To say you are led by the Spirit, is a strong statement as that means God is leading and guiding you. As we have talked about, God’s leading can take you down roads that many would question God’s involvement. Look at the story of Job. His wife, friends and acquaintances and even those who did not know him, all thought he was a sinner and was being punished by God. Job 8:1 “Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: 2 “How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind. 3 Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? 4 When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. 5 But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, 6 if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state. 7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. Can reeds thrive without water? 12 While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. 13 Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. 20 “Surely God does not reject one who is blameless     or strengthen the hands of evildoers. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. 22 Your enemies will be clothed in shame, and the tents of the wicked will be no more.” You must remember how this all started with Job. Job 1:8 “Then the Lord said to satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” 9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” satan’s plan was to get Job to curse God. first satan used Job’s wife who said Job 2:9 “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He then used his friends and the arrogance of a young man Elihu to try to get Job to curse God. But Job was led by God and said to his wife Job 2:10 “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job said to his friends Job 27:5 “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. 6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” But it was God who blasted Elihu. Elihu in his arrogance said to Job, Job 36:2 “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf. 3 I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker. 4 Be assured that my words are not false; one who has perfect knowledge is with you.” This was not God’s voice. Then Elihu is cut off and not heard from  nor was he prayed for. “Job 38:1 “the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” Elihu wasn’t perfect in knowledge but satan trying to get Job to curse God and die. God then speaks to Job and after God finished speaking to Job, Job responded to the words God said to Elihu and then repented. Job 42:1 “Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” His friends were prayed for but not Elihu. 7 “After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. 10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

         We also see God lead Joseph. He gave him dreams of the future and of course he shared them with his family but instead of receiving this message from God, they hated him as we see in Genesis. Genesis 37:10 “When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” Genesis 37:8 “His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” What became of those dreams was exactly what God had planned. Psalm 105:6 “He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; 17 and he sent a man before them—Joseph, sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true. 20 The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. 21 He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed, 22 to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.” His family would eventually bow at his feet just as the dreams said would happen. Genesis 43:26 “When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground.” God’s plan was to save them, keeping his promise to Abraham. Genesis 50:19 “Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” Like Job, God blessed Joseph as both men persevered. James 5:11 “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

          Then you have the Apostle Paul who was led by the spirit and suffered greatly but a large portion of the New Testament was written by Paul. Acts 9:15 “the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Almost from the beginning people tried to kill Paul. Acts 20:22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 21:10 “After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles. 12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

         Then we know that Jesus was also led by the Spirit. After John baptized Jesus, He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:1 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Jesus was also led to die on the cross. Jesus prayed Matthew 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” When they came to arrest Jesus, 51 one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Yes, the death of Jesus could have been stopped but this was God’s plan for salvation.

         God ways are not our ways, but we must understand His ways when testing the spirits by knowing His word. One of the gifts that is missing in the church is the gift of discerning spirits. Solomons prayed for discernment. 1 Kings 3:9 “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.” Many have been deceived because they cannot tell the difference between what God is doing and the works of satan. This is why it is crucial to return to God’s word and seek Him and pray for discernment. God’s ways are perfect and lead to life and prosperity but satan’s way leads to death and destruction. Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Revelation 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.” Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Hosea 14:9 “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”

          The question then is how do we know we are being led by the Spirit of God? How do we know those who teach and preach are led by the Spirit of God? The answer is simple; focus on returning to God’s word and following the ways of God. We know this because His thoughts and His plan are clearly laid out in scripture. Scripture also shows us how satan operates. We know that he masquerades as an angel of light so sometimes the counterfeit is very close the truth but most of the time its falseness is obvious when compared to scripture. So being led by the Spirit means the way you are being led, leads to life. We are told to test the spirits for a reason as our lives depend on it. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. For example there are groups, all in the name of Jesus that have you kill yourself. We recently have seen this in Kenya where the death toll has risen to over 200. One article said though still being investigated, “Paul Mackenzie, leader of the Good News International Church, was accused of ordering his followers to starve their children and themselves to death so they could go to heaven before the end of the world, which he predicted to be on April 15.” Much of that comes from false end times teaching. Again, check the bible first. This also happened with Jonestown back in 1978 with the mass suicide of over 900 people. You also had heaven’s gate, where hearing voices and false teaching led to the suicide of 39. The leader began hearing voices and one account said, “According to former friends and colleagues, she said the voices in his head may be spirits from above telling him he one day could be a divine teacher.”

         People get deceived by this because they are looking for something better in life but do not end up seeking God’s word but instead end up listening to some deranged lunatic tell them to starve themselves or die and get picked up by a alien spaceship. These are easy to see but most false teaching has truth in it, which is how satan works but a little cyanide is deadly. You would not drink a glass of water if someone told you there was just a 1 teaspoon in your glass of water (A single tablespoon of potassium cyanide will kill 90 % of 43 people) you would hopefully not drink it. But the problem in the church today is people are drinking what they think is living water, but they have been deceived. So, every Sunday people are being poisoned and do not even know it.

         Many people are following those who say they have been led by the Spirit, yet what they teach is different than scripture nor is there the power and authority the church was given at Pentecost. Not everyone comes out and says they are the Messiah but there are many who do. Wikipedia said “This is a partial list of notable people who have been claimed, either by themselves or by their followers, to be the reincarnation or incarnation of Jesus, or the Second Coming of Christ.” For being a partial list, it was pretty extensive. Jesus said Matthew 24:4 “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Yes, many will say they are the Messiah but anyone who teaches other gospels and changing the words of the Messiah also make themselves out to be the Messiah whether they say it out loud or not.

         There are many people who have a messiah / savior complex. It can be defined as “a complex psychological state when a person believes that he or she is a savior today or he or she will be in the near future. “The savior complex is a state of mind, but people with mental conditions such as bipolar disorder, delusional disorder, and schizophrenia may get it.” As we saw above there are many who have this complex. “As many as 60% of those with schizophrenia have religious grandiose delusions consisting of believing they are a saint, God, the devil, a prophet, Jesus, or some other important person.” This then poses the question as to whether they are being led by the spirit or just have grandiose delusions and need help. It is odd that people who do not really believe in Jesus call it the Messiah / Savior complex. It really should be called the satan complex. Yes, it is very real but not always as it seems. I did find myself a little surprised at this next part. As I was researching this, I came across this website that talks about this complex. I am well aware that the world does not believe in Jesus or the bible or God but when you see it written down, it really is astounding. As Paul said 1 Corinthians 1:21 “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

         This article that I read was from “The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.” That sounds very intellectual but yet foolish as Psalm 14:1 “the fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” The name of the article is “The Role of Psychotic Disorders in Religious History Considered.” They then proceed to go through scripture and talk about the psychotic disorders of some of the main characters of scripture. Here is an abstract, though ridiculous, shows how the world thinks and not only the world but the some in the church as I will talk about later. “The authors have analyzed the religious figures Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and St. Paul from a behavioral, neurologic, and neuropsychiatric perspective to determine whether new insights can be achieved about the nature of their revelations. Analysis reveals that these individuals had experiences that resemble those now defined as psychotic symptoms, suggesting that their experiences may have been manifestations of primary or mood disorder-associated psychotic disorders. The rationale for this proposal is discussed in each case with a differential diagnosis. Limitations inherent to a retrospective diagnostic examination are assessed. Social models of psychopathology and group dynamics are proposed as explanations for how followers were attracted and new belief systems emerged and were perpetuated. The authors suggest a new DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) diagnostic subcategory as a way to distinguish this type of psychiatric presentation. These findings support the possibility that persons with primary and mood disorder-associated psychotic symptoms have had a monumental influence on the shaping of Western civilization. It is hoped that these findings will translate into increased compassion and understanding for persons living with mental illness.”

         They then go on to say “Diminished insight about having a mental disorder is part and parcel of the condition, occurring in 30%–50% of persons with schizophrenia. How do we explain to our patients that their psychotic symptoms are not supernatural intimations when our civilization recognizes similar phenomena in revered religious figures? On what basis do we distinguish between the experiences of psychiatric patients and those of religious figures in history?” Just so you know they are comparing Jesus Abraham Paul and Moses with schizophrenics. Their purpose for this research is this. “We undertook this examination with the intent of promoting scholarly dialogue about the rational limits of human experience and to educate persons living with mental illness, healthcare providers, and the general public that persons with psychotic symptoms may have had a considerable influence on the development of Western civilization.”

        They then started with Abraham and said his “interactive mystical experiences of an auditory and visual nature that influenced his behaviors throughout most of his life. This phenomenology closely resembles that described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Then they described him as “Abraham’s auditory and visual perceptual experiences and behaviors could be understood as auditory hallucinations (AH), visual hallucinations (VH), delusions with religious content, and paranoid-type (schizophrenia subtype) thought content.” Then they thought it could be “ingestion of hallucinogenic substances or epilepsy-induced mystical experiences.” They also included the possibility of “paranoid schizophrenia.” They then said “Psychotic disorder, not otherwise specified (PD NOS) is another reasonable diagnostic alternative. PD NOS includes those persons with psychotic symptomatology for which there is inadequate or contradictory information or symptoms that do not meet criteria for any specific psychotic disorder. Abraham’s clinical profile would appear to best resemble that of PS or PD NOS, and perhaps, less likely, an affective disorder-related psychosis. Abraham stands as the earliest case of a possible psychotic disorder in literature.” This slams both Islam and Christianity and God.

         Then they did the same with Moses. “The stories about Moses include a great deal of information about his background, life functioning, beliefs, actions, and perceptual experiences (see Figure 2). Moses had perceptual experiences and behaviors that find closest parallel today with the DSM-IV-TR–defined phenomena of command AHs, VHs, hyperreligiosity, grandiosity, delusions, paranoia, referential thinking, and phobia (about people viewing his face). Many of these features may occur together in schizophrenia, affective disorders, and schizoaffective disorder.” “In contrast to the relative paucity of poets with schizophrenia or epilepsy, he observes that the number of poets suggested to have mood disorders are represented in far greater numbers. Therefore, mood disorder-associated psychoses remain quite viable in the case of Moses.”

         Then they did the same with Paul. “St Paul’s mood in his letters ranged from ecstatic to tears of sorrow, suggesting marked mood swings. He endorsed an abundance of sublime auditory and visual perceptual experiences (2 Corinthians 12:2–9) that resemble grandiose hallucinations with delusional thought content. He manifested increased religiosity and fears of evil spirits, which resembles paranoia. These features may occur together, in association with primary and mood disorder-associated psychotic conditions.” “As previously mentioned, productive writing tends to be more strongly associated with mood disorders than psychosis or epilepsy. This is persuasive toward Paul having a mood disorder, rather than schizophrenia or epilepsy.”

         Then to Jesus himself. “Jesus is the foundation figure of Christianity, who is thought to have lived between 7–2 BCE and 26–36 CE. The New Testament (NT) recalls Jesus as having experienced and shown behavior closely resembling the DSM-IV-TR–defined phenomena of Auditory Hallucinations, Visual Hallucinations, delusions, referential thinking paranoid-type (PS subtype) thought content, and hyperreligiosity He also did not appear to have signs or symptoms of disorganization, negative psychiatric symptoms, cognitive impairment, or debilitating mood disorder symptoms.” “In terms of potential causes of perceptual and behavioral changes, it might be asked whether starvation and metabolic derangements were present. The hallucinatory-like experiences that Jesus had in the desert while he fasted for 40 days (Luke 4:1–13) may have been induced by starvation and metabolic derangements.” “Other reasonable possibilities might include bipolar and schizoaffective disorders.” This one is really something. As they say going from the sublime to the ridiculous. “There is a 5%–10% lifetime risk of suicide in persons with schizophrenia Suicide is defined as a self-inflicted death with evidence of an intention to end one’s life. The NT recounts Jesus’ awareness that people intended to kill him and his taking steps to avoid peril until the time at which he permitted his apprehension. In advance, he explained to his followers the necessity of his death as prelude for his return (Matthew 16:21–28; Mark 8:31; John 16:16–28). If this occurred in the manner described, then Jesus appears to have deliberately placed himself in circumstances wherein he anticipated his execution. Although schizophrenia is associated with an increased risk of suicide, this would not be a typical case. The more common mood-disorder accompaniments of suicide, such as depression, hopelessness, and social isolation, were not present, but other risk factors, such as age and male gender, were present. Suicide-by-proxy is described as “any incident in which a suicidal individual causes his or her death to be carried out by another person.” There is a potential parallel of Jesus’ beliefs and behavior leading up to his death to that of one who premeditates a form of suicide-by-proxy.”

        The foolish have spoken, God and His servants are insane! All that you thought you knew ins scripture was just men with grandiose delusions and disorders that were in desperate need of medication. Some of the greatest men in history and the Son of God all were battling mental illness. Therefore, the bible is not real thus God is not who we think He is. Now obviously that is not true and as you read some of these quotes you would see the complete and absolute nonsense of these so-called intellectuals. I think as I read I just kept shaking my head in disbelief. Before going on, be very careful with psychology. As you can see from above, the fool says in their heart there is no God. Also be careful with Christian counselors as it is not always biblical counsel you are receiving. The problem is this is not new as it took place in scripture without all the terminology from the psychiatric world.

         God’s servants have always been mocked, ignored, belittled, insulted and many have been killed and attempted to be killed and that is by those who say they serve God. John 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” When someone does not want to hear the truth, then the servant of God needs to go. When Stephen preached the truth, Acts 7:54 “ the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.” God’s plan is always different than man’s. God’s messengers have always been despised. 2 Chronicles 36:16 “But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.” Job was mocked. Job 21:3 “Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.” Job 30:1 “But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.” David was mocked. Psalm 22:7 “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” Jeremiah was mocked. Jeremiah 20:7 “You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. 8 Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. 10 I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side! Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!” All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.” Jesus was mocked. Matthew 20:17 “Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” They Matthew 27:29 “then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.”

         Being led by the Spirit will bring insult and reproach. Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” And there is a real good chance they will think you are out of your mind as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If you are speaking truth to a people who refuse to listen, they will think you are out of your mind and describe you the way they described Jesus, Abraham, Moses and Paul. It is easier to accuse someone of mental illness than to turn from their own wicked ways. Having a messiah complex is not all bad as long as you are pointing to Jesus and not yourself. You and I can never be the messiah as there is only one Messiah but we are supposed to be like Jesus and do as He did. Matthew 10:24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” And yes, they thought Jesus was possessed.

         Mark gives us this picture of how some viewed Jesus, including His family. Mark 3:7 “Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.” We then see that the teachers of the law did not want to listen, so they said, Mark 3:22 “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” Now you can understand the teachers of the law rejecting Jesus, but His family? Earlier we talked about Job and Joseph, both rejected by their families, that is until God revealed His plan and saved them. Luke describes Jesus’ hometown this way. Luke 4:24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.” Matthew describes it this way. Matthew 13:53 “When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home. 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

         His family thought the same way as the teachers of the law. Now remember this is Jesus the Son of God we are talking about. Mark 3:21 “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind. 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons. 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” The good news like with Joseph, his family were in the upper room at Pentecost. Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”

         When Paul was giving his testimony to king Agrippa, he was also accused of being out of his mind by Festus. Paul talking to king Agrippa. Acts 26:22 “But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” 24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” 25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

        So no the accusations of grandiose delusions against God’s servants is not new. God’s messengers will continue to be accused of being narcissists, bipolar and schizophrenic or to have mood disorders, and completely out of their minds for being led by the spirit and being obedient to God. But as you saw with Paul, his words were the gospel truth. As Jeremiah said Jeremiah 26:15 “Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.” Jeremiah 44:28 “Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.” God’s servants will point to Jesus and call out for the return to His gospel by repenting of wicked ways just as Jesus did. There will be strong resistance but God’s messengers will stand strong. Ezekiel 3:7 “But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.” God’s servants will not falter. Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. 2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. 3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” 5 This is what God the Lord says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people   and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” As Paul shared in his testimony before king Agrippa, Acts 26:17 “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

         We also see an interesting passage where the church was fervently praying for Peter yet when God did answer, they thought the young girl who answered the door was out of her mind. Acts 12:12 “It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. 5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. 11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.” 12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” 16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place. 18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.”

         The church is quick to think God’s servants are out of their minds. Paul makes it clear that he was called by God even if people thought he was out of his mind. Galatians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” He then said after talking about following other gospels, 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.” 2 Corinthians 5:11 “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

         God calls his servants to teach the gospel, so what they teach will be the same as scripture. It won’t be something fabricated. 2 Peter 1:6 “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” God’s ways are not our ways, and the journey may not be what you thought it should be, but as we saw with Joseph and Job, God’s plan will unfold and be perfect. Always test the spirits and make sure, but God’s servants will obey at all costs. In the end God will bless their faithfulness because they were obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:2 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

         Yes, there are many in the church with messiah complexes but make sure you know the difference between those led by the Spirit of God and those led by spirits. Always test the spirits but make sure you turn from your wicked ways and return to God’s word so that the kingdom of God comes near. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Jeremiah 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”