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[Our Lord has just taught us that there is a wide gate
and a narrow gate in our lives and we must choose between one or the
other. The wide gate leads
to destruction the narrow gate to everlasting life.
Multitudes upon multitudes are going in the broad way, but only a
remnant (few) will follow the narrow way that leads to life.
Now, our Lord immediately gives us a stern warning about one of
the major catalysts that cause many of these multitudes to go in the
wrong way in their lives.
There were deceivers that led them to believe the wrong things, caused
them to go in the wrong way, and led them into everlasting destruction.]
[Billions of people will be cast off the precipice
into eternal damnation while crying out about those deceivers and their
mistaken beliefs. But all
their religious pleas will avail them nothing.
They allowed themselves to be deceived and stopped their ears
from hearing the truth when it was proclaimed.
Telling God about the deceiver that led you astray will not save
you in that day, for God gave you a multitude of warnings but you
refused to hear Him. Many
will ask, “When and how did God warn me about deception and deceivers?”]
The Fact of Deceivers
[- Beware of
false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they
are ravening wolves. – Consider what Jesus said in this text,
The Bible and Deceivers
Col 2.8; 2 Pet
2.1-3; 1 John 4.1; Deut 13.1-3; 1 John 2.15-17) [–
Beware of false prophets, . . . -
even deceivers in the Church, have not caught our Lord by surprise.
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself warned us about these deceivers who
would be among us. Time and time again God warns mankind about the many
deceivers that are among them.
In or text our Lord said,
Beware of false
prophets, . . . In other Bible passage we read,]
5 For many shall come in my
name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. ]
[Matthew 24:11 11
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.]
[Matthew 24:24 24
For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and shall shew
great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if
it were possible, they
shall deceive the very elect.]
8 Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after
the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.]
[2 Peter 2:1-3
1 But there were false prophets
also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that
bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their
pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken
of. 3 And through
covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:
whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation
1 Beloved, believe not every
spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false
prophets are gone out into the world.]
is but a short list of the multitude of warnings that God gives in His
Word about false prophets, false teachers, deceivers, Anti-christs and
many other kinds of deceivers.]
[Since the beginning of the Bible God warned His people about false
prophets and false teachers.
1 If there arise among you a
prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the
wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after
other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto
the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your
God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your
heart and with all your soul. ]
[Don’t be foolish and refuse to hear the warnings of our Lord.
Know that there are many deceivers in our world.
God knew that they would be among us and warns us to be alert and
aware of their presence and their persuasion.]
forms of deception – By the way it is important for
Christians to realize that deception finds its way into our lives in a
number of different ways.
People are not the only deceptive influences in our lives.
The Bible says,]
15 Love not the world, neither
the things that are in
the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in
him. 16 For all that
is in the world, the
lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he
that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. ]
our own desires or lusts will lead us into a deception that is all our
own. However, in this
message I will focus on those individual deceivers that are among us.]
The Body and Deceivers
(vs 15; Rev 2.1-2,9,14,20)
[– . . . which come to you
in sheep's clothing, . . . -
They are right in our Church
and churches. They are all
around us. They look like
us and talk like us. Notice
our Lord says they are in sheep’s clothing.
Now our Lord often referred to His people as sheep or the flock.
So a reference to sheep is speaking of those who belong to the
good shepherd. This is
referring to the Body of Christ which is composed of Born Again
believers and is referred to as the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These deceivers are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
They are outsiders who have disguised themselves to find an
entrance into the fellowship of the flock.]
breads contempt - Now being the literalist that I am, I ask myself,
“What would a wolf have to do to get himself into a flock of sheep, even
if he put on a sheep’s skin?”
We all know that animals seem to sense things, smell things, know
things, long before we people do.
So, how would a wolf, even in sheep’s clothing get near the
sheep? Surely they would
smell the wolf, they would sense the danger.
Animals just have a sense for these sort of things.
Well, the wolf would have to ease his way into the heard. As the
seep got used to the presence of his smell and the sense of his danger,
he would eventually find an entrance among them.]
is how a deceiver finds his way into the Church fellowship.
He eases his way in little by little.
He will come in and be friendly
and caring, and will initially not reveal his false doctrines and
beliefs. Then after he has
developed some friendships, little by little he will reveal what he
really believes. Then,
because of their friendships people will tolerate his false teachings,
for the sake of their friendship and to keep the unity of the Church.
They will say, “Well, I don’t believe it that way, but it doesn’t
really matter anyways.”]
[Doctrinal Truth Outweighs
Friendship and Unity in the Church.]
[The Bible clearly identifies
deceivers within the Church and deals with them directly.
letters to the seven Churches of Revelation John wrote to seven existing
Churches and gave them warnings and corrections.
These Churches actually existed and consider what the Apostle
1 Unto the angel of the church
of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in
his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden
candlesticks; 2 I know thy
works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear
them which are evil:
and thou hast
tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them
Church in Ephesus had false apostles in their church.]
9 I know thy works, and
tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)
I know the blasphemy of
them which say they are Jews, and are not, but
are the synagogue of
Church in Smyrna had blaspheming Jews in their Church.]
14 But I have a few things
against thee, because thou hast there them that hold
the doctrine of
Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the
children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit
had teachers after the example of wicked Balaam in their Church.]
20 Notwithstanding I have a few
things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which
calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to
commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. ]
Church in Thiatira had
teachers after the sort of the vile and idolatrous Jezebel in it.]
[These are but four of the seven Churches and each had deceivers in
their congregation. The
warnings throughout the New Testament are plentiful.
It is hard to read a portion of the New Testament without finding
some stern warning about deceivers and false teachers.
In the New Testament we discover that,
Leaders in the Church, leaders of our faith.]
- Fellow Church
members. Those we ought to
be able to trust.]
– People in our
community, trusted family members, people we would like to believe we
all of the warnings in the Bible about false teachers and deceivers I am
astounded to find that so few Christian’s actually find it necessary to
take a stand against false doctrine.
It seems that there are far more who are willing to excuse false
beliefs to protect some friendship then there are those who are willing
to take a firm stand on what the Bible actually teaches.
Which brings us to our next point.]
The Battle with
Deceivers (vs 15;
2 John 1.8-11;
Rom 16.17-18; 1 Cor 16.22; Gal 1.8-9; 2 Tim 3.5;
[- . . . but inwardly
they are ravening wolves. – Our Lord Jesus Christ does not speak
lightly nor softly about these deceivers.
He is direct and firm.
He calls them ravening wolves.
As a matter of fact the whole Bible is stern about false doctrine
and false teachers. The
8 Look to yourselves, that we
lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full
reward. 9 Whosoever
transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.
He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and
the Son. 10 If there come
any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not
into your house,
neither bid him God speed: 11
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil
17 Now I beseech you, brethren,
mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine
which ye have learned;
and avoid them. 18
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their
own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the
22 If any man love not the Lord
Jesus Christ, let him be
8 But though we, or an angel
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have
preached unto you,
let him be
accursed. 9 As
we said before, so say I now again, If any
man preach any other
gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. ]
5 Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away. ]
10 A man that is an
heretick after the first and second admonition
does not tell us to just hang around with those who are teaching false
doctrine. He tells us to
recognize who they are and to get away from them.
We are to reject their false teachings and protect ourselves and
other Christians from their heresies.]
The Fashion of
Deceivers [– Now
lets try to be clear about how these deceivers work.]
Tim 3.5-9; Jude 1.4; Titus 1.10-11) [- Do you know the
difference between a deceiver and a liar.
You know a liar because you caught him in a lie.
But a deceiver is a deceiver because he has disguised his lie so
that you and possibly him don’t recognize the lie.
Many deceptions even contain a portion of truth in them.
Many deceivers are sincere in their false beliefs and their
sincerity seems to add credibility to their false truth.]
us be again clear, Sincerity and passion do not make a false truth true.
Either one believes the truth of God’s Word or they believe a lie, there
is no middle ground or gray area.
There is right and wrong, there is truth and error.]
[Listen to how God says these wolves work,]
5 Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they
houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led
away with divers lusts, 7
and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres
so do these also
resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning
the faith. 9 But they shall
proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all
men, as theirs also
enter secretly, worm one’s way, creep in (2Ti 3:6+)]
4 For there are certain men
unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly
men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the
only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. ]
Παρεισέδυσαν (Gk) -
(3844), unto or at the side of, and
(n.f.), to enter in, which is from
(1519), into, and
(1416), to go down, sink.
To enter in
craftily, secretly, without notice, like a thief. Used of the action of
false teachers entering into the church under false claims
10 For there are many unruly and
vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they
ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.]
(Gk) - from
aná (303), again or used as an emphatic, and
(n.f., see below), to turn.
overturn (2 Tim. 2:18; Titus 1:11; Sept.: Ps. 118:13; Prov.
[Hence, false teachers sneak their way into the
Church seeking to overturn those things that the people know.]
They are Magnificent
(Matt 7.21-23; Deut 13.1-5)
[– Many deceivers manifest
some magnificent gifts and abilities.
Notice what our Lord says in the text immediately following our
passage today. Jesus said,]
21 Not every one that saith unto
me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to
me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in
thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart
from me, ye that work iniquity. ]
[Notice they call out in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They say, “. . . Lord, Lord, . . .” but Jesus will reply
“. . . I never knew you: .
. .” Notice their
claims in this text they say they have,]
[Prophesied in Jesus name (vs 22)]
[Cast out devils in Jesus name (vs 22)]
[Performed miracles in Jesus name (vs
magnificent works or incredible spiritual prowess and power.
But yet none of them really knew our Lord at all.
Magnificent spiritual power and ability are meaningless without
the redemption provided through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Even these deceivers thought that they must surely be right with
God or they wouldn’t have been able to do the works that they could do.]
what about these powerful yet false spiritual leaders and their
magnificent works? Does God
give any guidance about them?
The Bible says,]
If there arise among you a
prophet, or a dreamer of dreams,
and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
And the sign or
the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying,
Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve
Thou shalt not hearken unto the
words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams:
for the LORD
your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God
with all your heart and with all your soul.
Ye shall walk
after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and
obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that
dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn
you away from the LORD
your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you
out of the house of bondage,
to thrust thee
out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in.
So shalt thou
put the evil away from the midst of thee. ]
someone might say, “but these
people aren’t trying to get us to follow a false religious, they are
Now, you hear this well, if someone uses the name of Jesus to teach a
false doctrine or the manipulate the Word of God they are teaching
another religion. They are
not teaching the doctrinal truths of the Word of God, they are
manipulating the Word of God and are teaching a false religion.
They are deceivers.
They are false prophets.]
They are Misguided (2
Pet 3.16-18) [-
Deceivers and false teachers will catch many people of guard because
they will carry Bibles and use their Bibles just as Christians should
and often do. As a matter
of distress, many false teachers seem to know their Bibles better than
many Born Again Christians.
The problem is that they do not use the Bible properly.
Instead the wrest the scriptures, Peter wrote,]
16 As also in all
his epistles, speaking
in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood,
which they that
are unlearned and unstable wrest, as
they do also the other
scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing
ye know these things
before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the
wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and
in the knowledge of our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him
be glory both now and
for ever. Amen.]
στρεβλοῦσιν (Gk) - strictly twist or wrench limbs
on an instrument for torturing people called a rack; hence torture,
torment; figuratively distort, twist, misinterpret words to a
false meaning (2P 3.16)]
[Hence, these will twist and torture the Word
of God to get the result that they are after.
In our day many have taken this torture to a more resourceful
extreme, they simply retranslate the Bible and create their own corrupt
version of the Bible, much as the Jehovah’s Witnesses have done with
their New World Translation.
Any first year Greek Student will immediately identify the
translational errors in this translation of the Bible.
There are literally multitudes of vile translations of the Bible
in our English language today.]
The Fruit of Deceivers
(vs 16-20) [–
Ye shall know
them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring
forth evil fruit, neither can
a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
down, and cast into the fire. 20
their fruits ye shall know them. -
Our Lord not only warns us that there will be wolves in
sheep’s clothing among us, but He also tells us that, if we will look
and watch, we will be able to indentify them.
Jesus says we must be fruit inspectors.
But what does the fruit of a deceiver look like?
A False Guide (Psalm
119.105; 19.8) [–
We have just notice how false teachers will wrest and torture the
scriptures. Because of what
they do to and with the Word of God they destroy any authoritative truth
that God has provided for them.
Folks, the Bible, the Word of God is the only source of divine
truth that you and I have in this life.
Twist and destroy the Word of God and you have nothing to guide
you into any real truth in life.
You will be hopelessly lost and undone.
The Bible says,]
105 Thy word
is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.]
8 The statutes of the LORD
are right, rejoicing
the heart: the commandment of the LORD
is pure, enlightening
A Form Of Godliness
(2 Tim 3.5; 2 Pet 2.1) [–
Make no mistake about it deceivers are devoutly religious people.
They go to Church. They
participate in traditional religious ceremonies.
They carry Bibles.
They use religious language and terms.
5 Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ]
truly have a form of godliness but they deny the true power of our
to deny the power of true godliness does not mean that they are
powerless. Many Christians
make the mistake of thinking that if some is a deceiver then they must
be on the out’s with God and God will render them helpless.
The truth is that many religious deceivers are incredibly,
spiritually astute. They
often appear to have incredible and unimaginable spiritual abilities.
This fact throws many Christians into confusion.
However, we have already
considered their magnificent abilities in this message.
The problem with their power is that they deny the true power of
our Christian faith.]
[The Power of true Biblical
godliness is simple
it is the power of the New Birth, it is the conversion found in
salvation, it is the adoption of lost souls into the household and
family of our Heavenly Father.
This is the power of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that
every deceiver lacks. No
spiritual gift, magnificent miracle, or supernatural spiritual
exhibition can compare to the salvation found through the simple Gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ.]
1 But there were false prophets
also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the
Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift
[Notice that these don’t know the way of salvation.
They have so manipulated the Word of God that they do not know
the way of salvation. How
is this manifested in our day?
It results in a false gospel, our next point.]
A False Gospel
(John 14.6; Rom 5.18; 6.23)
[– They don’t know the way of salvation and regeneration.
They will always teach and preach a works based salvation rather
than salvation through faith by grace. They will teach,]
[Jesus plus baptism
– Teaching that one must be baptized in order to be saved.]
[Jesus plus communion
– Teaching that one must partake of communion in order to be saved.]
[Jesus plus church
– Either you are a member of their Church or you are not saved.
One major denomination openly declared that if people are not a
part of their Church then they will not be in heaven a few months ago.
They proclaimed this so openly that I saw it on Fox News.com]
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the
way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
18 Therefore as by the offence
of one judgment came
upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one
free gift came
upon all men unto justification of life.]
23 For the wages of sin
is death; but the
gift of God
is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord. ]
– Hold out something valuable and say to someone, “If I were to give you
this as a gift, when would it become yours?”
Many will answer, “When you give it to me.”
Without giving it to them ask, “Is it yours yet?”
Then ask again, “When does this gift become yours?”
They will now answer when I take it.
Say, “That’s right.
I could try to give to you for all eternity but it will never be yours
until you take it.”
ask, what if I were to say, “I
will give this to you as a gift for one dollar.
Is it a gift?”
They will say no. Say,
“That’s right because you earned
[Jesus plus anything is a
works based salvation. The bible says,]
8 For by grace are ye saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any
man should boast.]
CrossRoads Baptist, June 7, 2009