Newsletter #266 - December 2000 - By Shepherds Chapel - http://www.shepherdschapel.com/
Every time the Bible warns us about being led astray, the warning concerns false prophets and teachers. the word "astray" as we are going to be studying it today is the Greek word "planao" (plan-ah'-oh). The Greek word means cause to roam from the truth, and the root word that it is from means to cause to stray from religion through fraud and deceit. Let's begin our study in Matthew.
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
As a servant of God, you are one of those little ones. At any time when you are in trouble your angel has God's attention, and help is on the way.
Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Why was Christ born in the flesh? He was sent to save that which is lost. This goes all the way back to the 1st earth age and the one-third that followed Satan. If you are in Christ, this is your purpose also.
Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
As Christians, we should follow the example of Christ. Do you look for that one that has roamed from the truth? Actually, there are many that are lost. Anyone that doesn't understand the antichrist comes first is lost.
Matthew 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
It isn't the will of the Father that even one of His children should perish [2 Peter 3:9]; however, some of them are so stubborn they will indeed perish. That is why Christ rejoices more over the one lost sheep that is found. That is what all who serve God should be doing. Help those who have gone astray with God's truth. Let's continue in the Book of Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
If you are serving God, your vocation is to help those who are lost. Do it humbly, patiently and in love.
Ephesians 4:3 3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
What is the calling of a Christian? Seek the lost. That is the entire purpose of this earth age. That is the purpose of this ministry. Focus on the purpose. Skip to verse eleven with me.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
God gives gifts to all His servants to accomplish the work at hand. Again, the work is finding the lost.
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
The word "perfect" in this verse means "mature" and there is no gender implied.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
The word "deceive" in this verse actually means to stray from religion through fraud. They tend to to stray from God's Word, and many of them would have you believe there is more than one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith and one baptism. Don't listen to their lies. We are going to the Book of Mark as we continue our study.
Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Again, the warning concerns religionists. There are many preachers that come in the name of Jesus Christ, in other words claiming to be a Christian, and they deceive many. Let's skip to verse 22 with the same thought in mind.
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Make certain they don't seduce you into a one-way trip to hell. How do you do that? By focusing on the one body, the one faith and the one Lord. There is only One!
Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
Understand the simplicity of Christ's teachings. Keep God's Word simple, and you will be wise above all people in this generation. The religionist don't have a chance to deceive you. Let's turn to the doctrinal Book of 2 Timothy.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
There are troubled times on the horizon. Why? Satan and his angels will be here on earth. What would you expect from them?
2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Without natural affection mean hard-hearted towards family. Incontinent means lack of self control.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
They claim to be servants of God. Some even claim to be preachers, but they deny the very power of God. Beware! Don't allow them to lead you astray.
2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Spiritually, we are all the bride of Christ. Note that the bride is laden with sins. In other words, she hasn't even been taught to repent. These teachers claim to be holy, but they are unholy.
2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
That is sad. They sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday and never gain knowledge concerning the truth. Let's go to verse 12.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
I say bring it on. We are standing with our gospel armor on, and we are "kicking dragon". We have nothing to fear, if we only exercise the power Christ gave us [Luke 10:18-19].
2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Friends, it will get worse before it gets any better. False teachers love to deceive themselves and others. Check out what some one is telling you in God's Word, before you call that person your teacher. No one can improve on the doctrine of Christ. You find the doctrine of Christ in the Bible, and no where else.
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
It is the doctrine of Jesus Christ that brings salvation, not the foolishness of men.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The apostasy will happen just as it is written. Make sure that you are thoroughly furnished so that no man can deceive you and make you part of that falling away. In closing, turn with me to the Book of Revelation. We will pick it up with Jesus speaking to the church in Thyatira. You don't want to be a member of this church.
Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
This church allowed those that claimed to be prophets of God to lead them into false religion.
Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Christ paid the price on the cross with His blood and gave them the opportunity to repent, but they wouldn't.
Revelation 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
God doesn't like false teachers. Judgment begins at the pulpit. May God help those that lead even one of His children astray. Stick to His Word.
Revelation 2:24 24But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Do you know the depths of Satan? Do you realize Satan will be cast down from heaven and be here on earth as antichrist? If you don't, you are already in Thyatira.
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
Do you accomplish God's works, or your own? You would be able to know the answer by whether you are being blessed or not. The Son will rule with a rod of Iron. Those that lead others astray through fraud and deceit deserve the rod.
Revelation 2:28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Be certain you are in a church that teaches as Smyrna and Philadelphia. You must know those who claim to be of Judah, but they are of the synagogue of Satan [Rev. 2:9 and 3:9]. You must know the key of David. What do you do with that key? You reach out to your brothers and sisters that are lost.
In His service, Arnold Murray