Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Examine their fruit!

If someone offers to "disciple" you, beware... look at their lives, and their fruit...


Matthew 7: 15 - 18 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep'sclothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (NIV)

What kind of "bad fruit" was Jesus talking about?"

Matthew 15: 10 -20: Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him `unclean,' but whatcomes out of his mouth that is what makes him `unclean.'"

Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"

He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."

"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man `unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him`unclean.'" (NIV)

If someone tells you that you are to "live a holy life". Do not listen... for Holiness is only from God not from our own doing.

Galatians 5 is the “Freedom” chapter, I recommend reading the whole book, but where does the freedom come and what are we now free to do?

Galatians 5: 16-26: So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

Let's look further at what those who are not lead by the Spirit are like.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies,and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If you are looking for someone to disciple you as to how to follow Jesus consider that they bear the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

So if someone says, " Let me disciple you, make sure they are of God and not let them tell you that you must do "works" to prove your salvation, for God is our salvation.
Beware of these wolves in sheep’s clothing as Paul taught they will come in Acts 20: 29 -30

"I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

So again beware... for we are to make Disciples of Christ… not of ourselves.

Blessings,
iggy




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2 comments:

Whyte Stonne said...

Hi Iggy,

I read Phil's offer to disciple one to six men recently.

There is a certain tone in the pitch he makes which I'm not sure how to label:

"If you are tired of being told to shut up about doctrine, join us.

"If you are tired of being told to shut up about false teachers, join us.

"If you are tired of being told it is impolite to directly confront false teaching, join us.

"If you are sick of the compromise in the church, join us."

It's obvious, and not surprising, that Perkins is sick and tired of being told these things. (See "accountability" below)

In all honesty, I confess that there are things I'm sick and tired of, although they're not exactly what Perkins has in mind.

These next two "invitations" indicate, to me, an incomplete awareness of forgiveness. They seem to encourage and activate guilt-motivated action in his readers, if not himself.

"If you know you're a filthy sinner, join us.

"If you constantly wish, 'I don't ever want to be this sinful again,' join us."

They remind me of my adolescence, of the days and weeks I spent crippled by guilt and wallowing in remorse after stumbling the way adolescent boys do.

Among the hooks in Phil's invitation is this one:

"If you are sure the Bible is all you need to serve God, join us."

That's fine, if you remember that the Bible itself points to spiritual resources *outside* itself. These extra-biblical resources the Bible recommends include 1) the Holy Spirit, 2) the gifts of the Spirit, 3) human counselors, 4) "doing the will of him who" sends us, etc.

"If you want to take part in the fellowship of His suffering, join us."

Suffering is certainly endorsed by Scripture, but we are warned not to suffer because of our sinfulness. We need to be sure our suffering is actually His suffering, and not suffering that results from our own persistent lack of sanctification.

"If you will give correction when it may end in your own disgrace, join us."

Teachers are supposed to be "easy to be entreated." I don't think I trust a leader who threatens would-be followers with "disgrace" if they dare to disagree with him. To threaten people with disgrace indicates something of his heart.

Jesus' invitation to take his yoke upon ourselves is rooted thusly: "For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

This would-be discipler wrote, "Pray for good teachers and accountability for me."

It seems to me that many people have attempted to hold this person accountable, including the people at Yosemite Baptist College, and yourself, Iggy.

Many people have engaged Phil in conversation and debate. He has received correction and admonition in the Lord from people who know him better than I, and who care deeply about him.

As much as I resisted this conclusion, I have concluded that for me, "answer not a fool according to his folly" and "cast not your pearls before swine" do indeed apply here.

Godspeed in your church planting ministry, Iggy.

iggy said...

Whyte,

Thanks for your comments...

Here is the thing... I am not out to "get Phil" as he is aflicting himself with enough damage from the "hate centered faith" he is espousing. I truly feel sorrow for him and all he is going through... I believe him to be very knowledgeable...yet that is part of the issue.

Knowledge puffs one up... one can think too highly of oneself if they start to believe that they have more knowledge than others... this without knowing, usurps Jesus from being Wisdom and Knowledge.

Phil has so many times said how "I cannot let them down. Fourth, we will win. All who oppose God will suffer His judgment." Notice that it is always centered around himself... and not God...

Selfish ambition is blinding... and the religious spirit it the hardest to crack... often they mistake and use judgment and condemnation instead of true spiritual discernment which is soley by the Holy Spirt...

I pray for these men and women daily... and in a sad way have been seeing my prayers come to pass... I prayed that God would protect Yellowstone Baptist College, and that God would break Phil with His Love... so that he can come to a richer and fuller understanding of God's Grace.

God will win... and I am praying that people like Phil will see they are reaching out for the power of this word and it's wisdom... and turn to God for His.

Blessings,
iggy