by Allen Logan

Over the years as I have watched the institution of church move farther and farther away from the truth of God’s Word and the ways of His kingdom; I received a warning from the Lord about big name ministries and how they had given themselves over to perpetuating the growth in the business of the institution rather than the spreading of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I had become guarded in my heart to the point where I viewed all visible or known ministries with suspicion.

During the last ten years, I felt the Lord shielded me from much false doctrine within the church which has allowed me to take a fresh look at God’s Word , and given me an opportunity to cast vision that is hopefully untainted by ones who are “teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.”  

I believe the Lord is now speaking to me about who to trust among those who are ministering God’s word.  The Lord this day wants me to write to the remnant and say that many in ministry have run after the folly of Eli and his sons, using the system of church for their own comforts because their god is their belly.  Rather than being content with the food and clothing the Lord provides, they have lavished many gifts upon themselves reasoning (as a result of the prosperity perversion/doctrine) that God wants them to be blessed. 

This is true to a point, and lends itself to the common denominator in all false doctrine… that being – every lie of satan has an element of truth in it. 

Just like the sons of Eli many false teachers and prophets (because they took more of the offering than they were entitled to) have caused the people to abhor the offering (see 1Samuel 2:12-17).  The Lord would say many, and I emphasize many “have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit.”

The Lord says I am changing this though… I am raising up shepherds after my own heart who will feed the flock and not themselves.  The Lord also said that the pathway for repentance is open to all who bring forth fruits of genuine repentance.

I asked the Lord then who I should trust… and how would I know them?

A thought then began to form in my spirit… what is the criteria for trusting those who are known or have visible ministries?

The Lord then showed me man’s criteria for trusting ministers and ministries.

They are:

            1) a false sense of accountability based on professional association.

            2) a number of years as a “senior minister” in a traditional church

            3) educational credentials

            4) generational ministers and ministries

All these things at least in principle were among what Paul would have counted as rubbish that he might gain Christ.  Do not misunderstand… I am not saying that someone should not be trusted because of these things.  What I am saying is that Paul understood by the Holy Spirit; as we should today; “…from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh (2Corinthians 5:16a)

Here in the U.S. we are about to experience over the next few years a level of persecution others are currently experiencing throughout various parts of the world.  When this begins to happen, the only credentials we will need is what the apostles and elders of the 1st century church emphasized.

Before I share this very short list, (only one point) let me say first that I am not talking about the kind of trust that is formed over years as we see someone walkout the lifestyle and demonstrate the qualifications of an elder… What I am talking about is what we need to discern in the heat of the battle… Let me also share that I believe the Holy Spirit is saying that we need to apply this criteria NOW so that we are no longer subjecting ourselves to hirelings and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The one characteristic we need to see in the heat of battle is mentioned in Acts15:25-26

" seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Finding those whose lives and/or way of life is in jeopardy as a result of standing for the truth of the gospel will alone show us in the midst of the coming tribulation who are hirelings, and who will lay down their lives for the sheep.  When we find those who meet this standard, we will be in the company of fellow saints we can trust.



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