Listening to Bible teachers without really studying the passages being taught in my Christian infancy especially, I like perhaps many of you accepted without question what was being said. For me, it was not that the teacher was a media star or mega church pastor, it was my own ignorance and the acceptance church folk around me granted to what was being taught along with the authority figure--mostly a pastor--teaching it. This is how error is perpetuated even by those who know better as the apostle Paul showed in his letter “to the churches of Galatia;” rebuking Peter for his hypocrisy and exposing the active complicity of Barnabas in the process (Galatians 1:1-2, 2:11-13, NKJV).
As the Holy Spirit deepened my diligence as a Bible student, I began to be more intentional to compare what was being taught to me by whomever with what the Scriptures actually said. My purpose was not to be anyone’s critic, but to protect myself from being led into error and avoid teaching it to others knowing God is deadly serious about the consequences of doing so (James 3:1; 2 Peter 3:14-18). This does not mean I think myself infallible. But fearing God “the Word” who is, I seek to be as careful as possible to say only what Scripture says knowing He will not fault that nor the plain exposition of it after receiving His instruction (Psalm 119:97-104, 113-120; John 1:1, NKJV)!1
No one claiming to love God shown as Christ Himself teaches by obedience in first priority (John 14:15) not emotion (so prevalent in much of post-modern professing Christianity), can long purposely believe and teach error to His people who he is also supposed to love (John 21:15-17)! Yet, having been in biblical error myself, I painfully know how easy it is to unintentionally slip into it as Peter did among the Galatians; whose rebuke from Paul no doubt, snapped him back to spiritual sobriety leading to repentance.2 Or else, how do we have his two letters written after this unless the Lord had inspired and entrusted a forgiven Peter to write them (1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:1-2:3)?
Only by his compromising actions in error had Peter not been “straightforward about the truth of the gospel” causing other Jews watching him to follow suit and misleading the Gentile believers in their midst (Galatians 2:14-21, NKJV). What about the many unintended corruptions of God’s written Word that are taught and persist as tradition within professing Christianity today? Do they not have the same negative outcomes in our contemporary churches as they did among those back in Galatia? Yes, and it is worse since all of what the Lord specifically wills for us is written in the New Testament as settled instruction!3 Here briefly are just three well practiced unintended corruptions of Scripture.
First, there is the “Jesus walked out of the tomb” corruption spoken by many preachers waxing eloquent on Easter. This is not minor. The four Gospels are clear that the women followed by Peter and John did come to an empty tomb. However, if the Lord had to wait until someone rolled the stone away to walk out of the tomb, the supernatural character of His resurrection is removed; His death questionable. The stone rolled away or found so reveals the empty tomb and reality Christ was not only raised in power leaving His burial strips intact, but after neatly folding the cloth on His head, “vanished” as He also did later (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-31; John 20:1-10, NKJV)!
A second unintended corruption is repeated by many well known and meaning Bible teachers seeking to give assurance of salvation to believers. They quote only the first half of Romans 8:1 stressing “There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus” and leave the absolutely essential conditional second part “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” unspoken (NKJV). As the immediate context in chapter seven clearly shows, Paul is not attempting to give believers eternal security in Romans 8:1, but begins to triumphantly declare the superior experience we have serving God in the power of the Holy Spirit rather than through the flesh! Condemnation is the only outcome for those who attempt to please God in the flesh (Romans 8:2-17).
Last, Galatians 3:26-29 is unintentionally corrupted by some (others, intentionally) to literally remove all mortal distinctions of ethnicity, social condition or gender among Christians to the end primarily of giving what is called equality to women. It is fitting that we return to Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia where Jewish legalism was also undermining the Gospel to close out this post and call the guilty to repentance. For as the Lord has led me to write before,4 in context, Paul in this passage plainly intends to comfort believers from all backgrounds that we have an equal eternal spiritual standing as sons of God in Christ Jesus! Nevertheless, he recognizes and teaches mortal distinctions to include for example, gender roles (1 Corinthians 11:3). Men are God’s elect leaders!5
1 There is no greater “Exegete” of God’s Word than God Himself! For this reason, the very first principle of sound Bible interpretation and application is prayer. Learn more
sound principles of Bible interpretation in summary form by way of a free one sheet document the Lord led me to prepare to help those intent on “rightly dividing the word
of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV) you can download from the Strong Man Store. Understanding Scripture was never intended to be the exclusive domain of a relative few
educated elite, but all and the lowliest among us who will be teachable by God (Psalm 119:33-35; Luke 24:44-45; James 1:5-8).
2 Besides the spiritual and biblical ignorance typical to newborn Christians along with the sin failures, flaws, faults and inconsistencies that have plagued me struggling to
grow into maturity, I have transparently written in various places including my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, about my initial fear of obedience driven
compromise in error to honor manmade tradition over what Scripture teaches on the role of women in His house. Rebuked by God, like Peter, I repented as anyone read-
ing this that is guilty should also do--unless, of course, you are greater than the apostle Peter! Read the September 20, 2020 post, What Will It Profit A Man?, under the
category, The Cause. You can pick up a copy of the book at your favorite internet book seller and in the Strong Man Store.
3 The completed written New Testament we have today became widely accepted in the fourth century A.D.
4 See the September 8, 2019 post, Confusing The Issue, under the category, Call To Repent.
5 Paul and Peter are in harmony on this enduring point of biblical doctrine where it plays out first in the home (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; Titus 2:1-5; 1 Peter 3:
1-7). In consistency, the apostle Paul also teaches how this doctrine is to be manifested and honored secondarily in the local churches (1 Corinthians 14:34-40; 1 Timo-
thy 2:11-15). Not by corrupting God’s Word, but speaking and doing all things in accord with His will in it are Christians “salt,” “light” and distinctive in a dying world dark-
ened in rebellion against Him (Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 5:8-14, NKJV)!
I trust God last month’s trilogy of posts presenting and exploring His future promise to us who are the meek, His faithful saints and eternal sons were a source of encouragement and uplift.1 This is a major purpose of Bible prophecy besides glorifying God who knows all things and the reason it along with the whole of His Word should be treated with the utmost reverence and care in objectively reading, interpreting and applying it as the Holy Spirit leads (Isaiah 41:21-24, 43:8-13, 44:6-8; John 13:19, 14:25-29; 2 Peter 1:16-21)! For our best days are not found in this present life and world, but all that God has yet planned for us in Christ Jesus contrary to popular teaching today.
Popular teaching today focuses primarily on what “God wants to do for you materially now.” But while God with Fatherly love and wisdom provides all of our needs and some wants according to His will (Matthew 6:24-34; Philippians 4:19), our salvation completed and glorious eternal future with Christ is the major thrust of the Bible’s New Testament all hinged on His finished work on Calvary, death, burial and resurrection (1 Timothy 6:6-16). The apostle Paul is very direct and clear on this when he writes defending Christ’s resurrection and empty implications of a future without it: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable,” (1 Corinthians 15:19, NKJV).
The apostle Peter, who writes in his second epistle to condemn and warn about false teachers along with scoffers, also exhorts us to be guided in our living by God’s planned future following the fiery end of this present creation in the “day of the Lord,” (2 Peter 2:10-13, NKJV). He writes, “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless,” (2 Peter 2:14, NKJV). The Lord’s “longsuffering” “is salvation” (ours, having already come to Christ and those still to come the Lord foreknows and waits for) he writes, which the apostle Paul too, wrote about and “untaught and unstable people twist” (2 Peter 3:15-16, NKJV).2
Despite Peter’s solemn warning that such people distorted Paul’s writings “to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (saying this, Peter elevates Paul’s writings to the level of Scripture as he earlier does his own--2 Peter 3:1-2), has not been enough to deter others from doing so to this hour (2 Peter 3:16, NKJV)! Knowing the end of such people “beforehand” he has written and warned about starting at 2 Peter 2:1, the eyewitness apostle further soberly warns: “beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.” Instead, “grow in the grace and (true, biblically sound) knowledge of Christ,” (2 Peter 3:17-18, NKJV).
It is purposefully corrupt teaching that the Lord has had me crying out against and calling the guilty to repentance from with true revival; teaching that has spiritually ill-equipped a generation to face biblically foretold times such as we are in right now, and that will only grow progressively worse until the glorious return of our Lord. Indeed, because the guilty from many different ethnicities and socio-economic groups profess so loudly to be bona fide Christians, it has been amazing to see their incredible obstinacy I have witnessed during most of the thirty-five years of this Ministry the Lord led me to found and that officially came into existence on August 12, 1985 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Surely, if God has used any man as a prophet among the churches to hew the unfaithful with His Word since the prolific pens of the reformers, I am among them by His will as many in Dallas/Fort Worth for twelve years and here in the Northwest throughout the past twenty-three can attest (Hosea 6:4-6)! Over three hundred posts since 2014 in this forum alone; closing in on seventy “Call To Repent” posts that include several this year before and after God’s Coronavirus judgment and this two-part post.3 And why is this so? The Lord who gifted and called me loves you, is gracious, merciful, forbearing, patient and eternally consistent in His actions (Luke 3:7-9, 11:47-51).4
In obedience, I have sounded the Lord’s call to repent and will as often as He directs going forward to deliver the willing from judgment (Jeremiah 7:21-27, 8:18-22, 25:1-7, 26:1-6; Ezekiel 2:1-3:7, 33:1-9; Jude 20-23)! As I spent all of these years warning with the Lord’s leading, the days of His escalating warning judgments have come with the Coronavirus and there will be no going back to “normal.” Still, many remain obstinate as was ancient Israel; the Lord sending plague after serious plague upon His stubborn, unfaithful people who refused to repent as He speaks through the prophet (Amos 4:6-13). How long though, will the Lord hold back greater judgment upon guilty professed Christians who are supposed to be “the salt of the earth,” (Matthew 5:13a, NKJV)?
1 The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth posted on July 12, 2020 under the categories, Black History and Encouragement. It was followed July 19th by Ruling The Earth Un-
der Christ and on the 26th, Earth As An Eternal Inheritance both under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 Many Bible teachers today regularly distort Scripture by reading into and using it out of context to support their own ideas rather than going to it to objectively pull out
what is there in a straightforward manner. Beyond this is their accurate reading of Scripture, then, corrupt explaining away of the plain truth or command in it to justi-
fy their disobedience. Our Ministry offers a sound Bible Interpretation summary document for free download in the Strong Man Store to help those who want to pro-
perly interpret “the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV).
3 Read the April 5, 2020 post, God Is Speaking and Does Anybody Repent Anymore? posted on April 19, 2020 both under the category, Call To Repent
4 I can only shake my head with sadness when I hear renowned conservative pastors and Bible teachers arrogantly dismiss the spiritual gift of prophecy and ministry of
prophets from operation today in the Body of Christ so plainly taught by Him and His apostles in the New Testament. If this gift was only for the first century and until
the cannon of Scripture sealed as they presumptively supposition with no support whatsoever from Scripture itself, then, tell me why is church history filled with pro-
phets (to include many reformers) if not in name, function to this hour? Also, tell me how to escape the move of the Holy Spirit to speak and write what He puts in my
mouth of things present and future completely consistent with the Word written--not that I want to escape since His Word is joyful fire in my belly, but I call out the in-
ferred slander that I am self-called and deluded (Jeremiah 20:7-10; Matthew 10:27; Luke 24:30-32)? Scripture does declare when prophecy will cease and God stops
using prophets: at the Second Coming of Christ (Zechariah 13:2-6; 1 Corinthians 13:8-12)!
The Son of Almighty God came riding a donkey humbly into the city of Jerusalem on this day almost two thousand years ago to celebratory shouts of praise and laying of palm branches before His procession. Christians call this day Palm Sunday because of this event which occurred in precise fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) and is recorded in all four New Testament Gospel accounts (see for example John 12:12-15). The Lord Jesus rode into the holy city openly presenting Himself as God’s Anointed One and King! By Friday He would be soundly rejected as the religious leaders and many of the people following their leadership called for His crucifixion (Luke 23:13-25).
The foretold spiritual realities and truths surrounding all of the foregoing are intended by God to remain unchanged forever! For in them and all that follows bound up in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the glorious outcomes are issues of eternal life and death for mortal man. And yet, nearly two millennia later, professing Christianity is completely twisted and conflicted on even the most basic elements of God’s salvation through the Gospel and written instruction that comprises “the faith” as proud men and women in the thousands clash over their personal theologies. In the edited 2012 blog repost for this Palm Sunday, I exalt the one Lord and one faith He has established for us through His blood as it is written in Holy Scripture (Ephesians 4:1-6).
Originally Posted March 25, 2012
As the annual commemoration of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ approaches, I am reminded from the New Testament accounts of His ministry that He never allowed for anyone to believe He represented any way to God but one: through Him (John 14:6)! Similarly, Jesus always stood on the righteousness and wisdom of God as already written in the Old Testament Scriptures (Matthew 4:3-10). He is never quoted as citing the writings of the great minds of history to give authoritative weight to His teachings. He also never offered opinions but taught the people in the absolutes of authority. No mystery here as to why since He is the eternal Word of God made flesh (John 1:1, 14-18). He was faithful to all of His own previously written Word and the divine will.
While even the Lord’s eyewitness apostles initially struggled to fully grasp and faithfully disseminate the essential Gospel and instructions of the faith to believers in the early years of Christianity (Acts 10:1-11:18, 15:1-29), the apostle Paul was absolute by the late fifties of the first century that there was only one Gospel and called for the divine destruction of any one preaching another (Galatians 1:6-9). Certainty does not elude Jude, the half-brother of the Lord either when he writes his short epistle calling for believers “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints,” (Jude 3, NKJV). Most Bible students would agree Jude writes well after Paul wrote his Galatians epistle. The point being that contrary to the madness that exists in the world today, the Bible unapologetically asserts there is only one way to relationship with God and that is through faith in the one Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).
Too, in spite of the insane confusion that exists doctrinally in and among the churches today, there is only one faith plainly presented in the pages of Scripture and gladly illuminated by the Holy Spirit to all who will take the time to seek Him. Otherwise, those that are presenting their many different theologies supposedly taken from the Bible would have us believe contrary to it that God is confused and tolerant to the point He is the author of confusion among those He loves (1 Corinthians 14:33). This is outrageously evil beyond words and blasphemy! There is a such thing as error which is clearly seen when any doctrine of sinful men arises that does not only line up with a particular passage of Scripture, but the whole thrust of instruction in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation inspired by God (Galatians 2:1-4:31; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Yes, believers are free in Christ to live and conduct our lives how we please before God as it concerns personal freedom. But this freedom is by no means a license to sin, invent doctrines that flow from our own prideful flesh or speak authoritatively on spiritual matters apart from drawing directly out of Scripture (Romans 14:1-15:6; Galatians 5:1-15). In my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, I present faith in Christ crucified, buried and risen as the only way to salvation. I also declare Him to be the One bidding men to follow Him in the one and only faith He and His apostles present from the whole counsel of God existing in the Bible. Aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ embrace the one, true biblical faith and are ready to die in contending for its veracity, their Lord and hope in Him (Luke 9:23-26). In His footsteps, truly, a number have died and will die doing so in days ahead in accord with God’s eternally enduring Word (Luke 21:12-19, 33; Revelation 6:9-11, 12:7-12).
Looking back over everything the Lord has led me to post this year thus far, I am struck by how many bedrock New Testament commandments and instructions are being blatantly trampled upon by the many leaders and people that profess to be Christians in the churches they make up. I wrote about how as “ambassadors” of the “one Lord” Jesus Christ we are all supposed to be saying the same thing (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 4:1-6, NKJV).1 Ambassadors represent a country or kingdom and speak and do among those in the nations they are assigned what their leader that appointed them has commanded. Not to do so is to invite certain consequences including dismissal!
The apostle Paul rhetorically asserts our Lord Jesus Christ is not divided (1 Corinthians 1:13), but we are and willfully so as each theologian, denominational leader, pastor, etc. teaches his following in accord with what is right in his own sight in spiritual lawlessness rather than what the Lord has purely declared in His Word; not “repeating God’s words after Him” as the religious educated elite are fond of saying (Judges 17:6; Proverbs 14:12). Paul also tells us why this is all so. In fulfillment of his prophecy each one teaches with a nuance that attracts followers to his wisdom and himself, not God and His wisdom in the Gospel resulting in followers for Christ (Acts 20:26-30; 1 Corinthians 1:17-25).
Because His program matters as I write in this edited 2012 Commentary, God’s judgment of the errant, disobedient and usurping ambassador/teachers is just (1 Corinthians 3-4:13; 2 Peter 2:4-11).
Originally Published March 2012
As I remind pastors in the closing chapter of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,2 Scripture plainly holds Jesus Christ up as Lord and Head of His Church (Ephesians 1:15-23). Christ presents His will (God's program) for those that belong to Him through new birth and supposedly make up the churches in the same Scripture He is proclaimed Lord! The local churches therefore, are not free to do as they please apart from the will of Christ. Yet, the evil spirits of disobedience, heretical corruption and apostasy that well began their work before the passing of the 1st century eyewitness apostles have brought their efforts in these latter days to a near frenetic intensity.
The aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ delight to honor Him as Lord. They honor Jesus as Lord in their personal lives, in the local churches and before a watching world. They willingly honor Jesus as Lord out of their embrace of that factual truth from Scripture, the reality of meeting and walking with Him in His Lordship (John 14:18-20) as well as the joy of Holy Ghost fired affirmation (1 Corinthians 12:1-3)! As a result, they are not rebellious against or selective in their obedience to the Lord as the normative experience of their lives. When they sin, they do not delay to confess and repent before the Lord in all sincerity (1 John 1:5-2:6).
In the churches aspiring strong men and great women of God eagerly seek to fulfill His program to preach the Gospel to and make disciples of the nations; baptizing and teaching them to obey all of His will expressed in commandments communicated by His eyewitness apostles (Matthew 28:19-20). They do their part in God's program according to the gifts, calling and ministries they receive from the Lord through the agency of the Holy Spirit. They fully understand the Church is the Body of Christ and He the eternal Head. They labor in love to faithfully serve the members therein; being careful to obey the Lord's order of His assembly presently on earth (1 Corinthians 12:4-14:40).
Too many times I have heard preachers, teachers and professed Christians dismiss obedience to God's Word as an unimportant side issue to relationship with God. They portray God the Father as some benign, doting grandfather, Jesus as a cool, anti-rule keeping hippie sage and the Holy Spirit as a feel good force that just want us to love the Lord. However, Christ died to reconcile us back to God who had breached the relationship beginning with the disobedience of our forefather, Adam (Romans 5:6-21). Willful disobedience is not to characterize the New Covenant relationship of the Christian with the Lord he loves (John 14:15, 21-24; Hebrews 10:15-22; 1 John 3:4-10, 5:3).
The apostle Paul upbraided the Jews of his day for their hypocritical conduct that caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of God. How much more would he upbraid Christians in likeness today (Romans 2:17-24)? Indeed, the name of our God and His Son are regularly blasphemed in the media and on the streets of our nation due to the hypocritical conduct of professed Christians and churches that have no shame. The Gospel is maligned because racial division and bitterness mark the churches more than love. God's Word in the Bible is maligned because proud church leaders and teachers in disobedience will not say the same thing doctrinally (1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Peter 3:8).
If professed Christians and their churches will not honor Jesus as Lord and obey the divine will revealed in Scripture, then who else on the planet will? If professed white Christians and those of color refuse to love one another in disobedience to Christ, then how will the world know that we are truly His disciples (John 13:34-35)? If professed Christians regard the instruction of Scripture on God's family order, gender roles and responsibilities as dated, then how valid is Scripture as a continuing source of authority for other aspects of our faith and practice?3 Clearly, the foretold latter day apostasy and deception are upon us to the eternal detriment of the guilty (1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:3-4)!4
God's program matters because men are saved and built up when we who say we love Him remain true to it. Moreover, God's program matters because Christians as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ are the living signs of His Kingdom coming to earth; lights shining in a dark world (Philippians 2:14-16). Finally, God's program matters because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit share a holy disposition and wrath toward unrepentant sinners including those that profess to be Christians (Psalm 2:7-12; Isaiah 63:7-10; Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:21-29; Acts 5:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 19:11-16). Repent! The time is nearer than you think. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the opening of the March 31, 2019 post, Technically Speaking…, under the category, The Cause.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 As the Lord led, I wrote the following as an addendum to this Commentary in our March 2012 Strong Man Of God Newsletter: “The final source of Christian authority is
the unchanging Word of God contained in Bible translations that are true to the earliest preserved manuscripts (2 Timothy 3:14-17). It is not what fallen men say or
even say about the Word no matter how credentialed who easily read into the texts and twist the Word to say what they want bringing judgment on themselves (James
3:1; 2 Peter 3:14-16).”
4 In the same addendum I concluded: “Christians have been forewarned by the Lord Jesus and His apostles that false messiahs, prophets and teachers would rise up
to deceive (Matthew 24:4-5, 11; 2 Peter 2:1-3). It is so. They also warn about latter day apostasy (as the Commentary above references) that is very unambiguous in
its full blown form (Matthew 24:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). It has been unfolding in earnest for a generation complete with outrageously deceitful teachings and
growing hostility toward the faithful. If the Lord Jesus and His apostles warn that falsehood and apostasy are to typify the days leading to His return, then professing
Christians need to snap out of their worldly slumber, strengthen their resolve to stand firm on God’s Word alone and prepare for worse (2 Timothy 3:1-13).”
The Lord has previously led me to write about the foretold apostasy in progress within professing Christianity.1 As well, He also had me write to instruct the faithful about the distinguishing mark of a true Christian and His call to stand firm for the faith as it is written in the pages of the Bible.2 In light of these unfolding, foretold times of pervasive falsehood, the Lord would have me briefly add to those important former instructions His warning about the critical need to avoid being led into error by those professing to be Christians that are outright false as impostors or true, but deceitful in disobedience who have no compunction about corrupting Scripture to further their own ends.
How easily many professed Christians, self-styled apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, secular political, social, cultural, educational and even non-Judeo-Christian religious figures quote the Bible to support their own ideas today. In so doing, by association with His Word, God is being portrayed as endorsing all manner of evil from fornication, abortion, shacking, divorce and same sex marriage to women taking authority over men in His house and religious ecumenicalism. I often wonder, are we all reading the same Bible? And of course, that question is complicated by the fact many are boldly creating corrupt Bible translations that support their theological bents.
Persons outside of a Judeo-Christian framework are following millennia of falsehood and deceit through biblical corruption by those within it that have justified and even blessed evil calling it good (Isaiah 5:20)! Their part in this matter is understandable given their complete alienation from God. But many come ostensibly into the faith as professed Christians and deceivers as they have since the first century to this hour and getting worse as foretold (2 Timothy 3:13). They willfully generate falsehood and false doctrines by corrupting not hard to understand Bible passages, but those that are plain as false brethren (2 Corinthians 11:12-26; Galatians 1:6-7, 2:1-5)!
It is entirely as foretold in these latter days by the Lord and His apostles (Matthew 24:1-5, 11; 2 Peter 2:1-3)! The leadership of typical professed Christian churches believes they can spot and have circled their wagons against the obvious onslaught of false messiahs, prophets and teachers with their falsehood. In fact, some are so closed up as I can attest, not even those that are biblically solid may address their flocks unless they walk in exact denominational and/or personal lock step with these leaders on every single point of doctrine they hold true. Which leads to an important question: who protects us from them when they become corrupters of God’s Word and deceivers as a result?
Sadly, too many superstar pastors with their adoring, supporting cast of church elders and/or deacons are elevating their personal convictions to the level of Scripture as the final authority that cannot be challenged lest one be considered divisive. Never mind apostolic instructions about the divisive person had to do with those that were in clear sin being disobedient to authoritative apostolic revelation and teaching as well as Scripture, not the personal convictions of pastors and elders themselves guilty of the same (Romans 16:17-20; Titus 3:9-11). These are men (and today, women) who as foretold seek to draw away disciples from Christ to make them their own (Acts 20:28-30).
Some of these pastors that cannot be challenged on their personal convictions are outright rebels, impostors or willful and de facto apostates as has been reported in secular and Christian media.3 Many are religionist keepers of the manmade church status quo; unwilling themselves and not allowing anyone else to challenge creeds, covenants, traditions and practices they know are not biblical to supposedly preserve unity and peace, but in actuality, their “jobs.” Others--especially of the larger churches--are puffed up in pride and arrogance believing that they stand above correction because of their education, position or success as though success alone confirms God’s approval (reality check: false messiahs, prophets, teachers, religions and cults have great success too!).
Starting with erroneous ideas and suppositions outside of Scripture, the personal convictions of pastors and elders as final authority that conflict with and disobey it span the behavioral and doctrinal spectrum in their churches. Or, for example, how can one sit in a mixed gender congregation with a Bible open to learn its authoritative instruction under a woman pastor, speaker or teacher and ignore what it plainly teaches forbidding her to do this (1 Corinthians 14:34-40; 1 Timothy 2:11-15)? Is it not because for whatever all of the reasons in deceit to include Christianity as a unique, American cultural form of religion, the pastor’s unchallengeable personal conviction on the matter has taken preeminent authority over what the Word of God says?4
1 Read my March 20, 2016 blog, Willful And De Facto Apostates under the category, The Faith followed by those referenced in its introduction.
2 Read the March 1-29, 2015 blogs under the category Instruction that further discuss what a real Christian and the true faith is.
3 Google “Apostate Christian Ministers” to find reputable articles like this one I found by Dr. Albert Mohler in 2010.
4 See the September 4, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion American Style, under the category, Call To Repent.
Scripture is consistent in declaring the divine hostility toward the corrupt thinking of men in their many concocted philosophies that take them away from the simple deductions that lead to God who is the Fountainhead of truth. Nevertheless, the same Scripture anticipates such behavior from rank sinners who in the face of empirical bread crumbs as vast and luminous as the universe still willfully refuse to acknowledge their Creator. What pains the heart of God above the foolish heart of the unbeliever, is for those that profess to know, love and serve Him to reject His will, way and Word through leaning on their own understanding or if you will, philosophies (Proverbs 3:5).
For years professing Christian men that have not wanted to be made to feel inferior by their secular counterparts have sought to raise the level of academic acceptance of Christianity as their discipline and credentials through personal philosophical musings they call theology. While a number have intended good to the Body of Christ, the result today is a mass of confusion and division no serious Bible student can honestly believe was commissioned by God. When the ancient standard of interpreting and applying God’s Word as it has already been written (Mark 12:18-34) is abandoned in the cause of tolerance, nobody can be wrong and everyone is potentially right or so these self-made wise folk wrongly allow. They are deceived (Jeremiah 8:8-9)!
From professing Christianity’s spiritual morass has come the scripturally unconscionable Christian racist, narcissist, chauvinist, feminist, abortionist, sexual immoralist etc. As has very often been the case throughout the epoch of God’s grace and my own experience, the faithful must grasp why a certain consequence of this is that among our worst persecutors are and will be professing Christians as disobedient religionists and impostors following philosophical arguments that contrary to Scripture, condone their evil conduct (John 16:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:12-13). As I warn in this final blog of the 2011 Commentary Series, sinful human philosophies are not part of Christ’s narrow way nor are they a hedge against the approaching severe, but just judgment of God among American churches!
Originally Published June 2011
The churches of Jesus Christ have no business whatsoever being divided into philosophical camps. As the apostle Paul pointed out in his rebuke of the first century church at Corinth, division among professing Christians is a sure indicator of carnality (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-4). Yet, nearly 2,000 years later in a world of 33,000 religions, churches are divided into over 3,000 denominations and sects.1 Even within those denominations and sects there is division and philosophical squabbling over issues of doctrine that are plainly settled in Scripture. This state of affairs is not the will of Christ who desires unity and peace within His Body (John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:1-6).
Human philosophy is all about what sinful men think. No matter how logical or ordered those thoughts, the philosophies of sinful man always come up short. Why? Because when he begins to think he does so in the prideful assumption he has superior knowledge and wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:18-20). As it concerns the topic of a Creator, for example, sinful men have looked at the undeniable evidence in the creation (including within themselves) and decided there is not one. Instead, they have made fools of themselves suppressing the truth with lies such as “The Theory of Evolution” and certified their Creator’s just wrath against them (Romans 1:18-22).
As a created being, man must begin to seek an ordered understanding about existence from the One that gave him existence, God Almighty (Genesis 1:26, 2:7). Truly, men are fools who would rather be proud descendants of monkeys (a derogatory accusation once heaped upon my slave forefathers to justify their enslavement prior to the coming of the “enlightened” thinking of evolution) than creatures from earth’s dust uniquely made in the glorious image of the living God! All born again Christians are supposed to be united on the side of the Lord and His Word that He created us. His Church is not a worldly classroom where contrary views with Scripture are tolerated.
All born again Christians are also supposed be one in our understanding of God's creation of man as male and female in this present age. Their roles and responsibilities are not a matter of clearly flawed evolutionary development as the world philosophizes, but the purposeful and perfectly ordered assignment of an omniscient Creator (Genesis 1:27-28). Evolution needs tweaking by its creatures today because it made them unequal. God--who shows no partiality--from the beginning created man one and assigned him to imitate divine Headship over a equal counterpart separated out from him (Genesis 2:18-24, 3:20; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:12-15).
Thousands of worldly religions and philosophies boil down to the reasoning of sinful men versus the declarations of a holy Creator made in His Word. In the churches, nearly all philosophical divisions can be traced to a willful break with the plain teaching of Scripture. Amazingly, God addresses even this latter day maelstrom of confusion and warns twice through Solomon--a man endued with His wisdom: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death," (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25, NKJV). Common sense dictates everybody cannot be right. This is why our Lord Jesus also warns about carefully considering which of only two philosophical ways we will choose.
In Matthew 7:13, the Lord Jesus urges His hearers to "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it," (NKJV). Apparently, God is not as "open minded" as philosophers, false prophets and corrupt teachers would have us believe. There is a right way in Christ and it is found in the narrow way of obedience to God's Word, not the many speculative offerings of sinful human philosophy in and outside of the churches (Colossians 2:1-10). The narrow gate and way of Christ alone leads to eternal life and sadly, He says relatively speaking, "there are few that find it," (Matthew 7:14; Luke 13:22-30).
The days are coming and even now are close at hand in America when it will not matter what denomination or sect of Christianity professed believers belong to. Anti-Christians will equally hate and violently persecute all calling themselves Christians (Matthew 24:9-13). Therefore, we ought to quickly repent of our philosophical argument fed divisions or else shamefully, days shortly ahead will force us to do so. Then it will be seen who really is on the narrow and difficult way to life. Aspiring strong men and great women of God who live to please Him and do His will to the death on His side will be prominent among those in that narrow way (Revelation 12:7-11). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 I mistakenly transposed the number of world religions with denominations when I took their figures from my original source. I am now completely blown away to see that
Christian denominations estimated at 33,000 would outnumber the total number of religions in the world estimated by David Barrett in his 2001 World Christian
Encyclopedia to be 10,000--see https://theway21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/how-many-christian-denominations-worldwide/. However, while those doing the
estimating concede it is nearly impossible to get an accurate count, incredibly, their estimates only get worse going forward with the Center for the Study of Global
Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary estimating that the number of Christian denominations by mid-2014 had climbed to 45,000 and are projected to
reach 55,000 by 2025 (see the sub link under “The Estimates,” Center for the Study of Global Christianity at the Web Site cited in the link provided above). This is a great
end time evil.
The teaching gift’s aim with the leading of the Holy Spirit is to give men the ability to explain and make plain the Word of God for the simplest hearts. Quickly straying from the reform intent of Martin Luther, European Protestants set aside the simple Gospel and the precious teachings of salvation revealed to the apostles by the Holy Spirit in Scripture and began inventing all manner of heretical and complicated schemes they attempted to support with Scripture. In that free for all and volatile environment Catholics and Protestants were killing folk who did not hold to their respective theological positions. Even so, the schemes and divisions have just kept coming to this very hour.
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