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Archive for December 4th, 2014

1 Cor 12:2     You know that you were Gentiles carried away to these dumb idols. even as you were led.

We are in the world and of the world when we are not born again by the Holy Spirit. We belong to the Devil’s kingdom and are led by him – albeit unknowingly and ignorantly. But when God saves us, we are translated [moved] into His Kingdom instantly. We are His new creation with His Spirit dwelling within us. Our lives are transformed as we believe and obey His word.

However – we can still be influenced by, deceived by and led astray by false teachers and prophets. Our best safeguard against that is to bring everything to the light of God’s word and ask the Lord to reveal the intents of our heart to us. [Heb 4:12] I learned a long time ago not to simply trust my own feelings and ‘leadings’ – which from experience could easily turn out to be either right or wrong.

In Heb 5:13,14 the writer [Apostle Paul] addresses the issue of believers who live on the milk of the word and do not progress onto the meat of learning to discern between good and evil. And we have ended up today when it is considered bad form and unloving to do just that when it comes to church leaders, so that the sheep are fed the milk of excitement, signs and wonders and entertaining ‘worship’. Doctrine is considered to be dead religion – the exact opposite of what the Lord Jesus and His Apostles taught.Who should we follow do you think? Shouldn’t it be a no-brainer for us?

Of course, many believe that they are ‘into’ their Bibles and check things out – but are they – or are they just ‘into’ the bits that their favourite preacher is giving them – his own slanted revelations? It all seems so Biblical and true ….  But – does the said preacher’s anointed, impressive ministry supersede any doubts there may be, so that it no longer matters if what they say is true or not?  Particularly pernicious are the Dominionist/Kingdom teachings that are at the root of the social gospel now taking over the true gospel. Do they even bother to search out the roots of any teachings they are hearing and believing? Or is it simply too thrilling and exciting to even consider the possibility that there may be deception at work here? Oh – so what if their foolish prophecies don’t come to pass? well that’s ok – they’ll get it right next time maybe. Is that what God’s word says??

It grieves me to say that I have Christian friends who are not yet discerning evil from good in their enthusiasm to see God ‘work’ in the signs and wonders ministries they support. Please don’t think that I in any way am questioning their sincerity, love for the Lord or their salvation, but I am questioning their lack of wisdom. I can do this because I was once exactly the same.

Often they will share their latest experiences, churches they have visited or the latest prophecy. They will also promote favourably books [The harbinger, Jesus Calling etc] that they couldn’t possibly give credence to if they had any Biblical discernment. I’m afraid I can’t rejoice with them and feel at a loss to tell them why without causing hurt or anger on their part.

Even when I’m as diplomatic and gentle as I can be, the outcome is usually ‘we have to agree to disagree’ or they avoid any future contact. Some, mistakenly thinking I’m either a ‘know-all’ looking down on them or that I’m a complete apostate!  I find this very frustrating and unsatisfactory, but I take a step back, knowing it’s all in the Lord’s hands.

Many times Christians get involved in certain ministries and practises because they are sincerely seeking to be ‘closer to the Lord’, want ‘more of God’, or are seeking a ‘deeper’ Christian life or the ‘Presence of God’. They think they will find this by going to where they believe God is doing something wonderful, something new, or to experience uplifting ‘worship’. Some, in the Emerging church, follow mystical practises that were once the domain of Roman Catholicism, for the same end.

I agree with this quote from a recent article by Sandy Simpson :  ” Apparently the “love of God” is not complete in those who want more,more,more. They want more excitement, more manifestations, more signs and wonders, more ability to do a transferable impartation, more money, more false prophecies, more titillating mythological stories passed off as truth that have no basis in actual, provable fact.    True believers have fullness in Christ, persevere in faith and obey the written word.”

I would add to that – they also have contentment …..

It is by reading and studying God’s word that we learn discernment and the false will become as clear as a pikestaff to us, as we do so. Deliverance from all the dross we’ve been drowning in will come with that first decisive step to lay aside all that we thought we knew, our experiences, our favourite preachers and admired prophets etc and commit to reading the Bible and seeking God’s truth. The scales are guaranteed to fall away from our spiritually blind eyes if we do. 1 John 2:26-28  In practise, it doesn’t happen all at once but in a gradual ‘dawning’ on us. 

If you are thinking ‘nobody has a monopoly on the truth’ or ‘you can’t cross every T and dot every i’  – my reply would be – because we fall short of the mark, does that mean we set our sights lower? Haven’t we the promise that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth – so shouldn’t that at least be our goal?  No – we haven’t yet attained Phil 3:13-18 and we are told to earnestly contend for the faith. Jude 1:3  

And no – we do not defeat the object and  get ‘puffed up’ with ourselves. We should always esteem others better than ourselves , for whatever we are – it is by the grace of God and given to us to rely on Him and help others, not to glory in ourselves and our perceived spritual ‘achievements’.

Believe me – the more you read, the more God’s word cuts you down to size. My rightful position before God is as a forever-grateful sinner, saved by His grace through His wonderful gift of faith. Thank God my righteousness is in Him and not in myself! Amen.

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