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Archive of ‘False Teaching’ category

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Christians not called to unite in spite of truth. We unite in both sound doctrine and love.

 

As I’ve explained before, not only is the world a mission field, but the visible church is as well. The battle is for truth, through rightly divided Scripture and sound doctrine. If you’ve tried to correct a fellow believer in Christ, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the desire to see that person set free from lies. We should share our corrections out of love; however, at times, our sincere attempts may well be misinterpreted as being divisive. Thankfully, there are those who are teachable; sadly, I often receive this verse from those who are deceived:

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Yes, you are correct – that is not a verse from the Bible; it is a verse from a worldly song*. Despite Scripture’s clear warning, exposing error seems to have no place in the church these days (Ephesians 5:11). The cry of the wolf pack is “love, love, love one another” in spite of the truth. These days, the command to love resembles a free pass, while the call to truth inexplicably denotes divisiveness.

Well, I say, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

How Do You Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways

How the World Loves Us

The world flatters and seduces as it tells us what we want to hear. It builds us up and invites us to believe that we deserve everything simply because we exist. It whispers sweet nothings about our inherent goodness. It enchants us as it temptingly dangles in front of our eyes beautiful baubles and trinkets, and so it cunningly ensures that we become secure in ourselves and in our possessions. The world strokes our egos and we become self-righteous as it reassures us that we are gods.

Those who are worldly succumb to the lies. They inhale the buffet of false arguments, pretensions, and myths (2 Corinthians 10:52 Timothy 4:4). The world gives comfort at first, and we feel secure, important, and wanted in its arms; then slowly it constricts us when nothing is enough anymore…and so the lies trap us. We miss the betrayals because we are mesmerized by the narcissistic images the world holds up before us in its mirror. The world seductively whispers, “All you need is love”, before it kills and destroys. The world lies, and we follow it down its wide path that leads to destruction.

How False Teachers Love Us

Like the world, false teachers lie and corrupt minds (2 Timothy 3:8:Jeremiah 28:5-9). Many of them follow their sensuality (2 Peter 2:2), are greedy (2 Peter 2:14), and use apparent godliness as a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:5). Even their actions, which seem godly, are not godly (Matthew 7:22-23). Like the world, these teachers do not speak of sin and repentance because “God loves us and we’re doing just fine” (Jeremiah 6:13-14, Jude 1:4). They too offer a buffet of falsehoods (Ephesians 4:14); unsuspecting listeners swallow these lies and become confused and bloated from false hope and empty promises (Jude 1:12)

False teachers love us as the world does–by telling us what we want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3). They craftily cater to the flesh by providing entertainment, and they dangle material “wants” that soon become “needs”. They promote mystical practices which satisfy the desire to become god-like. These teachers also say, “All you need is love”, as they persuade the deceived that sound doctrine divides when, in fact it is false teaching that divides (Jude 18-20). These false teachers love as the world loves, and since they speak for the father of lies (John 8:44), their path leads to destruction as well.

How Sound Teachers Love Us

God has given us biblically sound pastors and teachers who know they are shepherds, and who realize they are responsible for the spiritual growth of their flocks. They speak the truth in love, so the church can grow to be more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15).

We are to be renewed in knowledge (Colossians 3:10) and in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). The Word of God brings growth, and if the flock does not have a right understanding of the Word, its members will become spiritually immature and worldly (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). These sound teachers teach from Scripture, not from man-made books and fables (2 Timothy 4:4). True shepherds teach of sin and repentance and do not permit Jesus-Loves-You-As-You-Are altar calls. Sound teachers tell us the hard things that the flesh does not want to hear, and they nourish us in good doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6) so that we might become mature in Christ–we are sanctified in the truth, which is the Word (John 17:17). Sound teachers aim to keep us off the broad path, and steer us toward the narrow gate.

How Jesus Loves Us

Jesus does not attempt to flatter us; in fact, He tells us what our flesh does not want to hear. He called the scribes and Pharisees blind fools, hypocrites, serpents, and vipers (Matthew 23:1-33), so that we may know truth. Through the Holy Spirit who indwells all born-again believers, we are guided into all truth (John 16:7), and so the truth of our wretchedness is revealed and the lies are exposed. Jesus does not water down truth. He does not dangle the possessions and treasures of the world in front of us–we are not to be of the world (1 John 2:15-16). Jesus does not offer a smorgasbord of doctrines to choose from; He offers the only way to salvation–Himself. Jesus is the narrow gate that leads to eternal life. Jesus loves us in truth. He is truth (John 14:6).

Friends, we cannot separate truth from love and still call ourselves Christians. We must unite because of sound doctrine–not because of appeasing, worldly love. Yes, God is love, but love is not God; so, let us tear down any false idols that this popular misconception might have created. Let us pray for wisdom, discernment, knowledge, and brotherly love.

Contend in the love of Christ.

Pamela

 

false-teachings

 

* All You Need Is Love, The Beatles, 1967.

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It’s All Demonic Fun and Games Until Someone Puts God In a Box

Let's stop saying, "Don't put God in a box!"

 

There is nothing more upsetting to me than when deceived Christians use platitudes and clichés to defend their unbiblical viewpoints. I can almost hear some defenses: “Don’t be divisive!”; “Touch not God’s anointed!” Lately, the unproductive rejoinder “Don’t put God in a box!” has become a favorite in defending false prophecies and supernatural experiences, and as mystical practices in the church rise in popularity, I can’t foresee this particular defense and its accompaniments going away anytime soon. No, I have not received a vision on the matter, nor has God whispered something to me; however, it’s clear that many, who ought to know better, are questioning the sufficiency of Scripture. When people don’t believe the Word of God is enough, they will start to rely on experiences, feelings, and hunches; consequently, their spiritual walk will become nothing but groping around in the dark. Sadly, as they seek second blessings, or a slaying in the Spirit, these deceived Christians are more often than not left disappointed when they realize they did not receive fresh fire at the latest revival.

Tragically, it is not only seeking experiences over the Word of God that lands people in trouble; there’s also the reality that people don’t listen to sound biblical teachers anymore. I don’t recall Beth Moore proclaiming that we are not to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6), and I’m certainly not going to hear the Copelands teach that the miraculous gifts were only for the early church. Today we often hear (even from the pulpit) that experiences are more relevant than the Word of God.

My heart is heavy for our captive sisters and brothers. While I was following false teachers, I didn’t have peace or rest; I was continually waiting for the next ‘Christian’ best seller that would make my life better (guaranteed!) or one that would enable me to ‘tap into’ the ‘presence’ of God…or one that would ‘unleash’ His storehouse of blessings. Recently, I had a conversation with a nice Christian friend who said that she believed the blood moon prophecies because she didn’t want to miss anything. Oh, how I wanted her to know the truth of Scripture – that it is sufficient and all we need! (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:3-4). No one should be chasing false prophecies, experiences, and ‘fire’. Jesus is found in God’s Word; the scriptures testify about Him (John 5:39). We will not miss anything while we are in the Word of God.

Yes, God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient

The insinuation is that we who call out these unbiblical teachings are ‘limiting God’ or placing boundaries on His power. I don’t know one person who defends the sufficiency of Scripture and who simultaneously denies that God is sovereign and all-powerful. We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, that He was raised from the dead, and that His sacrifice atoned for our sins. Those are miraculous events! We believe that God mercifully made us alive although we were dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:5). He grants saving repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) – that is a miracle! Can anyone really claim that we are putting God in a box because we do not believe that Benny Hinn has raised the dead, or that the incomprehensible babblings of those who claim to speak in a heavenly language really aren’t speaking a language at all? And where and when does this accusation of putting God in boxes stop? Are we putting God in a box when we call Todd Bentley to repentance after he has yet again kicked another person in the face?

In boxes made of ticky tacky … and they all look just the same

To reject the belief that God has granted us everything–through His Word, through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit–pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) is calling God a liar; furthermore, this rejection has put God in various boxes of idolatry, by no means a one-size-fits-all box. False Christian movements have created various worldly, man-made boxes to fit their false teachings, as their teachings and practices are not found in Scripture. So, where are these teachings found? In attractive packages that seduce the itching-eared masses (2 Timothy 4:3). For instance, there are claims that if we recite certain words, or think a certain way, then God is obligated to bless us. Talk about putting God in a box! Or is it a genie in a bottle?

I imagine this to be God’s prosperity gospel box:

 

 

This is God’s faith-healing box:

 

 

The False Faith Healing Movement

 

This is God’s Christian Mystic box:

 

 

And, finally, God’s John Crowder box:

 

 

Naturally, we know this is the real box behind many false teachings:

 

 

God is not in a box; He is revealed to us in a book that we should be studying under the tutelage of sound pastors and teachers, and as we assiduously study this book, the Holy Spirit will open up the wonderful truths found within its pages. It’s time that we believe that when God says Scripture is sufficient, that He means it. It’s time to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), and it’s time to repent of the demonic fun and games and deliver these boxes back to where they came from.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

The bible is not goat food, it's sheep's food.

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The True Spiritual Direction of Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Formation/Spiritual Direction is unbiblical

Last year, I was at a spiritual crossroad and I had some decisions to make. Any direction would have been ‘biblical’, but I was convinced there was one specific, narrow path that God had painstakingly planned; as such, I believed that if I missed that path it would ruin my life, ruin the world around me…and Jesus would never return!

Without vocalizing that insanity (and hyperbole), I sought guidance regarding my life’s direction from the teaching pastor at my former church. He suggested spiritual formation (or spiritual direction). I asked around, and a friend who was in full time ministry assured me that spiritual formation was biblical. Satisfied, I booked my appointment with a Spiritual Director through the Tyndale University & College Seminary. Its website states,

Spiritual Directors are those who have received specific training in Bible, Theology, and Spiritual Formation, who assist individuals (called directees) in their spiritual journey. Spiritual directors are interested in the spiritual health, well-being, and spiritual growth of the directees they serve. Spiritual Directors provide this ministry through regular one-on-one sessions (or group sessions) that are focused on listening to, and working with both the directee and the Holy Spirit.”

I now clearly see the red flags in this description; however, back then this definition seemed okay. Famous last words, right? Additionally, not only did my pastor recommend it, but the sessions were also going to be held at Tyndale, which exists in part “to honour William Tyndale, the early English reformer whose commitment to making the Scriptures available to all persons led him to undertake the first English translation of the Bible, at the cost of his own life. Surely, the college would not permit anything that would disgrace this martyr’s name, would it?

At the time, I was completely deceived by many false teachings, but had somehow managed to escape the practices of Roman Catholic mysticism. That was about to change.

 

spiritual formation session

Eager to begin my new direction in life, I met with my Spiritual Director, whose quiet way of being and acceptance was exactly what I needed in this confusing time. In the early sessions, she explained that God had made me a certain way; subsequently, she shared many “impressions” about my relationship with God, and these impressions were often paired with Scripture verses. In determining ‘God’s will’ for my life, my first assignment was to make a scrapbook of my interests and of everything that was important in my life…because it’s all about me, right?

During one session, I was directed (a spiritual formation technique) to think of the scene in Matthew 8:23-27 in which Jesus calmed the storm. I was asked to imagine myself in the scene and to ask Jesus what He wanted me to do in my life. I asked my director if this was contemplative prayer, because I had heard that it was dangerous. She assured me it wasn’t since we were filling my mind with Scripture and scenes from the Bible. My mind assuaged, I continued with the exercise.

In the following weeks, many exercises started with prayer to Jesus. These prayers were followed by silence, so I could ‘listen’ to what Jesus would say. Naturally, the name of Jesus flowed constantly. We also prayed before the sessions, declaring that the room we were in was for Jesus only and demons were not allowed in there. I wasn’t sure how that provided a fortress of spiritual protection-we might as well have encircled ourselves with ‘protective white light’ while we were at it.

Following on, my director advised me to read works by contemplative mystic Brennan Manning, Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen, and a book about interpreting my dreams, which I had read as a former New Ager (that’s why I ignored this last piece of advice altogether).

Are you perhaps wondering why I remained ignorant about this practice in which I was a willing participant? Well, by now my pastor, seminary graduates, and ‘mature’ Christians had all given their support to this. One of the formation’s defenders got exasperated at my questioning and told me I needed to read the Bible more. She was correct, but oh, the irony. Looking back, I had put the opinions of man above the Word of God and had also made God’s will an idol. I had been so focused on trying to find what He wanted for me that I missed Him altogether.

Back to the trainwreck.

 

train wreck of spiritual formation

 

Outside of the sessions, I studiously completed my readings, and I practiced the so-called presence of Jesus. I was also attuned to any ‘signs’ of God in the world, thanks to Henri Nouwen and his book, ironically named:

 

 henri nouwen discernment

 

Having come out of various New Age and occult practices that had taught me how to be ‘one’ with everything and to look for synchronicity, I was unfortunately rather good at this. And so, once again, I started worshipping the creation and not the Creator (Romans 1:25).

I continued seeing my Spiritual Director for another month (two months in total). While I wasn’t one hundred percent sure that spiritual formation was unbiblical, I had an uneasy feeling, which was enough for me to stop attending the sessions.

Discerning the True Spiritual Direction of Spiritual Formation

The spiritual direction I was heading in was leading me to devastating eternal consequences, and the Jesus I was invoking was the one spoken of in 2 Corinthians 11:4:

 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

And like so many in the visible church, I too ‘put up with it readily enough’.

Through contemplative prayer, I was unknowingly communing with a different Jesus. Looking through my well-kept journal from those sessions recently, I noticed words like ‘surrender’, ‘gentle’, ‘presence’, ‘the Way’, and ‘paths’, all words which are commonly found in channeled books (such as Jesus Calling) which are the products of this mystical form of prayer. 

Works-Based Perfection

Spiritual formation was developed from Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox mysticism, and it promotes the idea that we journey inward and engage in disciplines to develop the likeness of Jesus Christ. Disciplines such as meditation (listening silence), contemplative prayer, and solitude are just a few of the disciplines that without we purportedly cannot experience true spiritual growth.

Spiritual formation teaches that anyone can practice these mystical rituals, and that anyone is able to find God within himself or herself. It is a works-based practice to becoming perfected, which in itself is a lie. I was told, “Once we are aware what our responsibility is, that is where the transformation will happen”. This is in stark contrast to what Scripture declares:

  • Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17)
  • Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
  • God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
  • And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)

You see, only God is able to sanctify us; only God can make us conform to the image of Christ. True spiritual transformation occurs when we realize we are sinners who need to be forgiven and who need to be reconciled to God through the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. As we submit to God and the Holy Spirit, God transforms us. He transforms us.

While consulting my journal for this post, I noticed it was exactly a year ago (from the time this entry was posted) that I repented of spiritual formation and its dark practices. The truth did not come to me from any mystical practice or discipline, and it did not come from a sign in nature or from the silence in my mind. It came only because God had chosen to reveal the truth out of His mercy and grace, delivered through the more sure word of God, which is all we need (2 Timothy 3:16).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

Resource for further understanding:

Ray Yungen – Rise of Spiritual Formation

Christian Research Network: Spiritual Formation

Dangers of Spiritual Formation

Contemplative Prayer and the Evangelical Church by Ray Yungen (PDF)

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Why All the Confusion about the Will of God?

Why all the confusion about determining God's will for your life?

Why is it that many women listen for that still small voice, watch for open and closed doors and divine circumstances, practice bibliomancy, and rely on “feelings of peace”, or what is “impressed on their hearts” when it comes to determining the will of God?

Why is it that some proclaim God’s providence yet at the same time fear any “wrong” choice could throw God’s plans into disarray? Do we sometimes feel that these decisions could spark a chain of events like a spiritual “butterfly effect” in which one false move could cause chaos for the kingdom of God? Why all the confusion? Where is this coming from?

Let’s examine a likely source – the proclamations of popular women teachers who affect the theology of millions of people.

Joyce Meyer – You’re In Charge

Joyce Meyer’s promotional ad for living out God’s will in 2015 is Your Year! claims that “catching a vision is necessary before you can walk it out” soyou can finish what God has started. According to Joyce, “the truth is that God wants to do something amazing through you.”

That’s packaged nicely, but first of all, how does one “catch a vision?” Is it contagious? Could I have caught it and not known? Also, isn’t it God who will complete the work in us that He has started (Philippians 1:6)? And of course, like any good Word of Faith preacher, the message has to be about us. God wants to do something amazing through us. I think it is amazing that fallen, wretched people are able to proclaim the Gospel, because God has granted them grace and repentance. We’re not all called to be heroes of the faith, which would actually look more like martyrdom than stardom.

More shocking is Meyer’s statement: “Until we agree with God, He can’t do anything in our life.” Really? Then how did anyone get saved? This idea that God needs our permission to do anything is common in the Word of Faith movement. We know that Joyce Meyer’s god is not sovereign, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is.

If God cannot act until we agree with Him, and yet we are seeking to find out His will, how will His will ever come about? Do we figure out His will, then agree with Him, and then His will happens? This is nonsense.

Additionally, since proponents of the Word of Faith movement proclaim we are “little gods”, then logically wouldn’t we seek our own will? I suppose that is just what is happening, as these people seek healings and fortunes while adding to their leaders’ already massive bank accounts!

Christine Caine – Eisegete Your Way to God’s Will

Eisegesis–interpreting Scripture subjectively–is what helped author and speaker Christine Caine determine God’s will. This is what she says:

When Nick asked me to marry him, I was shocked. Would God possibly give me both ministry and marriage? Could he? Was this part of my race? I’d believed I could accomplish far more for the gospel as a single woman. I was so focused on maximizing every minute of every day for the call of God in my life, I couldn’t imagine making room in my life for a husband and a family.

One night, I was speaking at a youth rally of about a thousand kids. Before I stepped onto the stage I prayed, Father, if I’m going to go further with this guy, I have to know that I’m going to do more for your kingdom married than I am single. Otherwise, I’ve given my life to you and I just want to stay single. I have to know. Do I keep dating this guy?

I sensed God’s response to me out of Deuteronomy 32:30, which says, “How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight?”

Chris, God was saying to me, you can choose whichever one you want. If you don’t marry Nick, this is what you will have. You will have one thousand, like tonight. For your whole life wherever you go, I’ll use you. But one will chase one thousand to flight. Two will put ten thousand to flight. So if you do marry him, you will have a tenfold impact for my kingdom.”

It’s a good thing Caine didn’t sense God’s response to be Jeremiah 19:9: “And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.”

But it is a shame she didn’t sense God quoting 1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”

That goes for you too, Joyce!

joyce meyers

 

Beth Moore – Listen for God’s Audible Voice

While Beth Moore was waiting at an airport, she began to fear that God wanted her to share the Gospel with a certain stranger. Instead, He told her to brush the man’s hairThat is God’s will? I thought it was to proclaim the Gospel to the world. I don’t think anything more needs to be said about that incident.

It’s no wonder many women are confused about how to determine God’s will for their lives, when this is the type of teaching they sit under.

 

Jackie

 

Well, Jackie Chan, let’s turn to Scripture to sort this out, because God is not a God of confusion, but a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Renew Your Mind

Romans 12:2  says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Instead of hijacking the throne of God, applying subjectively interpreted verses to our lives, or listening for a voice that advises grooming strangers at airports, we are to study God’s Word, so we’d be able to discern and do what is good. We are to fill our mind with Scripture, day and night (Psalms 1:2), not empty our minds and suspend rational thinking. 

Grace To You says this about the will of God:

The will of God is not meant to be a secret we must uncover. God wants us to understand His will far more than we want to understand it. He always makes His will clear to those who seek it with an obedient heart.

Most of the real problem areas in the question of God’s will are settled for us in Scripture. The Bible reveals that it is God’s will for all of us to be:

Saved
(1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9)

Spirit-filled
(Ephesians 5:17-18)

Sanctified
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)

Submissive
(1 Peter 2:13-15)

Suffering
(Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12)

If all those things are true in your life, you may do whatever you want. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” That means that if you are conforming to God’s will in all the five ways listed above, He will place in your heart desires that reflect His will.”

Deuteronomy 29:29a says this: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us.” God’s will and everything we need to live an obedient life are revealed in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). We do not need special revelations, not even one.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

 

 

 

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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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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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Where There is No Vision, the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18

 

Setting up goals for 2015? Don't use this commonly misinterpreted scripture to justify vision boards.

As 2014 comes to a close, many people are reflecting on the year and setting goals for the new year. I’m particularly delighted to see so many Christian women desiring to use the gifts God has given them to glorify Him. However, just as everything else in this world is corrupted, so is our goal setting. And this is where Miss Interpreted comes in.

Miss Interpreted yearns to honor God and makes her plans for the new year accordingly. She reads half a verse from Proverbs that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV) as a reason to set up vision boards and use visualization to make her dreams come true. This is hardly a surprise since Miss Interpreted follows the teachings of celebrity pastors, such as Bill Hybels and Rick Warren, who teach this false interpretation:

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” They can’t focus, can’t reach their goal, can’t follow their dream. An older translation says, “Without vision, the people perish.” I’ve seen it with my own eyes – without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive.”
-Bill Hybels, Courageous Leadership, page 31

(links to Rick Warren’s teachings are found below this article)

Let’s look at other Bible translations, with attention to the words I’ve set in bold:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint (NIV)

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild (NLT)

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint (ESV)

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish (AMP)

Words like revelation, divine guidance, and redemptive revelation of God make it clear the verse is not talking about a vision that we can cast. Likewise, run wild and cast off restraint are referring to rebellion – not a “vitality that makes them feel alive”.

Putting it all together, this verse means that without God’s revelation in understanding His words and obeying them, people will cast off restraint and do what they think is right in their own eyes.

Isn’t it odd that Bill Hybels chose to use the KJV to misinterpret the verse’s meaning? He actually begins by quoting the NASB version, which is a clearer indication of the correct interpretation, but I suppose the accurate meaning doesn’t support his message.

 

When There is No Vision the People Misinterpret Proverbs 29:18

 

We’ve only looked at half of the verse so far. It continues: “But blessed is he who keeps the law” (ESV), or “But happy is he who keeps the law” (NASB). It’s obvious by now that this verse is referring to obedience and not to failed dreams or the size of the congregation as Rick Warren would have us believe.

I suppose the faulty interpretation of this verse is attractive to Miss Interpreted, because if she’s following Rick Warren, she is most likely also under the teachings of the Word of Faith Movement/Prosperity Gospel. After all, how much different is casting a vision to “believing and conceiving”? As if this isn’t bad enough, vision casting is really in effect the law of attraction, shamelessly promoted by twisting Scripture. Basically, Miss Interpreted is flirting with the occult. She is putting her faith in her ability to visualize rather than in trusting God to direct her steps (Proverbs 3:6). Deceived Miss Interpreted started off with a desire to honor God and ended up meditating on her own vision boards, thereby sacrificing to demons, not to God (1 Corinthians 1:20).

How can God be glorified if we don’t discern His words? Let’s plan to glorify God by testing everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21), so that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment; so that we may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

For more information on the occult practice of vision casting, see:

RICK WARREN'S LAW OF ATTRACTION: VISION OR VANITY

http://herescope.blogspot.ca/2005/10/rick-warren-vision-casting.html

 

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A Low View of Suffering

How God uses suffering

image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Healing, Isaiah 53, and a Conversation about It All

This blog post just may be important to someone (or not), but I want to bring awareness to the fact* that every day, one in four** Christians will experience the following conversation in one form or another, as demonstrated by Well-Intentioned Christian (WIC) and Sufferer (S):

WIC:  Hi, how are you? Are you healed yet?

S:      No, I’m not, but I’m good. Thanks for asking.

WIC:  You only have to have faith. God cured my friend/friend’s grandmother/friend’s grandmother’s milkman, from two towns over, of diabetes/gout/lactose intolerance; He can heal you too!

S:      I agree. God can do whatever He wants. But He chose not to heal the apostle Paul, and if He chooses not to heal me, then I’m in good company.

(awkward silence)

WIC:  You know, in Isaiah it is written, ‘By His stripes we are healed’. You are healed already, because Jesus gave you the victory! You just have to believe and claim the healing for yourself. Jesus doesn’t want you to suffer.

The conversation then ends by claiming more promises and rebuking the devil, or hopefully, with some gentle correction and prayer.

(end of dialogue)

Dear reader, due to afflictions, I am one of the one in four Christians who will have that conversation today, and if I don’t have it today, I will have it twice tomorrow. Having this conversation is always tough on me because I realize Well-Intentioned Christian means well (hence her name); consequently, correcting a caring, well-meaning friend on this topic is difficult.

Even so, we need to interpret that particular passage of Isaiah correctly. As it is, the number of people who have been affected and misled by the Word of Faith movement’s twisting of this passage is shocking and worrying; here is one example:

Friends, until we receive our glorified bodies, we are not “free from the curse of sickness”; otherwise  Christians would never die.

Let’s look at the passage, Isaiah 53:4-5:

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”

Jesus was pierced and crushed for our iniquities–our sin. The context clearly implies spiritual healing–Christ’s substitutionary atonement; peace with God through Jesus–not physical healing. 

This exegesis from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:

 In these verses is an account of the sufferings of Christ; also of the design of his sufferings. It was for our sins, and in our stead, that our Lord Jesus suffered. We have all sinned, and have come short of the glory of God. Sinners have their beloved sin, their own evil way, of which they are fond. Our sins deserve all griefs and sorrows, even the most severe. We are saved from the ruin, to which by sin we become liable, by laying our sins on Christ. This atonement was to be made for our sins. And this is the only way of salvation. Our sins were the thorns in Christ’s head, the nails in his hands and feet, the spear in his side. He was delivered to death for our offences. By his sufferings he purchased for us the Spirit and grace of God, to mortify our corruptions, which are the distempers of our souls. We may well endure our lighter sufferings, if He has taught us to esteem all things but loss for him, and to love him who has first loved us.”

We will receive (or be transformed into, if we are alive at the time) our healed, renewed, glorified bodies, in the future…when Jesus Christ returns. Christ himself will change our bodies (Phillipians 3:21), and thereafter there will be no more pain (Revelation 21:1-4).

I believe God still heals and we are to pray for healing (James 5:14) but healing is not guaranteed as Word of Faith preachers want you to believe. There is a low view of suffering when comfort and pleasure are focused on. In one breath, praise and thanks are given to our Savior who suffered on our behalf, then in the next breath, curses and rebukes are hurled at suffering. We are called to be patient in our trials and follow in the suffering footsteps of Christ (1 Peter 2:21).

The Treasures of the Thorn

The thorn that was given to the apostle Paul kept him from becoming conceited (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Oh, but not only did Paul benefit from this affliction, but God–because He is so much greater than anyone else–also used the thorn to further His gospel, His work, His purposes. Obviously, there are benefits and riches in suffering that the Word of Faith movement misses because of its focus on earthly comfort. Here are some of those riches:

Naturally, I would be thankful and overjoyed should God choose to heal me of my afflictions; however, what I desire most is not to miss the opportunity for growing in righteousness that the unexpected gift of suffering offers. I want to be equipped to comfort others. I desire endurance, character, and steadfastness. I want to be prepared for eternal glory. I want God to be glorified in my trials. I don’t want to waste my suffering.

Do I forget these things? Every day.

Do my words and attitude always reflect the character of a mature Christian? Not a chance.

It seems I need the suffering.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

_________ 

* Not a fact

** It could be higher or lower; I don’t know, because I made up the statistic

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Four Dangers of False Teaching

Dangers of False Teaching (3)

When cries of division and judgement occur in response to warnings about false teaching and the need for sound doctrine, vast amounts of Scripture as well as the reasons for the warnings are usually overlooked.

Since all Scripture is instructional for living (2 Timothy 3:16), there must be reasons why most of the New Testament warns about false doctrine. I doubt one of those reasons are to give me something to blog about; trust me, I have enough failed Pinterest projects and cute photos of my dogs to post until the return of Jesus.

So what are the reasons behind the warnings? Let’s look at 2 Peter 2:1-3:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who 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. 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.”

1. False Teachers and False Teachings Slander Christianity

Verse 2 says, because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. Televangelists, under the guise of Christianity, have long been disgraced in the public eye; more recently, Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill fiasco caught the attention of The New York Times. When the bad fruits of people like these are revealed to the world, it smears Christianity.

2. False Teachers Exploit the Deceived

Verse 3 says that because of their greed, false teachers will exploit others with false words. Romans 16:18 says these false teachers deceive to serve their own appetites, and, to make matters worse, people will follow them to suit their own passions (2 Timothy 4:3).

How many wealthy people send money to seed-faith preachers? It’s the poor who send their hard-earned money, hoping to double their “donations”. How many unemployed people are told to simply “name it and claim it” (employment)? And what about the couple who desperately want a child? Well, all they have to do is follow the New Age teaching of positive confession…and believe it and conceive it! So, not only are these people shamelessly being scammed, they are also being led down the broad path that leads to destruction.

3. Immature Christians Are Inclined to Accept False Teachings

Ephesians 4:14 encourages us to “no longer be children who are tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

Yep, that was me. Upon believing the Gospel and being given the truth of our Savior, I quickly became a regular at Christian bookstores, not knowing these were full of destruction. Then, when I went to my former church, someone kindly pointed the way to all the false teachings I had missed.  😯 

I was not grounded in the knowledge of Christ and the essential doctrines. I knew of these things, but I didn’t know why they were true or how they were important to the Gospel or to living righteously. I simply lumped these things together with everything else that was labeled Christian and sought out the next Christian best-selling book.

4. False Teachings Can Lead to Everlasting Punishment

This is a difficult and painful warning. 

John MacArthur explains this clearly:

They bring destructive heresies. This teaching invented by demons, propagated by these hypocritical liars who are parroting the doctrines of demons is intended to lead people astray and damn them into Satan’s eternal dwelling place. Satan is trying to collect people for hell and he wants to work inside the church, not that he can steal the salvation of true believers, but because he can confuse and deceive those who are coming into the church pursuing the truth. And because, also, he can derail and confuse true believers and render them useless.”

That’s a scary warning right there.

False teachers and their teachings make their listeners feel good by telling them that they, the listeners, are good people. In addition, these teachers tell their hearers to think positive thoughts in order to achieve anything they want. There is no talk of true repentance or sorrow over sin (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Are you sitting under the doctrine of demons, or are you under the Word of God? Pray for wisdom (James 1:5), so you may be approved by God as someone who need not be ashamed, handling the word of truth correctly (2 Timothy 2:15).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pamela

 

 

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