Following the example of the scribes and Pharisees in their utmost disregard of God’s Word pseudobrethren/pseudadelphois came into the early church by stealth (Gal 2:4). Religious liberalism began with these pseudoChristians who only wanted to do and believe what was right in their own eyes, without repentance.
While He was on earth, Jesus to warned His followers and us about them and their followers. “Be careful that no one leads you astray.”
1 Yeshua went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all of these things, don’t you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.”
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 Yeshua answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will lead many astray. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains. 9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake. 10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets/pseudoprophētai will arise, and will lead many astray. 12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:1-14
23 Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Messiah,’ or, ‘There,’ don’t believe it. 24 For there will arise false messiahs/ pseudochristoi, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. Matthew 24:23-24
Jesus’ apostles encountered pseudoChristians and their leaders. Look at the character traits that identify them.
1 But know this: that in the last days, grievous times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also. 6 For some of these are people who creep into houses and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7
Thus Jesus and His apostles aptly warn us to beware of evil people. “Turn away from these.”
The progression of evil, Gods grace and our avoidance of false leaders.
From the time of the apostles to the Reformation the body of Christ suffered increasing levels of darkness. In 313, Constantine declared all Roman citizens Christian. The Church aligned with the sword of Rome took God’s people into the Dark Ages. Simony flourished.
The Reformation led by Martin Luther in 1517 and joined by other Protestant Reformers reversed many of the hindrances to faith and Christian living. Thanks be to God.
Then came the Enlightenment or the Age of Reason about 200 years after the Reformation. It brought many new concepts centered on reason, some good and some ungodly. Liberals trace their worldview to that time.
The Enlightenment ushered in “Liberal Christianity” in which theologians put their own human reason above Scripture and God. It’s proponents believed the changes it would bring would be the future of the Christian church.
Anyone swayed by the teachings of the Enlightenment should read and heed 1 Corinthians 1 and 2, where Paul was inspired to write: “My speech and my proclaiming were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
C. I. Scofield (1843-1921) was a product of the Enlightenment. He popularized the Rapture teachings of dispensationalism first taught in the early 1800’s by John Nelson Darby. Around 1879, Scofield came under the mentorship of James H. Brookes, a prominent dispensationalist premillennialist. Scofield’s Reference Bible, was widely circulated. It was first published in 1909 by Oxford University Press. Ignoring Scofield’s poor character and lack of a Doctorate in Theology, most Pentecostals and Baptists bought his Rapture doctrine hook, line and sinker.
Wayne Grudem is one of the foremost Baptist dispensationalist theologians who can’t see Jesus as King today. His enlightened reason is presented in his book that has over 500,000 sold. He wrote: “The present age of the Church is an intercalation into the revealed calendar or program of God as that program was foreseen by the prophets of old. Such, indeed, is the precise character of the present age” (Systematic Theology, 4:40). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine Jan 3, 1995 by Wayne Grudem
By intercalation, Grudem means a pause in God’s plan in which Jesus will not begin ruling as King until after the Rapture. That heresy has been popularized and is still held by many today. Thus Grudem joins the scribes and Pharisees in trying to lock believers out of the kingdom (Mt 23:14).
Dispensationalists can’t succeed in locking believers out of the kingdom because God has already translated all believers into the kingdom of His Son, whether they believe it or not.
9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the holy ones in light, 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love, 14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. 18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:9-20 Emphasis added
Progressing in their blatant intellectual superiority, Enlightened Liberal pseudoChristians were wise enough in their own eyes to ordain homosexuals and lesbians beginning in 1968.
The Metropolitan Community Church, a predominantly LGBT church, has ordained LGBT candidates for ministry since its founding in 1968. In 1972, the United Church of Christ became the first mainline Protestant denomination in the United States to ordain an openly gay clergy. Other churches are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (since 2010) and the Presbyterian Church (USA) (since 2012). The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have also allowed ordination of openly gay and lesbian candidates for ministry for some years. Link
Paul wrote this inspired Scripture revealing the root of homosexual and lesbian sin and God’s temporal judgment on it.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity, that they may be without excuse. 21 Because knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, and didn’t give thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, four-footed animals, and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves; 25 who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. 28 Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, 30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32
Beware: Enlightened Liberal pseudoChristians have now infiltrated prophetic and pseudoapostic ministry in the body of Christ.
Popular charismatic leaders that started out as evangelists soon became pastors and teachers, then prophets. For a while, many prophets strutted around know as Dr. so and so with a doctorate awarded by a colleague. Now, many like to be known as Apostle so and so, that title awarded by their peers. If you are one of them, repent and believe. Ask God to forgive you. He will.
Jesus calls forth prophetic ministry to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4:11-13). For those of you who believe prophesy has ceased from 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 think! Why would Paul start 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
Yet, Peter warned.
1 But false prophets/pseudoprophētai also arose among the people, as false teachers/pseudodidaskaloi will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2 Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned. 3 In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old doesn’t linger, and their destruction will not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1-3.
A non-condemning article, The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion on Christianity Today’s website is eye opening. It reveals “A Christian movement characterized by multi-level marketing, Pentecostal signs and wonders, and post-millennial optimism.”
Paul wrote this inspired Scripture to Timothy about people destitute of truth.
1 Let as many as are bondservants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine not be blasphemed. 2 Those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brothers, but rather let them serve them, because those who partake of the benefit are believing and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and doesn’t consent to sound words, the words of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 4 he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, insulting, evil suspicions, 5 constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can’t carry anything out. 8 But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation, a snare, and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. 13 I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Messiah Yeshua, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession, 14 that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, 15 which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. 16 He alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.
17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be arrogant, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy; 18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to share; 19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.
20 Timothy, guard that which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some profess, and thus have wandered from the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen. 1 Timothy 6
Paul wrote this inspired Scripture to Titus on the qualifications for leaders in the Church. It is ignored by Liberal Christianity, including many liberals in the prophetic and pseudoapostic ministry.
1From: Paul, a servant of God, and also an apostle of Jesus the Messiah, to bring the faith to those chosen by God, along with full knowledge of the truth that leads toc godliness, 2which is based on the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began. 3At the right time he revealed his message through the proclamation that was entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior.
4To: Titus, a genuine child in the faith that we share.
May grace and peace from God the Father and the Messiah, Jesus our Savior, be yours!
5The reason I left you in Crete was to complete what still needed to be done and to appoint elders in every city, as I myself commanded you. 6An elder must beg blameless. He must be the husband of one wife and have children who are believers and who are not accused of having wild lifestyles or of being rebellious. 7Because an overseer is God’s servant manager, he must be blameless. He must not be arrogant or irritable. He must not drink too much, be a violent person, or make money in shameful ways. 8Instead, he must be hospitable to strangers, must appreciate what is good, and be sensible, honest, moral, and self-controlled. 9He must be devoted to the trustworthy message that agrees with what we teach, so that he may be able to encourage others with healthy doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
10For there are many people who are rebellious, especially those who are converts from Judaism. They speak utter nonsense and deceive people. 11They must be silenced, because they are the kind of people who ruin whole families by teaching what they should not teach in order to make money in a shameful way. 12One of their very own prophets said,
- “Liars ever, men of Crete,
- savage brutes that live to eat.”
13That statement is true. For this reason, refute them sharply so that they may become healthy in the faith 14and not pay attention to Jewish myths or commands given by people who reject the truth. 15Everything is clean to those who are clean, but nothing is clean to those who are corrupt and unbelieving. Indeed, their very way of thinking and their consciences have been corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified to do anything good. Titus 1 ISV
Paul contrasts his proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom with that of those in error, uncleanness, or deception.
1 For you yourselves know, brothers, our visit to you wasn’t in vain, 2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as you know, at Philippi, we grew bold in our God to tell you the Good News of God in much conflict. 3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception. 4 But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we speak: not as pleasing men, but God, who tests our hearts. 5 For neither were we at any time found using words of flattery, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness (God is witness), 6 nor seeking glory from men (neither from you nor from others), when we might have claimed authority as emissaries of Messiah. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
8 Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail; for working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached to you the Good News of God. 10 You are witnesses with God how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe. 11 As you know, we exhorted, comforted, and implored every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 to the end that you should walk worthily of God, who calls you into his own Kingdom and glory. 13 For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the assemblies of God which are in Judea in Messiah Yeshua; for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they did from the Judeans 15 who killed both the Lord Yeshua and their own prophets, and drove us out, and don’t please God, and are contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, to fill up their sins always. But wrath has come on them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brothers, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, tried even harder to see your face with great desire, 18 because we wanted to come to you—indeed, I, Paul, once and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Isn’t it even you, before our Lord Yeshua at his coming? 20 For you are our glory and our joy. 1 Thessalonians 2
Jesus’ word to false prophets
21“Not everyone who keeps saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom from heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn’t we?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who practice evil!’” Matthew 7:21-23 ISV
Jesus’ word to the church in Ephesus
1 “To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write:
“He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lamp stands says these things:
2 “I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves emissaries, and they are not, and found them false. 3 You have perseverance and have endured for my name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God. Revelation 2:1-7
Jesus is the truth. Jesus comforted His disciples and speaks this word to our soul and spirit.
1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4“And you know the way where I am going.” 5Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:1-6 NASB
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quoted is from the World Messianic Bible WMB