A Devotion for 7 October 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
If you are the modern standard of ‘professing’ Christian that believes the counsel of Scripture has less meaning to us of our day than in the days it was first uttered from the Mind of God, you and I will begin this study with a serious difference in understanding the Mind of God. He is changeless – being the same yesterday, today, and forever. He changeth not, and neither do His Words. (see Matthew 5L18, Hebrews 13:8 & Malachi 3:6) The modern demons of society have sought a frontal attack on Holy Scripture for centuries. Having failed to penetrate the ramparts and defenses of faith, they now have resorted to subtle word changes here and there in order to make their new theology so much resemble the original that the inattentive mind might be deceived. This is sadly happening in the majority of pulpits today in America and in the new ‘for-profit’ Bible versions proliferating in the Christian bookstores of our land. If any point out this approach to the church, the vitriol from the modern false prophets will be fast and profound.
One such salient of their offensive sorties is directed toward the very biblical definition of evil itself. “20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21 How many today would erroneously view homosexual marriage as remotely Godly compared with 50 years ago. I was a young man 50 years ago and I can assure you, NO ONE would have advocated such an egregious public sin. Neither would they have believed that the MURDER of innocent babies in the very womb of their mother’s would be practiced today and called, rather than MURDER, abortion! A mere sixty years ago, no one of any measurable intelligence would have believed that a renegade and ungodly panel of black-robed hypocrites on the Supreme Court would twist and contort the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights to mean exactly the opposite of what it does mean by declaring prayer and Bible reading in public schools unconstitutional. Please observe the consequences among our youth today of that ruling!
I realize you may be thinking, “My goodness, this writer is certainly callous and politically insensitive in the manner in which he describes the sins of the day.” I am not excessive in my verbiage! Christ confronted the same wicked hypocrites of His day in like manner. He did not disarm the Church from making righteous judgment – the modern church has disarmed itself! Our Lord has given strong counsel on the judgment of sin: “24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” So, what is righteous judgment? It is the judgment of God expressed in His Holy word. If God calls murder a sin, we must also consider murder a sin. That is not OUR judgment, but His! If He calls every form of sexual perversion a sin, we must do as well – not our judgment, but His!
I believe the Lord would address the U.S. Supreme Court of the past several decades in the same tone as He addressed the Pharisees and Jewish lawyers of His day: “34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” Matthew 12:34-37
And just who are these false manipulators of the natural and biblical laws of God? Allow our Lord to tell you who these are: 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Those Justices who ruled approval for Roe v. Wade (abortion case) should tremble at our Lord’s declaration.
Perhaps you believe your present minister is more enlightened than our Reformers who would prefer the burning stake to the denial of a single verse of the Bible. So you sit, Sunday after Sunday, under the luke-warm, entertainment-oriented and permissive preaching of a clueless minister whose sermons are designed to satisfy the more wealthy class of tithers in the church.
Do not get me wrong. I do not consider every minister of our day to be a false prophet, but I do believe the majority filling the mainline pulpits of our land are imposters and wolves. How else do you explain the blatant apostasy of churches that compromise on the issues of abortion, Godly marriage, and the defense of religious freedoms?
How does our Lord warn us about false prophets? “11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:15 Does our Lord warn that a false prophet shall sometimes arise here and there? NO! He warns that MANY false prophets shall arise and deceive MANY! What part of MANY do we not understand? “24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24 An interesting phrase in this last text – “if it were possible.” Frankly, it is not possible for the elect of God to be deceived forever, for they will love the Word of God, study the Word of God and digest the Word of God so that it will become part of their being. They will have put on the Mind that was in Christ our Lord and think with His Mind. But there are not only false prophets, but false Christians also – men and women who congregate at the larger churches for the purposes of business, politics and prestige. “22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.” Mark 13:22-23
These false prophets and their cohorts, the false Christians, are as ravening wolves. They dress as lambs for the purpose of gaining proximity to the innocent lambs in order to devour them – not only for food, but out of a cruel intent. “1 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. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
There are many churches with a great deal of spirit and little truth. On the other hand, there are many churches with much truth, but lacking in the spirit of love. But our Lord declares that we must worship both in Spirit and in Truth! To the woman at the well, ourt Lord said: “ . . . . the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
An old friend of mine and teacher – and I mean very old since he passed into the presence of the Lord in 1704, Benjamin Keach, has a particular way to describe the nature of wolves: “They will silently approach the sheep fold, to see whether the dogs be asleep, or the shepherd wanting; when he is careless or negligent of the flock, then comes the wolves to destroy, and suck the blood of the poor sheep. Those that have horns, the wolves attack from the tail to reduce danger to themselves;” and “Wolves, naturalists tell us, keep to their dens or lurking places in the day-time, and about eventide secretly come out seeking their prey. Moreover, it is said, they will learn the those tones that the shepherd uses in calling sheep and the sheep go forth to that uncertain voice to perish.” The same is happening in many churches today. “1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1-3