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Shadrach

Faith in the Furnace

James Montgomery Boice

Excerpt from: Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions

Daniel 3:1-30

There were three things that gave Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the strength to stand firm in this great test of their commitment.

1. They knew that God was sovereign. …It is firm conviction of the sovereignty of God in the midst of all things contrary. These men knew that God is sovereign, and therefore it was not foolish but wise for them to entrust their lives to him in this matter.

2. They knew the Scriptures. If we are to do the right things in similar circumstances, we must know the Word of God, because only the Word of God will cut through such ambiguity. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego triumphed because their minds were filled with Scripture and because they kept coming back to Scripture as the only fully trustworthy and inerrant authority in all matters.

3. They were willing to die for their convictions. It is possible to believe in a sovereign God and know from Scripture what that sovereign God requires yet fail to do the right thing because you are unwilling to pay the price of obedience. Many fail because they will not pay the price of a loss of popularity or loneliness or ridicule or persecution or economic hardship. Only those who are willing to pay such prices make a difference.

God does go with his people in their trials. Countless believers have testified to that. So let us be confident in the promise of that presence and be strong. Let us stand for the right and do it. Let us refuse to compromise. Let us stand with unbowed heads and rigid backbones before the golden statues of our godless, materialistic culture. Let us declare that there is a God to be served and a race to be won. Let us shout that we are determined to receive God’s prize, which is far greater than this world’s tinsel toys, and that we are servants of him before whom every knee will bow.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us.”

Daniel 3:17

Every once in awhile I review all the verses in the Bible that warn against false teachers. There are over 50 in the New Testament alone. Girded with these verses and praying for guidance to keep me on the narrow road, it is time to examine  current teachings coming from the christian community.

Here is a sampling of  what I reject. Dominionism, serpent-seed, nephilim, New Apostolic Reformation, Law of Attraction, prosperity teachings, healing rooms, word of faith, NDE’s revealing a type of Jesus or accounts of heaven, teachers who claim direct revelation from God…..etc. etc.

I have been observing those who are promoting these ideas and they seem to have lost their first love of Jesus,  the Gospel and making disciples of Christ. Their sources are always questionable and scripture quoting is twisted and taken out of context. They think themselves more enlightened by their studies and research into non-canonical sources.

This is gnosticism. It is alluring and once you allow it, a foothold into your spiritual beliefs will permeate your walk with the Lord. It acts as a hook…don’t get caught  up in it. One false teaching leads to another which makes it difficult to return to the teachings of salvation, justification, sanctification….or living your life to become more Christ-like till He returns.  I know…I have been there.

I reject ALL the teachers and ministries mentioned in the following article from Herescope.

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-return-of-alien-super-soldier.html

Also please read the following:

1. The warning against false teachers

Christ then said, “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15). For every true prophet calling people to the narrow way, are a multiplicity of false prophets calling people to the broad way that leads to destruction. Christ’s warning [about false teachers] was not new. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 documents the presence of false teaching during the days of Moses. In Isaiah 30:9-14 chronicles its existence in the kingdom of Judah. There are many warnings about false teachers in Scripture.1. 2 John 7–John said, “Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

2. Romans 16:17-18–Paul said, “I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own body, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent.” They are dangerous because they claim to be from God and to speak God’s Word.

3. Jeremiah 5:31–God said, “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so.”

4. Jeremiah 14:14–God said, “The prophets prophesy lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke unto them; they prophesy unto you a false vision.”

2. The description of false teachers

False teachers are dangerous because their deception is damning. And it comes from that most damning deceiver of all, Satan, who disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Some false teachers are heretics–those who openly reject the Word of God and teach contrary to it. Others are apostates–those who once followed the faith but have since turned away. Then there are deceivers who pretend to still believe the truth. They want to look like orthodox fundamental evangelical Christians, but they are liars.

3. The revelation of false teachers

In Matthew 7:16 Jesus says, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” It’s not what they say but what you see in their lives that matters. A false teacher cannot produce good fruit because evil cannot produce good (v. 17).

False teachers will produce evil fruit, but they will try to cloak it. Inevitably they hide their bad fruit under ecclesiastical garb or isolate it from accountability. People can’t get near enough to them to see the reality of their lives. Some of them hide their evil fruit under a holy vocabulary or an association with fruitful Christians. Some of them cover their evil fruit with biblical knowledge. But they can’t hide it from everyone all the time. If you closely examine a false teacher, you will see his evil fruit.

CONCLUSION

How can we be alert to the infiltration of false teachers? Ask yourself these questions about the Bible teachers you encounter.

A. How Is the Teacher Using Scripture?

Is there error in his understanding of Scripture? Is his interpretation sound? Is it biblical? Is it legitimate? Don’t look at his personality. Don’t look at the religious trappings. Don’t only look only at his associations, although that will tell you something if those associations are negative. Listen to what he says. Do what 1 John 4:1 says: test him to see if he’s from God. What is his approach to Scripture? Is he teaching things that go beyond Scripture? Is he saying things that sound good but you can’t find verses to support it?

B. What Is the Teacher’s Goal?

Does he have a spiritual goal? Is his primary desire in life to produce people who consummately love God? Or is he characterized by self-love, self-aggrandizement, possessiveness, and materialism? What is his objective? Is it love for God and for everyone else? Is his objective holiness, a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith without hypocrisy?

C. What Is the Teacher’s Motive?

Does he demonstrate a selfless motive? Can you see humility, meekness, and selflessness in his life? Or does it appear that while he’s helping others he is also becoming quite wealthy? Is he self-indulgent at the expense of the people he is supposed to be ministering to?

D. What Is the Teacher’s Effect?

Does his followers clearly understand the gospel of Jesus Christ? Do they understand the proper use of the law?

Check his doctrine, check his goal, check his motive, and check his followers. As you do, you’ll sense the need for urgency in dealing with false teachers.

Dr. John MacArthur

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