Confusion means there is a lack of order and where there is a lack of order there is a lack of peace.
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)
The source of confusion is satan. But how does he gain access into the assembly of believers? The answer is simple – flesh. When we walk in the spirit, satan cannot touch us. However, when we walk in the flesh, he gains access and the following are manifested:
Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, AMPC)
Most of these things have been evident amongst the Body of believers, which is evidence that as a collective we have been walking in the flesh.
The Corinthian church was an extremely gifted and prophetic church; however, they were childish and they were carnal. Many churches/fellowship groups today are not dissimilar. In general, they are extremely prophetic and spiritually gifted; however, without order and submission to this order (which can only be done in the spirit) there will be confusion and satan knows this.
Peace is a fruit of the spirit. Meekness is a fruit of the spirit. Temperance (self-control) is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). All these traits are needed in order to submit your gifting to the order of God.
There has been an attack on the prophetic within the church, but not just to stop it from operating. The attack has also been to cause it to be used without restraint (fruit). The prophetic without the apostolic is lethal. Just as the apostolic without the prophetic is like a bulldozer. The Body needs both for balance. The prophetic must operate within an apostolic order, otherwise, there will be chaos. We have seen a huge movement within the church concerning the prophetic, but without an apostolic balance, there is also much confusion.
Much of this confusion is not understanding what the apostolic is. Within the church, we have often spoken about the apostle being a pioneer and administrator. This is partly true; however, both aspects are SPIRITUAL because being an apostle is a spiritual trade. Just because a person has an administrative gift, does not make them an apostle. Just because a person starts a church or ministry, does not make them an apostle. An apostle brings ORDER to the Body of Christ, by dealing with spiritual matters so that growth can take place. An apostle is a pioneer/master builder because they know how to use and establish God's pattern so that the Body can grow.
GOD's ORDER FOR DEALING WITH CONFUSION & DISSENSION
READ: 1 Corinthians 14:26-33
Verse 26: Everything that is done must be unto edifying.
The first thing we need to understand is that God has given us gifts in order to edify one another. If the manner in which they are shared does not edify, then it defeats the purpose.
Let not then your good be evil spoken of: (Romans 14:16)
This is why order must come first (1 Corinthians 12:28). If you have a dream, vision, song, word, tongue, interpretation or the like. Yes, they may be good in themselves, but if the manner and conduct in which you share them does not edify the rest of the Body, then it would be better if they were not shared. We must each check our hearts. Everything we do in our fellowships must be to edify one another. If that is not our motive, then we must ask the Lord to change us.
Edify means - to instruct or benefit spiritually; uplift, cultivate, build up, develop or improve.
Verse 27: Tongues - Public
We need to keep in mind that when any tongue is spoken aloud for everybody to listen and pay attention, the Lord will surely give somebody an interpretation so that everyone can be edified. We should all be willing and available to be used of Him to edify one another. An interpretation is not always a translation word for word - it is the meaning of the message. The Lord can reveal an interpretation of a tongue through an impression in your spirit, a vision or a word which can then be shared with the rest of the assembly for edification.
Verse 28: Tongues - Personal
If there is no one to interpret, we are still free to speak to God personally in tongues, but it is not for the purpose of everyone present to stop and listen. We must be discerning of the Lord's leading and not disruptive or selfish.
Verse 29-32: Two or Three
Generally, we have an open floor in our gatherings, where individuals are free to ask/say whatever; however, we do not always implement the habit of judging a word and thus many times people can leave feeling confused or unsure and begin to have conversations among themselves, causing sects. This is not what we want.
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
We need to learn to judge matters within our midst righteously. When anybody speaks a word we need to make way for the word given to be judged. Not the person, but the word. What this means is that we learn as a Body to discern whether a word is from God or not. We do this naturally in some areas, in that somebody shares something and then someone else may pick up on it and share a scripture that confirms it, or a dream, vision or personal experience that they have had. We demonstrate self-control (v32) at these times, but I believe Abba wants us now to also now apply this to the doctrines, words and incidences that often cause the most dissensions in local gatherings.
COURT OF THE BELIEVERS
READ: Acts 15:1-33
Acts 15 is our example of how to conduct a court case. I have previously recorded a video regarding this passage, so please feel free to watch it if you would like more detail. However, this is one method that can be used to deal with dissensions and confusion that have arisen amongst a group of believers:
One person should act as chair of the meeting.
Each person has a chance to anonymously write down anything that they are confused or troubled about that happened / been said amongst the church.
The doctrine / word / action will be “put on trial”. Not the individual themselves. For example: “It has been said in the assembly that it is okay to smoke, what does God say?”
The floor will then be opened up for individuals to speak as the Holy Ghost leads them.
If we have 2 or 3 witnesses from God (e.g. scriptures, visitations, dreams which confirm or speak against a doctrine / word /action we will conclude publicly what the Lord is saying (Deuteronomy 19:15).
If there is an instruction / action that needs to be carried out, we will agree this as a Body (Acts 15:22, 25, 28).
The aim of doing this openly in this manner is so that consolation can be brought to those who’s souls are troubled and subverted due to those things that have been said and done amongst the brethren (Acts 15:24, 31). This does not include personal issues between individual people in which Matthew 5:23-24 and Matthew 18:15-17 are clear.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Below are questions and their verdict from a court case carried out in August 2016.
Q: Can you be angry and in the spirit?
Yes. Jesus was angry but did not sin. There is a righteous anger which leads to righteous acts. To let your anger overcome you, leading you to act irrationally and rashly is to now operate from the flesh. There is a righteous time to be angry and a way to respond when angry.
Scripture references: John 2:15, Ephesians 4:26, James 1:19-20, 1 Corinthians 13:5.
Q: What does it mean to be in the spirit and not in the spirit?
To be in the spirit is to be in the will of God. i.e. obedience both to the written word and the leading of the Spirit. Disobedience brings us out of the spirit. There are three levels of personal obedience to first live, and then walk in the Spirit (Love):
Scripture (the laws of Abba)
Intimacy with Jesus (as LORD and Saviour)
Conscience (Holy Ghost; His ruler-ship of the heart)
Scripture references: John 5:19, James 4:17, Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:14
Q: Define gossip according to scripture… and is it ever ok to gossip?
Gossip is idle talk that has no righteous purpose but to puff up the speaker – this is not love. The purpose and motive behind your reason for sharing information about another person or situation is what defines whether it is gossip or not. If the motive is not love and the purpose is not to contribute and aid the building up of a believer, then it is gossip.
Scripture references: 1 Corinthians 8:1, Matthew 12:36-37, Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 20:19
Q: Is it okay to live together with your partner outside of marriage?
To live with your partner before marriage is not a sin, but it is not wise. It is possible to live together and not sin, just as it is possible not to live together and sin. As believers we are witnesses of Christ and our marriages are for the glory of God. If living together (before marriage) is a stumbling block to you, other weaker believers and even those around you who are unsaved, it is better that you don’t do it.
Scripture references: 1 Corinthians 10:23, Romans 14:15-16, Romans 14:21, Ephesians 4:31-32, Acts 2:32
Q: Even though in Timothy it says that an elder cannot be rebuked, can they be told that they are wrong in the teaching?
1 Timothy 5:1, refers to treating an older man with respect as a father; you would not speak harshly to your father (unless you are rude and disrespectful), thus we are to apply this same respect to elders in the faith when we appeal to them about an issue. Any person in the Body of Christ can be told that they are wrong, but God has a protocol for this and we must all submit to this. We firstly speak to the individual, if they refuse to listen / repent we bring one or two others. If they still refuse to listen / repent then it is to be brought before the whole assembly.
Scripture references: 1 Timothy 5:19-20, Matthew 18:15-17, Matthew 5:23-24
Q: Do we recognise other people’s calling and submit to God’s order in this? And are we willing to hear God speak through everyone, regardless of if they are a novice or mature believer?
Not everyone who says they are something is that something; what matters is if they are fulfilling the function. Yes, we are to submit to a person’s office where they are operating in the spirit and not the flesh. No person is infallible, regardless of their function and so we must remember that and give grace accordingly. We are not allowed to be a respecter of persons; God can use any person at any time – we must be able to recognise His voice and submit and accept Him when He speaks through any vessel.
Scripture references: Galatians 2:6-9, James 2:1-13, Numbers 22:28, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Romans 12:3-5
Q: I’m disappointed with the way we treat unusual perspectives. We don’t take time to research / ponder / pray about them, instead we throw the deception card. It looks like fear!
Yes, sometimes it is fear; however, sometimes it’s not. There is no fear in love and so if the motive for shutting down a perspective is love, then it is not fear. The unusual perspective all depends on whether it is for the edifying of the church or not i.e. does it contribute to bringing the brethren to the unity of the faith, knowledge of the Son of God and mature manhood? A person with the unusual perspective must also check their own heart. If God has given you a revelation for the Body of Christ, then there is a season and a means in which He wants you to teach it so that all may be edified. It is not to puff up the individual nor to bring division, sects or confusion – these things are of the flesh.
Scripture references: 2 Timothy 2:15-18, 1 Corinthians 8:1-2, 1 John 4:18, 2 Peter 1:20, John 17:12