I’m not a scholar or a theologian, I’m just an ordinary Christian layperson , who reads the Bible and earnestly tries to understand God’s Word, and follow where God’s Word leads me. Over the years that I have been doing this, one of the realizations that slowly became clear to me and numerous others, was how God’s Holy Word stresses the importance of adhering to sound doctrine. This is not a one time mention and then onto greater and better things. Repeatedly, we are warned about false Christs, false prophets and how many will be mislead. Jesus, Paul, John, Peter and others, warn us, and yet, for some reason that I still find hard to comprehend, for far too many, this vital and totally necessary Biblical discipline to exercise discernment as it applies to adhering to sound Biblical doctrine, is given hardly a second thought.
Many will tell you that adhering to sound doctrine is important, but far fewer actually take the time to exercise Biblical discernment to validate what is and what isn’t sound Biblical doctrine.
Of course, in order to identify doctrine that is not sound, doctrine that is not validated by the whole counsel of God’s Holy Word, one needs to be very familiar with what God’s Holy Word validates as sound Biblical doctrine and then make a judgement as to whether you wish to remain under the influence of the particular current day, apostle, prophet or teacher, who teaches this false doctrine. The Apostle Paul uses the contrast between sound doctrine and unsound doctrine, as being “contrary to” in Galatians 1:6-9. And the Apostle Paul’s judgement on what would befall this teacher of false doctrine, wasn’t exactly accommodating (please read it). A tad harsh you say? Evidently the Apostle Paul didn’t think so. And the reason behind the apparent “harshness”, is because the purpose behind false doctrine is to distort or diminish the Gospel of Christ. That is the exact opposite from what God’s Holy Spirit does. Subtle isn’t it?
But here’s the thing, some Christians, just like those in Galatia, just don’t get it. Their interest doesn’t focus on testing or examining all things, exercising Biblical discernment in accordance with the whole counsel of God’s Holy Word, as to whether these things are so. Think 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Acts 17:11 , Hebrews 5:14 , or Ephesians 5:9-10. What matters to those who push aside this necessary discipline, is what interests them, what involves them, what puts them in the forefront of what they have determined, God would have them do. And those needs, those desires, will be fed with false manna by the false prophets and teachers, you can bank on it. But in order to get closer to what is continually being held out before them, more distortions and additional diminishment’s of the Gospel of Christ, will have to be accepted. You can bank on that too.
Challenge God’s Word, challenge Christ’s divinity, challenge God’s authority and control, challenge God’s purposes and guidance and offset it all, with their own. The subtly diminishes as the involvement increases. This tactic isn’t new, nor are the results. But there is a cost.
Jesus specifically warned us about many false Christs who will come in His Name that will lead many astray, during the time of the birth pains. (Matthew 24:4-8). Couple that with Matthew 7:21-23 where once again Jesus tell us all that ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Emphasis is mine.
Lawlessness refers to the abandonment of following God’s will and replacing it with our own.
So I have a question for all those well meaning Christians who chose to follow after these signs and wonders that Jesus talks about.
Where are all the false Christs and false prophets who are performing these signs and wonders?
Apparently right now, during the birth pains that we all sense we are in, there aren’t any!
All the new Christs (doing what Jesus did) and all the new prophets (leading the supernatural charge with the supernatural signs and wonders), are supposedly all valid.
So where is this multitude of (as in many) false Christs and prophets performing these signs and wonders in the name of Jesus, that Jesus was talking about?
If there is only one movement (New Apostolic Reformation) advocating these signs and wonders right now for every believer, and if I was putting myself under their leadership and teachings, I would have a tendency to really want to rethink exactly how the aforementioned denial of inclusion into God’s Kingdom of heaven, fits in with what I am doing.
Food for thought.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
An interesting and thought provoking read Bruce, thank you brother. I recently came across a new organisation (in my understanding) which appears okay called “The Last Reformation”. I soon found it was not okay though https://www.gotquestions.org/Last-Reformation.html
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Hi Alan, I know, the tentacles of distortion are spreading everywhere. Blessings Alan.
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There have been a variety of movements over just the brief course of my life that have gotten very far afield from the teachings of scripture. I whole heartedly agree that we need to be careful of anyone who wishes to validate their strange teachings by signs and wonders. That being said, I am still convinced that God does perform healings and wonders in His own way and time. The difference between the two in my humble opinion is that biblical sound teaching comes first as it did with Jesus. He taught the multitudes, sometimes for days, and the various signs, healings and wonders were acts of compassion which came afterward. God does still heal, but ministries that are based on healing are not biblically sound and seem to be more focused on fame, fortune and notoriety, than spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing, Bruce.
I agree, Pete, it’s the on-demand mentality and everyone can be like Jesus mindset that is literally sold to all who will listen, that I have a problem with. God is sovereign and yes, He still heals and indeed all things are possible with God. I’m thinking we’re saying the same thing. God’s blessings on you and yours, Pete, and thank you for taking the time to comment, always appreciated!
Good post reminding how severe God thinks of false teachings
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