Destructive Doctrines “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. … Continue reading
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy spirit, and have tasted of the good word of God and the powers of the age to … Continue reading
The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of his attributes or excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and a fear of offending him is its inseparable effect. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Love trumps all (1 Cor. 13:13), however we cannot afford to sacrifice truth for the sake of love. To lay aside truth only means that love is of no benefit to the body of Christ. If we are going to achieve “love,” truth must be the catalyst by which love functions otherwise contending for the faith is meaningless.
“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, even Christ” – Eph. 4:14-15
Truth is never to be sacrificed to so-called “charity”, yet it is to be maintained in charity. Truth in word and act, love in manner and spirit, are the Christian’s rule. Truth is never to give way to false doctrine, but it must be spoken in love. Some cling to the truth tenaciously, but forget to speak it in love. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” – Gal. 5:14-15
So what is the answer? Disagreeing agreeably equals compromise and promotes a tolerance for those who reel and are carried about with “every wind of doctrine.” It is clear they are both unstable and deceptive promoting every sort of false doctrine. Truth is real, actual, not counterfeit. Truth acts genuinely. Speaking the truth in love is to endeavor to express the truth in a loving manner. In Galatians 4:16 Paul says, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” And again in Acts 20:27 Paul tells the Ephesian Elders, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Speaking the truth in love includes telling the whole truth, not only speaking the truth, but presenting it in action as the truth and not counterfeit. It is unloving to do otherwise! We are to be true (in doctrine and profession), this falls within the boundaries of love.
Does love mean that we have to tolerate false doctrine? No! Does love mean we have to accept false teachers, prophets, and apostles? No again! It seems Paul was trying to straighten the Ephesians out on this matter, they were zealous for truth, but lacked in love. And they didn’t heed his words for Christ himself through John sent a letter warning them they had lost their first love (Rev. 2:4). I don’t believe the Ephesians problem was a lack of love for the Lord for Jesus said “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (Rev. 2:2-3). They had patience, they had discernment, they labored for Jesus’ name sake, they even hated evil, but the spiritual vitality springing from love had degenerated into orthodox routine. The Ephesians were combating the doctrines of the Nicolaitans who’s teachings were seducing the people of God into idolatry and immorality.
Are we not to be defenders of the faith? Yes! Jude tells us “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4) The issue is not pointing out the false doctrine, teachers etc. The problem is in how we are doing it and why we do it. We are in an ecumenical melting pot today where anything goes from contemplative prayer, soaking prayer, little gods doctrines to “every man does that which seems right in his own eyes” – Judges 21:25. I believe we should contend for the faith, we are to fight for the truth of Christ’s doctrine, the gospel message, we are even suppose to strive together for the faith of the Gospel (Phil. 1:27). The problem today with contending is many people are getting hurt, even shipwrecked in the crossfire. We have to learn how to contend, how to speak the truth “in love.”
Reasoning with people is out the window in our society, and apostasy is rampant! It is the sinful nature which breeds and continues to support false doctrine and teachers. And for many like myself, the root of bitterness springs up in my reaction to false doctrine and teachers. I too am guilty of contending with malice rather than love, or at least I did. And again I find myself having to retrain and discipline myself to speak and act with love without compromising God’s Word. If all of us would first take a close examination of ourselves in the light of God’s Word and make an honest assessment of ourselves from God’s point of view, well, that would be a great beginning! But…most today are too busy indulging in felt faith doctrines rather than authentic faith.
Paul makes it clear, “So then, we may no longer be children…” (Eph. 4:14). In the Greek “children” is implying negation, not speaking, that is, a simple minded person, an immature Christian. When we bite and devour and react with malice instead of love are we not immature? When the 911 terror attack occurred and the twin towers where starting to collapse thousands of people were running from the danger. Meanwhile, fireman and policemen were running into the danger screaming, “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” The difference between 911 and contending for the faith is that I feel as though I’m running away from the danger while untold millions are running into it and I’m screaming, “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” And no one is listening. Instead I get sneers, shoved out of the way, and it is very frustrating. I feel hopeless and helpless!
Are not false teachers the enemy? Yes! “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things” – Phil. 3:17-19. Notice Paul’s “weeping?” Today, as in Paul’s day many offer cheap alternatives to knowing Christ, and they are His enemies. Many today are perverting the foundation of Christianity by misrepresenting Jesus Christ. They shun doctrine for the sake of relationships and at the same time miss the fact that anything taught essentially is or becomes doctrine. Sound (healthy) doctrine is meant to build and mature the body of Christ and conform it to the image of Christ. But what is our response suppose to be? Jesus said; “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” – Matt. 5:44. Love is not a matter of sentiment alone, but practical concern, blessing, prayer, and positive wishes for well-being, extended to friend and enemy alike. I know, this is hard to swallow! I feel that big lump trying to slide down my throat right now, I’m convicted. Now this verse is not about the enemy, but about our conduct. It doesn’t mean there will be a great success rate, that they will be converted but it does mean we will be victorious in spite of them.
Now let me pause here and say that it’s not how much “Word” we know or how much Scripture we can quote that makes the difference, it’s how much “Word” we exercise which promotes maturity and gives discernment (Heb. 5:12-14). “…by reason of use” is the ability to discriminate between sound and unsound doctrine and between wholesome and unwholesome conduct. It’s the means by which we can identify and respond to falsehood rather it be a teacher or doctrine. Paul told the Roman Christians; “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” – Romans 12:20-21. Doing good in spite of evil form the culminating point of the Sermon on the Mount. “Heaping coals of fire on his head” is in the Old Testament the figurative expression of divine vengeance (Ps. 140:10; Ps. 11:6), and the true sense of these words seems to be, “That will be the most effectual vengeance” (Alford, Hodge). This kindness most enthusiastically may subdue him, and make him feel more intensely guilty.
The institutional church is in all pretense failing the people of God. I’m not speaking of every organized church in existence, but the ungodly control and hierarchy which God has not established. The institutional church system who’s mindset and attitude is pushing forward by selfish ambition and the desire to have the preeminence. In the last two years I have met many who are leaving it, God is calling His people out. And He has placed my wife and I in a position where we can now minister to some of them, they are hurting and need encouragement. Many of them are just starting their wilderness journey, a journey I have been traveling now for several years. I am now learning to weep for them and for those who have done them so much harm. We are to be loving to contend but contending to love!
1 Cor. 11:18-19 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be heresies among you, that those who are approved may be made manifest among you.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
You can’t help but notice that in not only both of these verses but also in the context of these chapters including chapters 6 of Hebrews that the topic is about growing into spiritual maturity. How can we do that if there is no discerning of the things that it talks about in these verses? Paul certainly isn’t surprised at hearing that there were divisions, instead he points out that it’s necessary in order to find the truth and identify those who are not teaching it. How many times did Christ himself warn and instruct us on this very issue?
Mark 13:22-23 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
Matt. 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed/Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Take heed is the same translation and means
Strongs: 991 βλέπω [ blepo / blep ·o /] “beware” four times, “look on” four times, “look” three times, “beware of 1 to see, discern, of the bodily eye. 1a with the bodily eye: to be possessed of sight, have the power of seeing. 1b perceive by the use of the eyes: to see, look descry. 1c to turn the eyes to anything: to look at, look upon, gaze at. 1d to perceive by the senses, to feel. 1e to discover by use, to know by experience. 2 metaph. to see with the mind’s eye. 2a to have (the power of) understanding. 2b to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand. 2c to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine. 3 in a geographical sense of places, mountains, buildings, etc. turning towards any quarter, as it were, facing it.
Watch out (Matt. 16:6
Strongs: 3708 εἶδον , ὁράω [ horao / hor· ah ·o /] Properly, to stare at “take heed” “behold” “perceive” 1 to see with the eyes. 2 to see with the mind, to perceive, know. 3 to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience. 4 to see, to look to. 4a to take heed, beware. 4b to care for, pay heed to. 5 I was seen, showed myself, appeared.
I love the meanings of these words as it gives us not only a clearer picture but calls us to action if we are to have any hopes of truly being able to know/discern good from evil. To “stare at” and become acquainted with, to discover by use and to know by experience.
Many of us can certainly say that we have “experienced” these false teachings first hand but I, like most, didn’t follow through to “perceive or “understand” what I was looking at or hearing. So I would literally stop looking at it and push on further into the deception. Dismissing it as “just ignorant me, not knowing or understanding the “spiritual” things that these false teachers were teaching.
Not only are we to weigh carefully, examine, one translation says “as in the forensic sense. “ We’ve all seen the shows today that have forensic teams that investigate and examine everything no matter how small or insignificant in order to get to the truth. It’s a lot of very hard work at times, most times actually, but the rewards we get out of it are beyond any labor or effort that we put into it. THE TRUTH, and anytime we discover truth, we grow and develop spiritually a little more and a little more. Will I ever be a grown up???? I pray so, I’ve been stunted long enough.
The fact is that the separation of the wheat and tares – the goats from the sheep will not happen until the end of the age. Just as Christ said we will always have the poor with us. So too will the church ALWAYS have heretics’/tares/goats. Is it any wonder then that scripture tells us over and over to take heed, watch, beware, mark those and warn other believers. This is the picture of the church today and yesterday and will be until Christ’s return. We have and will continue to have heresy in the church and scripture is clear on what we are to be doing so as not to fall into deception again. Learn, exercise, and grow in all discernment.
Scripture also tells us that ultimately the heresies/heretic’s will become the norm of the church in the end, how else will the antichrist be able to gain control.
Mark 13:23 “if possible to deceive the very elect” so you have to assume that those who are doing the deceiving are very, very, good, even speaking truth at times.
Look at Acts 16:16-18 ” And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”
The one striking fact is that the woman that was “possessed” with a spirit spoke the undeniable truth!!! And it wasn’t just a truth it was SALVATION! Now if that happened today!! This woman would have never been addressed and probably would have her own Christian tv show. These types of scriptures are to give us insight into just how deceptive and manipulative Satan is. 1 John 4:1-3 sounds easy enough about testing and trying the spirits; but how good would any of us be had we been put in the same position as Paul was in Acts?
“Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist….”
Without diligent study of the Word and discernment by the Holy Spirit we don’t stand a chance at NOT being deceived. It is only by the power of God that we can stand.
Yes we will be head butted by the goats and choked by the tares in the church. But God in His mercy left the tares among the wheat so that not one who belonged to Him would be destroyed, He knows who are His. Let’s strive to pursue discernment in these thing’s. As for the title “who is really causing the divisions in the body?” well the next time someone flags you out as causing division in the body because you pointed out a false teacher, you may just want to share this with them, ask them to prayerfully consider the scripture that is given and then see if they will at some point be willing to sit down and discuss this with you, so that “ they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” and those that aren’t.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” ~ Malachi 3:8-10
There are three words which describe how the church in the last century has been so successful in obtaining the tithe, fear, guilt and intimidation. Pastors have quoted this passage using every cliché imaginable, “Tithe up brother,” If you don’t tithe, you are cursed,” and “You can’t afford not to give,” are but a few used to induce the fear that if you don’t give at least 10% of your gross income, you are out of God’s favor and in jeopardy of God’s scourging.
When compared to Numbers 18:21-24 and Nehemiah 10:37, the usual interpretation of “bring the whole tithe into the storehouse” has been turned into an appalling lie which, for the integrity of God’s truth and for what is advantageous to Christ’s church, must stop immediately. To gain a clear understanding of what and of who Malachi is speaking about all four chapters should be read and the context considered. Several questions should be considered when reading all four chapters such as, “Who is God speaking about?, Is he speaking to one group of people or many? Does he address more than one group of people? It becomes clear in the first chapter that Malachi addresses the open contempt of the priests for the braking of the Law and their negative influence upon the people. Just six verses into chapter one he says, “To you priests who despise My name.” And following through to chapter two Malachi opens by saying, “And now, O priest, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name, says the Lord of host, I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart.“
The natural result of corrupt leadership becomes the bane of the people, an epidemic which produces bankrupt values. In effect, the priest offered what was blind, lame and sick as a sacrifice, the priest broke their vows, corrupted the covenant and did not regard the offering as a good will offering, and by doing so provoked the LORD of host to curse the nation.
Malachi 1:6 and 2:1 offers evidence that God is specifically addressing the priest, not the people! These two verses are the keys which unlock the entire book of Malachi. God is rebuking His ministers, the priest who are guilty of dishonoring God and despising His name, not the people. This is confirmed if you follow the pronoun “you” from Malachi 1:6 on through the end of the book. Chapter 2:1 becomes the greatest key as for the second time God distinctly makes it clear He is specifically addressing the priest, not the people. Since there is no corresponding text anywhere else in the book of Malachi that God has changed his primary audience, then the conclusion must be that God did not change his audience for the remainder of the book.
The word “curse” occurs seven times in the book of Malachi, 1:14, 2:2, 3:9, 4:6, and again are all directed towards the priests themselves, not the people (See Footnotes) How is it then that so many preachers ignore the many uses of the word “curse” in Malachi when they preach on the curse of Malachi 3:9? And lastly, there is the issue of the law, the priest self-deceivingly claimed the privileges of the covenant, while neglecting the conditions of it as if God were bound by it to bless them. The covenant is said to be not merely “of life and peace 2:6,” but “life and peace” for the keeping of the law. The priest neglected their covenant relationship with God by robbing Him of the tithes and offerings 3:8-12. Nothing is said here of the people, in fact, all indication is given that the people gave tithes according to the law. Which brings us to the most important part of our discussion here, the New Testament Church is not bound by the law, either for blessings or curses. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” ~ Galatians 3:13. The law makes demands no one can keep, and obedience to the law is to be absolute in every detail. A feat only Christ Himself accomplished!
The covenant made at Sinai witnessed the era of Israel’s birth as a nation. It was then that God created them as a people for His own possession (Malachi 2:10). The law revealed the holiness of God and the sin of the people and serves as a reminder that the law only condemns. It could not save but was the schoolmaster to Christ (Galatians 3:24). The covenant of Grace unlike that of the law is an unconditional, everlasting covenant spoken of as “The New Covenant” or “The New Testament,” and was an agreement ratified by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is referred to as a “Better Covenant” (Heb 7:22; 8:6) because it was established on grace and truth, plus the reality of Christ’s Covenant exceeds that of the Levitical priesthood just as substance surpasses shadow. Why then do we see a bleeding over of a legalistic system where it concerns giving (tithing) into the Covenant of Grace? For far too long Pastors have used the iron fist of the law as a means of obtaining finances. The very fabric of the modern Church structure is manufactured on an outdated form of economics using the machinery of archaic times. As it was during the era of Malachi, spiritual decline produces failure in the stewardship of possessions. The old garments of the law have been cast off, the Levitical priesthood failed to reach perfection so another priest after a better order has appeared. Just as there has been a change in the priesthood it was of necessity there is also a change of the law (Heb 7:12). Jesus Christ, who’s priesthood is in the likeness of Melchizedek has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life (Heb. 7:14-16).
For the modern Church, tithing has become the anvil for profit seekers and hirelings who’s objective is personal gain rather than the care and provision of the needy. For example, Ed Young’s recent sermon “Show Me The Money.” Ed Young delivered a tithing sermon to scare, humiliate, intimidate, and offend his church members into giving 10% of their income. If you go to a church where the preacher tells the people that they are obligated to give 10% of their income to the church, you probably have heard many of these same things. But Mr. Young puts them all together in one single mammoth of a manipulative, self-serving, heretical sermon. There is nothing new under the sun and these types of tactics have been advocated across denominational lines. So I ask you, when your preacher has to use fear, guilt, intimidation, humiliation, and manipulation as methods of securing finance, is he doing so through a legalistic approach or do you really believe he is operating via the principles of grace? Preachers who use unsympathetic techniques to assure income either for themselves or the church organization do so out of concern for their own livelihood. For a pastor to say you’re doing the church no good by just showing up and not tithing, that you’re better off staying home or, if you don’t tithe don’t bother coming back, is uncaring, indifferent, and uncaring for the body of Christ.
Just as Salvation is by Grace through faith, New Testament Giving is regarded as the gift of grace. Believers don’t give because they have to or because they are compelled or commanded to. Believers don’t give to secure an extravagant lifestyle for its leadership so that they can live in expensive mansions, drive luxury cars, or purchase privet jets. No, believers give simply to exemplify Jesus. For the believer, giving is not just a part of our created make up, it is an expression of the nature of God within us to others. The grace we receive from God finds expression in the grace we give to others. New Testament giving should be patterned after the Divine example revealed in Jesus. Giving should always be on the bases of love, love for God, for other believers and for the lost. Grace is a universal principle that Christ gave us through the cross. He gave all, His very life for the sake of the world.
Grace however becomes contaminated anytime the jurisdiction of the law is set over the values of New Testament giving. It is not the amount that is as important as it is the motive in the giving. Prior to any legal requirement, Abraham responded to Melchizedek’s office, generosity, and blessing by giving a tithe of all the spoils gathered in a recent war (Gen. 14:18-20). Abraham received the grace in giving that was not found in the Livitical Law. It is the priestly order of Melchizedek that Christ’s priesthood rises from (Hebrews 7), thus, giving today is a matter of liberty. The dispensation of the law is a parenthesis between Abraham’s dispensation of promise and its enduring fulfillment at Christ’s coming. Abraham’s act affirmed Melchizedek’s superiority even to the Levitical priest themselves. Now here is where an argument can be made in defense of the tithe, Abraham gave a tenth. And pastors are quick to point that fact out, however, the tenth Abraham gave was strictly a free will offering. A study of the context reveals Abraham kept nothing for himself, he gave it all, a tenth to Melchizedek and the rest was divided up between his men. A tithe may be implied through the example of Abraham but still cannot be imposed. There are many examples of Grace giving in the New Testament, examples which would serve the Church well, if practiced. (Acts 4:32-35; 2 Corinthians 8-9)
 Curse 2764 ḥērem: To be set aside for destruction. Example: The entire city of Jericho was a deadly threat to the formation of God’s people and fell under a ban, except for Rahab and her family (Jos_6:17-18), and was set aside for destruction.
Curse 779 ’ārar: This verb, in a more specific sense, means to bind (with a spell); to hem in with obstacles; to render powerless to resist. It is sometimes used as an antonym of bāraḵ (H1288). In Genesis 3, God renders curses on the serpent, the woman, and the man for their sins in the Garden of Eden
Curse 3994 me’ērāh: It refers to God’s sending evil or destruction on His disobedient people (Deu_28:20; Mal_2:2; Mal_3:9)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me…” Hosea 4:6
The Hebrew word for “destroyed” in the text above is damah and means to be cut off at sight of the theophany. Essentially, it is talking about people who loose or lack in the perception of the essential nature of God manifested. Theophany is the appearance of God in visible form to a human being and interesting enough the Hebrew word for “knowledge” (daat) is not talking about knowledge one gains from study, but is defined as having skill in perception, discernment and understanding. “daat” comes from the verb ‘yada‘, meaning “to know” occurring more than 90 times in the Old Testament. The lack of the knowledge of God, that is, the peoples lack of discernment shows us that their ignorance was willful, they ought to have known God having had the opportunity. In effect, the people’s lack of knowledge was more than just neglect, they rejected it choosing false gods in place of the God of Israel and the priests had been poor examples, leading the people of Israel into apostasy. You’ve heard the saying, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Those that rebel against the truth can expect nothing other than to perish in the dark. A close examination of current events reveals that history is indeed repeating itself. Today there is very little Godly example to be found in church leadership, and very little real spiritual knowledge with God’s people. Truthfully, false teachers have had a heyday over the last generation or so amassing huge numbers of unregenerate, unrepentant, biblically challenged and morally apathetic followers. Much of our leadership is intimidated by others maturity in their churches, the very thing they are to nurture and cultivate. they promote the illiteracy and immaturity of their congregants for their own benefit, it strokes their ego to have people dependent on them.
Sound doctrine is simply correct teaching, in keeping with that of the apostles (1 Tim 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim 1:13; 4:3). The teaching is called ‘sound’ not only because it builds up in the faith, but also because it protects against the corrupting influence of false teachers, prophets, and apostles. In 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus the use of the word ‘sound’ occurs eight times (Titus 1:9,13; 2:1-2; 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3), and in the Greek it means “to have sound health, to be uncorrupt.” Clean, healthy teaching is to be the core of what we call, doctrine. Everything taught is to be judged by its harmony with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth…” 1 Tim. 6:3-5. Sound doctrine which conforms to the teachings of the Apostles fulfills two purposes, it instructs believers in matters of faith and godliness, and it is used to prove conclusively the heresy of false teachers.
There are several characteristics which contribute to the biblical illiteracy of our time, all of which have become an epidemic to church orthodoxy. Unbiblical worldviews have infected biblical teaching in that the majority of Christians in America have developed their own faith system. Division has never been as apparent as it is today. All denominations have their pet doctrines dividing them from the rest of Christ’s body. Today you have to be politically correct and culturally sensitive resulting in a watered down version of the Gospel message. Spirituality is being built on private emotional attachments rather than on clear concise biblical teachings. And lastly, false prophets and apostles are flooding into the church with teachings contrary to that of Jesus and the founding Apostles. These characteristics are so blatant today that those who do adhere to ‘sound doctrine’ and by faith follow the teachings of Scripture are criticized, denounced, and ostracized by mainstream Christianity. Church culture today is dramatically captured in the distorted mirrors of contemporary art and the media. Destructive worldly thinking has now turned the professing church in general to pervasive heresy and compromise. Christians choose to capitulate rather than suffer criticism for standing on Biblical values and exposing the false corrupt teachings of liars. The majority lack the commitment to maintain doctrinal purity, consequently condone and even promote every sort of false teaching and practice imaginable, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
It was told to me by my daughter of two girls who went to Seminary. In Seminary they discovered that the doctrines they believed in were wrong. So instead of embracing new found truth, they both left Seminary to continue in their belief system. Sadly, this is the norm today, I have spoken to many Christians challenging them in Scripture to adhere to Biblical truth. In every case both myself and the Word of God was rejected. To most Christians today, ignorance is bliss, it’s easier to get caught up in the emotion of the moment. To those who love truth, adhere to sound biblical teaching, none of the above should come as a shock as Scripture is clear that this time would come. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” 2 Peter 1:19. We are witnessing prophetic Scripture come to pass before our very eyes. One such Scripture is 2 Timothy 4:3-4; “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.“
Paul was describing a time in the future when “they” (Paul was referring back to chapter 3), the church collective, would no longer view doctrine as valid or true but would gravitate to the dictates of their own hearts. A time when the professing church would have a propensity for falsehood. He describes them as having itching ears, desirous of hearing something pleasant and positive. A time when they will accumulate a great number of teachers who will have no problem scratching their itch. A time when the church will turn away from hearing the truth having a preference for myths/fables. A time when illiteracy to Biblical truth will replace ‘sound doctrine,’ a time of apostasy, a time like today. A time when Christians will have no foundation in the Word of God. Professing Christianity today flourishes in the mega-church because both sides of the transaction cooperates. The people want the feel good, and the teachers love to give it. Those who despise sound teaching have sought out teachers like themselves, both suit their depraved tastes. The people want teachers who will give them pleasure and the teachers do not offend by teaching truths that would be rasping to their ears. Novelty is the passion of the present Church Structure as entertainment peeks the interest bringing the next wave of excitement to the crowd. Thus, Biblical illiteracy reigns over the shepherd and the sheep, or should I say, over the wolves and the goats. It seems it’s hard to discern these days between the two.
Right or wrong, good or bad, our lives are influenced by what we believe! Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin, for some do not have the knowledge of God...” 1 Cor. 15:34. The phrase “do not have the knowledge of God” express ignorance of God in the Greek. The Corinthians ignorance was enveloped in a wrong belief of the resurrection which lead them to deny there was a resurrection. Illiteracy leads to a skewed view of the Word of God which always leads into error. Paul finished his exhortation by saying to the Corinthians, “I speak this to your shame.” Worse yet, to remain illiterate to Spiritual truth is both unrighteous and sinful. Illiteracy is an intoxication of carnality as those who remain ignorant to Spiritual truth are over thrown by the influences of false teachers who would keep them there. Many who identify themselves as Christians today have an habitual ignorance, a willful ignorance of God in that they prefer to keep their false teachings, rather than part with them in order to know God. It is prideful, selfish, and fleshly to cling to false teachings and to remain illiterate to truth only to appease one’s own interpretation of Spirituality.
In 1 Corinthians 15:34, ignorance of God is a critical miscalculation and misapprehension of God’s moral character and of His redemptive scheme (disbelieving the resurrection) which leads to a libertine and hedonistic ethic.1 The Corinthians often boasted of their knowledge and wisdom yet we find Paul correcting them for their illiteracy in Spiritual matters. As it turns out, like today, the Corinthian Christians were freethinking in religious matters and sought self-gratification in their view of God, and this Paul says, is to their shame. Sounds a lot like what Hosea dealt with when he said “ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me…” Hosea 4:6. Just as the children of Israel lacked in their perception of the essential nature of God, and the Corinthians were missing God altogether, we see today it’s a free-for-all when it concerns God Word and Will. What it all comes down to is both Hosea and Paul are describing a people who really don’t know God at all. Their view of God Himself was not only partial, but slanted. This in itself will lead into all sorts of abnormal practices and deviant behavior, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
1 Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible New International Version; Copyright 1996 AMG International, Inc. p1574 Number 57.
By Paul Proctor
March 23, 2011
The Emerging Church controversy has caught the attention of the mainstream media again and in a big way with the latest book from Rob Bell, entitled, “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” – a “universalist” view from a popular “Christian” author and pastor that has already drawn numerous objections from many evangelical leaders including several sharp commentaries from the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr. – the latest of which appeared in the Baptist Press, titled, “Rob Bell and the (re)emergence of liberal theology.”
As one of many who have spoken out against the Emerging Church’s errant teachings and practices, I find it encouraging to finally hear a chorus of open rebukes coming from a growing number of well known Christian leaders who aren’t afraid to name the names of heretics and false teachers at work among believers – at least a few of them – something that is quite common throughout the New Testament, but, up until recently, has been all but absent from the 21st century Church as if they were either nonexistent or unworthy of mention.
Frankly, false teachers have had a heyday over the last generation or so amassing huge numbers of unregenerate, unrepentant, biblically ignorant and morally apathetic followers that were persuaded through pleasurable feelings, emotions, experiences and appetites that few, if any, are actually going to Hell. Dr. Mohler accurately summed up the Emerging Church movement in his column as being “a mildly updated form of Protestant liberalism.” I would only add that the eastern styled mysticism taught and practiced by many Emergents carries the movement well beyond mere liberal Christianity and into the occult.
Much of these and other false teachings and practices have been aided and advanced by the widely-held assumption that public rebukes among Christians are to be a last resort only, citing Matthew 18:15 as the scriptural source, which, in the King James version, reads: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” (Underscore added for emphasis)
Thanks to a very small number of inconsistent Bible translations, which now incidentally includes the newest New International Version 2011, a directive intended to restrain and contain church-unity-disrupting personal offenses between two individuals was edited in such a way as to suggest that all initial chastisement and challenges between believers should be kept private, which is not at all what the Bible teaches.
Is there a better way to advance evil, error and confusion in the Church than to shame and silence the discerners of heresy, blasphemy and scriptural confusion? Not only does this undermine the proclamation and proliferation of God’s Word, it is also a great way to unequally yoke believers to unbelievers and steer them all astray with the insinuation that feelings are more important than truth.
You see, Matthew 18:15 in the New American Standard Bible reads: “(M)If your brother sins[b], go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” Omitting the words “against you,” or “against thee,” which appears in the vast majority of popular Bible versions including the 1984 NIV, gives heretics a handy hideout to not only do their dirty work but have their inaccuracies, inconsistencies and indiscretions arbitrarily dismissed through obfuscation, negotiation and consensus.
False teaching needs to be addressed as it happens, in front of those who hear it, that the error and confusion not be left to spread unchallenged. Nor should it be left up to some pastor’s public relations team or a bureaucratic boardroom of good old boys to decide if an open confession and correction would be good for the numbers.
Not only did Jesus rebuke the scribes and Pharisees publicly for their self-serving words and deeds, He gave Peter the harshest rebuke of all in front of the other disciples in Mark 8:33, telling him: “Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”
The Apostle Paul also took Peter to task in front of everyone later in Galatians 2:11,14 for separating himself from those who weren’t circumcised. If anything needed to be dealt with in private, wouldn’t it be this? Paul goes on to tell Timothy: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” – 1st Timothy 5:20
In fact, the entire chapter of Matthew 18 is largely about personal offences between individuals beginning with verse six where Jesus says: “…whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” and continues on with Peter asking Jesus; “…how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?”
Jesus goes on to answer Peter with the story of an unpaid debt between a king and one of his servants and another unresolved debt between that same servant and a fellow servant. And right in the middle of the chapter, between Jesus’ warning against offending a child and Peter’s question about forgiving a brother and the story of personal indebtedness, is verse 15, where Jesus says: “…if thy brother shall trespass against thee…” not, “If your brother sins…” as the NAS claims. In other words, “against thee” is consistent with the ongoing conversation between Jesus and His disciples and context of the chapter.
So, when an errant pastor, preacher, teacher, author or Emerging Church leader publicly distorts, disputes, dismisses or disavows core doctrines of the Bible, he ought to be rebuked and corrected in the same manner he presented them… publicly, because those he mislead and confused with his flawed theology are watching, learning and passing along to others what they’ve been taught. And, if they’ve been taught lies, and the backroom boys and PR team never get around to correcting them for the edification and benefit of all, then those lies live on, the truth remains hidden and repentance never comes.
“Open rebuke is better than secret love.” – Proverbs 27:5
There have always been those who attempt to divert God’s people from their main purpose. Whether angels or men. God knows how to deal with the rebellious, but believers are warned not to participate with any such persons. The wicked appeals to the lusts of the eye, lusts of the flesh and to inordinate pride. They will pretend to love God, appear to do good works, but on close examination they are as fruitless as the fig tree that Jesus cursed. The wise will be able to identify those whose object is to be god, rather than to serve God. It will take a deeply spiritual heart to know how to reach any who are deep into deception without being contaminated-hating the sin but still loving the sinner. – Jack W. Hayford (revised by myself)
I am tired…… sick and tired of running after the false teachers and leaders.. that I use to run after…. thinking they were right……what’s up with that? I have realized that I’m still following after these bozo’s! Oh- for very different reasons for sure …..once I believed them, now I want to warn everyone to stay away from them……How’s that workin for me? Not so much!! It seems I can only take so much information on the heresy these guys teach before I over load and have to step away. Who knows, maybe that’s normal for most of us, I don’t know?
I have read more information, articles, books, tweets, and listened to their sermons: I now know more about what they teach than I ever did when I was blindly following them! Had I looked at them this closely from the beginning, obviously I wouldn’t have followed them! But I still find myself hanging out with them much more than I want to! Why is it that the very ones that I was deceived by are the ones I still spend so much time listening too?
- hang on every word, much like their followers who adore and idolize them do.
- help them with their income by buying there latest book, so as to “critique” it and show how much they are still teaching and preaching heresy.
- Notice these books have, what I called orchestrated controversy and the publicists release the book earlier than scheduled because of the “controversy”…… translation is that it sells more books = more MONEY.
I know that it is critically important for those whom God is calling out of this deception to have the information out there on these false teachers. I thank God for the bloggers and discernment ministries daily. Let me say clearly that I am in no way wanting to diminish the work that they do for God in calling out these false prophets.
My point is, OK their FALSE, they are teaching false doctrines and heresy’s. It’s obvious!! Many other’s long before I arrived on the scene have tried to correct and instruct them in their error, to no avail. So what good am I doing or anyone else for that matter by chasing after their next statement, sermon, healing conferences, or books.
We already know they are and will continue to twist the scripture, teach another Jesus and basically do what false teachers do. Scripture doesn’t tell us that many will turn back to the truth, it states the opposite, many will fall away from the truth and follow after these false prophets.
These guys are not interested in the truth. More importantly how many times do you present them with the truth before it becomes “throwing your pearls before swine”?
Jude 22-24 “And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”
We know who is teaching false doctrines, we have a list of those who twist scripture. We are still waiting for many of them to respond and defend their “position” with a Biblical based defense, “in context” would be nice!
I plan on doing things a little differently , instead of wasting so much time and energy running after false teachers, their next book, sermon, tweet etc. I want to focus more on those who follow them.
The facts are already known;
- their teaching heresy
- they refuse correction, instruction, or to be accountable
- and if they did/do repent I’m sure they would want to make it known to the world, so as to save those from the fire that they have been deceiving all of these years.
Has anyone noticed that most don’t really respond to or defend the doctrine that they are teaching to any who are questioning their Biblical validity? Several reasons for this:
- They can’t Biblically defend their position and to enter into a debate “contending” for what they believe wouldn’t line up with scripture.
- By not engaging those who are scrutinizing their doctrines they accomplish a couple of different things. One; they effectively “separate” themselves from those inquiring, setting up a “US and THEM” mentality within their ranks, “THEM” of course being the “bad guys” or the “unenlightened”. Which of course sets up the mind set of “aren’t we special.” Two; that sets up by default division which of course is flipped back onto those asking the questions to begin with and they are the ones that are being viewed as divisive for even questioning!! Crazy how that works but it’s working for them isn’t it.
- By not engaging in response it actually in some ways promotes them and keeps them in the news so to speak. No matter if it’s good or bad, publicity at least they are being talked about. Look at almost every book that is cranked out by them. Anymore they actually promote their material as controversial……sells more books….gets more coverage….even the secular world will pick up the story and guess what…..they sell more books. Then the publishers release it earlier than planned because of all the hype……
- By not responding and defending what they are teaching it creates a vacuum of sorts for those who follow them, “their sheep” are left to defend them. In some respects that works to the advantage of those who are flagging their teachings as heresy; because at least there is an opportunity to engage and hopefully save some of them out of it. But in reality those like Bill Johnson who promotes a gathering around the “FATHERS” should feel a little sheepish himself (no pun intended) in the fact that he is allowing the “children/sheep” as it were to defend the “FATHERS/leaders” leaving the sheep to defend the shepherd!!!! Kind of flies in the face of the fathers as protector doesn’t it.
- Also in some ways I’m sure they are hoping that by not engaging and defending they appear to be taking the proverbial “high road” and somehow appear more like Jesus. Unfortunately that is certainly not what scripture says to do, let alone Christ never missed an opportunity to preach and defend the gospel. To always have an answer to all men. Yet they seem to be “above” the fray so to speak. One it keeps them from really having to come up with intelligent scriptural responses, in reality this can only last so long until even the most diehard fan/follower has got to start wondering if maybe what the dissenters are saying isn’t actually true.
Then by not responding it begs the questions and statements.
- Why aren’t they concerned about clearing up the doctrinal error questions?? Especially for those that follow them? To give them clarity and a solid Biblical basis for them to be able to build themselves up in their faith and stand and defend and contend for the faith?
- As leaders they appear to fail miserably in protecting and defending their faith, it’s role reversal, their flocks are out in the trenches fighting for their “leaders” and aren’t adequately equipped to defend them or what they teach. I can’t tell you how many comments I have read from people defending Johnson and crew, where the poor person that is commenting is using statements like “I’m sure this is what he believes…..or that’s not what he means by that” you get the picture.
- I’m sure those who follow these guys would love for them to show up on some of these bloggers sites and give them what for or at least give the sheep/flock some solid defense to take with them when they go to defend them!
- One of the most tragic and I think spiritually criminal is the very fact that they truly lack compassion, grace, and mercy, not only for those they deem deceived (what a golden opportunity to win some!!) but for their very own!!!!
- You can only conclude that they have more than enough followers that they aren’t too concerned about those that venture into the controversy over their teachings and get slaughtered and destroyed trying to defend them. Apparently the parable of the one lost sheep going astray or wondering off where it shouldn’t doesn’t carry much weight with them. They certainly aren’t concerned about possibly losing a few being crippled or maimed!!!!
- They do not take accountability or responsibility for the very things that they are presenting as truth. If they really believed and were convinced that they hold the truth, wouldn’t they at all cost continually present a defense for it? Knowing that some will be saved, even if it’s one it would be worth it? Where’s their compassion and love for the truth they claim they have when they won’t stand in defense of it? The conclusion is that those following these ministries will have to ask themselves these questions someday. Again scripture is clear, always have an answer for all men.
2 Timothy 2:4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
2 Thess. 3:1-2 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
How shameful it is to look at just how little concern these false prophets have for those who follow them, but then look at how little they are concerned with defending their own faith…you have to wonder (usually most people will defend what they believe vehemently and often to death) do these guys even believe what they are teaching? They don’t step up, why? Don’t they trust God is faithful enough to defend His own and His own Word? Yes I’m being facetious .
My point is I know at times I have lost my spiritual compass in all of this…..it’s not hard to do! For me, I just want to really try and refocus on those out there that are in despair, broken, destroyed and hurting all at the hands of wolves like these. If they choose to repent that would be beyond wonderful; but until then the only mention I want to give of them is to all who are hurting and broken from their deception that they are spewing, God has and is calling you out.
The concept of an unpardonable sin has been a source of difficulty for many because it seems to go against the Bible’s teaching concerning grace. It also seems to be contrary to the purpose of why Christ came, to save sinners. Yet in Matthew 12 Jesus speaks of a sin that is unpardonable. Through the years I have heard many assert a great many things surrounding this passage which has left me often times frustrated, discouraged and even doubting salvation.
For instance, I have heard many charismatic’s sight this verse when people challenge their practice of Spiritual Gifts, saying they are in danger of the unpardonable sin. I’ve heard many non-charismatic’s sight this verse at the charismatic’s claiming their practice of Spiritual Gifts (tongues in particular) are of the devil. The argument seems to go both ways depending on which side your standing on. On the other side of the coin I have heard many preachers claim that the unpardonable sin is dying in your sin having never excepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Others have said that once you reject Jesus, the one source of forgiveness, there is now no forgiveness. Both of these latter points are strong and compelling arguments however is this what Jesus meant when he sighted it.
Dr. Alan Cairns, Professor of Systematic Theology at Whitefield College of the Bible has in my opinion delivered the clearest exegesis on the subject I have ever heard. I will quote the context below and then follow with his explanation.
“Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’ Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatter abroad. Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” – Matt. 12:22-32
“The Lord Jesus in Matthew 12 speaks of a sin that is unpardonable. It’s amazing to me that when people read that passage they always focus on that one little thing, the one sin that is unpardonable. I have very rarely ever seen people emphasis the context and yet the context is glorious. Why do we not emphasis the magnificence of God’s mercy and just focus on this one thing? It’s because I suppose of so many false theories that people, especially preachers tell others it looks like they have committed the unpardonable sin. Actually the Lord Jesus was very careful in defining this. In the context he was referring it to the Pharisees and the sin that they had committed. These particular Pharisees. They knew according to Nicodemus, they knew that God was with Christ. Nicodemus said, “We know you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” John 3:2. And yet the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 12 deliberately attributed what they knew to be the work of the Holy Spirit, they attributed it to the Devil. And they did it for their own rotten prodigious and their own particular political or sectarian advantage. Now that’s a terrible thing, they knew this to be the work of the Holy Spirit and they attributed it to the Devil. And Jesus said, you do that, that’s blasphemy that will never be forgiven in this life or the next. Now when you stop to think of it, if what the Holy Ghost does is relegated to be a work of the Devil, what is there for you? The only word that can bring light to you is the word of the of Holy Ghost. The only work that can benefit you is the work of the Holy Ghost. If you have already handed it all over to the devil, there is nothing left. Jesus said, that’s the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Some people have gone so far as to say and they may well be right in this, that that was a sin which could be committed only with regard to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ because these men had seen the Son of God through whom the Spirit of God had moved with such power. They had seen that, nobody else now a days can see that, so some people will limit that blasphemy, that particular sin to the days of Christ on earth. Be they right or wrong on that, certainly it is defined as a deliberate attribution to the devil of what they knew to be the work of the Holy Spirit, that is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.” See Video here
I concur with the observation of Dr. Alan Cairns. Clearly, the Pharisees slandered the Holy Spirit by knowledgeably attributing His work to the Devil, and by doing so, committed the unpardonable sin. To attribute the work of the Holy Spirit to the power of Satan in the face of undenialable evidence is unpardonable. Scripture teaches that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established (Matt. 18:16). Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:17-18 “It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” How did the Father bear witness of Him? By the Holy Spirit! Now here in Matthew 12 you have the two persons of the Godhead healing one who was demon possessed, blind and mute and the Pharisees attributed it to the work of the Devil. Their sin was not an act of impulse or ignorance, but the willful, continued rejection of the truth concerning Jesus. They had ample evidence of the truth from both the works and words of Jesus Christ, which left them without excuse and they deliberately insulted the Holy Spirit and by doing so they forfeited the Holy Spirit’s ministry in their lives and could not be forgiven.
Now here is a fundamental problem, Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:22-24 concerning the world that if he had not spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. If he had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin, but now they have seen and also hated both Jesus and His Father. It is clear, the works Jesus did, no one in history has or can duplicate. Yet today, many have stepped forward claiming the same anointing, authority, and ability as that of Jesus Christ. So here is the question, if a person attributes their works, or what they claim to be the works of God to the devil, does that place them at risk of committing the unpardonable sin? My answer would be no, for Jesus Himself was the spotless, sinless Son of God who could in no way do anything outside the Will of the Holy Spirit, man (flesh) on the other hand is not sinless. That does not mean that God cannot accomplish the miraculous through human means, undoubtedly he has and does, however, the miracles Jesus did validated Him as the Son of God while any miracle done through and by men validates the message of the Gospel. Any miracle done today, if it does not testify to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, is not a work of God. In Matthew 12: 22 the miracle was performed by the Spirit of God as an indication of the presence of the kingdom of God. This is what caused the multitudes in verse 23 to be amazed and look to Jesus as the Son of David, the title “Son of David” was a popular messianic term. The term itself is a public acknowledgment that Jesus is the Messiah. This is seen in Matthew 21:9 where the multitudes cried out “Hosanna (Save Now) to the Son of David! It was a plea from an oppressed people to their Savior for deliverance. In our context, the Pharisees rejected both Jesus as Messiah and the Work of the Holy Spirit through Him because of their prodigious and their own particular political or sectarian advantage. And today, most of what we are witnessing in the Charismatic church is an abuse of Spiritual Gifts which gives them their political and sectarian advantage. I have never seen one operate in the Gifts with the sole purpose to glorify Christ and present the oppressed with the salvation message. They are always used to build a ministry around a man. So I can say with all certainty, it is not the work of the Holy Spirit, it is the workings of the devil.
Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan Millennium Development Goals
Was: Plant churches, Changed to: Promote Reconciliation: Develop a global partnership for development. (The leadership training for purpose-driven churches parallels the dialectic process, Systems Thinking and team development prescribed by various UN agencies involved in human resource development.)
Equip servant leaders: Develop a global partnership for development. Actually “Lifelong Learning” has been the major UNESCO education goal since the UN agency was founded.
Assist the poor: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Care for the sick: Reduce child mortality. Improve maternal health. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Educate the next generation: Achieve universal primary education. The implied aims of UN Millennium Goals and are certain to be included in each of Warren’s five programs – especially in P, E, A and E. Promote gender equality and empower women. Ensure environmental sustainability.
One can say, out of chaos comes order, and with well planned strategies of the elite revolutionaries who drive the UN Agenda, all that is needed is a major crisis for the world to accept the New World Order. Former President George H. W. Bush echoed that assurance. “Out of these troubled times… a new world order can emerge,” he told Congress in a 1990 message aptly titled “Toward a New World Order.” Back then, the opportune crisis was the Gulf War. It helped build public acceptance for the global management system, which had already begun to replace American rights with global rules.
Rick Warren, the “America’s Pastor”, or at least, pastor of America’s dialectic church has intended to reinvent the mission strategy in the 21st century by introducing his five pillar PEACE plan by which the church can become the ultimate change agent, or according to Rick Warren, the Global agent: ” If Jesus Christ does not come back in a thousand years from today there will be no organizations or government… there will be a Church.” It is interesting that Rick Warren is partnering with organizations such as the UNESCO (UN Educational, Social and Scientific Organization), and his partnership with the UN is helping merge politics and religion. Bottom line, Rick is using religion to push a world political agenda.
CFR and the Social Gospel (The Council on Foreign Relations)
Rick Warren responded to a radio interview posted at www.familylife.com in the context of “Seeing the AIDS Crisis through God’s Eyes” and how the “Social Gospel” and its excesses might enter into the equation of Rick’s current Global Peace initiative – well, the exchange was telling:
“Bob (the radio interviewer): Let me ask all three of you – there are some who would look at this emphasis and say, ‘You know, 50, 60 years ago, the church got distracted with what became known as the ‘social gospel,’ and forgot evangelism, forgot the spiritual needs of people.’ Are we in danger of doing that again?”
“Rick: Well, what happened is the liberals took the social justice issues – racism, injustice, poverty, things like that – and the conservatives, Bible believers, took the personal issues of morality – family, homosexuality, personal morality, and salvation. Well, who was right? I actually happen to believe they’re both right – that Jesus cared about both the body and society. He cared about the spirit. He wanted people saved, but He also wanted us to act different in society; and, honestly, I would love to see a new reformation that brings those two back together that says, ‘Jesus cares about the poor, the sick, the lame, the hurting’ – He clearly did – the orphans, the widows, without watering down the fact. And you know, in my heart, as an evangelist, everything I do has the motivation of sharing the good news . . . Right wing, left wing. I’m for the whole bird . . . you have to have two wings to fly.” (Said on the final day of the Dec. 1, 2006 AIDS Conference – Crossroad, December 15, 2006 – The Emergent Social Gospel – CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 2).
That Warrens “servant leader development” falls under the guidelines of the UNESCO (UN Educational, Social and Scientific Organization), it’s necessary to have a understanding of the UNESCO’s role in international education. The task before the UNESCO is to help the emergence of a single world culture with its own philosophy and background of ideas and with its own broad purpose. Julian Huxley, the first Director-General of the UNESCO and author of “UNESCO: It’s purpose and Its Philosophy” states:
“This is opportune, since this the first time in history that the scaffolding and the mechanisms for world unification have become available and also the first time that man has had the means… of laying a world-wide foundation for the minimum physical welfare of the entire human species. And it is necessary, for at the moment, two opposing philosophies of life confront each other from the West and from the East….
“You may categorize the two philosophies as two super-nationalisms, or as individualism versus collectivism; or as the American versus the Russian way of life, or as capitalism versus communism, or as Christianity versus Marxism. Can these opposites be reconciled, this antithesis be resolved in a higher synthesis? I believe not only that this can happen, but that, through the inexorable dialectic of evolution, it must happen….
“In pursuing this aim, we must eschew dogma – whether it be theological dogma or Marxist dogma…. East and West will not agree on a basis of the future if they merely hurl at each other the fixed ideas of the past. For that is what dogma’s are — the crystallizations of some dominant system of thought of a particular epoch. A dogma may of course crystallize tried and valid experience; but if it be dogma, it does so in a way which is rigid, uncompromising and intolerant…. If we are to achieve progress, we must learn to uncrystalize our dogmas.“ p. 61 http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/julian-huxley.htm
It appears that Julian Huxley’s agenda to reconcile the East and the West, the liberal and the conservative through the inexorable dialectic of evolution fits perfectly with Warren’s view. In His own words he believed both the liberals who took the social justice issues and the conservatives, Bible believers, who took the personal issues of morality, are both right. Whether consciously or simply out of success-oriented pragmatism, the purpose-driven church movement has answered the call. With management guru Peter Drucker as his mentor, Rick Warren’s quest for reformation and transformation serves the UN vision very well. In fact, the two seem to march to the same drumbeat. Like Warren’s vision of transformation, UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme calls for total transformation to its global system of assessments and control –”a process of individual, collective and institutional transformation.” Sounds a lot like the Social Gospel of the liberal wing who believe the Second Coming of Christ cannot happen until humankind rids itself of social evils by human effort. Social Gospel leaders are predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the Progressive Movement and are mostly theologically liberal, although they are typically conservative when it comes to their views on social issues.
The progressive movement never reaches a final consensus, for “continual change” is an ongoing process: one step today, another tomorrow. To permanently change the way we think and relate to each other, our leaders must set the stage for conflict and compromise week after week, year after year. Dialectical thinking and group consensus must become as normal as eating. Eventually, people learn to discard their old mental anchors and boundaries — all the facts and certainties that built firm convictions. They become like boats adrift, always ready to shift with the changing winds and currents. This is how societies progressively change from decade to decade. Unfortunately, many of our Church leaders are buying into the program and have joined forces to bring about an new Millennial Utopia.
It becomes painfully obvious that Rick Warren, who is embracing New Age Occultic leaders on the platform of his church has become one of the many change agents (See Julian Huxley’s quote above) who deliberately bring opposite views into an arena together where they can conflict. This is the dialectic process where you bring opposing ideas together to conflict with each other where they will merge together to become a third option. This dialectic process is evolutionary and is happening not only in the area of Religion, but in economics, in the area of law, and in the area of society. And there are proponents in all four of these area’s working to achieve one goal, a one world governmental and religious system. Rick becomes a shining example of a Fabian Socialist who wants Socialism through evolution, not revolution as he embraces the social gospel and social justice which is common for people who are into being Fabian Socialist. For an excellent video on this subject click here.
Dr. Robert Klenck summarizes on the “Seeker Sensitive” Church Movement: “…in this movement it is imperative that unbelievers are brought into the Church; other wise, the process of continual change cannot begin. There must be an antithesis (unbelievers) to oppose the thesis (believers), in order to move towards consensus (compromise), and move the believers away from their moral absolutism (resistance to change). If all members of the church stand firm on the Word of God, and it’s final authority in all doctrine and tradition, the the church cannot and will not change. This is common faith. Soon we will see why these “change agents” are pushing so hard for change to occur in the church.“
Fabian Society: “Its purpose is to accomplish a social democracy to transform societies and governments not through revolution but gradually.” [Thus A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing is their logo.] Rick Warren says he was mentored for years by Peter Drucker. We have now discovered that Peter Drucker admitted to be influenced by John Maynard Keynes who was a Fabian Socialist. Fabian Socialists are Statist, they are absolutely authoritarian in their philosophy. Their long-term goal has always been a Socialistic Dictatorship with full-imposition of a very legalistic society where the individual is simply a part of the collective. Through the dialectic process, team development prescribed by various UN agencies, international education, the global transformation and world unification prescribed by Rick Warren is becoming a reality. Society is changing, and the church with it. Rick Warren promotes his three legged stool of Communitarianism that calls for a partnership between the government, business, and non-profits.
Thomas Merton is quoted saying “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.” The partnership between government, business and non-profits with the philosophy of world unification (or oneness) only means mankind has traveled full circle, in essence, the journey forward has returned us to Babel. Babel to this day remains the prime example of man’s pride, self-sufficiency and rebellion against God. Babel was the precursor and type of Babylon, the false world system and religion, which is the domain of the Antichrist (Revelation 17 & 18). The core of Babylonian Philosophy is humanism, an attempt for man to make a name for himself apart from God, and the self exaltation of man in God’s place. In Genesis 11 the tower of Babel was a monument to human effort and quickly became a symbol of Divine judgment on human pride and self-rule. In that day, mankind was one, unified, and today as governments and religious institutions create an alliance, we become witnesses of the rebirth of the Babylonian system. Today through the dialectic process, the religious and political systems are slowly bring the masses into a “one mind” mindset and tolerance is it’s key player.
 Kjos Ministries: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/migration-2.htm