Good day, Kingdom Friends!
The Lord spoke to me recently about something I noticed while driving through town that I would like to share today. With recent events unfolding within the church, I am understanding the correlation between the two. Allow me to attempt to unpack what has been revealed and the instruction that comes with it.
As I was running errands one afternoon, I was passing through an intersection and noticed a truck. It was stopped about eight car lengths back in the turning lane, and no vehicles were in front of it. As I passed by, I noticed the truck had its hazard lights on. I observed a vehicle stopped behind this truck. Initially, I thought that it was stopped behind the truck to assist the person in the truck. However, as I passed, I realized that car did not have its hazard lights on; but rather, its turn signal. The person didn’t recognize that the truck was incapacitated and not able to move. Because of how closely the car was stopped behind the truck, it could not see past the truck to notice that there were no other cars ahead of them. The light was green, but traffic wasn’t moving because the truck was not functioning.
As I continued to drive past the area, I noticed that more cars were continuing to line up behind the stopped car, not recognizing that the light was green, yet traffic wasn’t moving. Even though the approaching cars were coming off of a slight hill and could easily see the green light and there was no other traffic ahead, not even in the other lanes, they continued to line up behind the incapacitated truck. I recognized that the approaching vehicles were not looking past the immediate situation to recognize the stoppage and go around.
Photo by Alex King (Unsplash)
I compare this situation to people who will follow a person or teaching without discerning for themselves it is biblically sound. In Acts 17:10-12, it speaks of Paul and Silas going unto Berea to preach the gospel. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Note in this passage, the people of Berea received what was being preached to them with readiness of mind. Another translation says they were more open-minded than the Jews in Thessalonica. Paul and Silas had previously been in Thessalonica and were sent away, because they were in the synagogue, reasoning with them from scripture preaching Jesus as Christ. The Jews in Thessalonica who were not persuaded became angry and sought to harm Paul and Silas because they were preaching that there was a different king than Caesar.
By contrast, the Bereans allowed Paul and Silas to preach to them and they considered what was being taught. Instead of throwing them out because it was different from the law, they didn’t immediately reject it. The other side of this is that they did not immediately accept it. The word says, they searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. So instead of blindly following their tradition, and instead of blindly following the “new” preachers, they studied the scriptures for themselves to determine whether what was being taught lined up. The basis for evaluating whether this “new” teaching should be considered was the holy scriptures.
In a day and age when it seems everyone is expressing a “new revelation” or new way to think and believe, there are many followers who revere their leader, pastor, shepherd or the charismatic television evangelist or social media prophet so much that they do not seek to assess whether the teaching is Biblically sound. People are not being taught that anything that contradicts scripture does not come from Holy Spirit.
Part of the problem is that the Christian faith and the Bible have been so widely attacked as being too judgmental and too dogmatic, that it has caused some to question their faith. While prophecy is necessary to the Body of Christ, some emphasize the rhema (spoken) word over the logos (written) word. Because of the mystique that some feel the gift of prophecy holds, the door has been opened to teachings that at first sound like the word of God; but when examined further, it is leading people away from the foundation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The instruction is that we must be discerning and wise when listening to the ones in the pulpits, whether it’s our pastor, a guest speaker, a minister or elder that is delivering the message. Just because a word that is being circulated on social media is inspiring and encouraging, we are accountable to assess for ourselves whether what has been taught lines up with scripture, instead of receiving every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:11-14).
Let us study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15) that we may be able to discern when someone attempts to lead us astray. Let us pray for wisdom and understanding, for greater foresight to see the dangers beyond our current position. Do not allow yourself or anyone else to be intimidated by the Word or believe that others have revelation or understanding that you could never have. We have access to information and insight ourselves. Especially with the advancement of technology, we have access to commentaries, translations, dictionaries and other resources that generations before us had much more difficulty obtaining. Let us pray that Holy Spirit extends our vision to discern situations that, at first glance, appear right, but upon a more detailed review we are able to see issues that cause us to question our approach and avoid unnecessary delay to our progress. Pray that we are able to help others search scripture and study for themselves so they are not easily led astray.
We are in a time more than ever before that we much rightly divide the Word, so as not to be deceived. There are many teachings and new doctrines being promoted that are so similar to the gospel, that if you are not diligent to know the Word for yourself, you may unknowingly be led astray. Let us not become stuck because we are following someone or some teaching so closely that we don’t “look ahead” and seek out understanding for ourselves. Beloved, we must be able to not only know the Word for ourselves and discern the spirit in which a prophecy and teaching is given but also be able to articulate to others how it does not line up with our foundation.
See Far & Perceive!