False Teachers Today
The Gospel of Matthew says: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Paraphrased: Beware of preachers and teachers who pretend to be servants of righteousness, but their heart's desire is to seize the Lord's flock to use them for their own selfish gain. These false prophets are the very opposite of lambs. They flatter congregations with words and actions in order to fulfill their selfish ambitions. Their motives are the same as wolves to seize the prey for themselves. Many will follow these teachers and preachers in the last days while they believe that Jesus is really their Lord. But Jesus will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:23). Jesus will not know them because they have been practicing sin, as they have borne the fruit of the flesh because they followed a blind teacher who led them after carnal doctrines. Many of our deceived ancestors have developed carnal doctrines which are deceiving people today. These doctrines were developed by men who were blinded to the truth because their hearts loved selfish ambition. When a teacher's heart loves selfish ambition, he will seek the approval of men rather than the approval of God. He will fulfill selfish ambition through seeking to make a name for himself, a reputation, popularity and approval.
The only acceptable root (motive) in a person's heart is Jesus, not selfish ambition. When any person continues to walk after selfish ambition, he is still walking in rebellion to God and under the control of the flesh. He is not being controlled by the Spirit of God. If a person has a root of pride and greed in his heart, which he will not give up, his motives will be to please himself. He wants to make a name for Jesus in the strength of HIS flesh, while he takes a part of the glory to build a name and reputation for himself all because his heart loves pride and greed. Since his motives are perverted, he will exploit congregations in order to build up his own image and make a name for himself and his church. The rebellious flesh seeks to take for itself part of the glory that rightly belongs only to Jesus. "I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another" (Is. 42:8). Satan uses false teachers to please men and women and to make them feel secure in their worldly and sinful lifestyles. In exchange, Satan sets these teachers up as lords over God's heritage and lets them fulfill their selfish ambition. When this happens, Satan can move the congregation into darkness and destruction. The powers of darkness cooperate with these blind kings by helping keep the congregations under their control through flattery, fear, intimidation and guilt.
When the powers of darkness can get a pastor or teacher to be concerned about their reputation and security, they can easily keep them from teaching the parts of the Bible that conform the congregation to godliness. Since he needs the approval of the congregation to fulfill his selfish ambition, he will not deal with certain parts of the Bible which will offend their flesh. He will welcome thoughts and suggestions from the enemy which tell him how to deceitfully take advantage of the congregation to help build up his reputation. At the same time, the powers of darkness are able to get him to water down the Word of God by making him fearful of losing his reputation and his position. They will attack his mind with fear of losing numbers, popularity, approval, big tithers, his job, and other things that are essential to fulfill his selfish ambition. Every pastor and teacher who reads this book will recall these threatening thoughts of intimidation that come each time he has ever taught against carnal traditions. These attacks come even while he is preaching and teaching. If he has selfish ambition, he will skip over, back off, or water down the Word of God because his motives have become perverted. The congregation will then receive only a part of the Gospel, because the Gospel has become perverted. He leads his congregation to be at ease in Zion. He has a deceived heart. Men who teach carnal doctrines become kings over their congregations as they fulfill their own lusts for pride, greed, name and reputation. They honor men and teach others to honor men. These false teachers are instruments of Satan as they lead congregations to destruction by giving them a false security. The powers of darkness then capture the hearts of people while they fulfill the false teacher's selfish ambition. The congregation is then blinded to the real Gospel. They are led into a form of godliness and destruction. These forms are as varied as the "kings" that lead them-some are dull and ritualized some seem exciting and spontaneous, but every step is choreographed and controlled by the kings. The congregations sit through their forms, then go home with all the same bondage, confusion, torment and defeat with which they came. They are boxed into ungodly structures where King Jesus is not welcome, and He is the only One who can set them free. None of their programs can bring the deliverance they need.
So, like the Pharisees, they cannot understand nor even hear the words of Jesus, because the carnal doctrines and religious traditions have captured their hearts. Men of the world and false teachers and preachers in the church love pride and greed. Because of this they always show partiality and exploit their relationships in order to fulfill their selfish ambition. Selfish flesh always shows partiality and uses people to gain selfish advantage: "One speaketh peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait" (Jer. 9:8). This is exactly how Satan has the world (and the world in the Church) living for themselves. People of the world spend their whole lives seeking a name, reputation, career, power, success, and control. Satan has very subtly moved these ways of the world into the Church today. You can no longer tell the difference between the methods of the world and the methods of the Church. Their goals are the same-to make a name for them- selves. Each one is seeking his own selfish interests. Listen to the words of Ezekiel: "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people (they pretend to belong to God), and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.., for they hear thy words, but they do them not" (Ezek. 33:31, 32). They will not practice the Word of God because they have been given a false security: "Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him; and their time of punishment would be forever" (Ps. 81:15 NASV). Jeremiah said, "Hear now this, 0 foolish people, and Without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not me? Saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at My presence... But this People hath a revolting and a rebellious heart... A wonderful (devastation) and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof.?" (Jer. 5:21-23, 30, 31). "To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it" (Jer. 6:10). Paul told the Thessalonians that he preached the Gospel amid much opposition from the flesh. He said that all his motives were to please God, not men or himself. Paul said, "But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated.., we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: but as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time use we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness: nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others" (1 Thess. 2:2-6).
Paul would not pervert the Word of God in order to receive the approval of men. He taught the whole counsel of God's Word amidst much fleshly opposition. False teachers who love selfish ambition will not teach the whole counsel of God's Word because their motives are self-centered and they seek the approval of men rather than God. Paul said, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). Paul said to the Philippians: "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention (or selfish ambition).., but the other of love" (Phil. 1:15-17). Paul was having problems finding a teacher to send to the Philippians because the teachers all had impure motives and loved selfish ambition. Paul said: "For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's" (Phil. 2:20, 21). In Acts, Paul warned the overseers: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock... I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (through selfish ambition)" (Acts 20:28-30). Paul continued, ... . I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32). Those who love selfish ambition cannot lead a congregation to be sanctified. This is why false teachers will lead many in the last days who will say, "Lord, Lord," but they will not enter into the kingdom of heaven because they did not do the will of God. They were not sanctified and perfected in love. False teachers can never lead a congregation to be holy and righteous. They cannot teach righteousness, because they are blind to righteousness. They will not consistently or seriously preach about God's judgment upon sin, nor will they seriously and consistently preach against sin. Such messages offend the flesh and will keep them from receiving glory from men. Such preaching would also cause them to lose church members and the appearance of success which they need to build their reputation. The powers of darkness are always reminding them of this. They compromise the Word of God. Their hearts are stubborn and hardened. They are at ease in Zion, building ungodly numbers for God. These numbers become like their false teachers: "Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master" (Luke 6:39, 40). The powers of darkness deceive the heart of the false teacher by making him believe he needs to look good in order to bring the congregation to God. This is the boastful pride of life. He begins to believe that everything that is good for him his name and reputation is good for God. He believes that his apparent success has come as a result of God's favor and blessing on him. He is totally bereft of the spiritual understanding and discernment that would show him that the powers of darkness always cooperate with the ones who practice pride and greed. He does not know that both he and his congregation are .... wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17). Satan tempted Jesus with the boastful pride of life: "And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge over Thee, to keep Thee: And in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone" (Luke 4:9-11). Satan tempted Jesus to seek the approval of men with the boastful pride of life by throwing Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. The angels would save Him, and Jesus would look good to the people in the flesh.
This was Satan's way to get Jesus to lead the people with a fleshly reputation. If Jesus had chosen to lead the people with a fleshly reputation, Satan could have blocked Jesus from being led by the Spirit of God. He would have captured Jesus in the boastful pride of life-doing works FOR God instead of God working THROUGH Him,. The boastful pride of life tries to lead people to God without being led by the Spirit of God. This is done through the works of the flesh, using carnal doctrines and carnal traditions. Satan knows that a leader who loves the boastful pride of life will not lead a congregation to deny themselves or to take up their cross, because he wants to look good in the flesh before the congregation. Therefore the congregation is led after the flesh. The real sin in the boastful pride of life is seeking the approval of men rather than the approval of God. Jesus said, "How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only" (John 5:44). "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because (they wanted the approval) of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue (church): for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:42, 43).
The Psalmist said: "The foolish (boastful) shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing (lies): the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wicked; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, 0 God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against Thee" (Ps. 5:5, 6, 9, 10). When a false teacher is lifted up in the boastful pride of life, his desire is to look good to his congregation, rather than to God. He will pick out the blessings in the Bible so he can have the approval of man to fulfill his fleshly ambition. His motive is the boastful pride of life rather than building up the body of Christ in unity and to the fullness of Christ. He is a flesh ruler and king. His Congregation has appointed a leader to take them back to the slavery of Egypt (the world). They are following another Jesus. Sheep are supposed to recognize them by their fruit, because their mouth speaks what is in heart. "He had two horns like a lamb, and he spake a a dragon" (Rev. 13:11).
Ezekiel warned: "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture (the whole counsel of God word), but ye must tread down with your feet residue of your pastures (trampling under foot the word of God)? And to have drunk of the deep waters (of God word) but ye must foul the residue with your feet?... with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them" (Ez4 34:2, 18, 4). In other words, after the shepherd reads the whole counsel of God's Word, he picks out the parts that will serve his fleshly motives to dominate them and be their king. "And they (the congregation) were scattered, be- cause there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field (powers of darkness), when were scattered" (Ezek. 34:5). The congregations know they are empty, but the don't know what will fill the emptiness. They see, hear, nor understand the Word of God; They believe they are experiencing the normal Christian life in their shallowness and carnality, as they become more more hardened to the Word and Spirit of God. Jesus promised that you would be hated and rejected by the world and religious leaders when you try to live godly and teach the whole counsel of God's Word. Those who love the flesh nature will oppose those who choose to live holy and godly lives. This is why Jesus "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day . . . for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets" (Luke 6:22, 23).
To false preachers and teachers who seek the approval of man to build a name and reputation, rather than preach all of God's Word, Jesus said: "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). Because a false prophet is deceived, he in turn deceives the congregation: "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.., for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (lovers of money), boasters, proud... having a form of godliness... from such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:13, 2, 5). Paul described the situation like this: "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful" (Rom. 1:29-3 I). He added: "who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things (as greed, envy, strife, gossip, slander, arrogance, boasting) are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" (Rom. 1:32). Then Paul said: "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; WHO WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS; to them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek.., eternal life, but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth.., indignation and wrath" (Rom. 2:2, 5-8).
The Psalmist wrote: "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless (lost): do justice to the afflicted and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand: they walk on in darkness" (Ps. 82:1-5). We are warned: "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness (a gospel that conforms us to the image of Christ); he is proud, knowing nothing (a blind teacher), but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness (making the things of God an opportunity for the flesh-name, reputation, pride, greed, rewards)" (1 Tim. 6:3-5).
Like the Pharisees, these men attack the Gospel with controversial questions in the same way they did the Lord and His disciples. Neither the Gospel nor men's flesh has changed. Men will either repent, or they will attack the Gospel, because it exposes their fleshly kingdoms and carnal traditions which they love. They will seek to discredit the messenger who brings the truth. Then the truth will not be able to tear down the doctrines and idols which have captured deceived hearts.
If they can make the messenger the object of controversy, it will cause others to take their focus off the message of the Word of God. They will attack the messenger and truth with controversial statements, such as, "He is teaching legalism.., he is trying to put you back under the law," "He is teaching works," "He doesn't understand grace," "He sees a demon behind every bush," "He believes Christians can be demon possessed," "He believes in sinless perfection," "He believes all sickness is caused by sin," "He does not believe in 'once saved, always saved,'" etc. Controversial questions draw attention away from the real issue: the message of the Word of God. Controversial questions raise suspicions and take the focus off the white-washed messages of "peace and safety."
These controversial questions scare congregations to death and cause them to reject truth without hearing it or examining it. The result is that they are taught to hate the one bringing the message without hearing him or the message. The false teacher controls his congregation by making it fearful of hearing the Word from any other sources. They also intimidate and withdraw fellowship from those who get a drink of the water of God's Word through someone else.
The congregations learn to "hear God" only through their flesh kings. Since false teachers love pride, they are very jealous for crowds to fulfill their selfish ambition. They will oppose the Word of God and persecute messengers of truth in order to control and hold onto their congregations because of their fleshly ambition. An example of this is in the book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas were preaching the Gospel: "And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things, which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming (the word of God). And Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life.. 2 (Acts. 13:44-46). This is how Satan uses pride, greed, selfish ambition, and jealousy to oppose and block the Word of God. Those who love selfish ambition are tools of the powers of darkness.
In the Acts of the Apostles we read: "And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews (religious leaders) stirred up the devout and honorable women (who were of reputation), and the chief men of the city (who were also of reputation) and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts" (Acts 13:49, 50). Since congregations are trained like the world to honor men and follow men, Satan can easily use men and women who love fleshly reputations to lead congregations to persecute the work of God. Fleshly congregations are so programmed to follow men they will not move to the light of God's Word without seeing their devout women of prominence and leading men go first to this light. They cannot be led by the Spirit of God in the Word of God because they are led by men. They do not know that they will be waiting forever before an important person who loves selfish ambition will come to the light, unless he first repents.
This is a perfect example of how the blind lead the blind to the pit. Blind teachers lead the blind into a form of godliness. A form of godliness always teaches you that you can practice sin. An example of this would be the distortion of the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians, some of whom were still walking after the flesh. They were saying such things as: "I am of Paul... I am of Apollos" (1 Cor. 2:14). Paul said, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ" (1 Cor. 3:1). We all began as babes in Christ, but we overcome and put to death the deeds of the flesh. Paul said, "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it... for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men (of the world)?" (1 Cor. 3:2, 3). When these particular Scriptures are used to justify practicing sin, a person has tunnel vision. He will not examine the truths in all the rest of the Bible, which plainly teach you that you may not continue to practice sin. People will say today: "It is okay to practice sin because Paul says that babes in Christ practice strife and jealousy." Do not receive this kind of tunnel vision. Let's look at the rest of the Bible. Remember that strife and jealousy are works of the flesh. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:13, 14). Paul also said, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; SO YOU CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD. Now the works of the flesh are manifest: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry.., strife... envyings, murders,.., and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do 8uch things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:16, 17, 19-21). Very plainly, people who practice strife and envyings (which is jealousy) do not inherit the kingdom of God. Let's look at the second letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Paul said, "Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you... For I fear, lest when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings... strifes... and lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed" (2 Cor. 12:14, 20, 21).
Paul plainly said that he feared that when he returned they would still be practicing strife and jealousy (envyings) and would not have repented. Paul also said: "Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.., not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lust thereof" (Rom. 13:12, 14). Paul added: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (reprobates fail the test!)?" (2 Cor. 13:5).
In Romans Paul wrote: "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:6, 9). If the Spirit of God is in you, you will be led by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the flesh. Otherwise you are walking in the flesh and in death. Is it now obvious that men who love the flesh are blind to this part of the Word of God? They develop doctrines that please men and do not conform them to godliness. They do not deal with the parts of the Bible about judgment, holiness, righteousness, resisting the devil, resisting the flesh, resisting the world, church discipline, overcoming, suffering in the flesh, discernment, doctrines of demons, demons, harlotry, and weapons of warfare against an enemy who came to steal, kill and destroy. We are clearly warned about the false teachers who will pervert the way of truth. Because of their love for greed, they will exploit you with false words. "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater (one who will not give up sin), hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them" (Eph. 5:5-7).
Hear the words of Ezekiel: "Thou art the land that is not cleansed (washed with the word), nor rained upon (no Holy Spirit) in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof (they are all saying the same thing as they protect their carnal doctrines and traditions); like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls (taken congregations captive with a form of godliness); they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated My law, and they profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths (by failing to enter into peace and rest from their own works), and I am profaned among them (they have tried to make Me over as a god in their own image)" (Ezek. 22:24-26). Ezekiel added: "Her princes (leaders) in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. (They exploit the needy and afflicted.) And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken" (Ezek. 22:27, 28). "The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out Mine indignation upon them with the fire of My wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God" (Ezek. 22:29-3 1).
The Psalmist wrote: "0 Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; 0 God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they utter and speak hard things? And all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? They break in pieces thy people, 0 Lord, and afflict Thine heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, ye brutish among the people, and ye fools, when will ye be wise?" (Ps. 94:1-8). The Psalmist also said: "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? But the Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge. And He shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the Lord our God shall cut them oft" (Ps. 94:20, 21, 16, 22, 23). Micah warned: "Thus saith the Lord concerning the PROPHETS THAT MAKE MY PEOPLE ERR, that bite with their teeth (gold coins), and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him (the one with no money). Therefore night shall be unto you (a time of spiritual darkness), that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that you shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets (no revelation from God)... Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God" (Micah 3:5-7). Micah added: "But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, TO DECLARE UNTO JACOB HIS TRANSGRESSION, AND TO ISRAEL HIS SIN. Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood (by leading congregations in lawlessness), and Jerusalem with iniquity.., the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money; yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? None evil can come upon us" (Micah 3:8-11).
"Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept His commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked. But I will send a fire (the powers of darkness) upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem. Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because THEY SOLD THE RIGHTEOUS FOR SILVER (greed) and the poor for a pair of shoes" (Amos 2:4-6). Amos also said, "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came! That drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved over the affliction of Joseph (the church)" (Amos 6:1, 6). The powers of darkness have prevailed over the Church today. Satan has used false teachers and carnal doctrines to lead congregations into a form of godliness. He has put them to sleep and captured their hearts with a false security by telling them: "You surely shall not die." The congregations become justified by the words of men rather than the Word of God. "But the Spirit Speaketh expressly, that in the latter times (these last days) some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1).
Satan's doctrines have been the same: to lead people into rebellion against God! "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph 5:15, 17). "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1 Thess. 4:3). "That He might present it to Himself, a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Eph. 5:27, 26).
False teachers who walk after selfish ambition love pride. You will know false teachers by their fruit.
* Pride wants to be the center instead of Jesus.
* Pride pleases flesh so it can receive honor and glory from men.
* Pride holds up its own image instead of the image of Jesus.
The Bible has given us examples of the selfish ambition of false teachers and their congregations who love pride. You will see these same fleshly congregations today with their false teachers!
* They in pride establish their own righteousness and do not submit to the righteousness of God (Rom 10:3).
* They in pride trust in themselves that they are righteous and view others with contempt (Luke 18:9).
* They in pride do all their deeds to be noticed by men (approval of men) (Matt. 23:5).
* They in pride love the places of honor at banquets and chief seats in the synagogues (Matt. 23:6).
* They in pride love respectful greetings in the market place and being called by men "Rabbi" (Matt. 23:7).
* They in pride outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly (in their hearts) are full of hypocrisy (Matt. 23:28).
* They in pride travel about over land and sea to make a proselyte and he becomes twice the son of hell they are (Matt. 23:15).
* They in pride tithe, but neglect justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matt. 23:23).
* They in pride are blind guides (false teachers), who clean up the outside of the cup (to make the flesh look good), but the inside (the heart) is full of robbery and self-indulgence (Matt. 23:26).
* They in pride are whitewashed tombs which appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Matt. 23:24-27).
* They in pride shut off the kingdom of heaven from men, for they do not go in themselves, nor do they allow those who are entering to go in. Jesus said: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape damnation of hell?" (Matt 23:13,33).
These leaders always please the flesh and receive their glory from men. "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh" (Gal. 6:12, 13). "They zealously affect you, but not well (with wrong motives); yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them." (Gal. 4:17). These false teachers seek you with fleshly motives in order that you may seek them and they may become your king. They then use you in their fleshly manipulation and schemes to help seek others to enlarge their fleshly kingdom.
Hear again the words of Ezekiel: "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination (false dreams and visions), saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word" (Ezek. 13:2, 3, 5, 6). Ezekiel also pointed out: "Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, the Lord saith it, albeit I have not spoken. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; because ye have spoken vanity and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God" (Ezek. 13:7-9). Ezekiel also said: "Because, even because they have seduced My people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar (a whitewashed wall which is a false hedge of protection).., that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower (the powers of darkness will come against the foundations); and ye, 0 great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Thus will I accomplish My wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it, To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace" (Ezek. 13:10, 11, 15, 16). Jeremiah wrote: "I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal (idols).
The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord" (Jer. 23:25- 28). Isaiah wrote: "Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness; ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock (Jesus) whence ye are hewn... FEAR YE NOT THE REPROACH OF MEN, neither be ye afraid of their revilings" (Isa. 51:1, 7).
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him... Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (a falling away from the faith), and that man of sin be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thess. 2:1, 3, 8-11).
God warned Adam if he ate of the tree of (death or) the knowledge of good and evil (the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life): "Thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). Satan then tempted and enticed Eve to eat from the tree of death by saying, "YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE" (Gen. 3:4).
This is a direct contradiction of the Word of God and is the first reference to a doctrine of Satan in the Bible. Eve was led astray by a different spirit, another doctrine and another Gospel: "And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:13).
When we receive the teaching of false teachers, their words become the fruit of death and lead us to rebel against God. Satan is still leading people' to the tree of sin and death today, to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree of death is false teaching which does not warn people about sin. Satan uses false teachers to give congregations a false security by telling them: "YOU SURELY SHALL NOT DIE." If a false watchman does not warn his congregation about breaking God's laws by sinning, the congregation has no protection from God. They are destroyed in their iniquity because of the false words of a false watchman who tells them, "YOU SURELY SHALL NOT DIE." He leads his congregation to destruction while he fulfills his own selfish ambition.
We see a clear warning to the false watchman and his congregation in Ezekiel: "But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. When I say to the wicked, 0 wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it (by saying, YOU SHALL SURELY DIE); if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul" (Ezek. 33:6, 8, 9).
Ezekiel also wrote: "Therefore 0 thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: TURN YE, TURN YE FROM YOUR EVIL WAYS; for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel?" (Ezek. 33:10, 11). The Gospel from God through our Lord Jesus Christ says: "You shall surely die" if you practice sin. False teachers who are controlled by pride and greed flatter, control and exploit congregations while they lead them into sin and destruction.
Jude warns about these false teachers, who are "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (promoting lust), and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not" (Jude 4,5).
Satan's kings of pride and greed are real nice fellows who lead people from the faith into destruction while they use parts of God's Word, God's people, carnal doctrines and ungodly traditions, to fulfill their selfish love for the nature of Satan. Paul said, "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" (2 Cor. 11:14, 15).
Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh PREACHETH ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive ANOTHER SPIRIT, which ye have not received, or ANOTHER GOSPEL, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For ye suffer, if a man brings you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself...For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you a PURE VIRGIN (pure heart) to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3, 4, 20, 2).
True prophets and teachers will build up the body of Christ "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 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 (and build their earthly and fleshly kingdoms), but speaking the truth in love, MAY GROW UP INTO HIM IN ALL THINGS, WHICH IS THE HEAD, EVEN CHRIST; FROM WHOM THE WHOLE BODY FITLY JOINED TOGETHER AND COMPACTED BY THAT WHICH EVERY JOINT SUPPLIETH, ACCORDING TO THE EFFECTUAL WORKING IN THE MEASURE OF EVERY PART, MAKETH INCREASE OF THE BODY UNTO THE EDIFYING OF ITSELF IN LOVE" (Eph. 4:13-16).
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