Trying the spirits is a means of recognizing the true brethren by observing if a Christian convert actually loves the people of God. Loving the brethren in these times is truly a challenging command in this lukewarm age of Laodicea—an age of rampant spiritual deception not comparatively faced by other generations. Today, the wheat and the tare are not only growing together in the natural everyday world, but in the realm of the spirit as well. The reality is that premature rebirths as well as false conversions have so rampantly muddied the waters where spiritual discernment of the truly born again has become quite challenging.
The bible says one of the signs that salvation occurred is whether the fruit of love is evident. So the way to discern spiritual counterfeits is rather simple, for as the Lord taught “we know them by their fruits” and the first fruit of the Spirit is love. Spiritual love is not “mushy,” emotional love, a thing of the flesh. No! Love between the brethren goes beyond favoring someone or liking a particular personality type or even being in accord with a person’s opinions or ways. The key is that Jesus Christ is at the center of divine love.
The truth is that if there is no love for the person that God used to draw someone out of darkness into the light, particularly a pastor or a minister, and the individual has no insight or capability to cut that person some slack but rather is judgmental and overly critical, it follows that the convert did not become born again. Why not? Because the Holy Ghost is shed abroad in the hearts of the wheat BY LOVE! As the Apostle Paul warned, “how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things. (Romans 10:14-15.)
A minister for almost 40 years, my experience is that those who have cut me no slack, but who seize on any and every excuse to misjudge me, even though I am the one whose “beautiful feet” brought him or her the gospel of Jesus Christ, it stands to reason that I am not loved by that person. Consequently, , I question whether or not that he actually became a true born again Christian, regardless of how dramatic or visionary his or her conversion was. For love is the central fruit. So if you cannot love me in Christ and I am the one whom God used to reveal the truth to you, then you are likely “not born again.” At least “not yet!”
Yet today, it is so hard to tell the wheat from the tare because worldly religious people can’t be distinguished from worldly secular folk. They act alike, talk alike and if you correct them, they consider themselves rebuked and they immediately become offensively defensive, boarding on being disrespectful. Offended not only with their coworkers and their neighbors, but likewise with the brethren, yet with no clear difference in sight. This is not the fruit of love as manifested by the Holy Spirit.
Wisdom and Discernment are Required
Rejection of the brethren is a major strategy of the devil, particularly when another alleged “child of God” is the messenger. I spent the 25 years of my spiritual life around counterfeit believers who had no love in them. Yet because of their religious ways, it did not even cross my mind that these “denominational” folk simply were not true Christian converts. God had to “call me out from among them” in order for me to discern the truth. THOSE CHURCH MEMBERS WERE NOT THE BRETHREN!!!
Church members are not exclusive as a lack of a love for the brethren is also widespread online as well. I have found that once my spiritual discernment was developed and I matured in Christ, someone with a counterfeit-birth cannot remain around me for very long. There are times when I receive new email contacts who after visiting my website or reading a book or an article will assume that we are on the same track. Yet as soon as a difference surfaces, they behave in unfriendly, even unseemly ways.
No one needs to agree on EVERYTHING to love you as a disciple of Jesus Christ! Christian love is manifested as tolerance and acceptance in spite of differences in viewpoint. If we are truly born again, we all need to accept the fact that if we really love Jesus Christ and if we are truly obedient to HIM, we need to be tolerant enough to realize that our paths will not be identical. So be advised that a lack of tolerance, flexibility and wisdom is a sign of the presence of a religious fallen angel . The truth is that although true brethren may take issue with your doctrine, practices and even your lifestyle, truly born again believers will manifest the acceptance and understanding that is essential to Christian love.
How PSM Supports the Brethren's Discernment
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