Some feel that because someone speaks something different than they believe that they are an apostate. Some feel that “independent” thinkers are apostates too. But just because someone believes or thinks or speaks differently does not mean that they are apostatizing against God. Jesus was certainly an “independent” and dangerous speaker, when viewed from the crooked religious leader’s viewpoint, in the first century. He was even called a ruler of the Demons by some (Mark 3:22)! Even some of Jesus’ relatives had thought that Jesus had lost his mind (Mark 3:21)! But Jesus did not look to the religious leaders of his day for direction but he looked to his spiritual father, Yahweh (Jehovah God). Jesus challenged the religious traditions of his day by showing that they were traditions of man – not God’s. So it is good for us today to test our beliefs against scripture. Are they really from man or God? That is the difference between blind faith and true faith. Do we test what we hear and know?
Deuteronomy 18:20-22: Sayings of prophets – how to view – false prophets to die
Psalms 139:21,22 Hatred toward those hating Yahweh. This needs to be coupled with a desire for them to turn around as mentioned in Ezekiel 33:11.
It is important to realize that Jesus stated that we are to love our enemy and his Father mentioned in Ezekiel that he doesn’t want the wicked to die but to turn around. Ezekiel 33:11; Matthew 5:43-45
Isaiah 9:16-17 God’s people as “all apostates” – showing need of correction. This does not mean that they started off that way or that they can not turn around.
- Compare Isaiah 14:1-7; Ezekiel 16:62,63 to see how Jehovah forgives his repentant people who have apostatized against him. This is ample proof to those who think that apostasy is an “unforgivable” sin – Good thing, because all of God’s people are considered apostates, in this passage!
23 This is what Yahweh says:
Don’t let wise people brag about their wisdom.
Don’t let strong people brag about their strength.
Don’t let rich people brag about their riches.
24 If they want to brag, they should brag that they understand and know me.
They should brag that I, Yahweh, act out of love, righteousness,
and justice on the earth.
This kind of bragging pleases me, declares Yahweh.
Jeremiah 17:13: ones leaving Jehovah as apostates
Jeremiah 23 : Jehovah against false prophets
Jeremiah 28:9 When the word of the prophet comes true the prophet whom Jehovah has sent in truth will become known
Jeremiah 28:11-17 Hananiah’s false prophesy meant her death – she caused Jehovah’s people to trust in a falsehood
Ezekiel 3:7 Israel (as an apostate) will not want to listen to Jehovah’s prophets (in principle)
Ezekiel 3:18 Prophet blood-guilty if does not warn
Amos 3:7: Jehovah will not do anything until he reveals matters to his prophets
Luke 21:8 referring to Jesus speaking to his disciples; “He said: Look out that YOU are not misled; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘the due time has approached.’ Do not go after them.”
The key here is to know what God’s word supports and what it does not. God’s word is 100% true and no false scriptural teaching can stand up to it. Remember what Daniel 11:32b says about those who prevail for our day: “But as regards the people who are knowing their God, they will prevail and act effectively.”
Acts 17:11(WEB) 11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. // Only by carefully examining the sacred scriptures and using sound reason, can one tell if what they hear is actually based upon God’s word or not.
Acts 20:29-30(WEB) 29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. // Here is recorded what the apostle Paul mentioned to true worshippers of Jehovah in his day. He told them to watch out for these “oppressive wolves.” How can one tell who these are today? – By checking what they say against the sacred scriptures.
Romans 16:17(WEB) 17 Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them. // The key thought here is “contrary to the doctrine” of what they had learned from the sacred scriptures.
2 John 9-10(AMP) 9 Anyone who runs on ahead and does not remain in the doctrine of Christ [that is, one who is not content with what He taught], does not have God; but the one who continues to remain in the teaching [of Christ does have God], he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [but diminishes or adds to the doctrine of Christ], do not receive or welcome him into your house, and do not give him a greeting or any encouragement . // All need to check their current beliefs to see whether or not they have been taught things that are not scriptural. Many beliefs today have gone astray from scriptural backing. It is important to check teachings that are new to us, just as the Bereans did, as mentioned in Acts 17:11.
Jesus warned that there would be many false Christ’s and he said to make sure that we would not be misled. (Matthew 24:4-5) Daniel shows us that “the people that are knowing their God they will prevail and act effectively.” (Daniel 11:32) And 2 Corinthians 13:5 admonishes Christians to keep testing whether they are in the faith so that they are not disapproved somehow. So, we can see that accurate knowledge is critical. And the source of this knowledge is the scriptures – not a man made organization or publication.
Everything needs to be tested. Truth does not fear being tested but welcomes it!
Refuting some who will (or already do) claim to be Jesus:
Jesus stated himself that “the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:29-30) Everyone on earth will know.
Some “false Christs” may twist scripture and refer to when Jesus mentioned that the kingdom would not come with striking observableness and that is why everyone does not know of them (the one professing to be Christ) yet. (Luke 17:20) This is only true for the first century, not our day. Jesus continues on to explain to his disciples that later on, when the Son of Man is to be revealed, on his arriving back, everyone will know, as one sees lightning traverse the sky (Luke 17:20-25 WEB)
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when God’s Kingdom would come, he answered them, “God’s Kingdom doesn’t come with observation; 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, God’s Kingdom is within you.”
22 He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 They will tell you, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Don’t go away or follow after them, 24 for as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part under the sky, shines to another part under the sky; so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But first, he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.