"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). W.E. Vine says of the meaning of discern, "a distinguishing, a clear discrimination, discerning, judging; is translated 'discerning' in I Cor. 12: 10 of discerning spirits, judging by evidence whether they are evil or of God. " Strong also agrees that it means to judge. Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience or their immaturity.
Many today believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name names. Liberals have always seemed to believe this, but in recent times it has been widely espoused by evangelicals and charismatics. Now we are seeing the same fatal error being declared by those who profess to be Bible believing fundamentalists. Those who are faithful in exposing error according to the Bible are now being widely denounced, and are accused of being unloving and unkind.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment " (John 7:24). Here our Lord commands that we are to "judge righteous judgment, " which is judgment based upon the Word of God. If judgment is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matt. 7: 1. Webster's Dictionary says that a judge is "one who declares the law. " The faithful Christian must discern or judge on the basis of God's inspired law, the Bible. A fornicator is described in I Cor. 5:1-13. Paul "judged" (v.3) the man even though he was absent, and he told the Church at Corinth that they were to "judge" (v. 12) those that were within. The Greek word for "judge" is the same here as in Matt. 7: 1. Paul did not violate "judge not, that ye be not judged, " in judging the man, nor in instructing the Church to judge also. All of this judgment was according to the Word of God.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4: 1).
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). Every message, messenger, and method is to be judged according to the Word of God. The church at Ephesus was commended because they had "tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars " (Rev. 2:2). The church at Pergamos was rebuked because they tolerated those that held "the doctrine of Balaam, " and "the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate" (Rev. 2:14,15). It is never right to tolerate false teachers, but they are to be tried by the Word of God, and exposed. Of course those who want to disobey the Word of God will seek by every means to avoid this teaching.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them " (Eph. 5:11). Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us " (II Thess. 3:6). We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God. The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind, for he says, "if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother" (II Thess. 3:14-15). Paul admonished Timothy to "withdraw thyself " from those who "consent not to wholesome words ... and to the doctrine which is according to godliness " (I Tim. 6:3-5).
We are to TURN AWAY from them. Concerning the last days, he says that some will have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" for such people are "never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (11 Tim. 3:5,7). How can we turn away from them if we do not identify them, and this requires that their message be compared to the Word of God. It is the business of the true preacher to: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine " (II Tim. 4:2). This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.
We are NOT to RECEIVE them into our house. "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds " (2John 1:10,11). There is no doubt about who John is speaking about, it is " Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ... " (v.9). By radio, TV, music and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!
We are to look out for those who preach another gospel. Paul warned about those who preached "another Jesus ... another spirit ... or another gospel" (II Cor. 11:4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ" (2 Cor. 11:13). He explains in v. 14-15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan.
Paul named Demas for loving the world. "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (II Tim. 4:10). Those who forsake the cause of Christ for worldly living and pleasures should be named and exposed. (Christian Rock!)
In fact, the whole Bible abounds in examples of false prophets being named and exposed. All this modem day talk about love, USED AS AN EXCUSE FOR NOT EXPOSING ERROR , is not really biblical love but merely sloppy agape.
Moses called the name of Balaam. (See Num. 22-25). Peter exposed "the way of Balaam ... who loved the wages of unrighteousness " (2 Pet. 2:15). Balaam was a prophet that was in the work for money, just like some of the TV false prophets today. They beg for money and live like kings, while multitudes of innocent people send them their hard earned money. They are always building colleges, hospitals, TV network satellites, and amusement parks that have a water slide for Jesus. And then we are supposed to keep our mouth shut about these religious charlatans. How can we be silent and be true to God?
Jude exposed "the error of Balaam " (Jude 11)."Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." 2Peter 2:17-22 "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 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. 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." John exposed "the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication " (Rev. 2:14). This gets right to the heart of the matter, concerning the doctrine of separation. Balaam never did curse Israel even though he wanted the wages that he was offered to do so. The men of Israel committed "whoredom with the daughters of Moab ... and bowed down to their gods " (Num. 25:1,2). Why did they do this? Because Balaam taught Balac how to break down the barrier of separation between the Moabites and the Israelites. We know this to be so because it is plainly stated in Rev. 2:14 and Num. 31:16. This sin resulted in 24,000 men of Israel dying under the judgment of God. Separation from the world is important.
It seems to be believed by many that some people are too high and mighty to be named or exposed. Men in high places, pastors of large churches, and those with great radio or TV audiences, are supposedly above criticism. Whatever they may do or say, no matter how contrary to the Bible it may be, is supposedly all right. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
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