Heresy Hunters-Discernment Ministries-Sound Doctrine?

What is “Sound Doctrine”? Are we being built up in sound doctrine? That depends on what we are doing in our Christian walk. Are we staying in the Master’s House, in the Bible, or are we listening to or reading commentaries of others take on what God is saying?

Sound Doctrine – Reserved Only For The Matthew 13:8 Good Ground

Are we reporting on what the devil is doing?…. which only gives him more power….in the church, or even in our own lives. And, are we speaking the Truth in Love? One time the Lord corrected me rather sternly when I was critical of some obviously wrong things that were going on in a church I belonged to at the time. This had to do with the new preacher the church had hired. The Lord said this to me,
This is MY CHURCH, not your Church. You are to simply speak the Truth in Love”. In other words, it was not up to me to do any correcting. Truth- there is sin in a multitude of words. Or, hasty words. Sometimes it shows far more spiritual maturity to be silent on a matter and simply go to the Lord in prayer, and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal which course to take. It may that of simply minding our own business, and allowing the Lord to work things out, whatever the problem may be.

“Many believers and even ministers are afraid to go to the Word and obtain revelation from the Holy Spirit. They depend on someone else’s revelation or insight. Many churchgoers have formed most of their doctrine from the Pastor’s doctrine.

Ø Evaluate your own doctrine.

Ø Is it based on what you were taught by a minister?

Ø Or is it based on you being in the written word, and in relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s anointing inside of you, being taught of God?

Rev 1:6

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion

Does this mean I do not need my Pastor? God Forbid, Pastors are called to feed God’s sheep. They are a gift to you whereby God’s anointing will speak to you.

I Jn 2:27

But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (NKJ)

Jesus is the Word of God and you must have a relationship with the Word. No one can have that relationship for you. The Pharisee knew the written word not the Living Word or they would have recognized Jesus when He appeared to them. You also will miss Jesus’ appearing in your walk if you don’t know Him Who is the Word.

John 5:38-39

“But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (NKJ)

Ø Only those that seek Him diligently in His Word shall be rewarded.

Ø And what is that reward?

Ø Jesus Christ is that reward.

Ø You are rewarded with the nature of Jesus inside of you.

When you became born again, you sought Jesus, and received the Word concerning salvation, and you were rewarded with the gift of salvation, by grace, nothing you did to merit it. At that point the image of God was born; but just as a seed has an image of a full grown plant on the inside of it, so do you have the image of a “full grown servant in Christ” on the inside of you.

The purpose of scripture is to point you to Jesus! They testify of Him. For example the book of Revelation is not a book of end day events, it is a book that points to Jesus and the culmination of the plans of God that can be found in His Son and His Son’s body; because we are Christ’s we belong to Him. If you read Revelation to obtain knowledge about end day events without knowing the Son, then it is time to come to repentance, because we have made the same error as the Scribe and Pharisee. May God show us the difference!

It is all about relationship – an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. If you got saved and have been living as a Christian and have yet to come to this place, then it is time to abase yourself before Him and choose to desire Him above all things. If you are proud of your “new doctrine” but it is really a doctrine that draws you away, instead of towards Jesus, then toss it! If anything offends you, cut it off, pluck it out. If it is anything that separates you from His love, even a seemingly spiritual thing or a noble thing, then I exhort you to get rid of it before the sun goes down. Maybe the issue God is dealing with you has to do with the “television set”, music or what you read. Whatever issue the Holy Spirit deals with you concerning – cast it away.

If the law, which was the ministry of death, shone with glory on the face of Moses, to the end that he wore a veil, then how much more the glory found in the ministry of the Spirit. Jesus says let him who has eyes to see and ears to hear, hear what the Spirit of God is saying to YOU! Hear God for yourself. God will use His servants to edify you, but He wants a personal relationship with you in the revelation of Who Jesus is, seeing Him in the spirit, as He is, not what someone related to you that He looked like.

Many times we can get distracted into teachings about “the Hebrew code” or other teachings that do not pertain to preaching Jesus and Him crucified. Satan would love for you to consume your time on such things to prevent you from hearing the meat of God’s Word. In your distraction you will remain in God’s Outer Court and you will FAIL TO REACH DOWN TO PULL UP OTHERS OUT OF THE PIT. These types of distractions are distractions away from the feet of Jesus. We tend to think that the “thorns that distract” relate to just the natural things of secular life, however you can be distracted by the seemingly spiritual things in life as well. These distractions will choke the word in your heart. There is one counterfeit for ministry that distracts as well as destroys, it is called heresy hunting, and has become popular in the church. The principles and tactics that they use have always been in use but now their focus has taken on a majority of their ministry instead of just an element.

How Paul Dealt with Heresy

Prov 15:1-4

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. (NAS)

Heresy must be dealt with in the church, but our way of dealing with it may not be God’s way of dealing with it. God shows us His way through Paul, who was a spiritual father to the gentile church and could therefore speak to them as none other could concerning heresy and false doctrine. Many in the body who take up the role of exposing “ministers involved with heresy” will use Paul as their example – but they do not measure up to Paul’s example at all. When you labor and sacrifice in love like Paul did, then God can use you to admonish and rebuke as well as encourage. Paul had RELATIONSHIP with those he warned. God will even use you to expose sin in the camp, and false teachers by name, because of relationship, but remember Paul was not just a brother to these Christians, but also a father speaking in love prompted by the Holy Spirit. Another observance in Paul’s ministry reveals that these same Christians that he “warned of wolves” actually had the wolves in the fold.

To use Paul’s example of naming names, you must be dealing with a fold that you have relationship with, that you have labored in love with, and you have raised these children up as their father in the Lord and you must see the wolf IN THE FOLD (or local church) ready to devour. That is if you are going to use Paul as a scriptural basis for the practice. If indeed this is not the case then using Paul as your example to give the name of a minister that is a wolf – is not scriptural. The enemy can get you totally carried away with defending your flock from external wolves because there are so many of them. Teaching truth and teaching both milk and meat to the fold causes them to see external wolves for themselves. If you take the position as the “identifier of external wolves” then the enemy can easily get you to speak on your own authority instead of on His authority, and the enemy can get you to quote scripture the entire time you do it. This is the wrong spirit and this practice is also not scriptural if you look at the complete example given by true apostles like Paul.

Understanding other principles of ministry found elsewhere in this book is important. From beginning to end this book on Temple Building teaches you how to build in ministry and with words. Temple Builders teaches to speak only on God’s authority, to speak only as you hear, and to speak, that which is PROCEEDING out of the mouth of God for this moment.

This is a long chapter and for good reason. If you have taken on the role of exposing sin and heresy then this chapter is an admonishment to keep you in the fear of God. If you are the target of the heresy hunter then you must obtain understanding of the strategies that Satan is using. If you have a loved one that is consumed with heresy hunting then we present to you truth that you can use to persuade them back to God’s true ministry. God has had me research for years the “books and articles of heresy hunters” also know as discernment ministers. Every time I read one of those books or articles, the Holy Spirit in me has been grieved. They use scripture, they use good arguments, and they warn us of danger – what can be bad about that? God’s ways are not our ways, and those that will be led by the Spirit make His way plain. The entire scripture is our pattern for living, not parts of it. Many ministers justify their evil deeds using scripture verses – while ignoring other scripture verses that condemn their wickedness.

Prov 18:19-21

A brother offended {is harder to be won} than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle. With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied {with} the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NAS)

The Spirit of Christ will expose false doctrine and the false ways of man; this is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the WRONG SPIRIT. We are talking about the counterfeit for “contending for the faith”. We are talking about falsely accusing the brethren. We are talking about those that go after brothers and sisters in the Lord who are born again and they tell their audience that they are not born again. We are talking about those that go into the past of others that God has called forgiven and speak this past to others as though it is not forgiven.

I could easily be accused of the same error that I accuse heresy hunters of doing when I write this chapter. However you will not find names listed here and that is one big difference. To publicly name a minister of God is to TARGET them instead of targeting a doctrine, as well as causing other damage that we shall discuss in this chapter. This “targeting” is the fruit of something underlying that does not have its source in God’s way.

If indeed one has an unction to address false doctrines, then God can give grace to speak these truths that both expose and bring life from scripture in such a way that the “brother in Christ” will not be damaged and yet the lie of the enemy will be dealt with in a way that pleases God. As we continue addressing heresy hunters we have to be gentle but firm, merciful and yet confront; indeed we must demonstrate the true contending with the faith in this chapter. We simply realize that these men and women of the faith are temporarily confused because the truth of contending for the faith was not presented to them. THEY ARE NOT THE ENEMY, they are only temporarily being used by the enemy. In fact their motive is just like Paul’s before he saw the light. Paul attacked and oppressed because he thought his truth was the truth of God. After seeing what Jesus really looks like he repented and received true sight and true contending for the faith. The light of truth however is strong and very corrective concerning this issue.

Categorically False Ministry

Prov 6:16,19

16 There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: A false witness {who} utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. (NAS)

This “move”, this counterfeit for contending for the faith is one that is CATEGORICALLY LEAVEN, one of another spirit, and one that is not scriptural. If indeed a minister is caught up in this move then he has received a cancer that destroys to the bone. I am not saying the individual is categorically leaven, just their ministry. However I have witnessed some of these ministers so consumed with this ministry that they have called God’s Light – darkness. We must not see them as enemies but as brothers that must be rescued and presented this Gospel of truth. By the Spirit I will show you why repentance must come by those consumed with this activity and then we must all hit the altars if even a fragment of this leaven is found in our own hearts. This is a serious matter, it is life and death, and it is a leaven that if left un-purged would destroy countless ministries and ministers. The very thing that these ministers see in others will be the very thing that happens “through them” if this issue is not dealt with. The role of exposing false doctrine is not the main issue; the spirit behind those that call themselves “discernment ministers” or “heresy exposers” is what God wants to deal with. There is only one way to expose false doctrine and that is to shine Light upon it. Light is a Person, not an argument, not a cause, and we are not the CONTROLLERS of that Light. We speak the Light as HE PERMITS! Our role is submission to the Light of God – Jesus. Our role is to speak what the Spirit of Truth is saying and only WHEN the Holy Spirit is saying it. We must speak the Light with the character of Love and God’s nature of Life as we shine His Light of Truth.

Those in the body that play this role of heresy hunting have not labored in love and the result leads to death. Much of the New Testament letters to the churches deal with false doctrine and heresy, therefore leaving the example of how we must deal with and how we should not deal with heresy. The scripture says, “be angry and do not sin” because anger and likewise “opposing heresy” is borderline into stepping over into the flesh, into faultfinding, into debate, into being a busybody, and into contention. Without Christian maturity we will normally be in the flesh and not in the Spirit when we get angry, expose sin, and reveal heretics. This chapter is about SIFTING OUR MOTIVES AND INTENTS OF OUR HEARTS. Please do not “read into” what I am saying, hear with a true heart what the Spirit is saying.

Prov 12:13-19

13 An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble. From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him. The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. (NIV)

I have something of the Lord to say concerning God’s displeasure of all those who step into the business of exposing. I do not speak to you as someone who has been attacked or hurt by them, for I have not been attacked or hurt by them, but I am sure one day, just as Paul was, the self appointed “exposer” will target me, just like they will get to you. Paul was frequently the target of criticism by other ministers, and the church received these sayings against Paul – because of their immaturity. In one case, Paul had to show them plainly, the evidence that “these other apostles” indeed were “false apostles” while he was the “true apostle”. No one should ever have to prove their apostleship like this but if we allow those with a critical gospel to continue then they will subvert the “hearers” – that have yet to mature. However, at other times Paul would take the false accusation and simply dispel it with truth – defending the gospel that he preaches instead of his apostleship. Finally, there were times when leaders of the church, ones that were reputable and esteemed as true apostles also accused Paul. They had heard from other Christians that Paul was guilty of preaching against Moses and the law. Paul simply bore these sufferings without self-preservation, without defense. The very thing that he had done to Stephen is the very thing he experienced – but this time by true apostles! (“Acts 21:21”) Misunderstandings and false accusations are the sufferings of Christ that we must endure and these accusations may come through the ministries of true apostles as well as immature ministers. All heresy hunters are immature in ministry and yet some may be truly called ministers. In today’s church we see that most heresy hunters are simply the wrong spirit therefore we must examine why.

First we must remember, everybody is open game with one who makes their entire ministry a “heresy hunter” because most of them do not fear God in teaching the scriptures and they think nothing of accusing entire ministries, movements and ministers by name. They focus on the origin of doctrines and moves of God; they focus on the error of the origin and then if you can be tied to this origin in any way then you are the current “target of the day”. They have rightfully observed Paul exposing false doctrines and even listing the names of some false teachers and therefore they have deceived themselves into thinking that they have reached Paul’s maturity and they can do the same type of exposing. Again the activity itself is not what is evil; their activity is evil primarily because their own life is not mature and their ministry is out of the wrong spirit. In the gospel of Jesus, in teaching God’s Word, right and wrong are never the issue. The issue always surrounds whether you are teaching what the Holy Spirit is saying or are you picking and choosing what you want to preach and teach. This type of ministry is evil because the method that is used lacks the character of Jesus, and because they have sought to expose others on their own authority and initiative instead of only on God’s authority and initiative.

Proof of this is usually seen in that – if you do not say things the way they think it should be said or if you do not do things the way they think they ought to be done – then you are TARGETED. They misunderstand other Christians because they are not attached to the body in love; as Jude says, “they are wandering stars”. They conduct this activity with scripture and they say they are commissioned of God as a watchman on the wall. When compared to the ministry of Jesus and the apostles we observe that the strategy of the words of heresy hunters does not match up to God’s character or plan. Some examples are seen in the use of certain tactics such as “guilt by association”, or “linking the opponent to a previous doctrine or move of the spirit in church history”, and they practice “omission of known truth to win their case”. Normally a heresy hunter will assume the role of an attorney instead of the judge when presiding over a court case. Of course the job of the attorney is to observe facts and arguments and present them in a one-sided case. It can also be observed in the heresy hunter (discernment ministry) camp where they simply circulate rumor and false accusations that have no basis in truth. Lest you think they are of great evil remember that Christian Jewish leaders misunderstood Paul. The difference however occurs when we become HABITUAL, and when they are confronted – they do not repent!

I am sometimes blinded to make pre-judgments and speak them out against someone. When revealed, it shows our frailty to this sin we are discussing. It is only because God had mercy on me… is why the sin did not become habitual in me. If I had chosen to continue and justify the sin then I would have caused a void of the love for Jesus and the love of the brethren in my walk. Let us look into the mirror and examine our hearts. Jesus said take heed what we are hearing. What have we heard and what are we saying?

Prov 26:20-25

Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts. Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. (NIV)

Again, let us make it very clear that any ministry, whose ENTIRE focus is on exposing the heresy of others, is in itself heresy; this is habitual sin against their brother. They sometimes talk about others, as being “extra-biblical” but their entire ministry is extra-biblical because there are NO New Testament ministries in the Bible whose primary purpose was to expose others. Only on occasion did Paul, who had obtained great maturity, expose others by name, but his spirit was out of the nature of Jesus in doing it. Paul had also learned to receive the suffering of being falsely accused on multiple occasions and yet respond in Christ. The pattern of Paul in dealing with error, heresy, and false teaching was to bring to light the lie and apply truth that sets you free. Paul’s word provided an answer like Elihu’s word instead of Job’s three friends. Paul’s own life was free of heresy as he did it. Those who wish to do what Paul did had better be walking in the Wisdom, the Love nature of Jesus and the Power that Paul did or they will eventually be calling that which is Light – darkness. Many ministries that call themselves “discernment ministries” or “heresy hunters” are liken to Job’s three friends. “They condemn but have no answer from heaven”. They tout scripture and maybe wise saying like Job’s friends but they never produced eternal fruit in the lives they seek to warn. But God has called us to be as Elihu, pointing out the error at the proper moment, in the way of God and providing the answer of life from heaven. The three friends had to offer sacrifices in repentance and that is what is required of every minister that seeks to help others and does not possess God’s answer and yet condemns them.

Our Own Iniquity

Lest we also condemn these heresy hunters we should look into the mirror of the Word to see if we have the same spirit in our hearts. It is very easy sometimes to see the error in ones like this because their sin is so blatant, their sin is habitual, and their sin is categorical, but many times we have the same sin and error but in a smaller measure. God wants us to deal with what is in our hearts. In reality most heresy hunter would never read a chapter like this except for the purpose of finding fault. The reason is because it has never been about truth; it has always been about “being right”. Truth exposes ALL OF US, however, “being right” brings selfish pride. Truth causes submission; it produces humility of mind and the showing of mercy. Being right produces a soulish pride that never yields to the other side. So the objective here is to not to just warn you of a categorical “type” of soulish ministry but to look within our hearts to see the EXACT SAME INIQUITY.

I have in the past and have observed many others that have contended with these “discernment ministries” and we have harbored the very SAME SIN. The very sin we can preach against and hate is sometimes the very iniquity we are blinded to – that dwells inside us. Therefore let us look inward, in that hidden closet of our heart. I knew a pastor once that got violently mad at the heresy hunters because of their error. You would assume that he was so adamant against that sin that there would be no occasion for that sin to exist in him. He so despised the piety and self-righteousness of the heresy hunter because they targeted him. It would surprise most that a man like this easily turned around and did the same thing. It would also surprise us that the same iniquity in the heresy hunter will manifest out of us when we contend with the heresy hunter. We must watch our own words instead of always monitoring the words of others.

This pastor’s leadership also opposed the heresy hunters, they did not believe in ANY discerning and judging of others. They felt like if you were to say that one was in error or you discerned them as a heretic or a wolf – you were a prideful judge. This is a pendulum swing to the other direction. Again the irony of this leadership was their blindness to that same iniquity in their own lives. They judged others who judged. They had to determine and make judgments upon others concerning doctrines just as the heresy hunters had done to them. And as deception would have it, they did so with unrighteous judgment. They became the very thing that they hated and yet were blind to see it.

We are all called to judge but not to condemn. We are called to judge others as well as a matters in the church but never in condemnation. This judging is called discernment, we are called to do it in maturity, and it must be righteousness spoken in Jesus’ Nature. Therefore God will eventually call all of us to discern situations, this is part of growing up, but it has to be done in the right spirit, in the right context, and in the time & manner that God requires. It will never preoccupy our entire ministry and anytime we do it there will be the temptation of self-righteousness along with it. If you are in relationship where our brother is receiving false doctrine we must discern and we must admonish in God’s Spirit and rightly dividing truth. If our own life is full of heresies, unrighteousness, and lacks fruit – we will be nothing more than “Job’s three friends”.

Jesus confronted the Scribes and Pharisees and also drove out the moneychangers, but He also was able to be overflowing in the Love of the Father in doing so. He was able to move and speak only on the prompting of the Father. Jesus also healed the sick, set free the captives, raised the dead, prophesied, and preached good news to the poor. We cannot choose to “oppose heresy” and be unwilling to do ALL that Jesus is doing. It is much easier to walk in love as I lay hands on the sick, then it is to expose error and confront the Pharisee. It is easier to minister Jesus as the healer of the brokenhearted then to drive out the moneychangers and sin not.

We are not to become contentious or become involved in debate, this is the wrong fruit and the wrong spirit. Scripture calls this a work of the flesh and it does not matter who is right and whose facts are accurate, it is a work of the flesh and God despises it.

WATCH for contention and debate among your brethren that is done “in the name of truth”. Watch for unrighteous discernments. The way of Christ is this, in an argument, the first one to lay down his life wins – in other words you must lose your life to win it, you must yield. There is never a right side when you enter into an argument or contention, for not one shall come away having received the crucified Christ. The present day heresy hunting that Christians do is a counterfeit. When you bite into the fruit – it contains death instead of Life. They call it “contending for the faith” but in reality God’s truth is preserved in scriptures and if one desires Jesus and His truth instead of self-preservation, that same person will find Truth. If a person is satisfied by answers from men and by traditional doctrines then that is what he will receive. True contending for the faith has nothing to do with exposing others. It is preaching the word that the Holy Spirit tells you to preach, in season and out of season – in love. Arguments that are preached that expose the deception of others may be sweet to the mouth but when it reaches our inner man it will be bitter. That bitterness will separate the love that we have for other parts of the body. We will no longer want to lay down our life for that brother that we think has received a false doctrine. It is simply a ministry that causes division. It is certainly not the “Joshua and Caleb witness” of the land. One minister says, bitterness is a poison that one takes in hopes that someone else will die.

Some of us that preach the gospel have allowed this “leaven of exposing” in our own messages. We call it “warning our brother”. We must WATCH how we present the gospel. We can deceive with a great power of deception if we do not take heed, because we can use our true facts and subvert the hearers. We can use man’s own common sense reasoning power to persuade others and use the scriptures to win them over. Our own words can expose sin and deception in the camp. “What a noble cause” we may say, or “I am keeping them from deception” is our response. “We are just keeping others informed about the current events of what’s happening in the body” we justify ourselves by saying. But hear God’s heart on what we are doing and learn to discern as a spiritual man who has eyes to see and ears to hear.

Paul told the Galatian church about the heresy of Peter, however, he communicated the truth in love and never destroyed Peter or the ministry that God called Peter to perform.

Gal 2:8

(for He who effectually worked for Peter in {his} apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),

Paul put his stamp of approval on Peter’s ministry before he brought up the example of the heresy of “law observance” that Peter propagated. Paul even confronted Peter on the hypocrisy of “SEPARATING FROM OTHER TRUE BELIEVERS”. Like us, Peter operated in human frailty; he had a revelation of Jesus as the Christ and denied Him moments later, because he did not have a revelation of a suffering Messiah. Peter also took his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus thinking he was going to assist Jesus. We also many times thinking that we are assisting Jesus, will take His Word and cut off a few ears. When we do this, we show no compassion or mercy on others who preach the truth but who fail in an area of doctrine or character. We tend to magnify the error and highlight it and sometimes we never qualify it with the truth. This is the spirit of Satan as the accuser of the brethren. We are dangerous to those that hear us when we act like this.

If we will give others the name of the minister, the church, the ministry, the movement or the denomination and label them as associated with false doctrine then the hearer may deny them categorically and miss out on something God may be trying to teach them. They will refuse to sit at God’s table. Our chapter called “Sit at God’s Table” is real pertinent to this message. We will have trouble with our table manners if we heed “expose’ ministry” and if we preach it – we will cause others to have bad table manners. How can we eat properly if we focus on the things we see that are in error concerning our brother and that is all we see, but in reality there are many areas that may be right, there are things that God wants us to receive that they have to give – we cannot cause someone to categorically reject another’s ministry until we know that God has categorically rejected their ministry. Even then we can only speak as we have heard Him say; and scripturally the ministry being exposed should be a wolf that has found his way into your local fold.

An example of this would be a congregation that has accepted the ministry of a false prophet. The elders of that congregation or any other gifted minister related to that church could expose the false prophet. This is scriptural but still must be done with God’s approval and with His method for every instance. This is also expose’ that is under-performed in churches that need it. As you see, most counterfeits can be based on a truth that is taken too far. Truth taken too far is truth where we take control instead of being in subjection.

Titus 3:2

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. (KJV)

We tend to focus on the small percentage of someone else’s false doctrine as if we have no false doctrine of our own. Many times we can show one the leaven of someone else, all the while presenting our own leaven of false doctrine. We must present the Truth that sets others free. True statements about others can lead to bondage. In fact many of us in the church are acting like daytime talk shows that we see in the world. We commit spiritual adultery in our immaturity and are still willing to cast the first stone. Not even the accusers of the adulteress were so spiritually proud. WATCH the words that proceed out of our mouth.

Be careful about judging entire moves of God, denominations, ministries based on the most extreme element of something you disagree with – you can cause fear of reproach. This is a reproach that can cause others to be afraid to even use certain biblical terminology because of the damage that was caused. I have read articles and books from “discernment ministers” that list words that are used by ministries that they have deemed heretic. They teach that if you see these words used then you should QUESTION THOSE MINISTERS. The saddest part of the list is that over half the words or terms are found in the Bible or based on God’s ways. Many of these terms that are not found in the Bible are certainly words that are in agreement with the Bible. Because of the “list” we have witnessed their targets having to change their terminology away from these biblical words so they do not end up branded as being a heretic. Then the tenacious heresy hunter recognizes the counter strategy of his opponent and starts a new list with “affiliations”. The new list reveals all ministries that are heretic, and if a minister has an affiliation with any on the list then he must be heretic as well. This causes some to fear being “branded” and have broken off God ordained relationships. Of course the response was wrong, we must suffer the attacks of the heresy hunter and respond like Jesus. You see how wicked these attacks become and how they have nothing to do with the true body of Jesus and the love that God expects. Why does God allow them? It is a test of responses! How will you respond in the matter? One famous pastor prophesied death on his heresy hunter opponent. This is a test that was failed. I personally have been falsely accused and attacked by ones quite close to me. They were my “God-ordained Judas” that God will send to each one of us in this maturing process. Sometime I responded like Jesus and other times I was full of self-preservation. We must repent from self-preservation! Jesus knew who would betray Him. We are not so fortunate. God knows that if we had this “knowledge of who would betray us” – we would protect ourselves from our God-ordained Judas. Instead we are betrayed and we must learn to not take it personally. In fact what happens is our God-ordained Judas is in actuality betraying Jesus as he did before. This time Judas betrays Jesus – His Body.

Another problem is seen when we may spot an error and make it known to others and categorically state that the entire ministry is deceptive, when in fact the deception that may exist is only a fraction of what is preached in that ministry. We see this activity in the world when we observe journalism. This same spirit can come into the church and it can be quite dangerous. Paul dealt with Peter and it produced fruit. Paul dealt with other heresies and heretics and we have several books of the Bible because of it. Paul had to name names for us and he said to avoid these men categorically – these were utter false prophets. Paul also admonished those that have simply swerved from the faith in an area, but there are few Christians on the Earth that have Paul’s maturity to discern when things are not so “utterly evident”. Does this mean we are not qualified whatsoever? No, it means that we must be completely sure that we are speaking on God’s initiative and have selected the words that God had selected for us. We have to keep our heart and motives on the altar of God, we must also have the “Elihu answer”, and we must fear God with every word lest we fall.

The natural mind will reason with us, “well the intention is good, to stamp out the evil of heresy”, “this motive alone should be enough”. Heresy is sin, heresy is “thought processes” that are separated from God; but we must be careful when we take it upon ourselves to stamp out heresy because we can easily do it in our own strength. I see the oppression of God’s people because of heresy and I myself have been tempted of Satan to do something about it on my own, but let me give you a couple of truths that will help. Moses also saw the oppression of the people of God when an Egyptian beat Moses’ brethren, and Moses slew that oppressor. But it was not on God’s authority, it was not God’s way, it was not God’s time; though Moses’ intention was true. Moses afterwards spent 40 years in the desert and had totally resolved in himself, that in himself he could never do anything about the oppression of his brethren. This is when God can really use us, and when we see Moses used of God you will notice it was a method where only God could get glory and not the servant of God. Moses also suffered with those oppressed, 40 more years in the desert – demonstrating the longsuffering type of love. Men can bring attention to themselves when they speak; Jesus said this of the learned scribes who knew scriptures in the head and not the spirit. When we do these things we have unfortunately abandoned the ministry of reconciliation to which we were really called and are now being used by the enemy to subvert anyone who listens to us.

Ø We are not to be God’s holy Exposers!

Ø We are not to listen to anyone who thinks they are!

Ø Guard You Heart!

You must sow mercy to receive it. All of us have missed the mark and fallen short in our growth to manifest Jesus in pure and sound doctrine. The book of James says that he that controls his tongue is a perfect man. The plan of God is to be perfect and control our tongue, and may we show mercy to others as we walk towards that perfection; because we need to obtain mercy for that which we speak – because our speech will also miss the mark of representing Jesus Christ until that day of maturity.

If you were to avoid false doctrine then you would have to be removed from the earth. False doctrine is anything that misrepresents Jesus, whether His character or His plan and at least a small element can be found in most messages. If you were to isolate yourself from the gifts of apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers, then you would not be perfected, equipped, and edified. What we must do is receive only what the anointing in us is teaching.

Ø If we teach truth it will expose ANY darkness.

Ø If we teach truth then the body of Christ will learn to discern for themselves.

We do not have to be the discerner or exposer for others. For example if I tell you the name of ministries that I discern as in error, you may avoid them, but the next new one will be in line to take its place. I would also be destroying that ministry and its ministers, even though they might be called of God and have been temporarily mislead like Peter was. Again Paul did address some deceivers by name, but it was deceivers that were wolves in sheep’s clothing and his audience was churches he had fathered in the faith. You better be hearing from heaven when you step out and expose a name in public. It is scriptural to do so but then so is thrusting out the moneychangers from our temples, and many other activities are scriptural in public ministry but you never have the RIGHT TO DO THEM. You have no rights in God’s kingdom; you gave all your rights up when you made Jesus your Lord over every action of your life. You decide as He bids you to decide. You reveal to others as He gives you permission. You expose only when He exposes, then it is not you exposing, it is Jesus bringing light to darkness. The result will be pleasing to God and will cause unity. If you do the same activity apart from relationship, on your authority – it will always condemn and provide no answer from heaven.

This is Satan’s strategy revealed. Satan as the accuser of the brethren will come to you to condemn you. He will show you the parts of your life that do not look like Jesus, but he does so to condemn and judge your spiritual man. He has passed the sentence of death on you and if you accept his sayings, you will shut off your heart from manifesting Jesus to the world. Your soul will become hard as unplowed rocky soil, you will keep that sprout of life from breaking through the shell of the seed; you will have placed a bushel over the light of His Presence in you.

The Holy Spirit will come to you as well, also to judge and to condemn; but He CONDEMNS THE NATURAL MAN. He reveals the parts of you that do not look like Jesus, for the purpose of letting it become consumed with fire on the altar. The Holy Spirit gives grace and ability to put to death our ways that are evil and allow that within us to break forth and sprout life, to shine, to manifest the Love that is found in Christ.

2 Cor 4:7,10,11

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

This is the Holy Spirit judging your natural man! It can only be done by the Spirit, for the cross of Christ is never self-inflicted in it’s dying.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Satan passes sentence on the spiritual man and the Holy Spirit passes sentence on the natural man. Now when we are condemning others whether in our daily relationships or in condemning those that are a part of the body, we are as Satan, shutting them off from manifesting Jesus to the world. Now when we admonish, we are as the Holy Spirit, allowing them to break forth, to spring life, to manifest Jesus to the world. Both use TRUE FACTS, but only One produces life. Again God can use you to expose others by name but FEAR GOD and let it spring from compassion – do not deceive yourself in this matter.

Ø Why all the emphasis on this topic?

As we progress towards truth, towards maturity, towards spiritual discernment – there will lay ahead a trap. As we see error and immaturity in OTHERS, there will be an opportunity to respond to the error and immaturity in a way that does not please God. We will be tempted to point out this error and immaturity – to other mature believers, or whoever will listen to us, thus becoming a BUSYBODY. We must mind our own affairs before God. We must be a people that show compassion towards those who have not yet received these truths that God has been revealing to us. If we have received anything that is of the Lord, it is only because GOD SHOWED US MERCY IN – SHOWING IT TO US. Compassion is AGAPE that shows mercy and we are not showing mercy if we have received a great revelation of God’s plan and criticize others who have yet to understand God’s plan. In your Sunday service, you may observe something that you discern as of the “soulish man” instead of the “Spiritual man”, what is your response? Did you respond with compassion; forbearing your Christian Brother, Sister or Pastor? Or did you forget the mercy that God showed you when you were ignorant in your sins? Finally, a busybody also criticizes others about how they raise their kids, what type of personality an individual has, and what religious convictions another person may hold – PUT AWAY THE INIQUITY OF BEING A BUSYBODY. Put away the critical spirit. Prefer your brother as MORE IMPORTANT than yourself.

As you become a father in the Lord to others, you will be dealing with “exposing sin” and “false doctrine”, whether you wish to or not. Therefore you must be mature and sober in your own walk – being free from heresy in you life… or you will be limited in helping others get free of heresy in their life. Allow no self-righteousness and spiritual pride in your heart or the consequences will be severe in exposing unrighteousness and pride in their heart. My natural children like to play house, one plays the father and my little girl plays the mother. If we step into the activity of pointing out the heresy and deception of others and we have not obtained deliverance from heresy and deception then all we are doing is “playing house”. When you become a true spiritual father then you will know how to deal with these issues without slaying the Egyptian as Moses did and the result will not be “who made you our Lord”. God will do the slaying and your true children will leave Egypt, though, many that are not true children may fall away. The objective is to enter the promised land of rest and bring others with you.

You Will Be a Victim

As you progress in your journey of righteousness you will be misunderstood. Brothers and sisters in the Lord will falsely accuse you. They will judge you as teaching heresy or of being of a wrong spirit. Leaders may even judge you saying, “Who do you think you are”. Your motives will be questioned; your immaturities will be talked about. THIS IS CALLED THE BREAD OF MISUNDERSTANDING. You will become bitter or you can choose to eat of the bread and become better. It is a test of responses sent from God. Crucifixion hurts and it comes from those close to you. This is where growing up will hurt. Those you had confidence with – are the ones selected to betray you. God has selected your Judas for you and has hidden him in your company. Again, Jesus knew his Judas but God does not do the same with us. Why? Because if we knew our Judas then we would protect ourselves from the cross that we are called to endure. Therefore God hides him till the time of your crucifixion.

Why does God allow leaders and believers to judge unrighteously? To test your response to the crucifixion, and to see how you eat of the bread of misunderstanding. It hurts, it causes our feelings to get hurt, but it causes you to trust in His grace to bear it. In learning the purpose of affliction we must include this as a certain type of affliction designed to test our response to others that are in the body but are being temporaily used by the enemy to attack us.

I had a couple that had misunderstood one of my teachings and went to leadership to have me corrected. They served the leadership a morsel of deception. Righteous discernment would have caused the leadership to reject this morsel. Instead, the leadership ate of the wrong tree and did not discern. They brought me into a tribunal meeting and tried me with no evidence. Because these leaders were of the “shepherdship doctrine” they felt justified to control the situation without prayer. I was scheduled to preach on the coming Sunday Morning and that was now defeated. God only gave me one word for the leadership before they brought me into the tribunal. The word was “tell them you taught on My authority and that I put My stamp of approval on everything you taught”. I said what the Lord had spoken and the response of the leadership was to call the teaching a work of the flesh. My view of Christianity was called subjective (of course relationship is always subjective).

I had to eat of the bread of misunderstanding. It resulted in God calling me to leave the church though the leadership did apologize for judging me incorrectly when other witnesses defended what I had taught. This church was to be dealt with by God, in God’s time. It is a serious thing with God to call the work of God a work of the flesh. God set them up to have done just that. I lost friends and of course it hurt, crucifixion always does. Though the revelation that comes from these assaults are priceless. First, I had a revelation, as never before that all those that attacked were not my enemies. Satan is our enemy not people. Satan will temporarily use immature believers but that does not mean that they are your enemy. Now, those that habitually attack you with hate are simply not born-again according to 1 John, but most of the time, others in our life are simply temporarily used to attack us – it will test our response.

In my particular incident, I was only briefly hurt because I had gone through this type of affliction earlier in my life. The previous time that this sort of thing happened, it was a miracle that I even endured. This time because of the grace bestowed upon me to understand His ways and also knowing the strategies of the enemy, I was only briefly affected. When you know that you are suffering for righteousness sake the response should be the one of 1 Peter 3:14 “to count it joy”. Concerning this incident that happened to me, it was uncovered quickly that the leadership had made a mistake. Though only the couple was questioned before the tribunal meeting, the rest of the attendees that heard the teaching defended me and testified that all was well with what I had taught. Though not necessary to my affliction God will sometimes come to your aid concerning your reputation.

Sometimes incidents like this happen to work on your character and sometimes it happens to deal with the attackers. The attackers in my situation had received the leaven of shepherdship and through “covenant relationship” between leadership and the couple that had turned me in; it was a leaven that would spread. I was one that spoke as one with authority having a gift of hearing clearly the voice of the Lord and receiving revelatory truth. The leaven of shepherdship doctrine has a stronghold that seeks to prevent such authority. Shepherdship wants to be the authority in control. The utmost thing opposed by shepherdship is preaching on the intimacy of having Jesus as your Husband. This drives the devils of shepherdship nuts. I preach this message of intimacy constantly and was about to preach it to the entire church. This is how the strongholds can manifest at times.

Shepherdship doctrine requires sheep to submit to leaders. The submission is perverted into controlling the sheep. This is a stronghold that will attack whenever it encounters true spirituality and discernment. It is a stronghold whereby the one who wants others to submit to them believe they have the discernment of God and NOT the sheep under them. It perverts God’s design for the church government office of elders. The end result was shepherdship doctrines have destroyed thousands of Christians and still exists today under different names. Here is a truth for you. Whenever one says to another “submit to my authority” then they are no longer under God’s authority. God’s authority causes the first to be last, the elder to be the washer of feet. The elder under God’s authority would instead try to find opportunity to lay down his life for that same individual. The same goes for those that say “touch not God’s anointed” saying that they are God’s anointed. Soon as you say it like that, you then cease to be God’s anointed. God empowers elders who act like Him, not like prideful politicians. God’s anointed are empowered to reach out not to protect themselves.

Whenever events happen like happened to me, you can face the dilemma of “who is right?” Jesus is right! Jesus gave us a gift and His Name is the Spirit of Truth. This gift comforts us with His knowledge. We must have the faith of God in this relationship to believe that He will show us our true heart in any of these issues. To see areas of immaturities in us as well as seeing areas of immaturity in those that attack us. We cannot be prideful to where we always disregard the attack as always being the enemy; on the other side, we cannot always be tossed to and fro when others attack us. We must hear God first, and then we must stand firm on what we heard. Remember that the standing is as important as the hearing. Knowledge of a truth does not equal possession of that same truth. The “standing” and “practicing” of that truth is what causes possession.

Many of us want to be liked, that is something we must die to. Preaching Truth will cause you to die to wanting to be liked. I write and preach based on what I perceive the Holy Spirit to be saying. This perceiving can be called subjective, but it is the way of every true minister. I simply call it the way I see it in a manner that is in agreement with God’s character and God’s scripture, and all of this measured against my level of maturity. If I say it immaturely, it is because I am immature in that area. Sometimes the word God gives you, only incurs the wrath of others. I see these messages as being a way of dealing with the pride of the speaker. It is a test of whether he will be obedient to speak a controversy and it is a test of how he will respond when the word is rejected. Always remember the way of mature growth is accomplished through a series of circumstances that test your responses. So ask yourself, “HOW DID I RESPOND?” Both heresies and the heresy hunters exist to test our responses.”

One comment on “Heresy Hunters-Discernment Ministries-Sound Doctrine?

  1. Shelly says:

    I likey :). God is constantly testing our responses… That’s what’s up!

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