BEWARE OF THE SPIRIT OF ERROR AND FALSE PROPHETS AND TEACHERS

When I went to Rhema Bible Training Center (now college) in 1982 an elder in the body of Christ warned me. He basically told me that knowledge puffs up or makes one proud, and that I was going into a spiritual jungle and would hear many new things. I was only 18 months old in the Lord and he was concerned that I would not decipher between what was human, divine, or even demonic. He was concerned that as a young convert I would lack discernment to rightly divide the things of the soul and the things of the Spirit, or that which was “good” versus that which was truly born of God.

By the grace of God I thrived at Rhema and cultivated a healthy intimate prayer life with the Lord, and He kept me from stumbling and falling into error or pride. I learned great truths from a general in the faith, the late Kenneth E. Hagin, who had the deepest prayer life and love walk of any man I’ve ever known to this day. The supernatural followed his life and ministry, and even though he was a man of the Word, spectacular visions of Jesus marked his ministry.

When I survey the landscape of Christianity today I have similar concerns, especially for the younger generation, that the aforementioned elder had for me all those years ago. It is a vast spiritual jungle out there with many more false apostles, false prophets, and false teachers than there were back in my earlier Christian days. There are many conferences and a host of celebrity type ministers who are polluting Christendom with teachings and practices that are thoroughly unscriptural and even some that border on the occultic. Here is one extreme: Psychics (Try not to vomit)

We must familiarize ourselves with the real Spirit of God and be grounded in the Scriptures or we could succumb to the spirit of error that is prevalent in this hour.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 Jn. 2:27).

If you are born again and Spirit-filled you have an anointing that abides within you. Notice several characteristics of that anointing:

  1. It’s a Teacher.
  2. It’s greater than a human teacher.
  3. It’s true.
  4. It cannot lie.
  5. It has already taught you.
  6. It will keep you from deception.
  7. It is the Holy Spirit.

“These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you” (1 Jn. 2:26).

Be very careful my friends. There are some popular names out there that are in grave error concerning doctrine and practice, and even have questionable lifestyles. Some have a multitude of followers even numbering in the millions. Just because someone has a big name, a big ministry, a mega following does not mean they are following God. Jesus warned us that we would know them by their fruits. Where many miss it is that they judge them by the fruit of their ministries, their gifts, talents, popularity, size and influence of their ministry instead of by the fruit of their lives, their character, marriage, children, home life etc. Who you are in the home is who you really are. Don’t be fooled.

I could say much more and I will later on, but this is sufficient for now. The safeguard against deception is to abide in the anointing and cultivate humility, teachability, and a strong prayer life and love for the truth. Surround yourself with true fathers of the faith and elders in the body of Christ who are proven and move in the same anointing.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24).

Please invest in yourself by getting our latest book, Cleansing The Temple, that speaks strongly to these issues. Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. 

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THE CALLING OF A CHURCH AND A NATION BACK TO GOD

If ever there was a time when true apostles and prophets must arise in America and the world, it is now — not only to give prophetic words of what the future holds, but with holy conviction, to call a Church and a nation back to the true worship of God, to drive out the money changers, and to call us back to true Spirit-inspired, fervent, effectual prayer and fasting, and holy character. They must also confront the elite vipers of iniquity and warn the false apostles and prophets of their whitewashed walls and false claims to peace, and to cry out to the people to repent and return to God. Both John the Baptist and Jesus did this as well as the writers of the New Testament.

Now is the time to flee the existing superficial version of Christianity and our false, unholy allegiances and return to a lifestyle that reflects the humility and meekness of our Master. It is an hour when true ministers must move away from the rat race of professional ministry, money-making schemes, and the pursuit of fame, popularity, and media exposure, and be made whole in God’s presence and through God’s love.

Only true friends of the bridegroom whose character has been shaped in the crucible of their own sufferings and earned God’s trust are qualified to lead a Church and a nation back to God. They alone shall know the secret and heart of the Lord.

“The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Ps. 25:14).

Notice how this verse reads in the Living Bible:

“Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises.”

Too many modern apostolic and prophetic voices are tainted because they are too eager for power, popularity, influence, riches, and fame. They seek more the validation and affirmation of men at the neglect of truly living and speaking in the sight of God. The road can be lonely and difficult at times, but we endanger ourselves when we seek the validation of man over the validation of our heavenly Father. We must begin to align ourselves with the heart of Christ and see clearly what is within man, and rather than seek approval in the flesh, prefer at all costs the approval of God. This will keep us preferring purity over popularity, intimacy over influence, and holiness over hype.

A heartfelt reliance and preference for the approval of God over the approval of man is what distinguishes all true apostles and prophets from counterfeits and wannabes. The same could be said for all ministers and all saints. For there will come a time when they must not only speak out against the carnal and sinful status quo, but shake off those religious, political, and cultural traditions that run contrary to what God demands and expects of His people. This cannot happen unless they love and fear God more than man. This also cannot happen unless they have an exceedingly great zeal for the honor of God’s house, who we are.

(This is an excerpt from my latest book, Cleansing The Temple)

THESE THINGS SAYS HE WHO HAS A SHARP TWO-EDGED SWORD

My wife is a praying woman. She has an incredible grace to draw forth wisdom and counsel from the Spirit of God. A few years ago prolific utterances began to flow from her vessel whenever we’d pray together. I began recording and transcribing them.

My new book, Cleansing The Temple, was birthed this way.

One day when we were praying together three scriptures flashed before her that instantly bore witness with both of us. They were Acts 5 with Ananias and Sapphira; Acts 8 with Simon the sorcerer; and Acts 19 with the burning of the magic books. Like the burning of the magic books in Acts 19, the Holy Spirit revealed His desire to burn up the corrupting values in church culture today that are restricting the true manifestation of the glory of God.

When judgment fell on Ananias and Sapphira the fear of the Lord also fell on both the church and the world (Acts 5). It had a polarizing effect on those who heard of it. Today when many pastors are toning down on the demands of Christ and the workings of the Holy Spirit to spike up the numbers of church members, there was a certain exclusivity and distinct dividing line at work in the early church.

Notice the effect:

“But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both” (Acts 5:13-14 – Message).

As a result, the glory and power of God increased and multitudes continued to come to the Lord. Sincere repentance was the fruit of it all.

This is a necessary work that must be done today for the Church to be cleansed of its iniquities and impurities. Holiness and the fear of the Lord must be restored in the church as a result of these judgments. This work must be done before the Lord returns for His glorious church.

The book touches on many other aspects of judgment and glory, but this is the central issue. This is a real word from the Lord for this hour. It will prepare the church for the tumultuous decade of the 20s that’s just a few months away.

The introductory chapter is a transcription of tongues, revelation, and interpretation from a time of prayer.

I hope you will get a copy of the book and buy one for your pastor and local elders, too.

Every minister should get one. It will be a great resource for years to come and will prepare you for the tumultuous decade of the 20s just months away.

Cleansing The Temple is now available in kindle and paperback. This word will help prepare the church for the storm ahead, the harvest, and the glory of the Lord. 

KEY TO CLEANSING THE LATTER HOUSE: JUDGMENT AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

I believe there is no other way the modern day Church will be cleansed from all its hypocrisy and impurities derived from the worship  of mammon, except through judgment that produces the fear of the Lord. It may come through hardship, death, or even a crisis of massive proportions such as a civil war to bring this about. The landscape of Christianity must be cleansed, so that the Church’s impact can be much more far reaching. Without widespread and deep repentance and awakening,  this may be the only solution and remedy to the current idolatrous condition of the church world. The power and glory of God may not be restored to the Church any other way. We are so far gone and numb to the true condition of the nation and the Church that this may be the only remedy to true restoration (see this recent article by my friend Michael L. Brown – How Can We Be So Numb?). A severe shaking may be our last line of hope.

Let’s take a close look at the first miracle of judgment in the early Church that cleansed it immediately of the sin and hypocrisy that was seeking entrance. This judgment kept it strong and pure and increased its power and impact.

“In hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great fear came on all those who heard these things” (Acts 5:5).

“At once she (Sapphira) fell down at his feet and died. Upon entering, the young men found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear came on the entire church and on all those who heard these things. Many signs and wonders were performed among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Porch. No one else dared join them, but the people respected them. Believers were increasingly added to the Lord, crowds of both men and women” (Acts 5:10-14).

Can you see how this cleansing led to increased fear and power with many believers being added to the Lord?

We often forget these portions of Scripture and how this judgment produced the component of the fear of the Lord, which stopped this lie and other impurities from having access into the early Church, thus preserving its white hot purity and keeping it from being defiled. This miracle of judgment contributed to the glory, power, and growth of the early Church. Notice also the effect it had on the people:

“No one else dared join them (the disciples), but the people respected them” (Acts 5:13).

The Message Bible says it this way: “But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both.”

Could these incidents of judgment in the early Church be a type and shadow of what we may expect in the last days Church in both the coming judgment and glory:

Could it be that preachers who have peddled the word of God for gain have their ministries judged and some even be publicly humiliated and taken out of the way?

Could churches and ministries that have been built on compromise and the wisdom of man see a mass exodus as people begin to seek pure truth and authenticity as well as the reality of the Holy Spirit and the power of God?

Could we see organizations and companies who have used their power and wealth to persecute the righteous be shaken and some big CEO’s even die? Could we also see the same type of judgement on leaders of nations who persecute the glorious Church and do not give glory to God (think of king Herod; Acts 12:23)?

I believe we will see these kind judgments again but only as the glory increases and is restored to the true Church.

POLARIZATION: ONE EFFECT OF GOD’S JUDGMENTS AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

The judgment that fell on Ananias and Sapphira caused sinners to be leery of joining themselves to the apostles and the church while at the same time gaining public respect and influence. This divided or polarized those who were not interested in genuine repentance and living whole-heartedly for the Lord from the multitudes that were being genuinely converted and being added to the church. Oh how we need this work done today in this era of postmodern and so called progressive Christianity! It would root out so much complacency, carnality, and compromise.

The dividing line was very distinct in the early Church. In a day when we are trying to include everyone into our sheepfolds by toning down on the demands of the gospel, there was a certain exclusivity that the judgments of God and the fear of the Lord produced in the Church’s earliest beginnings. People couldn’t enter in with sin in their lives. In many places today, it is difficult to tell the difference between the Christian and non-Christian, but not in the early Church. God wants to restore this polarization in the Church of today.

This is an excerpt from my newest book awaiting its release, THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, RESTORING THE GLORY TO THE LATTER DAY CHURCH. 

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