Actual born again Christians are the living testimony of who the Bible is addressing only. For others it is merely a theological or doctrinal positioning, and not an actual heartfelt, living, spiritual reality. This is why 1 John chapter 4 tells the actual believer to discern by spirit, just who are their brothers and sisters in Christ. The rest of the “religious’ folks” (2 Timothy 3:5) holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
The Christian veneer that most nominal Christians possess is just that: “a form of Godliness” only as they are not true disciples of Jesus Christ by spirit. I have experienced this many times over within my own family, and the testing of my heart. And I am “hated for his namesake” normally on a subconscious level.
The most recent example is when I declared that I would follow Jesus in my heart of hearts (by spirit), and that what my wife does, is really up to her! My elderly father (who has been a Deacon in his church in the ladder part of his life) felt it necessary to make a special trip to my home, take me to my back garage, and tell me just how unloving I was to make such a declaration when concerning my wife! Yet Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate (strong dispreference of ) his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26). Also; So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14: 33). These verses show a willingness of heart to truly follow Jesus in all that we have, and most will not be able or willing to pay the cost, because of their love for the world. In simple terms, most will look back like Lot’s wife whose name is not even recorded in scripture. This is also why Jesus taught that: And a man’s foes (enemy) shall be they of his own household (Mathew 10: 36).
Why is this? It is because the Holy Spirit’s love for Christ in a true disciple is stronger than that of natural affections. This is also why Jesus taught: But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven. Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a man’s foes’ shall be they of his own household. (Mathew 10:33-36). All inspired scripture is of God, and is only intended for those born of Spirit and push forward IN Christ (spiritually) within their hearts’, and not just intellectually, by learning sound doctrines via our own understanding. In fact, Scripture is not to be taught to the wicket, nor are we to fellowship with them; as the result of doing these actions is to let Satan into the camp, giving the Devil a foothold upon the saints.
The result of teaching of the Bible to centuries of the unregenerate is a two edge sword (word of God), in that great blessings have benefitted generations of Christian informed cultures’ in countries, (specifically Britain and the United States) in the past. And now has become a curse in that people who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ go around preaching as (alternative Christ’s) or anti-Christ’s, and false prophets (teachers) wishing for men to follow them, and their Bible based teachings (doctrines) rather than following the Holy Spirit (who is Jesus Christ) incarnate, in the true disciple’s spirit.
Please Note: All these men started with Christ, yet wanted to draw others unto themselves! Antichrists’, false teachers, prophets (Ministers)…
Acts 20:30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
1 John 2:17-19 (ASV) 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.18 Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour.19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.
1 John 2:22 – 1 John 4:3 – 2 John 1:7
This is why we are warned in (Matthew 7:15): Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing (Clergy attire), but inwardly are ravening wolves. And (Matthew 24:3-5, 10-11) “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name. At that time many will turn away from the faith… and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” If one reads straight through Mathew 24, Jesus is explaining to the disciples how the end times will appear.
Also we are warned: (2 Timothy 3:1-7) 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, 3unloving, 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… This is speaking about those who claim his name (the Church), disciples are warned about – not just the wicket! Men will be; (Romans 1:30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. The Lord God will not tolerate such behavior; as written in (Isaiah 5:20) Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
These are all spiritually discerned things being spoken about, and if we will not follow Christ in Spirit (as Sons of God) we are in disobedience and not Sons and Daughters at all. It does not matter how well educated in the scriptures one becomes, how much worship (sacrifice) one performs in his name, if we do not listen we are disobedient and will be pruned if we have started with the Lord, or cut off from Christ (blaspheming the Holy Spirit) within our hearts and finally lost and burnt, by continually refusing to listen to our Lord in spirit. This has nothing to do with Bible study, behavioral modifications or Religious’ attendance. But has everything to do with the conditions in which we keep our heart as we are tested in following Christ within us, (if we have truly been regenerated) and elect of God.
The doctrine of once saved always saved, “within the perseverance of the saints by grace” (TULIP) taught within Calvinism (reformed theology), is the only “slightly unsound” part of the doctrine, yet is potentially destructive as it allows for a confession of faith, but no commitment in spirit; and although earnestly taught through the ages, has missed the gravity of abiding in Christ (who is one’s salvation) in my opinion. The Apostle Paul was even concerned that he would not finish with Christ and be disqualified! So brother Paul continually pushed forward in spirit despite all opposition in the world. Arminianism on the other hand, dismisses the election of the saints by grace John 10:29. (My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.) Both doctrines are but men’s attempt to explain the spiritual things of God, and fall short of the truth of God, who is Jesus Christ within his Bride! This is the only and intimate relationship which only the true disciple can discern, and no amount of doctrinal education can ever replace the actual “knowing” and following of Jesus Christ in Spirit!
It is a great deception of the Devil to lull saints into a false security, of not being able to walk away from Christ, and is a broad roaders doctrine, which allows would be followers of Christ “his Bride” “Virgins” “Ecclesia” “Church” (the elect) to act independent of the Holy Spirit’s leading (s) in actually listening and abiding in Christ, in obedience and following him alone as their head and husband.
I could give loads of scripture to support such an assertion, yet I would be referencing the scriptures’ most of the day! So I will use but a few as an example:
(Matthew 8:19 – 26 ) 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go andbury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves ; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord ; we are perishing !” 26He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith ?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
In this passage, the scribe is a scriptural scholar (Theologian); and in the second part the disciples father was not dead yet, but he was concerned about collecting his earthly inheritance.
Jesus rebuked them both (in heart), as one wanted to be a part of the world and teach about Christ but not have to follow him, he just wanted knowledge to share about Jesus to the world and it’s religious organizations. The second brother wanted his financial security first within the world before he followed Jesus Christ. Both men were attempting to follow Jesus as (disciples), yet their hearts were tested to see if they would.
10 Virgins representing the “Bride of Christ” still following the Holy Spirit within them (lamps filled with oil) (Matthew 25:1-13) 1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
(Luke 13:23-24) 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.
(John 15:5-12) 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
In every one of these passages, Jesus is speaking to his disciples, and every passage always speaks to following Christ in perseverance and obedience as an intimate bride, not as an unbeliever, merely religious about Jesus, or even a theologian!
(Matthew 24:11) and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
Be not deceived dear Brethren, don’t follow the teachings of Men, follow the teachings of the Holy Spirit within you, who is Jesus Christ, the truth of God, lest you be deceived in your own understanding! Always ask the Lord to show you the truth about what has been taught to you.