for the Faith Once
Delivered Unto the Saints
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly (diligently) contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4
In Jude 4 the Bible forewarned us that deceivers would creep in “unawares” which means undetected. In Matthew 13 Jesus says not to try to remove the tares from among the wheat but rather the angels will do that later. While we are not to try to remove them, in Romans 16:17-18 we are commanded to “mark (name) them” and to “avoid them.” Some mistakenly think those obeying God by scoping out and marking false teachers are doing something that conflicts with Matthew 13:25-30 where Jesus says not to try to separate the tares (false) from the wheat (true). Not so.
Deceivers are a reality and they are here to stay, until our LORD returns. So, for now, they must be scoped, discerned, and marked or labeled so others can beware and “avoid them.” (Romans 16:17-18) The word “safety” appears 19 in God’s Word. – “safety is of the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:31)
To “mark them” (Romans 16:16) means to “to scope out; to take aim at, consider, watch.” The Greek word used here for “mark” is skopeo.
When we understand that the LORD says He is “the Great Shepherd of the sheep” who bled to purchase unto Himself a people, it should not be difficult to understand the reason and purpose for marking those who prey upon and seek to mislead His beloved sheep (Psalms 23; John 10:1-16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:1-6, etc.).
DID YOU know that Matthew 18:15-17 is NOT speaking about wolves? Jesus is speaking in this passage about “thy BROTHER“ which is exclusive to the true body of Christ and the members thereof. Please read this passage afresh and let’s cease misusing it. Many times when Jesus’ people obey Him by exposing, marking false teachers, some will erroneously try to apply Matthew 18:15-17 which is speaking only to the body of Christ and no heretic is a member of Christ’s body. Heretics who teach a lie publicly are to be marked publicly as they are leading others astray by speaking contrary to God’s Word, (especially on an essential doctrine). Romans 16:17-18 etc.
In Romans 16:17-18 believers are here mandated to wisely scope out closely, observe and scrutinize all teachings and spiritual leaders under the lamp of God’s holy Word. We are to closely discern between true and false doctrines and leaders and sound the alarm on that which is found to be inconsistent with holy Writ. This is to be done especially when dealing with foundational, essential truths (which are a salvation issue).
While reading the interaction below, please remember that we are to first and foremost honor, fear, and obey the LORD our Maker and Redeemer and if that means offending mere men by doing so, sobeit (Exodus 20:3; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Luke 12:4-5). Some among us seem to be more concerned about the person/personality being exposed than Jesus Christ and the many that wolf may be devouring with his false teaching (Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 7:15). That is perverted love and idolatry and no idolater shall enter the eternal kingdom of God (Revelation 21:8). Who do we truly fear honor and love supremely? The LORD says He is Jealous and that His name is Jealous. Jesus will reject anyone who dares to attempt to share their deepest heart affections with any other – “He that is not with me IS against me” says the Son of God (Matthew 12:30) Any question? “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)
The LORD commands us never to conceal – never cease to expose, to bring to the light – those who mislead others among us (Deuteronomy 13:1-9). That is, even if it’s a person of our own family. What is He saying? He’s requiring that we love Him supremely, above all others (Exodus 20:3-4; 34:14, etc.).
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. 6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him (NT equivalent would be to “mark” him); thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.”
Verse 8 is key: “Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him.” – Do not agree with or have pity on the false teacher/wolf – fear God instead.
How can you interpret the verses about judging in Corinthians (valid) with James 4:11-12 and Romans 14. And also 2 Timothy 2:14?
What´s the difference in that “judging”?
The problem is… maybe… condemning other Christians due to our interpretation in some little things (maybe we could be wrong too, we are not the apostles who received 100% truth) and posting against each other. I always think that it could also be very dangerous to non-Christians reading and thinking: “Look those Christians fighting each other, I don´t want to be one of them.” It could be a stumblingblock to them. But it could also be positive to edify other people… So?
Yet, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 5.12-13 where Paul saying that it isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. “God will judge those on the outside”; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
It´s crystal clear about false doctrines against the word of God. But sometimes many christians don´t see clearly the difference in some interpretations (example: calvinism – arminianism), pre-trib or post-trib. So a fight begins and the two parts believe the other is an heretic, posting Scriptures against Scriptures.
God is very severe toward those who mislead His people. Remember Jesus said “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! … Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:6-7, 10
Read Deuteronomy 13. False teachers/false prophets/wolves are to be openly marked and to be shown no mercy. Why? – Because they are leading others astray and causing their eternal damnation. God wants to have mercy on the victims and potential, future victims of wolves so He instructs us to “mark them.” (Romans 16:17-18) Some people are twisted in their thinking, so much so that they want to protect, defend, and help the wolf to keep devouring sheep and they call that love. Absurd!
There is correct and incorrect judgment. We draw this conclusion based on the full-counsel of God’s Word. There are volumes of verses to be considered and factored in. Jesus says “Judge not lest ye be judged” (Matt. 7:1-2) and then He says “Judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24) Paul says “For what have I to do to judge them also that are WITHOUT (the lost)? do not ye judge them that are WITHIN (professing believers and Christian leaders)?” (1 Cor. 5:12) We are to discern and judge things rightly, according to the Word and the Holy Spirit. We are told to “believe NOT every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) We are also told to “To speak evil of no man” (Titus 3:2) and also to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom. 16:17-18) All rebuke and expose’ must be done strictly according to God’s Word. Deuteronomy 13 teaches us to not spare when dealing with false leaders. The very sheep of Christ’s pasture are at stake. He is “the Great Shepherd of the sheep” having given His life to purchase “the precious fruit of the earth” which is His people (Heb. 13:20; James 7:7-9). Pray for His understanding brother.
As for exposing false leaders who are misleading many publicly …. Paul rebuked Peter publicly for misleading God’s people (Gal. 2:11-14). Perhaps the unsaved will respect the policing of a people, the body of Christ, more than just allowing obvious false prophets to go unchecked which is largely what is happening. How many lost people have you heard mock Christianity due to greedy, money-mongering wolves like Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Robert Tilton, etc.? I have heard it a thousand times at least. So, how can these lost people respect Christendom/Christians who do not openly expose such wolves? We become the stumblingblock when we refuse to deal with these wolves.
Yet, biblically speaking, the lost are not God’s first priority. No. His precious body is His very highest priority as far as men go. Read Galatians 6:10 and John 17:9. – “I pray for them (the sheep of His pasture): I pray not for the world (the lost), but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
Then, Jesus does say that we are to “love one another” which is speaking of His true body and not false prophets among us. This commandment to love one another which appears 12 times in the New Testament, does not include wolves among us which are so often spoken about and we are so repeatedly warn to beware of. They are not of God and therefore not of us.
Brother, you are asking some important questions brother. I have asked them also and am learning precept upon precept, line upon line …. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) We all have these same questions and are learning God’s answers one at a time.
Deuteronomy 13 is also a strong passage we must acknowledge where the LORD says to not spare in stoning and ridding yourselves of false prophets. A people who do not police themselves will soon cease to be a people. Meditate upon this. Think about the God-ordained civil system which includes police to punish evildoers, right? (Rom. 13) Would you respect this country, even as a citizen, if we didn’t punish evil doers? No. You see how the lost are being turned away from the LORD due to the lack of expose’ and policing of those in leadership? It’s a fiasco of wolves at this point as the Word foretold in many places, including Amos 8:11 and 2 Timothy 3:13.
I agree that pre and post tribulation view are nothing to argue about. Yet, calvinism is the very lie of the ages, it comes from satan in the garden when he caused man to fall. This system of theology, known as calvinism, emobodies more than any other, this lie of lasciviousness that led to the fall of mankind and the curse of sin (Gen. 2:17; 3:4). We are explicitedly warned of calvinists who would turn the grace of God into a license for sin and we specifically told to earnestly contend against this evil leaven (Jude 3-4).
All of this comes more and more into focus (Prov. 4:18) as we continue daily in God’s Word. Then, as we begin looking at what most leaders are teaching, we see that they are not teaching the original Gospel and on this basis alone, they are utterly false.
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