satan has corrupted our doctrines, teaching, and learning methods. This book reveals his methods of corruption. It also provides revelation about God’s learning methods, how to live in the kingdom of God now, and other sound doctrines. Now is the time to become spiritually qualified to enjoy God’s kingdom in the here and now. It is also time to prepare for the kingdom of God that is to come.
SECTION I : WAYS THAT SEEM RIGHT
Chapter 1 Looking at the Problem .................................... 1
Chapter 2 Signs of the Times........................................... 21
Chapter 3 The Danger of an Improper Diagnosis............. 26
Chapter 4 Man's System of Education............................. 32
Chapter 5 Two Ways to God........................................... 36
Chapter 6 Three Roads (Which One?)............................. 47
Chapter 7 Examples of Ways That Seem Right............... 53
Chapter 8 So Why Do We Miss It?.................................. 77
SECTION II : SOUND DOCTRINE
Chapter 9 Is Your Doctrine Sound or Corrupt?............... 81
Chapter 10 How Faith Works.......................................... 115
Chapter 11 Are You Trusting God with all Your Heart?...130
Chapter 12 The Doctrine of Love.................................... 137
Chapter 13 An Appeal to the Church............................... 154
SECTION III : SOUND DOCTRINE FOR THE HOME
Chapter 14 Husbands, Love Your Wives......................... 165
Chapter 15 Wives, See That You Reverence Your Husbands... 178
Chapter 16 Children, Obey Your Parents........................ 204
SECTION IV : KINGDOM LIVING
Chapter 17 How It Begins............................................... 218
Chapter 18 Fruits of Loving God..................................... 228
Chapter 19 God's School.................................................. 272
SECTION V : SUMMARY............................................... 290
Many of you who are reading this book have read other books that I have written. Many have met me and heard me speak. If you have heard my testimony, you know why I am in the ministry. I am a servant of the Lord because that is what God called me to be. I accepted that call for one simple reason, because I love him and John 14:15 says, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
My responsibility is to allow God to prepare me as a vessel of honor, that he can use for his glory. He desires to speak through me without my adding to or taking away from what he says. My job is to be an instrument that he can speak through to his children.
He gave me the title for this book several years ago. He has chosen this time for it to go forth. There has been much resistance from the enemy (satan) in the publishing of this book. The Lord has much to say to the church. I encourage you to be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you read. He will confirm what is from him. If it just came from me, he won't. But if he does confirm it and I believe he will, then you have heard from him not me.
1 Timothy 4:3 (KJV), "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." This book has been written to share "sound doctrine" with you. Sound doctrine includes uncorrupted doctrine, teaching and methods of learning. I have shared many truths about each of these three areas so that you can adjust any doctrines, teachings or learning methods that may have been corrupted (unsound) within your own spirit.
I know the Lord loves you and wants you to have his best. Everything said in this book is motivated out of love. Some of it may seem like tough love, but it is still love. This book will expose many errors in denominations, ministries, leaders and children of God, but it was not written to condemn people or ministries. It was written to expose errors and the author behind them (satan).
Many books have been written that attack individuals as well as denominations and ministries. This grieves the Holy Spirit because it is not motivated out of love. It judges and condemns. I have no desire to do either. My desire is that the Lord may speak through me in love and that he will give you ears to hear so that you may rescue yourself from any snares the enemy has for you.
I believe the truths that you are about to read can help in removing many spots, wrinkles and blemishes from your garments. Time is short. It is time for the Bride to make herself ready for the Groom. Satan desires us to be foolish virgins. He is working hard to deceive and rob from us this great blessing. It is time to wake up, stir up the gifts that are within us and turn back to our first love. Then we can say, "Come quickly Lord Jesus." The revelation in this book was given to edify and change you, not equip you to judge others. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7:1 KJV)
SECTION I: WAYS THAT SEEM RIGHT
Looking at the Problem
There are many teachings that are critical for Christian growth. They go beyond the basic teachings about communion and fellowship with God, which are taught in detail in my first book, My Sheep Hear My Voice. I am often able to share a small amount of deeper teaching in my travels, so at least people's eyes are opened to the reality of a deeper walk. Many who get the chance to "catch" the deeper teachings don't seem to get the full impact of what I'm saying. This is because we don't have the time to share all the teaching that is available on that subject. I try to share as many key points as I can in the time I have.
Many have heard the same basic message on hearing the Lord's voice many times, but they still get deeper and clearer truth when they hear it repeatedly. There are many critical areas that are so important, I cannot assume you understand them in depth. You need to take the time to go over the evidence slowly and cover each area fully. Truth becomes more real when you give it time to penetrate into your spirit.
One of these major foundational areas is "the ways that seem right". When I bring the truth God has given me, the first thing it does is expose the incorrect ways people have been walking with God. Christians have been walking in ways they thought were right, but weren't. They've done it the same way for years. It has been passed on for generations. It seemed right, but it doesn't work. It has never dawned on them it was wrong. Christians often use the excuse that they are "waiting on God". They keep walking the same way and think God isn't moving for some reason. It's as if God looks bad for not doing his part. They will even use the Scripture that the Lord is not slack concerning his promises. (2 Peter 3:9 ) They think God will fulfill his promises eventually, and their attitudes seem to say, "We've done our part, and sooner or later God will get around to being honorable and do his part." It's as if they are "gracing" God. It appears that God isn't faithful. They don't seem to realize what they're doing. Satan has deceived them, and the lie is never exposed.
We must not be ignorant of satan's devices. We must resist, confront and expose him in every area of our lives. He is our enemy! If we want to really please God but we are failing to do so, we must stop making excuses. We MUST find out why we are failing.
The attitude I have toward the devil is not positive at all. I don't like him even a little bit. He's a deceiver, and he's cunning, crafty and manipulative. Christians don't even know what he's doing to them. I got to a point that God opened my eyes and I saw what a fool satan was making out of me. He was doing it easily. I got mad and told the devil what I thought of him. I decided that I would no longer be ignorant of his devices. I didn't know all the ways he had access, but the Father did. I got before God and decided to find at least one access every day and let God remove it. I repented of the access and also found out how satan got the access in the first place. I watched to make sure he didn't get that door open again. That started a cycle of getting rid of all the satanic and sinful accesses that kept me from the presence of God.
As I deal with numerous ministries, I realize the church is very much infiltrated with false doctrines and lies. We have made them "sacred cows". Some doctrines are treated so holy you can't question them. It's as if you are coming against God. Any time a doctrine gets that kind of label, there's a pretty good chance it's error. That's why people are so defensive about them.
Truth doesn't need our defense. It is not threatened by a lie, but lies are threatened by truth. Lies cannot stand up against truth. Lies are darkness. Truth is light. Light will dispel darkness. Lies have to keep truth away at all costs. It's the end of the lie when truth shows up. It no longer has any power to deceive.
Lies disguised as truth have tremendous power to deceive . As Christians, we aren't going to believe lies labeled as lies. The devil has to disguise the lie to get us to believe it's the truth. Once we believe the lie, we quit looking for the real truth. We release faith into the lie. We give authority to the lie by our faith. A whole group or denomination can release their faith into a lie, and it becomes very strong. Faith gives power to the author of that doctrine to defend it. Satan has no authority, but we give him authority when we release faith into his lies. Then he takes that authority we give him and uses it to defend the lie against the truth. It becomes very hard to reach the person who believes the lie. The roaring lion rises up when you try to question that lie. You can receive all kinds of persecution in that situation. Satan has all kinds of vessels with authority that he can use against you. They will attack you if you touch one of those doctrinal areas.
This system of satan's which brings deception and the ways that seem right has infiltrated the church. It almost seems hopeless when seen from my perspective as an apostle teaching foundational doctrines to the church around the world. It's kind of like the person who realizes that our nation is really getting ungodly. We need major changes in the government. If you are aware of how politics operate, you know what it takes to change a simple thing. You realize the whole system will never change. No wonder countries have revolutions. They overthrow the whole system and start all over. That seems to be the only hope.
This happens in Christianity. We get in a denomination and get eyes to see that the church is infiltrated with lies and false doctrines. We realize it's a waste of time to go through their system to change them. You can't do it. You can't overthrow a deceived church, so you leave because God said to come out from among them and be separate. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
There is a group called the "Great Whore" in the last days. (Revelation 17:1) Some Protestants think it's the Catholics. That way the Protestants are excused. Many people are indoctrinated with that opinion, but the first people God sent me to were the Catholics in Ireland. When they heard the truth, they embraced it. Then I went to the Protestants and they didn't want to hear it. Protestant doctrine may not appear to be so erroneous, but that's only because it has better camouflage. Both groups have truths and errors.
Evangelicals have come out of the old line churches and they think they really have the truth, but there's error there as well. Their camouflage is even better than that of the "dead" Protestants. They have some "fire", so they must be doing something right. They assume that since God is moving, all their doctrines must be correct. Then along came the Pentecostals, and they saw all kinds of error in the traditional evangelical churches. Some people think that since they have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they've got it all. Yet there's still error in their doctrine.
Charismatics are the same way. They may have received enough truth that they can see some error in the Pentecostal movement. Now the Charismatics tend to proclaim themselves to be the chosen ones, but there's much error in their group as well. Many have come out from these churches too, and are now called "Independents". There are a variety of labels, but every group has the same problem. Every group seems to get more sophisticated in their ability to camouflage the ways that seem right. It gets harder to expose the lies.
Satan did not get this accomplished overnight. It's taken generations to get the deception established to the depth that is in the church today. I have a lot of revelation but as soon as I start assuming I've got it all or that I've arrived at full truth, I've just messed it up. You won't see me locking down a doctrine as if there's no more truth beyond it. The Lord doesn't have any graduates.
There is a basic problem around the world, not only for the lay people, but especially for leaders. They aren't teachable. They aren't even looking for truth. They approach truth as if they already have it all and they defend what they have. They aren't even willing to examine what they've got in light of the Word of God. They're not open to be questioned. They don't check what they've got and they aren't looking for anything else. They assume they've arrived.
As an apostle, I'm called to deal with doctrine. I've been trying to be gracious in dealing with error, especially in teaching communion with the Lord. That teaching doesn't come against anyone's basic doctrine, but a lot of things I teach at our home base as revelation would contradict some people's doctrines. I don't generally teach those things around the world, but in areas where I have authority and responsibility for doctrine, I do. The teachings I share with leaders are dealing more and more with doctrines and exposing false areas. This will increase and with it, persecution will increase. When you quit preaching and start meddling, people resist.
I grew up in Tennessee when everything was segregated. Blacks and whites had separate communities and schools. There was no social intermingling. When I started pastoring, I heard about this elderly black lady who led an intercessory meeting in her home. She had been known as a great intercessor for many years. She was an anointed woman of God. God spoke to me that he wanted to teach me something important through this woman. I went to her home, and she started sharing about her life in ministry. She and her husband had pastored a holiness church for fifty-five years. She lived in a small, modest home. All around the walls of her living room were pictures of people in graduation gowns. All her children had graduated from college. As we were sharing she said, "In all these years of ministry, I have learned this one thing. The Lord ain't got no graduates."
As soon as she said that, the Spirit fell. God spoke clearly to me. He doesn't have any graduates. He's given me a lot of revelation and I'm called into the apostolic ministry, but I haven't graduated. Until you come to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ, you're still a student and there are more things to learn.
I began as a full-time student. I reached a point where God had me doing the things he was teaching me. I began ministering part-time. When I reached the level of maturity that I was ordained in the ministry, I became a full-time minister in the areas in which I'd been trained. I had reached the minimum qualifications to teach or minister. I then was a part-time student. God began to add additional areas, and when I came to maturity in those areas, he anointed me in those, too. He keeps increasing the depth of what I already minister as well as adding new areas.
This is an important truth but it's been lost in most places around the world. People graduate from seminary with a degree and they get "graduate" minded. They've already learned it all and the only thing left to do is teach. They stop seeking as students. They aren't open when God sends someone to teach them. It is offensive to them. That is a real danger.
John 8:31 and 32 (KJV), "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The condition is to believe on him and continue in his word. If you do that, you will be his disciple and know the truth. You'll be made free. To get truth, you must first believe on God. If you aren't a believer, you don't have access to the truth. You continue in the word by doing the word. You must continually seek it. If that's your attitude, then you'll know the truth and it will make you free.
One thing people notice when they meet me (and it makes them a little nervous at first) is how free I am. Things that make them uptight don't bother me at all. I have peace and joy. I'm not bound with what they're bound with. I have real freedom. A minister I recently met said he sensed anointing and authority coming from me, yet at the same time he saw that I was very transparent. He said looking at me was as if he was looking at a child. Because most people would relate such innocence as weakness, he couldn't seem to relate the two. He saw freedom and a lack of bondage to the traditions of men. I'm free to be a servant of the Lord. I'm not trying to be anything in myself. The Lord ministers through my vessel. He is doing the work, not me. I have been able to share very convicting truth yet no one feels an attack or judgment coming from me. It's truth that I've gotten hold of that gives me freedom. Many people I minister to do not have freedom, so I share revelation to help them be free.
All the work of satan is built on lies. The most powerful weapon we have to destroy the work of satan is truth. John 16:12-15 (KJV) says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he had taken of mine, and shall shew it unto you." We have access through the Holy Spirit to everything Jesus and the Father have, as well as the Holy Spirit himself. By the Spirit we have access to all revelation. The job of the Spirit is to lead us into all truth. Then when we know it, it will make us free.
Through this teaching, we are going to systematically tear up a lot of the works of the devil. You have to start thinking the right way.Do you want truth or not? To get it, you have to qualify by being a child of God. Truth can only be spiritually discerned.The natural mind cannot understand the things of God. If you aren't born again, all you have access to is the natural mind. If you are God's child, you have his Spirit in you, and he will interpret what God says and confirm truth. If you continue in obedience to his word, as well as hunger, thirst and seek, you will receive. You must meet this requirement. Don't get a word, then sit down with an "arrived" attitude. You must be student minded. If you continue in obedience to the things he's showing you, then you'll be led into all truth. It will set you free.
Once we've processed truth correctly, the end is freedom. Our nation is considered free, but there's lots of bondage in America. The people in our country may have more freedom than those in some other nations, but most Americans don't have real freedom. Only truth can bring real freedom. We try to legislate freedom through lies. It's actually bondage. For example, freedom of speech leads to opening our mouths and hanging ourselves with our tongues. That can get you into all kinds of trouble. Satan takes the so-called freedom in our country and leads people into all kinds of lusts of the flesh. This results in bondage to him and his kingdom. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) Only in him am I free.
1 Corinthians 3:18-21 (KJV), "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours." You have a responsibility not to deceive yourself. This is not a suggestion. It's a commandment. How do you know if you're deceiving yourself? As soon as you start thinking you're wise, you are already deceiving yourself. If you think you have capabilities within your natural man to please God, you are already deceived.
The best of the world's wisdom is absolute foolishness to God. If you lean on the world's wisdom and believe it's capable of doing the things of God, you are believing a lie. If you don't believe that lie, then you won't do works from your reasoning and understanding to try to please God. You have to believe the lie that the world's wisdom can please God in order to function that way. The lie is that education or anything you can do naturally will qualify you to serve God and please him. The moment you believe that's possible, you just deceived yourself. If you believe that lie, then everything you do out of that wisdom seems justified. You are doing the best you can with the wisdom you have, but God says this world's wisdom is foolish.
There are over five billion people on the earth. If you put all our minds together, including the intelligence of all the geniuses, it would still be foolishness to God. God's ways are not man's ways. They are as high above man's ways as the heavens are above the earth. The light from the stars we see at night has traveled 186,000 miles per second to reach us. According to scientists, the light from distant stars left many light years ago. If you realize that God's wisdom is that much higher than ours and our knowledge is foolishness, then add to it the fact that the carnal mind cannot understand the things of God, you can see how foolish it is to try to lean to that earthly wisdom and do the things of God! It just doesn't make any sense. That's why he says for no man to deceive himself. Don't believe the lie that you can please God or do the work of God from your natural self. You can't. It is not God's way.
Many Christians are deceived in this area. It's very offensive to most people when I share Proverbs 3:5 and 6. You are commanded to trust the Lord with all your heart and NOT lean on your own understanding (your mind, your wisdom). In all your ways acknowledge him and he WILL direct your paths. Why should we acknowledge God? Because his wisdom is so far beyond man's, all of our wisdom put together is still foolishness to him. It's ridiculous to lean on your own mind. Yet when I say this, people act like I'm the one with the problem. I hear people frequently say, "God gave me a mind. He expects me to use it." But the Scripture says in Proverbs 28:26, "He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered."
I deceived myself for thirty years. Then I got hold of the truth and it set me free. I decided to not deceive myself anymore. I quit letting anyone else deceive me also. Ephesians 4:12 tells us that the five-fold ministry was given to prepare and perfect us for the work of the ministry. Verse 14 (KJV), "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." Instead, we are to speak the truth in love. We are not to be children any longer. We are facing winds of doctrine taught by the sleight of men. Their doctrines are designed to deceive. You are not to deceive yourself or let others deceive you. There are people whose sole motive is to deceive you. Satan is described as being crafty, subtle and deceptive. Where are those people getting their anointing to deceive? They have a power of persuasiveness that is from satan.
You may think a minister wouldn't do that. I'm telling you, they're doing it every day. I'm not making the judgment that they are deliberately asking satan to use them to deceive their congregations. Without question, though, he is using them. They are deceiving multitudes. They are teaching ways that seem right and using Scripture out of context to bring people to a conclusion that is not truth. The conclusion is a lie. That's common all over the world. I'm not attacking the people, but I am questioning the doctrines. It will either pass God's test or it won't.
Many Christians sense that something is wrong, but they don't know how to prove it. Everything the leaders say makes sense. Just that statement in itself should give you a clue. It makes sense to what? Our minds, reasoning and understanding. Yet God said his ways aren't our ways. Is it possible that when God tells us his ways, it wouldn't make sense to the natural? If it agrees with my reasoning, it makes sense to the natural. If it's a way that is not man's way, then it won't make sense. Isn't it strange that we believe something is from God if it makes sense? If you let your natural mind run, then wherever it goes, just mark that off as the wrong direction.
Satan is the author of deception. I'm not saying everyone is voluntarily yielding to deception and wanting to serve satan, but many are not as innocent as they pretend to be, either. It takes a lot of work to get deceived. You have the Spirit of God in you and he will not bear witness to a lie. He will convict you when you try to believe the lie. It isn't easy to believe a lie, so how do you do it? You ignore the warning. You reject truth, harden your heart, and as a result, you don't see truth and your ears become dull. You must choose to do that to yourself.
This is a conscious choice we make over and over. It's not one choice, but a practice of choosing to resist truth, ignore the warnings and not check anything the way God says. We're too self-righteous to do openly what we know is wrong, so we must disguise our sin. We are tempted after we are drawn away by the lusts of our own flesh. (James 1:14) The devil has access to our flesh and sees that lust. Because of our self-righteousness, he brings a way that seems right. We believe that lie and then we can do what we want to do.
Are you aware of the love of money that is in ministries today? If you watch many of the Christian television programs, it grieves your spirit when you see them take up an offering. Yet they justify it in their minds because of all the work they're doing. It's a case of the end justifying the means. They put all kinds of burdens on Christians that God never intended to be there, just to get money out of them. They've done it so long, they defend it because they think it's right.
You can believe a lie long enough that it becomes truth to you. The person who actually believes the lie to be the truth is very hard to reach. When you know the truth and just don't want to do it, you're simply in rebellion, not deception. We won't be in open rebellion. We want it to appear as if we're doing what is right and that's why the deception comes. That's why deceived people resist truth and conviction. They search for someone to minister a lie disguised as truth so they can be comfortable while promoting their deception. That is a serious place to be.
Ephesians 5:6 and 7 (KJV), "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them." All kinds of people want to blame their preachers for why they're deceived, but it's not an excuse. God has commanded that we let no man deceive us with vain words. If you let them deceive you, you are responsible. He told you not to deceive yourself, and he warned you about people who will try to deceive you with vain words. If you end up deceived, it is your fault and no one else's. This is the reason why the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. That's another lie...that God's wrath isn't coming and everyone is okay. Matthew 7:22 and 23 (KJV), "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
You need to know how to hear the truth and test it. The Bible tells us the Spirit was sent to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13) Part of his job is to bear witness to the truth. God told us not to lean to our own understanding but to acknowledge him. The natural mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit. Are you listening to the Holy Spirit or are you listening to your mind?
When I share about the simple witness of the Holy Spirit, some Christians act like they don't know what I'm talking about. They are even baptized in the Spirit, but they don't know what it is. They listen with their minds. Even when they think they're in the Spirit, they're not. They are operating in spiritualized flesh. They are imitating a spiritual thing. They don't even recognize the Spirit when he shows up. They don't check anything using the Spirit either. When I teach Christians how to hear the voice of the Lord, I don't just teach checking with the Spirit, but also with the Word (Jesus) and the Father. There are three witnesses we are to use to check what we are hearing. (There is a detailed teaching about the three infallible witnesses in the expanded edition of My Sheep Hear My Voice.)
I have shared this teaching with leaders who were shocked when errors in their doctrines were revealed. I asked if they had ever checked their doctrines with the three witnesses from God. They got convicted because they hadn't. These same leaders are teaching these erroneous doctrines to thousands of people. Sometimes I wonder if we are even serving the same God. Why should you defend a doctrine that's never been tested? I've checked everything I teach with these tests. You can't do this in your reasoning. Are your doctrines from a Bible school or some denomination? You can't assume everything you've learned is truth. If you adjust a doctrine, do you test what you change? You have to bring all doctrinal conclusions to God without an opinion, use the three witnesses and test them thoroughly.
God first called me in the ministry of a teacher. The first thing he said to me was, "When I give you revelation, it is for you, not somebody else. The first thing it's supposed to do is change you. Until it's changed you and you are walking in it with fruit to prove the change, I can't use you to teach it to anybody else. I will not authorize you to teach something that I haven't first taught you and you're doing it to the point you have fruit in your life." For a while, it didn't seem like I'd ever be teaching anything. I had to deal with all the reasons I wasn't walking in that truth. It took months to get one teaching ready. Amazingly, what it took to deal with one of those first truths was about 95% of what it took to deal with the next one. Then it was about 99% of what it took to deal with the one after that. Then the truth started coming quickly because the foundational requirements were the same. It was the first one that was tough.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV), "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." The responsibility is always on us! The pastor who ordained me had trouble with me because I came to him with questions about hearing God and walking in the Spirit. That offended him. He had been in ministry for years and God had sent him out in an evangelistic ministry with gifts and miracles. He had a tremendous ministry at that time. When he had all that anointing, he prayed every day for three years that God would not let him be deceived. Three years later, he was deceived. God pulled the anointing off his ministry and shut the whole thing down. He spent several years in a wilderness time. He had just started ministering again when he was training me.
I was talking about hearing the Lord right after he had spent a time being deceived. But see what he prayed. "God, don't let me be deceived." Where did that put the responsibility? God said YOU are not to let anyone deceive you by any means. He let himself be deceived, because he didn't do the things God said that would have kept him from being deceived. He threw the responsibility on God, didn't do what God said in order to prevent the deception, and then blamed God. He was offended at God for years before he finally got it clear.
We want to believe it's God's fault somehow. You can do what you want, but God isn't mocked. He is the judge. Blaming him won't excuse you. You can't do what your flesh wants, get deceived, and then say it's God's fault. My pastor learned from his mistakes and taught me much. Our failures are not negative if they lead us to truth.
1 John 3:7-9a (KJV), "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." Commit means "to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct)." (Strong's #4160) If someone gets "saved" but never changes and continues to practice sin, he is lying. If you are born of God, old things pass away and all things become new. You don't keep practicing the old things you did before. The first thing you have to do to be born of God is repent and turn from your wicked ways. You can't keep doing wicked things and have met the qualification.
There are doctrines of salvation being preached today as if you can accept God without repenting. They bring you to salvation for selfish motives. You don't repent because you're convicted of your sins and see the need of a Savior. Instead you see Christians with this "Sugar Daddy" who is handing out all these gifts and you want your part. You start confessing and claiming God's promises but you never change. You have let someone deceive you.
The bottom line is to let no one deceive you. He that does righteousness is righteous. You are not righteous if you're getting drunk like you did before as if that doesn't matter. Righteousness is in the Lord, and you aren't in him. You are what you do. Whatever you believe in your heart rules you. If you want to know what you believe in your heart, check what you're doing. You may believe in your head but not your heart. You must believe with your heart to attain salvation. The demons believe in Jesus in their minds, but they aren't saved. What you believe in your heart rules you.
1 Corinthians 6:9 and 10 (KJV), "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." The people who are described in these verses are not going to inherit the kingdom of God. Don't be deceived by false doctrines being taught today that excuse sin.
What about the effeminate? That's a big deal right now. We're told to show compassion to homosexuals. They've come out of the closet. We're told to accept this as a credible lifestyle and put the Christian stamp of approval on it. I recently read a minister's comments in the newspaper who said that God created certain people as homosexuals. He appealed to Christians not to come against God's creation, thus implying that Christians need to repent rather than the homosexuals. The Bible says not to be deceived. The effeminate will not inherit the kingdom of God. It is an abomination to God and a perversion of his creation. It's unnatural. God loves the homosexual, but he hates the sin of homosexuality.
God loves the sinner but hates the sin. We are to do the same. If I love someone, I'm going to tell them the truth. I won't tell a homosexual that their lifestyle is all right, because I would be lying. I am deceiving them if I say they can inherit the kingdom while maintaining that lifestyle. Satan is behind this deception. Preachers who condone this sin will have to answer to God. I'm not attacking them, I'm attacking sin. Sin is sin, no matter what it is.
Galatians 6:7 and 8 (KJV), "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." A lot of people preaching this should preach to themselves. God would rather you be cold than a lukewarm hypocrite. Many people act like they're right with God but they aren't righteous. They are self-righteous instead.
This verse is always applied to the flesh but what about the second part regarding sowing to the Spirit? What if you are having trouble loving someone? You may ask God for more love and then blame God when you aren't loving. If you need more love you've got to sow more love, not ask God for more. You sow love by obeying God's commandments and you will then reap love. If you don't have enough love, you aren't sowing it. Whatever you have a legitimate need of, sow it. If you want a friend, show yourself friendly. If you need compassion, find someone who needs compassion and sow some. Whatever you measure will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:2, Luke 6:38 KJV)
I have met many believers and all of them are serving the same God, yet God doesn't treat them all the same way. Some describe God's correction as a trip to the woodshed. This is even true of ministers. God reacts firmly when it may even be a small thing in our eyes. He doesn't treat me that way. He speaks to me gently. He exhorts me and occasionally reproves me. He would only rebuke me if I ignored the reproof. God's correction escalates if we resist him.
If all a person gets from God are rebukes, what does that tell you? They are resisting the exhortations and reproofs. This same person will deal with others' mistakes very harshly. It's true of leaders with their congregations and parents with their children. If you move straight to a rebuke, you are sowing that seed and you will reap it from God. You can make a lot of mistakes, but if you repent at exhortation and don't resist the correction, you won't be reproved or rebuked. If God has to reprove you, repent quickly because the rebuke is coming. If you get rebuked, you've pushed it to that point. It's stupid to resist the correction when it comes.
Remember, the final stage is removal if you continue to resist the rebukes. I have had to remove someone from fellowship once, and those in my team know it could happen to them if they ignore the exhortation, the reproof and the rebuke. Actually, I don't do the removing. God speaks it and confirms it. If God is pushed to that point, you asked for it. A lot of people don't follow godly order. They start with the rebuke or reproof. God in turn deals with them the same way. What they sow is what they will reap. Don't be deceived. God is not mocked.
2 Timothy 3:12 and 13 (KJV), "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." 2 Timothy 3:1 says, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." This Scripture is speaking about the last days. All (that means 100%) who live godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. If you meet the condition, you'll receive this "promise". Why should we be surprised if we suffer persecution? We should get excited about it. That means you're doing something right. When you aren't suffering persecution, you aren't living godly.
Today's churches want to be comfortable enough that everyone likes them and no one gets offended or convicted. Then no one will rise up against you. People who listen to a lie and don't check it are unintentionally being used by the devil to deceive. This includes ministers. They not only deceive themselves, they deceive others. They believe what they're preaching. This is one sign of the last days. According to 2 Timothy 3:7, they are ever learning yet they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. That Scripture sure has been fulfilled in this day. I see much learning and education in ministers all around the world, yet they don't really know anything. They don't even know the basics but they have doctorates in theology. They've been learning all their lives but they never came to the truth.
Recently, I was sharing at a leaders' seminar in Germany. A woman came up to me and asked if I have a doctorate degree. She had perceived that I wasn't that polished but was trying to be gracious. I said, "No, I just teach those who do." She could tell I wasn't that educated but she knew I was teaching some profound truths. She realized it didn't come from going to college. It helped her because she didn't have a formal education but knew God had a calling on her life. God doesn't need you to have a degree. As I continue to teach around the world, more and more of the people I minister to are leaders with doctorates. They are realizing they don't know anything as they ought to know it. It goes back to the fact that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God.
There's nothing wrong with studying or having a doctorate degree. It's only wrong when you lean on it because you think that gave you enough wisdom to run your own life. If you do that, you become a fool. Invariably, that's what happens. If someone has a doctorate in theology, people assume they have truth and whatever they say is accepted without being tested. In many churches, if I make a doctrinal statement that is truth but some doctor of theology gives a contrary opinion on it, the majority of Christians would accept his opinion simply because of his degree. It is pathetic when we are that ignorant and don't test whether something is truth or not.
Most ministers debate and argue doctrines from their own minds. I don't give my opinion. I tell them what the Lord says and that's the end of the argument. That's what they should be doing as well. Find out what God says and that's the end of it. If we all use that standard and test everything by the Spirit, how could there be any divisions among us? If something divides us, we just need to test it and make the adjustment.
How do we deal with all the error in the Body of Christ? It's no problem at all. If you use the right equipment and test every doctrine, there's no question. The problem is the Body of Christ won't accept God as the authority. Let God be true, but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4) You either agree with him or you make yourself to be a liar. I don't want to be a liar. If what I am believing is contrary to what God says, then I change what I am believing. I line up with what God says. If I choose the lie, I have just deceived myself again.
1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV), "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." That's plain and simple. Some are going to depart from the faith. There will be a great falling away in the last days. The love of many will grow cold. Many people will listen to seducing spirits who will speak to the hidden lusts of the flesh that have never been mortified. Doctrines of devils will minister to their weaknesses and private ambitions. A lot of people are going to be upset when they realize the doctrines of their churches are actually doctrines of devils. This will offend a lot of people, but it's becoming more obvious all the time.
Matthew 15:7-9 (KJV) is a message to the religious leaders of Jesus' time. "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." This is another area of deception. Hypocrites draw nigh to God with their mouths, but their hearts are far from him. They worship him in vain. Churches are filled with people who worship God and draw near with their lips so that worship time seems great, but their hearts are far from him. The church is infiltrated with seducing spirits as well as doctrines of men. There's very little doctrine of God actually being taught. That is so obvious today.
It's easy to discern when someone's heart is really near to God. I've been in buildings with thousands of people worshiping God and shouting about how wonderful he is, yet I'm grieving because I know their hearts are not really after him. The Spirit is grieving within me even though they are doing all the outward things correctly. God sees the heart that is not after him.
I've been in churches and have been amazed at why they believe certain things. There's nothing Scriptural about it, so why do they believe it? How can that be a doctrine? Some churches constrain me from ministering because of these false doctrines. I still teach the truth and then they get shaken up. I don't condemn what they have been taught, I just show them a better way.