The following discussion is for the Christians and readers of the Bible. More importantly, this piece of information is intended for the pastors and everyone who hold certain leadership roles. This discussion is intended to push the leaders of the Body of Christ to think consciously from the right context of the Bible and not from human opinion alone. These years have been very shaky as to the surveying, interpretation, and dissecting of the written Word of God. So, I want to take off from that pad.
THINK FOR YOURSELF!
I want us to think very critically and consciously today. “Thinking is not the same thing as learning. The educational system is based on learning or, memorization. If you continue to only use the faculty of memorization, you’ll never have the ability to maximize your potential as a leader,” emphasized by Dr. Cindy Trimm. The educational institution today teaches language recognition but not language comprehension. This is why the teachings of Christ are important because He wanted His followers to THINK for themselves! Their thinking will be aided by the Holy Spirit that He has promised Himself.
“There are innovative thoughts and ideas that has been placed on the inside of you — specially when it comes to you contributing to solving problems, meeting needs, and addressing issues in this world — that must be pulled out by your ability to think!” she added. We are called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth in Matthew 5. God does not have a light or a salt problem. There are countless light and salt walking on earth today. The big questions are, “do we have light that shuns confusion and deception away?” and “are we moving to ignite change in the society?” Or, is the light flickering, and has the salt become powerless?
“Most Christians are followers, not leaders. But God has called you out of the realm of ignorance and has transpneumigrated you into His marvelous Light of illumination so that you can THINK (to be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath with the clutter of the common) so that you can be a leader whereby others can follow what you’ve established,” more points from Dr. Trimm. As leaders, we need to establish every thought from the knowledge of God. That simply means every revelation and insight should always be grounded from the principles and precepts in the Bible whereby context becomes the core essential. The context of the written word of God should always test every revelatory word from the experiential knowledge of God.
CONTEXT VS. OPINION
We are so bombarded with several opinions by different people. We are faced with celebrity preachers whose context is so hallowed when it comes to dissecting the word of God on certain topics especially the end times. I have also observed that many leaders today are now swallowed by confusion perhaps because of the undying stress and worries in our societal crisis. Many of them are misrepresenting theologies and mixing one with the other unsparingly. Thus, I want you to read the Bible yourself and think from there. Lay hands on yourself and say THINK!!!
Let us grow above memorization and enter the capacity of thinking. God created human beings as thinking beings. Thinking is a discipline that requires the faculty of focus. Many are not able to develop at the level of their potential because they do not exercise the power of focus. “As a man thinketh, so is he!” in Proverbs 23:7. What are you thinking about on a daily basis? What has snuck in and become your DOMINANT thought? Is it the thoughts of others or the thoughts of God from the Bible? “Could things be the way they are because you are the way you are? What one thing can you change that can change everything? Your thinking!” compels Cindy. The parables were designed to open your mind so your thinking could expand in the realm of vision. However, you must also learn to focus your thoughts with laser-like precision.
“Many times the reason why people receive the outcome that they don’t desire is probably due to the fact that their entire context is wrong — thus they could be applying the wrong knowledge and strategy. If you can change your understanding about a thing by thinking critically and applying the correct strategy, you are more likely to receive your desired result,” furthers Cindy — to a more appropriate and correct answer to the situation. “It is not magic. It is a principle!” she implored.
If your context is wrong, your conclusion will be wrong — a hundred percent of the time! If you take what people say at face value, you probably are being miseducated. You have to THINK! Do not be those that rearrange their ignorance because you’re too lazy to take some time to think (investigate, ask definitive questions, ponder, consider an idea or statement) for yourself.
THINK TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION
I want you to think because, in thinking, you get to ask questions directly to God. Keep asking until you get to ask the right question because you have the right context. “Jesus was a rabbi—a master teacher—and His purpose in teaching in a parabolic fashion was to give His followers a crash course in the art of thinking!” Dr. Trimm highlighted. If He could get them to think, He would get them to ask the right questions…which would lead to correct answers! If you need an answer, ask the right question! The answer is always there.
So, why should we think independently as we read the Bible? Because Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to independently teach us as well. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 (NIV). Read from the lenses of the writer. Understand who is the writer, the reason for the writing, and the culture prevailing at the time of writing. Read commentaries and ask hard questions to test each one. Do not take anything at face value.
If a preacher or a teacher teaches you not to ask from God or send out questions to God, that is a blatant deception and misconception. If so, where did the “let us reason with God together,” “ask and it shall be given to you,” or “ask and I will answer you and I will show great and might things…” go? How come disciples were relentless in asking Jesus in their time? Deception and manipulation always start with the mind. So, I urge you to ask! Ask hard and difficult questions! Test each one of them.
Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
-Matthew 13:12-15 (NIV)
This is a mystery. What was the context — what was He talking about? He was talking about the revelation of the Kingdom! He who has the revelation (and understanding) of the Kingdom, more will be given to him. Are you those who cannot get the understanding that even the little that you have will be taken away because of deception? Or are you the one whose mind has the capacity to think and receive the understanding whereby you begin to apply and exponentially grow from there? Can you still perceive what God is doing? Or are you so calloused to even feel a tingling of what God is doing now?
DO NOT SURRENDER YOUR CAPACITY TO THINK!
Thinking is a personal ability God gave to man in order to dominate and manage the earth. Adam has to think to manage the garden. He has to think to name the animals. So, why are we surrendering our capacity to think to mainstream and online media, to politicians with insidious agendas, to businesses and investors who invested to earn, and even to our denomination’s leader? The moment you surrender your capacity to think, you subject your mind at the command of someone else.
The travesty about slavery is not PHYSICAL bondage, but MENTAL bondage. As long as you have control of your thoughts, nothing externally will control you. You can throw a man in prison but if he has control over his mind, he is still free. This is what happened to Nelson Mandela. The same culture that oppressed him, he eventually shifted for the better because he did not surrender his capacity to think.
The greatest challenge of the church today is not the conversion of sinners to Christians. But, conversion of Christians to believers. Is God still in our churches today? Or is God outside the church knocking His way to come in as in Revelation3:20? If this is possible, then it is a personal responsibility to think critically these days. “Critical thinking is critical in this hour. We need to discern the will of the Lord. We cannot depend on other people to tell us. We are offering suggestions. We are offering insights, our perspectives. Take all these. Process it for yourself. And come on your own conclusion based on the Word of God (Bible) and the knowledge from the Holy Spirit,” Jennifer Leclaire connotes.
DECEPTION AND THE COUNSEL OF THE MIND
We have to guard our minds because spiritual warfare is not on the curses of the witches, warlocks, sorcerers, and magic. The highest form of spiritual warfare is the counsel of the mind. We can continue thinking and be counseled by any other spirit other than God without us even knowing it. So, we have to test everything. This is where the gift of DISCERNING of spirits comes in. We need to question things and test the spirit thereof. So, ask!
“We all have opinions. But I want us to really understand God’s heart in a thing rather than just what our camp or what our church taught us. I was taught certain things young in the Lord that later I found out they were not correct. They were not accurate. And so, we have to be careful that we are not taught wrong. There are prophets who are tapping into divination,” Jennifer expounded. We all have gone through this and it is alright as we are all human. What is not alright is if we cannot discover and expose the falsity and deception that was taught to us because we despise thinking for ourselves. Do not be lazy to think!
THE HOLE IN THE CHURCH
This is rampant nowadays with congregations of believers who are lacking the foundational pure teachings and are easily swayed by the weirdness of manifestations. These people tend to feel superior and rudely impose personal beliefs without the basis of the context of the Bible. These beliefs now fall into religious superstitions that will soon create their own doctrine whereby the doctrine of demons will be established. Even with the use of Bible verse, one wrong or out-of-context interpretation and representation is altogether a lie.
“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.” Colossians 2:18 NIV
“But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron;” 1 Timothy 4:1-2 ASV
SOLUTION FOR YOURSELF? Study the Bible by yourself. And THINK! To avoid departing from the truth.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who CORRECTLY handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have DEPARTED from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.” 2 Timothy 2:15-18 NIV
THINK FOR YOURSELF. OR SOMEBODY WILL THINK FOR YOU. The latter opens the door for control and manipulation. Ultimately, it becomes the door for deception. Deception does not ask for consent to deceive.
DOCTRINE, DISGUISE, DECEPTION
Do not confuse yourself on weirdness or wonder with godliness. Not because something is weird and beyond normal means, it is of God.
Remember, even those following and influenced by the spirit of ungodly counsel are capable of exhibiting weirdness, much more the “wonders” among us. They can memorize the Bible, prophesy and even pray. They can even recognize the anointed ones as in Act 16:16-18. They can draw a crowd and have a following.
Why? Because they are the counterfeit of God’s move. The enemy is at its best in copying the authenticity of God. This is where deception is planted among the people of God. This is where delusion comes into their mind thinking it is still God, but not anymore. Then, they fall into 1 Timothy 4:1-2.
Yes, God’s move most of the time is beyond our thoughts and ways. But not all weird and wonders are coming from God. Just as not all doctrines are of God. Just as not all prophecies are coming from God mentioned in Jeremiah 14:14. Just as not all sheep are sheep, some are wolves in sheep’s clothing as in Matthew 7:15. Remember, even the beast and the dragon will use great signs and wonders to deceive many as mentioned in Revelation 13.
This is divination, performing weird things, wonders, and miracles, and even prophesy the future, but in another spirit. Not by the Spirit of God. These people have disputes about words, which produces envy, quarrels, verbal abuse, evil suspicions, and perpetual friction between men who are corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, as Apostle Paul pointed out.
FALSE TEACHING, DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
It comes as no surprise that God warns us many times in Scripture to be aware of false teaching. Christians need to be able to recognize false teachers(teacher as in one who speaks the Bible, not literally the five-fold office, but anyone who tries to impart information, and knowledge) in order to know when they are being led down a path that God did not intend! Do not lose your discernment when a person, a group of people, or a movement is exhibiting weirdness and wonder seemingly coming from God. Go back to God before concluding anything. You have to think!
Amidst these confusing times, leadership figures are under attack. The attack is not as vulgar and obvious. It is an underground movement to appease and make a covenant with our leaders. The leaders in the Body of Christ are not an exemption.
While the church is trying to pick itself up from the lockdown, the enemy is busy in its recruitment and enticement. The lockdown and reality of separation from the group exposed some weaknesses of people on hearing from God for themselves.
The shutting down of most congregational meetings and fellowships exposed that most people depend on the mouth of the ministers to hear from God. This deficit is being used by the enemy to its advantage. If the enemy wants to control people in groups, he shall wittily use the mouth of the ministers to do so through the spirit of ungodly counsel. Remember, today’s spiritual warfare is not the curses for nothing formed against us shall prosper. The serious warfare is in the counsel of the mind. Now, the perfect place to operate in this is in the pulpit and in the minister’s mouth. Preaching is always a counsel to the mind.
DECEPTION AND THE COLLATERAL
This is why we have to cover our leaders in prayer with utmost importance. They are the target in this season. When receiving this, I am reminded of a biblical account of when Joshua and the leaders were deceived by their enemies. They even made a covenant with them. (Joshua 9).
When Israel was fulfilling the Lord’s command to take possession of the Promised Land and drive out its inhabitants, the Gibeonites, who were among them, recognized what was happening and concocted a plan.
They disguised themselves as worn-out, weary travelers and approached Joshua, telling him they were from a faraway land. They “acted with cunning” (Joshua 9:4) to escape being destroyed along with the other Canaanite nations.
They knew they couldn’t ask Israel to just leave them alone. They had to secure some kind of positive, ongoing relationship. So, using their disguise, the Gibeonites urged Joshua to become allies. “Make a covenant with us,” they pleaded (9:11).
Their cunning worked. “Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live.” But note: the Bible makes it clear that the Gibeonites’ deftness wasn’t the main reason Israel got fooled. Joshua 9:15 clues us in on why Joshua and the other leaders fell for the Gibeonites’ trick: they “did not ask counsel from the Lord.“
Three days after they make the covenant, the Israelites learn that they have been fooled and that the Gibeonites are actually Canaanite neighbors. The news is obviously regretful. The people of Israel murmur against their leaders about it, but they all agree that they can’t go back on what they have promised—the covenant has to stand.
The effect did not only stay with the leaders alone. That mistake even put them to war against the enemies of the Gibeonites. (Joshua 10) That was actually a political and territorial war of the Gibeonites, but because of the treaty, Joshua has to stand by their agreement. This is the collateral demanded by the covenant.
So, they went to war, not for their possession and promise but to protect an enemy. If not for the grace and mercy of God and His promise to Joshua, death and casualty would sweep the camp of Israel. But God!
Check this out. Still, Joshua summons the Gibeonites to learn why they sought to deceive them. The Gibeonites replied,
Because it was told to your servants for a certainty that the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you—so we feared greatly for our lives because of you and did this thing.
Do you hear faith in the Gibeonites’ response? “It was told to your servants for a certainty . . . so we feared greatly.“
Even enemies know and believe in God in the foundation of fear. In the New Testament, James talks about (“Even the demons believe—and shudder!”).
The spirit of an ungodly counsel as one of the major spirits operating in the end times, covering the spirit of Jezebel, spirit of Anti-Christ, spirit of Mamon, and others, knows that its time is ticking. The enemy knows its time is running out. They have to create a critical mass.
We do not want our leaders to fall into this trap. We do not want that someday we will discover we are sleeping in bed with the enemies. We do not want that one morning we will fight to protect the enemies. All because our leaders fall short in asking counsel from the Lord, that they did not think critically. They took what the enemies in disguise said at face value.
Remember, it is written even in the New Testament, that God has to shorten the days for the sake of His elect. (Matthew 24:22) This means, even the elects can be deceived. God forbid! Now if so, the biggest question for us is this. If our pastor or leader or denomination separate away from God, who do we follow? You can only answer this if you can think for yourself. Do not let our guards down. Gear up! Sharpen our discernment, Lord! THINK!