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Mark Them!

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In any battle, a soldier must know his enemy. The battleground in the mid-late 1990's was the Toronto Blessing, which is just one aspect of charismaticism. The enemy is within, a fifth-column of leaders who are willing to sell-off Christian Truth for the sake of a few trinkets and baubles offered by Satan. And worse, this fifth-column is attempting to ruin the spiritual lives of as many Believers as possible. Whether they do this in sincerity or not, is irrelevant.

Who are these turncoats, who have deserted the Truth of Christ and are now slipping ever faster down a path of destruction? They are the leaders of the Toronto Blessing in every part of the world. Some are pastors, some are not. Most are charismatic in church structure and practice, others have been ‘charismaticised’ by belief. Scripture tells us to watch out for these deluded people whose business it is to draw others into the same delusion.

In 2 Corinthians 11:13, we see that such men are called 'false apostles' (in the Greek, there are two separate words for 'apostles', one meaning false and the other meaning true). If we trace back to root words, we discover that these men actually and deliberately alter their whole personality (their bearing, dress, speech, actions, etc.) in order that they may deceive. Therefore, do not listen to 'Blessing' leaders who claim 'fruit', 'gifts', 'anointing', or any other spiritual attributes! Paul goes on to explain that these false apostles are servants of Satan, who himself can appear to be a messenger from God. It is vital that we watch for such liars:

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

(Romans 16:17,18)

Here is a paraphrase of the text:

"Now I beg you, my brethren - observe and watch out for (as a watchman) those who are authors of sedition, splits and strife, and who put stumbling blocks in your way, for this is opposed to the teachings we have given you; you must shun them.

For such men do not serve Christ, but have become slaves to some base power and serve their own selves; and by smooth and plausible speeches that simulate goodness, and by polished talk that is artfully adapted to captivate the hearer, they deceive and cheat those who trust them."

The paraphrase is based on the Greek text and accurately describes those who dare to preach 'another gospel'. Note that such men do so deliberately and that they serve Satan, not God. It is essential to remember this when we come to oppose them. Never allow them even the smallest concession. Let it be made plain that you know who they are and what they are up to. Describe them as scripture does.

Once you falter and accept any one of their 'plausible' and 'smooth' lies, you open a chink in your spiritual armour and Satan will cause you to stumble. Their claims to folks receiving 'fruit', etc., are thus lies designed to make you falter. Like the mythical Sirens, their singing is magnetic and sounds sweet, but they draw innocents to their destruction on the crags and sharp rocks that surround them. Like the Greek sailors of the myth, the only safety is in stopping your ears to their seduction.

MARK THEM! And MARK THEM WELL! They are sent and used by Satan to effect YOUR downfall, to bring about YOUR destruction in this life. They cannot take away your salvation - but they CAN and DO affect your spiritual life on this earth. David lost his kingdom because he became lax and strolled on his rooftop, obeying his senses rather than holy will. He saw a woman and lusted after her, and those few moments of laxity led to his complete downfall and shame.

Many Believers fall in this life. God will later lift some of them from their pit of sin, but even after they have repented, He may allow them to taste the bitter fruits of their shame throughout their lifetime. Others never, ever, rise again from their sinful state and their lives are ever tainted and shamed. God is under no obligation to bring us out of our self-made traps and cesspits. So, brethren, beware, lest ye fall. The same applies to myself.

MARK THEM WELL! The founders of the Toronto movement are servants of Satan. They have already drawn many pastors after themselves who, in turn, also become servants of Satan. Many of those 'pastors' are what God terms 'bad' pastors - they were false from the beginning, without true calling. Others are weak Believers, in spite of their calling. They have allowed deception to settle in their hearts. The emptiness in their own souls, due to any number of sinful reasons, has caused them to throw themselves at the feet of Satan's envoys. Now, they are also in the net, unable to break free, even if they wanted to. No matter who they are, or what they once were, they are now deceived and act for Satan. All of them must be marked, observed and publicly opposed. Those who practice bad public works must be opposed publicly. That is the Biblical order and a facet of discipline.

How do we 'mark them'? We do so firstly by opposing them. If private words do not cause them to stop and repent, then there must be public condemnation. Why? The Bible says so. Also, opposition MUST BE SWIFT, for these men are destroying the lives of thousands, daily! Every day that we falter and shuffle our feet, many more are added to the lists of deceived and destroyed. It has been said before: in this matter WE HAVE NO CHOICE. It is a battle to which we are called to fight. There can be no ringside observers!

In our opposition, we must actively pray for the downfall of both the movement and the leaders. Their repentance will not come unless they have fallen, for until that time comes, they are proud and arrogant in their senses, teaching and practising abominable things. Remember what God's word says: they do so deliberately. We must never sympathise with those who God Himself has said are deliberate deceivers.

If such men turn back and repent, they must show their repentance publicly, for their sins were public. They must denounce all that they did and said and thought. They must turn against what they once imbibed, and must oppose it with all their strength. When these events occur, we may then support them and care for them. Until that time, they are 'on their own' and we have NO RIGHT WHATEVER to offer or imply our support.

We must oppose them for the sake of truth, God's word and those who are being deceived. We must also oppose them because it is our solemn duty to uphold the Lord's Name in Truth. In so doing, we enter the battle and act in all holiness, not in human anger, but in righteous anger, which leads to extolling the Lord and His kingdom. It should be superfluous to say that we must not take this as an opportunity to lash out, or to seek personal vengeance. The aim of all such opposition is to damage the cause of Satan, and to seek the restoration of saved sinners. But for God's Grace, we could easily be like them.

© March 1995

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Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom