Seven Characteristics of False Teachers by Thomas Brooks

Much of what is known about Puritan Thomas Brooks has been ascertained from his writings. Born, likely to well-to-do parents, in 1608, Brooks entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1625, where he was preceded by such men as Thomas Hooker, John Cotton, and Thomas Shepard. He was licensed as a preacher of the Gospel by 1640. Before that date, he appears to have spent a number of years at sea, probably as a chaplain with the fleet.

After the conclusion of the First English Civil War, Thomas Brooks became minister at Thomas Apostle’s, London, and was sufficiently renowned to be chosen as preacher before the House of Commons on December 26, 1648. His sermon was afterwards published under the title, ‘God’s Delight in the Progress of the Upright’, the text being Psalm 44:18: ‘Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from Thy way’. Three or four years afterwards, he transferred to St. Margaret’s, Fish-street Hill, London.

In 1662, he fell victim to the notorious Act of Uniformity, but he appears to have remained in his parish and to have preached as opportunity arose. Treatises continued to flow from his pen. (Photo and biography via wikipedia)

Seven Characteristics of False Teachers

by Thomas Brooks  (1608-1680)

That Satan labours might and main, by false teachers, which are his messengers and ambassadors, to deceive, delude, and for ever undo the precious souls of men (Acts 20:28-30; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Eph. 4:14; 2 Tim. 3:4-6; Titus 1:11,12; 2 Peter 2:18,19): „I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err” (Jer. 23:13). „The prophets make my people to err” (Micah 3:5). They seduce them, and carry them out of the right way into by-paths and blind thickets of error, blasphemy, and wickedness, where they are lost forever. „Beware of false prophets, for they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mat. 7:15). These lick and suck the blood of souls: „Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision” (Phil. 3:2). These kiss and kill; these cry, Peace, peace, till souls fall into everlasting flames, &c., Proverbs 7.

Now, the best way to deliver poor souls from being deluded and destroyed by these messengers of Satan is, to discover them in their colors, that so, being known, poor souls may shun them, and fly from them as from hell itself.

Now you may know them by these characters following:

THE FIRST CHARACTER

False teachers are men-pleasers (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:1-4). They preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart: „Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophecy no unto us right things: speak to us smooth things; prophecy deceits”‘ (Isa. 30:10). „A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so. And what will you do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30,31). They handle holy things rather with wit and dalliance (playful come-on) then with fear and reverence. False teachers are soul-undoers. They are like evil chirurgeons, that skin over the wound, but never heal it. Flattery undid Ahab and Herod, Nero and Alexander. False teachers are hell’s greatest enrichers. Non acerba, sed blanda, Not bitter, but flattering words do all the mischief, said Valerian, the Roman emperor. Such smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners (Jer. 23:16,17).

THE SECOND CHARACTER

False teachers are notable in casting dirt, scorn, and reproach upon the persons, names, and credits of Christ’s most faithful ambassadors. Thus Korah, Dathan, and Abiram charged Moses and Aaron that they took too much upon them, seeing all the congregation was holy (Num. 16:3). You take too much state, too much power, too much honour, too much holiness upon you; for what are you more than others, that you take so much upon you? And so Ahab’s false prophets fell foul on good Micaiah, paying of him with blows for want of better reasons (1 Kings 22:10-26). Yea, Paul, that great apostle of the Gentiles, had his ministry undermined and his reputation blasted by false teachers: „For his letters”‘ say they, „are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak and contemptible” (2 Cor. 10:10). They rather contemn him than admire him; they look upon him as a dunce rather than a doctor. And the same hard measure had our Lord Jesus from the Scribes and Pharisees, who laboured as for life to build their own credit upon the ruins of his reputation. And never did the devil drive a more full trade this way than he does in these days (Matt. 27:63). Oh! the dirt, the filth, the scorn that is thrown upon those whom the world is not worthy. I suppose false teachers mind not that saying of Austin, Quisquis volens detrahit famae, nolens addit mercedi meae, He that willingly takes from my good name, unwillingly adds to my reward.

THE THIRD CHARACTER

False teachers are venters of the devices and visions of their own heads and hearts. „Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent then not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophecy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart (Jer. 14:14); „Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Harken not unto the words of the prophets that prophecy unto you; they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord” (Jer. 23:16). Are there not multitudes in this nation whose visions are but golden delusions, lying vanities, brain-sick phantasies? These are Satan’s great benefactors, and such as divine justice will hang up in hell as the greatest malefactors, if the physician of souls does not prevent it

THE FOURTH CHARACTER

False teachers easily pass over the great and weighty things both of law and gospel, and stand most upon those things that are of the least moment and concernment to the souls of men. „Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned; from which some have swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling, desiring to be teachers of the law, and understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm” (1 Tim. 1:5-7). „Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matt. 23:2,3). False teachers are nice in the lesser things of the law, and as negligent in the greater. „If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (1 Tim. 6:3-5). If such teachers are not hypocrites in grain, I know nothing, Romans 2:22. The earth groans to bear them, and hell is fitted for them, Matt. 24:32.

THE FIFTH CHARACTER

False teachers cover and color their dangerous principles and soul-impostures with very fair speeches and plausible pretenses, with high notions and golden expressions. Many in these days are bewitched and deceived, viz. illumination, revelation, deification, fiery triplicity, &c. As strumpets paint their faces, and deck and perfume their beds, the better to allure and deceive simple souls (Gal. 6:12; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rom. 16:17,18; Mat. 16:6,11,12; 7:15), so false teachers will put a great deal of paint and garnish upon their most dangerous principles and blasphemies, that they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant souls. They know sugared poison goes down sweetly; they wrap up their pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold.

THE SIXTH CHARACTER

False teachers strive more to win over men to their opinions, than to better them in their conversations. „Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matt. 24:17). They busy themselves most about men’s heads. Their work is not to better men’s hearts, and mend their lives; and in this they are very much like their father the devil, who will spare no pains to gain proselytes.

THE SEVENTH CHARACTER

False teachers make merchandise of their followers. „But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 2:1-3). They eye your goods more than your good; and mind more the serving of themselves, than the saving of your souls. So they may have your substance, they care not though Satan has your souls (Rev. 18:11-13). That they may the better pick your purse, they will hold forth such principles as are very indulgent to the flesh. False teachers are the great worshippers of the golden calf (Jer. 6:13).

Now, by these characters you may know them, and so shun them, and deliver your souls out of their dangerous snares; which that you may, my prayers shall meet-yours at the throne of grace.

Source: http://www.mountainretreatorg.net via Monergism.com

Also see – Thomas Brooks (Puritan) – There is nothing that the great God hates– but sin…  and  The English Puritans: Perhaps the most remarkable body of men which the world has ever produced

Other Works by Thomas Brooks

Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 1, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: Grosart’s Memoir of Brooks; Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices; The Mute Christian Under The Smarting Rod; A String of Pearls

  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 2, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: An Ark for All God’s Noahs; The Privy Key of Heaven; Heaven On Earth
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 3, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: The Unsearchable Riches of Christ; A Cabinet of Jewels
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 4, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: The Crown and Glory of Christianity
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 5, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 6, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: London’s Lamentations; The Glorious Day of the Saints’ Appearance; God’s Delight in the Progress of the Upright; Hypocrites Detected; A Believer’s Last Day His Best Day; A Heavenly Cordial; The Legacy of a Dying Mother
  • THE COMPLETE WORKS of THOMAS BROOKS at archive.org

Thomas Brooks (Puritan) – There is nothing that the great God hates– but sin…

Much of what is known about Puritan Thomas Brooks has been ascertained from his writings. Born, likely to well-to-do parents, in 1608, Brooks entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1625, where he was preceded by such men as Thomas Hooker, John Cotton, and Thomas Shepard. He was licensed as a preacher of the Gospel by 1640. Before that date, he appears to have spent a number of years at sea, probably as a chaplain with the fleet.

After the conclusion of the First English Civil War, Thomas Brooks became minister at Thomas Apostle’s, London, and was sufficiently renowned to be chosen as preacher before the House of Commons on December 26, 1648. His sermon was afterwards published under the title, ‘God’s Delight in the Progress of the Upright’, the text being Psalm 44:18: ‘Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from Thy way’. Three or four years afterwards, he transferred to St. Margaret’s, Fish-street Hill, London.

In 1662, he fell victim to the notorious Act of Uniformity, but he appears to have remained in his parish and to have preached as opportunity arose. Treatises continued to flow from his pen. (Photo and biography via wikipedia)

Poem via reformation21.org

Oh that the Christian reader would seriously consider these twelve things:

There is nothing that the great God hates–but sin.
There is nothing that He has revealed His wrath from heaven against–but sin.
There is nothing that crucifies the Lord of glory afresh–but sin.
There is nothing that grieves the Spirit of grace–but sin.

There is nothing that wounds the conscience–but sin.
There is nothing that clouds the face of God–but sin.
There is nothing that hinders the return of prayer–but sin.
There is nothing that interrupts our communion with God–but sin.

There is nothing that embitters our mercies–but sin.
There is nothing that puts a sting into all our troubles and trials–but sin.
There is nothing that renders us unserviceable in our places, stations, and conditions–but sin.
There is nothing that makes death the king of terrors, and the terror of kings, to be so formidable and terrible to the sons of men, as sin.

And therefore under all your sorrows and sufferings, crosses and losses–
make it your great business . . .
to arm yourselves against sin,
and to pray against sin,
and to watch against sin,
and to turn from sin,
and to cease from sin,
and to get rid of sin,
and to stand forever in defiance of sin!

Thomas Brooks Works:

  • English: Traditional portait of Thomas Brooks,...

    English: Traditional portait of Thomas Brooks, puritan preacher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 1, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: Grosart’s Memoir of Brooks; Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices; The Mute Christian Under The Smarting Rod; A String of Pearls

  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 2, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: An Ark for All God’s Noahs; The Privy Key of Heaven; Heaven On Earth
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 3, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: The Unsearchable Riches of Christ; A Cabinet of Jewels
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 4, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: The Crown and Glory of Christianity
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 5, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures
  • Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 6, Nichol’s Series of Standard Divines, Puritan Period, with General Preface by John C. Miller, D.D.; Rev. Thomas Smith, General Editor, Edinburgh, James Nichol, 1866. Titles include: London’s Lamentations; The Glorious Day of the Saints’ Appearance; God’s Delight in the Progress of the Upright; Hypocrites Detected; A Believer’s Last Day His Best Day; A Heavenly Cordial; The Legacy of a Dying Mother
  • THE COMPLETE WORKS of THOMAS BROOKS at archive.org

Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks – Spurgeon on Renowned Puritan Thomas Brooks (296 pages) Online Book

spurgeon 2
Spurgeon book on Thomas Brooks

Description:

As a writer, Brooks scatters stars with both his hands: he hath dust of gold; in his storehouse are all manner of precious stones. So wrote C.H. Spurgeon in his Preface to this book. He counted Thomas Brooks among his favourite Puritan authors, and it is not hard to see why. Brooks’ popularity lies both in his subjects – practical truths, central to the Christian life – and in the manner of his presentation. He is ever direct, urgent, fervent, full of Scripture, and able to choose words which make his sentences stick in one’s mind.

This book is a collection of sentences, illustrations, and quaint sayings from this renowned Puritan. Gathered by Spurgeon out of the 6 volume set of Brooks’ Works, it remains an excellent introduction to both the man and his writings.

Vezi acest document pe Scribd

Related Posts

Build Your Library – Books on the Puritans

For the beginner wanting to build a Classic library, or for someone who has not yet encountered any Puritanical writings here come some recommendation as to where to start from The Banner of Truth Trust, UK:

When thinking ‘Puritan,’ we will limit ourselves to the period 1600–1688 (alas, no Ryle!). In addition to the evangelical party of the Church of England (‘the Puritans’ proper), we ought also to consider the works of Independents, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. My goal here is to whet your appetite from each of three areas: the praying Puritan, the contented Puritan, and the frowning Puritan. Then I’ll suggest a Puritan companion. Perhaps you’ll want to read more from the Puritans to learn better how to live the pilgrim life in this hostile world, for the alien life wasn’t just the lot of the patriarchs of Genesis or the saints of the New Testament church — it will ever be the life of Christ’s people until he comes. No one has produced better reflections upon the pilgrim life than the Puritans.

1. A wonderful introduction to the Puritan at prayer is the collection edited by AArthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision. Meditate on a prayer each day upon first waking, and allow a great saint to lead you into God’s presence. Get the little leather edition, if you can.

2. The Puritans were pre-eminently preachers of the heart. And they could warm a right stony heart at that. Try this little gem: Thomas Watson, All Things for Good. He preached these messages on Romans 8:28 in 1663, the year after two thousand pulpits were vacated by order of the Crown.

3. The Puritans carried the rod to the pulpit as well. Prepare to be quite stunned upon reading Joseph Alleine, A Sure Guide to Heaven (sometimes entitled Alarm to the Unconverted). Am I really a Christian after all?

4. Lastly, what sort of companion do you want? Frequently chosen over the years have been John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (you can’t go wrong if you get the story of your life from the pen of the tinker, for we are all pilgrims on our way to the heavenly city), William Guthrie’s The Christian’s Great Interest, Samuel Rutherford’s Letters, William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armour, Henry Scudder’s The Christian’s Daily Walk, Thomas Brooks’s Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices, and John Owen’s The Glory of Christ.

Most of these books have been reprinted by Banner of Truth and are extremely reasonably priced.

 

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