Insidious Philosophy - Part 1
Jesus prophesied that in the last days an insidious philosophy would sweep through His Church causing many to be deceived. What subtle system of beliefs within God’s Church could possibly bring about the destructive result described by Jesus when He said, “Take heed lest any man deceive you:
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Mark 13:5-6)
Jesus Christ warns us of a widespread false religious system within the Church of God in these last days that claims to submit to His authority, while in fact their preachers mislead many into accepting counterfeit doctrinal changes (Matthew 24:11). Jesus said that whatever we do; do not follow those men. “Go ye not therefore after them.” (Luke 21:8) Should we be concerned about Christ’s warnings today?
How can we possibly spot these charlatan ministers? Jesus tells us to go by their track records. What have they represented and stood for in the past? Do they uphold the doctrine of Jesus Christ as a sacred thing, or do they cunningly dismiss sound doctrine in favor of captivating fables (2 Timothy 4:2-4). When the Church was going through the Worldwide Church of God apostasy about 20 years ago, did those ministers repudiate false doctrine, or did they cast out the faithful brethren? Did they champion those of the apostasy who renounced the Sabbath and the Commandments of God? Jesus told us to: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16)
Brethren, are we heeding the words of Jesus Christ? When He says that there are many false preachers – Jesus is not speaking of Jimmy Swaggart, Billy Graham or Joel Osteen – because Protestant ministers aren’t going to deceive anyone in God’s Church. We are deceived by ministers who claim the mantle of authority of being in God’s Church and representing Christ. We must be very suspect because we are told that, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:15) That means that these false ministers are slicker than butter when it comes to spewing out their decadent heresies (Psalm 55:21).
Brethren, if we find ourselves being lulled to sleep, how can we become undeceived? The answer is to return wholeheartedly to True Doctrine. Dismiss those who treat doctrine as an insignificant or petty inconvenience. It is flat-out heresy to write-off true doctrine for the sake of getting along with those who have gone off base doctrinally. Getting along with people of different doctrinal persuasions is not Unity of the Spirit, but far from it. We are told to separate ourselves entirely from those who do not hold the doctrine of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 6:17, 2 John 1:10).
There is a widespread campaign to fundamentally change the doctrine of the Church of God by those men that Christ warned us to beware of. The biblical phrase, “spirit of unity,” is being employed to mean hold the congregations together no matter what they believe. The trial balloons have been floated to test congregational reaction, and the movement is underway. Be on the lookout for statements like these: “The Lord weighs the heart which I believe is more important than being doctrinally correct ...and this applies to all doctrine.” “[Doctrine…] is not that big of deal compared to spiritual unity.”
God’s Word says differently: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers.” (Titus 1:9-10)
Brethren, we are supposed to be a people who are obedient to God, and not to our feelings. True unity of the spirit encompasses so much more than individual congregations – it encompasses the entire Body of Christ across the entire spectrum of Church of God groups.
“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is One Body, and One Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)
We are never permitted or asked by Jesus Christ to violate any of His doctrines in order to achieve “getting along with each other.” And, men who violate the slightest rule of God to attain their purposes are not listening to the voice of Christ. We have been warned. “They that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18)
Our primary duty is to love God and our fellow man according to Godly doctrine – not to compromise the high standards of Jesus Christ for the sake getting along with those who believe strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Doctrine that is not put into practice is no doctrine at all. Here’s a red flag warning: Instead of returning to the Lord and His basic Christian doctrine, the confused members are being directed back into the same wrong mind-set that does not primarily look to God and His unifying way.
Look at a man’s history – and judge him by his fruits. Has he been a servant leader to all of God’s people – everywhere? Does he possess the love of God? Has he laid down his life for the brethren in response to Christ’s command? “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)
Brethren, check out the fruit as Jesus says – and then be loyal only to God, and choose those men who exhibit the doctrine of God without compromise. This may be the most important decision you will ever make.