I’m glad there are more people authoring on Signposts02 now. We all have different focus. To me, the more authors we have, the more we can enjoy different flavours here on Signposts02.
Some may know why I am fiery at the moment, others may not. I thought I might do a bit of explaining.
Let me make it clear that I am deeply in love with the body of Christ, but appalled in how off the rails churches are choosing to go. She is turning into the old Israel, trying to sell her garments of righteousness for fame and fortune. I want to make it clear that even though I may blab on about ministries or ministers for the deceptive doctrines they teach, I still believe that they are my brothers in Christ.
I would like to think that it is in my being to lay my life down for them, as love should be my motivation and not my fear for them to suffer destruction. If I call them a ‘wolf’, it means (to me) that some Christian brother is stealing from the family of God. However, only people like this will I call servants of Satan as the Apostle Paul did so in 2Corinthians:
The repeated warning to the church of today by God’s Holy Spirit is being ignored as repeatedly proclaimed:
Rev 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive teachings. (False apostles)
Rev 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive claims. (Liars from Satan)
Rev 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive teachings. (Teachings of Balaam)
Rev 2:29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive teachings. (Divine Prophetess Jezebel and her wisdom’s)
Rev 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive reputations and flattery. (Pride!)
Rev 3:13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive teachings. (Liars of Satan)
Rev 3:22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Resist deceptive teachings. (Pride!)
Remember what Jesus told his disciples when they asked him “Tell us… when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Matt24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Who has heeded such a warning and instruction?
Matt 10:16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
We MUST think for ourselves, with the mind of Christ God has given us. He is willing to lead us out of deception and to help free those who are bound by deception with the Spirit’s help. Matt 10:16 actually convicted me how I approached my last article. Maybe I could be a bit more tactful, but forgive me for being passionate. As Jude says, we must ‘contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’. The gospel must not be diluted by ministries that promote their names more then the name of Jesus.
It is like the Lamb has truly broken the first seal so the victorious masquerader of light can deceive masses into believing another ‘Jesus’. The Old Testament is full of warning about false prophets and soothsayers. If anything, the New Testament has more warnings and encourages us to judge those who bring deception into the church (compared to the size of the OT).
When you have an ‘apostle’ openly lie to promote their ministry, (rather than have God promote them instead) – are the biblical names and descriptions ‘false teacher/apostle’, ‘liars’, ‘swindlers’, ‘hucksters’, ‘spiritual whores’, ‘wolves’, ‘servants of satan’, ‘sons of vipers’, etc., not applicable to such people? When should such titles be given? I love RavingPente for trying to understand both sides as to why certain do what they do, but it seems we must judge those who are teaching error and diluting the gospel.
1 Cor 5:12-13 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
Here are some other verses in the New Testament that warn people about being deceived (and there are more!).
Matt 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Matt 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Matt 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Matt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; for the time is near: go ye not therefore after them.
Rom 16:17-19 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
2Cor 11:3-6 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
2 Cor 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 5:6-7 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
Col 2:2-5 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
2 Thes 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2 Tim 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Tit 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
2 Jhn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Jude 3-4 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
This is an interesting article you might like to read about Satanic deception and how it works. I didn’t agree with everything said, nevertheless I found this insightful.
I suppose other questions that keeps arising from this is this:
How much time and energy should we put into such deceptions? (Disputing error, contending the faith, warning others, separating ourselves from the dodgy deliverers, etc.)
Even though there is much NT focus and warning on deception, what are the positive/negative outcomes in having this as one’s focus continually? Does it make you more passionate to preach or share the gospel or be involved in ministry or repel you from ministering?
How much should we judge those or separate from those who are false?
To those who know the truth, how do we stand against such plane deception so that others may see?