Beware of “Fair Speeches”

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:17-18

The apostle Paul tells people here to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine” of the LORD which is found in the Holy Scriptures.

Carefully note the phrase “fair speeches” which is defined as “fine style of utterance, giving the appearance of reasonableness.” So, the Scripture here informs us that such beguilers will “deceive the hearts of the simple” by “fair speeches.” This is the very way so many are being led astray in this late hour. The message and manner of these men have the appearance of godliness, and might even include a few tears, but their hidden motives center around their own agenda and not the LORD’s. This alone makes one a false prophet.

Does anyone you know come to mind when you hear these words of holy Writ?

While attending a local fellowship for some time, I had observed the sentiments of the senior pastor month after month, year after year. There was an arrogant spirit, which was like a perfume, sensed more than seen. I witnessed the tears and emotions of this pastor and his wife (as they stood with their thousand dollar outfits – seldom, if ever, worn twice). I tried to be patient but there never seemed to be a difference in the way they lived. There was seemingly no reduction in the high-mindedness. Pride and self-service seemed to fill their lives and therefore exuded from their ministry. So, after ample time had expired, it was time to move on to be with the humble in heart (Prov. 16:19). O How refreshing!

The stylish, persuasive reasonings of this pastor, even his use of Scripture, were compelling. His “fair speeches” were commanding and emotionally and intellectually stimulating. They gave the appearance of reasonableness and godliness. In the final analysis, many of those eloquent of speech and rich with persuasive words, are found to be empty hearted, void of the life of Jesus due to serving self instead of the Savior – “whose god is their belly.” (Phil. 3:19) Paul purposely avoided becoming an eloquent orator in order to establish God’s people in the LORD Himself and not in the wisdom of mere men (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Saints, the LORD promised us that He was going to shake all things in these last days. As he shakes the foundations of our lives – that is, tests with fire the actual materials our faith is based upon, what shall we do? Shall we be willingly broken before His holiness, letting Him have His way in us?

“…but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:26-29

We have all unduly espoused the teachings and personalities of certain men and women in ministry. He is calling us to repent of our spiritual adulteries, where we have alienated our heart affections from Him and placed them in mere men.  

Beloved, let us see the big picture of eternity in this. – “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom (forever with Jesus) which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” May He grant us His “grace” with “godly fear” and bring upon our lives His “consuming fire” to burn away all spiritual adultery, that we might soundly worship in Him alone in spirit and in truth.

A tell-tale sign:  If we can peacefully receive the expose’ of one of these ministers we have grown to like, we know that the LORD has delivered us from spiritual adultery. Perhaps if we get upset and come to the defense of these mere men while excusing their deadly errors, we have not yet laid down our idolatry of these men.

Like Paul, the apostle of Christ, true disciples of Jesus who serve in leadership go through painstaking measures to root and ground their audiences in Christ alone and not themselves – “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified…That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”  (1 Cor. 2:1-5)

The Savior is calling His remnant to relinquish all idols of the heart and place our affections upon Him alone who is our life and salvation.

In the ultimate end, many who tickle ears and move hearts and have spent lots of God’s monies to establish themselves, are discovered to be those who bellow out empty words from hollow hearts, void of the fruit of authentic Christ-likeness. These men are what Jude identified as “clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.” (Jude 12)  All this is being perpetrated while these people are drowning in the wealth they reap from God’s people, most of whom have no clue as to the disingenuous nature of this type of deceiver. These men, multitudes of whom operate in our midst, “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom. 16:18)

Doesn’t it seem like those who have no guile or malice in their hearts are most vulnerable to deception? Could this be due to the fact that it may seldom if ever enter such a pure mind that anyone would be operating according to an insidious, selfish, malicious agenda? The harmless heart many times cannot imagine someone could operate this way since such motives are not within themselves.

To be continued…

Related Post

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 1

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 2

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 4

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 5

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 6

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part  7

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 8 – THE CONCLUSION

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