Should You Run From Jesus Always?

Jesus Always - False TeachingThe following is a sample chapter from the "Should You RUN From Jesus Always?" book.

Available on Amazon (click here)

Why Run From Jesus Always?

I’m not a big fan of rap music. But every now and then I run across a Christian rap song that catches my attention. In a song about false teachers Shai Linne raps:

And you're thinking they're not the dangerous type
'Cause some of their statements are right?
That only proves that Satan comes as an angel of light.
- from Fal$e Teacher$

Satan comes as an angel of light. He hides the darkness of his true nature with the appearance of being an angel of light. That is an accurate description of Jesus Always.

False teachers hide their false teaching in truth. What they teach may be 99.9% pure. But, that small 0.1% portion of poison can kill you. A gallon of water with just 0.026% polonium 210 (1 gram) is poisonous enough to kill 10 million people. One teaspoon of botulinum toxin is enough to kill one billion people. And false teachers are even more dangerous.

The invasion of false prophets, false teachers, false apostles, false Christs has been something which the people of God have endured through all the ages of time. Satan attempts to oversow the truth with lies. He attempts to confuse the world so that they cannot perceive the truth of God by drowning them in a sea of deceit. - John MacArthur, The Danger of False Teaching (sermon), http://www.gty.org/resources/
sermons/55-9/the-danger-of-false-teaching

I assume you know, just from the title of this book “Should You RUN From Jesus Always,” my message is that Sarah Young's devotional book “Jesus Always” is false teaching that should be avoided. In fact you should proactively run from it.

Jesus Always masquerades as a Christian devotional, but in truth it is not Christian. It presents a false Jesus and New Age spiritualism wrapped up in Christian words and phrases. The false Jesus of Jesus Always leads people away from the true Jesus Christ (light) and toward the inward focus and exaltation of self in New Age spiritualism (darkness). Those are serious accusations, but they will be proven true in this book.

What if you don’t agree with my evaluation? We need to be biblical and do what scripture tells us to do. Scripture commands us to test and make evaluations to be sure a book such as Jesus Always is truly Biblical. Have you done that? What tools have you used to help you with that evaluation?

And, by the way, you should test my book also. There are no exemptions. Apply the same tests I recommend for Sarah Young’s books to this book. Be discerning. We are to evaluate all books, as well as other forms of teaching, to discern whether they present true biblical teaching or false teaching. False teaching is not something we are to take lightly. Jesus even warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect:

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. - Matthew 24:24

Scripture warns us to be alert and test all teaching. This means ALL, including the teaching in devotional books.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. - 1 John 4:1

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. - 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; - 2 John 9

But, Why Run?

Run From Jesus AlwaysWhy do I say to RUN from Jesus Always? Why don't I just say, “Don't read Jesus Always?” There is an important difference.

Running is the biblical response. It means to actively avoid the “Jesus Always” devotional. Not reading something is passive, and as a result there is a possibility others may be harmed.

For example, let’s say someone gives you a copy of “Jesus Always” as a gift. You never open it. You just stick on your bookshelf. Some friends come visiting, and one of them notices “Jesus Always” on your bookshelf. They don't say anything, but they assume that since you are a good Christian, and you have a copy of “Jesus Always,” it must be a good devotional. So they buy a copy for themselves and make it their daily devotional. You are responsible for harming that person

Running from “Jesus Always” means to be proactive. It means taking action to ensure neither you, nor your family, nor anyone else is harmed. That means do not ever have a copy in your home. Run from it! If someone gives you a copy, throw it away.

Where In Scripture Does It Say To Run From False Teaching?

John wrote a letter to “the chosen lady and her children” urging her to totally avoid false teachers:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. - 2 John 10 & 11

An article on the Got Questions web site explains what John is saying:

“It is important to understand the context of John’s epistle. John is writing to “the elect lady and her children” (verse 1). This lady was engaged in a ministry of hospitality. In the name of Christian love (verse 6), this kind-hearted woman was receiving itinerant preachers into her home, providing room and board for them, and sending them on their way with her blessing. John writes this quick note to her to warn her about the many false teachers who would gladly take advantage of her generosity. Her love needed to be tempered by truth. Boundaries had to be drawn. Hospitality should not be extended to charlatans, hucksters, and the devil’s own emissaries.” - http://www.gotquestions.org/allow-false-teachers-home.html

Then the Apostle John takes it even further, not only should she not allow them in her home, she should not even greet them -- for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

What is the principle John is teaching? Don't do anything that helps false teachers. This includes doing things that might cause others to believe you support or endorse their teaching. If you greet a false teacher, someone seeing you do this might think you are in fellowship with the false teacher and supportive of what they teach.

Yes, false teaching is that serious of a problem. You cannot take the chance that someone will mistakenly think you support the false teaching.

Did the Apostle John practice what he preached?

Cerinthus, one of the early leaders of the Gnostic movement (a false teaching) lived at the same time as the Apostle John. A story is told about a time when John and some of his disciples were going to a bathhouse. As he was entering John learned that Cerinthus was inside. John turned, and ran from the building shouting, “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”
John physically ran from the false teacher Cerinthus, not because he feared Cerinthus, but to protect the truth. If John was seen in fellowship with Cerinthus, that would have, for some people, put John's stamp of approval on the heresy of Gnosticism.

This is why we need to run from false teaching such as Jesus Always. Biblical truth is precious and brings life to the lost. We must be willing to sacrifice ourselves to protect the truth. We must be proactive in running from false teaching (including lectures, videos, books, magazines, music, sermons, etc.) so that we never, even inadvertently, do anything that might give the appearance we approve of the false teaching.

False Teachers – Isn't The Problem Obvious?

• False teachers, and false teaching such as Jesus Always, can be difficult to spot because they disguise themselves as teachers of righteousness… as the source of new truth and insights… as the source of spiritual light. That’s what Sarah Young does in the Jesus Always devotional:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. - 2 Corinthians 11:13-14

• False teachers are difficult to spot because their false teaching is always mixed with truth. The prosperity preachers on TV talk about the importance of scripture. They will call on the name of Jesus. They will describe the multitude of missionaries they support and the on-going good work they do. They pray. They quote Jesus. They sound so spiritual and religious… but it’s all just to get you to pull out your credit card and send them money.

• False teachers often appear to be nicer, more spiritual, and more loving than true preachers of the gospel. They usually have great smiles, a friendly attitude, and they dress well. But, they are like the Pharisees, it is all external. It is nothing more than the sugar coating on a poison pill. Writing to Timothy about false teachers, Paul described them as,

holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. – 2 Timothy 3:5

• False teaching, such as the teaching in Jesus Always, is particularly difficult to spot. It is hidden by biblical sounding language and references to scripture. This makes it very difficult to detect.

That's why we must always run from books with false teaching, least we lead someone else to fall into the trap, or even we ourselves are deceived. Even with our guard up we can fall into the trap of believing the false teaching. We must always be focused on truth and the glorifying God, and reject all that is false.

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. – Matthew 24:24

Not only are we to run from false teaching ourselves we are to help others escape false teaching. Jude writes:

And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. - Jude 22 & 23

Commenting on these verses in Jude, John MacArthur points out they tell us to come to the aid of a Christian trapped in false teaching. He says that false teaching is:

…like a prairie fire with its malignancy. That's why in Jude 23 it says when you get near anybody in a false system, snatch them like a bran from the burning and watch out that you don't get your garment spotted by that stuff. It's a malignancy, it eats up the neighboring tissue and spreads its corrupting doctrine to infect other people rapidly. It runs rampant. - John MacArthur sermon The Danger Of False Teaching, http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/55-9/the-danger-of-false-teaching

The Dangers of False Teaching

Jesus Always - Truth - LiesThe danger of false teaching is that it makes empty promises and gives false hope, using spiritual sounding words and phrases. In Matthew 7:13 & 14 Jesus describes the wide and the narrow gates. The wide gate is the easy way, and it leads to destruction. The narrow gate is the way to eternal life. Then the next verse (15) warns about false prophets.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

What did shepherds wear? They wore wool clothing. The person wearing “sheep’s” clothing, in other words wearing what sheep wear, was a shepherd. So Jesus is warning about false shepherds in verse 15.

Both gates have the same signs pointing to them, “This way to salvation.” Both gates promise they are the way to heaven. But, the promise of the wide gate is the promise of a false shepherd. It is a lie. The reality is the wide gate is the road to destruction.

False teachers direct and lead people through the wide gate. They seem to be nice, loving, and very spiritual people, and their message is not offensive… but they point to the broad way that leads to destruction. Run from them!

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. - 2 Corinthians 1:1

We need to walk, think, and live according to what scripture teaches, following the examples given in scripture. Don't follow false teaching masquerading as light.

Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. - Philippians 3:17-19

Jesus warns us to be careful about who we follow. Those who are false teachers are blind to the truth, and it is impossible for the blind (such as Jesus Always) to lead you to the light of truth.

And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?” – Luke 6:39

Scripture continually warns us to be on our guard and not be deceived:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. - Colossians 2:8

Why Run From False Teaching?

Scripture repeatedly warns about false teaching. For example, it warns about the harm that can come to believers. While you cannot lose your salvation, you can lose some of your rewards:

Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. - 2 John 8

Scripture also warns us that, if we pay attention to false teaching, we may pass on that false teaching to others. If you are a pastor, elder, or teacher, scriptures tells you that one of your responsibilities is to instruct the men in your church so that they do not teach what is empty or false.

As I urged you [upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. - 1 Timothy 1:3-4

Adam and Eve were not fallen, yet they were deceived by false teaching. (“Did God really say?” – “Surely you will not die.”) We are fallen and very easy to deceive. We need to be diligent in protecting ourselves from false teaching.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. - 2 Timothy 4:3

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron. - 1 Timothy 4:1-2

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. - 2 John 1:7-11

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. - 1 Timothy 6:20-21

 

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All quotes from Jesus Always are copyright 2016 by Sarah Young
Hebrews 7:25 -- 2 Corinthians 2:14 -- John 8:29 -- Matthew 28:19-20 -- Isaiah 57:16 -- Psalm 103:9