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Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

by Cameron Buettel

We live in a therapeutic culture that seems determined to do away with sin. Adultery and every form of immorality has been re-classified as sex addictions. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are classified as diseases, not the results of deliberate actions. And guns are now perceived as a greater evil than the murderers pulling the trigger. Whatever the sin may be, there always seems to be a way to excuse, redefine, or minimize it.

That determination to separate who a person is and what he does has also infiltrated the church. The exhortation to “love the sinner and hate the sin” is a clever Christian cliché regularly used to deflect people’s responsibility and accountability for their sin. While it’s true that we should both love sinners and hate sin, the cliché distorts those truths by unbiblically severing the two.

Gnosticism Revived

That sort of dualism was prevalent among the Gnostic heretics of the first century AD. The error of the Gnostics was so seductive that the apostle John wrote his first epistle as a direct response to their false teaching. John MacArthur made the following observations regarding the situation facing the church in 1 John:

Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnōsis [“knowledge”]) was an amalgam of various pagan, Jewish, and quasi-Christian systems of thought. Influenced by Greek philosophy (especially that of Plato), Gnosticism taught that matter was inherently evil and spirit was good. That philosophical dualism led the false teachers whom John confronted to accept some form of Christ’s deity, but to deny His humanity. He could not, according to them, have taken on a physical body, since matter was evil. [1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1–3 John (Chicago: Moody Press, 2007) 8.

But it was the Gnostics’ personal application of their dualistic views that echoes today in the efforts to separate the sinner from his sin.

The Gnostics’ philosophical dualism also caused them to be indifferent to moral values and ethical behavior. To them, the body was merely the prison in which the spirit was incarcerated. Therefore, sin committed in the body had no connection to or effect on the spirit. [2] 1–3 John, 8.

The cliché of loving the sinner and hating the sin follows the same dualistic reasoning as Gnostic heresies—that we ought to effectively divorce the sinner from the culpability and consequences of his sin.

Worse still, it confuses and corrupts the very concept of what it means to love a sinner. True love does not demand willful ignorance. You wouldn’t simply pretend that a cancer patient was suddenly free from his disease. Nor would you ignore his affliction in hopes that it would go away on its own.

The same holds true for sinners—the most loving thing you can do for them is not to blithely ignore their sin or excuse it away, but to confront it. In other words, you cannot possibly love a sinner if you don’t also hate his sin.

Not Dualism—Dual Responsibilities

I’ll grant that the way we confront sin can vary depending on the nature of the sin and the spiritual condition of the sinner. You might need to show more gentleness with an unbeliever blinded by his own depravity than with a fellow Christian who ought to know better. And even within the church, we need to be measured and considerate with how we confront one another, yet still bold and clear enough to preserve the purity of the Body of Christ.

In fact, church discipline is an essential part of protecting the church’s purity (Matthew 18:15–20). John MacArthur, while commenting on that passage, points out:

A Christian who is not deeply concerned about bringing a fellow Christian back from his sin needs spiritual help himself. Smug indifference, not to mention self-righteous contempt, has no part in the life of a spiritual Christian, nor do sentimentality or cowardice that hide behind false humility. The spiritual Christian neither condemns nor justifies a sinning brother. His concern is for the holiness and blessing of the offending brother, the purity and integrity of the church, and the honor and glory of God. [3] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 16–23 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) 128.

In response to those who see the confrontation of sin as inherently unloving, John adds:

In the eyes of much of the world and even in the eyes of many immature believers, such action is considered unloving. But discipline given in the right way expresses the deepest kind of love, love that refuses to do nothing to rescue a brother from unrepentant sin and its consequences. Love that winks at sin or that is more concerned for superficial calm in the church than for its spiritual purity is not God’s kind of love. Love that tolerates sin is not love at all but worldly and selfish sentimentality.

To preach love apart from God’s holiness is to teach something other than God’s love. No awakening or revival of the church has ever occurred apart from strong preaching of God’s holiness and the corresponding call for believers to forsake sin and return to the Lord’s standards of purity and righteousness. No church that tolerates known sin in its membership will have spiritual growth or effective evangelism. In spite of that truth, however, such tolerance is standard in the church today-at all levels. [4] Matthew 16–23, 128.

Some people appeal to God’s unconditional love as if that trumps or invalidates His other attributes, most notably His wrath. But as John emphatically argues, such sentiment amounts to nothing less than a popular form of idolatry.

Belief in a God who is all love and no wrath, all grace and no justice, all forgiveness and no condemnation is idolatry (worship of a false god invented by men), and it inevitably leads to universalism-which, of course, is what many liberal churches have been preaching for generations. Salvation becomes meaningless, because sin that God overlooks does not need to be forgiven. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross becomes a travesty, because He gave His life for no redemptive purpose. Not only that, but it becomes apologetically impossible to explain the common question about why a loving God allows pain, suffering, disease, and tragedy. Removing God’s holy hatred of sin emasculates the gospel and hinders rather than helps evangelism. [5] Matthew 16–23, 130.

We should love sinners. We should hate sin. And we shouldn’t divide those two truths into separate categories. Our hatred of sin should manifest itself in a love that warns sinners—compassionately, but no less clearly—of the dire consequences their sin demands. Short of that, how could we ever claim to truly love them?

About eight years ago I begin hearing about Chuck Missler. Today information is abundant with the likes of social media. News is passed on like wildfire.

Teachings from Chuck Missler are easily available and what I first read caused alarm. What? Bible Codes? Numerology? Microcodes, Macrocodes and Metacodes.  My first thought was that this man has no interest in teaching the Bible. If he did at one time,  then he has surely lost his way.

Other issues surfaced. Plagiarism, purgatory, and support for a book “Have Heart” which suggests necromancy.

But….I was ridiculed for posting warnings about a  favorite teacher from Calvary Chapel.

So now it has come to this. Please read this from Herescope.

http://herescope.net

THE MERGING OF MUDDY RIVERS

The Singing Prophet Kim Clement. . .
. . . Washes in Chuck Missler’s Stream


“And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. (Ezekiel 34:17-19)
Kim Clement hosts Chuck Missler – End Times Conference
(image is taken from the Koinonia Institute email alert, Jan. 8, 2015)
By Gaylene Goodroad

“And he [Naaman] has a river problem. He does.  And many of us don’t want to wash in a river because we feel that our rivers are better….  And because of that, he [Naaman] lost out—he could have lost out on being healed and being restored.  I was in that position.  I don’t want to dip myself and wash myself in that river because we have something better.  Which apparently was the Kingdom message, and you know, Word of Faith and all this great stuff that was out there—but so unbalanced. And one of them was, of course, end times. And I mocked it many times… eventually Naaman goes and washes himself in the river and he is restored.  Don’t reject this river [Missler’s] because you think that what you have is better.  We need rivers to restore us. And I am proud to say that the Lord God, through my wife, brought this representative of that river to us [Missler], so we could be restored and have a healthy outlook and preach the gospel, and win the lost, touch the untouchable, and reach the unreachable. And that’s what we’re gonna do! …”
– NAR Prophet Kim Clement[i]

“This is what it is.  I was very desperate to hear the truth  about the Second Coming and about the Rapture….  In the meantime, my wife, who by the way, for thirty-something years basically trusted what I taught… she knew there was a gap somewhere… she was searching and getting—listening to different teachers. And she was getting passionate. And then I heard this voice… I’d said to Greg [Wark], Greg just tell me of a teacher that can tell us the whole thing, uh, in a nutshell. So I don’t have to spend days and hours and weeks learning.  And Greg said there’s only one man that I can guarantee will teach you and impart something on you. His name is Dr. Chuck Missler. And I said to Greg. Okay, I’ll let Jane listen to him… She’s been telling me about Isaiah 53 being the Holy of Holies and all this stuff. And I’ve been listening to what he’s been saying.  And so I asked the Lord to do what He did with Cornelius. Cornelius prayed. I pray a lot. Cornelius gave alms and God sent the very best to him. And He sent—and I know Dr. Chuck won’t even acknowledge this—but I said to the Lord, ‘Send me the best for my people, cause I love my people’. For thirty six years I fought being a pastor, you know that. And then He gave me all these people. We have an online church of almost 15 thousand people. I said, ‘why are you doing this? I’m not a good pastor.’ Well, apparently, I am, because I got the best. And so I believe that we’re going to be taught.  And this is the beginning of a moment in destiny that I believe is God-orchestrated long before we were born.”
– NAR Prophet Kim Clement[ii]

“I thank you for having me and what a thrill to really have people so hungry for the word. And we’re [Missler and Ron Matsen] so glad to be here. And we have an opportunity, not just for a little session or two, but a whole survey of the end time perspective. And the passion that’s here for the word of God is so refreshing, and so contagious! I can’t tell you that Ron and I are so thrilled to be part of this Kim, and uh, we sense a real partnership emerging between Kim and myself. I just couldn’t be more pleased. And I thank you [Kim], and I thank you Jane [Clement] for making this possible.”
– Bible Teacher Chuck Missler[iii]

Missler and Clement embrace at Clement’s House of Destiny

“You know, it’s rare—let me be blunt. It’s rare to encounter someone with the integrity and character that I find in this new friend—new brother and friend [Clement]. I just appreciate that.”
– Chuck Missler[iv]

ANALYZING CHUCK MISSLER’S ‘STREAM’
For the past few years, we have documented the ever-mystical leanings of notable Bible teacher and author, Chuck Missler, ultimately listing him among a group of evangelical teachers we’ve dubbed ‘Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm’ (PPP) leaders, because of their gravitation away from sound truth revealed in Scripture alone, coupled with their feverish efforts to re-fashion end-times prophecy to fit their extra-biblical speculations. We have written extensively and in detail of these seductive, morphing departures from the Word of God.[v] The end result has been a toxic mixture of truth and error—leading away from Christ and headlong into the occult.

Finish article HERE

From The End Time

 

Gnosticism part 1: secret knowledge

Yesterday I introduced a new series on Gnosticism. I’m reading Colossians, which was a prison letter from Paul to the church at Colossae. Paul was responding to Epaphras’ news that the new Colossian believers were being quickly turned away from the faith by people who believed a different Gospel. What was that different Gospel? It was from the Gnostics, a group of cultish believers plaguing the church throughout the First Century, (and the second and third) and popping up here and there throughout the centuries since. Today, there is a resurgence of Gnostic belief encroaching and polluting even our fundamentalist churches among the Southern Baptist Convention. In other words, Gnosticism is a continual problem that never really went away.The Tribulation is a time when all sins will be released for their fullest iniquity. The Holy Spirit’s ministry of restraint will be taken out of the way, and all sins, spiritual and carnal, will explode onto the earth. We see the setting for this coming explosion now. All false doctrines that have ever plagued the church are rising to the fore, all at once. We are battling Gnosticism, Mysticism, Liberalism, Post-Modernism, Legalism, Ecumenism, Prosperity Gospel, and much more. Jesus’s Seven Letters to the Seven Churches contained in Revelation 2-3 are a listing of some of the false doctrines and behavioral failings the early believers were falling prey to. Those false doctrines and behaviors hinder us now.

Zondervan’s NIV bible lists 6 elements that comprise Gnosticism. They are not exclusive, as Gnosticism has several branches and many different elements can be said to comprise the philosophy. In addition, several other false doctrines overlap Gnosticism, such as Mysticism and Legalism, for example. But for the sake of brevity (sort of) we will stick with the Zondervan 6. They are:

1. secret knowledge,
2. asceticism,
3. depreciation of Christ (lowering Him in name and in glory),
4. strict rule-keeping, ceremonies, or rituals
5. worship of angels,
6. and reliance on human wisdom and traditions

Today we will take a look at the element of “secret knowledge”.

David Grabbe wrote in “Whatever Happened to Gnosticism?” that “Gnosticism was the predominant source of heresy when the New Testament was written. The books of John, I Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, I and II Timothy, Jude, and I John all combat various elements of Gnosticism. Even the book of Revelation cites a couple of Gnostic beliefs and practices, referring to “know[ing] the depths of Satan” and “the Nicolaitans” (Revelation 2:6, 15, 24).”

Gene Edward Veith wrote in World Magazine in this 2006 article “The Return of the Cainites,” “The Gnostics were eastern mystics who taught that the physical realm is intrinsically evil and that the spirit can be freed from its bondage to physicality through the attainment of secret knowledge (or “gnosis”). They rejected the Christian doctrine of creation (saying that the material world is evil). They denied the incarnation (saying that Christ was a spiritual being who brought the secret knowledge and denying that He became “flesh”). And they denied the redemption (saying that sin is not a moral failure – since what we do in the flesh does not affect our spirits – but simply a lack of spiritual knowledge).”

Jennifer Trafton and Rebecca Colossanov wrote in “Gnostics: Did you Know?” that “The Gnostics sometimes claimed that secret truth had been handed down by one apostle to a select group of insiders. But Christian opponents like Irenaeus argued that the true church represented the teaching of all of the apostles passed on in many locations.”

The word “Gnosticism” comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means “knowledge.” Gnosticism rejects the doctrines of original sin, human depravity and salvation through the substitutionary death of Christ. It emphasizes transcendence through inward, intuitive knowledge, i.e., “gnosis,” of the “divine spark in each individual.” (source)

Finish Article HERE

 

From the Berean Call Newsletter

written by T. A. McMahon

 

As was noted in part one of this series, prophecy is a very important ingredient in the Bible. In a general sense, the entire Bible is prophecy because God has given mankind His words through His prophets. It is also God foretelling what will take place in the future. That forecasting is what God presents to set Himself apart from the false gods that mankind is deceived into worshiping. God alone knows the future events, which He has declared hundreds and even thousands of years before they take place. Moreover, His foreknowledge of such events, revealed in more than a quarter of the Scriptures, is proof of the supernatural origin and nature of the Bible – that it is indeed God’s communication to mankind (Isaiah 42:9; 46:9-10; 48:5).

 

Prophecy is often a warning regarding what lies ahead so that believers can discern the times and take appropriate action. This gives unbelievers the opportunity to repent in order to avoid God’s judgment. Noah, a preacher of righteousness, was told by God that He would destroy everything that lived upon the earth by a flood (which didn’t come until about 120 years later) and that He would save Noah and his family; He told Abram that his descendants would remove the Canaanites from their land because of their wickedness, an event that took place four centuries later; Joseph was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh warning of the famine to come upon Egypt in seven years, and then he was given a plan to keep the Egyptians from potential starvation; Jonah warned the Ninevites of God’s impending judgment unless they repented, which they did. Yet most of the Old Testament prophecies from Genesis 3:15 through Malachi 3:1 anticipated the first coming of Israel’s Messiah and have been fulfilled perfectly by Jesus Christ.

 

Prophecies in the New Testament primarily address events associated with the time period of the Second Coming of our Lord. Matthew 24 begins with Jesus characterizing that time with a warning of great deception, including false christs, false prophets, and lying signs and wonders. It then foretells “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (vv. 21-22). The book of Revelation supplies some of the Tribulation details as God pours out His wrath in judgment upon the earth. There will be a conquering army of the Antichrist, world war, worldwide famine, the death of half of the world’s inhabitants (Revelation 6:8, 9:15), the massive martyrdom of believers, worldwide physical catastrophes involving mountains moved out of their places, and mankind trying to hide itself from God’s judgment. Of those who turn to Christ and are martyred for their faith during the Great Tribulation, Scripture tells us, “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

 

So there is good news and bad news in biblical prophecy. The best of the good news was the first coming of Jesus in order to pay the full penalty for our sins and to reconcile us to God by our faith in Him alone. Having received the gift of eternal life, the next best prophetic good news for a believer is the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming, known as the Rapture. The Apostle Paul refers to that event as the believer’s “blessed hope,” which we are to anticipate with joy because Jesus is returning to take us, the bride of Christ, to Heaven for a wedding: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).  “For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Revelation 19:9). That is indeed good news.

 

Sadly, when a professing or true Christian sets a date for the Rapture to take place, an act that is contrary to what the Bible teaches (Matthew 24:36, 44; Mark 13:32; 1 Timothy 6:14-15), and that event fails to happen, people grow disillusioned and the good news becomes bad news. In some cases, the date setting arises out of a sincere desire for Christ to return for His bride. At other times, it comes from the pride of having an alleged insight into a biblical interpretation that no one has discovered before. Although both predictions may be sincere, they are sincerely wrong and have caused physical and/or spiritual problems among those who believed their erroneous teachings.

 

No matter who brings the false teachings, some experience disastrous consequences from them. In the 1980s, millions believed the calculations of former NASA scientist Edgar Whisenant regarding Christ’s return through his booklet 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 and his other misfires in 1989, 1993, and 1994. Also in the ’80s, Southwest Radio Church published Apocalyptic Signs in the Heavens, which saw catastrophic consequences for the earth due to the “Jupiter Effect,” a planetary alignment that would purportedly alter our solar system. Just prior to that, Southwest Radio’s David Webber and Noah Hutchings co-authored Is This the Last Century? published by Thomas Nelson. Based in part on Hal Lindsey’s calculation that the Rapture would take place in 1981, they concluded that the seven-year Great Tribulation would begin soon after.

 

Although many conservative Christians considered the “rapture and doom” prognosticators to be sensationalists, attitudes changed as the turn of the century drew near. The increasing talk of a worldwide computer meltdown was too much for many Christians to brush off, especially when Y2K concerns were being raised by respected evangelicals such as James Dobson, Gary North, Jerry Falwell, Jack Van Impe, Chuck Missler, and many others. The year 2000 made its debut in grand fashion when the world, rather than hunkering down, began celebrating the new century with spectacular fireworks. On the other hand, many of those who were misled by church leaders suffered “survival” consequences: losses from selling their homes, quitting their jobs, and relocating to the country, along with the expenditure of large amounts of money for stockpiles of survival food, firearms, generators, and other survival equipment. Many were overtaken by fear, and some succumbed to suicide over their financial losses.

 

Fast-forward to 2012 and the Mayan Calendar scare, another “prophesied” end-of-the-world apocalyptic nightmare that turned out to be wrong. Fear is often the response of those who have no hope, not having put their trust in Jesus, the only One who can make us eternally secure. Sadly, even many of those who claim to have a personal relationship with Christ by faith alone demonstrate by their actions that their trust is elsewhere.

 

Of course, we are not saying that we shouldn’t be prudent in making preparations for potential disasters whether they are natural, technological, or financial. Having a one- or two-week supply of food and water on hand could be very helpful, especially if one lives in an area that is prone to weather-related catastrophes. A reasonable amount of accessible cash may also be practical. In most cases, however, to go much beyond this may lead to a self-oriented “survivalist” mentality, which is at odds with the examples and instructions of the Word of God. Stockpiling food or turning to gold for survival could create an attitude of selfishness, especially when others in the disaster are without and in great need. To share, or not to share, that is the biblical question. Does one protect his goods at all cost? Scripture tells us, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:21). Who would deny that they would want someone to share their food with them if they and their families were hungry? Furthermore, the Bible tells us how we are to treat our neighbors and even our enemies: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink” (Romans 12:20).

 

Believers need to think such things through in the light of Scripture, particularly since our days are loaded with fearmongering false prophets and some “survival food” con men preaching certain doom. The latest to conjure up forthcoming dark clouds on the horizon are those who promote the teaching that there may well be a combination of two prophetic events taking place in the year 2015 that could result in unprecedented physical cataclysms and financial crashes. The use of italics for “may well be” and “could” is given to note that those purveyors of disasters have used such language in order to cover themselves from being accused of false prophecy. Even so, those “disclaimer” terms are lost in the hyperbole of their fear mongering.
The two leaders in this alleged confluence of biblical tribulations are Jonathan Cahn (The Mystery of Shemitah) and Mark Biltz (The Blood Moons). They are supported by a cast of false teachers and sensationalists and their associated organizations that include Jim Bakker, Sid Roth, John Hagee, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, to name but a few.
What then of the biblical significance of the so-called mystery of shemitah and blood moons? There is none in the context in which Cahn and Biltz present them. Cahn promotes shemitah as a universal principle that applies to all nations and “their financial and economic realms.” No. Shemitah was given exclusively to Israel as a blessing should God’s chosen people follow His commandment. It involved obeying the seventh day of the week as a day of rest and every seventh year as a year of rest. God promised to make provision on the sixth day and year to supply the Israelites’ needs during their day/year of rest. Also, during the seventh year there was to be a “release” of all the debts of the Israelites. Jonathan Cahn further compounds the central error that he taught in his book The Harbinger by applying a law of God to America – a law that applies only to God’s exclusive covenant people: the Jews. This is false prophecy in the sense that it seriously misrepresents the Scriptures. Cahn is heavily promoted by WorldNetDaily, which heralds him as a modern-day prophet and revealer of “The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future.” Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily’s chief, is the producer of Cahn’s documentary Isaiah 9:10 Judgment, and the website is a chief supporter of Cahn’s books.
The blood moons teaching of Mark Biltz is also false prophecy because, as with Cahn’s abuse of Scripture, Biltz forces the biblical term into his own agenda. The Bible clearly applies the conditions and the consequences of a blood moon (singular) to the seven-year Tribulation period: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matthew 24:29); “I beheld when he had broken the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth” (Revelation 6:12-13). If Biltz concurs that the “blood moon” verses take place during the Great Tribulation, then 2015 must occur in the latter part of the Tribulation. What does that indicate for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture? It either took place in 2008 and was a partial Rapture, or it will be a Post-Tribulation Rapture, neither of which is biblical.

 

If Cahn’s and Biltz’s beliefs were merely a matter of false teachings that are of the faith-wrecking kind among the multitudes of those who buy into their unbiblical assertions, it would be tragic enough. They have, however, become the latest tool of the evangelical fearmongers as they apply their prophetic distortions to alleged soon-coming financial crashes and physical catastrophes worse than any thus experienced on the earth. Their promotional appearances with Jim Bakker, as just one example, would give credibility to the snake oil pitchmen of yesteryear (2 Peter 2:3). After Biltz declares, “I think we have one year to really prepare for what God [has] coming,” Bakker responds, “It’s time to get ready. That’s why God has called me to tell you to store food…you don’t have to order from us to hear the Word of the Lord. But you should have food….What are you gonna do when the stock market crashes?….We have the Morningside recipes….We have the Year of Food for $550 dollars….One of these days it will all be gone. One more event…I’m telling you, if we have a big earthquake on the West Coast or say a volcano going on, or something major, there will not be any food left for months and months….We have…’The Time of Trouble’ offer, and that’s a seven-year food offer, and that’s for a donation of $3,000…[that’s] 7,700 meals.” Biltz adds that what’s ahead is the “Super Bowl of human history and people need to get ready and that’s what I believe these are signs of” (http://jimbakkershow.com/video/mystery-sevens/). Joining the false signs-and-wonders teacher Rodney Howard-Browne for his Celebrate America Conference, Jonathan Cahn told the audience, “The financial collapse of the US dollar may happen on Sunday the 13th of September 2015 corresponding to the 29 of Elul 5775 on the Hebrew calendar, the next shemitah of the 7 year cycle.”

 

WorldNetDaily devotes numerous pages to selling survival food as well as self-defense and preparedness gear. Thomas Horn, author of Nephilim Stargates, is another distorter of biblical prophecy who claims that the Nephilim have returned and who also sees blood moons as a foreboding of things to come. As CEO of SurvivorMall.com, his website features hundreds of supplies to supposedly help Christians to be prepared for the last days.

 

What’s wrong with the present conjured-up scenarios that relate to pending catastrophes? Will there be a time of utter devastation that the world hasn’t experienced since Noah’s worldwide flood? Yes. However, it will happen according to God’s chronology and not according to man’s ideas about when it will happen and how to prepare for and survive it. The timeline is given in the Scriptures, beginning with Christ’s returning for His bride (believers in Him) to take them to Heaven prior to the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Great Tribulation, during which God pours out His wrath upon the entire world. Even a cursory reading of what takes place as presented in the Book of Revelation clearly shows the futility and folly of imagined survival tactics. No, survival during the Great Tribulation will be only by God’s miraculous intervention for those who come to Christ during that time period. Prior to the Tribulation, believers are “to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come,” keeping in mind that “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10).

 

Our living together with Him involves pleasing Him in every way, and our waiting involves opportunities by His grace to be fruitful and productive with joy as we look for our “blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
TBC
Part one can be found HERE

Source: The End Time

http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/

The church is rapidly accepting occult, channeled books as divinely inspired

Here is a definition of automatic writing, or spirit writing from the Free Dictionary,

Writing performed without conscious thought or deliberation, typically by means of spontaneous free association or as a medium for spirits or psychic forces.

Automatic writing is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. It differs from inspired scripture in that in inspired scripture,

The process of inspiration was not a mechanical dictation where the apostles heard a voice and wrote down what they heard. Nor does it mean that they went into some sort of a trance and God wrote through them without their knowledge. Instead, the writers were free to write what they wanted as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In fact, the writings reflect the personality and style of the various writers. Yet, the personality and style of the writers did not degrade the quality or authority of the biblical writing.(source)

Automatic writing is Ouija Board with a pen. Some of the more remarkable things about automatic writing is that the people through which these written products emerge describe a very similar experience. No matter which millennia or decade they participate in their writings, they describe similar sensations, similar feelings, and the same process. Where I quote their descriptions of their own process, I put in bold type the similar phrases they use to describe it.

You would be surprised at how many people have produced written works of novel, poetry, plays and even music by this occult process. It is an old, old practice. I suppose because fascination with the “other side” by pagans is also a constant throughout time. It is a fascination for the Christian, too, but we are fortunate to have THE authoritative and perfect, inerrant, infallible bible. It is God’s revelation of Himself to us, and it in its entirety is profitable for reproof, correction, training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16).

For those without a relationship with God and an inability to understand the bible, they still long for eternity. So they seek it anyway, but unknowingly through satan.

Finish article HERE

From The Berean Call

 

7/10/2013

 

HEBREW ROOTS, THE NEPHILIM, AND THE SHROUD OF TURIN COME TOGETHER

 

TBC: The 2013 Pikes Peak Prophecy Conference at the end of July will feature speakers including Gary Stearman, Tom Horn, Chuck Missler, Jonathan Cahn, L.A. Marzulli, Mark Biltz, Lennart Moller, Joseph Farah, and others. The conference is sold out, and we probably shouldn’t be surprised. The featured topics, while hardly biblical, are exciting and seem to capture the attention of those who seek to be ever learning (2 Timothy 3:7).

 

 

In his 2/14/13 blog, L.A. Marzulli posted an article entitled, “Evolution or Hybrid? As in the Days of Noah…” in which he speculates about the meaning of a Chinese boy born with blue eyes. Marzulli issues a token warning that “We shouldn’t, however, jump on the Nephilim hybrid band wagon just yet, not until further tests are done on the boy,” before jumping on that same band wagon himself. “We are told that it will be like the days of Noah when the son of man returns. This begs the question, what differentiates the days of Noah from any other? In my opinion it is the presence of the fallen angels openly manifesting on the earth and engaging in sex with human females, that resulted in hybrids. The question I would ask the mother of the child is this, does she recall being taken? Did she see lights in the sky and then have a period of missing time? I realize that the main street churches won’t touch this with a 100-foot pole, but that doesn’t mean in any way that the phenomena isn’t real, burgeoning, and not going away, does it?”

 

Commentator Gaylene Goodroad notes, “If the foundation laid by God in Genesis 6 is shifted from personal sin to supposed invading gods and demonic DNA, then Christ’s prophecy concerning ‘the days of Noah’ will also be altered to fit the Nephilim scenario. Note the Lord’s actual teaching: ‘And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).

“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:37-39).

 

“The Scripture mentions four things that will be taking place on the earth prior to His return: mankind will be ‘eating,’ ‘drinking,’ ‘marrying,’ and ‘being given in marriage.’ There is NO mention of an outside demonic horde planning to corrupt the human gene pool by sexual and reproductive means! The clear implication of these sobering passages is that people–sinners–will be doing normal things up until the time judgment comes. They won’t be prepared for what happens very quickly–like the flood waters that overtook the men and women of Noah’s day. The details for this judgment are found in the Book of Revelation–and the Nephilim are conspicuously absent from all twenty-two chapters.”

 

(http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/07/nephilim-eschatology.html)

Marzulli has laid down rules at his blog, saying “There are a few topics [Marzulli is not to] be challenged here [on the blog] since he’s a proponent or has colleagues who are strong proponents. Some of these are: The authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, the UFO phenomena, the Book of Enoch,” etc.

 

Whatever happened to “prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)?

 

Consequently, it is not surprising to see that the conference will “be arranging special two-hour tours of the Shroud of Turin Museum” along with “archaeological updates on the Shroud of Turin; the Lost Shipwreck of Paul; the Mystery of Masada and the Egyptian chariot wheels discovered in the Red Sea!”

 

(http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/the-pikes-peak-prophecy-summit/)

In addition to Nephilim promoters L.A. Marzulli, Tom Horn, Chuck Missler, and Gary Stearman, the prophecy conference also features Hebrew Roots teacher Mark Blitz, who has stated quite bluntly on his website: “”My goal is not to convert Jews to Christianity but to bring non-Jews to a better understanding of YHVH through a better understanding of Torah. I think most Christians do not know YHVH as He really is but know Him as they have tried to create Him in their image rather than understanding they were created in His image. Many Christians believe they have a relationship with YHVH but they don’t.”

 

(http://www.elshaddaiministries.us/audio/more/goal_of_hr.html)

 

He says further, “I believe Christianity has hijacked Yeshua and has been presenting an Egyptian, which is why Yeshua is not recognized….The time is coming when the Jewish people will recognize the role Yeshua played and they will then fulfill their mission in taking Torah to the nations. They will straighten out the Christians theology in what Yeshua was really saying” (Ibid.).

The fantastical mix of mythology, science fiction, and biblical wresting shows no sign of abating, and we hope to address other aspects of these unscriptural teachings.

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

The Zohar Speaks ( the original video) Spoken by Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger.”

I am posting this transcription because of confusion created by the SECOND video of the same name.

*****

“I found it in the mystical writings, Jewish writing of the Zohar..

The Rabbis are writing of the redemption of the world, with Messiah coming. They speak of life from the dead, they speak of the resurrection , the resurrection of the world. The resurrection of the dead and redemption of the world. And they speak, they say it all will come, the power of all this miracle of all…this will come from a sacred thing, a sacred place and this place, this thing where the mercy of God is stored, all the mercy of God pours out from this place and that is where all the resurrection will come, all the blessings come from this place, this thing.

What is it? Very strange. They call it the Gulgalta, this holy mystical thing. From the Gulgalta comes redemption of the world …from the Gulgalta comes life from the dead. From the Gulgalta is all…is mercy of God poured out to the world, the forgiveness of God is given from Gulgalta. Salvation comes from Golgatha.

What is Gulgalta.? In aramaic it is simply the word for Golgatha. (clapping)

The Rabbis are saying that all the mercy of God comes from Golgatha.

This is amazing.

From Golgatha the place that he died.. Calgary means the place of the skull. They got it all confused…it’s an incredible mystical thing, the holy spirit of God got in there, it just got in there..they speak about a skull and they ..and all the mercy of God is linked to a skull, It doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense at all from all this comes, drips salvation..resurrection. For all the forgiveness of God on it you have to go to Golgatha.

Why on earth would the rabbis, put it in there. it makes no sense at all except that God just slipped it in.

The rabbis are saying ‘From Gulgalta is all the mercy of God you could ever need…. From Gulgalta the forgiveness of donai is poured out to the world. From Gulgalta comes the redemption of the universe.”.. This is from Rabba Zohar 1, 28b.

In the Gulgalta sit thousands of myriads of worlds. And from the Gulgalta drips dew and the dew fills the world and the dead will awakenin the world to come as the dew comes forth. The dew is the lights of the Ancient One. The light of the Ancient One comes from Gulgalta and asit touches the dead come to life. From Gulgalta is the light of God bringing life from the dead…” Whoa. (4:31)
The death of Messiah, all point us in time and space…The prophet Daniel zeroes in on the time mathematically..70 times 7. The Rabbis in the Bood of Mode sp? unwittingly give the name of it. Gulgalta. Moses zeroed in on the place. And now the very hill, the very place here in, the rabbinical writings of the Zohar, unwittingly give the name of it, Gulgalta, the center of everything.

Listen to the rabbis.

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/02/add-ons.html

Add Ons

Augmenting Scripture
With Diverse and Strange Doctrines

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.
For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;
not with meats,
which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

(Hebrews 13:9-10)
That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,
which is the head, even Christ:

(Eph. 4:14-15)

It is an age-old deception. Adding to the Scripture is one of the easiest ways to deceive believers. Why? Because error is cleverly brought in as “new information” that it is claimed will “illuminate” the Word and enrich the life of a believer. Sola Scriptura is being challenged by many new modes of augmentation. Adding to Scripture with supplemental “diverse and strange doctrines” is a form of heresy.

Today’s evangelical leaders are adding to Scripture in every possible way. The rush is on! Things that would have been considered unimaginable even ten short years ago are rapidly being incorporated into the Christian faith. The Bible plus. Adding to Scripture is a popular pastime, very lucrative, and exciting to the senses, particularly as it pertains to speculating about biblical prophecy, envisioning new revelation, or attaining deeper levels of spirituality. But what did the early reformers think about adding to Scripture? And what does the Bible have to say about it? Today’s post takes a look at Matthew Poole’s 1600s Bible Commentary* on the verses above.

Added to the Gospel”
According to Matthew Poole, “diverse and strange doctrines” are things that add to the Gospel in Scripture:

“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines“: the doctrine of Christ being immutable, it is but necessary to dehort [dissuade, ed.] His subjects from deserting it, which the apostle doth here; that they should not be wheeling or whirling about with an unstable and inconstant motion of judgment, faith, and practice, about such human doctrines which are vain rules to lead to God, such as are different in nature from Christ, one and the same rule, and those very numerous and various, strange and untrue, taught by false apostles and teachers, taken out of Gentilism and Judaism, and added to the Gospel by them, as necessary, together with Christ, to justification and salvation. [bold added]

The Gospel is being added to by those claiming that their new information is necessary, “together with Christ,” as supplementary material that enriches and enhances the plain doctrine of Jesus Christ. The following Scriptures are among those cited by Poole as evidence that believers should exercise caution lest they “carried about,” “corrupted” or “beguiled” by these added-on “diverse and strange doctrines,” i.e. heresy:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

(2 Cor. 11:3)
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,
that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,
giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy;
having their conscience seared with a hot iron;…
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables,
and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
(1 Timothy 5: 1,2,7)
But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

(2 Peter 2:1-2)

Have you noticed? These verses, and others like them, are seldom taught in churches anymore. There is a carefree, even careless and lax attitude about warnings regarding “diverse and strange doctrines.”  Many evangelicals think they can handle the adding-on of extra-biblical material and still stay sound in the faith. Some flatter themselves that they are immune to heresy. Others seem to think that the modern-day church is perfecting to the point where it doesn’t need to be concerned about heresy anymore. Their focus has shifted to all of the exciting methods being brought into the church world, or the “new” revelations being unearthed, or the rapidly changing global or cosmic events happening. This flood of information substantially alters how the Bible is viewed. The Bible is deemed insufficient and must be augmented with data pouring in from all sorts of spurious sources.

However, Scripture is true and it doesn’t change. It warns believers that they can be “beguiled,” “corrupted,” and “tossed to and fro.” It warns believers they are susceptible to the “sleight of men,” and can be seduced and “deceived” by “cunning craftiness.”

In Ephesians 4:14-15 the Apostle Paul uses the word “children.” This is referring to those who are weak, immature or unstable in the faith. These tender ones are most susceptible to being “tossed to and fro” when Scripture is added-onto with enticing allurements. They are most apt to be “carried about with every wind of doctrine.” They are easier to manipulate by “sleight of hand” or “cunning craftiness.” Matthew Poole, commenting on the phrase “whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” points out:

ambush; the word here used, is translated wiles (Eph. 6:11), against which the apostle would have them fenced with “the whole armour of God,” and seems to signify a laying in ambush, or assaulting a man behind his back; a secret and unseen way of circumventing, a laying wait to draw them that are weak from the truth.

In our era of pervasive Humanism, where evangelicals now believe that human beings are basically good at heart, it is hard to grasp this sober scriptural warning. No one seems worried about being spiritually ambushed. But this is what Scripture says, and unfortunately we hear many examples of shepherds fleecing and abusing sheep — their own flock as well as the sheep of other shepherds. Popular leaders sell their add-on wares in the great evangelical marketplace. They have thrilling new books, exciting new programs, arousing new theologies, provocative new revelations, unveiled new secrets, decoded new mysteries, stimulating new understandings, etc. There is great profit to be had by ambushing immature sheep with their own ***exclusive*** add-ons to Scripture.

“PUFFED UP” with “A SHEW OF WISDOM”
There is a specific danger of adding to God’s Word with “diverse and strange doctrines.” Believers are prone to becoming “vainly puffed up” with a “shew of wisdom.” Matthew Poole explained this phrase in Hebrews, and cited additional verses to make this point:

“Not with meats”: doctrines of meats and ceremonies, which are divers, and strange from Christ’s cannot make the heart agreeable to God, but only distract and divide it from Him; for whoever is not in and from Christ, is strange to God, and abhorred by Him…

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility
and worshipping of angels,
intruding into those things which he hath not seen,
vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,…
Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship,
and humility, and neglecting of the body;
not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
(Col. 2:18, 22)
But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
And their word will eat as doth a canker:
(2 Tim. 2:16-17a)
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
(James 1:8)

“Meats” here refers to adding-on requirements to the faith that “beguile” believers into feeling they need to do more spiritually. It can lead to a “puffed up” feeling of elitism, especially when a believer feels he is privy to exclusive new information that is superior to to the old outmoded plain Bible teaching. There is a temptation to make “a shew of wisdom in will worship.” Indeed, there is a mad scramble in the evangelical world today to try to out-do one another in being hip (“puffed up”) by jumping into any new-fangled, spiritual-sounding thing. No need to exercise discernment; everyone’s doing it so it must be okay, right? As long as it is “spiritual” it must be Christian, right?  

Following “divers and strange doctrines” eventually ends up in some sort of legalism, which is why the writer of Hebrews stated “not with meats” in the context of discussing “diverse and strange doctrines.” Adding-to Scripture may not seem like legalism on its surface, but a believer soon discovers that additional teachings come equipped with additional requirements. There is a point when a believer may begin to notice an unsettled “carried about” or “tossed to and fro” feeling. How much energy is spent engaged in the added-on commitments of time, talents and money! “Diverse and strange doctrines” are man-made add-ons that promise believers a heightened spirituality, greater insights, the acclamations of man, and even prosperity if believers do certain things. Following the latest blog postings, book publishings, conferences and spiritual-sounding pronouncements of the leaders who are busily adding-on to Scripture can be a full-time job! But at what cost to one’s faith?

Note: If a leader is charging money to divulge “new” secrets or “hidden” revelations, save yourself the money and hassle. Don’t buy it! The plain Gospel of Salvation is FREE, sufficient and open to all!

Matthew Poole warned that we will reap no true spiritual benefit from adding-on strange doctrines and practicing them, in his comments on the phrase “which have not profited them”:

“which have not profited them that have been occupied therein”: those who did converse in these various and strange doctrines, professing and constantly practising them, observed times, and meats, and ceremonies, have not been profited by them; for being carnal and earthly, they could not justify them as to their state God-ward, nor could they renew or sanctify their souls, nor yield any advantage to their spiritual life; and being perishing could not profit to the attaining of eternal life…

Adding-On: Another Altar
False altars are associated with idolatry in Scripture. The fact that the writer of Hebrews mentions an “altar” in the context of “diverse and strange doctrines” is noteworthy. Adding-on to Scripture is a form of idolatry, a strange altar with strange fire. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we have an altar, which is Jesus Christ. Matthew Poole commented:

“We have an altar”: these strange doctrines are not only unprofitable, but perilous to Christians, since they disinterest all that entertain them, as to any participation of Christ; since His subjects, adhering to His simple and immutable doctrine, have a right and just claim to, and an actual use of, Christ, as their altar, in opposition to the Mosaical; and from whom they have altar sustenance for their souls, in opposition to the Jewish meats, while they attend on Him; all the quickening benefits issuing from the sacrifice of His human nature on the altar of His God-head, as reconciliation and adoption to God, justification and perseverance therein, to the perfecting of it in glory…. We have altar sanctification of our persons and offerings in our access to God from Him…. God had but one altar under the law, and He prohibited all others, and complained of and threatened the increase of them…

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.
(Hebrews 13:15)

Matthew Henry in his 1700s Commentary on this same verse agreed, and made the point this altar is Jesus. Any other altar, with “diverse and strange doctrines” is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

The Christian church has its altar. It was objected against the primitive Christians that their assemblies were destitute of an altar; but this was not true. We have an altar, not a material altar, but a personal one, and that is Christ; He is both our altar, and our sacrifice; He sanctifies the gift.

Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin,
altars shall be unto him to sin.

(Hos. 8:11) 
Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself:
according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars;
according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty:
He shall break down their altars, He shall spoil their images.
(Hosea 10:1-2)

Those who add on to Scripture, who dally at fascinating foreign altars, will soon find their heart is divided, as it states above. And the Lord Jesus Christ warned that “No servant can serve two masters.” We cannot serve both “God and mammon.” (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:16) The cognitive dissonance of a divided heart ultimately results in the bad fruit of a seared conscience. And those who look for truth at the pagan altars of “diverse and strange doctrines” will not find it.

Profane ADD-ONS
Diverse and strange doctrines are “profane,” i.e. “unholy.” New teachings don’t usually come into the church in flaming colors proclaiming they are a new heresy! Rather, most heresies come in as subtle additions, challenging ideas, new thoughts to consider, speculations, etc. Add-ons can come from such scholarly sources as “scientific revelations.” Most originate from pagan sources! But Scripture takes a dim view of these “profane” teachings, likening them to “fables” and “vain babblings”:

But refuse profane and old wives’ fables,
and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
(1 Tim. 1:9)
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust,
avoiding profane and vain babblings,
and oppositions of science falsely so called:
(1 Tim. 6:20)
But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

(2 Tim. 2:16)
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person,
as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

(Hebrews 12:15-16)

Note that it says that “profane and vain babblings” will “increase unto more ungodliness.” There is a tendency for profane teachings to spread like leaven, corrupting believers and then entire churches. Hebrews 12:15-16 refers to Esau as a “profane person,” and Matthew Poole noticed how the “root of bitterness” acts like leaven in increasing profanity:

the springing up and growing of errors, heresies, or immoralities, as profaneness, filthiness, etc., which are apt to infect churches, and as they spread, to molest, trouble, and disturb them, and to keep them from pursuing holiness.

“thereby many be defiled”: lest by but one such poisonous root, a whole church of Christians may be infected and poisoned, their sin being as apt to spread and diffuse itself as leaven, 1 Cor. 5:6, to taint the whole lump, Gal. 5:9; and how early, even in the apostles’ time, for want of obeying this caution, were the primitive churches corrupted, both in doctrine and morals, by loose, filthy heretics among them!

Pursuing “diverse and strange doctrines” will only “increase unto more ungodliness.” There is a very real defilement that takes place when anyone begins to search into occult and pagan mysteries to try to glean truth. Those who take this route find that it becomes a never-ending spiral of “new truths,” each new nugget more intoxicating. Believers will soon discover themselves lost and wandering on dark paths with no end. These are dangerous paths that do not fulfill, and do not lead to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

BE ESTABLISHED & STEADFAST
Believers, lost and unsteady in their faith, can repent and return to a sole dependence on God’s Word for sustenance, spiritual edifying and strengthening. A symptom of losing one’s moorings on Scripture can be the actual feeling of being “carried about” and “tossed to and fro.” What is the remedy for this? Matthew Poole asserts that only the mercy of God’s grace can make our hearts steadfast and established on the “simple doctrine of Christ,” which gives us a solid foundation of maturity:

“For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace”: for the goodness of heart-establishment unto God is no less than full and complete salvation of the soul…. And this is only wrought by grace, the free love of God put out in Christ, for regeneration and preservation of souls unto life eternal, carried in the simple doctrine of Christ, which is always the same,

Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

(1 Cor. 15:15)
Ye therefore, beloved,
seeing ye know these things before,
beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
fall from your own stedfastness.
But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

(2 Peter 3:17-18)
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself,
and God, even our Father, which hath loved us,
and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
Comfort your hearts,
and stablish you in every good word and work.

(2 Thess. 2: 16-17)
But the God of all grace,
who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while,
make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you.

(1 Peter 5:10)

*All quotations taken and adapted for blog posting from A Commentary on the Holy Bible, Volume III, Matthew-Revelation, by Matthew Poole (Hendrickson Publishers). All bold and emphases added.

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