Disruption of the Peace (akatastasia: confusion and tumults)

Disruption of the Peace

Robert Wurtz II

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults. (2 Corinthians 2:20)

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:16-18)

You will notice in the passages that I have underlined three words. These words are translated from the same Greek word akatastasia. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) defines the word as “a disruption of the peace.” This makes sense as we apply that definition to each passage. To the Corinthian church Paul writes that God does not author “disruptions of the peace” but He authors peace itself. Peace is harmony and concord. Later, Paul wrote to the Corinthians again saying he was in fear that when he came to them that they would be experiencing many bad things — not the least of which was akatastasia (confusion/disruptions of their peace). In other words, there would be conflict. 

James takes up the same subject in James 3:16. He then adds; where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Where there is bitter jealousy and a party spirit (rivalry), their is both akatastasia (confusion/disruptions of their peace) and every evil practice. Rivalry and party spirit destroy the cohesiveness of the community of Saints, which is built on unity and love. Once the “glue” is destroyed, all kinds of evil floods into the church. This is why it is essential to zoom out and see who is authoring such a scenario. 




What Spirit Are We Moving In?

By implication, Paul is clearly pointing to Satan as the author of disruptions of the peace. He is behind the events that bring conflict into the churches. Once strife and confusion begins, a situation develops that allows all kinds of evil to come in. I once heard of a congregation that was fighting among each other to the point that one of them tore the cross off the wall and threw it out the back door. Imagine that. Now, I’m not superstitious. I know there is no power in a stick of wood made in the form of a cross. However, the conflict had become so sharp that nothing was sacred anymore and everything was fair game. Once they started attacking one another as the real Church — it was a light thing to do harm to the church building.


What is really shocking is that the saints were so stirred up that they could not think straight. In times like these there needs to be a voice of reason (such as Paul was in his letter) to call them back to their senses. His words were like a bucket of cold water to sober their minds. He put the trouble makers on notice and called the congregation back to unity.  When the same names kept popping up every time there was trouble it would seem that the people could have gotten some discernment. Nevertheless, Paul got word from the house of Chloe that there were quarrels going on. 

Diabolic Discernment 

James answers the question when he stated, This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. (James 3:15) This is sobering. Imagine a Christian congregation where people are using “demonic wisdom” on one another. They think they are hearing from God or that God is helping them “discern” things; but they are actually moving in the demonic. How can you tell? Because what they are doing is destroying the church not building it up. 


Although the people may invoke God’s name in what they are doing, understand that God didn’t author it. The church at Corinth was dealing with so much madness that it’s hard to imagine Paul referring to them as Saints. They were fornicating in secret and suing one another with the law in public! Paul was embarrassed on God’s behalf. Carnality had so overtaken the people, that not only was one group saying “I am of Christ” — but another was saying Christ was accursed when he/she prophesied. What happened to these people? Answer: Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.



The Devil’s Normandy Invasion

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”
(Ephesians 4:26–27 NKJV)

Place is from the Greek topos that is root for our word topography. When anger and wrath between Saints goes un-dealt with a feud develops. Out of that feud arises a beachhead… a landing strip if you will for the Devil to invade the churches. Like a scene from WWII the enemy forces his way up the beach and into the assembly. He lands his freighters onto the tarmac and scores of weapons begin pouring out. Before we even know what has happened the enemy has made a mocking stock of the church that God intended to be a light and an example in the community. 

There was so much compromise at Corinth, that there is no doubt the environment was hostile. Everyone was likely suspicious of the next person. Then they resorted to carnal means when dealing with their issues. They were so in the flesh that Paul could hardly get a radar fix on these people. They were looking to mans’ law courts to deal with the churches’ issues. As if the world has any business with God’s people. Paul told them, For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults. Paul told the Corinthians to get their act together and fast. He tells them plainly, “I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare.” (2 Corinthians 13:2)  

We do not know what kind of punishment Paul has in mind. He had already written to turn one man over to Satan and of others who were sick and had died for not discerning the Lord’s body. Nevertheless, it is clearly a dangerous thing to be a threat or an encumbrance to the churches of God. The people needed to recognize that it was the Devil who was stirring the people to sin and to divide. He was using people who were “prophetic” to stir the people even more. 


Filled with the spirit of Satan

God always calls the churches to love, unity, and holiness. The Devil brings in sin and compromise as surely as he does bitter jealousy and rivalry. It is all carnality and confusion. But it is no excuse to simply “blame the Devil.” Satan filled Ananias and Sapphira’s heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and both of them dropped dead on separate occasions. This is serious business. God is concerned about His churches. He has purchased them with His own blood. We do well to put all of these things away from our midst and be ever vigilant to make sure we guard against them. We must love one another with a pure heart — fervently. We must put away from our ranks those who insist on “disrupting the peace.” With the love of Christ as our “glue” the churches can withstand a great many attacks of the enemy. Without it we will stopple down like a building being imploded. It is only a matter of time.   

Face to Face With The Devil

Face to Face With The Devil

Robert Wurtz II

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:16-18)

Paul was on his way to prayer and was met by this demon possessed girl on a daily basis. He faced a “prophetic voice” that was trying to speak into his life. Perhaps we can call it flattery, but the enemy was speaking to him with more than mere words. There was a spirit who was backing that word. It was demonic; meaning it was energized by demonic forces. This gave it a power to make an effect beyond just normal speaking. What happened? Paul was worn out, grieved, annoyed and made indignant by this demon’s antics. 

As this went on for a number of days, Paul discerned that this was more than a mere woman’s voice — it was a demon talking to him. Think of the enormity of that fact. This was a brazen move on the part of the enemy. He came face to face with Paul day after day. Perhaps the demon’s strategy was to keep talking to Paul, through this young woman, until he got an ear from Him. He was relentless. He was going to break Paul or Paul was going to break him. This was a confrontation. 



The devil will likewise test all people that God is using to advance His Kingdom. He is working to hinder the working of God. He wants to interrupt our devotional life and get us distracted from God. He lures us with thoughts and words. He entices us with sounds and images. He will use whatever or whomever he can to turn our eyes off Jesus and get them on something or someone else. Finally, Paul discerned what was happening. It was a moment of illumination. God jerked the cover back and revealed the face of the enemy. What happened?

But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Paul was in a place spiritually where he could simply speak the word and the demon came out. God is no respecter of persons. The saints can deal with demonic forces, as necessary, just as did Paul. What’s the alternative? Allow the enemy to take over our lives? God forbid! 

Sometimes we don’t need to argue with the devil — we need to REBUKE him (as Paul did). There are some thoughts that come into our minds that we should not bother entertaining; they need to be rebuked. Don’t ponder them. Cast them down! Bring the thoughts into captivity. If they are contrary to God and His word they are coming from the enemy and need to be rebuked. 

The Enemy at Work

Where is the enemy working to bring down the saints? Is it flattery from a coworker of the opposite sex? Rebuke it! Cast that thought down. Is there a temptation to sin coming from somebody? Is the enemy using someone to “stir you up” to sin as did Jezebel her husband Ahab? Rebuke their words and them if necessary! Paul had to do it. And we should do it, when necessary. Paul refused to allow anyone or anything to come between him and God. He was not about to allow the enemy to continue vexing him. Paul was no novice. He knew the seriousness of the enemies plan. Satan plays for keeps. We are in a mortal warfare. 

“Seeing” the Enemy at Work

Sometimes God has to open our eyes and minds about things to allow us to see them for what they truly are. Once our mind thinks rightly about something — we will act. Sometimes this is what is at issue. We simply don’t see something for what it truly is. Sometimes it is a person. We don’t see them for what they truly are. Some people are messengers from the enemy to try to trip us up; to scandalize us. 


When we see something rightly we will do what Paul did and look to God for the power to overcome what we are facing. The first step is to “want to.” But our mind and our feelings (our opinion) have to line up with what’s right. If not, we will not want to act. We will just go on listening to and tolerating the enemy until he has sucked us into his scheme. We must be sober and discerning. Not everything that praises us is of God. It could be the bait on the hook that the Devil wants to use to reel us in. 



The Human Relay

The Human Relay
Robert Wurtz II

Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 KJV)

Several weeks ago I shared an article I entitled Commercial Christianity that sparked some interesting and insightful conversations on sermonindex.net. I would like to visit an important point that was brought up by bro. Mike C. that has had me thinking ever sense. He writes:

“Over 100 years ago, Samuel Morse demonstrated how long distant communication would soon become mass communication. The invention he used to anticipate mass communication was not the telegraph but the repeater. Morse’s telegraph had an upper range of less then 300 miles, and so every 200 miles the railroads would hire a man to sit in a remote outpost to receive and resend the incoming messages. It wasn’t long before they realized this repeat could be achieved just by mechanically linking the receiver coil to another sender coil, to begin a new 200 mile loop. In this way a single message was able to criss-cross a national network.

So the telegraph enabled long distant communication, but it was the invention of the relay or the repeater that opened the door to mass communication.

We human beings often overlook, or can’t see, that we can be just another type of relay or repeater in the circuitry of mass communication if we aren’t careful. I find that many people can hardly tell the different between someone else’s mind and their own.” 

The resender

While visiting a Museum in southern Missouri last week I came across a display that was a visual for M.C’s comments. 

This relay is a simple electromechanical device that resends a message identical to what was sent to it. It has no way whatsoever to discern, nor is it concerned with the accuracy or relevance of what it transmits. As the old saying goes, “good in = good out” or “garbage in = garbage out.” M.C. brings the application home in real terms, We human beings often overlook, or can’t see, that we can be just another type of relay or repeater in the circuitry of mass communication if we aren’t careful.” Certainly we don’t want to be blind repeaters. But we can be, if we are not careful. How can we be careful?
Prove all things
The solution for abuse is not “non-use” it is “right-use”. To prevent ourselves from becoming mindless repeaters of information we need to act more like a firewall. Firewall’s are intended to prevent unwanted intrusions into computers or literal fires into the passenger compartment of a car. We can‘t stop other people from being repeaters, but we can make sure the false information stops with us. Because once we resend something or repeat something we are responsible for passing it on. This is why everything needs to be tested. Paul gives us counsel, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24) A good question to ask is “is this helpful?” Another good question to ask, “does it edify (build up).” How can we know what is helpful or edifying?
Is it true?
As Christians we need to know if what we are about to “repeat” is true. This means, true to the facts. We also want to know if what we are repeating is true Biblically. Paul told us that our loins are to be gird about with truth. This is what holds all of our armor together. Jesus told us that we are to worship in “spirit and in truth”. This is contrasted with “soul and in lies”. What we teach needs to be true. what we sing needs to be true. Our Christian example needs to be true. Why? Because someone is going to repeat them. Are they repeatable? 
Nothing is more important to our spiritual survival than our attitude towards truth. If we have a slapdash attitude towards truth we will be deceived. If we live in the realm of approximations, we are vulnerable. That is to say, if we are haphazard about how we think about things or how we divide the word of truth and measure doctrines, teachings, miracles, prophesies, etc., then we are apt to be deceived. We have to learn to think critically. Don’t just believe everything you hear and then repeat it. Some saying sound very good and tickle the ears but they are false. Some things make sense to the natural man, but they are contrary to sound doctrine. 
Standing for truth
Standing for truth means we have to be on guard against lies. We can’t even worship God unless it is in spirit and in truth. If something is discovered to have been founded on lies we are to put it away and speak only truth. Sometimes I get apologetic emails from Christian’s that passed a story on only to find out later that it was all a farce. It is good to write a retraction when we have passed on error, but what happens when a lie is discovered and it is already embedded in the hearer? 
I recall a story of a man of God that was asked to do a radio interview in a studio. As the show comes on the host employed “canned applause” as if there were an audience. He then announced the man’s name and welcomed him. The man of God stopped him. “This is all false,” he says… “There is no one here in this studio with us!” needless to say the man of God was shown the door. but we need to have an attitude towards truth like that. Away with lies and fabrications. Away with pretense. God is not interested in a show, He desires truth in the inward parts. Our culture has ruined many of Christian for truth. Will God receive service that is founded on a lie? Obviously not, because He already said we must worship in Spirit and in Truth. If we cannot take a stand for truth in the small things, we will never stand the test when the real battle comes. 
Who am I? 
I wish to close these thoughts by examining M.C.’s final comment, “I find that many people can hardly tell the difference between someone else’s mind and their own.” I recall in High School a situation in which a student was behaving very similarly to another student. My English teacher identified the behavior as “an affected personality”. I have heard of disorders like this, but she really was searching for a way to describe how the person had become a “repeater” of the other person’s mannerisms. The danger is that the person was losing their own identity while subconsciously imitating their friend.
When we constantly feed on repeated information, we allow others to do all the thinking for us. As Christians this will never do. We have to get alone with God and in our own heart allow God to speak to us. This is not to say that good teaching is not useful, but we need to prove everything that seeks to influence us and become a part of our thinking process. This is especially true for teachers. James said that teachers (masters) will receive the greater or stricter judgment. (James 3:1 KJV) We have this historical account in Acts, Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11 ESV) These events were ca. 49 AD. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians that we quoted from above dates to ca. 52 AD. They were not very discerning in the beginning, but Paul exhorted them, “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Why? Because we are accountable for what we repeat. 
     

    

  

Testing the Sweetness

Testing the Sweetness
Robert Wurtz II


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

In our previous entry entitled, “I’ve Been to the Mountain” we discussed the importance of going on with God through a process of “walking”. We employed the Ark of the Covenant motif as our illustration. The Ark was to be carried on the shoulders of four priests and not on a cart. We said that a “cart” represents the machinery of our times that men employ to simulate a move of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Bear in mind that the Holy Spirit is not a tingle or a mystical feeling, but a person with a character. A false presence of God cannot provide the people with love, joy, peace or unity among the brethren. When the sensation lifts there will be strife and confusion. This is how we know it is false. It is an impotent spirit. The true Holy Spirit cannot come lest He bring His fruit with Him. In this entry I wish to take this phenomena to its next faze and examine the dangers of such practices.

The spirit of the meeting

There is a spirit that when manifest dispels the sweetness of the Holy Spirit and leaves in its wake confusion and division. This spirit will seek to strong-arm God’s people by utilizing the dreadfulness employed by the Old Testament Prophets, upon New Covenant Christians. What did James say? “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17 ESV). These are eight things we can use to test the spirits of the prophets under the New Covenant. This dreadful Old Testament attitude that has no place under the New Covenant, sought to infiltrate the Disciples as they ministered in Samaria. What happened? When the people did not respond to Jesus, they desired to “call fire down from Heaven.” This can be both literal and figurative; for James had already said in the preceding verses; “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (James 3:6 ESV). The “fire of hell” sometimes imitates “fire from heaven.” It is an impostor. There is a spirit that imitates the Old Testament Prophets, lacking the gentleness, mercy and good fruits associated with the dispensation of the Grace of God (Ephesians 3:2). It is the spirit that drove the Disciples when Jesus told them, “You know not what manor (sort) of spirit you are of.” They were moving in a destructive spirit. If this spirit ever gets a foothold in the churches of God we are doomed. 

The character of  the Holy Spirit
 
When Paul left Ephesus he commended the church to God and to the Word of His grace. Paul had absolutely no confidence in those that were converted under his ministry. In fact, he warned the leaders day and night with tears that after he left, chaos and destruction would move in. He wrote; For I know this, that savage wolves will come in after my departure, not sparing the flock. Also from among you yourselves will arise men speaking things having been distorted, in order to draw away the disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30 ESV). Notice he said “savage wolves” that would not spare the flock. This is the antithesis of the role of a pastor/shepherd. Ambitious men will come in and exert their will at the expense of the blood-bought flock of God. The flock would diminish as the shepherd pursued their own aims. Paul continues, “They will speak ‘distorted things'”. The solution? Paul commended them to God and to the Word of His grace. 

 The Holy Spirit is a gentle Spirit that moves in the sweetness of love, joy, peace, gentleness, temperance, meekness, etc. of a shepherd watching over the flock. He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment to come and sometimes goads; but when a person stops resisting Him He pours in love and joy (Romans 5:5). But there is another spirit that seeks to control the people rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work. Returning briefly to our last several entries, we are not at liberty to “put our hands on the Ark of God.” What does that mean? People have to learn to be led of the Spirit so they can follow God on their own- independent spiritually of others that would be their spiritual counsel. 

I recall hearing the story of a woman that had turned her life to Christ, but she was a smoker. The elders of her assembly, wanting her to learn to hear from God herself, trusted God. One day she came to them and said, “The Lord told me it is OK to smoke.” They did not correct her. They did not give her a “directive prophesy”. They simply trusted God to lead her. A number of months later she came back and said, “I’ve been talking to the Lord and He said it is time to stop smoking.” The attitude of those elders is exemplary. We need to allow God to establish His authority in a person’s life. If she had been subject to controlling people she would have never learned to be led of the Spirit. It’s a bitter pill, but we need to swallow it in this crisis hour. The sheep need to learn to be taught of the Shepherd. We can touch that Ark in a person and wound them for life if we are not careful.    

 Modern day destroyers

Like the church at Ephesus, the churches of God have suffered a great many fads over the last 100 years. This is largely due to some specific errors that the enemy has employed to disable the churches warning systems. One of those is a general attitude that we should not judge (discern) manifestations or ministers. Add to that Psalm 105:15 (touch not the Lord’s anointed and do my prophets no harm) and you have a recipe for total devastation. Although Jesus commended the Ephesians in Revelation 2:2 for testing the false apostles Paul warned them about in Acts 20; finding them to be liars, there came a generation in he 1990’s that made exposing false prophets and teachings a damnable sin – worthy of the judgment of God. These fads, false teachers and falsehoods left carnage of immense proportions. Why? People like to chase some new thing. The stories are a dime a dozen. Some of these falsehoods and fads get picked up and recycled from time to time when folk don’t know the history or they are looking for something novel. From the so-called “Holy Ghost Bartender” to the would-be healing ministry of a man that boasted of kicking a woman in the face with his biker boot at the Lord’s direction, we have seen it all in the last 25 years. One common denominator: there was an evil spirit that dispelled the sweetness of the Holy Spirit from the room and all that was left was to manufacture a sense of presence of God that fooled the masses. And fool many they did. One thing I noticed, it always divided the churches.


Bubbling up the bubbly

I recall once waking up in the middle of the night having fallen asleep on the couch. The TV had been playing on a popular Christian network. On the screen were people lying on their backs as if dead, all over the floor of a church auditorium. The speaker was walking around mumbling things that I cannot recall. A fear seized me; not a holy or Godly fear, but a fear similar to if I had woke up and an evil horror movie had been playing. I knew that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind. This man was a very popular speaker at the time in Charismatic circles and I may have had one of his books. I can’t recall as it has been almost 18 years ago. But at that moment, I knew something was amiss. There was an evil there that should not have been. And when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them. Many people just pretended it was not happening and warned not to touch the Lord’s anointed. I have written along this line in the past, but Derek Prince once said that Charismatics are particularly vulnerable to demonic spirits because they think that everything that happens supernatural is of God. It is not. The problem is that it is impossible for some people to acknowledge that something is not of God once they have been involved in it. But evil spirits have been known to fool even the very elect of God’s people.  

I’m gonna fire somebody!

On a different occasion I was attending a large meeting of another popular healing evangelist. I had followed this person’s ministry very closely and attended many crusades even traveling out-of-state. In the middle of the meeting, just after the worship service, something happened that changed my perspective forever. Over the platform there was a little light that kept going off and the people in the sound booth would press a button and it would come back on. I had a unique view of it from where I was sitting. It was obviously a technical problem. Suddenly the popular evangelist stepped to the front and said in a mean spirited voice, “I’m gonna fire someone if they don’t get that fixed! Because Je-sus deserves our best…” I was taken aback and in total disbelief. Here was a man that was leading the people in worship and yet “just-like-that” he turned on a dime into this “person” that was anything but Christlike; and all over a little light bulb. He showed me who he was and I believed him. Needless to say, that that was the beginning of the end for that as far as I was concerned. What happens? People live double lives. They are “the nice guy” on the stage and are ruthless in private. I wondered after that what his employees must suffer? Talk to people that have worked with him in ministry behind the scenes and see what kind of reputation he/she has. Talk to unbelievers and see what the report is (1 Timothy 3:7 ESV). If we would do that, we would stop a lot of trouble at the gates before it ever became a problem.

The outcome of their life

There is a passage in Hebrews that is insightful; “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7). Notice the phrase, consider the outcome of their life. Watch and see what happens. I have known on many occasions for Christians to be in disagreement and even split-up friendships because the one saw the error and the other did not; but when the “minister” in question was caught in scandal we were able to apply this Hebrews 13:7. What does it say? “Consider the outcome of their life.” This is tremendous wisdom. I have personally sat under ministers in meetings that were very questionable. The elders would even question their actions. Some have backslidden and are no longer a minister at all. How did they get under the radar? Sometimes it is due to friendships or relationships. People are often blindest to those that are closest to them. It’s not until they get angry at them that they take off their blinders and spill the beans. Some of the time people are duped because they were performing miracles, prophesying and a host of other things; but there was a serious problem all along in these situations. There was something in the inner man of certain leaders that was shouting, NO! No! No! This is all wrong. Their warnings went unheeded. What does the scripture teach? In the multitude of counselors there is safety. When the deck is stacked to run a person through the ropes disaster is looming.

Acknowledging the signs

How could a host of people fall for a Todd Bentley? He dressed himself like the Hell’s Angels biker gang and nobody thought anything of it. Unlike the days of old when men would get saved and try to cover the evidences of their past sinful life with long sleeve shirts, this person flaunted it. That is how deeply they desired to distance themselves from a sinful identity. They were ashamed of their old life. What did the followers say about Bentley? “Don’t judge!” Why? Because in Charismatic circles miracles trump everything else. I tremble to say it, but I am persuaded to believe that a person could dress like the Devil himself: red suit, horns and all and some people would say, “Don’t judge!” If you give a word that is “on” you are considered legit. My advice? If you would not trust the person to watch your children you probably should not trust them to speak into your life. Would it surprise you to know that William Branham was said to have never once given a false prophesy? We know how that ended. Some people were so duped that they believed God would raise him from the dead after he died. Derek Prince in his book, “Protection from Deception” described the situation well. But that is the danger. Warning sign after warning sign and they are overlooked one by one. Before it is over with a person has to totally rearrange their belief system to accommodate the person. The attitude becomes, “If they make mean spirited comments? No problem. Kick a woman in the face with your biker boot? No problem”. And to think that well intentioned Christians divide over whether these type people are legit. It is a simple thing to say, but if you have to abandon your common sense when you come to the meeting, that is usually a good sign something is amiss. Better to obey God and discern rightly in these things than it is to become a statistic.

What about the sweetness?

One of the first signs towards Jesus Christ was that the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon Him. The Holy Spirit was at His ear. And when the Holy Spirit is truly at work there will be a holy sweetness to His ministry; the fruit of love, joy and peace will permeate all that He does. Christ-likeness will be manifest. But are these the criteria in our times? When was the last time you heard of a meeting being promoted on the basis of the love, joy and peace that is manifest in the meeting? When was the last time you heard a testimony, “Oh, how they love one another!” as in the book of Acts? I said in the beginning; “There is a spirit that when manifest dispels the sweetness of the Holy Spirit and leaves in its wake confusion and division.” It is the spirit that sought to infiltrate the Disciples and Jesus rebuked. Something is wrong when the “spirit” we are of does not promote the unity of the Brethren. If discord and confusion are the fruit, we know God is not the author. Selah. 



 
  

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