I Have Not Sent Them

Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Dt. 5:4 π Jer. 14:13 π Jer. 14:14 π Jer. 22:21 π Jer. 23:21-22 π Jer. 23:22 π Jer. 25:13 π Jer. 28:1 π Jer. 28:15-17 π Jer. 29:31-32 π Ezek. 13:17-19 π Dan. 11:35 π Jon. 1:2-3 π Mt. 4:4 π Mt. 6:24 π Mt. 7:15; 2nd π Mt. 7:15-20 π Mt. 7:18 π Mt. 7:19 π Mt. 7:22-23 π Mt. 7:26-27 π Mt. 15:14 π Mt. 23:15; 2nd π Mt. 23:24 π Mt. 24:4 π Mt. 24:5 π Mt. 24:10-11 π Mk. 3:30 π Jn. 7:24 π Jn. 8:46 π Jn. 10:10 π Jn. 10:27 π Jn. 13:3-5 π Jn. 13:14 π Jn. 16:13 π Acts 13:1-3 π Acts 13:7-8 π Acts 13:9-11 π Acts 13:13 π Acts 20:30; 2nd π Rom. 14:17-18 π 2 Cor. 10:10 π 2 Cor. 11:4 π 2 Cor. 11:7-9 π 2 Cor. 11:12 π 2 Cor. 11:13 π 2 Cor. 11:15; 2nd π 2 Cor. 11:18-20 π 2 Cor. 11:23-28 π Eph. 5:8-10 π Col. 4:10 π 2 Ths. 2:3-4 π 2 Ths. 2:9 π 1 Tim. 6:5 π 2 Tim. 2:13 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Heb. 8:10-11 π Jas. 1:27 π Jas. 3:1 π 1 Jn. 2:27 π Rev. 2:2; 2nd π Rev. 2:6 π Rev. 2:15
Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Apostle, Messengerapostolos – [652]

Jesus commended the ekklesia of Ephesus by saying, “You have tested those who say they are apostles (sent ones – [ 652 ]) and are not, and have found them liars.” ( Rev. 2:2; top )

Paul wrote, “For such [men as I have just spoken of] are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” ( 2 Cor. 11:13; top )

From these two verses alone – and there are more – we can see that where God sends an apostle, a messenger, an “ambassador” of sorts, Satan is also quite capable of bringing forth false “apostles” who portray themselves as “ministers of righteousness.” ( 2 Cor. 11:15; top ) By what means, then, can we test these men and women who claim to be apostles sent by the Lord to proclaim the way of the Lord?


Jesus said to His disciples, “Beware of false prophets [proclaimers of “God’s Word”], who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” ( Mt. 7:15-20; top )

The false prophets “come to you in sheep’s clothing.” ( Mt. 7:15 ) Most people assume that this means they disguise themselves as sheep when in reality they are not sheep. Though there is an element of truth in that application, this is not exactly what Jesus meant here. He is saying they will come wearing wool and supporting themselves, some even making themselves wealthy, with the proceeds that come from maintaining and marketing (fleecing) the flock! But inside, these false prophets are “ravenous wolves” ( Mt. 7:15 ) anxious for the wealth, the advantages, the adoration, the attention and the emulations that comes from having “followers after themselves.” ( Acts 20:30; top )

There are some who make distinctions between false and deceived gospel workers (teachers, apostles, prophets, etc.) In truth, there is a fine line between these two categories. A deceived teacher, for example, may genuinely belong to the Lord and be called to be a teacher and be deceived and pass these deceptions on to their hearers as if they were truth. A false teacher, apostle, prophet, etc. does not belong to the Lord or is not called to be a teacher and knowingly speaks whatever truths or deceptions serve his own hidden agenda. The former are sincere but wrong - the latter are wrong but don’t care so long as their agendas are fulfilled. For the hearer, there is very little difference between the two and both are best left quickly behind (unless the sincere but mistaken ones can be brought to repentance and understanding, a thing that happens only rarely but is prophesied to occur in the last days – see Dan. 11:35; top )

If “the tree” – the “ministry” of the man – bears bad fruit, his is not a good tree. ( Mt. 7:18 ) While it is easy to count heads at his conferences, seminars and meetings, it is not so easy to evaluate the effects, especially long-term effects, of listening to and following the man and his messages. It is easy to see that the man knows how to work the crowds so that they pay for his suits and ties and his travel expenses and accommodations and even for his tape, internet and TV “ministry.” But hidden from easy view are the broken lives and marriages and families – perhaps even the teacher, apostle or prophet’s own – whose anguished protests fall on deaf ears until they grow silent and they simply step away from the man’s personality cult in obedience to Christ’s command to leave the blind leaders of blind followers alone in their march toward the ditch. ( Mt. 15:14; top )

Though the man and his followers will someday go down into the ditch together, because we do not immediately see “the tree cut down and thrown into the fire” ( Mt. 7:19 ), we assume that the man and his “ministry” is enjoying “God’s blessings.” If the man appears wealthy and overweight, surely he must be greatly “blessed by God”! But this is only rendering judgment according to appearances and after the flesh and is not a righteous discernment. (see Jn. 7:24; top ) Wealth gained by deceit and manipulation and the sin of gluttony will not go unpunished on the man’s final day of reckoning and judgment.


Paul wrote, “For if he who comes [claiming to be sent by God] preaches another Jesus whom we [Paul and the other genuine apostles] have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it.” ( 2 Cor. 11:4; top )

In today’s churchianity, every denomination and many “churches” preach the “Jesus” they believe (or want to believe!) they see in the New Testament. Many are the myths and legends that are perpetuated on Sunday mornings from many a pulpit.

All these and more are available to be preached and, if one can find an audience as gullible and immature as the Corinthians, a following and even a fortune is almost certain to be gained.

Or if a man comes and preaches a “new and fresh” insight from “the Word of God” but does so by the power of a demonic spirit, in today’s “churched” environment, very few, if any, would be able to discern what was happening. Any teacher, prophet, apostle, so-called “set man,” etc. who demands that he be served and waited upon and treated as a superior specimen of humanity comes in a spirit that differs greatly from that of the Master who stripped Himself of His position and took on the role of the lowliest slave to wash His disciples’ feet. ( Jn. 13:3-5 ) Then He left specific instructions that His followers should do as He had done. ( Jn. 13:14 ) But again, an immature and gullible crowd like the Corinthians will be taken in by and will put up with the flashy and boastful while they dismiss outright the lowly, contemptible and humble. (see 2 Cor. 10:10; top )

Or if a man preaches a different “gospel.” Let’s face it, no cultist, no matter how extreme or misguided his views are, believes or readily admits to being wrong and deceived. Every listener who has found the teacher, apostle or prophet who scratches their ears just the way they like to have them scratched (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4; top ) is quite convinced that their man is the man of God for this hour. And the more money one invests in this spiritual guru, the more genuine he must be! This is nothing new - there always has been and there always will be a huckster out there ready to separate a fool from his money. All the more to be pitied, though, are those sincere but misguided preachers of genuine truth who don’t realize that they really do all that they do just so that they can have their own egos stroked and their own self images bolstered!

Many English versions record Jesus as saying, “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” ( Mt. 24:5; top ) If this were what He really said, then we must reject Him as a liar and a false prophet. Throughout all of church history, those few who claimed to be the Christ or the Messiah did not do so in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth or even in the name of Jesus Christ. These few pretenders to the title of Christ and Messiah most often came in their own name and few - rarely more than a few hundred souls at any one time – were deceived.

Jesus said many would come in His name and deceive many. How do we account for this discrepancy? By realizing that many would come in His name saying, “I am the one anointed. I have the right and the gifting to stand over you and dictate to you what God says and means.” Today’s “pastors,” “apostles” and “prophets” are fulfilling this prophecy with precision and many people are trotting in step right along behind them, blithely unaware of their ultimate – and eternal – destination. It is also to be remembered that Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name [all the things today’s “apostles” and “prophets” movement specializes in!]?’ And then I will declare to you then, ‘I never knew you and depart from Me you who practice lawlessness [what is right in your own eyes]!” ( Mt. 7:22-23; top )

Hearing God

Having to discern between false prophets and true prophets of God is an old story in human history. Jeremiah faced a particularly trying time as, in the face of God’s promised judgments on Jerusalem, many false prophets were proclaiming upcoming peace and blessing. ( Jer. 14:13 , etc.) The Lord responded to the false prophets by saying, “The prophets [referring to the recognized “school of prophets” that served the king and the people] prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.” ( Jer. 14:14; top )

As the confrontations proceeded between Jeremiah and the false prophets, the Lord said, “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.” ( Jer. 23:21-22; top )

Divination is perhaps best understood by recognizing the root word – divine. Divination is thus simply seeking divine things - like wisdom, knowledge, especially knowledge of the future, etc. – by use of demonic power. The utter futility and imbecility of seeking out the devil to learn the things of God ought to be apparent to all. But because the devil gives knowledge and power without all those unwelcome righteous requirements that God attaches to His wisdom, knowledge and power, the impatient and impotent reach out for any thing that “works” right now, the way they think they want it to. Very few recognize, until too late, just how high the “price tag” is on the devil’s “gifts.” In this case, the false prophets were giving out empty promises of peace and blessing when all too soon the destroyer would come and take their property and even their lives.

This is the emptiness, the uselessness, the worthlessness that the false prophets were prophesying. Because their message was more welcome, however, the false prophets enjoyed a popularity with the people and even favor with the king that was denied to Jeremiah. God later vindicated Jeremiah ( Jer. 25:13 , etc.; top) and history records that he was the true prophet of God in his day. The history of the other false prophets is a completely different story, one we will come back to later in this article.

If the prophets had caused the people to hear the words of God, the people would have repented and ceased to do evil. ( Jer. 23:22 ) When Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread, He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” ( Mt. 4:4 ) It has always been in the heart of God to speak directly to men ( Dt. 5:4 , etc.) and indeed He has always held His people responsible for not listening to His voice. ( Jer. 22:21 , etc.; top)

The New Covenant was intended to be a situation whereby God wrote His laws on the hearts of every man who would believe and every man would know and personally interact with God. ( Heb. 8:10-11 ) From the anointing each one received from God, he or she would be led into all truth ( Jn. 16:13 ) and would not need anyone to continually teach him. ( 1 Jn. 2:27 ) Jesus still says that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. ( Jn. 10:27; top ) This is the New Covenant sealed by the blood of Christ Jesus.

But in the second century bishops arose over the people by speaking a corrupted version of the gospel, stepping into places over the people that were reserved for Christ, God and the Holy Spirit alone, and drew followers away from Christ and after themselves – precisely as Paul prophesied would happen. ( Acts 20:30; top ) The emperor Constantine, in the third century, made “Christianity” the official religion of the vast Roman empire and substantially altered the way of following Christ ever after. One of his chief contributions were a great number of temples wherein the bishops (many of whom prior to Constantine’s edicts were pagan priests) could practice their religious arts and act as lords over the people. From these things the people of Christ have not yet fully recovered. In fact, most who claim to follow Christ believe this is the way things ought to be – and then these same people are those who most often ridicule the notion that the devil, the deceiver, is any good at what he does!


There is perhaps no issue in this question of true and false gospel workers that is more subject to deception than is the issue of money. Because God’s law required tithes and offerings to be given to the priests and temple, we assume that we are supposed to do the same sort of thing with any man who comes along preaching or teaching the sort of “gospel” we want to hear and thus we will be in good with God!

Indeed, there is a true giving in the body of Christ. But giving to make “the man of God” wealthy, fat and comfortable in his position of pre-eminence over the people of Christ is not one of God’s agendas or priorities. The needs of the orphans, widows and the poor ( Jas. 1:27; top ) are as equally important as the ongoing work of traveling workers of the gospel.

Those traveling workers who must “raise funds” by holding special presentations (that praises and exalts the work these do) really bring their whole “ministry” into question. It is one thing to bring back a report to a group that has supported the work – it is another thing entirely to seek funds to set off on a new work. While it is true that money is often a requirement of most aspects of life in this world, especially travel and such, quite often forgotten is that Jesus still says, “You cannot serve God and money.” ( Mt. 6:24; top )

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Did I commit sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other ekklesias, taking wages from them to serve you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what was lacking to me the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself.” ( 2 Cor. 11:7-9; top )

In Paul’s day, it was customary to pay the orators who entertained people with their speeches of eloquence, rhetoric and sophistry (“wisdom.”) Paul is asking the Corinthians if it is a sin against God to violate this custom and declares clearly that the gospel of God is something far away and above such petty concerns.

To those who think that preaching the gospel is a means of financial gain (see 1 Tim. 6:5 ), one can only sound the warnings. Long ago, God said to Ezekiel regarding women who prophesied and sold magic charms (much like those who sell “prayer cloths” and other such items on TV today), “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?”’” ( Ezek. 13:17-19; top )

Jesus still says, “Woe to you…[who] travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” ( Mt. 23:15; top ) Many woes await those who use the gospel to gather followers after themselves and to fill their own pockets with bread and gold. Those who give their money to support such false workers are doubly condemned – they have failed to support the true work of God and they will share in the false worker’s guilty, condemnation and judgment.


To know a man’s character requires that we be able to spend time with him and, if at all possible, with the man’s family. In today’s environment of “talking heads” (TV preachers) and traveling “guest speakers,” it is very difficult to spend time with the preachers and teachers of what they assure us in their “sermons” and messages are “gospel truths.” It remains a truth, however, that one is wise to not follow a man they do not know. Today’s traveling hucksters and talking heads are experts in presenting, from behind a pulpit or with a posture of poise and expertise, what must be called their “aura of infallibility.” They must show themselves to be the man with all the right answers. Perhaps it is their learned ability to seem humble that makes them so appealing and spell-binding to their audience. But flaws and weaknesses in their own lives and characters must be concealed as these mean death to the popularity and income of one’s “ministry.”

One of Paul’s reasons for writing to the Corinthians was in an effort to “cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.” ( 2 Cor. 11:12; top ) Paul was regarded as an apostle of Christ because he was an apostle of Christ. Other men then came along boasting and proclaiming that they were apostles of Christ when, in truth, they were not. It is because the Corinthians were gullible enough to believe these boastings that Paul, in an effort to draw the Corinthians back to Christ, indulged in some boasting of his own.

Paul wrote, “Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.” ( 2 Cor. 11:18-20 ) The false apostles, because their own character is weak and deceptive, must boast of themselves and seek to bring others underneath them so as to confirm their own boastings! The true apostle, like Paul, does not need his own ego stroke or his own self-image bolstered and can honestly point to the sufferings he has endured for Christ as the only “credentials” necessary. ( 2 Cor. 11:23-28; top )

Those who must boast of all the “great” things they have done for Christ – from the “prophet” who boasts of “prophetic words” that have come to pass to the traveling television evangelist who prominently posts the praises of men on his website – really call their whole “ministry” into question. The wise man will step back from such a man who boasts (even in “humble reports”) of the great things he has done for God and not be too surprised when the “ministry” of that man goes in one of two directions:

  1. The man and his “ministry” becomes wildly popular but is plagued with instances and growing reports of bad fruit and extreme fleshly practices, or

  2. the man and his “ministry” crumbles into nothing as the man’s true character and agenda are exposed.

Neither of these two conditions require that the man’s “ministry” come to an end. It only means that now his work is more that of an ear-scratching false “minister of righteousness” ( 2 Cor. 11:15; top ) than that of a true messenger bringing the truth and life-giving words of God. Any sincere men of God who find themselves either wildly popular or crumbled into dust would be wise to simply retire – the deserts of Midian, or even a golf course or a fishing hole, would be a better place to spend the rest of their days rather than to continue hunting and killing souls with their deception and error.


One last consideration regarding true apostles is power. By this we cannot mean only miracles. Because the people of the second century submitted themselves to a second head (the bishop) and the people followed the bishops into their pagan temples (the “churches”), the power of the Holy Spirit is not as readily available as it was in the book of Acts. Whether He will be as merciful when we have forsaken all the unclean “Christian”-ese things and again comes upon us in power as in the book of Acts is a question only time will tell. Since God is always faithful even when we are not ( 2 Tim. 2:13 ), in all likelihood the outpouring of spiritual power will be renewed once we learn to follow Him and merely power. Thus, as we approach the end of the age, we must also recognize that Satan will use “all power, signs and lying wonders” to raise up his “man of lawlessness” into the seat and temple of God. ( 2 Ths. 2:3-4 , 9; top ) The use of spiritual power does not necessarily prove that the man is using the power of God.

Paul wrote, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord.” ( Eph. 5:8-10 ) Paul also wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” ( Rom. 14:17-18; top )

The power of God is not measured by miraculous healings. It is measured in changed lives. Nor is it only the extreme convicts, addicts, derelicts, burnouts and dropouts of society that need changed. The greedy self-absorbed “Christian” businessman, the pew-bound “church”-ite and the control-crazed “apostle,” “pastor” or “deacon” are in bondages greater than any drug can cause. Jesus came to bring life in abundance. ( Jn. 10:10; top ) Those who conduct themselves in various forms of death have not yet experienced the life-changing power of God, no matter how faithfully they attend (or run!) their “church”!

But when it comes to choosing between a false and true prophet, we need to recognize how serious this matter is. In a face to face confrontation, Jeremiah said to Hananiah, a prophet from Gibeon, “Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.’” The record goes on to say, “So Hananiah died the same year in the seventh month.” ( Jer. 28:15-17 ) He died only two months after this confrontation. (see Jer. 28:1 ) A similar word was given to Shemiah. ( Jer. 29:31-32; top )

In the New Testament, Paul and Barnabas encountered a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus or Elymas “withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul [governor] away from the faith. ( Acts 13:7-8 ) In this confrontation of power, “Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.’ And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.’ ( Acts 13:9-11 ) As a result of this conflict, the younger John Mark (who may have been unwisely included because he was Barnabas’ cousin – Col. 4:10 ) was overwhelmed and departed from Paul and Barnabas and returned home to his mother’s house in Jerusalem. ( Acts 13:13 ) Those who have approached Christianity as if it were merely some feel-good parlor game are often offended or stumbled at the results of a power conflict between genuine and false workers of God. (also see Mt. 24:10-11; top )

But the stakes are even higher than this. Just a little further down this road lies what theologians like to call “the unforgiveable sin,” the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In the only place that tells us why Jesus spoke of this sin, it is recorded that He said this “because they [the scribes from Jerusalem] said, ‘He has an unclean spirit [a demon].” ( Mk. 3:30; top )

To understand the significance of this, we must recognize that the scribes were a delegation from the Sanhedrin, the ruling religious governmental body whose duty it was to recognize true works of God and to denounce false works of men done in God’s name. Though these men could not convict Jesus of any sin ( Jn. 8:46 ), they were denouncing Jesus to the people because of His popularity and enmity against their power structure. It is interesting to note that those people who are not in any real position in which they can commit “the unforgiveable sin” suffer very real fears and anxieties about it. But those who are in very real positions wherein they can commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – those “pastors,” “apostles,” “prophets” and “church” leaders who routinely denounce those who challenge their “delegated” (Nicolaitan – Rev. 2:6 , 15; top ) authority or speak against their “church” structure or abuses – never even give such a thing a thought. It should also be noted that blasphemy of the Spirit is a conscious, willful choice. The scribes from Jerusalem knew that Jesus was doing nothing wrong against God yet they chose, in order to protect their own status quo and assets, to label Jesus the Messiah a demonized false prophet.

I Have Not Sent Them

All of the above considerations regarding true and false workers boil down to this bottom line: “I, God, have not sent them.” This is especially true for apostles as they are “the sent ones,” the messengers, the “ambassadors” of sorts. Whereas a teacher has some latitude in that he reads and teaches what he sees in the Bible text, and, while not excused to teach deception, he does not necessarily defile people’s conscience or spirit by his readings and even interpretations of a text unless he tries to draw followers after himself. But a prophet, who stands up and says, “Thus says the Lord…” when the Lord has not thus said, is a false prophet. An apostle who persists in going to Tarsus when God said “Go to Nineveh” ( Jon. 1:2-3 ) – or, in today’s context, when one expands one’s travel “ministry” (one’s “road show”) when God is saying “Go home and serve your family’s emotional and spiritual needs” – is a false apostle. He has not been sent by God to those particular people at that particular time. Those who want to excuse themselves or their favorite spiritual guru for all the false words given or false missions undertaken are those who will strain out a gnat while they swallow a camel. ( Mt. 23:24; top )

Those who boast and proclaim themselves to be something in the Lord in the Lord need to fearfully reconsider exactly what they have put themselves into. All the outward indicators of “ministry success” are worthless if God is not thus saying or has not sent the person at that time. Having all the wealth and resources one needs to travel in style over land and sea does not prevent one from being a son of hell who makes more sons of hell. (again see Mt. 23:15 ) Having thousands or even millions of followers who routinely seat themselves at one’s feet does not prove that one is correct in all that one says and does – in fact, it may only add to one’s judgment and condemnation. ( Jas. 3:1 ) Being surrounded by a circle of sycophants (yes-men) who refuse to acknowledge one’s flaws and sins does not make one a stronger or better “Christian leader” – in fact it is more likely to only make the inevitable upcoming collapse more devastating. (see Mt. 7:26-27; top )

If any true apostles appear on the scene again, he is not likely to have popular “talking head” TV ministry. He is more likely to be singled out of a mature group of leading men who are truly building God’s kingdom (and not their new – or old – denomination) and paired off with another of similar spiritual stature and experience and sent on a particular mission. (see Acts 13:1-3; top ) He is more likely to be completely unrecognized and unknown beyond a small circle and more likely to be arrested or beaten or even killed than he is to be lauded and applauded for his eloquence and skill in rhetoric and sophistry. He will have a mature, well-established character in Christ and will bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in himself and in others. He will not cater to any particular denomination and will not plant “churches” or build “church” buildings or recognize “church” “pastors” as valid leaders in the body of Christ just because they have access to the finances to support him in his “apostlehood.” He will not need yes-men willing to do anything and everything he says.

Jesus’ warning of the end of the age still stands – “Take care that no one deceives you.” ( Mt. 24:4 ) And He still commends those who test the false apostles and discerns their deceptions. ( Rev. 2:2; top ) But there are true apostles, prophets and teachers – not necessarily or even likely to be those whom we have presumed to be such things – that if we reject them or their words, we have rejected Christ. It is our responsibility, therefore, to spiritually discern just who and what a person is in Christ before we simply reject them or follow after them wherever they lead or go. This requires a great deal more than hearing a few messages, attending a few seminars or conferences or skimming a website. It will require a great deal of time and effort to get to know the man. One would be wiser to invest one’s time and energy into simply sitting at the Master’s feet and learning to know, hear and obey Him.

Let he who has ears hear.

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