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Describing the Deceivers

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
July 16, 2021 12:00 am

Describing the Deceivers

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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July 16, 2021 12:00 am

How can we distinguish between a charismatic Christian leader and a false prophet? That's an important question . . . because if we don't know what a sheep looks like, we'll never be able to spot the wolves.

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There is no such thing as interfaith dialogue interface movements, interfaith discussions, the term presumes the existence and validity of some other according to Ephesians chapter 4 verse five.

There was only one Lord, one spirit, one body on baptism and one face all others that presumed to be faith are nothing but speculation and delusion faith in Christ is only or at least harmed you, of course, it's bad when that happens, but you know what's worse, when people seek to deceive and destroy you while claiming the name of Christ. This is wisdom from the heart. Today Stephen David continues through his series on the book of acts were gonna learn how we can identify false teachers in the church. This message is called describing the deceivers centuries before Paul arrived in Europe, hoping to overwhelm it with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Cyrus the Persian King was attempting to conquer it for his own empire. The capital city of the Lydian empire lay in his way. It was more than in his way and was being the capital city, a place of affluence and commerce. It was strategically located base of a mountain, but it was in his way and he wanted to conquer this city. That was the birthplace of modern money was the first place to mint gold and silver and he wanted the treasurer of the city for his own banana problem The Citadel. The fortresses artist was built on the rocky cliffs jutting out from the base of that mountain and it seemed impenetrable impenetrable. It was a it.

It was a difficult task to even consider as to how his soldiers would be able overthrow the garrison by climbing those cliffs climbing up over the walls of the battlement and thus conquering the soldiers first and leading into the city and and that didn't seem to be possible.

So he did a rather clever thing he he sent a message to his troops, promising that whatever soldier could come up with a way into the fortress, he would be rewarded handsomely that set all of his troops to thinking, but still they came up dry until one particular Marty and soldier named parodies.

One afternoon was watching carefully. One particular section of the battlement and he saw a soldier high up on the wall accidentally dropped his helmet and it rolled as it were bouncing off that wall down the cliff into the valley below and into his amazement he noticed that soldier climb over the wall and pick his way down select spots that had evidently been card for footholds down the wall down the cliffs, retrieved his helmet and he went back up back to work that evening parodies with a select group of men went to the spot that he had marked in his memories.

He watch that soldier and they climbs finding those footholds up the cliffs up the wall and once they got to the top and climbed over they to they discovered that there shock and yet the light.

The soldiers were either asleep or not even at their post they had considered their city so strong that they weren't watching out. Even though Cyrus and his vastly superior army was in the valley below.

In a letter written to the church at Sardis in the book of Revelation Jesus Christ through his messenger.

John records words that would provoke the memory of these people to the history of their city. As he tells the church on two occasions in that very brief letter to awaken file the alert watch out to the Lydian soldiers there and start as the message would have been wake up.

Cyrus is in the Valley and they would've responded and never get in here to the believing church. Jesus Christ gives the same message. Watch out Satan is in the valet that our church will never get in here.

I find it interesting that that same word, watch out, be awake, is used in the New Testament for some of the most serious warnings that word appears in X 20 we have been studying for some weeks, as Paul summarizes to the Ephesian elders in verse 30 1B on the alerts same word watch out wake up. Why will, because, as he's already told them in the previous verses, verse 29. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. So to the elders, Paul passionately worn them. Watch out stayaway. Be alert. False teachers are coming from outside. Ultimately, they seek in that final point to find fault with the church and creates her own following that is bad enough, these wolves that are coming as predators to devour the church that is in enough of a warning. We are also told by means of his message to the elders to stay alert to wake up to watch out because verse 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, literally twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. He knows the end result is the same. They draw away disciples after them the false teachers come from what out of the false teachers arise from within, and they have the same motive, that is to create their own following that would be considered the only true teacher. They would be the source of knowledge and wisdom of the following the little group so they like Satan before them want to be as God, they want to lead people after themselves will have you spot a deceiver who arises from within will first of all want to tailor a lot harder to spot than those from without. Only those from without, they deny the deity of Jesus Christ.

That's really easy to spot. They deny the inspiration of Scripture that's really easy to spot you go down the cardinal doctrine. Those who arise within the church are a lot harder to spot these deceivers are outwardly godly, yet inwardly corrupt, and I say that not so much to help you detect them because you and I can never tell a person is like on the inside right. I merely say that, first of this list to help you understand it. Just because someone sells religious just because someone uses the name of the Lord just because someone seems godly says all the right words praise publicly let you know that he fast and all that it then maybe nothing more than part of his disguise. It's possible to be all those things outwardly and yet inwardly be an open sewer. Second, deceivers from within prey on vulnerable women naďvely trust them. One of the marks of a false teachers. They are usually surrounded by women why do they lead them astray. Well, the text tells us in the next verse that these women like the false teachers are involved in secret sin. Notice verse 64 among them that is among the false teachers are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sin led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge that is the recognition of the truth.

An amazing passage. These women are always learning. They are signing up for every Bible study the got every conference they read all the books they never miss a meeting yet because of their secret sins.

The Bible tells us there impulses whether it's materialism or covetousness or greed or lust or whatever it might be because of that they are never able, even though they are surrounded by the truth to fully recognize the truth and because they cannot recognize the truth. They are open prey to those who sound good. Those who seem to display truth, but in fact are false. Third, the deceivers from within. Introduce destructive ideas. It locks because they've associated it with a kernel of truth to be the truth. And yet, when it stands alone. It's obviously identified as is error in and one of the one of the interesting things to note about those then to bring truth along our error alongside of truth is that they will use then the same vocabulary that you use, but they will be using a different dictionary you with me.

They will talk about salvation, but it will not be by faith alone in Christ will be faith plus a list of things they will talk about heaven, but they may not really believe it's a literal place.

It is maybe something that you creator the date they may not believe in a literal hell when they use the word hell they're talking about hell on earth.

They may talk about faith in God but they're talking about a different God.

They are using the same vocabulary but they are using a different dictionary.

How many of you have noticed probably the last couple of years. Secular society blatantly on believing in Christ have begun to use the word spiritual and that really bothers me. I hear somebody's the word spiritual and that's one of those good terms but it's coming to work doesn't mean a hill of beans. I was watching an interview recently with the woman who wrote the book best-selling book, a course in miracles which has been Sunday school material and many liberal churches, she used the word as she spoke to this vast audience spiritual over and over again. She talked about God. She talked about the need for repentance. She talked about national sins she she is all the terminology you listen long enough to the interviews I try to hang on.

She also talked about yoga and spiritual Eastern religious experiences as being equal to the things that we hold true from the Scripture. She was using vocabulary that we would use but she really had different definitions. According to the book of Ephesians. I want you to know that those who haven't placed their faith in Christ is the only true way to God. He himself said in John 14 that nobody not anyone comes to the father except through those who have denied his sovereignty in this matter of salvation and not place their faith in him. The Bible calls them spiritually dead. That is, they have never had their spirit come to life.

They are spiritually dead.

A dead person does not experience anything they don't respond to stimuli corpse cannot. So while they talk about their spirit. The Bible says their spirit is dead until Ephesians 2 says it is brought to life in Christ Jesus.

Until then, there is no such thing as a spiritual experience.

Teachers within the church within organized religion. Compromise the truth. Then they secretly introduce destructive heresies that is a bring truth alongside our error alongside of truth until finally they replaced the truth with that error that they hold. I read this past week of the United Methodist denomination. Beginning formal discussions of dialogue with the Mormon church. They want to discuss their differences and the and perhaps in the spirit of ecumenism arrive.

It some mutually acceptable compromise.

The only compromise that will be affected in that dialogue is illustrated. I think Best Buy this little story that I've read in filed away. It's the tale of a man who got caught in a snowstorm in the woods. He's freezing from the cold, and he wandered about four hours until he found a cave in the cave he stumbled over and awakened a big grizzly bear the big bear looked at him and said you're just what I've been dreaming of. I'm so hungry man said well you might be hungry Mr. bear but I don't have a warm coat and I'm freezing what you say we sit on a work out a compromise that will give us both what we want the bear greed and swallow the manhole. The bear said as he dozed back off to sleep. Sweet compromise. I got my meal and he got his warm coat.

There is no such thing as interfaith dialogue interface movements, interfaith discussions, that term presumes the existence and validity of some other faith according to Ephesians chapter 4 verse five. There was only one Lord, one spirit, one body, one baptism and one what one phase. There is only one faith all others that presumed to be faith are nothing but speculation and delusion faith in Christ is the only phase 4th false teachers display lifestyles that are given over to the flesh. In other words, they been so involved in this and at first it has been private, and hidden. They reached the point where something clicks something turns the ultimately apostate size and they don't care who sees their sin and their like the people of Israel the Jeremiah said, you have forgotten how to even blush and so these men in the latter days eventually are exposed in publicly lives out there immorality. Fifth, they are ultimately motivated by greed. You are a client's with money they will sell you the product and as long as you buy the product, you will be in. That leads me to the final characteristic of these deceivers.

Six. The result of their ministries not edification but extortion and how many times I've seen some preacher on television or on the radio heard them on the radio telling his audience that they send in this gift of money God will bless them financially if they send in their handkerchief with their little gift that we prayed over and sent back and that will guarantee God's anointing, blessing, healing, prosperity, whatever problem is they have suddenly attached your money to their power. They have without coming out and saying it suggested that you can buy God's anointing you can buy God's blessing you can buy God's healing.

There's an ancient Hebrew word for that is pronounced by Peter writes in verse three and their greed they will exploit you with false words but I want you to know Peter says their judgment from longer though is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep church wake up these men will arise from within, who will merchandise you. They will profit from you. They will eventually reach and then gain all they can weather personally or institutionally, the practice of selling the grace of God, by the way is not new.

In fact, it is the foundation for which our Reformation began the final straw in the life of a priest named Martin Luther was the fact that the Roman church was selling forgiveness of sins in the form of papers called indulgence. He'd had enough. I received the card a few months ago from a Catholic priest card informed me that someone in his church had purchased a certain amount of prayers on behalf of a family member in our churches relative had died and that money was now converted into this card which informed me that so many candles would be lit in so many prayers would be set on his behalf so that ultimately this person would spend less time in purgatory.

In other words, somebody gave some money to a church who then converts it into candles and prayers so that somebody can get into heaven a little quicker. Ladies and gentlemen the grace of God is free, the forgiveness of sin is free. Heaven is three. This is nothing less. In my opinion and I can back it up with a lot of Scripture then extortion at its lowest wake up will let me give you some thoughts by way of application. How can we be preserved and protected from these spiritual predators will number one. Be critical of those would become your spiritual advisors are your teachers. They are not all authentic as some of the things we've studied over the last three weeks I hope will trigger your memory and your thinking. Do they claim special power over the demonic world.

Peter and Jude both reference that we seen that. Do they expound the Scriptures or do they simply expand their vision from God. Are they accountable to a body of elders in a body of believers today promote fleshly materialistic pursuits and is somehow if you do this this this and this God will give that to you or do they tell you that to follow Christ means to deny years cells to expect nothing from him but to give all of your's health to Jesus Christ warned his disciples in Matthew chapter 7 the false teachers would come in sheep's clothing. They will be judged on that day. He said when all the nations, all the people will stand before him. They will be in the company of the unredeemed. These false teachers who have risen from within the church in these false teachers will say to him, Lord, R. Did we not prophesy in your name. Did we not cast out demons in your name. Did we not perform miracles in your name and the name of Jesus and he will look at them and say to them, I never know you. To me the startling thing is that he never says to them. Those work miracles eat and exercise any demons even perform any wonders or side. He simply says, assuming that they indeed had I never knew you and they will be revealed on that day as having done all that they done even though in the name of Jesus Christ to only build their following and glorify their own name, number two be a student of the New Testament and its doctrine. Paul Road study to show yourselves approved and the gun work when it need not be ashamed, rightly dividing, rightly interpreting the word of truth, diligent study combined with a desire to please and submit yourself to God are the parents of accuracy in interpreting Scripture that given you a little test I not specifically written down questions that have been and continue to spark a lot of debate out there in the community and I want you to be satisfied until you find out the answers and the verse that accompanies the answer. Who is Jesus Christ will do you know that you can back that up in Scripture and the diverse is the Bible completed Revelation or is God still giving visions and dreams that we know the guy thing is that a vision and telling the truth.

How is a person saved we are living by the way, in an era that is redefining the definition of salvation. Do you know the verse of Scripture or verses that backup which you believe what is the next prophetic event to occur in in the and in God's redemptive history. What is the church waiting for do you know from Scripture and I don't want you to be satisfied to you this hope. I hope this troubles you can. I hope. As I've said before, my job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I hope this afflicts you and you go home and you put this down and then you come back to it in the knees. You may need to go to the bookstore you have your Bible may be new study by something with some some notes and some for concordance in the back to start looking up verses may be needed, they're usually the bookstore in the back under dust.

You have to work your way through the men's with crosses on the many keychains of things Jesus loves me to you and all all the calendars that tell you how happy God wants you to be today to work your way all through that stuff and go back to the corner where these books are collecting dust that is not an indictment by Linda Christian bookstore industry.

I depend on it is an indictment on the appetite of the average Christian today I was talking to a Christian journalist some time ago on the subject of writing short books that expound biblical truth and he told me since even if you will. If you ever plan to market them to the Christian community. Don't put anything on the cover that says anything about the fact that it might include expounding Scripture. Nobody will buy that in one brief sentence and in my writing career one more beware the discernment and insight are developed when it comes to the subject of spiritual discernment and insight and wisdom. One of the one of the biggest shops in my young Christian life was to discover from the word that wisdom and insight and discernment are not automatic when you become a Christian. God doesn't give you a big box it marked the sermon, wisdom and insight in and and Sadie lug here as it's all yours anytime you want to just open it up. The truth is, those things are developed as you study the word and submit to the author of the word. I went to the closure Bibles and just let me read some of the prayers of Paul for the church. This was his heart for them. This is my heart for you and I want you to notice how is praying that they gain things there already believers, listen. For this reason also, Paul writes in the day we heard of it.

We have not ceased to pray for you and you asked that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please him in all respects increasing in the knowledge of God. Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. In Philippians 19 to me.

One of the most interesting moving prayers. He says I'm praying that you may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment so that you may approve the things that are excellent other. Would you be able to discern that which is good and that which is better the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ, discernment and knowledge and insight are the fruit of the study of the word and the application of the word to your life. Go to the word and handle the truth you submerge yourself in the truth you study the truth and you're able, then spot the lie I hope this time in God's word is better equipped you to identify and then avoid those who would seek to deceive you by their false teaching. This is wisdom for the heart. Stephen is calling this message describing the deceivers. It's part of our vintage wisdom series from the book of acts. Please take a few moments and drop us a note. Our mailing address is wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627 and by the way, please consider including a gift when you write Stephen often reminds us that our ministry is empowered by your prayer and enabled by your support partnership is vital to us and were thankful for.

You can also write to us at or call us at 86 648 Bible for Steven and all of us here. Thanks for listening come back next time. For more wisdom for the heart

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