…what does a wolf look like..or..spotting false teachers

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1, ESV)

… i have been on this journey with my LORD for going on 38 years.   over these years i have listened to many, many different teachers and have fallen for many, many lies.  the truth is, when you are deceived, you don’t know it.  if you did, you would not be deceived.

…so the question becomes, how do i know if i am being deceived?TruthOrDeception_CoverFront

 

…in Acts 17 there is a story about a group of people who did not want to be deceived, and the Bible says : “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:10–11, ESV)

… notice that they are called ‘more noble’ than other believers because they ‘received the word with all eagerness’ or ‘believed all things’ and then they ‘examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so’ or ‘tested all things’. 

 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7, ESV)

 

 

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19–22, ESV)

… i have been in different meetings where people have been miraculously healed of various ailments and injuries.  i have been used to pray for people who i believe had been miraculously healed.  i have been shown people who were possessed by demons and the LORD has used me to cast these demons out, but the question remains ;

if i see these things happen,

  • a.)    is it even real? and,
  • b.)    is it a sign that this person is of God?

and then we read :

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21–23, ESV)

… i find it very interesting in the Matt 7 verse, that it says ‘did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name’ – they said that they actually did this stuff.  doesn’t the Bible say : And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”” (Mark 16:17–18, ESV)

… some people who believe in a doctrine of men called ‘eternal security’ or ‘once saved always saved’ have said to me that these people are not saved, nor were they ever saved.  and in truth, they were not – because our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah, had not died and risen from the grave.  however, they called Him ‘Lord, Lord’.  why would they call Him Lord, Lord if they did not believe that they were following Him?  these people that He talks about, were ‘doing the stuff’ – they are casting our demons healing the sick – and love tells me to ‘believe all things’ – so i believe that they did these things – they do these things.

… so the Bible says that ‘these signs will accompany those who believe’, and they got the signs so they must be believers, right?  but then we read : “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” (Matthew 24:24–25, ESV)   so, Jesus clearly teaches here that ‘false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders’ for what purpose?  “so as to lead astray”.

… so now we have a problem.  it sounds like the people who ‘believe’ and the ‘false christs and false prophets’ are all going to have signs and wonders.  both will pray for the sick and they will recover.  so then we read :

But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign….” (Matthew 12:39a, ESV)

… well, i don’t want to be ‘an evil and adulterous generation’, so i had better not ‘seek for a sign’.

… ok, what do i look for then?

The-Fruit-Inspector

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16–20, ESV)

 

 

… i have had people say to me ‘who am i to be a fruit inspector?  doesn’t the Bible say not to judge?’  so then i have to ask the question, ‘what Jesus, Himself, meant when He said, ‘Thus you will recognize them by their fruits if He meant i was not to look at their fruit and see if it is good or not?

… ok, what does He mean by fruit?

… we know the Bible says : “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:22–26, ESV)

… so the fruit of someone who is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ are those things.  in this passage, we are told ‘those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires’.  so we have another ‘clue’ as to what a true believer looks like.  we read : “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:8–10, ESV)

… so what is all this stuff about ‘sowing to the flesh’?  we read : “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19–21, ESV)   and again :“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (Colossians 3:5, NLT)

… when i was trying to find out the truth, i ran across a passage that really got me:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5–8, NKJV)  or in the NLT:

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5–8, NLT)

… we are told ‘you must have’.  when i see a phrase like that, it is important.  we know that : “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, NLT)  and we know that : “First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20, GW)

… so when i see a phrase, ‘you must have’, that’s a good indicator that i should strive to have that.  anyone i would choose to follow or listen to ‘must have that’.  and ‘that’ is ‘the same attitude that Christ Jesus had’.    it says that :  ESV “Though he was God”, KJV “being in the form of God”; that He-  ESV “gave up His divine privileges” KJV “made Himself of no reputation”.    so i ‘must have’ the same attitude.

… at this point i look over at my bookcase that is full of different ‘teachers books’ and i think about their ‘fruit’.  i look at the thousands of dollars of teachings that i have from ‘all the great preachers’ – alive and dead – and i think of the fruit.  i think of my fruit.  when i bought all of these teachings and books and cd’s – why did i buy them?  was i ‘sowing to my flesh – lust of the eyes’?  what did i get from all of these teachings?  anything that i remember from them, was ultimately from the Bible.  and then i smell ‘rotten fruit’ in my bookcase.

… i think about these pastors, and their movie studio ‘sanctuaries’ – about their first class tickets and expensive hotels – the expensive clothing and jewels;  and i remember the children that i met in India – the starving children who did not have food, some without clothing.  i think about the times i have seen books with the pictures of these ‘great men of god’ on the covers, in a house that did not even have proper food to support their families.  and then i smell ‘rotten fruit’.

… i think it’s time to throw the ‘rotten fruit’ onto the compost pile and turn it into good composted dirt – that will provide a good place for seeds to grow….

responsibility

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Author: orland

.. i was born into an average family in the mid-west of the United States of America. my parents were divorced when i was young. ... i have been fortunate to have experienced many things that only the rich get to see. i once stayed in the Presidential Suite of the Lai Lai Sheraton Hotel, in Taipei, Taiwan. this suite composed the top two floors of the Lai Lai, where my private room overlooked the city of Taipai. ... and i have spent time in the Federal Prison System of this country as well. ... i had a construction company on the road to 'success and prosperity' and fell pray to the lures of the American Christianity Syndrome. but thank the good LORD, He allowed it all to crash around me. ... now i am quite happy to be poor, relying only on Him ....