Friday, July 14, 2017
Jesus said “many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matt. 24:11); and “there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15), and “do not believe every spirit…because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
When you hear a pastor, prophet or teacher add to or subtract from God’s Word do you excuse it because you like him or her? Do you, like so many, overlook the deceptive lie because you don’t want to be a voice of dissension? If so, you love that false teacher more than Christ, for God said, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11).
The truth of when the resurrection of the dead occurs has been under attack by Satan for a very long time. Satan didn’t wait until the times of the end to deceive people through false prophets and teachers, he began that apostate strategy in the first century church when certain men taught “that the resurrection is already past, and they overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:18).
False preachers, prophets and teachers never appear in wolves clothing, but are “experts” at twisting God’s Word to suit your flesh and their financial and social gain. They love praise of men more than praise of God. They love popularity. They’ve learned church lingo and how to appear like the real deal, but are not. Many even speak in tongues but it’s not from God.
But we who truly love Christ by faith, however, have a mandate from God to discern and judge falsehood from truth, for “he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one” (1 Cor. 2:15). If you believe the resurrection of saints occurs pre-tribulation, you didn’t learn that on your own but from a false teacher, for Jesus told us when the resurrection occurs.
Jesus taught two resurrections at John 5:28–29, and that “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), occurs “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54), but false prophets and teachers say it occurs before the tribulation; seven years before “the last day”. It gains them popularity and financial wealth. The creators of the “Left Behind” book and movie series grew rich but have deceived millions.
False teachers persuade gullible, non-discerning, non-judging Christians to believe them rather than Christ. Thus when you hear the pre-trib rapture taught, false teachers never use the Words of Jesus, but deny Him by silence. But God said, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine [teachings] of Christ does not have God” (2 John 1:9). The belief in or teaching of the pre-trib rapture is manifest evidence of that person’s bondage to Satan’s destructive lie.
As false teachers overthrew the faith of people 2,000 years ago by teaching an early resurrection, so too, but in much greater measure, teachers of the pre-trib rapture (also an early resurrection) will be culpable for the faith-destroying “offense and hatred” (Matt. 24:10), and “falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3), of many Christians taught to “not receive the love of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:10).
Marlin J. Yoder