This week we have been talking about some deadly issues. I say deadly, because most don’t know they are dying or dead already. The deception in the church is so great, yet most are not aware of it even though Jesus said, Matthew 24:4 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” They will also distort the word of God. 2 Peter 3:16 “He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” They also Mark 7:12 “have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” 2 Peter 2:2 “Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” Because the word of God has been altered as we talked about yesterday, there is no understanding of the severity of the churches condition. This has already happened. Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding.” Isaiah 56:10 “Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep.” Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” This lack of understanding keeps the church in captivity and desolation but all we have to do is turn around. But why would the church turn around when the teachers continue distort the truth. Jeremiah 9:6 “You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the Lord.”
Today just as we see in scripture, these false teachers, preachers, prophets, apostles and evangelists will not get away with the damage they have caused in the church and outside the church. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” These people are everywhere; those who led and those who followed. This is why I say this is a deadly situation. Remember satan wants to take you with him to Matthew 25:41 “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” It is crucial that you seek insight, which is why reading Proverbs 1-9 is so important.
It is also imperative that you understand that these people will not get away with the destruction of the church but sadly they will take many with them as we saw with the exile of Israel. Only a remnant survived which is the picture of the church today. Men and women are accountable for what they have done. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Psalm 101:7 “No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
This passage in Ezekiel shows that those who have led so many astray will not get away with it. Ezekiel 13:1 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. 5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. 7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken? 8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign Lord. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord. 10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” 13 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord. 15 So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Isaiah 30:12 “Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, 13 this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. 14 It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. “
Does it matter whether what you teach or listen to is truth or not. Your life and your hearers’ lives depend on it. Many people just teach what they were taught with no thought of whether it is right or wrong. It gets passed on from generation to generation. Yes every group thinks they have the way! They went to school or learned it from family. They say that makes sense and then teach others to follow the same with no thought of responsibility. We were called to be like Jesus not man. He is the one we are to learn from. Jesus said Matthew 10:24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters.” John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”
Just because you go to church and the person at the front tells you are okay, you need to test the spirits to make sure. You can be assured that you will need to repent so that the kingdom of God will come near otherwise… Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”