Heresies are religious lies, falsehoods, untruths, fabrications etc. The Bible warns us against these things in the strongest of terms as we read in II Peter 2:1 KJV,
“But there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
Heresies are not just benign little buggers, or minor religious misdemeanors, but instead are major religious crimes resulting in spiritual capital punishment – eternal damnation. Note the words – DAMNABLE HERESIES. There are no such things in God’s eyes as misdemeanor heresies, only damnable ones.
One senses the same gravity in the words of II Thessalonians 2:11-12 KJV,
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie:”
“That they all might be DAMNED WHO BELIEVED NOT THE TRUTH,
but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Suffice it to say:
“EVERY RELIGIOUS HERESY/LIE IS BY ITS VERY NATURE ETERNALLY
DESTRUCTIVE AND DAMNING.”
“EVERY RELIGIOUS HERESY/LIE FESTERS INTO A KIND OF SPIRITUAL
GANGRENE, AND BY ITS VERY NATURE IS TERMINAL.”
We are not playing around here with religious tiddlywinks, booboos, hiccups, or mousy mistakes. Heresies are not like the tiny kitten named Wheezer who gets into mischief wherever he goes. After all, he is such a cute, cuddly, little rascal, and kittens will be kittens, even as lovable but mischievous heretics will be heretics.
One gets the feeling in today’s apostate church that truth/falsehood in general are such gray, undefined things, and that the real criminals are truth crusaders and heresy hunters as they are so-called, and not the heretics themselves. That is exactly where we have come. It is a most damnable state! Sick!
HERESY’S PLUSES AND MINUSES
God doesn’t leave any doubt that heresies are SINS and not just ERRORS. People are not damned for errors, but they can be and are damned for sins.
And according to the Holy Spirit, there are two broad definitions of heresies as they are outlined for us in Revelation 22:18-19,
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book;
if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which
are written in this book;”
“and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the
Holy City, which are written in this book.”
Well then, there you have in clear terms what the Lord considers basically to be the two kinds of heresies/sins which men commit:
-FIRST – ADDING TO THE WORDS/TRUTHS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.
-SECOND – SUBTRACTING FROM THE WORDS/TRUTHS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.
If you will:
“HERESIES AND HERETICS FALL INTO TWO CATEGORIES, ADDERS TO THE WORD
OF GOD, AND SUBTRACTORS FROM THE WORD OF GOD.”
In the case of the ADDER-HERETICS AND ADDITION-HERESIES, the Bible then finds itself buried underneath a whole bunch of additives/innovations/contrivances that become as dominant, if not more dominant, than the Bible itself. The Bible gets buried under the trash, because what is added to the Bible is more important to the heretic than the Bible itself. That is why the heretic added it to the Bible in the first place – the falsehood is cherished more than the truth.
In the case of the SUBTRACTOR-HERETICS AND SUBTRACTION HERESIES, the Bible then literally becomes riddled with holes all over the place. The Bible begins to look like the old spinster’s mice-eaten wedding cake in Great Expectations. The Word of God then becomes a piece of Swiss cheese. Like – THAT NO LONGER APPLIES – THAT WAS FOR THAT TIME AND CULTURE – THAT CANNOT BE TAKEN LITERALLY BECAUSE IT DOES NOT CONFORM TO SCIENCE etc. etc. And by the time the Subtractor-Heretic gets done with the Bible, it looks like a mummified corpse.
In either case:
“THE ADDER AND THE SUBTRACTOR HERETICS AND HERESIES ARE THE WRECKING
CREWS OF THE BIBLE AND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.”
The most glaring example of an ADDER-HERETIC and ADDITION HERESY would be MORMONISM and THE BOOK OF MORMON. It is THE BIBLE PLUS – GOD PLUS – TRUTH PLUS. If you will, the Holy Bible in Mormonism is not the whole truth, is not enough, does not have the last word, and falls far short. The Book of Mormon must be added to the Bible in Mormonism to get the full truth. ADDER HERESY AND ADDER HERETICS – they add to the Word of God!!!
The most glaring example of a SUBTRACTOR HERETIC and SUBTRACTION HERESY would be the JEHOVAH WITNESSES who subtract the entire New Testament from the Bible, and accept the Old Testament only. The Bible Tree is literally cut in half, and the Bible is reduced to half its original size. SUBTRACTOR HERETICS AND SUBTRACTION HERESIES – they subtract from the Word of God.
“BOTH THE ADDER AND SUBTRACTOR HERETICS, THOUGH SEEMINGLY OPPOSITE
ARE REALLY ONE, FOR THEY BOTH REWRITE AND CORRUPT
THE WORD OF GOD.”
You will find ADDER AND SUBTRACTOR HERETICS AND HERESIES throughout Christendom today. They not only occupy the pew, but high positions of leadership on pulpits and in seminaries. When you sit under their ministry, you feel like the Union or Confederate infantryman who is lying on a battlefield gasping as he grabs his bloody wounds. These heretics would cut your Bible-based soul to shreds.
I will never forget not so long ago worshiping in a Community Church up in the mountains near Denver, Colorado, and that morning a young associate pastor was preaching. It wasn’t long and he began to criticize a nearby church that had on its billboard the words:
“THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.”
The young preacher then went on to berate that church and those like it who believe that in the Bible they have God’s whole truth. Why? Because, as he stated, nobody, no church, no preacher has all of the truth. We all have only a small part of truth which is always unfolding and being discovered. Satan rejoiced and I wept!
Then even more recently I was in a Pentecostal church where the pastor that morning told the people, including many teens and children, that the Bible is not the whole truth, but only half the truth. We must get the other half from the Holy Spirit. And then he concluded his assault on the Bible by saying that the Bible is such a confusing book.
I tell you that the Scripture warnings about heretics among us are real, and in the church scene today we are wading in heretical waters up to our eyeballs.
ADDER AND SUBTRACTOR HERETICS PUNISHED
Now then, going back to Revelation 22:18-19, we find that the penalties for ADDER AND SUBTRACTOR HERETICS AND HERESIES are not exactly meek and mild, but woeful and wild! Here they are:
-Verse 18, “ALL OF THE FIERY PLAGUES/JUDGMENTS OF GOD FALL UPON THE HERETICS.”
-Verse 19, “THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO EAT FROM THE TREE OF LIFE IN THE PARADISE OF GOD.”
-Verse 19, “THEY WILL NEVER BE ALLOWED IN THE NEW OR HEAVENLY JERUSALEM.”
“ADDER AND SUBTRACTOR HERETICS WILL BURN AND DIE IN HELL FOREVER.”
Let’s not kid ourselves, nor allow ourselves to be anesthetized by those who want us to believe that truth is not set in cement, but is constantly evolving. Therefore there are no heretics, just adventurers in the constant quest for truth.
Sure, and in the meantime heretics multiply like rabbits, and they do so unchecked, because there is not an absolute standard of truth to hold them in check. God makes it clear that those rabbits will not make a strong showing in the judgment, but will be turned into rabbit stew. That is what God thinks about those who tamper with His Truth.
“THE PUNISHMENT DECLARED BY GOD UPON HERETICS AND HERESIES HAS THE
OMINOUS LOOK OF A BLACK CANNON POINTED AT EACH
ONE OF THEIR HEADS.”
HERETICS’/HERESIES’ BREEDING GROUNDS
What now follows are some of the main breeding grounds where heretics and heresies are conceived and birthed.
I. FIRST – REASON OVER FAITH
Hear this now and hear it good:
“MEN, EVEN RELIGIOUS MEN, WHEN IT COMES TO DIVINE TRUTH, WILL DENY OR
CHANGE WHAT THEIR REASON CANNOT GRASP.”
In other words:
“HERETICS AND HERESIES ARE CONCEIVED AND BIRTHED IN THE BREEDING
GROUNDS OF HUMAN REASON OVER DIVINE REVELATION.”
The great principle of Christianity and the entire Christian life from beginning to end is found in II Corinthians 5:7,
“for we walk by FAITH, not by sight.”
The great principle of the so-called Age of Enlightenment and Higher Learning is:
“for we walk by REASON, not by faith.”
For you see:
“GOD DEMANDS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO BIBLE TRUTH,
REASON MUST BOW TO FAITH.”
“MAN DEMANDS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO TRUTH,
FAITH MUST BOW TO REASON.”
“FAITH ACCEPTS GOD AND TRUTH, BUT REASON MUST FIGURE GOD AND
TRUTH OUT BEFORE IT CAN ACCEPT EITHER.”
What this means therefore is that if Bible truth makes no sense to reason, it must be denied. Moreover, if truth and reason are incompatible, truth is not truth but falsehood. It is exactly here where heresy/falsehood/lies are hatched – IN THE COURTS OF HUMAN REASON – ALWAYS.
If you will:
“WHAT CANNOT BE PROVED AND EXPLAINED BY REASON CANNOT BE ACCEPTED
BY FAITH, FOR THAT WOULD ALLOW KING REASON TO BE MOCKED BY FAITH.”
So it is that the SUBTRACTION HERESY OF UNITARIANISM AGAINST TRINITARIANISM was born and believed in. God must be One, for it makes no sense to reason, and therefore is unreasonable, to believe that God can be three persons in one God.
We read in Genesis 1:1,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
It makes no sense to reason that the English word “GOD” in the Bible is translated from a Hebrew word that is not singular, but instead plural. Yes, that’s right! The word “GOD” in the book of Genesis in the Bible comes from the Hebrew word “ELOHIM.” “IM” is the plural ending in Hebrew, and therefore:
“GOD IS BOTH SINGULAR AND PLURAL AT THE SAME TIME – PUT THAT IN
YOUR REASON PIPE AND SUCK ON IT.”
Or again, hear the words of John 1:1:2,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God.”
“He (the Word) was in the beginning with God.”
One of the names of Jesus Christ in the Bible is the name “WORD.” Here we read something supernatural and super-rational, that is, that Jesus Christ IS BOTH GOD AND WITH GOD. How does this measure up in the courts of reason? I am sure that this douses the embers in your reason pipe! Plurality in one God! I see reason coughing itself to death on the most fundamental truth of God, while faith bows down and worships the ONE-PLURAL GOD.”
I really appreciate how Joe Kovacs in his book “The Divine Secret” illustrates John 1:1-2. He writes:
“IN THE ROOM THERE WAS NANCY, AND NANCY WAS WITH REAGAN,
AND NANCY WAS REAGAN. SHE WAS IN THE ROOM WITH REAGAN.”
Of course there is not a perfect or totally applicable illustration of or analogy for the plural Godhead, but I kind of like it. Husband and wife are truly one according to the Word of God (Genesis 2:24). Put the names of yourself and your wife in there, and allow me to put my and Ruth’s name in there:
“IN THE ROOM THERE IS BOB AND RUTH, AND RUTH IS WITH BOB AND
RUTH IS BOB. SHE IS IN THE ROOM WITH BOB.”
Now that I read it and hear it, I more than kind of like it, I love it. In the same way, the Word of God can be with God, as well as be God simultaneously. Two separate persons Who are one in essence and identity. Oh, yes I do know that there will be those who shoot a thousand holes in Joe Kovac’s analogy. That is because in the human, temporal, and material world, there is nothing that perfectly captures the Divine, spiritual, and the eternal. But it is one of the best I have ever read. Thanks Joe!
And again, remember Matthew 28:19,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
I mean, how can THREE PERSONS all have the same name, in the same breath, in the same essence – GOD? Yes, I know, it can only be received by faith, and when reason prevents that, HERESIES ARE CONCEIVED AND BORN. So then:
“WHEN IT COMES TO THE SUPERNATURAL AND SUPERRATIONAL TRIUNE
GOD, RECEIVE HIM BY FAITH, GO BURY YOUR BRAINS, AND AVOID
BEING A DAMNABLE HERETIC.”
Then comes the ADDITION-SUBTRACTION HERESY Of UNIVERSALISM VERSUS BELIEVERS ONLY IN HEAVEN. Universalists do hold that believers will go to Heaven, but they add to Scripture by saying that not just believers but EVERYONE WILL BE IN HEAVEN AND NO ONE WILL GO TO A HELL. (Rob Bell and his ilk.)
So what we have today in the UNIVERSALISM HERESY is both ADDITION TO THE WORD OF GOD and SUBTRACTION FROM THE WORD OF GOD:
-ADDITION – EVERYONE WILL GO TO HEAVEN.
-SUBTRACTION – THERE IS NO HELL.
Universalism is also a heresy based on reason over faith, man’s brain over God’s Word. And how does that flow? Well we read in I John 4:8 and 16,
“God is love….”
And certainly, as human reason argues, a God of love could not send anyone to an eternity of hell fire and agony. In fact, a God Who would do such a thing is a beast and should never be believed in or served. Frankly, such a God should have a long, black tail tucked into the back of His pants, for he is worse than the devil himself.
You see, here are the nuts and bolts of it all:
“WHEREVER THERE IS A PARADOX TO REASON, SUCH AS GOD BEING BOTH A
GOD OF LOVE AND A GOD OF WRATH, THE PARADOX MUST BE DENIED,
FOR REASON MUST NEVER BE TRUMPED BY THE PARADOXICAL
WORD OF GOD.”
And when it comes to REASON AND THE WORD GOD:
“THE WORD OF GOD AND FAITH IN THE GOD OF THE WORD MUST ALWAYS
BE REJECTED WHEN THEY RESULT IN THE GROSS DISPARAGEMENT
OF AND CONTRADICTION TO REASON.”
So the following truth from the Word of God and scores of Bible truths like it, are subtracted, such as in Matthew 25:41 and 46,
“Then He (God) will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me
accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has which has
been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
“and these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous
into eternal life.”
The REASON OVER FAITH BREEDING GROUND FOR ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION HERESIES raises its head in many directions. It leaves its stain on all of the fundamentals of the Bible, including the account of the CREATION IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS.
Without going at length into this heresy (see my teaching on Supernatural God – Natural Scientist in the Creation Sermon Category), reason argues that the Genesis 1 account of creation could not be true as it is literally written, because the light-bearers, i.e. sun, moon, stars were not created until the fourth day, and vegetation was created the third day and could not survive without the light of the sun to warm the earth. They all would freeze to death overnight. And of course, that would be a huge dilemma for the OMNISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT GOD.
Therefore, the Genesis Six-Day Creation Account is not literally true, and we must leave room for evolution as science reveals it. If you will:
“FAITH PUTS ITS BOGUS TRUST IN THE WORD OF GOD, WHILE REASON PUTS
ITS RIGHTFUL TRUST IN SCIENCE.”
But then, since when was the supernatural Creator ever subject to, dependent on, or confined within natural laws. That is heresy of the first order. Oh yes, I am sure that the omniscient and omnipotent God took into account all factors. I am sure that careful planning came first. Even men of action do not just jump into an important project with their tools flailing. But I am also sure that the all-wise and all-powerful God did not have to consult a science manual before beginning. Nor did he have to reference architectural blueprints, plans, and instructions for building worlds. And so, He did it just like he tells us! Hear me:
“CHRISTIANS LIVE BY THE REVELATION FACTOR – NOT THE SCIENCE FACTOR WHEN IT COMES
TO THE GRAND ARCHITECT AND BUILDER OF ALL WORLDS.”
Also, to allegorize or metaphorize or symbolize the Creator’s account of His own creation, which the heretics always do, is not only to subtract from the Word of God, but from the God of the Word. Hear me, according to Psalm 138:2,
“…for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above Thy name.”
“WHEN YOU MESS WITH THE WORD OF THE LORD, YOU ARE MESSING
WITH THE LORD OF THE WORD.”
“THE SUBTRACTION HERETICS WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE THAT THE
HOLY SPIRIT, WITHOUT THE HELP OF SCIENCE, WAS FLYING A
MOST DEFECTIVE AIRPLANE WHEN HE MOVED UPON THE
FACE OF THE WATERS.”
If you will:
“THE SUBTRACTION HERETICS WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE THAT WITHOUT
SCIENCE, THE ENTIRE CREATION ACCOUNT IN GENESIS CRASHES,
AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WITH IT.”
“THE SUBTRACTION HERETICS LEAVE US WITH NOTHING MORE THAN
A DISNEY CARTOON CAST OF CHARACTERS IN A FICTIONAL AND
MERELY ANIMATION STORY OF CREATION.”
If you will:
“ADAM AND EVE HAVE NO MORE HISTORIC CREDIBILITY THAN DO
MICKEY AND MINNIE MOUSE, OR DONALD AND DAISY DUCK.”
“SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – GOD AND
THE SIX DAY CREATION.”
The more to the center theological liberals try to find something more in the middle, halfway between Genesis 1 and science. That way they feel both Biblical and scientific. Bless their hearts! I have to laugh when I think about those who feel that they have to help God out for Him to be scientifically relevant and credible.
The problem of the heretics is that they have no concept of how unfathomably great God is. So they make a God without the help of science look like a 100 year old invalid. It is because they measure God by themselves. Remember now:
“WHEN HUMAN BUILDERS BUILD, THEY WORK THEIR WILL ON DEFENSELESS LUMBER, BUT
WHEN THE DIVINE BUILDER BUILDS, HE WORK HIS WILL ON DEFENSELESS
NOTHING, AND FROM THAT NOTHING CREATED EVERYTHING.”
“WHEN MAN IS IN THE BACKYARD SAWING AND HAMMERING LOUDLY AS HE BUILDS
A TREE HOUSE HIS CHILDREN, GOD WAS IN ETERNITY BUILDING THE UNIVERSE
FOR HIS CHILDREN IN SILENCE EXCEPT FOR THE SOUND OF
HIS VOICE – LET THERE BE.”
Come on now, stop trying to help God out with your stupid scientific burps. Your great insights must appear to God as exciting as sitting on your front porch and watching the paint dry.
The world of heresy all starts right here in the breeding ground of reason over faith, and science over the Word of God. After subtracting the creation account and turning it into a Disney Classic, the Bible landscape of heresies just becomes more littered and gets more heretically polluted from Genesis 1 on.
In summary, it is impossible for natural reason to run the world back to its infancy, and to view nature in its cradle, let alone before its beginning. Reason might continue its search, and no doubt in many cases will, to the end of the world, and it still will not find how and when the world began. So then Mr. Reason:
“BOW YOUR HEAD BEFORE GOD, SUBMIT TO HIS WORD, AND QUIT WASTING YOUR
TIME ON A BOGUS SEARCH THAT THE WORD OF GOD NEVER GAVE YOU
PERMISSION TO GO ON IN THE FIRST PLACE.”
ADDITION HERESIES AND HERETICS are never more bold and brazen as are those who espouse the MODERN NEW REVELATION AND APOSTOLIC MOVEMENT. There are those who teach and practice within the so-called ranks of Christianity that Christians still receive the following:
“NEW, INSPIRED, AND INFALLIBLE REVELATION THAT IS GIVEN BY GOD
TO A SELECT AND ENLIGHTENED GROUP OF MODERN APOSTLES
WHO ARE REWRITING CHRISTIANITY AND THE BIBLE.”
If you will, Divine, Holy Spirit inspired, infallible revelation is constantly unfolding, and unless you get yourself under the leadership and teaching of these new apostolic revelationists, you will be left in the dark with an incomplete and prematurely closed Canon of Scripture.
After all, God is infinite and cannot be confined within one volume of 66 books. IT IS MOST REASONABLE to believe that this infinite God is still unfolding revelation to his servants. God is dynamic, not static or stagnant. So the new revelationists argue.
There is only one huge problem with the new revelationists. Revelation 2:18-19 is never more sharp and cutting than to those who advocate that the Canon of Scripture is still open, and that Scripture is being added to day by day. They are heretics and heresies of the worst order who need to be driven out of and totally separated from Biblical Christianity.
HERESIES – ADDITIONS AND SUBTRACTIONS Pt. 2 coming soon.