*DISCLAIMER* Despite some of the questions and comments presented in this interview, the desire was to keep the discussion solely about the dangerous theology and the precious souls who need to be rescued out of the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel movement. Check out the interview below and let us know your thoughts!
A few years ago, after lovingly warning a friend of the dangers of a particular false teacher she was going to see at a conference, she got offended with me and said something along the lines of “Don’t you think I have discernment?? I have the Holy Spirit! I will be able to discern or sense conviction if something’s not right??”
In this instance, my friend was putting an emphasis on what she believed the Holy Spirit was telling her by how it made her feel at the time and calling it discernment and conviction.
Beloved, that is not how we as Christians are to live. We are to walk in the Spirit and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16) which is found in the Word of God. Relying on our feelings means we are putting our confidence in our flesh, and our flesh will only lead us away from righteousness and God’s truth. Since the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), it can lead us astray if we rely on or try to follow its sometimes emotional leadings.
If the Word of God has spoken on something, you have been convicted. You don’t need to wait to feel conviction to obey, you have been led by the instruction of God-breathed scriptures to obey. We must search the scriptures to be able to learn how to walk in God’s ways.
Studying the Bible is how our mind is renewed and how we are sanctified as believers. We cannot walk in righteousness by how we feel if something is right or wrong and call it conviction.
I am sure there are ways I am accidentally or unknowingly violating God’s perfect law even though I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit- I still wrestle with a sin nature even as a believer. I must abide in Christ and die to self daily. We abide in Christ through faith by abiding in His Word by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Faith in Christ comes by hearing the Word of God after all:
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [k]of Christ”(Romans 10:17, NASB).
Since we cannot fully depend on our feelings to determine if something is sinful or not, we also cannot depend on our feelings to determine if something is true or false either.
In regards to discernment, are you testing against scripture? That is where we gain knowledge to be able to test all things and judge righteously. We must make sure everything we are hearing preached in the name of Christ lines up with His Holy written Word.
Friends, if I were just to depend on feelings, I would be wrong quite a lot. As believers we do not “sense it in our spirit”…that’s called human intuition.
Definition of intuition
1a: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference
b: immediate apprehension or cognition
c: knowledge or conviction gained by intuition
We don’t rely on intuition; we walk in the Spirit, dear ones.
Unless you are testing what the Holy Spirit is guiding you into by God’s Holy Word, you can’t be certain you aren’t being misled by Satan.
“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”(2 Corinthians 11:14, NASB).
Let us stand firm upon God’s Word and trust He has given us all we need in it for life and godliness as we lean upon the help of the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth that conforms us day by day into the image of Christ.
Charles Spurgeon once said,
“Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God: he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith, or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master’s commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord’s absolute command. The servant of God must endeavor to maintain all the truth which his Master has revealed to him, because, as a Christian soldier, this is part of his duty. But while he does so, he accords to others the liberty which he himself enjoys.”
Over this past year, my husband, Paul, and I have experienced a sense of urgency and heavy burden to preach truth in love and call out error through our online platform. We wouldn’t call it “fun.” It’s uncomfortable, but as followers of Christ, we know we are called to stand in boldness when God’s Word is being distorted.
In the epistle of Jude, he exhorts believers to be defenders of the faith, to hold fast to our message as Christians, the glorious gospel.
“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”Jude 1:3, NASB
Engaging in Christian apologetics in today’s culture is desperately needed when defending the faith, even within the Church and especially in America because error abounds. We must stand for truth and become defenders of the Christian faith that has stood the test of time for thousands of years, even when wolves come in to devour the flock (Matthew 7).
It isn’t about a single person being right. It is about God being right because He is. He is Truth. If we are His, we will want to grow in that truth, boldly proclaim it, and protect it from error, even if it makes us uncomfortable or even experience pain and rejection at times.
The gospel is offensive.
Truth can cut deep and point out things in us that we don’t want to see, but if we want to be conformed to the image of Christ, we must believe and follow truth.Tweet
We should not have to apologize for our zeal for God’s Word and His glorious gospel because without those precious gifts from the Lord to us, we would not be able to revel in the benefits of the good news or share it with others so that their fellowship with their Heavenly Father is restored.
As God’s children, we have been transformed by God’s love and mercy. We can live forgiven and free because of that. We should long to share that love with others by sharing truth found in the Bible, whether they have never heard the gospel, or they have strayed from its pure message and have begun following a false gospel.
We should never feel ashamed to share the hope of our message as believers, turning from our life in sin to turning to Christ alone who offers us new eternal life in Him that was purchased for us by His own blood. In Christ, we are forgiven. In Christ, we are God’s precious children. This is the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints of old and we must continue to pass it down to each generation and protect it from those who would want to twist its message.
Do you have a desire to share truth with a loved one who may be caught up in deception of a false gospel or on your social media platform to reach others for the gospel?
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the boldness and ask Him for a greater desire for His Word. It is so important to become a diligent student of God’s Word so that when the opportunity presents itself you are able to give a response for the hope that you have inside of you (1 Peter 3:15).
Stand firm, and march on in truth, soldier.
If you would like to learn more about my husband and I’s ministry, you can visit, www.wewouldratherhavejesus.com.
Today, I’m simply here to just write.
Vent, I guess you could say…
I’m going through something right now. Actually, my husband and I are both going through something right now.
Little by little, we have been placed in situations of surrender and letting go of things we were holding onto for security and comfort and learning how to fully trust God alone.
The freedom of being a stay-at-home mom to then take on a side job to help out some friends.
And now our place of Sunday worship.
Over the last several months, everything that has been the foundation of our faith has been challenged, and we are left unlearning a lot of things once again. We are searching out the scriptures to discover why we believe what we believe. And what we have discovered is that we don’t believe, or agree with, much of what we have been taught.
Needless to say, it’s been challenging…
…especially for my husband, Paul, since he sat under the same teaching for 20 plus years of his life (almost 25), and after we left the church he grew up at in 2010, we were led to a church whose pastor also sat under that very same teaching for years.
When you hear the same teaching for 20 plus years of your life and you trust your pastor more than God, you embrace what you are being told as truth.
And sometimes as the only truth.
But there’s a problem with that- we need to find truth in the Word of God alone and not necessarily an interpretation of what you are being told is truth. It becomes a danger because we never line up what is being said from the pulpit with what the Word of God really says. We should trust the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. We cannot just embrace everything that proceeds out of the pastor’s mouth because, honestly, he should know more than us, right?
Sadly, this happens more often than not in the churches of America. Many people do not read their Bible, and we put all the responsibility on the pastor to feed us, teach us, guide us. His job is to definitely help us learn, but most importantly, encourage us and equip us to go home and study out what we just heard. He was never supposed to walk out our walk with God for us.
A scripture taken out of context and twisted to fit our methods, principles, main points, and often, our fleshly desires, has been genetically modified, my friends. #SayNoToGMOTweet
We can’t just embrace everything we hear from people. It must line up with the totality of God’s Word, what is called the whole counsel of God. Not just one scripture…the WHOLE THING! Much of what is heard on a Sunday morning is out of context. We have experienced this first hand, and the Lord had to reveal it to us the more we studied out His Word for ourselves!
I don’t write all of this as a jab at any pastor or man/woman of God in particular, I’m just simply expressing where we are in our walk. We have been disappointed countless times by numerous teachers of God’s Word, whether those we have sat under, or those we have listened to through the information super-highway.
We aren’t giving up on the Church. Although we are disappointed, we aren’t surprised. The Word of God explains to us that this is going to happen in the Last Days. And clearly, we are in the Last Days!
My husband is responsible for our family. I am responsible for my own heart and what my son hears and has sown into his heart until he is old enough to guard his own heart.
Above all, we must always judge what we are hearing, even if it is coming from the pulpit.
Don’t allow people to tell you that you are not supposed to judge…
…that’s a real popular topic among believers and non-believers alike.
Jesus tells us:
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”John 7:24, NKJV
What is “righteous judgment?”
“Judgment” in Greek in this particular verse means “the concept of determining the correctness of a matter.”
Use the word of God to discern what is false and what is unrighteous (Hebrews 4:12).
“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”1 Timothy 6:3-5, ESV
Let the Word of God light your way, every single step. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and peace.
I’m holding onto the Word, who is also Jesus, the Word made flesh! He’s our only hope in these times of testing and times of deception we all face!