October 31, 2012
October 30, 2012
Recently someone made the comment on a social network that Mormonism is more dangerous than Satanism. I have to disagree. Satanism — a religion that teaches self-indulgence, points to self, makes up your own rules for each individual, each individual doing their own thing with no absolutes– is more dangerous in my opinion. With that being said, America is already practicing Satanism. However, if you want to talk about the danger of a Mormon revival in the land, then yes, that is dangerous. Very dangerous.
I may be wrong, but I suspect that if Mitt Romney gets in the Whitehouse, there may be a Mormon revival of sorts. People who have had no religion or Biblical knowledge, perhaps liking his values of decency, hard work and personal responsibilty, may look upon the man and decide to take on his religion. This would be very deadly for any of us who believe that Mormonism is NOT the true Gospel, but one who has it’s roots in golden tablets, an angel named Moroni and a false prophet named Joseph Smith. No one and I mean no one can believe the Bible is the absolute Word of God and embrace Mormonism as the truth of God. It is not possible.
Even so, the bigger problem still is not Mormonism. The problem is lukewarm Christianity that refuses to look deception in the face and call it out. This will be the greater danger. When/if Christians fail to speak the truth, they have compromised the truth. Making it of little importance and thus helping many to enter hell with a false gospel.
Don’t be a Joel Osteen.
October 30, 2012
This video is in answer to the comments I get regarding Lucy Rael and her stigmata sign and wonder. Many people believe this bunk and here it is shown how it is fake.
What people have to remember about signs and wonders is this: Usually it is done in much fakery. The reason anyone would try to fake you off is only to deceive you and get you to follow a lie, rather than the truth. Ask yourself what these fakers are asking from you in return for the sign and wonder. No doubt, it will be your money. It will be your allegiance under the pretext of following Jesus. But which Jesus? Jesus is not a deceiver. He would never lead you into following Him by lying signs and wonders. If you do not test EVERYTHING, then you open yourself up for more deception.
Please do not leave me a comment trying to defend this outrageous fakery.
October 29, 2012
Following article gotten here:
There have been quite a number of books written by or about people who claim to have personally visited Heaven.
Some of these authors profess to be Christians while others do not. The descriptions of their experiences vary regarding such things as entering into a dazzling white light at the end of a dark tunnel and being greeted by deceased loved ones, or being in the presence of God and seeing the shed feathers of angels dotting the grand floor of His throne room. Many of their stories contain information that would seem to be beyond their ability to know at the time–or at all.
Although these individuals supply much information, the content raises many questions. Obviously, everything they say can’t be true because some of the content in one book contradicts what’s written in others. How do we know who is giving us an accurate and truthful account?
A biblical Christian might say that he would compare what they say with what is presented in the Scriptures about Heaven. If it rings true to the Word of God, then it must be true. Well, yes and no. Yes, it must be true to Scripture. What is presented certainly cannot be at odds with what the Bible teaches about Heaven; nevertheless, just because it conforms to Scripture doesn’t prove that the person’s declaration or experience of being in Heaven actually took place.
I know a good deal about Heaven from my study of the Bible. If I told you that I had recently visited there and only communicated what I knew was recorded in the Bible about it, you couldn’t object to what I said on the basis of my being biblically inaccurate. Accuracy, however, is not the only criterion for biblical discernment. There are many other instructions and examples that we must take into consideration. For example, the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12 of a “man in Christ” (no doubt Paul himself) who was caught up to Heaven. He didn’t know at the time whether it was an experience in which his spirit had left his body, or a vision while his spirit remained in his body. Nevertheless, he states that what he saw and heard in paradise was not lawful for a man to utter. Paul’s experience was followed by a humbling infirmity, which he states that God allowed him to suffer “lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations…” (2 Corinthians:12:6-7  For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. ). That isn’t always the case in Scripture. The Apostle John obviously was given permission to declare what he witnessed in Heaven in the Book of Revelation. This would seemingly apply as well to the writer of the Book of Job.
But can we be sure that the visions and personal experiences of these writers are true? Absolutely–because their words are found in the Scriptures . Of the Word of God, the psalmist writes, “Thy word is true from the beginning…,” and Jesus said, “Thy word is truth” (Psalm:119:160Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.; John:17:17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.). That is the ultimate verification that the experiences of those men of God indeed took place as they described. Furthermore, since the canon of Scripture was closed in the first century A.D., no one since that time can have his vision of-or his alleged visit to–Heaven validated in the same way.
Jesus gave us another insight to help our discernment when He told of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man, who had died, was in a place where he was tormented and suffering remorse. Yet he begged Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers so that they would not end up with him in “this place of torment.” Abraham’s response was: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And again, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke:16:19-31  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. ).
Armed with the above scriptural teachings for the purposes of discernment, let’s apply these and other biblical admonitions and critical questions to a book that is having an impact on Christendom and the American public. Heaven Is for Real was published in 2010 and made the New York Times Best-Sellers list. It has also been the cause of controversy in some fellowships, as believers have been divided in their support of and disputation over the book’s veracity.
Heaven Is for Real is a nonfiction account that documents the experience of a three-year-old boy who believes that he visited Heaven. The story is told by the boy’s father, an evangelical pastor. He and his wife initially seem to be rather startled by their son’s revelations, which he shares over a period of about three years. There is nothing not to like about this Christian family, and much that is quite admirable. The little boy is a typical three- or four-year-old–hardly precocious, but simply matter of fact in relating what he seems to have experienced.
That experience took place when three-year-old Colton was undergoing emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. Not too long afterward, he told his parents that he saw them praying for him outside the operating room. When they asked how he knew what they had been doing he said, “Cause I could see you….I went up out of my body and I was looking down and I could see the doctor working on my body. [Scripture tells us that death takes place when the spirit vacates the body. Yet there was no medical report of a clinical death during Colton’s surgery.] And I saw you and Mommy. You were in a little room by yourself, praying; and Mommy was in a different room, and she was praying and talking on the phone” (pp. xx-xxi). The accuracy of Colton’s disclosure rocked his parents to the core. But that was just the beginning of revelations that far and away defy natural explanations.
Colton’s other revelations included: angels singing “Jesus Loves Me” to him; his sitting on Jesus’ lap; meeting John the Baptist and the angel Gabriel; petting Jesus’ rainbow-colored horse; his descriptions of Jesus’ wounds and attire, including a crown with a pink diamond that Jesus wore; the prevalence of kids in Heaven; his description of everyone there having wings like the angels–all except Jesus, that is; his being recognized by his great grandfather, who died decades before Colton was born; and the description of God as “really, really big.”
Although most of Colton’s observations in Heaven are not outside the realm of possibility of what could take place there, they are nevertheless extra-biblical insights and information, some being more problematic than others. For example, Colton explains that “Everyone kind of looks like angels in heaven,” sporting wings (the size of which are dependent on the individual’s size) and a halo. Since the resurrection of believers’ transformed physical bodies has yet to take place, their form now in Heaven must lack physical attributes. Hence the need for wings of whatever size makes no sense. Moreover, other than the descriptive visions of the heavenly creatures known as cherubim and seraphim and the decorative designs in the Temple and upon the Mercy Seat, angels that appear to humanity are never described as having wings.
Many supporters of the book claim that any and all objections pale in the face of the supernatural knowledge that Colton reveals–things that were humanly impossible for him to know. For example, he said that he had met his other sister in Heaven. When told by his mother that Cassie was his only sister, his shocking response was, “No….I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” (p. 94). Colton had never been told of the “painful episode” of the miscarriage, and his parents never knew the gender of the fetus. Colton added, “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me….She said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven” (p. 96). That revelation seemed to be the most convincing for Colton’s parents that their son had indeed visited Heaven: “We had wanted to believe that our unborn child had gone to heaven. Even though the Bible is largely silent on this point, we had accepted it on faith. But now, we had an eyewitness: a daughter we had never met was waiting eagerly for us in eternity” (p. 97).
Was Colton truly an eyewitness in Heaven to everything he described? Much of it is quite mindboggling, notwithstanding the fact that all of it is extra-biblical. Yet it provides alleged insights about Heaven; e.g., a girl dies as a fetus, grows into a little girl in heaven, and then is eagerly awaiting her parents’ arrival. What if one or both parents reject the gospel? Would there then be disappointment in a place of perfect bliss?
Consider how Colton’s father mentioned that “the Bible is largely silent” on a certain issue. It is also completely silent on the specific things that Colton has revealed. This raises the question as to why God would leave out something of value for us in His inerrant Word, which was given through His prophets “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter:1:21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.)–only to reveal it later through a little boy (as well as many others who make similar claims). On the back cover of the book we read, “ Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.”
The Bible is God’s precise, absolute, and eternal communication to mankind (Luke:21:33Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.; Hebrews:4:12For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.). It did not come by nor was it left up to the will or imagination of man (2 Peter:1:20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.). Paul writes, “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians:2:13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.). Our faith can be childlike, but it is faith placed in God’s Word, not in anyone’s alleged “eyewitness” account, be they a child or an adult. Peter was an eyewitness to an incredible event. He saw Jesus supernaturally transfigured before his very eyes and heard the voice of God. We can be sure that the personal experience he had was true because it’s reported in Scripture. Nevertheless, he tells us that his personal experience (or anyone else’s) is not as trustworthy as the Word of God : “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter:1:19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:).
At the time and in the years following Colton’s experience, his dad was very interested in having him describe Jesus. He wrote that “as a pastor, I wound up spending a lot of time at hospitals, in Christian bookstores, and at other churches–all places where there are lots of drawings and paintings of Christ….When we came across a picture of Jesus we’d ask Colton, ‘What about this one? Is that what Jesus looks like?'” (p. 93). Time after time, Colton would reject the dozens of misrepresentations. Then, nearly three years after Colton’s surgery, he was shown a portrait of Jesus painted by a young girl named Akiane, who also claims to have have visited Heaven beginning at the age of four. Colton’s reaction was, “Dad, that one’s right.” His confirmation convinced his father: “Knowing how many pictures Colton had rejected, Sonja [his mother] and I finally felt that in Akiane’s portrait, we’d seen the face of Jesus. Or at least a startling likeness” (p. 145).
In Exodus, we find a definitive statement against anyone attempting to make an image of God (Exodus:20:4-5  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; ). That applies to images of Jesus, whether of statues or great religious paintings or on the silver screen. One of the many problems is that they inevitably lead to idolatry, which in turn breeds superstition and occultism. Another related problem is that they must all be false representations because they have no basis in Scripture–other than being condemned. Jesus therefore could not encourage a young girl to paint His portrait.
Those who believe that He did encourage Akiane (because she could then point people to Him through her amazing art skills and her testimony concerning Him) need to compare with Scripture what she, at age 16, says about Jesus: “Jesus shared with us: ‘I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to my Father, but through me.’ I feel that he invited us to participate in the divinity. Each of us is one of kind [ sic ] original path to the way of truth and light, and without our individual love and effort we cannot understand and reach God” (http://akiane.com/blog/?tag=akiane). Her interpretation rejects Jesus as being the only way for mankind to be reconciled to God. It opposes what Jesus taught in favor of Satan’s promise of divinity to Eve (Genesis:3:5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.). Akiane’s paintings and words clearly reflect “another Jesus.”
What puzzles many people is how Colton, as a three-year-old at the time of his experience, could attain information, most of which was completely foreign to him at his young age. His parents don’t know for sure but believe their son received the visit to Heaven as a gift from God. Their “faith,” however sincere and biased toward their little boy, does not have the support of Scripture. How, then, was he able to describe what he did without the input gained from actually being in Heaven? No one can say for sure–not even little Colton. He was in an operating room, surrounded by attending medical personnel, and under the influence of an anesthesia-produced altered state of consciousness.
What we do know about that and other types of drug-induced conditions of mind (even dream states, meditation, and an overworked imagination) is that multitudes of people have reported experiences that seem to validate everything from clinical or near-death events to past-lives journeys to abductions on UFOs. They also reveal information for which they had no basis of knowledge prior to their experiences. It may be that an altered state of consciousness creates a condition in which the mind is like a blank screen, open to outside input. Spirit entities, whose goal it is to undermine the Word of God and deceive the world, might have that ability to program the blank screen and could therefore take advantage of anyone in such a highly susceptible condition (see Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion , pp. 187-90). But again, no one knows for sure how such things take place.
The critical issue for discernment is not “how it works” but “what is being communicated.” All that a Bible-believing Christian can do in ascertaining the truth of a matter is to be vigilant by “searching the Scriptures” to see if what is being presented is true to the full counsel of God’s Word (Acts:17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.). If we don’t do that, whether we are young believers or mature in the faith, we are just as vulnerable to false teachings as those whose circumstances have directly opened them to deceptive experiences.
A believer’s life in Christ is shaped by a great many experiences that the Lord allows for our growth in Him. It begins with one’s believing the gospel, to which sound doctrine is added. As we abide in Christ’s teachings, our discernment will increase, thus protecting us from “being carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians:4:14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;). Let us therefore take to heart Paul’s warning: “I have laid the foundation [of the gospel], and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Corinthians:3:10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.). TBC
October 27, 2012
Following article written by Chip Brogan
You will never truly appreciate or benefit from fellowship until you have learned how to live without it.
There already is a fellowship of saints. It is a spiritual fellowship, and it is based on Christ having the preeminence – not the fellowship having preeminence. All this yearning for fellowship and being with others is the result of being hung-over from the religious system. You’re trying to fill a void that religion used to fill.
The purpose of solitude in the spiritual desert is to get you to see that Jesus is Enough. You’re not going to die from lack of fellowship, but if you don’t learn that Jesus is Enough then spiritually speaking you’re dead already. He’s the One you need to be focused on – not starting a fellowship, not finding a home group, not making something happen with other people.
And already I can hear the “yeah buts”. “Yeah, but God made us to be social beings. Yeah, but God knows we need encouragement from other believers. Yeah, but the Bible says forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is. Yeah, but we’re all supposed to be part of the Body of Christ. Yeah, but there’s just something about gathering together with like-minded believers. Yeah, but you just don’t understand what it’s like.” Yeah, but I do understand – I’ve been through that part of the desert before, and what I’m trying to tell you is God wishes to know if you love Him or if you love fellowship with others. God wishes to know if you are in love with Him or if you are in love with things about Him. God wishes to know if you seek Him or seek a meeting about Him.
There are times and seasons where He calls you to be alone and apart with Him. I’m not saying it will always be like that, but what if it is? What if He calls you to walk alone with Him for the rest of your life? Is Jesus enough for you?
I asked that question of a group of Christians once: Is Jesus enough for you? Because most Christians do not believe this. They want Jesus, but they also want fellowship with others. Really, do you know what Christians want? Not fellowship with others. That sounds so spiritual. Really what they want is acceptance from other Christians. You go deep down and that’s what they want. They want to feel accepted by other Christians. Well, all I can tell you is that you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment. Eventually there will come a time when you will have to decide between the truth that God has revealed to you and the acceptance of other Christians. Now it hurts when you are not accepted by other Christians. It hurts when other Christians misunderstand you and speak all manner of evil against you falsely when you have spoken the truth to them in love.
But the bottom line is your spiritual life and walk with God does not depend upon the acceptance of other Christians. You might think it does, and it sure makes things easier, but it is not a condition of following Christ – making sure other Christians understand and accept you. The deeper you go into God the more unacceptable you will be to other Christians. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is Himself, “Despised and rejected, a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Jesus would not be, and is not, accepted by most Christians, and do you know that does not change Him and His relationship with His Father? He is Lord whether you accept Him or not, my friend. And if you are His disciple then He accepts you whether the rest of the Christian population accepts you or not.
What I have found is that whenever I ignore the season God has me in, and I try to create fellowship, or seek fellowship, outside of the time and place appointed by My Father, it always ends in disaster. It creates problems, it becomes a disappointment, or it turns into a distraction from what He wants for my life.
And that is never more true than the period of time when you are fresh out of the religious system. You’ve been under a religious spirit for so many years, and don’t think you can just wake up one day, stop going to church, and be set free from that religious mindset. You think you need fellowship, you think you need meetings, you think you need other people in your life, you think you need all these things, and you are in error. That’s the religious habit talking. It’s just like a drug.
“Oh brother Chip, I’m so lonely, I’ve been going to church every Sunday for twenty years and now we just sit home on Sunday and we feel so empty inside!” Well praise God, if that’s where God has you right now then thank God for it. Stop looking for other people to fill a void that only Christ can fill. You’ve been covering up that void with a lot of religious junk and He’s stripping all that away. He’s trying to build something in you, so let Him do it according to the times and seasons that He has appointed. Don’t rush through that process. Get comfortable with just you and God. My goodness, you don’t even know what it’s like to walk with God and just be hidden in Him because your whole life you’ve been following Him in a crowd, worshipping Him in a crowd, praying to Him in a crowd, learning about Him in a crowd.
Enoch walked with God, and he didn’t have anyone else to fellowship with.
Noah walked with God and he didn’t anyone but his family.
Abraham walked with God and he didn’t have a house church to go to.
Moses spent forty years in the desert and it didn’t hurt him a bit, he came out better than he went in.
Jesus walked with God and every single one of His friends and disciples denied Him and fled when He needed them the most.
You give people too much credit for your spiritual well-being and don’t give God enough credit. I’d rather be alone with God than have a crowd of people without Him.
Now that doesn’t diminish anything the Bible says about the Body of Christ. But you’ve got to learn how to get connected to the Head before you try to get connected to the Body. Body Life is only as good as the Body’s relationship to the Head. The Body has no life in itself apart from the Head. If you read what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, you notice it doesn’t say that we are supposed to seek out our place in the Body or try to insert ourselves into place. It says He sets us in the Body of Christ according to His will. His will, not ours. You try to set yourself in place and you’ll get it wrong.
The Bible does not say “hold fast to the Body” or “hold fast to the members of the Body”, it says “hold fast to the Head.” The Bible does not say, “Seek ye first the fellowship of others”, but “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things – including fellowship – will be added to you.” You learn to do that and the rest will take care of itself, in the time and manner that God sees fit.
Take your hands off that whole issue of fellowship and cast that concern onto the Lord. Go to Him and say, “Lord, here I am in a desert place, it’s dry, and it’s lonely, and it looks like there’s no fellowship. But You are My Rock, My Fortress, My Hiding Place, You lead me and direct my steps. You be My Fellowship. If you see fit to bring me into relationship and fellowship with others, fine; but if not, then I trust that You are more than Enough to meet my spiritual, emotional, and social needs. I can live without fellowship Lord, but I cannot live without You!”
Now folks, I have been in that place so many times I don’t even have to pray about it anymore. I’ve just learned to trust God in this area, and I know He is sufficient. It’s settled in me. It’s not even a thing I pray about anymore. I want it to become settled in your heart as well. Let the desert do its work.
October 21, 2012
This video brought joy to my heart. When my eyes fell on the words below describing it, I cried. The American church has a thing or two to learn from brothers and sisters in other nations!
Mrs. Fay Dodson of Phoster Club passed this interesting letter to us.The Unregistered Churches of Russia originally wrote this letter to churches in the USA.
Dear Christian Friends, For thirty years we have suffered intense persecution, and now freedom is bringing another great harm to our churches. This damage is coming from the Christians in America who are sending rock music and evangelists accompanied by rock bands. Our young people do not attend these meetings because we have all commited not to participate in secular entertainment. This is a great burden on our hearts. Many come with Bible in hand and rock music. We do not know what words to use in urging that this be stopped. We abhor all Christian rosk music coming into our country. Rock music has nothing in common with ministry or service to God. We are very, very against Christian Americans bringing to our country this false image of ‘ministry’ to God. We need true spiritual bread, not false cakes. It is true that rock music attracts people to the church, but not to Godly living. We personally were in prison for 15 years and 11 years for Christ’s sake. We were not allowed to have Christian music, but rock music was used as a weapon against us day and night to destroy our souls. We could only resist with much prayer and fasting. Now, we have a time of more openness, and we are no longer taken to prison. However, now it is Christians from America who damage our souls. We do not allow this music in our churches, but they rent big stadiums and infect teenagers and adults with their rock music. We, the leadership and congregations of the Unregistered Union of Churches, former Presecuted Church, have made an agreement to not allow rock music in our churches. We urge you to join with us and we advise you to remove rock music from America, and certianly do not bring it to our country. Do not desecrate our teenagers with it. Even the unbelievers recognize it is unholy music and they cannot understand how American Christians can be so much like the world. We can give you the conclusion that after Russian unbelievers have attended these rock concerts where Christ’s Word was preached, the people were very disappointed and disillusioned with Christianity. We call this music from hell. We urge all Americians to stop giving money for the organization of such concerts in Russia. We want only traditional Christian music in our churches. This is the unanimous decision of all our leaders.
Peter Peters Vasilij Ryzhuk
Head of the Unregistered Elder, Unregistered
Union of Churches Union of Churches
October 21, 2012
Answering the Objections of Modern Apostles, Prophets, and Their Defenders – by Keith Gibson
In dealing with the new “apostles” and “prophets” as well as with their followers, one quickly encounters a problem. They do not wish to listen. In fact, the “prophetic movement” has developed an entire series of pat answers and knee-jerk reactions to those raising concerns about their teachings that makes any substantive dialogue on the actual issues themselves virtually impossible. Not only have modern prophets filled the church with extra-biblical and unbiblical revelations and doctrines, leading many away from the pure faith, but they have also insulated themselves from any correction by the larger body of Christ. These straw-men arguments and red herrings… must be refuted before any significant progress can be made on the larger issues.
The Martyrdom Complex
Martyrdom is a powerful symbol in religion. The person claiming martyr status becomes untouchable, unquestionable. Further, it immediately positions the one doing the challenging as evil, a Nazi, or worse… I have noticed a similar trend among many within the prophetic movement… To confront them is to persecute them.
Prophetess Victoria Boyson does this repeatedly. In two different prophetic messages (“The Religious Spirit that Seeks to Convince Us It Is God” and “Warriors of Truth”) she claims that those who “speak against” other Christians release demonic activity against their lives.
Or consider the words of Rick Joyner:
Two ministries go on continually before God’s throne: One is the ministry of intercession, the other is accusation… Satan…is called “the accuser of the brethren,” and we are told that his ministry goes on “day and night” before the throne of God (Rv. 12:10). How can Satan continue to accuse the saints before God if he has been thrown out of heaven and no longer has access to the throne? The answer: Satan uses the saints, who do have access to the throne, to do this diabolical work for him. (A Prophetic Vision for the 21st Century, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999, pp.38-39)
Moving past Joyner’s interesting speculation that it is actually through the words of Christians that Satan accuses the brethren before the throne, the central point is obvious: any form of criticism is the devil’s work… Joyner deflects any and all criticism by attributing it to satanically inspired persecution. In his [“visionary”] book The Final Quest, upon seeing a vast army of Christians under the control of the devil, Joyner hears the voice of the Lord state, “This is Satan’s ultimate deception. His ultimate power of destruction is released when he uses Christians to attack one another.” [The result of all this] is that no meaningful dialogue can take place when one of the parties is playing the victim. Even in the culture at large, victims get a pass.
The New Testament, however, does not support this assumption that disagreeing with a teacher’s doctrine is tantamount to persecuting them. There are numerous examples of the apostles warning against false teachers and even at times calling them out by name in order to protect the rest of the body–and this is never equated with persecution (2 Timothy 1:15, 17-18; 4:9, 14-15; 1 Corinthians 15; 3 John 9, etc…).
Appeal to Unity
Another common tactic employed by today’s prophets and apostles is to accuse those who attempt to correct false doctrine of being divisive, of sowing discord among the brothers. In his book Overcoming Evil in the Last Days, Joyner impugns the motives of those who would dare to be concerned about false teaching creeping into the church: “Although this spirit usually comes in the guise of protecting the sheep, the truth, or the Lord’s glory, it is an evil, critical spirit that will always end up causing division and destruction.”
Unity within the body is very important. Jesus prayed that we may be one just as He and the Father are one. Paul makes a powerful appeal for unity in Ephesians 4. It is a serious issue. But biblical unity is a unity based on truth, not in opposition to it. The Bible does not advocate peace at any price…
“You’re a Pharisee!”
Joyner devotes an entire third of Overcoming Evil to the subject of the “religious spirit”:
The Lord had little trouble with demons while He walked on earth. They quickly recognized His authority and begged for mercy. It was the conservative, zealous, religious community that immediately became His greatest enemy. Those who were the most zealous for the Word of God crucified the Word Himself when He became flesh to walk among them. The same is still true [today]. (Destiny Image Publishers, 2003, pp. 133)
…Because Joyner mentions no names specifically, he can feel that he is staying above the fray and is not guilty of the very thing that he is condemning. In Joyner’s system, to stand squarely on the truth of God’s Word is to be a Pharisee and a potential enemy of God, even worse trouble than a demon…
The charge of being a Pharisee is extremely emotionally powerful–for the Pharisees stand among the worst of the bad guys in the NT. This is doubly true when it is combined with the rhetoric that it was the Pharisees who killed Christ. Mike Bickle demonstrates this attack well when he states, “It was the ones pressing into biblical orthodoxy that murdered Christ.” So, to be passionate about the truth is to be a Pharisee and a Christ-killer…
Were the Pharisees those who were biblically orthodox?… A careful study of Scripture [reveals that] the problem with the Pharisees is not that they held the Scriptures in too high esteem, but rather they were perfectly willing to cancel them out in favor of their own doctrines… (Matthew 15:1-9, John 5:45-47)… The problem was not their adherence to the Bible but rather their adherence to their own doctrines, devised by men… We see much the same thing happening in the prophetic movement. We see a host of teachers inventing new doctrines that are completely unsubstantiated by Scripture and then presenting them as fact even if they contradict the direct teachings of the Word of God… It is not those who cling to the revealed truth of God found in the Scripture who are the true spiritual descendants of the Pharisees.
Of course, another way to refuse to deal with those who raise concerns about [false] teachings is simply to ignore them. In an interview with Charisma magazine, when asked about those who have concerns about his false prophecies, doctrines, and involvement with the Knights of Malta, Rick Joyner replied, “I’m not going to listen to people I think aren’t legitimate leaders in the body of Christ.”… Joyner [and countless others] have thus positioned [themselves] above correction.
Other prophets have taught that a prophet can only be corrected by someone who also has [equal] or greater status. Since most of the teachers in the evangelical and protestant world would never claim to be prophets or apostles, this essentially means that modern prophets are completely uncorrectable by the vast majority of the church!
Demonize the Opposition
Another common strategy employed by the modern prophets to deflect scrutiny away from their unbiblical teaching is to begin to discuss some kind of demonic influence in the person raising the concern… This usually comes in the form of the “Jezebel spirit,” the “religious spirit,” and “the accuser of the brethren.” All of these entities are defined differently by the various prophets, but it is certain that they are very bad. The religious spirit is generally applied to anyone who attempts to ask questions like, “Why hasn’t the church ever believed this before?” or “Where is the doctrinal basis for these new practices?” The person is immediately painted as someone who is stuck in the “old wineskins” and is not responding to the new things that God is doing.
A religious spirit will usually give a counterfeit gift of discernment of spirits. This counterfeit gift thrives on seeing what is wrong with others rather than seeing what God is doing so that we can help them along… Though the truth may be accurate, it is ministered in a spirit that kills. (Overcoming the Religious Spirit, MorningStar Publications, 1996, Fourth Printing 2002, pp. 21-22)
…But far and away, the most common demon that one can anticipate being accused of [operating under] is the Jezebel spirit. The Jezebel spirit is generally… applied to those who will not respond to the authority of these new apostles and prophets. As one prophetic disciple expressed to me, Jezebel sought to control the king, and she attacked the prophets of God. Joyner states:
Basically, the spirit of the Jezebel is a combination of the religious spirit and the spirit of witchcraft that is the spirit of manipulation and control… This spirit attacks the prophetic ministry because that has always been the primary way in which the Lord gives timely, strategic direction to His people. (A Prophetic Vision for the 21st Century, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999, p. 148)
…The effect of this argument is generally exactly what the prophet desired [to instill]: a fear among God’s people to examine the “revelations” of the prophet [as] the light of God’s revealed Word, and silence when the new teachings fail to pass the test.
“Don’t Put God in a Box!”
So you think that manifestations like spiritual drunkenness, jerking, roaring, barking, and crawling around like an animal don’t seem consistent with God’s revelation of Himself and His instructions to the church given in Scripture? You are concerned that Ekstasis worship seems more like the trance states induced in pagan worship practices? Well, this is the answer for you: You’re trying to put God in a box. You are trying to dictate and limit what God can and can’t do.
The power of this argument stems from the fact that the Scriptures portray God as an awesome Being who does amazing and unexpected things, who is not formulaic in His ways. The net result of the argument, though, is an “anything goes” approach to divine activity. As long as the worshipper himself/herself feels good about what is happening, the source is assumed to be God–and no one can state differently.
But the question is not one of trying to box God in but rather one of taking God at His word. If God has said that He is not the author of confusion in the worship service but of peace (1 Corinthians 14) can we believe that or not? If it is true, then doesn’t that give us guidelines for determining that some manifestations are contrary to God’s nature as He has revealed it Himself? Are the Scriptures truly sufficient as they claim? If this is so, then won’t they give us the parameters for the activities of the Holy Spirit? Shouldn’t we apply these parameters in evaluating the modern manifestations? Taking God at His word is the essence of faith. It [doesn’t mean we are] limiting God [if we] seek to live and worship according to the boundaries He has established. God has given these boundaries and warnings for the protection of His people… so that we can determine what is and what is not from Him.
“God Offends the Mind to Reveal the Heart”
[These leaders] imply that if you are not willing to shelve your brain and follow along, you have a heart problem. But the Bible… does not treat the intellect as a problem. The heart and mind are frequently used interchangeably in Scripture. [The statement “God offends the mind to reveal the heart”] is a doctrine written by modern apostles and repeated so frequently that it has gained acceptance among the biblically illiterate…. In reality, this is just the modern apostle/prophet’s way of saying, “You think too much. Just go with the flow and see where it leads.” Once again, the underlying message is crystal clear. Don’t think. Don’t question. This approach to Christianity is both unbiblical and unwise.
“God’s Gonna Judge You!”
If the attempt at silencing their critics through guilt doesn’t work, the modern prophets will move to intimidation: “God will judge you!” Look at the words of apostolic pastor Dutch Sheets in a prophecy about the “Shift in 2006″:
Those who refuse to move in current truth will begin to openly criticize leaders in the Body of Christ that are moving in the flow of the apostolic and the prophetic… When they do, God is going to begin to judge them.
This warning by Dutch Sheets would actually make sense if these modern apostles and prophets were truly in the mold of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles. These men spoke with God’s authority. To reject their word was to reject the Word of God. But since today’s apostles and prophets are frequently wrong and will not subject themselves to the biblical tests, they are engaged in something far different.
By attacking anyone who expresses concern based on doctrinal issues, the modern prophets have created an environment of passive acceptance. They place themselves above rebuke and correction, even from the Word of God. [Tragically], this may truly lead to a case of the blind leading the blind.