Be Not Deceived
This applies to End Time Studies as many find it hard to study and just turn to the “News Stand”
Most people have come to the point where they say, “Well I don’t need doctrine. I don’t need theology. I just love Jesus.
That is a foolish statement. That is a foolish statement.
If we love Jesus as much as we profess to love Him, then don’t you think we would want to get to know Him? And the only way to get to know Him is by knowing Him in His Word.
We’re to study the Word of God. And when our knowledge of God is deepened, our love for God is deepened.
– Justin Peters
Spiritual Shipwreck of the Word-Faith Movement
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Readers of trash become trashy; lovers of skeptical books become skeptical; and students of the Bible, who are in real earnest, become biblical, and display the qualities of the Bible.
If you read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the word of God, the qualities of that word will be displayed in you. A man fed on the Bible is a man indeed. In the history of heroes, there are none who show so much moral muscle and spiritual sinew as those who make the word of God their necessary food.”
– C. H. Spurgeon
The Complete Works of Charles Spurgeon, Volume 86: The Sword and the Trowel
Fred London When Doctrine Matters
The admonishment of “rightly dividing” or “handling accurately the word of truth” has not as its focus the end result, but rather, the process which leads to a clear apprehension of God’s thought to man. For if the process is sound, it is more than likely that the end result will also be sound. Conversely, if the process is faulty, we can expect a result which will be equally as faulty. Statements such as, “I don’t get into doctrine” or “Doctrine doesn’t matter,” has the sound of spirituality to it, but it is a pseudo-spirituality. In fact, this rather “nice” sounding attitude flies in the face of Scripture. This is not the sort of peace and unity of which the Scripture speaks. “For there must also be factions among you so that those who are approved of God may become manifest.”
Frankly, it smacks of ecumenicalism, which produces a false peace and a false unity because it is not held together by the Spirit of truth. We are exhorted to “speak the truth in love,” meaning, you can’t have one without the other. Nowhere does the Scripture teach the notion of unity at any cost. As one man has said, “It is better to be divided by truth than united in error.” Scripture clearly forewarns that one of the major signs of the “last days” will be that so many will no longer adhere to sound doctrine. It cannot be stressed enough simply because God stresses this imperative from cover to cover throughout the Scriptures, that the authenticity of ministry is in direct proportion to the authenticity of the oral or written words with which the vessel represents the “Mind of Christ.”
These days, in particular, there is a strong and irreverent tendency for those who would presume to speak for God to be far too glib and to take license with “the holy things of God.” Consequently, it would serve us well, having a healthy fear and trembling, to avoid at all cost, the presumptuous sin of “speaking that which the Lord has not spoken.” Therefore, sound doctrine does matter, not from a legalistic standpoint where “the letter kills,” but as it relates to a clear and accurate understanding of God’s character, ways, and purposes. It matters as to how Christ is represented, in Heart, in Mind, and how that directly correlates into how His Body functions, and the type of witness she portrays to the world.
It matters because, “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” It matters because, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It matters because of the great influence it has upon our world view. It matters because how we think about the Church’s place and purposes for the “last days” and her relationship and obligation as it pertains to Israel (the Jewish people) will ultimately determine as to whether the “limb” we represent will be “put out of joint” or be “a vessel, fit for the Master’s use.” With our being able “to discern the times” we therefore will know what needs to be done at the most critical time of Church and World History.
Furthermore, although reading others’ thoughts on a particular subject can be profitable, there comes a time where we reach a point of diminishing returns. Case in point: Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I am? Some say that you are Jeremiah, or Elijah, or John the Baptist raised from the dead. Then Jesus asked, “But, who do you say that I am?” In other words, there comes a point where referring people to other sources loses its effectiveness by no longer serving a useful purpose. Not unlike most, I have read many books and heard many teachings over the years, and it is important to always maintain a teachable spirit in order to continue to benefit from the spiritual deposits in others. But, there comes a point where it is time to be able to give an account for what we believe and why we believe it.
As it says in Ecclesiastes, “Be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” Today, we can just as easily apply that principle to websites. But, regardless of the means through which we receive the seemingly never-ending glut of teachings, it is high time for many of us to grow up and not be so easily “driven by waves, and by every wind of doctrine.” Why? Because doctrine does matter!
Spirit of the Age
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Dr. Walter Martin preaches on 2 Timothy 3 & 4. He encourages us to put on the full armor of god in this age of spiritual warfare. We must defend the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and bring others under his wings of salvation.
Our culture is now a media culture and no longer a culture of the Book. So when it comes to the True Meaning of the Word “Today’s modern Christians” will opt for watered down Media versions of the Truth. And those media versions seem to be moving further from the Word each passing month to the point that the Bible is being twisted and buried in false views and Doctrines as time goes on.
Bible Prophecy has become an “Add on” to News Articles and a means to make a “Fast Buck” regardless of what the Bible Really Teaches. Brethren, these things shouldn’t be happen in our own lives.
We have been Warned that these days we’re coming and in the Future they will try to ban the Bible as they have in so many places today. Amos 8:11-12 (NKJV) 11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD. 12 They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it.
Don’t settle for a “Fast Food” baby version of the truth when you can be Feasting on the Meat of the Word.
Fred London Beware of Processed Spiritual Food
like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word,
that by it you may grow in respect to salvation – I Peter 2:2
In Peter’s letter, he uses the term, “the pure milk of the word.” What does he mean by this? Let us begin by eliminating what he does not mean. He is not referring to the early stages of spiritual maturity as it relates to the context of I Cor. 3:1-2 and Heb. 5:13. Rather, he is speaking of the quality of what they spiritually consume. The familiar adage, ‘You are what you eat,” has been a biblical principle long before its more modern popular usage. And yet, in today’s society, we hear so much about the negative impact of processed foods to our bodies. Depending upon your personal persuasion, those claims can be justified or extreme.
But, in the spiritual realm, and more specifically, as it relates to Biblical teaching, the negative impact of processed spiritual food cannot be over emphasized. With what goes for much of this so-called “biblical” teaching so popular these days should be accompanied by a warning label: “Beware: This is Processed Spiritual Food.” The problem is certainly not with the God-given processing ministry of the Holy Spirit, but rather of the man-made process which lends itself to corrupting the word of God.
The word “pure” as defined in Peter’s letter means, “pure from defilement, not contaminated, unadulterated.” The intended meaning becomes even more clear when defining the word, “adulterate,” which means, “to make impure, illegitimate, false or inferior by adding extraneous or improper ingredients.” The psalmist says, “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times” (Ps. 12:6).
Herein lies the key to understanding how God’s word can be turned from “pure milk” into sour milk, from a source of nourishment into a source of disease, from a source of growth into a source of retardation, from a source of life into a source of death, from a pure representation of Christ and His Kingdom into a source of a perverted gospel.
The key of which we speak is all in the process, and this process is all about the vessel through which the word of God is filtered. Will the vessel employ his natural mind and fleshly nature as that filter and thereby become guilty of “adding extraneous or improper ingredients” to his teaching? Or, will that vessel endeavor to lay his mind and nature down at the Cross with the hope that nothing but the Holy Spirit might function as the Divine Filter. It is this spiritual process which seeks to remove the human ingredients which inhibits our ability and desire “to rightly divide the word of truth.” And, in this way, through such a prepared “earthen vessel,” God and His purposes might be more accurately presented in spirit and truth.
This malady in the church should not surprise us in the least, and not just because of the many prophetic words concerning false teachers in the “last days.” Since the beginning of time, the enemy has sought to corrupt the word of God. It was in the Garden of Eden where the serpent perverted God’s words to Eve which opened the door to sin entering the world. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan again, perverted the word of God by taking Scripture out of context and misappropriating its meaning to somehow, if it were possible, compel the Son of God to throw himself down from the pinnacle of The Temple.
Paul, all too often, was compelled to address this issue, and found it to be an embarrassment having to defend his apostleship when being compared to others. He writes, “but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (II Cor. 4:2). Peter referred to these false teachers as “having eyes full of adultery.” Those “adulterating the word of God” were problematic in the early church, and so it has been to this very day.
It is worth noting that “craftiness” and “adulterating” seem to go hand in hand when exposing this issue. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming…’ (Eph. 4:14). In other words, we are not merely speaking of honest differences in scriptural interpretation. What we are dealing with is the willful perversion of God’s word, coupled with the deceit and exploitation of God’s people.
One of the most predominant, and not surprisingly, most popular teachings in the church today is that of the “Prosperity” gospel. Have you ever noticed that those who promulgate and peddle this teaching normally are the most prosperous beneficiaries of this doctrine? There is “the law of supply and demand,” or in this case, “the law of greed and exploitation.” It makes for a very formidable alliance, and that is why it is so successful, or at least as far as the teacher and the marketing of it is concerned.
Our carnal nature is never in short supply of these essential ingredients to make this business a lucrative one, “who suppose that godliness is gain.” “But godliness is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment” (I Tim. 6:5b-6). The fact of the matter is, greed and contentment just do not mix.
Paul wrote, “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all evils, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. But flee from these things, you man of God…” (I Tim. 6:9-11a). “Have wandered away from the faith…?” Could this be one of the “doctrines of demons” Paul alluded to earlier in the same letter? Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 19:23).
Ah, but did not Jesus also say, “But first seek His kingdom and righteousness and all these things shall be added to you” (Mat. 7:33). Yes, but He makes this statement within the text and context of admonishing the people not to anxiously pursue these earthly” things.” Also, notice within the phrase the connective word “and,” is used, and not the conditional phrase, “so that.” Big difference! In fact, just prior to this, Jesus, says, “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek.” Make no mistake, no Jew wanted to be compared to a Gentile. They got the message, loud and clear!
Recognize the hidden signs: “Welcome to the Spiritual Smorgasbord!” “Welcome to the Biblical Buffet!” “Have the best of both worlds!” “Choose and eat only what you want!” To prospective patrons, be forewarned: “Consumption will be hazardous to your health!” But, how can one know if a teacher and their doctrine is adulterated? If you look closely, you will find it revealed right on the back of the package. Take the time to read the ingredients, and you will know.Great Study Bibles
Art Katz — If we cannot distinguish between the prophets that are true and those that are false, it is a statement that we are unable to distinguish between the God who is true and the god who is false.
Our Lord’s solemnly warns us that we must not misinterpret prophetic truth.
Jesus gave solemn warnings in Rev.22v19,20., about the serious consequences of adding to, or taking from, His prophetic truth. He looks upon addition to, and subtraction from, prophetic truth, as serious error, not as a matter of opinion.
After reading many books on prophecy, I have come to the conclusion that our Lord’s solemn warnings about the consequences of misinterpreting His prophetic truth, have not been taken seriously. We need to remember that Paul handed over Hymenaeus and Alexander for execution for wrong doctrine on prophecy concerning the resurrection and second coming of Christ. Paul said that their wrong doctrine was blasphemy, and ate like a cancer or gangrene; their false doctrine had overthrown the faith of some Christians.
1Tim.1v18-20. 2Tim.2v15-19. James.3v1. Jesus informs us in Mt.24v48-51., that the pretribulation rapture theory will likewise overthrow the faith of some Christians; for they will look upon the seeming delay of their Lord’s coming, as a denial of the fact of His coming, and as a result backslide from the faith and join with the worldlings in persecuting and beating those who were once their brothers and sisters in Christ.
The perilous last days demand real spiritual preparation. Jesus warns us that we need to watch and pray and seek God for his spiritual armoury and a reserve of oil if we are to spiritually survive those evil times. Mt.24v44 to 25v13. Lk.18v1-8. 21v34-36. Christian leaders who teach that God’s spiritual gifts to His Church have been withdrawn, and oppose and forbid their operation in their churches, are denying to Christ’s Church the essential spiritual equipment that will enable Christians to survive the evil last days of this age.
Jesus pronounced a “woe” upon teachers who take away “the key of knowledge,” and hinder people from having an experience of God and His gifts. Luke.11v52. James.3v1. The gifts of the Spirit give us power for service and confirm the truth of the Gospel; they are the cutting edge of New Testament evangelism. Rom.15v18-21. The Holy Spirit’s devotional gifts help to sanctify Christians and build the fruit of the Spirit in them, and are a necessary and vital divine aid to communion with God. 1Cor.14v1-5,12-20,31. N.B. v4,18. Ps.68v18. God is preparing us for the great day of Christ’s coming, His gifts build “agape” love in the Church. 1Cor.14v1-5,39,40. Heb.2v4. God is pouring out His Spirit upon all mankind, just as He promised to do before the great and terrible day of our Lord’s return. Joel.2v11,28-32. Acts.2v16-21.
In Joel.2v11,31., the word for “terrible,” in “the great and terrible day of His coming,” is “yaw-ray,” which means, “to fear, to put in fear, to fill with dread.” In Acts.2v20., “yah-ray,” is translated by the Greek adjective “epiphanes,” (only here in N. T.); and means “conspicuous, manifest, or notable” and comes from the verb “epiphaino,” “to shine upon, to give light, to become visible, to appear.” “Epiphaino” is used in connection with Christ’s birth and first coming in Luke.1v79., and of Christ’s coming to save us in Titus.2v11. and 3v4.. The noun “epiphaneia,” “a shining forth,” was used by the Greeks of the appearance of a god; it occurs six times in the New Testament, once concerning Christ’s first coming in 2Tim.1v10.; and with Christ’s second coming in 2Thes.2v8. 1Tim.6v14. 2Tim.4v1,8. and Titus.2v13..
Jesus has visited us and shone upon us in his triumphant redeeming humanity. As God the Word He will shine upon this world in the full glory and power of His majestic deity, and, with fierce righteous anger and justice, will cleanse creation of evil men and angels.
Is.25v6-9.34v1-8. 42v13-17. 63v1-6. 66v16. 2Thes.1v7-10. Rev.19v11 to 20v3.6. His second advent will be truly awesome and will produce overwhelming fear among worldly people. Jesus said men will swoon and be lifeless through fear, and will hide themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains, and cry for the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from God the Father’s face and the wrath of the Lamb. Lk.21v26. Rev.6v15-17.
Paul warns us that this will be an awesome day even for Christians, for this is the day when the exam results of our lives are made known. Paul speaks in 2Cor.5v11., of “the fear of the Lord,” as the motivating force for godly living in the light of that great day; he tells us how he laboured and acted from honour to be well pleasing to Christ at His judgement throne. 1Cor.1v8. 3v10-17. 2Cor.1v14. 5v9-11. Phil.1v10. 2v13,14. 1Thes.5v2. This will be a truly blessed day for Christians who are walking with the Lord and love His appearing. 2Tim.4v8. Titus.2v13. Abiding in Jesus saves us from shame at His second coming. 1Jn.2v28.
It was to be expected that the blessed hope of Christ’s glorious return would be a subject of controversy among God’s people, for prophecy has always resulted in controversy. Indeed, the Old Testament prophets were so controversial that most of them died for their prophecies.
Do we stop preaching or discussing the truth of Christ’s second coming because it is controversial? Of course not! All-important truth is controversial. On many occasions God the Father and Christ spoke strongly to God’s people, and the false prophets among His people. Mt.23v13-39. Mk.3v5. In this study I have used strong words where I felt that I should do so. I have not done this because I enjoy controversy, but so that those who read this study may be informed and challenged to think about Christ’s second coming.
I am concerned that Christians should be brought back to study the Scriptures, instead of accepting man-made theories without question. In Acts.17v10,11. the Bereans were called noble-minded when they received Paul’s doctrine with all eagerness of mind; and continually, carefully and exactly searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul taught was true. “Searched” is “anakrinontes,” the present participle of “anakrino,” “to examine, to sift, to make careful and exact research as in legal processes.” Let us imitate them.
After a Solid Foundation in the Bible, be a reader of Solid Christian Writers for more knowledge of His Word.
“Everything we read needs to be tested with the Word, Never the other way around, texting the Bible with your favorite Authors or teachers. The Bible Alone is the final say on “Christianity” and on that Foundation alone. There all the Writings of man come to the Light as to their legitimacy and faithfulness to His Word. The Bible gives the ratings and not the Amazon readers.”
The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.
Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible.
We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”–join the cry. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon