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Be Not Deceived

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Written by: John Sernaque

Dear Reader,

No one is perfect except for Christ Jesus, our Lord, and Savior. This not only goes for all the laypeople out there, but it begins with the leaders of the church i.e. the pastors, elders, deacons, and so forth. I urge you not to instill your trust or worship in any man but in only God the Father.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:10

It is He who gave us His Word, and not any pastor or church person. Too many church pastors will have you believe that they are perfect, beyond correction or reproach. This should be your first red flag, a warning to you to turn the other way and run. Pastors that are full of themselves. Who believe their own lies and facades they put on, to the point they have no idea who they are. They are like actors who, when preparing for a role, live the life of the character 24/7, and when the show is over, they cannot stop acting the part of the character's role. They believed it for so long they no longer know who they are themselves. There are pastors who portray themselves so righteous, yet they are liars, phonies, and some even thieves. They put on a good show and dupe their members into believing their guise. They are simply actors playing the part of a pastor, minister, or preacher. They care not about their members except for how many members can bring them how many dollars. It is a dangerous thing to take your eyes off Jesus, the one that all of your praise and glory needs to be directed to. No man, absolutely no one are you to worship but God alone.

Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great [things] he hath done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:23

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

Parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, and all, take off your rose-colored glasses when you are being preached to. Not only are these pastors not living the lives they are preaching, but are also making you, their ministry members, the victims of their crimes. Yes, some of these pastors who claim to be self- supporting ministers collect a tithe and offering. The tithes and offerings are not the property of any man, but are to be used in doing a certain work for God.

And all the tithe of the land, [whether] of the seed of the land, [or] of the fruit of the tree, [is] the LORD'S: [it is] holy unto the LORD. Leviticus 27:30

They claim that all of the tithes are their money, for their own personal use. They claim that it is at their discretion to use the “tithes” of the church for themselves, and it is the “offering” that is to be used exclusively for the church. They are not Levites or part of a church organization that collects tithes to be used for salaries and other church expenses, but lead their members to believe that their tithes are going to further the work of salvation. This is a lie and theft of what is God’s money. I am sorry that some elders call for the tithe and offering, thinking that the collection was primarily being used for the church’s use and proclaiming the everlasting gospel. However, these pastors are primarily using it for themselves and secondarily for the church. This is not how a “self-supporting” ministry is to operate. Like Paul, who was employed as a tent maker, pastors are to engage in gainful employment to support themselves.

In many places self-supporting missionaries can work successfully. It was as a self-supporting missionary that the apostle Paul labored in spreading the knowledge of Christ throughout the world. While daily teaching the gospel in the great cities of Asia and Europe, he wrought at the trade of a craftsman to sustain himself and his companions. His parting words to the elders of Ephesus, showing his manner of labor, have precious lessons for every gospel worker: {MH 154.1}

If you are part of an organized church, the tithe which is collected goes to the organization to pay for church and pastors expenses. Yet these shameless pastors, who call their ministries “self-supporting” ministries, would claim that they are paying for the different costs in which the church are engaged in out of their “own money”, like paying for a school, evangelism, and outreach programs. Instead of giving God the glory when using the church’s tithe money, they take all the glory for themselves. What kind of egotistical maniac does this? They will also give you ill-advised ideas as to how to bring up your children such as: you should not send your children to school or allow them to get jobs. Yes, there is much to be desired from the public school system and no employment is perfect. So, what are your children to do? *Stay at home and read their Bible all day long? They call this being a good Christian. Or is it raising a lazy, slothful child who will in no way be able to care for themselves when they reach adulthood?

Some may be successful in business lines, and in this work they may represent Christ. They may show to the world that business may be conducted on righteous principles, in strict fidelity to the truth. There may be Christian lawyers, Christian physicians, Christian merchants. Christ may be represented in all lawful callings.—Manuscript 19, 1900. {WM 111.4}

Dear youth, what is the aim and purpose of your life? Are you ambitious for education that you may have a name and position in the world? Have you thoughts that you dare not express, that you may one day stand upon the summit of intellectual greatness; that you may sit in deliberative and legislative councils, and help to enact laws for the nation? There is nothing wrong in these aspirations. You may every one of you make your mark. You should be content with no mean attainments. Aim high, and spare no pains to reach the standard. 92 {CSA 64.8}

Do not let yourself or your children throw away their futures. Yes, we should not be of this world but we do live in this world. God did not send His son into this world to condemn the world but that through Him the world may be saved. Take the advice from God and not from some pastor who has lost touch with reality. This involves sacrifice and selfless interaction with the outcasts of society. This is our Father’s world.

Please, brothers and sisters, I implore you. Stop worshipping and putting these pastors on a pedestal. Do not live your life according to their preaching, which they put on for show, but only by the Word of God. God wants you to attain His wisdom as well as securing a livelihood to be able to provide for yourself, your family, and others less fortunate. To contribute to the work of salvation. This requires training, schooling, and discipline. Running away to the country is not the answer to all, and by no means automatically gives you a place in heaven. We are not meant to live in bubbles or glasshouses. In your everyday life, with no social contact, you will limit yourself in spreading the Good News. Will you make it to heaven by browbeating the gospel to an audience one day per week or by going out every day doing your Father’s business. Will you worship a “for show pastor” or the one who sacrificed all on your behalf?

God will never leave us nor forsake us, that is His promise and His promises are sure. Always put your trust in God, never in man. Man will always let you down, but God will always lift you up. So, it is through Christ and Christ alone that our faith can endure. I pray that God will increase my faith, your faith, and let no man be deceived. Put away your idols. Let Jesus be your guide, and not a hypocrite church leader.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

All the heavenly glory awaits those who are saved. God has appointed the work of salvation to each and every one of us. So, while we grow, we must help others grow. Stay vigilant my friend, for it is those who are distracted by the noise being made by barking pastors that Satan singles out to devour. Am I my brother’s keeper? You better believe it! By God's grace may we all help Jesus gather in the flock to bring us home, God's Royal Family, into His Heavenly Kingdom. Amen.

*Christ Jesus Ministries fully endorses the reading of the Scriptures. However, we know of cases where children are robbed of the opportunity to study and learn, because the parents seek to manipulate and control their children by robbing them of the opportunity to become fully-function and well-educated adults. The parents, under the false-pretense of piety, cast aside the teachings of science and education even though Ellen White clearly said that "True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements." {Call to Stand Apart 65.1}

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