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Why Are There So Many False Prophets Today?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
November 13, 2023 2:29 pm

Why Are There So Many False Prophets Today?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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November 13, 2023 2:29 pm

Episode 1356 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

 

1. How can Jesus be fully God and fully man?   2. What does it mean to "rightly divide Scripture"?   3. How can I explain Judges 19:22 to a group of prisoners that I teach?   4. Are there so many false prophets because we are living in the last days?     5. Why did God create Adam in the first place knowing he would fall? Today's Offer What Still Divides Us   Request our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   Resources

Book -  Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story by Michael Horton

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Why are there so many false prophets today? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. You can always feel free to leave a voicemail if you get our voicemail system.

That's 833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you're always welcome to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Brandon calling in from Canada.

Brandon, great to hear from you. What's your question for Adriel? Pastor Adriel, I was actually just wondering if you could explain how Christians understand the two wills of Christ as being both fully divine and fully human.

Excellent question. I love talking about Christology, the doctrine of Christ. This was at the heart, Brandon, of a debate that happened in the ancient church, a heresy known as the monothelite heresy, mono being one, thelo, will, I will. And so the idea that Christ only had one will, or did he have two wills? Did he have a human will and a divine will? And this question actually gets at the very heart of even the doctrine of salvation. And part of the reason why the church affirmed and needed to affirm that Christ had two wills, that he really did have a truly human will, is because the will, the human will is a part of who we are as God's creatures. And so if Jesus didn't assume, if the word didn't assume a truly human nature, a human will included, then could he really redeem us? And so it wasn't just speculating about random stuff, it was, no, this gets to the very doctrine of salvation also, because what he did not assume, if he didn't assume true humanity, which includes a human will, then he can't really save true humans. And so you see, theologically, why this is so important. And there were a number of passages that people went to in order to say, no, it's clear that Jesus, the word incarnate had a human will and a divine will.

One of the passages that people would go to is Luke chapter 22. You think of Jesus's prayer there in the Garden of Gethsemane, verse 42, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. And so the question is, well, does this mean that he's in conflict with himself? The two wills are in conflict. The best way to see it, and this is what the church said with regard to this question, is no, these two wills work together in concert for our redemption, for our salvation. And they're brought into alignment, if you will, by the word made flesh for us and for our redemption. And so we are getting into, and especially when it comes to Christology and what we sometimes refer to as the hypostatic union, the union, the divine person, the eternal son of God assuming humanity, now one person, two distinct natures, divine and human. There's a lot of mystery there, but again, it's not just sort of egghead theology. At the heart of the mystery is who Jesus is and how he accomplishes redemption for us. And so I know that this is a deep sort of theological issue. We're in deep theological waters here, but they're so, so important.

And I just want to go back to you really quickly, Brandon. I do love this question. I love that you're thinking about this. Did you want to follow up or did you have something more specific with regard to this idea of the controversy around two wills that you were wrestling through? No, I think you covered everything pretty much. It was actually the Garden of Gethsemane that kind of triggered that question for me, so I'm glad you brought that up.

Yeah. And I think, again, the helpful thing is just understanding the relationship between the person of the word and his redemption. Why was this such a big debate in the church? Why all this talk about did Jesus have one will, two wills?

Well, it's because this is what the church fathers said. What he didn't assume, he didn't heal. He didn't redeem. And so if he didn't really assume true humanity, which has a human will, right? Our wills are part of who we are, then he didn't really save us. And so I appreciate that question, and hopefully that's helpful for you and for others listening or wrestling through Christology as well. God bless. You know, Brandon mentioned the Garden of Gethsemane. So what happens in that situation? Is Jesus basically subsuming his will to his Heavenly Father, even though he is basically saying, I really don't want this to happen, but I'm willing to do it for you because I know that's your will?

Mm-hmm. I mean, this again is getting to the heart of the mystery, but the best way to view it, I think, is recognizing these two wills. Yeah, they're working together in concert for our redemption so that there is no controversy. It's not like he's, you know, torn apart, lacking thinking about how to put it best, but no, the two wills work together as one for our redemption. But that there are two wills is so important, and it's one of the things that's clearly exhibited there in Luke 22, verses 39 and following. And so the human will is brought into alignment, if you will, with the divine will for our redemption.

Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Mark calling in from Columbia, Missouri. Mark, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, I listen to this podcast, this preacher, and he keeps saying, you have to rightly divide the Bible. He says it over and over. I don't know what he's talking about. What does that mean?

Hey, Mark. Well, he's getting that from 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verses 14 and following. And I guess that could sound kind of confusing. What do you mean divide the Bible? Well, in one sense, we don't want to divide. We have, you know, the whole of God's revelation right here, and it's a coherent story. So he's not talking about, at least I hope he's not talking about splitting the Bible up and rejecting part of it or something like that. But he's getting this language from, again, 2 Timothy, chapter 2, Paul's words to Timothy where he reminded him to, he says, verse 14, remind them of these things and charge them before God not to quarrel about words which does no good but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. And some translations will use the word dividing there, the word of truth.

Well, how do you do that? And in part, he answers that question mark here. In verse 16, he goes on to say, but avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some, but God's firm foundation stands bearing this seal. The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.

Rightly dividing or rightly handling the word of truth, at the heart of it is just proper biblical interpretation, rightly receiving the word of God, understanding it, and communicating it. And that's precisely what the apostle Paul told Timothy to do over and over again. That deposit of faith that you've received, Timothy, entrust that to faithful men who are going to be able to teach others also, not to people who are arrogant and prideful and divisive and have a tendency to twist the scriptures to their own destruction.

There are people who do that. There are people who take God's word and don't understand it in context, who twist it, who misinterpret it, who misapply it, and that leads to, as he says there, more and more ungodliness. And so we need to humbly receive the word of God with faith, with hope, with love, longing to understand it, to obey it, to follow the Lord. And that's, again, precisely what Paul is telling Timothy to do and entrusting him with. And so for each of us, as we think about our study of the scriptures, boy, we ought to come to the word of God with humility and with a healthy degree of reverence, fear even.

We're talking about the word of the true and the living God. You think about what Jesus said, take care how you listen. Be careful how you listen to what I say to you. Don't just store it away and forget about it.

Don't twist it to your own destruction. We come before the word of God humbly as those in need of the right understanding of God's law, him calling us to repentance and faith, and a right understanding of the gospel, what he's done for us to redeem us. And so all of those things, I think, are embedded in that exhortation that you see in 2 Timothy 2. And I hope that this pastor that you're listening to via podcast is indeed doing that, rightly handling the word of truth.

God bless. You know, when Paul in that verse talks about swerving from the truth, I just think about the fact that, unfortunately, in today's world, there are some pastors and some even denominations that are swerving from the truth. Well, I mean, it's something I think that our Lord Jesus said would happen. It's something that the Apostle Paul said would happen as well. He warned against you. Think about the conversation that he has with the Ephesian elders in Acts chapter 20. Before he departs from them, he says, look, savage wolves are going to spring up, even from among yourselves, seeking to lead people astray, seeking to lead people after themselves. And this is something that tore the Apostle Paul up. But he gives these warnings, and we have to give warnings too.

There are people who want to lead you astray, who want to lead you after themselves, and don't want to build you up in the truth of God's word. And so we need to be vigilant. And part of the way we're vigilant is by making sure that we're in good churches, that prioritize faithful Bible teaching, and that we're burying with the scriptures ourselves, that we humbly go to the text of scripture and study it and understand it. If we don't do that, then we make ourselves open to deception. And it's a terrible thing.

So well said. Great warning from the Apostle Paul, and certainly in today's world we need to make sure we heed that warning. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to John calling in from Missouri. John, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes. In Judges chapter 19, 22 through 30, it's got the story of the concubine. And I teach in a county jail that houses federal, but I'm focused on teaching a 12-step program with a Bible written for the 12 steps.

So this is something that's never been applied to what I'm studying to teach. I had a guy who wanted to know what is the purpose of this and how does it apply to us. Well, John, God bless you in the work that you're doing, ministering to inmates. And this is a question that comes up over and over again because you have such a horrific scene there in Judges, a scene of abuse, murder, bloodshed, and people think, well, what's the sanctifying story behind all of that?

What's being illustrated here? And I think one thing that you can say is the Bible's really clear about what sin and evil do. The wickedness that comes with rejecting God's law and living according to your own ideas, following your own sinful passions, things get worse and worse and worse. And that seems to be one of the things that's illustrated throughout the book of Judges. In fact, the whole book of Judges concludes how?

With what words? This is chapter 21, the last verse of chapter 21, verse 25. In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. And so in some sense, what the book of Judges is illustrating for us is what that looks like. What it looks like when we reject God's authority and we live on the basis of what we think is right in our own eyes.

And it just devolves more and more and more. And I think that's part of what you see here towards the end of the book with this situation with the concubine and her abuse, her murder, and what follows there. And so in one sense, the Bible is very honest about the sinfulness of sin, about the evil in the world.

And especially as you're talking to people who are incarcerated, to inmates, that's something that they're aware of too, that they're familiar with. And so it directs our eyes away from this idea, everyone doing what's right in their own eyes, to the need of a true king, a good king who rules justly and righteously, the true judge of all, God. And so in one sense, we get in these books of the Old Testament in particular, whether we're looking at the kings or we're looking at the judges, Israel's history is the reality of the sinfulness of sin and the desperate need that we all have of a redeemer, of a righteous king whose laws are just and good. And so this should lead us, the horror of this scene should lead us upwards to the Lord in longing and saying, God, you need to reign. Let your kingdom come, let your will be done because left to ourselves, it gets bad. And that's what's illustrated there in Judges chapter 19. And of course, who is that righteous judge?

Who is that good king? It's none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who came to establish his kingdom, who's reigning right now at the right hand of the Father, the one that we look to, the one that we pray to saying, God, your kingdom come. And especially as we see injustices and evils around us in the world today, the things as bad as this even that you see in Judges 19, it should again cause us to long for Christ in his work in our own hearts and in the hearts of those around us. God bless. John, thanks so much for your call and thank you for your ministry there in Missouri, what you are doing with those inmates. We appreciate you so much in your heart. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. I want to say thank you to a very special group of people.

We call them our inner core. These are folks who really believe in this ministry so wholeheartedly that they have made a commitment to make a contribution to Core Christianity each month. Yeah, I also want to just personally thank all of you who have joined the inner core. It's such a blessing for us as a group. I know for the whole team, we're encouraged by your prayers and by your support, and it helps us to continue to do what we do here, answering questions every day about the Christian faith. If you're a regular listener and you're blessed by the work that we do, you've been encouraged in your own understanding of the scriptures, I want to ask you to prayerfully consider joining the inner core, not just as a way of helping us, and it really is a great help for us, but also to view yourself as a partner in the saddle, wanting to spread sound understanding and interpretation of God's word.

We're in this together, and so we want to work together. It's a monthly donation of $25 or more, and as a thank you, we'll send you a copy of the book, Core Christianity, written by Dr. Michael Horton, which will continue to encourage you and build you up in your faith. Again, thank you, and God bless. You can find out more by going to corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. We'd love to have you prayerfully consider joining that great group of people.

Again, it's corechristianity.com forward slash inner core. Well, let's go back to the phones. John is on the line from St. Louis, Missouri.

John, thanks for holding. What's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I'd like to ask real quick there. Why is there in the last days, in the church especially, there's false prophets and Christ coming out more so from the church than say, like, outwardly, you know, from the secular world, and what's causing the uprising against the sound doctrine of Christ?

And thanks a lot. Why are there so many false prophets? At the heart of it, Jesus truly prophesied that this would be the case. In Matthew chapter 24, verses 9 and following in particular in verse 11, many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

And what is the root cause of this? Well, it's the spirit of the antichrist that's at work in the world already and has been at work since the days of the apostles. John talks about this in 1 John. And so there is an evil, sinister, spiritual force at work animating many of these false teachers that are outside of the church and who have crept into the church.

And I mentioned it earlier on the broadcast. This is why the apostle Paul, with tears, was warning the Ephesian elders. This is why Peter says in 2 Peter chapter 2, just as there were false prophets among the people, there are going to be false teachers among you, and they're going to be characterized by sensuality, by sin. They're going to reject Jesus, the truth of God's word. They're going to lead other people astray.

And Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7, you're going to know them by their fruits. And so we have to be on guard as Christians. We have to be watchful. We have to be vigilant. And we have to recognize that we're in a spiritual war, that there are forces at work behind the scenes that we need to pray against and that we need to stand up to where there is false teaching, where there is false doctrine, where there are individuals who are leading the flock astray.

There's nothing wrong with calling that out. I believe it was Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, who talked about how every pastor needs to have two voices, a gentle voice for gathering in the sheep, but then a strong voice for warding off the wolves. And so we need to condemn bad theology and warn people against false teachers, people who are leading the flock astray, away from Jesus, as a part of what God calls us to. This is especially important for ministers of the gospel, I would say, because there are people who are praying on the sheep. And so we place our hope in Jesus as the good shepherd and protector of the flock, but we're called also to be vigilant, to be watchful, and to be careful that that false teaching doesn't sneak into our own churches and into our own lives.

Very well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can always email us. Our email address is questionsatcorechristianity.com.

Here's an email from one of our listeners named Jen. Jen says, Why would an all-knowing and loving God create a man knowing he would fall and then condemn future mankind, thus a world filled with such evil and darkness? Even though he had a plan of redemption by sending Jesus to get back everything Adam forfeited and lost through his disobedience, why would God create Adam in the first place?

Great question, Jen. I think the first thing we want to say is God did not create out of any need that he had. It wasn't that the persons of the Holy Trinity were lonely, that God had a man-shaped hole in his heart that led him to say, I need some more companionship.

I want some servants who are going to be able to help me out and serve me. Really interesting, actually, when you look at the ancient Near Eastern creation myths that were out there floating around during the days of the Bible, the gods there, quote-unquote, they created mankind out of a sense of need. We need man to do the work that we don't want to do.

Man is going to be our kind of servant. God doesn't create out of any sense of need, but out of his abundance and glory, out of his love. And he creates in order to extend that glory, if you will, not that he can be any more glorious, but to exhibit it in a powerful and a beautiful way to set his love on his creation.

His goodness as well. And the beautiful thing about the biblical account of creation is that God makes man, Adam and Eve, not just as these slaves to do the work that God didn't want to do, but as the kings and queens of creation, if you will, called to rule, called to take dominion, called to care for this good world that God had made reflecting his image, his love, his light, as those who had been made in his image, Genesis 1, verse 26. And so the biblical story of creation is majestic, it's beautiful, it places man there at the pinnacle, and yet God gave Adam and Eve freedom of choice. And left to the freedom of their wills, they sinned against God by eating from the forbidden tree. Now your question is, well, why did God allow that? Why then create it all?

And you know what? We don't know the mind of God. I mean, we could speculate all we want, but we do know that everything that he did, even though he knew, right, obviously God being eternal and omniscient, that this was going to take place, he didn't create the world without already having that plan, if you will, of redemption. No evil or fall or sin is so big that God can't deal with it or handle it. And so God, the sovereign king, who created the world out of an abundance of his glory and love, gave man freedom of choice, and when we sinned, when we fell away against the Lord, you know, that wasn't God's fault.

He allowed it. But when we did that, he continued to pursue us. And this is the beautiful thing about God in Scripture, it's not that God pursued us because he had to or because he needed us, as I already said. He pursued us, even as sinners, out of the immensity of his love and grace.

It's not that we were great and glorious. God didn't send Jesus into the world because we were awesome, and he wanted to hang out with awesome people. He sent Jesus into the world because we were lost and in darkness and broken, and he wanted to call us back to himself. He wanted to raise us up once again, and that's exactly what he did in his son, Jesus.

The story of creation is amazing in the Bible, and the story of redemption, the redemption from the fall from sin is spectacular. And we ought to praise God as the great creator of all things, but also as our redeemer. And maybe you don't know Jesus as your redeemer.

Maybe you believe that there is a God, an eternal being who created all things, but you don't know him personally. Call on the name of Jesus, the creator and the redeemer, who receives all those who turn to him by faith and forgives all their sins. God bless. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-13 17:07:50 / 2023-11-13 17:17:57 / 10

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