12 February 2006

"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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."-2 Peter 2:1-3

Last week we observed some of the marks of the false prophets that Peter warned us about and today we continue with other evidences of their pernicious ways. As we noticed, most of them have a new Bible, new revelations, new information that has been discovered since the writings of the apostles, which brings us to the next point. Their new writings tell people to do things that the infant Church never did: They "privily bring in damnable heresies".

A heresy is something that is not true, a false doctrine or practice that was not taught or ordained by Jesus or the Apostles. The word privily means that it is their own private thought, their idea, not something they learned from light given by God upon His word. Surely this is dangerous to genuine Christianity! Peter warned of private ideas, new light, new revelations, when he wrote in another place: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man…"(2 Peter 20,21a). NO prophecy is from people. Real prophecy came as men "were moved by the Holy Ghost." In other words, it came from God and not from them. In the same chapter he also wrote, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables". This is the mark of the false apostle!

In their secret writings they tell people to do secret things, go to secret places, perform secret rites, secret baptisms, recite secret chants, which, by the way, are not in the Bible. They even demand their converts wear particular clothes, right down to their underwear! This is all of Satan. If it is private, you can be sure that something is amiss. Sad as it is, we remember just how far this can go. In 1978, 408 American citizens committed suicide at a communal village they had built in the jungle in Northwest Guyana. The community had come to be known as "Jonestown." The dead were all members of a group known as "The People's Temple" which was led by the Reverend Jim Jones. One of the most interesting observations made by the soldiers that came in to clean up the camp was the fact that there was not one Bible found in the camp. They have given God's word up for the new light of their prophet. Peter knew what he was talking about. They brought upon themselves "swift destruction". Other than a few business meetings, or the fact that the members of the particular body are the only ones with voting rites, nothing was ever done in secret by the Christian Church. Any secret order, or fraternity, must be manmade, and if documents were examined, Christ would be dethroned and Satan elevated in them. Unless persecuted, the Christian Church met openly. Their preaching, their baptisms, their singing, all of their worship, was public, hoping that visitors would come and be blessed as well. Knowing all of this would come to pass, Jesus said, "Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." -Matthew 24:26. I am not there!