Prophets and Teachers

Dear Brethren,

Why is the end-time Church of God told in Revelation 3:19 that they must repent?  “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”   Jesus knows that it is possible for His people to be overcomers as He is an overcomer.  If we are wise in these last days – we should be asking ourselves, “What is it that God is so displeased about?”  The answer is given in many places, but let’s look at what Peter said:

“There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily, [surreptitiously and secretly embracing false doctrine] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”  (2Peter 2:1)

Paul spoke of this problem to Timothy:  “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”  (2Timothy 4:3)  There were good prophets and there were good teachers who taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But in this end time, the people of God are warned to be on the lookout for those who would pervert the Gospel.  The people Paul warns about with itching ears have to be continually thrilled and fascinated with new controversies.  Those desires impel a person to believe whatever he wants to believe rather than the actual truth itself.  Those with itching ears only want false teachers who will assure them that the truth has been withheld from them.  There will always be “many false teachers” who are willing to provide conspiracies and lies instead of sound doctrine.  The Truth of God has always been under attack.  We are blessed to have received the warnings we have received, not only from the prophets of old and the apostles, but from Jesus Himself.  Jesus said:   “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”  (Matthew 24:11)

God has ruled out many of the false prophets by not including their writings in the Holy Scriptures.  Some want to hear all the false prophets and false teachers because they want to know everything, so as to be able to decide for themselves.  They enjoy being embroiled in controversy.  They do not trust God to give them the full picture.  They do not believe that God wants only for us to have the good and avoid the effects of the evil.  Without realizing it they are saying God cannot be trusted to give us the truth—the entire story.  That is exactly the same strategy Satan employed with Eve when he caused her to question God (Genesis 3:1-5).  That is why some people want to believe that the word of God is inadequate in its instruction for us.  Please understand that not everything that has been written in the past is “God breathed” – that is, inspired teaching from the mouth of God.  Josephus and the Maccabees wrote some pretty good histories – but they were not set down on parchment by converted men who were led by God’s Spirit to record the things they wrote (2Peter 1:21).  Worse than that, there are men of old who had ungodly agendas that were opposed to the Plan of God.  They sometimes include ideas from the demonic world that are hostile to the word of God.  Paul had to deal with such heresy in the Church—and he said, ”Don’t go there!” (Galatians 1:6-9)

Who are the false ministers?  Who is able to identify those who do not teach the true faith once delivered to the saints?  Where are those who teach Christianity and Godliness?  Why is it that we cannot find any large break-away groups that teach Christianity and Godliness?  We find those groups that want their people to be loyal to their leader or their headquarters.  We find those groups that want to change up the calendar from that which has been blessed all these years.  We find those groups that teach that the pronunciation of God’s name is more important than living what God stands for.  We find those groups that think that the Bible is not sufficient unto salvation—but it is.  Paul reminded Timothy; a third generation Christian:

“From a child thou hast known the holy (not all writings) Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  (2Timothy 3:15)

Holy means "not all" - but those things “set aside” by God for His spiritual reasons and purposes.  Read that verse closely because it tells us that the Bible is sufficient unto salvation, in that it contains everything we need to come to Godliness.  In fact, over and over God warns us not to add or subtract anything from the Holy Scriptures He has given us.

“I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  (Revelation 22:18-19)


Sermon:  "Prophets and Teachers"