Kaye Mendoza: October 29, 2008


Song of Solomon 6:3 “I am my Beloved's [garden] and my Beloved is mine!”

Ideal Environment

What is it about a garden that captivates us all? Is it the delicate dance of light that illuminates the grass, the trees, the bushes, the flowers, the bees, or the dew? Is it the tantalizing play of fragrance that subtly tickles our sense of smell with refreshing sweetness? Is it the peace and serenity – the sound of silence that embraces us, soothes our spirits and calms our souls?

The charming beauty of a garden, this secret place of rendezvous, this very solemn area of rest – it enthralls and mesmerizes us – whether rich or poor, sinner or saint. Such is the exquisite splendor of a garden, who can resist it?

God knows what He wants for us to have. It is not a surprise that He planted a garden and placed man in it. Genesis 2:8 “And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden [delight]; and there He put the man whom He had formed (framed, constituted).” Our ideal environment is that of a garden, full of luscious and choicest fruits, brimming with life! The garden is made for man, and God always intended it to be like that.


We are assigned by God to become gardeners not only in the physical but also in a spiritual sense. Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.” Gardens indeed look pretty and pleasant, but the truth is, it cannot do work on itself. Someone has to cultivate the soil, plant the seeds, fertilize the soil, water the plants, and pull out the weeds. Gardens require maintenance – it is not merely waiting for God to send the rain, but we are required to irrigate the soil and nurture the plants for them not to wither.

What exactly is expected of us, as gardeners and co-laborers of God for harvesting souls? 1 Corinthians 3:9 “For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God…” There are certain practical steps that we can follow:

1. Choosing a Site – we don’t just plant anywhere we want. Pray and wait on the Holy Spirit to direct you on where to go. He is the Master Gardener and He will position us in areas where our talents and skills are needed. John 14:26 “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

2. How’s the Soil? – we are all familiar with the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 where there are four kinds of soils: dusty roadside, rocky ground, thorny patch, and good soil. Till the heart of fallow ground with much prayers, tears and supplication to the Lord of the harvest. Matthew 13:23 “As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.”

3. Planting – once we have laboriously cultivated the soil, the seed is now ready to be planted. The Lord will provide us with the words that we will sow into the hearts of men. 2 Corinthians 9:10 “And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity].”

4. Watering – The Word of God sanctifies and purifies the new man. We are to nurture them with the Word spoken in the spirit of love at times appointed by the Lord. We can never overwater these plants. They are thirsty and so they must drink abundantly of the water of life. Ephesians 5:25-27 “… as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].”

Please note that steps 5, 6 and 7 are the works of our Master Gardener. As gardeners assigned for the harvest, we can help Him by continuously providing our prayers, supplications, thanksgiving, intercession, pleading and tears on behalf of the new plants in the garden.

5. Growth – We cannot force the growth of any plant – doing so may prove to be more harmful than helpful. We must trust God that He is able to finish the good work that He started in them. 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the increase.”

6. Pruning – Remember that it is not our job to prune the plants, however tempting it is. Our job is to plead for mercy so that the Master Gardener will not totally cut off the plant. John 15: 2 “Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.”

7. Weeding – You got it! It’s not part of our job description to weed this kind of garden. Matthew 13:28 “…Then do you want us to go and weed them out? But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it.”

Be assured, there is a certain garden that we can help grow, prune and weed as much as we want, that is, the garden of our own self. Now, back to work:

8. Harvesting - Revelation 14:15 “… Put in Your scythe and reap, for the hour has arrived to gather the harvest, for the earth's crop is fully ripened.” It is time to harvest the crops that we have so carefully labored for, with the Holy Spirit as our Master Gardener.

The work is not in vain. All workers will be duly compensated based on the generosity of the Landowner, and not based of the length of service.

Keep my Garden Blooming

As much as we are gardeners and co-laborers of God, we are also God’s gardens. 1 Corinthians 3:9 “… you are God's garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God's building.”

We are God’s gardens because somehow, somewhere, sometime… someone did labor for us. These faithful gardeners chose us as a site, assessed the soil of our heart, tilled the ground, planted the seed and watered.

Now we are still undergoing the same growing, pruning, weeding – a work of the Master Gardener. Yet this time, we have a different stance. Instead of a “touch-not, pray-a-lot!” strategy, we have “hands-on, pray-on” strategy on this garden… we can make the pruning sessions less painful when we submit to Him and allow Him to prune us. We can start weeding our own garden to take away the wild plants of unbelief, rebellion, anger, perversion, selfishness and rejection, to name a few. We can ask the Master Gardener to grow us in areas of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.

Doing these measures ourselves and tending to our own gardens will keep our gardens blooming and will provide us with a harvest of more luscious fruits of love. This is what the Landowner is concerned about, the choicest fruits of love as a great harvest from our garden.

Song of Solomon 4:16 “[You have called me a garden, she said] Oh, I pray that the [cold] north wind and the [soft] south wind may blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out [in abundance for you in whom my soul delights]. Let my Beloved come into His garden and eat its choicest fruits.”

Let us meet with our Lord Jesus, Lover of our soul! Let us invite Him into our garden to partake of the succulent fruits thereof! He desires to taste the sweetness of our fruit, drink our purely refreshing spring of water, and smell the rich aroma of our garden.

Song of Solomon 5:1 “I HAVE come into My garden, My sister, My [promised] bride; I have gathered My myrrh with My balsam and spice [from your sweet words I have gathered the richest perfumes and spices]. I have eaten My honeycomb with My honey; I have drunk My wine with My milk. Eat, O friends [feast on, O revelers of the palace; you can never make My lover disloyal to Me]! Drink, yes, drink abundantly of love, O precious one [for now I know you are Mine, irrevocably Mine! With His confident words still thrilling her heart, through the lattice she saw her Shepherd turn away and disappear into the night].”


Dearest Beloved Lord Jesus, I want to be Your garden. I have an aching void in my garden that only You, oh Lord, can fill. I invite You, to come into the garden of my heart as my Lover, my Lord and my Savior. Send the Master Gardener, the Holy Spirit, to help me work on my garden to provide a great harvest of the fruit of love to God, my Landowner. I receive You this day in my life, covered with the sacrifice of Your most precious Blood. I love You Lord.

Kaye Mendoza: October 22, 2008


Deuteronomy 11:16 “Take heed to yourselves, lest your [minds and] hearts be deceived and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them…”


Deceived (Merriam-Webster): accepted as true or valid what is false or invalid; led astray or frustrated by underhandedness; received a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness.

From the Beginning

Our enemy’s game is that of deception. We have seen this even from the very beginning and his principles did not change throughout the ages. In Genesis 3:13 “And the Lord God said to the woman, what is this you have done? And the woman said, the serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate.” Satan deceived Eve into believing that what he was saying was true and valid, which in turn invalidated the very word of God.

We must realize that since our enemy has been practicing this “craft” for ages, he has gotten more and more cunning in deceiving people. Thus, since we are the end-time generation, we must stand fast, be watchful and alert, and we must take heed – lest our enemy fool us into deception.

Are you Deceived?

How do we know if our hearts are deceived? I believe the Word of God points out several areas where we can fall into deception. I ask that each one of us take time to search our hearts, repent, and ask God for restoration in these areas where we have been deceived:

1. Idolatry - Jeremiah 49:16 “Your [object of] horror (your idol) has deceived you…”
2. Presumptuousness - Ezekiel 14:9 “[The prophet has not been granted permission to give an answer to the hypocritical inquirer] but if the prophet does give the man the answer he desires [thus allowing himself to be a party to the inquirer's sin], I the Lord will see to it that the prophet is deceived in his answer, and I will stretch out My hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of My people...”
3. Pride - Obadiah 1:3 “The pride of your heart has deceived you… who says in his heart, Who can bring me down to the ground?”
4. Sexual Immorality - 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality…”
5. Evil Associations - 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”
6. Pretension - Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.”
7. Wickeness - 2 Timothy 3:13 “But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.”
8. Sorcery - Revelation 18:23 “… for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”
9. Sin - Romans 7:11 “For sin, seizing the opportunity and getting a hold on me [by taking its incentive] from the commandment, beguiled and entrapped and cheated me, and using it [as a weapon], killed me.”
10. Man-pleasing - John 7:18 “He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. [He whose teaching originates with himself seeks his own glory.] But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him, He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him.”
11. Perversions - Acts 13:10 “And said, You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes?”
12. Unbelief - 2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.”
13. Hearers, not Doers of the Word - James 1:22 “But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].”
14. Self Importance - Galatians 6:3 “For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another's load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.”
15. Ignorance - Ephesians 5:6 “Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience.”
16. Untamed Tongue - James 1:26 “If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren).”
17. Causing Divisions - Romans 16:18 “For such persons [who create dissentions, difficulties and cause divisions] do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites and base desires, and by ingratiating and flattering speech, they beguile the hearts of the unsuspecting and simpleminded [people].”
18. Falling into diverse lusts - 2 Peter 2:14 “They have eyes full of harlotry, insatiable for sin. They beguile and bait and lure away unstable souls. Their hearts are trained in covetousness (lust, greed), [they are] children of a curse [ exposed to cursing]!”
19. Giving in to the Desires of the Flesh - 2 Peter 2:18 “For uttering loud boasts of folly, they beguile and lure with lustful desires of the flesh those who are barely escaping from them who are wrongdoers.”
20. Lack of Repentance – 1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts].”


From the very lips of our Lord Jesus Christ came a fervent warning, Luke 21:8 “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” Take heed brothers and sisters that in all our ways, we are not deceived.

Surely the end of time is fast approaching. Each and every day is a day that we need to strengthen our faith so that we will not be deceived or fall into apostasy or unbelief. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition)…”

Read the Word of God with the Holy Spirit, chew on it, eat it, digest it… keep it in your heart. Ask the Lord to reveal areas of your life where you have been deceived and surrender afresh to Him.

Trust in Almighty God

I thank God that He has opened our eyes to know that He is Omnipotent and Almighty - Job 12:16 “With Him are might and wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are His [and in His power].” Even the power of our enemy to deceive us is subject to Him.

Once we have placed our trust in the Lord Jesus, we are hidden in Christ but take heed! For in Jeremiah 14:16, we are told that “…the people could not have been deceived except by their own consent.” The Holy Spirit is poured out upon us to give us discernment, but we can choose to be deceived and stay deceived!


Dearest Father in heaven, I humbly ask that You reveal to me the areas of my life where I have been deceived either by myself, others or the enemy. I invite You, Lord Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior so that I will be saved from these deceptions. Holy Spirit, guide me as I walk on this life in faith, doing the will of the Father, and obeying the Word of God. Cleanse me, purify me, and protect me with the most precious Blood of Jesus. I ask all these, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Debie Misir: October 14, 2008

False Teaching

Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:2,3).

There are many signs indicating that we are living in the last days. The coming of the Lord is near and the evil in the world is rapidly increasing. We need to understand that this evil is not only outside the walls of the church but within as well. The Word of God is very clear on this as the Lord Himself spoke of the wheat and tares growing together and only separating them at the harvest. “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.””(Matthew 13:27-30).

God has tares among His wheat. They are false believers, false teachers, false preachers, false evangelists, false prophets, and false apostles; teaching false doctrine and operating in counterfeit gifts to work demonic miracles. Every appointed of God, every gift, every characteristic of the Holy Spirit is counterfeited by the devil. The Lord will allow both the false and true to grow together until the time is right for a separation. This is because of the unfailing love of the Lord for His saints. He can deal very harshly with the false leaders and believers as He has already appointed their end to utter destruction. But instead, He exercises extreme caution, precise timing, and perfect methods to achieve the separation in order to preserve the faith of His true saints. You see, untimely, harsh separation might have too traumatic and effect on the true believers who cannot discern fully as yet, causing them to stumble and self-destruct from their faith. The Lord will do all that is necessary to preserve each and every one of His saints.

The enemy is amongst us in the church and the danger is great because of the deceptiveness of this form of evil. It is in direct contrast to worldly evil which is very obvious and easier to deal with - for if we can easily recognize the evil, we can quickly rise up against it in the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus. For example the evil of pride is very rampant in the world and very obvious to us concerning money, ambition, vanity, etc. Hence we can easily avoid these evils. However, this enemy is also prevalent in the church and in even greater strength, in the deceptive form of spiritual pride (false humility) -- very subtle and very destructive to God’s children. Spiritual pride viciously attacks especially those who are coming into great knowledge and revelation of the Word of God, who have a mighty call of God on their lives, who are diligently seeking to live the holy life, and who are operating mightily in the gifts of the Spirit and the talents they were bestowed for Kingdom purposes.

Beloved, we can easily avoid the evils in the world concerning ourselves for these are the evil we know, and we need not be concerned with the evils in the world regarding those outside the church since the Word of God teaches us not to judge unbelievers. But we are called to judge our own brothers and sisters in Christ by the word of God. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12,13). If there are those amongst us professing to be Christians but are actually “tares”, we can know them by their fruits – the fruits they possess and the fruits they produce; and we can be alert to not follow the teachings of such teachers or fellowship intimately with such professed believers. We must discern. These are the last days, perilous times according to the Word of God, when the very elect will be deceived. Our salvation is personal and we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We are each responsible for our own individual walk with the Lord. We must guard our own hearts with all diligence, and we must walk in Spirit and in Truth regarding everything and everyone.

The Lord has been speaking to me the last few days on the need for a greater discernment of false teachings in this hour. He spoke to me on the subtle evidences of false teachings in these last days which go undetected by most due to lack of maturity in the Spirit, the spirit of fear prevalent in the church, and the lack of revelation knowledge of the Word of God. He did not concentrate on the obvious evidences of false teaching, the visible lack of the fruits, but honed in on some that were not so evident; some that needed a greater discernment, a deeper revealed knowledge of the Word of God, and a more intimate relationship with the Lord in order to confidently distinguish. He pointed out that even though we can often distinguish; even though we can often taste the spirit of false teaching, we oftentimes lack the confidence to judge fearing we will: 1) judge incorrectly; 2) touch God’s anointed; 3) offend a leader or brother/sister in Christ; and 4) lose favor with God and/or man.

The Word of God says we must judge. It says, you shall know them by their fruits: not by their anointing, gifts, and talents… but by their fruits. Those who belong to the Lord shall possess the fruits of the Spirit and shall bear good fruit. We are warned to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15,16). Matthew 7:18 tells us that a good tree cannot produce bad fruits, neither can a bad tree produce good fruits. For us to know the fruits, we need to examine them. We cannot just look on the outside. We must slice and dice them in order to examine whether they are rotten or good on the inside. They can be perfection to one looking on the outside; looks good, feels good, sounds good… but to know their true state you must look deep inside. The way to do this is to be alert and observant in the Spirit to everyone around you, not in their perfect church life, but when adversities and pressuring situations descend upon them. This is when the fruits are sliced and diced and their true nature exposed. Know that a false representative of God is not to be confused with a true believer who is a “work in progress.” For both may sin, but you can discern. A true believer will not deliberately sin. Indeed the Bible says that those born of God cannot sin. This only means that though their flesh is still disobedient and will be unto death, they will always be aware of their sin and will indeed quickly repent when convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Exhortation vs Manipulation:

One subtle aspect of false teaching the Lord revealed is in exhortations for giving. Offerings that are supposed to be a sweet aroma in God’s nostrils, given freely by a cheerful giver are extorted from them instead. These offering are now extended in response to promises of God’s blessings; commands claimed to have been made by the Lord to give specific amounts; coercions by the great lack in the church or the constant need of individuals in the church; pressures due to offering baskets/plates extended to each individual as opposed to being set aside in a corner of the church where individuals can give in secret, seen only by the Lord; offerings of special prayers for those who gave a certain amount etc.

Now, I am not saying that the Lord may not be speaking in any of these situations, but it is for us to discern and obey the voice of God and not of men. We must only yield to the Holy Spirit and not to pressure or manipulation. Offerings you give because of manipulation or emotion are an abomination in the eyes of God. The Bible clearly teaches, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:7) Always give only in obedience to voice of the Holy Spirit. Many teachers and preachers are today being severely tested in finances. They are under great pressure to meet expenses in churches, conferences, radio, TV, charitable givings, and their personal lives. It can often seem as if the Lord is untimely in His provision. But, we know He is never late and that He will never establish a ministry that He cannot sustain. As someone once said “wherever God guides, He provides.” Be careful not to condemn such leaders, but pray for them and allow God to convict their hearts or judge them according to His perfect will. Guard your own heart to ensure that your giving is in obedience to God and for no other reason.

The word of God teaches that the Kingdom of God is all about “sowing and reaping.” Giving is a way of life for the true believer – for this is the door that opens up our hearts to receiving. This is what brings us to full surrender before the Lord so that our obedience is perfected. Men of God must exhort all believers to come to this place of giving. But beloved, there is a fine line between exhortation and manipulation -- a line that should never be crossed -- for this is sin. Exhortation means “to make urgent appeal for”, or “a communication intended to urge or persuade the recipients to take some action.”, or “an earnest attempt at persuasion.” Manipulation means “creating a false or misleading appearance to deceive,” or “exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage.” We need to be cognizant of the Lord’s warning contained in His words concerning the Pharisees who "tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger" (Matthew 23:4). We need to be careful not to let young believers stumble when they hear us proclaiming the Lord as our Sole Provider and then we turn around and beg, manipulate, and extort. Instead we must follow the Lord’s example and no other for He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep and said…"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you... For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). We need to be alert and humble before the Lord, patiently waiting upon Him and Him alone for all our provision. Definitely He will move people you know, people you teach, and people you meet for the first time, to give. But, many times He will use resources you never knew about, and still many more times He will provide supernaturally. We must not second guess Him, limit Him, or help Him. God does not need our help -- He only wants our obedience. He is the only Provider and we must expect Him to provide – if we abide in Him and His words abide in us.

Wisdom vs Fear

Another aspect of false teaching the Lord showed me is speaking His truth fearfully, partially, glossed over, or not at all when it is the very thing that is needed to convict, break yokes, and bring life in many situations. Many believers/teachers/preachers refrain from speaking the truth clearly and confidently to certain individuals or groups in the church and in the world in certain situations, claiming the use of wisdom. Beloved, there is again a very fine line between wisdom and fear. We claim it is wisdom when in fact we are fearful of losing someone’s approval; we are fearful of offending; we are fearful of losing contributions to ministry; we are fearful of losing church members and so many other things. We need to discern the difference. We need to speak the truth in love. We need to be concerned for the eternal life of others, rather than offending their flesh or losing the earthly blessings of men. This is true love. The Lord showed us how – He was very bold regardless of where He was and who was around Him. He was not concerned with ruffling feathers, but with bringing truth to all so they could be set free and He did it all in love. His compassion knew no bounds. He could castigate the Pharisees “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” (Matthew 23:33) and then turn around and weep for the people of Jerusalem…. all out of His great compassion and love for His creation. He does everything in unfailing love.

Yes, we may offend someone, but the word of God is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. It is more powerful than any demon of offence. If it is what the Lord is saying to do at the moment, regardless of the person/s or situation/s, we must speak it gently but boldly in love, and allow the Holy Spirit to make it life in the individual, by convicting and setting them free. We must speak as the Lord commands and trust in the Lord to accomplish all He has set forth for the word He sent out. It is only when we allow our flesh into the mix that we will hesitate. It is only when we are concerned about the other person/s reactions that we hesitate. Beloved, we need only focus on obeying the Lord. Whatever the reactions are in the flesh, pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts to receive His word, speak it, and then trust in the Lord that He is doing a work in their spirits.

Spirit of Unity vs Spirit of Competition:

Another aspect of a false teaching the Lord revealed to me, is a spirit of competition. Teachers who view their calling as a mission to gain market share in the Christian community, competing with other churches, instead of uniting with the body of Christ and working together to minister to the Lord, win souls into the Kingdom, and minister to God’s children as they work out their salvation. Many have lost sight of their goal which is to impact the kingdom of God and destroy the works of the devil, in their competition with one another. As the Lord prayed for us to the Father, His words say it all:“I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23).” We must be brought into complete unity in order to make any positive impact in the Kingdom of God and any negative impact on the kingdom of Satan. We must measure success not by the numbers in church or the eloquence and giftings of our pastors and leaders, but by the lives that are being impacted and hearts that are being transformed daily into the very image of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many churches and church leaders separate believers -- God’s Temples -- from each other through denominational doctrines and their own restrictions concerning behavior, association, attendance, loyalty, and faithfulness. Believers are afraid to visit other churches of the same denomination or fellowship with believers of different denominations. I submit that God has placed His children in every denominational church, in every religion, and in all nations to the ends of the earth, and as He said, at the Harvest He will separate those who are truly His from those who are not… “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). It is up to each true teacher of the Word to speak the Word and it is up to each individual to stand in unity, on their faith in Christ, built up by hearing the Word. Some believers have shared that when they visit other churches within the same denomination, they are often castigated by their pastors from the pulpit no less. I am not advocating church-hopping by any means: for if you are not capable of loyalty to your own local church and you cannot grow and serve faithfully there, you will most likely not be able to do this anywhere else. You will only end up chasing after the anointing of others without being able to steady yourself long enough for the Lord to bring your life and conduct into obedience and righteousness, so that He can begin to trust you with the true understanding of who He is and what His purpose is for you. But, if you are grounded in the Word and your faithfulness is proven then you will know that the Lord our God is One. We are one Body with Him as the Head. We are called to fellowship with others in the entire Body of Christ, which is not just within a physical building. We are called to be in unity spiritually and as much as possible, physically with the rest of the Body. I remember reading a story of a very prominent man of God who is a pastor of a large church. In the space of a few months, he noticed his congregation dwindling. One day he learned from a member that they were all attending a new church established nearby where God was moving mightily. That week, the pastor took the pulpit and encouraged everyone in his church to go with him to the nearby church saying… if God is moving over there, that is where we need to be.

We are called to be faithful first and foremost to our Lord and Shepherd, Jesus Christ, then to all the apostles, pastors, prophets, and all other children of God, not just our local pastor. Yes faithfulness starts in our home and our local church. But true faithfulness can only come out of first being faithful to the Lord. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. He may well be leading us somewhere else from time to time, to begin the next phase of our spiritual growth and service to Him. Then again He is well able to grow us and have us serve mightily right where He has already placed us. It is all up to Him. We need to be alert to the Holy Spirit and discerning of our own deceitful, selfish flesh, which loves man’s approval and comfort. We must never be so misguided as to place our loyalty and faithfulness in men before God. For, we cannot truly be faithful to God if we are faithful to man first. But we will always be faithful to man when we are faithful to God first. Know that the voice of the Holy Spirit will mostly speak what your flesh does not want to hear. But you will always know it is His will. This is when you pray, “Lord bring my desires in line with yours.” Religious flesh will deceive us into thinking that being loyal and faithful to individual men and women of God is the same as being faithful to God. I was once chastised severely by the Lord for misplaced and misguided loyalty and faithfulness, for it is sin in the eyes of God. My heart repented deeply. “Therefore let no man glory in men” (1 Corinthians 3:21). God may indeed have you under the wings of a pastor for only a season, or for a lifetime. Be obedient and honor your leaders. Be alert. Listen well! Conduct yourself with love, respect and order to all… for God is not the author of confusion and disrespect. Submit to all authority, good or bad. Above all heed the voice of the Holy Spirit. If you think you have heard the voice of the Lord moving you in a certain direction … meditate, pray, and ask the Lord to move your heart and the hearts of your leaders to come into agreement if it is His will. If it is not His will, then ask Him to change the desires of all your hearts in the direction of His perfect will.

Patience vs Tolerance

Many in the church today tolerate evil under the guise of “having patience” with all in the church. There is, as in the examples above, a fine line between patience (persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset) and tolerance (a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior) in the natural, but a vast difference in the Spirit. Like all the above, it is the difference between life and death. We must be cognizant of the Word of God and careful to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit in every situation. First we must learn to separate the individuals from the evil attacking and often possessing their souls. The Word of God teaches us to have patience with all, but to abhor (have an intense inward rejection) the evil which possesses their minds and destroys their bodies and souls. We must exercise patience with our brothers and sisters, but we must absolutely NOT tolerate the evil we discern within, otherwise our negligence might lead them to hell and we will face judgment for sin of omission lest we repent. “When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die, and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood” (Ezekiel 3:18). When you discern evil characteristics or behavior in someone, you DO NOT ignore it, pacify it, pray timidly in secret, or chastise the individual openly and harshly, but you go into intense spiritual warfare prayer on their behalf. To the individual, gently but boldly speak the Word of God as instructed in 2 Timothy 2:25, 26 “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” It is our responsibility to speak the Word and pray and war in the Spirit only…then wait patiently on the Holy Spirit to perform it.

Beloved, these are perilous times. The evil days are here and the spirit of deception has become a ruling spirit in many churches. We must be alert and operate in the spirit of discernment at all times. We must commit ourselves to developing a deeper relationship with the Lord by spending more and more time with Him, receiving revelations through the Word, dreams, visions, prophesies etc, and prayer and fasting. We must walk in divine wisdom and knowledge with understanding, in love at all times.

If you have read this article and you do not know the Lord, I encourage you to take a step of faith and come to Him. He will reveal all truth to you. For it is only His truth which will set you free, and it is only His blood which will wash away your sins and give you eternal life, victorious on earth and in heaven.

Pray with me. “Lord Jesus, I believe You died on the cross for my sins. I believe You rose again to conquer death for me. Precious Lord, forgive me of my sins and come into my heart and set me free… be my Lord and Savior. I want to spend the rest of my life living for You Lord. I thank You for hearing me and I thank You Lord for saving me. Amen.”