False Doctrine and other Word Games, Bethel Missionary Church, September 29, 2013
It is my goal to raise more questions than to give answers today, but in raising those questions it is my hope that you will seek answers to those questions.
One of our tasks as Christians is summed up well in the role of the watchman outlined in Ezekiel 3:18-19
When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
I found it interesting when attending the “not a fan” bible study how Kyle Idleman noted that when Jesus drew the biggest crowds that he pulled out his toughest sermons. The ones where he asked for denial of self and total commitment.
When I lived in California I owned and operated a used Christian Bookstore, during that time I had two dreams, I rarely remember any dreams but those two I will never forget.. The first I was standing at the top of a cliff, there was a pathway coming from my right that made its way down the cliff. Directly in front and just below, the path went by me. At that spot there was a bush that partially obscured the path where there was a slippery spot with tricky footing. People were making their way down the path. Some I knew some I didn’t.
I assumed the people walking on the path could see that were the path went past the bush that the footing was bad. Some made it past, some slipped and fell to their death. I stood and watched. I woke from that dream more than a little disconcerted.
A few weeks later I had another dream. This time I was sitting on top of a massive boulder, maybe 500 to 1000 feet high. I was more or less round and gradually sloped away to the valley below. The husband of one of the secretaries at a place I had worked at was sitting near me. After a time he got up and started walking forward, I thought he was moving to a better view, the further he walked the more alarmed I got, but surely he realizes that if he continues he might lose his footing and fall to the bottom. But I said nothing. Sure enough he lost his footing and I heard him scream until the thud at the bottom. Exasperated and perplexed I got up and went by a side route to get to the bottom where he had landed, and then I woke up. I have never had any other dreams like them. Suffice to say that I concluded that God was saying clearly that if I saw someone in peril, physically or spiritually, that keeping my mouth shut wasn’t an option.
What are we to be a watchman about today within the church? We could pick several subjects, but today false doctrine I think is a good choice. Today will be an equal opportunity day for pointing out some false teachings, a little something for everyone, take a poke at some of the cults, and also some issues closer to home. A little bit to get us all nodding in agreement, and maybe I can manage to pick on some favourite beliefs and offend a few.
I always apply the filter from Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelations 22:18 and 19. Don’t add to the word, don’t take from it.
But first lets look at a few verses that more than suggest we should be using a little discernment in these times.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 Timothy 4:3 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;
But lets not forget that its not just the far out whacko stuff that is bad for us, but the scripture says in
Galatians 5:9 a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Sometimes small errors in belief have major long term effects.
OK, lets pick on the other guys first before we pick on ourselves a bit.
Now it took me about 3 hours to run my bookstore and it was open for 10. I used the spare time to study as I was keenly interested in so many scriptural issues. One particular study I did was on Limited atonement, the subject came up on a regular basis in the area, and in the store. Limited atonement is a belief of what is called 5 point Calvinism which is drawn from the Canons of the Synod of Dort. Funny thing is Calvin believed that the death of Christ was sufficient for all, and effective for the elect.
The Canons do not use the term Limited Atonement, in fact they end with a powerful admonition that says “Finally, this Synod exhorts all their brethren in the gospel of Christ to conduct themselves piously and religiously in handling this doctrine, both in the universities and churches; to direct it, as well in discourse as in writing, to the glory of the Divine name, to holiness of life, and to the consolation of afflicted souls; to regulate, by the Scripture, according to the analogy of faith, not only their sentiments, but also their language, and to abstain from all those phrases which exceed the limits necessary to be observed in ascertaining the genuine sense of the Holy Scriptures, and may furnish insolent sophists with a just pretext for violently assailing, or even vilifying, the doctrine of the Reformed Churches”
Yet the modern five point Calvinists insert the abomination “Limited Atonement” into that very document.
So, I finally get this study done, staying up into the wee hours this one night to finish it. You can read it on my website at thyword.ca. The very next morning three local five point Calvinists come in, young gentlemen, strong in faith, I called them the sons of thunder, Yep, the morning after I get the study done they show up. The study is printed in yellow, and sitting on my desk. I look at it. But that morning I just didn’t want to get into it with them, some people like a good discussion, a good argument, some don’t, but that morning I just didn’t want to go there. So small talk, they looked around, a bit of chat, and they left. And I felt a bit of relief, briefly, very briefly. Now I know some of you have been under Gods conviction, I think you can guess what happened next, it was terrifying, the vision I remember was God looking down from His throne, and saying “Why do you think I pressed it on your heart to get that study done?? And then I brought them in to you the very NEXT MORNING??? And you said NOTHING???
It wasn't pleasant.
Ok, lets pick on the Jehovah's Witnesses, they take the verse that says the soul dwells in the blood, this is true. And they twist that into a doctrinal position where they cant get blood transfusions. Remember, don’t add to the word, and don’t take from it. If I dwell in a house and I demo one of the rooms, did part of me go with it? If my soul dwells in my blood and I get cut and bleed, does some of my soul bleed out too? Do I end up with some of my soul on my dressing or bandaid?
Now the Jws do not believe that Christ arose in the same body He died in, they think He is spirit only. But even using their NWT, have them read luke 24
While they were speaking of these things he
himself stood in their midst and said to them: "May you have
peace." But because they were terrified, and had become
frightened, they were imagining they beheld a spirit. So he
said to them: "Why are you troubled, and why is it doubts
come up in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is
I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have
flesh and bones just as you behold that I have." And as he
said this he showed them his hands and his feet. But while
they were still not believing for sheer joy and were
wondering, he said to them: "Do you have something there to
eat?" And they handed him a piece of broiled fish; and he
took it and ate it before their eyes.
That's pretty clear from their own translation, that Jesus went out of his way to show the disciples that He was flesh and blood.
Christian Science. The founder of the movement, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote a book called Science and Health and Key to the Scriptures. In it she said there were 30000 errant readings in the old testament and 300000 in the new. The only problem is that there are only 185000 words in the New Testament, so in determining where the error is, I need go no further.
Judaism. just a wee one to pick on today, we will skip over missing the boat on the first coming of the Messiah. They take the verse that says you are not to boil a young goat in its mother’s milk
Exodus 23:19The verse is pretty clear on what it is telling you not to do. Yet they take that and extrapolate it into meaning that you cant eat milk with meat. Don’t go to a McDonalds in Israel and order a big mac, no cheese or mayo with the burger.
The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
Any Roman Catholics in the crowd? Lets do something I like to call Mary Math. How many Catholics in the world today? 1.2 billion?
The Rosary is a rather long prayer, it involves the lords prayer, the apostles creed, lots of Hail Marys, and this piece as well
HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Lets just skip over the biblical inappropriatness of that and go right to the math on it.
How many Catholics pray to Mary each day? 10%, I get some Catholics who are offended at a suggestion that it is only 10%, but for the sake of our Mary Math, 10% is sufficient.
Is Mary Human or God? I haven't yet met a Catholic who wont admit that she is human and not God.
So, 120 million Catholics do the rosary per day, divide that by 24 hours, thats 5 million per hour. Lets say Marys portion of the Rosary is only a minute, thats 83333 incoming calls per minute, every hour, every day, every week, no time for breaks, no time for passing the petition on, shes human, her circuits are overloaded, and cant do anything for you, you are wasting your time. Only God could handle that kind of volume.
The bible tells us we can pray to the Father or the Son, but nowhere does it even remotely indicate there would be any point in praying to a human.
Christ said it well in Matthew 15:9
“in vain do they worship me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
If that is the case, would we not do well to reassess our beliefs, our doctrines, and make sure they line up with what God actually teaches?
Next up, Pentecostalism. A movement that says the very evidence of your being a Christian is your Baptism in the Spirit and the evidence of the indwelling of the spirit is the ability to speak in tongues. A complete misread of Acts chapter 2 where the Apostles spoke and each one heard in his own native tongue, the miracle being in the translation in the recipients ear. Nobody got touched on the forehead and went into a euphoric swoon. Paul clearly lays out in 1 Corinthians 12 the gifts of the spirit three separate times and very clearly puts the gift of languages at the bottom each time and also clearly pounds it out that NO gift is for all. (1 Corinthians 12:29-30) The body is made up of parts, the gifts are distributed by the Spirit as He wills (1 cor 12:11)
Then in 1 Cor 12 it also clearly states that if you wish to seek for spiritual gifts , seek for the best gifts (1 cor 12:31)(Paul again hits this message in 1 Corinthians 14:4 and 12)
Now lets look at the modern baptism in the spirit. No matter how hard I look in the new testament, I cant find anything that comes close, some point to the Roman Legionnaires at Calvary, sorry, but no conversion experience, just soldiers tasked with trying to prevent Jesus from resurrecting. Difficult job. Saul on the Damascus road? Met the Risen Christ, in His full glory, while he was on his way to conduct genocide against Christ’s followers. It wasn't a good day for Saul.
Yet I can take you to a religious service where the minister places his hand on the recipients head passing a spirit into that person, they collapse in a swoon and start speaking in other languages, that’s a modern Voodoo service. So if I cant find it in Gods word clearly laid out as something for us to practice, but I can find it in a current satanic ritual, I just might want to avoid it.
Now lets snuggle up a little closer to home. The study “not a fan” wasn’t that a great study? I’ve been reading the book “not a fan” and it’s even better.
Kyle says “Snuggie theology promises health and wealth to all who follow Jesus”“ Instead of promising you a cross to carry - they promise you a luxury car” “ you start to see the consequences of Snuggie theology when someone’s health takes a turn for the worse or their finances begin to fall apart. They start to question God, because according to the gospel that was presented to them “God isn’t holding up to his end of the deal”
his book suggests that “what you win them with is what you win them to”
I attended this particular church once, I had listened to the minister on the radio and thought I would go there in person. The visiting evangelist sermon was about visualizing and attaining, some call it “name it and claim it”. His verse was Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
He then went on to explain that to get something all you had to do was believe in it. It was a message about gaining material possessions..
Context, oh the context. Poor little Kent sitting in the pew had his bible with him, lets start at verse 1.
When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.
1. 4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread one who has an evil eye
Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
In a clear rebuke to the modern health and wealth gospel - pushed by some of the major leaders of the Pentecostal charismatic movement, Christ said in Luke 12:15
"Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in
the abundance of the things he possesses."
Paul says in 1 TIMOTHY 6:5-8
5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that
godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
And then again 1 TIMOTHY 6:17-19
17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain
riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on
The Trinity, the JW’s like to point out that the word is not in the bible, not sure where I’m going with this one? This is one where the word itself is not there, but the doctrine sure is. Do a study on who resurrected Jesus Christ, who is all knowing, who searches the heart, who is the creator, all have three answers. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
One day A lady came into my bookstore, remember, the one in California. She must have been talking to someone because she asked right off if I was a born again Christian, and asked in a way that she expected a positive answer,
Well imagine the look on the poor lady’s face when I clearly told her “no” She was taken aback, rocked on her heals, but you could see the wheels turning, she now had a mission, she needed to fix this, so for about 10 or 20 minutes the inquisition ensued, she probed, asked, and I answered, all her questions, correctly I think, then she finally says, “so you’re not born again?”
Of course I am
but, but, but? You said you weren’t a born again Christian?
a more befuddled look “look - if your born again, you’re a Christian, if your not, your not, adding the adjective “born again” to separate out the true Christians from those that are just Christians is a serious error, read 1 Corinthians chapter 1, and apply the born again Christian vs those that are just Christians. Further, apply don’t add, don’t subtract, is this a major historical Christian doctrine? It is true, that we must be born again, but is it a central tenet of the gospel? 20th century evangelism made it a central point of its evangelical approach. Consider that it is only found in two verses in ONE gospel. It does NOT say you must have a born again experience, Christ simply stated that you must be born again, a statement of fact, not a command to have an experience.
Matthew, Mark and Luke leave it out entirely, not a mention of it. Didn’t they get it, didn’t they understand? There are eight major evangelical sermons in Acts, and not one of them begins with or even mentions “you must be born again”. Not one of Pauls epistles mentions, nor James or even John, and only Peter makes an oblique reference to born again.
The evangelical message that Christ delivered time after time was Repent. Seven of the eight sermons in Acts the message was Repent.
Consider how the cults misuse and distort scripture, how they take a verse and twist its meaning. In this case there is no twisting of scripture, but there is clearly a divergence from the path of repentance to find and discover this hidden gem of being born again to bring to the front in evangelism of the world.
Remember what Kyle said, “what you win them with is what you win them to” If the evangelical message is distorted into “you must have a born again experience” or you must be born again and then encouraged to have an experience, then the faith could be founded on an experience in a persons life, they look back to that as their beginning, rather than a belief founded in faith where your salvation is not based on something you have experienced, but something you believe in that happened 2000 years ago, my belief, my rock, is the cross, and His resurrection. If it’s based on an experience then a new experience could replace it.
How many times have you heard the evangelical admonition “accept Jesus into your heart and you will be saved” chapter and verse? Anyone? One of the primary means of evangelism in the 20th century was that, yet there is not a single verse that says it. If it is the Spirit that draws us, the spirit that wrote the book, and the spirit that witnesses with it, then how do we expect the Spirit to move when we don’t even use His word? We come up with our own concoctions, we think we are smarter and better equipped to come up with better terminology than God gave us.
The third head of the trinity of evangelism in the twentieth century is the “having a relationship with Jesus”. I have a relationship with my wife, with, my kids, and with my friends. I also have a relationship with the enemy. Pulling God down to where it’s just good enough to have a relationship with Him is just sad.
Nowhere in the entire New Testament does anyone ever discuss their relationship with God, or Jesus as a relationship, and no one in the New Testament is ever encouraged to have a relationship with God. The terminology is not there. Finally, is He my personal saviour? God is God, He is not my personal God. Baal was a personal diety. Describing anything as your “ personal” something smacks of ownership or brings it to your level. John is my personal trainer. I hired him.
Who wrote the bible? Who inspired it? Why do we use a gospel message where you must have a born again experience and have a relationship with our own personal saviour and accept him into our heart to be saved?
This produced a superficial Christianity that dug up two verses and ignored a hundred, wrapped them in the blanket of a gospel that didn’t save and ignored the gospel of belief, faith, repentance, fear of the Lord, and Judgment day. You hear periodically about easy-believism - perhaps it’s the very foundation we have lain that makes easy believism so prevalent.
Heaven or Hell. Those are the options.
The road bench sign says “Jesus Saves”. Ever ask another Christian what He saves us from? You get all kinds of answers. If Jesus saves, and He does, it must be from something. The statement is meaningless unless there is some peril, something that we need to be saved from, something dire and menacing, something permanent, eternal, that may affect our very soul. It is your soul that is in question, that is in need of being saved. But from what? Judgment day? Eternal Hell being a very direct possibility after the judgment.
That was Paul's message on Mars Hill “
Acts 17:24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. ....
30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Kyle Idleman rightly points out John 3:16 is memorized by almost everyone. He also goes on to note that “have you ever seen someone hold up the sign Luke 9:23?, Anyone? This is also the words of Jesus “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” that is recorded in three of the gospels, not just one." Kyle points out that John 3:16 and Luke 9:23 have to go together in order for there to be an accurate understanding of the gospels invitation, one emphasising believing, the other following.
I would add to it the quote from Revelations 14:6-7
Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Kyle points out in commenting on the pressure to grow a church that the sermons get sanitized - scripture gets edited “sermons are often about salvation, but the cross gets covered up, never about surrender, often about forgiveness, but never about repentance, often about living but never about dying." In CS Lewis Mere Christianity paraphrasing Christ he says “give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good.”
How are we to be a watchmen to the lost, and to each other? Perhaps understanding the depth of their peril, and ours. “Jesus saves” only has relevance if there is a pending doom to be saved from.
I will conclude by urging you to reconsider Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness"
Search for the Truth
The Inspiration of God's Word
THE WORD OF GOD; WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT ITSELF?
SINNERS: WHO DID CHRIST DIE FOR?
The Deity of Christ
THE OLD TESTAMENT MESSIAH: OF WHOM DO THESE SCRIPTURES SPEAK?
HOW DO WE BELIEVE?
CONFESSION TO SALVATION
FORGIVENESS; THE REWARD OF REPENTANCE
Should repentance be a part of the Gospel Message
IS IT NECESSARY FOR CHRISTIANS TO FORGIVE?
The Judgment of God
Hell: Present and Future
What to do?
Daily Living Basics
General Doctrine etc
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