Matthew 23:9-10 (NKJV) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
That may seem contradictory since the Lord Jesus gave us teachers in the form of the “five-fold ministry gifts” mentioned in Ephesians 4, but it is not. All the five-fold ministry gifts have one purpose, to equip the saints for the work of ministry. All five teach differently, but those teachings must be filtered through the anointing of the Holy Spirit and our relationship with God and His written word.
1 John 2:26-27 (NKJV)These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Suppose we abide by false doctrine out of ignorance. Regardless of our intention or our ignorance, we partner with the adversary, building strongholds of wrong thinking and wrong believing in our hearts and minds. We assist the enemy in his deceptions by building the strongholds that bind us. Unfortunately, it’s an evil deception that most of us fall for at one time or another.
These strongholds are not only reinforced belief systems but encampments in our minds that the enemy hides behind to ensure we stay trapped in wrong thinking and wrong believing. As we speak and act on the things we believe, we reveal to Satan the best strategies to keep us in our deception. One of the ways he does this is to keep us running in the same circle of believers and despising the beliefs of other denominations. Denominational divisions were never God’s plan, and now they are an effective tool the enemy uses against us.
To be truly free, we must be very selective about what we are hearing and beholding, who we are listening to, and how much we are doing it. Without the filter of a robust relationship with God and His Word, we cannot skillfully discern sound teaching. Truth becomes obscured with the leaven of religious doctrine that appeases the carnal mind and satisfies our selfish desires. Self is the very thing we need to be set free from. Freedom from self will not come until we die to self by renewing our minds to the holiness of God’s word.
Again, are we abiding in His word or just reading the latest books and listening to the latest sermons? Do we desire the sincere milk of the word, or do we lust for the leaven of a self-serving gospel that doesn’t challenge or strengthen us for trials and testing?
Our tendency to have itchy ears and the lust for leavened bread binds us and blinds us from the truth. There is a reason the apostle James wrote, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)
Let us abide in His word, seek Him when no one is looking, cultivate a hunger for the sincere milk of God’s word and become everything the blood of Christ has paid for us to be.
Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto
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