TRYING THE SPIRITS OR IDENTIFYING ‘FALSE BRETHREN’

TRYING THE SPIRITS OR IDENTIFYING ‘FALSE BRETHREN’

Michael Jeshurun


An article inspired by the question-

“We all talk of ‘Christian brothers’ being ‘united in the faith’. Loosely translated we could call it ‘Doctrinal unity’. But how much unity of doctrine is necessary to qualify another as a ‘Christian brother’. Any comments”?

Christian unity is desirable and something that we should strive for and maybe even pray for. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard . . . .for THERE the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore”. [Psalm 133]

The Apostle in the same vein of thought says- “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there BE NO DIVISIONS AMONG YOU; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”. [1 Cor 1:10].

This unity however should not be gained at the price of Truth! The Truth of God should never be sacrificed on the altar of unity. God is more concerned about preserving the truth of His Word in the church than so-called ‘peace’, ‘love’ and unity. As Owen rightly said, “For what peace in the Church without truth? All conformity to anything else is but the agreement of Herod and Pilate to destroy Christ and His Kingdom”. And again, “An agreement without truth is no peace, but a covenant with death, a league with hell, a conspiracy against the Kingdom of Christ and a stout rebellion against the God of Heaven”.

Not long ago a true committed Sister in Christ wrote to me about how she was discussing the Bible with an old friend who claimed to be a ‘born-again’ Christian. She said- “But she just was not receiving the basic truths of Scripture that I was telling her, like man’s total depravity, we choose Christ only because He has chosen us, and the Paganism of Christmas, Rock music is the Devil’s music etc. I just did not get the witness like she was one of us. Maybe I could be wrong in my judgment, Mike”. Etc.

Here is the reply I wrote to her –

“Don’t kid yourself dear L! Your judgment here and elsewhere, when you felt that someone ‘possibly couldn’t be saved’ is usually CORRECT!

Let me share something on this. Do you remember how King Saul allowed little David to go fight the giant Goliath? That was staking the lives of the WHOLE Army! ‘Cause if David got killed then THEY would all be dead meat!

So how come Saul trusted young David?

You see Saul was once an anointed man and had killed his thousands! But shortly afterward Saul LOST his Anointing due to disobedience. That SAME Anointing later came on little David. So when David now approached Him and offered to take on Goliath. He consented irrespective of his size and age! How come?

Because Saul SAW what David possessed. The ‘Anointing’!
The POINT being, when you meet someone who has what YOU have; you right away SPOT IT! One sheep will spot another in any given crowd! There’s no mistaking here! “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man”! [Prov 27:19] Their SPEECH always betrays them! Remember what they said of Peter? Surely THOU also art one of THEM: for THY SPEECH agreeth thereto! [Mark 14:70].

The Apostle said – We having the SAME spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore SPEAK! [2Cor 4:13]. When the subject of religion is brought up in any given conversation, folks usually start sharing what THEY PERSONALLY believe. If not in the very FIRST sitting, after a couple of talks, you’ll know for sure what they really believe! For out of the abundance of the HEART the mouth speaketh! [Mat 12:34]

That is why the Lord always put people ‘on the spot’ when it came to the question of their Faith; by bluntly asking – “How readest thou”? [Luk 10:27] In other words: what do YOU think? On another occasion the Apostles were telling the Lord who the people thought He was; Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Then the blunt ‘million dollar’ question – But whom SAY YE that I am?! [Mat 16:13,15].

Off course, no two people (even good theologians) will be or can be agreed on EVERYTHING. But if they can’t agree on the VITAL POINTS of the Faith, then you can count them out. Period”!

Many are regenerated while believing that man has a ‘free will’ to ‘accept Jesus Christ’. But after you have opened the Word and showed them Scripture after Scripture that salvation is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy’ [Rom 9:16], they still stubbornly insist on mans ability and merit, like John Wesley did; you cannot count them as a brother!

But did not Christ say Christians should all be one? Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21, “‘that they all may be one’” is often cited as the biblical basis for the ecumenical movement. But what did Jesus really pray for in John 17?

The prayer of Jesus in John 17 was not an appeal to the disciples to produce unity. The unity He referred to was already there. Jesus was not dealing with something at which the church should aim. He was not even speaking to His disciples or to us. He was praying to His Father that God might keep His followers in that unity which He, through His Word, had already brought into existence.

The essence of this unity was that between Father and Son (vs. 21). This unity is a spiritual unity, not some organizational unity. And this spiritual unity has always existed among true believers. It is not a superficial unity that negates God’s Word for the sake of political or social goals, as worthy as some of them may be.

It is a unity based on the Word of God, not on some smarmy, sloppy agape which rejects the truth. It is a unity that safeguards God’s teachings, rather than changes and accommodates them.

True Christian unity comes from above. It is a God-created spiritual unity, not an outward organizational unity created by sinful human beings. As individuals, we may become part of this spiritual unity through regeneration, conversion, revival, and reformation in our lives. This should be our goal.

Again we ought not to refuse or reject a brother or sister in Christ just because they hold a DIFFERENT VIEW concerning the Second Coming! True Christians through the ages have held many Eschatological views concerning the last days and the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But all are agreed that Christ will come again in glory with His holy Angels to judge the living and the dead!

Here again as in all cases caution is needed. There is a group of ‘Christians’ who teach that Christ already came in 70A.D. and that there shall be no visible Second Coming or Resurrection of the saints. Some of these men are very strong Calvinists. But can we count these men as brethren? Read my article –

https://michaeljeshurun.wordpress.com/…/%E2%80…/

I guess the most difficult of all for the Christian to come to terms with is the fact that many if not all in his household are lost!

“A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and AMONG HIS OWN KIN, and IN HIS OWN HOUSE”. [Mark 6:4]

I do not think it can get any plainer than this. As a rule, in 99.9% of the cases, a true Christian who is testifying about his Sovereign God, His Absolute Sovereignty and also crying out against the Apostasy of his family’s nominal Christianity will not be accepted; especially amongst his kin and in his own house! Why so?

It is because of this – The Lord said, He came to seek and to save His lost sheep, and His sheep are scattered in ‘families’ both Christian and non-Christian. So when the Lord calls His sheep out of these families the division is INEVITABLE.

Remember? “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household” [Matt. 10:36]. The ‘MAN’ in this passage is the LORD’S SHEEP whom He has chosen to save as opposed to the REST of his family whom he hath chosen not to save. He says “five in one house shall be divided, three against two, and two against three.” At times the Lord may choose to save two or even three in a family of five, BUT NOWHERE IN THE SCRIPTURE DOES THE LORD PROMISE TO SAVE THE WHOLE FAMILY!

A.W. Pink put it very well when he said – “The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great ‘brotherhood’

But sadly in many cases it takes quite a while for the Lord’s child to WAKE UP TO THE FACT THAT HIS NATURAL FAMILY IS NO LONGER HIS REAL FAMILY. He has been adopted into ANOTHER family, even the family or household of God and his first allegiance should be to THEM who are the brothers and sisters of the Lamb! [see Gal 6:10] As the Master Himself said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven, THE SAME is my brother, and sister, and mother”. [Mat 12:49,50]

Many are regenerated while still a part of the Church of England, the Assemblies of God or one of the majority (not all) of the Baptist, Methodist or Lutheran denominations, which are daughters of the GREAT WHORE! [How can I dare say this? Because thy don’t preach against her, but count her as one of them and hold ‘United Christmas Celebrations’ with her]

Truth is, if our loved ones are truly saved, the Lord will sooner or later show them the Apostasy of these ‘Churches’ and BRING THEM OUT!

But even after you showing them the compromise and error of these ‘Churches’ and their practices they still insist on being a member of these Apostate ‘Churches’, saying “we have to go to some church on Sunday”, they are showing their true character as goats no matter how eloquently they can expound doctrine!

To grin and bear it when your Dad is testifying of the glorious Christmas service he attended is nothing short of denying the Lord! He that loveth his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me! See ‘Letter to my Roman Catholic Dad’-
https://michaeljeshurun.wordpress.com/…/letter-to-my…/

To be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers includes our well meaning lost relatives as well!

Let me say in conclusion, it is a pretty lonely life for the true Christian who is taking a stand for the Truth. If you choose to live like the Master and confront those around you with the truth like the Master, [see John 7:7] then without doubt you will wind up like the Master- ‘despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’! [Isa 53:3]

But the Day is soon coming when you will hear- “Well done, thou good and faithful servant (not successful): thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”. [Mat 25:21]

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