Seducers—Deceivers—Howlers!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12,13 KJV).

Beware the seducers, beware the deceivers, beware the howlers!

Paul has already written Timothy concerning “seducers.” Turn to chapter 4 of 1 Timothy: “[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] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; [3] Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” To “seduce” means “use a form of delight to lure or draw someone away from the path of righteousness.” These “seducing spirits” are the voices of preachers teaching “doctrines of devils.” Not all doctrine is created equal! False doctrine causes people to turn away from good doctrine.

Ponder today’s Scripture. In contrast to those who will live godly in Christ Jesus suffering persecution, “evil men and seducers” become increasingly wicked. What is the outcome? “Deceiving, and being deceived.” It does not say “being deceived, and deceiving.” No, the order is: (1) deceive others and then, (2) they themselves are deceived. Indeed, they were originally deceived. However, now they are misleading others—and they themselves are becoming further entrenched in their error. Having repeated those lies long enough, they have no real sense of what the truth even is anymore.

The Greek word for “seducer” in today’s Scripture is “goes” (sounds like /go ayze/). It is related to the term meaning, “to wail.” Secular Greek writers used it to refer to enchanters, deceivers, or imposters. In fact, the word was applied to wizards who would howl incantations or spells! Similarly, when Almighty God hears false doctrine—His non-rightly divided Word—it is just as offensive to Him as a spell being cast. False teachers are “charming” the gullible masses… and the “magical effect” sweeps the crowds away into error. Beware, friend! Stick to the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, and you will not be seduced!

Turn Not from It! #8

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

Second Peter chapter 2: “[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. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” Whether Old Testament Israel, future Israel, or even the present time, Satan’s preachers always labor!

As today’s Scripture indicates, spiritual prosperity is achieved only when we follow the doctrinal path Almighty God has laid out for us. Israel would suffer tremendously if she drifted from the Law of Moses. Once Joshua died, the Jews waxed worse and worse. The Old Testament record abounds with a myriad of resultant tragedies—civil wars, collapse of family, droughts and famines, Gentile oppression, plagues and diseases, poverty, death, and so on. All these unfortunate situations were because Israel failed to maintain sound Bible doctrine.

Romans chapter 16: “[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.” Here is the Holy Spirit’s warning to us the Church the Body of Christ. People will use false doctrine to split local churches and cause saints to stumble. Their main perversion is stressing Law and ignoring Grace (Romans 6:14,15). Mixing God’s Word and will for us, with God’s Word and will for Israel, is sure to bring spiritual ruin. Therefore, follow Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. Turn not from the rightly divided Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)!

Turn Not from It! #7

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

Go now to Deuteronomy chapter 13: “[1] If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, [2] And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; [3] Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

“[4] Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. [5] And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust [throw, force!] thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.”

Whatever Satan used to deceive Israel long ago would certainly be profitable to him today: he still uses counterfeit (false) teaching to distract and divide God’s people. In Deuteronomy, the LORD warned Israel not to be led astray by any “miracle worker.” Even if an “inexplicable” or “supernatural” demonstration was involved, the underlying thought itself was a lie, so that teacher or preacher was to be executed by stoning! He or she was “seducing” Israel, drawing the nation away from God’s revelation to the Jews (see verse 5). Even now, such individuals still seek to “turn [us] away from the LORD [our] God.” Brethren, we should therefore be wary….

Turn Not from It! #6

Monday, July 6, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

Consider the warnings the Holy Spirit through Paul issued to the church leaders of Ephesus. Acts chapter 20: “[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. [32] And now, brethren, 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.”

The most spiritually lethal aspect of Satan’s policy of evil concerns religious perversion. Individuals—whether willingly or inadvertently makes no difference—continuously entice us to abandon the Message of Grace because they favor the Law!! Church leaders should thus guard their congregations by stressing grace teaching. Sadly, as Paul pointed out, those very people are usually the ones guilty of introducing and disseminating the heresy! Furthermore, multitudes within the churches are eagerly deceived and ruined thereby.

Second Timothy chapter 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; [2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. [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.

Let us “take heed” too….

Turn Not from It! #3

Thursday, July 2, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

“All churches believe roughly the same.” “One religion is as good as another.” “Doctrine does not matter.” “It makes no difference what Bible translation we use.” Such pervasive myths they are! When JEHOVAH God commanded Israel to obey His Word, He likened it to them following a path from which they should never deviate. To introduce just one scintilla of false teaching would be to veer off course—to the left hand or right. The Holy Spirit had inspired, had spoken forth, the Mosaic Law. Accordingly, Israel was to not drift from it. Alas, Israel had a lackadaisical attitude—like the Body of Christ today. They were loose in their beliefs… until they were finally free from God’s control entirely!

Titus chapter 1 again: “[10] For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision [Jews]: [11] Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. [12] One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. [13] This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; [14] Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

We, the Body of Christ, were cautioned in Paul’s epistles to carefully adhere to sound doctrine. There are more evil schools of thought in the world than good, more false teaching than truth. Yet, little spiritual discernment is the norm today. For 2,000 years, we have spent most of our time swerving doctrinally—left and right, here a denomination and there a denomination—than we have staying on the course of Pauline teaching. We have allowed lost people, under the guise of “scholarship,” to take leading positions in our Bible colleges and churches. No wonder we see such spiritual confusion and ruin amongst ourselves!

Let us depart neither right nor left….

Turn Not from It! #2

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

Listen to Moses’ parting counsel to his Jewish nation: “[1] Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. [2] Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you…. [5] Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. [6] Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. [7] For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?” (Deuteronomy chapter 4). This chapter abounds with warnings!

As touching “turn not from it [the Mosaic Law]” (today’s Scripture), read these other cautioning passages directed toward Israel. “Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left(Deuteronomy 5:32). “And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deuteronomy 28:14). Decades later, Joshua’s parting words to Israel were: “Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;…” (Joshua 23:6). Yet, Israel neglected the counsel….

Bible Q&A #740: “Who was High Priest—Annas or Caiaphas?

Turn Not from It! #1

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7 KJV).

Dear readers, let us learn this vital lesson from ancient Israel’s history.

After listening to “scholars” for almost two millennia, the professing “Church” is greatly disoriented. We have had a completed Bible canon for 20 centuries—all the Word and will of Almighty God revealed—so we would expect to have more spiritual knowledge and unity among alleged “Christians.” Alas, tens of thousands of conflicting denominations all vie for the title of “the Church Jesus founded!”

When we familiarize ourselves with the Scriptures, we see rank ignorance even among God’s own people long ago. For instance, when the Apostle Paul was in his dying moments, he made the pathetic observation of 2 Timothy 1:15: “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” One of the final comments the Holy Spirit made concerning the Church the Body of Christ was that Christians in “Asia” (Asia Minor, present Turkey) had “turned away” from Pauline doctrine!

The Greek word “apostrepho” was rendered “perverteth” in Luke 23:14: “[Pontius Pilate] Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:….” Israel’s religious leaders accused Jesus of deceiving their nation, leading them away from what they claimed was the truth.

Go now to Titus chapter 1: “Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from [apostrepho] the truth.” Finally, chapter 4 of 2 Timothy: “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; And they shall turn away [apostrepho] their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

The professing “Church” began drifting from God’s truth 2,000 years ago… much like the nation Israel failed to heed the admonition in today’s Scripture….

The Horrors of Distraction!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:1-4 KJV).

If we focus on what we do in religion, we will disregard what Christ did for us at Calvary!

Recently, I listened to a former Roman Catholic nun give her testimony. From her early teens until mid-30s, she had been subjected to various strange and horrific tortures in a “cloistered” (closed, isolated) convent. Her food was but bread, water, bland soup, and an occasional glass of skim milk. As part of her “penance,” suffering for her sins, she was hung by her thumbs for several days, her toes just above the floor! She was also whipped with tiny pieces of metal attached to straps. The more blood she shed through those sufferings, the more she was allegedly becoming like Jesus Christ who shed His blood for her. Eventually, after being imprisoned in such a hopeless complex for over two decades, she escaped and found the Gospel of Grace (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)!

Most tragically, she was just one of billions so thoroughly disoriented because of false religion. Today’s Scripture—written 20 centuries ago—spoke of spiritual leaders who were dishonest, “walking in craftiness,” and using the Bible “deceitfully.” All denominations would fall under this category. While they may be sincere and polite, they are nevertheless promoting a damnable system that Satan himself uses to hide God’s truth from souls. Indeed, Hell abounds with people who were so busy working they had completely overlooked Jesus Christ’s work for them. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How are the days of Matthew 24:22 ‘shortened?’

Signs of Shallowness #7

Monday, November 18, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

Obviously, babies cannot recognize their limited condition. They are unable to understand they should eventually mature to become adults who can take care of themselves. Unfortunately, here are most professing Christians. They do not realize it, but vain religious tradition has caused their Christian lives to be dead! Only when someone shows them sound Bible doctrine do they really get a chance to see where they are. It is further tragic—and it happens more often than not—that they obstinately refuse to escape that nursery. Surely, it is easier to depend on others (preachers) than stand and fight the good fight of faith yourself (1 Timothy 6:12)!

Grow up, Christian friend, grow up! Dispensational Bible study will free you from perpetual spiritual childishness. You can be founded and stabilized in God’s Word if you so desire (Romans 16:25,26). Paul’s Gospel—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day—is the first step in edification. We see those details in Romans through Galatians. The second step to spiritual growth is “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery”—laid out in Ephesians through Colossians. Finally, God will use “the scriptures of the prophets” (all the Bible in light of Pauline doctrine) to mature us (Thessalonians).

If we ignore the Apostle Paul’s special ministry and message—like most of the Body of Christ has done for 20 centuries—we do not have a hope or prayer in the world of ever avoiding Satan’s lies. It is that serious….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did God place a curse on creation?

Signs of Shallowness #6

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:11-14 KJV).

Behold the signs of shallowness!

It was no accident the Holy Spirit moved the writer of the Book of Hebrews to employ the expression “dull of hearing” in today’s Scripture. This condition applies to Israel not only during the early to mid-Acts period, but also in Christ’s earthly ministry (Matthew 13:15) and the late Acts period (Acts 28:27). They are lazy (Greek translated “slothful” in Hebrews 6:12) when it comes to hearing the Word of God. This infirmity goes all the way back to Isaiah 6:9-10, some 700 years earlier, when Israel was not responding positively to God’s message to them. Again, the Jews had prolonged exposure to God’s words but refused to believe them, thus resulting in persistent spiritual immaturity.

Here we are, friends, almost 20 centuries since God gave mankind a completed Bible. We have yet to master it because the Church the Body of Christ has spent 99.9 percent of that time dillydallying with denominations, speculations, and hallucinations. It is a tragic commentary, but the average local church building is nothing but a nursery where spiritual children play with spiritual toys (rituals, ceremonies, singing, dancing, hand raising). Therein is an offensive, pervasive odor—people unable to control themselves (like babies with soiled diapers). They cannot function independently, requiring constant service from the preachers (who themselves likewise need tending to). Unable to make Christian decisions, they languish in worldly thoughts and deeds. Like Israel of bygone days, they too are “dull” of hearing the things of God. Spiritual truth has fallen on willfully deaf ears!

Brethren, it is high time for us to leave the spiritual nursery and grow up….