WOLF TEACHES IN CHURCH.. SHEEP DON'T MIND By Alan Yusko
I want to relate an incident that happened in a church I was visiting over a few weeks. This incident may be fairly common in these last days of deception before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It involves deception of the highest degree. I listened to a guest speaker at a mid-week Bible study as he subtly denied foundational doctrines of Christianity. Unfortunately the people in the room did not notice (or care about) the false teaching presented by the speaker. I was amazed that this man could say: 'Jesus is not God' with no opposition to his statement from the people at this church.
The church I was visiting is considered a Christian church. As far as I know they are not apostate in doctrine. The people are certainly friendly and they welcome new people in their doors. However I found the church to have a weakness in the area of Biblical discernment. Sound Biblical doctrine just isn't important in this church. This is why a guest speaker could stand up at their mid-week Bible study and claim that Jesus is not God without getting a reaction from the people.
Is this a common occurrence in churches these last days? Is this church isolated in their acceptance of an apostate teacher or could this problem be more widespread in these days before the return of the Lord Jesus? As you read this tract consider the danger of this situation and check to see if your church has similar doctrinal problems.
The topic of the mid-week Bible study was Islam and we had just viewed a 20 minute segment of a video describing some things about the Islamic religion. The false teacher introduced the video by saying it had some things in it that would 'stretch your mind'. The video has 6-7 parts and each one would be viewed over the next 6-7 weeks with discussion following. To be honest I really don't need my mind being 'stretched' when it comes to deviating from sound Biblical doctrine. I do not have an 'open mind' when it comes to denying the Trinity and other foundational doctrines in Christianity.
After the video there was some discussion with the speaker making several doctrinally false statements. One person in the group asked the question: 'So, based on the video, is Muhammad (founder of Islam) a good guy?' The video itself was prepared by the liberal part of 'Christianity in name only'. It gave quite a favorable view of Islam and did not approach the subject that Islam is a false religion where souls are lost and perishing without the Lord Jesus Christ. I guess this is just part of the 'stretching' of the mind the speaker mentioned at the beginning of his presentation.
Lets look at some of the things this false teacher said before the group of people he was speaking to:
- Jesus is not God. He claimed that Jesus is not God because that sounds like the Oneness cult that claims there is no Trinity ... just One God.
I challenged this immediately and said that the Lord Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, the Second Person of the Trinity. I wondered how this church could let someone speak who openly stated that Jesus was not God. He used double-speak as he said he believed the Trinity and that Jesus was Divine. However he fails to realize that if Jesus is Divine, then He is God. I was surprised that I was the only one who raised any objection to his statement that Jesus was not God.
- Next he talked about Muhammad visions related to Islam. I indicated Muhammad had to get the visions from some source and that the source was not God. He dismissed my point stating that we dream every night. Does Satan give us our dreams, he said? He doesn't realize that normal dreaming is one thing and claiming a vision from God is another. Especially if that 'vision' contradicts what God has already revealed in His Word, the Bible.
- He indicated that Allah was not so bad and was not a demon god as some believe. I mentioned that Satan is behind the god Allah as the goal of false religion is to keep people away from the Lord Jesus who is the ONLY way to be saved. That is why there are so many false religions out there as Satan's goal is to keep people from finding salvation found ONLY in the Lord Jesus Christ. I also said that the god Allah is not the same God of the Bible. In the Bible God is revealed as a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three Divine Persons who are the One God. However Allah is just ONE. No Trinity... just ONE. This is demonic deception. He responded by saying what I said was questionable. Again the people in the Bible study were silent and were not provoked by this false teacher (wolf) in their midst.
That pretty well gives a good summary of the first of the series of Bible studies presented by this false teacher. He has another 5-6 weeks to continue presenting his heresies to this mid-week Bible study. Since this church has a great discernment problem and does not hold fast to sound doctrine, this speaker no doubt will have free reign to continue for the entire length of his Bible study series.
What does the Bible say about this subject. First we have been warned that this type of thing will happen and to be on the alert for it. We are told to beware of false teachers that will look like a Christian, and have 'Christian' credentials, and even sound like a Christian. However they will introduce heresies and deceptions to snare and deceive the undiscerning.
2 Corinthians 11
13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 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.
When Satan deceives he tries to do it while looking like an angel of light. His servants and false teachers do the same thing. They will not come into your church dressed in black wearing an upside down cross and start to teach heresies from the Bible. No, they will look like 'ministers of righteousness' as they teach and deceive.
The Bible warns of wolves that will come in sheeps clothing with the goal of deceiving and leading astray.
15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
False teachers will come in introducing heresies with the goal of misleading and deceiving those who name the name of the Lord Jesus. They will come dressed in sheeps clothing. This means they will look and sound like a Christian. They will have good education credentials and even possibly worked as a missionary! However doctrinally they will be apostate. But to those who love the Word of God and read it daily, we have been warned that this would happen:
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Who will heed the above warning? Will the church I visited heed the above warning about wolves and false teachers in their midst? I honestly do not think so and believe this wolf will continue his 'Bible study' over the next several weeks.
Sound Christian doctrine is very important. Stay away from false teachers. Do NOT invite them to teach in your church. If one comes in then do NOT invite him back to teach again. If you are attending a church that is beginning to go apostate then warn them. If they do not listen then find another church that loves and believes the Bible, the Word of God. Be a Berean and test all doctrine with Scripture to make sure things line up. Do NOT blindly accept every wind of teaching from questionable sources.
HOW DOES A PERSON PROTECT THEMSELVE FROM DECEPTION?
The simple answer is to be a Berean! Now what does being a Berean mean? Look at the following Scripture:
10. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Notice what the Bereans did after hearing the Apostle Paul teach. Did they blindly receive everything he said? No, verse 11 states that they searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. What they did was to listen to Paul and then go the the Bible to check him out. They checked what God had already revealed with what the Apostle Paul was saying. Now did Paul get angry because they didn't take everything he said blindly? Today the men who have blind followers get very angry when their teachings are compared with the Scriptures. However Paul didn't get angry.... have a look at verse 11. Scripture says that they were considered 'more noble' than those in Thessalonica because they took the time to 'check out Paul' with the Word of God. It is a good, noble, and Christ honoring thing do to by checking out teachings by the Scriptures! It also is good protection from deception.
The bottom line is: don't accept teaching if it doesn't line up with Scripture. The Word of God is the standard and the final authority. If some slick talking false teacher starts spewing out various doctrines that don't line up with God's Word, then reject the deceiver and his teaching! Don't tolerate false teachers - reject them and their soul damning teachings.
Are people doing that today? Who is turning to the Word of God to see if what is being taught by various 'false teachers' agrees with Scriptures? Are people putting teaching to the test OR are they just blindly soaking every wind of doctrine into their brains like a dry sponge looking for water? Unfortunately the latter seems to be true. Deception abounds just like the Lord Jesus warned. Who is listening? Who is a Berean that checks out doctrines and teachings with what God has already revealed in His Word, The Bible?
God's Word goes on further to say:
15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
2 Peter 2:1
1. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
1 John 4:1
1. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
TRY THE SPIRITS. Does that mean to blindly accept teaching without testing to see if it lines up with the Bible? Of course not! Christians are to test all things and cling to the good. There are many false teachers and many deceivers. A good Berean puts all teachings to the test with his Bible. By using the Word of God a person will be able to judge between the good and evil teachings.
1 Corinthians 6:2
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1 Corinthians 14:29
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
YES, Christians are to JUDGE between GOOD and EVIL!
I think God's Word is very clear. Christians are to put every teaching to the test and the measuring stick is the Holy Bible, God's Word. If it does NOT line up with the Word....then REJECT it! Don't believe the popular lie that says: Don't judge. Yes we are commanded to judge and avoid evil teaching and false teachers.
This tract has looked at several warnings from Scripture about deceivers and false teachers. The example of the church that allowed a wolf to preach may be representative of many churches today who no longer love sound doctrine. Christians have been warned about deceivers as one would warn someone who is in great danger. The only safety from deceivers is the Word of God. By rejecting teachings that are against God's revealed Word a person is protected from deception. Of course that means reading God's Word on a very regular basis (daily). It also means finding and attending a good Bible believing, born-again church that loves God and His Word.
We are NOW in the days where doctrines of devils are spreading everywhere! The world is quickly heading toward apostasy as God's Word said it would happen in the last days.
1 Timothy 4:1
1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Timothy 4:3
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;
4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. I close this tract with the final warning from Scripture. Hopefully Christians will test doctrine with the Bible and reject the evil. All pastors should be good Bereans. For those who are not then be warned: If you bring in false teachers who preach heresy and lead people astray then one day YOU will answer to God for it. A pastor is in a stewardship position which one day must give account to God. I encourage everyone to be good Bereans and test all teachings with the Word of God!
17. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
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