QA: How can our influential spiritual leaders be wrong?
This the one most difficult stumbling stone for believers to overcome. Every congregation has a ‘powerful’ person or spiritual leader whom they have been comforted, taught and influenced by. Such leaders generally have a vast track record of spiritual achievements. They are often seen as directly sent, influenced or favoured by God.
However much this may be true – for no person can find Truth, but by the Spirit of God – an unbiased consideration will show that something gravely must be wrong, in that these very ‘prophets’ differ vastly from each other – from one denomination to the other. Only a biased, protective, unteachable, unfair and unbalanced mind will turn a blind eye at this screaming inconsistency.
Scripture, as normal, has the true directive for any honest seeking believer – how to regard and measure ‘prophets’ or, for that matter, our spiritual leaders.
Deut. 13:2 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams rise among you and offers to do a sign or a wonder for you, and the sign or wonder comes about, and he then says to you, ‘Come, let us follow other gods whom you have not known and serve them”, you are not to listen to the words of that prophet or to the dreams of that dreamer. YHVH your God is testing you, to know if you love YHVH your God with all your heart and all your soul. YHVH your God you shall follow; Him you shall fear; His Commandments you shall keep; His Voice you shall obey; Him shall you serve; to Him shall you cling. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, for he has preached apostasy from YHVH your God … and he would have made you turn aside from the Way that YHVH your God marked out for you. You must banish this evil from among you.”
This Scripture continues in even graver terms – but let this suffice here.
The salient warnings of this portion of Scripture are:
- that notwithstanding the credentials and the validity of such leaders’ words, we should not “turn aside from the Way that YHVH our God has marked out for us”. Thus, accept their Truths, but evaluate their teachings by the Word of YHVH and discard that which does not belong. Trouble is, once human beings have faith in, and trust spiritual leaders. they regard them us infallible! This is the reason why there are so many variations of the Word of YHVH in the world today.
- a ‘Prophet’ that teaches against the Truth of YHVH, according to Scripture, should be “put to death” – a harsh punishment!. Truth, unfortunately is generally judged by which ‘prophet’ it comes from, whether it clashes with the Word of YHVH or not. Of course, the last thing that followers of these prophets can be convinced of, is that ‘their’ prophet could be wrong! Thus, the Word of YHVH takes secondary place to the word of the ‘prophets’. Therefore, the word of the prophets, whether right or wrong, are put above the Word of YHVH. The prophets can not be wrong, in the estimation of their flocks.
This does not mean that we must discard and distrust our spiritual leaders. We should however take great care that we always stay within the Word of YHVH – whether our leaders proclaim it or not.
Isa. 8:20 “To the Law and to the Testimony … if they speak not accordingly, it is because there is no light in them.”
The law, needs no explanation – question is, how many popular and highly ranked modern-day prophets proclaim Law abidance? “The Testimony” is referred to in Rev 19:10 “The TESTIMONY of YAHU’SHUAH is the Spirit of Prophecy” – i.e. that which moved the Prophets (Jo 1:45), namely that He is YHVH in the flesh – our Redeemer. In the same way, Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the One True God – a Message destined to be reconfirmed just before the Return of Messiah as Judge and Universal Ruling King.
Law abidance, as foundation of the Renewed Covenant, and the Oneness Truth (i.e. that Messiah was YHVH the Creator in the flesh, that is the ‘Testimony of YAHU’SHUAH”) are the two-tier foundation pinnacles on which Eternal Truth rests. If someone does not teach accordingly, it is because “there is no Light in them”. Let this be our two-edged sword to divide Truth from error.
Can you wonder why God allows them both to fall in the pit? – the prophets and their followers!