Vol. 30, No. 11 November, 2006
TESTING TODAY’S TEACHERS WHO TURN TRUTH TO TRAGEDY
RECOGNIZING RELIGIOUS RACKETEERS
“MANY shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2Pet 2:2).
“For MANY deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2Jn 7)
These are just two of the hundreds of verses that give warning concerning false teachers. False teachers were busy in John’s day, some 2,000 years ago. The New Testament writers took great care in warning the Church through the ages that false teaching will grow, and especially in the latter days. We are living in the day of the false, false teachers, false doctrine, and false gospels. The question many ask today is, “How can we know? Who can we trust? Who is right and who is wrong? After all, they all carry a “bible” they all bring messages from a “bible” How can we know?”
My first point would be to say, Make sure that YOU are saved. Make sure that YOU personally know Jesus Christ as your Saviour. This is where it all begins. Just make sure that you have trusted the finished work of Christ alone for your
Salvation. Be sure that you have done what the Bible (KJV) says about your soul’s Salvation; that is, You believe that you are a sinner (Ro 3:23) that the reason you are a sinner is because you were born a sinner, (Ro 5:12) that there is a price to pay for your sin, (Ro 6:23), that Jesus Christ paid for your sin by His Death on the Cross, His burial, and His Resurrection from the dead, and that you have asked Christ to save you, (Ro 10:13). Remember, we are not saved by just repeating some words, or some prayer. God always hears the sincere cry of the repentant heart. Now, if you have done that, you can rest assured that Jesus Christ did exactly what He said that He would do; that is, He would save you if you trusted Him. The Holy Spirit came into your life the moment you trusted Christ. Now, this MUST be a reality in your life if you want to know and walk in the truth. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn 8:31-32) “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (Jn 7:17). The Holy Spirit living IN you will be your guide, your Teacher. He will take the things of Christ and show them to you. You need not be confused or confounded by theDoctrines of men that are deceiving so many today. Now that you know that you are saved, let me list just a few guidelines for you. How can we know them? Who is right? And who is wrong?
What are some of the marks of false teachers?
1. THEY REJECT REVELATION.
Our Doctrine is the Bible (KJV). I believe, without any doubt, that the greatest issue of our day is the issue of the Bible. I am well aware of the fact that we have something to say about this in the “WILDERNESS” every month. It’s that important, and more. We cannot come to the conclusion that God is in all of this confusion about the Bible. “The Bible is the textbook of the Christian. It is Divine, complete, and final. It is Truth without mixture of error or omission. It contains all we need. It has the answer as to who God is, how we got here, and where we are going. It is a Book about human nature. It tells us all we need to know about anything. Without the Bible we would be like the Athenians in Acts 17:16-31.” False teachers cannot stay with the Bible, rightly divided. They always refer to some “book” written by some man, or woman with emphasis on the importance upon this “book” more than upon the Bible. That’s false doctrine. “Religious” book sales, tapes, videos, total billions in sales every year. The trouble is, many of these books, etc, are elevated to, or above the Bible, (KJV) It is good to have good books by good authors. It is good to read and study after them. But we must remember that we are never to place any more value upon any book than what it is, that is, it’s a good book. A good author will always refer you to the Word Of God.
Do not be deceived by this “progressive revelation” or “extra Biblical revelation” spoken of by many today. When John penned down the words; “For I testify unto every man that heareth 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.” (Rev 22:18-19). This ended Revelation. From that point, everything, every dream, every vision, everything MUST fall in line with what has already been revealed in the Bible (KJV). RELIGION REJECTS THAT. This means that the writings and decisions of the Pope, of Mary Baker Eddy, of Mary Ellen White, of The Book of Mormon, The golden plates of Joseph Smith, the writings of Charles Taze Russell, the watchtower society, or the hundreds and hundreds of modern day “evangelical” preachers who claim to have a “new revelation” are false. BEWARE OF “NEW REVELATIONS.”
2. THEY DENY DEITY. “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, hath not God. He that abideth in the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2John 9). Satan hates the person of Christ. He will do anything to attack, destroy, deny the Deity of Christ. To continue in the Doctrine of Christ means to continue in ALL that the Bible says about Christ. False religion has enough truth in it to deceive the masses. Everybody talks about a “Jesus” but when you begin to examine their doctrine you have to come to the conclusion that they are speaking about “another Jesus, another gospel, another spirit.” (2Cor 11:4). Let us examine some of the Scriptures that teach us about the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST,
(A) His Eternality. That is, He is from everlasting to everlasting, (Micah 5:2). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (Jesus) and without Him (Jesus) was not anything made that was made.” (John1:1-3) (Heb 1:1-3) (Col 1:16-19).
Various modern translations deny the place of Christ in eternity, in creation. For instance the NWT says, “The word was “a” god.” The NIV says that Christ’s beginning was in “ancient times” (Micah 5:2) both “versions” destroy the Pre-existence of Christ and His Work as creator. That does NOT abide in the doctrine of Christ.
(B) His Virgin Birth. Isaiah 7:14 PREDICTS the Virgin Birth of Christ and Matthew 1:18-25 PRESENTS the Virgin Birth. Many of the modern versions deny His Virgin Birth. They substitute “young woman” for “virgin” There is a vast difference between the two. This does NOT continue in the Doctrine of Christ.
(C) His Incarnation. “Great is the mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.” (1Tim 3:16) The NIV says, “He” appeared in a body.” The question is, “who appeared in a body?” Why substitute “He” for “God”? That’s NOT the doctrine of Christ.
(D) His Blood Atonement for the remission of sin. “This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Mt. 26:28). Some are preaching today that there is no efficacy in the Blood of Christ, that His Blood was just like the blood of everyone else. But that’s not what the Bible says. “Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be though worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified AN UNHOLY THING, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace.” (Heb. 10:29). Some dare call His Blood “common” “ an unholy thing.” Some new “versions” such as the NIV do much damage to the doctrine of the Blood of Christ. “In whom we have redemption THROUGH HIS BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sin.” (Col 1:14). The “version” that many are using today, the NIV, omits “THROUGH HIS BLOOD.” That does not abide in the Doctrine of Christ.
(E) His Bodily Resurrection from the dead on the third day. Many groups today, many “preachers” today deny the literal, physical resurrection of Christ. The NIV footnotes Mark 16:9-20 as “The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.” The manuscripts they refer to are the Vatican and Sinai, which are the basics of modern translations. Besides the attacks from various “versions” I have read the results of various surveys concerning the stands, opinions of many denominational leaders, and pastors. A growing percentage among main line denominations no longer holds to the doctrine of the bodily Resurrection of Christ. This does NOT abide in the Doctrine of Christ.
(F) Salvation in Christ alone. “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) We cannot be saved by just believing something, or holding to some creed, or statement. We are saved by Grace through Faith in the finished work of Christ. The NIV continues to attack the doctrine of Christ in John 6:47. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth ON ME hath everlasting life.” NIV says, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” ON ME has been omitted. In other words, you can believe anybody, or anything. That does NOT abide in the Doctrine of Christ. We could continue in this section for quite awhile, but must go on…
3. THEY MAGNIFY MEN. Satan is the master of getting our attention off Christ. Let us get man out of the picture. Today, man is placed in positions we do not deserve. Man is believed above what the Scriptures teach. Man is applauded, elevated. Some pastors and evangelists can present new “doctrines” that sound good, but are not scriptural, and their followers will not question them. Part of the problem with the Corinthian Church was that they were man followers. “For while one saith I am of Paul, and another I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal?” The cults have their men and women whom they adore and worship. There is only one who deserves our worship, and that One is Christ. If some pastor, teacher, evangelist, or Christian worker has had an influence in your life, it is great to think well of them, but to place man in such high esteem is cultic in nature and very dangerous. Any religion that points to a MAN is dangerous. I love an army of good men who have been very helpful to me through the years. It is good to honor good men, but our affection, our worship is to Christ alone.
4. THEY DIVIDE DISCIPLES. “Our group is right. We are on the right road. No one but our group will go to heaven. Our little flock of disciples are the only ones. We’re right, you’re wrong. If you are not part of our group, you will not make it.” You have heard that before haven’t you? This is ridiculous. I believe that Heaven is made up of born again believers in Christ and His Finished work of Redemption. John, in the Book of Revelation saw a multitude of believers from all nations. He did not see Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals,, he saw only born again believers. Let us not limit the Body of Christ to just a certain group. I believe that I can say that without compromising the fact that I am an Independent, Fundamental Baptist.
5. THEY DELETE DOCTRINES.
Some of the great doctrines, other than the inspiration, preservation of the Scriptures have been deleted, and some have been added. For instance, the doctrine of Hell has almost vanished from preaching and teaching today. We do not like to think about the place of eternal torment. This is an unpleasant truth, but it is truth. Again, some new bibles, and new literature deny the existence of Hell. But the Bible (KJV) says that men who reject Christ will go there. Mark 9:43-50, Luke 16:19-31, Mt 25:41-46, Rev. 14:10-11, Rev 20:11-15, Rev 21:8. I don’t like to think about the place of Hell, but I do like to think about the place of Heaven. The same Bible that tells me about Heaven has much, much more to say about Hell. Much more is said about Hell on the streets, than from our pulpits. It’s Bible, and it’s in there. We cannot deny it, or explain it away.
There is so much, much more to say about this subject, but I have used more than my space, so I must close. The Disciples warned us over and over that the last days would be marked by apostasy and false doctrine, and doctrines of men. I read that a popular “Christian” singer said that “Doctrine divides, and experience unites.” Of course, he does not have anything to do with sound doctrine, but he is right. Doctrine does divide the crowd. Sound doctrine produces sound Christians. Weak doctrine produces the other. Cultic activity is on the rise. What should our attitude be…
1. We can have no fellowship. (Eph 5:11, 2John 7-11).
2. I do not believe that we can profit by arguing and debating with false religion. If one is interested in knowing the truth, we should try to lead them to Christ.
3. I believe that you should read, study, and become a student of God’s Word (KJV). Do not waste your time in reading so much of the “stuff” that is advertised by the religious broadcasters of our day.
4. Let us try to lead all men to Christ. Let us stay with the basic Plan of salvation. Let the Word of God do the Work of God.
5. Perhaps YOU are one who may be involved in some way with a cult, or one who borders with cultic activities. My dear friend, why not, right now ask Jesus Christ into your heart to be your Saviour. His Holy Spirit is there where you are. Tell Him, in your own words, that you believe what the Bible says about Him, His Life, His death, His Resurrection. Ask Him into your heart just now. He will never come into your life unbidden, you must open your heart to Him. The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
Your mail, calls, gifts, words of encouragement about this Ministry are like MANNA to us. As the Israelites made their journey through the wilderness, God gave them MANNA to eat and to sustain them. Your kind words are the same to us as we make our journey through this “WILDERNESS” Thank you so much. I do not know just how to express my gratitude except to say again that we will continue our stand upon the Authority of the Scriptures, (KJV). We will continue to oppose the various movements that undermine our Faith. The “WILDERNESS” is more than this Publication. It is the spoken word via the Internet. It is the printed word via the Internet. It is Tracts, Books, and Helps to get new converts started right. It is the Prison Ministry. It is the Rescue mission Ministry. It is also Bibles for Africa. This Ministry, I believe is worthy of your Prayers and support.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY
By Pastor George Mills
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God. It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves, we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise, be THANKFUL unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good, His Mercy is everlasting, and His Truth endureth to all generations.”
It is good that this nation has set aside a day of Thanksgiving. This has been true since the beginning. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. This was observed until 1939 when Franklin Roosevelt changed the last Thursday to the fourth Thursday to be a day of Thanksgiving. Congress made it official in 1941.
It is recorded in Romans 1:21, “Neither were they thankful.” Ingratitude is the base of all sin. Let us learn to be thankful. Let me share with you some seven things the Psalmist lists. Things for which he was grateful. May they reach our hearts..
1. REVELATION. V3, “He is God” His Name is Jehovah, the Great and Mighty God. He has revealed Himself. Please read the beautiful 19 th Psalm…God has revealed Himself in three ways..
(A) In Creation. “The Heavens declare the Glory of god, and the firmament showeth His handywork.” (Ps 19:1-6)
(B) In Canon of Scripture.. “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”
(C) In the Conscience. “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Ps 19:11-14.
2. CREATION. “It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves.” That answers the evolutionists, the critic, the doubters, the agnostic, and the atheist. Read Psa. 139:1-16.
3. MANIFESTATION. V5. “For The Lord is good.” In everything, the Psalmist saw the goodness of God. “Surely GOODNESS and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Ps 23) As the Psalmist looked back over his life, all that he saw back there was the GOODNESS of God following him.
4. REDEMPTION. V3. “We are His people.” We are His people, first by
Creation..He made us, He formed us.
And we are His people by REDEMPTION. Adam sinned, and incurred a sinful nature. That nature was passed to all men everywhere. Christ REDEEMED that which was lost by His work on the Cross.
5. RESTORATION. V3. “ The Sheep of His pasture” What a beautiful, peaceful picture. In Psalm 23, the great Shepherd Psalm, David said, “He RESTORETH my soul.” We have a Shepherd. One who gave His Life for the sheep, and now lives to care for them.
6. JUSTIFICATION. V5 “ His MERCY is everlasting.” “But according to His MERCY He saved us.” (Titus 3:5) We are saved, secure, settled, sanctified, and satisfied. “But the MERCY of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children. To such as keep His covenant.” Psa 103:17-18.
7. INSPIRATION. V5. His TRUTH endureth to all generations.” Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through Thy TRUTH, THY WORD IS TRUTH.” The Word of God is forever settled. (Ps 119:89) Thank God for His Wonderful Book (KJV) His Pure, Purified, and Preserved Word. (Psa 12:6-7)
Now, because of these wonderful things revealed about our God, let us…
1. Enter into His Gates with Thanksgiving. The cities were surrounded with walls. Guards would refuse those who had no right to enter.
Jesus bought our access by His death on the Cross. (Eph 2:10-18). Enter into His presence with THANKSGIVING! “Thank you Lord!”
2.Enter His Courts with Praise. The Court was where the tabernacle was located, (Isa 1:12). Only a few could enter there. Again, Christ bought our right of access. “Let us come boldly before the throne of God.” (Heb 4:16).
3. Be THANKFUL unto Him. Listed above are seven things, but Oh, so much, much more. I do not believe that God can use an ungrateful Christian. Let it not be said of our generation, “Neither were they thankful.”
4. Bless His Name. “Glory ye in His Holy Name, (Psa 105:3) “Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Name of the Lord.” (Psa 135:1-3) His Name implies all that He is. His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor. The Mighty God. The Everlasting Father. The Prince of peace.
Today, I THANK Him and PRAISE Him for who He is, and for what He has done for me. He saved me by His Grace 46 years ago. He has kept me. He has been patient with me. He has guided me. He has supplied. I am Richly Blessed. He has given me the privilege of sharing His Wonderful Gospel with others. I THANK HIM TODAY. Thank you Father for sending your Son. Thank you Jesus for giving your Life. Thank you Holy Spirit for seeking me and bringing me to Christ. Thank God for my Christian Wife, and thank God for everyone who has had a part in making my life a life that is filled with sweet things.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS… It is no friend to the Christian. The world is filled with bitterness. Once that bitterness filled me. Thank God for His Sweetness
By Pastor George Mills
“O give Thanks unto the Lord, for He is good..” Psa 136:1
Accept my gratitude Dear God,
For blessings from Thy hand,
And for Thy Loving kindness,
Displayed throughout the land.
For tender mercies manifest,
For deliverance from care,
We are a people richly blessed,
Your Grace is everywhere.
May we show forth our gratitude,
To those in every land,
With grateful hearts we will confess,
“It’s from our Father’s Hand.”
By Pastor George Mills
“Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth, but I have called you friends.” (John 15:15).
What a beautiful thought, the Blessed lord Jesus calls us His friends. Now, that is just precious to me. He told us in this text that He will lay down His life for His friend. He did that very thing just a few hours after He had spoken those words. I am forever grateful that I have found in Christ, that special Friend. And I pray that He has found in me a friend to Him.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS, it is no friend to the Christian. As we make our journey through this WILDERNESS I am grateful for the Friend we have. I woke up this morning with an old song in my heart. I have been humming it to myself most all morning. This is an old Hymn written by J. Wilbur Chapman. The first verse says,
Jesus what a Friend for sinners,
Jesus Lover of my soul
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He my Saviour makes me whole.
Thank God for that True Friend. A recent survey revealed that a vast majority of the American people do not have one special friend in their lives. This has been rightly called, “The Lonely Generation.”
May I recommend to you, my Friend. Christ can become for you the same He has been for billions through the years, If you trust Him as Saviour, He will be to you that Special Friend.