This was very difficult for many gatherings of Christians throughout the empire. Most congregations of Christians were able to stay together because they strictly obeyed their leaders, whom they called Overseers. They gave these Overseers complete say over what they believed, how they acted and how they responded to authorities.
However, Montanus and his followers were not always easy to listen to. They did crazy things and said even crazier things. People thought they were raving and that they talked like madmen. And they did sometimes say things that were opposed to Scripture. But Montanus did hear the Spirit of God and desired to follow him alone.
But Montanus himself forgot some of the teaching as well. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would remind the believers of what Jesus had said and would be in line with Jesus’ teaching. Paul and John both taught that the spirits of prophets should be tested to make sure that they are of God’s Spirit, and that they weren’t being decieved. Paul also said that a particular prophecy had to agree with the rest of the church. Montanus himself prophesied some future events that never happened. Thus, sometimes he and his followers did not speak for the Spirit. They needed to be tested, but not rejected.
The Final Word (of Men):
Over time, the Christians outside of Phygia decided that the Montanists were heretics—not teachers of the true faith—and rejected them and their teaching. From that time, anyone who wanted to listen to the Spirit and say what the Spirit said was rejected as a heretic.
A Word From Our Sponsor:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26
I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. John 16:12-14
Helpful Hint: Listening to the Spirit, not men