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False Teachers – Week 36 / August 29th
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways.”
2 Peter 2:1-2
The Bible warns that the end time, designated by the restoration of Israel, will be characterized by false teachers. These will introduce destructive heresies that will lead the people of God into deception and error. These days are certainly upon us and we should be aware that deception is close enough to the truth to be embraced as truth! Only a close walk with Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will protect us from these spiritual delusions.
Deception almost always attacks the truths surrounding the cross, the nature of Jesus and the truth about end time events. Paul teaches us that if teachers come preaching strange doctrines about the cross they should be resisted and damned. (Galatians 1:8-9) Strong words indeed but if the message of the cross is corrupted we end up with no gospel. Martin Luther struggled against this problem and at great cost restored the meaning and significance of the cross to the Church. Jesus alone saves us by enduring the wrath of God on the sinner’s behalf on the cross. We cannot save ourselves and it is only He, by His substitutionary death on the cross, who saves us. It is all grace and not of works lest we are tempted to boast. We are put right with God by faith alone!
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3: 18
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”
One of the great false teachings besetting the church today is that of Kingdom Now or what is called Dominion theology. Its popularity lies in the fact that it is very triumphant and promises the believer power and influence in and over the world. A positive message like this is easily embraced and indeed the scriptures can be twisted to make it look and feel like truth. It is not. In fact, it is a great deception.
Its essential nature is that Jesus cannot come again until the world has been Christianized. That is, the Church must take dominion over the structures of the world and become the dominant influence in all spheres of society before Jesus can come again. They call this assuming control over the so called “seven mountains” of human endeavour. One strong propagator of this deception recently stated that one’s eschatology must be influenced by one’s missiology. What he meant was that Jesus told us to disciple the nations and thus our vision of the end time must be that of global conquest and dominion for Christ. This will be achieved, we are told, by a new type of anointing of the Holy Spirit that the Church has not witnessed before. For many unsuspecting Christians this teaching is exciting, very positive and triumphant. However, it is not biblical as it totally side lines the significance of Israel’s modern day restoration which enjoys huge biblical verification.
The truth is, the kingdom of God, in its final glorious nature, will be ushered in by the coming of Jesus to a restored Jewish Jerusalem. This is the clear teaching of scripture and indeed, just prior to this glorious day, the Church in all the world is going to suffer a great persecution and a great falling away. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; Revelation 13: 7) This my friends is the picture scripture paints of the end times. Very dangerous days are ahead of us and we need to be sounding the alarm. The warning signs are everywhere. Beware of false teachers!
This in no way means that the Church should huddle away in fear. No, we must do all we can to preach the Gospel as a witness to the world and we must strengthen our spiritual lives by coming out of the world and living holy lives. (Revelation 18:4; Hebrews 12:14) Anything less than this will leave us weak and unprepared for all that is coming. So then our eschatology should not be defined by our missiology but by the word of God! This precious “word” must be read and taught in context and not in pretext.