The late Larry Thomas in his “Spiritual Discernment” seminar told of how he was once part of a very large ministry, which held daily devotional and prayer meetings among the ministers. The ministry leaders would take turns each day sharing from the word of God. One day it was Larry’s turn to minister, and instead of the Bible, Larry brought his leather appointment book to the pulpit. Instead of using the scripture, Larry began preaching from the quotes that were at the head of each page in his appointment book. Larry began quoting the words of people such as Confucius and Mark Twain, and every once in a while he would throw in a King James ‘thee‘ or ‘thou’ just to make it sound good. There were several hundred people present at this meeting. People were hooting and hollering “Preach it Larry!” and “Amen” so much so, that Larry jokingly said that revival almost broke out. Larry let this charade continue for several minutes, before he told the people what he was doing. Pastor Larry was showing his friends, the great need for spiritual discernment in the church of Jesus Christ.
Whenever error is being preached from a pulpit without being contested it will continue to fester and only get worse. This is what happens when people ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit to speak up. The best defense against false teaching is to know the Word of God for yourself. If a person truly wants to know the truth then the Holy Spirit will guide them into the truth. The question is this: Do you want to know the truth? Sometimes the things that the Lord is showing you in His Word will be completely contradictory to what is being preached from the pulpit. Then what do you do? That is what happened during the reformation. Simple people began to read the Word of God for themselves, and they saw that the Roman Catholic tradition did not line up with the Word of God. I can testify myself that it was the Word of God that opened my eyes to that very same deception, and I had a choice to make. I could either CHOOSE to stay and sit under false teaching, or I could CHOOSE to leave in obedience to the Word of God.
The Jewish apostle Paul declared that the Spirit told him that some people (living souls) would depart from the faith, AFTER being SEDUCED by doctrines of devils (demons). Here is what Paul said:
“Now the SPIRIT speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1 Timothy 4:1)
Please notice that Paul specifically mentioned the Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) as the one who declared that there would be some people who would depart from the faith, after they gave heed to seducing spirits and doctrines (teachings) of devils (demons). The Jewish apostle John declared that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and it was HE, who would guide the BELIEVER into ALL truth.
“Howbeit when HE, the SPIRIT of TRUTH, is come, HE will guide you into all TRUTH: for HE shall not speak of HIMSELF; but whatsoever HE shall hear, that shall HE speak: and HE will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)
The Greek word for depart that is found in 1 Timothy 4:1 is the word APHISTEMI which means to remove, instigate to revolt, desert, depart, draw (fall) away, refrain, withdraw self.
Do not miss the truth here that these doctrines have been attributed to devils (demons). We as believers must never forget that we are in a very real battle against demonic forces, and they play for keeps. This particular warning was given about two thousand years ago, and it is as applicable today as it was all the way back then.
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20)
It is of utmost importance that the believers in Jesus Christ know the Word of God for themselves. The Lord will always minister to us within the confines of His Word. When you start seeing and hearing things within your church that are not biblical then you most definitely are putting yourself in great spiritual danger. I remember viewing some videos from actual Evangelical church meetings, where one congregant was chained to a dog leash on his knees while another congregant walked him around the room like a dog. These meetings were supposedly revival meetings. At another meeting a woman declared that the Lord asked her if she would publicly howl like a wolf. She said she wanted to obey the Lord, and she began howling like a wolf. I do not write this to entertain, but only to show you that we most definitely are living in perilous times.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1 Timothy 4:1)
We all need to guard our hearts against the demonic doctrines that abound today. If we search the scriptures and meditate upon the Word of God, the Lord will give us the spiritual discernment that we need, and the Holy Spirit will be our faithful guide.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)