In my study today on Spiritual Warfare, I found Paula White’s article. I have included the source at the bottom of this article so that you can go and read it in it’s entirety. I am in a season of testing and proving, and that is what I suggest that you do also. I simply do not know it all, however, I would like to share with you what I learn.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:28-30
Have you ever encountered a wolf in sheep’s clothing? I know that I have. They are such cunning creatures, sometimes beautiful creatures but there is one dead give away – and one purpose they have…speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. They will usually trip themselves up with their perverse speech, but remember they are trying very hard to draw the disciples away.
As we know, a flock is a group of believers. The phrase, “take heed” means to tend them as sheep, to be a supervisor. Overseers means a “superintendent; to watch with diligence.”
We need overseers to watch over us sheep. But we also must learn to discern so that we don’t become a lost sheep. What that means? Learn the Word of God.
Now what occurs to me is this…perverse doesn’t always mean bad speech or corrupt speech, it can mean to distort the truth of the word, so that is why we need to test and prove for ourselves.
Write the scriptures down as you hear them in a sermon, or on a blog, don’t take mine or anyone else’s word – Go to THE WORD. Read it – but also study it…
That is why I would encourage you to get a study bible. The notes at the bottom of the pages of scripture are so very helpful in todays words and how you can apply what you read. Get a promise bible and find the promises or find a well known commentary ..book or online to help you study and learn what the scriptures say.
Also, may I make a suggestion? When I learn scripture, I write it. I take notes, I even create 3×5 cards. I will write the subject at the top of the card – for instance Spiritual Warfare and find scriptures that support this subject on these cards marked with the heading. I will keep the cards close, with me in my purse…keep them on my desk and read them over and over until they become in-grained.
I learned about counterfeit gifts. I have never even considered these. This website gives you 3 effective defenses against these counterfeit gifts:
First is the principle of prevention. If you can avoid coming under the influence of a counterfeit gift, then you prevent someone speaking a demonic prophesy over you, or speaking wrong doctrine in a persuasive way. Charisma is powerful, and Satan seeks to use it against you.
Second is the principle of preservation. If you abandon all connections with a charismatic, yet corrupt person, then you preserve yourself. 1 Corinthians 15:33 states, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” The Word of God commands us to withdraw our connections from such people. Your peaceful, silent withdrawal from a person’s life may be exactly what they need. (See also 1 Tim 6:3-5).
It doesn’t say loudly leave or make a scene….peaceful, silent withdrawal…..
Thirdly is the principle of purification: confront them. Be sure you are armed with the Word of God; people who are operating under counterfeit gifts quickly retaliate with vicious poison once confronted. Be sure you brace yourself, have been in prayer, and stay in the Holy Spirit. Fasting prior to a confrontation is especially effective. A refutation is apowerful and Biblical method of overthrowing a counterfeit gift.
I can tell you – that is a scary thought but think about it – when the enemy wants to keep something from you – he will become vicious. Be prepared and be armed with the Word, so you will know.
We are to encourage others…They are to encourage us if they are further along in their walk with God, but I can’t say it enough – read, test and prove what is true…the The Word in the bible.
9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught,
so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine
and refute those who oppose it.
Titus 1:9, [emphasis mine]
I thank you that you are showing me that I need to test and prove the Word when spoken over me. I am to learn and study so that I am armed with your truth. I am to look to those leaders who are more learned and stay close to the flock but Father God, I am asking now for you to remove that which has restricted and confined my life and has held me back in the past. My faith is my foundation and all other ground is sinking sand. I will believe there is an outpouring of the Spirit of God over my life, and my divine purpose and over my loved ones. I declare and decrees that as a true follower of Christ who admittedly does not know it all – seeks to learn more, share more and you will give me a spirit of discernment to that which is false and untrue. I ask you to unlock and unleash my gift of discernment – that which is from you. I know you have a suddenly in my life and that Holy Spirit is bringing to pass an outpouring and increase, an over flow of increase. I declare the spirit of lack has been removed from my life and from the lives of my loved ones.
In Jesus’ name. Amen!