Lying Prophets and False Teachers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©2015 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney

No Pajamas In Church, Please

pajamasI recently visited a church near where I live and sat down with my son in my normal Sunday suit. It actually fit this time of year. It was just around Christmas time and the church was practicing for worship service before Sunday, which I have understood is the worship leaders last resort because he works with people that do not even know how to spell s-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e in making out during the week and preparing. 

It is noisy and takes away from settling in, praying and reading your Bible so your mind is on God. It is like going to a wedding and the music is always too loud and you have to literally scream in your neighbors ear to say, “Can you pass me a tithing envelope, please?” I wonder if it could be said, “My house is a house of prayer but you have made it a den of noise.”

But I am just a visitor so I grin and bear it.

The first thing I beheld (which the pastors wife later explained to me was for a Christmas play later that day) was that the altar area. It was surrounded by cardboard candy canes, cut out gingerbread men and enough cotton balls to gag a wise man’s camel. In the middle of it was a communion table.

There they practiced, guffawed and one girl even gave the worship leader and nice shoulder massage.  With recent events, I began to think I am in hell (for you neo-evangelicals that is eternal hell not annihilation).  I had been pondering recently the lack of reverence for God and the picture preachers paint of Christ that he is giddy and fun loving. I know some people will think I am Pharisee, Sadducee etc. go right ahead call me whatever,  but I guess that is better than Heresy.

I manufactured an artificial smile and began to quote the love chapters in my mind and my teenage son was looking at me for some response but he saw it in my eyes and that was enough. I  prayed I could keep my mouth shut in such a situation which would be a modern day miracle, for sure.

Then, during service the Pastor walked in (a large man) wearing pajamas and a robe with the Yankee insignia. I was hoping it was an object lesson and I was praying, “Oh, Lord let this be an object lesson.”  But it was not, it was an advertisement for the Christmas play that night and they invited everyone to come with their pajamas on at 5pm. Then there were comments from the seats about baseball teams and other foolishness.

He showed a Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon for a introduction. Rats, he even preached, took the offering and served the Lord’s Supper in his pajamas and at last, the Pentecostal Pajama party was over.

After that service I could identify with Chuck Brown. I wonder if he were a professing Christian  looking for a church that actually preaches the Bible without all the shiny bows and pretty wrapping of religious commercialism. Where is that scripture toting Linus when you need him anyway.

So, here we have it.  Christ tells us, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning.” (Luke 12:35ESV).  Pajama clad sleepy Christians need not apply. The American Church has an empty, lifeless false advertisment  by offering people a pillow padded life full of positive self esteem as they ignore, delay or set aside repentance from actions that lead to a dangerous sleepy death. God says, “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you  to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11).  Oh God ,wake your people who are asleep and save those who are wandering lost in sin! The visible American church needs to wake up and not hypnotized by the world and its bait of entertainment.

“Wherefore he saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ ” (Eph 5:14).  How are we going to get  American Christianity out of its ecclesiastical sleeping bags  into a well armored unit ready to fight off the temptations of this evil age?  Sadly, it is not walking in the Spirit, it is sleep walking. This is the where great work of the Sovereign Lord of the church will be seen!

Nothing wakes up the church like the Word of the Lord being preached in power! He says, “Wake up!”  It takes the power to raise the dead and he says, “Rise From the dead!”  It takes drawing back the curtains of dullness, and let the blistering white hot light of Christ shine on them.  he says, “And Christ will give thee light!”  Preacher preach, Preach with all your might the word of Christ! Preach loud, preach hard but in the name of jesus Christ rise up and walki into that pulpit without the lameness of man’s methods and preach the Scripture and let all of its force weigh down on the consciences of the hearers. The power of his presence is still available to the obedient man who is not a captive slave to the opinion of men!