FALSE TEACHERS TO BE AVOIDED
Scripture Reading: Romans 16:17-19
There are many who, when they read Romans 16:17-19, think Paul is talking of separation from some cult or Eastern religion; but the Scriptures are clear that there are individuals in the pulpits of many of our local churches who are in the ministry only to serve "their own belly." It is these ministers who claim to be the ministers of Christ, but in reality are the ministers of Satan that Paul is here warning the saints at Rome to "avoid" (II Corinthians 11:13-15).
To "avoid" these false teachers who were causing divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which Paul was teaching, meant that the saint must separate himself from these groups who were not teaching the Mystery and who were not "rightly dividing" the Word of Truth, as Paul instructs the saints to do in II Timothy 2:15.
It is hard for many Christians to see some pastor of a denominational church as an "enemy" of Christ (Philippians 3:17-19), but ifhe is not preaching the Mystery (God's secret purpose for this age in which we live), he is teaching something that is not true for today. This produces confusion, divisions, and offenses contrary to the doctrine revealed to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13).
Not only are the saints today to "mark them which cause divisions" and then separate themselves from these false teachers, but the saint is also to "mark them which walk so as ye have us [Paul] for an example," as we see in Philippians 3:17. Separation is not only to be negative-away from something-but it is also positive. We are to be separated unto those who are following Paul, those who are teaching the Mystery, found only in the epistles of the apostle Paul. For it was to him alone that Christ made known God's secret program for this dispensation of the Grace of God (Ephesians 3:2).
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