Friday, March 07, 2008

They Said It Better Than I Could Have!

Hello All,

Just thought I would finish the post that I posted a few days ago. What is a false prophet and what are the signs that we are to look for biblically? I put up a link to Thomas Brooks entire article, but I thought that I might lay out the 7 characteristics that Thomas Brooks wrote back in the 1600's. Here they are:

• False teachers are men-pleasers (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:1-4). They preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart: "Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophecy no unto us right things: speak to us smooth things; prophecy deceits"' (Isa. 30:10)

• False teachers are notable in casting dirt, scorn, and reproach upon the persons, names, and credits of Christ's most faithful ambassadors. Thus Korah, Dathan, and Abiram charged Moses and Aaron that they took too much upon them, seeing all the congregation was holy (Num. 16:3).

• False teachers are venters of the devices and visions of their own heads and hearts. "Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent then not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophecy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart (Jer. 14:14)

• False teachers easily pass over the great and weighty things both of law and gospel, and stand most upon those things that are of the least moment and concernment to the souls of men. "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned; from which some have swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling, desiring to be teachers of the law, and understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm" (1 Tim. 1:5-7)

• False teachers cover and color their dangerous principles and soul-impostures with very fair speeches and plausible pretenses, with high notions and golden expressions. As strumpets paint their faces, and deck and perfume their beds, the better to allure and deceive simple souls (Gal. 6:12; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rom. 16:17,18; Mat. 16:6,11,12; 7:15), so false teachers will put a great deal of paint and garnish upon their most dangerous principles and blasphemies, that they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant souls. They know sugared poison goes down sweetly; they wrap up their pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold.

• False teachers strive more to win over men to their opinions, than to better them in their conversations. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves" (Matt. 24:17)

• False teachers make merchandise of their followers. "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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 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)

Again, the entire article is here.

The second blog entry is read today came from a great artist from the 80's who has turned into quite the champion for the purity of the church, Steve Camp. I believe that he really got it right in this article about ministry meeting culture. The article is pretty long and is here. Here are a few "soundbytes" from the article that truly provoked me.

"So much of ministry today is focused on methodology rather than the Master; and everyone is trying to be the smartest guy in the room, trying to figure out new ways to figure out how to breakthrough the postmodern mindset in evangelism today. This is not that complicated beloved. How "culturally-correct" was Elijah when calling down fire on Mount Carmel; when Paul called the Stoic Athenian philosophers to repentance on Mars Hill; when Moses commanded Pharaoh to "let My people go"; when John the Baptist called the Pharisees coming out to see those being baptized as “a brood of vipers”; or when the Lord shrunk Gideon’s armies of 32,000 to 300 against a foe of 135,000, etc.? They weren't; that wasn’t their concern, focus, or preoccupation. They were not concerned with bringing the times into eternity; but brought eternity into time by proclaiming the truth of God's Word and calling people to live in the fear of the Lord."

"here's the plain truth: the rule of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but experience; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but happiness; the purpose of faith is no longer the glory of God, but being 'in conversation' with the culture; and the object of faith is no longer Christ, but self."

"The right priority of biblical ministry can be summed up in one phrase beloved: It's not about us, it's all about Him."

Again, as we consider what ministry should or shouldn't be in this age, we must face the concerns of God, rather than our disagreement with methodological structures. I believe that these two blog entries give us, without naming names or outing denominations, objective platitudes that we need to be challenged by.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

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