In these times, the Church must be able to discern — to separate divine truth from error.
[SW082] 03/03/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
In these times of false prophets and false christs,
the Church must be able to discern (1253 & 144) —
must be able to separate divine truth from error,
must possess depth of spiritual insight!
Sadly, in these days,
much of the church is as the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
Quote from John MacArthur (Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis”):
“So many churches have relinquished
biblical ethics and doctrine,
a deep reverence and worship of God,
repentance over sin,
humility toward God and fellow believers, and
a profound understanding of God’s character and work.”
Discernment — that’s what Matthew 7:13-27 is all about!
Hear the words of the Lord, at the end of the Sermon on the Mount!
Matthew 7:13 “ Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The gate is wide, spread out flat (4116),
the way is broad, spacious (2149)
that leads to destruction, ruin, eternal perishing (684) —
the worm never dying, the fire never going out —
and MANY enter through it.
How can that be?
In 2010, it was estimated there are 2.19 billion Christians in the world.
That’s almost 1/3 of the entire world population!
But that leaves billions that are not Christian,
and are going down that broad path,
AND many who are in the pews
who call themselves Christians,
but do not believe the Bible is truth,
nor any basic Christian doctrine,
and certainly do not believe they must repent!
They have no discernment! They cannot tell divine truth from error!
The way of eternal life with God and Christ
is through a small gate, a gate that is narrow (4728),
and the way that leads to life as God has it (2222)
presses in on you (2345) —
it is a way of persecution and tribulation,
and FEW find this way that leads to life!
Matthew 13:20 “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.”
The Church, by and large, has fallen away!
Persecution came, and she abandoned Jesus
and the truth of the Word of God.
And so, she has no discernment —
she is disconnected from the Head which is Christ! (Colossians 2:18-19)
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous [722, plundering, suddenly seizing] wolves.”
These are the same ones Paul warned the Ephesians about in Acts 20:28. From among you, he warned.
Matthew 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad [4550 rotten, worthless, unwholesome] tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “ Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
You will know (1921) them by their fruits —
you will have discernment, you will fully perceive and know exactly.
But if you have gone through the wide gate and are on the broad way,
you will not fully perceive, you will not discern.
What is the fruit of the good tree? Look at Matthew 7:21 – doing the will of the Father.
What is the fruit of the bad tree? Look at Matthew 7:23 — lawlessness!
Matthew 7:21 “ Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “ Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
Lawlessness (458), wickedness, against God’s will, unrighteousness.
The Apostle John says lawlessness is sin (1 John 3:4).
Their fruit is sin.
They speak lies that tickle your ears.
They twist the Word of God.
It is the deception of their own minds. (Jeremiah 14:14).
I see a basket of rotten figs, very bad, in much of the Church, Lord!
But much of the church,
at least in America,
can’t see them!
She has no discernment!
But I also see a basket of good figs, very good.
These are the ones that do Your will, O Father mine! (Jeremiah 24:2-3)
These will be the remnant of Your church
who will come into Your Promised Land!
The Lord cries to the false teachers
and those who follow them,
those who have no discernment:
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
[1847, from 3045 yada, intimate experiential knowledge,
the knower knowing the One known. In the NT, it is sanctification.]
Because you have rejected knowledge [again, from yada]
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
Hosea 4:14 … So the people without understanding are ruined [3832 thrust down].
Jeremiah 23:22 “But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.” [There’s the rub!]
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.”
A storm is coming to the Church —
one that will reveal foundations!
Therefore, hear the words of the Lord,
but don’t just be hearers — do them! (James 1:22-25)
Then you will be wise,
having built your house on the Rock which is Christ.
But if you do not do the words Jesus says,
You will be foolish (3474), dull and stupid,
and great will be your fall.
Do not build on falsehood,
on ear ticklings,
How can the church obtain discernment?
The Word of God!
John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “ If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
The truth you will find is that Christ can free you, indeed, from sin, by filling you with His Holy Spirit!
Then the Holy Spirit will teach ALL THINGS:
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. [that is, not all were OF us]
1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
The unction of the Holy Spirit,
The Word of God
leads you to be filled with the Holy Spirit,
who gives discernment — He makes you “know all things”!
The way is narrow —
many will depart from you,
and you will be persecuted.
But you will walk as Jesus did in this world,
and you will have life as God has it,
and not a future of eternal perishing.
The Lord showed me this Friday morning:
He knew King Saul’s heart,
long before he openly rebelled against the Lord.
The anointing was UPON Saul,
but not IN HIM.
The unction of the Holy Spirit
must be IN US.
Jesus rose and ascended and was glorified for that purpose.
If the anointing is simply UPON US, we will indeed fall,
we will indeed lack discernment.
Turn! Cry out to your God, O Church!
God’s will is that you be filled, the anointing IN YOU,
teaching you ALL THINGS,
united by having His nature IN YOU,
operating by His actual love, INSIDE YOU!
Do His will!
Do not just hear!
Do! (James 1:21-22)!
Be filled with the Spirit!