Perilous Times are Here: Charlatans

August 28, 2020 at 2:32 PM 2 comments

We are nearing the end of this particular series on 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

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,

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;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV)

Last time, we spoke of people who were treasonous in words and actions. Unfortunately, Paul is primarily referring to those within Christendom. How are they traitors? By espousing heresy, mainly, and teaching others to believe the same.

In our series we just began on false teachers and prophets, we delve into this. As a note of clarification, I noted that we are not simply highlighting certain individuals to shame them. Frankly, if they were to read the articles published here, I doubt seriously that they would care. We highlight them because of their unbiblical viewpoints they hold.

I read one particular article with interest highlighting at least 10 false teachers and it was very interesting to read many of the comments from folks who fully disagreed with the author, citing how those false teachers had “helped” them in many ways.

It has always been interesting to me to watch people who seem to start out very well, but after becoming fairly well known and sought after, apparently, the temptation to compromise with the world becomes too much and they end up moving Left in their thinking and teaching. I personally believe this happens because many of these false teachers have millions who follow them and give to their ministries. Their ministry grows to the point that they become a corporation, albeit a 501(c)3, tax-deductible organization. I truly believe the temptation for money and fame forces them to compromise in order to keep the donations and book sales going.

Today, in verse 5 of 2 Timothy 3, Paul starts that verse with the words, “Having a form of godliness, but denying its power…” That’s an incredibly interesting and eye-opening statement, but what does it mean?

Essentially, Paul is speaking about people who appear to use the right words. They ultimately have their religion in their creed, but not in their hearts. The word “form” means having an outward appearance or shape. To look at these people would indicate to us that they are “religious.” They can appear to walk the talk, but like the unbelieving Scribes and Pharisees, the emphasis is on externals; how things look to others. That is the key. This is truly a dangerous individual because their complete lack of inward reality and integrity where God is concerned is often not seen by others until it is too late.

The interesting thing about false teachers in general is the way they use emotion to engage their listeners. I know folks (as I’m sure you do as well), who attend churches where a social Gospel is preached. It’s all about what we can do for the “downtrodden” in society. Pastors of these churches often get on the bandwagon about social justice or the social injustice they see that needs to be overturned. Jesus, on the other hand, was far more concerned about calling the lost sheep to Him so that they might receive salvation.

Why is the cart put before the horse in so many churches today? Why are there so many who have gained notoriety within Christian circles and eventually come out supporting the tenets of social gospel?

Paul is warning all of us to choose wisely when it comes to the Christian leaders we will get behind. Are they real? Do they not only preach the true Gospel but make every effort to live it? Or, do they preach the truth, but do so because they like accolades and honor from among men and women who hear them while living another life altogether? Do they actually preach the truth or do they use clever sounding words to bamboozle their hearers?

I am not going to categorically state that all mega churches should be avoided, but I will say that I do not see any example of that in the first century church even after the day the Church was born and 3,000 were added to the Church at that point. I honestly believe we are going to see the churches that are based on truth and seek to live that truth, get smaller and smaller as the time moves toward the Tribulation period.

Many of today’s churches are big business. I’ve read want ads from churches looking for pastors and they boast of being able to pay a five or six figure salary, housing allowance, a 401k retirement account and more. It simply makes you wonder about how the ministry is seen today. Why does a pastor of a church need a six-figure salary? Is the church now a corporation in need of a CEO?

Many of the false teachers that Paul called out by name appear not to have been the real deal Christian in the end. John the apostle makes this same point in his three small epistles toward the end of the New Testament.

I visited a church up north and was talking to the pastor. He’d been there for 30 years and in fact, planted that church. The music was upbeat and people were excited to be there. I talked to him about that and he shared that “whatever it takes to get them in” was what they would do. They even went so far as to remove the word “Baptist” from their name, shortening it to something that didn’t really tell people what they believed or that they were even a church.

The Church is there to edify and build up the saints. That’s the number one goal. The saints are built up in order that they can become equipped to be better evangelists when they go out into the world with their jobs or whatever they are doing. False teachers seem to forget that this is the main purpose of the church and compromise their teaching and presentation on Sundays so that it will appeal to the widest audience possible.

Tony Evans, a false teacher we will be highlighting soon, believes in what is known as “inclusivism.” This is the belief that someone does not have to know Jesus through salvation in order to be saved. He also denies original sin (Pelagianism). Yet this man is senior pastor of a 6,000 member church in Texas and his books are readily available through Southern Baptist Convention’s book department, Lifeway.

What is interesting is that people like Evans are true wordsmiths. They take concepts that are anti-biblical and through the twisting of Scripture, make them sound as though they are biblical. Paul says in no uncertain terms that from people like this, we should “turn away.” This means turn our backs to them and completely reject what they are selling. Instead, we see these folks attract millions of people.

Why is this the case? Some will say that it is because we are living in the age of Grace and God has shed that grace abroad in hearts so that people will come to Him. Paul was living in that same age of Grace, wasn’t He? This particular age started with the birth of Jesus and will continue until the Church is Raptured.

If we consider how the apostles were treated, it is clear that the age of Grace, aside from giving them the opportunity to receive salvation and serve the Lord, brought untold hardships on them. With the possible exceptions of Judas and John, it is believed all the apostles were martyred for Jesus. We know Judas killed himself. It is possible John was martyred as well but there are mixed reports.

Yet today, what do we see? Today’s well-known Christian leaders are lauded, honored, have huge bank accounts, large corporations, big homes and sometimes, multiple homes, their own jets, security staff and all the perks that come with that lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Jesus had no place to lay His head with any consistency. He relied solely on the Father and the Father provided what Jesus needed for each day. There are so many within Christendom who appear to be there for selfish gain. They have their reward maybe?

Now remember, Paul is talking specifically of the “last days,” the time prior to the Tribulation and the physical return of Jesus. The last days began in Jesus’ day as He walked this earth. They continue until His second coming. Certainly, some of what Paul is talking about applies to all of society, while a few specific points refer to those within Christendom.

Paul paints a terrible picture of the type of evil and injustice that will exist as the days move rapidly toward the end. If it isn’t enough that we have Marxist organizations doing their best to destroy the USA from within, we have false teachers and prophets attempting to destroy Christianity from within. Of course, while the USA will likely be destroyed or at the least, become pathetically and woefully lacking in the strength that once heralded this nation, Christianity will not be destroyed. How do we know? Because Jesus said in Matthew 16 that He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

Try as Satan might, he will not win against God in attacking the Church in his attempts to destroy. While Satan certainly motivates people in society now who believe Marxism is the way to overcome the rule of law in the United States, possibly reducing it to a shadow of what it once was when originally created by our founders, the Church itself will be protected by God Himself.

You’ll notice that today, governors and mayors in some states are doing their darndest to keep churches closed. Gov. Newsom of California has issued orders that prohibit churches from gathering inside, from singing hymns, from essentially participating in the First Amendment. This is illegal, but churches are having to fight in court for their rights and all of this is based on the stated belief that houses of worship will become petri dishes that will spread the CV-19 virus. But we all know that these same government leaders have absolutely no problem with all the violent “protesters,” looters and rioters. In fact, many, even within the medical community have come out in support of the protests.

This attack on churches may succeed or fail. I’m not a prophet so I don’t know. I know that some pastors are weathering the storm while others are being slapped with fines and threats of imprisonment. This is America today and who would’ve thought that just last fall, we’d be in this situation now?

The interesting thing is to hear many pastors and other Christian leaders agree with the governments who are riding roughshod over the First Amendment. This happens in communist countries like China. Did you ever think it would happen in America, land of the free, home of the brave?

A time is coming and may well be here when Christians will have to make the decision to stand against state terrorism. What will you do? It’s probably best you deal with that question now so that if/when it arrives, you’ll already have decided what you will do.

I was watching a video from a man in Victoria, Australia. He was walking along the street and was stopped by three police officers. Apparently, he wasn’t supposed to be walking for exercise, even though he was by himself and was wearing a mask. They hassled him (politely) for about 15 minutes before he was allowed to leave without being fined or arrested. Later, he complained that they had made it illegal to complain against elected officials. He knew many who had been arrested and fined. I understand New Zealand and Australia are in terrible shape with their “lockdowns” (a term used primarily for locking down prisons during uprisings).

Terrible times are here and please do not believe those who say that it will all stop and go back to normal after this coming presidential election. That’s not going to happen. Like the false prophets in Ezekiel’s day who promised that everything would turn out great, we do not know that and if we judge by what is going on now, it will only get worse.

Entry filed under: 9/11, Agenda 21, alienology, Atheism and religion, christianity, Communism, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Emotional virtue, eternity, Global Elite, Gun Control, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming, Shadow Government, Socialism, Transhumanism.

False Teachers and Prophets, Part 1 Who or What is Q?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jen b  |  August 28, 2020 at 3:42 PM

    Well done Modres! Having been ensnared By a mega church, and having watched a long time friend become ensnared, to the point she doesn’t speak to me anymore, I can categorically state mega churches should be avoided. I am so grateful to have been delivered from the mega church system. Every single teacher and spiritual mentor I had has a baby christian has gone by spiritual wayside, whether to NAR or mysticism. Not one remains sound in faith and I now know that many never were. I have often struggled with how to reconcile where we are exhorted in Hebrews to “consider those who first spoke to you the Word of God”. Well, when I consider it, it is not a pretty picture.

    As you know, Peter Drucker, helped along the church of tares with his secular humanism and “seeker friendly” church movement. like any successful corporation, they know their target market and if you notice they tend to occupy affluent communities where feel good emotionalism is craved. You said it well…”feelz”. My husband and I were involved in a very well known mega church in the early part of our marriage. The pastor had a national preaching ministry and was considered a “pastor’s pastor”. We began to recognize however that internally the decisions made were not biblical even though they claimed to rest in the Word. What they do is market scripture in a visually pleasing “pithy” kind of way. But inside, It was a Carnally run circus with a few scriptures planted on top. It was definitely a cult where once people got entrenched, their livelihoods depended on conforming and going along, they all chose to protect each other and cover up. This well known pastor was disgraced on a national scale, only he is too prideful to understand what disgrace is so he has sued and restarted his ministry elsewhere. His sons (sons of Eli, we call them) are carrying on the tradition of garbage theological training and taking this garbage into younger generations. Recently it was revealed at their summer camp, a known a young child was molested AFTER the predator admitted to the pastor’s son he felt temptations in this regard. After the molestation, It was covered up. Can you imagine sending your child to a “christian camp” and having that happen! Ichabod!!!!

    Even “Bible churches” near us have fallen prey, they have women leading ministries based on emotion rather than truth. When they don’t want to accept truth, they just all decide on what they think it means being relevant for today. When I asked my mega church friend how she can reconcile women preaching and teaching men she responded that it was done in the OT when the men were too weak to do it. That’s how they justify it.

    I sat in a women’s group where Martha and Mary were reduced to a feminist movement. Their women’s studies are pretty much “i think” christianity. They largely neglect the Pauline epistles and believe the sermon on the mount and the kingdom are now. If you ask to do a study on the intercession and ministry of Jesus, they will refer to the gospels and the sermon on the mount. They will not go to Hebrews nor is there any idea of the present high priestly ministry of our LORD.

    Prevalent in their theology is Idea that leaven is the gospel rather than reality that leaven Represents false teaching, many times being sown into the church by women. The irony is unmistakable. The last straw is when the group leader referred to Jesus as the “rice of life” saying it wasn’t important as to details, just the idea of nourishment and that the Word had to be amended to suit other cultures. I was done. Also, you’d be hard pressed to find a church that doesn’t teach spiritual formation, lighting candles and emoting. At Trinity divinity school, in the Midwest, it is a mixed bag of reformed, hyper Calvinism combined with spiritual formation and a bunch of new age nonsense which is why we will see even more decline in years to come, if we are not raptured prior to this.

    For years I prayed about this, feeling guilty and neglecting God for not belonging to a church. I have come to believe God was protecting us and keeping us from this counterfeit system. Sorry to be so blunt, God forgive me if I am wrong, but I believe most of the visible organized church is actually a humanist new age counterfeit and most of the attendees do not even know what the true Gospel of Grace is. The mega church movement has sought to swallow up independent churches and to conform their doctrine to this counterfeit system.

    Religion always persecutes faith and it is likely In the coming months and years that the greatest antagonists towards those of us who hold to sound doctrine and fundamentals of the faith will be these very systems.

    Tony Evans officiated the wedding of one of my early church mentors. Tony Evans is still revered and considered sound in conservative evangelical circles. I know from experience that they will not challenge his false doctrine in any way nor will they listen. They will promote “unity in the name of love” and shut us out. I now take great comfort in knowing I want nothing to do with their corrupt system.

    Incidentally, I saw Evans recently speak on Fox News regarding the current racial tensions in America. He said….”well, the church created this racism problem so not it’s up to the church to fix it”. Wow, really Tony? Where on earth did he come up with this nonsense? He sounds more like satan the accuser than a shepherd. He will answer before the LORD JESUS. It went through my mind…”Well did Isaiah prophecy of you, you hypocrites!….” That is what they are. Actors.

    I agreed with your recent assessment that the current system wherein the pastor is subject to the elder board has done great harm. We saw this as well. I got the feeling one pastor was in great inner conflict over the truth. Yet his home, his children’s education and future…all under the control of an apostate fragmented elder board whose largest concern was what they were going to do if the tax exemption was revoked.

    One question Modres, and I’m sorry for going on and on. Do you get the idea this is a sore spot? It took years for me to unravel and understand exactly what we experienced. I will not pray for these wicked teachers, but I do lament the sheep led astray. Having said that, do you think false teachers are saved? I know it seems obvious, but not every teacher who teaches an error is a false teacher right? I mean, I had a lot of wacky ideas, God graciously continues to guide me in all truth. But, do we assume all false teachers are unsaved? Or do we make no assumptions on this at all, given it’s really the LORD who knows? I have wondered if people like Beth Moore actually read Revelation 2:20-21..and how that cannot cause them to tremble!

    Grace and Peace multipled unto you.

    Reply
    • 2. modres  |  August 28, 2020 at 6:28 PM

      I really enjoy reading people’s thoughts! It makes my efforts so much more interesting when I learn I’ve posted things that others connect with and understand from a personal perspective.

      I think it is SO easy to stray, compromise and simply be satisfied when you attend a mega church or any church for that matter that waters down the Gospel. But certainly, mega churches have more of a reason to water things down because of the numbers of people who attend and open their wallets, allowing those churches to have huge and multi-faceted programs.

      We live in a fairly rural area. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to the closest large city. Here in the south, there are churches all over. You can drive out in the country where fewer people live and still see numerous churches. Interestingly enough, a number of them are boarded up. I’ve often wondered why there are so many. Just seems weird and there can’t be enough people to fill them all. But yes, I’ve checked into a few of them in our area just to see what they’re about. It is interesting that even here in the country, there’s a church a few miles away that seeks to be a planter of at least 7 satellite churches “for God.” As I read through their doctrinal statement, wasn’t that impressive. It was way too general, as though they were afraid of being too specific on some things for fear of scaring people away.

      Your friend’s response regarding women in the pulpit is interesting. I know of Deborah in the Old Testament, but if you look at that situation in depth, it is clear that she was not the same type of “judge” that the others were and it’s almost as though she didn’t really want to do what God called her to do and God likely called her because of the fact that men were too weak then. Look at Barack. Instead of relying on God explicitly, he wouldn’t go into battle unless Deborah went with him. Where was his faith in God? Deborah’s response says it all, “However, there will be no glory for you in the course you are taking, for then the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman” (Judges 4:9).

      But I’m not sure how that translates to God using women today. Your friend seems to be thinking that God still chooses women when men won’t comply and/or are weak? Doesn’t make sense and doesn’t really pass the muster, but then again, Billy Graham had that same opinion.

      It is appalling to me how lax people have become about God, our commitment to Him and our relationship with Him. I know I’m in need of greater motivation at times and a greater willingness to step out in faith. But the reality is that over the years I’ve seen exactly how lax people have become with their faith.

      Leaven is the Gospel? Interesting. I’ve never heard anyone say that, but it makes sense that people twist Scriptures so much today. There IS a counterfeit system as we know and Satan has masterminded it.

      I think people can be saved even within a counterfeit system and often when that happens, God will pull them out of it. We attended a mega church when we lived in California. It started off well enough, but then they finally got the land to build their “campus” and built it and it grew and grew and yes, it was in an upscale neighborhood (not ours, but down the road a few miles from us). Eventually, they had their own coffee shop and lots of shops on campus. The pastor’s sermons were becoming more and more like stand-up comedy and then they started “buying” up other churches, meaning the church they “bought” would change their name, the “mother” church would pour money into that church and would have to do things the way the mother church did things. Eventually, long after we left, we learned that the mother church had up to seven (at the time), satellite churches throughout northern California.

      They focused big on small groups as most mega churches do, but the leaders are rarely trained in anything special. Often it’s a set of “discussion questions” or a popular book. I was talking to friends of ours who continued to attend and learned that they left the church after a disagreement regarding whether Mormons are Christians. Some in the group believed they are while others (like our friends), did not. They actually took it to the senior pastor and he came down on the side saying that Mormons could be Christians, yes. Our friends left because the husband HAD been a Mormon years before.

      We’ll get into Tony Evans, but like many of his ilk, he is a wordsmith who twists Scripture and makes it sound very convincing. Rick Warren and many others do the same thing. I find it fascinating that quite a few of these false teachers are part of the Southern Baptist Convention. My wife and I were members years ago but when we started seeing things move Left, largely due to Russell Moore, who is head over SBC’s “ethics” division, we realized we needed to move on. There are other problems with the SBC that involved Lifeway and their willingness to continue selling books that have either been discredited or are clearly unbiblical. But why do they do that? $$$$$$$$$

      I’ve said this to my wife on numerous occasions. If the Lord ever directed me into the pastorate, I’d have to do it free of charge or at most, simply accept a small free will offering from the congregation. In doing it this way, it would help keep me honest and above the temptation to cater to those who “provide the paycheck.” Honestly, I think that’s what’s going to happen depending upon how long the Lord tarries.

      I don’t mind you “going on and on” – 🙂 I enjoy hearing from readers.

      If a teacher is teaching false or unbiblical concepts, yes, they are a false teacher. It is extremely important that we use discernment to wade through all of it.

      Are false teachers saved? I have no idea. The Bible seems to indicate that they are not, but obviously we cannot see into their hearts. I think that’s why Paul says in the text we’ve covered in this series to have nothing to do with these people, to literally turn away from following them.

      I think, depending upon the severity of the false teacher and their teachings, they can literally become blind to the truth through a seared conscience. If they are truly saved, God will do what He can to bring them back to the path of truth. In some cases, He will simply take them home earlier than He might have and we see this in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians.

      I also think there are plenty of Christians leaders who are NOT saved, who do what they do for purely selfish gain. They’ve become rich with their books, their speaking, their teaching and their abilities to pull the wool over the eyes of so many. Truly, they have their reward now.

      These are the people who will stand before Jesus and say, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we do all these things in your Name?” He’ll respond, “Depart from me ye accursed. I never knew you” (Matthew 7). If you consider His words, what Jesus is saying is that He NEVER knew them and was NEVER in relationship with them. If that is the case, then it is clear that those particular people who hear that judgment were never Christians at all.

      I can think of numerous leaders who possibly fall into this category, but because they have everything they need and much, much more, they will not allow themselves to consider the fact that maybe they don’t have the most important thing: salvation.

      Reply

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