Fred R. Coulter—December 2, 1995

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In relationship to the report and the tapes sent out with the study papers on 2-Peter and Jude, this past week—after having talked with the investigator with the situation concerning Garner Ted Armstrong—I told her that I needed to talk to the principle people, the principle parties involved, which was Suerae Robertson, and that if she felt comfortable in calling me that I would be glad to talk to her, because I would like to verify this first person.

So, what you have is a newspaper clipping that has additional information than when I first brought it to the congregation two weeks ago here in San Jose. I might mention that this article here from Associated Press is quite graphic and speaks for itself; but there were other things that he did on a second visit which constituted felony rape. And Garner Ted has been subsequently arrested for attempted rape. I don't know if he's in jail or posted bail. I also talked to the attorney for the plaintiffs, and he said that they are going to take this case all the way—they are not interested in the money, though they need to recover certain things that they will do through a civil lawsuit. But this is so big down there that it is really something! He said they are going to take it all the way and see it to the end.

It is stated that GTA resigned on November 11, 1995, but I've subsequently found out that that was not the case. He is putting out letters under Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association letterhead as well. So, we don't know what it is. But I think in this article that you have, the very last paragraph on page one of the article out of Dallas, it says:

At one point he supposedly told her [Suerae Robertson] that his execution of the Lord's work was so vital that any transgression on his part would be overlooked by God.

And this, brethren, is the attitude that prevailed when all of these things were going on in Worldwide a long, long, long time ago. And as I mentioned before, I would like to do a song: Where Have All the Evangelists Gone? The reason being, that something happened spiritually and mentally those who are evangelists, inasmuch as that most of them have felt that they could do almost anything and God would approve of it.

I don't know what got into their minds concerning it; and I would have to say, that when you read the resignation letter of Ron Dart, you will see that he's still the same old politician he's always been. That rather than stand for Truth, he'll slide to the side and try and do whatever he's going to do. But you can't continue in that and expect anything to prosper.

In the letter that I wrote that accompanies the full report, I won't dwell on it, you have eyes to see and so forth, so you can read the report; but I think you will find it very shocking. I think you'll find it very interesting when you tie in together the demise of the Worldwide Church of God and the takedown of it internally. I have a full report on that plus this report has some information on the CRI—the Christian Research Institute—which has more information than it does in the letter that they sent out. And Hank Hanegraaff is definitely one of those ecumenists and the verbiage that comes out of Worldwide now where they are looking forward to the beginning of the "third millennia" of Christianity is straight out of Evangelization 2000, from the Vatican.

I'm going to finish reading the book All Roads Lead to Rome? That is quite something! The Vatican's position is that if they can take down the Anglican Church—the Church of England—then they can take down all Protestantism. Their whole modus operandi with the Jesuits is to infiltrate every Protestant Church that they possibly can. Jack Chick, who puts out Chick's Publications, said that he was in a meeting before he left the Catholic Church where, in a meeting of Jesuits, that they mention specifically the Seventh Day Adventists and the Worldwide Church of God to be targeted for internal takedown. And it just about happened. When you understand and remember and know that Christmas, Easter, and day-and-a-half resurrection are the three key things that the Catholic believes. Once a Protestant church accepts those things you know that they have been subverted. So those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, please do so!

Let's go to Jeremiah 23, for just a minute, please. This is part of what I quoted in my letter, because I truly felt this way. I feel just as upset as anyone else in having to go through some of these things. I'm not doing these things in any way to come back upon a person, because I hope, that in the final analysis, if it's possible for repentance that Garner Ted will; if it's possible for repentance for those in Worldwide that they will. But in bringing this out, it needs to be brought to the fore so that we no longer have to live with cover-ups and lies having to do with the Church of God. I wrote in the letter and quoted:

Jeremiah 23:9: "As for the prophets my heart within me is broken; all my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome because of the LORD and because of the words of His Holiness. For the land is full of adulterers. Because of swearing the land mourns; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and they wield power unjustly. 'For both prophet and priest are ungodly… [that's what you call secularization] …yea, in My house I have found their evil,' says the LORD.... [You expect the wickedness in the world; but NOT in the Church of God.] …'So their way shall be to them as slippery ways in the darkness; they shall be driven on, and fall in their way; for I will bring evil on them, even the year of their judgment,' says the LORD" (vs 9-12).

I wonder if this is 'the year of visitation' for the Churches of God? Makes me wonder, because Joseph Tkach died, the doctrines were changed, Worldwide was taken down, Garner Ted Armstrong was finally caught in all of filthy philandering—and it had to be someone outside the Church, because it seems as though everyone within the Church can be bought off one way or the other; or intimidated with fear! And the last two sermons I heard of Garner Ted Armstrong, he's doing all that he can to cover the way.

  • Don't even look into the allegations of anyone's life
  • We should all be like little children and expect the best.

I have heard those before. He does it every time he gets caught. And this time there's going to be no way around it. I don't wish him any ill. I wish him repentance. But if it takes ill for him to come to repentance, then he's entirely in God's hands.

Verse 13: "'And I have seen repulsive things in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal… [that's what's happening in Worldwide right now.] …and caused My people Israel to go astray.… [that's what they're doing with the Church] …I have also seen in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing; they commit adultery and walk in lies. They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that none returns from his evil; they are all of them like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah" (vs 13-14).

Let's go to Revelation, the third chapter, please—and this is not to beat upon the Laodiceans, but this is face the facts of life the way they are happening in the Church today. Revelation 3:15: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot… [Which means then that they're converted slightly, but they're not on fire for God—they're all profane, secularized!] …I would that you be either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and are neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth…. [the word 'spew' means to vomit. And in this 'year of visitation' I wonder if that's what's happening?] …For you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…. [and nakedness has to do with sexual sins.] (So then, He gives them the counsel): …I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire…" (vs 15-17)—because He loves them!

Look at what the world is—and let's tie this in with Sodom and Gomorrah—and I think God is really telling us something profound here! Not only does this have to do with the city of Jerusalem, but this also has to do with the spiritual condition of the world. And unfortunately, it may also have something to do with the spiritual condition with part of the Church of God. This is what we all need to get away from. It talks about the two witnesses, who were killed:

Revelation 11:8: "And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt…" So, as I've mentioned before, Sodom reflects the moral values and Egypt reflects the religious values. And that is exactly what is happening to the Churches of God!

I got a report from our 'disciple at the end of the earth'—Don Campbell—he lives on the southern most part on the southern island of New Zealand. He journeyed that 15,000 miles to come here to be baptized. That's why we call him 'our disciple from the end of the world.' He has sent me some reports from the Seventh Day Adventists, because he used to be one and he's still in communication with some.

And brethren, the same thing is happening there. The internal takedown from within—and you can tell exactly what it is. I don't think you're going to move them away from the Sabbath, but there's still a good number of Seventh Day Adventist who have left and gone to Sunday-keeping. The one who wrote the book Sabbath in Crisis—that's the big rage in Worldwide: Sabbath in Crisis by Dale Ratzlaff. Dale Ratzlaff used to be a Seventh Day Adventist minister in Watsonville; and when we first kept our Feast of Tabernacles, after leaving Worldwide, we kept it in Watsonville in his Seventh Day Adventist Church. At that time he let us know there was a lot of turmoil concerning Ellen G. White and so forth.

I think that the best thing that God is doing, is going through and correcting the Church and scattering the Church and putting us in smaller groups so that we can learn the love of God and know the Truth of God; because in smaller groups there's not a structure that you can infiltrate and take down. That's how they get into these positions. You just go back and you think about all the things that took place, all the false doctrines that came down, and you think about how they wormed their way into positions—and then started all the false doctrine. But they were so high up you couldn't touch them.

And that's exactly what 2-Peter and Jude are all about. Let's look at combined 2-Peter and Jude. I was amazed when I did this. When I first thought about doing it, I thought about doing parallel columns like a harmony. When I put it together in columns it looked a little awkward, so I thought what I would do I will take those sections that I have paralleled and I will put them end-to-end. And what it really does, it really shows that what Jude wrote and what Peter wrote, one fills in the details that the other one left off—and really gives us a tremendous insight as to what was happening at that particular time.

What I want to do is just mention a little bit out of this book I've been reading: All Roads Lead to Rome? Did you know that a Franciscan university and a Jesuit seminary both have been given awards to "Rev." Billy Graham, and that Billy Graham is an ecumenist, and calls the pope one of the most righteous men in the world? Now then, where is all of this deception going? And I think I mentioned, just an off-hand remark, that wouldn't it be staggering if the pope and the Dalai Lama got together? In this book I found out that they have met five times already. That is shocking! That was shocking to me—they've met five times already! And the Catholic Jesuit plan is to take down the Church of England and the heart of Protestantism and then the rest will fall—and they just about have it. Queen of England is going to go to hear an archbishop give a sermon of some kind here for this Christmas coming up {1995}. Now, I don't know if it's going to transpire or not but at least that what has been reported.

Comment was made that an article in the paper says that the Catholic Church is the fastest growing church in England. The reason is because all the Protestants have been infiltrated by the Jesuits. They take a vow to lie, to cheat, to steal, to kill, to infiltrate, to take down! I mean, we need to understand who the enemy is!

Here in 2-Thessalonians, the second chapter shows how far the apostasy is going to go. And I'm amazed! I am amazed! Good old Pat Robertson, you watch him once in a while, he's an ecumenist. He's on the road to Rome. John Bennett is a Catholic. Jack Kemp is a Catholic. Rush Limbaugh is a secret Catholic. Guess what all this moral coming back is? Catholicism. Guess what their goal is after they get Britain, guess where they're going to come? Right here in the U.S.; they're going to get us. Their goal is world-domination. But they know that they cannot have a religious leader run the world. They understand that.

How many remember the speech of the pope at the United Nations, and he talked about universal law—remember that?—universal moral law! What is another word for universal? Catholic! That's correct. So when it was being translated from English to German, the translator would say ka-to-lish—Katholik—instead of universal.

Comment was made that they heard Rush Limbaugh say—when it was said that the pope is out of touch with the American people—'Well, the American people are out of touch with the pope!' That's something! There's something else that you need to know: Have you ever wondered how in the world are they going to get all of these disparate religions to get together and agree to a one-world religion? And how are you going to get the Muslims to get together with the Catholics? The answer is: Mary! They believe in Mary and there have been visions of Mary to the Muslim people. Now, please note that the famous vision of Fatema—Fatema is a Muslim named town in Portugal—which was originally overrun by the Moors and that there is some connection between these three girls as being cousins to Muslims. So, Mary is going to be the thing to do it—Mary worship.

By the way, I did get that 'politically correct New Testament—Psalms and New Testament—and I'm going to bring a sermon on that and I'm going to introduce it with the article that Marsha gave me about witches and 'Wicca' because this is exactly what this is!—precisely!

Now then, here in 2-Thessalonians, the second chapter, let's talk a little bit about the apostasy; because we've heard many variations of it. In my lifetime I've heard that:

  • The pope is the man of sin. He is aman of sin, that is true.
  • After the fall of Herbert Armstrong, he was the man of sin—I think that's wrong.
  • Some people claim that Joseph Tkach, Sr. was the man of sin in the apostasy.
  • That the falling away has to do with those people leaving the church—and I know when I left the Church I was pointed at with those very Scriptures.

But this really means the apostasy—that's what it is in the Greek. And the apostasy has got to mean taking everything to Satan's religion. That's what it has to be; and it's going to be hegemony of all religions. Now, let's look at it from this point of view:

2-Thessalonians 2:3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means because that day will not come unless the apostasy shall come first, and the man of sin shall be revealed—the son of perdition." There's only one other person in the Bible called the son of perdition. Do you know who that was? Judas Iscariot! And in the book by Roger Rusk, The Other End of the World, I think he fairly well proves that Judas Iscariot was an Esauite. I think he did a pretty good job in proving that. This is a profound individual with a profound mission.

Verse 4: "The one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God… [that is above Ishnew, Buddha, Shintoism, Confucianism, Catholicism, Orthodoxism] …all that is called God or that is an object of worship… [which means greater than any icon, greater than any saint. And what does it say in Rev. 13 to do to this man? Make an image, an icon, unto the Beast. This is profound, this is great!] …so that he comes into the temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God."

That really is a profound statement! Herbert Armstrong never did that. Joseph Tkach never did that. The pope has not done that. Some pope's have come close to it, but this is a profound, singular event of one man—called 'the man of sin, the son of perdition'—whom Christ is going to destroy when He returns; so that has to be the Beast Power that's going to come. And Satan is going to give him everything. You tie that in with Rev. 13 and that'll tell you what's happening.

Let's see how all of this nonsense started in what is called the Christian church. Just read through and you will see how each one of these things really ties one in with the other in bringing out the profound, important historical sins. Just like 2-Thess. 2, we are talking about profound historical sins. So what he's talking about here is a profound, historical and prophetic event for us.

Jude 1: "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to the called saints, sanctified by God the Father and kept in Jesus Christ… [Notice again, no Holy Spirit. That's part of understanding the truth of the nature of God; that God is two—not three, not one.] …Mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to fervently fight for the faith which once for all time has been delivered to the saints" (vs 1-3). What did Jesus say? When the Son of man comes, will he find faith in the earth?'once delivered!

Verse 4: "For certain men have stealthily… [invisibly, imperceptibly] …crept in; these are the ones who a long time ago have been written about… [and the reason that's translated that way is because that's what it means in the Greek. The Greek verb there is 'grapho'—which means to write] …have been written about… [you can read it—false prophets (Ezek. 13, 34; Jer. 23, and many, many other places] …condemning them to this judgment… [What's going to happen, we're going to see that Jude and Peter bring that judgment. They specify it upon them. So this was pretty profound sin!] …They are ungodly men, who are distorting the grace of our God into licentiousness, and are denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." There again, God the Father and Jesus Christ—Lord God and Lord Jesus Christ—two!

Anytime you have a doctrine that changes the nature of God you are denying Christ and the Father. If you change the nature of God, you are changing whom you worship. It may be said it doesn't make any difference, because you still pray, you still study; but it does make a profound difference. Has it made a difference in the church that proclaimed that? Yes! Every doctrine is changed! How can you know God if you don't know Christ and the Father? That's why the trinity is always a mystery, because you can't know God in a trinity. And we're going to see that monotheism is just another form of paganism, in which there are three-in-one. You take the four Hebrew letters: YHVH and it is called the tetra-grammaton; and this is what the Yahwehists use as their idol.

  • Y is the Father
  • H is the mother
  • V is the Son
  • H is three-in-one

—that's what that means! How many have seen a Hanukah menorah? How many candles are on it? You count it sometime. Eight! Why are there eight when the menorah, in the Scriptures, is seven? No, not in case one goes out! They can have all kinds of excuses like use that one to light the other ones with, but what does it really mean in mystic Judaism? Yes, it is for the mother—queen of heaven. If you start having queen of heaven visions to Judaism, guess what's going to happen? And to the Muslims? It's going to come together like there is no tomorrow!

This also tells us something very profound, 2-Peter 2:1: "But there were false prophets among the people, as indeed there will be false teachers among you, who will stealthily…" In other words, subversive, who know what they are doing; coming in and planning and waiting for the time that they can lay the golden egg—change the doctrine. That's why when you have a hierarchy; anytime you have a hierarchy it is political! The way you advance is please the one over you and you please the one over him and so forth, until you're up there. So, when all of these stealthy people get in there they get in these positions.

"…introduce destructive heresies… [did we not see that happen? Bit-by-bit, every week! Every month! Every Worldwide News! Every Plain Truth! Bit-by-bit-by-bit!] …personally denying the Lord who bought them… [that is they're turning their back on the true salvation of Christ.] …and bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many people will follow as authoritative…" (vs 1-2). The reason I inserted as authoritative is because what was contained in 2-Peter 1 concerning the authoritativeness of what they were doing instead of the myths.

"…their destructive ways… [Are people following, as authoritative, their destructive ways? Yes!] …and because of them, the way of the Truth will be blasphemed" (v 2). You can blaspheme and still give an off-handed comment: 'Well, God didn't mean that. We don't need to do this. That's not required of Christians today.' As I have in my report, there is documented evidence, in a memo, that in Worldwide Church of God today those who insist that the Sabbath and Holy Days are commands of God and are required by Christians today are subject to disfellowshipment. That's how far it's gone. Are those destructive heresies? Are they denying Christ? Are they blaspheming the way of Truth?

Verse 3: "Also, through insatiable greed… [Give us more money; send us more money—money, money, money, money, property, money, high salaries!] …they will with enticing messages exploit you for gain; for whom the judgment of old is in full force, and their destruction is ever-watching." Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear—do so!

Let's look at how this also comes about within the Church. So today, what I want to do is I want to look at true prophets and false prophets—and how did such a thing ever come to be? Acts 17 talks about the Bereans as compared to those in Thessalonica.

Acts 17:11: "Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness of mind andexamined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so…." Now, in searching the Scriptures, you have to make sure that you have a good, bona fide Bible—and that does not mean the New International Version; because that is an ecumenical Bible—please understand that. New King James Version is okay. The best one is the old King James Version. [transcriber's note: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order—A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter is now available.]  I recommend for everyone, because a lot of people write in and say: What version do you use? And I tell them that I generally use the Greek Interlinear by George Ricker Berry for the New Testament, and read from that. I recommend that they get it from CBD [Christian Bible Distributors). You have to have the right Bible to 'prove whether these things are so.' And I will guarantee you one thing, that—if you're truly searching for God and His way, and searching the Scriptures—you will know Truth from error because God has promised that you would be able to discern it. And that's how you're able to know what is right from what is wrong.

Now then, let's go to Acts, the twentieth chapter—here is how it can start. Remember those who stealthily snuck in. We're going to see that there are good elders who can go back. There are those who once served God and no longer serve God. As Paul said, 'I say that they are the enemies of Christ and serve their bellies.' That does happen. Paul warned them!

Acts 20:28: "Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers… [The truth is, every elder who oversees any part of the Church of God has to understand that all the brethren belong to God the Father. They are His! They are to be entrusted to teach them what God the Father wants taught to them] …to feed the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood." He's laying it right on the line, the very blood of Christ, which pays for the sins of the whole world for how you take care of the Church of God.

Verse 29: "For I know this: that after my departure grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock… [those 'grievous wolves' are going to come in using the name of Christ and so forth] …and from among your own selves men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves. Watch, therefore, remembering that for three years I ceased not to admonish each one night and day with tears" (vs 29-31). Now, that's something!—isn't it? Paul really knew what was coming down. Today we're just kind of out here and we don't know what's coming down until we get hit like a Mac-truck, standing out in the middle of the freeway and we get splattered all over the place.

Let's begin this way. Some of these Scriptures we have used so I will just mention them; some of them we have not so we will turn to them. We're going to have six categories of prophets: three true and three false.

1. True Prophet/True Teachings

Prophet, in this case, is anyone who speaking on behalf of God—whether and elder or a teacher. Let's go to the Gospel of John, chapter three, and let's see what it said of Christ as testified by John the Baptist. And as we turn there, let's remember what Jesus said. Jesus said,

  • I am the Way, the Life and the Truth
  • I am the Light of the world.
  • He is the Word of God.
  • He is the resurrection.
  • He is the Son of God.
  • He is the only begotten.

Just put all of this together. And remember, Jesus said that He was 'taught of His Father'—He didn't learn from the other people around Him.

Here's what John testified concerning: John 3:31: "He Who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthy…. [that's what we are; that's what the scribes and Pharisees were.] …and speaks of the earth He Who comes from heaven is above all; and what He has seen and heard, this is what He testifies; but no one receives His testimony. The one who has received His testimony has set his seal that God is true" (vs 31-33).

Let's understand how important this is. God is true and His Word is true and God's Word is so true that there can even be false prophets who preach in the name of Christ. And they even preach the Truth, that part of the Truth that they preach God will uphold—because the Word of God is greater and over all of us.

Here's the key. v 34: "For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God… [that's referring directly to Christ, so that there would be no mistake that God sent Christ.] …and God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. The one who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but the one who does not obey the Son shall not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him" (vs 34-36). That ties right in with some of the things we've covered concerning the false prophets.

Now put in your notes: Isa. 8:16-20, where it is that the Law would be finished and bound up with the disciples; and then it says 'to the Law and the testimony if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no light in them.'

Let's go to 1-John 2:3, because here's something that is very important! It is true that we are to have the laws and commandments of God written in our hearts and in our minds. How is it written there? Through God's Spirit! Do we put them there because of the goodness of our own choice? No!God does that—correct? We don't keep the commandments because we're doing a favor for God. Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.' We don't keep the Sabbath out of preference or tradition. We keep it out of the fact that God created it and said this is the day to keep. Now then, here is a key way that you know a true teacher from a false teacher:

1-John 2:3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him… [so it's a double-knowing, as I've mentioned before, but I want to reiterate it here] …if we keep His commandments…. [present tense] …The one who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (vs 3-4). Now, that's a strong statement—isn't it?

Therefore, an prophet that comes along, speaking nice, smooth words and saying that you don't have to keep any of the commandments of God, just have love in your heart, he's a liar, the Truth is not in him. You have to have love in your heart, but you also have to keep the commandments—both! Because keeping the commandments is an expression of the love of God: 'This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.' The way a false prophet interprets that is: 'this is the love of God that we love Him in our heart and we don't have to keep His commandments because they are burdensome.' That's how it comes out—direct opposite. So he's a liar!

Verse 5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word… [not just commandment now—Word! And as I've mentioned before, and I'm going to mention again, which Word of God are we going to count uninspired? Which Word of God are we going to say, 'God, You made a mistake'? Which Word of God are we going to say 'this does not apply to us unless God tells us'? None! Dare any of us go up to God and say, 'God, You made a mistake'? God Who is perfect! God's laws which are perfect? God's love which is perfect? I mean, we need to think some of this through, brethren!] …truly in this one the love of God is being perfected… [and this means in a constant continuing sense—is being perfected.] …By this meanswe know that we are in Him."

God wants us to know; not be in doubt. Someone comes up to you and says, 'What do you believe?' I don't know. 'Well, who are you?' I don't know. No! The first thing they want to know is your name—right? You say, I don't know. 'Do you have amnesia?' There are a lot of people out there with spiritual amnesia! They don't know God. They don't know the commandments. They don't know Christ. 'But we love Him.' How can that be? If you don't know Him, how can you love Him? How can you love somebody you don't know? Impossible!

(go to the next track)

The whole purpose for the ministry (Eph. 4) and for all of us is that we come to the 'fullness of the stature of Christ.' That needs to be taught—true teachings.

Put in your notes: Isa. 28—there has to be 'line upon line; precept upon precept; line upon line; precept upon precept'—that is the principle of addition. The way that false prophets do it, they take the principle of subtraction. Whenever there is a conflict, that looks like a conflict in Scriptures, they subtract both of them out. That's what they do with James. He says 'you be justified by your works.' They say, 'No, that contradicts God, so therefore we go with Paul. We subtract James out of it and we go with Paul that you are 'justified by grace.' So, the true Bible way is addition.

This one I know we've covered a couple times recently, but let's read it into the record, because it's most profound that we have it here. This is how you can tell the true teachings, and this is what any teacher is to do, 2-Timothy 2:15: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God… [Not the congregation; not the deacons; not your professor, but unto God! That's what's so important!] …a workman… [It takes work!] …who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth… [That means straightly cutting, properly putting together—as we just covered with precept upon precept and line upon line.] …but avoid profane and vain babblings because they will only give rise to more ungodliness" (vs 15-16).

Let's see that they will be teaching the Word of God, preaching the Word of God, upholding the Word of God vs those who were not. You can read the whole chapter concerning false prophets. Jeremiah 23:23: "'Am I a God Who is near,' says the LORD, 'and not a God afar off?…. [Jesus said, 'Knock and it shall be opened; seek and you shall find; ask and you shall receive.'] …Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him?' says the LORD. 'Do I not fill the heavens and earth?' says the LORD. 'I have heard what the prophets said, who prophesy lies in My name, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed." How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies and who are prophets of the deceit of their own heart? They scheme to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell, each one to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal" (vs 23-27).

And you know, the bottom line of all of this false prophecy and teachings is Baalism! That's why both Jude and Peter bring in Baal; bring in Cain; bring in Sodom and Gomorrah—and there is a reason! (We'll take those when we come to them).

Verse 28: "'The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully…. [That's what the true teaching is going to be—faithfully teaching the Word of God—true prophet/true teacher.] …What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the LORD. 'Is not My Word like a fire?' says the LORD, 'and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets who steal My words each one from his neighbor…. [they come twisting, turning, distorting] …Behold, I am against the prophets who use their tongues and say, "He says," when I did not say. Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams and tell them, and cause My people to go astray by their lies and by their wantonness. Yet I did not send them nor command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,' says the LORD" (vs 28-32).

  • What is the one thing that is used to get people to believe lies?
  • One of the major things? Say it over and over again!
  • What's the major thing? Mixing lies with Truth!
  • How can you get them to do so? Fear!

Let's take this one step further.

  • What is the one thing that is used to make people believe lies?
  • Act upon them?

Yes, embrace them and follow those orders!Security! Hierarchical authority!Which then ties in with fear; which then ties in with security. Hierarchical authority! How does the pope get done what he wants done? Because he is the 'vicar of Christ and his word is the Word of God on earth!' If you just transfer that to another man; 'stay in this church because this is where the authority is, always follow the authority.' That is a false prophet. You always follow God!

Let's see how a true teacher is going to live his life and behave in his life in a proper way. Jesus said 'you will know them by their fruits.' Just go ahead and put in your notes 1-Tim. 3, because those are the qualifications of elders and deacons.

1-Timothy 4:6: "If you are teaching these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, being nourished by the words of the faith… [Timothy as an elder and teacher was to also be 'nourished' up in the 'words of faith.'] …and of the good doctrines… [we're going to see that doctrine is very important.] …that you have closely followed. But refuse profane and old wives' fables; rather, exercise yourself unto Godliness…. [Then it talks about]: …physical exercise is profitable… [v 9] …faithful and worthy of full acceptance. Now it is for this reasonthat we are laboring, and we are personally suffering reproach because we have hope in the living God…" (vs 6-10).

Why do you labor and suffer reproach? Because when you're dealing with the Truth, there is the sword of Truth that cuts the line—that's why! Put in your margin there: Matt. 10: 'I come not to bring peace on earth, but a sword to set a father against his son and son against the father, daughter against the mother and the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law,' and so forth. And 'your foes will be those of your own household.'

"…Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who are believers. These things command and teach…. [There it is right there; that's what true teacher's going to be doing.] …Do not allow anyone to despise your youth; but be an example to the believers—in word, in conduct, in love, in Spirit, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to reading, to encouragement… [and inspirement. And I feel this, brethren, God wants us to be inspired to be in the Kingdom of God. He's not going to drive us in. He's not going to beat us in. But inspire us, because it is so great.] …and to doctrine" (vs 10-13). There again he says 'doctrine' the second time.

What does it say in 2-John? 'If any come and bring not this doctrine, receive him not! Or bid him God-speed!' Or what? 'You're a partaker of his sins.' Think on that!

Verse 14: "Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the elderhood. Meditate on these things; give yourself wholly to them…" (vs 14-15). That's what you're going to find a true teacher of God doing.

  • Did not Christ give Himself wholly to God the Father?
  • Did He not always do those things that pleased Him?
  • Did He not always keep His commandments? Yes!

That's our Perfect Example!

"…so that your growth in the faith may be apparent to all. Be diligent with yourself …" (v2 15-16). Watch out for your own carnal nature—that's what he's saying. Don't get lifted up in vanity. Don't get lifted up when people come around and say this and that and the other thing.

"…and with the doctrines…" (v 16). He said it three times! False prophets will say 'doctrine is not important.' But Paul said three times it is important. It is important to know what the Truth is. That's why you have doctrine. It is important to teach it because that's the knowledge of Christ. It is important for you, as an elder, because that's what you're going to be judged upon.

"…continue in them. For in doing this, you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (v 16). We could add all kinds of other verses there, so in the first category of true prophet, true teaching. So, if you want to do an extra Bible study and go through and add extra Scriptures to that, you go ahead and do that.

2.  True prophet with true teachings that are misapplied or deficient teachings

Let's see a good example of that. Here was a true teacher. Here was one named Apollos, who was teaching the Scriptures, Acts 18:24: "Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man who was skilled in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. And after hearing him, Aquila and Priscilla took him and expounded the way of God to him more perfectly" (vs 24-26). Here he was deficient in his knowledge, now he's brought up to speed. So there will be certain things that will come along where you have a true teacher, then who is defiant in his teachings, because of lack of knowledge.

Or you'll have someone who has misapplied teachings because of a personal sin—let's go to Hebrews, the third chapter—because that can take a-hold. And here's a warning that is given here; and we're going to see the next category then how that fit in. You can have a true prophet and false teachings. That can also happen. They should be called to repentance over it. But let's finish this second category first. Here's a true prophet with true teachings, but now comes in the deceitfulness of sin. In other words, unrepented of sin gradually builds up to the point that you have misapplied teachings; even though the person may have been a true teacher at one time. Just like Paul said, 'Out of you will arise those who will be grievous wolves.'

Hebrews 3:12: "Beware, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in apostatizing from the living God." I'm amazed! I've heard ministers say, 'Well, I never believed that all the time I was in the Church.' What about 'proving all things; holding fast to that which is good.' You can add many, many, many things to what we're covering here.

Verse 13: "Rather, be encouraging one another each day, while it is called 'today,' so that none of you become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin…. [So, now we have a true teacher beginning to twist the Scriptures because of sin, going away from it.] …For we are companions of Christ, if we truly hold the confidence thatwe had at the beginning steadfast until the end" (vs 13-14).

3.  True prophet with a mixture of true and false teachings

Let me give you one example of that. Here is an example of a true teacher who then has a true teaching and a false teaching—side-by-side. You have to be careful to discern it. 1-Corinthians 12:13:  "For indeed, by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…" The Church is a spiritual organism of God. Wherever there are those who have the Spirit of God, they are part of the Church. True teaching! 'If you are not in this corporate church, and if you are not supporting what we are doing, you're not in the Body of Christ.' False teaching by a true teacher. That is not only misapplied, but it's gone one-step further of being a false teaching. When you have authority combined with that, then you have a good mixture for believing other false things.

I want you to understand that Paul is writing some of these things in here about Peter. Was Peter a true teacher with false teachings? Yes! Was he corrected for it? Yes! Galatians 1:6: "I am astonished that you are so quickly being turned away from Him Who called you into the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which in reality is not another gospel; but there are some who are troubling you and are desiring to pervert the gospel of Christ. But if we…" (vs 6-8). Who's we? The apostles! He's introducing chapter two here.

"…or even an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel to you that is contrary to what we have preached, LET HIM BE ACCURSED! As we have said before, I also now say again. If anyone is preaching a gospel contrary to what you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" (vs 8-9). I hope that those who are in the midst of changing doctrine would please read that, and maybe change their course if they can.

Verse 10: "Now then, am I striving to please men, or God? Or am I motivated to please men? For if I am yet pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ." What is the one central thing that everyone is trying to do in religion today, in the world, and in some cases even within the Churches of God. 'Let's all get together. Let's not rock the boat.' That, brethren, is politics; that is pleasing men, and it's doomed for destruction day one!

Let's see what happened, let's see what the Apostle Paul did—Galatians 2:1: "Then after fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus with me also. And I went up according to revelation, and laid before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those of repute, lest by any means I should be running, or had run in vain. (But indeed, Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised.) Now this meeting was private because of false brethren brought in secretly…" (vs 1-4). There's such a thing as false brethren, that's what he's saying. They came in unaware!

"…who came in by stealth to spy out our freedom… [This was circumcision or non-circumcision inspection—yea! that's what this was!] …which we have in Christ Jesus, in order that they might bring us into bondage… [and say 'you can't enter into the Kingdom of God unless you're circumcised.] …To whom we did not yield in subjection not even for one hour, so that the Truth of the Gospel might continue with you. But the gospel that I preach did not come from those reputed to be something. (Whatever they were does not make any difference to me…" (vs 4-6).

That's pretty strong language. How does that go down in an authoritarian church? Not very well! The Apostle Paul knew and figured that the Truth of God was over everyone, including the apostles—that's what he's saying.

"…God does not accept the person of a man.)… [Yet, there are some who are claim that they're born to this or born to that, and that is nonsense!] …For those who are of repute conferred nothing upon me. But on the contrary, after seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, exactly as Peter had been entrusted withthe gospel of the circumcision" (vs 6-7).

Now, what problems do you think you would have if you were the apostle to the Jews? Many!Many! Now you know why God used Peter to go to Cornelius, so that no man would be called common or unclean. And now you know why God gave the Holy Spirit to Cornelius and his household before they were baptized; to show Peter that they were not to Judaize. Now you know Peter's sin when the politics got involved—let's see what he did:

Verse 9: "And after recognizing the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John—those reputed to be pillars—… [notice it seemed to be pillars—he didn't say were] …gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, affirming that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. Their only request was that we remember the poor, which very thing I was also diligent to do. But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be condemned… [that's what it means in the Greek—not just blamed; condemned publicly. What did Paul write to Timothy? 'The elders that sin rebuke before all.' So he was following this here.] …For before certain ones came from James…" (vs 9-12). Oh yes! We must play politics with all of those leading Jews up in Jerusalem—correct? Yes! Yes! I'll show you some of the politics of that when we get back into Judaism—Scripturalism vs Judaism.

"…he was eating with the Gentiles. However, when they came, he drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles… [playing politics with the brethren. No way!] …being afraid of those of the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews joined him in this hypocritical act, insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in the presence of them all, "If you, being a Jew, are living like the Gentiles, and not according to Judaism, why do you compel the Gentiles to Judaize?" (vs 12-14). That's the original Greek.

Now, if we're all brethren, why should there be separation? That was never a Law of God. That was perverting the Gospel. That was a false teaching by a true prophet. Peter was practicing and teaching false doctrine. Later he repented of that. Some people get mad at me when they hear this on the tape, but you explain it some other way. That wasn't so. We can have a true teacher who teaches false teachings.

Let's see where a true teacher then will even get into demonism; even prophesied of it, 1-Timothy 4:1: "Now, the Spirit tells us explicitly that in the latter times some shall apostatize from the faith, and shall follow deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy, their consciences having been cauterized with a hot iron" (vs 1-2). We've lived through that, haven't we, brethren? We know that, yes.

1-Timothy 6:3: "If anyone teaches any different doctrine, and does not adhere to sound words, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that is according to Godliness, he is proud and knows nothing. Rather, he has a morbid attraction to questions and disputes over words, from which come envy, arguments, blasphemy, wicked suspicions, vain reasonings of men who have been corrupted in their minds and are destitute of the Truth—men who believe that gain is Godliness. From such withdraw yourself" (vs 3-5). That's been a perfect description of the Churches of God here lately—correct? Yes!Totally!

Now then, let's carry this one step further. There's the false prophet teaching nearly true or true sounding teachings. Let's go to Matthew 7—there are those, and they quote Scripture. Remember, Satan quoted Scripture. Scripture is true, but it's how it's used. Jesus gave the warning concerning false prophets (Matthew 7:15).

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name?….'" (vs 21-22). There can be a false prophet preaching in the name of Christ, and it sounds true. You do this some time: Sit down and just analyze Pat Robertson. I think you'll find it most interesting. Remembering that he's an ecumenist, and in league, and has signed in league and alliance with the Catholics. Listen to all the good works that they are doing.

"'…And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name?' And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness [against law]'" (vs 22-23). Put in your margin there: 1-John 2:3-6—they're against law.

Now here's how they do it. 2-Corinthians 4—it will sound good; it will have the tinkle of Truth—because Scripture can be twisted; and they will say, 'Isn't it in your Bible?' Yes! But we saw that you have to 'rightly divide the Word of God'—which means that if you're not 'rightly dividing' it, then you're wrongly dividing it. Is that not correct? Yes!

2-Corinthians 4:1: "Therefore, having this ministry, according as we have received mercy, we are not fainthearted. For we have personally renounced the hidden things of dishonest gain, not walking in cunning craftiness… [political ambitions] …nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth, we are commending ourselves to every man's conscience before God" (vs 1-2). So there's a deceitful handling of the Word of God. That's how a false prophet can have things that can sound nearly true.

4. False prophets/false teaching, with a little Truth in it—more false teachings

Let's go to Colossians, the second chapter. We did a series in Colossians; and that is really one of the most important that we have. And if you haven't received that series, by all means write me and let me know and we'll send it to you. We cover Colossians 2 very carefully—word for word.

Colossians 2:2: "That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…. [The whole basis of Masonry and all of philosophy is the Word of God does not tell you everything, you need this to understand it. The Scriptures say NO! you don't need that!] …Now, this I say so that no one may deceive you by persuasive speech" (vs 2-4).

So, here are false preachings with enticing words, designed to appeal to your vanity; to let you know the unknown; to let you know the mysteries of the secret powers within you. Sound like a television commercial—right?

Verse 5: "For though I am indeed absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him… [Notice how these words are laid out here.] …being rooted and built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ" (vs 5-8).

Those false teachers, teaching false doctrines with a little bit of Truth in it are going to lead you into traditions. What is the famous saying of the Catholic Church? We believe in the Bible and the church fathers and tradition!False teachers/false teaching with a little bit of Truth.

Verse 18: "Do not allow anyone to defraud you [deceive] of the prize by doing his will in self-abasement and the worship of angels… [that's what Masonry is; that's what Catholicism is; that's what all of these eastern religions are] …intruding into things that he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his own carnal mind." It appeals to the vanity, because everyone wants to be important; so that's what this tradition and philosophy does.

Now we have true teachers gone totally bad, totally false, Philippians 3:17: "Brethren, be imitators together of me, and bear in mind those who walk in this way, as you have us for an example. (For many walk contrary… [That's interesting—isn't it? Many!] …I have often told you of them, and I tell you now with weeping, they are the enemies of the cross of Christ… [We're seeing that happen again today. Astounding!—isn't it?] …Whose end is destruction, whose god istheir belly, and whose glory is in their shame; for they mind earthly things.)" (vs 17-19). That's what's going to happen when you have false prophets with false teachings with a little bit of Truth mixed in with it.

Galatians 5:1: "Therefore, stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and do not be held again in a yoke of bondage. Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you become circumcised… [for salvation, as a requirement for salvation, necessary for salvation] …Christ shall profit you nothing! Again, I am personally testifying to every man who is being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law…. [all the laws of Judaism] …You who are attempting to be justified by works of law, you are being deprived of any spiritual effect from Christ.  You have fallen from grace!" (vs 1-4).

5. False preachers and false teachings

In this category we could put the Dalai Lama today—false teacher/false teaching, right from the get-go. There are two good examples of it here in the book of Acts. They do sound 'religious.' They do speak of God. But in both cases they use witchcraft; they use sorcery; they use Satan's power. Simon Magus—you know where I'm going. Let's look at it for what it really says.

Acts 8:9: "But there was a certain man named Simon, who had from earlier times been practicing sorcery…" I'm amazed at how many magic shows there are on today; how many demon shows that are on today. I mean, I'm reduced down to sports and the Discovery Channel and Matlock—and that's about it. This is what Simon was using: sorcery—and 'bewitched'!. That means he had hypnotic control over the people

"…in the city and astounding the nation of Samaria, proclaiming himself to be some great one…. [I think we need to look at that in relationship to the coming False Prophet.] …To him they had all given heed, from the least to the greatest… [the smallest most insignificant person and the wealthiest, the greatest politically stacked people—they gave heed] …saying, 'This man is the great power of God.'…. [Who is the great power of God? Jesus Christ!] …Now they were giving heed to him because he had for a long time bewitched them with sorceries" (vs 9-11). He wanted to come in and take the name of Christ and do something with that; because he knew how to do that kind of thing. He was determined and evil.

That's why Peter said to him in v 20: "But Peter said to him, 'May your money be destroyed with you because you thought that the gift of God might be purchased with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this your wickedness, and beseech God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you; for I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and the bondage of unrighteousness'" (vs 20-23). There you go! False prophet/false teachings right from the get-go.

Again, a sorcerer; and this is telling us that anyone—it does not matter what the words that they say or preach or how they may sound—anyone who uses sorcery or witchcraft is a false teacher, teaching false doctrines! No good can come of it.

Acts 13:5: "And when they came to Salamis, they preached the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they also had John as an assistant. And when they had gone through the island as far as Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus" (vs 5-6). That means the son of Jesus—can you imagine what he could have done with that?

Verse 7: "He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who called Barnabas and Saul to him, desiring to hear the Word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so was his name interpreted) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith" (vs 7-8). That's what a false teacher with false teachings will do to seek you to turn away from the faith of God. So then you know what Paul did.

Verse 9: "But Saul, who was also called Paul, being filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on him, and said, 'O full of all guile and all craftiness, you son of the devil and enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the straight ways of the Lord? And now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season.' And immediately a mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand" (vs 9-11).

You can get a lot of spiritual analogies out of this, too. Those are the six categories of prophets:

  • The true prophet with true teachings
  • The true prophet with true and deficient or misapplied teachings
  • The true prophet with a mixture of true and false teachings
  • The false prophet with nearly true sounding teachings
  • The false prophet with false and true teachings
  • The false prophet with false teachings.

So, as you discern some of the things that are happening today, apply the test as to whether they are a true or false prophet.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, AFaithful Version by Fred R. Coulter (except where noted)

    • Exception: 1& 2-Peter, from The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter—author's translation

Scriptural References:

  • Jeremiah 23:9-14
  • Revelation 3:15-17
  • Revelation 11:8
  • 2-Thessalonians 2:3-4
  • Jude 1-4
  • 2-Peter 2:1-3
  • Acts 17:11
  • Acts 20:28-31
  • John 3:31-36
  • 1-John 2:3-5
  • 2-Timothy 2:15-16
  • Jeremiah 23:23-32
  • 1-Timothy 4:6-16
  • Acts 18:24-26
  • Hebrews 3:12-14
  • 1-Corinthians 12:13
  • Galatians 1:6-10
  • Galatians 2:1-14
  • 1-Timothy 4:1-2
  • 1-Timothy 6:3-5
  • Matthew 7:15, 21-23
  • 2-Corinthians 4:1-2
  • Colossians 2:2-8, 18
  • Philippians 3:17-19
  • Galatians 5:1-4
  • Acts 8:9-11, 20-23
  • Acts 13:5-11

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 13
  • Ezekiel 13, 34
  • Isaiah 8:16-20
  • Ephesians 4
  • Isaiah 28
  • 1-Timothy 3
  • Matthew 10
  • 2-John
  • Matthew 7:15
  •  1-John 2:3-6

Also referenced:

Books:

  • All Roads Lead to Rome? by Michael DeSemlyen
  • Sabbath in Crisis by Dale Ratclaff
  • The Other End of the World by Roger Rusk
  • Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry

Sermon Series:

  • Scripturalism vs Judaism
  • Colossians

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 8-12-09
Corrected: 3/12

 

BOOKS