Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doctrines of Demons

Doctrines of Demons

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,” 1 Timothy 4:1. Basically, doctrine is teaching or giving instruction, and in certain cases it wholly conforms to a teacher’s accumulated knowledge. Whether or not that knowledge is correct and biblical is for the student to ascertain. (Acts 17:11) Some, in the latter times, will depart from the faith. Why? Keep reading.

When it comes to our Bibles there are basically two doctrines available to all humanity: God’s doctrines or precepts, and man’s interpretations of God’s doctrines and precepts. Throughout history, man in many cases has made it clear that he believes he is wiser than God. Whenever this insanity occurs, he inevitably changes God’s doctrines to fit his own ideas. Then he goes a step further and he instructs others in the doctrine he has invented. Of course, man’s truth, when derived from demons, will always be contradictory of God’s truth.

The men who intrude into God’s sphere of truth with the express desire to change God’s word are only following the lead of a demon. Since the beginning of time man has disparaged God’s word, usurped God’s authority, and supplanted God’s truth and God’s will for his own. Man has been attempting to replace God for thousands of years. Man has relentlessly pursued teaching the simple minded how to think. There can be no doubt that behind every divergence from the truth is a demon orchestrating and choreographing man’s every step.

The list of doctrines of demons is long and, in the minds of those who follow such tripe, distinguished. Every misguided approach to God’s word, which ultimately leads people away from Jesus Christ, is a doctrine that can be laid in the lap of a demon. “They even sacrificed their sons And their daughters to demons,” Psalm 106:37. Throughout the Bible we can read how man has been enthralled by demons (devils in the KJV). Even to the point that they were convinced sacrificing their children to a demon was a positive thing. That’s called abortion today.

What is it that gives rise to the doctrines of demons which are responsible for leading man astray? “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10. God our Savior? Paul, in his writing to Timothy, is making the statement that Jesus Christ is the living God. But if you talk to some of the followers of the different Christian cults and false religions they will profess no belief in Jesus Christ as God, some believe Jesus is God’s son, yes, but not God Almighty. This denial of the deity of Jesus Christ is a doctrine of demons which has been taught throughout the last two thousand years. Moreover, that teaching is growing and becoming quite the pervasive teaching today.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8. Here Jesus Himself is speaking. Jesus states quite emphatically that He is the Almighty. The Greek word used here is “pantokrator” and can also be translated Omnipotent. We know only God Almighty is Omnipotent.

Doctrines that teach Jesus is not God will have profound consequences on the people who follow and believe such teaching as truth. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a good example of this demonic doctrine. Suffice it to say every doctrine that denies Christ as the Savior of the world, or that places Him in a subordinate position such as that of some kind of lesser god, is demonic. The JW’s wrote a book that counters the Bible. Why? Because of the demonic influence that took up residence in that organization as anti-Christ. They flat out deny that Jesus Christ is God. “...even now are there many antichrists;...” 1 John 2:18. There are many more anti-Christ and Christian cults’ fully established and operating openly professing to be true Christian believers, but in all actuality they are all condemned because they follow the doctrine of demons.

Then there are the doctrines that teach falsely that one can only be saved if one is baptized, or a member a particular church, or that one must speak in tongues, or worship only on Saturday, or pray for Mary’s intervention in their lives, or that one can lose their salvation. This list goes on and on, men promoting their own erroneous Bible interpretations as the truth even though the Bible, God’s inerrant word, teaches quite the opposite. They are demonic doctrines instituted to add to or even take away from the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Anything that man does to add to the sufficiency of the work that Jesus Christ fully accomplished on the cross is a doctrine of demons. The Bible is clear on that point, and adding to or taking away from the propitiation of Christ for the sin of the world is evil and demonic to say the least. False teachers are teaching what a demon has taught them.

Be assured even the demons know the scriptures and those who follow false doctrines will never hear the whole truth. They will only be taught a portion of truth and a whole plethora of lies so that the demons can hold sway over the biblical illiterate. Many people simply refuse to search the scriptures to ascertain whether or not they are being lied to. This is a very dangerous path to take. It would be akin to crossing a ravine which drops a thousand feet to the bottom by walking across on a tightrope of knitting yarn. Foolish to say the least yet many are currently standing on that very yarn (pun intended).

I continually receive letters from folks who quote scripture and then proceed to give me the translation of a scripture verse or verses which are completely out of context and therefore quite wrong. The Bible does not contradict its self but it must be studied exegesis. Most of these folks will quote a person who has been their Bible teacher for years. If a Bible teacher starts off with a wrong interpretation of scripture and after many years in the ministry hasn’t made a correcting adjustment to their erroneous teaching they’re still wrong. All those years of teaching doesn’t make them right, it only makes them followers of demonic doctrines. Simply put, they can’t see the truth because they are blinded by the lies they themselves have been taught. All attributed to demons.

People are being led down that primrose path that leads to their destruction all because they follow the teachings of an individual or cult/false religion that is ordained of demons. Today demonic doctrines are infiltrating and taking over our Christian churches like wild fire. The airwaves are full of doctrines of devils and even the most subtle of messages that seem so innocent and true can be doctrines designed by the enemy to corrupt and lead people astray.

A perfect example of “Doctrines of Demons” are the proponents of the feel good preaching techniques, and the prosperity gospel’s get rich schemes which come from those whose purpose is self gain. They are many and they are demonic as are the emergent movement and those who promote contemplative spirituality.

If a pastor stands before a congregation week in and week out and only speaks of God as love, never venturing into the realm of God’s judgment, then that pastor is thoroughly neglecting those tough, sometimes evil, churned up waters of sin where we find most people actually live. He would be a pastor who resides only within the boundaries of political correctness; his congregation isn’t being taught the whole council of God.

If lost folks only hear messages which peacefully tickle their ears sure they’re going to return for more tickling, but they will never become convicted of their sins. But let that pastor place them in the middle of their sin and he’ll be assured of a mass exodus.

The truth hurts; lost people don’t want to hear the truth. Think about it, they’ve been inundated with lies for so long they’ve grown accustomed to accepting lies as truth. An ear tickled congregation having been saturated with warm fuzzies might even revolt against a pastor who suddenly drops the doctrines of demons and reverts to God’s truth while delivering his weekly message. Then again some might just get saved.

Our enemy (Satan) doesn’t want his followers to hear the truth so he has devised a message that, if used by enough Bible teachers and pastors, will keep those who belong to him from ever becoming born again. Remember, Satan will lead you as close as possible to the truth without losing you to salvation. Once a person is born from God and they become a new creation “In Christ”, Satan loses. Satan doesn’t like losing and he will not go down without a fight.

“Christians aren’t perfect just forgiven”. But the crux of the matter is, to become a born again believer people must be convicted of their sin. That’s basically the first step. If that conviction is never forthcoming then repentance will also remain a nonevent. Doctrines of demons will see to that.

How do we stave off the influence of doctrines of demons? We must know God’s word. Did you get that? Let me reiterate, we must know God’s word. Not just a superficial knowledge of our Bible, but a solid understanding gained through Christ centered Bible teachings and much fervent prayer. God will give the diligent Bible studier all the discernment necessary to obtain a firm foundation and to proceed through life with understanding on how to avoid the doctrines of demons. Without that God given foundation there’s no telling what doctrines one might follow, Mormon, JW’s, Islam, Catholicism and the rest – doctrines of demons the lot.

Erroneous teachings and doctrines spread like the plague and after a while people will begin to see and perceive truth in a bald-faced lie. This is very dangerous and a perfect example of how cults are started, as well as how they flourish.

God tells us how to go about studying His word and even how to teach it to others. “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:9-10. Go through the Bible line upon line and study God’s word like you’re eternal life depended on it. Why? Because it does. Use a concordance and look up any word that may be difficult for you to grasp. Look up the Greek words that stump you in a “Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament words”. Search your concordance as the Old Testament brings forth words you may find confusing. Our God is not a God of confusion so there is always an answer. There are so many ways to learn God’s word today that a true believer is without excuse. Following the many doctrines of demons can be avoided with just a little due diligence and prayer.

If you follow demonic teaching it is to your own peril. A born again believer will do everything possible to find out if what they are being taught from the pulpit or from a Bible teacher is the truth as God has designated it, or if they are following doctrines of devils. Which is it with you?

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

Both the KJV and the NKJV Bible translations were used in compiling this commentary

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Second Chances

Second Chances

“...they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

Are there second chances in life? Absolutely. Second chances are available for just about every aspect of life. Our God is a God of second chances, and third and forth and on they go. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. This verse is indeed encouraging, and rightfully so.

“Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy, and is used of God.” – Vines Expository Dictionary.

That’s our God, longsuffering; even though we at times are quite rebellious He’s loving and patient, full of grace and mercy to us-ward. But the question is, will God be patient forever? Many have heard the Gospel of Christ, and cannot make up their minds whether or not the Christian life is for them. Still others simply rejected it. Either way, knowingly or not, these folks are relying on God’s longsuffering and patience.

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. Just so we are all clear on what the Gospel of Christ is, I just played a trick on all those reading this commentary who claim they’ve never received the Gospel. You just did. Now we can move on.

Those who hear (or read) the Gospel and yet choose to put off their decision for Christ while they wallow in their desired sin just a tad longer are playing with fire. Those who’ve just outright rejected Jesus Christ haven’t a clue as to what they are playing at. Why? Time is the procrastinators Achilles heel. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11.

You say you want to wait until after the Rapture of the Church, if there is such a thing, to say yes to Jesus Christ? The word of God says not to delay, but when we hear the Gospel message we are to repent of our sins.

With all the signs of the times currently exploding onto the scene, and knowing what the Bible says about the end times believers in Christ know God is on the cusp of ending His self imposed longsuffering. If this is so, what happens to second chances then?

We all make mistakes, and oh how great it is when we are given a second chance; a chance to right the wrong we’ve committed. I’m sure everyone reading this commentary has had occasion when they can remember being afforded a second chance, perhaps even more than once. There will come a time though when all God’s second chances will end.

The Holy Spirit of God works in mysterious ways, ways we cannot comprehend. He works ever diligently, never tiring, pointing everyone to Jesus Christ. But there comes a time when the continual in His face rejection of the truth moves the Holy Spirit away from that soul. When a person hardens their heart to the extreme against God there’s a point of finality when the Holy Spirit ceases His work. Then those poor misguided souls are left to their own destruction.

People, for the most part, don’t understand God and His far reaching love for His creation. Where you and I might have given up on a person, believing them to be a lost cause, God sees far past our perceptions of who’s a lost cause and who’s not. A terrible place for any human to be though is in that place where the Holy Spirit finally decides enough is enough. I’d like to say that this just isn’t the case, but the Bible says differently.

“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved... That they all might be damned” 2 Thessalonians 2:10b & 12. This means they were offered the truth by the Holy Spirit of God, and that God was patient with them to a point you and I would consider extreme, and yet they continued in their rejection of God’s only begotten Son.

The Gospel of Christ has been preached around the world and, for the most part, in every language. So for the majority of earth’s human population the Gospel of Christ is a fairy tale. This rejection God calls blasphemy. These folks fall into a category for which this commentary was written. They are those who’ve rejected the truth of the Gospel, who have rejected the Holy Spirit’s convicting messages. This is essentially calling the Holy Spirit a liar, which is the blasphemy God speaks about and a condition, if not corrected, that will condemn the blasphemer to Hell “…because they receive not the love of the truth…” (v.10).

I’ve often been asked if, after the Rapture of Christ’s Church, people continue to be afforded salvation. The answer is yes. The 144,000 Jews for example (12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel ) will be saved and will be witnesses for Christ and spreading His Gospel everywhere during the Great Tribulation. Many more will be saved because of the efforts of these and others. Yet we read, “... for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” 2 Thessalonians 2:11. What cause? They rejected the love of the truth. Recognizing the truth during the Great Tribulation for those who’ve rejected it for years will be very difficult, if not impossible. And by the way, if you’ve heard the Gospel and are still fence setting that would be the same as rejecting the love of the truth.

So what happens to second chances after the Rapture? God tells us that because of the strong delusion He will send them they will believe the lie. Who? Our current world of Christ rejecters. Why? Because they were given chance after chance after chance to believe the truth, yet they rejected God’s truth at every turn. Harsh punishment from a loving God? Not at all. These are the folks who took pleasure in unrighteousness and hardened their hearts against their God.

So why believe a lie instead of the truth? What could that strong delusion consist of that would be so appealing? The Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words tells us that it’s a fraud. We all know how frauds operate, always lying, working feverishly at their craft of deception convincing the simple minded that they have the truth. Frauds are appealing, that’s how they deceive. People are easily deceived when they are ignorant of the truth.

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:9. This strong delusion, this fraud, this anti-Christ, with all his lying signs and wonders will take many gullible people with him to Hell.

There will be folks who come to Christ during the Tribulation’s seven year duration, I’m not disputing that fact, but here’s the rub, many more will not be saved, and they will not be saved because of the condition of their hearts now. God’s strong delusion being placed on earth will be the stumbling block that keeps many from salvation.

Completely rejecting Christ now, before the Rapture, will lead multitudes to commit a horrible mistake during the tribulation period. God’s not going to make it easy on those who’ve called His Holy Spirit a liar and rejected His only begotten Son. A lifetime of rejecting the truth is a good indication of who will believe the lie.

“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12. Those who fall for this delusional lie condemn themselves to Hell. Why? Because they took pleasure in unrighteousness instead of rejecting unrighteousness and accepting the truth. That damnation comes as a result of their own foolish choice. Hardening ones heart against God means one accepts the enemy’s lies as truth.

Those of you who have been assured that salvation will still be possible during the seven year Tribulation may want to re-evaluate that assurance and your stance on God’s free gift of salvation now, this side of the Rapture. There’s nothing standing in your way of believing the truth while there is still time. God has made His free gift of salvation accessible and easily acceptable, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:30b-31a. God offers His free gift of salvation universally to all. The truth is, waiting for another day to accept God’s gift of salvation is pushing foolishness to the extreme.

So many people have been lied to for so long about what it means to be born again, that people shy away from asking for forgiveness and repenting of their sins. Many have heard the Gospel and liked what they’ve heard, but they feel it would be impossible to ever stop sinning. So they wait until they, through their own self will, can stop this sinfulness they’re obsessed with. But in all actuality the opposite is true – repent and ask for forgiveness now and the sinning will decrease. People need to be educated in this truth by all who preach and teach God’s word.

All believers are sinners and will remain so until death or the Rapture. Even though a person is born again, born from God, they never stop sinning. But they are forgiven and that is the key. Forgiveness only comes through repentance of sins and by believing in Jesus Christ. Waiting to say yes to Christ and His Gospel after being given truth is akin to sitting at a bus station and waiting for a bus you know has already come and gone. Foolishness.

Today many pastors and Bible teachers teach that sin is completely abated when we become born again. That is a completely erroneous fabrication and blatant corruption of the truth. The Apostle John addresses that very subject in his first epistle.

“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.” 1 John 1:8-10. Here John is speaking to believers. How do I know? Go to the next chapter of First John “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” 1 John 2:1. Here John addresses those he’s writing to as “My little children” He uses this phrase in conjunction with believers and no one else.

When we read First John chapter 2 verse 1 it is obvious that he’s telling us to “sin not”. Clearly he wants us to be mindful of our nature to sin and to turn against that nature. Then John states this most telling verse, “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (v10). Another way to translate this word “if” from the Greek is “in case”, in case anyone sin. That tells us that Jesus stands with us as our advocate with the Father in case we sin. Clearly the Holy Spirit would not have had John include the above verse in his epistle to the saints if there was no further sinning after conversion.

God is a God of second chances; this is what John addresses in this epistle. This is what needs to be taught even to non-believers as we witness to them, even to those who are continually sitting on the fence. They need to know that as a believer in Christ they will occasionally sin while residing on this side of eternity. But their sins will, over time, diminish. As a matter-of-fact they will begin to hate the sin and remorse will ultimately set in each time they sin.

All our friends and family members, who fall into this category of fence-sitter or of those who completely reject the truth of the Gospel, need to realize that after the Rapture salvation will be much more difficult to obtain because of the strong delusion God is going to place on all who’ve rejected His Son. It is pure foolishness to put off the decision to become a born again believer in Christ hopping God will give you one last future chance.

If you’re still a fence sitter it’s time to take that leap of faith, all second chances are about to reach their finale. Say yes to Jesus Christ, right now, please don’t wait any longer, the end is in sight, Jesus is at the door, planet earth is sitting late in her last hour. There will be no second chances once your residence is Hell, and one way or the other, believer in Christ or Christ rejecter, everyone lives forever, the only question remaining is which eternal destination have you chosen?

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV


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