Halloween 2012 – Arrayed in Hypocrisy

October 31, 2012

by Shawn Brasseaux

Today is Halloween, a time when children dress up and feign themselves to be all sorts of characters. In this Bible study, we will discover the adage—“Looks can be deceiving”—is not only true during Halloweentime, but confirmed year-round within Christendom. There are many church leaders today who wear “Christian” garbs, but their ministries do not bring the Lord Jesus Christ glory and honor. They promote their denomination, and seek to perpetuate it, rather than serve and exalt the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. They appear to be good, but upon close examination, the Bible manifests them as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Beloved, we need to be on guard regarding such individuals, and as the Bible instructs, it would be in our best interest to avoid them and their worthless teaching.

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In Matthew 13:24-30 KJV our Lord Jesus Christ put forth a parable to His disciples:

“24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Let us jump down to verses 36-43 for the explanation:

“36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Tares are weeds, and they closely resemble wheat: it is very difficult to distinguish between the two. In this parable, Jesus is explaining that just as He has planted the nation Israel and believers (wheat) are sprouting, Satan has also sown his own “crops” (tares/weeds). Satan has Jews that appear godly, but they are actually anti-Christ; they reject God and His plan for their lives. It is very hard to discern a believing Jew from an unbelieving Jew. The only time they will be separated is when angels at Christ’s Second Coming gather them.

Who are some of these tares? Take, for example, Judas Iscariot. He appeared godly, just like the other 11 apostles of Christ. Three years passed before Judas was exposed as the very man to betray Christ. For three years Judas played the hypocrite, and even the apostles did not figure him out until it was too late!

Another example of those tares Satan sowed within Israel was her apostate religious leaders. Jesus Christ talked about how they—despite their godly appearance—were wicked. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27,28 KJV).

But, Satan’s counterfeit believers are not isolated to Israel’s program. In fact, the Apostle Paul warned the church leaders of Ephesus to be vigilant concerning false teachers. Paul admonished them, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:28,29 KJV).

They need to be on guard, for false teachers will come in and spiritually devour these Christian leaders and their local assemblies. Satan’s ministers, denominationalists/religionists/legalists, will devastate the spiritual health of God’s people. They will come in from the outside world, and infiltrate the church with heresy so Christians become ineffective. Just as Israel’s corrupt religious leaders had led Israel astray, church leaders would enter the local assemblies of the Church the Body of Christ, and deceive and seduce them too. Satan’s modus operandi had not changed!

But, Paul continued in the subsequent verse, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (verse 30). Not only will people outside the local church come in and deceive, there will be false teachers within the church (already doing the damage subtly and hypocritically). They claim “Jesus is Lord,” they talk about God’s love and grace, and some will even go so far as to agree with us by teaching the special ministry and gospel committed to the Apostle Paul’s trust. But, when you read the King James Bible for yourself, and compare their teaching to it, you realize that their ministry confirms Paul’s prediction.

“With tears,” Paul warned the Ephesians for three years about false teaching (Acts 20:31). By the end of Paul’s ministry, several years after that warning in Acts chapter 20, Ephesus and the rest of Asia (Turkey) went into apostasy. Paul wrote to Timothy, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” (2 Timothy 1:15 KJV). To what teaching did they fall prey? Legalism, Israel’s Law-keeping program of works for salvation (1 Timothy 1:3-11)! They want you to ignore God’s grace to us in Christ by having you perform in religion. This is wickedness, for they have you deny the sufficiency of Christ’s finished crosswork!

The Apostle Paul cautioned us in 1 Timothy 4:1-8,13-16 KJV regarding false teaching:

“1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly [clearly], that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come….
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

We are to save ourselves from false teaching (verse 16)—we are to continue paying attention to “reading,” “exhortation [urging, encouraging],” and “doctrine.” Doctrine is important, so it does matter where we go to church and what preacher/teacher we sit under. Dear saints, how we would STRONGLY URGE you to be very careful about what preacher, ministry, and/or church you follow. Many corrupt the word of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV). God’s Word again reminds us about the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV:

“13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Beloved, beware of the church leaders who are arrayed in hypocrisy, “and avoid them” (Romans 16:17b). If their teaching does not agree with the rightly divided King James Bible, you have no business as a child of God to be following them.

Lest Satan Should Get an Advantage of Us

August 5, 2012

by Shawn Brasseaux

We as Pauline dispensationalists need to know who our adversary is, and who our adversary is not. In this Bible study, we will learn how Satan divides us, the grace believers, and how to prevent him from “getting an advantage of us.”

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Even someone with a shallow understanding of the Bible knows that there is a battle between good and evil, between God and Satan. The devil and his fallen angelic cohorts are warring against God and His children, the Christians. Satan has employed perhaps the oldest military strategy—“divide and conquer”—in order to make the Christian army weaker and more susceptible to defeat.

For instance, the Church the Body of Christ can be divided into two groups: the denominationalists comprise the vast majority, while the Pauline dispensationalists constitute only a very small percentage. The denominationalists are segmented into thousands of groups, all of which claim to be “Christian.” Satan has the denominationalists under his influence because they do not understand the Bible dispensationally. They do not know what God is doing today, so they cannot do God’s will for their lives (they do not know what God’s will even is for this, the Dispensation of Grace). Fragmenting the Body of Christ into thousands of denominations, and the resulting confusion, is one of Satan’s ways of conquering God’s people.

With the denominationalists sidetracked by church tradition, we, the Pauline dispensationalists, are of particular interest to the devil’s tactics, for we know how to use God’s Word, the Bible, God’s way, and we serve as a threat to Satan’s agenda. Because we study the Bible and we know how to use it to find the answers that Satan and religion often obscure, the devil is usually unsuccessful in deceiving the local grace church with denominational doctrine. If he cannot infiltrate our local grace church with denominational teaching, then Satan will use our flesh to divide local grace church and thus discredit the message it proclaims and defends.

Let us consider 2 Corinthians 2:10,11 KJV, “To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

The Corinthians and the Apostle Paul had forgiven someone. Who was this individual, and why was it necessary for the Christian brethren to forgive him? When Paul wrote the epistle of First Corinthians, he addressed nearly a dozen issues that disrupted Christian fellowship and hindered spiritual growth in Corinth. The problem associated with 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 is described in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV:

“1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

A Christian brother in Corinth was having sexual relations with his father’s wife, an act that not even the pagan Gentiles committed! Unfortunately, the Corinthians were bragging of this sin, making light of it, and Paul’s solution was to temporarily cast out the man from fellowship, which would hopefully bring him to his senses, and cause him to change his lifestyle:

“9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

Now, in Second Corinthians, a year or so has passed since the penning of First Corinthians. Evidently, the Corinthians had heeded Paul’s instructions by having nothing to do with the fornicator, and Paul now tells them how to go about restoring the brother to fellowship. Read 2 Corinthians 2:6-8,10,11 KJV:

 “6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that you would confirm your love toward him….
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

This brother had now straightened up, so the Corinthians were to forgive him, accept him, and show their love toward him, lest Satan would use bitterness and strife to further divide these Christians. Saints, we must never be ignorant of Satan’s “devices,” tactics he uses to thwart the ministry of the local grace church. May we forgive, and not “give place to the devil” by holding grudges or being bitter. Let us compare that to Ephesians 4:20-32 KJV:

“20 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
21 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour [shouting, demanding, uproar], and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Our sin nature—our “old man”—has been crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6). Grace teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12 KJV). Sin does not rule us anymore: Jesus Christ has given us victory to deny sin so that is does not control us. In Christ, we can walk pleasing to the Lord, fulfilling His will.

We are to be “renewed in the spirit of [our] mind” (Ephesians 4:23 KJV). Romans 12:2 KJV affirms, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” And Colossians 3:8-10 KJV:

“8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”

When we study and believe the Pauline Bible doctrine that discusses our identity in Jesus Christ—that is, when we walk by faith in an intelligent understanding of God’s Word to us (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon)—then God’s Word will transform our minds for His glory (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Returning to opening Bible passage, which mentioned forgiving a Christian brother, so that Satan would not get an advantage of the Christians (2 Corinthians 2:10,11). In Ephesians 4:26,27 KJV, we read something similar: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.” There is nothing sinful about anger, if this anger is righteous and if this anger does not lead you to commit sin (cf. Matthew 5:22; Mark 3:5). It is when you do not control your anger—that is, you allow it generate bitterness and strife—that Satan will use this to isolate you from the grace saints, and vice versa. Forgiveness is necessary, especially within the confines of the local grace church, or the ministry of the church will be hindered, and it will risk the credibility of the church. This is why we read the Bible’s passages warning against bitterness and strife.

Ephesians chapter 4 concludes with: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour [shouting, demanding, uproar], and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (verses 31,32).


Saints, we must never be ignorant of Satan’s “devices,” tactics he uses to thwart the ministry of the local grace church. May we forgive, and not “give place to the devil” by holding grudges or being bitter. Let us understand that God has already forgiven us in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, that forgiveness that we have received from God is our motivation to forgive others (Ephesians 4:32). Satan is our enemy, not our grace brethren.