Dec. 4, 1999

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Eph. 4:14-16

This is a continuation of a previous teaching, which was entitled: "UNTO THE WHOLE MEASURE." This article, or teaching, concerns itself with the various "winds of doctrines and teachings" which we have witnessed, and we will continue to see, as the body of Christ. It becomes crucial for the members of His body, to know when and what, a "wind of teaching," or doctrine is, and to be able to distinguish these things, as chaff is separated from the wheat.

In the natural, the wind can manifest itself in several ways, and can be a thing of devastation, or can be slight in its effects. We have witnessed several hurricanes throughout the last several years on our eastern and southeastern shores. Homes, trees, and entire communities have been laid low, by these disastrous winds. I know from experience, what the effects of a tornado can do. In 1970 I witnessed a dark cloud as it approached our small Kansas community, and tore-up trees into twisted shapes and forms. We were very fortunate that the damage was only minor. As mentioned, winds can come in many different manifestations, and not all of them, are as obvious, or as readily seen, as hurricanes or tornadoes.

These are a few of the many different "types" of winds which one can observe in the world today, as seen in "local winds:"

Heating and Circulation...The Sea Breeze...Sea Breeze and General Wind...Sea Breeze Fronts...Complicated Coastlines...Island Effects...Land Breezes...Heat Fronts...From Forest to Field...Upslope Winds...Downslope Winds...Gravity Winds...Magic Air and Wonder Winds...Up Valley and Down Valley Winds...Complicated Systems...

A tornado begins with what is called a "wall cloud," and then as time progresses, its funnel shape begins to take form. In the same way, various obscure teachings and doctrines are not immediately seen, but will begin to take "shape" as time passes.

A funnel may vary in color depending upon the amount of moisture, which is available to condense, as well as the dust and other particles that are present. This also depends on the observer, and where he or she is in relation to viewing the tornado. A light colored tornado set against a light colored background will be very difficult to observe. But when this light colored tornado is set against a dark background, this then will make it much easier to distinguish and see.

Likewise, this may also be relevant to observing and recognizing various teachings and doctrines. What type of background are we in? Are we in regular fellowship with fellow believers, or are we isolated and have a "Lone Ranger" mentality? We may find it difficult to "observe" when another strange teaching is coming down the pike, unless we are in fellowship with others in the body of Christ.

We certainly don稚 want to be "tossed back and forth like the waves." James 1:5 states, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

This type of person is one who goes back and forth, and is uncertain about his or her faith or beliefs, is then likened to a wave of the ocean. When we become like this, we can then be caught unaware of what is true and what is false. Our eyes are clouded because we are "watching the waves," and we can easily get into strange currents of various teachings and doctrines. Remember that Peter began to sink into the water when walking towards Christ when he took his eyes off of Him, and put his attention onto the "waves."

God wants us to no longer be infants, and to be led astray by these various "winds of teachings," and by the "many waves" which we come across in our dealings with others in life, and in the church. He wants us to grow-up unto Him, to complete maturity. Many of these things which can lead us astray can be found in the various philosophies and "pop psychology" that have infiltrated the church. The basic root or problem arises when a man or a woman sets themselves up as the center of a particular doctrine, or thought. This is also the crux of the matter which happens in a cult, and that is essentially, that one person becomes the "head," or leader of a particular group, and then all things "funnel" into this head. Also, this particular doctrine or emphasis comes to the forefront, and then somehow, we forget the "whole counsel" of God, and draw attention to this ONE thing to the exclusion of the "whole gospel." ("All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." II. Tim. 3:16-17) This is the only way that we as a people of God can reach a mature "balance" in our understanding of spiritual principles, and then in turn, walk these things out in our own personal lives and ministries.

Now the prosperity doctrine or teaching, is something that is based on the importance of giving, and in turn, then, that we will receive in abundance back what we have given. "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38.) Now, this is a true statement, and is a spiritual principle, but when we give for the purposes of receiving back yet more and more, than we are seeking what we will receive rather than seeking the One Who is the giver. Truly, He is able to meet our needs, and He wants to abundantly bless us.

One of the other doctrines that have been spread around lately, is the miraculous way in which "gold fillings" have occurred in people痴 mouths in various church meetings and conferences. This again, is just another example of how God wants to show how He can meet our needs and show forth His glory unto His people in this hour. The problem arises, however, when we begin to look for it as the evidence of God, rather than seeking Him first.

Another more recent teaching and phenomena is the Toronto Blessing, or the "holy laughter." I知 sure that many of us have either experienced this, or have known others who have. "Some weep uncontrollably, some laugh hysterically. Some topple over or crumble silently on the floor, while others jerk, twitch, keel drunkenly, karate-chop the air, scream, sway, double over with abdominal spasms, roar, or bark." (Christian Research Journal; Winter 95) We need to always remember that one of the fruits of the Spirit is SELF-CONTROL (Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18-19).

In conclusion, God is not a terrestrial genie awaiting our bidding. We are to seek HIS will not demand our will. Psalm 143:10 "Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness." To be sure, "the joy of the Lord is our strength," but joy which becomes uncontrollable is then perhaps something else. Perhaps there are elements present in this recent move of God which are good and essential for us as a body, but we need again, to keep a proper balance, and to weigh this "wave" with the full counsel of God.

There have also been various movements throughout church history that have over-emphasized certain ministries or functions within the body of Christ as "more important" than the rest of the functions of the entire body. The doctrines of priestshood-over the believer, shepherd-over-the believer and apostle/prophet-over-the-believer that question, separate or imply partiality with God by certain chosen ones, are also deceptive and treacherous in the context of the entire counsel of Scripture.

Now, this is something quite interesting, and that is that those who serve God in the inner court, are those who do not mix the things of this world with His Written Word. They are those whose only inheritance is Him. A personal friend of mine had shared some of these very thoughts with me recently concerning the various winds which perhaps plague us as a body, but that those who wait upon Him in the inner court, will not be focused on these various winds of doctrine, but ONLY upon Him. Those that minister in the outer court have and will continue, to focus on the various "winds of doctrine," and perhaps be led astray by them. Today, the Lord shared with me a prophetic word which spoke about "THE INNER COURT" and how those who serve him there have not partaken of the things of this world. Here again, is a portion of that word:


Dec. 4, 1999


"Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple." Ezekiel 43:5

"In times past, I showed Ezekiel a plan for the temple. There was to be a certain design for it--It housed many places and many rooms. I showed him a perfect representation of this temple. I showed him where the outer court was, and where the inner court was. I made it plain to him that many of my priests were not to enter into my holy sanctuary because they had defiled it by their practices. Only the descendents of the Levites were to serve before Me; those who were from Zadok and had not been led astray. For they did not partake in the activities that many of my other priests did. Therefore, they were the only ones who were to go before Me. They were the only ones to come and serve Me in the inner court." (Ezek. 44:10-12; 15-16)

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matt. 6:33-34

Remember what Col. 2:8 says: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy," which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

We have been told that "the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."--II. Tim. 4:3-4 Let us not turn to myths, or to "hollow and deceptive philosophies," but rather, let us come to the table and eat of a balanced diet of the word, so that it can strengthen and enlighten us for the days ahead.

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8


Stephen Hanson