When one initially thinks of a heretic they think of medieval times of one being burned at the stake. Or they may picture one who was cast out of the “church” and left for dead through hanging, torture or guillotined. The heretic in those times was one who went against the pseudo church’s beliefs.
The heretics in our time are to be rejected, not killed off. The Word of God simply states to cut off relations which such an one, avoid and reject them. The Word of God doesn’t advise us to use physical harm to such a person. That act is reserved for God. The labeling of a heretic is done by men of God who adhere to the orthodox beliefs and doctrines of the Bible. The heretic is rejected because he has strayed from the orthodox beliefs. Now when I say “orthodox” I do not mean the denomination that poses to follow the Christian faith. I speak of orthodox as it is defined: the original, traditional standard of belief.
The original, traditional, standard of belief is that which was spoken by the Apostles, Prophets and Jesus Christ himself. The doctrines and standards that are spoken of in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. No addition of words, terms or concepts.
When we see the teachings from the Apostles in the New Testament, we see instructions and a set of rules given to the church. There are particular doctrines and values that the church is given. Everything is plain to see in scripture. There is nothing hidden and inaccessible to the inquiring soul. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20 KJV). This means that the Word of God is easy to be understood to those who have the Spirit of God leading and guiding them into all truth. But when one doesn’t have the Spirit of God leading them and guiding them into all truth, then you have the flesh as the guide.
The flesh of man is based on a primal nature that is void of the direction and counsel of God. A man may profess to know God but their heart is nowhere near God. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matthew 15:8). These head knowledge and mouth professing “christians” may attend schools to receive a certificate of theology. They may attend a bible college and get a degree in theology. They may pay a fee and speed through a mini instructional course and receive an Ordination. But all these paths that are in the world’s eyes, “legitimate ways to build one’s knowledge of God,” will actually push them further away from God!
God cannot be accessed by secular teaching or monetary purchase. There must be a born again experience to access God. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). When one is born again they begin to see the Kingdom of God. They begin to see things as God intends. They are beginning to understand the new nature. The old man is discerned by the new man. Being born again is not given by any secular book. It’s not given through attaining a college degree or a certificate. No secular knowledge, status or notoriety can grant someone the access to the born again experience. This born again experience can only be granted by God. The Seed of God takes root in a person’s heart and God so chooses to apply the increase. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23).
From that point, a person must continue to press towards the Kingdom of God. When one begins to hunger and thirst after righteousness he will see the necessity of the Spirit. Jesus said that the Father would grant the Spirit to those who Ask. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). The Spirit of God can only come from above, vertical (from God) not horizontal (from man). It comes down upon the believer from the Throne of God. It cannot be purchased, it cannot be earned through a degree. It is not granted when one memorizes Scriptures. It is only given to us by Jesus Christ. Along with the Spirit baptism, a person will then be led by the Holy Spirit of God into all Truth.
The Holy Spirit of God is not leading the heretic. The heretic has somewhere gone off track. The heretic is most often a person who is without the Spirit of God. They have placed their trust in man (flesh) “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5). The heretic may have achieved a degree. He may have biblical knowledge. He may have memorized many scriptures. He may even hold a position in a so called “church” group. But these things, once again, will not grant him one inch closer to the Kingdom of God if he has not been born of the Spirit.
The heretic has been indoctrinated by something other than God’s Spirit. The heretic has been given over to the understandings and doctrines of man. Remember, it was the Spirit of God that came upon the holy men of the Bible and gave them the Truths we have today. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21). So without adhering to the exact words and doctrines of the Bible, a man will go astray. He will have lost his direction and he will have wandered off onto another path that is opposed to the path of the Spirit. He becomes a heretic.
The Holy Spirit leads and guides into all truth. The flesh of man will not be able to understand the ways of the Spirit, hence, error will ensue. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor 2:14).
So heresy begins from the one who is void of the Holy Spirit. The heretical teachings are then transmitted and received by those who are also void of the Spirit. For if one had the Spirit of God, he would not be a heretic. And if by chance one was filled with the Spirit of God and got off track, this will only be a temporary occasion. If he once again walks in the Spirit, forsakes his error, he will then be led back into all Truth!
What a wonderful, mighty, God we serve! A God who will not lose not one his his precious sheep!
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).