by Mike Ratliff
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:16-19 ESV)
I received an email today from my friend Ken Silva that contained the following “rebuke” in the form of a “word ” the person claimed to have received directly from God pertaining to Ken and his ministry.
A word came to me for you from our Lord Jesus Christ. I sent you to pastor a flock of sheep,not to separate the sheep from the goats. I will do that. You are throwing many of my sheep in with the goats by throwing their shepherds in with the goat-herders.Your zeal for the truth is blinding you to the power of my redeeming grace. In your writing I have called you to apprise not to attack. In the former I am pleased. In the latter I am not. In your zeal to reveal the compromising (and I know there are many), you have compromised the compassionate, many of whom I know but you do not. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil through self-righteous hearts. Do not call unclean that which I have made clean and that which I am making clean. Be still and know that I am God, not you. Wait upon Me. Meditate on Me as well as my Word. God made the sabbath for man not man for the sabbath. Meditate on Me. Yes, meditate on Me and my precepts as David did. Return to me. Stop trying to save the sheep of others before you tend to the flock immediately in your sight. Yes Ken, tend to the least of my brethren in New Hampshire, tend to their needs, not to the learned and the wise who flatter themselves. My people are thirsty Ken. Do not give them dry doctrine to drink. Lead them to the well of my living waters. There you will see who is a shepherd and who is a goat-herder.
Here is Ken’s response:
Thank you for contacting Apprising Ministries. I reject this false prophesy in the Name of Jesus Christ; this wasn’t from God.
What’s wrong with the so-called “word” from God or “prophecy” that this person proclaimed against Ken? The first thing I thought of when I read this was of Nehemiah when the attacks on the wall building was at its height and one of his so-called allies attempted to get him to go into the house of God to pray instead of at the wall to work. Nehemiah refused to go because he discerned that the person was not from God, but from his enemies. Nowhere in God’s Word are we commanded to have fellowship with those who teach and preach heresy. No, we are to separate from them and warn the flock. That is what Ken does. This so-called prophecy disqualifies itself almost immediately by attacking that and then trying to force Ken not to preach “dry doctrine” but from the well of my “living waters.” What I read in this is someone who has absolutely no fear of God and the sin of proclaiming to be prophet of God when you are not is quite a heavy one.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23 ESV)
Appearances can be deceiving. Most people would look at the above statements and those who conformed to the rules of submission to the “elemental spirits of the world” according to human precepts and teachings and view them as the epitome of those the those who reached the higher echelons of their religion. However, as Paul makes clear here, their religion, no matter what it is called, is only self-made and is of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)
Our Lord made it clear that the path of following Him was not easy. It involves taking up one’s own cross and following Him through a narrow, hard to find gate down a narrow path. He also promised that this involves self-denial to the point of loving the Lord our God as His slaves and that means loving Him more than spouses, children, and parents and far more than this world. The person who sent that so-called “word from God” to my friend Ken is in big trouble with God. Why? He or she is a liar and has misrepresented Him. This is serious, but it reminds me so much of those false prophets that Ahab had assembled around him who told him what he wanted to hear, but when a real prophet of God spoke they attacked him. That’s the way it is in this world and the way it will always be until our Lord returns for His own. Come soon Lord Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria!