We live in evil days when the foundations are destroyed and when it seems that “…the heathen are come into God’s inheritance.” The temple and the holy oracles have been defiled. (cf. Psalm 79:1)
We live in days when “…the prophets make God’s people to err.” These prophets are the false prophets of Matthew 7:15, who are ravening wolves. They cry “Peace!” to those who feed them well. They do not teach the commandments of the Lord, and they prepare war against those who do not support them.
We live in days which were similar to the days of Micah, the prophet, who prophesied in Judah in days contemporary with the captivity by Assyria of the ten tribes of Israel. Those in Israel and Judah who claimed to know the truth have no knowledge of the truth. They are like those described in Micah 3:6ff. “Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded; yea, they shall cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.”
The religious situation was terrible in Israel and Judah prior to the captivities of Israel in 722 B.C. and Judah in 600 B.C. The prophets prophesied lies and deceit to the people. There was ease in Zion (cf. Amos 6:1) and the prophets did not testify the truth to the people. They permitted them to sin. In fact, the prophets seduced the people and exclaimed “Peace!”-but there was no peace.
These false prophets were mercenaries. They preached for hire. They distorted and suppressed the truth. These ecclesiastical and political leaders desired only one thing and that was money. They believed falsely that God would be pleased with them because they were such respectable persons, But the ultimatum and judgment of the Lord comes in the words of Micah 3:12, “Therefore shall Zion for your sake (the prophets) be plowed as a field and Jerusalem shall become heaps…”-
The false prophets are in our land too. They are in the whole world. Liberal preachers, who prate about their religion, preach sermons with themes like, “The Cross—Fact or Symbol.” They deny the Christ of the Scriptures. They mock the Christ of the Scriptures. They deny the crucified Christ of Good Friday and the risen Christ of Easter.
Those who ought to preach repentance towards God, and reconciliation with him through faith in Christ, deny the Christ of the Scriptures. They join the jeering crowds around the cross. They demand the crucifixion of Christ and then deny His deity.
Those who ought to be busy refuting with the Holy Scripture all schisms and heresies which are repugnant to the pure doctrine are busy insidiously developing heresies that have been denied by the Church of all the ages. The faith of our fathers, which still lives, they will deny.
One of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian church has been the complete deity and complete humanity of Christ. Our confessions proclaim Jesus Christ to be truly God and truly man. The Heidelberg Catechism in describing our Mediator and Deliverer says that he is “very man, and perfectly righteous; and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God.”
Not only has this been the Reformed and Orthodox Christian doctrine concerning the complete deity and humanity of Christ, but this doctrine has been the bedrock of Roman Catholic orthodoxy. In this matter the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches which have not adopted the heresies of Modernism are in agreement.
In recent years scholars have arisen within the Roman Catholic Church who deny the doctrine of the complete divinity of Christ. At the University of Tubingen in Germany (a country which has spawned Modernists in the Protestant Churches) is Hans Kung, who has been accused by his country’s bishops of disseminating “dangerous views about Christ.” These dangerous views are his tacit denial of the divinity of Christ.
Anticipating the Lenten season, Time, February 27, 1978, described Kung as a part of an international group of theologians, who are demanding that the Roman Catholic Church take a new look at the traditional doctrines concerning the divinity of Christ. Having been influenced by liberal Protestants these Roman Catholics will destroy that which has been hammered out on the anvils of the church councils of the past. These deniers of the faith say that Jesus did not proclaim himself as the eternal Son of God, nor did the early Christians proclaim Christ as the eternal Son of God. They say that Christ gradually fashioned himself into the Son of God. They say that Jesus revealed the way to the Father, but does not reveal the Father himself.
In these days when we are reminded especially of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, it is important for us to be able to give an answer to every man for the hope that is in us. (cf. I Peter 3:15) In these days which are so similar to days in the church 1600 years ago, we must be prepared to defend the faith of our fathers and if need be die for the faith.
Are the allegations of liberal Roman Catholic scholars and liberal Protestant scholars true? They say that Jesus did not proclaim himself as the eternal Son of God. What do the Scriptures say? “…thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (John 6:69) Modernists say that Christ Jesus reveals the way to the Father and does not reveal the Father himself. What do the Scriptures say? “No man hath seen God at any time; but the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18)
Sabellians, other ancient heretics and contemporary Modernists deny the eternal Son of God who became sin for us. Some say he became the Son of God by degrees. Such a doctrine denies the eternal existence of the Son of God. However, the doctrine of the eternal deity of Christ is asserted by the Church in the Belgic Confession as one which has “always been defended and maintained by the true Church, since the time of the apostles, to this very day, against Jews, Mohammedans, and some false Christians and heretics …” (cf. Art. IX) Christ did not become divine by degrees, therefore, but he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and was declared designated to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:3-4)
Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and seminaries in every country of the world today are staffed by men who are intent in destroying the gospel. These are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (II Timothy 3:7 ff) Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse. They deceive and they are deceived. Germany’s Hans Kung, Holland’s Piet Schoonenberg, and El Salvador’s Jon Sobrino are all Roman Catholics who deny the real divinity of Christ. They write and teach in the same tradition as Schlieiermacher and other Modernists of the nineteenth century. These men are deceived and they are deceivers.
Because of such deceivers the church becomes a harlot and is not the faithful bride of Christ. Concerning men of this kind the apostle John says, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (II John 7 and 9)
The apostle John adds the following admonition. “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for as God works in us) but that we receive a full reward.” (II John 7) The message of the admonition is obvious. We must not boast. It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy. We must take heed lest we fall. “Only those who hold the catholic faith will be saved; which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” (cf. Athanasian Creed, one of the ecumenical creeds referred to in Article IX of the Belgic Confession.)
The apostle John urges in another place as follows: “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 into 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 anti-christ, whereof ye have heard it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3)
Do you recognize the spirit of anti-christ? It is in the world. Believe it not!
But sing with the psalmist in Psalm 79.
Let Thy foes no longer scorn Thee.
Now avenge Thy servants slain;
Loose the prisoner, save the dying.
All Thy enemies restrain;
Then Thy flock, Thy chosen people.
Unto Thee their thanks shall raise,
And to every generation
We will sing Thy glorious praise.