Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
June 24, 1998
Last Updated :
February 25, 2012
Our Victory: Jesus Overcomes The World, Destroy Discredit And Replace God's Anointed Leader, Jew's Blindness And Spiritual Slumber, Lies Deceptions And Compromise In Christian Church, Selfish Shepherds Of Ancient Israel, The Devil's Accusations, Power And Money Hungry, Psychological Intimidation, Isolating Flock From The World, Illicit Sexual Relations With The Fold, Deception, Controlling Flow Of Information, Sensationalistic Mass Media, Cults No Longer Recognized As Cults, Satan Likes To Generalize To Make All Christians Look Bad, Malcontents On Our Mailing List, Preach The Glad Tidings And Not The Devil's Dirty Deeds, The Yabbuts Who Butt Like Goats, Bible Teachers Lifted Up In Their Pride And Ego, Always Consult God's Word, Avoid Contentious Doctrinal Debate, Safety In The Multitude Of Counsellors, Undermining Leadership, Be Slow To Speak, Do Not Rebuke Elders, What To Do When Private Counseling Fails
While the unbelieving Jewish religionists achieved a seeming victory when they convinced the Romans to crucify Jesus, we can thank God that this was only a temporary setback on the part of the Disciples. Once Jesus had been resurrected, and the Disciples had been filled with the Holy Ghost, that sad situation changed from one of utter despair, to one of total victory; for as Jesus had also prophesied earlier in the Gospel of John:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV
If Satan cannot physically destroy the leadership as in the case with Jesus, then he will attempt to discredit the godly Spirit-led leader through public scandal of one form or another. He will tempt the man of God to sin through some weakness of the mind or flesh, and then he will exploit that error to bring disgrace upon that leader. Once God's man is neutralized and out of the way, Satan will then replace him with his own false, worldly, spiritless leader who does not pose a threat to his Kingdom of Darkness. This is the kind of leadership I described in part one which slowly lulls the congregation into spiritual slumber while they fleece the flocks for all they are worth.
This is precisely what has happened to physical Israel for the past two thousand years. As Jesus plainly informs us in the Gospels, and as the Apostle Paul writes in his Epistle to the Romans, the unbelieving Jews have been afflicted with both spiritual blindness, as well as with spiritual slumber, as we see by the following verses:
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Matthew 13:10-16, KJV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:16, 24, KJV
"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
John 9:39-41, KJV
"(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
Romans 11:8, 25, KJV
While the nation of Israel has for the most part been lulled to sleep by the spiritless traditions of the Elders -- that is, by modern Judaism, a.k.a. Pharisaism, which is based on the Babylonian Talmud -- it is important to point out that a lot of modern Christians have also fallen asleep spiritually. This becomes rather evident by the many deadly and deceitful doctrines, attitudes and practices which have now invaded so many of the churches. This includes ecumenism -- which is a compromise with some non-Christian religions -- materialism, gay and lesbian blessings, gay and lesbian church leaders, secular humanism, evolution, etc. Our faith has become both corrupted and compromised in a very serious way.
We can all thank the Lord that someday, possibly in our life times, Jesus will return; and when He does, just as He did during His last appearance on the Earth, He is going to take His precious lambs out of the foul mouths of the thieves, hirelings and wolves who attempt to devour them with their lies and false doctrines, and who steal their money from them in every way that they can. I am reminded of the following verse that describes the false, selfish shepherds of ancient Israel:
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them."
Ezekiel 34:10, KJV
When the Devil does begin to attack God's leadership, one of the accusations he often uses is to claim that the leader or shepherd wields too much power. As the old saying goes, the Devil tends to accuse others of the very same things of which he himself is guilty. We are clearly told in the Scriptures that Lucifer is power-hungry, and desires to occupy the very Throne of God, as we see by these verses that are found in the Book of Isaiah:
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
Isaiah 14:13-14, KJV
Despite this truth, Satan still has the audacity to accuse God's anointed leaders and shepherds of being hungry for power and money, of keeping their flocks isolated from the rest of the world by means of psychological intimidation, of practicing varying degrees and forms of deception, of having sexual relations with their followers, of manipulating their flocks through the controlled flow of information, and many other such questionable practices.
Now, I will be the first to admit that with certain churches, organizations and cults, some of these lamentable things do in fact occur -- and they will someday be held accountable for their deeds -- but let us not be too quick to forget that the sensationalistic mass media has a habit of making certain that the public learns of such things, and may even purposely exaggerate the facts, for the sake of profit alone.
What I find surprising is the fact that some of these cults have now grown so large, powerful, and respectable, that they are no longer even recognized as cults, even though millions of people worldwide worship their leaders as if they are some kind of gods. Can you possibly imagine who I am talking about?
But my point is that just because some churches and cults are guilty of doing these things, does not mean that all churches and Christian organizations are guilty of the same. However, that does not matter to Satan; because one of his tactics is to generalize, in order to try to make all Christians look bad in the eyes of the public.
In years past, when I was still running the now-defunct EDGE Mailing List, I likewise faced this kind of criticism on some occasions, although to a much smaller degree. I recall how a few disgruntled former members of our fellowship accused me of resorting to Hitlerian-style tactics in order to control the flow of information. This criticism was later upgraded, and these malcontents dubbed me a Hitlerian cult master who brainwashed his followers. It was all kind of silly -- not to mention totally unfounded -- because at that time, absolutely no one knew who I was -- I used a nom de plume -- or where I lived, or what I looked like. None of our members ever met me in person, or ever met each other in person either. We were just a very loosely-knit electronic mailing list fellowship.
But you see, none of that mattered; because my critics were so deceived in their own minds, that they conjured up this ridiculous image of me sending out powerful hypnotic waves through my modem. According to them, I was in possession of so much spiritual power, that I could brainwash people, and control what they thought and believed, just by sending out email messages alone. It was as if free will and personal choice never entered the picture.
Now, let's be honest here. There is probably not a Christian church or fellowship on this planet that doesn't experience problems of one kind or another. After all, we are all human, and life is not just one big, happy family as is portrayed on daily sitcoms. However, when problems do arise in our church or fellowship, we are not supposed to broadcast them to the entire world. Following the Scriptural precedent that we examined earlier in this series, we are supposed to try to resolve the issue directly -- and privately -- with the parties that are involved, if at all possible. It is only when no degree of repentance is expressed that we are to go to the entire Body of Christ for further deliberation.
These troublemakers on our mailing list apparently did not agree with this approach. They felt that I was keeping back information that should have been shared with everyone, no matter what kind of negative effect it may have had on our little flock. As I recall, they also accused me of holding back information which was critical of my person. Obviously, no one likes to be criticized; not even me. However, there was a higher principle which I took into consideration at the time. Consider the following:
Imagine that one bright sunny weekend, you are sitting in your local church all prepared for an inspiring sermon from your priest, minister or pastor; provided, of course, that you belong to a church which still shares the real Word of God. To your utter dismay, instead of reading from his prepared sermon, your spiritual elder pulls out the Sunday morning newspaper and begins to read the various headlines:
7,000 Killed From Recent Earthquake In Afghanistan
AIDS Epidemic Spreading Amongst Heterosexual Couples
Man Kills Entire Family During Jealous Fit Of Rage
Two Tons Of Drugs Seized From Offshore Traffickers
Powerful Tornados Kill 100's In Midwestern States
More Gun Violence In Southern High School
Abortion Advocates Gain Another Victory
Twenty-Two Die From Heatwave In Texas
Floodwaters Still On The Rise In Minnesota
President Faces Impeachment Due To Sex Scandal
A Tenth State Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
Researchers Say Cloned Human Dies From Complications
Unemployment Rate Out Of Control As Millions Suffer
U.S. Administration Declares War On Iran
Severe Drought Afflicts The Middle East
Food Shortages In Africa Kill Millions
Obviously, you would be quite surprised to hear your priest, minister or pastor reading such things during the time when he is normally supposed to be uplifting your Spirits, and nourishing your souls with the Word of God. This is exactly how I view my electronic outreach ministry. As a shepherd, I believe that it is my responsibility to give my readers the glad tidings of God's Kingdom; that is, the Gospel, the Good News, the Word of God, and not just the sad tidings. That is in fact why I endeavor to publish one of my KJV Bible verse lists on the Bill's Bible Basics Blog everyday. I want to spiritually feed my online friends with the Good News, and not just with the bad news.
While I do share important news items that may be related to the fulfillment of Endtime prophecy, and while I do expose false doctrines, dangerous cults, misguided individuals, and ungodly developments and practices in my articles and in my blog posts when they are brought to my attention, that is not all that I share. I strive to share a lot of good, positive things from God's Word as well. In fact, as I have mentioned to my readers before, I would dare say that a major portion of my articles are comprised of Scriptures.
Furthermore, I do not believe that it is God's Will that I share the occasional hateful, nasty messages that I sometimes receive from people who do not like me, or who may disagree with my views, or who do not even believe in the Lord. Let me also add that Christians who go around on the Internet and do nothing but condemn their brethren who do not happen to agree with their doctrinal views, have a serious problem that they need to deal with. The problem is called having an overly critical spirit. We Christians will never see eye-to-eye on every single issue -- at least not in this life -- but it is not our duty to go around chopping up any brother or sister who does not understand things the same exact way as we do. You know who you are.
The following Scriptures that are found in the New Testament advise us to share the glad tidings; that is, the good things that the Lord is doing, and the Truth of His Word, and not the evil works of darkness and Satan's negative, critical propaganda:
"And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings."
Luke 1:19, KJV
"And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,"
Luke 8:1, KJV
"And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,"
Acts 13:32, KJV
"And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Romans 10:15, KJV
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:8, KJV
"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it."
1 Peter 3:10-11, KJV
To reiterate, as the ministers and teachers of God's Word, we are not supposed to advertise the Devil's dirty deeds any more than we have to. Believe me; some of the atheists and antichrists who write to me on occasion, don't spare a word. They tell me exactly what they think. I don't feel that my readers need to waste their time reading such nonsense and garbage. After all, if you are like me, you probably receive a lot of email everyday from a variety of sources which you barely have time to read as it is. Let me advise my fellow shepherds that you are perfectly within your right to do as you feel led of the Lord in regards to weeding out false accusations, complaints, subtle lies and whatever else the devil and his emissaries may use to try to disrupt your Christian fellowship.
As I have mentioned before, one group of people who we all need to watch out for, are those who I personally refer to as the "yabbuts". These kinds of troublemakers have a very peculiar habit. As a result, they are very easy to identify within your fellowship. The reason they are called "yabbuts" is because they usually make such statements as these:
"Yeah, I believe in what you are saying . . . but!"
"Yeah, that may be perfectly true . . . but!"
"Yeah, that makes a lot of sense . . . but!"
No matter what you say, these kinds of people never seem to agree with you fully on one single issue, or at least not with very many of them. They are always butting, just like stubborn old goats. The danger with these kinds of people is that while on the surface they may appear to agree with you at first, either knowingly or unknowingly, they are sowing seeds of doubt and confusion amongst your flock who may not know any better, and who may not possess a mature level of Spiritual Discernment.
Of course, no teacher is infallible; although some teachers would like you to think that they are. I find this kind of people on the Internet all the time. They are so lifted up in their pride, and so buoyed by their own ego and their inflated image of themselves, not to mention their assumed knowledge of God's Word, that they expect their audience to believe them, just because they so say; even if they never offer a single verse of support from the Scriptures. If they say it, well then it must be true, and they can't possibly be wrong; can they? At least that is what they would like for people to think.
My point is, if you have any doubts whatsoever about what is being taught, then you should personally consult the Word of God in order to determine the truth of the matter to your own personal satisfaction. This applies to my personal writings as well. No one is obligated to agree with me on every single point. However, please keep in mind that there is a very big difference between disagreeing with me, and disagreeing with what is clearly stated in the Bible; so please make certain that you are not disagreeing with the latter.
If after performing your study, you still honestly feel that a teacher is in some kind of doctrinal error, then you should approach the teacher in a spirit of humility -- and privately -- and study the Word of God together in order to determine where your differences in understanding lie. This should not occur in front of the flock, or in any public arena, because it is important that we strive to present a spirit of unity for the Believers, and not one of conflict and contention.
Please note, however, that as I explain in the article called "Should Christians Engage in Doctrinal Debates?", I am very much opposed to engaging in any form of doctrinal debate, and I do not believe that the Scriptures support such a practice. Exchanging views in a spirit of humility is one thing, while engaging in vicious, mean-spirited doctrinal arguments is not. Please consider the following verses:
"For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"
1 Corinthians 1:11-13, KJV
"For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
1 Corinthians 3:3-6, KJV
"But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
2 Timothy 2:23-26, KJV
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."
Titus 3:9, KJV
"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 Corinthians 1:10, KJV
Now, if you still remain unconvinced of what is being taught, then you should observe to see if there are any other people in your fellowship who likewise detect the doctrinal error. The Lord's Spirit is faithful; and He will normally point out things to at least two or three people in order to confirm a thought. This Spirit-led approach is confirmed by verses such as the following:
"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."
Deuteronomy 19:15, KJV
"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety."
Proverbs 11:14, KJV
"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established."
Proverbs 15:22, KJV
"For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety."
Proverbs 24:6, KJV
"But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
Matthew 18:16, KJV
"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
2 Corinthians 13:1, KJV
If no other people detect the perceived error, as hard as it may be for you to accept, it may simply be a lack in your own personal understanding, regardless of how convinced you are of what you believe. If you are patient, and hungry for the Truth, the Lord will eventually show you what you have misunderstood; for as He tells us in His Word:
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
Matthew 7:7-11, KJV
While at times you may be tempted to speak out hastily, it is important for you to realize that to singlehandedly challenge a teacher publicly during a Bible study could make you guilty of undermining leadership before the flock. Not only that, but let us also remember what God's Word teach us concerning speaking out in haste, and rebuking a spiritual elder:
"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise."
Proverbs 10:19, KJV
"Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few."
Ecclesiastes 5:2, KJV
"A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards."
Proverbs 29:11, KJV
"For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
Matthew 12:37, KJV
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"
James 1:19, KJV
"Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;"
1 Timothy 5:1, KJV
What if after this open challenge, it turns out that you are wrong and the teacher is right? While you may be humbled by the experience, your actions may cause irreparable damage by causing doubts amongst the flock. In other words, from that point forward, the Bible students may no longer fully trust the words of their teacher, regardless of how closely said person may follow the Holy Scriptures. On the other hand, if there are others who have also questioned the doctrine which is being taught, then this is an entirely different matter. After all, the Apostle Paul also wrote the following in the very same chapter:
"Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear."
1 Timothy 5:19-20, KJV
If at least two or three people receive a witness of the Spirit that a certain elder is doing or teaching something that is wrong, then Scripturally-speaking, it is proper for them to make it a public matter if private counseling with the elder fails to yield positive results.
Depending upon the results of what follows, you will have to decide whether or not you wish to continue participating in that fellowship or Bible study, or else move on to another one. What if the situation is not resolved according to your satisfaction, and the church elder or teacher is not removed from their position? What if you are still convinced in your heart that you are right and they are wrong? What will you do?
You must be realistic about such matters. In this day and age in which many of the Lord's flocks have been taken over by false shepherds who have been hired by church administrators who possess very little Spiritual Discernment -- simply due to the fact that the shepherd or preacher is good at bringing in the crowds, or filling up the church's coffers -- short of a serious sexual scandal, or perhaps financial improprieties, most administrators will not allow themselves to be bothered with firing a minister or pastor over doctrinal issues which have been brought up by a few members of the congregation. In short, if anyone will be doing any moving, it may very well be you.
Please go to part four for the conclusion of this series.
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