These People are Creepy!

A Simple Faith

These people are creepy!

 One of the most difficult things I’ve learned as a follower of Christ is to discern truth from almost truth. It’s hard, because I always want to believe the best of people. I want to think that it was just a mistake, or they just got a little off track. This tends to be true of women in general. We are willing to accept almost truth because we deal with things too emotionally at times. I don’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you that your favorite female teacher is teaching false doctrine. But I really don’t want to see you led astray by her almost truth. So here we go.

The book of Jude shows us the urgency of dealing with lies and falsehoods in the church. Jude’s approach is remarkable because instead of describing the false doctrine that must be contended with, he shows how to identify the lifestyle of the false teachers who creep into the church. That’s what Jude 4 says – that certain men have crept in unnoticed. And in our day, certain women have also crept in.  It’s one of my biggest concerns. How do we identify the false teacher so we can protect ourselves from falling into their snares?

In an earlier post, I showed that one of their favorite tactics is too imply that you are missing out and they have the secret to the powerful truths.  When you hear words like secret, powerful, mystery, etc, be watchful!

 Here’s how Jude says these false teachers live and behave:

  1. They are ungodly –Jude 4
  2. They turn grace into license to sin.
  3. They deny Christ – oh be sure – they give lip service to Him but by their lifestyle they deny Him.
  4. They defile the flesh. Jude 8
  5. They reject authority. Ever heard a teacher say “touch not God’s anointed” when confronted with their sin? Red flag there!
  6. They revile angelic majesties.
  7. They tack a Bible verse on here and there, but much of what they “preach” is about their dreams and visions. They rely on their dreams rather than on the Word of God. They will give lip service to God’s Word, taking a verse here and there out of context but the focus is their dream or vision or supposed conversation with God. Or my favorite – their little trip to heaven.
  8. They walk the way of Cain by creating new and ingenious forms of worship. Exactly as Cain did when he refused to worship and sacrifice as God had instructed but made his own new way which God judged him for. Many of today’s churches have abandoned the Biblical practices of worship to try to draw in the crowds, keep them comfortable and most importantly, not offend anyone. And believe me, the goats are easily offended.
  9. They rush headlong into error for the sake of gain like Balaam. Balaam accepted a large amount of money to entice Israel into compromise that would lead the nation into idolatry and immorality. These false teachers today are willing to teach any error that tickles the ears of the hearer in order to get money. Just as Balaam pretended to speak for God, these persons use God as an excuse to get money out of gullible people who follow them. “Send in your seed faith dollars…” “If you don’t send in 3 million by Friday, God’s going to kill me…” “I must have this multi-million dollar jet for God” and on it goes.
  10. Jude 16 tells us that they are grumblers, fault finders, arrogant, flatterers.
  11. Jude 19 says that they cause divisions and are worldly minded. Seems to me that if you have a gold plated toilet seat paid for by the poor people who send you their hard earned money, that is the epitome of worldly minded.

This is just a partial list of the lifestyle of the creepers. They creep into the church, they are destructive heretics who sound good but ultimately deny our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. They live for greedy gain, fame, notoriety, and power. Do not be deceived by them.

This list is long and compelling. If you want to dig in deeper, and be sure you are better equipped to identify the creepers, consider joining my online study of Jude that starts on June 7, 2018. For more information and how to sign up click here.

 https://belovedtruth.com/event/jude-contend-for-the-faith-online-bible-study/

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 3: 11 that we are to make it our ambition to lead a quiet life and work with our hands…

Keep it simple and pure. Study God’s Word, pray, worship with the saints, honor those who faithfully preach and teach the truth. Train yourself diligently to distinguish between truth and almost truth.

 

 

I Have A Secret!

The secret to powerful, intercessory prayer.  The secret to a powerful prophetic vision.  The secret to being a powerful prayer warrior. The secret to winning at spiritual warfare. The secret to hearing God more clearly. The secret to receiving healing from heaven. How to hear Jesus calling.  This list is just an example of books written to Christians that I found on a popular online bookseller. I couldn’t help but notice a common theme amongst these books – they create the need for a higher and more mystical kind of experience that the average Christian must be missing out on. I mean – don’t we all want a powerful experience to brag – I mean talk about?

The church at Colossae, like the church today, was in danger of being deceived by people who came in claiming secret knowledge and a more powerful experience. Paul, never willing to see Christians fall into heresy, warns them strongly about the dangers of being dragged into such supposedly higher levels of spirituality.

Paul shows the Colossians that the mystery that was hidden has been revealed to His saints – all of them. No secret inner circle here.  What is that mystery? Christ in you – the hope of glory Col 1:27. In Col 2:2-4 we are told that Paul’s struggle is: “2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The warning comes in v 4: “I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.”

False teachers are persuasive. They have something to sell and they know how to create a sense of missing out in us. I’ve been there in my Christian life but thankfully, was kept from falling into the heresy by the grace and mercy of God and a couple of His faithful preachers of the Word. Never underestimate the power of a preacher who is faithful to handle the Word accurately. They may not be the most exciting, but electrifying is a sales pitch – its rarely faithful preaching. Beware when your emotions are always being stirred up and it has to be exciting or you aren’t interested.

Paul goes on to warn us not to be taken captive through philosophy and empty deception because in Christ we have been made complete. There is no need for more experiences, more power, and more secret knowledge. In Christ you have been made complete.

He further warns in Col 2:18 “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.”

If you are wondering about why you don’t need all these mysterious, powerful experiences in your Christian life do this. Read the book of Colossians and write down everything that is yours in Christ. Once you see all that is already true of you in Christ, you will be better equipped to spot the false teacher with something to sell you. And by the way – sell is right, they always want money from you it seems.

The truth is simple. God is not playing hide and seek with us. He wants us to grow in grace, truth and holiness. In His infinite kindness, He has provided us with the means to do so. It’s no big secret. In fact, for over 2000 years the true church has clung to these ordinary means of grace with thankfulness and joy. What are they?  The ministry of the Word by a properly appointed elder on the Lord’s Day, the public reading of Scripture, corporate prayer, corporate confession and assurance of pardon, corporate singing, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper. Plain and simple. No mystery, no secrets for a select few, no confetti cannons, no gold dust. And yet, these are so very powerful in the life of the true believer.

So when the new preacher comes to town promising that he or she has the secret to a more powerful, mystical walk with the Lord you should hear alarm bells going off. The simple truth is that we have everything in Christ. In Him you have been made complete.  There is no powerful secret to transforming your Christian life. God’s ordinary means of grace are sufficient for all believers. Do not neglect these and you will experience all the power and love that Christ has to offer.