by Mike Ratliff
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; Ephesians 4:11-14 (NASB)
14 ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι, κλυδωνιζόμενοι καὶ περιφερόμενοι παντὶ ἀνέμῳ τῆς διδασκαλίας ἐν τῇ κυβείᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἐν πανουργίᾳ πρὸς τὴν μεθοδείαν τῆς πλάνης, Ephesians 4:14 (NA28)
In the NASB translation of Ephesians 4:14 above the words “deceitful scheming” translate μεθοδείαν τῆς πλάνης, which could literally be translated as “lie in wait to deceive.” The desire of the false teacher is to deceive, however, in the last days there will be multitudes of people willing to be deceived. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
Sometimes I get so discouraged when I try to get my brethren to understand that certain “doctrines” they love are heretical or some of their favorite “teachers and preachers” are heretics or even apostates and get such a massive push back that they make it look like I am the guilty party and the one causing division, etc. when actually it is the heretics who are the ones doing that.
Therefore, those of us who know the truth, what are we to do? First, we cannot be partakers of the darkness being preached and taught in the visible church even if means losing “friends” and becoming outcasts in our own families. We have to get out. We have to find a way to serve God and be fruitful even if it means starting a church in one’s own home. Yes, there, I said it. Second, learn the Gospel inside and out and how to share your faith. Third, Learn doctrine. Yes, you need to do that. The only way to defeat bad teachers is with the truth right from God’s Word. That was Jesus’ own example and it does work. Fourth, and last, do not be surprised when persecution comes. Go joyfully into the circumstances God has allowed for you. If God has you in good church pastored by a godly man then by all means stay and serve there.
20 Λέγει ὁ μαρτυρῶν ταῦτα· ναί, ἔρχομαι ταχύ. Ἀμήν, ἔρχου κύριε Ἰησοῦ . Revelation 22:20 (NA28)
20 Says the one testifying these things, “Yes I Am coming quickly.” Amen come Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Soli Deo Gloria!