Avoid False Teachers and Prophets

shark-circles-520x580

This is an amazing image, one which we will try to spiritualize in this post.

This shoal of fish acts as one unit.  They are highly sensitive to each other’s movements and this capability allows them to move in the same direction at the same time.  When a predator attacks, they sense the intruder, and their tactile sensors allows the shoal to avoid immediate contact with it.

The body of Christ should act in a similar way.  We need to be highly in tune with each other and with sound doctrine in order to sense false teachers and prophets who bring in heretical teaching or sin.

We need to identify and isolate such intruders and avoid mingling in their teachings in the same way the shoal attempts to avoid the sharks.

Essentially every New Testament writer gives us warnings with respect to this issue.

2 Peter 2:1-2 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

Romans 16:17-18 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Any teaching or prophecy that is against Scripture must be rejected, and the false teacher or prophet must be avoided.

image credit - Marine Life Center (FB)

How Greg Laurie Explains 666

Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest (mega)Church in Riverside, is currently teaching on Revelation subjects.

In explaining the mark of the beast he says that everything will be centered on Satanic worship (excerpt from a Christian Post article on Laurie’s teaching):

“The Antichrist is going to introduce a cashless society… The endgame of this is to cause people to engage in devil worship.”

About the changing global economy, the pastor quoted a financial expert as telling Fox News, “The real reform is some kind of a banking union where everyone signs on board, that there’s going to be some kind of a banking overlord, a banking union that everyone’s gonna have to bow down to.” Can this actually happen? Actually, it can, Laurie said. “And the leader of it will be the antichrist, and he will have his mark.”

Laurie added, “The antichrist’s economic policy will be very simple. Take my mark and worship me, or starve to death… No mark, no merchandize… No seal, no sale.”

The technology to do this is already here, the pastor said. A June 1, 2012 headline from New York Daily News read, “‘Human bar code’ could make society more organized.” The article said, “Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting them in people.”

“Am I saying that this technology will be the mark of the beast? No, I’m not,” Laurie cautioned. “I’m just saying the ability to technically pull this off exists.”

We don’t know when the tribulation period will begin, five or 20 years from now, Laurie said. But with the technology today, we know all this is “totally plausible.” But let’s not overreact, Laurie advised. Not every stamp put on someone’s hand by some authority is the mark of the beast. Or, if an office building’s number is 666, that’s not the mark of the beast.

While we do not know exactly when the mark of the beast will appear, we know this though that a great delusion will come upon the world and many will believe the lie leading to their destruction, as 2 Thessalonians 2:9 warns. Destruction will happen “because they refused to believe the truth that would save them.” At the time of the tribulation, they will choose to believe in a lie that the antichrist is “God,” Laurie said.

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I have never taken a particular interest in speculating about the mark of the beast, but I am inclined to think it will not necessarily be a physical item.  It might be something like a membership, a citizenship, an ideological affiliation, a participatory involvement in worshiping the system.  It will probably be mandatory, but people will do it based on their own volition in order to participate in the global market.

In a post-trib or mid-trib rapture scenario, how will Christians react to this system?  Will they be required to make a confession against their faith and participate in satanic worship, therefore declaring apostasy?  Will they be able to still participate in the global market as an “underground” Church?  What happens if they repent after being marked by the beast?  Is that repentance even possible?

These are just some of the issues that make this subject difficult.  One thing is certain.  If the Church is still here when the Antichrist and his false prophet come on the scene, authentic believers who belong to God will not join them.

The children of God are set apart by God and the Spirit that is in them will testify that they belong to God.  The end will be near for them.  Their glorification will be at hand.