Don’t Be Led Astray, Lead To Truth!

“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.  As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (I John 2:26, 27 NIV)

Before true understanding of what is said in this blog can be attained, one must know and understand what John is saying, in the previous verses. He is warning us to not be led astray by those who profess to know truth, but they lie and the truth is not in them.

Anyone– and it does not matter who they are or what title they hold–who tells people that sin does not upset God, lies! If they lie about what God says, they also lie about any title they hold because God does not promote liars since He hates all  liars. Apostle, Bishop, Prophet, Pastor, Evangelist–no title held, given by man, is proof of God’s promotion; especially if lies stream from the mouths of those holding the positions. The first sin they commit is–lying! Why do people lie about sin? Primarily, they lie to make themselves feel better. If they can convince others that their behavior is not sinful, they are more likely to continue engagement in sin and will encourage others to do the same. When a person is not willing to allow God’s Word to rule in their life and they demonstrate it by living according to the world, it is an indicator that “flesh” (influenced by Satan) rules.

If we profess to have the Spirit of God living within us, guiding us, and counseling us, we will not say anything other than what He says. Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s Word because He speaks as God speaks. When we lie, steal, cheat, abuse and misuse others–Satan has influenced and in many cases, since people won’t acknowledge Satan’s influence, he rules in their lives. What better way for him to rule than to have people disavow his existence? Isn’t this why people say God doesn’t exist so they can live any way they want to live?

When God’s Word is our guide to living, we demonstrate that by doing what He says and not what we feel like doing. We recognize counterfeit teachings and will not follow those who are counterfeits. We do not trust those who speak confusion–opposition to God’s Word because we know God is not the author of confusion and we know who is. Any confusion in the minds of those who profess belief in God have been led astray–doubt about God, self, and The Word–confusion created by Satan so he can reign and destroy hope.

Don’t be led astray by those who are actually counterfeits! Lead others into the truth of God’s Word by knowing Truth and in recognizing when the enemy is trying to influence. Be bold and very courageous in speaking God’s Truth, never wavering or fearful of what the enemy might do because he has no power over those who allow Holy Spirit to lead their lives.

Jesus is Lord and the devil has no power over those who truly Believe!

Set Apart!

“Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.” (Psalm 4:3 NIV)

Believers–who are faithful to God–have been set apart to do His bidding in all manner of settings. Most think that it is the “church” who has been set apart and if we understand that the Body of Believers is “the church” then that would be true. However, many people confuse the Body of Believers with the “physical building” which can do nothing apart from those who work within.

But let’s beyond that. Every individual Believer has indeed been set apart by God to do a specific work and the work is different for everyone. Some have been set apart to be prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors or teachers. Some have been set apart to be worshippers. Some are set apart to be praisers. Some are set apart to show compassion and consideration to all. Some are set apart to serve–in whatever capacity there is a need. And some–have been set apart–to learn and live before others–their faith, without doubting.

We’ve all been set apart to do something that promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No position within the building is more important than another and the sooner, church leaders understand this, the sooner we’ll see growth in attendance–when people know–all are important and respected.

We are not set apart to lord who we are over others. We are set apart to be the key used to bring them into the kingdom of God, not our own personal kingdoms where we reign and not God.

What have you been set apart to do? The calling on my life to pastor and teach His Word is ever-present, no matter where I go. I preach and teach online, as well as pray and counsel, and live my faith daily. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m open to hearing Holy Spirit when He speaks. I acknowledge my faults (impatience, primarily) and strive to do better. As long as He is working on me to get things right, I know I am loved and valued by Him.

I am set apart–to bring others into the knowledge of the Most High God, His great love for us, demonstrated by the work on the cross, and the hope we have in Him for all eternity.

Who Called You?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

“Johnny, take out the garbage!”

“Carlos, go find your brother!”

Remember when you heard someone calling you; especially your mother? You could tell by her tone what mood she was in. And God help us if we were called by our ‘full names’. We knew we were in trouble. But mothers are not the only ones who call us to do something.

God calls us to do specific things in life and when we do what He wants us to do, He honors our efforts and good things happen. What has He called us to do? That depends. Every believer is called to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but some have been gifted to operate in specific offices of ministry. “He gave gifts for some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and some teachers (of The Word)” (Ephesians 4:11). Here’s something to think about God’s gifts–they are without repentance. In other words, whether we live right or not, the gifts He has given, will not be taken from us; they simply won’t be as effective as they could be.

When God “has called us” into a ministry office, it does not matter what others think since we should only be concerned about pleasing God. If God is pleased, nothing and no one else matters.

The real problem with ministry in the church is when “other people call someone” into an office. Some fathers call their sons into ministry; some mothers call their sons into ministry; some pastors call their children into ministry; some showing favoritism call people into ministry that God has never even considered. When this happens, the gifts are counterfeit and the anointing is manipulated to make it appear as though God had a hand in it. How do we know?

Listen to those with “counterfeit gifts” and see if what they say aligns with The Word. Can we find anywhere in The Word of God, preachers condemning people for how they dress or other such nonsense? Can we find the preachers of the bible, lining people up to give an offering based on the amount for which “they” are asking and then belittling those who have nothing to give? Can we find preachers in the Bible who promote dancing and shouting over hearing The Word, so by the time they stop dancing and shouting, they are too  tired to hear The Word? Can we find preachers in the Bible who promote worldliness over godliness? Can we find preachers in the Bible who always “have a word of wisdom” for the people they know, but never have anything to say about those they don’t know? This list could go on and on, but there is not enough space or time to continue. Do you get the point?

God knows those He has called–He knows what gifts they have been anointed with to help move the body of Christ forward; not backwards. Those who God has called may not pastor a mega-church, but they have mega-influence over all who know them. Those who God has called, always give God credit for everything they accomplish in life. Those who God has called, understand the importance of only saying or teaching what God has already said. Those who God has called, “Study the Word so they can rightly divide (explain) it to others”. This is how we recognize the difference between those who God has called, from those who others have called.

Who called you? Or better yet, who called the person to whom you’re listening and following?

Father, grant us all the gift of discernment this day so we will not make a mockery of the gifts You have given us, to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Will a Title Get You into Heaven?

Forgive my momentary angst about church leaders who are only interested in amassing titles here on earth, but do they think their titles will get them a reservation in heaven?

Let’s face it.  There are more people bearing the title bishop, apostle, overseer, Your Imminence, prophet, pastor and evangelist.  Some have confused the roles of ministry that are established for the benefit of the people (they think the people should benefit them).  The true spokespersons can hardly get an invite to speak any where because their name won’t draw a million-dollar crowd.  What has happened to the church today?  Are we addicted to the sensationalism and nonsense that goes on in churches everywhere?  (I did not say in every church.)  The call to ministry for all believers is to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We do not need titles to do that.  And many of those bearing titles, do not promote the Gospel; they promote themselves as a 15 minute wonder–all talk and no action.  I mean, how can you get up in front of people and say, “I hear God saying that there are people here who can give a $1,000 dollars.”  When no one gives that amount, God changes His mind about He said (according to those professing the lie).  Now, they’re asking for a lesser amount, still proclaiming that God is the motivator.

Get real folks!  God doesn’t change His mind or lie!  That’s man/woman doing so!  And since they are misrepresenting God, they apparently have no hope of getting into heaven or they would surely know–God is not mocked and is not fooled by the foolish!  If you were not called by God to do what you’re doing, then you will answer to Him, on That Day!

I’m willing to proclaim that no one who misleads God’s people into believing a lie or causing them to promote a lie will have a place in heaven.  Will I see you there?