Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Eccl. 12:12 π Isa. 28:13 π Isa. 53:1 π Jer. 23:16 π Ezek. 3:18-21 π Ezek. 13:3-9 π Hos. 9:7 π Mt. 24:4 π Mk. 9:7 π Jn. 3:30 π Jn. 10:27-28 π Acts 20:30 π Rom. 16:18 π Eph. 4:4-6 π Eph. 5:6 π 1 Tim. 4:1 π 2 Tim. 2:15 π 2 Tim. 3:13 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Heb. 8:10-11 π Heb. 11:36-40 π Heb. 12:25 π 2 Pet. 2:3 π 1 Jn. 2:27 π Jude 3 π Rev. 22:11

It has been rightly observed that at this particular period in the history of the people who claim to follow Christ, there are literally thousands of Christian writers pumping out new books, each year, with their own individual visions of the future, of the present and even of the past. This observation is deeply disturbing to those who seek the truth as it reveals some deeply-embedded fissures in what ought to be bedrock foundations of our faith.

The first thing this observation reveals is a deep hunger. At a time when there are more teachers than one can count speaking forth their version of the gospel of Christ over the internet, television and radio, there is still a hunger out there that fuels and drives this multi-million dollar book-making industry. That the modern method of sermonizing the flock is not an effective feeding method is one conclusion that can be rightly drawn from this observation. A similar conclusion can also be drawn regarding the making of books. “Of the making of many books,” Solomon wrote, “there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.” ( Eccl. 12:12; top ) Any book, teaching or sermon that does not satisfy our hunger for Christ and God and His truth and righteousness is just some man’s work of the flesh.

We can also rightly perceive that this deep, widespread hunger is not accompanied by much wisdom. The best-selling books are those that contain a satisfactory dose of error or false, even demonic, teachings ( 1 Tim. 4:1 ) that reassure the reader that one’s preferred fleshly practice of the “Christian” religion is indeed the right and only way to follow Christ. And it is those “teachers” (“pastors,” “apostles,” “prophets,” whatever title these men use) who are expert at tickling ears ( 2 Tim. 4:3-4 ) and at drawing followers after themselves ( Acts 20:30 ) who most experience a lucrative, sometimes even ridiculous, profit from the selling of their books. Even some of those who purportedly receive no income from their book sales still enjoy extensive travel and preeminence precisely and only because their books are popular. Far too often, however, the one who speaks only what he hears from “God is left, like Isaiah, alone thinking (if not actually crying out to God), “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” ( Isa. 53:1 ) The many best-selling authors and teachers, of course, look to the vast numbers who follow them and buy their books and ridicule and even dismiss as insane (see Hos. 9:7 ) the lonely prophets who forge their solitary or at least isolated way valiantly through dry, empty, uncharted wastelands. But one day, all the true followers of Christ and God will be perfected together. ( Heb. 11:36-40 ) and every man will be recognized for what he really is. ( Rev. 22:11; top )

The second thing this observation brings into view is the rivalry and competition that exists between these authors and their individual views. One must seek to outdo the others – either in finding some new (or “lost”) doctrine or revelation “insight” – or else one’s profit margin will drop (a “mortal sin” in the publishing world!) To draw followers after oneself is most easily accomplished among those who are already following someone else! Some teachers and authors think themselves so well established that they no longer care how many followers drop off because they have found their own practiced method to draw in new followers to replace the old. What a callous indifference to the plight of souls this merchandizing reveals (see 2 Pet. 2:3 ) and what a different spirit this rivalry and competition exposes – the true prophets and speakers and writers for God still say, “He must increase and I must decrease!” ( Jn. 3:30; top )

The most disturbing thing revealed by this observation is that that which claims to be the body of Christ speaks with many voices and not with the one voice of God, Christ and His Spirit. Men and even demons routinely speak into the ears of believers all over the world and, as a result, very few know how to rightly divide the word of truth. ( 2 Tim. 2:15 ) Some teach that “context” and finding all the Bible verses that touch on a given topic and then intellectually reasoning out a precept from these verses is a fool-proof, fail-safe way of finding truth. Others then teach “line upon line, precept upon precept” – never knowing that this a judgment from God! ( Isa. 28:13; top ) Still others, when questioned, declare, “Well, thus said the Lord to me!” and leave those with a different understanding little to do but acquiesce to their “revelation” or leave.

God still speaks from behind the shadows of all this and still says, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” ( Mk. 9:7 ) The gospel – the original, true gospel given once for all ( Jude 3 ) – still proclaims that the way to eternal life and salvation is found in hearing Him for ourselves. ( Heb. 12:25 , Jn. 10:27-28 , 1 Jn. 2:27 , Heb. 8:10-11 ) The warnings abound in the New Testament – and especially for those alive at the end of the age – to beware of men and their cunningly deceitful words. ( Mt. 24:4 , 2 Tim. 3:13 , Eph. 5:6 , Rom. 16:18 , etc.; top)

It is simply time for the genuine seeker of truth to be much more discriminating in his reading and listening habits. Of the false prophets, teachers and diviners, God still says, “Do not even listen to them for they will destroy you.” ( Jer. 23:16; top ) How much more, then, will we share in the condemnation of those false teachers whose books we have purchased and whose “ministries” we have supported while we have neglected or never sought out those whom God has truly given a message or sent on a mission.

It is time for anyone speaking forth the words of God to submit his voice to the voice of God or be rejected as a false prophet. One who is submitted to God will never need followers after himself because his voice is interlaced with the voice of Christ and God – those who refuse to go in the way he has proclaimed or is illuminating are rejecting One much greater than himself and he can rest easy knowing that, because he has faithfully proclaimed the words of God, their blood is not his hands. ( Ezek. 3:18-21; top )

God still says, “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirits and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the desert. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the LORD. They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD!’ But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The LORD says,’ but I have not spoken. Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you. My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” ( Ezek. 13:3-9; top ) Those with spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear will have no real difficulty making the spiritual application to today’s cacophony of voices – those who do not possess these abilities will adamantly deny that this passage has anything to do with “the church” of today and certainly not any of their books and writings!

Paul wrote, “There is one body, and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” ( Eph. 4:4-6; top ) God’s answer to this observation is much different from what this polyglot of “Christian” authors and their multitudes of anxious customers and followers presume – and blessed is he to whom this observation truly does not apply!

Let he who has ears hear what the Spirit of God says to His people. Amen.

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