Everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way
(1 Corinthians 14:40).
[That means that everything conducted by the Church must be ordained by God.]
“JOHANNESBURG, SA – The African National Congress (ANC) has said it wants the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) Rights Commission to probe rogue religious leaders.” [source: ANC WANTS CRL COMMISSION TO PROBE ROGUE PASTORS].
The CRL Rights Commission put pressure on church leaders to come up with solutions to prevent abuses and malpractices in the religious sector in South Africa. There have been many cases where charlatans and self-appointed “prophets” have deliberately deceived naive people and coerced them, through superstition and utter ignorance, to perform extremely absurd, (often times, even harmful), rituals as a means to supposedly be healed or set free from some or other spiritual oppression.
Leading up to the Reformation, corrupt Roman Catholic “clergy” coerced people to give money to supposedly “purchase indulgences”.
“Although reformers had many complaints about the Catholic Church of the 16th century, the practice of selling “indulgences” raised the most opposition. An indulgence was a payment to the Catholic Church that purchased an exemption from punishment (penance) for some types of sins.” [See source at this link selling “indulgences”].
The many false prophets and false teachers masquerading as ministers or priests of God, are following the way of Balaam for financial profit. They cannot be regulated by the Roman Catholic Church, because the Roman Catholic Church has itself become thoroughly corrupt and incapable of regulating the many criminal malpractices, including sexual immorality and abuse, perpetrated by many of its own rogue priests.
In any case, apart from the great schism between the Western and Eastern Churches, the so-called “Protestant” movement has so many fragmented denominations and independent churches to the extent that it cannot provide any united, authoritative, regulating church body. The false prophets operate autonomously and with the rights to freedom of religion, who can stop naive people from following them even to their own spiritual and physical harm, or even to eventual destruction?
In my opinion, based upon my own study of the Scriptures and prophecy, more than forty-million naive Christians in the USA, (let alone the vast number throughout the world), are being completely led astray, even coerced, by false teachers to “superstitiously” give their complete support and solidarity to the Jews, to Israel and to Zionism under a false assurance that if they bless Israel and the Jews, they will in turn receive God’s blessing. This false assurance is derived from a misinterpretation and incorrect application of God’s promise to Abraham found in Genesis chapter 12 (quoted below).
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).
If no government nor religious regulatory body can stop millions of naive Christians from funding an apartheid, antichrist, political movement, such as Zionism, then why should the South African government ever imagine that the spiritually blinded madness of following the ways of Balaam, could ever be restrained by anyone other than God himself.
The alarming truth of the matter is that we haven’t yet seen anything near to the full extent of religious deception and manipulation of millions, upon millions of naive and ignorant people. Even far more alarming is the fact that since the “last days” begun, with the first coming of Jesus the Messiah, Satan the deceiver of humanity has already been restrained to some extent by God’s ordained spiritual power, but near the very end of the present age, he will be let loose to completely deceive all who have refused to love the truth and thus be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. If God sends a power delusion upon people who have refused to love the truth, then who on earth will be able to regulate religious madness and chaos?
Satan is the master of lies and deception. When he is no longer restrained by God, Satan will use the extreme and absurd religious malpractices for his own purpose of deluding humanity. He will bring about apparent “religious order” and “sound reasoning” because he will masquerade as God with many lying signs and wonders. Out of apparent religious chaos, “religious order” will seemingly emerge and the ones who will be accused of opposing the new world religious order, will be none other than the faithfully obedient disciples of Jesus Christ. Humanity will eventually be completely united in one of only two groups. Namely, the new humanity in Christ who will be gathered as sheep for the slaughter – or the oldhumanity in the realm of the flesh, who will have been completely handed over to a powerful delusion to follow Satan and the antichrist to their eventual and final destruction.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter —asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
Jesus said, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:13-14).
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people (Romans 16:17-18).
Naive people are exploited and led astray by false teachers. This has been extremely prevalent in South Africa recently to the extent that the government is considering how they should perhaps probe and regulate religious bodies. However, the government was itself embroiled in state capture and corruption charges. In other words, the government could not regulate itself, let alone regulate religious bodies. The Roman Catholic Church has often been scandalized by charges of sexual immorality and sexual molestation of minors. It is glaringly obvious that many religious leaders are corrupt, blind guides exploiting and leading astray naive people.
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:9-23).
God raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. Jesus has ascended into heaven and in his name, the Holy Spirit is sent to impart spiritual life to all who believe in him.
In obedience to God the Father, Jesus suffered at the hands of wicked men. Jesus taught that his disciples would suffer on account of his Name. It is through hardship that we enter the kingdom of God and we must also contend against false prophets and false teachers.
Even the apostle John encountered strong-willed, manipulative false teachers who not only exploited people in the church, but applied a forceful and arrogant control over the congregation. Notice the contrast between the godly character of Gaius and and the wicked character of Diotrephes in John’s letter.
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honours God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church (3 John 1:1-10).
The children of God, born again of the Holy Spirit, are the new humanity, they are a royal priesthood and holy nation, governed by their King who is seated in heaven. But manipulative, arrogant false teachers have slipped in among us. They are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people and they attract followers after themselves, often fleecing unsuspecting and undiscerning people. So by what means does God provide order and structure among his people? There should be a collective body of elders overseeing the churches.
They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust (Acts 14:21-23).
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour. The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:4-9).