Paul in talking to the elders of the church in the city of Ephesis warns them of wolves in sheep clothing. He states that they will come in from the outside and devastate the flock and that others will rise up from within the flock as well teaching twisted things with the intention of drawing followers to themselves and away from Jesus. Listen to the words inspired by the Holy Spirit and recorded 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.”
This was not just a warning for one local church in the time of Paul who was ministering as an apostle.This was recorded in Scripture as a warning to all local churches today. Beware of those believers – “even from your own number” – who distort and twist the truth for their own benefit and draw others away from following Jesus to following them. I see this happening daily today.
It is interesting that this took place just after Paul finished teaching the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). So, as an apostle he lays a foundation (Ephesians 2:20) and earnestly contends for the faith (Jude 3) and immediately upon departing external forces as well as internal forces arise to distort the truth he preached and are quick to gain an audience. Times have not changed. This still happens today all over the world.
Recently I discovered people who are “getting high on the Most High” as they do a man-made “manifestation called “smoking…” We have drinking in the Spirit and doing so from a make-believe barrel. We have people drinking Godka (God and Vodka) as well as smoking Jehovahwana (Jehovah and marijuana). It gets worse… There are numerous people teaching and promoting this “distortion of the truth” and even more – welcoming these teachers and teachings into their pulpits and churches.
And just when God is reestablishing truth to His Church – and birthing the ministry of apostles who will teach correct doctrine and lay proper foundations for the future expansion of the church.
One man teaching and leading this is John Crowder. He is headquarterd in the United States but is having a major impact in what are known as River Churches overseas in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. His teachings and man-made manifestions are heretical and grieve the Holy Spirit. However, many believe that what he teaches and demonstrates is a genuine move of the Holy Spirit similar to (and a continuation of) the manifestations recently seen and experienced during the renewal known as The Father’s Blessing and now moving forward around the world under various other banners.
Here’s the problem – at least one of them as there are many. People are having experiences that are spiritual in nature and finding either biblical or historical backing for the behavior as if this verifies that what is happening is really God. Instead they should be examining the fruit of the experience and what changes the experience has brought to their character (are they becoming more like Jesus) and whether or not they are more focused on seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10) and moving out into their world sharing Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom with others and seeing people truly converted and discipled. If these two things are not happening then we can validly question the manifestions that person is experiencing in their supposed walk with the Lord.
I believe it is time for apostles everywhere to stand up and warn the Church that there are wolves dressed up as and passing as sheep who have entered the flock (worldwide church) and there are others who have risen up from within the flock who are leading many well-meaning believers and leaders astray from the apostolic teachings of Scripture. They are smooth in their presentations, slick in their manner, and good at making their teachings appear biblical. And, due to the lack of discernment and the fact that most believers have a poor working knowledge of the Scriptures many are being deceived and the lost continue to march into Hell second-by-second as the sheep are distracted from the mandate of the Lord to His Church.
Time to wake up and recognize the deception for what it really is – demonic!