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  Photo by Ty Unruh

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False Doctrine in the Church

And their teaching [will devour; it] will eat its way like cancer or spread like gangrene. So it is with Hymenaeus and Philetus, Who have missed the mark and swerved from the truth by arguing that the resurrection has already taken place. They are undermining the faith of some. (2 Timothy 2:17-18 AMP)

Recently the Lord has been emphasizing to me how damaging false doctrine can be. He has been doing this because we generally do not take false doctrine as seriously as we should. The Lord wants this to change. 

The Holy Spirit through the apostle says that false teaching or doctrine is gangrene to the body. The definition of gangrene is: "localized death and decomposition of body tissue, resulting from either obstructed circulation or bacterial infection." Once a part of the body of Christ is infected with false doctrine, it sets in like gangrene and that part of the body (congregation) begins to die. The Lord will then allow that body part to be separated (divided) from the rest of the body in order to prevent the gangrene from spreading throughout His church (entire body).

Doctrines of demons have kept much of the church from experiencing the gifts of the Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, deliverance, and the apostolic and prophetic. Let me be clear, this is not a matter of a difference of beliefs or a difference of opinion. It is a matter of false doctrine. Leaders nullifying the word of God by their own traditions and doctrine. The human reasonings of man that has been passed off as doctrine, is demonic in origin.

The church has some false doctrines that have infected a number of its body parts. These doctrines, if left untreated, will completely kill parts of the body in time. If things are not corrected soon, the Holy Spirit will begin naming names of leaders who are teaching error, just as He did with Hymenaeus and Philetus. He will use His true messengers to call them out, just as He used Paul the apostle to do. Leaders who are currently teaching error will be in much greater error and deception as the years go by. History has shown that unless error is recognized and repented of, it only increases with time.

Distorted Grace

The doctrine of the love, mercy, and kindness of God is an extremely important revelation for every believer to have. However, when this is the only doctrine taught it can become one of the most damaging. To know His kindness without knowing His severity can lead to ruin. To know the love of the Father without knowing the judgment of the King is to not really know Him. I have seen believers in the church pick and choose what side of Him they want to know while rejecting part of the Lord that offends them. This course of travel leads to error and false doctrine. The distorted grace message that leads to a license to sin is one of the most dangerous false doctrines in the church. Jesus addressed this issue as the great King sitting on His throne:

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (Revelation 2:20 KJV)

There was a woman false prophet who was under the influence of the same spirit that controlled Jezebel herself. This woman was teaching a distorted grace message in the church. Her message went something like, "no matter how many times you fall back into sin, God still loves you. We are all so weak and the Lord knows we will stumble. But His mercy and grace are so deep. We may not be able to overcome sexual sin and other issues but He loves us and covers our sins." The false grace message provides a license to sin, and does not require repentance to a Holy God. King Jesus describes how He will judge His church who partakes of Jezebel's teaching in Revelation 2:21-23. It involves throwing believers in great tribulation and killing Jezebel's children (spiritual children or disciples) with death.

I will close this section with one of the most fearful verses in scripture. Please note that the scripture says there is a more severe punishment for continually sinning under the new covenant, than there was for sinning under the old: For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-31 NKJV)

The Judgment of God

That brings us to another false doctrine that has permeated the charismatic church. The doctrine that says the Lord does not currently judge the church and the world. There will be a day when the Judge will judge the world, but nowhere in the scripture does it say that He does not currently judge. The error of this doctrine lies in not having the proper foundations in place. One foundation is the understanding that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). This scripture does not just apply to healing, but to every aspect of the Lord. The Lord absolutely can not change (Malachi 3:6). He has always been a healer, He will always be a judge. It's not something He does, it's something He is. The cross didn't change God, it was intended to change us. The Lord didn't begin seeing things differently 2,000 years ago after the cross. He has always seen us the same way, because Jesus Christ was crucified from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:7). The Lord is not bound by time like the natural mind of man. He is outside of time and sees things from an eternal perspective. If we view the Lord with human reasoning bound by time, we will not have a proper revelation of Jesus Christ. He was merciful under the old covenant, He is merciful under the new. He was a judge under the old covenant, He is a judge under the new.

The judgment of God is all throughout the New Testament. Jesus makes it clear that our loving Father will turn believers over to the tormentors/torturers (evil spirits) if we do not forgive our brothers (Matthew 18:34-35). The Holy Spirit moved on Peter and inspired him to release a "negative" prophetic word of judgment, in which Sapphira fell down dead. Peter actually prophesied to her that men would carry her out dead, like they did her husband (Acts 5:9-10). Paul, moved by the Holy Spirit, prophesied judgment to Elymas the sorcerer and he became blind for a season (Acts 13:9-11). Herod received the praise of the people and did not give glory to God, so the Lord sent His angel to kill Herod. Herod developed a disease, and was eaten by worms internally until he died (Acts 12:21-23). Paul was moved by the Spirit to remove a man from the church for not repenting of sexual immorality. This man was actually given over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that he might repent and his spirit would be saved (1 Corinthians 5). Paul also tells us that the Lord uses sickness and death as a form of judgment and chastisement. Many Christians are weak, many are sick, and many have died because they have partaken of the Lord's supper in a unworthy or irreverent manner (1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

The New Testament clearly indicates that the Lord is still judging His people and the world. I have given a number of examples in the scripture and haven't even touched the doctrine of the apostles. Anyone who is teaching that the Lord does not judge is at best teaching false doctrine, and at worst a false teacher. These people are ignoring the scripture and teaching their own doctrine from their own human reasoning. The only thing scarier than this is Christians who actually listen to them and believe their teaching over the word of God. It seems that Christians in the charismatic church will believe the doctrine of a leader if that leader has a big ministry and has written a lot of books, regardless of what the Bible says. If a "big name" leader says don't spank your children, and the Bible says spank your children; some Christians in the charismatic church will believe the leader. This has happened and I have seen it. Either some Christians don't know the Bible or they don't care. One thing is sure though, if Christians will believe the doctrine of "big named" leaders over the word of God, they will be greatly deceived in the years to come. These believers will be carried away by every wind of doctrine and will fall into great deception. Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (I Timothy 4:1 NKJV).

New Testament Prophets

There is a false doctrine going around in the church that says New Testament prophets don't prophecy judgment. First, who is anyone to tell the Lord what He can and can't do through His messengers. That is arrogance at its highest form. Secondly, the scripture clearly shows a New Testament prophet releasing words of judgment.

Jesus is our example of how to do ministry. I think it's safe to say that most of us understand that He emptied Himself of all His power, authority, knowledge when He walked on the earth (Philippians 2:5-7, Acts 10:38, John 5:19). He did however keep His identity as God. He only did ministry on the earth as a man empowered by the Holy Spirit as an example to us of what could be accomplished. The same is true with five fold ministry. Jesus is our example. The current biggest names in ministry our not our examples. Jesus Christ is our example. He was a New Testament apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Ephesians chapter 4 says that when He ascended on high He gave gifts to men. Jesus released the exact same offices that He walked in to men under the new covenant. Apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher.

Since Jesus was a New Testament prophet and He is our example, we should study His prophetic ministry to determine if New Testament prophets can release words of judgment or not. In Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus prophesies judgment against three cities because they did not repent after many miracles were done among them. Jesus actually tells an entire city of people that they will be brought down to Hell. The preaching doesn't get any more 'fire and brimstone' than that. In Luke 19:41-44, Jesus prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem while weeping. It was not His perfect will, but it became a necessary judgment when the people rejected their savior. That prophecy of judgment came to pass in 70 A.D. with the death of one million Jews. During the Roman siege, many Jews starved to death while others were killed by robbers within the city. Women even ate their own babies. The judgment was extreme and it was severe.

My point is addressing this is not to say that we should go around prophesying judgment. My point is that legitimate prophets need to prophesy what the Lord tells them to say. Whether good or bad. Whether Christians want to hear it or not. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (II Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV)

The End Times

There is a false doctrine permeating the church that says things will continue to get better and better globally before the return of Christ. One argument supporting this doctrine says that we are now living longer, we have houses, cars, and more comfort than ever before. So things are increasing getting better. Again, this is human reasoning. Sodom and Gomorrah had things really good according to earthly standards, but did that mean that things were getting better and better for them from a Heavenly prospective? Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. (Ezekiel 16:49-50 NKJV)

Sodom had it good, over-abundance of food, and the people had a lot of idle time. The same as America. Sodom was also full of pride and committed abominations before the Lord. The same as America. And Sodom was destroyed in one hour. America? We must be very careful with what we reason as getting better and better.

I have heard teachers reference Isaiah chapter 2 to support their claim that the end times will be a time of peace and safety.  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4 NKJV)

These teachers state that this scripture says in the last days nations will not fight against other nations. The first problem with this theology is that it is in direct contradiction to Jesus' words in Matthew 24. In Matthew 24, Jesus is answering the question of..."what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3 NKJV). Jesus addresses the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. in Luke 20:20-24; not in Matthew 24. If we miss that we will misinterpret the scriptures. So Jesus says the signs of His coming and the end of the age are: many be deceived (possibly from false teaching from those who claim Christ), wars, rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, disciples being delivered over to tribulation and death, many being offended and betraying and hating one another, false prophets deceiving many, lawlessness abounding and the love of many growing cold.

Jesus' words in Matthew 24 are a sure foundation for our doctrine on the end times. They are very clear. What we do not do is take a less clear scripture from Isaiah 2 and use it as our foundation. This is sure to lead us into error. Only with Matthew 24 as our foundation can we properly interpret Isaiah 2. 

In Isaiah 2:2, the phrase "in the latter days" can also be translated: "on the last day" or "in the last age". If translated these ways it changes the time frame to the last day of the age when Jesus returns (John 6:40), or the last age that the Bible speaks of on earth which is the 1,000 reign of Christ. If you continue reading in Isaiah 2 you will see that it is referring to Jesus' kingdom being set up on earth and Him teaching people personally. The word of the Lord is going out from the Heavenly Jerusalem that has come to earth, and He is judging the nations.

Furthermore, Joel gives us great insight stating that the nations will gather for war against the earthly Jerusalem right before the return of Christ at the end of the age. The scripture states, "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears" (Joel 3:9-17).

There are certain scriptures that will be fulfilled only in the millennium. No matter how much "want" them to come to pass now, they simply will not until the Lord's timing. We may be able to taste of the powers of the age to come (Hebrews 6:5), but we will not eat the full meal until the age has come.

Dominion Theology

There are different variations of this doctrine and I will be brief on this subject. Christians will not conquer the seven mountains (business, government, media, arts/entertainment, education, family, and religion) in this age. I am not saying that we can't make an impact on these mountains. We can. The Lord does put people in high positions of authority on these mountains for the sake of His kingdom. With this aside, the scripture is very clear: And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (Revelation 13:2 KJV)

Satan (the dragon) gives the antichrist (the beast) his seat of power and great authority. Note that Satan still has a position of great authority at the end of the age.

And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:5-8 NKJV)

For the last three and a half years of the age (42 months), the antichrist will be given authority to overcome the saints. Also, the antichrist is given global authority over every nation. This scripture makes it clear that the anitchrist will be the ruling the world at the end of this age and not Christians. Whoever has control of the seven mountains will have control of the world. Babylon the great harlot is currently ruling the seven mountains (Revelation 17:9). The ten kings will burn Babylon with fire and give their kingdom to the beast for the final time period of this age (Revelation 16:16-18). 

Isaiah 2 states, "the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains" on the last day of the age. Another scripture verifying this is: And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15 KJV). Then Jesus will rule and reign for a thousand years. Christ and His saints will have dominion over all the earth at His coming; not before.

This does not mean that we cannot taste of the powers of the age to come now. We must believe it is possible for whole cities, regions, and some nations to be transformed by the gospel of the kingdom in this current age. We are still commanded to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). That means going to war against the forces of darkness. Jesus never says that all nations will be discipled or transformed, but He did command us to make disciples. Let us not twist His words to fit our doctrine.

A Warning

There is a lot of theology in the charismatic church that is cutting edge and sounds very fresh. Some of it is good. But some of it is garbage. Be very careful in the coming days. Don't believe a revelation because it is so "fresh". Don't believe it because it comes from a respectable large apostolic center that has a global platform. It could be nothing but very "fresh" human reasoning. If the Bible contradicts the revelation that is being taught, reject the revelation. John Alexander Dowie had an amazing healing ministry with thousands following him. Yet he went into great deception and error. The same with William Branham. Don't think for a second at it can't happen to leaders today; especially if they are already teaching false doctrine. We are at the time of the end and deception is abundant. Be careful. Know the word and cling to it above all else.

- Ty Unruh (2015)