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The Biblical Case for Discernment

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Beloved, I had literally dozens of more Scriptures to choose from. False teaching is one of the most talked about and warned about subjects in the bible. Those who minimize this fact do so at their own peril. The verse from 1John teaches us that we all are supposed to test the spirits because they are not all from God. The Romans verse is vital to understand because it shows that division is caused by those who teach falsely -- not by those who point it out! If Joel Osteen preaches that we can speak things into existence like God and I point out that the bible does not say that and he is a wolf it is not I who is dividing the body of Christ. Joel does that by teaching what is not in God's Word. The verse from 2Timothy reveals that it is the church itself that raises up a Joel Osteen. He is merely answering a need and demand from those who claim they want God but have intention of doing what He says. This verse teaches us that those in the apostate church will not even tolerate sound doctrine. They just want to hear what they want to hear. That they are fabulous. That God has super-duper plans for them. That God wants them rich beyond their greediest dreams of avarice. That they are little gods. That they too can be like God. To achieve this, they will gather around them whoever is willing scratch their ears just so. The Corinthians verses reveal that the devil and his emissaries disguise themselves as angels of light to deceive us. This war is spiritual beloved and the only true weapon listed in the armor of God is our sword; yet that is the first thing we lay down when we walk into church these days. Having addressed the dire nature of false teaching in the church it is time to deal with the consequences:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. -- 1Corinthians 15: 1-2

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' -- Matthew 7: 21-23 (ESV)

We hear the cries all the time of what is the big deal? Who cares if people like to feel better by listening to a Joel Osteen or feel more motivated by listening to a TD Jakes? What's the big deal? When you consider the backdrop and foundation laid out in this devotional and overlay these last two sets of Scriptures over them you should have no confusion why the bible says we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The verses from Corinthians teaches us that we can indeed believe in vain and if we have that we are not actually saved! Vain actually has two meanings that apply here. One is to believe in something useless. The gospel preached in the majority of churches today is absolutely useless. As we learned at the beginning, it cannot save anyone. The second definition hits closer to home as vain also means to be overly obsessed with ourselves. This more closely defines why we chase after false doctrine while thumbing our nose at the true Gospel. The first sin recorded is Lucifer desiring to be God. He then tempted Eve with the exact same sin -- your eyes will be open and you will be like God. When we toss aside what God has actually said for what we want to hear -- we are indeed partaking of the same sin beloved and it is nothing but pure vanity. Do you want to know a sure sign you are in a false church? If the preaching is about you instead of Christ. Vanity. You are not David slaying Goliath! David is actually a type of Christ in that story! You are not going from the pit to the palace of having your Ziklag moment! The bible is not about us. It is always all about Him.

This brings us to the final set of Scriptures for this discussion. The eternal consequence. Multitudes stand before Christ on the last day and say Lord Lord; did we not do this and that in your name? These people cast out demons and saw miracles! They are clearly "churched" people! He says away from me and depart for I never knew you. How profoundly sad. This is the end result of believing in vain. You must understand that true discernment ministries works with these verses in mind. I do not care about the wolves that are mauling the sheep of the Lord today. I have zero biblical instruction to play with them, pray for them, coddle them, or ask them to repent. My responsibility is to the Great Shepherd to watch His sheep. To tend to His sheep. God uses this imagery for a reason. As under-shepherds, we carry two instruments -- a crook and a rod. The crook is to guide the sheep who do not know the direction to go. The rod is used to fend off and beat unmercifully those that would try and harm the sheep. Both are the same weapon. It is the only weapon in our armor beloved. It is the Word of God. It provides the direction we all need and possesses the power to fend off the lies of the enemy that seek to ensnare us. All discernment seeks to do is hold up the bible to the teachings in the church and guide the sheep to safety while assailing the predators that are trying to devour them. We do so because we understand the way is narrow and few are those who find it. We do so because we understand the dire warnings from God almighty regarding false teaching in His church. We do so because we wish to see no one believe in the vanity of the human soul, serving in a compromised church for their entire lives only to stand before Christ crying "Lord Lord" only to hear that He never knew them. That beloved, is the case for discernment.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- October 17, 2018

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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