Lying Prophets and False Teachers

How-Long-Will-You-Waiver“The earth groans to bear such wicked men, and hell is fitted for them…one day divine justice will hang them up in hell as the greatest malefactors, unless the physician of souls graciously delivers them.” (Thomas Brooks)

They may have started out as men of God (2 Peter 2:20-22). 

This is the saddest part of these false teachers and false prophets. They were once gifted, on fire for God, used greatly by the Holy Spirit but now have subtly cooled off in lukewarmness, “mellowed with age” that is, this present evil age (Gal 1:4) and have conceded on many issues that go against scripture. They have known the right way, they may have been or seemed to be true gospel preachers but then they start copying and imitating the ways of the world. They are backsliders in heart (Prov. 14:14) and have an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God (Heb. 3: 12). It is my hope that God will break their hearts in repentance and then heal their backsliding as a testimony to God’s restoring grace.

They are agents of Satan masquerading as ministers (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

Notice how Satan masqueradesangel himself as light, illumination or new understanding! These false teachers wormed their way in, slipped in unnoticed into churches and gained popularity (Jude 1:4). They pretend to be something they are not and they have no life and blessing to give others, “they follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.” (Jude 1:19). They advertise themselves and their ministry as liberating, animated, imaginative, vibrant and attractive but they are repackaged stale product-unstable, disappointing, lifeless and full of sin (Jude 12-13). These false teachers, people who were never really Christians only pretended to be and “went out from us, but they were not really of us.”  (1 John 2:19).

gal 110They are men-pleasers (John 12:43).

This is the most distinguishing mark of a false teacher. They do not care about people’s souls just how much people like what they hear (Isa. 30:10). They are religious marketers who preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart and the end up as Thomas Brooks says, “soul poisoners” (Jer. 23:16, 17).  They make lies so attractive, like an unfaithful wife who kills her husband with sweet desserts laced with poison so she may commit adultery with another man whom she will poison as well. People who do not love Jesus love themselves and their deranged religious fantasies. They work overtime to convince people they are right and they care more about people liking them rather than offending them with truth because they care about their souls. In the end, this is no better than desiring people  to worship them, just like the devil.

They distract Christians from obeying the truth of the gospel (Gal. 5: 7).

Running in a race was an illustration of obedience. But false teachers came in and distracted them and cut them off.331938156_640 With all the false grace teaching today people are being told they don’t need to confess their sins, repent and worry about obeying God, “saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives.” (Jude 1:4). The gospel gave us life, the ability to run in freedom from slavery to sin and to please God.  They sell and market the vomit of their own idolatrous minds and hearts (Jeremiah 14:14; 23:16) and create division and distraction from Christ and God’s glory.

They are wealthy or preach about financial wealth being a major part of God’s blessing (1 Tim. 6:5).

They are so greedy that will make up lies to pick pocket people under their ministry (2 Peter 2:3). “False teachers are the great worshipers of the golden calf.” (Jer. bewareofpickpockets6: 13). They are shepherds who feed themselves! (Jude 1:12). These false teachers have an agenda of their own. They make churches into businesses that sell their books and videos and make people think that is how they obey God by supporting them. They preach an ideal life-the new legalism based on self-esteem that will get you the best spouse, position, health and wealth. Of course, they must exemplify this is gathering as much wealth for themselves. But like the rich man who did not even give scraps to Lazarus they will bake in the heat of hell always thirsty and full of regret.

More later on how to be rescued from the dangers of deception and false teaching.

©2015 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney

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WRESTLING WITH THE DEVIL

Be-Strong-in-the-Lord“So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” (1 John 3:10). 

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are engaged in spiritual war until the day we die. When I was a young convert I had a dream that has stayed with me to this day. I was wrestling with the devil himself. He was mean, ugly and strong. I wanted to beat him, badly.

I felt pure hatred for this destroyer of souls.

The dream was detailed and in slow motion.

We both ending up choking each other at once. I could feel my arms straining to subdue him and he was not able to choke me. While engaged in this battle I looked up and I saw the handle of a sword in a low cloud cover. It was a pearl handle covered with precious jewels and gold.

I yelled, “I need that.”

At that moment I had to strength to push my enemy a few feet back. I looked up and to my surprise the sword was within my grasp. The devil rushed me and I took the sword and I split him down the middle head to toe. The dream was over and I woke up worshiping the Lord! A short time later I read the passage of scripture that said, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12). God had introduced me to the most powerful weapon in our arsenal -the spoken Word of God.

There is no doubt in my mind we are engaged in a fierce, bloody warfare.  War is fraught with danger. It is no joke. It is no game. It is not a movie or a book. It is real. People live or die in battles. There will be near escapes and exciting adventures. There will be incredible victories and terrible defeats. Some will escape death by the skin of their teeth and others will be casualties.

Spiritual war does not stop because you are a child or senior citizen. It does not stop if you get sick or if you are healthy.  There is no cease fire whether you are rich or poor. He does not care if you are free or you are in prison. It does not matter whether you sit in the pew or stand in the pulpit. It does not matter whether you have served the Lord a few days or many years. It does not care about the color of the skin.  It does not matter whether you are married or single.

In this battle there will be people who are heroes and people who are villains. There will be loyal friends and there will be traitors. There will be honor and there will be disgrace.  There will be medals and there will be courtmartials. There will promotions and there will be executions.

When you became a Christian you changed sides. You find this the day you get saved. There is a grim truth many preachers won’t tell you today, you used to serve the devil (John 8:44). Now your Father is God (Gal. 3:26). With all the flowery, sugary preaching today you would think once you become a Christian everything will be a paradise. It will not. You will be on hell’s hit list. Satan has assigned assassins to sabotage your Christian life. He wants to steal from you, kill you and destroy you.

When you decide you are going to get more serious about God, it is not just consecration but a declaration of war.  As Christ was Satan’s enemy, now YOU are Satan’s enemy. He is determined to discourage and deceive you. That is what Satan does (Rev 12:9).

One thing must be clear: you cannot win this in your own strength. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Eph. 6:10-11NIV). All you are: your intelligence, verbal skills, physical strength, knowledge and influence are absolutely impotent and useless in spiritual warfare.  God has secured his strength, might and power for us who are his children.

©2015 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney give credit where credit is due