False Prophets: Exposed By Essential Orthodoxy

What Old Fundamentals Expose False Prophets?

7 Tested Beliefs To Reveal Hidden Crisis

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Many experts call him the greatest professional football coach in history. (1) Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins, enjoyed many victories in his career.

While head coach of Green Bay, he won 5 NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls before retiring from the Packers in 1967. (2)

He never had a losing season as an NFL coach. One Lombardi quotation pinpoints his foundation for success: “Excellence is achieved by the mastery of the fundamentals.” A typical story from his coaching era at Green Bay explains this philosophy vividly.

After a bitter loss to the Chicago Bears, the Packers’ arch rival, Lombardi hustled his players from the locker room after the game onto the team buses. He took them from Chicago back to their practice field in Green Bay, still in their dirty, sweaty game uniforms. He gathered them around himself with a football in his hands.

He held the football in front of them and said to them, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” He then directed his team through a grueling practice session with particular emphasis upon the fundamentals of football. The team performed them poorly in their loss to Chicago, and he reviewed them with the team to remind the players of the importance of the fundamentals in successful football.

This story from the victorious career of Vince Lombardi holds significance for life as well. Life has a way of clouding our eyes to its fundamentals. We get distracted by the latest fads and excitements which lead to disastrous results.

Lombardi’s lesson describes the desperate need facing the professing Church of Jesus Christ today. Although exceptions exist, they prove the rule. The Church and its leadership has lost sight of Biblical fundamentals and flounders in perilous times.

For too long, it followed the mantra, “Doctrine does not matter” and forsook the fundamentals. To the bewilderment of many, a rudderless, spiritually weakened Church ensued. In vain attempts to “fix” the difficulties, it flits from one new idea to another, hoping to find the mysterious plan that evades it.

Church leadership has failed. Whether from ignorance or by deliberate choice, the Church of Jesus Christ has succumbed to the siren call of false prophets and abandoned the old fundamentals from the Bible.

The Apostle Paul feared this pattern would befall the churches he labored so hard to develop. On his last trip to Jerusalem, where he knew trouble awaited him, he called together the church leaders from the Church at Ephesus.

He wanted to give his friends some instruction about his future, though somewhat unknown. His message combined a warning and directions on how to face the coming problems. (3) He warned them that grievous wolves, false prophets, would come into their Church and draw many aside.

In his message, Paul compared these Church leaders to shepherds. God had entrusted them with the responsibilities as shepherds over His flock, the Church. They had a duty to feed the people of God, not with physical food, but with spiritual food.

God required these shepherds to protect their flocks from their enemies, who wanted to destroy them. God expected these spiritual leaders to give direction to their flock. Paul emphasized these obligations, because he knew that dangers lay ahead, and he made clear the responsibilities of these spiritual leaders as shepherds.

That which Paul feared would happen at Ephesus describes the condition of the Church today. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, false prophets, have infiltrated the Church. They twist the Scriptures to their own benefit and, consequently, the Church has declined.

We live in perilous times. False leaders victimize the Church. Faulty leadership of our day evades, attacks, and undermines Biblical doctrines. They teach that doctrine is not essential to Christian life. Even more dangerous, they say that no one can really know the truth.

Seven Biblical doctrines serve as the old fundamentals of the Church of Jesus Christ and of our faith in Christ. Church leaders, the shepherds of Christ’s flock, must defend these truths against those who proclaim otherwise. To disregard them indicates false prophets, the grievous wolves against which Paul warned.

  1. False prophets neglect the fundamental doctrine of God, His person and works.

God has existed from all eternity in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As the only true and living God, He sovereignly created and controls all things according to His plan and purposes. Through His Appointed Judge, Jesus Christ His Son, God will pronounce justice upon all who fail to trust and obey His word as revealed in the Bible.

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Charles Spurgeon: Keep The Fire

 

“Keep The Fire”

By Charles Spurgeon

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“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” (Lev. 6:13).

“Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here; therefore, let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence and barometer of vital and experimental religion.

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Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbors, your country and the cause of God and truth throughout the world.

Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage with lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplication.

Seasons of Extraordinary Prayer

Let us set apart special seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the church and in the world.

The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing toward Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning.

Many foes will attempt to extinguish it, but if the unseen Hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart’s fire –they are live coals; and above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.”

© Thomas P. Hill (www.masterministries.org)

Personal Information: Thomas P. Hill, M. A. in Ministry, Luther Rice Seminary; author of 3 books: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing; Homosexuality, Christians, and the Church; and Keys To A Revolutionary Life (all available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Tom’s web site). To invite Tom to speak at your college, church, or group, contact him by email at hill_tom@att.net.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format, in whole or in part, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, whether in whole or in part, a link to this document on our website is preferred but not necessary. Please obtain permission from Tom Hill for all exceptions to the above request.

I accept and encourage email letters to respond to this article: hill_tom@att.net.

 

False Prophets: They Penetrate The Church In Disguise

Can Past Disastrous Ways Direct My Life Now?

4 Old Evil Secrets To Reject

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“Everything Old Is New Again.” Remember this song? At least you must remember the title. Peter Allen’s classic song first appeared in 1974. (1) It prompts us to remember the past, because you might need it again when times get dark.

The Church of Jesus Christ has arrived at such a time in its history when it must remember the past and learn from it. We need it again because dark storm clouds hover over the Church. False prophets permeate the professing Church.

Jude, a brother of Christ, wrote a letter to Christians sometime between 70 – 80 AD. (2) His great concern for them over the presence of false teachers in the Christian Church prompted his epistle. Jude’s concerns thousands of years ago apply to the professing Church of Jesus Christ today. We can learn from his warnings.

He recognized that false teachers had penetrated the Church under the guise of following Christ. They did not follow Christ in reality, but they came to destroy His true followers. In his warning, Jude described several characteristics of these false believers who came to disrupt the Church. His explanations provide guidance to us in our quest to ferret out the errant Christian leaders in our day.

The False Prophets: Depravity of Conduct

Jude described their depravity of conduct.

…certain men crept in unawares.” (3)

The false prophets snuck into the church. People did not notice them because these fakes called themselves Christians. However, they portrayed a false image which hid their true character. Their duplicitous ways hid their deepest thoughts with clever words and actions. Their hypocrisies contradicted their pretenses. They did not trust Christ.

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