Beware of False Prophets in Sheep’s Clothing

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Day 1: Abstinence-centered curriculum training,
Day 2: Unification Principle Study 
Day 3: Strengthening Families and Communities Forum

Cheon Seong Gyeong 2256

You must not only be filial toward your parents, but you also need your spouse. Thus, you must form a four-position foundation. This is the absolute Principle. When we understand this, we need to ask what has happened today to the individual, family, and national four-position foundations. The expansion of the family four-position foundation creates the nation, the expansion of the national four-position foundation creates the world, and the expansion of the global four-position foundations is the cosmos. The family is the base.

Cheon Seong Gyeong 706

Between teachers and students, there are rules for teachers to observe and rules for students to observe. Likewise, in the Unification Church, there are rules that I should observe, and rules that you should observe. Therefore you who hear the Word are subject to judgment by the Word. If you hear it wrongly, you will be judged.
    Then, what activities should we undertake next? We are to realize substance. That being the case, if we fail to undertake activities that substantiate the Word, there will be a judgment of substance. There is judgment by the Word, judgment of substance, and judgment of heart. We must undergo the three great processes of judgment.
    First, the word of the Principle will judge you and after that, you will be subjected to the judgment of substance. Who will judge? Those who substantiated the word by working hard in fundraising and witnessing, and who followed all the rules, they will judge you. Those who worked hard will judge you; that is judgment. If you do not follow the Word, even Satan will judge you and others will accuse you. I will judge Unification Church members; the Unification Church leaders will judge them, and those who followed the will of the Unification Church will judge them.


THE MOST INSIDIOUS CAUSE OF DEVIATION from the religious path is the lure of false teaching, or heresy. The scriptures of every major religion warn against it. “Heresy” means opinion, and the wisdom of God’s revelation to the founding saint of the religion is not something to be altered or revised on the basis of someone else’s opinion.
It is true that every genuine religion at its birth was branded a heresy by the leaders of the orthodox establishment. Yet in addition, heretical offshoots of these new religions usually sprang up within a generation of the Founder’s passing, or even in the Founder’s lifetime. Yet by the Will of God, the mainstream religions became established while the heresies that beset them did not. Nowhere do we find that a heresy ever defeated a major religion’s line of orthodox development. Despite their theological attraction, there must be good reasons why heresies were branded as such.
A number of the passages gathered here attack false prophets and heretics for having base motives: they are hypocrites using religion for worldly gain (although orthodox teachers could have the same flaw). Some attribute these false teachings to the work of demons and evil spirits. Others point to their rotten fruits: licentious living, greed, and the sowing of dissension. On the other hand, some heresies deceive through advocating a standard of conduct even more austere or a faith even more extreme than what is called for in the correct path—Devadatta being a prime example. Still other passages attack heretics for fomenting schism and breaking down the unity of the faith.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
    Matthew 7.15-16

God’s Messenger is reported as saying, “In the last times men will come forth who will fraudulently use religion for worldly ends and wear sheepskins in public to display meekness. Their tongues will be sweeter than sugar, but their hearts will be the hearts of wolves. God will say, ‘Are they trying to deceive Me, or are they acting presumptuously towards Me? I swear by Myself that I shall send trial upon those people which will leave the intelligent men among them confounded.’”
    Hadith of Tirmidhi (Islam)

There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who brought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep.
    2 Peter 2.1-3

In later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared.
    1 Timothy 4.1-2

Thus have We appointed unto every Prophet an adversary—devils of humankind and jinn— who inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile.
    Qur’an 6.112

Mara the Evil One will expound to the bodhisattva a counterfeit of the Path.
    Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom 382 (Buddhism)

Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
    2 Corinthians 11.14

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
    2 Timothy 4.3-4

Had falsehood been allowed to show separately from truth, seekers of truth would have easily discerned it, and would have kept away from false­hood. And had truth been allowed to appear distinct from falsehood, people would not have found [it] easy to criticize religion. But unfortunately men started mixing parts of truth with falsehood, and Satan exploited this situation, and got complete control over the minds of its followers. Only such persons can escape its trap, who have advanced with the help of God towards sober and rational ways of meditation.
    Nahjul Balagha, Khutba 55 (Shiite Islam)

Mara, the Evil One, may come along in the guise of a teacher, and say, “Give up what you have heard up to now!… What you have heard just now, that is not the word of the Buddha. It is poetry, the work of poets. But what I here teach to you, that is the teaching of the Buddha, that is the word of the Buddha.” If, on hearing that, a Bodhisattva wavers and is put out, then one should know that he has not been predicted by the Tathagata, that he is not fixed on full enlightenment. But… a monk whose outflows are dried up does not go by someone else whom he puts his trust in, for he has placed the nature of Dharma directly before his own eyes.
    Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines 17.2 (Buddhism)

Then if any one says to you, “Lo, here is the Christ!” or “There he is!” do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
    Matthew 24.23-24

Be not those who split up their religion and become schismatics, each sect exulting in its tenets.
    Qur’an 30.32

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
    Galatians 1.6-9

One thing, when it comes to pass, does so to the loss, to the unhappiness of many folk… to the misery of the gods and humankind. What is that one thing? Schism in the order of monks. When the order is broken there are mutual quarrels, mutual abuse, mutual exclusiveness, and mutual betrayals. Thereupon those who are at variance are not reconciled, and between some of those who were at one there arises some difference.
    Itivuttaka 11 (Buddhism)

Devadatta appealed to some friends of his, saying, “Come, we will approach the Lord and ask for five policies, saying, ‘Lord, the Lord in many a figure speaks in praise of desiring little, of being contented, of expunging evil, of being punctilious, etc. Lord, the following five policies are condu­cive thereto: Monks must be forest dwellers for as long as they live; whoever should abide in a village, sin would besmirch him. They must be beggars for alms; whoever should accept an invitation to a meal would commit sin. They should wear rags; whoever accepts a robe given by a householder, commits sin. They should dwell at the root of a tree; whoever should go under cover commits sin. They should never eat fish and flesh; whoever eats fish or flesh commits sin.’ The recluse Gotama will not allow these five policies, but we will win the people over to them.”
    Devadatta’s friends replied, “It is possible, with these five policies, to make a schism in the recluse Gotama’s Order, a breaking of the concord. For, your reverence, people esteem austerity.”
    Devadatta and his friends approached the Lord, and put the matter of these five policies before him.
    “Enough, Devadatta,” he said. “Whoever wishes, let him be a forest dweller, whoever wishes, let him stay in a village; whoever wishes, let him be a beggar for alms; whoever wishes, let him accept an invitation; whoever wishes, let him wear rags; whoever wishes, let him accept robes given by a householder…”
    Devadatta was joyful and elated that the Lord did not accept his five policies. He entered Rajagaha and taught them to the people, and such people as were of little faith thought that Devadatta and his friends were punctilious while Gotama was permissive of profligacy. But the people who had faith and were believing complained to the monks that Devadatta was creating a schism, and the monks told the Lord. He said to Devadatta, who acknowledged the truth of the complaint,  “Do not let there be a schism in the Order, for a schism in the Order is a serious matter, Devadatta. He who splits an Order that is united sets up demerit that endures for an eon and he is boiled in hell for an eon. But he who unites an Order that is split sets up sublime merit and rejoices in heaven for an eon.”
    Vinaya Pitaka 2.192-98 (Buddhism)

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