“Get Up And Leave,” He Said
"Thus says the Lord God: 'Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!'" Ezekiel 13:3 When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of his coming, the first thing he said was, “Take heed that no one deceives you." Then he lists more signs and he ends by repeating the warning, "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many."...Matthew 24:4, 11 As we near the end of the age, the very time Jesus spoke of, deception is rampant. There are scores of false prophets and false teachers deceiving the people by telling them what they want to hear: how to be rich, how to be successful, how to get God to do what you want him to do. These false prophets are cunning - they know how to cleverly misuse the Word of God, which makes many trust in them. vs 3: "And through covetousness shall they with deceptive words make merchandise of you..." If you go to a mega-church and hear the speaker quoting Scripture, it conveys the impression that this must be a man of God. No, not necessarily. What is he using the Word of God to say? If it's the "prosperity gospel," this is false teaching. If it's universalism (everyone ends up in heaven) this is false teaching. If it's "we all worship the same God," this is false teaching. They are damnable heresies: "...there shall be false teachers among you, who shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES..." 2 Peter 2:1 The Word of God is the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Cross he died upon for the salvation of men. The message of Jesus is to take up your CROSS, not your Rolex, and follow him. He didn't promise prosperity, he promised persecution. You won't be loved for your message, you'll be hated. "You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be HATED by all for my Name’s sake." Luke 21:16-17 Many have found this to be so true that they've left off following Christ. They counted the cost and weren't willing to pay it when they encountered rejection or trials. Pray for discernment whenever you hear a message using the Word of God to gain prosperity or to convey that all roads lead to salvation. The message will be couched in wonderful words pleasant to the ear. ASK the Lord to show you if this nice-sounding teaching is really from Him. And if you discern that it isn't, be faithful to your Lord and leave. I was in a meeting once, listening to a man I didn't know. As he spoke I was very uncomfortable. My distress grew with every passing minute. Finally, there was a question and answer period. I asked him whether he believed Jesus is God, was always God, even before he was born on earth. He evaded the question. I asked again, rephrasing it. Again he evaded the question again and said other words avoiding my eyes and addressing other points about how wonderful Jesus was, but not answering the question. Finally, the Holy Spirit caused his eyes to be locked to mine and held there as I asked once more, “do you believe that Jesus is God, was always God, even before he was born on earth?” He stared into my eyes and said, "No I do not." Quickly I intended to prove it to him through the Word of God, but the Lord said to me, "get up and leave." “What?” I asked??? "Lord I can prove it to him!" To leave was the last thing I wanted to do because I was so appalled and so confident that I could prove the deity of Christ through the Scriptures, but again the Lord said, "Get up and leave." So reluctantly that's what I did. I have greatly wondered about this over the years, why would the Lord NOT want me to prove the truth to this man? I came to realize that some are totally given over to deception to the point where argument will not dissuade them. When that is the case ...get up and leave. It was hard to do because I was so desiring to rise to the challenge. But in obedience ...I got up and left. I learned a great lesson that day: obedience is something we must learn if we're going to be used by God in ministry. It's a difficult lesson to learn, but it's absolutely necessary, it's the most important thing in our walk with the Lord.