Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Word of God P25 (04-05-21)
Can you spot a false teacher, or at least be alert to a red flag of the possibility of someone being a false teacher? Where do you look for truth to discern these things? The scriptures as written down through the prophets and the apostles, that we hold in our hands today. But first of all, you must be born again, having a new birth, where the Spirit of God is placed in you at the moment of that new spiritual birth. Only then do you have the mind of Christ to begin to discern truth from the word of God as you read the scriptures.
If so, allow the Holy Spirit to teach you so you are not led astray. Do not put up with any other gospel than the one the apostle Paul preached. Do you know what the apostle Paul preached? Not by what your pastor said or your denomination, but what the apostle Paul preached, that you read yourself and understood by the Spirit. So you must rely on the Spirit to reveal truth to you. He is the only one who ultimately can. Anyone else on the face of the earth could be either lying to you or teaching you error. Recall what the apostle Paul commended the people of Berea for, as being more noble than all the rest, for they diligently studied the scriptures to see if what he said was so. How? By the Old Testament scriptures they had available to them in their day. But now we have all of the scriptures, Old and New, a closed canon, and no more new revelation will be given. All that we need to know to become a child of God has been revealed and written down through the apostles. So we have much more available to us than in Paul’s day on earth.
So listen as Bob points out some red flags that help us identify a false teacher from several passages of scripture. Look at Matthew 7:21-23, Galatians 1:8-9, Revelation 22:18-19, and 2 Corinthians 11:3-4. Do they boast of miracles, that they have some special anointing from God, that in the name of Jesus, they can cast out demons, that you have to get a second baptism to be saved? Those are examples of red flags of a false prophet. Do they speak of a different Jesus than as described in the bible, on such things as discounting the virgin birth, subtracting qualities from Christ Jesus and giving them to Mary, that Jesus work on a cross was incomplete, that Jesus had intercourse with Mary, that there is another book besides the bible, such as the book of Mormon, or that an angel told you something that is contradictory with the message of the gospel the apostle Paul preached, then those are also red flags of a false prophet. And such a false prophet, according to Paul, is eternally condemned. Why would Paul say such a thing? The false gospel they preach is leading people astray, and causing people to be so entrenched in such a false religion, that it is almost impossible for them to ever get out of its clutches, out of such deception. So do not put up with any such false prophet, or tolerate any false gospel!
We are studying together the bible study series, A Closer Look at the Word of God. We are in the eighth chapter, Warnings Against False Teachers. Get in action by writing down the answer. This is how retention takes place. According to studies, you only retain ten percent of what you hear. Hear it, see it, and write it down. That is where the retention goes up to almost ninety percent retention.
The world is full of false teachers. You can easily spot false teaching with any knowledge of what the word of God says. In the old Soviet union, a window is opened to the gospel. (I say, not Bob, that Communism did not actually fall. Yes, the walls fell down, but that was pre-planned by the Communists to deceive the world. That has been proven to be so from a WorldView Weekend radio broadcast). The country could have opened up for a brief time for the gospel but Communism in Russia did not fall.
One problem with an open window is a lot of bugs get in. All kinds of groups went over to Russia to spread their wares. In retaliation for that, it may close the door for any religious group for any part of the country. That is always the case, that false teachers flood in as well when the gospel is opened up. An opportunity opens up for true Christianity to be taught on television or radio or other media, and then all the bugs fly in. False prophets always try to come in on the beach front.
False teachers existed in Paul’s day, and even false teachers in the Old Testament. But these are false teachers of the cross, whereby Christ Jesus did for us what man could never do by religion. Wherever Paul went, the false teachers went in behind to bring people back under legalism against Christ Jesus, who was truth entered into the world of false teachers. Whether they acted holy or not is not the issue. None of us are holy at all, in any shape or form. As far as God is concerned, cut out your charade. You are not fully man. We fool people with pious activities but we do not fool God at all, who knows what is going on underneath the robe or underneath the skin. Whether a robe of skin or cloth makes no difference. It is a robe, a charade. We have to understand that in this world, Christ entered into a world of false teachers. That is false teaching up against the truth of God.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Who is the source of truth? He is the teacher of truth. When Christ entered into His own, His own received Him not. Why did they not receive Him? They did not agree with His teaching. He, the living word, God, God who became flesh, the word became flesh. Here was the living word who entered into the very people He had given His written word to. First of all, in appearances in the Old Testament, solidifying that this is direct from God. He gave them the written word. All of a sudden this group of religionists became the custodians as interpreters of that word. They became the authority.
People today are presenting themselves as the authority. That is a tragedy. None of us are an authority. That is why I say on the air, “I could be lying through my teeth to you to believe anything I am saying”. The criteria for truth is not what is broadcast over the air on this program. The criteria for truth is the word of God you hold in your hands. That is the most precious commodity you have or we have access to. It is the fountain of truth. I would rather go to the fountain of truth than the fountain of youth. It is one of those things we have to understand, that we have an unbelievable privilege of going to the truth of the word of God and man is not the authority.
47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council meeting, and they were saying, “What are we doing in regard to the fact that this man is performing many signs? 48 If we let Him go on like this, all the people will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take over both our place and our nation.”
But religious leaders of that day, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, set themselves up as the custodians of the interpretation of the word of God. Anyone who did not interpret in accordance with the custodian’s interpretation became their enemy. So when the living Word came into the presence of the custodians of the interpretation of the written word and the living Word did not agree with their interpretation, the custodian of the interpretation of the written word nailed the written word to the cross and got rid of Him.
24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[Psalms 35:19; 69:4]
How could someone do that? Because of stupidity and pride saying, “No one is going to disagree with me”. There is no custodian of the interpretation of the word of God. None of us are. We are just teachers that have to teach the same way anyone has to teach, hopefully, as we have been taught by God. There are many people who have not been taught by God. They just lean on their own understanding and teach what they know. The criteria as to what you are hearing is truth or not has to be checked out with the word of God. If it does not compute, you do what a computer does with worn out software in it. You just spit it out. That is our role, to know truth that has been revealed to us by the source of truth, Christ Jesus alone. We cannot understand the word of God apart from the Spirit living in us. So being in a situation, having spiritual discernment to be able to spit out things that do not compute up against the truth of the word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:6-7
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
We have to realize the world in which we live, and as a child of God, we are living in enemy territory. As a person living in enemy territory, you are subject to, and will be attacked by every form of false teaching that is on the book. If you do not come to know the truth of the word of God, you are going to be a sitting duck for deception and for false doctrines and for things that tickle your ears, things that lead you to emotional experiences rather than reality, and that is error, and that error will, instead of setting you free, will keep you in total bondage for as long as you hang onto the error. Error puts you in bondage. Truth sets you free.
2 Timothy 4:3
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Again, let me establish some red flags. In other words, we know that the bible talks about the fact that in the last days, and the last days are everything that took place from the time Christ left until He comes again. We are in the last days (more so now than when Bob was alive)! We are to watch out for false prophets in Matthew 7:15.
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
This did not take God by surprise. There will be false prophets. There were false prophets while Christ was on the earth. There were false prophets after He left the earth. We have to realize that is part of the tribulation we are going to be in. So watch out for them. Why should we be surprised when we find them and why should we be so naive that anyone who is preaching is just a marvelous prophet? No, he says there are false ones out there. That is what enables us and requires us to go into the word of God to search things out and find one. So let us identify some red flags. I am taking these directly out of the word of God. But just because what it says in the word of God does not necessarily mean that every person teaching that is a false prophet. But it is a red flag. In other words, when you hear what I am about to read from the word of God, it is automatically to me to be a red flag to be on the lookout for. There is potential at least to be a false prophet. So he says to watch out for them.
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
The gushier you are the more a possibility that you are a ferocious wolf inside. It is like what scripture says about flattery. Watch out for flattery lips. It is not natural to be flattering people all the time. There is normally a false motive in that. So it says to watch out for sheep’s clothing. A sheep comes in cuddly clothes so sweet you can hardly stand it. So watch out inwardly for what is taking place. There is not anyone that nice. We have to understand that. When a person is presenting themselves as just about to make their ascension into heaven, then that is an absolute fraud and is a total act. There is not any of us, when we are told we are indwelt by sin, none of us are that nice.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
25 So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful flesh a slave to the law of sin.
All of us can be yucky any time that occasion occurs. A person presenting himself as someone that has such a handle on this, saying he is so holy, then you have got a false prophet. Someone who is so quiet and calm looking at you with loving eyes, then look at what is underneath the robe, for no one is that nice. Then we hear some people are sent from God. People talking about being God’s anointed. “Do not touch God’s anointed”, they say. I would not want to. I also would not want to get my finger dirty. The fact of the matter is, there is no God’s anointed. We have all been anointed by the same Holy Spirit of God, as we are told in 1 John.
1 John 1:26-27
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.
All of us anointed. There is no special anointing upon a man. A man may have a gift. We all have different gifts. A man may have a gift of evangelism, a gifted evangelist. That is a gift to the body of Christ. There are gifted pastor-teachers. There were gifted prophets. There were apostles. Those were people. The people themselves were the gifts.
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
So they were gifts to the church but to be presenting themselves as some big deal? No. Look at what happened when they bowed down to Peter. They said, “Get up for I am just a man”.
25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.
1 Corinthians 3:4-6
4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
Who are we? We are just servants. Quit worshipping at our feet. Yet, today people set themselves up as something different than the congregation out there. All of a sudden this separation took place between clergy and laity. That also is not of God. That appearance that I am some kind of a sweet sheep running around, take a look because you might have a ferocious wolf underneath.
There is another flag you have to look out for, in Matthew 7:21-23.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
That is a false prophet. I am not saying everyone who does that is a false prophet. It is a red flag when you see people emphasizing that. When you see someone prophesying in the name of God, saying, “I got this word directly from God”. You hear this all the time on television. That is a bunch of baloney. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
There is not one of those guys who have a special deal, acting like they have walked into the Holy of Holies. “Now I am coming out of there and going to you commoners to lay some wisdom on you.” That is phoney baloney. That is a false prophet. But He did say there will be prophesying in His name. When you hear people emphasizing, “I am driving out demons, slaying them in the spirit, and I am performing one miracle after another”. When you see an emphasis on miracle performing and driving out demons, I am not saying they are false prophets but put a red flag up. But the Lord says those are false prophets, saying “Away from me, you evil doers”. The Lord says, “Get away from me”, but the Christian world is saying “Come unto them”. It is amazing the attraction that type of thing has. Man today is not interested in the calm effect of being born again and being indwelt by the Spirit. We are looking for spectaculars. God free us from the spectacular. That is the absolute thing that ultimately drives people away from truth, always looking for the spectacular.
Another red flag, and we talked about these in past lessons.
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Anyone claiming that they got some kind of a message from an angel that is different from the revealed word of God, as it is in the scriptures we hold in our hands, the condemnation on them, as far as Paul was concerned, was eternal condemnation, eternally condemned. So if anyone is basing their religion on a message from an angel, you better realize something, that the judgment that Paul proclaimed upon them was not a minor judgment. It was an eternal condemnation. Those people are even worse than false prophets.
Any gospel that is preached to you and me that is different than the one Paul preached to you in the scripture is a false gospel. I believe the reason the condemnation was so severe from Paul is because of what it does to people. Whenever you get people into a false gospel and preach it and dress it up in all kinds of good looking tinsels, you have got a person deceived, many times, of no recovery. A red flag again. Anyone claiming they got their message, doctrine or bible from an angel, then realize something. God did not reveal Himself through an angel. He revealed Himself to us through His Son.
Another red flag that goes up is when anyone is adding to the bible, saying, “We got our own bible”. As it says in Revelation.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
God will take away from him his name from the book of life. He will not be in the book of life, not because of that, but the reason he is adding and subtracting from it, is because he is lost. A person saying, “I need Jesus plus this other book” is not saved. A person who thinks he is saved and says “I need Jesus, but I am going to take something away from it”, then he is not saved. If Jesus is not totally adequate in all things, then He ceases to be adequate. Anyone adding to the word of God, saying “Jesus plus and Jesus plus”. Any time you add to Jesus, you take away from Jesus. It is a red flag to look out for.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4
3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Eve was deceived. Quite frankly, a woman is much easier to be deceived than a man. A man is just openly rebellious. Eve was deceived by the serpent. Adam was just openly rebellious. We have to realize our own limitations. Women have to realize their limitations. And we men have to understand our limitations. I do not know. Sometimes people will talk about willful sin. I do not know about you, but all my sins are willful. I do believe with women, that they kind of understand that, just kind of deceived. But to most guys, 99.9 percent is just plain willful. But we have to realize that weakness. To a woman you are easily deceived. You can be led astray easily. Why? A woman was made by God to be more subjective. The feelings that it takes. They are sensitive creatures. A woman has a heart with children, and a heart of compassion. With that, you can very easily be deceived through your own compassion, that I will do anything to alleviate some suffering, and I will believe anything that will alleviate some suffering to make me feel better. That is how you get deceived. So we have to realize there is a possibility of deception especially with any kind of doctrine that is pointing to your feelings rather than to the renewing of your mind.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Corinthians 11:4
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
You are certainly going to find that in people who say that Jesus, instead of being born a virgin, that Elohim came down and had intercourse with Mary, and that is how the baby arrived, that is a different Jesus. You are saying the name Jesus, but that is not Jesus of the bible. Anyone teaching Jesus is not coming back again is not teaching the Jesus of the bible. If anyone preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preach. How can that be? If you are preaching a Jesus that was not crucified on a cross, that is not Jesus. If talking about Jesus not born of a virgin, not some Jesus that God came down to earth and had intercourse with Mary, that is not Jesus of the bible. That is a different Jesus altogether. Some people talk about Jesus who is not coming again. That is not Jesus of the bible. There are all kinds of ways to teach a different Jesus that the one teached by Paul and the apostles.
Or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received. The spirit we receive, as born again Christians is the Spirit of God. Is it possible to receive a different spirit? Yes. A spirit of deception and lies. That is possible. We live in a spiritual world. You can absolutely be indwelt by a spirit of deception if you are not born again. We need to understand that. So if it is a different spirit, and not the Holy Spirit, then not talking about the Godhead, of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Or a different gospel than the one you accepted. You put up with it easily enough. In the last days, you will hear attacks upon the real Jesus. You will hear attacks in regard to a different spirit and attacks in regard to a different gospel.
So he says to them, “You are putting up with this easily enough”. We do not need to be putting up with that type of thing. Jesus is Jesus of the bible. You take away from that, if you do not believe Jesus of the bible, and have made up your own. That Jesus could be burnt down. When taught of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God who came to live in you at spiritual birth, and not someone who came in later. As it says in Romans, that you might not be His, that if the Spirit of God does not live in you, then you do not belong to Him.
9 And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
How can you be born again unless born again of the Spirit. So people who are teaching that you are born again today and receive a spirit later, if that is the case, then you have received a different spirit than the one the bible talks about. That is not the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes to live in you at spiritual birth, otherwise you are not born again. So what spirit did you receive back there? I do not know, but it is not the Spirit of the bible. Could you receive some other kind of spirit? Yes, you could. It is a spirit of deception but it is not the Holy Spirit. There is no way to be born again today and receive the Spirit of God tomorrow. When you are born again, which is birth, that is the imputation of life, that life comes to you when Christ, who is life, comes to live within you through the person of the Holy Spirit. So is it possible to talk about a different spirit? Yes, it is. Can you call it by the same name? Yes, you could. But it is a false representation. A different gospel is a different gospel.
What is a different gospel? A different gospel that the way you are saved is joining my church. That is a false gospel. The way to be saved is by being dunked in water. That is a false gospel. That is not the gospel Paul preached.
1 Corinthians 1:14-17
14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
When you are preaching that in the gospel is baptism, you are preaching a false gospel because that is not true. There are many different gospels. It says you put up with it easily enough. “Oh, well everybody has their own viewpoint.” I am sorry. Your viewpoint is totally irrelevant. What I think about something is totally irrelevant. What my denomination thinks about something is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is, is it true? Is it true out of the word of God? Are you going to take something out of the totality of teaching of the word of God or are you going to cherry pick some scripture verses out of the bible and make a doctrine out of it?
Let us go onto Matthew 24 and Luke 17. Another red flag about false prophets. We see these types of things going on today.
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.