Memphis Belle

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Matthew 7:15-23


“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophecied in thy name?  and in thy name have cast out devils?  and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me ye that work iniquity.”


Beware of false prophets


Matthew chapter 7, we’ll be dealing with verses 15-23 as we continue Jesus’ sermon to his disciples.  This is a very heavy part of the teaching of our Lord, but I think a very important part of Jesus’ teaching for us to understand and comprehend as his disciples.  You need to understand that there’s three kinds of false teachers in the world.  1) First there are heretics.  We call them heretics because they teach heresy.  2) Then the second group of false teachers are apostates.  Those are people who once followed the Truth, but have now turned away from it, and try to lead others away.  [And this group of people could also fall into the first category, having absorbed some heretical belief and then are trying to teach it to others.  I know some people like this.]  They all of a sudden, in their walk, have skewed in a funny direction, and now have gone teaching strange doctrines, like now teaching everyone’s saved, and it doesn’t matter what you believe because God is whatever you think he is, and Jesus died for everyone and so everyone is going to be saved.  It’s a crazy mismatch of doctrine, and such could either fall into the realm of heresy or apostate, take your pick.  3) And there is a third class of false teachers, those who we would call deceivers, false shepherds.  Look at 2nd Corinthians 11, verse 3, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”  The book of Jude, Jude verse 4, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who long beforehand were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness” (that’s loose living, in immorality) “and deny our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.”  Now the Word of God tells us, as we were reading there in 2nd Corinthians, Satan is able to transform himself into something bright and shiny and acceptable.  Jesus is warning us in the passage in Matthew 7 now to watch out for that kind of person.


What motivates false teachers?---Holy Spirit check-off list


False shepherds lie, their motive is money, sensuality.  Look at how the Holy Spirit warns us against them in 2nd Peter chapter 2.  You couldn’t really get a better check-off list of what motivates false teachers and how they operate than what you find in 2nd Peter chapter 2, it’s incredible, how the Lord just hits it right on the head here.  He says, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.”  It’s not a matter of “if they’re going to come along,” it’s “Where are they?” according to the teaching of Peter the apostle here, these are people who secretly introduce destructive heresies.  I’ve never yet seen a heretic, I’ve never yet seen a false teacher put up a banner and say ‘You know what, I’m starting a false religion, everybody whose going to follow me is going to go to hell.’ [As a matter of fact, two Jehovah’s Witnesses just came to my back door yesterday.  I informed them that since they do not believe Jesus is God (which they don’t), I had no time for them.  I didn’t want to waste their time or mine, just got right to the point.]  You ask Mormon missionaries now, ‘Are you born-again.’  They’ll tell you anything you want to hear in order to get you in, because they’re ‘deceitful workers.’  They won’t tell you about the Mormon massacres in the past century (see ), they won’t tell you about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.  They call him a martyr, they don’t tell you that he was killed in a gun-battle in the jail he was at.  He wasn’t a martyr, he was shooting at people too.  The real history they hide.  2nd Peter 2:2, “And many follow their sensuality and because of them the way of truth will be maligned.”  People all over the place, it seems as though they’ll go around the world twice to follow a lie.  And if the truth is at their door, they’ll slam the door in the truth’s face.  We see false teachers today, somebody last week gave me a “quote” prayer letter “unquote,” from a lady whose husband used to be on the radio all over the place, and he has since died, terrible deceiver, and she is still at this deceptive work, mailing you little prayer-cloths, they look like little fabric samples.  And there’s a green one and a red one and a white one, and you’re supposed to send in different ones with money at certain times of the month, and she will pray over these, supposedly.  You’re supposed to send back one, I meant to bring it, it’s on my desk, maybe the Lord didn’t want me to even bring it in this room, but one has a dollar bill stamped on the back of it.  And you send that in and she’ll pray over it, and that’s the prayer cloth for the multiplication of your money.  And I’m thinking, how many dear, sweet, dumb people are sending in their money to this rip-off, this lady’s been conning people forever, I mean, she was exposed by one of these TV news coverage’s, when her husband was supposedly getting “words of knowledge.”  And he had a little radio receiver in his ear [a deceiver-receiver], and she was reading prayer cards---‘She’s from Milwaukee and her street address is thus and such, she’s got arthritis,’  ‘Oh, God is telling me, you live in such and such a street’---and they tuned into the frequency that she was broadcasting on to her husband, and got it all taped.  This is the guy who died.  I just wouldn’t want to be anywhere near where he is.  “And their greed” verse 3, “the way of truth will be maligned because of them.”  I’ll tell you what, that isn’t the majority of Christianity at all, but that’s what the world’s going to remember, you know.  While they get rich on their little plots and plans, the world finds out and exposes it, then the world maligns the way of truth.  Then verse 3, “and in their greed they will exploit you with false words.”  I remember some people left our church to go to another church, because the church they were going to ministered in “words of knowledge.”  It’s sort of like ‘fortune telling, Christian fortune telling,’  you know, they go up to somebody and say ‘Brother…’  But what they’ll do is they’ll give you a word, you know, ‘God has prosperity for you, I sense the Spirit of the Lord,’ and they’ll tell you what you want to hear, just to get on your, well of course there’s always a big offering.  ‘And of course if you’ll be obedient to what the Spirit’s telling you,’ and it’s all a psychological build-up for the offering.  It’s just so sneaky!  Exploiting people with false words.  In Jeremiah, Isaiah, the Lord speaks to those ‘prophets’ and he tells them, he says, ‘You know what?’  he says, ‘You lie, you prophets even steal your words from each other.’  We have modern-day prophets, modern-day churches that have done that.  [the pastor giving this grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist church, so he can say these things.]  The Seventh Day Adventist church, interesting organization, their ‘prophetess’ supposedly, she had more visions than all the Bible visions combined.  But her visions as she wrote them down in her books, which [by the 7th Day Adventists] are considered to be as inspired as the Bible, if you look at the books she had in her library, 90 percent of her books are copied from other books, she was a huge plagiarist.  And by the way, she didn’t like anybody plagiarizing from her.  Now the prophets, the Lord through his holy prophets says ‘Woe to those who are prophets but steal their words from others.’  Don’t be deceived.  How many cults today have angels, or have had angels appearing to their founders.  Mr. Smith, angel Meroni, Ellen G. White has this angel which kept appearing to her, the Adventist prophetess.  New Age movement, all these angels, angels everywhere.  Thing is, they’re not little blond ladies, and they’re certainly not chubby cherubs, in diapers floating around like flies [laughter].  You don’t become an angel when you die.  No, angels are always masculine, huge, these incredible beings that have been created by God, another form of being created by God.  [Read Isaiah 6:1-9 and Ezekiel 1:1-28 for a very interesting and Biblical picture of what angels really look like.  They can appear to look like a man, as the two angels that were with the LORD that appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18, but that is not their normal appearance.  And the apostle John, when the angel appeared to him when he was receiving the vision of Revelation on Patmos, fell down in fear as a dead man at the appearance of that angel, and I think you would too.  That is the normal reaction of a human seeing a holy angel in all his glory.]  Reading on, the Lord says in verse 3, “They will exploit you with false words, their judgment from long ago is not idle and their destruction is not asleep.  For if God didn’t spare the angels when they sinned…” and then Peter goes into this long, long tirade about what’s going to happen to these folks, to the end of the chapter.  God is going to judge them.  But beware, there’s greed, notice, just to review:  False prophets will arise, they’re secretive, they bring swift destruction upon themselves, but sensuality is involved.  It’s interesting to me that with false teachers in church today usually some kind of immorality is involved, or they get found out that they’re involved in some kind of immorality.  Sensuality of some type is involved, greed is involved, false words are involved, and they never cease from sin, verse 14 says, “having eyes full of adultery, that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children, forsaking the right way” oh, it just goes on and on and on.


“B” for “Believe”


Verse 15, “Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing.”  So, if you want to write B. E. W. A. R. E.,  I’m going to give you an acronym to help you remember what to do.  And the “B” would stand for ‘Believe, believe what Jesus is saying here.  Believe it’s going to happen.  Matthew 24:11, the Lord says that one of the signs of being in the Last Times will be “and many false prophets will arise, and mislead many”, many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.  It doesn’t say ‘Many false prophets might arise and might mislead many.’  Believe, #1, believe that this is going to happen.  Verse 24, same chapter, “For false christs and false prophets will arise, and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead if possible even the elect.  Behold I have told you in advance.”  They’re going to have some miraculous power behind them.  Not all power is from God.  There are such things as false signs and false wonders.  There are churches today, sadly, where the ministries are based upon false signs and false wonders.  You say, ‘How do you know that?’  Because they’re stepping out onto the realm of the unbiblical.  In Hinduism, in different streams of Hinduism, the guru devotees will come up, and he will pat them on the head, and they will fall back, being knocked over by a supernatural power.  [I’ve witnessed that in a Four-Square Pentecostal church.]  You say, ‘Well maybe it’s Satan counterfeiting the power of God.’  Well the problem is, there’s nothing like that recorded in the Bible.  I mean, there are false healings, Satan can make somebody sick and then heal them, and God does heal, so there could be counterfeit healings.  But there’s nothing like a counterfeit being knocked down.  What is known as ‘Being slain in the Spirit’ today, in practice and all, it’s dabbling in the occult.  “There will arise false prophets, who will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead if possible even the elect.  Behold I have told you in advance.”


“E” for “Examine”


“E”, “Examine,” examine the fruit.  Going back to Matthew chapter 7, what does Jesus say in verse 16 through 20?  “You will know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?   Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  Well, you say ‘The ministry of this person is wonderful, they have a good ministry and all.’  That’s not what Jesus is talking about, you’re not supposed to look at the ministry, you look at their life.  You look at their life.  You look at the fruit on that tree.  Ever bite into an apple that looked real nice on the outside only to discover on the inside there’s worms!?  Ever had that experience [laughter]?  Everyone should have.  The Lord is saying, ‘Look, I want you to examine the fruit.  That’s not being critical, that is being careful.  Examine the fruit, judge a righteous judgment the Lord says.


“W” for “Watch for wolves in sheep’s clothing”


And then “W” of B. E. W. A. R. E.,  “Watch for wolves in sheep’s clothing.”  Look at verse 15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”  I can’t help but think of those missionaries who come to your door by two’s, of different cults, knock, knock, knock, who look like sheep, but inwardly are wolves [and the sad thing is that these wolves in sheep’s clothing don’t even realize they’re wolves, they honestly think they are “sheep.”], denying the Master, saying that Jesus isn’t God, saying Jesus is Satan’s brother, just another created being, saying Jesus’ atonement isn’t enough to save us, so we have to add to it our works.  [And this ‘Jesus is Satan’s brother, just another created being’ heresy is called Arianism, see   Plaguing the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God is a guy name William Dankenbring.  But log onto that link to get a good idea about this heresy, so you don’t get sucked into it by some of these genuine wolves in sheep’s clothing.]  So watch for wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They are all over the place.  Don’t be afraid to do a little check, for real, smell their breath (spiritually speaking).  If they have real long canine teeth when they smile at you, beware.  ‘Who are you?  You’re sort of hairy, long hair for a sheep.  We’re curly haired puffy little sheep, and you’ve got long skinny legs, and what’s the long tail sticking out?  [Also helps to know that Jesus is God, the pre-Incarnate Yahweh.  See John 1:1-14; John 8:58-59 and Exodus 3:13-15; and Isaiah 9:6-7, just to name a few key Scriptures proving this.  See how the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons respond to those four passages.  Also see   Also look up and read Jeremiah 27:1-22 to see what God thinks of false prophets and to find out what God did to one of them in Jeremiah’s time.] 


“A”, “Arm yourself with the Truth”


A, arm yourself with the Truth.  Jesus says in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”  There’s nothing like knowing the truth that will keep you from being deceived.  I don’t know what every false doctrine in the world is.  [And be careful in judging. Why?  Because every legitimate denomination has varying and differing interpretations of the Bible in the area of what I’d call secondary doctrine, doctrine that does not effect one’s eternal life.  Denying the Divinity of Jesus as very God is a false doctrine which will deny you entry into eternal life, that is what I would term as Primary doctrine.  But the controversy between ‘Young Earth’ advocates and ‘Old Earth’ advocates, or ‘Old Earth, Theistic Evolutionary Creation of the Species’ advocates will in no way deny one entry into eternal life.  A literal school-boy reading of Genesis 1:1-31 would indicate earth and the universe were created in six days, and that everything we see is only about six thousand years old, so what is your interpretation of what a day is?  According to Einstein and the laws of relativity, time has not been a constant in the universe since creation of matter, what is termed as the Big Bang, when the universe came into being. (And yes, the Relativity laws have been proven to be laws of science now, not mere theory).  But real science and the record of the rocks, and the atomic half-life of uranium to lead tell us the universe is some 15.75 billion years old, and earth is at least 4 billion years old.  Many believers believe that true science and the Bible do not contradict, but that it is our interpretation of Genesis 1 that is off, and specifically, what time is, Space-Time. (see to see one current view that attempts to square science with the Bible on the subject of Genesis 1:1-31 and Space-Time.)  Believing in one of these interpretations will not disqualify one from salvation, eternal life.  Why?  Because none of these creation interpretations deny that God is the ultimate Creator of the universe and earth, they just don’t agree on how, and how long it actually took, the actual specifics.  They’re not denying that Genesis 1:1-31 took place, only on the details of how it took place, which is not recorded in the Bible.  Read that article to see what I am talking about.]  I know a lot of false doctrine, I’ve learned it, I’ve studied it in order to refute it.  But you know, I don’t know it all, and I don’t need to know it all, because I know the truth (i.e. what the Bible teaches).  You can figure out what a counterfeit is, it looks sort of real, but it’s not.  [i.e. the branch of the Secret Service that’s in charge of discovering counterfeit money spends most of it’s time learning what real currency looks like, precisely, so that when they see a counterfeit, it’s obvious, they know something’s wrong.]   Don’t let anybody take you away from the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, his God-nature [he was actually Yahweh in the Old Testament times, just look up those Scriptures I gave you.]  Don’t let anybody take you away from that doctrine.  Don’t let anybody say that the Bible isn’t the inspired, pure Word of God.  [And if you need to prove that, see  God doesn’t expect you to believe the Bible is his written Word without proof that it’s infallible.]  Don’t let anybody say that you need to add another book to the Bible, don’t buy into that kind of stuff.  [And we’re not talking about booklets written by a denomination to help explain the various doctrines of the Bible for their membership.]  You’ve got it all here, God has spoken to us once and for all, Hebrews 1 says, through Jesus Christ.  We have the complete, total Revelation, all that we need right now in Holy Scripture.  So, arm yourself with the Truth, Ephesians 6:13-14 says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…”  This is talking about a belt, the belt of Truth, God’s Word.  In the days of David, it was called a Buckler, a belt all the weapons were held on.  In the Roman attire, the Roman military outfit, the belt held everything in place.  They would take their tunic that went down to about the knee, down to knee length, and they would tuck it in so that it was shorter, it was like at mid thigh length, so that they could run and fight.  You can’t run and fight in a dress.  So they would put their tunic up in their belt, which also held their famous Roman short sword.  In the spiritual battle in which we’re in, gang, listen, in this spiritual battle, truth gives you mobility.  So instead, the truth sets you free, you’ve got this freedom of movement, you can defend yourself more easily, you’ve got the truth. 


“R”, “Refute False Doctrine”


Now, “R”, “Refute False Doctrine.”  Turn to Titus, the book of Titus.  When Paul writes to Pastor Titus, another one of his protégés and one of the young men that Paul poured himself into, he exhorts Titus to refute the false teachers that had come into the Church and were upsetting people.  We are not to passively sit by and let the false teachers come in.  And I’m not just talking about the cults, I’m talking about the other ‘Christian’ false doctrines that blow through the church [he means his congregation, but is also referring to what blows through the greater Body of Christ].  There is such a lack of discernment in the Christian community.  It’s either cry or poke fun I guess.  But he’s talking about elders, the requirement of elders, and he says in Titus chapter 1, verse 9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”  “convince” is that word “refute” as it is translated in other translations, “to refute those who contradict.”  We are to refute those who contradict.  Those who contradict what?  You know, God says refute the false teaching, don’t be afraid of it.  And you should speak the truth in love, and all of that kind of stuff, if you want to use some humour I think God thinks that’s ok too.  But Titus 1, verse 10 it says, “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision (oh, he named a denomination) who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of dishonest gain.”  There we go again, bottom line is always what?  Money or sex.  There are three pitfalls that you can see people falling into, money, sex, or robbing God of his glory.  He says these people have to be silenced, because they’re upsetting whole families.  [To see what problem Paul was having with some false teachers who were among “those of the circumcision,” the Jewish branch of the Body of Christ back then, log onto]  A church should move in when false teaching breaks out, it’s almost like a cancer that needs to be contained quickly before it spreads.  It needs to be taken care of, he says, and they should be silenced.  [Again, we’re not talking about the differing secondary teachings and interpretations differing denominations may have as a part of their denominational teaching.]  Use wise discernment is all I’m saying.  2nd Timothy 4, verses 1-5, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom.  Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For a time will come (and believe me, saints, we’re in that time right now) when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  That’s the second time Paul has mentioned this.  In Titus he’s spoken of sound doctrine, we’re hearing it again in Timothy.  Remember those who were lost that Paul speaks of to the Thessalonican church, and he said “they will deliver you over to a strong delusion because they did not have a love of the truth so as to be saved.”  Do you have a love for the truth?  We’re living in a day when people want to turn their ears away from the truth, they have itching ears.  So “B”, believe what Jesus is saying, “E”, examine the fruit, “W”, watch for wolves in sheep’s clothing, “A”, arm yourself with the truth, “R”, refute false doctrine, and “E”, this is what I wanted you to wait for.


“E”, “Expose False Teachers”


“E”, “expose false teachers.”  Look at 1st Timothy 4:1-6, “But the Spirit explicitly says” I think that’s so interesting, that he says “the Spirit explicitly says”, do you hear the emphasis there, do you catch the emphatic nature, it’s like he’s been listening to God’s Spirit, writing under this inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit’s saying, ‘This is gonna be!  This is going to happen!’ it’s like the pounding on the pulpit, that kind of emphasis.  “The Spirit explicitly says that in latter times, in the last days, some will fall away from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,” (verse 1)  That means, gang, that right now there are deceitful spirits that are trying to lead you, me, and others away from the truth, deceitful spirits, not just people, but behind people there is a spiritual realm, there’s a spiritual battle going on.  “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”  These doctrines are demonic, doctrines saying that Jesus isn’t God, doctrines saying that Jesus is a created being, doctrines saying his work isn’t completed at the cross.  These doctrines lead people into error and false lifestyles, they are literally of Satan he says, they’re demonic.  They’re not just contrivances.  And he says, “I want you to understand that these are propagated by means of the hypocrisy of liars, seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,” (verse 2)  He’s not trying to be nice about it.  He calls them liars, with seared consciences.  You see, the problem with false doctrine is it leads to false living.  If we could believe the wrong thing and live the right way, maybe there would be some way we could hang onto both, but when you try to, one leads inevitably to the other.  You walk out what you believe.  And so, he lists some of the doctrines, “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (verses 3-5)  [Comment:  Now here is something interesting, because the Jews, Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua, and Sabbath-keeping Churches of God all believe Leviticus 11 is a teaching of God, giving the laws of clean and unclean food, and are commanding that certain animals are not fit for human consumption.  How do you reconcile that with this verse?  Notice verse 5, “for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”  Now Leviticus 11 is part of the Word of God, and it does not sanctify “unclean meats.”  That is how they would interpret these two sets of verses.  And they are to be allowed to interpret them that way.  This is a secondary doctrine where we are not to mess with other believers who abstain from the unclean foods mentioned in Leviticus 11.  Don’t’ do it.  The Biblical kosher laws of Leviticus 11 are not a demonic doctrine, they are a part of God’s Old Testament Law.  See what Jesus said about the whole Law of God in Matthew 5:17-19.  But the kosher laws the Pharisees and Sadducees added onto God’s kosher laws found in Leviticus 11 are demonic doctrines, like not having milk and meat at the same meal, or mixing them in cooking.  But I wouldn’t recommend attacking the Jews for these beliefs, just wouldn’t be a wise move.]  Of course, in the world, we’re going to be a little more tactful about it, because we don’t want to just turn the world off immediately, we’ve got to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves, as Jesus said.  [Comment:  In the Sabbath-keeping Church of God I was a member of, the pastors would point out the Biblical way to refute the add-ons to God’s kosher laws, by showing us that in Genesis 18 Abraham and Sarah fed Yahweh and the two accompanying angels with a meal that contained both milk and meat, roast lamb and milk.  That was how we were taught to refute the Jewish add-on kosher laws.  But we didn’t go around to every Orthodox Jewish person we met and hit them over the head with that.  We did the refuting in our own congregations, where this knowledge applied.  I wouldn’t want to be walking the streets of Old Jerusalem teaching that either, you’d get stoned.]  Because where verse 6 says “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.”  There’s our word again sound doctrine, which you have been following.  But I want you to understand that it is OK to point out the people that are teaching the false doctrine, and even to name their names, 1st Timothy chapter 1, verse 18, “This command I entrust to you Timothy my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regards to their faith.  Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”  Oh horror, he named their names, how insensitive, how politically incorrect, he named their names.  Because how would you know who they were if you didn’t name their names?  [Comment: Romans 16:17-18, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”  By the context of taking it with verse 18, that verse is obviously talking about those who were really false teachers that had sometimes made their way into the Body of Christ, but can also apply to those who have started up a false or counterfeit Christian church or movement, like many of the charlatan televangelists begging for your money over the air.]  ‘The news reports that the hamburgers at a certain restaurant chain are poisoned, and that 25 people have died already.’  ‘Boy, I’m never eating a burger again!  Tell me where, what chain!?’  ‘Oh, we don’t want to name names and offend the restaurant owners, we don’t want to be specific.’  Ya right.  It’s not a mean issue, it’s not meanness to declare who is teaching a false doctrine.  Those of you who have been involved in The Faith Movement, and you’re not totally clued into it yet, about the false teachings of the Faith teachers,’ [the name-it, claim-it, blab-it, grab-it group], Copeland, Hagen, Benny Hinn and others ad nosium and you’re not exactly sure, it sounds like when we name them ‘Oh you’re being so critical.’  No, it’s not a critical spirit we have, it’s a discerning heart is what it really is, and wanting to warn you about the poison out there and who is dishing it out.  Paul says again, 2nd Timothy 2:16, “But avoid empty and worldly chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.”  That’s pretty gross.  “Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place; and thus they have upset the faith of some.”  Here’s Hymenaeus again, that dirty rat.  I thought he was dealt with.  Well I don’t know what happened after Alexander, maybe he got delivered over to Satan and he’s not in the picture anymore, but Philetus is now the cohort.  This guy Hymenaeus always has to have somebody with him, you know.  Always duping someone.  Paul names names. 


In conclusion


So, to summarize, to conclude, to end.  “B”, believe what Jesus is saying.  False prophets are coming.  They’re here, they’re deceiving people today.  “E”, examine the fruit, look at their lives.  Look at their lives and lifestyle.  “W”, watch for the wolves in sheep’s clothing, “not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  “A”, arm yourself with the truth.  John 8:32, “the truth will set you free.”  Know the truth so you’re not deceived.  “R”, refute false doctrine.  And “E”, expose false teachers.  Let’s pray…[condensed down from a connective expository sermon on Matthew 7:15-23, given by Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary Community Church, 12612 N. Black Canyon Hwy., Phoenix, AZ  85029]


related links:


Discerning true from false, being careful not to call false teaching what is merely secondary doctrinal difference in interpretation:




False teachings of Judaizers in Paul’s day:


The greater Body of Christ is made up of differing denominations, all filled to one degree or another with Holy Spirit indwelt believers in Jesus Christ.  For a look-see into some of their history and background, see


[Note:  It was brought out in a Bible study I attended recently, this new movement called by the name of The Emergent Church is filled with New Age type altered-state, zoned-out, Buddhist type religious practices and beliefs, a real false religion masking itself as Christianity in a new and vibrant way.  Don’t be deceived.  It’s time to Examine, Refute, and Expose this false religions, refute its teachings, and expose its teachers.]



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