What are the marks of a false religion?
The primary marks of a false apostle or religion for that matter are that they preach a Jesus other than what Paul teaches (see Gal 1:6-11 Paul preached that you are in danger of hell to proclaim it). So what do false teachers teach?
- Most false teachers teach that Jesus Christ is NOT God incarnate equal to and one with the Father – Yahweh in the flesh – LORD. Jesus is proclaimed to be JUST a man, prophet, angel, or lesser god with a small “g” or that he is JUST the “Son” of God lesser than or not equal to the Father. 2 Peter 2:1
- Most false teachers Deny the Absolute truth and authority of the Bible or claim to have special extra-biblical revelation given to them for you and do not substantiate it with God’s revealed Word the Bible. They reinterpret the meaning of God’s word to suit their doctrines. Then they place their own revelations on par with or above the authority of Scripture when the two do not agree – wielding power over their believers.
- Most false teachers teach various works to do to be saved. E.g. Baptism in their particular organization, paying penance, self flagellation, pray to other humans, secret initiations, and good deeds, all without any guarantee of success achieved in this life. (Paul makes it perfectly clear as do the other Apostles there are no other methods of getting to heaven. There is no other mediator beside Christ Jesus through which you can approach God. That those who believe, are sealed by God for eternal life.)
- Most false teachers convince you to pay dearly for their position and services i.e. giving is mandatory. Their messages often teach wealth promised to you from God for supporting them and tends to take center stage of their preaching. They make you think that they deserve a rich lifestyle as your leader. Those who do not give are looked down upon.
- Many false teachers isolate their followers from true Christians and do not allow outsiders to witness their meetings. They are very secretive in their higher latitudes within their organizations. They are very defensive and argumentative, emotionalism is more important than intellectual accountability. They could be considered to use brainwashing.
- Often times, if anyone leaves their “church”, those people are ostracized and censored by even their closest friends and family who are still involved.
- Scripture warns that in the end times they will even demonstrate supernatural powers and “miracles” deceiving even the elect if that were possible. People will flock to what they “see” instead of what God’s word says.
- Most false teachers deny the Supernatural creation of the universe by God, his ownership of everyone and his future judgment to come holding humanity accountable for their unbelief, and their actions in this life and their subsequent punishment in hell.
Paul and the False Apostles
2 Cor 11 1Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. 7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. 9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM YHWH – Yeshua HaMashiach. The Lord is one. I AM the one True God. The Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, He who was and Is and Is to come, The Alpha and Omega, the resurrected Lord of Glory, Emanuel- (God with us). I AM Jehovah Jireh (the provider of salvation), I AM Elohim – your Creator, Savior, King and soon to be Judge. I AM the door, the way, the light, living water, and the manna from heaven- the bread of life. I AM both the “Son of Man” and the “Son of God”. But in this age, you can call me Jesus. I came to earth meek and lowly, a man of suffering and shame, to die a sinner’s death, but I was raised in glory as the “first born from the dead”. I went to hell on your behalf, but triumphed over the grave for you and now sit at the right hand of God the Father and am glorified with him. And for the time being, I freely offer you eternal life which I paid for myself. And if you will simply believe and rely solely on me, I guarantee it with my Word, because I AM the Word of God incarnate.
What are the marks of Paul’s Gospel?
It focuses on Jesus Christ as God – come to earth in the flesh to fulfill all righteousness on man’s behalf. His life satisfied the old covenant of the law and His death satisfied the sacrificial system of the temple. – Romans He is the only door, the only way the only road to heaven.
That man is not basically good but sinful because of Adam and as shown through his Holy Law to Moses. Thus no one can merit salvation by their good deeds. Christ’s teachings showed this to be true on the heart level, not just the physical. – Romans
His Word, the Bible is the only revelation from God to man. – Galatians (Any other “lost” letters from other “apostles” were not lost, but discarded, as not from God by the Church Fathers and thus not on par with the Holy Cannon and thus any new revelations are judged as punishable by God. – Revelation)
His salvation is only for mankind and is by faith alone in the provision of his free grace. – Romans God then places his Spirit in mankind giving him the divine nature to live on this earth in true holiness and also seals the believer guaranteeing eternal life after death. – Ephesians
That Christ rose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of people. This proves to us that God the Father accepted the sacrifice of the son. And proves to us that he is able to save those who trust in him. 1 Corinthians 15 The Resurrection is the crux of Christianity as no other religions can testify that their dead leaders could conquer death. Forget disproving the Bible, Creation, or the flood, disprove the resurrection and you have a case against Christianity.
That Christ will return to gather together his believers and judge them for any good deeds performed through them by the spirit – 1 and 2 Corinthians, then He will come again to the Earth physically to judge the whole earth and all will confess Jesus is Lord. Phil 2:10,11 and 2 Thessalonians
Application – Intellectually acknowledge what God’s Word says to be true regarding his holiness, justice and your lack thereof and his life and death as historical and objectively true. Agree with God that you are wrong in your sin and He is right and that you need him to save you as you cannot. Solely rely, depend, trust, own, believe on the acceptable, finished, perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross 2000 years ago to pay for your sin. Then verbally confess that you know that he did that for you and simply live a life of thanks to him from now on.
More to come,