Nehemiah Chapter 6:10-14
Sanballat Strikes Back - The angel of light!
by I Gordon
 ↩ Yeah, sort of given it away haven't I? False words and prophecies only come from one of two places:
1) They are inspired by Satan as warned by Jesus that in the last days false Christ's and false prophets will deceive many. (Matt 24:5, 11, 24) This is Sanballat again at work.
2) The words and prophecies can come from the flesh, and its usually the religious flesh (Tobiah) seeking honour and glory for himself that's says such things. As in Col 2:18 where Paul warns against those who "take their stand on visions they have seen, inflated without cause by their fleshly mind."
 ↩ The Corinthian Church were involved in some horrendous sins like sexual immorality, lawsuits amongst believers, drunk at the Lords supper, divisions and following men instead of the Lord.... but Paul still wrote to them and blessed them as Christians (1Cor.1-9). Now read the intro to the Galatians' Church, who had listened to another gospel. "I am amazed at how quickly you deserted him... for another gospel...But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be eternally condemned." Didn't hold much back did he? The bible teaches "Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness." (2Cor 11:14-15) Peter also spoke of the false prophets and teachers "and in their greed they will exploit you with their false words." (2 Pet 2:1-3) John spoke of them in 1John 2:18-19, 4:1-6. Paul spoke about them a lot, especially at the end of his ministry as in Acts 20:28-32 'Be on your guard for yourselves and the flock...I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, not sparing the flock..' Also in 1Tim 4:1-5, 2Tim 3:1-9, 4:3-4 etc
 ↩ Both Old and New Testaments tell us to go to the word to judge things. Why is it that this is now frowned upon? Isn't it the attitude of the world to tolerate all things and not have any base to judge things by? But Gods word still gives us the attitude that God is after. "When they say to you, 'Consult the mediums and spiritists who whisper and mutter'...To the word and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word it is because they have no light." (Isa 8:19-20) The New Test. tells us 'not to exceed what is written' (1Cor 4:6) and when Paul preached to the Bereans it is written that the Bereans 'were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.' (Acts 17:11) Paul didn't just want them to accept everything he said (even though it was true). These Bereans were commended because they went back to the word each day to see whether what Paul was saying was the truth or not. I believe that the prophetic gift is a gift of the Spirit and is still for use today. Just don't be naive. 1 Thess 5:20-21 ' Do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully and hold on to what is good.' Christians should be able to discern by the word. It is only spiritual babies who cannot. (Heb 5:12-14)
 ↩ Now this is an important question so I will spend a bit of time on it. On the one hand we should never get to the stage where all we are trying to do is make issues out of tiny errors or cause disagreement in areas where judgment is not allowed. (Rom 14). That is a critical spirit and is plain wrong! I do believe though, that the word of God tells us to watch and guard the truth of the gospel. Jesus himself is the truth (Jn 14:6) and its the truth of who he is and what he did that sets us free. It is always the action of the enemy to try to corrupt the truth by sowing seeds of error among the true seed. If we end up with a gospel of half-truths, we'll have converts that are half set free! And as we saw earlier, its the belt of truth that holds all the armour together. If your theology is loose, so is your belt of truth and then so is your armour, and then we're back to where we began - with disciples half set free, trying to live the Christian life without the armour (spiritual protection) God provides! And that's when the Christian life becomes a drag and a chore. Anyway, lets look at what the word of God says. The next few verses are what Paul wrote to Timothy. Having now come to the end of his ministry, he was passing on important truths for this young leader. I believe that what he stressed most was guarding and preaching the truth! In 1 Timothy:
1:3 'As I urged you upon my departure. stay on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines.' 4:6 'In pointing out these things (correcting wrong teaching in verses 1-5) you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.' 4:13 'Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation and teaching.' 4:16 'Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching.. for as you do so you will ensure salvation for yourself and for those who hear you.' Plus 5:17, 6:2-3, 6:17-18
In 2 Timothy: 2:15 'Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.' 3:16 'All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.' 4:1-2 'I solemnly charge you... preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.' Also 1:13-14, 2:2, 2:24-26, 3:10-15
I hope you can see where Paul's heart was. Truth is important. A man may say he believes, but if what he believes is a lie, his faith is in vain. Paul described the word of God as being for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness. Two seem positive, two negative. But they are all for the positive in the long run. Part of biblical love is to correct and train. They go hand in hand. Look at the Fathers love. (Heb 12:5-11)