Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
There may be no more subtle snare than that which is laid for the man who would set out to teach others the things of God. The subtle snare is not necessarily found in the words the man says though many a false or deceived teacher’s words are indeed tainted with human traditions or even the teachings of demons. But a teacher’s words may be timelessly and flawlessly correct, perhaps even words that have proceeded directly from the mouth of God and this most subtle snare is not found in this obvious place. Rather, it is found in the position his listeners, as soon as they begin to obey his teachings, propel him into – that of a superior specimen of “Christian” who ought to be listened to, obeyed, imitated and followed. In short, he must shroud himself in an aura of infallibility, that unspoken emanation that communicates to others his expertise in matters of the Christian faith and of the spiritual realms. Without such a mantle, no teacher, preacher, “pastor,” “apostle” or “prophet” can gain to himself the followers necessary to maintain his extravagant lifestyle and pay for his expensive “ministry” to others. No matter how subtle or marginally this aura is embraced, this is only yet another form of Nicolaitan clergyism, a sin which Jesus Christ hates.
How does one shake off and avoid this mantle? How does one who has received revelation insight (that obviously goes further and deeper than where his nearby brothers and sisters routinely walk and live) share this greater knowledge without stepping into the trap of becoming, even in the eyes of one would-be follower, yet another ear-scratching teacher?
There is no one-way bottom-line answer but surely the pattern to follow is that of Jesus Christ who stepped away from crowds, even walking on water, to get away from those who wanted to make Him an earthly King (which would have cost Him His place as King of all kings!) Surely we must remind those who want physical, temporal comforts that even He had no place to lay His head. Surely we must remind many that our loyalty to His spiritual family must always be greater than our loyalty to those with whom we share only a merely-physical blood tie. With these and many other similar admonitions we must remind others (and perhaps even ourselves) of all the ways in which we can become entangled in this world’s enticements and yet come to share in the judgments that come upon the City of Destruction.
It is not I - that is, my life, my attainments, my beliefs or my understandings – that are to be the standard of conduct for those around me. I cannot attempt to bring – or even allow to come – under my wings those who will use my life, words and conduct as the basis of deciding who is and who is not a genuine follower of Christ. This exaltation of the teacher is perhaps the most subtle wile the enemy has ever devised to keep the genuine believer from being able to say, as Paul did, “I no longer live but Christ now lives in me…” And if one of these exalted teachers is in truth only a blind leader, he can only have blind followers and the ditch can be their only destination.
I is very much alive
- first in whoever wraps himself in an aura of infallibility to gain followers after himself, his doctrines or his denomination, and
- second in any person who attaches himself to whatever spiritual guru who strokes and soothes the ears in just the right way (for that particular individual, that is.)
Whenever I is the one who decides what is right in I’s own eyes, this is lawlessness (the practice of what is right in one’s own eyes, even one’s own preference as to which type of “Christianity” is “right”) that has absolutely nothing in common with God’s righteousness (what is right in His eyes) and that will earn even those who wear the brightest mantle of spiritual expertise and exude the most perfect aura of infallibility a final and eternal, “Depart from Me you who did only what was right in your own eyes – I never knew you!”
The wearer of the aura of infallibility is so wrapped up that he is unable to recognize that the Spirit of Christ no longer lives in and rules over him but rather I now lives an independent life – quietly and subtly but in reality nonetheless – ruled over by the Satanic rulers of the darkness of this world. He who denies this truth does not yet know things as well as he ought to know things, especially if he intends to speak forth the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ!
Let he who has ears hear.
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!