DISCERNMENT AND THE NEED TO ADDRESS FALSE TEACHERS

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By Gail Grace on August 29, 2013 and 4 September 2013

“DISCERNMENT is NOT knowing the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. It is knowing the difference between RIGHT and ALMOST RIGHT.” -Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
– 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

You know, there are those who always speak of “not throwing out the baby with the bathwater” or “keeping the meat and spitting out the bones”, two very anti-scriptural statements. Where the Word states, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” [1 Thes. 5:21], this does not mean we sit under false teachers and only keep the true parts. We are to abhor evil! The very best counterfeits are those which closest resemble the real; but as a good pastor I know once said to me, “How much arsenic do you want in your water?”

Now, I am aware there are some “discernment ministries” as well as certain individuals, which have done nothing but make themselves the self appointed Holy Spirit, and criticize as heresy every single doctrinal difference, whether it be essential non-negotiable doctrine, or minor secondary issues which do not pertain to Salvation. None the less, The Word of God is to be for us commandments to live by, not mere suggestions to follow if we feel like it. The warnings contained therein are given for our own sake. God has also given us the Body of believers we fellowship with, and when several within this Body try to warn us of impending danger, we would be wise to at least investigate the claims, and when they are verified, then act upon them. We should never refuse to listen, just because we may like the teacher they warn of. I trust God knows best what we need to hear, and obey, but so many would rather ignore His Word, when it means they must forsake listening to a favoured teacher. I believe God grants mercy for ignorance, but wilful rebellion is a different and far more serious matter; and all who place allegiance to any man above obedience to Him, is playing with fire, and if not risking eternal damnation, at least risk severe loss and chastising in this life.

God has not left His Church lacking for any good thing. He has called and equipped SOUND teachers to cover every Biblical topic imaginable. We have no need to pick out the good from the evil from false teachers, when through modern technology, there are so many sound sources we can access. We also have no excuse to ignore warnings issued by those who care about our souls, especially when they make an effort to furnish documentation of their warning. We SHOULD seek for this verification, however, and not simply believe slander, since Satan will slander true men of God just as well as he will promote his heretical servants.

Now these are the Words of God, what He has to say about how false teachers and how we ought to respond to them: [ please note the glaring absence of allusions to babies and bathwater, meat and bones.]

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Gal 4:16

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:37

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said.

“I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.“And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”Says the Lord Almighty.

Ezekiel 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

Acts 20:28-31Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over that which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Romans 16: v 17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Galatians 1: 8-10 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately 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 words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, 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. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 4:2-5 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”