Wednesday, February 24, 2016

False prophets will be stabbed

False teachers and false prophets are a scourge. They always have been. Ever since the beginning, satan has been lying to humans, and as prince of the power of the air he has sent his demon horde to influence false teachers and make them prophesy falsely. (Deuteronomy 13:6–10; 18:20; Matthew 24:11). Gullible Christians and the lost have believed these false prophecies and untrue teachings ever since.

Probably today's false teachers are aren't more numerous than they were in the first century, though it feels like they are. Apologist James R. White said today
there are not more heretics today, there is just more availability of making your heresy known. 
However any Christian with a modicum of faith or any grain of loyalty to Jesus will be aggrieved when coming up against a false prophet or hearing about a heretical teaching. I am. I am a lot.

Like ants at a picnic, these false teachers are everywhere, and more are popping up every day. Jesus is in control and has ordained each and every one. As He does with everything, He has a purpose for false teaching.

What Is God's Purpose With False Teaching? asks and answers John Piper.

Or this, from Dr. Paul M. Elliott, "Why Does God Permit False Teachers in the Church?"
God uses the response to false teaching on the part of the members of the visible church, individually and corporately, to demonstrate who is true to Him and to His Word, and who is not. To put it another way, God is building a record that Christ will use at the Last Judgment, when many will come before Him and claim to have done many wonders in His name, but Jesus will say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:23).
The main reasons God permits false teachers is that first, sin exists in the world. False teaching is sin. Secondly, it's used to test His people. So though it's a grief, a burden, and a scourge, God has His purposes for allowing it.

And then sweet relief will come! There will come a day when false prophets will not be allowed!

After the rapture, and after the conclusion of the Tribulation, in that order, a Kingdom on earth will be established. It will last for 1000 years. It is colloquially called the Millennium Kingdom. It will be an actual kingdom whereupon incarnated Jesus walks among His people, rules from Jerusalem, (Revelation 2:27) administers affairs of the nations, and receives worship (including sacrifices) in the Temple. (Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:16; Jeremiah 33:15-18, Ezekiel 43:18-46:24)

Satan will be bound in the pit along with his demon horde. (Revelation 20:1-3). The people occupying the Kingdom will have relief from satan, finally! However, sin will still be present. Some of the people who survived the Tribulation will be mortal, and thy will enter the Kingdom along with us (glorified at the rapture) and the Old Testament saints (resurrected at the end of the Tribulation) and Tribulation martyrs (resurrected at the end of the Tribulation). These mortals will repopulate the earth through procreation, and their children will do the same and so on, for 1000 years. These mortals will still have a sin nature, which will express itself at the end of the 1000 year kingdom when satan is released from the pit and gathers the secretly sinful like sands upon the sea to rebel against Jesus. (Revelation 20:7-8).

But meanwhile during the blissful 1000 year Kingdom, there will be no false teaching, no false teachers, no false prophecies!

"And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the LORD.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies." (Zechariah 13:3)

False prophets will be immediately stabbed. Even by his parents.
The form of phraseology here is drawn from De 13:6–10; 18:20. The substantial truth expressed is that false prophecy shall be utterly abolished. If it were possible for it again to start up, the very parents of the false prophet would not let parental affection interfere, but would be the first to thrust him through. Love to Christ must be paramount to the tenderest of natural ties (Mt 10:37). Much as the godly love their children, they love God and His honor more. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible) 
The dance between false prophets and demons will end. Matthew Henry:
False prophecy shall also be brought to an end: I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit, the prophets that are under the influence of the unclean spirit, to pass out of the land. The devil is an unclean spirit; sin and uncleanness are from him; he has his prophets, that serve his interests and receive their instructions from him. Take away the unclean spirit, and the prophets would not deceive as they do; take away the false prophets that produce sham commissions, and the unclean spirit could not do the mischief he does. When God designs the silencing of the false prophets he banishes the unclean spirit out of the land, that wrought in them, and was a rival with him for the throne in the heart. Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible
Of the Zechariah 13:3 verse, John MacArthur comments:
Because of the salvation of God that has cleansed God's people and made them love Him and His truth, hatred of false prophecy will overrule normal human feelings, causing even a mother or father to put their apostate child to death. This is a stern reminder of hos God feels about and will eventually treat those preaches who misrepresent the truth.
Contrast the Zechariah verse of Millennium parents killing their own child because he speaks false prophecy, to the verse in Matthew 10:21 when in the last days parents will kill their offspring for speaking the Truth.

What a time that will be! When love for Jesus and His truth is the worldwide global attitude! For all my brethren who read this, it's an essay about prophecy, obviously. It is also encouragement. Jesus IS in control. He has a plan, and that plan includes the [hopefully soon] day when He will rule and reign personally and false prophets will not be tolerated. What a day that will be.



13 comments :

  1. As for now, the false prophets serve as yet another dividing line from the true believers. Their numbers and popularity increase (the many) as those who declare truth (the few) are hated and ridiculed for correcting their twists and deceptions. They do not have "ears to hear," thus revealing their spiritual state.

    One who is seeking truth as Jesus defines it will quickly abandon false teachers, no matter how appealing the personality. Discernment is their priority, not being part of the crowd.

    I'd rather be all alone with truth than having false experiences with a multitude.

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    1. Yes, Sheryl. It's strange seeing the vast popularity of the "pope" and other false teachers and it can feel rather lonely. However, we were told that this would happen in these times. Your last line sums it up perfectly: sticking with the truth is going to be a lonely business. Lonely, but ultimately fruitful. Blessings.

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  2. Hi Elizabeth,
    Could you give me your opinion as to the level or degree of falsity before one is labeled a false teacher? I am concerned about the leadings of John Piper here lately. He is coming to our church in May. Our church is solid and he is friends with our pastor but at what point would you mark him and call him accursed. Also, I am a big fan of Matthew Henry's commentary but wondering how you be a Berean in examining his writings. He is so far ahead of me. Would you consider all his comments to be legitimate?

    Thanks,
    Emily

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    1. Hi EMily,

      You asked a couple of good and tough questions! Thanks!

      Piper is a hard one to make any declarative statement on. His early works were great. His later levels of discernment have been lacking. Just two months ago, Tom Chantry wrote a good piece on Piper and the current head-scratching behavior-

      https://chantrynotes.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/whats-inside-john-pipers-geodes/

      When I post Piper, and it's rare (fingers on one hand) I try to post older stuff. For example, recently he sided with Mark Driscoll, he is a continuationist, he has asked for the gift of tongues, he encourages modern prophecy, he admits that modern prophecy can be fallible, and he appears on stage with false teachers.

      Sometimes good teachers go soft or aberrant for a short period and can be corrected (Peter). Other times false ones have been false all along and only begin to expose themselves as false slowly. (Beth Moore). It's a continuum, and in my opinion it takes a LOT of time and patience and evidence to make a dogmatic statement that such a one is false. I don't think Piper is there yet. But as Sunny Shell said in 2013, it takes more discernment than she has to continue to read or follow him. (http://www.sunnyshell.org/2013/06/why-i-no-longer-follow-john-piper-or.html)

      The Bible gives marks to watch out for false teachers, which have been synopzized by various ministries-

      Challies: www.challies.com/articles/7-marks-of-a-false-teacher
      JMac: https://www.gty.org/resources/print/bible-qna/BQ010913
      BibleGateway- https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Gal/Exposing-False-Teachers

      As for Matthew Henry, he definitely had some deep spiritual insights. His book resonates 300 years later. All I can tell you is that Amazon has 379 reviews of his commentary with 81% of them as 4 or 5 star. John MacArthur quotes him a lot.

      As a Berean, I'd say if you have his Whole Commentary on the Bible (which I prefer to the Concise commentary) as you read the passage then read the commentary and see if it makes sense in context. :)

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  3. The quote from Dr. Paul Elliott is sobering, and accurate. It would be an interesting test to have individuals I know, who follow false teaching, read that and react to it. I think they would experience cognitive dissonance because there is always a fundamental disconnect for individuals who have no discernment.....they just can't imagine what they are doing/following/believe is what the bible is actually referring to.

    Jennifer

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  4. Hi Elizabeth. Can you explain whether or not there is such a thing as repentance in the Millenial kingdom (for the ones that make it through the tribulation)? From your exegesis, it would appear that a son or daughter who prophesies is not even given the proper new testament treatment of church discipline, and thus is denied any chance to repent or be corrected/rebuked. How does that reconcile with what the new testament teaches? And if you say there is room for correction, then the ultimate conclusion for someone who does not heed the correction would be death by the hands of the parents, instead of the new testament prescription of having nothing more to do with that person, treating them as a 'gentile' or 'tax collector'.

    Also, I'm a bit puzzled as to how those who have been glorified (without sin) can live in a cursed world with sin, however much it has been reduced. So you have immortals living with mortals. You would have marriage/births/deaths alongside those who will be like the angels, neither marrying nor given in marriage, neither dying nor giving birth.

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    1. Hello Kevin,

      Well what do you make of the verse that launched this blog essay,

      "And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the LORD.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies." (Zechariah 13:3)"

      The thing that is important to note is that civic life before the Law was different from civic life after the Law,(OT) which was different from Life after Christ,(NT) which is different from life during the Millennium, none of which is Eternity. The only constant is that all believers who will eventually be resurrected and glorified will have believed on Jesus and repented of their sins.

      2 Peter 3:4 notes that people will say 'where is the promise of His coming' saying that all things have gone on as before. Yet, Peter said, it escapes their notice that all things have NOT gone on as before.

      Yes, it is my understanding also that people living during the Milennium, will be a mix of mortals who survived the Tribulation (including the Jewish remnant collected at Petra) who marry and have children (Isaiah 65:20) who will enjoy long life spans again, plus OT saints, Trib Saints, whose home is on an earth with the curse removed; and the Church, whose home will be New Jerusalem. (Rev 21:27).

      The verse you mentioned is Mt 22:30, "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven".

      That refers to us, the saints of the church age. Mortals entering the Millennium and those born during the millennium haven't been resurrected. They are born, live out their long lives during the 1000 years, and die. Unless they are cursed sinners, (Is 65:20). Or unless they prophesy, then they are killed.

      Here is a good overview of the millennium kingdom with its highlights. http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/related-topics/summary-of-the-millennial-kingdom.html

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    2. As far as the resurrected ones living amongs the mortals, it's not so puzzling. We see the same happened at Jesus'death & resurrection. Matthew 27:52-53 records,

      52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

      They might have been raised to existing life prior to death, that is, with a sin-nature, or they were raised and glorified. It's more likely they were raised glorifed, as a preview of the coming resurrection and a picture of Jesus as firstfruit.

      So, he resurrected/glorified lived among those who had not died yet. It must have been an incredible event to see.

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  5. I agree, it must've been quite the sight! It is entirely possible that the Matthew account of the saints rising from the dead was merely a non-glorified resurrection as was the resurrection of Jairus' daugther and Lazarus, however I agree that it was more likely a glorified or semi-glorified state. We do know that the "resurrection of the Matthew saints" is not something that has been repeated since. And to my knowledge, we don't know if glorification in that instance (before Christ's second coming) happened all at once, or in stages, such that it was made possible for both mortal and immortal to coexist in the same sin-cursed environment for a brief period of time.

    If the creation waits in eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God, it would seem to me that Jesus' second coming (not the rapture) along with all of the saints and their glory would fit that 'revelation', however, Romans 8 seems to indicate that when that happens, the creation will be set free from its bondage to decay. The problem that remains is that if sin abides alongside with the sinless, then sin is still present, decay is still present, death is still present - even though the sons of God have been revealed with their glory. What further 'revelation' would be required in order to fulfill Romans 8 and release the creation from its bondage to decay?

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    1. Yes, Kevin, you're right, "sin is still present, decay is still present, death is still present". When Jesus returns, He lifts the curse insofar as the earth rebounds and humans repopulate quickly. The curse is lifted as animals become friendly and no longer have the fear and dread of us. However as the verse above I have shown you several times, (esp. Isaiah 65) sin is still present and death is still present. People die and are buried in the earth. False prophets are killed.

      This is because we are not in the eternal state yet. Jesus, who will be incarnated and sinless walking around with both the glorified, resurrected saints and with the mortals (this is not a problem) creates a new heaven and a new earth AFTER the 1000 year kingdom concludes and the last rebellion is quashed. (Rev 21:1). He will FINALLY remove all vestiges of death as the new earth is made without dead bones buried in it and no person's heart will have sin because by then all will be glorified.

      You asked, "What further 'revelation' would be required in order to fulfill Romans 8 and release the creation from its bondage to decay?" The answer is NONE. The canon is closed. Please do not look for further revelation.

      FMI on new heaven and new earth, http://www.gotquestions.org/new-heavens-earth.html

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    2. I think maybe you're having a problem envisioning this because the resurrections happen in stages and the prophetic fulfillments happen in stages. Not all at once. Everything progresses in orderly fashion as Jesus unrolls His different stages of His plan to deal with sin. It's really remarkable how He has organized this all.

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    3. On my comment about 'further revelation', I wasn't referring to additional scriptural or extra-biblical revelation in a sense that God is speaking to mankind. What I was referring to was the revealing or 'revelation' of the sons of God in Romans 8. If Christ comes back at the end of the 7-year tribulation and brings all the saints with Him, then technically the 'sons of God' have been revealed, yet creation would still be subject to sin, decay, and death. So what I was asking was...what further ‘revealing’ of the sons of God could possibly take place that would fulfill Romans 8? Romans 8 seems to indicate that it is a one-time 'revealing', yet with the dispensational model, it would require a second 'revealing' beyond Jesus' second coming in order to release the creation from its bondage to corruption. If sin is still present during the millennium, then there's still corruption and rebellion against Christ.

      To your original question about what I make of Zech 13. For starters, Zechariah's oracle mentions nothing about a temporary, millennial reign of Christ. One has to read that into the text or approach it with those presuppositions already in place. Secondly, since the holy ones are coming with the King (14:5), then it would be the case that the Church will be present at that time, yet nothing is really mentioned about the Church, or what glorified Christians will be up to during the reign of the King. Lastly, I would bring up the spiritual/scriptural problems associated with the King's reign and His people reverting back to the Mosaic Law (i.e. offering real animal sacrifices, observing feasts, slaying false prophets). The law (old covenant) became obsolete in Christ's first coming. Jesus fulfilled all that the law foreshadowed and typified. (Mt. 5:17, Rom. 10:4, Heb. 8:13) Some say that the animal sacrifices in the millennial reign are a way to honor and remember what Christ has done, however, He already instituted the Lord's Supper to do just that. And when Christ instituted the Lord's Supper in Matthew 26 and Mark 14, He said He wouldn't drink of the fruit of the vine again until He drinks it with them "...new in the Kingdom of God." I think that word 'new' is key, and indicates that the creation will be renewed, no longer subject to corruption, when the saints will again enjoy bread and wine with our Lord. It could only take place after the creation is no longer subject to futility. This points to the eternal state, not a semi-eternal, millennial state where the Earth is the same Earth we inhabit today, cursed by sin and only giving forth its produce at the sweat and toil of man. This would infer that there would be no eating of the ‘new’ bread and wine during Christ's millennial reign since the new Earth wouldn't be a reality yet, which seems to be an odd conclusion to come to. This is just another issue with the dispensational view of eschatology that I find hard to reconcile.

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    4. HI Kevin,
      I don’t know about the “dispensational model” as you call it. I just go by what I’ve learned from the Bible. I don’t know what “dispensational eschatology” is, I just know eschatology. I hope your philosophical constructs aren’t preventing you from understanding.

      Yes, death occurs during the 1000 years kingdom. Rev 20:9-11 clearly describes it:

      "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them"

      You said twice you have a hard time accepting that sacrifices will be done in the 1000 year kingdom. I gave a link to an essay which has the scriptures. There are several passages explicitly stating sacrifices will happen. It might be that it’s hard to reconcile in your mind, I can understand that, but that isn’t because of “dispensational eschatology.” The fact is, they will occur, the scriptures say so. Here is the essay again. http://www.gotquestions.org/millennial-sacrifices.html.

      In case you don’t want to turn to the essay itself, here is an excerpt that I believe speaks to your objections.

      ----begin
      The primary objection made to the idea of animal sacrifices returning during the millennial kingdom is that Christ has come and offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is therefore no need to sacrifice animals for sin. However, it must be remembered that animal sacrifice never removed the sin that spiritually separated a person from the Lord.

      Hebrews 10:1-4 says, “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (NASB).

      It is incorrect to think that animal sacrifices took away sins in the Old Testament, and it is incorrect to think they will do so in the millennial kingdom. Animal sacrifices served as object lessons for the sinner, that sin was and is a horrible offense against God, and that the result of sin is death. Romans 3:20 says, “Because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

      Most premillennial scholars agree that the purpose of animal sacrifice during the millennial kingdom is memorial in nature. As the Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the death of Christ to the Church today, animal sacrifices will be a reminder during the millennial kingdom. To those born during the millennial kingdom, animal sacrifices will again be an object lesson. During that future time, righteousness and holiness will prevail, but those with earthly bodies will still have a sin nature, and there will be a need to teach about how offensive sin is to a holy and righteous God. Animal sacrifices will serve that purpose, "but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year" (Hebrews 10:3).---end

      We can leave the discussion here. When the rapture happens we'll both see what the Lord does. Meanwhile the millennial kingdom verses aren't a hill to die on. Grace to you.

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