If a spirit gives you counsel which contradicts the teachings of the Bible, then be sure that it is not the Holy Spirit but rather an unclean and evil spirit. The Holy Spirit is, was and always will be in full alignment, with the Word of God.
The following verses from Galatians Chapter 5 makes it clear about what are things inspired by the flesh and what are the things which are of the Holy Spirit:
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Now Jesus came to Earth to preach the Gospel. And yes by all means the Gospel does include truth and holiness and the joy of the Lord. And here’s what Jesus had to say about the Holy Spirit (in John Chapter 16):
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
So then the Holy Spirit also know as the Spirit of truth will only teach you what is of God the Father through his Son Jesus and nothing profane nor heretical. And so you’d understand that any spirit that teaches you falsehood and things contrary to the Holy Scriptures is not the Holy Spirit but rather an evil and deceptive spirit. A true follower of God will therefore accept the good ie the Holy Spirit but reject the evil ie the unclean spirit every time.
Would you get surgery done for yourself if the person doing it doesn’t actually practice surgery? Would you like to travel in an aircraft driven by a person who cannot even read the route map? Would you invest your money in a bank which is on the verge on collapsing? If you said no to any of these questions, then why would you learn the Gospel from anyone who doesn’t actually preach it?
I find it very laughable and amusing to see people who flock to preachers who don’t actually preach the Gospel. Yes, these people will come up with various excuses to continue to waste their time on them. They often say ‘we are not to judge’. So going by that logic they wouldn’t mind if their government transfers all of their money to the ‘vacation for ministers’ fund, because they are not to judge if they go bankrupt. They wouldn’t judge if they were given poisoned food by the restaurants. Probably not if they regard for their well being! However these people will keep pushing the ‘do not judge’ Bible verses upon you as if that will turn their precious little preacher into a true preacher of the Word of God.
Some preachers will totally avoid the mention of Jesus in their entire sermons. Perhaps they never heard of him or maybe they are not trying to please him! Either way that is a massive give away to either correct the preacher or leave him. Some people might think that is offensive, I don’t agree to them. Suppose if you wanted your children to swim but the swimming instructor doesn’t teach them to swim but only talks about his or her swimming accomplishments , do you or your children truly get your money’s worth for the swimming lessons. You’d most possibly get the children out of that swimming class and join a better one or complain to the management to change the swimming coach. Maybe the management would go half way and instead of removing the coach simply apologize and get the coach to actually teach swimming. If such logic applies to swimming, wouldn’t you and your family’s spiritual life in Christ deserve a bit more better?
There are some people who don’t care if the preacher is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ or not because of an odd reason. They simply and plainly don’t care to read the Bible either. And if they do, they totally ignore the preachers’ misgivings and in turn open the doors of their heart wide to heresy and ignorance.
Now there are some preachers who do preach parts of Gospel such as forgiveness, healing, and love but avoid anything to do with repentance, holiness and deliverance. These try to make the Gospel palatable to people in order to get the number of people hearing them to increase. However, these do not preach Gospel in its entirety. As a result the person who hears such a preacher is not warned of the traps and temptations and sufferings that they might encounter with their walk with Christ Jesus. So if the person gives in to sin or remains ignorant of how to receive deliverance from evil, do not be surprised at all.
Do not be the one who refuses to love the truth but rather chooses to live in deception, with deceptive preachers and so share in their eternal judgement!
Bible verses to reflect on:
- Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)
- “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ (Matthew 23:16)
- For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
All praise to the Lord God who is worthy of all worship, honour and adoration. Thanks be to God for sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin and death. May the Spirit of God lead us in all truth.
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The personal responsibility to honour the Lord God rests with you alone. No one else can do it for you. There might be others who want to encourage you to love and serve the Lord Jesus. Thank God for such people.
But you yourself have to know if you truly honour God. Because it’s very easy for others to have a wrong opinion if you are truly following the Lord or not. Some vile people can trick even their religious leaders that they are following Jesus. But all this happens when they are actually in deep sin. Some ignorant people think they are in sin though they are leading a holy life. This is because they are fearful that leaders, family and friends might contradict them. Don’t be a hypocrite nor unsure of your faith and salvation. (Being unsure of your faith may allow heresy or legalism). So check your faith and honour towards the Lord God in your own heart, without any bias to yourself.
Bible verses to reflect on:
Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.(Psalm 4:4)
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.(Psalm 32:3-5)
“How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin (Job 13:23)
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28)
“Are you sowing into the Kingdom of God?”, that’s one question both good and corrupt preachers tend to ask their ‘flock’ these days. If you hear the preaching on TV chances are more that once you may heard “Are you sowing into the Kingdom of God? And if not then don’t expect God to bless you.” and so on. Questions of these sort make people fear a lot at times while others go even more miserly!
First off we are not to give our offerings to anyone who is preaching a false gospel. Secondly it’s not a sin to give our offerings which can help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the nations. And thirdly we are not called to live in deception. So, don’t get entangled into giving ‘seed’ offerings to those who are only looking forward to consuming your offerings for their personal luxuries instead of using it actually preach and by preach I mean preach the Gospel in its entirety. Those who preach prosperity as the sole output of believing in the Gospel need a lot of preaching as to why the 12 Apostles of Jesus except for John died by martyrdom instead of living like actual princes. O people of God, please check whom are you considering as a real preacher of the Gospel before you send your offerings to them. I once heard, that which preacher you give your offerings to, you end up partaking of their spiritual legacy. I that to this; so be careful if the preacher is not of the right spirit because you’d end up receiving the bad effects of the same!
With all this being said, there is less emphasis these days especially by quite a lot of preachers who are not telling their TV ‘flock’ to sow the seed of the Word of God into the lives of others. Now I’m not talking about brainwashing others into causing them to give their offerings at so and so ministry or preacher. But rather this is about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. Now for many reasons, there are people who are still not able to define ‘others’. So let me make it real to you; your numerous friends, relatives, colleagues, people everywhere who have still not heard of the Gospel are the ‘others’. Let me make it clear your aim is preach whenever possible. However don’t make an excuse that it’s not possible to preach at all. I’d say that if your life is in righteousness in the Lord God, then there is no reason to fear sowing the see of the Word of God into others you can reach out to. I’m not saying go to a remote desert or island and find people to preach to. If that’s however the call of God for you then I won’t mind at all, in fact I’d encourage you. My point is; there are others near enough to preach the Gospel to, so go out and reach to them.
Now even before you decide to preach to others, I’d strongly suggest that you get right with the Lord God. Don’t get disqualified when you aim to help others to grasp the Gospel and embrace it. Any sinful tendency must not cling to your heart when preaching. Don’t lie to your heart ever; that unless you tackle sin you won’t preach the Gospel but you don’t know when you’d stop sinning. Self deception is a great hindrance to preaching the Gospel! Some take pride in ‘living’ a holy life and consider themselves superior to sinners. That pride itself is a sin. If you are not sinning, then don’t exalt yourself but praise the Lord God for that.
The work that you do for the Lord God in sowing the seed of the Word of God into the life of others, must also be accompanied by sincerity and humility, else it would be dead works. You’d not like to lose your eternal reward that comes from the Lord God due to silly reasons like clinging to pride or lack of belief in the Gospel. But if you preach the Word of God for the love of God and in purity then be assured that your reward will surely endure forever in heaven and in new heaven and new earth to come.
Reflect on the below verses:
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” (John 4:31-38)
If someone doesn’t understand certain terms in the Gospel then feel free to explain to them the clear meaning of it. There could be people who are of a different culture or region might not be familiar with certain things in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can do this, without changing the Gospel to them and ensure that they get the right knowledge and understanding of it. There could be people who might wonder why they need to help the poor because in their place begging is forbidden. So you could tell them it’s not about encouraging others to be poor always but rather about how one cares for them.
However if someone gets upset that the Gospel forbids adultery because that someone is secretly an adulter or adulteress then don’t worry about offending them. You are not to go overboard on mercy that (ironically) you don’t offer them mercy. In plain words I mean you say those who repent of all their sins including adultery and believe in the Gospel have a place in heaven with Christ but never ever should it mean that you say adultery is harmless if you don’t get caught. Because even if a person who commits adultery is never tackled by his or her spouse, be sure that in the afterlife the person who died a sinner will not go heaven but rather to hell. So why change the Gospel for them only for them and you to face judgement in the afterlife?
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.(Galatians 1:8-9)
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.(Revelation 2:2)
For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. (Luke 16:8)
In the parable of the Dishonest Manager/Steward (read John 16:1-9) Jesus mentions about a crooked manager used his shrewdness to escape from an audit by his boss who suspected him of wrong doing and also gain favour with those who were in debt from the place he worked in. The point that Jesus makes is that though wicked people use their cunning to escape an earthly punishment, they will still not escape eternal damnation and will also be accompanied by their partners in crime when being tormented.
Now that we know the end of the wicked, its time we also take one thing into consideration; the way the sons of light deal with each other, shrewdly. In context of the wicked being shrewd with each other we can expect some twisted and corrupted dealings. While for the sons of light who I can say are the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ, the context is how wisely they deal with each other while being holy and just and loving to each other. This does not mean we cheat or trick each other, for if we do then can such people be truly called the children of God?
Let me make it real to you. It’s truly possible to be shrewd when dealing with other Christians and I will show you how. But first let’s get a clear meaning of the word shrewd.
Shrewd : having or showing an ability to understand things and to make good judgments : mentally sharp or clever (Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary)
Since we have realized what the word ‘shrewd’ means let me give you three ways you can be shrewd in your interactions with other Christians. Here we go:
1) You can remind and encourage each other to follow the Gospel
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a psalm or a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. All of these must be done to build up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Don’t expect the world to tell your fellow brother or sister in Christ to follow the Gospel. The world well, is the world. It’s hidden master is the Devil. Would the Fallen One really encourage those under his grip to tell the people of the Lord God to follow the Gospel? Definitely no! At most the hellish serpent instead would let the world teach Christian as many counterfeit Gospels as they can. Oh, wait that’s already happening.
So it’s better that you who believe in Christ, follow what’s mentioned in the Bible and encourage each other who are in Christ to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can speak, you can sign, even in psalms and hymns to encourage the people of God to cling to the Lord God. Nowadays it’s possible to even send Bible verses, Christian praise and worship songs and videos and images which contain biblical messages to others via various social media. You can thank the ushers at church, say a kind word to your preacher and say thank you to those who go overseas to preach the Gospel. A small word of encouragement may mean a lot to them especially those who are taken for granted.
2) You can warn others tactfully and save them from trouble
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)
There are some Christians who are being tempted all the time and this is a tough burden to carry. You can’t expect the world to help them. That’s where you intervene and help all those in Christ from falling away from the path of righteousness.
Suppose you observe that a brother in Christ is in danger of being a drug addict, you can tell him to stop his habit. However, some people are very hostile to direct confrontation. So if you don’t want to be direct, you can given him examples of those who took to drugs and are now in poverty and have ruined careers and how now they are far from the Gospel. Perhaps, that brother might repent and turn to the Lord Jesus again.
Maybe you know of a woman who attends your church and is known to attend the worship of false gods, you can act on that too. Pray about it first to the Lord God for her salvation. If you can then directly speak up if possible. Now at some local churches they are too finicky about a man speaking to a woman and vice versa. So in such a case, one can request a woman who is strong in the Lord to approach the woman who worships false gods and preach the Gospel to her. Or at best, get the preacher or the pastor to do that. As usual do your due diligence.
3) You can refrain from blindly believing things
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1-3)
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)
There is a serious need that while you help Christians to be loyal to the Lord God, you yourself don’t fall off the way of life. And for this reason do not blindly believe things that even other Christians tell you. Everything they say must stand the test of the Holy Scriptures. Always remember that no Christian leader is above the authority of the Bible. It doesn’t even matter if they tell you how sincere they are. If what they say contradicts the Bible, you better not follow what they say. Instead you follow what the Lord God says in the Bible.
Christ be with you!