When Jude wrote his short epistle, he apparently intended to write about our common salvation but was impressed by the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit to exhort believers on the necessity to hold fast to the principles of faith that were first delivered to those earliest of the believers by the apostles. In Jude 1:3 he writes this:
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
To “contend for the faith” would mean to withstand forcefully against any kind of deviation from that body of faith that was laid out by Jesus and those earliest of the followers of Christ, meaning the apostles, most certainly. Many Bible students and teachers harken back to the “early church fathers,” but I contend that the earliest of the “church fathers” were those writers whose accounts formed the New Testament. And that must be the basis from which we would “contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
The “once for all” phrase in that verse tells us that the truths were, at the first, laid out without any intent for future changes to be made by further “enlightenment” discovered by new revelations. A definitive phrase that occurs several times in the New Testament is “flesh and blood,” as in these examples:
1 Corinthians 15:50 – “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God….”
Ephesians 6:12 – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Those two quotes tell us that mortal flesh and blood cannot have any part of spiritual matters; that is, the offspring of Adam have no part in God’s plans. Likewise, when man, ruled by the spirit of Adam, deviates from the truth and develops false doctrine, we are fighting against spiritual foes and not flesh and blood people when we “contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.”
When Jesus announced the foundation of His Church based on the Rock of His deity, He made that distinction. Matthew 16:15-18 tells us of that distinction:
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.’”
The implication here, with the two above quotes as backup, is that “flesh and blood” could not have uncovered the truth that was revealed to Peter. Mankind is totally dead in sin and cannot penetrate that wall of separation from spiritual matters. This is confirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:11b:
“Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
The rock on which Jesus builds His Church is the Rock (petra, or boulder) of Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the deity in human form. Peter, however, is the petros, or pebble, who is to have responsibilities for that Church Jesus has founded.
It is here that many “devious doctrines of diabolic deception” have their beginning.
A “deviant” is one who is devious in his actions and is defined as a person or thing that deviatesor departs markedly from the accepted norm. In this writing I will have in mind that term in regard to those teachings and practices that vary from the Word of God. And in regard to “doctrines,” I will think of it in its simplest form, as applying to truth, itself, as presented in the word of God.
The meaning of the word “devious” in this article’s title is described as “showing a skillful use of underhanded tactics to achieve goals.” Individual words that describe it are “underhanded,” “deceitful,” “dishonest,”dishonorable,” to list a few. Motives behind false doctrines likely vary, but it is clear that they all stem from that father of lies, the devil, himself.
Thus it is diabolic deception to undermine the truth of God’s Word and the purity of His gospel of salvation, even to mislead a seeker of eternal life instead to an eternal hell.
What are the basic fundamental doctrines that are revealed in that Matthew 16 passage?
· The true church is founded by Jesus Christ without any input by “flesh and blood.”
· Mortal man cannot comprehend it.
· Its victory over evil is eventually certain.
· Any deviation from the deity that is identified in its foundation produces a false doctrine.
· Its true enemy is not mankind but Satanic spiritual forces.
It is interesting how falsehoods clamor urgently to be recognized and accepted as true in the public eye. The Mormons long to be known as legitimate Christians, yet their doctrines contradict the Bible’s longstanding truths. Any evidence presented to them is rejected as inaccurate interpretations or even laughed off as inconsequential and meaningless. That is the general response when Galatians 1:8-9 is referred to, giving the apostle Paul’s position on any “new revelation” from “heaven,” as that passage shows:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
Hidden down inside their doctrinal details is the teaching that up in heaven, before things began to unfold here on earth, Jesus had a brother named Lucifer. When they, with God, the Father, (who was once a man and rose in rank to become god of this world system, which is among many such world systems having their own god in charge) when they saw the trouble mankind was into here on earth, the two brothers drew straws as to who would come down and provide a means of salvation for man.
Jesus drew the short straw, so to speak, and this is the Jesus they promote as the basis of Christianity, the brother of Lucifer. Problem is, we know who Jesus is and who Lucifer is, and those two are absolutely not brothers! (But this account will not be disclosed at the first few indoctrinating sessions for their new convert. It’s much too radical, too non-biblical, too diabolical, too “Luciferian.”)
Despite scientific evidence that refutes their claims of historical truth for the Book of Mormon, it doesn’t seem to impact them hardly at all. Lack of archeological evidence of the existence of any of the cities named in the Book of Mormon should speak volumes to anyone with an open mind, but that is the way of deception. The claim that the original native Americans were actually the lost tribes of Israel has been determined false by DNA scientists, who found no link between the two people-groups. Again, the findings are largely ignored.
Evidently, promoters of deception think it is more spiritually impressive if Old King James Bible language is used in choice of translations or quotations. This is not my attempt to degrade the King James Version translation, but to suggest that the “thees” and “thous” of ancient England are not more spiritual than the simple language of today’s conversations in whatever language used. Joseph Smith “translated” his Book of Mormon from those “golden plates” in King James English, perhaps thinking that was the language of the kingdom of God.
The Mormons are not alone in deceptive tactics. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have produced their own Bible version that relegates the only begotten Son of God to a son of God, thus attempting to destroy the proclaimed deity of Jesus, the Christ. Twisting the Scriptures to quote favorable support for their doctrines of deception is a common tactic.
Those who embrace a false doctrine are harder to convince of the truth than changing the mindset of an atheist, as one Bible teacher says he has realized over the years. They are emphatic in their declarations, quoting Scriptures out of context, interpreting them inconsistent with their context and loudly denouncing their opponents.
A major source of deceptive doctrines is found in the doctrines and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. In Part 2 that establishment will be considered from the standpoint of an outsider telling what he sees that is in contradiction to the Scriptures. And there are other deceptions that need to be addressed as well.