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Three Reasons Why There Are No Modern-Day Prophets

3 Reasons Why There Are No Modern Day Prophets

 

 

 

What is a prophet? Basically, a prophet had the ability to receive direct revelation from God and would then communicate that revelation to the people. The controversy today is whether God has new revelations for His church; is He still sending prophets?

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), an offspring of the Latter Rain Movement, promotes the idea that there are modern-day prophets. This movement also supports a social gospel, the belief that some of its apostles can raise the dead, and it also supports pagan, mystical practices such as contemplative prayer and labyrinth walking.

Additionally, NAR claims that Christians must submit to its leadership because God has appointed some in their ranks as apostles and prophets so that the kingdom of God can be established on earth (Christian Domionism).

In the following clip, C Peter Wagner, credited for founding the NAR, is seen here endorsing faith healer Todd Bentley as prophet and apostle. Keep an ear open for Wagner’s dominion theology:

Does Bentley ever stop shaking? Is he in full demonic possession perhaps?

After this endorsement by Wagner who expressed hope that Bentley “bear much and lasting fruit”, Bentley left his disabled wife. That is tragic in itself, but isn’t it odd that a faith healer couldn’t heal his own wife? In fact, I haven’t heard of one documented healing performed by Bentley that has taken place, which is no surprise since he loves to kick people in the face.

Now that we know what’s going on in the NAR movement, let’s look at reasons why God has not sent prophets for the church today.

1. Prophets Were Temporary

The prophets were foundational to the early church (Ephesians 2:20). The completed New Testament was not around back then, so the gift of prophecy revealed additional information. We have a complete Bible, from Genesis to Revelation; we do not need to add to anything.

2. Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)

Hebrews 1:1 tells us God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son. Jesus is the truth (John 14:16), and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13). Since the Holy Spirit helped the apostles write Scripture (John 14:26), it is fitting that the Holy Spirit illumines Scripture for believers (Ephesians 1:17-18).

We are to look to Scripture alone for guidance. 2 Peter 1:3 says we have everything we need for godly living. Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). What more do we need?

3. The Canon is Closed

The principle that we should not add to God’s words appears throughout Scripture:

 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).

“You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).

“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it” (Deuteronomy 4:2).

“Do add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:6)

One may think that the so-called divine revelation does not necessarily mean adding to anything to Scripture; however, if God spoke, surely those words (if His) would be just as authoritative as the words of Scripture, not so?

Additionally, we are commanded to test everything (1 Thess 5:21). We are to compare what we are told with the Word of God, and we should dismiss anything that’s not found in the Bible. The self-proclaimed prophets of today have given false prophecies. A simple Google search will reveal some of the false messages from those such as Jack Van Impe, Benny Hinn, and John Hagee (pictured above).

In the Old Testament, God said a prophet who spoke things that God had not commanded Him to speak had to be put to death (Deuteronomy 18:20). We would be rather busy today if that command still applied.

It is clear that direct revelation, prophetic hotlines, and personal prophetic words from God are not biblical. There is only one kind of prophet that exists in the church today, and that is the false prophet (Matthew 7:15).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

Please note: I’m not suggesting the Holy Spirit cannot bring a Bible verse to recollection for someone or impress upon us a lesson from the Bible.

Additional verses:

Ezekiel 13:6-7

They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?” 

Matthew 7:15

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

2 Peter 2:3

And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

2 Peter 2:1-22

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.”

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They Walk Among Us: Unmasking the Deceivers in the Pulpits

How to Recognize False TeachersMasked, I advance. – René Descartes

As a former occult practitioner, my answer to whether Christians should celebrate Halloween is that if Christians saw the real faces behind Halloween, they would be horrified. Witchcraft is as the sin of rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23), and the decorations of gore and evil should not be associated with light and purity (2 Corinthians 6:14). Whatever my viewpoints are, I know many Christians exercise “Christian liberty” with this holiday, so I’ll let this controversy brew without further input from me (for this year anyway).

Horror movies exploit fear to create more fear. But fear of what? The evil characters in these movies can only destroy the body; the bigger horror is the evil characters in the pulpit that lead many to eternal damnation. Millions of people are deceived by the disguises donned by false teachers, because these teachers are not outfitted in obvious, evil costumes. These false teachers are dressed to con and deceive. Moreover, the false teachers who are obvious in their heresies are doubly useful to the enemy – not only do they have their naive followers, but the following is commonly heard: “Oh, Heidi Baker/Juanita Bynum/Gloria Copeland is a false teacher for sure but not Beth Moore/Priscilla Shirer/Christine Caine.” It’s easy to assume that outlandish performances in the pulpit would only sound the discernment alarm; however, the performances of a Todd Bentley or a John Crowder further mask the stealthiness of a Christine Caine or a Rachel Held Evans, for example. And how dare anyone mention Peter Popoff and Beth Moore in the same sentence! Shock! Gasp! Yet, despite outward appearances, all false teachers have many things in common, including their delight in deception (2 Peter 2:13).

It is because of this horrifying level of deceit that I apply my Halloween reasoning – if Christians saw the real faces behind false teachers, they would (should, surely) quickly repent and turn away from these teachers. So, let’s unmask these liars and discover how these whitewashed tombs deceive their victims and hold them captive. Let’s not end up like the victims in a B-rated horror movie: Those who run around in confusion, their arms flailing in every direction, and who ultimately (and predictably) meet their respective ends by stumbling into a dark alley, when they should have stuck to the well-lit streets. Let us set our feet upon solid ground, and let the light of Scripture guide our way.

False Teachers Operate in Secrecy and Disguise

There are numerous Biblical references to the deception and trickery that false teachers use. Satan, who is their father (John 8:44), is crafty and cunning; he does not appear in slasher-film garb nor is he dressed up as a villain or archenemy. Being what he is, he appears as an angel of light. Satan doesn’t spew venom or curses from the pulpit; he preaches happiness, false unity, tolerance, and love. Sadly, this is how Christians, who should be as wise as serpents, become the victims of wolves. These Christian victims may have their Little-Red-Riding-Hood moments of “Pastor, what big teeth you have”, but in the end, many people are destroyed.

These verses warn of deception (italics are mine):

  • How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? (Jeremiah 23:26)
  • Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15)
  • They disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
  • See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit (Colossians 2:8)
  • Deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
  • Who will secretly bring in destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1)
  • So as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect  (Matthew 24:24)
  • By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive (Romans 16:17)
  • For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 1:7)
  • For certain people have crept in unnoticed (Jude 1:4).

Not only do we need to be aware of the deceptions within the visible church, we also need to be aware of the deceit of our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). It is the deceit of the heart that lead Christians to believe that Joyce Meyer has been a blessing in their lives, and it’s the same deceit that prompts people to recite prosperity affirmations in the vain hope of receiving wealth. A hint of pride and false humility hides in the heart when a person declares, “I don’t judge anyone!” Scripture commands us to judge righteously and not by appearance (John 7:24). False teachers are quick to publish photos of their missionary work; unfortunately, those photos lead the undiscerning folk to think that they’re seeing good fruit. It’s not good fruit; it’s a deception. Unbelievers give to charity as well. False teachers have an appearance of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5).

Identifying Marks of the Disguise

1. False teachers teach a different doctrine (2 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Timothy 6:3)

A trap that all false teachers use is to teach half-truths mixed with lies. For instance, many Christians think that because Scripture is referenced in the channeled book Jesus Calling, that it must be biblically sound. I have heard the same defense from followers of Joyce Meyer. These teachers add to and take away from Scripture to justify their counterfeit Jesus and different gospel.

False teachers rarely mention sin or repentance, and when they do, their assertions are unbiblical, such as Joseph Prince’s comments regarding repentance and confession:

Joseph Prince, false teacher

The above quotes demonstrate 1 Timothy 6:4: “Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words”.

Scripture instructs us to teach the whole counsel of God, and that includes sin and repentance (Acts 20:27). Joel Osteen disagrees:

The remarks in the video are typical of false teachers who focus on happiness and success instead of godly living. They offer formulas and “breakthroughs” – prescriptions that do nothing to remedy our wretched state of sinfulness. False teachers promote a love for this world, a love that feeds the carnal mind. These teachers promise freedom, but they are slaves to corruption (2 Peter 2:19).

Another doctrine of demons that is gaining popularity in the modern evangelical church is mysticism. Christians are instructed to perform dangerous things, and many of them are obeying. This quote is from the Twitter feed of Jesus Calling:

Contrary to the above quote, Scripture instructs us to guard our hearts and renew our minds with the Word of God (Proverbs 4:23Romans 12:2).

2. False teachers deceive through smiles, flattery, and an appearance of knowledge

In the Osteen video above, he appears to have the fruit of love, peace, and gentleness – who would have guessed that he is actually ruled by Satan? Osteen is very slick through his use of flattery – what person (Christian or not) wouldn’t want to believe that he or she is destined for greatness and highly favored? However, Scripture warns that by smooth talk and flattery these teachers deceive the hearts of the naive (Romans 16:18).

Another form of deceit is the popularity of these false teachers. Undiscerning Christians believe that these celebrities must be biblically sound because they have large followings; however, Scripture states that these teachers have forsaken the right road and have followed the way of Balaam, who had attempted to curse Israel for the rewards of wealth and popularity (2 Peter 2:15). It is assumed that these celebrities and teachers have great knowledge because they have written (and keep writing!) best-selling books and/or because they have doctorates. Despite these successes, Scripture says that these teachers are ever learning, but they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7). Scripture also states

Despite their best-selling books and sold-out conferences, false teachers cannot understand truth! The naive think they are learning something profound and wise from these deceivers, but their teachings are nonsense. Consider these quotes from Joyce Meyer:

Joyce Meyer, false teacher

 

The quotes above reflect Jude’s warning that false teachers are like clouds without water – they promise much but deliver nothing. Besides the obvious unscriptural assertions and the horrendous lack of logic, Meyer is correct about one thing – there is a battle for the mind, since that is how the Word of God is absorbed. Satan loves it when the modern church interprets truth as the world and experience-based pagans do. The father of lies is the true author of Meyer’s book, and his royalty payments are souls. Chilling.

Behind these masks of smiles, flattery, and knowledge hides arrogance – these teachers would have to be arrogant to exchange the Words of God for their own words (Jude 16). They are filled with their own self-importance, and they do not hold themselves accountable to anyone since they reject authority (Colossians 2:18; Jude 8).

The arrogance of Benny Hinn’s desire to kill those who question his teachings, Steven Furtick’s Hater video, and Joyce Meyer’s declaration that she is not a sinner are well known. Let’s veer from the usual list of suspects and see what’s happening in the lesser-known circles. Meet Jory Micah. According to her website, Micah is in the process of writing a book; she was named one of the top 10 female bloggers in Beyond Evangelical – the personal blog of Frank Viola. Not surprisingly, Viola is a false teacher. On her website, Micah says that she had a dream from the Lord and “if you are a woman who has felt limited or oppressed by the Christian Church in any way, YOU were in my dream and there is freedom for you.” Her mission is to 

Help women shake off the chains of limitations and the shackles of oppression that the Christian Church has wrapped around them in the name of the Bible and stale religion. (Her) goal is to see women universally embraced as church leaders – elders, lead-pastors, evangelists, Bible teachers, apostles, worship leaders, and every leadership position that both lay women and ordained ministers can dream up with God.”

The errors within the above quote are outside the scope of this article. However, for the record, Micah and I did converse regarding the unbiblical role of women pastors; sadly, she would not listen to what is plainly written in Scripture – that women pastors are unbiblical.  According to her website, anyone who disagrees with her is a hater. (And probably a big meanie too!) Micah is obviously a bright young woman, and from all appearances, she could easily become the next Rachel Held Evans or Christine Caine. As the Meyers and Caines of the women-led pulpits age, there are many young women being trained to assume their positions.

Micah admits she was warned; however, arrogance ruled:

 

The deceptive teaching that women pastors are biblical

 

3. False teachers are motivated by greed.

Skip to 2:06 to view Leroy Thompson parading through money:

 

That video speaks for itself.

Many Christians are too focused on the twisted Scripture verses of the prosperity gospel to notice that the Bible clearly warns that false teachers are motivated by greed. These teachers prey on their victims through the same corruption that has led them to the pulpit to begin with – greed! These teachers deceive by evil and carnal means, so it follows that their motivation is also carnal. Paul Washer says, “False teachers are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God, but in the name of religion plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires.” Terrifying thought.

Here are some warnings about the greed of false teachers:

  • In their greed they will exploit you with false words (2 Peter 2:3a)
  • Having itching ears, many people will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
  • They use godliness as a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:5)
  • They are shepherds feeding themselves, and they live to satisfy their desires (Jude 12Jude 16)
  • Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).
Guard Your Hearts and Minds

Stay away from these masked bandits! Christians are commanded to avoid these liars who do the work of Satan. Some appropriate verses:

  • Have nothing to do with them (Ephesians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:14)
  • If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works (2 John 1:10-11)
  • Don’t let them take you captive or cause you to lose your own stability because false teachers have turned people away from the faith (Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 3:171 Timothy 4:1).

It would be pure terror to share in the fate of false teachers as listed here:

Jude, a half-brother of Jesus, lived at a time when Christianity was under attack by apostates, and in the book of Jude, he called the Church to contend for the truth. Therefore, I believe it is fitting to close with his instructions and subsequent praise to God:

But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  And have mercy on those who doubt;  save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 17-25).

Soli Deo Gloria

Pamela

Please note that false prophecies are also an indication of a false teacher, which I have warned about here.

I’m exercising my Christian liberty to hand out a costume award:

How to recognize a false teacher

 

 

 

 

 

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O foolish Christian, who hath bewitched you?

 

Can Christians Be Affected by Witchcraft?

It’s that time of year again – Halloween – when the forces of evil assault the children of God and destroy Christians’ peace and joy. It’s a time when Satan and his army are at full strength, a time when the Christian can do little but hope to win the battle against the mighty powers of the enemy.

Really?

According to many people in the modern church, the statements above are indeed the truth. In this article, author Jennifer LeClaire writes that witchcraft can affect Christians, and she lists the signs that reveal that there is a curse on a person’s life. I generally remain silent about the questionable content of Charisma News; however, I could not remain silent about this article because I was once deceived by the false teachings about the supposed power of Satan over Christians. This high view of man and low view of God notion is found in the Spiritual Warfare Movement (SWM), also known as Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare. Teachers and authors such as C. Peter Wagner, Neil Anderson, Frank Peretti (This Present Darkness), and Derek Prince promote spiritual warfare.

These teachers and authors claim that demons occupy specific, territorial ground and that Christians have the power and authority to bind Satan, pray for hedges of protection, and demolish strongholds. These teachers also explain the various ranks in Satan’s army and how one can identify which demons are causing one’s problems; yes, all of this according to the demon’s name and “assignment”. Not only are these teachings dangerous and false, but they also dishonor our sovereign God, who providentially rules (Isaiah 45:5). Remember, friends, that God commands us to test everything and to rebuke false teachers (1Thessalonians 5:21Titus 1:9). I will not respond to every claim of LeClaire’s  –  most of her claims are speculative at best and certainly not found in the Word of God. However, I will examine her exegesis of Scripture.

My Experience with the Spiritual Warfare Movement

I became involved with the SWM because I had been sensing a heavy oppression; I’d also felt blocked from God. Additionally, the victory and healing that many “Christian” teachers claim (back then and today) belong to the children of Christ were not present in my life. This absence led me to question my faith, and I concluded that I had not been fully delivered from my previous involvement with the occult (which had included witchcraft). I researched the topic of deliverance and spiritual warfare, and before long, I found myself in one of the largest Pentecostal churches in my city and sitting between two people who were fervently praying for me. The woman who prayed over me (I’ll call her June, only because that’s her name), had apparently spoken to the “main” demon who had been wreaking havoc in my life. According to June, this demon had told her that I had a line of demons attached to me due to my previous involvement in the occult; and according to this demon, these “attached” demons were never going to let me go or let me talk about Jesus Christ. That evening, after the deliverance session, I left with more confusion. My suspicions about the demonic activity in my life had been confirmed; however, how was I to rid myself of these demons? The deliverance didn’t work.

During the next few years, my spiritual struggle continued. I followed the instructions for deliverance as found in books such as Neil T. Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker, and I prayed the prayers from books such as Paul Eckhardt’s The Prayers that Rout Demons and Break Curses. Sadly, I still felt oppressed; there was nothing more that I could do. In fact, it seemed that the more I participated in this “warfare”, the stronger the enemy became. I started to physically sense demons – much like in my days in the occult.

Seven years after my first attempt at deliverance, I again met with a deliverance minister. Since he believed that demons were more active during specific hours at night, we arranged to conduct the ceremony in the company of two other deliverance “experts” at 11:00 pm, and at my home. Praise God, mere hours before the ceremony, confusion erupted about payment for the service and the deliverance was canceled. Today, thanks to God, His truth, and the granting of true repentance (2 Timothy 2:25), I am free in Christ. Freedom came once I understood who Christ is  – my Sovereign Master and Redeemer, and once I saw who Satan really is – a liar and deceiver. To think that anyone is held captive by the Spiritual Warfare movement’s deceptions pains me. Christ came to set the captives free.

You Foolish Galatians, Who Has Bewitched You?

In LeClaire’s article, she writes that the Webster’s Dictionary defines witchcraft as “An irresistible influence or fascination”; she then says, “The Bible warns us not to be bewitched: ‘O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified.'” However, the Bible passage she cites is not about witchcraft – the context of Galatians 3 is justification by faith. Here, Paul is warning the Galatians that they were being misled by the false promises and flattery of the false teachers. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary notes:

…a doctrine of salvation by works foolishly denies the necessity for grace and declares the death of the Lord Jesus Christ unnecessary. Yet this is what the Galatians were on the verge of embracing. They were being intellectually inconsistent, self-contradictory. How can such nonsense be explained? Paul suggests facetiously that perhaps they have been placed under a spell by some magician” (notes on Galatians 3:1).

In this light, it’s ironic that the book of Galatians is not warning about witchcraft but about false teachings and the abandonment of essential doctrine.

Next, LeClaire lists eight signs that are supposedly clear that a Christian is under the spell of witchcraft. The fourth point states:

“Forgetting who you really are: You are a child of the King. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). You are blessed coming in and blessed going out. Everything you put your hand to prospers. That’s your legal position. But when witchcraft attacks, you feel like a worthless worm. You forget who you are in Christ, have little to no interest in the Word, church, praise, worship or the like. You may feel guilt, condemnation or self-pity.”

Once again, her exegesis of Scripture is problematic – the context of 1 John 4:4 is the ability to discern between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error; this is obvious by reading the content before and after verse 4 – specifically verse 6, which states, “By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” Verse 4 has nothing to do with legal positions, prospering, or witchcraft; the message is that because God is in us, the Holy Spirit protects us from false teaching and that we have nothing to fear from the enemy who is in the world. In other words, Christians have overcome Satan and his false prophets because Christians have resisted their teachings through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is my opinion that some Christians misread this verse as “Greater are you because He is in you….”

Who is Bewitching Whom?

LeClaire concludes with this warning: “We all need to be careful about tapping into spiritual witchcraft and releasing word curses against others and ourselves.” I’m not sure how a person can accidentally tap into witchcraft; however, the attempt to gain power through “word curses” (or using the “creative power of words”, “naming and claiming”, etc.) is witchcraft! Anything that attempts to manipulate or control events outside of God’s absolute rule can be viewed as this sin of rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23). What is the difference between reciting words from a Book of Shadows and repeating affirmations from a Joel Osteen book? In the latter, only lip service is paid to Jesus Christ – the faith of the outcome is in the so-called power of words. In my occult days, I experienced the fruition of certain spells I cast, so do not be fooled, albeit limited, Satan has power on this earth.

Please do not believe that any resulting manifestations (of our desires, mostly) stemming from reciting daily affirmations are a blessing from God – it might be a judgment (Romans 1:24). Friend, be careful to test everything, to discern, and to not go beyond the bounds of Scripture (1 Corinthians 4:6).

Concerning the earlier definition of witchcraft, it would appear that those in the SWM are “bewitched’ by witchcraft and Satan – there seems to be a fascination and obsession with demons and the things unseen to the point that Scripture is both added to and misinterpreted. Moreover, the power available to Christians, as taught wrongly in the SWM, can also be seductive and fascinating. Desiring secret wisdom and God-like status was the cause of both Satan’s fall from heaven and the fall of man. Pride is at the root of this SWM teaching – to think that man is able to rebuke Satan when not even the archangel Michael attempted to rebuke him is prideful (Jude 1:9). And to imagine that one can direct or force the hand of God through scripted speech is beyond words. The teachings of SWM remove the focus from Jesus and the Gospel; instead, it aids the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Not surprisingly, fear that should be reserved for God is now perverted and directed at Satan.

For those who are in Christ, there is no danger of being affected by witchcraft or curses (Proverbs 26:2). The real danger of the SWM lies in being led astray by false teachings and cleverly being drawn and tricked into pagan beliefs and practices. Surely, the SWM has more in common with witch doctors and shamans than it does with Christianity. To be aligned with this movement is to follow the teachings of men, not that of God; be aware of the doctrine of demons, for they have secretly crept into the church (1 Timothy 4:1Galatians 2:4Jude 4). The SWM causes confusion, which is of Satan, and its teachings toss Christians to and fro by human cunning and by craftiness in deceitful schemes (1 Corinthians 14:33Ephesians 4:14). With the widespread acceptance of these false teachings, I ask again: who is bewitching whom?

True Spiritual Warfare

Christians do not need to follow a bunch of legalistic rules to be free of Satan – the Gospel has set us free (John 8:32). True spiritual warfare is not about breaking curses, erecting hedges, or binding Satan and his demons. The passage in Ephesians 6:10-17 specifically addresses spiritual warfare; surprisingly, the teachings of the SWM are not found there. The Christian armor consists of truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. In Scripture, these pieces of armor are repeatedly mentioned in connection with God’s protection. Here are just a few of the verses that reflect this:

  • In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:6)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you (Isaiah 41:10)
  • Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7)
  • But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
  • We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18).
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7)

The wondrous sacrifice of Jesus Christ frees Christians not only from eternal hell and from separation, but also from worry and anxiety. How can people experience peace if they believe they are under the power of witchcraft? Or if they believe they have a line of demons “attached” to them?

Friends, have nothing to do with the deeds of evil (Ephesians 5:11); we are to think of things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). What a blessing that is! We are free to focus on these things because God is in control and because Christians belong to Christ Jesus. Someone advised that Christians should preach the Gospel to themselves every day. I think that is a great idea – let’s keep our eyes on the Savior. As the psalmist wrote, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation” (Psalm 42:5).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

Resources for further study:

I highly recommend this series: Justin Peters’ interview with Jim Osman, author of Truth or Territory? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 – Demolishing Strongholds, Part 4 – Hedges of Protection, Part 5 – Hexes and Generational Curses, Part 6 – Binding Satan, Part 7 – Rebuking Satan, Part 8 – Spiritual Mapping

How Deliverance Ministries Lead People Into Bondage

The Strategy of Satan – How to Detect and Defeat Him

Southern View Chapel: Spiritual Warfare Part 1, Part 2

Recommended Books (courtesy of Glenn E. Chatfield of The Watchman’s Bagpipes)

Territorial Spirits and World Evangelisation? by Chuck Lowe

Miracles, Demons, & Spiritual Warfare: An Urgent Call for Discernment by Edward N. Gross

Modern Myths About Satan and Spiritual Warfare by David Kirkwood

Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare by David Powlison

The Bondage Breakers by Ignacio Rovirosa

Psalm 91:1-4

 

 

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Cult of Personality: The darkness under the evangelical limelight

The Cult of Personality – The darkness under the evangelical spotlight

I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your TV
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you, still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your God’s name
I’m every person you need to be
I’m the cult of personality

These lyrics from the 1988 song “Cult of Personality” (by the band Living Color) aptly describe the many preachers and teachers found in Christian media, megachurches, bookstores, and at conferences. Wikipedia states: “A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods to create an idealized, heroic, and at times, worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.” These prominent ‘Christian’ leaders deliver these false gospels and teachings, which flatter the ego and praise the flesh. They exploit the sheep, lie, (2 Peter 2:1-3) and tickle the carnal Christian’s ears with what the Christian desires to hear (2 Timothy 4:3), while they themselves are revered and put up with easily enough (2 Corinthians 11:4).

When we think of a cult, usually Jehovah’s Witnesses, the religion of Scientology, or someone like David Koresh comes to mind, as we’ve become accustomed to determining which group is a cult, based on society’s definition. However, cults and their leaders can be determined from a theological basis as well. While we can examine prominent leaders in the visible church from the societal viewpoint (which include devotion toward a particular figure, having beliefs regarded by others as strange or sinister or having a misplaced admiration for a particular person), I’ll use a theological viewpoint to show how some evangelicals in the limelight exhibit the traits of cult leaders. I’ll show how they teach so-called truths that deviate from the Christian faith.

Marks of a Cult–From a Theological Viewpoint

While society is concerned with whether a cult is physically dangerous, the theological viewpoint determines if a cult is spiritually dangerous, based on whether the original doctrines of biblical truth have been distorted. This is important because spiritual deception and heresies may have devastating eternal consequences.

The following points demonstrate how some evangelicals (personalities) in the limelight distort the original doctrines of biblical truth.

1. These Personalities Introduce Extra-Biblical Revelations or Teachings 

Teachings and practices not found in Scripture flourish due to some popular Christian leaders. These practices include: contemplative prayer, spiritual formation, lectio divina, prayer circles, deliverance ministries and false spiritual warfare teachings; mysticism, psychology,  positive thinking and humanism, word of faith teachings, modern-day prophecies, heaven and hell ‘tourism‘, the slain in the spirit phenomenon, to name but a few. Additionally, there are many women pastors who disobey God’s command that women should not teach men; sadly, many popular leaders support these women. Many high-profile teachers also support gay marriage through the lens of distorted scripture. Rachel Held Evans is an example of one who teaches men and who supports gay marriage:

Rachel Held Evans support of gay marriage

 

2. These Personalities Promote a Wrong View of God and/or Man

Many popular leaders have a wrong view of the members of the Trinity: T.D. Jakes is a Modalist, John Hagee denies Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, Brian Houston of Hillsong claims Muslims and Christians serve the same god (1:30 minute mark), while Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch and Kenneth Copeland proclaim we are gods.

The Word of Faith Movement is notorious for elevating man while mocking God’s sovereignty and providence, as recorded here:

 

3. These Personalities Minimize or Eliminate Sin

Absent from the limelight is the need for repentance and the wretchedness of sin. Joyce Meyer eliminates her sin altogether and says she is not a sinner.

Joel Osteen talks about his decision to not teach about sin.

4. These Personalities Teach a Different Gospel

Found amongst the teachings of these leaders are the false man-made gospels of Ecumenism, the Prosperity Gospel,  NAR/Dominionism, Chrislam, and the Social Gospel. New Age and Eastern Mysticism are present in most of these false gospels.

Yet another lie promoted by Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Frederick K. Price, Kenneth Hagin, Charles Capps, and other Word of Faithers is that Jesus paid for our sins in hell.

Also tragic are the many teachers who wrongly state that speaking in tongues, healing, and/or sinless perfection are proof of salvation.

5. These Personalities Are ‘Guru Type’ Leaders 

These prominent Christians promise what the Bible does not promise–the seeking and fulfillment of carnal desires such as wealth, health, prosperity, and a comfortable life. Since Jesus did not teach that we are promised these things this side of heaven, it is clear that followers of these teachers are following the teachings of men and not those of God: ‘For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive’ (Romans 16:18).

These teachers toss the name of Jesus around as lip service in order to deceive the sheep and often blaspheme His precious name with heresies, so that these stars and starlets can be catapulted into fame and wealth. These prominent leaders have managed to acquire a large following rather successfully. Unfortunately, many in the church are blind as to how captive they are.

Biblically ignorant Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, perfectly demonstrates the strong hold over his followers:

 

Steven Furtick

Used with permission from Mary, who faithfully contends for the faith at Living4HisGlory

 

Steven Furtick is a visionary that his followers must unite under? Shockingly unbiblical.

Just as with traditional cults, followers of false teachers often passionately defend their leaders when these teachers are exposed as false teachers. Regrettably, the followers do not compare that what is being taught by their idols to Scripture, and they defend the teachings of these men and women, and not the Word of God. They demonstrate a willful ignorance and submission to these leaders.

Not surprisingly, most of these leaders are no better at receiving rebuke, and instead of prayerfully submitting to God’s wisdom and studiously studying God’s Word, they get angry and defensive. Again, Steven Furtick perfectly demonstrates this:

 

 

Furtick egotistically disagrees with God’s command to test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), to expose false teaching (Ephesians 5:11), and to show ourselves approved in rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). This video surely demonstrates many of the personality traits of a typical cult leader. A typical cult leader:

  • has a grandiose idea of who he is
  • requires excessive admiration
  • is arrogant and haughty
  • is hypersensitive to how he is perceived by others
  • publicly devalues others as being incapable, inferior or unworthy
  • calls those who question him the  ‘enemy’
  • refers to non-members or non-followers of him as ‘the enemy’
  • treats others with contempt and arrogance

Warnings and Judgements

As shown, the teachers mentioned above are teaching heresies; they are surely not part of the faith that was once delivered–they are teaching different doctrines and are therefore cults.

Scripture is clear regarding the seriousness of false teachings and the judgement that will follow. If you think there is nothing wrong with these teachers because they teach some ‘good stuff’ or their teachings have ‘blessed you’, please take your eyes off them and read these warnings from God:

  • And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed (2 Peter 2.2).
  • But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8).
  • As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned (Titus 3:11).
  • But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1).
  • Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).
  • Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep (2 Peter 2:1-3).

The warnings are clear, and yet many are ignoring them just as in Jeremiah’s day.

Don’t Believe the Lies!

If you are of the opinion that these teachers are Godly because they are successful, that is a lie. God’s definition of success is not popularity–think of the apostles and of others martyred for their faith, even to this day.

If you think examining doctrine is being divisive, that is a lie. Romans 16:17-18 is clear that it is those who teach unbiblical doctrines that are causing division.

If you think we are not supposed to judge, that is a misconception and lie. We are to judge righteously (John 7:24).

If you think questioning these people is unloving, that is a lie. Love is sharing the truth–the truth of the Gospel in the hope for God’s mercy and His granting of repentance.

If you think being doctrinally accurate is ‘stifling’ the Holy Spirit, that is a lie. The Holy Spirit teaches and convicts us through the Word of God. If we are ignorant to what Scripture says, that is ‘stifling’ the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, it is a lie and a deception to think that just because you love Jesus that you cannot be deceived. Matthew 24:24 teaches that false teachers will perform such signs and wonders that if possible they would deceive the elect. Therefore, these teachers are deceiving some in the visible church. If you think you might possibly be deceived by these teachers, you should examine yourself to see if you’re in the faith and if you’re truly saved (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Beloved, take nothing for granted. The time we have left is short; pray for wisdom and discernment and examine whom and what you believe. Stop following this cult of personalities and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, our rock and redeemer who deserves all the glory.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

ANNOUNCEMENT: CONGRATULATIONS Susie Glennan! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE JESUS UNMASKED GIVEAWAY! Please check your email inbox or spam folder 🙂

 

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If it Heals Like a Snake and Prophesies Like a Snake, It’s Satan Masquerading as an Angel of Light

Do healings and prophecies in the modern church have more in common with the occult than the Bible?

I have been hearing about the power of the Spirit in regards to prophecy and healing frequently, and not only from professing Charismatics and Pentecostals. Is this healing and prophesying done in the power of God, or is this Satan masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)? While Scripture is our first and highest authority, I’ve noticed that the healing and prophesying being performed in the modern church have more in common with the occult than it does with the Bible. I will discuss healing and prophesying as done in the occult, the apostate church, and the Bible.

Although I am questioning the methods and practices of man, I do believe that God still heals today.

 

When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed (<a href=

When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed (Numbers 21:5-7). However, the serpent became an object of worship (2 Kings 18:4). source.

Healing in the Occult

 

May the Force Be With You

In the occult, energy and vibrations are manipulated for emotional, physical, and spiritual ‘healing’. Those in occult circles claim that this energy is an impersonal force that is in all creation. It is referred to as consciousness, energy, vibrations, spirit, or force. The goal of occult ‘energy work’ is to ‘enlighten’ the individual and to raise one’s frequency to attain a higher consciousness. In The Kingdom of the Occult, Walter Martin writes,

Energy can be defined in countless ways: creative life forces, moving power, or ley lines (energy lines said to crisscross the earth). Reiki (the energy associated with Reiki massage), Prana, polarity, chi – there are many names for occult energy–but generally it refers to the creative life forces within human beings and/or outside of them. This energy is the power that can be controlled by human beings through various means –crystals, cards, ceremonies, meditation, the correct diet, and yoga. This is the power source worshipped by the kingdom of the occult. God has revealed that this power source does not originate with Him, and that leaves only one other source: the prince of darkness–the devil (p. 324).”

Initiations and Spiritual Teachers

The occult world offers many different techniques and training in spiritual healing. Sometimes, there is an initiation or ceremony which involves a ‘transfer’ of the power or an activation of the supposed ability. Spiritual healers are channelers of energy and they impart this energy to the initiate.

Experiencing the Supernatural

A spiritual healer reports the following regarding the experiences of his client:

I have had people tell me they have experienced temperature changes, heat and coolness, tingling feelings, a feeling of weightlessness, sometimes a feeling of heaviness, feelings of their bodies moving even though they are on their back, sharp pains for a short time, which then disappear, feelings of some kind of manipulation, and have seen emotional releases (crying).”

That was also my experience as a former Reiki practitioner. During my involvement in that occult practice, there was a strong presence of energy coursing through me and my clients; there were also vibrations, heat, and emotional releases. Counterfeit feelings of ‘love and peace’ were also present. There is a definite psychic component to this type of healing, which is not surprising since holistic healing encompasses mind, body, and soul. Please not that there is also a strong connection between prophesying and healing in many apostate church ministries.

Healing in the Apostate Church

Please read the following and ask yourself if it appears biblical:

Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have been listening to the call of the Spirit, being anointed by God, and providing healing and life-saving prophetic information for others. In the church, a man or woman may be called to the gift of healing by God Himself. This call may come through a dream, or while in the wilderness, a vision. Sometimes, a serious illness may be used by God and lead to this anointing. When the call is answered and the person begins receiving impartations with an elder, the illness is often healed altogether. There are three big stages in the initiatory process: suffering, death, and resurrection.

As a discerning Christian, you’re most likely feeling uncomfortable about what you’ve just read–as you should. That statement is from a website* which promotes the occult practice of shamanism; all I did was edit the words so it appears biblical. Here is the original text (note that I did not alter the last sentence!):

“Since time immemorial, shamans have been listening to the calling of the spirits, being initiated by them and bringing back healing and life-saving oracular information for others. In indigenous cultures, a man or woman may be called to the path of the shaman by the spirits themselves. This call may come through a dream, or while in the wilderness, a vision. Sometimes, a serious illness may foreshadow the path toward shamanism. When the call is answered and the person begins training with an older shaman, the illness is often healed altogether. There are three big stages in the initiatory process: suffering, death, and resurrection.”

This exercise shows how easily the undiscerning Christian can be deceived when statements appear biblically sound. Many movements take advantage of this weakness, and they also redefine words such as ‘faith’ and ‘power’.

God is an Electric Force

In the Word of Faith movement, faith is a ‘force’ to be manipulated. This movement’s false teachers claim you have a ‘miracle in your mouth’ because words have power, and through these words, you are able to create your destiny. Likewise, faith healers speak of the anointing power that is required for healing. This power causes people to fall backwards, stumble, and/or shake uncontrollably. The faith healers claim you are ‘slain in the Spirit‘ because the power of the Spirit has come upon you.

About 40 years ago, Benny Hinn says he met this counterfeit ‘power’ at a healing crusade of the late faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman. He recalls:

As I stood in line, I suddenly began to shake. Nothing like that had ever happened before. It didn’t stop. I was too embarrassed to tell Jim or anyone around me. Even when we got to our seats on the third row of the auditorium, the shaking continued. The longer it continued, the more beautiful it became.”

After Kuhlman talks about what she perceives to be the Holy Spirit, Benny Hinn says,

At that moment, I cried and said, “I’ve got to have this!”

Then, within moments, the service was over. I was shaken to the core. God had used that service and His mighty evangelist to reveal His power that day.

All the way back to Toronto, I kept thinking, “What did she mean? What was she saying when she talked about the Holy Spirit?”

I was totally exhausted when I arrived home, but I could not sleep. As I lay on my bed, I felt as if someone were pulling me off the mattress and onto my knees. It was a strange sensation, but I didn’t resist.

I had never spoken to the Holy Spirit before. I didn’t know He could be addressed that way.

Finally, I prayed, “Holy Spirit, Kathryn Kuhlman says You are her Friend. I don’t think I know You. Before today, I thought I did. But after that meeting, I realize I really don’t. I don’t think I know You.”

Then, like a child with my hands raised, I asked, “Can I meet You? Can I really meet You?”

A few brief moments passed, then like a jolt of electricity my body began to vibrate all over again, exactly like at the church in Pittsburgh.

I was afraid to open my eyes. I felt like a warm blanket of God’s power was wrapped all over me. That continued until I finally dropped off to sleep that night. Even then, I still didn’t realize all that had happened to me.”

This interaction with the ‘Holy Spirit’ is not biblical, but it’s interesting that Benny Hinn says, “I’ve got to have this!” What is this? It sounds more like the impersonal force of the occult than the personal being of the Holy Spirit. Benny Hinn should be seeking a who, which is Jesus; not a what.

Todd Bentley is another faith healer who speaks about this force: “When people visited me at my home, they’d get zapped by an invisible electric force field in whatever room I was in, and then they’d bounce back.” Extra-biblical healing practices have a strong appeal to the senses and may cause tingling, heat, and seeing light.

Teachers and Initiations (Impartations)

As with the occult, the so-called ‘Christian’ community also has many leaders who impart power and who teach how to perform healings. This is from Bethel’s Healing School website:

At the Bethel Healing School, you will be inspired, trained, and activated in a lifestyle of healing & miracles. The school is more than just a seminar of teaching. It is a quick immersion into a culture of joy, freedom, and understanding of everything that Jesus paid for! During the school, you will increase in understanding how to carry the anointing as well as learn ways to cultivate and maintain an atmosphere conducive to healing in your churches and ministries.”

There is much nonsense in that paragraph; for instance, how is power from God ‘activated’ and where in the Bible does it teach us how to ‘carry the anointing’? Additionally, does it make sense that the Holy Spirit would give us this gift (1 Corinthians 12:11) but then require man to activate it?

Another alarming occult practice is grave sucking – the transferring of supposed energy from the dead. Many professing Christians do this bizarre ritual. Benny Hinn admits to frequenting the tomb of Kathryn Kuhlman to receive anointing from her dead and decomposed body. Well, this is nothing but necromancy. Todd Bentley claims to have received his anointing from false teacher William Branham, even though Branham had died nine years before the birth of Bentley.

Putting aside anointings from the dead, consider what this article from LetUsReason.org says about anointings in general:

Many today are taught to get an impartation from the anointed preacher. There is no need when Scripture states we all have the same standing before God; all believers have the same Holy Spirit and Christ as our mediator. We can all receive from Jesus, who is the one we should all be seeking. Going to a certain person or meeting to seek an anointing by impartation is unbiblical. No other person is to be our mediator to receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever men become mediators, Christ’s teachings diminish and men’s teachings increase. We are then giving them, not the Lord control over our lives.

Laying hands on the sick to pray is not the same as imparting the spirit and watching them buckle.

A ‘transferable anointing’ is not seen nor practiced anywhere in Scripture. We also find that the Apostles did not rush around laying hands on people to impart an experience of ‘fire’ or power. They did not chant words over and over and expect a immediate response. The impartations done today that come through certain men are not the true anointing, who is the Spirit of God. Only God can give the Spirit; Jesus is the baptizer of the Holy Spirit, not man. Man cannot control God- there is no teaching on how to obtain or release the anointing to another.”

John MacArthur also warns, “Dear ones, Jesus is the only mediator between God and man, right? Demons are mediators between hell and man. They make captives out of man”.

Supernatural Experiences

As explained above, the healings of the apostate church provide sensations of electricity, shaking, and vibrating. When I was still spiritually immature and lost, I experienced similar sensations with two different faith healers, and these abnormal feelings were uncannily similar to the electric sensations I had experienced  as a Reiki practitioner.

Healing itself is not proof that it came from God; also, it’s worth knowing that falling to the ground (or lying prostrate, e.g.) in repentance and grief over one’s sin is very different to falling backwards and shaking uncontrollably.

 

Healing In the New Testament

We are commanded to test all things (1Thessalonians 5:21), including the spirits (1John4:1), and when we examine the healings in the New Testament, we see that they were instantaneous and permanent. Since they were obvious and public, they went unchallenged. The apostles were given authority to heal every disease and every affliction–unlike what we see at healing crusades, where those in wheelchairs are pushed to the sidelines.

Do healings and prophecies in the modern church have more in common with the occult than the Bible?

The Pythia, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the name of any priestess throughout the history of Temple of Apollo. The Pythia was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by Apollo. source

Prophecy (fortune-telling) in the Occult

Merriam-Webster defines a fortune-teller as “a person who claims to use special powers to tell what will happen to someone in the future.”** Fortune-tellers work with energy as well and claim to be sensitive to vibrations from the spirit world. Since Satan and demons are not omnipresent or omniscient, fortune-tellers’ predictions are often wrong. However, they know that if they get some things right or are able to manipulate circumstances in favor of their predictions, that their victims will be held captive. Divination practices such as astrology, palmistry, and tarot reading are never entirely accurate; however, millions of people are in bondage to these enchantments. God forbids fortune-telling (Deuteronomy 18:10-13).

Prophecy In the Apostate Church

If we believe that the office of prophet is still active today, then we have a duty to test and investigate the practices and prophecies being made against Scripture.

GotQuestions.org says,

Prophecy – The Greek word translated “prophesying” or “prophecy” in both passages properly means to “speak forth” or declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God which is designed to influence people. The idea of telling the future was added sometime in the Middle Ages and is in direct contradiction to other scriptural passages that condemn such fortune-telling or predicting the future (Acts 16:16-18).”

The kind of prophesying we see in the apostate church is one of fortune-telling. God has already revealed in Scripture all that He desires us to know. As Jude says, we have the faith once delivered (Jude 1:3). However, many people are dissatisfied and seek personal revelations, despite the command not to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). Not only are the vast predictions of modern-day prophets incorrect, but their collective theology is among the worst in the church. If the Holy Spirit, who is truth (John 16:13), is actually the one giving these revelations to these fraudsters, why would He not first correct their doctrine?

Prophecy In the Bible

In the New Testament era, the early believers did not have the completed Bible, so prophets (or apostles) proclaimed messages from the Lord. Prophets were foundational to the church (Ephesians 2:20), and they were 100% accurate.

Furthermore, GotQuestions.org says:

Note the transition from prophet to teacher in 2 Peter 2:1: “There were false prophets among the people, even as there shall  be false teachers among you” (emphasis added). Peter indicates that the Old Testament age had prophets, whereas the church will have teachers. The spiritual gift of prophecy, in the sense of receiving new revelations from God to be proclaimed to others, ceased with the completion of the Bible. During the time that prophecy was a revelatory gift, it was to be used for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of men (1 Corinthians 14:3). The modern gift of prophecy, which is really more akin to teaching, still declares the truth of God. What has changed is that the truth of God today has already been fully revealed in His Word, while, in the early church, it had not yet been fully revealed.”

Examining the Fruit

Mysticism and the occult seduce the flesh because they provide subjective experiences and promise to reveal secret knowledge. This is the opposite of how Christians are commanded to live. We walk by faith in God, trusting that He will direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9). Much of what is occurring in the apostate church is divination and speaking to spirits – forms of sorcery that mark the lives of unbelievers (Galatians 5:19-21). Sorcerers are given power by Satan to lead people away from God (Matthew 24:242 Thessalonians 2:9) and since there will always be sorcerers, even in the end times (Revelation 18:23), we must always be vigilant (1Peter 5:8).

One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23), not falling down and shaking uncontrollably or speaking false prophecies – these practices are the work of Satan. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit does not allow Himself to be the focus; He does not seek the spotlight.This is in direct contrast to the blasphemous way that these unbiblical ministries so falsely portray the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus, not Himself (John 16:14); the Holy Spirit also testifies about Jesus (John 15:26), not about Himself.

Our enemy always promises something that we think will benefit us, and it’s important to remember that our minds can be corrupted (2 Corinthians 11:3). To think that we cannot be deceived simply because we are Christians is contrary to the many New Testament warnings about deceptions. To assume we can dabble in the occult because of a response to an altar call is as much a lie as the belief that the occultists can surround themselves with ‘white light’ to protect themselves from evil spirits. If we claim to follow Jesus, then we should truly follow Him. We should have nothing to do with pagan and occult practices. Do not be deceived – God performs miracles; Satan performs magic.

Friends, do not subject yourself to anything that ‘awakens’ you, that encourages you to open your heart, or that manipulates energy. Do not seek ‘fresh fire’, new revelations, or impartations. If God desires for you to be healed, trust that He will providentially provide for the healing. Do not believe everything you hear, but test the spirits (1 John 4:1). Let’s leave signs and wonders alone; instead, let’s strive to be holy and righteous, and living a life that’s pleasing to God.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

* http://www.shamanicuniverse.com/shamanic-initiation.html

** “Fortune-teller.” Merriam-Webster.com, n.d Web.24 May. 2015. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fortune-teller

Additional Resources:

A Call For Discernment Part 1, 2, 3

Kundalini Warning Part 1, 2, 3

Is the anointing tangible and transferable; can we impart it?

The Lord Told Me – I Think!

 

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Why the Office of Apostle is Closed

Why the Office of Apostle is closed and the New Apostolic Reformation is false teaching

This is a follow-up to an earlier post, Why There Are No Modern-Day Prophets. In that article, I mentioned how proponents of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) believe they are modern-day apostles and prophets, and as such, Christians must yield to their leadership because God has exclusively appointed them to lead the church. Therefore, questioning these NAR apostles would be questioning God, apparently. Ephesians 4:11 is used to support this conclusion; however, as we see in Ephesians 2:20, the apostles and prophets were part of the foundation of the church. We don’t need to add (or forbid, take away) from that foundation.

Three Kinds of Apostles

1. Apostles of Jesus Christ

Christ had specifically them (Mark 3:16-19). Acts 1:20-26 relates to the replacement of Judas, while 1 Corinthians 15:8-9 states Paul was also chosen by Christ.

2. Apostles of the Church

Another word for apostle is “messenger”, or “sent one”. All Christians are called to share the Gospel and are apostles in that sense, but we do not hold the position of office of apostle.

3. False Apostles

2 Corinthians 11:13 says there are “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ”.

Notice the verse says they transformed themselves into apostles. They were not appointed by God.

This is what The Expositor’s Bible Commentary has to say about this passage:

   Paul does not even contest the right of his adversaries to support but rather lays against them a single all-embracing charge. Those who vaunted their apostleship and vainly sought equality with him were in fact “false apostles,” apostolic pretenders who passed themselves off as “righteous servants” of Christ (cf. 11:23) while in reality they were agents of Satan. Like their principal, the arch-deceiver John 8:44) whose habit was to masquerade “as a shining angel,” they relied on disguise and deceit in carrying out their nefarious schemes such as the corruption of the intellect and the diversion of the affections from Christ (vv. 3, 4). What was false was not simply their claim to apostleship but also their message. Behind both were Satanic designs upon the Corinthians—designs Paul was well aware of (2:11). The destiny of these men would accord with the actual deeds they performed (cf. 5:10; Philippians 3:19), not the outward appearance they adopted (cf. 5:12). As preachers of “a different gospel” (v. 4), they stood under the anathema of Galatians 1:8, 9.1″

False apostles are anathema – eternally cursed! This is serious stuff.

Witnesses of the Risen Lord

Other than being chosen by Christ to be part of the foundation of the church, there was an additional qualification for being an apostle. According to Acts 1:21-22, they needed to have witnessed the risen Lord:

Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

It goes without saying that the promoters of the NAR have not witnessed the Lord’s Resurrection.

Scripture Refers to Apostles in the Past Tense

In 2 Peter 3:2, Peter told his readers to compare the teachings of the heretical teachers with the teachings that had been spoken before by holy prophets and apostles. These prophets and apostles had spoken as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). There are no new revelations, as Jude 3-4 says – we are to contend for the faith once delivered.

How blessed we are to have been granted this faith and these teachings! They are given to us by God, delivered by the apostles and prophets, fought for by the many martyrs and yearned for by desperate souls in countries where the Bible is banned. What a position of privilege we are in! Let’s not defile our privilege with these destructive heresies such as this modern-day apostle heresy (2 Peter 2:1-3).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

 1Harris, M. J. (1976). 2 Corinthians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans through Galatians (Vol. 10, pp. 388–389). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

The Law of the Lord is perfect

 

 

 

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When the Church is the Mission Field

People in the church are following false teachings. We need to give them the whole counsel of God.

There are times when I can empathize with those Christians who have gone before us and who were mocked and persecuted for their faith. My empathy can’t extend to the imprisonment or brutality they suffered; at this stage, it only covers the loneliness, name-calling, and mocking they have had to endure.

The world has always treated those in Christ that way (Matthew 10:22); for that reason, we should view the harsh treatment as an honor, knowing we have been set apart (1 Peter 2:9). To be hated for Christ’s sake is a comfort of sorts. It should be.

But what about the blows that come from within the church? It is heart-wrenching when a diatribe is unleashed upon those who expose errant doctrine.

The world calls us intolerable, closed-minded, and judgmental, while the undiscerning people inside the church call us haters, unloving, and divisive.

By now you must be thinking, “Ohh, what a depressing thing to read on a Monday”, but stay with me, as there’s hope and encouragement.

We tend to think of the mission field as being outside the church; however, many inside the church are perishing because they are under the teachings of counterfeit Christs and counterfeit Gospels. Hosea 4:6 comes to mind: my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

As I explain to my sisters how teachers such as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, etc., are promoting false gospels, and how the Jesus of Jesus Calling is a false Christ, my mind often takes a moment to reflect on what Jeremiah–the “weeping prophet”–went through. He warned his own people about false prophets and the coming judgement, while encouraging them to repent.

The false prophets of Jeremiah’s day had prophesied that the people of Judah would not see famine or sword (Jeremiah 14:13); however, God said He did not send those prophets. In fact, God said that these false prophecies were delusions and deceptions from the prophets’ own minds (14:14). Jeremiah tried to defend his people by saying they couldn’t help but follow the prophets because they were being deceived. God responded by saying not only would the false prophets meet their end (14:15), but the people who were listening to them would suffer as well (14:16).

Those false prophets prophesied a false peace; modern-day false teachers are doing the same. Joel Osteen says you can prosper and have your “best life now”, Joyce Meyer says you can change your life by changing your words. These are false promises of peace and in direct opposition to 2 Timothy 3:12, which says all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Look what the Bible says about people, apostates, who “pervert the grace of God into sensuality”:

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).”

This is why the Great Commission – which includes teaching everything that Jesus commanded and taught – should not only take place outside church doors. Those within church walls also need the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) as opposed to the cherry-picked verses they are being fed, and which are twisted to support false gospels.

I hope that you have been encouraged to fight for truth no matter who the hearer (or speaker) is. I encourage you to think about Jeremiah and to be comforted in the knowledge that you’re not the only one who has ever wept for God’s people.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

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