What I’m about to write has been on my heart for quite some time now, I’ve just not been quite sure how to put it into words. God has impressed me many times now to sit down and get this out. So here it is…
In 1805 a young man of vision was born by the name of Joseph Smith. It wasn’t long until Joseph Smith began to see the errors in the religious culture of the day. He had been witness to much hypocrisy from the religious leaders and had come away empty in his own personal religious experience time and time again. He decided he could no longer sit by idly and wait for things to change, it was time for action, time for something new! By the 1820’s Joseph Smith had begun his quest for a new experience and a deeper truth, and he found it. In 1823, while praying, Smith said he was visited by a night angel named Moroni, who revealed the location of a buried book of golden plates that held the truth to all mankind. By 1830, Smith had his golden plates translated into English and called it, “The Book of Mormon”, and so began “The Church of the Latter Day Saints.”
While I don’t agree with Joseph Smith’s religious view points or the way in which he obtained his revelations from God, I do understand his frustration with the religious culture of the day. He was in many ways like the apostle Paul, a man of vision and passion, a man who couldn’t be turned from his quest. The defining moment that set these two apart was the moment of truth. Paul listened to God and waited for truth to come and when it came he was a changed man forever, see Acts 9:1-19. Joseph Smith however, because he didn’t turn to the word of God for answers, allowed an angel of deception to speak its lies into his life, and in turn, many now live under false truths of a deranged false prophet.
I’ve noticed over the past few months, a growing distaste for the way things have always been in our churches. Many are no longer satisfied with hearing how great it is to be an apostolic while not seeing the apostolic power of the new testament church. A growing number are no longer satisfied with living holy and separate in lifestyle just because it’s what they’ve always done. They want to see the real, they want to see the power!
These people seem to be made up of two different groups. While both are not satisfied and both recognize a problem, both are not saying the same thing. Just as Joseph Smith and the Apostle Paul realized the need for something new, they both did not have the same ending. I fear the same thing has begun to happen in our movement. One side, seeing a problem, has become angry and disgruntled, but instead of picking up the word of God, they’ve picked up rocks. I’ve already seen wolves come in and start to devour these confused sheep. These wolves are no different from the night angel that appeared to Joseph Smith and sold him a lie. They come with enticing words, telling the sheep there’s no need for separation, just love the hurting of this world and you’ve done the work of God. They guide them away from their pastors, and the protection of authority. Separation and what it stands for is told to be a thing of the past, and those that practice such things are legalistic. All the while they make their followers angry, fill their hands with rocks, and hearts with hatred.
The Bible states in John 13:35, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” And John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
One of the scariest things about these wolves, is that some of them even have signs and wonders happening in their ministries. People get their eyes focused on the signs and wonders and forget all about the Word of God and what it says. Take a look at these two scriptures for proof. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Matthew 7:20-23, Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
You may say, “this will never be me! I could never be so deceived! I have the Holy Ghost and have been baptized in Jesus’ name.” Well, the Bible would disagree with you. The Bible is very clear on the fact, that is not enough. (Matthew 24:24), “For false Messiah’s and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” This is why we MUST stay in the Word of God and not put our trust and faith in men and their signs!
There is another group that also sees a problem and desires change. A group that is backed with love for one another and a love for the word of God. This group is hungry for the deeper things of God, and are calling for more prayer, more Bible reading, more fasting, and more reaching out to the lost of this world. There are no rocks in their hands or hatred in their hearts, only burdens, hope, and love. This body of people will also have signs following them as they minister the word of God. Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
You may be asking, how am I to truly know the difference between the signs from the wolves and from the true works of God, it’s the same signs. The answer would be two scriptures up, Mark 16:15,“ He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'” The gospel will always keep the focus on Jesus and never on the one doing the signs.
If there was ever a time that we need to be in the Word of God it’s NOW! Eve ate the fruit because she didn’t really know what God had said. Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness by using the word. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets will arise and deceive many.” Don’t just look for signs, look for the Word of Truth, the Bible.