SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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Written and compiled by: His Servant, Connie Kramer
The TRUTH About SALVATION
How to Recognize Them Ch.1
Elijah Confronts Them at Mt. Carmel Ch.2
Why Kings and Queens Liked Them Ch.3
Why Do People Listen to Them? Ch.4
What Motivates Them? Ch.5
NOT Connected To Christ Ch.6
False Doctrines Ch.7
Questions to Ask Before Joining a Church Ch.8
Beware of the Following! My comment.
Verses with words in red, bold italics is Jesus speaking.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [KJV]
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The TRUTH About SALVATION
How does a person get to Heaven? Some teach that if the good things you do outweigh the bad, God will let you in. That is FALSE! If you believe that, you are headed for Hell (John 3:16, 36; 8:24; 14:6).
There is only ONE Way to Heaven according to the Bible. That is faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ. You could NEVER do enough good deeds in 100 life times to permit you access to Heaven. You could NEVER buy your way to Heaven with all the money in the world. You can NEVER perform enough rituals or sacraments no matter what church you belong to. Faith in Christ is the only way.
The Bible tells us we all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom.3:23. Since God allows nothing bad or evil to enter Heaven (Rev.21:8, 22:15), no sinner is permitted. We must first believe God, and trust and accept what Jesus did for us on the cross. Only then will the Father credit our account with the righteousness of His Son (1 Cor.1:30; Rom.3:22, 25-26). Only our faith can make us right in God’s eyes, just as Abraham’s faith made him right in God’s eyes all those many years ago (Rom. 3:25-26; 4:3,5-6, 9,22; Gal.3:6).
We have NO righteousness of our own (Isa.64:6), any righteousness we possess must come through faith in Christ (Philip. 3:9; Rom.5:1-2).
If you think you can EARN your way to Heaven, if you think you can establish your own righteousness, you are SO wrong! IF you could earn your way to Heaven, then our precious Jesus died for nothing!
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (KJV) If we could be saved by keeping the law, or doing good, then there was no need for Christ to die.
God is pure and holy. We are vile sinners, actually we are His enemies. God cannot even look at sin. We must be made “right” in His eyes to have fellowship with Him. Only acceptance of Jesus justifies us, gives us access to the Father and makes us His friends (Rom.5:1-10). There is NO other way! Many say that Way is too narrow (Mat.7:13-14). But friend, that Way is wide enough for the whole world if they choose to walk it!
Many who seek God are confused about what He wants them to do. False teachers give many answers to this question. But salvation really is simple. Pleasing God does not come from any work we do, but from whom we believe. You must believe Jesus is who He claims to be. We must, like Peter believe He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mat.16:16).
John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (KJV) The only “work” God desires of us is belief! Salvation is a Gift (Rom.6:23; Eph.2:8-9)! It is absolutely FREE to “whosoever.”
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (KJV) Only Jesus has the KEY to Heaven! IF we believe in Him, we have everlasting life in Heaven. Believe God! (1 John 5:10-12).
False prophets and false teachers have always been an “abomination” (Pro. 6:16-19) to God. He warns over and over again in His Holy Word about this.
“Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord” (Jer.23:16).
“Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, . . . and cause my people to err by their lies, . . . yet I sent them not, nor commanded them” (Jer.23:32). “For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them” (Jer.29:9).
God states they are “like a roaring lion ravening the prey and devouring souls” (Eze.22:25).
Some actually preach the joys of wine and drink, and are welcomed (Mic.2:11).
God clearly warns: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa.5:20)
The false leaders of people cause many to be misled; and the sad part is that they that are misled shall be destroyed (Isa.9:16).
God warns that His watchmen should not be blind, and ignorant, dumb dogs that cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber (Isa.56:10). His watchmen should always be on guard, alerting people and teaching truth always.
If the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their deaths. The people will die in their sins, but God will hold the watchman (pastors, teachers, leaders) responsible (Eze. 33:6).
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord (Jer.23:1).
Matthew 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: (KJV) Just think of all the people today who are going to the wrong places to be fed, and the wrong fountains to get a drink!
1 Tim. 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (KJV) False teachers can be very direct or very subtle. “Latter times” is from Jesus’ resurrection until His return. There have been many seducing spirits and doctrines of devils over the years, up until now. They are every where. Be careful!
2 Tim. 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV) People like to hear pastors and teachers who tell them what they want to hear. They want no part of anything that offends them! When people turn away from the truth, they turn to fairy tales (1 Tim. 1:6; Jer.2:19). True pastors and teachers of God’s Word are watchmen over His people. They must warn God’s people of any danger or the people will die in their sins and they shall be held accountable (Eze. 3:18; 33:6,8).
As you can see, pastors and teachers of God’s Word have a very serious job. False teachers are led and used by Satan. If they can make a dollar on God’s Word, they will do it! They, like Satan, will twist the Truth, lie and deceive people in any way they can. They, like Satan, tell people just what they want to hear, NOT the Truth of God’s Word. Times have NOT changed in the respect to people not wanting the Truth.
Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV) People back then, or today, do not welcome the truth from God’s prophets. Truth makes people uncomfortable and uneasy. They do not want to hear that they are sinners and must trust and obey God or they will be doomed to Hell. They want to hear that it’s OK to live in sin. Times have changed! They prefer lies and fantasies. They do not want to hear that one day they will stand in judgment before the Almighty Judge!
Lies make people feel more secure, but it is much better to face reality than to live a lie. Don’t ever settle for something that makes you feel comfortable but is not true. Don’t listen to any of the multitude of cults out there. They will lead you to an everlasting Hell.
One of the things I fear most in my service to God is that I in some way may lead someone astray. I am really afraid I might teach something false, that is why I back up everything by Scripture, and trust Him to lead, guide and direct me in the way He wants me to go. I serve Him in humility, with much prayer.
How to Recognize Them Chapter 1
Deut. 13:1-5 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,  And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. (KJV)
Moses sternly warned against the rise of idolatry among the Israelites. He told them that prophets or interpreters of dreams may promise a miracle in order to get them to worship and serve other gods. Moses told them that God was using the evil men to test them, to see if they loved God with all their heart. He told them to follow the Lord, honor Him, obey Him, keep His commands, worship Him and be faithful only to Him. Moses then said to put to death anyone that tells you to rebel against the Lord, (this shows you just how much God hated these false prophets), for they are evil and are trying to lead you away from the right life that the Lord has commanded you to live. They must be put to death, in order to rid yourselves of this evil.
We must be well acquainted with the Bible; for we will come in contact with temptations of evil which seem to be good, and error which seem to be truth. Nothing can rightly oppose these temptations, except God’s Word clearly showing us something is wrong.
Charming, well spoken leaders are NOT always led by God. Moses warned the Israelites against false prophets who encouraged the worship of other gods. New ideas from exciting people may sound good, BUT, does what they say agree with God’s Word?
When people claim to speak for God today, check them out.
- (1. Are they telling the truth?
- (2. Is their focus on God?
- (3. Do their words agree with what you know in your heart is true?
Some people speak the truth as they guide you toward God, while others speak false, alluring, yet forceful words as they lead you toward themselves. When you hear a new, appealing idea, check it out very carefully. False prophets are still around in today’s world! A wise person will carefully test all ideas and doctrines with the Truth of God’s Word.
The temptation to abandon God’s commands often sneaks up on us. It may not come with a loud shout but in a whispering doubt. Beware! False teachers are very busy throughout the world today.
Deut. 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (KJV) In the days of ancient Israel, the prophets received words from God to give to the people. Some people today claim to have messages from God. Yes! God still speaks to His people, but NOT the same way He did in Old Testament times. Be very careful of anyone saying they are God’s spokesperson.
How can we tell when people are speaking for the Lord?
- (1. See if their prophecies come true. This was the ancient test for judging prophets.
- (2. Check their words with the Bible. (Acts 17:11). God NEVER contradicts Himself; so if a person says something contrary to the Bible, you know it is not God’s Word.
Beware of false prophets. You cannot afford to let anyone lead you astray! When you hear or read something, always check it out with God’s Word, no matter who is speaking or writing (including me). A true teacher is always leading you to God, always serving God and His people only to honor and glorify God, never for riches or glory for themselves. Beware! If anything spoken or written, encourages you to sin, you can be sure it is NOT the Lord speaking.
Jeremiah 23:9-10 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.  For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. (KJV) Jeremiah was a true prophet of God. Confronting people of their evil is hard to do for a caring person. His heart was broken because of the false prophets lies. He trembled and staggered like a drunk, because of the holy words the Lord has spoken against them. For the land was full of spiritual adultery (idolatry), and was under a curse. The people were unfaithful to God. God’s curses always follow unfaithfulness. The land itself was in mourning. The false prophets were doing much evil.
How did Israel become so corrupt? False prophecy was at the top of the list. The false prophets had a large, devoted audience. They were very popular because they made the people think all was well. Jeremiah, on the other hand, was unpopular because his message was from God and it showed the people just how bad they were.
There are four warning signs of false prophets, things we need to watch for even today.
- (1. They may appear to speak God’s message, but they do not live according to His standards.
- (2. They water down God’s message so people will quickly accept it.
- (3. They shrewdly encourage their listeners to disobey God.
- (4. Most are proud, arrogant and self serving, bringing only what the people want to hear, instead of being true to God’s Word.
Those who are determined to go on in evil ways, will justly be given up to believe strong delusions (2 Thes.2:11). The teaching and example of the true prophets led people to repentance, righteousness and faith. False prophets led people away from God, and to idolatry and sin. Adulterers (spiritual) is anyone who forsakes God.
Beware of false teachers who say:
- "Times have changed."
- It’s OK to live together outside marriage.
- Homosexual activity is OK.
- Cheating someone is OK if you don’t get caught.
- It’s OK to drink alcohol or do drugs.
- All religions lead to Heaven.
- There is no Hell.
- "Everyone will go to Heaven."
God NEVER approved of any immoral or unrighteous living, and NEVER will! And there is only ONE Way to Heaven, and that is Jesus! An everlasting Lake of Fire awaits all who reject Christ! There most certainly is a Hell! Some say “A loving God would never send anyone to Hell.” They are WRONG! If a person willingly chooses to reject the only Way (Jesus) God the Father approved, eternity in Hell waits for them.
2 Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (KJV) If God is a God of love, He has to be a God of hate too. You cannot love without hating. God hates sin. And the worst sin to Him is rejection of His Son (John 16:9).
Jeremiah 23:11-14 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord.  Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.  And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.  I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. (KJV) The Lord said that the prophets and the priests were godless; doing evil in the Temple itself. Their paths would be slippery and dark; He would make them stumble and fall. He would bring disaster on them. Their punishment was coming. The Lord had spoken.
God had seen the sin of Samaria’s prophets, as they spoke in the name of Baal, and led His people astray. And He had seen the prophets in Jerusalem do even worse, committing adultery and telling lies; helping people to do wrong. To God, they all were as bad as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, because they just kept up their evil.
Jeremiah warned the people of coming disaster, but the false prophets spoke soothing, optimistic words; words the people wanted to hear. False prophets messages are always misleading and wrong! Their words do NOT come from God. Beware, for these false teachers are every where! Stay away from them!
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (KJV) False prophets were common in Old Testament times. They spoke only what the king and the people wanted to hear, and all the while, claiming it was God’s message. False teachers are just as common in today’s world.
2 Cor. 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  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. (KJV) Many are they who are false apostles, false teachers! They lie and deceive people, disguising themselves to look like real servants of Christ. If Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light, it is no great thing that his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness. But, in the end they all will get exactly what is coming to them (Mat.25:41,46; Rev.20:15).
Jesus warns us to beware of those whose words sound religious and right, but who are motivated by money, fame, and/or power. Most of them are easy to recognize, for in their teaching they minimize Christ and glorify themselves. There are SO many “religious” preachers on TV. “Send money” is the bottom line. To me, it’s sickening! IF something is of God, there is NO need to ask (beg) for money! We are a small organization. We started in 1996. One of the few rules we have is “NEVER ask anyone for money.” We never have, never will! Any time we need money for any thing, God supplies it. We simply trust Him for our every need. He has never let us down. And He has blessed us abundantly!
There is nothing greater that prevents people from entering the strait gate, and becoming true followers of Christ, as the carnal, soothing, flattering doctrines of those who oppose the Truth. Beware of false prophets (teachers) who say they have the mind of God and are guides to Heaven (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-2). They deceive by coming in sheep’s clothing, with a smooth, gentle, convincing exterior; persuading you that the gate is not strait nor the way narrow; but inwardly they are ravening wolves, bent on devouring the flock only to benefit themselves (2 Cor. 11:2-3, 13-15). Ye shall know them by their fruits—not their doctrines, for every tree bears its own fruit. Beware! Watch!
Mark 13:21-23 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (KJV) It is possible for believers to be deceived. False teachers will be so convincing with words and miracles in the last days, that it will be hard to not believe them. We must be prepared! Only then can we remain faithful to Jesus. If we are not prepared, we will turn away.
Ways to check them out false teachers:
- (1. Have their predictions come true, or do they have to revise them to fit what’s already happened?
- (2) Do they use just a small part of the Bible and neglect the whole?
- (3) Does their teaching contradict what the Bible says about God?
- (4) Is what they practice glorify the teacher? or Christ?
- (5) Do the teachings promote hostility toward other Christians?
If any of their teachings are anti-racial or anti-Semitic in any way, BEWARE!!! This is NOT of God! It is impossible for a true believer to hate a person of another race or a Jew.
Elijah confronts them at Mount Carmel Chapter 2
1 Kings 18:17-18 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. (KJV) Wicked king Ahab accused Elijah of “troubling” Israel with his messages form God. Elijah told Ahab, “I’m not the one troubling Israel . . . you are!” Elijah’s kind of preaching cannot be misunderstood. It is not double-talk; it’s plain telling it like it is. In religion, liberals are always blaming the fundamentalist for causing division in the church. But who is really to blame? The church as a whole, held very fundamental beliefs at one time. Who brought division into the church? Who led the church away from its foundation? Liberals. Many so-called denominations have departed from historic beliefs. It’s always been the liberal to blame any trouble in the church on the fundamentalist. The liberals think they are never wrong or to blame. It’s the same up to now.
Just as Ahab blamed Elijah back then, for the problem in Israel, it is the same today. The Word of God will always stir up things.
Then Elijah challenged Ahab to a contest between himself and the prophets of Baal.
1 Kings 18:19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. (KJV) This amazing contest was actually between the Lord and Satan . . . between the worship of the living God and the worship of Baal. On the surface, it was a battle between Ahab, Jezebel and the 850 false prophets against lone Elijah. But, Elijah was like a whole army! One with God always wins!
Evil kings hated God’s prophets because they spoke against sin and idolatry and undermined their control over the people. Isn’t it the same today with most of our leaders? Backed by wicked kings, many pagan prophets sprang up to oppose the words of God’s true prophets. But Elijah proved that speaking a prophecy wasn’t enough. One needed the power of a living God to fulfill it.
1 Kings 18:20-21 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (KJV) The people of Israel assembled at Carmel. Elijah knew what was in the hearts of the people. They pretended to worship the living and true God, but were also worshiping Baal. The people did not answer Elijah because they were guilty of sin. It is this same type of two-faced living that has become so hated by God today. People go to church on a regular basis, but is their heart turned toward God? or to their lusts of pleasure, sex, work, money, possessions, etc.? Are they worshipping a God they love with ALL their heart, ALL their soul and ALL their mind? (Mat.22:37-40). Many cannot wait till the sermon is over so they can go to the lake, watch the game, go to the beer joint, etc. It’s not much different now than it was in Elijah’s time. Not many believers give their all to the Lord! They worship God, but worship other things as well. God really does not take first place in their lives (Matthew 10:34-39). IF we place anything or anyone above Jesus, we are NOT worthy of Him.
1 Kings 18:23-24Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. (KJV) Elijah is really saying: “Let us taste of the Lord and see whether He is good or not (Ps.34:8). If Baal is God, let us worship him. But if not, get rid of him.” If you’re sincere and really want to know God, He will reveal Himself to you. Faith is not groping in the dark: our faith rests upon facts. Our salvation depends on believing those facts and trusting Christ.
1 Kings 18:25-29 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.  And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.  And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. (KJV) The prophets of Baal put the bull on the alter, and put on quite a performance. Elijah just sits and watches. They call upon Baal. Nothing happens. They jump on the altar, that doesn’t help. They cut themselves, the blood gushes out. Nothing works! Elijah told them that maybe he’s sleeping or went on vacation. Baal did not light the fire under the sacrifice. The people of Israel watch.
Under Ahab and Jezebel there was almost total apostasy. Elijah stood alone. Unknown to Elijah, there were 7000 people who had not bowed to Baal, but they had run away to the mountains. No one stood with Elijah. Single handed, Elijah took a stand against idolatry. He refused to compromise with the prophets of Baal. He was only concerned about pleasing God, NOT pleasing the crowd. Lone Elijah went to war against Satan and his hosts.
1 Kings 18:30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. (KJV) Do you see just how far the people had backslidden from God? The altar of the Lord was broken. Elijah fixes it.
What has caused division in our country today? Many explanations are being offered, but a departure from God is #1 for the divisions in this nation. People no longer trust in God! People no longer believe that the Bible is an authority. Who divided this country? Those who turn from God and His Word. The altar was meant to be a place of unity. Elijah put it back together.
1 Kings 18:31-33 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. (KJV) Elijah built an altar in the Name of the Lord. Then he made a trench around the altar, put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces. Then he ordered that four barrels of water be poured on the sacrifice and on the wood.
1 Kings 18:34-35 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.  And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. (KJV) Why did Elijah pour so much water on that altar? Because only God can do the impossible. Elijah was depending on God to light that fire even with everything soaked!
1 Kings 18:36-37 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.  Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. (KJV)
Do you see this amazing prayer by Elijah? It is one of the greatest prayers in all Scripture! Short . . . only 63 words, but my friend, God was listening to His humble and faithful servant! God does demand much from us, but we must never demand anything of Him. He will not jump at your command. We are to pray according to His will, just as Elijah did.
1 Kings 18:38-39 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God. (KJV) What faith Elijah had! He knew God would send fire down and consume the waterlogged sacrifice. There was NO doubt in his mind! Oh Lord, increase our faith!
Why Kings and Queens Liked Them Chapter 3
1 Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time (KJV) Jezebel was furious about the death of her prophets because they had told her everything she wanted to hear. Prophesying her future power and glory was what this evil woman wanted to hear, and the false prophets were more than happy to speak highly of her. Jezebel was also angry because her supporters were gone and her pride and power were damaged. All the money she had put in these prophets was now lost. Elijah, who caused the prophets’ deaths (18:40), was a constant thorn in Jezebel’s side. His firm stand for God, against sin, was not what this queen wanted to hear! She did NOT want to hear of judgments that would fall if she and the people didn’t straighten up. She could not control Elijah’s actions or words, so she swore to kill him.
Ahab was the first king of Israel to marry a heathen princess (1 Kings 16:31). This union was disastrous. Jezebel was deceitful, crafty, malicious, revengeful, and cruel. She was the first great instigator of persecution against the saints of God. She had no fear whatsoever of God or man. She was passionate in her heathen worship. She maintained and supported idolatry all around her. 450 prophets ministered to Baal, besides 400 prophets of the groves (prophets of Asherah, Ishtar), which ate at her table (1 Kings 18:19). The idolatry, was of the most perverted and sensual kind.
Her conduct was in many ways very disastrous to the kingdoms of both Israel and Judah (1 Kings 21:1-29). She was possibly the most evil woman in the Bible. Jezebel was vain (2 Kings 9:30), she was revengeful (1 Kings 19:2), a murderess (1 Kings 21:5-13), and she urged her husband to do evil (1 Kings 21:25).
Jezebel came to an untimely end, being thrown from her window, and was dashed in pieces on the street, and horses trod her under their feet. She was eaten by the dogs of the street (2 Kings 9:7-37), just as Elijah predicted (1 Kings 21:19). Her name came to be used as the synonym for a wicked woman (Rev. 2:20).
2 Chron. 18:3 And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war. [KJV] Jehoshaphat is in the family of Ahab by the intermarrying of their children. So he is willing to make an alliance and says, “We are one. We are together.” God had given Jehoshaphat peace (2 Chron. 17:10–12). Now Ahab is asking him to go to war and Jehoshaphat agrees. But, he is disturbed.
2 Chron. 18:4 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day. (KJV) Jehoshaphat wants to know what God has to say about this venture. So Ahab brings in his whole army of false prophets. Evil kings did not like God’s prophets bringing messages of doom
(2 Chron. 18:17; Jer.5:13). Many kings hired prophets who told them only what they wanted to hear (Isaiah 30:10-11; Jer.14:13-16; 23:16, 21, 30-36). These men were false prophets because they praised the greatness of the king and predicted victory regardless of the real situation, never bringing God’s word.
2 Chron. 18:5 Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king's hand. (KJV) Who are these prophets? They were wicked, false prophets, paid by the king. They unanimously predicted Ahab would win the war. But Jehoshaphat was not satisfied with them.
2 Chron. 18:6-7 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?  And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. (KJV) He asked if there was a true prophet of the Lord. Jehoshaphat was smart enough to know something is wrong. He is God’s man. He wants to know what the will of God is. Ahab agreed, with great reluctance, to allow Micaiah to be called. He was the only true prophet at that time in Samaria, and he was in prison (1 Kings 22:26).
There are a lot of people today who hate a man who gives out the Word of God. “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16). Micaiah is one of the great men of the Bible (1 Kings 22). He was a man of God who gave out the Word of God. He told Ahab the truth at the risk of prison, even death. Micaiah is now called.
2 Chron. 18:8-9 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla.  And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. (KJV) Can you imagine 400 prophets running around saying to Ahab, “Go up against the king of Syria.” What a scene this must have been! Two kings on their thrones and 400 prophets running around crying, “Go up and fight. You’ll win!”
2 Chron. 18:10-11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the Lord, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed.  And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. (KJV) Zedekiah was especially dramatic. He ran around with iron horns, pushing at everyone with them, saying, “This is the way you are going to do it!”
2 Chron. 18:12 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good. (KJV) The messenger tells Micaiah what the situation is, and what he will face. He advises him to say what the 400 had said. He said all the prophets agreed that Ahab should go to war, so if Micaiah was smart, he would go along with them. He told Micaiah to say the right thing if he wanted to stay on the good side of Ahab.
2 Chron. 18:13-16 And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.  And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.  And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the Lord?  Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace. (KJV) Micaiah’s answer to the messenger was what we all should have the courage to say. “Whatever the Lord tells me to say, that is what I will say.” Micaiah came in and saw the two kings on their thrones and all of the false prophets running around saying nice things to Ahab. 400 men are running around saying, “Go up, go up.” Now with sharp ridicule Micaiah joins in, and also says, “Go up, go up.” Ahab knows in his heart that Micaiah is mocking the 400. He said to him, “Stop kidding me. You can’t fool me. I know you don’t agree with them.” Ahab wanted the Word of God, yet he didn’t want it. He knew the difference between truth and falsehood, but he didn’t want to obey the truth. There are a lot of people like today.
Micaiah now becomes serious. “Here is God’s message: Not only will they lose the battle, but Ahab will be slain” Ahab told Jehoshaphat, “I told you. I told you he would predict nothing but evil unto me!”
Now Micaiah really cuts loose. He is very serious and he is very sarcastic. With biting irony he gives this parable to Ahab!
2 Chron. 18:18-22 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.  And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.  Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith?  And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.  Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee. [KJV] Micaiah’s parable is a shrewd way of saying that all these prophets of Baal are a pack of liars! These prophets have not been telling you the truth. God is going to judge you. Ahab is not going to pay any attention to what Micaiah says. He gives orders to put him back in prison and keep him there (2 Chron. 18:25–26).
2 Chron. 18:27 And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the Lord spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people. [KJV]
I love this! Before they took Micaiah back to prison, he told Ahab, “If you come back, the Lord hasn’t spoken by me. But you are not coming back.” Then he tells the people, “He won’t be here, but you will. Remember what I said!” This is wonderful! This man of God knew that Ahab was doomed.
2 Chron. 18:28-29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.  And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. [KJV]
Ahab was a deceiver. The only man in the battle who was wearing royal robes was Jehoshaphat, which made him a marked man. Sly old Ahab had disguised himself. Ahab tried to set Jehoshaphat up as a clay pigeon to be slain in the battle. It was not Jehoshaphat’s fight at all, but he almost got killed!
2 Chron. 18:30-31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel.  And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. [KJV] The only reason he came out alive is that God intervened on his behalf. Ahab is feeling very good now. He thinks his cleverness will bring him through the battle safe. But see what happens next. God is in control, then and always!
2 Chron. 18:33 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. [KJV] One of the Syrian soldiers had one arrow left in his quiver. “He drew his bow at a venture” meaning that he wasn’t really aiming at anything, but that arrow had wicked Ahab’s name on it, and it got him. What happened??? He died, just as Micaiah said he would. When God says something, that is the way it will be! Jehoshaphat went back home a sadder and wiser man.
Before making his commitment to Ahab, Jehoshaphat rightly sought God’s advice. but, when God gave His answer through the prophet Micaiah (2 Chron. 18:16), Jehoshaphat ignored it (2 Chron. 18:28). It does us no good to seek God’s advice if we ignore it when it is given. Real love for God is shown not by just asking for direction, but by following that direction once He gives it. Be careful to follow the Lord, not false teachers. Obedience to God and His Word is something we all must do if we want His blessings. Obedience to God begins with humility. We must believe that His way is far better than our own. We may not always understand how He works, but by humbly obeying, we will receive His blessings.
We must remember:
(1) God’s ways are always best;
(2) God wants our obedience more than anything else;
(3) God can use anything to accomplish His purposes.
Why Do People Listen To Them? Chapter 4
Jeremiah 14:14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. (KJV) What made the people listen to the false prophets? Why did they support them? These prophets said just exactly what the people wanted to hear. False teachers earn fame and money by telling people what they want to hear, but they lead people away from God. Do NOT encourage false teachers, for if you do, you are as guilty as they are.
Ezekiel 13:1-3 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord;  Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! (KJV) Ezekiel’s warning was directed at false prophets whose messages were not from God. They brought lies in hopes of being popular, by saying whatever made the people happy. False prophets did not care about the Truth as Ezekiel did. They lulled people into a false sense of security, making Ezekiel’s job even more difficult. Beware of people who deviate and twist the truth in their mission for popularity and power. This was true in Ezekiel’s time, and it’s true today! Beware!
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (KJV) Jesus’ Words. False prophets were common in Old Testament times. They prophesied only what the king and the people wanted to hear, claiming it was God’s message. False teachers are just as common today. Jesus says to beware of those whose words sound religious but who are motivated by money, fame, or power. Be on guard against false prophets; they come looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves, attempting to tear you away from God. They are easy to recognize, for in their teaching they minimize Christ and glorify themselves.
2 Cor. 5:12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. (KJV) Those who “take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart” are the false preachers (2 Cor. 2:17). They are concerned only about getting ahead in this world. They preach the Gospel for money and popularity, while true servants of God (like Paul and his companions) preach out of concern for a person’s eternal soul. Ask yourself . . . what motivates them? False preachers are more concerned about themselves than about Jesus. Beware! Avoid them and their message. Your soul depends on it.
1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (KJV) The purpose of true teaching is that all the Christians would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. False teachers are motivated by a desire to gain power and prestige. True Christian teachers are motivated by sincere faith, a desire to reach out to lost souls and wanting to do what is right.
Titus 1:10-14 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:  Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.  One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.  This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. (KJV) Paul warned Titus to watch out for people who teach wrong doctrines and lead others into error. Some false teachers simply speak their misguided doctrines without checking them with the Bible. Others . . . well, they have evil motives, they pretend to be Christians only because they can get more money (filthy lucre's sake), additional business, or a feeling of power from being a leader in the church. Jesus and the apostles repeatedly warned against false teachers (Mark 13:22; Acts 20:29; 2 Thes. 2:3-12; 2 Peter 3:3-7) because their teachings attack the foundations of truth and integrity upon which the Christian faith is built.
You can recognize false teachers because they will:
- (1) focus more attention on themselves than on Christ;
- (2) ask you to do something that will compromise or dilute your faith;
- (3) belittle the divine nature of Christ or the inspiration of the Bible; or
- (4) urge believers to make decisions based more on human judgment than on prayer and Biblical guidelines.
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (KJV) In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction is on the way.
Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (KJV) The Old Testament often mentions false prophets (2 Kings 3:13; Isaiah 44:25; Jer.23:16; Ezekiel 13:2-3; Micah 3:5; Zech. 13:2). False prophets said their messages came from God, but they preached a “health and wealth” message. Much of this goes on today. They say what the people want to hear, even when the nation was not following God as it should (like America). There were false prophets in Jesus’ day, and we have them today. They are popular leaders who tell people exactly what they want to hear, such as “God wants you to be rich,” or “Do whatever your desires tell you,” or “There is no such thing as sin” or “There is no Hell” or “Everyone will go to Heaven” etc. Jesus said false teachers would come, and He warned His disciples, and He warns us, do not to listen to their dangerous words.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (KJV) Jesus had told the disciples that false teachers would come (Mat. 24:11; Mark 13:22-23). Peter had heard Him speak the words, and at this time he was seeing the words come true. Just as false prophets had contradicted the true prophets in Old Testament times (Jer.23:16-40; Jer.28:1-17), telling people only what they wanted to hear, so false teachers were twisting Christ’s teachings and the words of His apostles in Jesus’ time, and they are still doing it today. These teachers (then and now) were belittling the significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Some claimed that Jesus couldn’t be God; others claimed that He couldn’t have been a man. They allowed and even encouraged all kinds of wrong and immoral acts, especially sexual sin. It’s still going on! We must be careful to avoid false teachers today. Any book, tape, church or TV message must be evaluated according to God’s Word (Acts 17:11). Beware of any interpretations that belittle Christ or His work.
Matthew 24:11-13 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (KJV) Jesus says that many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. Lawlessness will increase and most people's love will grow cold. Only the onee who endure to the end shall be saved.
You may not be facing intense persecution because of your beliefs now, but Christians in other parts of the world are. As you hear about Christians suffering for their faith, remember that they are your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them. Ask God what you can do to help them in their troubles. When one part suffers, the whole body suffers. But when all the parts join together to ease the suffering, the whole body benefits (1 Cor. 12:26). The Old Testament frequently mentions false prophets. False prophets claimed to receive messages from God, but they only preached messages that made people feel good. They said what the people wanted to hear, even when the nation had backslidden terribly from God. There were false prophets in Jesus’ day, and we have them today, and they are very popular! They are the leaders who tell people just what they want to hear.
False teaching and unrestrained morals lead to something much worse, the loss of true love for God and others. Sin takes your focus off God, cooling your love for Him and others because your focus is firmly fixed on yourself. You cannot truly love if you think only of yourself. Jesus predicted that His followers would be persecuted by those who hated what He stood for. But, even in the midst of distressing persecutions, we can have hope, because we know that salvation is ours! Times of troubles and trials tend to sift true Christians from false or fair-weather Christians (hypocrites). When you are pressured to give up and turn your back on Christ, don’t do it. Remember, we have great benefits when we stand firm, and continue to live for Christ.
What Motivates Them? Chapter 5
2 Cor. 5:12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. (KJV) Those who “take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart” are the false preachers (see next verse) who were concerned only about getting ahead in this world. They were preaching the Gospel for money and popularity, while Paul and his companions were preaching because they were concerned about eternity. You can identify false preachers by finding out what really motivates them.
2 Cor. 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (KJV) Just who is adequate to represent Christ? The adequacy of a true teacher always comes from God! (See next two verses). Christ has already commissioned and sent us (Mat. 28:18-20). He has given us the Holy Spirit to enable us to speak with Christ’s power. He keeps His eye on us, protecting us as we work for Him. If we realize that God makes us qualified and useful, we can overcome our feelings of inadequacy. Serving Christ demands that we focus on what He can do through us.
Some preachers in Paul’s day were peddling God’s Word, preaching without understanding God’s message or caring about what happened to their listeners. They weren’t concerned about furthering God’s kingdom. They just wanted money. It really has not changed in today’s time. There are still religious teachers who care only about money and being popular, and not about the Truth of God’s Holy Word. Those who truly speak for God should have sincerity and integrity, and should never preach for selfish reasons (1 Tim. 6:5-10).
1 Cor. 15:10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (KJV) Paul was deeply humble. Because of his prominent position as a Pharisee, and his stand against believers, Paul’s conversion made him the object of even greater persecution than the other apostles. He knew that he had worked hard and accomplished much, but only because God had poured kindness and grace upon him. True humility is not thinking you are worthless, but knowing that it’s not you, but God working in you. It is having God’s viewpoint on who you are and acknowledging His grace in developing your abilities. Paul knew that his power and ability came from God.
2 Cor. 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (KJV) Paul was not boasting; he gave God the credit for all his accomplishments. False teachers boast of their own power and prestige, but true teachers express their humility before God. No one can claim to be adequate without God’s help. No one is qualified to carry out the responsibilities of God’s calling in his or her own strength. Without the Holy Spirit enabling a person, we would not get very far. As Christ’s witnesses, we need the character and special strength that only God can give us.
Matthew 24:23-24 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (KJV) False teachings are not consistent with Bible. Jesus’ warnings about false teachers still hold true today. Many nice-sounding messages don’t agree with God’s message in the Bible. Only a solid foundation in God’s Word can equip us to see the errors and distortions in false teaching. In times of persecution even strong believers will find it difficult to be loyal to the Lord. To keep from being deceived by false messiahs, we must understand that Jesus’ return will be unmistakable (Mark 13:26); no one will doubt that it is He. If someone tells you that the Messiah has come, don’t believe them, for He has NOT! Christ’s coming will be obvious to everyone.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (KJV)
2 Cor. 11:3-4 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.  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. (KJV) Just as Eve was deceived by the serpent, many are be led away from their pure and simple devotion to Christ. Some people seem to believe whatever anyone tells them. A believer’s sincere and unpolluted devotion to Christ can be threatened by false teaching. Paul did not want the believers to lose their loyal love for Christ. Keeping Christ first in our lives can be very hard if we have distractions threatening to sidetrack our faith. Eve lost her focus by listening to the serpent, people today can lose their focus by listening to false teachers (snakes). Believers can fall for messages that sound good and seem to make sense. Today there are many false teachings that seem to make sense. Don’t believe someone simply because he or she sounds like an authority or says words you like to hear. Check his or her teachings with God’s Word. Don’t listen to any extremely popular preacher who contradicts God’s Word.
False teachers distort the Truth about Jesus and preach a different Jesus, a different spirit than the Holy Spirit, and a different gospel than God’s one and only way of salvation. Because the Bible is God’s Word and is never wrong, those who teach anything different from what it says, are wrong and are misleading people. Beware!
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (KJV) There were many false prophets in Old Testament times. They were praised by kings and crowds because their predictions . . . prosperity and victory in war . . . were exactly what the people wanted to hear. But beware, popularity is no guarantee of truth, and human praise does not bring God’s approval. False teachers and preachers choose money and popularity over truth. Agony lies ahead for these people and those who follow them.
2 Cor. 10:12-13 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. (KJV) False teachers and preachers compare themselves with other men. What foolishness! A true teacher will not boast of authority they do not have. A true teacher’s goal is to stay within the boundaries of God’s plan for them. False teachers were trying to prove their goodness by comparing themselves with others rather than with God’s standards. When we compare ourselves with others, we may feel pride because we think we’re better. But when we measure ourselves with God’s standards, it is obvious that we have no basis whatsoever for pride. We should never worry about other people’s accomplishments. What we should be concerned about is, how does my life measure up to what God wants? How does my life compare to Jesus?
Galatians 4:16-17 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?  They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. (KJV) Many false teachers and preachers seem to make sense at first. The false teachers who drew the Galatians from the Truth of the Gospel were deceitful men. They pretended love and affection, but they were not sincere. Consider: it is good to be zealous always in a good thing; not for just a short time, or just now and then, but always.
2 Cor. 11:23-29 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? (KJV) False teachers are not willing to give their lives for the Gospel like the apostle Paul was! They say they serve Christ, but, do they? Read this Passage carefully! Paul had worked harder, been put in jail more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five times the Jews gave him thirty-nine lashes. Three times he was beaten with rods. Once he was stoned. Three times he was shipwrecked. Once he spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. He have traveled many weary miles. He faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. He faced danger from his own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. He faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on stormy seas. He faced danger from men who claimed to be Christians but were not. He had lived with pain, being tired and sleepless nights. He was often hungry and thirsty and went without food. Often he shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep him warm.
Besides all this, Paul had the daily burden of how the churches are doing. When someone was weak, Paul felt their weakness. When someone was led astray, he was angry.
Paul was angry that false teachers had impressed and deceived the Corinthians (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Because Paul wrote this letter during his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23-21:17), his trials weren’t over. He would experience yet further difficulties and humiliations for the cause of Christ (Acts 21:30-33; 22:24-30). Paul was willing to sacrifice his life for the Gospel, something the false teachers would never do. If we experience trials and hurts for Christ’s sake, it will build our character, demonstrate our faith, and prepare us for further service to the Lord.
False Teachers NOT Connected To Christ. Chapter 6
Col. 2:18-23 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (KJV)Man made rules cannot conquer a person’s evil thoughts and desires. It is a sin to worship angels or pray to them to help us access God. Christ made it possible for us to go directly to the throne of God (Rom. 5:1-2). If we worship or pray to angels, we are taking honor which is due to Christ alone, and giving it to a created being. If you worship angels, you deny Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. It is a brazen insult to Christ, who is the Head of the church, to use ANY intercessors but Him! Self-imposed sufferings and fastings, might show rare spirituality and willingness to suffer, but it does not honor God. To satisfy the carnal mind, by gratifying self-will, self-wisdom, self-righteousness, and contempt for others never honors God. Don’t listen to false teachers who insist on man made rules! (Mat. 15:7-9).
1 Tim. 1:3-11 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:  From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;  According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (KJV) Some teach that to be acceptable to God, a person has to discover certain hidden knowledge and must worship angels (Col. 2:8, 18). The false teachers are motivated by their own interests, not Christ’s. They confuse people in endless and irrelevant questions and controversies, and do not study the truth. Stay away from religious speculation and meaningless arguments. They do nothing but sidetrack us from the Gospel; the Person and work of Jesus Christ. To protect yourself from the deception of false teachers, learn what the Bible teaches and be steadfast in your faith in Christ alone.
1 Tim. 4:1-5 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (KJV) The “latter times” began with Christ’s resurrection and will continue until His return when He will set up His kingdom and judge all humanity. False teachers were and still are a threat to the church. Timothy faced Greek philosophers who taught that the body was evil and that only the soul mattered. False teachers are lying hypocrites who encourage people to follow “deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Satan deceives people by offering a clever imitation of the real thing. False teachers always teach man made rules (Mat.15:9) inspired by the devil, they did not obey Christ, they rebel against God’s righteous rules. They walk after the flesh, going on in their own sinful path, getting more impure and wicked day by day, and much worse, leading gullible, naive people astray. ALL false teachers will be proven wrong in the end. Don’t take Satan and his supernatural powers of evil lightly. Although Satan will be destroyed completely one day, he is hard at work now trying to make Christians content and ineffective.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (KJV) Some false teachers claim that people have no natural tendency toward sin, that they were “without sin,” and that they were then incapable of sinning. This is self-deception and a horrible lie (Rom.3:10,23; Ecc.7:20). In this life we are always capable of sinning, so we should never let down our guard. At our conversion all our sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. But even after we become Christians, we still sin and still need to confess. Our confession is not to gain God’s acceptance, but to remove the barrier to fellowship that our sin has put between us and Him. It is difficult for many people to admit their faults, even to God. It takes humility and honesty to recognize our weaknesses. We need not fear revealing our sins to God, He knows them already. He will not push us away, no matter what we’ve done. Instead He will draw us to Himself.
Jude 1:11-16 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;  Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,  To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.  These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. (KJV)
False teachers are filthy dreamers. They severely defile and grievously wound the soul. They are of a disturbed mind and a rebellious spirit. False teachers are here compared to brute beasts, raging waves, and wandering stars. Notice how often the word “ungodly” is repeated. These evil men and seducers are angry at every thing that happens, are never pleased with their own state and condition. Those who please their sinful appetites, always yield to uncontrollable passions. Doom awaits these people. We must follow only those who follow Christ.
False Teachers Teach False Doctrines Chapter 7
A-Millennialism is a false belief that there will be no 1000 year reign of Christ and His saints on Earth. See Rev. 20:1-7; 5:10; 2 Tim. 2:11-13.
Annihilation; is popular with those who do not believe in a literal “lake of fire” (Hell), or punishment for the wicked (unbelievers). They believe the wicked will be totally destroyed some day and there is no eternal place of torment. Jesus tells us otherwise, He tells the Truth (Mat.25:41; Luke 16:24, plus many other places).
Apostolic Signs and Wonders; (Mark 16:17-18) Some people ignore the fact that Jesus said these were signs and 1 Cor.1:22 tells us signs are for the Jews. We believe that God can work miracles and He can heal anyone if He so chooses, and that prayer can be effective. But, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus tell us we must speak in tongues. When the Bible speaks of “tongues” it is speaking of foreign languages, not senseless gibberish. If these “faith healers” were for real, they would be going to hospitals and nursing homes and healing people! Beware!
Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire; Some teach that a person receives the Holy Ghost after they have received Christ as Saviour. They teach that this is called the “baptism of fire.” The only time a person is baptized with fire is when they are cast into the “lake of fire.” Believers are baptized with the Holy Ghost, sinners are baptized with fire. Romans 8:9 clearly tells us a person does NOT even belong to Christ if that person doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. Salvation and baptism of the Holy Ghost happen at the exact same time! (1 Cor.12:13).
Confession of sins to a priest in order to receive forgiveness is unscriptural. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim.2:5). Deity of man is the absurd teaching that man can become God.
Denial of the Blood Atonement; Blood Atonement is one of the basic doctrines of Christianity, yet many deny it is necessary for salvation, while others deny it completely. The Blood Atonement is the belief that the Blood of Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, was shed to atone for the sins of lost mankind (John 1:29; Heb.9:22).
Denial of the Deity of Christ; The Deity of Christ is the doctrine that Jesus is God (John 1:1,14; 10:30; 14:6). Many cults deny that Jesus is GOD!
Denial of the Deity of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word clearly states that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity (1 John 5:7). For other references, see Acts 5:3-4; 13:2; John 14:16, 26; 16:8-14; 1 Cor.2:10-11; 6:11; Eph.1:13; 4:30; Heb.9:14; 2 Pet. 1:21. Many cults falsely teach that the Holy Spirit is just a “force” like the wind or electricity.
Denial of Eternal Security. Many cults teach that salvation is through good works. They also believe that a loss of salvation can come through lack of good works. The Bible teaches that when a person receives Christ, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Eph.4:30; 2 Cor.1:22). They are kept by the power of God, not their own power (1 Pet.1:5). Jesus will never leave nor forsake a true child of God (Heb.13:5; Mat.28:20), because we are bought with His own Blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor.6:19-20). IF we choose to be disobedient, the Father in Heaven will chasten us (Rev.3:19; Heb.12:4-8; 1 Cor.30-32), but we will remain a saved and sealed child of God (John 5:24; 1 John 5:11-13; Rom.8:38-39; Phil.1:6; John 6:37; 10:28-29). ALL true children of God are eternally secure in Christ.
Denial of a literal burning Hell. Jesus used the term “hell fire” (Mat.5:22). Jesus also said in Mat.25:41: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Any time anyone attacks the Hell Fire doctrine, they attack Jesus.
Cults believe that Hell is only the grave. But . . .
- 1. There is no fire in the grave, but there is fire in the Hell of the Bible (Luke 16:23; Mat.5:22; 18:9; Jam.3:6).
- 2. No one prays from the grave, but they do from Hell (Luke 16:24).
- 3. Hell was made for the devil and his angels (Mat.25:41), the grave was not.
- 4. A child of God’s body goes to the grave at death, but their soul goes to be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6). An unsaved person body also goes to the grave at death, but their soul goes to a place of torment and flames (Luke 16:22-23).
- 5. Annihilation cannot be true for the Bible uses terms like “shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan.12:2), and “torment . . . for ever” (Rev.14:11). Shame and torment are sufferings that can only be experienced by a living being . . . not an annihilated corpse.
Denial of the Literal Second Coming of Christ. If our Lord, Jesus was resurrected literally and physically from the dead, and if He appeared physically to His disciples (Mark 16:9; Mat.28:9, 17; Luke 24:15, 36; 24:50; 1 Cor. 15:5-8; John 20:19; 21:1; Acts 9:5, then His Second Coming must also be literal and physical.
Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. [KJV] Jesus will come back the same way He left. Also see: Rev.1:7; Mat.24:30; Zech.14:4; Luke 24:39. God’s Holy Word says nothing about a “spiritual” or “invisible” Second Coming of Christ!
Denial of Christ’s Physical Resurrection. The Bible clearly tells us Jesus rose physically from the grave (see above), yet some teach He rose only spiritually.
Luke 24:38-39 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. [KJV] The risen Christ had scars to prove He was physically resurrected (John 20:27). The salvation of our soul depends on this. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, as He said He would, then our faith is in vain, and we all are lost (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
Denial of a Triune God. Many teach that Christians worship three gods. This is false. We worship ONE God that consists of three Divine Persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Those of us who accept the Trinity doctrine don’t fully understand it, we simply believe it because God clearly states it in His Word (1 John 5:7; Mat. 3:13-17; 28:19; 2 Cor.13:14; Acts 5:3-4).
Denial of the Virgin Birth. Many cults deny Jesus was born of a virgin, even though this is a basic doctrine of the Christian faith. It was predicted in the Old Testament (Isa.7:14) over 700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 1:34-35; Mat.1:24-25). It was necessary for Jesus to be conceived by the Holy Ghost, for if He had been conceived by a man, He would have had a sin nature (Ps.51:5; Rom.5:12). That would have disqualified Him from being the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The Virgin Birth is absolutely essential for New Testament salvation.
Evolution, or “Big Bang” theory. Many teach that the universe came into being by some other method than by God creating or calling into being, everything out of nothing (Col. 1:16; Heb.11:3). The work of creation is attributed (1) to the Godhead (Gen.1:1, 26); (2) to the Father (1 Cor. 8:6); (3) to the Son (John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb.1:2); (4) to the Holy Spirit (Gen.1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30). The fact that He is the Creator identifies Jehovah as the one and only TRUE God (Isa.37:16; 40:12-13; 54:5; Psalm 96:5; Jer.10:11-12). Humans did NOT evolve from apes, men and women were created by God (Gen.1:26-27; 2:7, 21-22).
Reincarnation. The false belief that a person’s soul passes from one body to another at death. This keeps on until the soul is perfected. The Bible disagrees!
2 Cor. 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (KJV)
Sabbath Keeping. Only the Jews were commanded to keep the Sabbath (Ex.20:8-11; Eze.20:12; Neh.9:14; also see Col.2:16-17). Sunday, the first day of the week is the day Christians set aside for worship. Disciples met and worshipped the first day of the week (Acts 20:6-7), Jesus rose and completed our redemption the first day of the week (Mark 16:9), Jesus met with His disciples the first day of the week (Mark 16:9-12; Mat.28:8-10; Luke 24:36), Jesus blessed and gave them the Holy Spirit on the first day of the week (John 20:19), the Gospel of a risen Saviour was preached the first day of the week (Luke 24:34), Pentecost was on the first day of the week (Acts 2).
Salvation through Works is any human effort to earn eternal salvation. Many cults teach this FALSE doctrine. The Bible opposes this and teaches salvation is a Gift of God (FREE) through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ (Rom.6:23; 5:15-18; John 3:16; Rev.1:5). We are saved by grace through faith (Eph.2:8-9). God imputes Jesus’ righteousness to believers (John 1:12-13) without any works (Rom. 4:1-8; 1 Cor.1:30), because Jesus paid it all. Our sin debt is paid in full. All we have to do is accept it!
Anyone who teaches salvation through religious rituals, sacraments, keeping the Law, baptism or doing more good than bad is a false teacher and will one day be severely judged for doing so.
Tongues, see Apostolic Signs and Wonders.
True Church Theory is the false belief that there is a specific religious organization on Earth which makes up Jesus’ true church. The Bible teaches NO such heresy! ALL persons who are “born again” into the family of God make up the TRUE church!
Questions to Ask Before Joining a Church Chapter 8
Always ask for a Statement of Faith and read it very carefully. If one is not available, ask the following questions. The answer should be YES to all questions. If not, keep looking. That church is not for you.
- Is the Bible the infallible (unerring) Word of God? (2 Tim.3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Deut.4:2; 12:32; Pro.30:6; Rev. 22:19).
- Do they believe in the Holy Trinity . . . God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit? (Mat.3:16-17; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor.13:14; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:18; Gen.1:26).
- Do they believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus? (Isa. 7:14; Mat.1:22; Luke 1:30-35).
- Do they believe that Jesus Christ died and paid the penalty for our sins on Calvary’s cross, through the shedding of His own sinless Blood? (Rom.3:24-25; 1 Cor. 1:30).
- Do they believe that Jesus rose literally and physically from the grave? (Mark 16:9; Mat. 28:9,17; Luke 24:15, 36, 50; John 20:19, 26; 21:1; 1 Cor.15:7-8; Acts 9:5).
- Do they believe Jesus now sits on the right hand of God as our High Priest? (Heb.10:12; 12:2; Mark 16:19).
- Do they believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment? (John 16:8-12).
- Do they believe that the Holy Spirit is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, and baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ? (1 Cor. 12:13).
- Do they believe that all mankind are born with a sin nature, and that we need Christ to save us? (Rom.3:10,23; Ecc.7:20; Rom.10:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
- Do they believe that all “born again” believers (the TRUE church) are the “Bride of Christ?”(John 3:29; 2 Cor.11:2; Rev.19:7).
- Do they recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as Scriptural ordinances of obedience? (Mat.3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; Acts 16:30-33; 20:7; Rom.6:3-5; 1 Cor.10:16,21; 11:23-29; Col.2:12).
- Do they believe in a literal, physical Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? (1 Thes.4:13-18; Rev.19:11-19)
- Do they believe in an actual, glorious Heaven for all “born again” believers? (John 14:2-3).
- Do they believe in an actual, agonizing “Lake of Fire” (Hell) for all the unsaved? (Mat.25:41; Rev.20:11-15).
- Do they believe that Satan is an actual, living being who hates and opposes God and will one day be condemned to eternal punishment in the “Lake of Fire?” (Rev.20:10).
Do they believe in the actual word for word account of the Creation as stated in Genesis? (Gen.1&2).
I have just touched the tip of the iceberg in this book. There are thousands of false doctrines (heresies) all over the world. Nearly all churches are in apostasy, turning away from the one true Creator God, and abandoning their faith (1 Tim.4:1; 2 Tim.4:3-4; Heb.3:12; 2 Peter 3:17). Please beware of false teachers; they are children of the devil (1 John 3:10).
BEWARE of the following!
Satanism, Witchcraft, the Occult etc., is world wide! It is growing in leaps and bounds! Beware!
Deut. 18:10-14 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.  For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (KJV)
- That maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire . . . In today’s time, this could be abortion. That would be child sacrifice.
- That useth divination. This is foretelling the future and gaining guidance by occult methods.
- An observer of times is a sorcerer who casts spells.
- An enchanter is a palm reader, fortune teller, or an astrologer (horoscopes).
- A witch practices magical incantations.
- A charmer casts spells, binds people by magic talk.
- A consulter with familiar spirits is a medium, a seance leader. They actually consult with demons.
- Wizard is a medium, a fortune teller, a psychic.
- Necromancer supposedly consults with the dead.
ALL who take part in any such abominations will end up in the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:15; 21:8; 22:15). Be VERY careful WHO you listen to!
Books You Should Read
Amazing Grace of God, The
Atonement of Jesus Christ
Believe, What does it Mean to Believe?
But I Say To You
Characteristics of Christ
Christ Is The DOOR
Come Unto Me
Crucial and Important Doctrines in Romans
Do You Want To Go To Heaven?
Eternal Security . . . Once Saved, Always Saved!
Faith in the Bible
God's Kind of Love
God's Will, What Is It?
God Controls His Creation
Heaven vs Hell
Hungering and Thirsting for God
Living With ETERNITY in Mind
Our Awesome Triune God
Parables of Jesus
Pride, Violence, Sexual Lust
Privileges of Believers
Security of Believers
Sin and Forgiveness
Sovereignty of God
The Great Tribulation
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
For our other web sites:
Poetry . . . http://www.hisservantsministry.org . . . Poetry