The Gifts Part 70
Discerning of Spirits continued...
1 Corinthians 14:29, ‘Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.”
Once again we see that the word of God does not leave us in the dark, it does not leave us to wonder, or guess at how the work of the Holy Spirit should operate within the church. It does not fall on us to assume how the gifts ought to operate within the congregation of God, it does not fall on us to make up our own rules, and we must defer to the scriptures and find our answers therein.
There are two aspects of this verse that I want to flesh out, because they are important to the wellbeing of any fellowship. The first thing that struck me about this verse is the sheer abundance of spiritual gifts that Paul insinuates ought to be present within a congregation. If two or three prophets ought to speak, and the others judge their prophecies, by Paul’s very words we can deduce that within a given congregation there ought to be at least a handful of prophets. Usually those that judge outnumber those that would prophecy, so the insinuation that the gifts and callings of the Holy Spirit, both the calling of prophet, and the gift of discerning of spirits ought to be present within the Body of Christ, and abundantly so, is clear.
The second aspect of this verse I wanted to discuss was the use of the word ‘judge’. At this juncture I could readily go into the original Greek, make myself out to be more intelligent than I really am, and extrapolate the meaning of the word ‘judge’ that Paul used, but in essence the word Paul uses means to discern, evaluate, distinguish or determine. As such, another way in which the aforementioned verse can be read is ‘let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern the spirit thereof.’
Once more, we see that the word of God is in stark contradiction to the practices of the modern day church establishment, because where the word tells us to judge, to evaluate, to discern or to distinguish, the current church establishment simply yells ‘touch not My anointed’ at the top of their lungs.
‘It doesn’t matter if an individual’s word of prophecy is not in harmony with scripture, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t glorify Christ, it doesn’t matter if it seeks to elevate man and exhorts us to desire the material, touch not God’s anointed.’
But if you are a false prophet, if you cause the hearts of the righteous to be sad, if by your ‘words’ you give license to sin, and cause others to look down upon those who would seek to walk humbly with their Lord, you really aren’t God’s anointed, you are used of a different spirit, therefore even if that’s what the verse you so often quote really meant, it doesn’t apply to you!
For too long we’ve allowed disingenuous men to play hide and seek with the word of God, and avoid accountability because we just couldn’t be bothered with the conflict. We can no longer afford to be indifferent toward the deception that’s stealthily creeping into the Body of Christ, because real hearts are being broken, real people are being deceived, and real lives are being shipwrecked.
So the next time ‘elder prophet Bob, duly licensed and approved by his extended family’ gives a ‘word’ that stands in contradiction to the word of God, do as the word of God commands, and evaluate the word, discern the spirit thereof, and be strong in your defense of the truth.
It makes one prudent and wise to judge prophecy, to evaluate its content, to discern the spirit from whence it came. Since we’ve already discussed the difference between biblically judging a word, and passing sentence on an individual, we will not revisit this topic, but biblically evaluating the prophetic does not make you a doubter of prophecy or of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I’ve lost count of the individuals who’ve attempted to browbeat me into silence when it came to confronting and denouncing ‘words of prophecy’ that originated from somewhere other than the Spirit of God. From being told that I was doing harm to the prophetic movement by publicly decrying the false words, to being labeled a secret plant of the enemy within the prophetic camp for taking an uncompromising stand when it came to such things, many would rather sweep the issue under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist than deal with it head on.
The word of God tells us that there will be false prophets among us; it tells us that they will bring in destructive heresies, and it likewise tells us to test the spirits, to judge prophecy, and to determine whether or not it was of God.
I just want the truth! Everything takes a backseat to the truth, whether it’s an individual’s feelings, the loss of friends, or being maligned by brothers and sisters in Christ. It is truth that sets us free, but truth will never be able to set us free if we willingly continue to cling to lies because they made us feel good, and pacified our weary conscience.
I am still waiting for the household of faith to have that moment of epiphany, wherein they realize that by tolerating false teachers, and false prophets within the camp, by refusing to take a stand for the truth, they are only harming themselves and their fellow brothers in Christ.
Use the God given gifts at your disposal, stand for the truth of scripture, be founded and grounded in the word of God, and when you come across those who would pervert the gospel, when you come across those who would bring harm and shame and hurt to the Body of Christ, be valiant in your defense of that which is right and true and pure. It is not unloving to stand for truth, it is not unloving to war against the darkness, it is not unloving to expose deception within the house of God, rather it is love and the desire to see the Body of Christ strong and vital and empowered, that compels us to stand in the gap and cry out.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.