EXPOSING THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN
Special Thanks to Francis Frangipane
this is a related article By Jack Hunter
From the March 1998 "A Trumpet in the Wilderness"
The Attack on the Brethren by the Brethren
More churches have been destroyed by the Accuser of the Brethren and its fault-finding than by either immorality or misuse of church funds. So prevalent is this influence in our society that, among many, fault-finding has been elevated to the status of a "ministry!" The L-rd has promised, however, that in His house accusing one another will be replaced with prayer, and fault-finding replaced with a love that covers a multitude of sins.
Satan Wants to Stop Your Growth
Our goal is to see the Living Church, and families within the church, delivered from the stronghold of fault-finding, and to have our hearts turned to prayer. Satan has sent fourth an army of fault-finding demons to hinder and even destroy the church. Their purpose is to entice the Body of Messiah away from the perfections of Yeshua onto the imperfections of one another.
The fault-finder spirit's assignment is to assault relationships on all levels. It attacks families, churches and inter-church associations, seeking to bring irreparable schisms into our unity. Masquerading as discernment, this spirit will slip into our opinions of other people, leaving us critical and judgmental. Consequently, we all need to evaluate our attitude toward others. If our thoughts are other than "faith working through love," we need to be aware that we may be under spiritual attack.
The people who have been taken by this deceitful spirit become "crusaders." They are irreconcilable enemies of their former assemblies and displaced family members. In most cases, the things they deem wrong or lacking are the very areas in which the L-rd seeks to position them for intercession. What should be an opportunity for spiritual growth and meeting a need, becomes an area of stumbling and withdrawal. Their criticisms are a smokescreen for a prayerless heart and an unwillingness to serve.
Discovering imperfections in anyone is by no means a sign of spirituality. We could easily find fault with the church or family members before we were Christians. What we do with the imperfections that we see is the measure of spiritual maturity. When Yeshua saw the condition of mankind, He "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, ...He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:7-8) He died to take away sin, He did not judge them.
No One Is Exempt
Messiah Himself could not satisfy the "standards" of this fault-finding spirit when it spoke through the Pharisees. No matter what Yeshua did, the Pharisees found fault with Him. If you have not personally consulted with and listened to the individual of whom you are critical, there is no way you can be sure that you are not in the role of the accuser of the brethren? Even the "...Law does not judge any man, before it hears him, (Jn 7:51)."
If the enemy can discredit the minister, it has discredited his message. The timing of attacks on ministers of the gospel is usually just prior or just after a breakthrough of spiritual growth. The unchallenged assault of this fault-finding demon always stops the forward progress of the church.
When this spirit infiltrates an individual's mind, its accusations come with such venom and intimidation that even those who should "know better" are bewildered and then seduced by its influence. Everyone involved focuses on "issues," and forgets that Yeshua is praying for His body to become one. Devastation wracks the targeted church. Discouragement will seek to destroy the pastor and his family or other servants of G-d in the Church.
The fault-finder spirit is devastating. It is depressing to try to track down the accusing spirit as it whispers its gossip through the local church. Trusted friends seem distant and established relationships are shaken. The growth and work of the church is stopped by strife.
This enemy is not limited to attacks on local churches. Its attacks are city wide and nationwide. Publishers make fortunes selling defaming books. Biblical ways of correction never seem to be followed. Biblical ways of correction lead to healing and not destruction.
The fault-finder usually clothes its criticisms in a religious covering. This spirit pretends to protect the sheep from a "gnat-sized" error in doctrine, while forcing it to swallow the "camel-sized" error of loveless correction. When it attempts to correct violations of scripture, it employs the very methods which seriously violate scripture! Where is the "spirit of Gentleness "(Gal 6:1), or the humility in "looking to yourselves, lest you too be tempted?" Where is the love motive to "restore such a one?"
In most cases the person supposedly in "error" has never even been contacted before his alleged mistakes enter the rumor mill of the church. Only after slanderous damage is done is he made aware of his alleged faults. Brethren, the spirit behind such accusations must be discerned, for its motive is not to restore and heal, but to destroy!
The Pure Example
The church does need correction, but the ministry of reproof must be patterned after Messiah and not the accuser of the brethren. When Yeshua corrected the churches in Asia (Rev 2-3), He placed His rebuke between praise and promises. He reassured the churches that the Voice about to expose their sin was the very Voice which inspired their virtue. After encouraging them, He then brought correction. After correcting them, His last words were not condemnation, but promises.
This is the way He corrects each of us. No matter how bad our sin may be, His voice always contains "grace and truth." Remember, if the word of rebuke or correction does not offer grace for restoration, it is not the voice of your Shepherd. If you are one of Messiah's sheep, you will flee from such a voice.
The Enemy's Weapons
To find a charge against the church or a repentant believer, the enemy must draw his accusation from hell. If we have repented of our sins, no record of them exists in Heaven. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of G-d's elect? It is G-d that justifieth." (Rom 8:33) Yeshua is not condemning us but is at the Father's right hand interceding on our behalf.
Let us expose the weapons of the fault-finder. The first weapon of the fault-finder is our actual sins. Our failure to repent when the Holy Spirit desires to correct us opens the door for the accuser to condemn us. The voice of the enemy never offers hope nor extends grace for repentance. It acts as though it were the voice of G-d, and we are guilty of the "unpardonable sin." The way to defeat the enemy in this arena is to disarm him by sincerely repenting of the sin, and affirming that the atonement of Messiah is the sum of all of our righteousness.
Satan seeks more than just accusing us as individuals. Satan wants us to criticize and condemn others. Satan wants us to react in the flesh against offenses, instead of praying for those who offend us. Our human responses are then easily manipulated by the fault-finder spirit. We will cast down the accuser of the brethren when we learn to pray for one another instead of preying on one another. We must learn to forgive in the same way that Messiah has forgiven us. When someone has repented of his sins, we must exercise the same attitude of "divine forgetfulness" that exists in heaven. We defeat the fault-finder when we respond like Yeshua: like a lamb, Messiah died for sinners; as a priest, He intercedes. A godly spirit praises, edifies, and intercedes. An ungodly spirit finds faults, criticizes, and condemns.
The second weapon the fault-finding demon uses against us is our past mistakes and poor decisions. We all have made mistakes. Hopefully, we have learned from them and have developed humility because of them. The fault-finding demon takes our past mistakes and parades them before our memory, criticizing our efforts to do G-d's will, thus keeping us in bondage to the past.
When the enemy pits us against one another, it first provokes us to jealousy or fear. The security of our place in life seems threatened by another's success. Perhaps to justify our personal failures or flaws, we magnify the past shortcomings of others. The more our jealousy grows, the more this demon exploits our thoughts until nothing about the individual or his church seems right.
In the final stage we actually wage a campaign against him. No defense he offers will satisfy us. We are convinced he is deceived and dangerous; and we think it is up to us to warn others. The truth is that the mind controlled by the fault-finder is the one who is deceived and dangerous. His own unrepentant thoughts toward jealousy and fleshly criticism have supplied hell with a "lumber yard" of material to erect walls between the members of the body of Messiah.
Often we find leaders who have fallen from the intensity of their first love, who end up persecuting others who are moving in the Holy Spirit. As disciples of Messiah we will be persecuted. However, there is no biblical authorization for Christians to persecute others. It is incredible that those who are persecuting others often think that they are offering service to G-d. We can fight this enemy by creating an atmosphere of grace. We will do what we can to cause all things to work together for good. If someone stumbles, without encouraging hypocrisy, we must be quick to cover him with prayer. We must never forget that "we are members of one another." (Eph 4:25) We are family. Love will find a redemptive way to cover a multitude of sins.
Where The Vultures Are Gathered
There are times when G-d will prune us back to increase our fruitfulness. This is to prepare us for new power in ministry. At such times, new levels of surrender and crucifixion of the flesh may be required. It is often a time of humiliation and testing. We may feel empty and ineffective as the L-rd is expanding our dependency on Him.
During such times the fault-finding spirit targets us. The fault-finder spirit will never be found among the L-rd's pruning tools. It is strictly a tool of the devil. What G-d has designed as a time of growth in the clarity and power of prophetic vision can bring us down, and cut us off from the very people who should have prayed us through to the victory. In this attack the fault-finder is most destructive. It is here that the fault- finder can kill mature ministers which would arm their churches for war.
The fault-finders and gossips are already planted in the church. It is always possible that we could be such a one!
When our leaders are being made more deeply dependent on G-d, have we been tempted to criticize the apparent lack of anointing? Would we abandon our friends, leaders, and family when our faith may be the very encouragement they need to fully yield to the cross?
Those who are sympathetic to the accuser of the brethren fulfill Matthew 24:28, "For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the vultures be gathered together." The backbiting of these vulture-like individuals actually feeds their lower nature, for they seek what is dead in a church; they are attracted to what is dying.
Eventually these fault-finders depart, instinctively looking to take issue with some other church. "These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. ...the ones who cause divisions....mockers ...who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." Jude 16-19 They leave behind their former brethren severely wounded and in strife, and a greatly disheartened pastor. Once again the fault-finder spirit will manifest itself through them, strategically positioned to destroy another church.
Today, G-d is seeking to raise up His servants with increased power and authority. In the pruning stage of their growth, will we water their dryness with prayer or will we be vultures drawn to devour their dying flesh?
How To Correct the Error
When the accuser comes, it brings distorted facts and condemnation. Those who are trapped by this spirit never research the virtues in the organization or person they are attacking. To conquer this enemy we must earnestly seek G-d's heart and His calling for those who we would reprove, with the same zeal that the fault-finder seeks to uncover sin.
True correction, proceeds with reverence, not revenge.
Are not those whom we seek to correct Messiah's servants? Are they not His possession? Is it not possible that the works of which we are jealous, and thus critical, might be the very works of Messiah? We must ask ourselves: Why has G-d chosen us to bring His rebuke? Are we walking the way Messiah would walk?
These are important questions. To be anointed with Messiah's authority to rebuke, we must be committed to people with Messiah's love. But if we are angry, bitter, or jealous toward another, we cannot even pray correctly for that person, much less reprove him. Yeshua was declared worthy to bring forth judgment because of his nature: He was the Lamb slain for men's sin. If we are not determined to die for men, we have no right to judge them.
Those who seek to justify leaving a church must not do so simply through finding fault. We should openly communicate with the ministerial team. Our attitude should be one of prayer and love. If people bring with them a root of bitterness against their former assembly, that root will spring up in your church and many will be defiled. No matter how much you need new members, never build your congregation with individuals who are unreconciled to their former fellowship.
In the house of the L-rd, criticism must be replaced with prayer, and fault-finding eliminated with a covering of love. Where there is error, we must go with a motive to restore. Where there are wrong doctrines, let us maintain a gentle spirit correcting those in opposition.
10 Ways to defeat
the Accuser of the Brethren.
1) When you discern a fault, know that G-d is calling you to pray.
2) Know that the chief Churchianity virtue of backbiting is SIN.
3) Study Matthew 18. You must go directly to your brother FIRST!
4) Know that the manifest power of the Holy Spirit depends on the body being in one accord.
5) Understand that the true mark of Holiness is the recognition of the disparate wickedness in your own heart to the full exclusion of any ability to discern faults in your brother.
6) How dare anyone separate themselves and profess that they are a believer in Yeshua Messiah.
7) You CANNOT minister unless you FIRST be RECONCILED, then you can have the anointing to minister.
8) Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
9) Let people know that you stop gossip with direct open rebuke.
10) Only IF the principles of Matthew 18 have been followed, then -
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
We must learn to pray for one another instead of preying on one another. We must hang together or they will hang us separately.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
We all know IN PART. We all prophecy IN PART. Here is a surprise for all the great teachers. You don't know it all. G-d did it this way so that we would have common sense to know we need each other.
The Attack on the Brethren by the
By Jack Hunter
This message has been months in
coming. It was actually conceived after Barb and I attended a
conference made up of what you would call "like
minded" people. This message was birthed at the San Antonio
Forum where I was one of the speakers to proclaim His Word. I was
indeed humbled that our Great Lord has seen fit to allow me to
speak publicly for Him again. For that I am eternally humbled and
grateful. The following message is very similar to what I tried
to preach to the brothers and sisters in San Antonio.
Before we pitch our spiritual tents lets look at where we are.. Let me once again sound the trumpet and say with all the vigor and urgency I have that JUDGMENT IS COMING....JUDGMENT IS COMING....JUDGMENT IS COMING....REPENT!! Judgment is coming to America and the world, and in fact is already here. Our sins are many - we have been eating, drinking and being merry, but the smell of our pollution has reached heaven. Our divorces, fornications, adulteries, debaucheries, homosexuality, rapes, abortions, carousing, orgies, murders, drunkenness and our lascivious life style have brought about this country's downfall. Now God still stands ready and willing to forgive us for ALL these sins and more if we are washed in the blood of Yeshua (Jesus) But first we must Repent. However we are not only content to bask in our own feces, but while we swim in these polluted waters we flaunt these sins as well.
God will no longer tolerate the cesspool we have produced. Oh, we think we are flying high and nothing can harm us. However, A Holy God can not and will not continue to tolerate rebellion. Obadiah 4 Though you build high like the eagle, Though you set you nest among the stars, From their I WILL BRING YOU DOWN declares the Lord.
Yes, our sins have reached Heaven and they are many. Brothers and sisters our days are numbered. I and others are sounding out an alarm of warning and correction. "We have sowed the wind and we will reap a whirlwind." We continue to change truth into a lie. We make heroes out of the sick and perverted. We allow this person who once called himself a doctor by the name of Kevorkian to strike again and again. In this writer's opinion he is nothing more than a mass murderer. However, as this Hitler-minded euthanasia continues, the Kevorkian's of this world will at first become heroes and then will become the norm.
The Scriptures declare God is not mocked; whatsoever a man sowth that shall he also reap. A whirlwind of a gigantic magnitude is going to sweep many away. Yahweh God will use a number of methods to shake this land. He will use weather calamities, wars of a vast nature, and other means. Hear me in the name of the LORD. "The Bear played possum while the eagle played the sitting duck." Russia and China are only two of the strategic players God will use to perform His purpose. Today, the White House is in peril. It's my belief that Mr. Clinton and others have been placed where they are to help execute judgment. Why shouldn't wicked America have her wicked kings? This wicked king of ours has not only apparently become bed partners with virtually anyone he chooses but also has committed acts of treason with his sordid love affairs with Red China and others. I have stated before that when Mr. Clinton's back is against the wall we may be surprised at his tactics. Once the mask is ripped off of Mr. Clinton, the real Mr. Clinton may come forth. However, I ask: how can an unrepentant country - how can an unrepentant president who is living in the flesh - do anything but sin?
They remind me of "The Fable of the Frog and the Scorpion". The story goes like this. Once a deadly scorpion approached a frog and asked the frog to please carry him across a huge lake. Now this scorpion was a deadly scorpion and just one sting from his tail could kill a large animal, let alone a frog. The scorpion asked the frog "Please carry me across the lake. I can ride on your back." "NO!" said the frog. "If you get on my back you will sting me and I will die", the frog replied in a frightened voice. "I won't sting you. All I want to do is to get to the other side of the lake - that's all I want to do", the scorpion said in a reassuring voice. Reluctantly the frog agreed. So the deadly scorpion climbed on the frog's back and across the huge lake they went. As the frog swam across the lake his little heart beat fast knowing who and what he was carrying on his back. Finally they reached the other side of the lake and the frog breathed a long sigh of relief. Just as the scorpion climbed off the frog he swished down his deadly tail across the horrified frog. The frog reeked with pain and as he gasped for his last breath he cried, "why did you sting me...why..why!!!. As the scorpion crawled away he looked back at the dying frog sinking in the waters and said, "it was my nature to sting you."
I say again, an unrepentant America and an unrepentant president can do no other than what their nature deems them to do and that is to sin! I ask, perhaps it's us the church that is in need of repentance as much as, or more than, a sinful America and her sinful president.
Now it's time to pitch our spiritual tents. Here it is. This is the message. I have entitled the message "The Attack On The Brethren By The Brethren".
It's not my purpose in this article to focus on certain doctrinal issues I and others deem as truths. However many of them will emerge as I write. If you have been reading "A Trumpet In The Wilderness" for very long you are well aware where I stand on a number of issues. The purpose of this article is to call for a cease-fire - to lay down our carnal weapons of warfare and embrace each other (the brethren) in love. When I refer to the brethren, I refer to all His children who are washed in the blood of Yeshua and whose faith is in Him and Him alone. I am in no way referring to the liberal ecumenical movement that embraces any and all faiths and religions. I am speaking of Bible-believing, blood-bought Christians of many different persuasions, who have or are in the process of making Yeshua Lord of their lives.
I do not find anywhere in the Bible that we are to attack other true believers who are in the household of faith. We are never to have a "holier than thou" attitude or attack another brother or sister because we do not see eye to eye on all doctrinal issues.
Listen! Listen! Can you hear the rumblings in the camp?
Oh, they don't have an overhead projector. We sing the latest rehearsed spiritual songs. They still sing out of the hymnal.
Oh they sing "off the wall". They jump and so all sorts of weird things. They are so uncouth. Why can't they have dignity and reverence in their service.
We raise our hands, we are so spiritual. We dance , we clap, and we play our tambourines. They sit there, the "frozen chosen". Their service is like a morgue.
Their service is like a three-ring circus, they're all over the place. That can't be from God. Thank you Father that we not only spiritual, but we have intellect as well.
We speak in tongues, we sing in tongues and we pray in tongues. If you don't speak in tongues, you don't have the Holy Ghost, you may not even be saved. Praise God for our tongues and all are other spiritual gifts.
They speak in tongues, or so they say. If they do speak in tongues then it is of Satan not the Holy Spirit. I dare them mock the scriptures.
They have too many musical instruments. They don't have enough musical instruments. They actually have musical instruments in their worship service.
They don't do communion correctly. They serve from only one cup. They use many little cups. They let anyone serve communion. They think only a few chosen can serve communion. I would never have communion with them.
ENOUGH!! GOD HELP US ! We attack one another time and time again in the name of Yeshua when in actuality it is the name of Satan.
I, like many of you, listen to shortwave radio. There is a preacher on shortwave by the name of R.G. Stair, better known as Brother Stair. Before I actually listened to this man, I heard attack, attack, attack from others who I will also refer to as brothers. As a result of their attacks I refused to listen to Brother Stair. My friend and brother Jim Searcy, asked me just to listen to him. I trusted my friend and began to listen to Brother Stair. Let me be as candid as I can. Brother Stair's message on repentance, righteous living, the Lordship of Christ, and his overall last days message is right from the heart of God. I do not have to agree with Brother Stair, or anyone else, on every single issue to make them my brother. I was wrong to prejudge Brother Stair. Many of God's servants and their ministries are damaged and even destroyed by the attack of the brethren. I pray for Brother Stair, but I also pray for those who attacked him.
We may not agree with everyone on everything .... but we must agree on the essentials - the cardinal and imperative. We must agree that Yeshua , the Messiah, is absolute King of Kings and Lord of Lords and the one and only way to the Father. We must proclaim repentance and righteous living. We must never embrace another gospel - which is a false gospel. One false gospel proclaims that you are saved by your own works, while another false gospel embraces cheap grace, grace without cost, grace without sacrifice, grace without repentance, and grace without obedience. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26
We are saved by grace through faith. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 4:8-9 Grace is free, but it is not cheap. It cost Yeshua His all, via the splattering of His Holy Blood at a city dump, for the forgiveness of our sins.
We must never preach, teach, or embrace a false gospel that proclaims co-redemption. Any teaching that elevates anyone near to or equal with our Lord Jesus Christ is blasphemous and heretical - whether that teaching be of Mary, the mother of Jesus, some alleged saint or anyone or anything else. We must proclaim Christ and Him crucified. We must proclaim death to self and preach the cross and all it entails. These are some of the essentials that we are to have a no-compromise attitude on, however there are many more trivialities that we should never break fellowship on, let alone attack another brother or sister.
I only have about a thimbleful of truth in God's vast ocean of knowledge. I hate to be so blunt, but you don't have a whole lot more than that either. Many of us have just enough knowledge to make us dangerous. We should be interested in helping people find the shepherd rather than exercising dominion over the flock. If I fellowship with only those who are right on every issue, then I fellowship with no one. We ALL, ALL, ALL, ALL, are wrong on some things. We want to make everyone just like us. We want to clone them all. We want to make them in the image of us - our denomination, our persuasion, and not in the image of Christ.
Thank God! Thank God Almighty for His truths - for correct doctrine. However, these doctrinal truths must never be a license to attack another brother or sister. We must remain in fellowship over the essentials and never break fellowship over the trivialities.
It is one thing to make judgment and it is another thing to pass judgment. We are to make judgment (regarding sin) as discerned from the Scriptures as the Holy Spirit enlightens us - but we are never to pass judgment on our brother - that is left up to Him.
The NEW commandment is to love one another as I have loved you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13: 34-35
You and I do not have to agree on every teaching to love and to be in one accord. One of my favorite authors is Andrew Murray. The following excerpts are from his book entitled "Absolute Surrender". Think of the church at large. What divisions! Think of the different bodies. Take the question of holiness, take the question of the cleansing blood, take the question of the baptism of the Spirit - what differences are caused among dear believers by such questions! That there are differences of opinion does not trouble me. We do not have the same constitution and temperament and mind. But how often hate, bitterness, contempt, separation, unlovingness are caused by the holiest truths of God's Word! Our doctrines, our creeds, have been more important than love. We often think we are valiant for the truth and we forget God's command to speak the truth in love. And it was so in the time of the Reformation between the Lutheran and Calvinistic churches. What bitterness there was than in regard to the Holy Supper, which was meant to be the bond of union among all believers! And so, down the ages, the very dearest truths of God have become mountains that have separated us.
We talk about grieving the Spirit of God by worldliness and ritualism and formality and error and indifference but, I tell you, the one thing above everything that grieves God's Spirit is this want of love. Let every heart search itself, and ask that God may search it.
Oh, just as a mother's love covers her children and delights in them and has the tenderest compassion with their foibles or failures, so there ought to be in the heart of every believer a motherly love toward every brother and sister in Christ. Have you aimed for that? Have you sought it? Have you pleaded for it? Jesus Christ said: "As I have loved you ... love one another."
In Exodus, the 20th Chapter, Verses 2 and 3 Yahweh God strongly declares these words "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Today, we in my circle criticize those who have graven images in their temples, and rightly so. However, we too have made graven images by our pseudo creeds and doctrines. We have not only failed to love the brethren because of some trivial differences in doctrine but we have slashed their throats because of such. King Nebuchadnezzar became angry and his face burned with rage when Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, better known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to bow to the golden image. Today many follow the pied pipers as they lead their flocks to fall down and worship the false gods of denominationalism. Let me say to every priest, preacher, pastor, prophet and church leader of any kind. You must seek to make people followers of Yeshua and not your ministry, your ideology, your theology, but followers of Him, the author and finisher of our faith.
I trust I am a holiness preacher. I hope I preach righteousness, repentance and Godly living. But if I or anyone else claims to preach righteousness and Holy living without unity in the Body of Christ, then our preaching is in vain.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:20-23
I must not only look forward to fellowship with any born again, blood-bought believer, but I must look forward to such with enthusiasm. I care not what race or what sign may or may not be on their church door.
Brothers and sisters whether it be from Rome - Nashville, Tennessee - Springfield, Missouri, or in a home group, if you are required to bow to the traditions of man and not Christ Himself - then split! We are unified under the Cross - under the Lordship of Yeshua and Him alone and not some theology. God forgive us for the attacks. If you want to be attacked go to a typical Baptist Church or a Church of Christ Church and say "brothers and sisters I think tongues are for the church today" and see what happens. Or go to a typical Pentecostal church and say "I do not believe tongues is necessarily the evidence of being filled or baptized with the Holy Ghost" and see what happens. God forgive us for attacking one another over gifts, for as we attack one another we attack the Giver of the gifts as well. We get so focused on the manifestations of the gifts that we forget to focus on Him. We brag about our gifts, our eschatological insights, our style of worship, etc. CEASE! These things ought not to be so. We must boast in Him who makes eternal life possible and never boast in anything else.
Twenty-five years ago I carried a Living Bible in one hand and a Hal Lindsey book in the other. I thought Sunday was the Sabbath. I thought Christmas was our Lord's birthday and I celebrated it for all it was worth. I thought biblical holidays were for Jews who lived a few thousand years ago. I believed I would be raptured out before the tribulation. I didn't know a thing about the New World Order or any other evil world force. I thought the United Nations was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I had no idea how to pronounce Yeshua let alone know what it meant. I thought a lot of things that I now think completely differently on. However, I was still saved back then. God loved me back then just as much as He does now. I was in a growth process and still am. If you can identify with some of these ideas and you think you are more spiritual than those who may not embrace these ideas then my brother or sister you still have missed it. Or if these ideas cause you to judge me or others and you want to separate from fellowship with those of us who embrace these views, then you also have missed it. We must come together under the Lordship of Yahweh and HIM alone.
I believe with all my heart that the church will go through the tribulation. I just hope that when that time occurs that my brothers and sisters who share a different view than I on this issue will feel free to come to me for help and encouragement because of the love I have for them and because of our ongoing fellowship despite our doctrinal differences.
We are to not only love one another, but serve one another. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12
It was Passover time. The crucifixion was drawing nigh. During that evening Yeshua did a strange and awesome thing - so strange I have a difficult time comprehending it. He arose from the table - took a towel - girded himself - bent low and washed the disciples feet. I remind you Judas Iscariot was still there. He had not left the room. Our Lord and Savior washed the feet of Judas the one who would betray Him. God help each of us to find the Judases of the world and give them a spiritual foot washing. You love them - you love them - you love them into repentance and you never slash their throats with your own theology.
I speak a lot about persecution. I am afraid that only persecution will teach us to love the way Jesus talked about. We can choose that kind of love now and not be persecuted into it. By His grace and the Power of the Holy Ghost we can make that choice.
There are evil forces at work even as I write this article. They are preparing an all-out assault against true Christians. If we the brethren continue in attacking one another, we make their job a lot easier. We are never, never to compromise over sin. At the same time we are not to hate the sinner. What truths I have learned, what truths you have learned, did not come about by neuron activity in the brain alone, but by the mighty work of the Holy Ghost. Judgment will indeed start with the household of faith. It will not necessarily start with them, it may start with us. By the way there is no "them" in the household of faith. It is always us, whether we agree on everything or not. God help us to fight against satan and his evil forces and not one another.