Heresy vs Apostasy

It’s pretty much the norm today Mike. Some form of Heresy.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Old John Gill wrote: “ This is called “strait”; because faith in Christ, a profession of it, and a life and conversation agreeable to it, are attended with many afflictions, temptations, reproaches, and persecutions. “Entering” in at it is by faith, and making a profession of it: hence it follows, that faith is not the gate itself, but the grace, by which men enter in at the right door, and walk on in Christ, as they begin with him. ”

The attractiveness of degrees of truth mixed with some amount of false doctrine has been with the world since the beginning, just read Genesis 3.

You couldn’t mention every group today but I often read that the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) worldwide has one of largest followings. Highly influential in their music and teachings. But bottom line is there are many ways to off the old and narrow path. Just read John Bunyan.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11 (NASB) 

True Biblical discernment is crucial for the spiritual health of the Body of Christ because there has and always will be a plague of false teaching and teachers upon it until our Lord’s return.  In the Truth War that is upon us in the Church, we have many enemies trying to come in “unawares.” They try to infiltrate, appearing as “Orthodox” but their teaching is deceitful, degrading, and damnable (2 Peter 2:1). Those of us who have been gifted by God with spiritual discernment are, therefore, also given the job of flushing these people out. Part of this job is  knowing who our enemies really are. Are they apostates or are they simply holding to some heresy that doesn’t fall…

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But prove yourselves doers of the word

We certainly have an anger problem if one reads the news. I find your discussion much more useful than Beth Moore’s tweet that she would take a time out since she can’t control what she says. I’d much rather follow your scriptural path! May God help us.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22 (NASB) 

The visible Church in our time has been compromised for the most part by human philosophy and has succumbed to the pressure from the world to not emphasize God’s truth as absolute. Professing Christians who discount the Word of God as absolute truth are actually placing their intellect, their beliefs, and the counsel of their own hearts above the Word of God as it relates to authority and truth. It is one thing for an atheist to denigrate Christians, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the God the Holy Spirit. That is almost expected and should not surprise us. However, when the majority of professing Christians demand the right to behave contrary to what the Word teaches about Christian behavior can God’s judgment…

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The Fruit of Devotion

Mike this is so true yet so hard to deal with. My own church of of 35+ years is absent the main pastor for a year now, The elders brought in a Vitaliy consultancy as we are being guided and lead by one of their leaders in new directions. Sad that our guidance has to be coming from consultants, but that is the way, today.

1Ti 4:13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

1Ti 4:16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Act 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Jesus as he turned over his earthly ministry had said…

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

13 ἕως ἔρχομαι πρόσεχε τῇ ἀναγνώσει, τῇ παρακλήσει, τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ. 1 Timothy 4:13 (NA28)

13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

As the passage above (1 Timothy 4:13) makes clear, to the Apostle Paul the centrality of preaching in Christian ministry was critical. He knew that the fruit of that was the working of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ producing godliness. However, its neglect produces its own fruit. I am not exaggerating when I state that most ministries today are built on entertainment, personality, crowd-gathering events, gimmicks, programs, and any thing entrepreneurs can come up with to draw people together that simply appeal to the flesh, which can be summed up by one term: pragmatism. However, that was not nor has it ever been the Biblical model…

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Therefore They Could Not Believe

Timing is everything. I read that Scientology had a commercial in the Super Bowl. Luckily I missed it. Of course what is from within the visible church is even more concerning. And unfortunately your message here will not be read or understood as true by many. About 375 years ago, the old Westminster Large Catechism described it like this:

Q. 13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
A. God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory; and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleaseth), hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.

Btw, Mike’s last point about our assurance was confirmed a few verses earlier in John 6.

Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

35 So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”
These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them. 37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 40 “HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY…

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The Deceit of Human Reason

It seems the definitive work on this today is Tim Keller’s Reasons for God. I had so many friends and family promoting him I had to not only read it, but I listened to his original sermons, which undoubtedly form the basis of the book, read the book and watched the DVD series. IMO he progressively softened the message, and by the time the DVD came out it was hard to find the Truth in it. I observed a lot of waffling and maybe just a bit of truth squeezed in at the end.

I observe other issues with Keller’s messages, I will not go into here.
I like what you wrote here..

“They accuse those who teach Biblical Truth of not teaching what the original languages say because they rely on “tainted” translations.”

“William Tyndale was a formidable scholar who knew seven languages including Hebrew and Greek. His translation of the Bible was the basis for both the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible.”

Seven or eight years ago I picked up the most “tainted” of all translations the KJV. Despite knowing that Tyndall and the translators were such horrible scholars. Anyway in my own walk from RSV, to paraphrases, to NASB, to NIV, to ESV I never have gone back. I do appreciate your own translations too. Clearly the KJV is”tainted”. The best example I’ve seen lately, is their translations of the Hebrew words which they put in English as Judgment and Righteousness, while the more modern translations use the word so popular today, “Justice”. But then even today’s liberal or human reasoning advocates love that word. Literally, over a hundred changes.

“They focus on words and logic, but since faith is outside of Human Reason and totally not understandable by an unregenerate mind, they cannot see it nor grasp it.”

Nothing really wrong with words and logic. Gordon Clark was much better than Keller on these, he used logic soundly, and taught that we have to start from God’s Word, the Bible or we can’t have any knowledge of Truth.

Anyway I would agree, keep preaching.

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 2 Timothy 3:1-8 (NASB) 

Genuine Christianity is not a world religion. Instead…

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