What Do We Do About Heretical Movements?

How should we respond to movements that teach false doctrine? Should we stay up to date with the latest resources that explain and expose the movement? Or is there a better way to recognize it and keep ourselves from it?

"Can you address an explosive movement called the 'New Apostolic Reformation'? Not many people in reformed circles know about it, but it's claiming many young people. What does the church need to know about this fast-growing movement? And how should we respond when genuine believers adopt 'new apostolic' teachings and practices? There's a lot of confusion surrounding this. Is it just slightly off or is it heading in a dangerous direction? Many dear friends are involved, so this hits close to home as it does for many being confronted with this new teaching." Now, I would just say several things about this. Probably it's not a new teaching. Probably it's old teachings under new names. That's typical with almost everything. I don't know a whole lot about the "New Apostolic Reformation." And quite honestly, I don't really care to know a whole lot. But I would say this, we don't need to study every new movement. We don't need to read every new book that comes along attacking some doctrine or is heretical or is an aberration or overemphasizes or exaggerates something. They're always around. And you can get all the books today on the latest thing and it will be something else tomorrow. But oftentimes like I say, it's under a new name. It's old errors. We need to be people who know our Bibles. And I'll just tell you this, false religion is typically demonic, Satanic. What text speaks about demon doctrines? Anybody know? James: 1 Timothy 4? Tim: 1 Timothy 4. What are some of the demon doctrines spoken about there? James: Abstaining from marriage, certain types of foods. Tim: Exactly. Demon doctrines. We know this: You've got these messengers of Satan. They come as angels of light. False religion is very Satanic. It's very demonic. Satan is after two things primarily: he hates Scripture. He will attack the sufficiency of Scripture. (incomplete thought) Now look, sometimes new movements are good. Sometimes the new movement is the truth. If it is, it's only new in name. It's not new in teaching. But sometimes, new breaks forth from the old in a good way. Like for instance, I remember reading about the first Great Awakening. Sam Waldron has written a book on the history of Baptists in America. And one of the points he makes is this: after the first Great Awakening, every major denomination in this country split. And what he said was almost every denomination produced a new movement because the living - those that were born again during this revival - couldn't stay with the old, dead religion. And so the new thing was actually the old thing. I mean, it was the faith once for all delivered. They were embracing. They were alive. And they were breaking forth from the dead. But, sometimes the new movement is false. But here's what you always want to look at. What do they say about Scripture? And what is their actual practice with regards to Scripture? You could say one thing and do another thing. But listen to what they say and watch what they do with Scripture. That's the first thing. And here's the thing, you can say: Oh yeah, we highly esteem the Bible. You can say it. Like Catholics will say it today. But look at their history. They killed people who printed Scriptures. And believe me, the only reason that they've changed now is because it's not politically correct to kill people who have Bibles. And they know it. But you watch what they do. And just because they say: we uphold the Scriptures - if you come along and say, but what the Pope says trumps that, then what you're really saying is there's a higher authority and you're not really saying that Scripture is sufficient. And then the next thing is this: Listen to what they say about what Christ did on the cross. Watch what they say about Him, His person, and watch what they do with the cross. And again, it's not just theologically if you sit down with one of their leaders and ask them to tell you. It's the thrust of what they preach. Listen to them. You can say sometimes: Well, yes, we believe that Jesus died on the cross. And we believe He died for sinners. But it's not in their message. You listen to their message and you're not hearing it. They're not preaching justification. Listen, there's a lot of circles out there, I listened to one on the radio the other day, and the guy seemed to me - now I wasn't carefully listening to his whole message - it seemed to me that he was very strongly emphasizing that you needed to live right in order to be saved. We want to listen for the doctrine of justification by faith in these merits of Jesus Christ on the cross. So look for those two things. You don't need to know, you don't need to go out and study about the New Apostolic Reformation or any of the other new movements. Sometimes, you know you get lots of guys, they like to go through college, and they're in college and studying up: "What's your position on this?" "What's your position on that?" You know what? What they really need to be doing is reading their Bibles. They need to read their Bibles over and over and over and over again. Because what we need to be is really we need to be like the FBI when it comes to their training of their agents that are all involved in counterfeit money. I mean, many of you have heard before, they don't train them in all the counterfeit types. They train them in the true currency. They have them so acquainted and familiar with the true currency that when they come across something false, deceptive, altered, counterfeit, they're able to recognize it. I can't emphasize this enough. We need to be people of this Book. We need to know this Book. We need to read this Book. We need to read this Book a lot. We need to read it from cover to cover. Even through the parts that you may think at first are difficult. Leviticus - read it. You need to know Scripture from end to end. That's our safety. It's Scripture. Remember, Jesus Christ, when He came face to face with the devil - and the devil's behind these false religions - and what was Jesus able to do? He was able to quote Scripture three times. Now He was out there being tempted for 40 days. Very likely, He did that for 40 days. You just have three of them. But He likely was out there answering the devil every single time. Look, we know that he's the tempter. If we're going to be tempted, then we're going to have to answer him just like the Lord did, and you'll have no answer for him if you don't know your Bibles. You've got to know your Bibles. You've got to know how to apply your Bibles. You've got to be Berean. You've got to know how to search what people say. (incomplete thought). You should really be striving to be studying all the time. Study some books very meticulously. Read books over and over and over. Read your whole Bible end to end. There's lots of different ways to do it, but just be in it. Be in it daily. There's no excuse not to be in it daily. We don't live by bread alone, we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. You've got to be in the Word. If our minds are going to dwell on the things above, well, where do you see that? Where do you find that? It's in that Book. If your mind is going to be renewed - which that's what it's supposed to be - and how? Right there in Romans 12 where it's talking about the renewal of the mind, it's got to do with knowing the will of God. Where do you find the will of God? It's not just in your conscience. It's not in your opinions. It's not in your whims. The conscience is good, but the conscience has to be enlightened. Your conscience needs to operate based on Scripture. It's needs to be enlightened by Scripture. Listen, this is so important because what happens is if you're reading the Scriptures every day, what you're doing is you're putting that Word in your thoughts. When the Scripture says: "set your mind," you need to put your mind where Scripture is. We read in Scripture about setting the mind on things above. We read in Scripture about setting the mind on the things of the Spirit. How are you going to do it? Those are the things of the Spirit. That Book is inspired by the Spirit. This is critical. You don't need to read about every new thing. You don't need to grab every new book. You don't need to be up on them. Because here's the thing, as soon as you read what somebody says - we were dealing in the theology class about some of the errors that John Piper was confronting concerning justification, and it was interesting. One of the books that I was quoting to the guys from, it actually was footnoted that the guy holding to the error changed his position just from the time Piper talked to him to the time that the book went to the first printing. That's the thing. These guys are changing. And guys in these movements - you can talk to that guy over there, he believes one thing; talk to that guy over there, he believes another thing. Oftentimes, you can't even pin these guys down. People are scratching their head about the "new perspectives," because all the guys holding to the new perspectives on Paul, they were all believing different things. You could never peg them. You couldn't pin them down. And then everybody's changing their positions. You'll just pull your hair out and run in circles forever and always if you're trying to study every false thing that's out there. Don't do that. Just you live in Scripture. Be like Bunyan where when they poke you, you bleed Scripture. I mean, you ought to be able to think Scripture. You know what was said of David. He would lay on his bed at night and what would he be doing? Who is the blessed man? Who is that man in Psalm 1? Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Tim: That's it. Meditating upon it day and night. That's the righteous people of Scripture. And I know I'm talking to a number of people here that are in it. Don't ever sacrifice your time in the Word. In all of the things that you give yourself to and prioritize in your life, make that number one. What time do we have?