There is a “Difference”

As we discern we are then responsible to expose our findings to others (1 Tim. 4:6, 16).

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.” Ezekiel 44:23-24

Discernment is not condemnation. Discernment is simply the ability and act of distinguishing between holy and unholy, true and false.

Jesus Christ condemned hypocritical judgment, and commanded “righteous judgment.” (Matt. 7:1-5; Jn. 7:24)

Speaking of those who follow Him, the LORD tells us here in Ezekiel 44:23 that “They shall teach my people the difference” – to discern between “holy and profane” and “unclean and clean.” The love of God which abides in true under-shepherds, is protective and trains others to discern and be guarded from the mischief intended upon them by the evil one who works through deceivers disguised in sheep’s clothing and their teachings.

Naivety is not a virtue in God’s kingdom, it is a curse.

Our LORD instructed us to pray for and obtain discernment and 1 John tells us to test every spirit and to not blindly receive and believe every person who comes in the name of Jesus because “many (not a few) false prophets are gone out among you.” (Rev. 3:18; 1 Jn. 4:1; Matt. 24:11)

The Bible speaks of the overseer as one who must “Take care of the church of God.” (1 Tim. 3:5) According to Proverbs 27:23, the overseer of the sheep of God’s pasture must be diligent to know the state of his flocks and to look well (oversee closely with the jealous love of God) to his herds.

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.”  Proverbs 27:23

He should diligently look out over the horizon for wolves coming in to devour the LORD’s sheep with their deadly lies. All doctrinal error must be met with the full force of divine truth by those who love Him. Divine truth is the safety of the believer in abiding in Christ to the end (Prov. 30:5).

Discernment is simply the dividing of truth from error, relying fully upon God’s Word, which is the final authority for all matters concerning the faith once delivered to the saints (Mk. 13:31; Jn. 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16; Jude 3-4). When the believer studies to show himself approved unto God, he will then be able to “rightly” divide “the word of truth” from error (2 Tim. 2:15).

In the Scriptures, the Holy Ghost divides between “the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” One of the earmarks of the “spirit of antichrist” and the foretold “many false prophets” is that “the world heareth them.” Those under the “spirit of antichrist” do not endure sound doctrine, they cannot hear it – instead they rebel. These love darkness rather than light. See John 3:19-21; 8:47; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 1 John 4:1-6. These are those leaders and followers who purposely affirm instead of rebuking their sinful nature (2 Tim. 4:2-4). We must discern those deceivers who affirm people in their sins by not declaring God’s holiness, the biblical definition of sin, and the essential nature of repentance.

When Solomon became king, he was asked what he desired from the LORD.

“In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee…(Solomon answered) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.” 1 Kings 3:5, 9-10

Solomon wisely chose to covet from the LORD the ability to “discern between good and bad.” The Bible records that this request “pleased the Lord.”

Shouldn’t discernment be what we covet from our LORD in this late hour where we have been told to watch closely for deceivers? – “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy…” (1 Tim. 4:1-2)

Discernment is sought out and then taught to others by leaders who are true to the LORD (Ezek. 44:23). They are ever diligent to feed and guard “the flock of God” from the spiritual rabies of the promised wolves who “lie in wait to deceive.” (1 Pet. 5; Eph. 4: 14)

Check out the state of the people of God in Isaiah’s day, when wolf packs had hijacked the positions of authority, designed to be occupied by men who authentically feared God.

“The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” Isaiah 56:8-10

Do we think that our day is altogether different from Isaiah’s when the leaders of the people were self-serving, “blind… ignorant…dumb dogs…sleeping, lying down” and “loving to slumber”?

At the helm, insidiously guiding the Church into deep darkness, are men who have only an outward form or formula of godliness, yet are not submitted under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

“Wolves” and “beasts of the field” must be marked so that “his people, and the sheep of his pasture” can be warned, be wise to them and able to stay out of harm’s way (Matt. 7:15; Ps. 100:3).

To be continued…

Related Post

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 1

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 2

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 3

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 4

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 5

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 6

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 8 – THE CONCLUSION

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