EXAMINING VS. CRITICAL. The enemy always beats me up with, “You are too critical!” And I fall into shame. I really have to allow the Spirit to examine my heart. Am I truly examining or just being critical? I’m an examiner by nature, I’ve never just taken a person at their word without examining it. How much more so now that I’m a daughter of the Most High? But what is the difference?
Critical means you are eager to find fault, you are looking for the stinky onion. Critical is always disapproving and negative. The critical person wants to find fault because they want others to fail. The critical man always has to be right and prove others wrong. However, to examine is as you would a child’s head for nits. I’m not trying to find fault with her scalp, I’m seeking thoroughly every strand of hair to find if there’s anything that needs to be picked out that might cause harm. Examine by definition is to “inspect (someone or something) in detail to determine their nature or condition; investigate thoroughly.” It is wisdom to examine the preaching and teaching of others. Examination is discernment.
“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11 NKJV
The Bureans EXAMINED the word spoken to them. They listened intently to the message and then went and searched every strand of the message through the lens of Scripture. Note: the only Scripture they had was OT law and prophets. When Paul wrote his letter to Timothy to exhort him to shepherd the flock appointed to him, he told him to preach Scripture. The “all Scripture” spoken of by Paul was OT law and prophets. This was the only Scripture available to the church during the first few centuries of church history.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
II Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
Yet, majority of people will examine a watermelon more thoroughly than they will a preacher’s sermon, new book, new “Christian” devotional, new “revelation” translation, or worship song. We are in the era of ear tickling messages and people love to have their egos stroked through emotionally explosive songs and writings. Just because the preacher is “popular” doesn’t mean he’s in the truth. Just because they have a big church doesn’t mean God’s growing them. People flock to teachers to tickle their ears.
What things should we be examining thoroughly? Here’s a few: examine yourself, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” II Cor 13:5 Examine other’s fruit, “you will recognize them (false prophets) by their fruit” Matt 7:15-20. If a preacher’s house is a mess, then they need to cease being a pastor. Run from their message. Examine the message: Any preaching in support of CRT, the LGBTQ agenda, social justice, the world’s definition of “equality and equity”, the exaltation of humanity above the Lord, progressive doctrines, and the like….flee these things. They lead only to destruction.
If they claim a “new revelation”, such as in the “Passion Translation” then close that door. This translation is as if the serpent himself is speaking. If they say things like, “Jesus is speaking this over you” (as in the highly popular “Jesus is Calling” devotional) then get rid of it. This is a new age practice. I know you love it, but it’s deceptive. You are letting in the enemy. Stick to old dead guys like Spurgeon, Chambers, Tozer and multiple others. Thoroughly examine books, songs, etc. through the lens of ALL Scripture and not your feelings. Your very salvation depends on it. Do not cherry pick what you like or dislike.
The Word stands alone. If it does not line up 100% with ALL Scripture then toss it out. If someone pits the OT against the NT, turn them off. If they like the NT God, but not the OT God, (there is only one God) flee from their doctrine. If they preach God is only love and there’s no mention of hell and the wrath of God, holiness, righteousness, atonement for sin, repentance and reconciliation, a separation from the world, dying to self and crucifying the flesh; then flee.
Dear saint, we are in a time of great deception. It is possible that even the very elect can be deceived and men’s hearts will fail them because of fear. Remember Jesus’ words to the Philadelphia church: ““I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
Revelation 3:8 NKJV
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