In the Word of God, we read a stern, but very needful warning that everyone who has been washed in the blood of the Lamb should take to heart and to take seriously.  That warning can be found in Matthew 7 and is given by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  The warning is as follows:

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Paul echoed the warning later on in the book of Acts:

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

In this age of internet superhighways we have many people who, under the self-imposed label of ‘Christian’ are setting up forums and bulletin boards which sole purpose is to proselytize new converts to their belief that Churches and pastoral leadership is no longer required by God.  Many who are not rooted and grounded in the Word of God are being swayed into believing the heretical teachings of these cults.

Brethren and Sisters, the warning from the Lord is there as well as the Apostle Paul.  John, in his epistles echos further the warning by admonishing the Church

1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Now, many of these wolves that Christ warns us about may tell you that they are not antichrist because they confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  But test the spirits that they are allowing to control their words.  Yes, they do attest that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  But which Jesus is it that they are confessing?

Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 16:

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

If the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, why are these wolves so adamant that the sheep need no shepherd?  A flock of sheep left alone will surely scatter!  If the flock is scattered, the gates of hell indeed have prevailed against the Church.

These wolves are not confessing the Christ of the Bible!  They are antichrists and serving a false christ… not the Son of God Almighty.

Recent encounters with one such group revealed to me that they serve a weak god and not the God of the Bible.  Sure they use the Bible, but they twist the Word of Truth into a lie.  Brethren, truth, no matter how much, mixed with one lie becomes a lie.  You cannot weave rayon into a cotton shirt and state that the shirt is 100% cotton.  One thread of rayon changes the shirt… just one single solitary thread.   Another illustration would be taking a drop of poison that is strong enough to kill 15 men and dropping it in a glass of water.  The water is now useless because of the poison.  Mixing truth with error perverts the truth just as mixing water with poison pollutes the water.

Be wary, my friends.  Try the spirits.  Sure they confess Jesus come in the flesh, but that does not necessarily mean they confess the same Jesus as you or I.  The Jesus we serve is faithful to His promises.  The Jesus we serve is not a deceiver.

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Stay in the Word of God.  Study it daily.  Etch it upon your heart.  If you do not know the Word of God, you could easily be swayed into following a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  You could hear the fateful words of Christ that He speaks to false teacher in Matthew 7:

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Is pastoral leadership necessary?  According the the Word of God it is…

Ephesians 4:9-14 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Pastors indeed are shepherds who are overseer’s of the sheep that God has entrusted them with.   A pastor is the spiritual leader and is responsible for feeding the congregation that which is edifying to them.  If pastors were not needed, God would not have given them.  Since God did give them, He meant for the flock to assemble under their supervision and guidance.

My brethren, do not let the spirit of antichrist deceive you into thinking you do not need pastoral authority or that you do not have to assemble together in a building for fellowship and spiritual growth.

Paul gives us a directive in Hebrews, and remember that the entirity of the Word of God was given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  That means the directive is from God, not man:

Hebrews 10:25-27 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

According to the Word of God here, if one allows oneself to be deceived into believing he or she does not need to assemble together with believers… thereby falling out of fellowship, they are in willful sin and will face a judgment of fiery indignation from God.

*Avoid forums that have the characters, Vic, Rose of Shushan, and sheep wrecked as administrators.  These are some of the more dangerous of the teachers of the heretical doctrine Christ and the Apostles warn about.  They will not submit to Church leadership, but rather consider the internet to be their church with Vic as their head pastor.  If you are surfing for a forum to join and stumble across the one that has these three characters, be cautious of their posts.