By Eric Wheeler

Shortly before his death, the Apostle Paul warned us that many in Christendom would soon fall away from the truth of God’s Word and would began to embrace fables taught by men. He prophesied, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to fables” (II Tim. 4:3-4).

What is a fable? Zondervan’s Compact Bible Dictionary defines a fable as “a story having no connection with reality”. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines a fable as “a myth or a falsehood”. In other words, Paul said that some in Christianity were going to leave the Word of God – the Bible (the Truth), and begin to teach and preach myths and falsehoods instead. Jesus said that the number of people who were going to do this wouldn’t be a few, but many! For He said that many would come in His name (that is, in the name of Christianity) and would deceive many (Matt. 24:5).

My brothers and sisters, unfortunately, this is sadly true. Many in Christendom believe and teach things that are not Biblical or true. In fact, they are patently false and un-Biblical! I am sure that this may surprise many Christians, but below is a list of some of those false doctrines and fables that are being taught and propagated as being Biblical: (None of these doctrines and heretical teachings is found in the Bible.)
1) You must be an “ordained minister” to baptize
2) Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday
3) Easter is a celebration of Jesus resurrection
4) The doctrine of the Trinity
5) The doctrine of the Rapture
6) The clergy/laity system
7) The belief that you are “going to heaven” when you die
8) The doctrine of “accepting Jesus into your heart”
9) Saying the “Sinner’s Prayer”
10) Altar calls
11) Infant baptism and baptism by sprinkling of water
12) Saturday or Sunday is the only day of worship
13)“Planting a financial seed of faith” doctrine
14) New Testament “tithing”
15) Required church attendance.
16) Homosexuality is acceptable – belief that you are “born that way”.
17) Being “slain or drunk in the Spirit”
18) Patriotism and swearing/pledging allegiance to a country or flag
19) Wearing religious robes, collars and spiritual apparel
20) Having and using religious titles
21) Women as pastors and elders
22) Confessionals/”accountability partners”
23) The belief that people must “qualify” to be baptized

Again Paul warns, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars… Have nothing to do with godless fables and old wives’ tales. Rather, train yourself to be godly.” (I Tim. 4:1-7).

The Bible and the Holy Spirit are the only teachers that we are to follow! And the Holy Spirit always leads us and teaches us in accordance with the Word of God (John 16:13-15). If any man, woman, spirit, or tradition teaches anything contrary to the Word of God, then we are clearly commanded not to follow them! The Bible is very explicit regarding this! Notice these Scriptures:
“Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of knowing from Whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ…preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (II Tim. 3:13-4:4).

“Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 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 none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth [the Word of God – John 17:17], but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth…Therefore let that abide in you which you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning [the Word of God] abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father…These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing [the Holy Spirit] which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him [the Word of God].” (I John 2:18-27).

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another [gospel]; for there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel of heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you that what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ [the Word of God].” (Gal. 1:6-12).

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for doing away with the Word of God to keep and teach their own traditions!

“He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men…All to well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” (Mark. 7:6-9).

Don’t think for a minute that I am coming down on people or judging them, or that I am “anti-church”, or here to judge and criticize ministers! I am not. I am merely affirming the fact that the Biblical prophesies and warnings that Paul and Jesus gave regarding the latter days have come true. Many people who claim to be Christians both teach and believe things that are clearly not Biblical! I didn’t realize this until the Lord recently verbally corrected me regarding an inaccurate and un-Biblical belief that I held. Let me explain.

A little over a year ago, I was invited to go to a couple’s house for dinner. I knew the man quite well because he was a friend of mine, but I did not know his wife at all. As I was sitting with them enjoying the meal, the Lord suddenly spoke to me and said, “I have sent you here for her. You will baptize her this night, lay hands of her, and give her the gift of My Holy Spirit.” I immediately responded to Him in my head by saying, “Lord, I cannot baptize her. I don’t know her!” He answered definitively, “You don’t need to know her, for I know her!” “But Lord,” I protested, “She doesn’t know the gospel. She doesn’t know the Bible. She doesn’t attend church anywhere. She hasn’t been taught anything. She hasn’t counseled with a minister, read any church booklets, studied the …” He immediately cut me off! I felt the anger in His voice as He replied, “Truly, truly, it is written that you men lay aside the commandment of God to keep your own traditions! For I said, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. But you men say, ‘No, let them first be taught, by reading our booklets, doing our correspondence courses, and attending our churches, and then let them come and be baptized!’ Truly, truly, as it is written, you rebellious men full well reject the commandment of God to keep your own vain traditions! Go and do what I’ve told you!”

Needless to say, I was speechless! My whole entire Biblical paradigm shifted at that very moment. When I heard God say that, I knew that He was right. But I had never realized it before. I had been brought up to believe, and been taught to believe by the church and by the Bible College that I had attended that a potential convert had to first understand certain Biblical doctrines and teachings; be attending church services regularly somewhere; be studying and reading the church literature; paying their tithes; and generally being and playing the part of the “accepted Christian” – whatever that is!

After a few gulps of water, I nervously said, “Um, Dean and Jennifer? I don’t know how you are going to take this. But Jennifer, I was sent here for you by the Lord God. He told me that I must baptize you and give you the gift of His Holy Spirit this night, if you are willing.” I didn’t know what she was going to say or do! There was a moment of awkward silence, and then I noticed tears begin to well-up in her eyes. She softly whispered, “So He did hear me, didn’t He?!” After a few moments of joyous tears, she explained to me and her husband, “Last night, I asked God in prayer to please reveal Himself to me. I wanted to know Him. I wanted to see Him. I wanted to have a deep relationship with Him. But I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know what to do. And now He has shown me that He loves me, and that He hears me. Yes, I am willing [to be baptized]. Let’s do it right now!” She immediately stood up right in the middle of dinner, and went straight to her Jacuzzi tub without even changing her clothes. I baptized her, and laid my hands on her asking God to give her His Holy Spirit as He had commanded me to and according to His Holy Word (Acts 2:38; 8:14-17).

It is through His Holy Spirit that we come to know God. We first believe in Jesus Christ (the literal Word of God), repent, get baptized, and then receive the free gift of His Holy Spirit which is the mind of Christ and the very nature of God. It is through His Holy Spirit that He writes His Laws, His Ways, and His Words on our hearts (Heb. 8:10-12). The Holy Spirit then teaches us and leads us into all Truth (John 16:13; I John 2:27). It is that simple! Once we are baptized, and receive His Holy Spirit, we don’t need another person to teach us or instruct us. For as it is written: “They shall all be taught by God” (John 6:45; Isa. 54:13). And again it says, “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” (Heb. 8:11; Jer. 31:34).

That is not to say that there is no place for the ministry. Quite the contrary! For God, Himself, gave to the Church [His people] the different ministries for the equipping and building-up (edifying) of the saints (I Cor. 12:4-7, 28; Eph. 4:11-16). Brothers and sisters, we who believe in His Word are the saints! The five-fold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) are given by God to exhort, teach, encourage, correct, and admonish the individual believers to look to God and to His Word so that false preachers and teachers can’t lead us astray to follow after them believing fables and lies rather than the Truth of God. True ministers empower the people of God, by encouraging them to become fruitful and active ministers (servants) themselves by pointing them to the Word of God and to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They don’t gather the disciples together around themselves, imprisoning them in “church” buildings in order to make them “perpetual students”! Jesus didn’t even do this! For in due time, He sent them out, so that His students (disciples) became teachers (apostles – “ones sent”) themselves! For He told them, “Go, and make disciples (students) of all nations, baptizing them… and teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you!” (Matt. 28:19-20). Notice, Jesus said that His disciples were to train and teach other disciples, who in turn were to be sent out to baptize and train other disciples, who in turn, baptize and make other disciples, and so on and so on. For He said that they were to instruct them in all that Jesus commanded them to do!

What good does it do for the Kingdom’s sake if the disciples are just perpetually sitting in church services, ever learning as students, but never becoming teachers themselves? Paul described them as “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:7). He warned those people who were sitting there in church as perpetual students that they needed to grow up: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness [the Bible], for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are mature, that is, those who by reason of practice have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:12-14).
My friends, if we are not studying God’s Word, and regularly practicing it and sharing it in faith, we are not growing! We are becoming unproductive and unfruitful! And Jesus warns that we are in danger of being “cast out” as an unbeliever (Matt. 25:30). God has called us to grow and mature in Christ – the Word of God. Too many Christians are just sitting around in spiritual complacency, not abiding by or living in the Word of God. Many Christians are not even familiar with what the Word of God truly says! Consequently, they are being led astray by false pastors and teachers who are teaching fables, falsehoods, and traditions of men, which only cause the people to deceptively believe that they are spiritually okay and right with God. The Scriptures are very clear that Jesus is soon coming back and many in the Church who are now “slumbering and sleeping” are going to wake up too late, and find themselves denied entrance into the Kingdom of God with Jesus saying to them, “I do not know you!”(Matt. 25:1-13). For Jesus, Himself, said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. For many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not spoken in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you who practice iniquity!” (Matt. 7:21-23). He who has ears to hear, let him hear.


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