He Called them by name
One thing I can appreciate about the Apostle Paul is that he was a man that never caused confusion when he spoke as a leader. He spoke clear, direct, and with much authority. He never hid behind pretense, obscurity, or austerity (as in avoidance). Instead, when Paul spoke, he did not hide behind words, his title, or privileged status. He spoke directly to his audience with clarity and assurance. Something that many leaders lack today. Let me be clear about how God is speaking to me on this matter at 4:07 a.m. this morning.
My motive behind this blog post
After having a beautiful dream about me worshipping before the LORD and singing a beautiful melody to the LORD called Kingdom Power. I was suddenly and abruptly woken from my dream. When I woke up, I was wide awake and two thoughts immediately came to my mind.
Now my initial thought was, "LORD, why did these thoughts enter in my spirit after I had such a beautiful dream about me worshipping you?" And that's when this long speech pour out of My LORD when He confided in me concerning His disappointment in His sons, His appointed leaders in the Body of Christ. Below is what the LORD shared with me.
What the lord showed me
He first took me to 2 Peter 2:1-3. So, I read it. It reads, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."
After I read it, the LORD spoke and shared with me 3 clear points that Paul as the apostle clearly pointed out.
In these verses, Paul does not clearly say by name, who exactly these false teachers were. But he provided enough descriptive information that members in the Body of Christ could easily identify who he was talking about, where these false teachers were located, what type of activities they were involved in, and why these false teachers were doing what they were doing?
But here is the problem this scenario can create. For some seasoned and mature saints, it may be easy to clearly identify clever false teachers who take doctrine truth and sprinkle it with lies and false teachings. But this discerning ability may not be easy to most churchgoers or even members within the Body of Christ. Whenever a false teacher wants to mislead an individual or body of people, they are crafty at using emotionalism to catch people off guard. Often time, once we allow our feelings to become involved in any situation, we become acceptable and vulnerable to any and everything and that is including lies, false teachings, false teachers, and false prophets. We, the Body of Christ, have to be mindful that the goal of false teachers and false prophets is to indoctrinate false teachings and erroneous belief systems within you. For if you believe their lies, then you are more prone to spread their lies about Christ, about God, about Bible doctrine, about ministry, about a business, or about a person to another individual. Allowing the lie to spread like gangrene. (Compare to 2 Timothy 2:17).
False teachers are so cunning at this art that most of us will miss it when it is happening right before us. This is why the writer of Matthew states at chapter 24, verse 24, that "... false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." These false teachers are so awesome and motivational at what they do that they will come like wolves in sheep clothing. They will look like angels. Act like angels. Move in what appears to be God's power and glory, but it is only witchcraft, in order to deceive even the leaders that are leading the Body of Christ. Yes, some leaders in the Body of Christ will be fooled by these false teachers' cunning.
This is why instruction with clarity must be shared and passed onto and through the Body of Christ more than ever before by the leadership in the Body of Christ. I'm not talking about the Church. Because there is a distinct difference between the Church and the Body of Christ. I'm talking about leaders, that is God's shepherds providing members of the Body of Christ clear direction and evidence of those who are hiding in the camps of God's churches as sheep in wolves clothing.
Then God took me to Romans 16:17. It says, "I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them." Clearly, Paul is urging the Body of Christ to AVOID a specific group of people. But how can the Body of Christ clearly identify who are these individuals or groups they should avoid, if Paul, as a leader, does not state clearly who these ones are?
Then God asked me this question. "Is it not the responsibility of the shepherds (My leaders) to clearly identify these individuals or groups by exposing who these false teachers are in order to
Then He took me to Acts 20:27-29 and I read it. Clearly, God is emphasizing that it is the job of His leaders to watch over God's flock - every one of them, to oversee that no wolves are allowed to enter into God's camp. Then God shows me 1 Corinthians 5:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Timothy 3:5, and then 2 John 10.
But then God switches His position and says, "but do not be foolish and totally oblivious of the folly of man." Whenever a leader exposes someone, all members of the Body of Christ should always use divine discernment. For prophets, apostles, and pastors are human. God continues, "for their are some who will not align themselves to those I have obviously called because of the fear of men. There are even some who will malign the character of their brother or sister simply because a leader spoke some obscene statement about that person. And yet, some leader's accusation is far too often full of deceit, lies, misleading facts, and even blatant jealousy."
Therefore, any time a spiritual leader or adviser points out or recommends that members of the Body of Christ should avoid a specific group or individual, we need not only to wait on God through prayer and for clarity. We need to adhere to the principle stated in God's word at 1 Timothy 5:19. It states, "do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses." So, if Prophet So & So with a reputable reputation says that Mary or Jon So & So is a false teacher, a false prophet, or a false apostle and no other honorable ministry leader has confirmed, back, support, or made similar claims about Mary or Jon So and So, it is best we continue to support and love on Mary or Jon So and So until enough honorable leaders have stepped up making the same claims. But the leaders in the Body of Christ need to be mindful of the Pharisees and the Sadducees who also took their stance together as a united front to make false claims that the powerful miracles Jesus Christ performed were from Satan (Matthew 12:24).
The point we need to get is this. Whenever a leader in the Body of Christ speaks with much obscurity and are not clear about the accusations he or she is making about another brother, or sister, or a ministry, or a business, or whoever, then they are causing the following to occur within the Body of Christ:
Let's make sure we state this sin plain and clear. At Galatians chapter 5, at verse 19, says "the acts of the flesh are obvious...." For the purpose of this blog, we only want to focus on a few points mentioned in verses 20-21, which are discord, jealousy, dissensions, factions, and envy. Then God's word clearly states in verse 21 about people who act out these characteristics. "... Those who LIVE LIKE THIS will not inherit the kingdom of God." Simply put. Do not think you are going to get up into heaven if any of these qualities are a part of your characteristic make up. Now we are not talking about people who slip up every now and then, in one or more of these areas, and they proactively work toward making their wrong right. We are talking about those who practice these behaviors. It is a part of their DNA.
How do We obtain clarity
That is a very critical question to answer and one that needs to come straight from leadership in the Body of Christ. Leaders within the Body of Christ must provide members in the Body of Christ clear direction and instruction concerning those who are operating as false teachers within the Body of Christ. This is not an option as a leader but a requirement from the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
We all have seen a job description at one time or another. And on that job description, there are skills a potential candidate must possess to be considered for employment. Usually, the job description list this section as "Required Experience." For shepherds or leaders in the Body of Christ, it is a requirement on your part to keep the flock of God safe from all intruders who tries to corrupt the Body of Christ with false doctrines or even attempts to physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually harm members of the Body of Christ.
To successfully do this, shepherds or leaders are required, at times, to take an extra step as Paul did when exposing false teachers. So, God took me to these final verses: 2 Timothy 4:10, 2 Timothy 1:15, and 2 Timothy 2:17. In these verses, the Apostle Paul called out these brothers by their name. Making it very clear who exactly was doing evil within God's house.
It is important to provide the Body of Christ with clarity when there is reasonable evidence that a person, a group, a business, a ministry, a leader, or a member in the Body of Christ needs to be flagged because of inappropriate behavior and or doctrine they are teaching that does not align with Bible principles. Especially, when these ones refuse to accept proper correction from brothers in the Body of Christ who have properly applied Matthew 18:15-17. Correction should always be done in order to win our brother over. But when a brother or sister refuses good and sound scriptural correction and counsel, then exposure becomes necessary. But it should never be done in haste, in blind deceit, based on heresy, in anger, or based on suspicion, and with malice. Exposure should be done with the goal to protect the Body of Christ against something or someone that is harmful to the Body. Not because you do not agree with what they are doing and how they are doing it. Clearly, exposure protects the Body of Christ from darkness, from false prophets, from false apostles, and from false teachers.
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