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A couple of days ago I was listening to a DVD lent to me by a friend. I won’t give the speaker’s name, but I was greatly disturbed by what he had to say.

Let me start by saying that, as long as he kept to the role of teacher, he was quite good. Unfortunately, he was not prepared to remain in that role, and kept trying to venture into the office of prophet: and every time he did, he became an accuser of the brethren.

In the two messages I watched (there were five more in the series, which I didn’t even bother with) he repeatedly named both individuals and organizations that he claimed were away from God. He did this giving very little reason for his judgments, and in the few cases where he did give explanations they frequently related to events in the individual’s life before he or she was born again.

Now I am the first to acknowledge that there are many things in the church today that are not according to the Word of God, and that should not be acceptable to the people of God. I am also the first to say that, in relation to the “revivals” of the last twenty years or so, there has been much accompanying them that has not been of God. In fact, for a while I left the Pentecostal movement because of the excesses that came with one particular revival. And yes, I very definitely believe that we should be willing to expose false teaching and ungodly practice.

That does not, however, mean that we can write off entire movements as “not of God”. The fact that there are counterfeits and excesses may actually be evidence that the movement itself is of God – you can only counterfeit that which is real. (Ever seen a counterfeit $99 note? Nope – because there are no real $99 notes!)

Nor does it mean that we have the right to attack individuals. Something about “judge not lest you also be judged!” There is a great difference between saying that what someone is doing or teaching is wrong, and saying that the person himself is not of God or is unsaved.

What does this have to do with spiritual warfare? Simply this: the Word tells us that the devil is the accuser of the brethren. (Rev. 12:10) When we accuse the brethren, we are standing on the devil’s side against the Body of Christ. We cannot be on both sides of the battle at once: either we are in God’s army, or we are in the devil’s.

Satan does his job as accuser very well. He really does not need the Body of Christ to help him with it. In our warfare we should be seeking to pull our brothers and sisters out of the devil’s clutches, not condemn them to hell with him. By all means, denounce ungodly practices and false teaching; but when it comes to our brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t tear them down – just pray for them that God will bring them into truth.

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