Exorcising the Demons

“And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.” (Mark 1:39)

There can be only one truth and everything else is a twist of that truth. In today’s culture the truth has become whatever people will believe and nothing more. In that case there are many truths or better said many lies. I have heard it said that a teacher does not speak the truth but points his student towards the truth that the student can decide what is truth to him. Truth is what it is and can never change, if it could change then it is not the truth. In many sanctuaries across the world today the sanctity of the pulpit has been violated by the teachers of false doctrine. They are speaking the truth from God but offering their own personal opinion. People today are fill with so many twists of truth that they do not know what the truth is. On the night before His crucifixion Jesus prayed this prayer for His disciples, He prayed this prayer for you. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The Word of God is the truth, it is the only truth, and anything outside of its context is a deception from the adversary. As Disciples of Christ we must know His Word, we must know His truth.

Satan is in a spiritual battle with the forces of light and he knows that his time is growing ever shorter before the Lord will come and bind him. His purpose is to rob God of every spirit that he can. This is the way that Satan believes that he can satisfy his hate for God. Where else would Satan send his demons but into the sanctuaries of the Church to distort the truth of God’s Word and lead His sheep astray. As His children we must know our Father’s Word that we will know the lie of the great deceiver. When we discover this apostasy we must drive it out from the congregation. To allow it to remain will cost the spiritual lives of those who are our brothers and sisters in the faith. The Apostle Paul tells us that if we do this, if we rid Christ’s Church of the false teachers and prophets, then we will be doing a good ministry for our Lord Jesus Christ. “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” (1 Timothy 4:6)

There is no room for politically correct attitudes in the Church of Jesus Christ. There is only one politic, there is only one way, one truth that leads to everlasting life, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Any other teaching, any other way is a path to destruction. I have seen the attempts in my father’s Church and I have seen the devastation left in its path. It pains me to say that too many in the Church do not read their Bibles and know God’s Word. They are punching a ticket thinking that will get them into the Kingdom of Heaven. As a result they are easily lead astray by those who do not speak the truth of God’s Word. Their lies are destructive to the souls of the ignorant and it brings the truth into disrepute. The foremost Apostle Peter wrote this warning to the Church. “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

The Church is not filled with perfect people, it is filled with forgiven sinners. Like each of the sinners in the Church the Church itself is known by its fruit. There are good Churches and there are bad. You will know them by their fruit. “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:22) Good teaching will lead a Church that produces good fruit for the Kingdom and bad teaching no fruit for the Kingdom. It is our responsibility as parents to not allow stumbling blocks to be placed in the path of our children. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6) As a nation we have kicked God out of our society and the Church is the only professor of the truth. We cannot allow a demon to destroy our children’s future.

Once we have identified a false teacher in the Church we attend and dive him out, our responsibility does not end there. In our small Church we have sent those who hold to false doctrine out from our presence. They went to other Churches and tried to gain entrance. I have received calls to give them reference but gave a warning instead. I believe this is what the Apostle Paul was doing when he identified some false teachers to his son in the faith Timothy. Paul did not want to see the damage done to the Church Timothy was pastoring as he had in others. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:15-18)

So how do we know if a preacher is teaching a false message? There is only one test and that is Scripture. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) No preacher should be offended if his teaching is questioned. This would show him, if nothing else, that his congregation is listening intently. It is actually a compliment, as the mind of the listener should hunger and thirst for righteous teaching. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) If the preacher takes offense, then the eyebrows should take a lift and question why. The Apostle Paul one of the greatest evangelist ever did not take offense when his teaching was questioned. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Paul was not offended and in fact commended the Bereans for checking him. But there are those who criticize the ones who question the preachers of the day, especially the more popular ones. Could it be that we are looking for something more pleasing to the ear than the truth of God’s Word? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

We are never to take action against a teacher in anger, as our motive should be that of love towards the one we are questioning. If we catch them in error then maybe we should not rebuke them but reproof them. I am not perfect and neither are you. We make mistakes and we all fall short of the glory of God. That being known of me I should be understanding of others. The goal is not to condemn but to restore. That is the Father’s goal and it should be ours. “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

As members of His Church it is our duty to His Kingdom to speak out against false teachers. We are commanded to love one another, (John 13:34) and in love for our brothers and sisters in the faith we cannot allow the wolves into the congregation. In love for our teachers we must hold them accountable to the Word of God. We must always be on the alert as the demons will remain diligent until our King returns to call us out. “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, July 22, 2016

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