Back during the age of steam, if you were down wind of the locomotive smoke, it was considered the wrong side of the tracks. Nowadays it is a neighborhood which is poor, and goes largely unsupported by money.
Such a neighborhood I used to fellowship in, with one of the Godliest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The man was also a genius and the most well-read man I have ever known, specifically when it came to Bible understanding.
Dr. Gross was rarely accepted by who he used to call the “middle class church system” or the “Ivy League”, in which I was born into, yet rejected by for having substandard learning abilities now commonly called dyslexia. I thank the Lord he has decided to use to simple things of the world to confound the wisdom of the wise, as the ones who are to show his glory by contrast, to the ones who are established in the world by natural means.
Pastor Gross (as I called him) was not your everyday Churchman, but rather a man of God who was converted out of occult science. He later became one of the two top exorcist in Baltimore City, MD. The other was a Police Officer in the 1970’s.
His “Christian” name was (the late) Dr. Michael W. Gross D.D. ThD. PhD. Also having 23 years in seminary, and once the presiding president of a Bible College.
I am writing this testimonial today to this man, who was always a defender of the faith, and a defender of me as well. He used to tell me if ANYONE had a doubt about my walk with the Lord, (or in understanding how he functions) send them to him for some straightening out!
Well, that never happened, but the man was certainly devoted to anyone whom he had instructed. Yet for me, (not being an academic) it took me 20 years after studying under Dr. Gross to finally receive my reformed minister’s accreditation, for the work I had performed under his tutoring by the (old style) Baptist.
This did me little good it seems, as nowadays I have discovered that the only ones willing to be admonished, are the ones who truly have a humble heart in the Lord. Most are like a bunch of Pharisees who will not take instructions by principled men of God, whom hold a proper understanding of the scriptures coupled with an understanding in how the Lord functions spiritually.
Many, many, even devoutly men of God either refuse to see, or cannot see their own shortfalls! This is why the proper assembling of the body of Christ is so needed. I see this problem as an ongoing one (especially in an age of strong delusions) as men (and women) can become “heady” and not open to reproof nor correction. When Jesus spoke there was no questioning of his authority as he was the perfection of God incarnate, yet many only wished to kill him.
The problem arises when mere men try to emulate Christ within fallen humanity. I believe that this is why humility is so very important, rather than being a “know it all” which is based in pride rather than love, and is the very sin which Satan was most guilty of in causing his fall.
I try to be most selective in whom I reveal the deeper levels of my soul with, including (the things of God) as it is important in protecting one’s heart. In contrast I have also discovered that the ones you may fellowship with may indeed turn against you, simply because of their perceptions, or even twisted truths (lies) which are provided by Satan to the unsuspecting brother or sister within any given fellowship; this does happen if not extremely careful, in not confusing their theology with spiritual realities, and deceptions.
This is why a proper balance of the scriptures must be not only understood, but indeed practiced. Any “Cult” (if you will allow me to use that word) is normally based on some knowledge of the scriptures, but the twist comes when not applying them appropriately. Dr. Gross taught me that “Hebrew style witchcraft” was based upon this concept of using the scriptures; yet purposely twisted for the purpose of securing powerful demons for power, in furthering their careers of dirty works in moving up. This is exactly opposite in how a believer in Christ is supposed to function. This is an extreme example of why proper Bible knowledge is needed when teaching scriptures, and sound doctrines of the faith. I am not a Bible teacher per say, yet I have enough Bible knowledge and experience in the Lord in recognizing when someone has gone off track.
Two things happen when one is emotionally invested in people who misread the scriptures or oneself. Either you are deeply wounded by being shunned (like in the Amish community as an example) or you are elated for a time in being accepted by the gathering.
A Bible example of this is mentioned in: 2 Timothy 4:1-4
4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
This is a prime example of why it is so important to understand good doctrines. If not, you run the risk of deceiving those around you who are more vulnerable to misguided teachings. It is my personal belief that the “time has come” when even the best meaning among us can exemplify our misunderstanding of the scriptures, and customized dogmas in deceiving many.
This seems to be a “sign of the times” in an age of strong delusions, and even the elect would (could) be deceived – if it were not for the Holy Spirit himself reproving and correcting us on a personal level.
This is why many churches only stick to the orthodoxy of what they call Bible believing churches, and seem to have an aversion to Pentecostal and Charismatic type teachings. Not because it is a “bad thing” but because so few people understand the proper functioning of the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit).
Understanding the “spirit world” is complex and complicated, (if not impossible) to the natural mind, and it takes years of experience of the Lord (by the Holy Spirit) to teach a man to walk in a manner which is in accordance with the scriptures, and edifying to the sheep.
The problem is that “natural man” can teach scriptures to nearly everyone; the wheat and the tares alike. So many simply “sign up for Jesus” with the hopes of fire insurance, yet whom the Lord has never done a work within! These are false brethren, and even the same type false brethren who threatened the life of the Apostle Paul. Within the leadership, we must do the best we can to discern 1 John 4 so that we can tell who is of the Lord, and who is not. However, it is the Lord who will ultimately separate the weeds from the wheat in the world, and the world’s church. If we go trying to do the separation ourselves, we may injure and even destroy part of the wheat!
I will simply say that I have learned this lesson the hard way, by being uprooted by those who see themselves as spiritual authorities, but have not the authority, (as the Father alone does) and who attempt to try to rip and tear amongst the tangled roots, thus hurting those who are grounded in Christ. So let us be careful not to make rash judgments towards others by what we may merely perceive to be truth.