This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
Last week's story was in five parts and covered almost fifty years of church history. The summary of the story from the first week is:
FIRST WEEK STORY SUMMARY
In 1961, AW Tozer warned the church not to "go into eclipse" by having the wrong answer (Wrong HOW/WHY) to "What is God like?" Five years later, the "God is Dead" movement challenged the church to explain "What is God like?" Forty years ago, the church's response was THE WILDEST RATIONALIZATION:
"It is Right to NOT be able to state the HOW and WHY supporting our Christian beliefs (WHAT)"
...which eventually becomes: "It is Wrong to state the HOW and WHY supporting our Christian beliefs (WHAT)".
Forty years ago, the church consciously chose to embrace The Godless Christianity Movement.
After twenty years, Calvinism seized this opportunity and became THE MAIN DOCTRINE of today's church.
More than fifteen years ago, I noticed MOST Christians could not explain WHY they believed WHAT they believed. I have spent that time determining the non-contradictory Model for God so that Christians and the church could reclaim their rightful places. Instead of being embraced, "Modeling God" has been actively attacked for stating the non-contradictory HOW and WHY behind the WHAT of orthodox Christianity...BECAUSE MOST Christians truly believe THE WILDEST RATIONALIZATION!
The result is that today there is NO STATISTICAL difference between people who attend church and people who don't attend church. Actually, the data seems to show that church actually hinders the individual's ability to live a Godly and sanctified life...it seems to hinder peoples' ability to help others!
However, I have seen the information in "Modeling God" intentionally help people hear from God more clearly and more often...it supplies the Right HOW/WHY behind the Right WHAT (belief).
I have now seen the ultimate cause is that people want to be unintentional and guilt-free.
People want to do whatever they want (not think about their HOW/WHY) until they hit bottom...when they can't continue to be unintentional. While they are unintentional, people want to relieve their guilt because they know they are being LUKEWARM.
This mentality has reached today's church to the point that when someone espouses a non-contradictory definition of God, instead of embracing it as the answer to how to reach out to atheists and prove the Bible is truth, the people in the church attack this information because they believe the wildest rationalization: It is wrong to state the HOW and WHY behind WHAT we believe.
I have seen one pastor publicly attempt to refute "Modeling God" without giving his own HOW and WHY...yet, clearly use a Wrong HOW/WHY. He is creating God in his own image.
I have seen another pastor try to create a church that relieves peoples' guilt for being unintentional...yet the church has fragmented to the point there is almost nobody left who is still speaking to each other.
I have seen a third pastor try to get all the benefits of leadership without any of the responsibility. He won't state his HOW/WHY, yet wants to appear like he is helping people grow.
While all three of these churches appear to be separate, we have seen they share the same CAUSES:
-They actively attacked the non-contradictory Model for God without giving their HOW/WHY.
-They are Right-Wrong...they have the Right WHAT with the Wrong HOW/WHY.
-They believe the wildest rationalization: It is wrong to state the HOW and WHY behind WHAT we believe.
-They enable the flesh's objective: to live unintentionally in a guilt-free fashion.
-They embrace the oldest deception: to help people progress on their walk with God with safety, friendship, and contentment...without having to choose to go through any difficult times. They wrongly believe God would never be involved in anything that results in division.
Ultimately, all of this began forty years ago when the church decided to go without an orthodox understanding of God...when the church ignored AW Tozers' warning.
However, all three of these churches are connected in another VERY INTERESTING fashion...through a "prophetess". In fact, we will see the source of the stress between these three churches is due to this prophetess.
This week's story is also in five parts and will look how "Right-Right" helps us determine whether a prophet(ess) is speaking for God or not...
Ed Mabrie wrote a comment to the conclusion of the previous post that PERFECTLY segues into this week's story. So rather than share my introduction, I will quote a portion of Mr. Mabrie's post which was originally a letter to his friends:
"I watch the decrease of morality, the degradation of society and the push toward socialism and use these events as a barometer of how close were are to the times spoken of in the Bible that herald the return of Christ and the end of this age."
"But during my recent readings of the scripture - particularly 2 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, Jude, and 2 Peter, I realized that I had the cause/effect relationship reversed. The scriptures I noted clearly state that the true barometer of how close we are to the end of the age and the return of Christ is NOT the degradation of the secular world, but the degradation of the CHURCH! Paul, Jude, and Peter make it clear that wide spread apostasy and false teaching in the Church will be the main sign that this age is nearing its end. The moral, social, ethical, and political corruption in the world is an EFFECT of the corruption IN the church!"
Mr. Mabrie has identified a HUGE and extremely subtle point: The deception that comes at the end of our dispensation and signifies Christ's return will come from INSIDE the church! Please take a moment and truly internalize this point...
Since Mr. Mabrie efficiently (and eloquently) made this point, my actual teaching today will be short...followed by the Biblical passages Mr. Mabrie identifies.
Deception is NOT the statement of a wrong WHAT.
You don't need a WARNING to avoid being deceived by a Wrong WHAT!
Deception is the statement of a (seemingly) Right WHAT with NO, or a Wrong, HOW/WHY.
Here is a summary for the difference between the flesh, the enemy, and God.
FLESH: Wrong WHAT
ENEMY: Right WHAT, NO or Wrong HOW/WHY
GOD: Right WHAT, Right HOW/WHY
People think the enemy states a Wrong WHAT...and the flesh (people) states a Right WHAT but gets the HOW/WHY Wrong. They have it backwards.
So it makes sense that the deception (Right WHAT) we are warned about will come from WITHIN the church because anyone stating a Wrong WHAT would be OUTSIDE the church.
As you read through the passages Mr. Mabrie identifies, notice the writers are WARNING us NOT to be DECEIVED by a Right WHAT. (Do you believe you need a WARNING to avoid being deceived by a Wrong WHAT?) The way (HOW) to identify a Wrong HOW/WHY is through UNDERSTANDING (WHY) and Doctrine (HOW/WHY).
There were NUMEROUS examples in the Bible of deception following the Right WHAT-Wrong HOW/WHY. We will cover more this week, but here are two quick well-known examples:
-The serpent deceived Eve by stating a Right WHAT (wisdom/be like God) with a Wrong HOW/WHY (you won't die).
-The devil attempted to deceive Jesus in the desert by stating a Right WHAT (Satan quoted the Bible!) with a Wrong HOW/WHY.
Deception is accomplished by accepting the Right WHAT with a Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
MR. MABRIE'S EXAMPLES
Here are the passages Mr. Mabrie referenced with short conclusions in parenthesis.
2 Thessalonians 2:
"1 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him;
2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand;
3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,
4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;
9 even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie:
12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
(The key to surviving the time before the coming of Christ depends on understanding and truth. Remember, truth is "facts that create"...facts (Right WHAT) create when they have the Right HOW/WHY. Deception consists of facts that don't create...that aren't profitable. Watch how this was immediately addressed in the next passage.)
2 Timothy 2:
"14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them in the sight of the Lord, that they strive not about words, to no profit, to the subverting of them that hear.
15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
16 But shun profane babblings: for they will proceed further in ungodliness,
17 and their word will eat as doth a gangrene: or whom is Hymenaeus an Philetus;
18 men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Howbeit the firm foundation of God standeth, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his: and, Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness.
20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some unto honor, and some unto dishonor.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, meet for the master's use, prepared unto every good work.
22 after righteousness, faith, love, pace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and ignorant questionings refuse, knowing that they gender strifes.
24 And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,
25 in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will."
(The great house was the church. So, this stated that this deception will come from within the church. Notice, the thought continued into the next chapter.)
2 Timothy 3:
"1 But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;
5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away.
6 For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts,
7 ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth. Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further. For their folly shall be evident unto all men, as theirs also came to be.
10 But thou didst follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience,
11 persecutions, sufferings. What things befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14 But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.
15 And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.
17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."
(Persecution will come to those who are following God because they are doing the Right WHAT for the Right HOW/WHY. Those who do the Wrong HOW/WHY will be the persecutors! They will have a form of godliness (WHAT), but deny the power (HOW/WHY). Notice the role of truth and understanding. Jude blatantly stated that the deceivers will come from within...)
"4 For there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were of old written of beforehand unto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things once for all, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, having in like manner with these given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
8 Yet in like manner these also in their dreamings defile the flesh, and set at nought dominion, and rail at dignities.
9 But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these rail at whatsoever things they know not: and what they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, in these things are they destroyed.
11 Woe unto them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.
12 These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved forever.
14 And to these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones,
15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaketh great swelling words), showing respect of persons for the sake of advantage.
17 But ye, beloved, remember ye the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 That they said to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are they who make separations, sensual, having not the Spirit."
(Notice these deceivers rail at whatsoever things they know not: and what they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, in these things are they destroyed. Then examples were given of people who were in community with believers! Cain, Balaam, and Korah.)
2 Peter 1:
"19 And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts:
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.
21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit."
(This was the context for the next chapter.)
2 Peter 2:
"1 But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And in covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose sentence now from of old lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.
4 For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 and spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, having made them an example unto those that should live ungodly;
7 and delivered righteous Lot, sore distressed by the lascivious life of the wicked
8 (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their lawless deeds):
9 the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the day of judgment;
10 but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise dominion. Daring, self-willed, they tremble not to rail at dignities:
11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, bring not a railing judgment against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as creatures without reason, born mere animals to be taken and destroyed, railing in matters whereof they are ignorant, shall in their destroying surely be destroyed,
13 suffering wrong as the hire of wrong-doing; men that count it pleasure to revel in the day-time, spots and blemishes, revelling in their deceivings while they feast with you;
14 having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; enticing unstedfast souls; having a heart exercised in covetousness; children of cursing;
15 forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the hire of wrong-doing;
16 but he was rebuked for his own transgression: a dumb ass spake with man's voice and stayed the madness of the prophet.
17 These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved.
18 For, uttering great swelling words of vanity, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from them that live in error;
19 promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he also brought into bondage.
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the last state is become worse with them than the first.
21 For it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 It has happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog turning to his own vomit again, and the sow that had washed to wallowing in the mire."
(This passage BLATANTLY stated these deceivers are from within the church! Peter ended his letter with the following.)
2 Peter 3:
"15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you;
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen."
The key to avoiding deception is to recognize that within the church there will be people who speak the Right WHAT, however they don't understand (HOW/WHY) the scriptures. They don't operate in truth.
Tomorrow, we will look at an ability that OUGHT to help us avoid deception.