Watch Out For False Teachers

Or: How Cults Are Established

False Prophets Are The Founders Of Cults

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36 Jesus continuously warned His disciples that heretics would creep into the church; some intentionally to deceive and others unintentionally. Subsequently the Apostle Paul, John, Jude, and others warned the believers to be on their guard continually and “to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” Jude 3. Many of us remember the tragedy of the Jim Jones cult which ended in over 900 people taking their own lives because of heresy. We remember the tragedy of the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas and their charismatic leader David Koresh who persuaded many to take their own lives. Yet in light of all these tragedies, believers and non-believers continually set dates with dire results and great casualties following in their wake. Many cults of today and of the past, started as a seemingly innocent study. Consider the following… Back in 1818, a Baptist preacher named William Miller predicted that Jesus would return in the year from March 21, 1843 to March 21, 1844. Miller interpreted Daniel 8:14’s 2,300 days as 2,300 years and came to the conclusion that this was clearly the time that Jesus would return. When his prediction did not materialize and Jesus did not return, he and his followers, known as the Millerites, set one final date of October 22, 1844 as the return of Jesus Christ. With great disappointment, when this date failed to occur, Miller confessed that he was wrong and should never had set any dates. Never-the-less, the damage had been done, and it set in motion the creation of numerous cults that would spin off of his erroneous teaching. One of the groups who tenaciously followed Miller’s teachings, were a husband and wife named James and Ellen White. When the Miller’s predictions failed to come to pass, the White’s proclaimed that Jesus did actually cleanse the sanctuary on October 22, 1844, but He cleansed it in heaven, not on the earth because men had not been keeping the Sabbath. This then began the Seventh Day Adventist movement. From there, a man named Charles Taze Russell studied with the Adventists but decided to break fellowship with them as he had a disagreement about the atonement of Christ. Russell then started his own group which became the Russellites, which then became the Jehovah Witnesses. Russell, whose parents were Presbyterian Congregationalists was terrified of the doctrine of hell, so he conveniently changed the doctrine to accommodate his own fears and belief. From the Jehovah Witnesses, over 9 different cults have emanated, such as the Christadelphians. When I was a new believer, I read a seemingly innocent prophecy ad in a local newspaper. I called the number, left my address, and they said that they would send me some additional information. They did send me the information, through a personal messenger with a personal visit. As I listened intently to them, their false doctrine began to surface in the visit, and they began to try to undermine my new faith. They informed me that hell did not exist; God was limited in what He could do; etc., etc. yet the Holy Spirit inside of me was screaming, “That’s not right!!!” I went to a pastor; he showed me their errors, and it set my life on a course to know THE BOOK and to be ready always to give an answer to every man (1 Peter 3:15). The bottom line is when we intentionally or unintentionally disobey or disregard Scripture; the consequences are serious, catastrophic and affect many! May you and I know GOD’s Word, defend GOD’s Word, and share GOD’s Word! “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9)

Are You Sold Out To Jesus?

Really Sold Out, Not Just Playacting

UNWAVERING FAITH

(A True Story)

Are you sold out for Jesus? I mean really sold out? Jesus was totally sold out to His Father and we should be totally sold out to Him! Let me share with a true story of a modern-day man who was completely sold out to Jesus. Recently, a young African pastor was martyred for his unwavering faith in our LORD JESUS CHRIST. With the sentence of death upon him and his impending death imminent, he penned his own epitaph just hours before his execution. After his death and his inauguration into GLORY, the epitaph that was later found in his desk drawer:

“MY COMMITMENT AS A CHRISTIAN”

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have HOLY SPIRIT power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of HIS. I won’t look back, let down, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, cheap living and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotion, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on HIS presence, walk by patience, live by prayer, and labor by power. My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, and my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, turned back, lured away, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, negotiate at the table of the adversary, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up and preached up for the cause of CHRIST; I am a disciple of JESUS. I must go till HE comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till HE stops me. When HE comes for HIS own, HE will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear… This man was unwavering in his faith! The great theologian John Calvin once said, “Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day; set him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.” John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church said, “Set yourself on fire, and others will come to watch you burn.” I believe that God wants us “on fire” for Him! I believe He wants this type of courageous commitment to be found in every believer in every church across the globe today. If you and I have been saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, then the Bible tells us that we are ministers of the Gospel. And if we are ministers of the Gospel, the Bible tells us in Hebrews 1:7, that GOD makes his ministers “a flame of fire.” We are to be passionate about the things that matter to God. What is passion? Webster’s dictionary calls passion an “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.” What are you passionate about? What is the intense, driving, overmastering feeling or conviction in your life that you live for? Is it a job? A relationship? A sport or hobbie? Or is it to live a life completely sold-out and saturated with Jesus Christ? The apostle Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Why has the flame of passion turned into a flicker in so many Christians lives? Why has apathy and lethargy crept into many churches, especially in the western civilization? I believe it’s because many churches and believers have neglected the weightier matters, the things that matter most to God: the Word of God and the souls of men. We have let the world’s value system infiltrate the church. We’ve been sucked into the vortex of materialism. We’ve allowed much of the world to creep into the church and set the standard for the church, instead of the church setting the standard for the world. It’s like the old saying, “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything!” We’re spending more time being amused than being consumed with the things of God, and it is sucking the life out of the church. This world system is diametrically opposed to God. The Apostle Paul even warned us in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” In 1 John 2:15 -17, God’s Word tells us: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. May you and I be fiery, passionate, sold-out witnesses and ambassadors for Jesus! May we not be enamored by the world, but in radically in love with Jesus!

Heed The Warnings of Jesus Christ

Are You Heeding The Warning?

On May 18th, 1980 at 8:32 am (PDT), Mount Saint Helens instantly became the most famous, the deadliest, and the most economically destructive volcano that the United States had ever experienced. When this mammoth volcano erupted, it killed 57 people; destroyed 250 homes, and wiped out 47 bridges. Over 185 miles of highways were destroyed, not to mention the 15 miles of railway that were gone. An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused a massive avalanche reducing the mountain’s summit from 9,677 feet to 8,365 feet, and left the top of the mountain looking like a huge horseshoe crater. Living on the mountain for over 54 years was an 83 year-old man named Harry R. Truman. Harry was famous for refusing to heed the wise counsel given to him from the local authorities to evacuate. Why should he listen to these people? Harry arrogantly proclaimed that he knew more about the mountain than anyone else. Yet, despite continuous warnings and pleas from an endless array of people he refused to listen. The mountain continued to swell over a two month period of time with an incredible 80 meter bulge, seemingly trying to warn Harry of the imminent destruction to come. The hundreds of steam blast explosions were all disregarded by Harry. If this weren’t enough, Harry even defied the huge mountain saying it wouldn’t even dare to blow up on him… but it did! Harry, and all the others who ignored the all the warning signs, were buried under 600 feet of volcanic ash and material, never to be seen of or heard from again. When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, walked this earth, He repeatedly warned his hearers that unless they listened to God and heeded His warnings, they would be forever lost without hope in a place called hell. Knowing the reality of how horrendous and terrifying hell is, Jesus spoke three times more about hell than He did even that of heaven. The Bible tells us that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Further, the Bible tells us that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. If Jesus’ main priority to coming to this earth was to seek and to save that which was lost, can it be any less our priority? Throughout the scriptures, over and over again, Jesus promised that He would return to planet earth to take his true believers to be with Him forever in heaven and those who were not ready would be left behind. Just as Jesus’ first coming to earth was predicted in God’s Word, the Bible, hundreds of years before He came and all of the prophecies were fulfilled with incredible detail; we can be just as certain that his second coming will happen just as predicted in God’s Word and as Jesus himself promised. Make sure that you are not like Harry Truman . As Harry disregarded all the warnings from people and nature about his impending doom, neither should ignore God’s repeated warnings from His Son and His Word. Jesus warned us to be ready because he will come when we least expect it. May we live for Him and share Him to a lost and dying world!

Do You COEXIST?

COEXIST – a lie out of Hell

coexist-is-a-lie
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.(Colossians 2:8) You see it everywhere; especially if you’re driving down the road and staring at the back of someone’s bumper; there it is,…the bumper sticker COEXIST. The word Co-ex-ist (ko-ig-‘zist) means “to exist in mutual tolerance despite different ideologies or interests.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe…we all should just get along. Aristotle said that tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society. How can I be “tolerant” of a belief system that is completely diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus? How can I be tolerant and accept a teaching that basically calls Jesus a liar; or worse yet, declares that Jesus is nothing but a prophet, an angel, the first created of Jehovah, or an avatar? How can a Christian remain silent and be accepting of a religion or cult that strips Jesus of His deity and reduces Him to a mere man, when the Bible declares clearly that He is God manifested in the flesh, the Second Person of the Triune God? The old adage is so true, that if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. In our politically correct society, it seems that truth has fallen to the wayside. Our society is screaming out as Pilate did in John 18:38, “What is truth?” Yet, many Christians are remaining strangely silent when the Bible tells us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).The Bible tells us in Amos 3:3, “can two walk together expect they be agreed?” The answer is obvious, “NO!” Jesus said Himself that He didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). What did He mean by this? He meant that our loyalty, our love, and our life are not to be divided elsewhere, but to be completely sold out and lived for Him; standing boldly for truth! Jesus didn’t say “I am a way, a truth, a life”…He said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). The Bible tells us in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” In other words, according to Jesus and the Bible, there is no salvation in Mohammed; there is no salvation in Buddha; there is no salvation in Confucius; there is no salvation through New Age enlightenment; there is no salvation in in your church; and there’s not even salvation within yourself. There is salvation only in Jesus Christ! The Bible declares that the human race has been infected with the deadliest terminal disease known to mankind. This disease is worse than any AIDS or cancer, for those diseases will kill you physically. Sin will not only kill you physically, but worst of all, it will kill you spiritually and will send a man or woman to hell. That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Does truth matter? Absolutely!!! Can we coexist with other religions? Absolutely, if you mean to speak with them in loving concern for their souls and share the truth of the Gospel. But to be “tolerant” of or embrace false doctrines and teaching which are antithetical to our Lord and to His Holy Word, the answer is an emphatic “NO!