Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jude's Top 20 Traits of False Teachers

From Jude 8-16:
  1. Dreamers - their spiritual truth is not reality
  2. Pollute their own body
  3. Reject apostles teaching
  4. Slander celestial beings
  5. Speak abusively against special revelation available in the Scripture (things not understood) and against natural revelation revealed to all men (things understood)
  6. Take the way of Cain - kill truth with man's religion, false world view and human effort
  7. Rush for profit into Balaam's error - use their talent and gifts for their own profit
  8. Destroyed in Korah's rebellion - reject and overthrow God's established spiritual leadership
  9. Blemishes at your love feasts - they are still in church and leading churches
  10. Shepherds who feed only themselves - they do not teach the people but they do collect money from the people
  11. Clouds with out rain, blown by wind - their teaching has no truth, but their teaching is driven by popular opinion and considered to be culturally relevant
  12. Autumn trees, twice dead - a) barren with no fruit at the end of summer, b) uprooted, and no longer alive
  13. Wild waves of the sea - all appearance with no shape, substance or lasting impact
  14. Wild waves of the sea foaming up their shame - the only thing the false teachers can leave behind is the pollution in their souls similar to the ocean waves leaving the oceans trash on the beach
  15. Wandering Stars - people can not use them for life's navigational purposes because they are not stable, if you base your ships position on them you will get confused and lost
  16. Grumblers
  17. Faultfinders
  18. Follow their own evil desires, not the Word of Truth or the Spirit of God
  19. Boast and promote themselves, not the Word of God or Jesus Christ
  20. Flatter others for their own advantage - as always, if you are their friend or partner in ministry it is for their advantage
These are found in Jude verses 8-16:
In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word

Prophesied Traits of False Teachers

Peter writes in his second book that the word of God is so important that:
"I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have." (2 Peter 1:12)
Peter then explains that even though he traveled with Jesus, saw miracles and other amazing things, the most important thing is the word of God. Peter explains that even though he could tell stories about when "we were eyewitnesses" to the transfiguration and "we ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him" for that transfiguration, there is something more important, something more secure, something more certain - that is, the words of the prophets recorded in the written word of God - and you will do well to pay attention to it:
"We were eyewitnesses of his majesty...We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it." (2 Peter 1:16-19)
In chapter one Peter tells his listeners that even though they know the Truth, Peter insists he will continue to remind them of what they already know and are firmly established in. And, even though he could amaze them sermon after sermon with stories and accounts of Jesus' miracles he will always bring them back to the "word of the prophets!" After telling the people this, Peter warns them that just like the people of the Old Testament had to deal with false prophets who spoke along side the true prophets, the people of the church will have false teachers who will have to be heard, analyzed and discarded from the teachers of the Truth:
"There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you." (2 Peter 2:1)
Peter then gives a long, detailed description of what these false teachers would look like. Here is my list of eighteen things Peter mentions. This list is followed by Peter's text so you can read it yourself and decide who these false teachers are today. (Think deeper and more serious, if you can, than naming Benny Hinn and Harold Camping - although they qualify - there are many more and, probably, they are closer to home.) My fear continues to be that I, myself, could be or become a false teacher.
  1. Secretly introduce destructive heresies
  2. Deny the sovereign Lord who bought them
  3. Their followers will live shameful lives and cause Christianity to be mocked
  4. Teachers will exploit people by taking offerings after telling stories they make up
  5. They are bold and arrogant and do not fear to slander and speak about things they are ignorant of including the spiritual world
  6. They blaspheme in matters they do not understand
  7. They openly sin for the sake of personal pleasure
  8. Their openly sinful pleasures become blots and blemishes on you even while they associate with you
  9. They are constantly looking with eyes of adultery and so never really stop sinning long enough to be in fellowship with God
  10. They seduce the unstable Christians who do not know the word of God
  11. They are trained and practiced experts in the art of greed 
  12. They have left the straightway to follow the example of Balaam which means they use their talents and gifts not to serve people but for financial gain
  13. Doctrinally, don't expect to learn anything useful for they are springs without water, or gifted teachers with no truth 
  14. Foundationally, don't plan on them taking a stand on any issues because they are mists driven by a storm, or their opinion is driven by the winds of culture and popular opinion
  15. They only have empty words, or words void of doctrine and truth
  16. Their words are boastful, which means they are constantly promoting themselves and their "ministry/business" instead of promoting the Word of God and Jesus Christ
  17. Recent converts who are ready to leave the ways of the world in order to renew their minds to truth are enticed by these false teachers which results in their spiritual lives being destroyed.
  18. False teachers speak as if their words will bring freedom, peace, satisfaction, happiness, but they themselves are still in bondage to the world and are still seeking sin, lust, wealth, fame, etc.
And, here is Peters text from 2 Peter 2:1-3;10-18. Be careful out there in the "church" and in the "Christian world":
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping...This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness. These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word

The Next Pendulum Swing

Church history swings on a pendulum that moves back and forth between extreme academics and extreme mysticism. Extreme academics focuses on intellectualism and rituals. Mysticism emphasizes personal experience and emotions. As always, in the middle, is the truth – the revelation of the word of God and a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

We can trace extreme cases of this pendulum swing through church history with these extreme swings that occurred in response to the previous extreme swing:
  • Death of the Apostles and the end of direct revelation led to the mysticism of  Montanism (150 AD) 
  • followed by academic quest for knowledge of Gnosticism (150-300 AD). 
  • The flight from society and from the corrupt church between 300-1000 AD created the Monastic movement of seeking God’s presence. 
  • This gave way to the Scholastic Movement in monasteries and the creation of university which developed and promoted the Scholastic Movement between 1000-1300. 
  • Soon people again desired a personal encounter with their God and the great Mystic Movement ran rapid between 1300-1500. 
  • The individualism produced and promoted by the Mystic Movement helped prepare the church for the Reformation which established and fought wars for its doctrinal statements against Rome and the “heretics.” 
  • A form of mysticism emerged from the Protestant Reformation between 1600-1800 called the Holiness Movement. 
  • In the 1800’s academics went extreme into higher criticism of the scriptures which produced Liberalism in the seminaries and, then, into the pulpits and churches. 
  • This cold and spiritually dead Liberalism was countered with the mysticism of the Pentecostal Movement that broke out in the early 1900’s and then hit mainstream denominational churches in the 1960’s in what is known as the Charismatic Movement. 
This Charismatic Movement has not been confined to a few churches, but has effected most churches in the area of music (short, repetitive choruses led by a praise and worship team backed up by a band) and sermons focused on:
  1. personal experience with God, 
  2. application of spiritual truth for personal life improvement
  3. personal interpretation and understanding of Truth. 
This has led to the establishment of popular mega-churches and, their smaller version, the store front church. The next movement in this series of extreme pendulum swings will be back towards the academic side and away from the mystics.

I have been predicting (note: not prophesying) this swing for twenty years and had hoped it would be a movement back toward Bible teaching and orthodox doctrine which would be the seeds of revival and cultural reformation of the Western World.

About ten years ago I began to see signs that the academic void created by the mysticism of the Charismatic movement and the vacuum left in the souls of believers who weekly sat through the seeker friendly church’s culturally relevant Sunday services would usher in the resurgence of Calvinism and Reform teaching. And, so, today we find ourselves hearing the rumble of the approaching train of Calvinism. The vast majority of Christians have not been prepared to accurately and intelligently analyze what this militant academic freight liner loaded with Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion” and Reformed Theology hardened on the battle fields of Europe is bringing to their program infested churches.

Today’s mystical Christian whose faith is built on personal experience and preferences ready to defend themselves with a list of favorite Bible promises has no clue and no defense when the soldiers of Calvinism invade their seeker friendly church. The Calvinists are ready to take this generation for a ride on the next extreme pendulum swing away from the extreme experiences and emotions of mysticism and into extreme beliefs and practices based on intellectualism and rituals of extreme academics.

Truth is found in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and an understanding of God's revelation to man found in the whole of Scripture.

...sadly, this is not something we will be able to fix quick on Sunday morning or even with a four week topical study...try this, "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching." And then Paul tells Timothy how he can personally begin to fix the problem, "Stop neglecting your gift!" and, read, preach and teach the Scriptures!  (1 Timothy 4:13, 14)

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word

Thursday, June 9, 2011

400 "Framework" Books to Liberian Pastors

Liberia on African west coast

This morning we loaded 400 copies of Framework for Christian Faith into a van which would deliver them for transportation to Liberia. Later this summer the books will be distributed to Pastors in need of them in Liberia. We also included 80 extra copies of Framework to be delivered to Redeemed Life Church in Minneapolis. And, for good measure, we include about 60 copies of Jerusalem: History, Archaeology and Apologetic Proof of Scripture and 48 copies of Hope for America's Last Generation.

Paul Canfield, who has worked with missions and as a missionary for many years, began attending the Generation Word Bible School where the Framework book is used as a textbook. Pastor Canfield distributed some copies of the book to some pastors that he meets with in Minneapolis.

Paul Canfield

The Framework book was well received and used as a study tool and as a guide for local Bible studies. One of the pastors, Rev. Alexander Collins, Redeemed Life Church says, "Our Bible study has increased tremendously since we started using the book." Today we included 80 extra copies of Framework to be given to him and his Bible study in Minneapolis.

One of the pastors that Pastor Canfield had spoken with was Pastor Charles Goah who had come from Liberia to the United States about twenty years ago.
Pastor Charles Goah, Liberian Ministers Association

Pastor Goah is the leader of Liberian Ministers Association. He is planning a ministry trip later this year to help serve the Liberian people and assist the Liberian pastors in preparing to teach the Word of God to this country torn by civil war. Pastor Goah said today that, "One hundred and fifty years of national development was lost in the civil war. All the electrical and water systems were destroyed and the country is having to start over." (The Liberian Civil Wars occurred between 1989-1996 and 1999-2003).

Pastor Goah and many others realize the importance of building a nation and a society on the God's Truth. We have received emails in the past from Liberia asking for books and cd's for pastors to use and share with their Liberian brothers. One email specifically said that with out the Word of God the Liberian people would never be able to rebuild their country and would instead always return to war. We have received and sent material also to Liberian refuge camps in Ghana.
Loading the books in the van was Charles who
came along from Minneapolis with Pastor Charles Goah.

Today was a rewarding day that brought a moment of fulfillment as we loaded over 500 copies of Generation Word books into a van that will take the books to a location where they will be placed in a overseas shipping crate and taken to Liberia. Once they arrive Pastor Goah and his ministry team will distribute the books to pastors who realize the value of the Word of God in the hearts of people.

Pastor Canfield said that one of the things that impressed him the first time he met with the Liberian church in Minneapolis is their intense prayers for the nation of the United States. Pastor Canfield said, "When I thanked them for praying for our country the Liberians replied, 'We came here from the civil war with nothing but the clothes on our back and this great country welcomed us. Now America is in trouble and we want to help.' "
Galyn Wiemers and Charles loading Framework books

Galyn Wiemers, Charles, Pastor Charles Goah, Pastor Paul Canfield
Charles, Pastor Paul Cranfield, Pastor Charles Goah and Galyn Wiemers
wait in the Wiemers' living room for the rain to slow down before loading the books.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


 Last night during class the question was asked concerning the Greek word, or words, used for "throne" in Revelation 4:2-5. The vision begins with John viewing God seated on his "throne" (NIV). But, it is soon revealed that God's throne is surrounded by 24 other "thrones" (NIV) or "seats" (KJ) for 24 elders. The question was asked, "Is this the same Greek word for God's "throne" and the elders "thrones?" Here is the NIV and KJ text:
NIV: At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne (thronos) in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne (thronou)were twenty-four other thrones (thronous), and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.
KJ: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne (thronos) was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne (thronou) were four and twenty seats (thronous): and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
The Greek text for both the NIV and the KJ translation uses the word "thronos." ('thronos' is the nominative singular, 'thronous' is the accusative plural of 'thronos' and 'thronou' is genitive singular of the same word 'thronos').

The word 'thronos' means "a throne, a seat of authority." This vision refers obviously to God being seated at the head of all power and authority, but what does it mean that the 'elders' (presbuterous) are also sitting on 24 'thronos?' These elders are men in resurrected bodies wearing their crowns (stephanos) of victory and reward seated in a place of authority to rule with God. This is what Jesus promised and scripture supports in these places:

Rev. 2:26 - "To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations - 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery' - just as I have received authority from my Father.
Rev. 3:21 - "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne."

Rev. 5:10 - "You have made them to be a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Matt. 19:28 - "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Luke 22:30 - "And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

1 Corinthians 6:2-3 - "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world...Do you not know that we will judge angels?"
2 Tim. 2:12 - "If we endure we will also reign with him."

Why did the translators of the KJ Bible translate the same Greek word used in the same sentence two different ways? It may have something to do with their lack of eschatological insight and their inability to understand why these "elders" were also on thrones of authority. To the average reader of the English King James this verse becomes completely misdirected when the "elders" are portrayed as merely in a position around the thrown of God to worship. Indeed, they do worship, but these same elders are seated in positions of universal authority directly under the Lord and King, Jesus.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word