While on trial before Pilate, Jesus stated, “For this reason I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate responded cynically, “What is truth?” (John 18:37, 38).
The confusion over what is truth continues on in our present generation. And Jesus’ Church often seems as mixed up as the rest of the world on the subject. On one hand, we have those who are so afraid of getting out of line doctrinally that they have opted for “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5) — and have thereby veered out of truth. On the other hand, there are those who operate powerfully in the gifts of the Spirit, but are putting forth some pretty questionable teaching. Oh, what is a Body to do?
Alarming doctrines abound, and they are even being swallowed with gusto by Spirit-filled, prophetic Christians, because we are too trusting of what we read in the books and hear in the preaching of anointed people who move powerfully in supernatural gifts. It sounds good, we lap it up, and don’t question what we are taking in. If they have seen amazing things in goose-bumpy visions, or astounding supernatural signs happen when they come to town, everything they teach must be sound … right? Not necessarily. We put ourselves in danger of spiritual shipwreck by allowing ourselves to be “carried about with every wind of doctrine” — and there are many winds a-blowing right now!
Some of us are not being sensitive to the checks in our spirits. We are too busy splashing merrily in the latest Charismatic puddle to listen. Some of us have been insensitive for so long that we don’t notice those checks at all anymore.
Why is this happening? I believe that part of the problem is putting our emphasis on the wrong thing. If the primary focus is on anything other than exalting Jesus from beginning to end, we will veer off course.
It’s not always easy to discern at first that we have gotten off in our emphasis, but if we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He will be faithful to bring us back to center as time goes on. It is possible to stay out of (or get out of) deception, and next time we will talk about how to do that.
Next: Part 2