We have looked at “church” in the good plan where both the leaders and the members are following the Head with all their heart, soul, mind and strength….establishing personal relationships with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well as with one another. So, a “Christian church” is good, right? Deception in the “Christian church”? Really? If you do not know truth for yourself, then how will you know who and what to believe? (This study has some length…but worth the read.)
Paul warned the early church about deception in the church. Galatians 1: 6-10, “ I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
In my application of these words to our foundation study….There is only one gospel of Yeshua the Savior. There is no other foundation. Some try to pervert this. Let them be under the curse. Does anyone think they can persuade God to change? Am I trying to please man? No, I serve Yeshua, The Father’s Son, His Word and His Way, my Rock foundation.
Sadly, not all that is labeled “Christian” is good. There are places, organizations, and people that call themselves “Christian”, but do not follow the Heavenly Father’s plan. We have an enemy who is trying to destroy God’s plans and destroy our lives, put us under the curse. He twists, counterfeits, deceives, and infiltrates the church in many ways. So, there must be a warning concerning the title “Christian Church”. Remember, my intentions are to build up, warn, and exhort the true church, followers of Christ, not put them down!
Religion has a way of corrupting faith. This is not a new thing. Here are some Biblical examples of how religious organizations can get “off track”. It still happens today!
Some religious “churches” have some people who are trying with all their heart and mind to follow Jesus, but their leaders and other members are not. A Biblical example would be the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were more concerned about their religious traditions, rules, and places of honor, than about really coming to know the One True God and His Way! Saul, who became the apostle Paul, was one of these devote Jewish leaders previous to his meeting with Yeshua/Jesus; as well as the Jewish people who cried “Crucify Him” at Yeshua’s trial. Yet, there were others of that day who were searching for the real truth in their Hebrew Scriptures and they flocked to Yeshua to hear Him preach OUTSIDE the temple (church)! Can you think of any examples of religious churches like that today?
We might find other “churches” where the leaders are striving with all their might to teach truth and lead people in right living and right being….but the people are sleeping, worldly, don’t care, unresponsive, not listening, unwilling to change/repent and be obedient to Biblical standards. They may be willing to go to a service and listen to a short message, but they go their own way the rest of the week. Yeshua/Jesus preached pure truth, but He also knew the blindness and apathy of some of the Israelites around Him. He wept over the people of Jerusalem because He wanted to take them “under His wings” and they would not have Him. This is a lukewarm people.
We might even find some “churches” where neither the leaders nor the members are trying to follow the Heavenly Father. They are following their own “drummed up” doctrine or religious traditions. In the Old Testament we find that Israel had great difficulty due to mixing paganism with their faith in the One True Yeh (their Heavenly Father). In the New Testament we read that Yeshua and the disciples also warned of false teachers and prophets trying to infiltrate the church. Tolerance of mixture does not follow the pure righteousness of the Heavenly Father, yet these religious assemblies call themselves believers. Can you see any of today’s “Christian churches” where there is a mixture of the world in the gospel, yet they call themselves “Christian”?
For many in the examples above, the leaders and people themselves are deceived. They are lost and blind, and unknowingly think to lead others. Yet, the worst deceivers are those who call themselves “Christian church” but are intentionally and fully aware they are deceiving and lie. They are from their father the devil. They are the false prophets, the diviners, the soothsayers, the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They infiltrate the Christian assemblies and consequently find ways into the hearts of true believers and followers of Yeshua….if possibly to deceive even His elect!
That brings me to another warning. If we define “church” as an ASSEMBLY of believers in Jesus, then there are more “churches” I need to mention. They are the modern “assembly of Christians” in other organizations like ministries, conferences, missions, and charities. What God intends for good, satan can corrupt. We need to be able to tell if these “Christian” leaders and organizations are speaking the pure truth or counterfeit. These “church” conferences and ministries usually get a great deal of advertising and promotion for their huge events or fundraising. The events usually begin with music to stir up the spirit as well as to entertain until the main attraction. They usually revolve around a popular teacher, evangelist, prophet, pastor, or a group of leaders as its main speakers/spokesman. People flock to hear what the “anointed” have to say or perform. (Study some time what Yeshua/Jesus said would be people’s reaction when His truth is preached.) People come with the assumption that what they are being told is true. The problem is that not all of these leaders or events are truly following Yeshua, even if they sound really good. Would you be able to tell the true from the false? How?
In very many places in the Word of God, we are warned to be careful of false teachers and false prophets. “Wolves in sheep’s clothing” means they look and sound like followers of the Good Shepherd, but they are not. Satan is very good at deceiving. To be believed, the counterfeit messages need to sound exactly like truth. Be careful of religious terminology and words with double or vague meaning.
Quoting God’s Word is not a sure sign of truth. Remember how satan tempted Yeshua by quoting from God’s Word. Will we be gullible and deceived so that we devour counterfeit truth like manna from heaven just because it is labeled as “Christian”? Do we know how to check if it has been tainted by a little poison or maybe if an essential missing nutrient/ingredient has been removed? Even some well intentioned seekers for Truth will ingest the counterfeit message and later feed on it. This wrong seed is planted and watered. The fruit and consequences cannot be good.
We need to know the truth personally. Our foundation is not another leader or the church. We need to personally follow Yeshua/Jesus. We need the personal revelation of the Word by the Holy Spirit our Teacher. Do not be deceived! Read God’s Word, the Bible, for yourself. Build on the right foundation! Know the truth!