Modern Examples of Deception to Avoid Part 5 – The Deception of Criticism in the Church!

A SPIRIT OF CRITICISM!

(Ver 2.2) This is Part 5 in a Bible study series that is designed to help us to learn from examples of deception being used by Satan in the modern world that we as Christians should endeavor to avoid. Every Bible study in the series is intended to be helpful as an independent lesson. But if you would like to study the entire series of lessons from the beginning, you can go to “Part 1” first.  This lesson series should help Christians to learn that there is more than one type of deception being used by Satan to deceive them.  But, today’s lesson will focus only on how some Christians have been deceived into believing that they are the only Christians that are truly saved causing them to believe they are the only ones that are knowledgeable and right in all their doctrinal beliefs. 

This type of deception tends to cause these people to denounce all other Christians of differing beliefs to be called names such as “false prophets”, “false teachers”, “heretics”, “ministers of heresy”, etc.  Does that sound very Christian to you?  This type of behavior sounds more like the devil’s modern-day plot called “the cancel culture agenda”.  These people go so far with their mob mentality that if anyone does not agree with their beliefs, they are shouted down to silence them.  These types of mobs are very intolerant of any words that conflict with their beliefs.  They hate people that speak anything contrary and they call out their opponents with demeaning names for public shaming, like being called a “racist”.  If this does not shut the opposition up, they move to the extreme of mob violence and eventually to the even highest extreme of murder to silence people that disagree with them.  Wow, what a world we are experiencing. 

This lesson is a complete rewrite of an older lesson from years ago.  It has been completely updated and revised to hopefully be more kind and helpful.  Let us get started in our lesson.

INTRODUCTION

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 
1Co 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

The writer of 2/3 of the New Testament recorded a word of warning inspired by the Holy Spirit for the church.  Please agree that Paul would qualify to have more knowledge of the truth than most other Christians both then and now.  But Paul who knew so much warns us to not allow our presumed knowledge of the truth to get us into Satan’s trap of pride.  The Holy Spirit instructs us clearly to walk in love when dealing with other Christians before we try to teach them what we think we know.  I have heard it said this way, that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. 

Please notice what verse 2 said.  God says, if we think we know anything about a subject, we must first realize that we could be significantly ignorant to understand that we do not know the entire truth of the subject.  That was my paraphrase of the verse.  But we can see that this was what the all-knowing God was trying to teach us limited humans. I believe these two verses describe the initial stages of the downfall of Lucifer.  We can learn that it was this type of thinking that Lucifer was imagining in his heart reading in Isaiah 14.  Lucifer obviously was self-deceived into believing he knew as much as God.  This same pattern of self-deception can be repeated with humans and Christians also today. 

This truth teaches us that deception can occur two ways.  Christians can be deceived by others (1 Jn 3:7) or we can also deceive ourselves (1 Cor 3:18, James 1:26).  A Christian that studies the Bible can fall into the same Lucifer type of self-deception and self-exaltation because of our pride in what we think that we know about God and His Word.  You might recall that in 2 Corinthians 12:3, Paul informs us that God allowed a satanic thorn in his flesh to keep him from being self-exalted in pride from all of the revelation of the Word of God that was given to him. If Paul would have filled himself with pride for everything that he knew, he could have fallen to not fulfill what God’s plan was for His life. This is a great description of what happened to Lucifer, when he fell in pride.  Remember what Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction…”  Let us also recall what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:11-12:

1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things
1Co 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known

These verses teach us two truths about Paul’s knowledge of the Word of God.  First, spiritual knowledge is a process of growing out of an unlearned childish state who lacks any understanding and speaks a lot of childish ma ma, da da, and goo goo words to finally becoming a mature Christian that puts away all of this kind of baby speaking.  Then in verse 12 we can see how Paul who knew more than most of us about the Word of God declares he did not know it all.  He admits that we (Paul and us) still only know a small part. Wow, that is the opposite of a prideful attitude of thinking that he had a complete knowledge of the entire truth. Newborn Christians have such a limited capacity of seeing spiritual truth. And when these types of Christians criticize others, their words can be used as weapons to offend other Christians to fall away.

If you are a Christian, you should know that this prideful pattern of self-deception occurred several times in the Bible with humans.  For example, this is what the Pharisees did to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior!  Religious Pharisees believed they knew so much about truth that they killed their Author of truth on a cross.  This type of deception is what is happening in the church and the world today.

We can see very clearly that there are still a lot of pride filled Pharisees types in the world.  Where did they get this command to criticize others? Who has exalted them to be the anointed, appointed, and called instrument of God’s swift justice? Is it God?  Where did these people obtain the gift of criticism? This must be a spiritual gift that we missed reading about in 1 Corinthians 12.  Did you find this gift in your Bible?  In 1 Corinthians 12:4 God does say there are many different Gifts but ONLY 1 GOD that gives them all. So, does it make sense to you, that if God has given some in the church gifts to build up the church, that there would also be other gifts that are designed to divide, destroy and tear it down?  That sounds like the works of two different opposing Gods to me.

There are deceived Christian people that believe that God is a God who is intolerant of human ignorance.  There are even Christians that seem to believe that God is swift to judge ignorant misguided Christians. Could it be that many of these types of Christians believe they know more about the Bible than they do?  Could it be possible that these types of people are not pleased with other Christians who are not as perfect as they believe they are? Could it be this is because of a type of prideful attitude towards others that we learned Lucifer had towards God?  Why do Christians judge other Christians just because there are differences in Bible knowledge and beliefs?  Could it be our pride or prejudices that cause us to call some Bible teachers false just because we do not agree with them? 

I believe that we are deceived if we believe that it is only us that have the mind of Christ and only we hear from God.  I believe we are deceived if we believe that the Spirit of God only resides in us.  I believe we are deceived if we believe the Spirit of God does not teach anyone else but us and our church leaders.  I believe that we are deceived if we believe the Spirit of God does not use anyone else but us and our denomination. I believe that we are deceived if we believe the Spirit of God shows favoritism and has selected only a choice few in our own group to carry forth the truth.

Surely you have noticed people who openly criticize and condemn TV and internet preachers as being false prophets and false teachers?  Do they do this to save others from going to hell? Could listening to something that is not true be the main reason for going to hell?  If it is, we are all going to hell because no one is teaching 100% of the truth because no one but God knows 100% of the truth!  I believe listening to these presumed false preachers and teachers is not a sin or going to send anyone to hell.  This is why God wrote us an instruction how to deal with this in Acts 17:11.  Here in this verse God said to be a more noble Berean type of Bible student and look up in your own Bible daily to prove if what was taught to you was the truth. 

If you hear someone criticizing and condemning Bible teachers for what they teach, please ask them “What is the basis that makes someone false or true teacher?”  If they say it is the Word of God, then that is the pathway to knowing the truth. Ask them next for the Bible verses for their beliefs that contradict what was taught.  If they give you some, go and read them and study them yourself.  See if this is what the Holy Spirit is saying to you about the truth.  But, if they say that it is their opinion of what they think the Word of God says, that could be a reason for deception.  Who says our opinion is right or complete enough to judge?  Are we God?

We can see so many of these types of Pharisee types all around us.  Especially on the internet.  But there are some on TV that make similar claims.  It is amazing how easy it is for Satan to deceive people to judge others that they do not know personally or have ever met in person.  I believe these types of criticizing judges are not examples for real Christians to follow or try to emulate. In fact, Jesus warned us that we should do surgery to remove the large beam from our own eye before we do some minor surgery to try to remove the small speck from our brother’s eye (Luke 6:42).

In 1 Corinthians 14:1 God commands us to “Pursue LOVE, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that we may prophesy.  In verse 3 Paul defines for us what it means to prophesy.  He says to prophesy is for us to speak to the church for 3 reasons:

  1. Edification
  2. Exhortation
  3. Comfort

The Greek word translated as “edification” literally means to build a house.  That is the opposite of tearing the church down with words of criticism.  The Greek word translated as “exhortation” means to “call someone to be near” as in give them an invitation based upon love to come in.  The Greek word translated as “comfort” is a word that implies that we need to “encourage” people.  This would include telling someone about what they are doing right, good, and well.  This means that Christians should bring an emphasis to what is positive in someone in the body of Christ and not negative. This would teach that we should be looking for what they are doing good and not spending all our time trying to tear them down.  In other words we should not be examining their every word spoken or written to look for something to trap them or to use to twist against them.  No, we should rather be focused to look for the good words that they say and let the others that we may not agree with right now, maybe either just let them go by or go and study the verses to see if they are a true and better choice for our beliefs.  I heard one wise preacher teach this concept by saying “Any old cow is smart enough to eat the good straw while spitting out the bad tasting sticks”.  So just because someone is not perfect and does not know everything perfectly as we view it, it is still not wise to reject everything that they teach.

  SOME EFFECTS OF THIS DECEPTION

My primary concern about these types of deceived people that attack Christian ministers the most, is the fact that there are so many new Christians that can be  easily influenced to stumble and fall away from moving forward to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.  I believe that it is essential for new Christians to grow up to be spiritually mature and to learn to hear from God for themselves.  But deceived Christians who share criticism of other Christians can change the direction of a new Christian’s life very easily.  Ungodly criticism gives the impression to some that we are fighting between each other while we ignore our real enemy Satan. Why would God desire for Christians to fight against Christians?  Are there not demonic spiritual enemies to war against (Eph 6:12)?

New Christians can be distracted by incomplete or unsupported words of condemnation given by people that claim to be believers.  These people can sound so intelligent and can sound so sure and confident in their minds of their judgments.  But confidence and intelligence does not make anything true. God may be attempting to lead a new Christian into learning something fresh that He desires them to learn.  But Satan’s deception can keep new or even some mature Christians from searching in their own Bible to know if what is said is true or not (Acts 17:11).  The ignorance of new believers to understanding advanced spiritual Bible truths makes them much simpler to deceive than someone who has studied the Bible for over 20+ years and was raised in a good church from a young age.  This is exactly why Paul was incredibly careful at times to only bring milk subjects to certain new Christians.  Paul knew that the deep meat subjects were potentially very highly offensive (1 Cor 3:12) to new babes in Christ. Notice what Paul warned the church in this verse:

Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 

Could it be this is what is happening when people judge without having sufficient experience and understanding of the Bible?  I believe it is exactly what is happening in the modern church.  There is nothing new under the sun.

FOUR MAIN REASONS
WHY THERE ARE DIFFERENCES
IN UNDERSTANDING SOME BIBLE TEACHINGS

When any Christian judges a Bible teacher that teaches something different than what they are accustomed to, this can demonstrate a person’s pride in their own knowledge of the Bible.  Usually when someone hears some words that do not make sense they become easily offended at the message.  This type of becoming offended can then be followed by their rapid poor choice for speaking opinionated judgements to others.  When these rapid judgments are heard by others, they can cause them to become offended also. This can then result in the placement of a spiritual stumbling block that we just read about in the last section. 

But we need to see and learn that there are several potential reasons for why someone does not agree with what is taught by others.  Most rapid poor judgments are based upon a presumed belief that someone that is different is purposefully teaching something to deceive them. But in fact, there are other reasons that need to be considered to help eliminate our poor snap judgments.

Human disagreement of the Bible can come from one of four main areas of potential misunderstanding.  The first possibility is that the teacher may be confused on the subject or ignorant of something else in the Bible that you know that needs to be known by them to better understand the subject.  That is called ignorance on the part of the teacher and we are ALL ignorant about many things found in the Bible.   Ignorance is not a sin, nor does it make anyone a false teacher. In fact, I have learned a lot of things from Bible teachers that I did not agree with 100%.  These types of ministers were very sincere in studying and teaching the Bible but did not see certain things in the Bible that I had learned from my own study.  I figured out that these teachers were not intentionally deceiving anyone, and their heart was full of good intentions to provide their message to others.  But this is one of the primary reasons that disagreements of Bible truth can occur.  It is very normal to find this happening in any church and with any teacher. We are all on differing levels of knowing the Bible. I understand that you could know something that I have not yet learned and vice versa you may not know something that I have learned.  Also, some of us are on a first-grade level of learning the Bible and others of us are at the advanced doctorate level of learning the Bible and others of us are somewhere in between. Therefore, I have learned to give other Bible teachers a lot of grace and mercy and I pray that you will do the same for me and for other teachers.

The second possibility for a Bible disagreement is that the teacher could have just misspoken or written something in haste that was just an honest mistake or accident.  I have seen many teachers and speakers do this that were both Christian and non-Christian teachers.  If you have read all the Bible lessons on this website, no doubt you may have seen where I have made several unintentional errors, typing mistakes, misspellings, grammatical errors, etc.  These types of unintentional errors are also normal and do not make anyone a false or even a bad teacher.  This just proves that we are all still imperfect humans.

Once, I remember a man that pointed out that I attributed something to Luke in a lesson that he was reading that I should not have done.  After I read it, I knew that I had done this in haste and that I should not have written it in the way that I did.  I thanked him for his comment that pointed this out and I quickly made the correction.  Even though this error occurred in typing a lesson too fast, was without intent, and was corrected, he informed me that he would not be reading any more of my Bible lessons.  He was obviously looking for an extremely high standard of perfection that would only fit his level of acceptance in study material content and that was sad.  Because of him being offended, there is no telling what he might have missed out on that God wanted to show him. 

Imperfections in speech or in writing can cause someone to be offended and this keeps a lot of people from receiving and knowing a lot of truth.  But as we learned previously, mistakes do not make anyone a false teacher, it only shows they are learning mortal humans.  In fact, God purposefully uses the most foolish imperfect people in the world to confound the wise perfectionists (1Cor 1:27). 

Now for reason number 3 that causes people to be easily offended at the teachings of some ministers.  We must understand a simple basic truth that not everyone listens perfectly to hear what is really being said.  We can see an example of this in John 12:28-29.  Here Jesus was praying to the Father and the Father answers Him from heaven with an audible voice. Some that were standing around said it was just thunder and others claimed they heard a voice of an angel.  We can clearly learn that not everyone heard the same words, the same way.

There are many words that sound like other words.  There are literally many ways for some words to be used that do not mean what someone is hearing them to say.  Slang words are one simple way for messages to be easily misunderstood. Figures of speech are another way to misunderstand the teacher.  Other words just have multiple definitions and that is a great challenge.  Unless everyone is on the same level of every word’s meaning and application there are just a lot of potential ways for a message to be misunderstood.  Therefore, we all need to stop and think before we get offended at something that we think that someone said. 

Finally, for possibility number 4.  Some differences in agreement concerning the Bible subject being taught is possibly some bad news for many Christians. From my experience in studying and teaching the Bible over the last almost 30 years, “I have found that the more I learn, the more I discover that I yet do not know”.  This fourth possible conflict situation occurs when a teacher teaches something that someone may consider heresy, but it is only a revelation found in the Bible that they have never seen before.  I have found that baby Christians that know the least about the Bible are usually the most vocal critics of things they have never seen in the Bible.  Therefore, this type of Bible teacher is not even close to being a false teacher.  We learn that the root problem occurs because of the ignorance and improper attitude of the listener who was offended.

We find this type of conflict occurs with more than just the Bible.  I have observed this where doctors that are general practitioners are wise enough to not go into brain surgery without having been trained in that specialist field.  No, the general practitioner is smart enough to refer the patient to a trained specialist and there are almost never any conflicts between these two types of educated professionals. 

I have seen the medial conflict normally occurs between the ignorant unschooled patient that has only read one opinionated article on the internet and their doctor who is more knowledgeable. It is the doctor that has spent years of education and practice and has studied the subject constantly that is opposed by the ignorant patient.  Most doctors are only trying to help them. However, the doctor is usually never offended at the ignorance of the patient, it is almost always the patient that is offended at the trained and educated doctor.  Maybe the patient searched the internet and found an article that said to do something new and crazy to cure their problem. But when they approach the doctor with their proposed answer, the patient becomes easily offended because they believed a potential false internet article that was overruled by the doctor’s advanced training.  Do you see how this analogy of the doctor and patient could apply to Bible teachers and students?

Ok, I will admit that there is a possible fifth explanation for differences in Bible teachings and Bible understanding agreement that causes someone to be offended.  It is possible that Satan has deceived a minister to accept a lie and they are teaching it like it was a true revelation from the LORD.  These types of ministers come in two types.  The first is the one that is deceived and does not know it and the second is one that is just intentionally lying to be used as Satan’s tool for the deception of others.  I believe type two is a rare occurrence.  Most preachers and teachers desire to know and teach the truth in a loving and kind way, but they just do not know the entire truth. 

We can find examples of these types of preachers that preach and teach in the subject of the rapture.  Some believe there is no-rapture, others believe pre-trib, others mid-trib and others post-trib.  There is absolutely no way that all four types of ministers are teaching the truth.  At least three of the four must be teaching something that they believe is the truth but is not in actuality the truth.  This type of conflict does not make anyone of these ministers a false teacher, it should however teach us to go into our Bible and find out what the LORD is saying to us.  Do not follow people, follow the Holy Spirit and the Bible. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth in His Word.  Then open your Bible and begin your search.  Jesus promised us that if we ask and seek, He will answer, and we will find (Luke 11:10).

I knew a minister that fell into deception once.  He started a church and it grew into an exceptionally large group of over 5000 people.  He was an excellent anointed Bible teacher, and this was why the church increased.  However, deception began to creep into the teachings many years later. This was probably from the people that he began to associate with. Within a short time, he was divorced, and the church went from over 5000 members to ZERO and does not exist anymore.  What do we learn from this example?  It did not take Christian criticism to topple his ministry.  The ministry collapsed on its own weight of deception.  Please do not misunderstand me.  There was Christian criticism.  There was worldly news media criticism.  There were government investigations into the church. But it was mostly people who knew the Bible that walked away from the church that caused it to go down.  Please read what this wise man said about some real God teachers in Acts:

Act 5:38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
Act 5:39  But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Can we understand the wisdom being taught to us here?  These were the religious men of the day that believed in their heart that they were right, and they knew more than these unlearned men that were preaching Jesus.  But who was right? Was it the Pharisees or these called of God preachers?  Obviously, it was these called of God preachers named Peter and the other apostles that were with him that were teaching the truth.  What did this wise man say to do to them?  Notice that he recommended that everyone ignore them and see if it was the work of man or the work of God.  If it were the work of God, he said that they would be the ones that were guilty of fighting against God.  And if it were the work of only men, it would fail under its own weight and come to nothing. That is an amazing revelation to learn.

NEW REVELATION

What is revelation?  The Greek word G602 means “to reveal” or “to disclose”, or “to uncover”.  This implies something was previously hidden for it to be made available to be revealed.  G602 comes from the Greek word G601 that means “to uncover”.  Again, this implies something that was previously covered to not be seen or recognized because of a shield that hid it.  Proverbs 25:2 claims “It is the Glory of God to conceal a thing, and the honor of kings to search out a matter”.  It appears after studying verses like this that God has purposely hidden things for saved Christian people to search and find.

What we have learned is that God has concealed a lot of information in the Bible in order that He could take the cover off it at the appropriate time. He does this for two main reasons.  The first is for us to search His Word to learn, know, understand, and apply it to our lives.  The second is to keep the information from His enemies.

The Greek words G601 or G602 occur in 44 verses of the New Testament.  I believe God is trying to teach us that there are many secrets that were hidden in the Bible to be found.  God calls these “mysteries”.  God’s mysteries are the source for God’s revelations.  The Greek word G3466 translated as “mystery” means “secrets” as in to shut the mouth and not tell anyone.  This is the concept of keeping a silent.  But God’s design was not to eternally lock these secrets of His message up permanently by not speaking to us, but rather He designed His Word in a coded fashion to allow Him to uncover them in succession, to be known in His timing.   This Greek word occurs in 27 New Testament verses and occurs first in Matthew:

Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 

Jesus speaking to the foundation of His church builders tells them the secrets of the kingdom of heaven were given to them to know, but to others it was not been given.  Wow, this teaches us even more about the subject of how there exists some people that can see selected truths while others are unable to perceive them simultaneously.  What we are learning is the fact that two people can be reading or hearing the exact same words being taught from the Bible and both could be understanding an opposed meaning or interpretation of the exact same words.  How can this be?  Aren’t the word definitions and meanings the same for both?  However, we learn that the entire issue of understanding pivots upon the point of view of the reader or listener.  God teaches us this here:

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

Here we discover the main factor for argumentative Bible conflicts. God describes factor for understanding truth to be dependent upon the human condition of being saved or being unsaved and potentially the issue of the duration of how long someone has been saved.  Unsaved people are completely natural minded with five senses dominating their thinking.  However, saved people are in varying levels and stages of spiritual growth, development, and maturity.  Therefore, a newborn baby Christian that needs to be fed only milk subjects may not be able to swallow (understand) very much of the deep meat (spiritual) type subjects that are hidden in the Bible.  God called this process a renewal of the Christian mind to be a process of transformation from thinking naturally to thinking spiritually (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23). 

When a new Bible student begins to read the Bible in complete spiritual ignorance there is a never ending supply of revelation and uncovering available from the hidden spiritual words and meaning that God can make available if they desire to know the truth, learn how to look for them and ask God to reveal them.  The Holy Spirit on the inside of a Christian desires to lead every Christian into a deep and intimate personal understanding of the Word of God (Luke 12:2). 

This is one reason why many carnal thinking Christians can be easily offended at hearing something that the Holy Spirit has taught others on a higher level of spiritual understanding.  The main source of conflict and challenge is that this new Christian has not yet encountered, discovered, or seen the subject in their Bible yet.  Are we all together on this concept of why some people are offended at some teachers and why they may call them a false teacher, but they really are not?

There is this major problem with teaching new revelation from the Bible on the internet and on TV.  There is no filter on an advanced spiritual teaching to keep a natural thinking Christian from being offended by it. Therefore, many will reject and come against it like they did the message of Peter in Acts 5.  Christians do this based upon prejudices and a much too rapid rush to judgment before they can test the message using a deep study in their Bible.  I know I have said this several times in this lesson but this is a main take away for reading and studying this lesson.

There is almost always resistance to change or any new addition to traditional Bible teachings by human nature.  This resistance is like me trying to show my 2-year-old son how to tie his shoes and he says to me “No, I do it”.  Can you see how unlearned Christians can act the same way today?  This is an incredibly significant deception taking place in the church.

Please go back and read the Gospels again.  Notice how many times Jesus was teaching and giving people a message that was essential for them to know who He really was and the listeners’ reaction was to pick up stones to try to kill Him or to throw Him off a cliff to kill Him.  Was Jesus telling the Truth?  Of course, He was!  He was the author of the entire Bible and it was impossible for Him to lie.  Jesus proves that truth is not always seen or accepted, and it can even move people to commit murder.

This was a common pattern that occurred in all of church history.  Paul came out and taught things that offended many Jewish believers.  These early Jewish believers thought these new Gentile believers had to be physically circumcised.  But Paul opposed this by teaching a new revelation saying “He is not a Jew that is one outwardly circumcised in the flesh, but he is a Jew that is one circumcised inwardly in his heart” (Rom 2:28-29). Can you see the two natures in conflict in this example?  Paul was thinking on a higher level of spirituality than the natural Jewish believers that were focused on some outward visible flesh priorities. Paul won this argument because it was the truth. 

Then there were other church history examples.  When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door, because he had found things in the Bible that were not agreeable with the church’s practices of selling indulgences, he sparked a nerve in deceived church leaders.   The deceived leaders excommunicated him from their church.  But, most of Martin Luther’s sound teachings are still being taught today in protestant denominations.  He experienced the same type of religious opposition as Jesus and Paul.

Well I have had the same issues.  I have had people leave me comments informing me I am of Satan.  They are so kind to tell me that I am teaching heresy.  They even claim to be praying to God to shut down my website because of the deception that I am teaching.  I have learned to ignore them and pray for them.  I know what God says in Numbers about Balaam speaking to King Balak who wanted him to curse natural Israel.  Balaam said “I have received a commandment to bless, and He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it” (Num 23:20). People cannot curse what God has blessed.  Thank you, Jesus.

CONCLUSION

I am not someone who claims to know everything in the Bible. But like most other Christians, I have learned a few things in my life. One truth that I have learned is that there is no one human on the earth that knows and understands the entire Bible perfectly. I do not know anyone on the earth today that understands even a majority of the truth of the Bible.  There have been many people that have written exhaustive commentaries on the Bible with a lot of good information that we can learn from.  However, none of these represent the complete truth or understanding of the Bible.  Many of these commentaries can even contradict each other in certain subjects and verses.  Also, there are usually a vast number of scriptures that have no explanation because the writer did not understand it enough to comment on it.

No one knows 100% of the truth and you should have the same realization.  We must begin every day of our life understanding that only God knows everything!   This attitude gives us a more complete perspective of our humanity limitations for us to become humbler to accept and learn something new from God every day.  With this type of adjustment in attitude we might just discover something new in the Bible that we have never seen before.

I have discovered through guidance by the Holy Spirit and deep study that the Bible is much more complex than many humans think.  Humans are incapable of understanding everything that the Bible says without God’s tremendous assistance.  Some do not believe this, but it is still true.  I recently heard of one gentleman who said, “there is nothing hidden in the Bible”.  He was implying everything could just be read and understood automatically in the surface text.  I wonder if this ease of understanding that he believes in, is why there are thousands of Christian denominations in our world? 

Here is a basic fact of truth that we must agree upon.  God’s intelligence is so far beyond our intelligence that there is no comparison to be made between us and Him.  Therefore, any human that claims that they are the only teacher of all truth is an instrument of the devil sent to confuse and deceive us.  Jesus in speaking to the Pharisees said this:

Mat 23:15  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Wow, these are very blunt and direct words, aren’t they?  I see Pharisees in our world at work today everywhere.  They sit in their arrogant churches, mosques and synagogues and seek converts to become a more diligent police force for the spread of their version of the truth.  These are the self-appointed thought police of their religions.  Instead of being like Jesus they want to ram their religion down our throats and if we do not submit, they will eventually try to kill the unbelievers who resist them.   Their philosophy is either you change to our beliefs or we will silence you.  That is a demonic attitude and does not resemble the true nature and character of God in any way.

Unfortunately, there are deceived people who try to control others. But I do not recall where God ever says for anyone to go into all the world and attack every teacher, prophet or religion that disagrees with your belief.   That is not LOVE! After Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, He asked Peter three times “Do you Love Me?”  Peter said, “Yes Lord” every time.  Then Jesus said, “Go and FEED my SHEEP!”.   Notice, that in John 21, Jesus never told Peter to confront the false feedings of false shepherds.  No Jesus just implied for Peter to become a type of good shepherd and go “feed” His sheep with good healthy “food” of truth.  Jesus confirmed this before He left this world. 

I believe we have learned that one problem with most people who attack others is based upon the fact that they just do not know much of the truth to teach.  It is very much like modern politics.  If someone on the right makes a point of truth that cannot be countered with a higher or greater truth by the left, then that person on the left just begins to hurl accusations of racism to silence the speaker on the right.  So, these types of people like to tear down others around them using biased charges to distract from their own ignorance.  So, going forward Christians should only concentrate on doing this command of Jesus:

Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

This is another selection of the last words spoken by Jesus to His followers.  Jesus said very clearly to “GO and PREACH”.  In other words, He did not command anyone to go and confront, or go and criticize, or go and persecute, or go and hate, or go and force feed, or go and teach against any perceived evil doers to their face.  Jesus never mentioned that Christians should go and try to silence the false teachers.  Jesus only said for us to go into all the world and spread the good news food of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That means teach the GOOD TRUTH as we know it and understand it.  This is the opposite of condemning others.  The good message was that of reconciliation and salvation and not attacking those who are different.  By Christians attacking others we become the same as the unsaved world.  How does acting the same as evil people convince them to change to become Christians?  It does not and that is the problem.

By doing the sayings of Jesus, we can all become a better Christian.  Jesus said if we do His Word, we will be like a wise man that built his house on the rock and when the storms of life come upon us, we will withstand them and be unshaken and will not fall (Luke 6:38). Therefore, Christians should primarily focus on bringing the “Good News” to people.  The Truth of the Good News of Salvation is what is needed to help others change their beliefs.  If we are NOT speaking truth in love, then we are no different than a radical mobster hurling a brick.  The only difference is that we would be a deceived person attempting to hurl mean words.

PERSONAL APPLICATION

Let us pray a prayer and ask God to help us not fall into Satan’s trap of condemning other people by calling them a false teacher just because they do not say or teach everything that we believe in 100% agreement.

Heavenly Father forgive me for any words that I have spoken against any of your servants.  You said in Romans 14:4 that we should not judge your servants, because you are able to make them stand or fall.  Lord God help me to be humble enough to admit that I could be wrong in my beliefs and give me the grace to go and study your Word to see if there are things that I need to change in my personal beliefs.  Help my beliefs in your Word to conform and grow into the knowledge of your higher level of Spiritual Truth.  Oh, God do not let me be deceived.  Help me to discern between truths and lies quickly and accurately.  Help me to only accept your Truth and to reject any false teachings of deception.  But, also help me not to be critical of anyone that is not teaching what is 100% truth as you have shown me.  Help me to pray for any Bible teacher that is not 100% accurate in every area and I will pray that the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory may give them the Spirit of wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ to know your truth (Eph 1:17).

Dearest God help the body of Christ to unite in one accord in these last days as your Son prayed in John 17:20-21.  Allow the Spirit of truth, love, peace, and harmony to become the dominate common bond of unity between every believer.  Help us all to be faithful laborers within your harvest field to spread the Good News to anyone that you place across our path. Grant unto us the boldness to speak and declare the Gospel at every opportunity.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen!

If you would like to continue in the Deception series please go to “Part 6“.

About agapegeek

Using the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.

Posted on August 12, 2020, in deception, Satan and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Hello Brother

    Thank you for this instructive and enlightening lesson on deception in the church.

    As a child I was influenced by my mum’s strong opinions and beliefs. Around the age of 8 my mum became a Christian and so I was brought up in a church environment which influenced me to give my life to the Lord at 13. However my mother is very opinionated and critical over some issues pertaining to the gender of females and their role within the church and this influenced me greatly into my adulthood. Her judgement over this issue became part of my belief pattern until I became wise to it.

    I know Paul teaches about women in the church. Today we have hundreds of women vicars and clergy and yet it is not my place to judge them if they are leading others to Christ.

    I would love to hear your view as always.

    Best wishes

    Kate

    On Wed, 12 Aug 2020, 9:20 pm The Agapegeek Blog, wrote:

    > agapegeek posted: ” A SPIRIT OF CRITICISM! (Ver 2.0) This is Part 5 in a > Bible study series that is designed to help us to learn from examples of > deception being used by Satan in the modern world that we as Christians > should endeavor to avoid. Every Bible study” >

    • Hello Sister, I would recommend that you read one lesson that I wrote years ago on this subject. Is is called “Must Women Keep Silent in the Church?” You can find the link to this lesson by going to the “Bible Singles” tab in the menu which will take you to a webpage of many of the Bible lessons that are not a part of any series currently. God Bless you and I pray that all is well in your life.

  2. Magdel Du plessis

    Hi, Magdel again. Again loved your study and learned a lot as always. Was wondering can you please assist me with bible study blogs that you will recommend to me to learn from. My our Loving God Jesus bless you and your family with all the Goodness from His Hands. My goodness and love follow you all the days off your life. Be blessed.. Magdel

  3. Finally, a Biblical study that looks objectively at Christian brothers and sisters tearing each other down. Thank you @

  4. Wow! Thank you for the reminder for all of us that it is only too easy to fall into the “Pride” trap. (Especially in today’s climate of deception and madness) It is especially important to make a determination to not take that well-worn, broad road and go “over the cliff” with the mob.

  5. Thank you. I haven’t always kept up with your teachings.
    This was helpful for me at this time.
    It is a huge topic that could be open for for an honest group discussion.
    Questioning and discussing what I “think” I heard is important. It is what seems to be missing.
    Sometimes “fights” and disagreements in the church lead to true growth.

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