Is The Church Teachable Today?
Cont'd


Some of the evidences of false prophets and ministers are; they lie (Jer. 14:13-16) and handle the Word of God deceitfully (II Cor. 4:2); behind the scenes they do shameful things (Ezekiel 22:26-28; 34:2-10); they are greedy (and seek high offices and the biggest churches; they are destitute of the real power of God and lead men/women from God by presenting a mutilated gospel (II Cor. 2:17; II Peter 2:1; II John 7-11). They also speak presumptuously as they prophecy out of their own spirits (Deut. 18:20-22). These are just a few marks of the false prophet, yet many Christians have not remained teachable, therefore have fallen into deception.

When one desires to try the spirits of false prophets, teachers, pastors, believers or just people, there are many things one can be on the alert for. I believe the same tests can apply to all people, especially those that call themselves Christians.

1. First we would do well to look at their relationship to the world versus their obedience to God.

  • "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." (I John 2:15-17).
  • "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity (hatred) with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4).
  • 2. Do they have true love for their brothers and sister in the Lord?

  • "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35). Also (John 15:12; I John 4:7-21 & 3:11-16).
  • If they really love the brethren, they will not lie to them, cheat them, rob them, or hurt them in any way. They will certainly not feed them false gospel or prophesy falsely to them. They should even be willing to help them at their own expense.

    3. How is their confession of Jesus and His Word?

    Are they careful to rightly divide God's Word and preach the true Jesus and His total Word? Or do they preach another Jesus and another gospel? (II Co. 11:3-4, Living Bible). What they preach and how they live must line up with God's whole counsel.

    4. How is their general outward conduct and inward condition?

    Scriptures for the outward condition:

  • "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:20). "..men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (uncontrolled), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (II Tim. 3:2-5). (Also Matt. 7:15-16a; Matt. 6:1-24; & 23:1-33).
  • For the inward condition:

  • "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matt. 23:25-28).
  • "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23). (Also Matt, 5:13-48).
  • Sometimes it's hard to find out about someone's inward condition, especially those we hear preach. That's why we each need to stay teachable, acquire the discerning power of the Holy Spirit and the ability to rightly divide the Word of truth. We, my husband and I, know one preacher that has been preaching the gospel for about twenty-five years and most people think he is a wonderful man of God, but several years ago he was a guest in our home, and I was discussing with him the writing of letters to my mailing list. I told him I did not know how to write professional letters; all I knew to do was write what God placed in my heart. The next thing I heard really shocked me, for he said, "Zella, trust God and see how far it gets you". See what slipped out of his mouth. "....out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34-35). This is a man who is constantly prophesying to people and telling his congregations to trust God when his inward condition is full of hypocrisy and iniquity. I would no longer trust this man's teaching.

    If we have a bad or uncertain feeling about something or someone (preacher or anyone else) that may be an inward witness that we should stay away from that thing or not listen to that person or take their advice. We may not even know why we have this feeling, but we should not treat it lightly.

    5. Do they produce fruit, if so, what kind?

  • "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matt. 12:33).
  • 6. Do they preach true doctrine and the whole counsel of God’s Word?

  • "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:7-9).

  • "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." (I Tim. 6:3-5).

  • "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned (fake, counterfeit) words make merchandise of (cheat, swindle, fleece) you." (II Peter 2:1-3a).
  • 7. Do they profess doing God's will, but in truth, do not do it at all?

    Many Christians, as well as ministers are claiming to do God's will when all the time they are striving to fulfill their own desires.

    8. Is their preaching confirmed by the Holy Spirit, Satan or not at all?

    After Jesus gave the commission to the Church in Mark 16:15-18, the Bible tells us "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following."

    The Bible also tells us,

  • "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23). "For there shall arise false Christs, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22).
  • These false Christs are some of the very ones standing in pulpits today, preaching in the name of Jesus and claiming to be ministers of the most High empowered by the Holy Spirit. The "if possible" leaves the possibility undetermined...the only way to try to keep from being deceived is by "rightly dividing the Word and trying the spirits.

    All false prophets, teachers, etc., and all who twist and pervert Scripture, add to or take away from Scripture will bring upon themselves swift destruction (II Peter 2:1), and their end shall be according to their works (II Cor. 11:15). The punishment for those who choose to add to or take away from Scripture will be the removal of their name from the book of life. (Rev. 22:19).

    9. Are ministers of God good stewards of the money (tithes, donations and gifts) they are entrusted with?

    Do they use it wisely or squander it on celebrity style living? Do they use it to spread the gospel or use it to build their own kingdoms? Do they use God's money to build mega church buildings, play grounds, theme parks, virtual reality theaters, etc. Is this how you want your tithes and offerings spent?

    Then Be not deceived, stay teachable and alert.








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    "....but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."

    Psalms 7:9b












    King David said,

    "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised:...."

    Psalms 18:1-3b

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