Lately God has really put it on my heart to warn many of my friends who are following false prophets and being swindled into deceptive teachings that directly conflict with Scripture. If you have a brother or sister in Christ come to you in attempt to give you advise or guidance consider these Scriptures:
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15
If a person just comes to you sharing their own ideas, theories and philosophies, that’s one thing, but if they ask you to read and study the Scripture with them in regards to the topics at hand don’t forget this:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
If you refuse to hear them out, get defensive, talk over the person, respond in anger or resentment and just don’t even listen; first, you need to check your heart, and then take heed of this Scripture:
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” – Proverbs 18:13
When a person comes to you to discuss Scripture’s meaning, interpretation and how it relates to something in your life, think about this; either they have something to teach you, or you have something to teach them. If you respond in anger that’s a sign that you may be in error, because defensiveness is not a trait of God.
The main ways that God speaks to His people today are as follows:
- God speaks through the Bible
- God speaks through prayer.
- God speaks through circumstances
- God speaks through the church
God can speak to us through the Bible by either having certain Scriptures almost appear highlighted or pop out while we read, by having certain verses come to mind while in prayer, or even having other believers give us certain Scriptures at times. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are often given specific Scriptures and urges to converse or pray with, or for us, in regards to certain issues going on in our lives. We might receive messages in church that are profoundly relevant to our life when needed, or circumstances can show up that really validate or highlight the truth God is trying to reveal.
Generally when we get the same thing told or reinforced three or more times from these various ways, we can be sure it is a word from God. If you have multiple sources all saying the same thing and you want to ignore it, consider Jesus’ words here:
“The one who is from God listens to God’s words. This is why you don’t listen, because you are not from God.” – John 8:47
The time we live in is very critical and there are many doctrines and practices going around the “church” today that are not only un-biblical, but are demonic and more akin to witchcraft than they are to Christianity.
Satan is using the name of Jesus for his benefits and is using false teachers to twist Scripture and fool people. We can easily be deceived by pastors and teachers who use Scripture to try to validate their opinions instead of just standing on the truth of God’s Word itself. We must not just read, but study the Bible for our own safety or we will be lost. False teachers are rising up everywhere and twisting God’s truth. Just because someone uses the name of Jesus doesn’t mean they are from God.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.” – Jeremiah 23:21
There are many that are going to be rejected by Jesus when they try to enter the kingdom of heaven:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” – Matthew 7:21-23
These are very critical times for us as believers to pray for wisdom and discernment. Unfortunately, many denominations, especially many that might be categorized as Charismatic or Pentecostal, over emphasize “spiritual gifts” and “supernatural” experiences and it results in members who often reduce their experience of God to emotional highs and feelings. A lot of the mayhem that happens in some churches distracts from the truth of God’s Word because our bodies produce adrenaline and endorphins when something new and exciting or emotional happens. These overly emotional things often disconnect us from rational thought can be easy in-roads for deception by the enemy. God is the author of ORDER not of CHAOS.
We must base our faith and spiritual practice on Scripture, NOT on our experience. If we don’t view our experiences in light of Scripture, but instead interpret Scripture in light of our experiences, we are on dangerous ground.
Can you think of times when out of control emotions have gotten you in trouble and caused you to make poor decisions? What about times you have rejected advice from friends, family or other believers and realized too late that you should have listened? How can this information help you for the future?