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:
- It’s a Teacher.
- It’s greater than a human teacher.
- It’s true.
- It cannot lie.
- It has already taught you.
- It will keep you from deception.
- 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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