HOW TO DISCERN WHO TO TRUST IN THE CHURCH
There are so many in the church today who are living ungodly lives, acting like they are godly and wanting everyone to trust them. Pastors, pastor’s wives, worship leaders, teachers, elders, evangelists, prophets, deliverance ministers, intercessors, security, Holy Spirit filled and everyone in between. So many who were hurt and wounded growing up who have never truly forgiven those who hurt them. Filled with anger, bitterness and pride. Filled with demonic spirits and walking in the fruit of the flesh. So how do you know who is truly of the Lord and who is just acting?
Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Most times you cannot discern if a person is good or bad until you spend some time around them. People operating in the Jezebel spirit are professional grade actors and actresses. They have infiltrated the church and are very hard to spot until you spend time around them. Sometimes the Lord will warn you via a dream. Often times the Lord will connect you to those who are fakes in order for you to spot others in the future and share with the church what to look for from experience.
They will act like they love you to earn your trust. They will share their sad stories hoping you have pity on them to gain your trust. Then slowly over time you will learn of their lies. They will try to control you and make you do what they want that is not what God would want.
What are we to do with people in the church who we learn and know have evil intentions in their heart but act like they are a believer?
Paul addresses this clearly in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
“When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.””
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NLT
On occasion a church will remove an evil person from amongst them but often what happens is those who operate in Jezebel have either worked their way up into leadership positions within the church or are very tight knit with the senior pastor or elders so no one would believe that they could possibly be evil. Also the church may be so large that they can more easily infiltrate it and stay hidden. Thus they can get away with coming against those who are truly of God.
What should a church leadership team do? They need to make sure all leaders have been healed of their soul wounds and delivered from demons and are walking in the fruit of the spirit. They must all be walking closely with the Lord and have evidence of the fruit of the spirit with sin being rare in their lives. So what happens if a church tolerates Jezebel operating in their church?
““I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things. “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality. “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.”
Revelation 2:19-23 NLT
I have seen churches collapse when tolerating Jezebel within leadership as God exposes their evil, sin, impurity and corruption for all to see. One church in Indianapolis, IN the Lord used me to confront the senior pastor and his son in law for allowing Jezebel to operate. Within 10 months they lost 200 people and had no more church.
So what are some ways to discern who is of the Lord and who is not?
– Ask the Lord to show you either by hearing him speak to you in your mind or via a dream
– Watch their fruit over time (the more time you can spend with them the more likely you will see who they really are)
– If they are married observe their spouse and see if they appear worn out or beaten down emotionally and then talk to them in private if you suspect they are being abused by their spouse.
– What people spend their money and time on will show you their heart and who they really are.
– If they gossip about people indicating “we need to be in prayer about so and so and reveal something scandalous” then it’s a good sign they cannot be trusted.
– Personal experience with people who have acted godly but turned out to be fake will help increase your discernment of what to look for in the future.