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Archive of ‘False Teachers’ category

The Christian Woman’s Guide to Conversing with Bereans

How should you respond when someone calls your favorite teacher a wolf in sheep's clothing?

 

Imagine the scene: You have finally found some time to sit down to relax; you tune into the Trinity Broadcasting Network only minutes before your favorite teacher (I’ll call her Joyce Osteen) comes on the air. During these few minutes, you check Facebook, and to your horror, you see that someone has posted a warning that Joyce Osteen is a “false teacher“, a wolf in sheep’s clothing! How dare they touch the anointed Joyce Osteen! Although you might be tempted to respond to this claim in a fury of rebukes in ALL CAPS, please read the considerations below.

The purpose of this article is not to point a condemning finger but to address possible obstacles to fruitful conversations. These obstacles may include immature defenses and wrong presuppositions. Ideally, people on both sides of the conversation should act with integrity and humility. But it is most important that we must be imitators of Christ Jesus; yes, even during these conversations.

First, let’s take a look at who the Bereans were. In Acts 17:1-15, we learn that the Bereans researched, tested, and compared what they heard and were taught to Scripture … daily! We are commanded to do the same (1 John 4:1; Hebrews 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:21, etc.), so that we will not be taken captive by lies (Colossians 2:8). Not only are we commanded to be Bereans, but we are also commanded to expose evil (Ephesians 5:11Titus 1:9-13; Galatians 6:1). False teachings in the church are evil because they lead to damnation. We don’t hesitate to warn about physical danger, so how much more important is it to warn about spiritual danger?

When Conversing With Bereans:

1. Pray for Discernment, Knowledge, and Wisdom

Be slow to address your concerns, and take the time to pray to God for discernment, knowledge, and wisdom (Philippians 1:9-10James 1:5; Proverbs 4:7). The path to destruction is wide (Matthew 7:13), and there are many false teachers WITHIN the church’s walls (Jude 1:4); so, unless you are behaving as the Bereans did, you might be deceived. The danger of deception is that the deceived do not know that they are being deceived. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is faithful to guide to truth those who are in Christ (John 16:13).

2. Respond as a Child of God

When responding to something, many people take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet; however, as Christians we know that God is watching and that we will be held accountable for what we say (and type!). Even if a Berean is rude, respond with integrity. A mature Christian woman is gentle, kind, self-controlled, loving, and teachable. Be assured (in giving and receiving) that warnings about faulty doctrines are not a personal attack any more than a caution sign along the road is meant to offend. There may be an urgency to these warnings since we do not know when Jesus will return or how much time we have left on this earth; please do not mistake immediacy for lack of love.

3. Do Not Resort to Name-Calling

Since God has given us the gift of understanding His truths (2 Thessalonians 2:13b), we should be humble and reverent when discussing His Word. There is no place for immaturity or condescension, such as the following remarks:

“You’re just jealous!”

Worldly success is not something a Christian should strive for, so it’s highly unlikely that Bereans are jealous of material success or popularity ratings, and they are certainly not jealous of the dire, eternal destination of a false teacher (1 John 2:15; Galatians 1:10; Galatians 1:8-9). Regardless, this accusation does nothing to help the conversation.

“You’re a Hater!”

Warning the Church about false teachers is an act of love. Would you call someone a “hater” for warning you if you were about to walk off a cliff? Jesus, Paul, and others warned about false teachers and even revealed who these false teachers were. Was Jesus a “hater”?

“You’re of Satan!”/”You’re grieving the Spirit!”/”You’re a Jezebel!”

Resorting to histrionics does not further your position; rather, it leads your listener to assume you do not have a Scriptural defense.

4. If You Respond With Cliches, Make Sure You Know What They Mean

It’s easy to respond with a statement that sounds good or that you’ve heard many other churchgoers say; however, please take the time to understand what your statements actually mean.

“Don’t Put God in a Box!”

It’s a catchy phrase, but what does it mean? Regardless of the definition, Jesus exposed false teachers – was He putting God in a box?

“Touch not my anointed!”

This verse is about physically harming a prophet (1 Chronicles 16:22), but since we are commanded to expose false teachers, and because Scripture does not contradict itself, this verse obviously does not apply to anything else. So, there’s nothing wrong in a fair, biblically-based criticism of a teacher, whoever that teacher may be.

“You’re creating division!”

Let’s look at Romans 16:17: “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.” This verse explains that division is caused by those who teach contrary to the Word of God. Truth naturally divides itself from lies; therefore, Christians should not seek unity at the expense of truth … that’s what the world does.

“No one has perfect theology!”

True, but that’s not an excuse for heresy.

“This teacher has blessed me!”/”This teacher helps the poor!”

Following false teachers will lead you to destruction, and that’s not a blessing. There are many leaders and teachers who help people (including those in the secular arena), but that doesn’t mean we should follow after them.

Since false teachers have an appearance of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5), we can’t assume their teachings are sound simply because they do good works. Remember, atheists also help the poor.

“They’ve led hundreds/thousands/millions to Jesus!”

Yes, but which “Jesus” have these teachers led people to? Jesus warned that many people will be misled because of false teachers who will come in His name and preach another “Jesus” (Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:24;2 Corinthians 11:4). These false teachers are in the church today, preaching their Jesus to their unsuspecting flocks.

Additionally, the Bible informs us that not everyone in church or fellowship is a born-again Christian, and that there are false converts who attend church services (Matthew 13:21; 1 John 2:18-19; Matthew 7:21-23).

5. Please Realize that Proclaiming “Do Not Judge!” is a Judgment

Not only is this crowd favourite a judgment, but if you take Matthew 7:1 out of context and apply it to everything, this then only displays a lack of biblical knowledge and application. There are many great teachings regarding the biblical use of judging, but for the sake of brevity, here is a short video that explains how we should judge:

 

 

6. Make Sure You Know What You’re Talking About

What you think is right, or what your “heart says” is right is not a substitute for the Word of God. Use Scripture in your arguments and interpret verses correctly.

A Berean examines what a teacher believes about important doctrines such as the Deity of Christ, the Gospel, the Trinity, and salvation. Do you know what the teachers you follow believe about these things? It may be difficult to know everything that a television preacher or Christian author believes, but the information is available. It’s also wise to educate yourself on the beliefs of movements that are within evangelical circles. Too many Christians are deceived by the belief systems of the Word of Faith Movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, the Emergent Church, and other unbiblical factions.

7. Converse with Etiquette

As with any conversation, make the effort to understand what is being communicated and read any information that is provided. It’s time-efficient and practical to link to information, especially on social media, so don’t ignore this information. Additionally, ask questions or ask for examples if you are unclear about anything, and remember that even if the conversation ends in disagreement, the goal of communication is understanding, not winning.

Remember Who You Are and to Whom You Belong

Christians belong to the royal priesthood and are joint-heirs with Christ. We have been saved out of the darkness by a merciful and loving God who does not want us to respond out of the flesh with tactics that are better left on the playground. We are a chosen race (1 Peter 2:9) and daughters of the King, who reigns in truth. Let’s make sure we act (and type!) like it.

Hallowed be His name,

Pamela

 

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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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Wolves Tending to the Sheep

Wolves Tending to the Sheep

 

As I thought about the power and ramification of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, my thoughts drifted to the wolves and deceivers in the visible church. I realized how much their teachings contradict the events surrounding the cross. For instance, they teach that we do not have faith if we experience suffering, yet Jesus, whom we are to follow, suffered the most. Also, some teach that we must give God permission to act and do anything in our lives; however, that flies in the face of the fact that Jesus went to the cross willingly, submissively, and obediently. Finally, the resurrection proves the deity of Jesus (Romans 1:4) – how can Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and others claim they are ‘little gods’? Jesus triumphed over death!

These masqueraders of light always seek to usurp what Jesus did and who Jesus is. Those in the health-and-wealth movement claim creative power, the Copelands claim sovereignty over nature, and the Word of Faith movement claims divinity.

Being curious as I am, I checked the Facebook pages of some of these workers of iniquity to see what they had to say over the Easter weekend.

At the time of writing, Kenneth Copeland acknowledged the Lord’s resurrection, quoted Revelation 1:18, and then it was back to the business of promoting his own good works.

T.D. Jakes said, “Happy Resurrection Sunday!” and posted various odd comments including his sermon titled Sit On Me Jesus. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

And, just for fun, I looked at the Jesus Calling page, which said, “After I was crucified, My miraculous resurrection empowered Me to be your living Hope. In fact, I am more abundantly alive than you can begin to imagine. When your hope is connected to Me, you share in My vibrant, eternal Life.”

Sigh.

Next, I looked at Joyce Meyer’s Facebook page, which was filled with self-promotion and false teaching all weekend. I especially enjoyed this, posted on the day of the Lord’s resurrection:

 

journey

 

I was surprised to see that Joyce Meyer Ministries did not have one post for most of the weekend that acknowledged Easter. There was not even a whisper of her false teaching that Jesus paid for our sins in hell. Finally, on Sunday evening, at 5:00pm (EST), she posted “Easter means so much more with this”. And what was “this” that she referred to? Her teaching, followed by an interview with contemplative prayer promoter Priscilla Shirer.

Even Benny Hinn managed to post this:

 

benny hinn easter

 

So what’s my point?

At first I was taken aback to see that Joyce Meyer Ministries neglected to mention Jesus’ sacrifice until the end of the weekend. Then I was offended that the other wolves did mention it. These wolves’ teachings conflict with the cross, and yet they dangle the Crucifixion like a carrot to unsuspecting millions to attract them. By doing this, these wolves are pretending that they are part of the body of Christ. How many times have you heard, “Well, they confess Jesus has risen, so they must be okay”? At least the Joyce Meyer Ministries page was honest–the self-centered false teachings were strewn across its page, and when it came time to mention Easter, the post followed suit by connecting the importance of Easter to Meyer herself. In fact, the site did not promote the importance of Easter, but hinted that Meyer could make Easter better. The Come-To-Jesus-He’ll-Make-Your-Life-Better-Because-It’s-All-About-You Gospel was front and center. However, I don’t think her 8,940,509 fans saw it that way.

Many wolves are more than happy to tend to the flock and fleece them. In fact, when combined, a staggering 16,845,893 people “like” the ministries of these false teachers on Facebook. How many more unsuspecting people/victims are out there?

These stats should serve as a stark reminder that we must contend for the faith – the true faith once delivered to the saints, (Jude 3). Also, we should proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) to the visible church, so those in it may not fall as eternal victims to the wolves and die as goats, but that they may be rescued and die as sheep (Matthew 25:31-46).

Soli Deo Gloria

Pamela

doctrine divides the sheep from the goats

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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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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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Mean Girls and the False Jesus of the Word of Faith Movement

Mean Girls Promote False Christs

(images via facebook: Joyce Meyer, Juanita Bynum, Cindy Jacobs, Gloria Copeland)

Many people believe that these women must be promoting truth otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular. This is faulty thinking, especially since we know that the road to salvation is narrow, and broad is the path that leads to destruction. 

Jesus warns us that many will come in His name, lead people astray (Mark 13:6), and preach a different Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4). This is exactly what the Word of Faith teachers are doing.

Most Word of Faith teachers outright deny Christ’s deity by claiming Jesus came to earth as a mere man, became God when He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, stopped being God when He was on the cross. Jesus then went to hell for three days as a man to fight Satan and to pay for our sins that way; after that, He was born again when he rose at the end of those three days.

In Word of Faith theology, man is elevated while God is denigrated. This is serious stuff. This is a different Jesus and a different Gospel. Here is an exposition on this blasphemy.

I’ll leave you with this clip in which Joyce Meyer’s theology is clear: That we do not have salvation unless we believe Jesus went to hell to atone for our sins–that is so wrong. Jesus said, “It is finished” on the cross (John 19:30). What is the chapter and verse for this blasphemy in which God called an end to His Son’s supposed torture in hell? 

(YouTube source)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

 

 

 

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The Diva Deception

 

When you hear the name “diva”, what comes to mind? Demanding celebrities? Self-obsession? Unbecoming behavior?

According to Wikipedia, the term entered the English Language in the late 19th century and is from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. UrbanDictionary.com has some unflattering definitions (that I won’t link to due to foul language, which I’ve omitted) that include:

   1. A female hustler.

   2. A (expletive) woman that must have her way exactly, or no way at all. Often rude and belittles people, believes that everyone is beneath her and thinks that she is so much more loved than what she really is. Selfish, spoiled, and overly dramatic.

   3. A diva is a female performer, usually an opera singer, who is extremely talented but very imperious and temperamental. But the distinguishing factor is that her talent permits somewhat uncouth behavior. A diva is not necessarily difficult to work with, she is just very professional and has a low tolerance for incompetence.

In the occult, a diva is a witch.

It’s not surprising in this celebrity-obsessed culture, saturated with self-entitlement, that those of the world would take pride in being described in these ways; however, that Christian women would willingly clothe themselves with this title of “goddess” and run after narcissistic identity are disappointing. This google search of Christian divas shows how popular this epidemic is.

Within the Christian arena of over-spiritualizing, waiting for God to talk to us personally, for God to talk to us personally, and personalizing God’s Word to change your life, this egomania is just one pathosis (a diseased state) along the slippery slope to proclaiming one’s own status as God.

This diva disease is not biblical. Can you imagine Mary or Ruth calling themselves divas?

Let’s stop glorifying the reflection in the mirror, and let’s rather reflect upon who God says we are:

       I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

 

 

 

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