Saturday, July 26, 2008


Refuting the Heretics (Web sites that attack the pretribulation rapture)

Here are a few bible quotes about heretics, false prophets, and those who depart from the faith, and what we are to do about them. This is important because some foolishly refuse to believe that it is possible to fall into error, or that it is impossible for them.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matt 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many .

Matt 24:24 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.
The verse in Matt 24:24 is sometimes used to say that it is impossible for the elect to be deceived. But note, it does not give the reason why the elect cannot be deceived. Perhaps the reason it will be impossible to deceive the elect at that time is because the elect will have been raptured, and made incorruptable (1 Cor 15). But right now, all of the elect who are not dead, are still corruptable, and still open to deception. If we, the elect, could not be deceived now, then why would Jesus even bother to warn us about false prophets at all?
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.
2 Pet 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2 Pet 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
1 Timothy 4:1 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.

Next, we ought to be ready to explain why we believe what we believe when people ask, giving them reasons.

1 Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
And we ought to judge, try, and test to see whether other people are false prophets or not. This is important because many are afraid to judge, but we are commanded to judge and "try the spirits".
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1 Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
The oft-quoted passage about not judging applies to hypocrites, not the righteous. When we know truth, we are commanded to judge and help the other to see more clearly.
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
It is utter hypocracy to say "Don't judge me, because judging is wrong." Obviously, the one who says that is judging the other person, too. Therefore, most certainly, the Bible does not teach us that "judging is wrong". Romans 14 is also often used to justify not following the commands to judge.
Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
This does not say that "judging is wrong", rather it says that we are unable and unqualified to judge certain things (and this has no application whatsoever to judging false prophecy and trying the spirits, which we are commanded to judge). Romans14:4 applies to "doubtful disputations", see Romans 14:1. In context of the whole chapter, Christians have freedom do act according to our conscience, as led by the Holy Spirit, and this is supported elsewhere as well. Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12 make it clear that not all Christians are given gifts to do each kind of work, and we are not to judge whether someone should be a preacher, or evangelist, or teacher, or healer, or exercise some other gift for the body of Christ.
Judging in righteousness is difficult. It takes wisdom, discernment, experience, and exercise to detect whether someone is teaching something evil.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Yes, we should be able to discern between good and evil, and able to identify false prophets, trying the spirits, giving reasons for our hope, showing our brothers how to cast the mote out of their eyes, judging righteous judgment.

Next, the Bible tells us what we are to do when we finally are able to discover and identify the heretics, the false prophets. We are to fight them (not physically, but with words), rebuke them, reject them, and set them straight with sound teaching.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick [141 hairetikos] after thefirst and second admonition reject;
Strong's: 141 hairetikos {hahee-ret-ee-kos'}
from the same as 140; TDNT - 1:184,27; adj
AV - that is a heretic 1; 1
1) fitted or able to take or choose a thing
2) schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine
3) heretic
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Many people erroneously think that someone who is rebuking another does so only out of hate, as they misidentify those who do the rebuking as having a spirit of hate. However, the Bible is clear that to avoid rebuking is to avoid loving, and that those who love will rebuke.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Next, rebuking another often involves name-calling, shaming and embarrassing the other one when exposing his error, often offending him in the process. And yes, it is certainly Biblical to do so.

REPROVE 1651 elegcho {el-eng'-kho}
of uncertain affinity; TDNT - 2:473,221; v
AV - reprove 6, rebuke 5, convince 4, tell (one's) fault 1, convict 1; 17
1) to convict, refute, confute 1a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted 1b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose 2) to find fault with, correct 2a) by word 2a1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove 2a2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation 2b) by deed 2b1) to chasten, to punish

2008 epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah'-o}
from 1909 and 5091; TDNT - 2:623,249; v
AV - rebuke 24, charge 4, straightly charge 1; 29
1) to show honour to, to honour 2) to raise the price of 3) to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty 4) to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely 4a) to admonish or charge sharply

Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites and murderers in Matt 23.
Peter called the people murderers in Acts 2.
Stephen called the Pharisees hard-hearted murderers in Acts 7.

Teaching, (and contending for the faith, rebuking error & refuting heresy), brings in unity, and keeps us from being deceived by false doctrine.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Finally, what is the purpose of the heretics (followers of false doctrine)? To help make the truth known (manifest) by comparison!
1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
I have found that discussing prophecy with those who disagree is the best way to reveal truth. Somebody will certainly learn something!

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