And take…the sword of the Spirit, which  is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:17


Volume 19, Number 31

Published by
Mt. Baker
church of Christ

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  Bellingham, WA 98228
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Editor......Joe R. Price

Morris Bass
Rick Holt

Aaron Bass
Rich Brooks
Mike Finn
Dan Head


In this issue:

Tips to Spot False Teaching
Joe R. Price

The apostle Peter said “there will be false teachers among you” (2 Pet. 2:1). No “ifs, ands or “buts” about it. Their “destructive heresies” deny the Lord and bring “swift destruction” upon themselves and those enslaved by their false teaching (2 Pet. 2:1, 18-20).

Jesus warned us to “beware of false prophets” because they appear to be harmless when, in fact, they are deadly (Matt. 7:15). He explained how to identify them: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16, 20). In order to heed Jesus’ warning, we have been equipped with the inspired Scriptures so that we can “test the spirits, whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jno. 4:1, 6). Simply put, we can know the difference between truth and error. Furthermore, we are told to “note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). False teachers can be known and must be avoided.

This reminds us of all the “fake news” we have been hearing about over the past several months. It is getting to where you have to really be careful that the news you are reading or hearing is actually real. Facebook “wants to stop the spread of false news on Facebook,” so they just posted “Tips to Spot False News” to help curb the problem. Facebook even wants you to report false news to Facebook so they can investigate it and remove it.

Consider these tips from Facebook about spotting false news. (We can see some applications about spotting false teaching.) Facebook wrote:

1   Be skeptical of headlines.
2   Look closely at the URL.
3   Investigate the source.
4   Watch for unusual formatting.
5   Consider the photos.
6   Inspect the dates.
7   Check the evidence.
8   Look at other reports.
9   Is the story a joke?
10 Some stories are intentionally false.

First, notice that false news is identifiable based upon objective evidence. Facebook did not say to first figure out the motives in the news reporters’ hearts in order to identify a false news story. These people are false news reporters because what they report is false. In like manner, it is the content of the teaching, not the character of the heart of the teacher, that identifies the false teacher and his false teaching. The fruit of the false prophet, according to Jesus, is teaching that is not “the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt. 7:20-23).

Next, see that Facebook urges us to “look closely,” to “investigate the source,” to “watch,” to “consider,” to “inspect,” and to “check the evidence” to spot false news. Amazing. These are the very things the Scriptures tell us to do to identify false teachers and their false teaching:

   “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21-22).
   “Let no one deceive you with empty words...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them...walk circumspectly...” (Eph. 5:6, 11, 15).
   “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit...therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:18, 20).

Also, Facebook notes headlines that grab your attention, but the substance of the news report is false. Likewise, some teachers try to “make a splash” with grand titles and headlines that capture the imagination and generate enthusiasm. With “great swelling words” they attract a crowd, but their message is empty and devoid of truth (2 Pet. 2:18).

Facebook warns of “unusual formatting” such as “misspellings or awkward layouts” as evidence of false news. Galatians 1:6-12 explains how we can identify the “unusual formatting” of false teaching; when it fails to conform to the standard of apostolic truth. The “pattern of sound words” received from the apostles of Christ is corrupted by the false teaching of false teachers (2 Tim. 1:13; 1 Tim. 6:3-5). We must be willing and able to see subtle errors, for these help us recognize false teaching so that we can turn away from it.

Very importantly, Facebook not only advises us how to spot false news, but also asks us to inform them of false news reports. “If you see a story in News Feed that you believe is false, you can report it to Facebook.” To do so you will have to identify the source of the false news. It will not be enough to say, “there is false news on Facebook;” that will not get it removed. You will have to identify it in order for Facebook to address it. In the same way, we cannot say, “there will be false teachers” among us, but then refuse to identify the very ones who teach that error. That does not help anyone. In order to “contend earnestly for the faith” one must also expose the ones who have “crept in unnoticed” and overturn the grace of God (Jude 3-4). Paul identified such men, and so must we (1 Tim. 1:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 4:14-15).

Yes, there are false teachers among us; they have not left the scene (2 Pet. 2:1). Their error hinders the spread of the truth and corrupts souls. Like “false news,” false teaching must be identified and rejected. False teaching never saved a single soul. False teachers give people false hope. Know how to spot false teaching. Refuse it. Report it. Oppose it. 


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

Why Seek the Living Among the Dead?

Scripture Reading: Luke 24:1-9

1. Resurrection of Jesus is the foundation and keystone of the gospel, 1 Cor. 15:3-5, 14-19.
2. The angels said to the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Lk. 24:5


  -Why seek the living Son of God among the dead people of history?
  A. Was
Predicted, Promised and Proclaimed, Psa. 16:8-11, Lk. 24:6-8; Rom. 1:3-4.


  -Why seek resurrection among the false (dead) doctrines of men?
  A. There Will be Only One Resurrection of All the Dead, Jno. 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-54.
  B. There is No Endless Reincarnation of Souls, Heb. 9:27
  C. Wicked will Exist Forever, Matt. 10:28; 25:46; Rev. 20:10, 13-15; Mk. 9:43-44.


  -Why seek life in Christ where only spiritual death exists?
  A. Water Baptism Marks the New Birth, Rom. 6:3-4; Eph. 2:1, 4-9.
  B. Christians Often Go to the Spiritually Dead World for Answers, Col. 2:20-23; Eccl. 12:13.
  C. Why Should Christians Go to the Spiritually Dead? Matt. 28:19-20; Jno. 3:3-5; Jas. 5:19-20.


You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS

How Truth Sounds

Scripture Reading: John 15:20-25

1. Jesus often urged people to have ears to hear (accept) His words, Matt. 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mk. 4:9; Lk. 8:8.
2. Jesus also said to be careful how you hear, Lk. 8:18.
3. “Truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.” Jno. 15:18, 21-25; Psa. 119:47-48, 97 4. How does truth sound to you? Jno. 6:60-68
5. Does the person who tells you the truth become your enemy? Gal. 4:16
6. God’s truth is often viewed as “hate speech.”


  A. There is Only One Church, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:21-23; 4:4; 5:23; 1 Cor. 3:11.
  B. Water Baptism is Necessary for Salvation, Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-41; 22:16; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21.
  C. There is Only One Cause for Divorce and Remarriage that has God’s Approval, Matt. 19:3-6, 9-12; Rom. 7:1-3.
  D. The LGBTQ Lifestyle is a Perversion of Love, Ro. 1:24-28; 1 Co. 6:9-10; Gen. 2:23-24; He. 13:4.

1. Ahab hated Micaiah because he spoke truth, 1 Kgs. 22:7-8.
2. The people of Jerusalem hated Jeremiah because he spoke truth, Jer. 20:7-10.
3. People hated Jesus because He spoke truth, Jno. 15:24-25.
4. People will hate you when you speak the truth, Matt. 5:11-12.
5. Be sure that truth sounds lovely to your ear, Psa. 119:140.


(Current events in the light of Scripture)

"The End is Not Yet"
Joe R. Price

While giving signs of God’s judgment against Jerusalem for rejecting Him as the Messiah, Jesus said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:4-6). He went on to speak of famines, pestilences and earthquakes, saying, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:7-8). In their zeal to predict the end of the world, not a few Bible teachers pervert this passage. They wrest it from its context (Jerusalem’s destruction) and apply it to current events. And, people are led astray.

We certainly hear about “wars and rumors of wars” these days. Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, North Korea; tensions exist and mount. Yet, this is not new. One hundred years ago the same could have been said before World War I – the “war to end all wars.” More have come.

The presence of “wars and rumors of wars” is not a sign of Christ’s return and the end of the world. Just the opposite. Jesus said it would be deceptive to say so (Matt. 24:4-6). The “end” that was “not yet” in Matthew 24:6, is not the end of this universe (as in 2 Peter 3:10-12), but the end of Jerusalem, its temple, its era (Matt. 24:1-3, 15, 28). The destruction of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24:1-31, would occur during the lifetime of those present – not thousands of years later: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). Using the “wars and rumors of war” of today to gin up anticipation of the return of Christ woefully misuses the Scriptures. Those who do so are false prophets with a false, deceptive message (Matt. 24:4). When Jesus personally returns, He will do so without warning – “as a thief in the night” (2 Pet. 3:10). Therefore, always be ready for that day, “for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect,” and at a time you do not know (Matt. 24:44; 25:13). 


Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.  04/17/2017

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