Some people unfortunately love to be generous to the wrong persons and end up suffering for it. Keeping in context with what I want to say, I mean they give their offerings to heretics but cry when they don’t see good days and times in their life. They are upset when the preacher who committed just a little heresy now is even more blasphemous towards God, that it no longer can be ignored.
Others are mistaken that just because the preacher or ministry belongs to their own denomination, they are not supposed to discern the words and works done by them. Such a stance is not consistent with what Lord God has given for those who believe in Jesus Christ and must be repented of with immediate effect
It is written in 1 John 4:1-3 that: 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. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 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.
Jude 1:3-4 very clearly says : 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. 4 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.
If you sow good seed expect good fruit, but if sow bad seed expect bad fruit. Never be surprised that after sowing bad seed you never see good fruit emerge from it. In a similar way if you put your offerings those who actually preach the Word of God without any deception, you can be sure of good fruit in this life and the one that is to come. Besides, no matter how good you feel about any heretic, never give your offerings to them, lest you end up eating their bad fruit in this life and at Final Judgement.
Ephesians 6:6-14 says: Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
O people of the faith always keep in the mind what Jesus Christ in Luke 6:38 says “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
No doubt we are to support the preaching of Gospel of Jesus Christ, in both word and deed. Pray for the Gospel to reach the ends of the earth. Pray for those who are preaching the Gospel in true holiness. And yes support them financially as how God leads you to. But at the end of the day do keep it mind, be generous for the work of God but never ever for the work of heretics. Because just like those who will be rewarded for giving unto the Kingdom of God, so also those who support deceivers and liars will receive their due reward in the form of judgement sometimes in this world but always for sure in the world that is to come
- 8 Symptoms of False Doctrine (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Never trust your Church elders more than God (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Effects and dangers of preaching an incomplete Gospel (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
Let us be on our guard against false doctrine. Unsound faith will never be the mother of really sound practice, and in these latter days, departures from the faith abound. See then that your loins be girded about with truth, and be very jealous of receiving anything which cannot be proved by the Bible.
Do not think for a moment that false doctrine will meet you face to face, saying, “I am false doctrine, and I want to come into your heart.” Satan does not go to work in that way. He dresses up false doctrine like Jezebel — he paints her face and attires her hair, and tries to make her like truth. Do not think that those who preach error will never preach anything that is true. Error would do little harm if that was the case. No! Error will come before you mingled with much that is sound and scriptural.
~ J.C. Ryle
O Lord Jesus, help me to keep waiting for your return with expectation and purity. The prophets and saints of old, waited for your first coming and were not disappointed, for they are comforted in your presence in heaven. Give me hope and joy, as I ponder on your second coming. Keep the faith in me ever glowing, for glory of God our Father. By your Holy Spirit counsel me that I remember your Gospel each and everyday of my life. Give me the grace to be unblemished by the cares, pleasures and allure of this world, so that I’m truly ready to receive you. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
O Lord Jesus, there are many in this world who have still not heard of you. While we celebrate your birth, we pray for the lost and the unsaved. We ask that we are able to preach to all nations. Let all resources and graces be available for your Church, to reach out to them. Cause the people of the Church to remember again and again, that there are still lost sheep who need to be with their One true Shepherd. Awaken all my Christian brothers and sisters to preach your Gospel to everyone whom you lead them to by your Holy Spirit. Help us to reconcile all men, women and children to our Father the Lord God in heaven. I ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.
O Lord God help me to speak of your Son Jesus Christ, without shyness nor any fear. Guide me by your Holy Spirit to preach about Jesus, and the Holy Gospel to the lost and the unsaved. May it be a witness to them for their salvation. Bless my mind and memory, that I remember all the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, especially in regards to Jesus the savior of the world. Give me the power to refute and resist the lies of the Enemy, God haters and heretics, about your Son Jesus. Let me speak of the greatness and humility of Jesus Christ. Let me speak of His healing and saving grace. Let me speak of his love and resurrection. Let me speak all of this for your glory and not for myself. I ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
O God of good hope, give me the grace and hope that I need. I desire, that in my thoughts, words and actions, I live the hope that comes from Jesus Christ. I believe that this hope won’t disappoint because it’s secured in your Holy Word and is guided by the Holy Spirit. Help me to remember your wisdom when faced with challenges to my faith. Cause me to resist the evil ways of the world, even more than before. Help me to preach the Gospel and so give hope to all those whom you send to me. Let my lamp never run dry nor my light be put out, so I always be a worthy believer of you O Lord. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
We live in times where apostasy is ever on the rise. There have always been heretics who have misled others into wrong doing by promoting falsehood against the Lord God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Any man, woman or child who professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ must be on guard against the attacks on his or her faith, be it from the world or within the church. This nothing new under the sun and has happened since many years. It’s just that the terms and topics of heresies change, but they have one thing in common, they deny the Lord by denying the truth of his Holy Word.
- 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)
- But there were also lying Prophets among the people, as there shall be lying teachers also among you, those who bring destructive heresies and deny the Lord who bought them, while bringing upon themselves speedy destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
What is sin consciousness?
There are preachers who say ‘Why do we bother telling people to “stop sinning!” or “be holy!”? When obviously nobody can stop sin or even be holy? Can you?’ They then go on give out verses which prove that Christ died for our sins and he fulfilled the law for us and also how people can end up sinning again and again. Obviously, we are forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus. It true that people do sin repeatedly. However what they conveniently skip is the fact we cannot continue to live in sin and must repent of it, every time.
By sin consciousness they go on to say that you are focusing more on your sin instead of being ‘Christ conscious’. What they actually mean is that you are too focused on your sinful nature and repenting from your sins instead of focusing on Jesus Christ. Their main contention is that Christ died for all of your sins be past, present or future so you don’t need to bother about sinning. Basically, even if you sin you won’t miss out on heaven. This is far from the truth in fact.
It is a false doctrine to tell Christians that after their first repentance, they never need to repent again for new sins. The blood of Jesus does not automatically wash away FUTURE sins, sins need to be repented of after they are committed. If you disagree, just ask Ananias and Sephira about their pre-forgiven sin. This is why repentance in mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer.
Christ consciousness or obedience to God?
Also the bit which they mention about being ‘Christ conscious’ is hardly a Biblical term. And is in fact used in other religions (refer to this link). That itself should be red flag unto a true believer in Christ.
And any thing about being conscious about Christ must be in keeping with the Word of God or else its just falsehood against the Gospel.
When a Christian wants to meditate on Christ it is not just worshiping the Lord but also obeying him. The following verses confirm that we are to obey Christ Jesus who is the Word God.
- For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- [Jesus said,] you are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14)
- Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
Teaching disobedience by not repenting is a heretical denial of the commands of Jesus Christ
When Jesus himself commands all people to repent of their sin, then those you who call themselves as believers in Christ too much preach repentance and nothing less. Here are some verses to reflect on:
- From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)
- Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5)
- 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
No who teaches false doctrine must be accepted by those who believe in Christ
It goes beyond question that those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ must obey him and believe in Him and adhere to the teachings of the Gospel. Anything away from this is false doctrine which a believer must reject and flee away from.
- 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 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. 9 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 1:6-9)
- 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49)
- If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Choose repentance anytime and every time instead of getting tricked by the sin consciousness trick
I’ve mentioned this earlier in one of my previous posts but let me say it again; Why does the Lord throughout the Bible keep warning of severe judgement if some were to receive the mark of the Beast? There are verses that say that those who receive it, will never be forgiven (please refer to Revelation 14:9-11). If the Lord knows that some people are going to sin why does he not use the ‘auto forgiven for the future’ stance? Because simply, such a thing does not exist and is wholly inconsistent with the Gospel. You need to repent if you sin. Period.
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.
In your walk with Christ sometimes you got be aware of spiritual gray zones. These are areas in which it’s not clear if something is wicked or innocent. It can also be areas where a teaching is not confirmed to be consistent with the Gospel and the character of God. At such an instance its useful to know what a ‘Gray zone’ means.
Meaning of Gray zone: (Noun) An intermediate area between two opposing positions; a situation, subject, etc., not clearly or easily defined, or not covered by an existing category or set of rules. (Oxford Dictionary)
One might wonder that what is so dangerous about spiritual gray zones. Due to highly ambiguous nature of these things its better to give out a few examples. Here we go:
- Mr A, is a Christian guy who wants to do great things for the Lord God. He wants to perform miracles of healing so as to help the sick and dying. Now even after years of going to church, going to Bible studies and having five hours of daily prayer and also, fasting twice a week, he is unable to heal anyone. Suddenly Mr A, gets to know of a secret group that claims to be Christian and say they can teach anyone to heal within 3 days. However their condition is that he donates a very large sum of money to an offshore bank account of theirs and also sign a no refund clause. Further more, they want him to not discuss with anyone in his local church about this. He thinks whether to do a little ‘sacrifice for the greater good’ or if its wrong to not speak to his church people and leaders about this. He gets a call from an unknown number asking him to ‘not delay his conversion from day-to-day but rather donate in the next 2 minutes or his time of ‘grace’ will depart from him forever’. Mr A is now totally confused since he never took down his preachers phone number.
- Miss J, is egged on by her friends to marry a man who is given to womanizing and drug abuse. They claim the only way for this man’s soul to be saved is by Miss J marrying him and using her influence as a wife to preach the Gospel to him. Miss J doesn’t like that idea. But her friends tell her that all preachers tried to bring a change in that sleazy man but nothing happened and say that only genuine love will convince that man to accept the Gospel. She is not aware that her friends are promised a fortune by this impious man who knows that by his character itself, he won’t be able to convince her to marry him. Miss J is scared of using marriage as front to preach the Gospel or to let this man’s soul slip into hell forever.
- Preacher Z, is approached by people of another church. They say they got a gold bracelet with the name of their church on it. And they promise to send him a generous tithe each month as long he wears the gold bracelet on his right hand. Now preacher Z is in need of some serious funding for his new missionary project in Namibia. He ponders that if it’s all a matter of wearing a gold bracelet without any change in what he preaches, then what could possibly go wrong.
Let me explain the dangers of each of the above examples. In the first example, Mr A stands likely to be scammed big time if he donates a big sum of money abroad. And if he later contacts law enforcement or legal resources there is very little scope to get his money back. Also if he were to hide things from his preacher, then when he gets scammed, even the preacher and the church to which he belongs will be surprised at his lack of vigilance and eventually this can affect his reputation.
For the second example, if Miss J were to marry the womanizer, there is no guarantee he will ever accept the Gospel. Besides, when he eventually will cheat on her, none of those scheming friends of hers will help. And if she approaches her church they will offer prayers and sympathies but will find it difficult to mend their marriage.
And for the third example, if Preacher Z takes the gold bracelet, it can bring disgrace and controversy to his church and denomination at large. This holds true especially if the other church that gave the bracelet of gold, turns out to be a cult or a heretical organisation. People can and will think of him endorsing their false doctrines.
In cases of spiritual gray zone’s here’s what you can do:
- Do not act on your impulses but think what could be the long-term consequences. Also think how would you deal with those consequences.
- Do not be over secretive that you don’t take counsel from the right person of God as want to hide things from him or her.
- Do read the Bible on a regular basis. Read the various parts of it pertaining to wisdom and discernment, instead of only going for your favourite verses. This should help you remember the counsel of the Bible if in case there is a very quick decision to make or you don’t have access to a faithful and wise preacher of the Gospel. Reading the Bible regularly needs discipline and setting the right priorities to use your time, though.
- If it’s too good to be real, do not had over money nor time nor your emotions etc to such things or people. Instead research it. If you cannot research it, then like I said earlier don’t be too shy to get counsel from the wise people of God available to you.
- Pray about it for clarity from God. This is where you ask God to deliver from all lies because he the God of truth and not chaos.
Just to let you know, I too faced a very dangerous spiritual gray zone around 2009-2010. I would preach and minister to a growing group of teenagers and those in their early twenties. Some prefer to call them youth or young adults. The point is these youngsters had problems of the spiritual sort; false gods, drinking, smoking, false relationships etc. So myself and some of my contemporaries were given leadership over them. And due to various reasons these youth were comfortable to reach to us for their problems and we would help to come out of their bad habits. We would intercede for them, fast for them and when they are with, lead them in praise and worship of Jesus. This caused lots of lots of youth who at time wouldn’t come to church to come to us instead. It was a nice opportunity for myself to slowly and steadily get them attend church without any forcing.
However, this didn’t sit well in due course of time with the main Christian circle I was in. They accused us of ‘meeting the needs of the youth so that they don’t come to the main body’. They asked to ‘stop preaching the Gospel since that is what fulfills the needs of the youth and this will cause them to reach out to the main body’. It took me a day or two to come to a decision after praying and my reply to them was “Why do you want me to not follow the commandment of God?” So they asked what commandment and I replied “The great commission to preach the Gospel”. Followed by “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16)” They were horrified at my reply and asked me will I reconsider and follow their ‘authority’ in this matter and only do praise and worship with the youth. Remembering some of the youth, who said that the main body was not that effective in counseling them, I said no to the main body and that’s the last they interacted with me. Later I found that almost all the youth never ‘integrated’ in to the main body consisting of married adults. My point is, I had to make a decision to follow God’s commandment or the opinions of man, even if that is of the elders when it was all a gray area to me.
Christ be with you, as you overcome the gray areas of your life!