“He answered and said unto them, "Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written: `This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.Therefore, in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold to the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups, and many other like things ye do."
A dual prophecy for not only the people of Christ’s time, but for ours, which will be proved by other biblical verses.
Again, in context, Opeth: Christ was speaking to the scribes and Pharisees who had watered down the pure and exacting demand of God's Law while at the same time priding themselves on their obedience to the their watered down version of the Law, excusing their own guilt and failure, while at the same time judging those around them who were not living up to the standards of their watered down version of the Law (traditions of men). Their worship was in vain because they weren't being honest before God, for if they were, they would have come to the conclusion that they were nothing but sinners themselves, no better than the ones that they had judged. If they had let the Law of God have its perfect work in them, they would have come to no other conclusion than that they could not perfectly obey (which was required for its fulfillment, as we've seen before.) and they would have come to realize their need of a savior (the purpose of the Law, as we have already seen plainly stated in scripture, but for purposes of clarification we can read in Galatians 3:22-25: But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law.)
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”
Who are these false apostles of today? Satan appears as a minister of righteousness = an angel of light. These false teachers under Satan will preach that Christ is the saviour, they are Christians.
Most likely, from "clues" in the chapter, particularly beginning in verse 20 they were the Judaizers who attempted to put the Christians under the Law if they wanted to be really right with God:
2 Corinthians 11:20-23: For you bear with anyone if he enslaves you, if he devours you, if he takes advantage of you, if he exalts himself, if he hits you in the face. To my shame, I must say that we have been weak by comparison, But in whatever respect anyone else is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am just as bold myself. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they servants of Christ (I speak as if insane)? I more so; in far more labors, in far more inprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.
I guess you could compare them today to either the religious person who has never actually come to faith in Christ and believes that his adherance to the Law is what makes them right with God, or you could possibly compare them to those who have believed on Christ and are true believers but they have one foot in the Old Covenant( = what must I do to earn God's blessings?) and one foot in the New Covenant (= Wow! Look at all that God has freely given me!)From the word "false", I'd have to go with the first possibility.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, "Take heed that no man deceive you for many shall come in My name, saying, `I am Christ,' and shall deceive many.”
God expects us to search His words and put the pieces of the puzzle together in order to know the truth. If you are not called, you won’t be getting this. No doubt, that Christ is talking about our time along with His own. Come sheep, follow me, I preach Christ, yes He is God, learn my manmade doctrines, it is okay. Just believe in Jesus, nothing else matters.
Of course God wants us to search His word, how else does one learn the truth that He has revealed. Now, how do you make the connection between Christ saying that there will be false Christs and that one of those false Christs will be proclaiming that Christ is God, believe in Jesus, nothing else matters and learning manmade doctines? First of all true Christians do not preach "nothing else matters". They preach Christ crucified for salvation. They preach that we have died to the Law so that we may be married to Christ. Christ comes to dwell within, live within the believer, and this is all of God. As we continually grow in the knowledge of His love and grace and keep our focus on HIM, we come to the place where we can realize His very divine life living through us. I'd be really careful in your estimation that such a person, called apart and sanctified by God, all of His doing, is the embodiment of anti-Christ. That sounds like nothing less than blasphemy, to me.
In Galations we read that the false doctrines of men have already crept into the church.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him, that called you into the grace of Christ, for another gospel. For this is not another; but there are some who trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.”
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him, that called you into the grace of Christ, for another gospel." Did you read this part that I bolded here, Opeth? Have you really read this? Perhaps you need to read it once again.
It is clear that the false church, which is called the Mother Beast and her harlot offshoots in Revelations was already at work during this time…
Again, Opeth, in context: Those who were troubling the Galations and perverting the Gospel of Christ were the Judaizers. This has not a thing to do with the Beast and the harlot of Revelation, although it would not surprise me that the Beast and the harlot would indeed be the "descendants" of false professors and/or legalists who have never really come to faith in Christ.
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now holdeth back will hold him back, until he is taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming—“
This is to take place during the Day of the Lord as prophesized in Revelations, but there is more…
“Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men who have crept in unawares, who were foreordained of old for this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Certain men already creeping into the church perverting the truth…so long ago…is it any wonder why we read in Revelations 12:9
“…Satan deceives the WHOLE WORLD…”
Except for his little flock…
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”
I take that as the entire world, all of the world’s religions, except for His little flock. In 3John 1:9-10, we can see that certain men, who were the leaders of their local Christian churches were already changing and turning away from Christ…
“I wrote unto the church, but Diotrephes, who loveth to have preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Therefore if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words. And not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth those who would, and casteth them out of the church.”
True Christians being cast out of the church…already…man…is it any wonder just how far false Christianity has grown throughout the ages…Jesus forseen this and in Luke 6:46, we read…
You take the fact that there have been (and always will be, no doubt about that) people who misuse the grace of God even deliberately, to live a life of sin to be an indictment against all those who believe that salvation comes through faith in Christ? That doesn't even make sense, Opeth. We have all been guilty of abusing God's grace to one extent or another. As we grow in the wonderful and ever deepening awareness of His grace and love to us, we will be transformed through the renewing of our minds. But it doesn't happen through hanging the Law in front of your face. That just keeps a person bound up in their sin. And don't forget, there is the law of reap and sow....that will never change. God is never mocked. If I go up and smack someone in the face, more than likely I will be smacked back. It doesn't mean that I will perish in the Lake of Fire though.
“And why call ye Me, `Lord, Lord,' and do not the things which I say?”
Lord, Lord, I believe in you!
*sigh* Context, Opeth, context: These were the ones who came before the judgment seat boasting of all that they had accomplished for Christ through their works, not trusting in Him for their salvation. His reply, "Depart from me, I never knew you." It was their lack of faith, not the presence of works that determined whether He knew them. They had plenty of works. What they lacked was faith. If they had faith, they would have performed their works from pure motives, but it still would have been their faith that produced their good deeds. As it was, all they had was works.
“Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. “ (John 14:14)
“If ye love Me, keep my commandment(S).” (John 15:14)
Why did you add the (s)? The correct rendering is command. In context He is speaking of loving one another. And yes, we are His friends when we live in love.
And what commandments are those?
Why of course the 10 commandments. Christ himself created the 10 commandments. But the Jews of Christ day were not keeping them in their hearts, strictly only in a legal sense. Paul spoke of this in great detail. Christ came to magnify the commandments, not do away with them. As we read in 2 John 1:5-6…
“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning: that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it”
Love = spiritual law = the 10 commandments of God (Jesus). If he abides in your heart, the Spirit of God will show you and provide you the knowledge and keep the law for you. I have now gone in full circle. There is so much more evidence…I will finish with Revelation…22:12-14
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.“
You are blessed if you DO HIS COMMANDMENTS. Why call him Lord if you don’t do the things that He says? You have to of course know what He says for you to do. It must be the same for each Christian, for there is only one Spirit of God.
Christ's command is to love. Christ's Law is the Law of Liberty. Christ gives the believer a new heart to replace the heart of stone and moves right on in and lives His life, His divine life, through these humble earthen vessels to His glory. Christ writes the law in our hearts, Christ gives us the desire to obey him. Christ does it all. The Spirit does come and live within, I agree, and He lives out His life through us, which is in accordance with His will and we will see that working out in us as we yield to Him. That doesn't mean that we will no longer sin, and it doesn't mean that we focus on Law, it means we keep putting our focus back on Him and trust Him to be our all in all.
You would do well to re-study the very Scriptures that you have been handling so carelessly. You will never come to the truth until you have the desire to divide the Word of Truth accurately and don't read into it with preconceived notions to try to prove or defend such positions. You do the very thing that you accuse Christians of doing.
I have taken the time to render everything that you have said in context to help those who may be confused by your inaccurate handling of scripture and to refute your assertions based on that inaccurate handling. I will not spend any more time on this type of presentation by you. If you want to study the word, honestly, then perhaps further discussion can be had. Until then, I see that continuing on the way it has been going, would be pointless.
[This message has been edited by Denise (03-07-2002 11:46 PM).]