Eight Symptoms of False Teaching

By J. C. Ryle
IMG_5359Eight symptoms of false teaching was written by J. C. Ryle over one-hundred years ago, and is more than relevant for the church today.

1. There is an undeniable zeal in some teachers of error – their earnestness makes many people think they must be right.

2. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge – many think that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe to listen to.

3. There is a general tendency to completely free and independent thinking today – many like to prove their independence of judgment by believing the newest ideas, which are nothing but novelties.

4. There is a wide-spread desire to appear kind, loving, and open-minded – many seem half-ashamed to say that anybody can be wrong or is a false teacher.

5. There is always a portion of half-truth taught by modern false teachers – they are always using scriptural words and phrases, but with unscriptural meaning.

6. There is a public craving for a more sensational and entertaining worship – people are impatient with the more inward and invisible work of God within the hearts of men.

7. There is a superficial readiness all around to believe anyone who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, forgetting that Satan often masquerades himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

8. There is a wide-spread ignorance among professing Christians – every heretic who speaks well is surely believed, and anyone who doubts him is called narrow-minded and unloving.
All these are especially symptoms of our times. I challenge any honest and observant person to deny them. These tend to make the assaults of false doctrine today especially dangerous and make it even more important to say loudly, “Do not be carried away with strange doctrine!”

Does any one ask me, What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? – I answer in one word, ‘The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.’ We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: ‘Search the Scriptures.’ (John 5:39) If we want a weapon to wield against the devices of Satan, there is nothing like ‘the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.’ But to wield it successfully, we must read it habitually, diligently, intelligently, and prayerfully.

This is a point on which, I fear, many fail. In an age of hurry and bustle, few read their Bibles as much as they should. More books perhaps are read than ever, but less of the one Book which makes man wise unto salvation.

Are Death and Life in the Power of the Tongue?

By Ian D’Souza

This scripture is an oft quoted one, more often out of context, incomplete and without proper investigation of the text. Almost every time I’ve come across this scripture, it has been used to show the cause and effect of things that happen not realizing the error which this can lead to.

To begin with, we need to read the complete segment of verses which form a connected-string-of-thought starting from verse 19 right up to verse 21.  They read as follows: Continue reading

Answering Life’s Basic Questions

By Ian D’Souza

I remember as a child and then as a teenager asking the following questions in my subconscious mind over and over again.  As far as I can remember, I could never find the correct answers from any of the classics or other materials (Reader’s Digest for example), that I frequently read.  Neither were they adequately discussed or shared in school and college.

The three basic questions of life are: (1) Where did I come from?  (2) Why am I here?  (3)  Where am I going?  Yes, Darwin did try to provide the answers through his hypothesis of “Natural Selection” which is regarded as the main process that brings about Evolution. However, consider the following: Continue reading

Touch Not The Lord’s Anointed

touch-not-the-lords-anointedBy Ian D’Souza

Time and again I have had people mail me or reply to my social network posts saying that it was wrong on my part to be critical of Christian Leaders who are in some form of ministry / office or any other Christian service. They have almost always quoted the scripture “touch not the Lord’s anointed and do my prophets no harm” as the necessary scripture in support of this complaint, without realizing the context in which this statement was made by God and again later on by his servant David. To make things worse, this phrase has been abused and misused by many a tele-evangelist / stage preacher & other Christian ministers as a ruse to protect themselves when their errors become manifest or when they are cornered for lying, cheating, etc, thus instilling fear into the minds of gullible Christians who refuse to study God’s Word for themselves.  To further compound the matter, should any mishap happen to the critic, it is conveniently attributed as God’s punishment for touching the “Lord’s anointed”.  So such Christians become life-long supporters of these ministers who are generally in the “false teacher” or “false prophet” category.  This support is not out of love for truth, but clearly out of a fear of Man! Continue reading

How Deliverance Ministries Lead People to Bondage

deliveranceA Warning Against the Warfare Worldview

by Bob DeWaay

(Shared with Permission from the author)

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

In 1977 I was in a ministry that specialized in inner healing and deliverance. People came to us from all over the country seeking release from hearing voices, addictions, emotional trauma due to past hurts and abuses, and many other forms of spiritual bondage. At the time our ministry was considered “cutting edge” in the world of spiritual warfare. Ours was a Christian community where people could come and live with other Christians to find healing. Continue reading

Should Christians Judge?

scalesIn these days of burgeoning confusion on the Geo-political front often impacting the theological front in which Christians struggle to make sense of current events, the need was felt to clearly state the meaning of the term “Judge Not” as mentioned in the scriptures, but which has been loosely and callously used by one and all without a clear understanding of what the Scriptures teach and mean by the term. Equally abused terms are “prejudice” and “bigotry”. These have been explained below:  (Ian D’Souza)

Continue reading

THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

IS IT THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR CHRISTIAN MATURITY?

Arthur F. Temmesfeld, Th.M.

bapPerhaps the area of greatest doctrinal controversy in Christendom today (circa 1970s), apart from the issue of the Verbal Plenary Inspiration of Scripture, is the teaching concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. This controversy has manifested itself in open conflict and even permanent division in a great number of churches, as charismatic and non-charismatic have come into confrontation over the use of the gifts of the Spirit. The conflict is not likely to decrease in the next few years, particularly if we continue to witness the degree of growth of the charismatic movement that we are now seeing worldwide. Continue reading

Causes of Backsliding and its Remedy

By George D. Watson

1240991527Throughout the Scriptures we are taught the infinite frailty and weakness of men; and even the best of men are set forth as having no strength of their own. Abraham said he was “but dust and ashes”; Isaiah said, “We all do fade as a leaf”; Job said, “I abhor myself”; Paul said, “I am less than the least of all saints”; and Jesus said, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”

All strength must be imparted to the soul from God. There are some few characters in the Bible against whom no blemish is mentioned; but in those characters it is recorded that all their goodness was imparted. They claim nothing of and from themselves.

It is possible that in six thousand years there have lived a few persons whose hearts never consciously wandered from God. Doubtless there are many who have had many wanderings, without the humility or the fullness of light to perceive or confess it. And the millions of God’s children have been painfully conscious of shortcomings – backslidings of greater or less extent. Continue reading

Living on the Edge

125770256Eutychus is a rare name in the Bible found only in Acts 20:9; an unknown individual, with no recorded history.  There are no books written on his life and rarely would one have heard a sermon concerning him.  An insignificant person perhaps, but yet holding and important lesson for each of us.

In Acts 20:9-10 we read, “And a young man named Eutychus was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and embracing him said, ‘Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him’”.

This brief incident of Eutychus in Scripture is put there I believe to illustrate a very important and practical truth. Let us begin by asking ourselves the question, “Why did Eutychus fall from the window?” Continue reading