To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear?Jeremiah 6:10
Behold, their ears are uncircumcised so they cannot listen;
behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them,
and they have no delight in it.
It has been over twelve years since the Lord first opened my eyes to the truths of His word contained on these pages. So significant to me were they that, in spite of having recently been ordained after spending eight years preparing for the full-time Christian ministry, they led me and my family to leave what most people think of as the Church.
I no longer believe that what is taught in most churches today, even conservative evangelical churches, is the true gospel found in God’s word. Rather, I believe that in fulfillment of the Scriptures there has been a great apostasy or falling away from the faith (2 Thes 2:3) as people have turned their ears away from the truth to myths that are more pleasing to their flesh. Paul warned that the time would come “when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim 4:3-4). I believe that that time is now fully upon us. He also warned that because these have no real love for the truth that could save them, that God Himself would send upon them a strong and deluding influence so that they might believe the lie, “that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess 2:10-12). I believe that these things have now come to pass, and that the lie which God has given men over to believe is the lie described in this paper which Satan and his brood of false prophets have always proclaimed, a lie which man’s carnal flesh has always wished could be true. For this reason, I also believe that unless one has a sincere love for the truth he can never be saved, but must perish in this delusion.
In light of what is commonly proclaimed as the truth in so many churches today, the teaching contained in this paper may seem quite incredible and contrary to what the reader has previously been taught. At one time it also seemed so to me. And yet as you read its contents you will notice that the great portion of it is direct quotations from the Bible. I have found it hard to argue with the plain meaning of Scripture, and have therefore endeavored as much as possible to let the word of God speak for itself. In making use of so many passages of Scripture, I have also tried to be faithful to the contexts from which they are taken. If in any manner I have failed in this regard, or at any place have missed the plain meaning of Scripture, the reader is asked to heed the admonition of James 5:19-20 and in a spirit of Christian charity to point out to me my error, lest I be deceived, and perhaps deceive others. For this I would be eternally grateful. Otherwise, the reader is encouraged to carefully examine the Scriptures as a noble Berean to see if these things are so (Acts 17:13), in order that your faith may be established upon the sure hope of the truth of God’s word rather than upon the false hope of the traditions of men.
May God bless to your hearing the reading of these words.
December 31, 2002
Today’s Darkness Concerning False Prophets
Nowhere is the famine of hearing the word of the Lord (Amos 8:11) more evident than in the silence and perversion of what is one of the most clear and repeated teachings of Scripture: false prophets and false security. The Scriptures warn us over and over and over again about false prophets, and yet because of the deep darkness of our day we are led to believe that such words couldn’t possibly refer to anyone we know and must refer only to a time and people long ago. The reason for this is clear: these are towerous strongholds of Satan. And they have come to literally permeate the religious structures of our day so that what is the clear and obvious truth of Scripture has been completely perverted and ignored. That such a thing should happen is in fulfillment of exactly what the Scriptures foretold would take place. For it is a part of Satan’s activity that has come with all the deception of wickedness against those who perish. They perish because they have refused to love the truth and so be saved. Indeed, God Himself has sent this powerful delusion so that they might believe the lie and so that all those may be condemned who do not believe the truth but in their hearts take pleasure in wickedness (2 Thess 2:9-12).
The Nature of a False Prophet is Religious
Throughout Scripture the teaching about false prophets is very clear and simple. Of first importance we must understand that a false prophet appears to be very religious and even godly. For,
Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15, NIV
On the outside a false prophet looks just like an innocent sheep (see Mt 7:15). He (or she) knows all the religious lingo, is dressed very respectably and is well liked in his community. For he has built himself a reputation among the “devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city” (Acts 13:50) and he has credentials, having probably been to seminary. Most importantly he is completely sincere and will look a person right in the eye and tell him how much he loves him and cares for him. For he is a blind guide (Mt 15:14, 23:16, Lk 6:39). He is deceived even as he is deceiving others (2 Tim 3:13). A false prophet doesn’t know he is a false prophet, for the very nature of deception precludes him from knowing he is deceived. He sincerely believes, just like the Pharisees did who put Jesus to death, that he is helping God out. But as the Scriptures repeatedly warn us,
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
See to it that no one misleads you….For many false prophets will arise and will mislead many….False prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock….For I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 Peter 2:1
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and reprobate for any good deed.
False Prophets Love Their Flesh More Than They Love God
Throughout Scripture, false prophets are described as those who love pride, greed and selfish ambition. They are those who have not died to the sinful desires of the flesh but live to indulge them. Because they love the approval of men more than the approval of God they are careful not to offend anyone with the truth of God’s word. Instead they tickle the ears of their hearers with teachings that are more appealing to their carnal desires (2 Tim 4:3). In this way they are esteemed by the people and so gratified in their pride, rewarded by the people and so satisfied in their greed, and given preference by the people and so fulfilled in their selfish ambition.
They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out (of the ark), in order that you may seek them (instead of seeking Jesus).
Israel’s watchmen are blind (and as watchmen they lead the blind), all of them know nothing. All of them are dumb dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; and the dogs are greedy (for the souls of men), they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.
And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned (just as it is today); and in their greed they will exploit you with false words… They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions while they feast with you (on the word of God). With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning (those who profess to be the bride of Christ but play the harlot with the world commit adultery against God); they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood (of vipers)! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
2 Peter 2:2-3,13-15, NASB, NIV
Balaam the Epitome Of a False Prophet
Let us carefully note the significance that Balaam, who from the narrative found in Numbers 22-24 has every appearance of being a true servant of God, should be upheld as the epitome of a false prophet (see also Jude 1:11). Outwardly he was a sheep, even refusing Balak’s money to curse the Israelites and blessing them instead. But inwardly he was a ravenous wolf who out of greed desired in his heart to help Balak for the worldly riches he could earn. So being prevented by God from cursing them and caused to give a blessing instead (Josh 24:9-10) he counseled Balak to lead the people of God into sin so that God Himself would destroy them (Num 31:16, Rev 2:14, Num 25). In doing so he did what all false prophets before and after him have done thus making him the epitome of a false prophet: He surrendered the people of God to sin out of greed for the worldly gain such would bring. Those today who dilute the choice wine of the word of God so as to not offend the tithers who pay their salary and the building payment are no different than Balaam. And just like Balaam they are deceived that because they speak blessings over God’s people they are a true servant of God.
False Prophets Walk in a Form Of Godliness and Proclaim a Lie
Let us then understand very clearly that a false prophet claims to speak for God and has an outward appearance of godliness. He looks like a sheep and just like his father the devil can quote the Bible and teach even Jesus Himself what it should say (see Lk 4:9-11). But like his father he is very selective in his teaching. He will not teach the whole counsel of God, for there are too many things that might upset the flesh of those upon whom he depends to satisfy his pride, greed and selfish ambition. The inherent danger of a false prophet to one who is sincerely seeking God is that he will not correct him if he is wrong but only tell him what he wants to hear and leave out anything that might offend his flesh. For indeed, he proclaims the very message Satan has had for all time and which he used to deceive Eve. It is the message that pleases the sinful flesh and that vast multitudes of people who are on the broad road to destruction would love to be true: that men can sin against God and not surely die.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
Genesis 3:1-4, NIV
The Age-Old Lie Of The Devil And His False Prophets
Here is the lie of the devil and the lie of his brood of vipers, the false prophets. It is the lie that has permeated all of religious history and even today, still today, indeed today more than ever, permeates nearly every religious body: that men can continue in their stiff-necked stubborn rebellion against God and not reap the wages of their sin which is death.
Thus says the Lord concerning the (false) prophets who lead my people astray; when they have something to bite with their teeth (something to please their flesh), they cry “Peace (and safety, cf. 1 Thess 5:3)”, but against him who puts nothing in their mouths (who will not support them in their lie with their tithes and offerings), they declare holy war (they condemn the innocent as having forsaken God)… Now hear this, heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel (preachers), who abhor justice and twist everything that is straight, who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with violent injustice (they seek to establish God’s kingdom according to the fleshly ways of man instead of by righteousness). Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, her priests instruct for a price, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord saying, “Is not the Lord in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us.” (They have a false security that in spite of their sin God will protect them in the day of His wrath.)
Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem (what is called the Church today), look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, then I will forgive this city. Although they say, “As surely as the Lord lives,” still they are swearing falsely. (They walk in a form of godliness and pretend to be servants of God.)
O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent (because they had a false security that they were saved from the wrath of God and all the evil that was upon them couldn’t possibly be His judgment, cf. also Rev 16:9-11). I thought, “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God. So I will go to the leaders (the preachers and teachers) and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds (for they too had a false security). Therefore a lion from the forest (Satan) will attack them, a wolf from the desert (false prophet) will ravage them, a leopard (the powers of darkness) will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many….
They have lied about the Lord; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. (They have a false security that despite all their sin God will not punish them.)…
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
Jeremiah 5:1-6,12,31, NIV
False Prophets Give a False Security
As we have already begun to see from the above passages the inevitable result of the false prophets’ message is a false security in the hearts of those they deceive. They are duped by their lie to believe that they are saved from the wrath of God although they walk after the stubbornness of their hearts.
From the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. And they have healed the brokenness of My people (which is sin) superficially, saying “Peace, peace,” (i.e., they were telling the people they have peace with God although they walk in the stubbornness of their heart) but there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination (which causes desolation, cf. Jer 9:12-16) they have done? They were not even ashamed at all, they did not even know how to blush.
A False Security Will Not Save a Corrupt Temple
Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah (all you who claim to be true sons of Abraham and heirs of God’s promise for salvation) who enter by these gates (of the Lord’s house, what people today call church) to worship the Lord! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is (or “they are”) the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ (They have a false security that God will not destroy the temple, what people today call church.) If you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless, or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.
“Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words (doctrines of demons) to no avail. Will you steal (in secret), murder (in your heart), and commit adultery (with the world, cf. James 4:4), and swear falsely (on your income tax return), and offer sacrifices (of service) to Baal (the god of this age), and walk after other gods that you have not known (like Materialism, Capitalism, Humanism, and a plethora of other -isms), then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name (what people call church), and say, “We are delivered!” (because you have a false security that you can thus sin against God and still be saved)—that you may do all these abominations (which cause desolation)? Has this house, which is called by My name (what people call church), become a den of robbers (a habitation of thieves, who come to kill and steal and destroy) in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord.
“But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel (see 1 Samuel 4:2-4,10-11,22-22). And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name (what people call church today), in which you trust (i.e. have a false security), and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh (i.e. as His Presence left Israel when He gave them over to the Philistines and the ark of the Covenant was captured and carried away, so shall His Spirit depart from the temple in which they falsely trust, cf. Ez 10:18,19, 11:22,23). And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim (who loved the flesh more than they loved God).”
Israel’s False Security An Example For the Church
Thus says the Lord, “Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn away and not repent? Why then has this people, Jerusalem (what people call church today), turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return (cf. again Rev 16:9-11). I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right; no man repented of his wickedness, saying ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his course, like a horse charging into the battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration; but My people do not know the ordinance of the Lord.
“How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? (How can you say you are a Bible-believing church?) But behold, the lying pen of the scribes (the theologians) has made it into a lie (for rather than being led by the Holy Spirit of God they are being led by deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Tim 4:1). The wise men are put to shame, they are dismayed and caught (in the snare of the devil, cf. 2 Tim 2:26); behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what kind of wisdom do they have? (Satan’s.) Therefore I will give their wives to others (divorce), their fields (their hearts and souls, where the seeds are sown, cf. Matt 13:19f) to possessing ones (Satan and the powers of darkness); because from the least even to the greatest everyone is greedy for gain; from the prophet even to the priest everyone practices deceit. And they heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace (though you walk in the stubbornness of your hearts),’ but there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination (which causes desolation) they had done? They certainly were not ashamed, and they did not know how to blush (for they have a harlot’s forehead, cf. Jer 3:3, Is 3:9, Zeph 3:5); therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time of their punishment they shall be brought down,” declares the Lord.
“I will surely snatch them away,” declares the Lord (Here is the true nature of the “rapture” which so many await today, cf. Amos 5:18-20); “there will be no grapes on the vine, and no figs on the fig tree (the peaceful fruit of righteousness shall not be found in her), and the leaf shall wither (cf. Ps 1:1-6, Jer 17:5-8); and what I have given them (the land of promise which represents the kingdom of God and salvation) shall pass away (it shall be given by God to the king of Babylon who represents Satan and the powers of darkness, see Is 14:4-15, and thus the possessors shall become the possessed).”
Why are we (who are about to be “raptured”) sitting still (i.e., at ease in Zion, cf. Amos 6:1)? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities, and let us perish there, because the Lord our God has doomed us and given us poisoned water to drink (this is the lie, the perverted doctrines of demons to which God has given them over to believe), for we have sinned against the Lord. We waited for peace (because they had a false security), but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror (just as Jesus also foretold, cf. Mat 24:37-44)! From Dan is heard the snorting of his (the king of Babylon’s) horses; at the sound of the neighing of his stallions the whole land quakes; for they come and devour the land and its fulness, the city and its inhabitants.
“For behold, I am sending serpents against you (the false prophets who have themselves believed the lie of the original serpent and thus become a brood of vipers), adders (who have paid attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons), for which there is no charm, and they will bite you (and their poison will make those who are at ease in Zion believe a lie, with which contrast Mark 16:18),” declares the Lord.
The Poisoned Water Of The Word of God And The Wormwood of False Doctrine
Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land (of inheritance which represents the kingdom of God) ruined, laid waste like a desert (i.e. a desolation), so that no one passes through? And the Lord said, “(It is) because they have forsaken My law which I set before them (as a feast), and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals (the gods of this age, the powers of darkness, the man of lawlessness who leads the people into lawlessness), as their fathers taught them.” Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood (a deluding influence, cf. Rev 8:10-11) and give them poisoned water (doctrines of demons) to drink.”
My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion, and your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress (the false prophets who claim to be the Bride of Christ but have prostituted themselves with the world) drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death (hell), her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not (she is deceived even as she is deceiving others).
The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the (spiritual) rivers and on the springs of (spiritual) water—the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the (spiritual) waters turned bitter and many people died from the waters that had become bitter (i.e. poisoned).
Revelation 8:10-11, NIV
No Peace and Safety For The Wicked, Regardless Of What The False Prophets Preach
The Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering (i.e. come into the temple, what people today call church, to worship), I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword (of the king of Babylon, Satan), famine (of hearing the true word of the Lord, Amos 8:11-13) and pestilence (the wasting diseases, cancers and tumors promised in Deuteronomy 28 and affirmed throughout the Scriptures for covenant disobedience).
But, “Ah Lord God!” I said, “Look, the (false) prophets (preachers) are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.’” (This is the message of the false prophet: “God will give you peace though you walk in the stubbornness of your heart”. So great is this deception that even when the judgment of God is all over them, they still believe that they are saved from the wrath of God and will not repent of their sins. Confer again Rev 16:8-11.)
Then the Lord said to me, “The (false) prophets (preachers) are prophesying (preaching) falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying, ‘There shall be no sword or famine in this land’—by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! The people also to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out (from the Lord’s feast in the kingdom of God, cf. Matt 8:12, 22:13, Luk 13:28) into the streets of Jerusalem (into the spiritual darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth) because of the famine (of hearing the true word of the Lord, cf. the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matt 25) and the sword (of the king of Babylon, Satan); and there will be no one to bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters—for I shall pour out their own wickedness on them.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for (regardless of what false prophets might say) whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Woe to the False Prophets
“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord.
As for the prophets (preachers): My heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine, because of the Lord and because of His holy words. For the land is full of adulterers (cf. James 4:4, 1 Jn 2:15-17); for the land mourns because of the curse (cf. Dt 28:15-68). The pastures of the wilderness have dried up (a famine of hearing the true word of the Lord, cf. Amos 8:11-13). Their course also is evil, and their might is not right. “For both prophet and priest (preacher and teacher) are polluted; even in My house (what is supposed to be the Church) I have found their wickedness,” declares the Lord. “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; for I shall bring calamity upon them, the year of their punishment,” declares the Lord.
“Moreover, among the prophets (preachers) of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: They prophesied (preached) by Baal (the god of this age) and led My people Israel astray. Also among the prophets (preachers) of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers (by giving them a false security that they are saved from the wrath of God though they walk in the stubbornness of their hearts), so that no one has turned back from his wickedness (just like it is today). All of them have become to Me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah. Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets (preachers), ‘Behold I am going to feed them wormwood (a deluding influence) and make them drink poisonous water (doctrines of demons), for from the prophets (preachers) of Jerusalem (what is today called church) pollution has gone forth into all the land.’” (Because of their unfaithfulness, God sends upon the false prophets a “deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness”, 2 Thess 2:11-12).
Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the (false) prophets (preachers) who are prophesying (preaching) to you. They are leading you into futility (down the broad road to destruction); they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”’; and as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’ (This is the message of the false prophet.) But who has stood in the council of the Lord, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened? Behold, the storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest; it will swirl down on the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; in the last days you will clearly understand it. I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds. (This is what a true servant of God does.)
False Prophets Whitewash A False Wall of Security But Neglect The True Wall
Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the (false) prophets (preachers) of Israel (what people today call church) who prophesy (preach), and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration (rather than from the inspiration of His Spirit), ‘Listen to the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the foolish prophets (preachers) who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing (and understood nothing about the word of God by which they claim to be enlightened). O Israel (what is today called church), your prophets (preachers) have been like foxes (wild beasts of the field which are a type of Satan and the powers of darkness) among ruins (a desolation). You have not gone up into the breaches (in your wall of security), nor did you build the wall (of true security) around the house of Israel (what people today call church) to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord (which is a day of judgment). They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying ‘The Lord declares,’ when the Lord has not sent them (they preach in the name of the Lord as if they are led by His Spirit, but all their words are a vain jangling, 1 Tim 1:6, KJV); yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word (they are led not by the Spirit of God but by wishful thinking). Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, ‘The Lord declares,’ but it is not I who have spoken?”’”
Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Because you have spoken falsehood and seen a lie (as if it were the true word of the Lord), therefore behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord God. “So My hand will be against the prophets (preachers) who see false visions and utter lying divinations (who speak what is false as if it was God who sent them). They will have no place in the council of My (true) people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel (the Lamb’s book of life), nor will they enter the land of Israel (the inheritance of the true sons which represents the kingdom of God and salvation), that you may know that I am the Lord God. (Here is the nature of the false visions and lying divinations the false prophets have seen:) It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace! (though you walk in the stubbornness of your hearts)’ when there is no peace (for a man reaps what he sows and the wages of sin is death). And when anyone builds a wall (a religious system whose foundation is a false doctrine of demons) behold, they plaster it over with whitewash (they give the wall-builders a false security that their wall will protect them in the day of God’s wrath); so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash (who give the people a false security that they will be saved), that it will fall. A flooding rain will come (just like in the days of Noah, Mt 24:37), and you, O hailstones, will fall (Rev 16:21); and a violent wind will break out (cf. again Jer 23:19, and also Jer 25:32 and 30:23). Behold, when the wall (of false security) has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the plaster with which you plastered (what has become of all your false words)?’” Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “I will make a violent wind break out in My wrath. There will also be in My anger a flooding rain and hailstones to consume it in wrath. So I shall tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation (the false doctrine) is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst (regardless of your false security by which you think you are saved). And you will know that I am the Lord. Thus I shall spend My wrath on the wall (the false religious system, cf. Rev 18) and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash; and I shall say to you, ‘The wall is gone and its plasterers are gone, along with the prophets (preachers) of Israel (what is today called church) who prophesy to Jerusalem (the city of God) and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ declares the Lord God.
Female False Prophets
Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the women who sew bands (they weave a lie) on all wrists (to make men slaves to sin), and make veils for the heads of every stature (so they cannot see the truth) to hunt down souls! Will you hunt down the souls of My people, but preserve the souls for yourselves? And for handfuls of barley and fragments of bread (greed), you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.”
Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against your bands (the lying words which their father the serpent first used as a snare) by which you hunt souls there as flying ones (i.e. in the same way the powers of darkness hunt souls, cf. Matt 13:4,19, Rev 19:17-18), and I will tear them off your arms; and I will let them go, even those souls whom you hunt as flying ones. I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, and they will no longer be in your hands to be hunted; and you will know that I am the Lord. Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief, but have encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked way and preserve his life (this is result of the false prophet’s message), therefore, you women will no longer see false visions or practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the Lord.”
Ezekiel 13:18-23, literal
False Prophets and False Security In the Old and New Testaments
We have seen thus far what is the plain and repeated teaching throughout the Old Testament about false prophets. Out of greed to satisfy their pride and selfish ambition they proclaim the same message their father the devil has proclaimed from the beginning. It is a message that pleases the flesh of false sons who in their outward form of godliness are more than willing to pay the false prophet to tell them what they want to hear (cf. 2 Tim 4:3-4). And the result is a false security that they are saved from the wrath of God although they walk in the stubbornness of their hearts. We have already begun to see that the New Testament also warns us about false prophets. Let us continue there to see that it bears witness to everything we have learned in the previous passages from the Old Testament.
The False Security of The Pharisees and Sadducees
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!’” … (Here is John preparing the way for Jesus:) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (the church bosses of that day) coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers (sons of the serpent), who warned you to flee from the wrath to come (considering that you have a false security that you are already saved from God’s wrath)? Therefore bring forth fruit (of true righteousness) in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’ (this is their false security); for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. (If all God wanted was their religious lip service He could raise up inanimate stones). And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down (by the tree cutters, Satan; cf. Isa 14:8, 12-13) and thrown into the fire.”
Matthew 3:1-3, 7-10
The False Security Of Those Who Will Try to Enter
Someone said to Jesus, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you will seek to enter (having a false security) and will not be able. Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ (notice these are religious people) then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and You taught in our streets’ (they had a false security that they would be allowed to enter); and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the (true) prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.
The False Security of Some Jews Who “Believed” in Jesus
Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You shall become free’?” (They have a false security that they are already free.) Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin (and is not free). And the slave does not remain in the house (of the Father) forever; the (true) son does remain forever. If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s (physical) offspring; yet you seek to kill Me (in your hearts), because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father (the devil).” They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham (cf. Gen 26:3-5). But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me (with your tongues), a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father (the devil).” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God (they have a false security that they are children of God).” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word (for the wormwood of their carnal doctrines which they had come to believe prevented them from hearing it). You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. (Notice how Jesus sugar-coated everything so He wouldn’t offend anyone.) He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” … (When Jesus had finished speaking to them,) they (who in verse 30 had come to “believe” in Him) picked up stones to throw at Him.
Paul Warns of False Prophets Who Were Already In the Church
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock….I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.
I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness (by telling her she could sin against God and not surely die), your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one (like a false prophet or false apostle) comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached (a false Jesus), or you receive a different spirit which you have not received (a false spirit), or a different gospel which you have not accepted (a false gospel), you bear this beautifully. For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles (those who make a show of spirituality in the flesh, who walk in a form of godliness). But even if I am unskilled in speech (unlike the eloquent false prophets who tickle the ears of the people), yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things. Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge (unlike the false prophets whose motivation was their remuneration)? Such men are false apostles (preachers), deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles (ministers) of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
2 Corinthians 11:3-7,13-15
“Peace and Safety”
You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they (who have a false security) are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
Jude Warns of False Prophets Who Turn the Grace of God Into A License to Sin
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all (there is only one true faith) delivered to the saints (the holy ones). For certain persons (false prophets) have crept in unnoticed (because they have a form of godliness), those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into a license for sin (just as we see happening today) and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (cf. Tit 1:16 for how)….
Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain (man’s religion, for Cain was the first to offer God the work of his own hands), and for pay (greed) they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah (who like all other false prophets said “All the congregation are holy”, Num 16:3, although they walked after the stubbornness of their hearts). These men are those who are hidden reefs (waiting to shipwreck your faith, cf. 1 Tim 1:19) in your love feasts when they feast with you (on the word of God) without fear (of the wrath of God), caring for themselves (selfishness); clouds without water, carried along by winds (of doctrines, Eph 4:14); autumn trees without fruit (no holiness and righteousness), twice dead (once in their original sin, then a second time when, after washing, they go back to “wallowing in the mire”, 2 Pet 2:22), uprooted (Matt 15:13); wild waves of the sea (Lk 21:25, Eph 4:14), casting up their own shame like foam (they don’t even know how to blush because they have a harlot’s forehead); wandering stars (planets, from the Greek word planao, “to deceive”), for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
And about these also Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage (false prophets tell the people what they want to hear and what pleases their flesh so they will be rewarded by them).
But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time (today) there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded (they walk, talk and act like the world), devoid of the Spirit (while at the same time they believe that God’s Spirit will never leave His temple).
Jude 3,4, 11-19
False Prophets And False Security Today
Today we find that it is no different than it has ever been and is just as the Scriptures said it would be. For like the many we’ve just read about who walked in a form of godliness in the days of Jeremiah and in the days of Jesus so is there a vast multitude today who have a false security that they shall be saved from the wrath of God because they have been deceived by the false words of a false prophet. They are taught by the false prophets of our own day that salvation is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4—just say some words and shake hands with a preacher. Little or no mention is made of the holiness of God and the need for repentance. Rather, they are told to never doubt their salvation, and taught that because they prayed the sinner’s prayer they have validated their free ticket to heaven and are no longer under the law that holds one accountable for his sins, but under God’s grace that forgives them for all of their sins: past, present and future. In this way they are deceived to believe that they can continue to serve sin as their master with no consequence to their salvation, for God’s grace covers it and they are saved for all eternity and cannot lose their salvation.
The Law and the True Gospel of God’s Grace
To clearly understand that this message is no different from what false prophets have always proclaimed, let us carefully consider what the word of God teaches us to be the true Gospel. To begin, we must come to understand the proper relationship between law and grace, a concept completely ignored in today’s harlot Church. It is clear that a proper understanding of the law is essential to understanding the gospel. For Jesus plainly said that He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17). And to the rich young ruler who inquired what he must do to obtain eternal life, He said, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt 19:17). To the Pharisees He said,
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it (without obeying the Law and the Prophets). But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail. Everyone who divorces his wife (the one with whom he has entered into the covenant of marriage, which typifies the covenant God enters into with His people, the terms of which are the Law and the Prophets) and marries another (makes covenant with the whore of Babylon, who represents all the false religion of the world that has been promoted by false prophets throughout history) commits adultery; and he who marries (joins himself in covenant to) one who is divorced from a husband (the harlot Church who has been given a certificate of divorce because she forsook her first love and committed adultery with the world by not obeying the Law and the Prophets) commits adultery.
Paul writes that in no way is the law nullified through faith, but rather it is established (Rom 3:31). He states plainly that although as a servant of Christ he is not under the law of the Jews, neither is he without the law of God (1 Cor 9:20-21). He also writes that the law is for anything contrary to the sound doctrine of the gospel (1 Tim 1:9-11) and those who do not obey the gospel will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess 1:8-9). How then are we to understand Paul’s words that those who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer under law but under grace (Rom 6:14) and that we are saved entirely by grace through no works of our own (Eph 2:8-9)? What is the relationship between the law and grace?
The Law Makes Us Conscious Of Sin, But Has No Power To Deliver Us From Sin
Let us first realize that “the law” refers primarily to the law of Moses as written in the Pentateuch, especially the ten commandments (see Dt 4:13, 5:1-22), but also, by extension, to all of God’s commandments to us. Let us also realize that although the ritual of the Mosaic law passes away in Christ Jesus, all the moral principle of the law remains. For we are still commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, upon which depends the whole law (Matt 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28, cf. Matt 19:16-19).
But all that the law says, it says to the sinful flesh of man. For the “law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless” (1 Tim 1:9). Let us understand that the purpose of the law is to condemn our sinful flesh as wicked and in opposition to God. It shows us how far short we fall of the glory of God. For “through the law we become conscious of sin” and “I would not have known what sin was except through the law” (Rom 3:20, 7:7). The law condemns us before God and teaches us that “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14, NIV). And yet the law makes no provision for the sinful flesh as for how we can truly walk in righteousness. For “no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law” (Rom 3:20, NIV). Rather, “the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ” (Gal 3:24, NIV). For in Christ is found a righteousness apart from the law (Rom 3:21).
False Prophets Use the Law To a Different End
The purpose of the law, then, is to make us conscious of our sins and our need for a Savior, to the end that we are led to Christ. For in Christ alone is found the resurrection power through which one may be born again into a newness of life to walk in His righteousness, free from the control of sin. However, because false prophets want to appear righteous without actually being righteous, i.e., to have a form of godliness, but not true godliness, they use the law to a different end. Because their hearts are not right and they love their cursed nature more than they love God, they are unwilling to crucify their carnal flesh. They will not allow the law to drive them to the cross to die to their sins, and so they do violence to the law (cf. Zeph 3:4) and use it, instead, like so many fig leaves, to try and cover their nakedness before God. They turn the righteous and holy law of God into the commandments and teachings of men—rules that speak to that outer part of them which the world sees, but with little or no regard for the inner part that God sees. As a result, they appear to be very religious and godly on the outside. But on the inside they have had no real change of heart and are full of all hypocrisy and greed; they are only white washed sepulchres full of dead men’s bones (cf. Matt 23:27-28). They purport to be teachers of the law and boast in God, confident that they are a guide to the blind and a light to those who are in darkness, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth (Rom 2:17-20). And yet they have no understanding about “what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions” (1 Tim 1:7).
True Religion Is Religion Of The Heart, And It Leads One To Christ to Be Justified By Faith
If we are ever to truly experience God’s salvation and inherit eternal life, then we must come to understand that true religion is religion of the heart. This is the message of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. It isn’t enough to not murder our neighbor with a spear; for if we are even angry with him in our heart we are guilty of murder (Matt 5:22). And it isn’t enough to not commit a literal act of adultery; for if we should even look lustfully upon a woman we have already committed adultery with her in our heart (Matt 5:28). One who possesses a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5) will understand when confronted by the law that he is a sinner and that there is something fundamentally wrong with the very core of his being which will always prevent him from fully obeying God’s law with all his heart. And yet, because he has a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith, he believes, trusts, has faith in God that God will provide a means of salvation. And so he is led to Christ, the end of the law, so that he may be justified, declared righteous, by faith. He is led to Christ because he realizes that he himself could never fulfill God’s law, but that Christ Himself is one who did. He would like in some way to identify with Christ so as also to be able to fulfill God’s law. And so he is “buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, [he] too may live a new life” (Rom 6:4, NIV). It is in this way that we enter into the new covenant God promised His people through the prophet Jeremiah:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.“
Our New Life in Christ
This new life in Christ is a life no longer sold into slavery to the old master of sin so as to not be able to obey God’s law. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Rom 6:6-7, NIV, cf. Gal 5:24). Indeed, he is no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness (Rom 6:18). And having been set free from sin to become God’s slave, the benefit reaped leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. It is in this way that we receive the gift of God that is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:22-23). Eternal life is found only through holiness. The gift of God—and here is the true nature of the grace by which we are saved—is that through Jesus Christ and the power of the resurrection we can now be holy, because in identifying with Christ we die to sin and are resurrected to live in righteousness. This new power to live in holiness in a way we never could in the flesh is exactly the power of the Holy Spirit (who makes us holy). For as we are baptized in/with water physically (to identify with Christ’s death and resurrection), so are we baptized in/with the Holy Spirit spiritually (cf. 1 Cor 12:13). As the physical water cleanses our physical body, so does the Holy Spirit cleanse our soul through the washing of the water of the word of God*. And so,
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4, NIV
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Those Who Are In Christ Are Not Under The Law, But The Law is Still in Effect
Let us then carefully understand that if we are being obedient to the sound doctrine of the gospel, then we are not breaking the law and are righteous (1 Tim 1:9-11). It is in this way that those who truly belong to Christ Jesus are not under the law (Rom 6:15-16). They are not under the law because they are not breaking the law. They are not breaking the law because they are suffering in the flesh and dying to the old man of sin so as to share in the resurrection power of God that raised Christ from the dead and that raises them to a new life of righteousness in Christ so they can truly walk in love and so fulfill the law of God (cf. 1 Pet 4:1-2, Eph 4:17-24, and Rom 13:9-10).
But let us also understand that if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves are found to be sinners, then we are back under the law and the law condemns us. For the law is made for sinners (1 Tim 1:9), and Christ is by no means a minister of sin. Rather, “If I rebuild what I have once destroyed (i.e., our sin nature), I prove myself to be a transgressor” (Gal 2:17-18). Indeed, let us note that those who would come to Christ to be His bride without first dying to the old man of sin are called adulteresses. We can’t be the Bride of Christ until the old man of the flesh dies.
Or do you not know, brethren—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband (the old man of sin) while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband (the old man of sin) is living, she is joined to another man (to Christ), she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
God’s People Are Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge
The knowledge of this relationship between the law and the gospel has been completely lost in today’s harlot churches, with the result that,
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest (cf. 1 Pet 2:9). Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame (but they won’t even know how to blush)…. For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray (and they have a harlot’s forehead), and they have played the harlot, departing from their God.
The True Nature of God’s Grace That Saves Us
Now that we better understand the law of the Lord we are able to better understand the true nature of the grace by which we are saved. We have already seen that Jude warns us of pretenders who would change the grace of our God into a license for sin (Jude 4). In contrast to this perverted grace of the false prophets is the true grace of God:
For the (true) grace of God that brings salvation (and not just a false security) has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright (righteous) and godly lives (as opposed to a form of godliness) in this present age (not just in the age to come) while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:11-14, NIV
For by (true) grace you have been saved through faith (the faith of Abraham, who left his home in this world to follow God into the land of promise which typifies the kingdom of God—righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Rom 14:17); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works (of the flesh, but of God’s Spirit), that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.
Colossians 1:6, NIV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (i.e. when our flesh tempts us to sin, when we are “dragged away and enticed” by our own evil desires, James 1:14).
Hebrews 4:15-16, NIV
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and godly fear.
Hebrews 12:28, literal
Salvation Is Entirely By God’s Daily Grace, Which Makes Us Holy; All We Can Do, And Must Do, Is Die
We see then that the true grace of God is not just a one time occurrence but a daily provision. By His grace we are saved, because His grace enables us to walk uprightly and so fulfill the law of Christ. In no way can our own works save us; it is the purpose of the law to make us understand this. Only the work of Christ through His Holy Spirit (which is the true grace of God) can save us, because only Christ through His Spirit can make us holy and righteous. But the only way into this salvation is through the new covenant effected through his own blood. We enter into this covenant with Him by dying to ourselves and living to Him. Unless we die we cannot live. Unless our grain of wheat falls to the ground we remain alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit (Jn 12:24). We must suffer in the flesh and die to the old man of sin (1 Pet 4:1-2) so we can be joined to Christ and bear fruit for God, serving Him in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (Rom 7:1-6).
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God (as the mind set on the Spirit does), for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the (Holy) Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the (Holy) Spirit of Christ (who makes us holy), he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you (through His Spirit), though the body is dead because of sin (see Rom 6:6), yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies (by actually making those bodies holy) through His Spirit who indwells you (see Rom 6:12).
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body (this is how we suffer in the flesh), you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are (the true) sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also (of the promised land of inheritance, the kingdom of God), heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him (in the flesh and put to death the deeds of the body) in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
The First Word Of The True Gospel Is Repent!
With this understanding we can also understand why the first word of the gospel, which has also been completely forgotten in today’s harlot church, is REPENT!.
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God. (Notice the order of repentance and faith).
Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
From that time (the very beginning of His ministry) Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
And Jesus summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs; and He was giving them authority over the unclean spirits….And they went out and preached that men should repent. And (then, and only then) they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.
Jesus’ Teaching on Repentance
And Jesus was also saying to the multitudes (who are on the broad road to destruction), “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! (Notice that Jesus didn’t want to offend anybody.) You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, in order that he may not drag you before the judge (God), and the judge turn you over to the constable (Satan and the powers of darkness), and the constable throw you into prison (the prison of bondage the powers of darkness put upon sinners, chain upon chain). I say to you, you shall not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.” (This sounds like if we don’t repent we will indeed suffer the wages of our sin.)
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem (what is to be the city of God)? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
And He began telling this parable: “A certain man (God) had a fig tree (those who claim to be sons of God are trees of the field, cf. Ps 1:3, 92:12-14, Jer 17:7-8) which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit (righteousness and holiness) on it, and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper (Jesus), ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he (Jesus, who intercedes for us) answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not cut it down.’” (Thus, unless we repent, we will all likewise perish.)
And Jesus said to them (after His resurrection), “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Peter Preaches Repentance
Now when they (the many Jews who were in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost) heard this (the message about Jesus Peter had just proclaimed) they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do (to be saved)?” And Peter said to them, “Repent (for this is how we die to the old man of sin), and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (into the likeness of His death) for the forgiveness of your sins (notice how we receive the forgiveness of sins); and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (and so be united with Christ in the likeness of His resurrection).”
(To the crowd gathered at Solomon’s Portico Peter said,) Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away (notice how Peter says our sins are wiped away), in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord….For you first, God raised up His Servant (Jesus), and sent Him to bless you (here is how we get blessed:) by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
Paul Preaches Repentance
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.
You yourselves (the Ephesian elders) know, from the first day that I (Paul) set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Again, notice the order of repentance and faith).
(Paul explains to King Agrippa how Jesus spoke to him:) “Arise and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn (repent) from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins (notice how Jesus says we receive the forgiveness of sins) and an inheritance (in the kingdom of God) among those who have been sanctified (made holy) by faith in Me.” Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world (which doesn’t repent) produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:10
Today’s Harlot Churches Preach The Lie of a False Prophet;
They Neglect The Things John Wrote By Which We Might Know That We Have Eternal Life
In the light of the true gospel of our Lord as revealed in the Scriptures we can now clearly understand that the message being preached in so many of today’s churches is no different from what the devil and his false prophets have always proclaimed. “Speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption” (2 Pet 2:18-19). Multitudes who are just escaping from those who live in error are seduced to believe they can continue in their stiff-necked stubborn rebellion against God and not surely die. They are never told of the true grace of God that leads them to put to death the sinful deeds of the flesh and repent. Rather, they are deceived to just say some words and never doubt that they are saved. They are taken to 1 John 5:13 and read, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” But they are never told about the things John has written that gives such assurance to the true believer:
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked (for it is no longer he himself who lives but Christ who lives in him).
1 John 2:3-6
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness (i.e., not obeying the law of God). And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, let no one (like a false prophet) deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God.
1 John 3:2-10
The False Security Of “Once Saved, Always Saved”
Nowhere is the deception of everything we have talked about concerning false prophets and false security greater than in Satan’s fortified stronghold of eternal security. For again, we are taught by the false prophets of our own day to believe that because of God’s grace our sin doesn’t matter and we are saved for all eternity and cannot lose our salvation. “Once saved, always saved,” we are told. In fact, nothing could be further from the plain and obvious meaning of Scripture. Let us recall that Jude warns us against false prophets who creep in unnoticed and turn the true grace of God into a license for sin (Jude 1:4). He continues, “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 1:5).
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food (as we eat); and all drank the same spiritual drink (as we drink), for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved. And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents (a type of Satan and his brood of vipers the false prophets). Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands (i.e., who thinks he is saved) take heed lest he fall (by sinning. For,) no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it (and not sin).
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
A Warning To Christians Against Falling Away
Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house, whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My ways’. So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest (the land of promise which represents the kingdom of God, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, cf. Rom 14:17).’”
Take care, brethren (who believe that you are saved), lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. As has just been said, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses (i.e., those who were saved from the bondage of Egypt which is a type of our salvation from the bondage to sin)? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest (which typifies our salvation into the kingdom of God), but to those who were disobedient? And so we see that they were not able to enter (God’s rest) because of unbelief. (Notice that disobedience is equivalent to unbelief.)
Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you (who believe you are saved) should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had the gospel preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith (the faith of Abraham that is obedient to God’s law, cf. Gen 26:3-5. According to the NIV textnote many manuscripts read “because they did not share in the faith of those who obeyed”.) For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.”
Since therefore it remains for some to enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David, after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall (away) through following the same example of disobedience.
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.
Jesus Warns That His Servants Can Suffer The Judgment Of An Unbeliever
Who then is the faithful and wise servant (minister), whom the master (Jesus) has put in charge of his household to give them their (spiritual) food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, “My master is staying away a long time,” and he then begins to beat his fellow servants (into submission to his authority rather than to the Lord) and to eat and drink with drunkards (who are drunk with the perverted doctrines of the wine of the fury of God’s wrath, cf. Is 51:17, Jer 25:15f, Rev 14:9-10, 16:19, 17:2, 18:3, etc…). The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (So that we don’t misunderstand what Jesus has already made clear, the parallel passage in Luke reads,) He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (Hence that servant had to be a believer or else he would already have been with the unbelievers!)
Matt 24:45-51, Luke 12:46, NIV
Paul Was Fearful Of Becoming A Reprobate
The apostle Paul recognized the seriousness of this truth that the true believer must continue to abide in Christ if Christ is to abide in him (cf. John 15:1-10). A word used almost exclusively by him in the New Testament is the Greek word adokimos. The King James Version translates this word in every instance but two as reprobate. It means the opposite of approved and genuine; i.e., it means to be tested and found to have failed, worthless, good for nothing. Speaking of homosexuals he writes, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Rom 1:28, KJV, NASB). And to the Corinthians he writes,
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you are reprobates. But I trust that you will discover that we ourselves are not reprobates. Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we be as reprobates.
2 Corinthians 13:5-7 (literal)
Speaking of those who have a form of godliness Paul writes, “Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Tim 3:8). “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, reprobate for any good deed” (Tit 1:16). The only other time Paul uses this word in the New Testament he applies it to himself, “I (Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles) buffet my body (i.e., the carnal flesh nature) and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I (Paul) have preached to others, I myself should be adokimos” (1 Cor 9:27). If such is true of the apostle Paul, how much more must it be true for us?
A Terrifying Warning Against Falling Away
Let us here come to understand as Paul did that the horrible danger in falling away is not just that we may not be saved, but that we put ourselves in the position that we can not be saved.
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled (good fruit), receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles (bad fruit), it is worthless (reprobate, the last occurrence) and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
Christ paid the ransom once. If one is once redeemed out of sin and then goes back to serve the old master sin, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left. To be redeemed again would be to crucify the Son of God all over again. Hence the Scriptures admonish us,
See to it that no one comes short of the (true) grace of God; that no root of bitterness (i.e., a false prophet whose teaching is the poisoned waters and wormwood God promised against those who walk after the stubbornness of their own hearts) grows up to cause trouble, and defile many; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. (Esau, who was to inherit the blessing, the inheritance from Abraham that typifies eternal life, loved the flesh more than God. And so,) afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing (of eternal life), he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears (cf. again Heb 6:6).
Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations (which the children of Israel passed through in the wilderness when the Lord delivered them from their bondage in Egypt. The gods of those nations are the powers of darkness who in the same way today tempt us to serve them in rebellion to God); make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison (NASB = poisonous fruit and wormwood). And it shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, “I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart (he has a false security) in order to destroy the watered land with the dry” (i.e., in order that the righteous should be destroyed along with the wicked because of the root of bitterness that springs up on account of such a one to defile many; cf. the Septuagint). The Lord shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. Then the Lord will single him out for evil from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.
Deut 29:18-21, NIV, NASB
For if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth (i.e., we go back to serve the old master of sin) no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him (cf. 1 Sam 2:17,29, and 3:14), and who has insulted (blasphemed, cf. Mt 12:31) the (Holy) Spirit of grace?… It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:26-29,31, NIV
For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and , “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
2 Peter 2:20-22
The truth of the gospel and its hope is no longer of any value to these. Indeed, Jesus warned, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matt 7:6). The sad and horrifying reality is that such as these can no longer be touched by the truth. They are reprobates doomed to an eternal hell because they were led astray by the false prophets with their perverted doctrine of God’s grace. They are completely deceived by it into thinking they are saved when in fact they are damned. The truth cannot touch them because they believe they already have the truth. And so when confronted by the truth they violently oppose it, just like the Pharisees did Jesus, just like Jerusalem did the prophets, just like those with only an outward form of godliness have always resisted the truth. They trample it underfoot and then turn and tear to pieces the one who brought it.
In summarizing all we have learned about false prophets and false security Jesus admonishes us:
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many (that means a lot) are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few (that means not many) are those who find it.
Beware of the false prophets (who lead the many down the broad road to destruction), who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes (good fruit) are not gathered from thorn bushes (bad trees), nor figs (good fruit) from thistles (bad trees), are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit; nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. (Recall that this is the message of the false prophet: just say “Lord, Lord,” and don’t worry about your sin; don’t worry about doing the will of the Father. Everything will be OK. Peace and Safety.) Many (those who are on the broad road to destruction) 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?” (These are very religious people who believed with all their heart that they were saved and helping God out. But they discover too late that their hope was in vain and their false wall of security was white washed because they didn’t heed the repeated warnings of Scripture to beware of false prophets and were deceived by them to just say “Lord, Lord”.) And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man (virgin), who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew (just like in the days of Noah), and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock (of obedience to the true Jesus). And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man (virgin), who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew (just like in the days of Noah, and just as God told Ezekiel it would be against the false wall of security whitewashed by the false prophets, Ez 13:5-16), and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.
Beware Of False Prophets!
Let us then heed the word of God and be obedient to all its commands to beware of false prophets and their message that we can in any way continue in our sin and not surely die.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Fight The Good Fight of Faith
Let us also heed Paul’s words to Timothy to fight the good fight of faith and take hold of the eternal life to which we were called (1 Tim 6:12). For as the Lord Jesus has said, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14). The good fight of faith to which we are called is not unlike that the Israelites faced upon entering the land of promise after being delivered from the land of slavery. For just as Joshua led the Lord’s people across the Jordan (a type of baptism) to utterly destroy the pagan nations of the world there lest they become a snare and trap, so does Jesus (Hebrew = Joshua) lead those who would call on His name across the Jordan (our baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ) and into the kingdom of God where they face a similar battle to purge their hearts from the things of the world (cf. 1 Pet 3:21 and 1 Jn 2:15). And like the Israelites, unless we completely destroy and root out every sin that defiles and separate ourselves from the wickedness of the pagan world that surrounds us, then that part of the Lord’s command which we leave undone will become a snare and a trap for us until we perish from the good land into which we were previously led (cf. Ex 23:31-33, 34:11-13, Dt 7:1-8:1, 20:16-18, Josh 23:6-13, Jdg 2:1-3, Ps 106:34-36). But whereas the Israelites’ battle was physical, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12, NIV). And therefore,
Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (e.g., such things as the perverted doctrines of demons espoused by false prophets and the pride and greed and other wickedness entrenched in the hearts of men, all of which are strongholds of the enemy). We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought (the flood of words brought on by the powers of darkness, cf. Rev 12:15, Matt 7:24-27, Prov 10:25) to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Put On The Armor of God
Concomitant with obedience to God’s will for our lives, the weapons of our warfare which are so divinely powerful for the destruction of the fortresses of the enemy are exactly those described in Ephesians 6 as the full armor of God. They include first the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness, then the preparedness of the gospel of peace as shoes upon our feet, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. For unless we gird ourselves in truth, guard our hearts in righteousness and prepare ourselves as the true gospel of peace demands (cf 2 Tim 2:21, 4:2, 1 Pet 3:15, Rev 19:7, 21:2), unless we have the faith of Abraham to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one and our minds are guarded with the knowledge of the truth which leads to salvation, and unless we are diligent to present ourselves approved to God as workmen who do not need to be ashamed but correctly handle the word of truth, then we will be completely unable to fight the good fight and will quickly perish in the spiritual battle to rid the land of promise of those nations which are greater and stronger than we are (cf. Dt 4:26, 7:1-4 and the parable of the Sower in Mt 13:3-9,18-23).
The Church Today In Captivity
We need look no farther than today’s harlot churches for evidence that this is true. For just as adulterous Israel failed to drive out and destroy the nations the Lord had commanded her (Jdg 1:27-2:3) but intermingled with them and adopted their customs (Ps 106:34-35) so as to prostitute herself with them (cf. Ez 16 and 23) so have today’s harlot churches prostituted themselves with the world. For rather than obeying the Lord’s commands to purge the land (i.e. their hearts) of evil and trust only in Him as He leads them into His kingdom they have made a covenant of peace with the former inhabitants they were meant to destroy so that now sin is their companion and wickedness their neighbor. And rather than smashing the altars of the former inhabitants they have joined with them and sacrificed to demons, even to the offering up of their children to the idols of the land (cf. Ps 106:34-39). As a result the land is defiled and does not bear its (spiritual) fruit (cf. Dt 7:12-14, 28:17-18,38-42,51, Is 24:5-23). And just as God gave Israel over to her folly and delivered her into the hands of her enemies, so has He done to all those today who have forsaken His commands after being redeemed from the land of slavery. He has given them over to the harlot, to “the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap, and whose hands are chains” (Eccl 7:26, NIV), and He has delivered them into the hands of the powers of darkness: Just as He did to Israel He has brought against them the king of Babylon and carried them away into exile to serve as slaves to the god of this age. And yet, “they know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand” (Is 44:18, NIV). Though they have eyes to see they do not see; though they have ears to hear they do not hear. As the Lord spoke to Israel so does He speak to today’s harlot churches:
Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant (the people of God), and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the Lord? You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing (cf. Mt 13:10-15). It pleased the Lord for the sake of his righteousness to make his law great and glorious. But this is a people plundered and looted (by the powers of darkness, cf. Jn 10:10), all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, “Send them back.”
Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come? Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law. So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.
Isaiah 42:18-25, NIV
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless; be drunk, but not from wine; stagger, but not from beer. The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes—the prophets; he has covered your heads—the seers.
For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say to him, “Read this, please,” he will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” He will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Isaiah 29:9-14, NIV
True Salvation Attainable, But Only By True Grace Through True Faith
We have seen that indeed it is by grace that we are saved by faith. But the true grace of God leads us to put to death the sinful deeds of the flesh and walk in righteousness and holiness. It is the lie of the false prophets that tells us we can’t, for the word of God tells us we can. And unless we are of the faith of Abraham that rejects this lie of the false prophets and are willing to forsake our life in this world to follow God along the Highway of Holiness into His kingdom by walking in obedience to His commands, then we will perish in hell forever.
This commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?” But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.
See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it (the kingdom of God). But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away (deceived) and worship other gods (the powers of darkness) and serve them (in rebellion against God), I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.