PROTECTING THE FLOCK WITH CHURCH DISCIPLINE

THE RIGHT APPROACH TO PROTECTING THE FLOCK:  DELIVERANCE, TEACHING & CHURCH DISCIPLINE VERSUS CONTENTION & STRIFE

There is much opportunity for offense in the church, especially since it is the last days. Jesus said in Matthew 12:31-32 that all sins can be forgiven except one sin – blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Since all sins are not the same, it follows logically that not all discipline for sin is the same. If we are going to judge angels, we should be able to judge matters within ourselves as the Church (1 Corinthians 6:3). Church discipline seems to be a lost art today. We at the Biblically Sound Artist Coalition (BSAC) have endeavored to take a look at the scriptures to see how the Church should approach protecting the flock.

Taking a big picture look at scripture, there seems to be only a few instances where we should be the aggressor in a negative way for spiritual discipline. There are certain times when aggressive confrontation is necessary because the Spirit will lead it – specifically for idolatry, fornication, and profane spiritual mixture.

But for normal offences and faults, an expose’ is not necessary. Try dialogue and personal respectful communication; not contentious quarreling and prideful arguing.

For heresy and divisiveness, the scriptures say to warn twice, then reject the offender.

Elijah called out false prophets. John the Baptist exposed false authority. Paul did both of these things as well, and so did Jesus Christ. These episodes were necessary because the offenders were messengers of satan, exalting themselves over Christ, and bringing spiritual idolatry, apostasy, and physical fornication and adultery into the church.

But OVERALL: regular differences and offenses can be handled with 1. the power of the Holy Spirit to cast out devils and heal 2. respectful and loving communication and dialogue…and then 3. Separation if necessary.

Let’s Take a Look at the Scriptures:

HEALING AND DELIVERANCE FROM DEVILS :: HOLY SPIRIT CASTS OUT DEMONS AND HEALS

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

  • Demons cannot be taught, or reasoned with, or discipled. People need to be saved, those that are wounded need to be healed with compassion, and their demons need to be cast out with power. While you teach and preach Jesus Christ to people, try to make sure they are also delivered from demons and that they are healed both spiritually and physically. Speak life and health to others, bless them and cast out devils by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit can deliver you from demons and heal you directly if you choose to live a life of prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21), as well as let the Holy Spirit lead you to declare applicable scriptures over your mind, body and spirit.

 

PERSONAL OFFENCES AND FAULTS :: USE DIALOGUE NOT CONTENTIOUS QUARRELS

Matthew 18

  • Go to them personally, then take a brother, then tell the church, then treat them like unbeliever.

Leviticus 19:17

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

  • Its better to give correction to someone than to let hate fester in your heart.

Proverbs 28:23

He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

  • Starting a dialogue of correction can be beneficial if you do it right.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

  • Restoring someone from a fault in a spirit of meekness can be done if you are spiritual.

Proverbs 3:30

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

  • Don’t get involved with beefs with people that haven’t done anything to you. Don’t be the aggressor. Don’t be the initiator of unnecessary conflict.

Proverbs 25:8

Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

  • Don’t be quick to argue, because if you are easily refuted because you chose not to try and understand your opponent, you will look foolish, and you won’t know what to do next.

Romans 14

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

  • Be careful when judging God’s servant.

 

DIVISIVENESS AND HERESY :: COMMUNICATE AND THEN REJECT OR SEPARATE

Titus 3

10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

  • Warn once, twice after that reject. Once you’ve stood against the error of someone twice, reject them. Don’t consistently persecute them. Be done with them.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

  • When someone causes division contrary to sound doctrine, avoid them. You don’t need to attack them, you need to avoid them. 
  • Separation is an important part of church discipline because it allows God’s judgment to manifest on both sides – rewarding the obedient and punishing the disobedient.

 2 Timothy 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversiesyou know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

  • We shouldn’t be argumentative and quarrelsome, but always teaching. Choose to take the teachers approach. Communicate, give and get understanding. Someone might repent if they get understanding.
  • Use scriptural language and teach scriptural concepts with meekness instead of using disrespectful and entertaining rhetoric to make fun of others. This level of sin requires teaching and separation instead of exposing.
  • The goal of not being quarrelsome but kind to everyone in correcting others is so that perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth so they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil. There is no method or personality type that should not be tweaked for the advancement of the Gospel.
  • Have nothing to do with foolish and unlearned questions and controversies. Once you have communicated with meekness and patience your position a couple of times, leave them alone.

Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.
Proverbs 22:10 NIV

It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Proverbs 20:3 NIV

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Proverbs 19:20 NIV

Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.
Proverbs 17:19 NIV

  • Don’t be quarrelsome and contentious. Be a listener. Separate yourself from scornful people.

2 Timothy 2:14

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

  • When you argue and fight about words without getting an understanding of those words, it means you are trying to subvert the hearers and put them under you or your brand or ministry. That’s a useless and dishonest motive.

Proverbs 13:10

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

  • Only by pride comes contention. Being consistently contentious is a symptom of pride. Pride is like aids. It makes you susceptible to all types of sin.

 

SEXUAL SIN, IDOLATRY, BLASPHEMY AND PROFANE MIXTURE :: WARN AGAINST, EXPOSE, EXPEL, THEN DELIVER TO SATAN UNTIL THEY REPENT

1 Corinthians 5: 1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

  • Purge fornicators out of the church and don’t eat with them.
  • Also separate from those that are covetousidolatrous, a railer (one who verbally abuses others), a drunkard, or an extortioner (one who uses authority or force to illegally obtain property).

1 Kings 18

  • Elijah confronted and sometimes clowned false prophets for a season, a specific episode and a time of decision for the people of God. There are times when you must challenge false prophets that are bringing idolatry into the church. Jezebel and Ahab were destroying the people of God with false worship and false authority.

Mark 1

  • John the Baptist confronted and challenged Pharisees, who were the thieves, sent to steal, kill and destroy God’s sheep… and supplant the Messiah (John 10). John the Baptist opposed them because he was called to prepare the way for the return of Jesus and turn the nation back to God.

John 10

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

  • When the wolf comes, the Shepherd doesn’t flee, hirelings flee. The implication is if the shepherd stays, the wolf cannot scatter the sheep.

1 Timothy 1

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

  • Once people give up real faith and give up their good conscience and start doing evil… We have to deliver them to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme the temple of God. 
  • Even the people that we deliver to satan – we do it so they can get what they want from satan (fame, sex, money, power, influence), then be destroyed by satan, learn their lesson, and then hopefully come back to their senses before they die.
  • This level of sin is the level where being put “on blast,” warned against by name, or an expose video may be appropriate if led by the Spirit.

Revelation 2

  • Those that follow Jezebel, Balaam, and the Nicolaitans bring spiritual idolatry, false worship, spiritual adultery, and fornication into the church.
  • Jesus described these steps in Revelation 2. Jesus warned them not to tolerate Jezebel… He put her “on blast,” exposed her, then described how he would deliver her to Satan if she didn’t repent. Jesus said he would make her sick and kill her disciples with spiritual death. He gave her space to repent and totally change her ways. Jesus also said he fights – against those that walk in the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (conquering) and Balaam (using trickery) to bring fornication and idolatry into the church – with the sword of his mouth.
  • People that reach this level of sin in the church are put “on blast”, exposed, and identified by the name of the idolatrous doctrine they followed.

In Summary, these are the 4 Levels of Church Discipline in the Kingdom of God:

  1. HEALING AND DELIVERANCE FROM DEVILS :: HOLY SPIRIT CASTS OUT DEMONS AND HEALS
  1. PERSONAL OFFENCES AND FAULTS :: USE DIALOGUE NOT CONTENTIOUS QUARRELS
  1. DIVISIVENESS AND HERESY :: COMMUNICATE AND THEN REJECT OR SEPARATE
  1. SEXUAL SIN, IDOLATRY, BLASPHEMY, PROFANE MIXTURE :: WARN AGAINST, EXPOSE, EXPEL, THEN DELIVER TO SATAN UNTIL THEY REPENT

Oftentimes we will see a progression in the Church. If we don’t catch someone on the first or second level of discipline, which is deliverance and dialogue… they may progress and latch onto some type of error or heresy. If they get stuck in that error and are not taught or avoided then the devil will try to use them to do his will, which is to bring idolatry, fornication, or blasphemy and apostasy into the Church.

Our prayer is that the Lord will immediately raise up those filled with the Holy Spirit to discipline and disciple the Church into the image of Christ!

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