2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
There is a fact presented by the above verses that leads one to understand that Satan can be represented by "men of God" who are doing his work rather than Christ's. These men "hold the truth in unrighteousness;" and will often do wrong and then justify it by doing one of three things.
First, they will say that a command is found in the Bible and yet will not quote the chapter and verse but simply say, "It's Bible". The member of the congregation who they have kept ignorant by not focusing on preaching that that member feed themselves every day on God's word can only assume they are speaking the truth. Here are two classic examples of heresy produced by some fundamentalist preachers and forced on their unsuspecting and often willfully ignorant congregation.
"The Pastor's authority over your children is greater then the parent's authority. The Pastor must answer to Jesus Christ for your children."
Nowhere does it say in the Bible, and nowhere in the letters of the New Testament that pertain to doctrine in the Church Age, the "Age of the Doctrines of Grace", does it say that the Pastor, Bishop, or Elder of the New Testament Church has authority over your children that trumps your God given authority. If you believe it does, don't hand me the malarkey of "It's Bible" but give me the verses.
This is the thinking of a cult mentality.
Another error introduced in some churches is that the widows and single women of the church have no voice in the congregation except through the Pastor. They have no voice of their own. They certainly don't have any say over their own children. This is exercised in the event that a single mother is concerned about the lack of adult supervision in a youth group or of behavior in a youth pastor that she can not, in good conscience, tolerate. She is told that either her children be placed under the authority of the youth pastor of questionable judgment or that she must leave the church, even if she has been attending the church for decades.
This wickedness is compounded by telling her that "it's Bible" that if a widow is rebellious for not disposing of her children in the way the Pastor sees fit she is to be turned out of the church.
Chapter and verse, please.
I have already explained how Numbers 27 gives a principle that women without male heads of family were entitled by God to a share of the Hebrews' inheritance. It would seem to be a sound principle to me, at least, that single mothers who are heads of their family should have a vote or some kind of say.
A second thing that these Satans in the pulpit will do is to continue to try to force their congregations back under the Law of Moses so that they can control them in spite of the fact that under the doctrines of the Church Age;
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
These same controlling abusers will then, under the same methodology, drag the New Testament Bishop or Pastor back into the Old Testament as a Prophet anointed to call down fire from heaven on those who won't obey him. And yet, here are some important verses under the doctrines of grace regarding the Pastor of the New Testament Church.
1 Timothy 5:1 ¶ Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
How do you reconcile these words to a New Testament Church Pastor with Elisha, the Old Testament prophet who calls she bears out to kill Hebrew children mocking him fulfilling Leviticus 26:22?
What about this warning to elders which is generally recognized to refer to Pastors?
1 Peter 5:1 ¶ The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Doesn't seem much like Elijah calling fire down on groups of fifty soldiers, does it?
This same gentle Shepherd will warn his brainwashed church members that if they leave his church, his authority, even if they choose their own family members which he has abused over him, that they will suffer punishment from God.
Out of which book of the Bible did they get that hateful threat?
Lastly, for my argument, but certainly not finally, as they have other ploys and tactics that Satan has given them, they will twist scriptures, wrenching them out of their context by violence to batter some weak person, usually a woman who has been abused already by men, to submission.
Numbers 12:1 ¶ And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)4 ¶ And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.10 ¶ And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
The abusive Pastor imagines himself to be Moses under the operation of the Old Testament Law. He is not the gentle shepherd of the New Testament church but the fire breathing disciplinarian of the Sinai whom God will avenge if crossed. They'll even be quoted as saying "don't mess with the Pastor." They'll imply that if you cross them God will kill you or give you a disease like Miriam. And yet, the rule that the New Testament pastor has over his flock is clearly of a different nature.
1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;9 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.It is clearly the spiritual rule of a temperate, self-disciplined man who is faithful to his wife. Go back to the verses in 1 Peter 5:2,3.
It is probably best to attend a church for a good while before joining. But, you won't see what kind of Pastor you really have until your church faces a crisis. It is then you'll know if he is working to build faith in Christ or working to build a flock he can control for whatever purpose. Be warned. There are many good churches out there and there are bad ones.
Read your Bible, know it, study it, and memorize it. Do not be deceived.
2Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.