or wish them well, without confronting them with the gospel of Jesus, then we are actually partakers in their evil and godless deeds:

 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 If these passages and the one quoted at the top of the page from 1 Corinthians 10 are true, how can we possibly sit down at a table with unbelievers (and even more with those who openly worship a pagan and thus, demonic “god”) and fail to confront them with the death, burial and resurrection of our great Lord Jesus Christ for the sins of the world? We cannot, therefore, do not, lest you taste the anger of God when you stand before him.

 Jesus and Paul made it clear – we, as believers and children of the living God, are not to join together with unbelievers unless we are preaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ to them. The context of the relevant passages is not limited to marriage, business or prayer meetings. Our God is a jealous God, and he demands that we pursue holiness, purity and righteousness by refusing to water down exactly who he is and what he did for our sin on the cross…ever. Jesus also made it abundantly clear that when we do follow him with all of our hearts, the world will indeed hate us just as they hated him (John 15:18-27). Let us embrace the fact that we are, as Peter said, strangers and pilgrims on this earth, living not for a city built by men, but for an eternal city – one built for us by the very hands of God. Heaven: Your Best Life…Later

 

EPILOGUE

If we are not experiencing pushback and rejection from the world, and even from the “believers” we know who are caught up in the most glaring heresies of today (false signs and wonders, hypergrace, the contemplative,ecumenism, prosperity/word of faith, latter rain, etc.) then perhaps we should examine our hearts to determine if we, like Paul, are truly considering everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord, and his death and resurrection for our sins (Philippians 3:7-15). We all must, without fear or shame, boldly proclaim the only message that can save souls from a rapidly approaching eternity in hell…the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. As Peter says so eloquently regarding the inevitable reproaches we will receive for the sake of Christ, “Happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you…” (1 Peter 4:13-14). For in a short time, we will receive an eternal reward, far more glorious and wonderful than anything our temporal minds could ever comprehend. May we all seek that everlasting kingdom with all of our hearts.

Heaven: Our Best Life Later

 

*** A Few Bonus Scriptures***

1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:2

For the preaching of the cross is to them the perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1:18

For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. 2:2

Proverbs 9:8

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  

 Proverbs 14:12

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

 2 Corinthians 10: 12,18

12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise18 For (it is) not he that commendeth himself (who) is approved, but (he) whom the Lord commendeth.

Romans 10:13-14

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

John 12:42-43 (This refers to confessing Jesus as he truly is in the scriptures, not a generic Jesus, who, as a prophet, is respected by all religions. He is God and savior…nothing else)

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Jude 1:3

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Ecumenism: Jesus Christ, as He is in the Word, is the Only Way to God

Preach the Word Boldly and Do not be Ashamed of the Gospel

Catholicism and the Worship of Mary

Leadership in Christ: Our Responsibilities as Teachers and Hearers of the Word of God

 

 

AUTHORITY: Whose Authority Should A Believer Be Under?

                           

                 Authority: Whose Authority Should A Believer Be Under?

There is a strong movement amongst church and Para-church leaders to push professing Christians under the umbrella of a group or a “leader.” I believe that the scriptures do, with great clarity, point to submission to government entities as long as they are affirming values that are objectively good and are punishing evil. (Romans 13:1-7). We are also exhorted to submit to our brethren in accordance with the biblical model given to us by Jesus, Paul and Peter. Christ centered leadership does not lord authority over others, as Jesus Christ himself showed us by serving the sick and the poor and by washing his disciples’ feet even as he was about to be brutally executed by his enemies.

Many of the well-known Christian leaders of our day reject any type of scriptural examination of their teachings, claiming that, as David spoke of Saul, so we are not to touch (or question) God’s” anointed.” Fortunately, we have the great apostle Paul as an example of how a leader is supposed to respond to a flock that tests his teachings. In Acts 17:10-12, it is clear that the Berean church was highly esteemed…because they tested EVERYTHING Paul taught them with the scriptures. They were not rebuked or rejected by Paul for daring to test his teachings. Instead they were considered to be more noble than other churches for examining his words, and have been recorded forever in the canon of scripture for that very act. May we find leaders who feel the same way about honest men testing their teaching in the refining furnace that is the word of God.

It is a very good (and sadly, a very rare) thing to have mature and honorable people in our lives who truly believe and understand the word of God. I am a firm believer that when the Lord brings us such people, they should feel the freedom to use God-breathed scripture to correct, train, teach and even rebuke us…getting us back on the straight path to Jesus Christ. The word of God should always be our final authority, as it was for the noble Bereans, for it will endure long after this earth and it’s inhabitants burn away. (1 Peter 1:23-24).

I personally long to know men and women of honor and truth with whom I can share this journey to Jesus Christ…believers who have put aside the deceptive lies of this world: wealth, status, sex, power, constant recreation, and instead joyfully subject themselves to the only one who judges righteously…Jesus Christ. But as noted above, such believers are few and far between as the wickedness of this world flows like an open sewer into the body, destroying the hearts and minds of even the most sincere followers of Christ.

Below are several scriptures that set forth the biblical model of authority, warning us that we should be cautious when submitting to fallible men, and reminding us that Jesus alone is our final authority. The scriptures also illustrate that biblical authority should not look like temporal authority. Instead it should look … like Jesus. I encourage those who read this to do so with a Bible in hand. This is far from an exhaustive study, but it does attempt to capture the primary theme of the verses that address this issue.

Matthew 23:8-12

In this passage, Jesus instructed a large crowd that they should not call anyone teacher or master, for Jesus Christ alone is our master. He also warned them that they (and we) are not to call anyone father other than our Father God in heaven. Instead, whoever is greatest among us must be our servant and whoever exalts himself will be humbled. In Mark 10:42-45, Jesus also emphasizes the fact that those in authority through Christ should be a servant, just as Jesus Christ came to serve mankind and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Luke 16:15

In this passage Jesus points out that what is highly esteemed by men is detestable in the sight of God.

Nowhere is the above statement truer today than in the church, where both leaders and laymen are enamored with the wealthy “Christian” businessman or the “Christian” celebrity athlete. Often authority and respect are erroneously given to a wealthy businessman not because their hearts and character have been tested with the refining fire of scripture, but because character is simply assumed because they have had temporal success. In my experience I have seen church leaders ignore the fact that many of these men have stepped on the necks of business partners – even ones who were struggling financially – to gain more power and wealth for themselves. Also, the fact that many of these men have often ignored or left behind wives and children as they built an empire for themselves that will soon burn away (Revelation 18:10-19), is forgotten, because in today’s church, cash and outward appearances are almost always king. Paul and Jesus, however, cared nothing for material wealth and had no place to rest their heads as they traveled from city to city on foot, in order to love and serve the poor with integrity. (See Paul’s thoughts on all things temporal: Favorite Scriptures #1: Paul’s Perspective On This Short Life (Philippians 3:7-14)) Are those in power in our spheres truly caring for the weak and powerless on a consistent basis as Jesus and Paul did? Not likely, because as much as it is talked about in our sanctuaries, it is rarely a significant item on the schedules of the men leading our churches since there is much fund raising and book writing to do.

John 2:24-25

Jesus did not entrust himself to men for he knew what was in men.

While Jesus was God, and was fully submitted to the Father while on earth, this statement by John makes it clear that we should be very cautious when trusting ourselves to others, just as Jesus was. Perhaps that is why Jesus, in John 14:26 (and 1 John 2:27) told us that the Holy Spirit, not rabbis or pastors, would teach us all things. We must all simply take the time to study the word of God ourselves, with the help of the spirit, and not delegate that duty to any man.

1 Corinthians 4:6

Do not think of man above that which is written.

This is an excellent verse, making it clear that Paul does not want any man to place him or any other elder above the scriptures. The word of God alone is our final authority, not man.

1 Corinthians 4:6

The head of every man is Christ

This unambiguous statement by Paul makes it clear that in Christ, men do not rule over men. Jesus Christ is our Lord and it is to him alone that we must give an accounting for our lives. Thus, we should get to know what is important to him straight from the fountain…avoiding the middleman where the fountain often becomes polluted.

2 Corinthians 1:24

In this verse Paul makes states that he did not want to have dominion over anyone else’s faith. He simply wanted to be a helper…a servant to his flock because each one of them, and each one of us, stand and fall based on our own faith.

In 2 Corinthians 11 and in Galatians 1, we also see that in both Corinth and Galatia, the people in the churches were easily submitting themselves to a different gospel and a different Jesus than the one Paul preached. Why? It was undoubtedly because they, unlike the Bereans, did not test what they heard from their leaders with the word of God. Even Jesus Christ himself used the word of God when he battled Satan in the desert after starving for 40 days. He could have easily come up with his own memorable and powerful phrase with which to hammer Satan. But Jesus Christ himself chose to use the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God in reminding Satan that, “It is written….” With those words, Satan fled.

Jesus and Paul both warned us, and Paul with tears, that we must be on guard, for many false prophets and teachers will arise from inside the church. These greedy and power hungry men lord their authority over the flock, and as Peter said, turn us into merchandise…a means to comfort, wealth, power and fame. I believe we can all say that we have seen far too much of that type of leadership in the body…some subtle and some not so subtle.

In Galatians 2, Paul also makes it clear how he feels about challenging authority if he believes that false practices or teachings are taking place. He did not mind challenging even the great apostle Peter – and in front of other believers. Peter was leading the church back into legalistic practices, some of which Peter himself ignored when it suited him. So Paul called him out in a very clear and direct manner, not demeaning Peter but calling the sin that was taking place sin, with no attempt to prop him up or protect him from what he had to face. Paul’s only desire was to honor and glorify God by making it known publicly that Peter’s actions were wrong and were infecting the body.

Neither Jesus nor Paul was a respecter of persons. They loved people but did not idolize them or place them on a pedestal. The scriptures are clear: only Jesus should be worshipped and treated as above criticism. Yet somehow today, some in the church feel that we should cover or down play the sins and false teachings of our leaders because it will hurt the body if they are exposed. Quite the opposite is true. There is nothing…nothing more beautiful than a good, strong leader in Christ owning up to his failures and being an example of humility and teachability to the brethren. That…is true power through the spirit of Jesus Christ.

It is also clear that Paul did not believe that he had to run every decision he made by other men. When he received his calling to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, he stated that he did not confer with flesh and blood before undertaking that commission. (Galatians 1:16). He, like Jesus, did not need to be told by fallible men what he knew the spirit was calling him to do. Is it wise to run important decisions by men we trust, who know the word and use it as their lamppost? Yes. But if there are no such men available, we are able to trust the word of God and the mighty Holy Spirit within us to lead us into all truth. (John 14:26, and 1 John 2:27).

Ephesians 5:21

Submit yourselves to one another in the fear of the Lord.

Again, Paul makes the point that in Christ, we who are growing towards maturity are not supposed to lord authority over each other. Instead we should mutually submit to the biblical wisdom and insight that our brothers and sisters have for us through knowing and fearing God. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, “follow me as I follow Christ,” meaning follow him to the extent that what he is doing is truly following Jesus. We do not have to blindly submit to the worldly advice and insights given to us by our friends and fellow believers, for each one of us are ultimately accountable to the only one who judges justly.

1 Thessalonians 2:4

Paul states that he and his brothers put their faith, not in men, but in the gospel, seeking to please God who tries their hearts.

I love that Paul emphasizes throughout his letters, that we must remain aware, at all times, that it is ultimately Jesus Christ to whom we are accountable. We must constantly live in a state of godly fear and awareness of his mercy, power and majesty as we remain in him, bearing fruit to the glory of the Father.

1 Timothy 2:5

There is only one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

This is another scripture that states clearly and directly that we, as believers, are beholden to no man, but are instead personally responsible for our own faith and must communicate our sin, our troubles and our thanksgiving to Jesus Christ himself.

Similarly, Hebrews 4:15-16, reminds us that we have a high priest in the heavens who can relate to our infirmities since he himself was a man. Therefore, we can approach his throne of grace with boldness so that we may obtain mercy from him directly in our time of need.   Notice how there is no mention of going first to a pastor or brother. We all may, due to the sacrifice of Jesus’s body on the cross, approach him directly and with great confidence. Furthermore, Hebrews 12:1-3, tells us, eloquently and with great spiritual power, that we are to fix our eyes not on man…but on Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith who, for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. It is the Jesus of the Bible that we must focus or minds, our hearts and our eyes on, not man.

2 Timothy 2:15-17

In this passage Paul reminds Timothy that he has known the Holy Scriptures since he was a child, and that those scriptures are able to make him wise unto salvation. Paul goes on to tell him that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and for instruction in righteousness so that he – and we – might be fully equipped for good works.

The lesson here is that, if I am to mutually submit to another for instruction, correction and reproof, those admonishments must come from the scriptures…and not from the mind and heart of a man.

Hebrews 13:17

In this passage, Paul tells us to obey those that have “rule” over us for they are accountable to God for our “souls.”

Based on how the words “ruler” and “soul” are used in both this passage and in Romans 13:1-7, and based on what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 23:8-12(discussed above), it appears that this passage is addressing temporal rather than spiritual authority. Regardless, the Berean church established with great certainty that examining those who posses the gift of leadership with the word is a noble thing.

1 Peter 5:1-3

Peter instructs the elders to feed the flock of believers rather than to lord authority over them. He also encouraged them to be good examples to the younger brothers and sisters.

1 John 2:20,27

We all have the anointing from God and “know all things,” so we “need not that any man teach” us since the anointing from God will teach us instead. These verses are similar to Jesus’ statements in Matthew 23:8-12 and John 14:26, which are discussed earlier in this writing.

1 John 2:20 and 27 directly address two key issues as they relate to authority in the church today. First, they establish, with certainty, that there are no longer any specially anointed men who are not subject to a careful examination with scripture. While we all have different gifts and we can learn from each other…everyone who is truly in Christ is personally anointed by God. Secondly, these verses remind each of us NOT to delegate our responsibility to learn about Jesus Christ to an authority figure. We all are to seek God ourselves while he may yet be found and we must test everything we hear from men with the word, lest we be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. (Ephesians 4:14).

There are many men and women today who are desperately trying to obtain power and wealth by declaring themselves (or by having their cohorts declare them) apostles and prophets of Christ. They expect all believers to get in line under their self appointed headship and to obey everything they teach, including many so-called revelations, which often contradict scripture directly. One of the best examples of the obvious false teachings of both the Dominionists/NAR and Bethel, is their false eschatology, which is the exact opposite of the clear teachings of Daniel and Revelation. In Revelation 13:7 and in Daniel 7:21, 7:24, 8:24, and 11:33, it is clear that believers are NOT going to retake the world to usher in Christ’s return. Instead, the saints will be defeated by the antichrist, and Jesus will take his revenge in his time and in his way. It is not about us and our fleshly desire to reign. It is about Jesus Christ and his perfect plan, which takes place in his perfect timing.

There truly is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ, our wonderful and precious high priest who gave his body and his blood for us…cold and naked on a hard wooden cross. This great and wonderful God has given us the gift of his Holy Sprit, which will indeed teach us all things as we seek him with all of our hearts. (John 14:26). We must reject the worship of proud, charismatic men and must instead invest our hearts in the one thing that we know is true…the unchanging, everlasting word of God. Then we will be able to understand God’s perfect love and his will for our lives.

EPILOGUE

If we do find faithful believers who are truly following the model of a Jesus centered life, as illustrated by the apostles, by all means follow them as they follow Christ. But…know the word for yourself so that you, like the Bereans, are equipped to test everything, and do not fall for clever sounding phrases and thoughts sprinkled with the name of Jesus and other Christian language. Submit to committed followers of Christ as they teach you God’s eternal word…but understand this: all men will fade away and die, like grass in the hot sun (1 Peter 24-25), but the word of God endures forever. When we stand before God at the end of days, with everything laid bare before him, he will ask us if we truly loved him with all of our hearts, and if we did, why didn’t we take the time to test the things we were taught and practiced with the scriptures since many courageous men were burned at the stake so that we could have it by our beds and on our electronic devices. I hope that we are all able to tell Jesus, with great boldness, that we did love him and that we were not fooled by the call from proud and deceitful men to listen to their interpretation of the Bible and ignore our own, through the Holy Spirit. Seek the Lord in truth and with great earnestness while he may yet be found. Time is short my brothers and sisters. Make the most of it while there is still daylight….

False Prophets and Teachers: Wolves Among Us

The Written Word: What Did Jesus, The Apostles, and the Psalmists say about the Eternal Written word of God?

Teachers, Preachers and Mammon: Money and the Ministry

Leadership In Christ: Responsibilities of Teachers, Leaders and Hearers of the word

“Greater works than these shall he (we) do….” What is the meaning of this scripture?

 What Does the Scripture Mean: “Greater Works than these shall he do….?”  

 John 14:12

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  John 14:12 (KJV)

Jesus Christ says, In Matthew 18:8-9, that if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away, for it is better to live this life maimed than to have two hands and two feet and to be cast into “everlasting fire.” If that wasn’t clear enough, Jesus goes on to state that even if one of our eyes is causing us to sin, it is better to pluck it out and throw it away than to have two eyes for this life, but to be cast into the fires of hell for eternity. In John 5:5-14, Jesus heals a man who had been infirm for 38 years,and after finding him in the temple a few hours later…said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5:14)

The point of the above passages seem to be that physical health – and even bodily wholeness – pale in comparison to having our hearts turned away from sin, and fixed instead on the eternal things of God. Jesus Christ, the maker of both heaven and hell (John 1:1-5; Matthew 25:41; Colossians 1:16), is telling all of us, in no uncertain terms, that we must focus our minds and our hearts on the things of God and not on temporal things, because ultimately, everything temporal…even our physical bodies, will burn in hell if we choose the short term pleasures of sin over the everlasting love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

When I consider the previously referenced passages in Matthew 18 and John 5, in light of John 14:12 (quoted at the top of the post), and the life of Paul, it seems clear that the “greater things” Jesus is referring to, are eternal things…. things that draw the hearts of men away from the temporary and deceitful pleasures of this world, and into a real and permanent relationship with the Living God, through the death and resurrection of our great Lord. By the mercy of Jesus, and by his great sacrifice, we have the ability to, as co-laborers with Christ, draw others away from that infernal place called hell, which God prepared for Satan and his angels, to an eternal kingdom…one that can never, ever be shaken…and to treasure that can never perish, spoil or fade. By the grace of God, this great and everlasting inheritance will belong to us – and to those we help lead to repentance, not by healing their bodies or by performing signs and wonders, but through boldly sharing the unfettered power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth….”  Romans‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭

The scriptures clearly testify that healing sick bodies and even raising people from the dead (which of course our omnipotent God can do through us if he so chooses), are small and temporary things in light of eternity. Jesus says that the angels in heaven cheer for even one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7), so how much more valuable is a life dedicated to “greater things” such as drawing others to the cross of Jesus Christ, opening up a door for them to eternity in heaven? While a life of relentlessly sharing the gospel message of Jesus Christ in gentleness and confidence through the power of the Holy Spirit will not make us rich or famous, we will be serving our great God, who is a consuming fire…and we will be fulfilling His first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) by loving both God and man.

EPILOGUE

I encourage myself first, and everyone who reads this brief article, to consider everything – every word and every action – in light of eternity. Any little thing we do for the Kingdom of God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is far greater than even the greatest thing we do for the flesh. May the Lord God, our merciful and loving Father, help us to see everything in this short life in light of the cross…until that glorious day when we meet Him in the air to be in the paradise of God…forever.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  Luke 10:19-20

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.    1 Corinthians 4:18

Preach the Word boldly, and do not be ashamed of the gospel

Portraits of Jesus Christ in the word: Who Exactly is our God?

Prayer: How to Approach God and What to Expect From Him

The Written Word: What Did Jesus, The Apostles, and the Psalmists say about the Eternal Written word of God?

Hell And The Wrath of God Almighty

                                                    HELL AND THE WRATH OF GOD:

                                                      The Reality of What is Coming

 

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.       Revelation 19:11-16

 

For far too many believers, including unfortunately, many well-regarded pastors and teachers, hell and the wrath of God are considered to be unnecessary doctrines, despite the fact that they are clear realities in the scriptures. Teaching about the “winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty” doesn’t exactly bring the young and upwardly mobile into church, and it certainly doesn’t increase book sales. Some popular authors and teachers even deny that hell exists, or state that it is simply a place of emotional and spiritual separation from God, without fire or torment. But the Bible, including Jesus Christ Himself, on many occassions, says otherwise. If the fury of our God’s wrath is coming…and it is…then I certainly want to know about it, and I want those I care for to know about it as well.

Jesus spoke of a place called hell frequently, and often in very specific terms. Jesus and the Apostles also spoke very clearly about the wrath of God, which is coming with unmitigated vengeance on those who reject Him (see, Revelation 19:11-21, some of which is posted above). I believe that these doctrines are absolutely critical for any true believer to understand, because they set forth, in horrific terms, the reality of what happens to those who reject the death of the one and only God, who willingly and lovingly gave Himself up for humanity as a sin offering, cold and in agony, on a cross. My hope is that by studying the scriptures relating to these important biblical doctrines, we will all be encouraged to turn further away from the lies and pretensions of this world and to instead urgently heed the call of Jesus and the Apostles to share the glorious message of salvation through the blood of Christ, with all of those we know and love.

It is impossible to truly understand what Jesus Christ did for us by stepping off of His heavenly throne (See, Ezekiel 1:25-28) and becoming man, in order to die a brutal death for us as a sin offering, unless we understand exactly what He was saving us from. Jesus did all of this because He loves us, and because He does not want us to go to the horrible place called hell prepared for Satan and the angels who hated and rejected both Him and His Father. If we choose to reject this great salvation, which Jesus has achieved for us, then we are choosing to follow the prince of this world…and we will join him at death in a place of both darkness and fire, where the worm never dies and the fire is never, ever quenched.

Below I will summarize the many verses on hell and the wrath of God, which are found in the New Testament.

In Matthew 3:7-12, John the Baptist, when discussing the Pharisees and Sadducees, refers to them as a brood of vipers and specifically mentions the wrath of God, which is coming on the unrepentant. John then states that the axe is at the root of the tree, and every tree, which does not bear good fruit, will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

This passage almost certainly refers to the fire of Revelation 19:20, 20:10, and 21:8. In Revelation 20:10, the Apostle John specifically states that those who are thrown into the lake of fire will be tormented day and night forever.” The quotation in the previous sentence clearly destroys the “annihilationist” theory of many Christians today, whose minds cannot accept the fact that a loving God would allow people to be tormented forever. Hell is of course, difficult for any human to truly comprehend – it certainly is for me. However, the eternal destiny of man is a decision that only God, the One who made all things, can make, and it is a dangerous thing to ignore or reject His clear statements on hell because we don’t like or fully understand them. We (meaning myself, too) so willingly, substitute our own wisdom and judgment for the unfathomable wisdom and understanding of the one and only God. We do so…at our own peril.

In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus specifically declares that those who call their brothers a fool, are in danger of the fire of hell.

In Matthew 5:27-29, when discussing adultery and lust, Jesus states that if one cannot control himself, he should pluck his eyes out and throw them away, for it is better to enter life blind than to have your whole body cast into hell.

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus states that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.

In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus tells a crowd to watch out for false prophets. He states that we will know false prophets by their fruit, and that every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and be thrown in the fire.

In what is generally considered Jesus’ greatest extended teaching, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-8, referenced above), Jesus mentions hell four different times, emphasizing that it is a very real, a very hot and a very horrible place where He doesn’t want anyone to go.

In Matthew 8:5-13, a centurion comes to Jesus begging Him to heal his servant. Jesus says that He will come to his house in order to heal the man. However, the centurion, who is obviously not a Jew, tells Jesus that he is unworthy to have Him come into his house so if Jesus will just speak a word of healing, the servant will be healed. Jesus, amazed by this man’s faith heals the servant and then states that, many who are sons of the kingdom (Jews) will be thrown into hell for unbelief, while many who are not Jews and who come from all over the world, will live and dine with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.

In Matthew 10:26-31, Jesus tells the twelve disciples not to fear those who can kill only the body, but instead to fear God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

In Matthew 13:24-33, Jesus tells the parable of the weeds, noting that the weeds sown amongst the wheat will at the time of harvest, be gathered, tied in bundles, and cast into the fire. The wheat will then be harvested and will be placed in the safety of the landowner’s barn.

In verses 36-43, Jesus explains the above parable to His disciples, stating that, as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of this world. Those who do evil will be thrown into a fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This parable and its explanation by Jesus also establishes, with a great deal of certainty, that the doctrine of annihilationism is false. The unsaved are not simply extinguished unto death, but instead they will experience “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” which means that they will suffer greatly in what is described by Jesus many, many times, as fire. The scripture below describes hell in the same terms as well.

In Matthew 13:47-50, Jesus, for the third time in the same conversation, mentions hell. He states that the kingdom of Heaven is like a net filled with fish. Once on shore, the good and the bad fish are separated. So it shall be at the end of age when the angels come and separate the evil from the righteous. The evil will be thrown into the fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus tells Peter that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

In Matthew 18:6-9, Jesus teaches His disciples about the dangers of sin and warns them of the evil temptations to come. He then instructs them that if any part of their body causes them to sin, they should cut it off and throw it away for it is far better to live this life blind and maimed than to be cast into hell forever.

In Matthew 23:1-33, Jesus details the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees to a crowd, and then in verse 33 asks them how such men can escape the judgment of hell.

In Matthew 24:45-51, Jesus tells the parable of the faithful and unfaithful servant. He makes it clear that the servant who is faithful at the time of the master’s return will be saved, but the servant who does not anticipate the master’s return, and tries to see how much he can get away with while the master is gone, will be appointed to hell with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Anyone who believes that salvation is one magic prayer said at any age should take a close look at the above passage, along with Luke 18:21-35 and all of Luke chapter 25. I would also suggest reading the scriptures laid out in my prior writing on grace and obedience. The word is clear: a saving faith is far more than reciting certain words, or making an intellectual decision. It is a deep belief in one’s heart, which, over time, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, leads to fruit…fruit that will last, for the glory of God the Father (Acts 26:20; Romans 10:8-11; James 2:14-26; John 15:1-8).

In Matthew 25:30, at the end of the parable of the talents, Jesus tells the unprofitable servant (the one who is given a talent but did not use it to benefit the master) that he will be thrown into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This is another one of the many parables of Jesus, which specifically states that hell is not a place where your soul is simply extinguished. It lives on for eternity, and it does so in utter darkness and torment.

In Matthew 25:31-46, the very next passage, Jesus tells the crowd about the Day of Judgment. At the time of judgment, Jesus says that He will separate the sheep from the goats. In verse 41, He tells the goats that they are going to an eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. Then, in verse 46, He states that those who do not love Him will go into “eternal punishment.”

These are two more scriptures that seem to weigh heavily against annihilationism, and establish the fact that in hell, there is no escape, and there is no hope of death…but the soul lives on in a place of everlasting punishment.

Mark 9:42-50, is one of the most powerful passages in the Bible on the reality and severity of hell. In this passage, Jesus tells His disciples that if their right hand causes them to sin, they should cut it off and throw it away because, like the similar passages in Matthew, it is better to be maimed in this life then to have both hands and be sent to hell, where the fire is never quenched. Jesus then goes on to quote Isaiah 66:24, three separate times, when He tells His disciples to flee from sin, because in hell, where those who live in unrepentant sin go, the worm never dies and the fire is quenched.

This might be the most convincing passage regarding the foolishness of annihilationism, since Jesus Himself, quoting from the Old Testament, states that in hell, the worm never dies and the fire never ceases.

In Luke 12:4-7, Jesus tells a large crowd exactly how much God loves them and that even the hairs on their heads are numbered. He also warns the people not to fear those who can kill the body, but after that can do no more. Instead, they should fear Him who after death has the power to cast them into hell.

Luke 16:19-31, is the story of the rich man and Lazarus, which may be the most definitive passage on both the nature of hell and the deceitfulness of riches. It is no mistake that hell and wealth are tied together in this parable. According to this passage, not only is the soul alive in hell suffering great agony and torment, but once there, no one can ever escape.

In this story, Jesus tells the Pharisees about an unnamed rich man who lived in great affluence, and was obviously far too enamored with his luxurious existence to be concerned with the things of God. However, Lazarus, a poor beggar who would have loved even the scraps off the rich man’s table and who had dogs lick his wounds since there was no one to care for his physical needs, died and went to be with Abraham in paradise. There he dwelt with God and the patriarchs forever.

What is most interesting to me about this story is how it illustrates just how hard it is for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. The rich are often so deceived with the luxuries they have on the earth, that they never really give their hearts to God. Jesus hammers that point home in finishing the parable by stating that, even if someone came back from the dead to warn the rich man’s brothers about the deceitfulness of riches and the reality of hell, they would not listen to them. That is the power unto hell that earthly wealth has.

On the contrary, poor, hungry, and sick Lazarus chose not to curse God and die, but instead chose to love and trust Him despite his afflictions. Lazarus had less than nothing, yet he trusted in a loving God. The rich man had everything, yet chose to ignore God. One went to be with God forever, and the other was sentenced to dwell in the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels forever. This is a reality that we should not be ashamed of nor fear sharing with those we love who are deceived by the enticing comforts of wealth.

In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus tells the parable of a nobleman who entrusted his servants with money to invest while he was going to be away on a long journey where he was hoping to receive a kingdom. This man’s subjects hated him and tried to keep him from becoming king. After being made king, the man returned home from his journey…and he had all of his enemies executed in front of him.

This parable is analogous to what is happening on earth now (and back then), and it also explains what will happen at the end of time. While the world despises Jesus as He truly is in the scriptures, Revelation 19:11-21 states, in no uncertain terms, that one day Jesus Christ will return – and with a vengeance, destroying all of his enemies forever with the breath of His mouth.

The parable of the vineyard and the vinedresser in Luke 20:9-19, is similar in theme. The owner of the vineyard, whose servants and son were murdered by the greedy vinedressers, comes and kills the vinedressers, and states that the stone that the builders rejected has become a cornerstone and whoever that stone falls on will be crushed to powder.

In Romans 1:18-32, Paul teaches that the wrath of God is coming on those who suppress the truth through ungodliness and sin, because every single person ever created will have a chance to see and know God and His eternal power and deity through the glory of creation (see also, Psalms 19:19 and Acts 17:24-28). This passage then goes on to describe the things worthy of God’s wrath such as lust, idolatry, homosexuality, and ungodliness.

In Romans 2:5-9, Paul states that, because of the hardness of men’s hearts, they are storing up for themselves treasures of wrath on the Day of Judgment. On that day, the judgment of God will be revealed, and for those who do not obey the truth there will be tribulation and anguish.

In Ephesians 5:3-6, Paul states that, because of sins such as sexual immorality, greed, and idolatry, the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. Colossians 3:5-6 says almost exactly the same thing: that because of sexual immorality and idolatry to name a few, God’s wrath is coming on those who disobey Him.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, reminds us that if we turn from our idols to Jesus, we will be saved from the wrath to come. For as 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-10, exhorts us to be patient in persecution and tribulation, because such an attitude is evidence of our righteousness. For God will repay with tribulation those who trouble us, and He will give us rest when He is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels and flaming fire to take vengeance on those who do not know God and who do not obey Him. They shall be punished with eternal destruction, isolated from the presence of the Lord.

In Hebrews 10:26-31, Paul teaches that, if we continue to sin after we have received knowledge of the truth, we should only have a fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation which devours the enemies of God. Paul goes on to state that, if we reject God after knowing Him, we deserve severe punishment for trampling the Son of God, who sacrificed Himself for us, under our feet. It is a dreadful thing to fall to the hands of the living God.

In 1 Peter 3:18-20, Peter teaches that, after Jesus died on the cross, He preached to the spirits of those who previously died in disobedience, and were being held in prison.

In 2 Peter 2 (the whole chapter), Peter teaches that false prophets, like the angels who rebelled against God, will be cast into hell where they will remain captive, in chains, in the gloom of darkness until final judgment. This entire chapter talks about hell and judgment, mostly in the context of false prophets, but Peter also mentions that those who walk after the flesh and despise authority will also inherit hell. In this chapter Peter also teaches, as Paul did in Hebrews 10, that those who know the way of truth but again become entangled in sin, are in danger of the fire of hell, and it would have been better for them if they had never known the way of righteousness.

2 Peter 3:7, states that the heavens and the earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and the destruction of the ungodly.

Jude 1:5-13, is a powerful reminder to all of us that if we remain in our sin we will suffer the same fate as those who did not believe in God while they were in Egypt, and those who behaved wickedly in Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude specifically states that those places serve as an example to us of the punishment of eternal fire, which we will receive if we live in wickedness.

In chapter Jude 1:13, hell is described as the gloom of darkness. In Jude 1:21-22, Jude encourages all believers to remain in the love of God while we wait for the return of Jesus, having compassion on some, and with fear “pulling others out of the fire.”

Clearly Jude, the brother of Jesus, considers hell to be a very real place, and that place is full of eternal darkness and fire. I am not sure how eternal fire and the gloom of darkness go together, but I do not want to find out, and I do not want anyone that I know to find out either. Let us all take hell seriously and seek to save those we love from its flames.

In Revelation 6:17, we are taught that a great day of wrath is coming. Revelation chapters 6, 8, 9, and 16 go into great detail about the horrific events that will come upon the world before Jesus’ final return in victory, which is laid out beautifully in Revelation 19:11-21.

In Revelation 14:9-12, we are told in very clear terms, that whoever takes the mark of the beast and worships him shall drink the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out in full strength from the cup of God’s anger. Those who take the mark of the beast shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Lord and His angels. The smoke of their torment will ascend forever and ever, and they shall have no rest day or night.

No matter who you are, no matter what prayers you have said, and no matter what you believe about grace, if you take the mark of the beast you ARE going to hell where you will be tormented day and night forever. The above passage also makes it abundantly clear that hell is not the permanent extinguishing of the soul. Hell involves torment…for eternity, with no opportunity for rest, and with no chance of escape.

In Revelation 19:20, we are told that the beast and the false prophet of Revelation are thrown alive into a lake of fire that burns with brimstone.

In Revelation 20:7-14, the devil, after being let loose for a time at the end of the millennial reign, will be cast into the lake of fire where he will be tormented day and night forever. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will also be cast in the lake of fire. This is called the second death.

Again, the doctrine of annihilationism is proven completely false via the scriptures, because, according to Revelation 20, when the Lord brings His final judgment on mankind, those who do not love Him will be cast into a lake of fire, where they will be tormented day and night…forever.

In Revelation 21:1-8, the beauty of the new Heaven and the new earth are described, and Jesus declares that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and those who overcome shall become His children, and will inherit all things. But the cowardly, the sorcerers, the unbelieving, the sexually immoral, the idolaters, and the liars shall have their portion in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (see also, Revelation 22:14-15).

According to the scriptures, The fury of God Almighty’s wrath is coming on those who disobey Him. Not only will they suffer torment on this earth during the reign of the antichrist, when all men will be greatly afflicted, but they will also suffer brimstone and sulfur in the fires of hell forever. The reality of the above scriptures, especially those spoken by Jesus, should prompt all of us to seek out those we love, and to risk looking like a fool to share with them, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the saving message of Jesus Christ. There is not one person on this earth that I want to go to hell. So I pray that the Lord will give me the strength and the courage to reach out to the people around me with gentleness, love and confidence in order to speak the piercing truth of Jesus Christ, so that perhaps some, even one, might be spared from the horrid place called hell…where the fire is never quenched and the worm never dies.

Additional Verses:

Several additional verses that refer to hell are: Psalm 6:5 (in hell who will give God thanks, David asks); Psalm 11:5-6 (upon the wicked He will rain coals of fire and brimstone, and a burning wind); Psalm 21:8-11 (the Lord will discover those who hate Him, and when He returns He will make them as a fiery oven, and will swallow them up in His wrath, and fire will devour them), and also, Psalm 49:1-17 (Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches will waste away in hell), and Psalm 55:23 (God will cast the wicked into the pit of destruction).

Fortunately, those who love Jesus Christ, have heaven…..Heaven: Your Best Life…Later Part 2

See, also: Confronting Sin: Snatching those we love from the flames

The Written Word: What Did Jesus, The Apostles, and the Psalmists say about the Eternal Written word of God?

False Prophets and Teachers: Wolves Among Us

 

“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5b)

“Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”(Luke 11:35)

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…. “ (Matthew 12:39)

“…I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119:128b)

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9)

 “…Rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)     

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

“Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God….” (2 Cor. 10:5a)

Prove all things….” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

“For…the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain…. “( Zechariah 10:2b)

“Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.”  (Jeremiah 14:14)

In Acts 20:29-35, Paul warned the Ephesians elders, as he was preparing to leave them for what he knew would be the last time, that, after his departure, ravenous wolves would come in among them, not sparing the flock. Even from amongst the brethren, evil men would arise speaking perverse things in order to draw disciples away from the truth of Jesus Christ, and toward themselves.  Paul was so concerned about these false teachers that he reminded them that he had been warning them, with tears, about these deceivers for 3 years. He then commended the elders to God and to the word, and pointed out that he was not greedy and coveted no man’s possessions …but simply labored to teach them all things about Jesus. And here we are 2,000 years later, and the ravenous wolves…are here.

It seems that only a few believers have taken the time to truly, deeply, exhaustively study the scriptures for themselves. Most believers only know a few familiar passages, such as those focused on by their pastor, their mentor, or their family. All of us need to know for ourselves exactly what the unchanging, everlasting word of God says in full. The scriptures truly are the voice of God to his people, and, as Paul says, they are living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Heaven and earth will pass away – as will men – but the words of God will never, ever pass away (Matthew 24:35, 1 Peter 1:23-25). If we devote our time and energy to the scriptures, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things, will guide us into all truth and will remind us of everything that Jesus said (John 14:26, John 16:13, 1 John 2:27). Each of us should ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts each time we pick up the Bible so that when we read it and meditate on it, the word of truth will become more than just wise sayings or stories about men  – but instead will be a sharp double-edged sword that pierces our hearts, minds, souls and spirits.The word is truth

One of the most important reasons for learning the scriptures for ourselves is so that we are not blown “to and fro by every wind of teaching”, or by every new evangelical trend (Ephesians 4:14-15). Once we know the scriptures, Paul says that we will have the ability to test and approve God’s perfect will (Romans 12:2) and thus, we will know if what we are being taught actually lines up with the word, or instead are simply wise principles, traditions and philosophies invented by men to deceive(Colossians 2:8). So much of what is being taught these days seems to be motivated by greed, a desire for power/control, or for the love of fame and celebrity. Because of this, we must all demand that every single word being taught to us lines up perfectly with scripture. Jesus Himself warns us several times to watch out for false prophets. He specifically points out that such men(and women) might not be obvious to most people. Instead, they are ferocious wolves…hiding in sheep’s clothing. By their fruit we will recognize them(Matthew 7:15-16) – if we know the word and exercise discernment by carefully testing every spirit( 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, and 1 John 4:1).

Jesus goes on to tell his disciples that not everyone who uses His name will be saved, but only those who obey Him…not as works, but as evidence of salvation. Many will say to Jesus when he comes to take His children home that they prophesied, drove out demons, and performed miracles in His name. But He will say, “Away from me you evil doers! I never knew you.” (Mathew 7:21-23). Test the spirits against the word!! If they don’t line up, turn around and walk away from them, and never, ever go back – for what do temples of idols have in common with the temple of God? Come out from them and be separate! (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).Biblical separation

For me to trust a teacher or self-proclaimed prophet or apostle, I need to see clear obedience to the words of Jesus Christ along with true Christ centered humility. If anyone calls themself a prophet, apostle, Seer or any other such name, I would argue that they have already failed the humility test.  Every single teacher or leader in Christ needs to preach the Gospel message. This message says: believe that Jesus is who he said he is, repent, accept his mercy as a free gift, forgive everyone, obey the commands of Jesus and the Apostles, love, exercise self control, and be holy –for without holiness no one can see God. Every message that is not centered on scripture and the clear message contained therein must be ignored.

Anyone who comes in the name of Christ, but has a spirit that is not in accord with the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, must be rejected. Even the great Paul did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom. He resolved to know nothing while he was with the people of God, but Jesus Christ and him crucified. He came in weakness and fear and with much trembling. His message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words so that the faith of his flock would not rest on men’s wisdom (his own) but on God’s power (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)…and in Galatians 2, when he saw that Peter was teaching legalism, he did not hesitate to confront him publicly. Why? Because the truth of God is all that matters, and not the reputations of men. What is righteous judgement?

Why aren’t more teachers and preachers like that today given the fact that they have Paul’s words to instruct them? Shouldn’t we expect our teachers to have that same spirit as Paul? Shouldn’t those truly clothed in Christ understand that the message of Jesus isn’t about personality, appearance, temporal power, wealth, education or wisdom? So few seem to understand this – be it teachers or the flock. As a result we are all led astray by men, and are enraptured by the temporal. Paul made certain that no one made that mistake with him.

In Christ’s kingdom, external appearances count for nothing. Love, obedience, and humility through Jesus Christ are everything. When Jesus talks about the end times in Mathew 24, he states that many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other. Many false prophets will also appear and will deceive many people (Mathew 24:10-13). The statements of Jesus in both Matthew 7 and Matthew 24 regarding the fact that many who think that they know Him (and are allegedly performing all kinds of miraculous signs on his behalf) don’t actually know Him at all, and that many false prophets will appear deceiving many, is frightening really, and makes it even more clear that we need to stay away from the loud, charismatic, signs and wonder oriented teachers and churches. Instead, we need to allow the gentle and powerful Holy Spirit to teach us all things as we diligently study the scriptures and live in the world (John 14:26).

As we seek fellowship in Christ, we need to find a church or body that strictly conforms to the teachings of Jesus, Paul, John, Peter, and James. That is the only way we can be sure that it is of God, since, as Peter said, “All men are like grass and their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fade…but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25. Jesus also said…“Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35.

In Romans 1:5, Paul teaches us that he received grace and apostleship, not to make everyone rich and happy through Christ, and not to perform healings or signs & wonders but… to call people from among the gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. That is the message that we all desperately need to hear. It doesn’t tickle our ears, but it speaks a deep truth from God to our hearts. Paul constantly preached the Gospel of Christ and emphasized love, holiness, obedience, and self-control. He told us to flee sin and he encouraged us to live – not for the things of this world – but for the unseen, everlasting kingdom of God. Money and Ministry: What does the Bible say?

Paul encouraged the church by stating that the One who called us, God Himself, is faithful and will help us make it to the very end. As he finishes this letter,  Paul, in Romans 16:17-20, warns the church in Rome to watch out for those who cause divisions and act in a manner that is not in agreement with Paul’s teaching. Such people are flatterers and smooth talkers who feed their own appetites and deceive the minds of the unsuspecting. This was a constant theme in Paul’s preaching. In 1 Corinthians 10:14 and 21-22, Paul exhorts the church to flee idolatry, and he reminds them that they cannot drink from the Lord’s cup and from the cup of demons. They  cannot be partakers at the Lord’s table and at the table of demons…lest they provoke His jealousy.

Clearly, every activity we participate in at church or anywhere related to spiritual activity MUST line up with the word of God, lest we foolishly, and dangerously provoke the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul states that we must demolish every argument and pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we are to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. Paul is demanding that we take an offensive approach in testing each and every message that we hear and every action we undertake, to make sure that it clearly aligns with the eternal scriptures given to us by God.

Paul, James, Peter, and John all warn us about false prophets and, like Jesus, Paul taught us that such men will be deceitful, hiding their true intentions. Just as Satan does, they will masquerade as angels of light, pretending to be pastors and teachers…bearing new and clever spiritual “truths”. 2 Corinthians 11:3-15, states that, just as Eve was deceived by the serpents cunning, our minds too may be led astray from our sincere devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus that we preach, or if you receive a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different Gospel …be wary. Paul also noted in this passage that he preaches the Gospel free of charge, clearly implying that those who seem money centered (whether by coming out with a constant parade of books/dvd’s or by preaching give-to-prosper) almost certainly have bad motives – very bad motives. (**see link 4 paragraphs up re money and the ministry).

As 2 Corinthians says, false apostles are deceitful workmen pretending to be apostles of Christ, and no wonder for Satan himself pretends to be an Angel of Light. It is not surprising that his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness and their end will be what their actions deserve. 1 John 4:1 makes it clear that we are to always test the spirits. If the spirit is not clearly of Jesus Christ, then flee from it…. with no turning back, no matter what any man says.

In Galatians 1:3-10, Paul begins his address to the Galatians by reminding them of the true Gospel – that Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of God the Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. He then states that the Galatians are so quickly abandoning the One who called them and instead are turning to a different gospel – which is not really a gospel at all. Some imposters were throwing them into confusion and were trying to pervert the true message of the Gospel. Paul then says that, if he or even an Angel from Heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached (meaning the initial, pure Gospel Paul preached) let him be eternally condemned. He then makes the same statement again, emphasizing that anyone who preaches a false gospel, be it human or an angel, should be condemned to hell forever. Paul then says that he is not trying to win the approval of men by bringing this message. Instead, as a servant of Christ, he is trying to please God and God alone.

Clearly, Paul knew, even back then, that the simple gospel message was not popular and would offend many, especially those who profit from their preaching. This certainly seems to be the case today as well, where the church, in large part, seems to be chasing unbiblical spiritual experiences along with material prosperity, rather than seeking the glorious face of the living God as perfectly and beautifully revealed in his everlasting word.

In Ephesians 4:11-15, Paul states that God made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists in order to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ might be built up until we all reach unity and maturity, obtaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men and their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love we will, in all things, grow up into Him who is the head, which is Christ.

The aforementioned passage  indicates that God raises up leaders to prepare us for good works in Christ so that we might be encouraged until we reach maturity. Unfortunately, this is not what I am seeing in most of our churches today. Instead, our church leaders seem to be ignoring the Gospel message of love and repentance through Jesus Christ, and instead are drawing people in with signs and wonders, trendy worship bands, a charismatic pastor, a false message of inclusiveness, prosperity preaching, bestselling self-help books or with a large, fancy building with great amenities. All of these things will burn to ashes when Jesus comes. But the word of the Lord endures forever….

Colossians 2:6-8 tells us that, just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue in him, built up in strength and overflowing with thankfulness. Verse 8 tells us that we need to see to it that no one takes us captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human traditions and the basic principles of this world rather than Christ. Our teachers should be building us up in Jesus Christ, teaching us to continue in what we received: mercy, love, repentance, and peace. Is that what we are hearing from the teachers we respect or are we simply hearing the worldly principles and philosophies of success, happiness and wealth cloaked in Christian language, while actual scripture and the gospel message of the cross of Jesus Christ, is minimized, manipulated, or ignored?

Colossians 2:18 warns us not to let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels, to disqualify us from the prize. Paul says that such a person goes into much detail about what he has seen and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. That is a highly relevant scripture, because today many “teachers/prophets/apostles” are bragging about their unverifiable and highly unbiblical encounters with angels and spirits despite the fact that Jesus specifically commands his disciples not to rejoice in the fact that spirits are subject to them. Instead Jesus wants them to simply and humbly rejoice in the fact that their names are written in the book of life (Luke 10:20).

Countless verses  warn us to avoid all communication and contact with “familiar spirits” aka demons disguised as angels or spirit guides. Anyone who brags about encounters with angels or the bizarre miracles they have witnessed should be ignored and discredited as teachers. Teachers are held to a very high standard according to Paul and James. It is a high yet humble calling. Paul himself said that the only thing he bragged about was the cross of Christ, through which he was crucified to the world and the world to him. Unfortunately, people – leaders – who are doing exactly what Paul warned against in Colossians 2 – are taking root and are flourishing all over America, and America is drinking in and spreading this sickness throughout the world. People are hurting and hungry, but they are eating the wrong food. Instead, we must lift up the true, pure message of Jesus Christ as illustrated in the gospels, along with the teachings set forth in the epistles…and from everything else we must flee.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, states that the secret power of lawlessness is already at work in the world. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the works of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but who have delighted in wickedness.

I strongly believe that, in this present age, many, many “Christians” are delighting in the wickedness of these false and demonic teachers and the feelings they get from the false signs and wonders…rather than loving the simple truth of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that counterfeit miracles are allowed by God to test our hearts. Are we in love with the supernatural phenomenon that we are seeing and experiencing, or are we in love with the one who was from the beginning, Jesus Christ, and his commands to repent, forgive, love, obey, flee from sin, suffer for truth, persevere, and be holy?

2 Thessalonians 2 goes on to encourage the body of believers to stand firm in the faith, to continue to believe in the truth and to hold on to the teachings that Paul gave us. In 1 Timothy 1:3-7, Paul commanded certain men not to teach false doctrines, nor to dedicate themselves to myths or genealogies, which promote controversies rather than God’s work, which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Paul then states that some have wandered away from the faith and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers but don’t know what they talk about or what they so confidently affirm. 1 Timothy 4:6-10 says essentially the same thing. I see many, many teachers these days who do exactly what this passage warns against. They don’t know the word at all, but simply pull verses out of context to fit their corrupt theology which brings in the masses(who also don’t know the word) and builds their bank accounts.

I love that Paul says that the goal of stopping false doctrine is love. It is not love to allow destructive lies to flourish in the body and possibly drag the ignorant or foolish to an eternity in hell where the worm doesn’t die and the fire is never quenched (Mark 9:48). As 1 Timothy 4:16 says, watch your life doctrine closely. Persevere in them, for doing so you may save both yourself and your hearers. Also, Romans 14:22b states that we should be careful about the things which we approve, lest they condemn us. We are all called to watch our lives and doctrines closely. We are told to be careful about what we approve so that we don’t lead other people astray. We are instructed to do these things not only for our own salvation, but also for the salvation of those who hear us and trust us.

2 Timothy 4:2-8, instructs us to preach the word, and to be prepared to correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires they will gather around themselves a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from truth and turn aside to myths. But we are to keep our heads clear and are to discharge all the duties of an evangelist. This passage then goes on to say that, at the end, when Jesus comes to judge the world, we, like Paul, should all be able to say…I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Peter 2:1-10, affirms what Paul said in Acts 20,  that there will be false prophets among the believers. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, with some even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them. Many will be deceived by them and will follow their shameful ways bringing the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit us with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping. If God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, then the Lord also knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment.

I believe that the above scripture captures what is going on today in many popular churches. So many of these false apostles, prophets and teachers are making hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars through offerings, conferences, creating prophetic teaching centers, by claiming false revelations allegedly coming directly from God, and by selling book after book after book. They are, without a doubt, bringing the way of truth into disrepute by ignoring the Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the apostles, and instead are focusing on their “power” as manifested in unbiblical signs, revelations and wonders (where is insane laughter, barking like a dog, flailing on the ground when not possessed by a demon, fortune telling, shaking uncontrollably, calling the Holy Spirit sneaky and silly(Jen Johnson, Bethel),receiving gold fillings, having out of body experiences, being caught up in a glory cloud, etc. etc. etc. in the Bible?? Nowhere, but it is in Hindu India, and at many of your favorite “churches”. Watch Youtube videos on the Kundalini Spirit and you will see exactly what is going on in the American charismatic movement). These wicked men and women, unlike Paul, do not preach Jesus Christ, but instead preach themselves and for dishonest gain( 2 Corinthians 4:5).

In 1 John 4:1, we are told not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 John 1:7-11, also states that many deceivers have gone out into the world, many of whom do not acknowledge Jesus’ coming in the flesh. We are then instructed to watch out that we do not lose what we have worked for by following such people. John states that anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God. But whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to us and does not have the true teaching of Christ, we should not take him into our house. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

I  love how, in 2 John 1:4, the apostle states that it gives him great joy to find that some of his children are walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. Apparently, the number of those who were seeking the truth, even back then, was not very large, so he expressed great joy when he found some who did remain faithful.

In Jude 1:3-4 we are commanded to contend for the faith. Jude then specifically states that certain men, whose condemnation was written about long ago, have secretly slipped in among the believers. They are godless men who have changed the grace of our God into a license for immorality. In verses 18-21, Jude states that, in the last days, there will be scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires. They are men who divide us, who follow mere natural instincts and who do not have the Spirit. But we are told to build ourselves up in a most holy faith and to pray in the Holy Spirit and to keep ourselves in God’s love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us eternal life. We are told to be merciful to those who doubt and to snatch others from the fire and save them. We are instructed to avoid even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

How do we do all of this? How do we keep the faith? How do we test the spirits? How do we keep from getting manipulated? We learn the eternal word of God for ourselves, without relying upon men to teach us. We pray that, through the Holy Spirit, the eternal truths of the scriptures will burn into our hearts, minds, and souls so that false teaching will never, ever pull us away from God. Jesus promises, in John 14:26, that the Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of everything Jesus said.

The teachings of Jesus Christ, Paul, John, Peter, Jude and James are more than adequate to instruct us forever. Anything that does not clearly align with the teachings contained in the Holy Scriptures must be ignored. And by the grace of God, we will have the confidence and love to walk in humility, peace, and strength, pulling those we know and love out of the flames, so that perhaps we can help set them on the path to eternity with the one and only God. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of God the Father.” Hebrews 12:1

Revelation 2:2 This…is what God loves, and it is why he commended the church of Ephesus:

2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars….

 

Kenneth Hagin possessed? You decide

Excellent “holy” laughter article and videos

IHOP’s cultish and demonic activities

Bill Johnson: False Teacher

More Heidi Baker Wickedness

 

***Additional verses defining what prophecy actually is, and on false prophets and teachers:***

*Please watch this video thru the 3 minute mark. It shows what can only be reasonably described as a demon, being imparted into a young man who is quietly praying at Bethel: An Impartation of darkness

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.  1 Corinthians 10:21

Deuteronomy 18:9-22 , states that if a prophecy is truly from God, then it is true 100% of the time. The Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes. It also says that, in Old Testament times, death was the punishment for false prophecies. I bet prophecy was taken a lot more seriously back then! This long passage also forbids all kinds of wicked spiritual practices which are seen in the occult, and in a few very influential churches today.

Who did “readings” in the Bible? Not the Apostles. Demons, however, gladly did. In Acts 16 the slave girl “sees” who and what Paul is by an evil spirit, and it so disturbed Paul, that he cast the demon out of her. Also, demons continually told Jesus that He was the son of the Most High God, when one else knew it. So…if you are getting “read” or are getting your future told, just realize what kind of spirit you are likely dealing with.

Revelation 9:10b also says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Are the prophecies you are hearing the testimony of Jesus…or are they more like what was going on in the passages from Jeremiah and Ezekiel below:

Jeremiah 23:9-45 and Ezekiel 13 speak of lying prophets who only speak vain, happy things that they make up because the people want to hear them. That sounds like what is going on today. Revelation 19:10b says, very clearly, that the spirit of prophecy is the “testimony of Jesus,” not silly, happy positive thoughts made up by our own vanity to please ourselves and the flesh of others.

Acts 2:1-15, is one of the most misrepresented scriptures in the Bible by false. In this passage, the Holy Spirit comes upon the Apostles, causing them to speak in actual foreign languages that men from other countries understood. This lead many to think they had been drinking, despite the fact that there is no reference of any kind to them falling on the ground or staggering like drunks. Many assume that they were falling on the ground like drunk fools because it corresponds with the demonic manifestations they have seen and taken part in, and which they love and attribute to the Holy Spirit.     …And what did the Apostles say in these foreign languages? They did not foretell the future or speak false positive messages over people. No. They spoke about….”The mighty works of God.” That, my dear brothers and sisters, is the spirit of prophecy per Revelation 19:10b. Uneducated fisherman, boldly proclaiming the mighty works of God, early in the morning…and in foreign languages certainly could give rise to thoughts of drunkenness.

Acts 4:31 is very similar to the above passage. In this verse, the apostles are gathered together praying when the place where they were meeting was shaken by the power of God…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Did they writhe around on the floor, bark like a dog, see a glory cloud or gold dust, or receive gold fillings? No. They “spoke the word of God with boldness.” It was all about the word of God and not the “power” of men.

2 Corinthians 4:5 states, For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and us as your servants for Jesus’ sake…..This is quite the opposite of the current move amongst many evangelical teachers to label themselves apostles, prophets and healers. They preach themselves…with just a little hint of Jesus Christ, and then write best-selling books and jet across the world. As 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 says, Paul preached in weakness and fear, and with much trembling, so that the message would not depend on his gifts…but on God’s power.

1 Timothy 5:22 states that we are not to lay hands on anyone suddenly…. I believe the point of this verse is, that men, in their pride, often think they have a great gift to impart to everyone by the laying on of their hands. No one should touch you unless YOU know that they are men of enduring Godly character, lest they put something in you that is not of God. I have seen video of a woman lay hands on someone at Bethel church, and that person, who was praying quietly, immediately fell to the floor writhing, in what looked like demonic bondage and physical pain. Jesus didn’t put those things in to people…he cast them out and sent them to hell!!

1 Timothy 6:1-6 states that we should not listen to corrupt men who teach that financial success equals godliness.  Contentment in all things, as we love and quietly await our eternal reward, is true godliness.

Titus 1:10-11,16 talks about how men will teach false doctrines intentionally knowing that it will lead to riches. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny him.

2 Peter 1:21 says that all true prophecies come not from the will of man, but from the Holy Spirit….Therefore,  prophecy can’t be taught and it isn’t just some positive or encouraging thoughts that we speak to someone. It is a lie unless the Holy Spirit speaks God’s words through you – not your positive thoughts or my positive thoughts with prophetic lingo surrounding it. I don’t want to stand before the glory of the living God and have him ask me why I said i was speaking for him…….do you?

2 Peter 3:17-18 says that we should not be led astray by the deception of the wicked but should grow in the grace of the Lord.

Jude 1:3-4 says that we are to contend for the faith against liars who preach that God’s grace is a license for immorality….Any one who preaches that we are free to sin because of God’s grace needs to read the verses set forth in my Grace, Obedience and Salvation: The Narrow Road writing.

On Forgiveness:

Forgiveness: To The Merciful, God Shows Himself Merciful

On Wealth:  The Deceitfulness of Wealth: Your Best Life…Later Part 1, and

Teachers, Preachers and Mammon: Money and the Ministry

On the eternal power of the word of God:

The Written Word: What Did Jesus, The Apostles, and the Psalmists say about the Eternal Written word of God?

Who exactly is our God? Portraits of Jesus Christ in the word: Who Exactly is our God?

The Reality of Hell: Hell and the Wrath of God-Almighty

Ecumenicism: Praying With People from Other Religions

Catholicism and the Worship of Mary

What Is Important to God? Instructions For Life from Paul and the Apostles