Many in this world bring deception, knowingly or unknowingly, even in the churches and Christian communities. They follow the ways of men, ideas, philosophies, doctrines, and their own opinions instead of what God declared true.
Be careful not to follow pastors, teachers, and men of great stature, idolizing the words of a man over the Words of God. Men have created their religion based on what has been handed down over the years or even made up recently. Yet they claim it is God’s Word. Test what they say by the Word of God, the Word given by the Spirit of God. Test it through the words of Jesus Himself so they will not lead you astray.
These are those who claim to love God and obey Him. Still, they deny His sovereignty, power, authority, and dominion over all things. In their pride and blindness, they believe they are correct in all they teach. But the Spirit of the Lord is the one who speaks the truth. He is the one who has declared from the beginning to the end what is true. He is the one who determines what is right and what is wrong. God declared, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”
For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:21-23
They claim to be true followers of God, but they are diluted and clouded in thought and understanding. They are arrogant and do not know what they think they know; they only have the knowledge that comes from man. They do not work in the ways, wisdom, or love of the Lord. Their hearts are made evident by their fruit.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
Beware of those who read words spoken and written by great theologians and professors of doctrine, religion, and instruction from great, mighty, and high institutions of learning. But never the Words of God. They proclaim, “Oh, Yes, I agree wholeheartedly; this must be true!” Placing the opinion and ideas of man above or equal to the Lord.
God is not pleased and does not approve of the idolizing of such men, even if they are correct. Let me be clear there are many great men and women of the faith, holy and godly, in their walk before the Lord. But to lift them to equal or greater a level than God is idolatry.
Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day, his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, Psalm 146:3-5
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, for God hates idolaters. All those who lift themselves in pride and worship of men are adulterers to God. They deny the Word of our Christ and His salvation. The Word that He spoke to His people and His true workman by the Holy Spirit. All those who deny Him, in turn, will be rejected. All those who love their sins more than His Word will pay the ultimate price. I am warning you that you may not make this fatal error.
But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:33 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:30-31
Those who lose their lives for Christ, do the will of the Father, and do not listen to man will be welcomed into Heaven with great joy. But those who desire to keep their sinful lives, worship anything other than God, and listen to man’s ideas will lose it and be cast into the fires of Hell and eternal torment. The Pharisees followed the made-up traditions of the Elders and perished in the end.
Jesus said, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those, who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” Matthew 23:14-15
We don’t like to think about it; what a horrible end is coming for those who preach falsehood. But if you truly love Christ, you will look only to Him, seek only Him, and be devoted only to the Word that comes from the Spirit of the Lord, which brings forth righteousness in your soul by faith in God and true repentance from sin. Not to be tossed to and fro with all the various ideas, rules, and traditions of mankind.
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:11-15
Woe to those who lead others astray. So confidently and arrogantly do they promote the ideas, theories, and hypotheses of man. Not even knowing they are leading the little ones of the Lord to doom and building up punishment for themselves. It would be better if the Lord took them out of this world early than for them to go on, leading many away from the straight path of God. May the Spirit of the Lord open eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Mark 9:42-49