Tom Fannin—October 21, 2023

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I want to start by asking a question:

  • What do we see coming within the Church today?
  • What will we be seeing coming within the Church?
    • A different gospel?
    • A different spirit?
    • A different doctrine?

or as Paul writes about and what we'll read in a little bit:

  • Another Jesus?

The Bible warns us about these things, that these things will take place. So, we shouldn't be surprised about that.

What we want to focus on in this message is not about the deception that goes on in the world. We know that the whole world is deceived by Satan, but what we're talking about are the things that come within the Church.

How do these things get in to the Church? We know a lot of times they're brought in by people:

  • false teachers
  • false brethren
  • tares

When you read Jude 19: "These are the ones who cause division; they are psychic, not having the Spirit of God."

These people who bring these things in don't have God's Spirit within them, and sometimes they're demonically influenced. It's things for us to keep in mind.

Acts 20:24: Paul says: "But I myself do not take any of these things into account, nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify the Gospel of the Grace of God."

Let's just stop right there and see what Paul writes here that's very important for us to remember. He talks about the ministry that he received from the Lord Jesus. That's what Paul taught, that's what he wrote about, what he received from Christ!

The other apostles that taught and wrote, that's what they also received from Christ, from no one else. These weren't things that they made up. We can definitely say they weren't double-minded in any way. They taught what they received!

Verse 28: "Take heed, therefore, to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this: that after my departure grievous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 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 28-31).

This is a warning that Paul gave to them that there would be those coming within the Church that would bring things that they shouldn't be bringing and try to draw away to themselves.

We see things like this in our area that I'm at. We see calendar issues where we have certain ones that are now keeping different days than God's Holy Days, God's Feasts on different days than what they should be keeping.

We see some who have gone to keeping sacred names, not the name of God the Father or Jesus Christ, but Hebrew names. What you notice is with those who go to that, that becomes something that's central to them. It's central in their lives. It becomes like 'a religion' to them.

Christ spoke about those who worshiped Him in vain. 'In vain do they worship Me.'This becomes a vain worship. We also see those who have gone back to keeping a Monday Pentecost, something that they've done for a while where they kept a Sunday Pentecost, now are considering a Monday Pentecost.

So, we see different things that are coming within the Church now, and we will in the future, as well! That's why Paul says here we have to watch for these things.

2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the Word! Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine'" (vs 1-2).

This is an admonishment from Paul to Timothy. We know Paul admonished Titus and probably admonished all that were with him. Also, an admonishment for us elders, ministers:

  • to teach the Truth
  • to teach in season and out of season
  • to teach the things that have come and been revealed by Christ is doctrine

the doctrine he received from God!

Verse 3: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts..." That's the key, it's their own lusts that brings these things out!

"…they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings; and they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth…" (vs 3-4).

They had the truth, they received it, but they turned away from it.

"…and they shall be turned aside unto myths" (v 4).

Do we put up with this when these things come within the Church?

2-Corinthians 11:4: "For indeed, if someone comes preaching another Jesus…"

There's only one Jesus, and the Gospel that He brought!

"…whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you put up with it as something good" (v 4).

Is that how we are? We know what we received when God called us! We went into baptism, and His Spirit was placed within us!

Do we put up with different things that come in? As Paul writes here, "…you put up with it as something good."

Well, hopefully, that's not our mind, that we don't want to put up with something different, but we want to reject it! We don't want to put up with different gospels, different doctrines, because it's dangerous for us, and for the other brethren!

Galatians 1:3: "Grace and peace be to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, in order that He might deliver us from the present evil world…" (vs 3-4).

That is what God and Jesus Christ desire to do; They want us to be delivered:

  • from this world
  • from deception
  • from evil
  • from death

So we can have eternal life and have the Truth!

"according to the will of our God and Father; to Whom be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen. 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…" (vs 4-6).

For a lot of us, we have been in the Church for years, and have seen different things come into this Church, deception brought in by men! I can say I was astonished at how quickly we saw some of the brethren turn back to the things they had come out of. So astonished is a very correct word here. Paul was astonished!

Verse 7: "Which in reality is not another Gospel… [because there is only one Gospel, the true gospel of Christ] …but there are some who are troubling you and are desiring to pervert the Gospel of Christ."

So yes, we will continue to see and are saying those who trouble us.

Verse 8: "But if we, 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! 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" (vs 8-10).

So, this is something to consider. What Paul did was to please God and Christ. All teachers and ministers and spiritual leaders within the Church should have that same mind! But unfortunately we haven't seen that. We have seen some ministers, teachers and elders who are part of a hierarchy that did things because they were motivated to please men!

That shouldn't be because if we get that mind, we will be led into teaching other things. We strive to please God continually in our teaching and our learning!

Verse 11: "But I certify to you, brethren, that the Gospel that was preached by me is not according to man; because neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it by man; rather, it was by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (vs 11-12).

Brethren, we can be thankful that what we have receive here in God's Word came from Christ and there were faithful men to teach and write about this.

Paul cared about the brethren; he didn't want to see the brethren deceived and be led away. That's why he said here: If anyone preaches another gospel,"…LET HIM BE ACCURSED!"

What do we need to be doing?

1-Thessalonians 5:21:" Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good."

We continually study God's Word in season and out of season,

  • proving again what we know to be true
  • reviewing it
  • practicing it

so we prove all things

  • that's why we have the Sabbath—weekly
  • that's why we have the Holy Days--yearly

We study and practice these things, learning more!

If we hear things that are different, then we go back to God's Word. "…Hold fast to that which is good." We hold fast to what God gives us, because God is good, and what comes from Him is good. We hold fast to that!

1-Corinthians 16:13: "Be watchful… [Paul talked about that in Acts to the elders] …stand fast in the faith… [the faith that we have that was delivered to us] …conduct yourselves with courage. Be strong in the Lord."

These are things we need to keep in mind and study upon. Just this one verse, how much is brought out here for us to meditate on. The one thing I want to bring out here particularly is that Paul says to conduct yourselves with courage. It takes courage in this calling we have to follow God, Christ and the Truth! We need courage continually. We're going to need courage in the future for the things we're going to have to stand up for! I like to remember what God told Joshua.

Joshua was appointed by God to lead his people as he replaced Moses. God told Joshua that He would be with him in the same way that He would be with Moses. There wasn't going to be a man to stand before him. But He taught Joshua to be strong of good courage!

A couple things God brings out to Joshua in that message to him. The reason God wanted Joshua to have courage was because He wanted him to be confirmed, to be strong:

  • in the Word
  • in the Truth
  • in God's Law

He wanted to take courage in that, and also to take courage knowing that God would be with him

Because God said, 'I will be with you.' Take the courage in that God is with us. Courage is very important. These are some of the things we need to be doing!

2-John 6: "And this is the love of God: that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, exactly as you heard from the beginning, that you might walk in it, because many deceivers have entered into the world; those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is the spirit of the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out for yourselves in order that we may not lose the things we have accomplished, but that we may receive a full reward" (vs 6-8).

So, we need to think about what we have accomplished, or maybe what God has accomplished working in us and what He's given us. We don't want to lose any of that! We don't want to lose any of our reward!

Verse 9: "Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine..." (vs 9-10).

What doctrine? The doctrines of Christ that he received from God!

"…do not receive him into your house, and do not say to him, 'Welcome!' For anyone who says, 'Welcome!' to him is partaking in his evil works" (vs 10-11).

So, brethren, that's something to be mindful of. We do not welcome these things when they come into the Body of Christ and to the Church! But rather, we reject these things, and we need to do it quickly. We don't entertain these things at all.

Ephesians 5:6: "Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words…"

As we mentioned earlier in the message, Christ talked about those who worship Him in vain, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men! So there are vain words; there is a vain worship!

Verse 6: "Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words…"

Christ talked about those who worship Him in vain, teaching the doctrines of men; there are vain words; there is a vain worship.

"…for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them" (vs 6-7).We don't join up with those that are this way.

Verse 8: "For you were once darkness; but now you are Light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light, (because the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and Truth); proving what is well pleasing to the Lord" (vs 8-10).

We mentioned that back in Thessalonians, prove all things! Well, we're proving what's pleasing to God, continually.

Verse 11: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them; for it is shameful even to mention the things being done by them in secret" (vs 11-12).

Sometimes we need to expose things that are going on within the Church that's not correct, and there's nothing wrong with doing that. Sometimes we need to name names of those who are presenting and bringing these things within the Church. Deception! Paul did, at times Paul named names in his writings. John named names. So we do this to watch out for one another and take care of one another! Let's look at something else that we need to be doing:

Hebrews 5 12: "For truly, by this time you ought to be teachers, but instead you need to have someone teach you again what are the beginning principles of the oracles of God, and have become those in need of milk, and not of solid food."

Isaiah 28:9: "Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those who 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, there a little" (vs 9-10).

There needs to be a weaning process to get off the milk and get onto the spiritual meat! It's part of our growth and development.

Hebrews 5:13: "For everyone who is partaking of milk is unskilled in the Word of Righteousness because he is an infant. But solid food is for those who are fully grown, who through repeated practice have had their senses trained to discern between good and evil" (vs 13-14).

So brethren, we need to grow up! The brethren need to grow up and get onto the meat of the Word! The things we need to know that God will deliver and bring to us when we're ready to grow to it.

A lot of the brethren in the Churches haven't grown up; they've stayed on the milk! There's a great benefit to being on the meat of God's Word. It gives us more discernment, and we need discernment, especially in these times and as time goes on. We need to be able to discern, as Paul wrote about here, between good and evil. That's why we need to grow up, all of us, and develop the mind of Christ!

What can happen if we're not growing up? What happens potentially to us if we stay babes? Let's bring out an important point in Deut. 25 of what can happen.

Israel had their struggles, and at times they did not want to follow God and be obedient to God, and it caused them problems. But I want to read something here that Moses reminded the children of Israel about:

Deuteronomy 25:17: "Remember what Amalek did to you by the way when you came forth out of Egypt, how he met you by the way and struck those of you who lagged behind and all the feeble behind you when you were faint and weary. And he did not fear God. And it shall be when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies all around in the land, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget" (vs 17-19

Brethren, I just want to mention that the spirit of Amalek is alive and well today. How is that? Well, that spirit goes after:

  • those who are weak
  • those who fall behind

Those are the ones who aren't drawing near to God in obedience to Him, the weak and the faint spiritually! That spirit, can go after them and overtake them. Amalek did not fear God!

The ones who come after the weak—those who fall behind, maybe those who are on the milk that don't have discernment—are those who prey on them and they have no fear of God! None!

So, it's something for us to keep in mind because, as we mentioned back again, of those in Jude talked about, they preyed on God's people and want to deceive and bring in deception.

Revelation 3:8: "I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it because you have a little strength, and have kept My Word and have not denied My name." That's so applicable to us!

  • we keep God's Word
  • we internalize God's Word
  • we don't deny God's name

Verse 11: "Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown."

Whether there are those who would like to come into the Church or are now within the Church maybe will be revealed later who want to bring

  • different doctrines
  • different gospels
  • a different spirit

As Paul talked about, another Jesus! Their desire is

  • to take our crowns
  • to lead us astray
  • to lead us away

Just like we talked about the spirit of Amalek! Those who don't fear God!

  • we need to be mindful of this as time goes on
  • we need to watch out for one another
  • we need to continue to warn about these things as God's people

So, we'll just close by saying, let's all of us remain faithful to God and to Christ and strive to keep Their Word!

Scriptural References:

  • Jude 19
  • Acts 20:24, 28-31
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-4
  • 2 Corinthians 11:4
  • Galatians 1:3-10-12
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13
  • 2 John 6-11
  • Ephesians 5:6-12
  • Hebrews 5:12
  • Isaiah 28:9-10
  • Hebrews 5:12-14
  • Deuteronomy 25:17-19
  • Revelation 3:8, 11

Transcribed: 10/25/23

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