Marking and avoiding

When is it time to separate from other Brethren or false teachers?

john 21-15-17 This is a very hard subject I believe for all of us.  Especially as a woman, my feelings and sensitivity towards another get in the way of actually doing what I should do. I feel very sorry for them and I don’t like to see anyone excluded from anything.

I think on former friends I have separated from with great pain, but it is for the gospel’s sake, (I pray that they will come to a knowledge of the truth – 1 Tim 2:1-6).  I think how I would personally prefer to do it, but how I feel may not line up with the Word. And I am sure I have let certain people stay too long in my life for the sake of misunderstanding what unity means. I am troubled not knowing how many may have suffered because of me not obeying what the Word says regarding addressing anyone who willfully or even unknowingly lead others astray.

Some say they don’t teach, yet they instruct others through private messages and phone calls. Should we just turn a blind eye for the sake of unity? I am not speaking of those willing to hear from the Word regarding their error. I am talking of those who do not answer direct questions, are vague, and will not give you a straightforward gospel. They don’t mind tripping up others as they will tell them what they must do (or what they must not do) in order to be saved.

They eat like a canker. (Like Hymenaeus and Philetus, who were telling believers the resurrection/rapture, had already happened, overthrowing the faith of others.)

Let the Lord’s Word on the subject speak alone here. No one should think of anyone beyond what is written — pray, search and ask the Lord just to show you what is truth (Acts 17:11), that is a noble thing to do, (contrary to how they behave or speak to you when you do question them).

Dear Pastors and Teachers

I am inserting this section as a quick note to pastors, teachers, or authors regarding quoting others. Most people assume if you quote someone, that they then can reasonably expect them to be sound and that you know this to be so IF you quote them favorably.

PLEASE — If you feel the need to quote one who is an Arminian, Calvinist, or anyone who preachers another gospel — PLEASE, do warn your audience of his error. PLEASE distinguish (as Paul did when he quoted a poet on Mars Hill) that it was one of the THEIR OWN, not one of us. PLEASE do PUBLICLY withstand even brethren who are not walking uprightly regarding the truth of the GOSPEL (Gal 2:14). It’s hard enough for us to do it, but if you will not, how badly will the truth be affected?

Pastors are to take heed to the doctrine, saving both themselves AND their hearers (1 Tim 4:16). I beseech you, (the Holy Spirit does also through the Word in Romans 16:17-18).  Please AVOID these people, please do not quote them. But again, if you must, please warn of their error. We can all make mistakes, but if one calls us on it, let’s go back and fix them publicly for the love of Jesus and the love for His body. There is untold damage done by sound pastors who quote Spurgeon, Luther, Wesley, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, John MacArthur, R. C. Sproul, Tozer etc. One pastor chastised me in a private message for giving too much information at once to another who loved Spurgeon. This person bit and devoured me. I said I wanted to share a few quotes of his which would include the citations. I then said if more was wanted I had a lot more I could share. So instead I had to deal with a wishy washy pastor who didn’t want to publicly call out Spurgeon.

I know firsthand of the damage — I have years of a shipwrecked life, a wasted life (it feels like). I used to have a library most theologians would covet. I loved older books too, most hardcover. The Lord took care of my initial ‘library’ in a flood, my second gathering of books over the next 10 years in a storm. About then, I started to learn to ‘prove all things’) even though I further amassed a library that still included more error, albeit not as easy to spot). Proving all things means to test/examine the doctrine with that which is good (or at least how I see 1 Thess 5:21 when it comes to error). What a boatload of sorrows I began to avoid, and foul water I began to bail from the boat.

Pastors, please again — Be discerning.  The Word is exciting, use it more so people can discern between error (Heb 5:12-14, Acts 17:11)! Teach them. If you quote men, using them without warning of his errors (which you admit you know about), you can be guilty of someone else being led astray, back into bondage, or worse — a lost person might hear their gospel, which is another and stay lost. Thank you for your time and prayerful consideration of this.

Marking and avoiding one you know and love…

Because of the recent conversation between two that I know — (an older woman and a younger man regarding her gospel), I felt this need to be discussed once again. The younger was correct, the older woman steadfastly denied her error by incorrectly using proof texts, (along with unkind and offensive words shen he asked her to stop). Friends, this is not the manner how an apt teacher will try to recover someone from error (2 Tim 2:23-26). Ask yourself, Do they have sound speech that cannot be condemned? Do they consider you noble for questioning them with Scripture? 2 Cor 11:3-4 assures us if we bear with these people it’s possible they can corrupt our minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For this article, I tried to study His Word (with His approval in min), in order to see what it says on those who will not hear and continue to go about teaching others error, (whether publicly or not). In fact privately is the worst, because those teachings many times go unnoticed and cannot be ‘tested’ or ‘proved’ by others (1 John 4:1, 1 Thess 5:21). Once again, this is a good and noble thing we do (Acts 17:11 – assuming it’s done with the right motives and speech) — His Word, not our subjective opinions or traditions.

How do we answer others who we believe are teaching a corrupted gospel? 

We don’t judge by the appearance, we should only use the Word (righteous judgment – Jn 7:24) to examine doctrine. We need to be sure our doctrine is sound by testing it with the Word and in the multitude of sound counsel. Let them tell you what their gospel is, but if they refuse to hear you, I believe they need reproved by the Word.  If they still refuse, we need to withdraw.

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.  Titus 1:9

When and why should we separate from one we believe teaches a false gospel?  

For me, I am a little quicker if it is a pastor or teacher. I will often contact them if we haven’t already had contact. But if their error is public, I do not need to. However, I still try. A majority either will not respond, or worse, respond with the most venomous of behavior and name calling.

If one who is misleading others will not listen, and continues to insist that their understanding, their experiences, their feelings, are to be the standard of truth, what then? What if they refuse to have their doctrine publicly examined by others?

I believe everyone’s doctrine regarding the gospel is extremely important. We need to understand we cannot walk together with someone if they teach another gospel (Gal 1:6-9). Or different gospels (such as one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles). When they add works to the gospel or preach another Jesus, they need to go.   

Several people were approached by this woman on the same subject — see the prior ‘Fruit Inspector’s’ post. Several sound believers refuted her with the Word in great length and patience. She publicly suggested persecution, cliques picking on her unkindly, or even saying we ‘took grace too far’ (again in secret), instead of using His Word to publicly answer before all. This because she insists on certain proofs of behavior (backdoor loadship), to prove someone is saved. So many were made to stumble. I believe we are shown we must separate in order to not allow their teachings to mislead others. Not easy, not pleasant, and not many are willing to do what is right.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  Eph 5:11

When and why should we mark and avoid someone?  As much as we might love them or like them, we cannot allow them to deceive others with these thing that are contrary to what is in His Word.  They have brought in these divisions and generally are unwilling to allow their doctrine to be publicly examined.  Posting what they do believe, leaving out what they don’t believe (that one cannot be saved if they do not do, X, Y or Z.  This IS works salvation).

Again 1 John 1 is not a test of eternal life, it is a test of fellowship. King David was saved and a murderer as was Moses. Solomon was a terrible womanizer who went into apostasy.  I don’t want to say more of the saints, but you get the picture.

All of us should allow others to question our doctrine and be open to listen to the Word vs. our own private interpretation.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom16:17-18)

It should be done out of love for the body and obedience to His Word, so that others aren’t misled.  It’s even in the hopes they might come back to the truth.  But don’t let others beguile you with ‘enticing words’.  Some think that they can lead others back to the truth, all the while keeping them as friends as these same people gather followers after themselves.  We all need to be careful to guard ourselves from being caught up in the error or introducing their error to others by giving place to them – Gal 2:4-5.

The Bible doesn’t say if you feel you have enough discernment, stick around and see if you can win them over when they are doing this. The reason we withdraw is so they may not be able to muddy the truth of the gospel, nor make other’s faith shipwreck by leading them astray.

For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing wordsCol 2:1-4

We do not give subjection to them for even an hour, so the truth of the gospel will continue in other’s lives (Gal 2:4-5).  And that is so we can see people come to know the Lord, because it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16, 1 Cor 1:18). No matter our feelings we must continue doing this (2 Cor 11:1-15)

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.  Gal 2:4-5

QUOTE — Tom Cucuzza said this in the following sermon entitled “It’s All of Christ”:

Minutes 3:35-3:52

We must protect the gospel. Now, what is the gospel? It’s the good news that God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay for all of our sins and that He came back from the dead to prove it was done, and that all who would simply put their faith in Christ and Christ alone receive eternal life.

Minutes 4:07-4:35

Now, if there is only one plan of salvation, which the Bible says that is true, if there is only one gospel, which the Bible says that is true, then the truth needs to be protected.

We cannot give false teachers a place – and you’ll notice what he said – not even for an hour. Now, that’s not being mean-spirited, that’s just standing our ground. That’s having the courage to say: “Excuse me, not here. That message is not welcome here.”

Minutes 4:49-5:34

There are those who are saved and yet are confused about this issue. And they are -many times – just because they haven’t learned, they haven’t been taught better – they are saying things that aren’t true, but it hasn’t occurred to them that what they are saying is not true. What do we do with them? We teach them. We kindly teach them. We take them alongside and we show them the way of God more perfectly. Alright? There is that ministry. Every man is a ministry. We need to see that.

However, there are those, though, who are fixed on preaching error and teaching error. And when they are approached with the truth – and we try to make that clear – they say: “That’s not true! I don’t believe that. I believe you’re the one who’s teaching falsehood.”   END QUOTE

How should we deal with a believer who is doing this?

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all…. Gal 2:11,14a

What do you think Paul would have done if Peter and Barnabas had refused to hear him?   Were they expected to have a false unity?  Just get along?  Keep associating with them?  Or treat them as the other false teachers?  I am not suggesting anyone rush out to identify someone in error, but only after we have seen certain things that show us they are teaching and resistant to hearing others with the Word.  Refusing to examine other Scriptures that contradict their wrongly excised verses (i.e. 1 John 3:15 to prove one who had murdered could not be a believer).

QUOTE: From Clear

Christian Unity and The Gospel Message

Scripture teaches the unity of the church as one of the highest goals toward which the church should aspire (Ephesians 4:3).  We believe, therefore, that not every theological dispute merits separation.  For example, whether the church of Galatia was located in North Galatia or South Galatia is a valid question, and one that has been explored and debated by theologians, but it is certainly not a question over which fellowship should be broken.

We believe, however, that any area of doctrine even remotely affecting the integrity of the gospel is inherently serious (Galatians 2:11-14), that Scripture calls us to draw the line at the earliest point, and to yield not one inch on matters that jeopardize the integrity of the gospel, a compromise that jeopardizes the eternal life of every man, woman and child on this planet who has not yet heard the gospel message (Galatians 1:6-9, 2:5).  END QUOTE

Truth is paramount to our growth and others to come to know Christ.  It is how believers are sanctified – Jn 17:17 – (cleansed in this lifetime practically speaking for service and being of use to Him.  And it is also how non-believers come to know Him (2 Tim 3:15).

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truthGal 4:16

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?  Amos 3:3

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truthJohn 4:24

We don’t separate because of our own opinions or feelings, but because we see that the Word tells us to.  By separating we might help show those teaching falsely that they are wrongly dividing His Word.  Our desire is they will be converted from their error.  Hopefully if they know Him, they and others can remain sound in the faith by being soundly rebuked.  It will keep them from coming into judgment if they will listen, and will keep the flock from being introduced to leaven, from being hindered from obeying the truth.

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.  James 5:19-20

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.  Gal 5:7-10

If they will not hear, withdraw.   It has been made known by not fellowshipping with them, that they are not one you should listen to. It is for the protection of those who hear them and the body of Christ in general.  This is not an individual decision.   We are to shun these babblings, in will increase unto more ungodliness, it is like a canker.  The Lord makes known these heresies so we know who is and is not approved.

But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenæus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.  2 Tim 2:16-18

For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you1 Cor 11:18-19

Note the contrast below.  The person is noted as a believer, but they walk disorderly, not after the tradition which they received of the apostles.  They are speaking of doctrine.  If you have gone to them, and they refuse to hear, could it be said they do not consent to God’s Word, His doctrine and therefore we need to withdraw?

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.  2 Thess 3:6

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.  1 Tim 6:3-5

Which power is being denied above?  There is only one way to become godly, that is through Christ — apart from works.  Through belief in the truth, Christ becomes our righteousness.  They are denying the power of the gospel to save and instead are adding their own proofs, works, experiences, feelings, opinions as the power.   The gospel is the POWER of GOD unto salvation.  They deny the gospel by adding works on top of, before or after the gospel.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away2 Tim 3:1-5

How long until we know when to turn away from such a one?

But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.  Titus  3:9-11

Those who have turned from the truth need to be stopped and rebuked sharply, for their own sake and so they don’t mislead a lot of people.  But what happens if they don’t hear?  Maybe others might be sound in the faith because you did stand and use the Word to rebuke.

For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.  One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”  This testimony is true.

Therefore rebuke them sharply, → that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truthTitus 1:10-14

Doctrine is important, and defending God’s Word is too, it can lead one to salvation.

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  2 Tim 3:10-15

Satan is the father of all lies (Jn 8:44).  God is not a man that He should lie (Num 23:19).  He did not lie when He promised us eternal life before the world began (Titus 1:2).  And He has told us when we believe the testimony God gave of His Son that we have (possess/own) eternal life (1 Jn 5:9-13) and we can KNOW that.  We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices, but to be sure we are sharing the pure gospel.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Cor 2:14-15

We love and treasure His Word (Ps 119:140, 162) and we should take heed to doctrine to save ourselves and those who hear us (1 Tim 4:16).  We warn so we are not guilty of the blood of men.  Instead, commend them to the Word of His Grace (Acts 20:25-32), not the wisdom of words of men (1 Cor 2:1-5)  What does the following passage say for us not to do with false teachers (2 John 1:9-11)?

Do we love others as ourselves if we allow them to continue in error or we do not warn about these grievous wolves?  How about God (Mark 10:29-31)?  Are we loving Him with all of our hearts, soul, mind and strength if we allow His sheep to be fed with bad food (Jn 21)? Isn’t doctrine to be tested? (1 John 4:1-6; 1 Thess 5:21, Acts 17:11).  Do we just test it then leave the sheep to fend for themselves? Discernment comes by being in His Word (Heb 5:12-14).

Aren’t unbelievers convicted of sin?  Does that conviction somehow prove they are Christians?

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  Rom 3:20

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.  Rom 2:14-16

What does the Word say about those preaching a false gospel? (Gal 1:6-11; 2 Cor 11:1-15; 2 Pet 2:1-3).  And what should we do about it?

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.  2 Cor 11:12-15

Once again, these people can corrupt others with their teachings.   This upsets people to state 2 cor 11-3-4 someone is teaching falsely, (it has been hard for me over the years to speak).   Actually much harder when you know the person, versus some unnamed person you have never met.

The believing Corinthians were being led astray by those who made them doubt whether they were going to be resurrected.  And Paul is rebuking them for those who do not have the knowledge of God, it is a sin to do nothing about those teaching something ‘off’ about the gospel.  In Corinthians 15, they were teaching there was no resurrection, Paul was telling them to stay away from these teachers and why.

What if people before us hadn’t stood firmly for the truth?  Where would we be, and how many would have lost their lives because they didn’t hear the truth?

If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.   Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. 1 Cor 15:32-34

2 Cor 11:3-4 also warns us of putting up with it.  Are you allowing this?

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.  1 Thess 5:21-22

We are to make full proof of our ministry — we are all ministers of reconciliation are we not? (2 Cor 5:18-19).  Do we want to stand by and allow others to be turned away from the truth? What are we do do?

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrineFor the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry2 Tim 4:1-5

Stand, be strong, do it in love, speak boldly, and answer with His power.

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  Let all your things be done with charity.  1 Cor 16:13-14

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.  Eph 6:10-20

Bottom line.  I know it’s extremely hard to think of a sweet, cuddly ‘friend’ as a wolf in that moment.  And likely they don’t see themselves as one either.  But by associating with wolves, and fellowshipping with them, aren’t we sharing in these evil deeds?  We might be guilty of the blood of others (Acts 20:25-32) if they are pulling off people to the side and we don’t name them (warn) and avoid them.  How can we withstand their doctrine when they’re doing it privately?  How can the young in Christ, (who think we associate with them) discern they are in error?  We can’t even know who gets contacted in private by these people we have put up with.   But when we find out we can make a stand.

This article was spurred by a recent incident, that had more than one not knowing how to question this ‘spiritually mature older believer’ who they previously believed to be sound (and who still insists she believes in Grace while insisting on proof). Some tried to reason with her and they were unkindly rebuked with this woman’s words. Two went to her to try to work it out with His Word and were rebuffed.  A young one was preached what she (thank the Lord) herself knew was wrong and came to others about it (as did the other young one in Christ).

Hopefully one day soon this person will be open to hear.  But for now, please remember, we need to warn and we need to avoid these people (separate) when they are muddying up the gospel, corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.  We are not to have false unity with them, we need to keep them away from the flock and publicly withstand them so the truth of the gospel will remain.

Love in Christ, Holly




8 Responses to “Marking and avoiding

  • On a repost of this article on a friend’s FB page, a woman had commented the following: <>.

    She was inferring that what we were doing by unfriending & avoiding this particular person who is in error, is wrong. Well, to that I came back & responded with THIS:
    ____, I just looked up what “Marking & Avoiding” means in the original Greek language, & according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, “marking” is “ekklinó (1578)” & it means to <>

    So, in a BIBLICAL sense yes, we ARE to shun, but not to be confused with the worldly definition of shunning which is to “bring shame &/or social rejection”.

    If someone is presenting a false gospel in that they either add or subtract to it, then they are to be correct with the Word & if they still refuse to examine what has been presented to reprove what they are teaching, then we ARE to mark & avoid them, because they are bringing in “divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which we have learned” in the Word of God.

    “Marking” in the Greek is “skopos”, & it means <> It’s where we get the English word for “scope” as in telescope, microscope, stethoscope…It’s a focusing in, if you will, on a specific thing or subject matter or person. Adding to or taking away from the simplicity which is in Christ for one’s salvation, is NEVER to be tolerated, not even for one hour as the apostle Paul instructed us in Galatians 2:4-5.

    It is for the sake of the gospel that we painfully have to “mark & avoid” those that bring in another gospel, which is no gospel at all. It becomes works-orientated, always proving one’s salvation by their WORKS…. We grieve for them, we pray for them, and we are to avoid them…If they perchance have a change of mind in their beliefs and align themselves with sound doctrine, then we are to welcome them back. But, until then, they will remain “ekklinó & skopos”, “marked & avoided”.

    • Thank you Marian, I saw that right when you commented. I am praying for those involved… I have been shunned, (unfriended) but with no word as to why. People make decisions before hearing both sides of the matter, but the really important thing is that they consider God’s Word in all things, that’s all that matters to me. I will make mistakes, His Word will not 🙂

  • Madeline Lybarger
    8 years ago

    Can you recommend a good study guide on Romans. I’ve already
    Tried with Northland baptist bible church and they were unable to
    Find in archives notes. They sent past studies of pastor Cucuzza on
    CDs but they would not play on my CD player. Thank you, Madeline

    • I guess I don’t always do studies by certain people, I tend to study the book myself, and ask the questions of what a certain section is written about, and how the book might be divided up. Dennis Rokser does Romans 1-8. Then you might want to try 9-11. Did you contact Northland again? You might try Thomas Constable Notes or H.A. Ironside, both can be found online, they should be helpful, although as always prove all things by holding fast to His Word and searching the Scriptures to see if what one says is really so. They can quote people I would not, i.e., Luther, etc.

  • Thank you Holly for this post, I have never really been exposed directly to false teachers until recently.

    I wrote on the Expreacherman website about a street preacher that I was spending time in fellowship with and began to realize that he was indeed a false preacher even though he spoke of Jesus so sweetly. He continually questioned whether I was born again and telling me all these works I had to do to prove I was saved.

    I have come to learn that he has a common view among some street preachers that grace is being “awakened to truth.”
    From that awakening then one repents and does righteous works given by God, since they have repented of their sin.

    He did believe that free will could at any time be exercised so that one could leave the faith, because in his words “we are not robots”

    In his last communication he said Jesus was not a “get out of jail free card.” Wow! what a thing to say about Jesus, how demeaning to the gospel of grace.

    When he began to reveal his true beliefs I was stunned that I did not realize it from the start, he used the same words but had a different meaning for them.

    This person has had a very difficult life, abused as a child, dysfunctional family and then at 30 shot during a home invasion and now in a wheel chair, abandoned by his girlfriend family and friends, so I felt compassion for him, when I shared my testimony and the gospel he became angry which confused me.

    I tell you this because I agree it can be hard to let go especially when I know he so much needs the truth (as all people) since he has suffered so much in life already it breaks my heart.

    I sometimes wonder if I should he pray for him, however since it upsets me emotionally. Yet it seems that our paths crossed for a reason so I pray as the Lord leads.

    I can so relate to this post, it felt like it was written just for me in a way. 🙂

    Thank you,


    • Angela, so glad somehow it helped, it wouldn’t have been done except that John this all together and made it organized and readable (along with adding the Word).

      When I feel badly for these people, (and I do), I think on Paul speaking to the false teachers in Galatians 2, he did not give them place by subjection for even an hour so that the truth of the gospel would remain. In 2 Cor 11, to cut off their opportunity basically from setting themselves up as one of His apostles, and in Acts 20, so that he wouldn’t be guilty of the blood of any man, and to warn the others to do the same. I try to keep these things in mind and I pray for these when led, and leave them to the Lord. For me I am so grateful for those who have warned before me, and those who have stood firm regarding the gospel. Love in Christ, Holly

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