Jeremiah 29:13 “And you shall seek me, and find me,
when you shall search for me with all your heart.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Idolatry of Shepherds

This is a subject that has been cropping up lately &
I feel an unction to send out a warning. I don't consider myself a "prophet" but of the spiritual gifts- the gift of discernment- is the one I've been led to study & be used to encourage Christians to keep away from particular practices, ideologies, trends, etc...

When a Christian honestly says to the Lord "Use me- I'm available!" they don't realize where He is going to take them or what ministry He will place them. Don't we simply begin w/a Childlike faith & follow in a Childlike manner? The Holy Spirit decides where to place us & how He will work though us. So anything we have been given to use for ministry solely comes from God- aside from Him we are completely lost.

I'm finding that not only should we simply begin to follow the Lord
in such a humbleopen (Childlike) manner but that we should remain that way throughout our walk w/Him.

Although the Holy Spirit will show us truths through men's Spirit led interpretations we should never place the teacher upon a high place in our hearts. They are fallen people like you & I- and are also prone to veer off at times in the flesh. (Hopefully to be corrected by the Lord & placed back on track of course.)

What if you are called to be the one to correct that Pastor/Teacher? Would you be willing to do so?

Living in the Spirit truly calls us to be crucified to our flesh for there are ramifications to speaking out. Of course in the flesh we fear the worst of reprisals.

But- we have to trust in the Lord & lean not upon our own understanding. It is the Lord who will turn that person's heart & work in their lives which has nothing to do with us. We as Christians are to simply be obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading.

Again- simple & Childlike. That's it. The Lord provides encouragement though these life experiences but it yet remains a walk by faith & not by sight. That is exactly where He wants us - leaning upon Him in faith. Knowing that whatever we are called to do- He has a plan in mind. We may see fruits from a particular outreaching (which is a confirmation & tremendous blessing) or we may not. (Which requires continuing to trust in Him regardless.)

To be honest with you the discernment ministry is very difficult one for me to walk in. On one hand I love the research & truths to be found. But on the other- it's the faith in action that my flesh wants to fight against. I have always avoided confrontation & despise conflict- especially in person. It's a ministry with a spiritual warning attached.

So when the Holy Spirit stirs me up to address a particular issue I spend a bit of time questioning is this REALLY something the Lord wants me to do? R-E-A-L-L-Y.....? Can't I just ignore it? Walk away? Why do "I" have to be the one? Isn't there ANYONE else?

The answer is typically Yes it is! & No you can't because I will keep bringing it to mind. & No there isn't- it's you I called.

So what could I possibly have to complain about? I said "Here I am" - the Lord equipped me- and then He has sent me from time to time. And what greater joy is there in the world than to see the hand of the Lord moving in the lives of others?

So now back to the warning. As we march closer toward the prophesied one world economic/religious order the tentacles of "unity for the sake of peace" is going to become a stronger force to deal with. This does not exclude even the most well respected/Biblical based Christian Shepherds.

There are going to be Shepherds you thought were impervious to deception- falling.

The Shepherds are responsible for tending the flock & watching out for wolves attacking the sheep. Perhaps sometimes we become too comfortable w/our trusted Shepherd & operate on cruise control- believing no harm can come to us.

Recently during a fast I got a strong impression to protect & watch out for evil devices aimed against my own Shepherd. Do I see anything now? No. Do I have any idea what this could be about? No. Do I think I'm nuts- well that I do consider! But again the impression is not going away so all I will do is- yes- keep watch- and "if" something ever does come up then I'll know it at the time.

For example there has been a well respected Pastor who invited an individual to speak to his congregation. This individual is known to dabble in the ideology of contemplative spirituality. This is a Shepherd who you would think
would-Never- go down that road. I am beyond shocked to even learn of this. Doesn't he know? Don't they do background checks on who they invite into the sheep pen?

Maybe it will come to nothing & no spiritual harm will be done. But we
still have to ask: Where is the discernment? The Pastors may have too many things going & then one bad apple slips in unaware.

This is the age of deception- we have been warned. (Matthew 24:11)

So please - love & watch out for your Shepherd. It may be you the Lord is calling on to keep an eye out for "sheep-like" wolves. The Idolatry of a Shepherd will blind us to unexpected danger.

Following is a timely article from Tom Tomasella:

Biblical Discernment by Todd Tomasella

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my Sabbaths.” Ezekiel 44:23-24

Those who receive the LORD’s instruction to “discern” will find themselves in “controversy” among men (Ezek. 44:23-24).

This “controversy” comes when those who are contrary to the truth receive the light of divine truth into their darkened hearts (Jn. 3:19-21; Eph. 5:9-11). There are things to suffer in following Christ and in such there are eternal rewards awaiting (Matt. 5:10-12; Phil. 1:29).

Though we never want to be purposely offensive in our character or delivery, getting along with everyone is a farce to the true disciple. Trying to please sinful men is the work of the counterfeit who fears men and not God. Fearing, worshipping and pleasing God is the way of the true disciple of Jesus whose life is laid down (Gal. 1:6-10).

We are blessed to regularly receive correspondence from people who think we are just judging and throwing stones and most of the time it is clear that the person emailing has an unnatural soul tie with a certain “Christian” celebrity figure.

They have never heard the word discernment, especially by the wolves who lead them? Why? – it’s simple: Those wolves don’t want the audience they have beguiled to see who they really are. Any person who leads and is not warning and teaching discernment is a bona fide wolf (Col. 1:28).

In fact, some of them who email us, judging us for supposedly being judgmental, do not seem to care how many Scripture from God’s Word they see which expose their celebrity idol as a wolf. Why? Because they simply do not love the LORD – they love themselves and those who tell self what self wants to hear (Jn. 8:47).

Was this not foretold? (2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:2-4) This is how the Bible reveals that this all works and I want to encourage you to study this in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 and 2 Timothy 3:1-8; 4:1-5.

Doctrine is a heart matter (Rom. 6:17; 2 Tim. 4:2-4). God Himself sends “strong delusion” to those who receive not “the love of the truth that they might be saved.” (2 Thess. 2:10-12) Many have chosen and are choosing to trade Jesus Christ in for mere men and this happens when they push His Word aside for those teachings of mere men. This is exactly what Jesus said that hell bound Pharisees of His day did (Mk. 7:6-10; Jn. 8:47).

As prophesied for these last days, many revel in and elevate mere sinful men above the living God and Redeemer Jesus Christ – “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1 Tim. 6:15-16) Those mere men who have been idolized can’t save themselves from the lake of fire much less those they mislead. Who are we going to trust?

“For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” John 12:43

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15

God's kingdom is ALL about Jesus Christ and not some slick talking charlatan who has and is leading millions into spiritual darkness and ultimately damnation (2 Pet. 2:1-4). God promised He will damn them eternally - "their damnation slumbereth not." (2 Pet. 2:3)

Biblical Christians test every spirit against the final authority and Holy Standard of God's written Word. We are to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints" against the "ungodly men" speaking contrary to the Word. The LORD wants us to do what the Berean believers did - "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)

Discernment is a biblical mandate and gullibility is not a virtue but a curse sure to lead on to eternal damnation (Prov. 14:15; Ezek. 44:23; Hos. 4:6; 1 Jn. 4:1-6; Jude 3-4). Any person who does not test and believes every leader who comes in Christ’s name is in direct disobedience to the LORD according to 1 John 4:1.

Each and every believer in Jesus Christ is instructed to study for themselves.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

The only reason a person isn’t learning God’s Word is that they simply do not aggrandize Christ. Like Esau they are too busy learning and reveling in the temporal trinkets of this fleeting world and thereby trading in their eternal and blessed blood bought birthright for a bowl of soup (Heb. 12:14-17).

Are We to Judge?

“Do not ye judge them that are within?” 1 Corinthians 5:12

“Within” here refers to being within the body of Christ. Those professing to be saved are to be judged or discerned, beginning with ourselves (2 Tim. 2:19). God wants us to first keep our own heart in right standing with Him and as we do, we are able to see from His perspective and help others to be restored to Him (Matt. 7:1-5; 1 Cor. 11:31-32; Gal. 6:1-2).

Simon had just gotten saved and was a member of the body of Christ. Then he was rebuked and told he was going to perish if he didn’t repent (Acts 8:13-24).

Judgmental? When preaching to Simon, a man who had just gotten saved, the apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Ghost, said "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts 8:20-23)

Notice here that Peter told Simon that he was going to "perish" (hell), that his "heart is not right in the sight of God," and that he must "repent" to be forgiven and restored. By the Holy Spirit Peter told this man that his heart was wicked. Was Peter in sin for doing this? No! In fact, it led to Simon repenting. God is good and His goodness leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:1-7).

Sometimes His goodness is manifested in rebuke, a word that appears 81 times in the Bible. Those who don't walk in truth are not faithful friends. Any walking with Jesus will at times be led of the Spirit to rebuke as Peter was led to do. It is the enemy of God that allows people to remain out of fellowship with the LORD. It is the self-serving enemy of Christ who is quiet when he should speak the truth in love (Prov. 12:17; Eph. 4:15).

"Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Proverbs 27:5-6

A false humility and feigned/fake love pretends to love and be serving God and yet does not do so according to His Word. The counterfeit sits back and watches others be deceived which will lead to their damnation and does nothing to interrupt.

The Holy Scriptures and kingdom of God are not what WE want it to be or what some man or men want it to be - rather it is the KING of all kings’ kingdom and prerogative as to what it is and He clearly revealed that in His Holy Word.

Those who don't diligently and daily search His Scriptures are inevitably going to err in their thinking and perspective. In fact, their hearts will be darkened because it is the "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

(Ps. 119:130) There is "NO light" in those who do not love God's Word and devour it (Isa. 8:16, 20). They don't seek Him in His Word because they are all about self. They love self and not the Savior and therefore "they receive(d) not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Recently a lady got upset with me because I posted something on the internet that exposed a known and vile false prophet. To this I replied:

Hi. God told us to "mark them" to protect others (Rom. 16:17-18). The LORD who bled loves His sheep. He is “the great shepherd of the sheep” and has “all his delight” in them (Ps. 16:3; Heb. 13:20) Jesus told us that He rejoices over His people with singing (Zeph. 3:17). Why are you covering for God's enemies when the LORD commanded us to expose their darkness? (Eph. 5:11) Did you know that divine "wrath" comes upon any person who loves and help's the LORD's enemies? (2 Chron. 19:2) Paul named 8 deceivers by name in 4 chapters, 2 per chapter (see 2 Timothy). Are you correcting the apostle Paul? Was he in sin for bringing soul-damning heresy and heretics to the attention of others in order that they might be protected in the truth? Was Paul misled when he cried for 3 years day and night because grievous wolves were going to enter in to deceive and lead astray God's precious sheep? (Acts 20:27-32)

How hateful to just sit around and this happen as it is happening all around us! Wolves have taught you not to be discerning because they simply do not want you to be able to discern who they really are (Ezek. 44:23-24). True servants of Christ are known by their warning others of the "MANY false prophets" who "lie in wait to deceive." (Matt. 7:15; Eph. 4:14)

Biblical Christianity is what we need and not feelings-based religion that panders to men. Jesus told Peter to "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matt. 16:23-25)

According to Jesus' own words, if we are not truly losing our lives, crucified with Christ, then we pander to men and are of Satan. Only the gullible believe every spirit and every seemingly kind and smiling person who comes in Christ's name, using His holy name for their own benefit.

We are commanded to "try (test) EVERY spirit ... for MANY false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 Jn. 4:1; Prov. 14:15) "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?" (Ps. 94:16)
-----------------------------------Trivia Question: What 3 things did Paul the apostle do to prepare God's people to meet Jesus in an acceptable condition? Colossians 1:28 Hint: PWT are the initials