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Understanding Word-Faith Teaching
by Rob Bowman

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Once upon a time, long long ago, on a faraway planet, there lived a good God. . . . Because Jesus was recreated from a satanic being to an incarnation of God, you too can become an incarnation – as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth! And, as an incarnation of God, you can have unlimited health and unlimited wealth – a palace like the Taj Mahal with a Rolls Royce in your driveway. You are a little messiah running around on earth! All it takes is to recognize your own divinity.

Hank Hanegraaff (summarizing the Word-Faith teaching)

It seems our friends, the book writers, have invented an entirely new theology called the “born again Jesus” built upon a conglomeration of quotations taken from 6 or 7 ministers, pulled out of context and combined as though we all believed identically the same thing or were even speaking about the same subject when quoted (which, in some cases, we were not). And the reader is told we all believe this “born again Jesus” theology, believe exactly alike about it, and we’re all heretics. Yet I am diametrically opposed to some of the doctrines held by those who are quoted on the same page as me! Kenneth E. Hagin

He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him. Proverbs 18:13

If we are to evaluate the Word-Faith teaching, we first need to understand it. As Solomon counseled, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13). We need to grasp the Word-Faith theology as a whole and understand how it all fits together from the perspective of the Word-Faith teachers if we are to make an intelligent decision as to whether it is biblical. Moreover, we need to look at the movement from all sides and consider it from every relevant angle in order to make our assessment as complete and balanced as possible. In this chapter I will set forth an agenda for such a complete assessment and then explain the Word-Faith teaching in order to make its basic message understandable.

The Roots, Shoots, and Fruits

A complete evaluation of any movement’s teachings requires that we look at three aspects of the teachings, which may be called the roots, shoots, and fruits of a doctrine.

Exposing the Roots
The roots of a doctrine are the sources or origins of the teachings. Did the ideas come from the Bible? Did they come from the biblically based teaching of a sound Christian teacher? Did they come from a source that is clearly cultic or non-Christian? Or did they come from a mixture of all three types of sources? If certain ideas can be traced to non-Christian or cultic roots, how were these ideas transferred?

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An examination of the “roots” of a teaching is never sufficient by itself, because non-Christians, after all, can express truths and can have genuine insights. It is perfectly fine for a Christian teacher to “plunder the Egyptians” by taking over ideas or formulations found in non-Christian thought and putting them into a soundly Christian context. So we must be careful not to argue that a particular doctrine is false merely because a cultist or other non-Christian advocated it. In logic this is called the genetic fallacy – attempting to dismiss an idea on the basis of its genesis, or origin.

William DeArteaga, in his book defending the Word-Faith movement, claims that Daniel R. McConnell’s critique of the Word-Faith teaching commits the “genetic fallacy” by arguing that “Hagin derived his teachings from Kenyon, who in turn was associated with the Metaphysical movement.” DeArteaga calls this error “the pharisaical objection of origins,” referring to his belief that the Pharisees erred by rejecting any workings of the Spirit that contradicted their theology or which they could not explain. This is an odd theory: the Pharisees never criticized Jesus’ teachings for supposedly deriving from a suspect source (say, that Jesus got his ideas from the pagan Greeks). They did accuse him of having a demon (Matt. 9:34; 12:24; John 7:20; 8:48, 52; 10:20), but this is a “genetic” argument of a very different sort! Setting aside this strange reference to the Pharisees, DeArteaga’s criticism overlooks the fact that McConnell explicitly denies trying to discredit the Word-Faith teaching by a simple exposé of its origins:

The historical origins of the Faith movement are not enough, however, to justify the charge of cultism. That would be an example of theological guilt by mere historical association. To prove cultism requires that it be demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the beliefs and practices of the contemporary Faith movement (not just those of Kenyon) are both cultic and heretical.. . . The Faith movement is cubic not just because of where it comes from. but also because of what it teaches.

DeArteaga elsewhere shows that he does take the question of the origins of the Word-Faith teaching to be relevant. In answer to McConnell, he argues that Kenyon’s doctrines of revelation – knowledge and of the Christian life are not really Gnostic at all but are instead rooted in the theology of the apostle Paul.

If the genetic fallacy is to be avoided, then why examine the roots at all? There are two reasons for doing so. First, sometimes teachers will misrepresent the source of their teachings in order to exaggerate their own originality or because the true sources are a potential embarrassment to them. In some cases professing Christian teachers have been known to plagiarize whole sermons or books from various cultic or questionable sources. Obviously, if they pass off as new insights or revelations from God ideas that they actually lifted word for word from a non-Christian or cultic writer, this constitutes a serious problem. Exposing these teachers’ lack of honesty in this area serves its own purpose independent of evaluating the teachings themselves.

Here again, DeArteaga argues that McConnell has criticized Kenneth Hagin unjustly by accusing him of plagiarism. According to DeArteaga, “McConnell also accuses Hagin of passing off his theology as pure ‘revelation knowledge’ without any credits to human sources” (emphasis added). DeArteaga points to the preface of The Name of Jesus in which Hagin acknowledges drawing on Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus as proof that McConnell is wrong. Yet McConnell himself quotes Hagin’s preface and comments, “This is one of the few candid, direct acknowledgments of Kenyon to appear in any of Hagin’s writings.” McConnell also observes that “Hagin demonstrates the ability to give credit where credit is due with regard to the sources that he drew on to develop a particular idea,” except concerning those sources from which he plagiarized extensively. His contention is simply that Hagin’s repeated, massive plagiarism of the writings of Kenyon, along with those of John A. MacMillan, demonstrate that Hagin’s claim to have learned the Word-Faith teaching directly from visitations and revelations from God is patently false. DeArteaga’s criticisms of McConnell in this matter are not cogent.

Second, identifying the source of someone’s questionable doctrines can aid us in pinpointing the real problems in those doctrines. If certain doctrinal errors have been taught before and have been answered by sound Christian teachers, then finding these antecedents can be very helpful in identifying and refuting the errors. Discovering the true roots of the Word-Faith teaching, once it is shown to be unbibilcal and damaging to authentic Christian faith, will then aid us in getting to the core of the problem. It will also enable us to be better on guard against similar errors in the future.

Again, we do not expose the roots of a doctrine to prove it false. We examine the roots to help us diagnose the problems and prescribe a cure.

Examining the Shoots
The second aspect of any doctrine is the substance or idea of the doctrine itself. This is what for convenience I call the shoots, though it would be more precise to talk about the trunk and branches. More technically, the shoots of a doctrine are the doctrine itself as a doctrine – what the doctrine says in theory and the arguments or reasons given in its support.

Most of the time, we identify a tree by its shoots. That is, we can usually tell what sort of a tree it is simply by looking at its overall appearance as shaped primarily by its trunk and branches. A quick glance at the shoots of a fir tree is enough to determine that it is not an oak.

Examining doctrines is often not as easy, of course, because doctrines are not tangible entities that can be perceived with a single glance. What we purpose to do in examining a doctrine, though, is not merely to identify it but also to evaluate its soundness and strength. When examining a tree, for example, we would check various branches to see if they are strong and well connected to the trunk. If there was some doubt about the health of the tree, we might cut through the bark to examine the interior of the wood. When examining a doctrine, we would test its soundness and strength by examining the reasoning used to support the conclusion and seeing if that reasoning is firmly based on the Bible.

Examining the shoots, then, comes down to comparing the contemporary teachings with the teachings of the Bible. The Word-Faith teachers tend to resist this kind of critical examination, offering various reasons why their teachings should not be critiqued. I have evaluated these objections to doctrinal discernment in Orthodoxy and Heresy. Here I will point out simply that this sort of study is strongly encouraged in the Bible itself (see Matt. 22:29; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 3:16). It is the basic method used by Christians throughout the centuries to test novel and controversial teachings as they have arisen in the church.

Looking at the Fruits
The third and final aspect of testing a doctrine is to look at its fruit. This test is perhaps the best known because of the words of Jesus regarding false prophets: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16, 20). Unfortunately these words are among the most abused words in Scripture. They are all too commonly cited to prove that testing someone’s teachings by comparing them with Scripture is either unnecessary or illegitimate. Yet this claim is itself a doctrine that people try to prove by citing Scripture!

What Jesus says here is absolutely true: One can know a false prophet by his or her “fruits.” We need to ask, though, what is included, and what is not, in these fruits. One thing Jesus makes very clear in the context is that prophetic utterances and miracles are not included (Matt. 7:22). This is important because Word-Faith teachers and those who support them often point to stories of healings, apparent supernatural revelations, and other amazing incidents as proof that God has blessed their ministry. But Jesus specifically excludes such things from the “fruits” by which we would be able to tell a false prophet from a true one.

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On the other hand, Jesus does not discourage testing doctrines by comparing them with Scripture. Indeed, his focus is not on the truth or falsity of a particular doctrine but on the divine calling of a professed prophet. The purpose of the test is to tell apart true and false prophets, both of whom seem to speak in the name of the Lord (Matt. 7:21-22). The implication is that a true prophet must represent the Lord truly both in word and in action. Thus the point here is not that true prophets can say anything they want as long as their outward lives are good. Rather, it is that a prophet is false if his fruit is evil, no matter how good or true his words seem to be.

A short while later in the same passage, Jesus contrasts the wise person with the foolish person. The wise person acts on Jesus’ words, while the foolish person fails to do so (Matt. 7:24-27). The implication is that one may and should compare people’s actions to the words of Jesus to see whether their actions are wise or foolish.

One bad fruit that is always produced by false prophets is confusion and division. When false prophets come along and teach false doctrines or make false claims, it is their fault when confusion and division ensue. It is certainly not the fault of those who oppose their unbiblical teachings.

The sum of the matter is this. The test Jesus sets forth in Matthew 7 is intended to expose false prophets. It is not the only such test, but it is a valid and crucial test. It cannot be used to avoid responsibility to teach doctrine that is faithful to the same Bible in which this test appears. False and unsound doctrine always contradicts biblical doctrine and results in bad fruit.

On Defining the Word-Faith Teaching

Before explaining the Word-Faith teaching, I need to say some things about the approach taken here. In discussing this subject with advocates of the Word-Faith teaching and with its critics, I have learned that how one approaches the discussion virtually determines whether communication and understanding will ever take place.

Is There a “Word Faith Teaching”?
Some people object to any critique of the “Word-Faith teaching” on two grounds. First, it is sometimes said that the Word-Faith teachers are evangelists, healers, prophets, or pastors, not teachers or theologians, and that they should not be judged as if they were theologians. Second, it has been argued that the critics of the Word-Faith movement have created a straw-man “Word-Faith teaching” from statements taken out of context or shoe-horned into a theology that none of the Word-Faith teachers espouse. We are told that the Word-Faith teachers differ markedly on a number of doctrinal points, so that the doctrine attributed to them as a group is an artificial construct of the critics’ own imagination.

It is, of course, true that none of the Word-Faith teachers is a systematic theologian or even a methodical teacher whose theological “system” is easily encapsulated from his writings. This does not mean, however, that the Word-Faith leaders are not teachers. Whatever they may see as their primary calling, when they regularly present teaching on matters of Christian belief, they make themselves teachers. It is silly to say that individual – articles, and disseminate video and audiotapes of their messages on doctrinal topics are not teachers.

In any case, at least some of these men do claim to be teachers. Kenneth Hagin, who claims that his primary calling is to the ministry of a prophet, also claims to serve in the ministry of a teacher. Thus it is perfectly appropriate to hold the Word-Faith teachers to a higher standard of doctrinal accuracy than we do persons in ministry who do not presume to teach doctrine (James 3:1).

As for the second objection, it simply is not true that the Word-Faith teachers have no theological system. The lack of a formal Word-Faith “systematic theology” does not mean that there is no structural or thematic unity in their teaching. If a Word-Faith teacher’s teaching is at all coherent or consistent, it should be possible to systematize his teachings in order to bring out its coherence and essential ideas. If such systematization is not possible, it only goes to show that his teaching is chaotic and therefore that he is a poor teacher.

Kenneth Hagin has complained that the theology attributed to him and other Word-Faith teachers is an invention of the critics (see the quotation at the beginning of this chapter). Hagin’s objection has some justice, but the legitimate point he is making should not be exaggerated. There is a core of doctrinal teaching that makes the Word-Faith movement distinctive and identifiable, a core of teaching to which the Word-Faith televangelists generally subscribe and that sets them apart from other Christian traditions. I agree that some of the critics of the Word-Faith teachers have erred in superimposing on the Word-Faith movement a greater degree of unity than is actually there. But the error of this extreme does not justify the opposite extreme of denying any distinctive doctrinal unity in the movement.

In this chapter, then, I will attempt to state that core theology of the Word-Faith movement. It may be that some Word-Faith advocates will disagree somewhat with the way their doctrine is presented here, but I believe that overall this presentation of the Word-Faith theology is accurate and representative of their teachings.

How Shall the Word-Faith Teaching Be Defined?
It is easy to make the Word-Faith doctrine sound silly or absurd. Indeed, one can do so by just stringing together a number of the more colorful statements that have been made by Word-Faith teachers. When critics of the movement do this and then fill in the gaps with their own interpretative embellishments, the result is a caricature.

This is the problem, as I see it, with the way in which the Word-Faith teaching is represented in the section titled “Once Upon a Time . . .” in Hank Hanegraaff’s Christianity in Crisis. Hanegraaff himself makes the following admission in a prefatory note in very small print:

The following tale is a composite of the erroneous teachings of individuals like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Frederick Price, and many others. While not all the Faith teachers hold to every aspect of this tale, they have all made substantial contributions to both the production and the proliferation of these aberrations and heresies. (emphasis added)
What Hanegraaff fails to acknowledge, unfortunately, is that none of the Word-Faith teachers “holds to every aspect of this tale.” The “composite” fails to represent accurately the views of any of the Word-Faith teachers, because none of them holds to the whole thing. Moreover, some of the elements of this “composite” are not held by any of the Word-Faith teachers but are Hanegraaff’s own imaginative and colorful additions. Hanegraaff describes the Word-Faith teachers’ God as hoping to get “lucky.” He describes the Jesus of the Word-Faith teaching as becoming “a satanic being” when he died. He claims that the Word-Faith teaching asserts that Christians can have “a palace like the Taj Mahal. . . . All it takes is to recognize your own divinity.” These descriptions, however, make the Word-Faith movement sound more akin to Eastern religions or the New Age movement than it really is. In truth none of the Word-Faith teachers ever talk this way.

This way of presenting the Word-Faith teaching, while it has shock value, unnecessarily offends those who embrace the Word-Faith teaching. Just as we would not want our beliefs to be misrepresented, we must be careful not to misrepresent the beliefs of those in the Word-Faith movement (Matt. 7:12). When they hear the views of their favorite televangelists being exaggerated or sensationalized, they use that to dismiss out of hand the many valid criticisms of the Word-Faith teaching that critics offer.

We must never lose sight of the fact that many persons do, after all, find in the Word-Faith doctrine a convincing and coherent message. I will therefore be presenting the teaching in such a form as I think a systematically minded advocate of the Word-Faith teaching might articulate it. What I have attempted to do here is to set forth the Word-Faith teaching in the best possible light, focusing on the most prominent and essential aspects of that teaching. This way, what is being refuted is not the worst possible representation of the teaching but the doctrine at its best.

I hasten to add that the more colorful and extreme ideas that have been taught by Word-Faith teachers are certainly, in and of themselves, fair targets for criticism. I will be critiquing some of them in this book. But these more outlandish ideas need to be placed fairly in the context of the Word-Faith teaching.

In order to be as fair to the Word-Faith movement as possible, I will base my exposition of its teaching solely on the words of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. Since these two men are the undisputed leaders of the Word-Faith movement, any doctrine to which both of them subscribe may be safely regarded as part of the Word-Faith teaching. With one important exception, I have avoided mentioning in this summary any doctrine taught by only one, and not the other, of these two men. Persons who acknowledge Hagin or Copeland as teachers and who accept the general ideas of the Word-Faith teaching, even if they deviate in one or a few particulars, may also be regarded as part of the Word-Faith movement.

What follows, then, is a summary of the theology of the Word-Faith movement, including the doctrinal issues that will be explored later in this book.

Human Beings Are Spirits

Basic to the Word-Faith theology is a particular understanding of human nature as spirit, soul, and body. Spirit is more real than the physical, according to the Word-Faith teaching, and therefore the spirit is the real person. It is the spirit that is made in God’s image, allowing the Word-Faith teachers to conclude that human beings are exact duplicates of God, or little gods.

Furthermore, it is the spirit to which God communicates (not the mind), and the spirit that is supposed to control the soul and especially the body. The problem with the human race is that we are allowing our bodies to control our lives, or our reason to dictate to our spirits, rather than having our spirits take control over our whole beings. This is fundamental for the Word-Faith teachers, since in their view we should disbelieve our senses when they tell us we are sick or poor, and disbelieve our reason when it tells us that the Word-Faith teaching is illogical or false (see chapter 6).

God and Humanity

According to the Word-Faith teachers, God is much more like a man than Christians generally have supposed. God is a God of faith; he created the world by faith and accomplishes all that he desires by believing in his heart and speaking the word of faith, thereby bringing things into existence (see chapter 7).

There is another respect in which Word-Faith teaching makes God more like a man than is traditionally thought. Although God is in essence a spirit, the Word-Faith teachers hold that God, like human beings, is spirit, soul, and body – albeit a “spirit body” (see chapter 8).

Likewise, the Word-Faith teachers insist that human beings are much more like God than Christians have usually believed. Our creation in God’s image is interpreted to mean that we exist in God’s “class” as the same kind of being as God, though on a smaller scale (as “little gods”). Moreover, the purpose of the coming of Jesus was to restore humanity to godhood by creating a new race of humans who, like Jesus, would be God incarnate (see chapter 9).

Humanity’s potential as little gods was, according to the Word-Faith teaching, thwarted by the fall. Adam forfeited his status as the god of this world by obeying the devil and thereby making Satan the god of this world. In sinning, Adam gave Satan legal dominion over this world and passed Satan’s nature of death, with its corresponding symptoms of sickness and poverty, down to the rest of humanity (see chapter 10).

Jesus Christ

To correct the situation arising from the fall, God, according to Word-Faith theology, implemented a strategy for reclaiming dominion from the devil. The centerpiece of this strategy was his becoming a man. Although Word-Faith teachers affirm that Jesus Christ was God incarnate, their understanding of what this incarnation meant is in some respects highly unusual.

First, all Word-Faith teachers argue that Christians are just as much “incarnations of God” as was Jesus Christ. This implies that “incarnation” in Word-Faith teaching does not mean the same thing it means in traditional Christian usage. Much of what the Word-Faith teachers say suggests that in their view anyone who is indwelled by the Spirit is an incarnation.

Second, Word-Faith teachers are not altogether clear as to whether it was the preexistent, eternal Son of God who became incarnate. Some Word-Faith teachers, such as Hagin, seem to assume this traditional, biblical view. Others, though, notably Kenneth Copeland and Charles Capps, teach that the Word that became incarnate was God’s Word of promise that he would redeem humanity, and that this Word was “positively confessed” into personal existence by the Virgin Mary (see chapter 11).

The Word-Faith teachers also have a distinctive view of what Christ did to effect our salvation. In their view, what Jesus did that was unique was to die, not merely physically but spiritually as well (thus taking on himself Satan’s nature), and go to hell. There, they say, he was “born again,” rising from the dead with God’s nature (which, it is sometimes implied, he had lost in dying spiritually). By doing so, the Word-Faith teachers argue, Jesus paved the way for us to be born again and exhibit God’s nature in our lives (see chapter 12).

As has already been mentioned, the Word-Faith teachers tend to interpret the incarnation as the prototype of God’s Spirit dwelling in a human being. In this sense, they insist, Christians are as much an incarnation of God as was Jesus Christ. This lends support, in their view, to the claim that all Christians ought to be able to overcome difficulties in their lives and perform miracles in just the same way Jesus did. In principle any of us can do anything that Jesus did on earth (see chapter 13).

Faith, Prayer, and Confession

The distinctive ideas about God and man in Word-Faith theology are the basis for its views on faith and prayer. Faith is not only believing what God says but also believing that we have whatever we say. Prayer is not only speaking to God but also speaking to things and circumstances and commanding them to do as we say. This is the basis for the concept of positive and negative confession, the idea that what we believe and say, whether good or bad, will happen for us (see chapter 14).

On the basis of a positive confession – itself based on faith that we are divine spirits created and redeemed to rule our circumstances by speaking words of faith – Word-Faith theology says we are to obtain health and wealth. Since Christ died to free us from the curse of the law, reason the Word-Faith teachers, this must mean that Christians need no longer accept sickness or poverty in their lives. Christians ought to live in divine health and wealth as testimony to the power of God and as evidence that they are children of God (see chapter 15).

This is the Word-Faith theology to be studied in this book. For the most part, my focus will not be on the personalities who promote these views but on the biblical teachings that are relevant to evaluating the Word-Faith theology. However, in order to understand the teachings fully, we need to consider how they arose and know something about their sources. The next four chapters will deal with just these questions.

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Matthew 9:34 – But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

Matthew 12:24 – But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub,[4] the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

John 7:20 – “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

John 8:48, 52 – The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” – At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.

John 10:20 – Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

Matthew 22:29 – Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

Acts 17:11 – Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Matthew 7:16, 20 – By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? – Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 7:21-22 – “Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

Matthew 7:24-27 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

James 3:1 – Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Matthew 7:12 – So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

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Taken from The Word-Faith Controversy by Rob Bowman. Used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, copyright 2001. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Book House Company. You can purchase The Word-Faith Controversy for a total of $15 by calling the Issues, Etc. resource line at 1-800-737-0172 .

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Word of Faith: Devastating Impact: Casualties

On a personal level, it seems that – in the long term especially – the WOF is devastating. It is devastating to the WOF believers because they have allowed themselves to be led astray and to be spiritually deceived. The presumption that God does not allow his own children to be deceived is obviously false, because in the Bible, Paul and John and Peter are constantly telling those early Christians to pay attention and to watch out that they would not be deceived – because the presumption is that it could happen, and in some cases was happening.

God has given us his Holy Word so that we can use it, and if we know it well, and if we use it often, and as our minds are renewed through the study of His Word, then When we know the teachings of the Bible, and how to defend our faith and identify false teachings, we are much less likely to be deceived.

But the impact of WOF for those who want to come out of it – is almost just as devastating for those who leave WOF (as it is for those who stayed), especially right after they have just left.

Where can a person go ? WHat Church would you send them to ? Who can they find to talk with, not only who will empathize, but who will actually offer them some seriously Biblical advice and genuine assistance ? And where do they start ?

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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There are many thousands of walking casualties out there who have no idea how to respond to their WOF experiences: the first half seems to be those who thought that WOF was Christianity (Which it is not) – and who then have rejected Christianity because WOF did not work; the second half seems to be those who are Christians and realize that WOF does not work, and is wrong, and is misguided, but they do not have the practice nor enough spiritual understanding – to understand

1) where the problem is or 2) how to fix it and 3) how to go on from there. And the emotional consequences can be very heavy. For many of those involved, their friends and their Churches are still WOF. So they experience additional isolation from their friends, rather than support and comfort. This may be the price for also having friends not spiritually grounded, but that does not really help much either.

The solution should include books and authors that will talk about their own WOF experiences and help to highlight the contrast between 1) what the Bible says and teaches and 2) what the WOF teaches. All this can take a lot of time.

Another part of the solution seems to try to talk it out, work it out, write it out, and let it out, and to make these things part of the process of learning how to come to terms with WOF teachings and reject them, And THEN – replace those teachings with actual Biblical theology.

The “Soft” Cults

Changing your mind to change your master ?

It used to be that Cults were essentially those who operated using an environment of obvious mind-control, where a person was food-deprived, or sleep-deprived as part of their conditioning.

Cults today are much more sophisticated. Part of the dangers of the WOF movement is that its seduction is not so much what it does to you from the exterior – as much as it is what happens to the interior of the person, who has agreed to subject themselves to the same physical environment as the WOF Teacher.

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There are aspects of the WOF movement that resemble more the beauty and seduction of a “mass movement”, than they resemble the old cults or their methods. In fact, in some ways WOF movement is more dangerous because all of its impact is on the brain of the persons being affected.

They change you – by teaching you how to change your own consciousness.
They induce the atmosphere, but it takes the will and the cooperation of the person listening, existing there in that moment, and agreeing to “take it all in” and accept it – in order for them to have the impact that they do.

There are situations where a person can recognize faulty or wrong theology in a conversation in a Coffee place. Somehow, those same people are suddenly incapable of thinking of almost anything else – except to ACCEPT the experience which is offered, in the context of the WOF meetings.

One of the characteristics of God is that He does not require us to put our minds on hold, and experiences that are truly from Him 1) Agree with the Bible and 2) are Consistent with Biblical Teachings.

Its unfortunate to say this, but in many WOF meetings, it is insufficient to suggest that it is merely false teachings which takes place. I believe that in many of those meetings, demonic spirits are looking to control the audience and find people willing to accept the input of those Evil spirits. The Bible says that Satan comes as an Angel of Light. What better place for him to display this, than in the WOF meetings ?

I believe that increasingly – in the WOF meetings, the combination of the professional production, and the work of the Spiritual Enemies of the Cross are too powerful for those who are in the audience to not be affected by them.

We can all debate how long the impact of those meetings will be, but they must be long term: Because people coming out of WOF find it so hard to extricate themselves not only from having attended, but from the experiences that they were involved with.

====

In situations like that, I believe that it is important to recognize this for what it is: good old fashioned Spiritual Warfare. This is not the “demon of nail-biting” kind. It is rather simply the Devil making war on the saints, in order to attempt to paralyze us in as many ways as possible.

Praise God that there is a natural antidote called Prayer and Renewing of our Mind through reading the Bible.

Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is important to understand that we need to pray for

a) great wisdom and discernment,

b) to pray that we will understand what has happened,

c) to pray that we would understand Which part of our theology and teachings are wrong or have been changed and altered by Word of Faith.

Those of us who do not have a local church should pray that we would find one that has people inside with 1) great spiritual discernment and 2) great spiritual maturity – or that we would be able to find a group of Christian believers who are like that.

It is important to not Stay paralyzed. We do not mean a day or two. we are talking about weeks turning to months. It is important to recognize that God does not abandon us, (even though it can feel that way sometimes) and that He allows things in our lives which will make us stronger, but that there will be times when others hurt us and there will be times when we get burned, even by those who claim to be doing the work of God.

Often, what the Devil knows he may not be able to do anymore with deception, he may try to prevent us from serving Jesus Christ by Confusion or Paralysis. The only way to work out of those feelings is to try and process them, but not allow those bad feelings to become the basis by which we make our new everyday choices.

Bad things DO happen to Good people. And the fact is that although we like to think of ourselves as Good, we are really sinners saved by the Almighty Grace of a loving God. Having said that, it is important to know and remember that just because God lets us fall does NOT mean that He rejects us. On the contrary, God wants us to know Him better. We can never go faster than God, in His desire for our company, and in HIS desire for us to know Him better and continue to worship Him, in spirit and In Truth.

These times are exiting but they do bring some dark days. We know one of the reasons why things happen to us:

II Cor 1:
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Just to be sure we dont miss it, it says that we have tribulation (Difficult & Hard times)

quote:

that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Other Verses are also helpful:

I Thessalonians 15: 18
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober [minded].

we should remember what Paul said:

II Thessalonians 2:16
Now [may] our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and [e]stablish you in every good word and work.

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/wof_devastation_1.htm

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The Word of Faith Movement and the Capture of the Mind

One of the ways that WOF (Word of Faith) harms people is that it uses their own willingness to believe something which is false – against the person who is doing the “believing”.

Many of these people who are in WOF actually have been in this kind of stuff for their entire lives (some of the WOF teachers started back in the 1950s or before). But many of the people who are in WOF are NEW to the movement. Where did or do these people come from ?

Don’t they come from other churches ? Isn’t there some kind of implication that these churches – from which the WOF converts came – did Not teach people

1) how to rightly divide the Word of God or

2) how to study the Bible or

3) how to identify important doctrines in the Bible or

4) how to spot a cult or identify false teachers ???

We are not proposing that individual believers don’t have a choice, and don’t have a responsibility to educate themselves. Clearly they do, whether someone informs this of that or not, and they are {and will be} held responsible by God, for the doctrine that they believe. The Bible tells all of us to be on our guard and warns about Spiritual deception and also about the need to stay constantly in the Word (the Bible) So That …we will continue to grow spiritually.

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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But having said that – the failure of the leaders and teachers in those local churches, would seem to be an indication of the spiritual weakness and sickness of the Church in general, that it would provide an “impression of safety and stability”, while seeming to encourage the Lack of Spiritual grounding and the Lack of development of Spiritual Maturity.

Thank God we should not leave it up to our churches, and that we can find others and good authors to help us grow spiritually. But it remains disappointing to see many people go to church but only find the confirmation of a lack of Biblically grounded and encouraging teaching.

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes?  <- link LIVE RADIO TUESDAY 10pm on BlogTalkRadio.com/How2BecomeAChristian

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These implications seem to very serious. In many cases, the original independent local churches (around today) have almost entirely failed in their Biblical duty to educate and thoroughly ground the Christians who attend in the Bible, and especially the new Christians. But now the WOF [Word of Faith Movement] is becoming so large that it will likely continue to absorb those same former “local” churches and get many of those churches to adopt WOF theology and teachings.

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/wof_&_the_mind.htm

 

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JONI A TRUE AND FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN

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Joni Eareckson Tada & Word/Faith [Word of Faith]

A Personal Experience

On December 8, 1999, Joni Eareckson Tada was on the Bible Answer Man, and made the following devastating comments about Word-Faith teachings:

Kenneth Copeland or Kenneth Hagin or Benny Hinn – they’ve never called me and asked me to come on their program.

…I had read some portions of Scripture that seemed to indicate that if God’s Word abided in me, and I abided in Him, I could ask whatever I wished and the request would be fulfilled and my joy would be brighter.

I took that to mean that God wanted me healed. And my sister packed me into her station wagon and a couple of friends, and we drove down to the Washington DC arena and Kathryn Kuhlman swept on stage and praise choruses and testimonies and songs and all of us in the wheelchair section, we kind of like with baited breath were waiting and wondering, and nothing happened. In fact, the ushers came up to all of us in the wheelchair section, about 35 or 40 of us, and said, “Let’s escort you all out early so as not to create a traffic jam, and so there I was, Hank, number 15 in line of 35 people in wheelchairs or on crutches, waiting at the stadium elevator to go up to the parking lot, and we could still hear the distant strains of the organ and piano – Kathryn Kuhlman’s meeting was still going on – and I looked up and down this line of solemn-faced individuals and saw so much disappointment, and I thought “Something’s wrong with this picture.

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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Either I wasn’t reading God right in His Word or God is not coming through on His promises.” And I knew that wasn’t true, and so Hank, it was that experience that drove me into God’s Word so deep I started reading people like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and Jeremiah Burrows and John Owen and Jonathan Edwards and other contemporary authors – Dr. John MacArthur, there’s so many. I really dove into God’s Word with both sleeves rolled up to understand the Lord’s perspective on healing and I can say now that I am so grateful for the wisdom of God.

…John 5 talks about where Jesus once visited the Pool of Bethesda, and among all these disabled people He touched and healed a man paralyzed on a straw mat for over 30 years. I remember I was in the dark at night. After my bible was closed I’d picture myself at that same pool. I would imagine me dressed in maybe a rough burlap coat lying on a straw mat, perhaps even near that man that Jesus healed, and I would plead with God in prayer, “Oh, Lord, do not pass me by.” I would even sing to Him that hymn, “Jesus, Jesus, hear my humble cry. While on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.” I would pray that, and yet I was never healed.

Well, as you know, years later, and I began to get my spiritual act together with the Lord Jesus and I realized He was using my affliction, my paralysis to push me up against a spiritual wall with my back, getting me to seriously consider His lordship in my life – years later – in fact, just last year my husband Ken and I had a chance to visit Jerusalem, and we chose to do the old city on a hot, dry, dusty day, midday, when we knew no tour buses would be around and we’d have the place pretty much to ourselves.

And Ken was pushing me in my wheelchair down the cobblestone streets and we arrived at the sheepgate, made a lefthand turn, and there, a couple of hundred yards down the path, it opened up into this grand old ruins of – my goodness, it’s the pool of Bethesda. Ken, I said, would you look at this. And although you could not make out the colonnades because the ruins were crumbling and tumbling, and there’s no water in the pool yet, the place was empty, and as I leaned against the guardrail with my elbow, Ken hopped the guardrail to jog down to the bottom of the pool to see if there was any water in one of the cisterns.

And while he was gone and the wind was warm and dry and the sun was hot, tears began cascading down my cheeks as I looked over this pool of Bethesda and I said, “Oh, Lord Jesus, how good of You to wait 30 years, almost as many years as that man laid on his straw mat, You waited this long to bring me to this place, a place where I imagined myself so many years ago, and I’m so grateful that You did not pass me by, because a ‘no’ answer to a request for healing has meant purged sin from my life, and it strengthened my commitment to you, Lord Jesus. It has forced me to depend on Your grace. It has bound me with other believers. It has produced discernment.

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes?  <- link LIVE RADIO TUESDAY 10pm on BlogTalkRadio.com/How2BecomeAChristian

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It has disciplined my mind. It has taught me to spend my time wisely. It has given me a hope of heaven. Lord Jesus, You were so good in not healing me.” And I know there are many people listening now who wish to be free of their circumstances – they are looking for an escape hatch, or maybe a quick fix for their affliction, and they think they might find it in a divorce or they are pondering maybe with the idea of suicide, such as one caller mentioned earlier. Or they’re thinking that they’ll find it in pills or medication, or a healing service. But the 32 years that I’ve been in this wheelchair and being at the Pool of Bethesda last year, has taught me that suffering is that good sheepdog, always snapping at my heals and driving me into the arms of the Shepherd. For that, I am so grateful. I am so grateful.

God Is Not a Vending Machine

Who is Joni ?

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/joni’s_story.htm

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What is the Word-Faith Movement ?

The Word-Faith Movement encompasses a number of different philosophical streams, that have coalesced into the false theological perspective that reality can be created not by human action, nor by the intention of our hearts nor by human effort (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit), but rather by the uttering of words from humans.

According to this perspective, humans have the ability to create/re-create matter and direct spiritual energy (& other energy) not by asking God, but rather by speaking words out loud. Speaking words out loud is considered speaking words “into reality”, the premise being that the words magically change the order of the universe and affect the world, or any person or circumstance, in accordance with the will of the one who utters those words. Another way of saying this is that it makes men as Gods.

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Scamming the Lamb’s Fam: Hireling Mike Murdock Gets Paid $100,000 For Twisting the Gospel on the Inspiration Network  See video here

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This view on speaking words/matter “into reality” has long been at the core of witchcraft and the occult. Under new disguises, this perspective continues to gain converts in Mainstream Christian Churches and Denominations, by those who are eager for a spiritual experience, but disregarding the source of that spiritual experience.

XOFC rejects the Word-Faith movement as contrary to the teachings of the Christian Bible, and as contrary to the teachings that Christians have held since the time of Jesus Christ. (check our books out for the documentation of this point)

Having compared Word of Faith teachings to the Bible, we don’t believe in the Word of Faith movement. Or should we say, we believe in its “reality”, just not its authenticity.

The Word of Faith Movement teaches that one can command God, and that one can do this using Words. The supposed basis for doing this is the Bible. But in Word of Faith, the Bible is treated much more like a book of Magic Incantations where the God of the Book must cooperate with those who have a copy of His
book.

This is comonly called “Word of Faith”. The Bible has another term for this: It is called Witchcraft. The belief that the Words in the Bible “activate” God and that God is compelled to respond because of the way that we pray … is simply an attempt to bend God to our will. It is the exaltation of the self in the Name of God.

But it is not connecting to God in any real sense. Charles Capps, E.W. Kenyon, Branham and Copeland actually are much closer to Charles Manson and Anton LaVey or Judas, than they are to Jesus, at least the Jesus Christ who is the Son of God, the one who died and rose again and is coming back.

The fact is that William Branham claimed to be in fear when interacting with the force that he was calling ” a Spirit”. (He also denied the Doctrine of the Trinity). Branham said that the spirit he was interacting with was threatening him. Oral Roberts also seemed to describe a Jesus who threatened him. It was the 800 or 900 Foot Jesus that had told Oral Roberts that Oral was going to have to die, if Oral could not raise a certain amount of money.

These teachings are not Biblical, and they are Not from God. The Word of Faith movement is full of counterfeit doctrines, that are Anti-Christ. The Word of Faith movement is simply Witchcraft disguised in Christian terms. We wish we could say we’re sorry for saying that, but we’re not.

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes?  <- link LIVE RADIO TUESDAY 10pm on BlogTalkRadio.com/How2BecomeAChristian

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Don’t ask yourself if you are offended. Ask yourself if this is true. The teachings of E.W. Kenyon have much more in common with the standard teachings of Witchcraft than they do with the Bible. Additionally, the occultists teach that Satan is the one who will triumph. Not surprisingly, Word of Faith teachers affirm that “Jesus had to let Satan triumph over Jesus by torturing him for 3 days”.

That story is straight from Hell. It does not explain the resurrection. It mocks it ! Word of Faith teachers are simply the prelude to the symphony from an eternally dying being who knows that his own seven years of temporary evil will come to an end. Did you actually think that we are implying that Word of Faith teachings are from the Devil ?

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You Did ? Well that is what we are trying to say – based on the evidence.

Its not the Word of Faith movement we need. Its the Word of Jesus Christ.

—————————————————————————————————-

We would encourage all to study the details and the doctrines of the Word-Faith movement.

To that End, we have begin by posting information on one of the Leaders of the Word-Faith Movement – C. Peter Wagner and one of his spiritual disciples Pastor Ted Haggard, the newly elected leader of the National Association of Evangelicals.

We have posted this information below in PDF format. We appreciate those who have provided this information to us. We encourage all to continue to do research which is able to impact many for his True Kingdom.

More Specifics on the Word of Faith Movement

http://www.exorthodoxforchrist.com/word_faith_movement.htm

 

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes? http://www.free-press-release.com/news/200901/1231101182.html

Headline: The How2BecomeAChristian.Info RADIO SHOW with Damon Whitsell AND a very special Guest: YES affirmation to Title Questions. Jan.6 10pm Central http://blogtalkradio.com/How2BecomeAChristian.

economic

United States of America (Press Release) January 4, 2009 — As one witchcraft site says,,, “The differences between the Christian and witchcraft viewpoint is the difference between being citizens of a society which takes an active role to shape and mold the structure of society or subjects of a society which has the connotation of subordination to the larger group for the benefit of all.

A similar term with very different meanings between Christian and pagan understandings of the word is “self-control”. To those practicing witchcraft they believe that they are the one who has full control over the actions. They do not surrender to another except under very brief, special and voluntary circumstances. Self-control means taking charge, making all decisions relating to oneself, doing anything so long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.

The witch views control as the act of intentionally and positively directing the will toward the achievement of positive goals. The underlying assumption with the witch’s view of self control is that man is inherently valuable, and can achieve good and beneficial ends through the use of will power.” http://www.witchcraft-magick.com/christianity.html

The same Witchcraft website says,,,, “Inanimate nature also obeyed the words of witchcraft and even the creation of the world itself was through a spoken word. The words could tear the earth apart and make water pile up in a heap and even the sun could be stopped in its course by a word uttered in witchcraft.”

Featuring Special Guest, Kenneth Hagin Student, Rhema Bible Training Center Graduate AND Ex-Word of Faith Preacher, John Edwards from faithpreacher.blogspot.com

Subtopics: 1. COULD IT BE THAT?, Americans and the World are now paying the consequences of a false “prosperity gospel“, through economic crises and outrageous personal debt? What will be the end result? 2. Honest, sincere people read and seek the truth. Scared people hide from truth?

This Press release can also be distributed with this URL link: http://how2becomeachristianinfoblog.com/2009/01/05/special-topic-press-and-listener-release-the-how2becomea-christianinfo-radio-show-with-damon-whitsell-and-a-very-special-guest-topics-1-have-american-christians-accepted-a-false-gospel-that-is-r/

In PART ONE of the series, John and Damon will examine the biblical warnings to beware of false teachers/prophets and BE NOT deceived, because one day God will send a delusion into the world, upon those who love not His truth. They will be delving into the History and Occultic/New Age/Luciferian roots of the Word of Faith Movement. And will be discussing Cult Psychology (why people fall for cults and cultic teachings, including mind control techniques). Do your ears itch?
John Edwards and Damon Whitsell will return on air Tuesday January 13 the following week to cover the assertion made in the Title that the prosperity gospel is to partly to blame for our economic crisis. MORE INFO @ http://how2becomeachristianinfoblog.com/ AND http://how2becomeachristian.info/

http://www.free-press-release.com/news/200901/1231101182.html

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Special Topic Press Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Headline: The How2BecomeAChristian.Info Radio show with Damon Whitsell AND a very special Guest: Topics; 1. Have American Christians accepted a false gospel (that is really occultic witchcraft) because they have itching ears for what they want to hear and not a love for God’s Truth? Are some “Christians” practicing Witches, Unaware? 2. Have ”Word of Faith Preachers” and “Word of Faith Believers” contributed to American National Debt and financial woes?

Subtopics: 1. COULD IT BE THAT?, Americans and the World are now paying the consequences of a false “prosperity gospel“, through economic crises and outrageous personal debt? What will be the end result? 2. Honest, sincere people read and seek the truth. Scared people hide from truth?

Biblical Truth and Your Thoughts Aired on the Social Radio Network BlogTalkRadio

Featuring Special Guest, Kenneth Hagin Student, Rhema Bible Training Center Graduate AND Ex-Word of Faith Preacher, John Edwards from faithpreacher.blogspot.com

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This segment episode of The How2BecomeAChristian.Info Radio show with Damon Whitsell AND a very special Guest: “Have American Christians accepted a false gospel (that is really occultic witchcraft) because they have itching ears for what they want to hear and not a love for God’s Truth?”,, will air on January 6, 2009 at 10 p.m. Central Time. It will be informative, exciting, socially and personally challenging to Christians and non Christians alike..

The show will feature both Show Host Damon Whitsell and Special Guest Ex-Word of Faith Preacher; John Edwards, YES AFFIRMATION,, to the title and subtitle questions.

They will offer an examination of what the Bible and Jesus have to say about false teachers and guarding against deception in the last days. A historical and theological critique of the WoF movement that has been all the rage in “big Christianity” and most Charismatic Circles. They will compare the “Word of Faith” teaching that faith and words are a “creative force“, with the exact same occult teaching that has always been the corner stone of witchcraft and the occult.

As one witchcraft site says,,, “The differences between the Christian and witchcraft viewpoint is the difference between being citizens of a society which takes an active role to shape and mold the structure of society or subjects of a society which has the connotation of subordination to the larger group for the benefit of all.

A similar term with very different meanings between Christian and pagan understandings of the word is “self-control”. To those practicing witchcraft they believe that they are the one who has full control over the actions. They do not surrender to another except under very brief, special and voluntary circumstances. Self-control means taking charge, making all decisions relating to oneself, doing anything so long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.

The witch views control as the act of intentionally and positively directing the will toward the achievement of positive goals. The underlying assumption with the witch’s view of self control is that man is inherently valuable, and can achieve good and beneficial ends through the use of will power.” http://www.witchcraft-magick.com/christianity.html

The same Witchcraft website says,,,, “Inanimate nature also obeyed the words of witchcraft and even the creation of the world itself was through a spoken word. The words could tear the earth apart and make water pile up in a heap and even the sun could be stopped in its course by a word uttered in witchcraft.”
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In PART ONE of the series, John and Damon will examine the biblical warnings to beware of false teachers/prophets and BE NOT deceived, because one day God will send a delusion into the world, upon those who love not His truth. They will be delving into the History and Occultic/New Age/Luciferian roots of the Word of Faith Movement. And will be discussing Cult Psychology (why people fall for cults and cultic teachings, including mind control techniques). Do your ears itch?

John Edwards and Damon Whitsell will return on air Tuesaday January 13 at 10pm Central Time (same bat time, and channel) the following week to cover the assertion made in the Title and Subtitle, that our current economic crises can be proven to be, at least indirectly, related to the Word of Faith Movement and it’s false “Prosperity Gospel” of greed and self centeredness. And the Word of Faith movements veritable catch 22/Double bind of, “Prove your faith by breaking out your credit card and check book, for God (or at least the “Man of God’ on T.V.)“. You will get 100 or 1000 times a return on your money (that you send to them) GO AHEAD!!! You deserve it!!! (Rev. 3: 13 & 19)

Read this for your own good. The Evil of Usury ß link The TV Word of Faith Ministers are not the only ones USING YOU and Us.

“Who goeth a borrowing goeth a sorrowing” — Benjamin Franklin.

If your not aware that the OCCULT is real and has an agenda, maybe you should check out the other H2bac.Info (with a numeral 2) ministry sites. http://occultworldexposure.wordpress.com/  AND http://www.freewebs.com/occultworldexposuregat/  Also look for a corresponding Radio Show by Damon Whitsell to start in February or March on BlogTalkRadio. Visit DeceptionInTheChurch.com

In PART TWO of the series, John and Damon will also play and critique audio clips from prominent Word of Faith Teachers false, heretical, aberrant and damnable teachings. And Damon has some tough Questions for John as he will play devils advocate with John to wrap up the second show. Both Damon and John have been strongly affected by the Word of Faith movement and have much to say on the subject.

Damon’s take on the Word of Faith Movement is: “Because my uncle is a Mormon bishop, I have studied the occult extensively. All secret occult groups have one thing in common, freemasonry as a recruiting ground. AND as several prominent freemason writers have claimed, the Cabbala is the source of freemasonry and all of the ancient mystery religions.

It just blows me away, and testifies to the veracity of the bible and its end time apostasy claims, in that so many today would agree with Satan (believe lies taught by demons) in saying Genesis 3:22 (And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever) is their favorite bible verses.

I know not many say it is their favorite verse, but the Word of Faith movement (WoF) stuff falls apart without it, Gen3:22 is what it is built on.Gen3:22 is known as the occult secret doctrine. BUT in occult circles, this so called occult truth, is only for the adept, initiated and illuminated. Freemasonry and other occult traditions practice secrets within secrets and secret groups within secret groups. These groups are split between the adept and the un-adept. SO your average WoF believer is more adept to occult teachings than most freemasons and members of other occult groups.

The WoFM transformed the Latter Rain Movement into the Manifest Sons of God Movement. AND it saddens me that the biggest outlet for occultic teachings, is now the Christian Church. I see it in the bible and I see it in occult writings. Almost every big name writer in the occult has written about how they intend on invading the Christian church and change it from inside out. Christianity will be the end time one world religion. Not the faith once delivered though. They say Christianity is to be invaded and turned into the religion of apotheosis (men become gods) or Luciferianism. AND it has happened,,,, and the ground work for the abomination of desolation is set. People that call themselves Christians (occultist have always claimed to be the true Christians because they claim to be little gods or little Christ) will soon chose to openly worship Lucifer over God,, saying as occultist do,,,,, ‘the great rebel Lucifer blazed the path to Godhood for us all‘, and they will worship him for it. The WoF crowd will be the easiest to deceive. Because they already are! Maybe more than the Mormons and more obvious occult groups.”
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Callers are welcome to join the conversation after the first hour of the show by calling (347) 215-6795. If caller demand warrants it, more shows on the subject will be scheduled. The live, Internet talk-radio show will stream from the host page and there is an interactive chat room available @ http://blogtalkradio.com/How2BecomeAChristian

An archive will be available at the same link immediately following the show or listeners can subscribe to the archives via the RSS feed located on the same host page.

Read and learn more about cults and cultic movements @ http://how2becomeachristianinfoblog.com  AND http://how2becomeachristian.info

ATTENTION: A pre-recorded interview between Damon and John is available for listening and downloading at http://www.soundclick.com/how2becomeachristian

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The How2BecomeAChristian.Info Radio show with Damon Whitsell and it’s sister sites are a How2BecomeAChristian.Info (with a numeral 2) Ministry.

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Is Baptism Essential To Salvation?

by baptismalregenerationheresy.com

There are many churches and individuals who believe that people must be baptized in water in order for them to be saved from their sins and go to Heaven when they die. Some churches teach that baptism is essential to salvation. Those churches generally believe that anyone who trusts Jesus, but does not also get baptized in water before they die, must then go to Hell, because they did not perform the “good work” of getting baptized that they might be saved thereby.

Churches believing that baptism is essential to salvation tend to de-emphasize the Blood of Christ as an all-sufficient payment for sin. Instead, they believe that the blood of Jesus is not really sufficient to “cleanse us from all sin”. (See I John 1:9). Instead, they believe that salvation must be obtained through both the good work of Christ on the cross, and through the good work of man in baptism. People who hold to this false doctrine believe that Man therefore becomes a “co-redeemer” together with Christ. They believe in salvation by the grace of God plus the works of man. This is the erroneous belief that Jesus and man both work together to pay for sin, a doctrine also taught by the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the most well-known churches teaching that baptism is essential to salvation is the “Church of Christ”. I once heard a man say that he knew of a preacher who was raised in the Church of Christ and stayed in the Church of Christ all of his life. Nevertheless, even though he was a preacher in the Church of Christ, on his death bed he wanted to be baptized “once again”, just to “be sure” that he would go to Heaven instead of going to Hell when he died.

Those churches believing that baptism is essential to salvation often use such verses as Acts 2:38 to support this point of view. This view of baptism held by the Church of Christ can be traced to its founder, Alexander Campbell. Alexander Campbell once said that, “Immersion is that act by which our state is changed” The idea that baptism itself saves, (instead of Jesus alone saving us from our sins through His own redeeming blood shed on the cross), is called “baptismal regeneration”.

The act of baptism is actually a picture of what should have already happened in the lives of believers before they were baptized. Namely, that they have already been forgiven for their sins and therefore they have already been made ready for Heaven by trusting Jesus alone for salvation. This then brings up an interesting question: If all of their sins were already forgiven before they were baptized, then how can there be any sins left over for baptism itself to “forgive” or wash away? Also, which sin will they be sent to Hell for, if someone had trusted Jesus, but then died before getting baptized?

I was baptized a few times before I was actually saved. In fact, all that happened to me on those occasions was that I got wet. I was not saved by getting baptized. When I did get saved by trusting Jesus alone for my salvation, I was e again baptized — but this time out of obedience to Christ! Since I had already been saved, I had no need to try to earn my own salvation by my own good work of baptism. Jesus had already saved me. Jesus did all the saving. It was all Christ.

I once knew of a lady who desired to be baptized. When she was baptized and came up out of the water, she praised God that she was now saved. What she meant, of course, was that she was lost in sin before going down into the water. She was trying to save herself by her own good work of baptism. Needless to say, this woman very quickly fell back into the world and back into sin, proving that she was never truly converted in the first place. Her baptism, (which was an act of “salvation by works”), did not save her from her sin.

The idea of salvation by works dates all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Cain, the son of Adam, brought an offering of vegetables to God – his attempt at “salvation by works”. Nevertheless, God wanted blood, not the “good works” of fallen man. Cain’s offering of works was therefore rejected by God. The fact is, men and women often want to give their “salvation by works” offerings to God, just as Cain once tried to do. They do not want to trust Jesus alone to save them by His blood. This “total depravity” of man in rejecting God’s way of salvation by grace, helps to explain why there are hundreds of religions in the world today which provide various forms of “salvation by works”. Jesus said:

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” (Matt. 7:13)

Most people try to be saved by their good works, such as by the good work of baptism. God’s way for you to be saved is by His grace through faith in Jesus’ blood alone, which Jesus shed outside Jerusalem at Calvary to pay for your sins. The Bible says:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

“…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (I John 1:7)

Have you trusted Jesus alone to save you from your sins? If you are trusting Jesus plus anything else to save you, then this proves that you have never actually been converted. You are still on the road to Hell. Trust Jesus alone to save you before it is too late. Eternity is a very long time, and Hell is very, very hot. Trust Jesus today!

***The Only Way to God***

http://www.baptismalregenerationheresy.com/

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Even though I have been negatively affected by other Cults and false teachings, since before I knew what a Cult and False teaching was, I am going to use MY WORDS TO HEAL those deluded by the WoF movement. Because the WoF teaching that faith is a force is not only a false teaching, But also A VERY DANGEROUS and sometimes deadly OCCULTIC PARADIGM SHIFT.

So I have decided (willed) to USE THE POWER OF MY WORDS to heal you. I will be constantly Chanting YOUR HEALED,YOUR HEALED, YOUR HEALED. So don’t make any negative confessions, least Thee over power my positive confessions, JUST RECEIVE AND BE HEALED. 

You know I am just joking, being sarcastic and a little facetious right?
 
But If I weren’t, think of the ramifications of the idea that words have magical creative power.
 
We hear Word of Faith believers say “Life and death is in the power of the tongue” BUT THAT DON’T MEAN that actions don’t have consequences, AND WORDS are more powerful than WHAT WE DO, and sometimes think. Just think how delusional and illogical the idea is that words have more power than our actions do.
 
The first thing we learn as a Kid is that actions have consequences. If we stick our finger in the fire, we find the fire is HOT, not because someone SAID FIRE IS HOT, but because fire is hot by it’s nature. As a baby,,, we cannot even understand our parents say the fire is Hot. And fire was hot WAY BEFORE cavemen quit grunting and grumbling and started talking. And we usually don’t find the real power in words until we use the wrong words, on the wrong people,,, and get a bop on the nose for it. Our words have some power, but not literal creative power.

And certainly God could have created everything,,, without a single word, because He IS GOD. THE Creator. 

Man has never created anything Ex-nihilo (out of nothing), much less with mere words. Although words can uplift, encourage and build self esteem, and our words can insult, degrade and devalue a person. Words have never actually killed anyone. It is impossible to die from saying “I am laughing myself to death”

Have you ever noticed that ALL BRIDGES ARE SLIPPERY WHEN WET? Even if they don’t have a warning sign saying so. OR SOMEBODY SAID SO. Have you ever noticed that in contradiction against the obvious implications of the Word of Faith teaching,,, deaf and speaking impaired people get sick and have problems that RESULT FROM THEIR ACTIONS,,,,, not words TOO?

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WHO SPOKE THE MAJIC WORD FIRST? 

In other words, WHERE DOES THE IDEA THAT WORDS HAVE POWER COME FROM?

If you seek out the answer to this question, you will find that the WoF teaching comes from Kenneth Haggin, who got it from EW Kenyon, who in turn got it from Mary Baker Eddy (of Christian Science) through Charles Emory. And Mary Baker Eddy got the words have power teaching from Phineas Qumby, the Father of New Thought or Mind Science .

There is a few things you should know about Mr. Quimby before you continue to try and create realities with your words.

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From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Quimby

Phineas Quimby was known as a philosopher, magnetizer, mesmerist, healer, and scientist. Quimby’s focus of attention was philosophy of mind, on which he held the dualist position. (See also Cartesian dualism).

He approached the mind-body problem by reasoning that mind was “spiritual matter”, observing that man “exists outside himself,” and that mind and body, although of two different natures, interact with each other.

Quimby claimed that disease is not the cause of illness, but the effect of a conflict existing within the mind; he claimed that all mental and most physical diseases were the result of faulty reasoning. He said “the explanation is the cure.”

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The above WiKipedia article also says that Mrs. Eddy was a patient of Mr. Quimby’s and shared his view that disease is rooted in a mental causation. The Article also tries to claim that Quimby did not mix his “System of healing” with religion. But Quimby’s own words prove otherwise.  http://www.phineasquimby.com/concerning_use_medicine.html

From the article above, Mr Quimby was a philosophical dualist who said “Medicine contains nothing to me, except as an effect – and if a patient believes he must use it, I sometimes allow him to do so; but I always tell him the cure is in himself (or in his belief), and not in the medicine.”

Philosophical dualism states that matter and mind are different. Mind is more akin to Spirit than Matter. So when Quimby would assert that “the cure is in himself (or in his belief)”,,, he was basically saying that Mind is a spiritual force that can be “tapped into” or manipulated, if you just “think rightly“, to affect sickness and disease.

WHAT ARE WORDS? Expression of thought.

Words ARE NOT a tool to manipulate a so called “force of faith” as so many Word of Faith teachers arrogantly proclaim. 

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WORDS ARE FOR WITCHES (silly rabbit) and God is for Christians

I read every article I post on this blog and probably 5-6 articles for every 1 that I do post. Many WoF expose articles will show the origins of this false teaching to go back to EW. Kenyon. Some trace it further back to Marry Baker Eddy and some go back to Quimby. But most fail to show the real source of the teaching. Satan and the Occult.

Yes,, there are many articles that show the WoF teaching of positive confession to be the same as the occultic New Age “Law of Attraction”. And anyone can see the similarities of the NEW AGE Mega-book “THE SECRET” AND the WoF teachings.

A few articles rightfully mention that the WoF teachings is akin to witchcraft without quoting any witches. Looking at the definitions of Magic, Spells and Incantation will show the WoF is witchcraft like And many article list quotes from Prominent Word of faith teachers saying that “if the occult can get results out this force of faith,, why can’t Gods children?“ Don’t that show JUST a little (wee) bit of a lack of discernment.

BUT I WOULD LIKE TO GO FURTHER THAN THAT.

Because my Uncle is a Mormon Bishop and because Joseph Smith was a Freemason, I have studied the Occult extensively. Witchcraft and other forms of the Occult IS ALL ABOUT POWER. People don’t become witches to make their parents angry. NO THEY WANT THE POWER TO CONTROL THEIR LIFES AND OTHERS.

Instead of throwing themselves to the mercy of a sovereign God and living life to please him. They seek to manipulate their reality with “spiritual forces”. But as Jesus said, “Father, If it be thy will” is what Christians should pray. God only gives us WHAT HE WILLS. No matter what we ask for?

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STRAIGHT FROM THE WITCHES MOUTH 

Here is some text from a website on witchcraft.

http://www.witchcraft-magick.com/ 

“Mankind has always attempted to know the unknowable and control it by his own actions. At the same time, it was recognized that there were powers beyond his ability to control. Throughout history, certain people have been accepted as being better at controlling the powers that represent natural forces such as earthquake, wind, flood,fire and disease.

In some cases, these powers were named as gods or goddesses, at other times the forces themselves were named and summoned and controlled by the will of humans known as witches in modern day language.

The power possessed by a witch or shaman skilled in the art and working of witchcraft was assumed to be almost limitless. By saying certain words or power names in the correct manner and correct tone of voice, the witch could heal the ill, and cast out the evil spirits which caused pain and suffering in those who were diseased.

Inanimate nature also obeyed the words of witchcraft and even the creation of the world itself was through a spoken word. The words could tear the earth apart and make water pile up in a heap and even the sun could be stopped in its course by a word uttered in witchcraft.”

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Witchcraft vs Christianity; Learn the similarities and differences of the two 

“The differences between the Christian and witchcraft viewpoint is the difference between being citizens of a society which takes an active role to shape and mold the structure of society or subjects of a society which has the connotation of subordination to the larger group for the benefit of all.

A similar term with very different meanings between Christian and pagan understandings of the word is “self-control”. To those practicing witchcraft they believe that they are the one who has full control over the actions. They do not surrender to another except under very brief, special and voluntary circumstances. Self-control means taking charge, making all decisions relating to oneself, doing anything so long as it doesn’t hurt someone else. 

The witch views control as the act of intentionally and positively directing the will toward the achievement of positive goals. The underlying assumption with the witch’s view of self control is that man is inherently valuable, and can achieve good and beneficial ends through the use of will power.”

http://www.witchcraft-magick.com/christianity.html

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EVEN WITCHES DON’T HAVE FAITH IN FAITH 

“People who are just beginning witchcraft don’t have the understanding or the ability to actually practice medicine, but witchcraft is the belief system which is outstripping all others in popularity. It is expected that young people who are practicing witches may soon be preparing for degrees in medical fields and thus improve the chances of being healed through witchcraft as well as more mainstream means and medications.

Modern scientists have documented the term called the placebo effect. When some people receive healing from illnesses which in some cases are considered terminal illnesses after being given a pill made of sugar rather than the test drug, the healing is due to the placebo effect. Others would say that they were healed by faith, the patient believed that they would be healed due to the medication, and so they were healed, in spite of the fact that they received no medication. So, faith regardless of whether the faith comes from belief in the drug, belief in God or belief in witchcraft.”

http://www.witchcraft-magick.com/spells.html

A WICHES FAITH IS in the force of WITCHRAFT,,, Not faith or God.

There is no force called faith. Faith (trust) is only as good as the object of that faith.

 

An interesting study is to get a few bible dictionaries and do a word search and study on “god of forces” I have several books on demonology by Merrill F. Unger. He has a whole chapter devoted to the “god of forces” in one of them, so he might have a really good definition in his bible dictionary. I will look when I get more of my books out of storage.

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IN CLOSING 

I have about a dozen witchcraft websites bookmarked that are speaking about “creating your own future with the power of words” or “use your words to make yourself rich and powerful” BUT I will not make anymore quotes from them in this article.

INSTEAD I ask you to take a intellectual peek into the matter for yourself,, after you have prayed for spiritual protection over your heart.

Control, Power, and creating so called “realities” out of non physical realities (words and thoughts) is the very basis of all Occult philosophies. USE THE POWER LUKE, AM I YOUR FATHER?

The Word of Faith movement is nothing more than Gnosticism/Occultism invading the Christian Church tempting the Modern Christian to attempt to be in control of his own destiny and well being,,,, instead of FULLY RELYING ON GOD.

Have you bought into the lies, Do you still buy into the lies, OR WAS YOU HEALED BY THE POWER (reasoning) OF MY WORDS? Or maybe it was the power words in the title?

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Responding to Heresy: Five Biblical Principles for Confronting Heresy

Are We Afraid to Even Mention It?

In a culture that has a hard time accepting the notion that there are objective, transcendent truths about the nature of God, it’s sometimes hard to take a stand for what we believe without offending someone. And more and more, offense is being taken WITHIN the Christian community. Relativism has entered the Church with a roar, and ‘doctrine’ has become a dirty word. Many current theologians and Christian writers have come to reject the idea that ANY established doctrine of Christianity is objectively true. For these thinkers who have been profoundly affected by the culture around them, we traditionalists dare not take a stand for what has been believed and accepted for two millennia. For these post modern theologians, no truth is fixed or objectively true for all of us. Everything is up for negotiation:

“…the doctrine of the Trinity is still on the table. Some people, it seems to me, would like for us to no longer debate certain ‘sacred’ doctrines — the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the nature of scripture, the nature of marriage etc. And these persons tend to get very jumpy when emergent-types discuss these ‘sacrae doctrinae’, especially in books and at conferences that are being taped. ‘This is dangerous,’ they say. I say it’s dangerous to stop talking about these things, and it leads to a hegemony among those who already control the seminaries, colleges, magazines, radio stations, conferences, publishing houses, and magazines. We (Emergent Village) will continue to debate such things” (Tony Jones, from his Theoblogy Blog entry, “De Trinitate” – emphasis in the original).

It’s interesting to note that the effort to seek and uphold the ancient, objective, Biblical truth that is now seen as ‘hegemony’ (the desire of those in authority to dominate and exercise control over others). The pursuit and defense of truth is being seen as oppressive, not by unbelievers, but by FELLOW believers!

The Fight for What is Right

Christians today seem to have forgotten how important truth was to Jesus and to the first believers. Many current thinkers actually feel like it is divisive for us to take a stand for truth at all, and they certainly don’t like it when they are publicly rebuked for holding a position that might be called ‘un-Biblical”. But let’s try to remember that both John the Baptist and Jesus were quick to point out the false teaching of those around them, and they did so with a pointed and biting manner. Take for example, John’s biting condemnation of the Pharisees he addressed on the shore of the Jordan River:

Matthew 3:7-9
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves,’ We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”

That sounds pretty bold to me. John certainly had no problem calling people out for their beliefs. Was he being Godly? Was He following the Biblical Model? Well one thing is certain: he was behaving in a manner that was consistent with the Lord. Look at how Jesus addressed the same group:

Matthew 12:34
“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”

Both John and Jesus had no problem addressing false teaching and addressing false teachers. Perhaps there is something that we can learn about the importance of identifying what is true and addressing what is false.

Five Biblical Principles for Dealing with Heresy

Let’s look at several Biblical principles that can help us understand how we can and SHOULD address error. These are principles that are meant to guide Christians as they confront heresy. If we abide by these principles, no Christian brother or sister can ever accuse us of acting in an ungodly way. And conversely, if we see others refusing to abide by these principles, they are clearly not behaving as God would have them behave:

We Should Call Out the Teacher By Name!

We simply MUST identify those who are teaching error. Paul certainly had no problem doing this and he instructed those who followed him to do the very same thing. In these passages written to Timothy in Paul’s ‘pastoral’ letter, note that Paul does NOT hesitate to name names. He PUBLICLY identifies false teachers and ungodly men so that others can be warned:

2 Timothy 4:9-10
Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica

2 Timothy 1:15
You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

1 Timothy 1:18-20
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

We too are called to (1) Identify false ideas, and (2) Publicly expose those who are either living by or teaching others these ideas.

We Should Describe the Teaching!

We also need to be very articulate about WHAT it is that is false in the teaching of these false teachers. We need to take the time to describe the error. Paul also did this, even as he named the false teachers by name:

2 Timothy 2:16-18
But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some.

We too are called to (1) Know the truth well enough to see the lie coming, and (2) Describe the lie to others so that they can be warned.

We Should Do All We Can to Silence the Teacher!

In some ways the first two principles seem rather defensive, particularly when compared to the next set of principles which are a bit more aggressive and proactive when dealing with error. Paul asked his followers to do their best to stop false teaching by SILENCING the false teachers and DENYING them a platform from which to teach!

Titus 1:10-11
For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.

2 John 9-11
Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

We too are called to (1) Understand how false teaching impacts believers and their families, (2) Recognize the worldly motives of false teachers, and then (3) Do all we can to silence these teachers and keep them from having the opportunity to spread the lie.

We Should Refute the Heresy!

But what do we do about those who have already gained a foothold in the Christian community teaching false ideas and doctrines? How are we to respond once the error has already started to permeate the Church? Paul tells his followers that they are to REFUTE the lies. They are to identify and demonstrate WHY the false teaching is false, and then REPLACE this false teaching with the truth, and they are to do this in an emphatic and strong manner:

Titus 1:7-9
Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless-not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Titus 1:13
This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith…

We too are called to (1) Identify doctrinal errors and describe their false nature, (2) Strongly correct teachers who teach this kind of error, and (3) Replace the errors by describing the Biblical truth of the orthodox Christian Worldview.

We Should Avoid Those Who Continue to Follow or Teach the Lies

Even though we may make a dedicated effort to identify, call out, and refute false teaching and false teachers, many may still decide to follow lies, particularly if some worldly desire can be satisfied by accepting a lie. How are we to live in regards to people who either teach falsely or live according to false views? Well, according to Paul, we are to avoid people like this:

Ephesians 5:11-14
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.

Romans 16:17-18
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

Titus 3:10-11
Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

We too are called to (1) Avoid those who have embraced false teaching, and (2) Warn and ultimately reject those who are false teachers. Paul is pretty clear about how we are to treat those who are living according to false teaching. We are not to try to make peace with or embrace this kind of person or teaching. God calls us to separate from people who say they are Christians, but are following false teaching. That’s pretty severe, but it is what God clearly calls us to do if we are to take the words of Scripture seriously.

The Truth Matters to God

It sure sounds like God is calling us to be very careful about the truth that the Bible teaches. It sure sounds like God is calling us to study the truth, then set careful boundaries around this truth so we will know when someone has crossed over a boundary into a lie or false teaching. It sure sounds like God is then calling us to deal strongly with those who are leading others astray. Why would God call us to be so harsh and judgmental? Why would God call us to take a stand for truth as if truth was NOT relative to the holder but existed objectively, transcending all of us?

God calls his children to study, understand and DEFEND the truth because the truth DOES matter to God. Faith, in and of itself, is not what God is looking for. We need to understand that. Faith is NOT, in and of itself, valuable or capable of saving us. It’s not enough to be sincere or intense. Faith, in and of itself, has no magic power. It’s faith in the TRUTH that matters to God. It’s faith that has been placed in the correct and true God of the universe that matters to God. That’s why God is so particular and calls us to have an accurate understanding of who God is. And that’s why God has called us to treat heresy very seriously.

http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/The_Biblical_Response_to_Heresy

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Ten Reasons for Rejecting Word-of-Faith Teachings

by Tricia Tillin Intotruth.org

REASON ONE:

It requires ‘revelation knowledge’.

Like the gnostic heresies all through the ages, Word-of-Faith needs special knowledge in order to be effective. Leaders see themselves as having a commission to bring new spiritual revelation to the Body, and they condemn ‘sense-knowledge’ as inadequate. In this scheme, it is not sin and disobedience that causes us to fail, but ignorance of the Word. Moreover, this revelation knowledge is limited to the few who can receive it; the less intelligent are at a disadvantage. This is elitism.

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REASON TWO:

It makes the Almighty God and Creator a weak ‘faith-being’ who is at the mercy of His own universal laws.

Although Word-of-Faith ministers speak of God in a personal way, they treat Him like an impersonal ‘energy source’ with ‘forces’ that can be operated by the use of laws – laws which even God has to obey in order to create and run His universe. God, they say, has left the control of the planet in man’s hands and is powerless to intervene without a covenant partner. God’s omnipotence and sovereignty is damaged by these teachings.

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REASON THREE:

It makes the Divine Son of God into a born-again man who had to die in Hell to pay the price for our treason.

Jesus, according to Word-of-Faith doctrine, discarded His divine powers and walked earth as a mere man filled with The Spirit. He had to use the Word and the laws of faith to do miracles. When He died, His blood did not atone, but He had to take upon Himself the very sin-nature of the Devil, causing His spirit to die, and suffer three days and nights of hellish torment AS A MAN before the Father gave the command for Him to be re-created as a re-born man. Thus, they say, Jesus was just the first of many sons, the Pattern for us all to follow.

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REASON FOUR:

It elevates man to equality with Jesus.

A consequence of the ‘Jesus-died-spiritually’ doctrine is that all born-again Christians stand in the same place of power and authority as Jesus – not by virtue of their unity with Him, but in themselves, as men filled with the Spirit. This would mean that we have already been resurrected from the dead and it only remains for us to gain ‘knowledge’ of our new condition in order to discard the trappings of the fleshly body and begin living as spiritual gods on earth!

Thus, the Christian walk is one of education in using the same spiritual laws as Jesus in order to dominate the circumstances and do miracles. In Word-of-Faith teaching, believers do not depend on God’s own power, nor submit to His will, but feel they have the right to develop their own powers, and to discover the laws governing creation and dominion on the earth.

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REASON FIVE:

It makes man a god.

To understand the special position that Word-of-Faith gives to man, we need to know their interpretation of the Creation. In their teaching, man HAS NO NATURE OF HIS OWN but takes his nature from his ‘lord’. When God was his Lord, then man had a divine nature – for he was created as god of the earth, they say – but after man’s fall, he took the sin-nature of the Devil and became like Satan. (All this, of course, is contrary to scripture). So, Word-of Faith believers would reason that a born-again man has regained his divine nature. Thus, he is entitled to use the attributes of his divinity, such as creative powers and domination of the environment etc.

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REASON SIX:

It makes the redemption into a restoration of dominion for mankind.

Word-of-Faith teachers stress the loss of dominion over the earth, not sin, as the root problem. So, salvation becomes a matter of re-discovering one’s place of godhood and learning to rule as kings on earth. The role Jesus had to play in redemption was that of a substitute Adam, coming to earth to fulfill all that Adam failed to do, demonstrating the possibilities of dominion, and then taking Adam’s place in Hell to let mankind ‘off the hook’. The worship given to Jesus by Word-of-Faith believers is more from a sense of gratitude than a recognition of His divinity. It also misses the whole point of redemption: that Jesus HIMSELF is the Life and Salvation of mankind and that we are only saved in union with Him.

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REASON SEVEN:

Its goal is the transformation of the earth by spiritual dominion.

Because Word-of-Faith believers see themselves as having returned to their god-like dominion of the earth, they foresee the time coming when – by sheer force of numbers, probably – all mankind has to bow the knee to God. They teach that all the wealth of the world will flow to the Church, and that the laws, government and entire social structure of the world system will have to change. Despite scriptural warnings of apostasy and increasing wickedness in the end-times, they foresee a great victory for the Church in the future, as the Spirit sweeps millions into the ‘kingdom’ on earth. Whether or not they claim to believe in the end-times plan of Revelation, the Rapture, the Millennium or any of these things, they still seem to be able to fit a scheme of global Church unity and triumph into the plan of the ages.

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REASON EIGHT:

It replaces prayer with confession, and God’s will with the manipulation of ‘forces’.

Word-of Faith teaches Christians to draw upon powerful ‘forces’ that reside in the human spirit – such as the force of faith – to bring certain laws into operation. They emphasise the word (not the Son of God, but the scriptures) as the power used to operate all these spiritual laws. So, learning and confessing the Word continually is the method used to obtain anything we want. This self-rule leads to pride and greed. But a Christian must deny himself and submit to the entire will of God, as revealed moment-by-moment by the Holy Spirit.

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REASON NINE:

It denies the reality of sin and sickness.

Word-of-Faith ministers teach that the only true reality is spiritual, and the earthly senses are deceptive. Thus, believers are led to deny that they are ill, poor or in any way below par. They are taught to overcome adversity by confessing a suitable ‘positive’ scripture, instead of seeking God’s guidance. Also, the reality of sin, and the need for forgiveness is glossed over by teaching that a simple confession of the Lordship of Jesus will effect a change of lifestyle.

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REASON TEN:

It focuses on self and the world instead of God and Heaven.

The emphasis in Word-of-Faith doctrine is all on success, prosperity, advancement, gain, health and strength. There is little compassion for those who fail to come up to these exacting standards. Any adversity is said to be a ‘lack of faith’ to confess the appropriate Word. This is a great misunderstanding of the wisdom of God, and His plan to bring his children to glory, for if we refuse to share in the trials, setbacks and persecutions of Jesus, we are not ready to share His glorification. [Rom 8:17]

Some of the Word-of-Faith teachers and ministries have been the worst offenders in bringing the Name and the cause of Jesus Christ into disrepute. Ministries that emphasise prosperity have ended up in greed, manipulating believers into giving money they can little afford. Over-emphasised teaching about God’s healing has led to extravagant claims for miracles that have been exposed as hyperbole and sham. Doctrines about man’s godhood and superhuman abilities have led to arrogance, self-will and the use of psychic powers to perform miracles instead of a simple dependency on the Holy Spirit. Also, teachings about faith have become rituals and formulas for producing instant result; and many who could not or would not go down this road were derided and rejected as “having no faith”.

Legions of hurt people have testified to their bad experiences, both personally and corporately, with Word-of-Faith extremes and excesses. Indeed, the very root of this teaching is bad, coming as it does from Christian Science and the metaphysical schools of thought.

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CONCLUSION:

What we can learn from the Word-of-Faith doctrines is really no more than straight-forward biblical teaching in the first place – faith in God and in His Word, belief in divine intervention in our affairs, a positive outlook based on the promises of God, and a knowledge of the defeat of satanic powers in Jesus – all this and more is good and sound, but the Word-of-Faith movement today has gone far beyond these boundaries and created a monster that is devouring both its leaders and followers alike.

It is not necessary to buy into a Word-of-Faith system in order to benefit from the plain teaching of scripture. Any who are followers of Word-of-Faith ministers should think very carefully about their position as followers of men and of a dubious man-inspired system of formulas, and also should be wary of the manipulation to give gifts and tithes to these ministries. It would be better to support your own church, or more humble and doctrinally sound Christian works, and to seek for scriptural inspiration from the Holy Spirit who is our only Guide and Teacher.

http://www.francesandfriends.com/Ten-Reasons-to-Reject-WOF

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8 Characteristics of a Counterfeit Christian Church
By Eric Johnson

With the leaders of thousands of different religions and churches attempting to make their beliefs appear authentic, it behooves a person to carefully ascertain truth from error. In fact, many leaders of these faiths may call themselves “Christian” and even attempt to convert Christians into their churches.

After all, Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” This is why John warned the believers in 1 John 4:1 to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” And 1 Thessalonians 5:21 adds, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27 that they were “like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” How can we tell whether or not a particular religious leader (like the Pharisees) ought to be believed, especially when such a person may appear authentic and even claim to be Christian? Let’s then consider eight basic doctrinal characteristics of counterfeit groups.

1. Denial in the true nature of God
The rejection of fundamental Christian tenets such as the historical definition of God should be a major warning sign to any perceptive believer. Groups that deny the Christian viewpoint of the deity of Christ and the Trinity typically follow in point-by-point succession each of the other characteristics in this article. One example is The Way International, a group founded by Victor Paul Wierwille, (He once served as a former evangelical pastor. In fact, several cult leaders had their start in authentic Christian denominations and churches.) Wierwille’s view of God is Unitarian rather than Trinitarian as he denies that there are three persons in the Godhead. He also claims that Jesus was not God, teaching that the deity of Christ was not a Christian teaching for the Christian church’s first 300 years. This is a common (though false) assertion of many cult leaders. Because Wierwille and his church deny the very essence of what makes God who He is, this is a group to avoid.

2. Works-emphasis salvation
Although a counterfeit’s doctrine may include the idea that God’s grace is important in the role of salvation, the leader normally emphasizes the idea that “salvation” ultimately comes through one’s own efforts. Take the Hare Krishna devotees, for instance. These dedicated followers believe that they are in the middle stage of their reincarnation cycle. The way for a dedicated devotee to be born into the next level of existence is to deny himself on this earth while performing good works, including the repetition of the Hare Krishna mantra a total of 1,728 times a day. It may take a devotee who wakes up at 4 A.M. several hours a day to maintain this goal. Those who belong to such work-oriented groups are normally told that they can never know if their works are good enough to please God; instead, they are told to keep trying even harder.

3. The true church
Counterfeit Christian churches often make it a point to cast doubt and suspicion on other churches or denominations, with the leader oftentimes claiming that only his church is true. While many groups hold that the Christian churches do have partial truth, it is taught that full truth has somehow been lost and can now only be found in the “one true church.” This may involve utilizing Christian terminology while having a different meaning behind those particular words. An example is the Watchtower Society, also known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This group, founded by Charles Taze Russell in the 19th century, teaches that those who belong to any church outside of “Jehovah’s” church are doomed to annihilation. Only those who belong to the Watchtower organization have a chance to attain “Paradise Earth.” This is why Jehovah’s Witnesses are adamant in sharing their faith door to door, even attempting to convert those who already attend Christian churches. The Jehovah’s Witnesses will often use words that sound reasonable to a nominal Christian (i.e. “Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses,” “salvation,” “Jesus Christ,” etc), but they are usually reluctant to tell potential converts that the meanings behind these words are completely different than what has been historically meant.

4. Authoritative leadership
A group where the leader(s) has an authoritative role, even to the extent that they say they speak for God, is another cause for concern. Such leaders claim to have special revelation with God, and their words hold special precedence over their followers. A classic example is Jim Jones, who led almost 1,000 followers to their deaths in the jungle of Guyana in 1978. When men in his charge killed Rep. Leo Ryan (D-CA), a congressman who was visiting “Jonestown” in response to complaints from the relatives of church members, Jones called for his followers to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. The majority of the people willingly followed his commands because they had come to accept his words as truthful and from God. Those who refused were shot. Trusting someone so much that you listen to any command, even to the point of moving to another country and then taking your own life, is something that God never intended.

5. Regimented giving requirement
Another heretical trait is when a church regulates the giving of its people or requires a certain amount of financial giving in order to receive certain privileges related to salvation. For example, the Church of Scientology teaches that people need to discover their true nature through a process called “auditing.” This is accomplished by “clearing Engrams” from one’s life. One Los Angeles Times article on Scientology religion estimated that it would cost a full “Operating Thetan 8” participant between $200,000 to $400,000 from the beginning of the lessons to the completion. Without these courses, the adherent is unable to clear himself of these unwanted “Engrams.” Using finances as a requirement to reach salvation goals is much different than what Jesus, Paul, and Peter preached.

6. Loss of salvation for leaving
Many counterfeit Christian churches insist that if a member decides to leave the group, for whatever reason, they jeopardize their salvation before God. One group with such a belief is the Boston Church of Christ, also known as the International Churches of Christ. The leaders of the ICC teach that there should only be one church in any particular city, which they say is the New Testament model. Members who decide to leave are considered spiritually lost and their salvation is considered negated. This is true even for those who leave because they decide to attend a Christian church outside the ICC network. Since the ICC does not recognize the baptisms of other denominations, and since the doctrine of baptism is considered a necessity in order to receive salvation, leaving the ICC negates the baptism that was given when the person joined the church. Holding a person’s salvation hostage in such a way is certainly not biblical.

7. Authority beyond the Bible
Although the Bible is sometimes utilized and even considered beneficial by a number of counterfeit groups, it is not considered as a completely authoritative scripture. Therefore, extrabiblical writings are necessary. Normally these scriptures are considered to have more authority than the dated Bible. The Christian Science religion is one example. Those who inquire into this religion are told that Mary Baker Eddy’s 1875 pantheistic book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is a “reference book for life,” which is needed by a person who hopes to discover “practical, spiritual answers for health and healing, security, and lasting relationships.” This book must be studied in order to ascertain full truth. When the Bible contradicts Eddy’s book, then the Bible is considered to be wrong or misunderstood.

8. Unique truths never before revealed
The idea that a hidden mystery or new truth is available through a particular church should be taken as a strong sign that this group is a counterfeit Christian religion. In addition, many such groups may change their doctrines over time. Christians believe that God has very clearly shown His truth through the pages of the Bible; therefore, new or fluctuating doctrine—especially that which contradicts the Bible—ought to be taken with a great deal of caution. The Unification Church (numerous front names include “Association of Families for Unification and World Peace” or “Family Federation for World Peace and Unification”) was founded by Korean “Rev.” Sun Myung Moon. He teaches that Jesus never fulfilled his mission. Therefore, Moon says that he was commissioned to finish the job that Jesus never finished. Moon’s followers (often known as “Moonies”) accept Moon as a Christ-like representative on earth whose teachings supersede the Bible. The Unification Church theology has evolved over time, and there may be some drastic changes once he dies in the very near future.

Conclusion
Not all counterfeits may be characterized by every one of these traits. However, a person should be cautious when considering a church that is marked by one or two of these characteristics, especially any of the first three in the list. Churches with three or more of the above characteristics ought to be avoided at all cost. In addition, there are some Christian churches that may not have doctrinal problems but are rather sociological abusers. For instance, some churches have controlling “discipleship” programs or church memberships with high levels of guilt or feelings of inadequacy. These types of groups also ought to be avoided. If you believe that your church has problems in either doctrinal or sociological areas, you would be wise not to get involved. If you are already a member, you need to consider leaving. As John 8:32-33 says, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

http://www.mrm.org/topics/introductory-issues/8-characteristics-a-counterfeit-christian-church

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OUR EXPERIENCES WITH KENNETH COPELAND by Tom Killingsworth  @ exwordoffaith.blogspot.com

I would have left the Word of Faith on the basis of that denomination’s Gnosticism and the abuses of the Prosperity Gospel. But I would have parted peacefully. The abuses of human beings that I saw at the hands of leaders in the Word of Faith, particularly Kenneth Copeland, his daughter Terri Pearsons, and other leaders at Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) and Eagle Mountain International Church (EMIC) are the reasons that I am blogging all this. Copeland needs to be exposed as a tyrant and a fraud!

Let me tell you what happened and you can judge for yourself.

My wife and I had been followers of Kenneth Copeland since 1990. We believed everything he said. While not members of Eagle Mountain International Church (the church affiliated with KCM and pastored by Copeland’s son in law), we did go there. We always wanted to work for KCM, and in August of 2003, we both got our chance. We were so excited! This was the opportunity of a lifetiime — to be able to help Brother Copeland put legs to his vision and help expand the Kingdom of God!

Yeah. We were in for a rude awakening! It was one thing to see KCM and EMIC from the outside. It was quite another to be insiders.

What we saw was nothing short of spiritual abuse and Shepherding. Remember, in a previous article, I mentioned two separate sources that prove that Kenneth Copeland married the Word of Faith with Shepherding. Keep that in mind as you read our experiences.

While I was at KCM, a nationally famous minister came in to encourage us at one of our staff “chapels.” He said “Don’t ask questions. Just do what you’re told. If you ask questions, then you aren’t in faith.” If we were going to do our job, didn’t we need to know what we were doing, and didn’t that mean we had to ask questions? This was nothing less than Shepherding, a restatement of “Don’t touch the anointed!”

A friend of mine who attended EMIC, began to become concerned about the direction the church was headed. It seemed all he heard were sermons on prosperity. So, he wrote the pastor a letter outlining his concerns. The next week, the pastor stood up and held up my friend’s letter and said “I have received a letter from a member outlining some concerns with our church. These are legitimate concerns and questions and I want to answer them. So, next week, I will answer this letter, question by question.”

The following week, the senior pastor remained seated, in a very submissive manner. His wife, Terri Pearsons, the senior associate pastor and Copeland’s daughter, stood up and took the microphone. In front of a congregation of 3,500 people, she said “Some of you have questioned what is taught in this church. If you don’t like it, I suggest you go find another church that you can more easily manipulate, because it won’t happen here.” My friend said that his blood ran cold because he knew the pastor’s wife was talking about him. Then the pastor’s wife led the congregation in an oath of allegiance to the pastor. I was there that day. I refused to take the oath, and I never returned after that Sunday. Oddly enough, KCM did not have a job requirement commanding employees to be members of EMIC, so we left and went elsewhere. An oath of allegiance? Total obedience to the pastor is a concept of Shepherding. I no longer ask myself why this woman said what she said. If Shepherding is a part of the official doctrine of KCM/EMIC, then she was just doing what she thought she was supposed to do.

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That was not the only occasion, either. We later learned that the pastor’s wife also publicly humiliated and eviscerated the head of the greeter department, simply because the head greeter refused to require all her ladies to wear dresses, and allowed a few to wear pants suits. In other words, the pastor’s wife, a member of the Copeland family, enacted the Shepherding practice of telling someone how to dress.

I have a friend who worked at KCM at the same time I did. While she worked there, her mother “came out of the closet” and declared herself to be a lesbian. A coworker took my friend aside and said that her mother couldn’t be her family anymore because she was going to Hell. Her coworkers were her family now. This cut my friend to her core! I don’t know the motivations of the woman who said this to my friend, but the end result was spiritual abuse. This is a sign of Shepherding, a belief that they have the right to tell us who our friends and family ought to be.

During my tenure at that ministry, I experienced quite a bit of indirect Shepherding. I say indirect, because these were rules that were hinted at, not given to me directly in writing or as a verbal warning. The appearance of what was appropriate was more important to leadership than our spiritual walk with God. So I knew I had to wear a mask of correct behavior and not admit to liking things that were frowned upon by the Copeland family (in my case, comic books, science fiction stories, unbridled sex for pleasure with my wife, and the theological works of non-Charismatic ministers). If any of us employees did mention these “unspeakables” in public, it was not uncommon for us to be silenced and told that if management found out, we could be fired. It grew wearying after a while, and I felt dehumanized after working there for four months. I was told that it was a great honor to work at that ministry, yet I felt totally dishonored as a person.

Shortly before my wife left KCM, it imposed a gag order. In a rather stridently written memo, management said that employees were not to talk to anyone, including family members, because they never knew who they would be talking to. That person could be a news reporter. I should think that an employee would know if his or her spouse or child is a reporter! This memo did nothing to help build marriages and strong families. Instead, if taken literally, it would build suspicion, distrust and paranoia within the families of employees. I’m sorry, but to me, this is Shepherding; management by fear and coercion, putting loyalty to the church above loyalty to family.

Parties are meant to be fun, to be celebrations of accomplishment, a holiday season, or just for the heck of it. But it is difficult to celebrate when your invitation to the party pretty much says “you are required to attend, required to have fun, and if you don’t, you will be fired.” While not putting it in exactly those terms, we knew that when the ministry invited its employees to a party, that if we valued our jobs, we should go. This is not just a rhetorical reading of the memo, either. Another friend of mine who worked at that ministry, decided to not attend the Christmas party one year. They were serving barbeque beef, something he doesn’t care for, so he went off site for a sandwich. When he returned, he was hauled into his supervisor’s office, given a written reprimand, and told me that the only reason he wasn’t fired was that he was too good at his job. His supervisor told him that when the ministry invites you to a party, it is a high honor and privilege so he better go!

Invitations to special conventions and teaching engagements were treated the same way. Like it or not, we knew we had to go, or lose our jobs.

That kind of action did nothing to enhance our spirituality or walk with God. If anything, that kind of action tore it down.

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I was a licensed Word of Faith minister for several years, and during that time I had a friend who was a pastor at EMIC. At one time, we were very close. But when I became a minister, things changed. He began to take it upon himself to mentor me, without my permission. At the time, I had a ministry to Goths, and he would tell me to teach prosperity to the Goths, tell them to stop wearing black, tell them to stop reading poetry, and go get jobs in the corporate world. I was trying to reconcile Goths to Jesus; if I had done what he said, I would have alienated them further. When I didn’t do what he said, he called me rebellious. Uh … I was licensed by a totally different church, so he was not part of my ecclesiastical chain of command, so how could I be rebelling? When I found out that KCM/EMIC was merged with Shepherding, I saw his actions for what they were – part of the theological platform that made up his job.

I left KCM as part of a massive layoff in 2004. My wife was fired in late 2007 … for posting a photo of her Halloween costume online. Before you go and scream at us for celebrating Halloween, I have to point out that she and I are old theatre people and take any opportunity to put on costumes. To us, it’s a reason to “dress up.” If we could do it in April and July, we would. We weren’t engaging in any sorcery or fright fests. Yet, a Halloween costume photo, on my wife’s personal blog, was a reason for this ministry to fire her. They were actually looking for a reason to fire her; her opposition to the Prosperity Gospel was becoming well known. My wife did something that was against the written and spoken doctrines of the church. Shepherding allows no independent thought or feelings by congregation members.

As soon as my wife was fired, I began to be stalked on my Xanga blog by employees of KCM. As many as 50 anonymous “footprints” (ISP addresses) would appear on my blog daily. Through Xanga’s footprint tracking system, I could easily tell that they originiated inside KCM. This lasted from mid-October, 2007 until early 2008. I guess they grew weary of me after I made my blog private. Stalking of ex-members is a Shepherding technique. I was perceived as a threat and had to be monitored.

Six friends left me. Two were very close, and I considered them to be two of my best friends. These friends left me, not just because of a theological dispute, but because they chose loyalty to the doctrines of men and to EMIC over loyalty to a human being. This was shunning in action.

The day after my wife was fired, several of our friends who worked at KCM at the time were hauled into their superiors’ offices and grilled about their connection with my wife and me. They were told that KCM had checked out their background thoroughly … one can only ponder what THAT meant! Most were given a “clean bill of health.” Two of these friends had restrictions placed on them by the pastors of EMIC, preventing them from having any future contact with us. I did not hear what the consequences would be if they ever ran into us in Wal-Mart. Shepherdists dare to tread only where our mothers did … in believing that they have the right to tell people who their friends will be. Some people are gullible enough to believe they have to obey.

Since our departure from KCM and the Word of Faith, we have found out more about Kenneth Copeland and his true nature. The way he is behaving is so much like a Shepherding preacher, or a cult leader, that I can’t tell the difference.

First, Senator Grassley launched an investigation into six televangelists. I’ve read the questions Grassley sent them. The questions to Copeland are the most extensive and the most damning. To read them yourself, click here.  Why did Copeland use a church owned airplane to fly to Colorado on a vacation? Why is there a for-profit cattle company operating on ministry land? What happened to the funds donated for investment in the Revival Capital of the World theme park, which shows no signs of being built? These are legitimate questions, and Grassley would not be investigating if there were not some evidence of wrong doing by Copeland. Did Copeland answer Grassley? No. He refused. What he sent as an answer to the Senator was a mere pie chart, their IRS statement, and the address to the IRS. In other words, KCM gives the appareance of having much to hide. If they had nothing to hide, then why not tell all to the Senator? Maybe that’s why KCM erected a wrought iron fence, complete with lockable gates, around the ministry property … to keep IRS and ATF agents out. They place does look more and more like the Branch Davidian compound.

Following an impromptu interview by a local reporter, Copeland attended what was supposed to be the dedication ceremony for KCM’s new Partner Services Building. Instead of reading the Bible or praying, Copeland spent half an hour blasting the reporter and calling him names. Gloria Copeland had to publicly remind him that he was there to pray for the building.

Two friends of mine, who are also ex-KCM employees, and now ex Word of Faith, agreed to be interviewed for a news broadcast in which they pretty much called Copeland a liar. The day after the local news broadcast (to read the transcript, click here;  to see the actual broadcast, click here), which was also two days after Senator Grassley launched his investigation into KCM, Copeland convened a “chapel,” which is more of a business propaganda meeting than any spiritual event. During the “chapel,” Terri Pearsons called Grassley, the local news reporter, and my two friends, Nazis and possessed of the anti-christ. Her rant was published on the KCM website, and everyone that I know who saw it all said the same thing; “She’s demon possessed!” The hatred and terror at someone catching her father’s hand in the cookie jar was palpable.To see her rant for yourself, click here.

In late November, Copeland had presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on the Believer’s Voice of Victory broadcast, giving a politician a week’s worth of free publicity. This is from a man who demands that Senator Grassley respect the separation of church and state, but is unwilling to recognize that same separation where an Evangelical candidate is concerned. That was just blatant hypocrisy. To see them for yourself, click here. You won’t have to scroll down very far. The dates are November 26 – 30, 2007.

It gets better!

Copeland revealed his true colors at his Ministers Conference, held January 22 through 24, 2008, at EMIC. He didn’t appear as a Shepherdist, but he did use the U.S. Constitution as toilet paper.

First, he turned the conference into a fund raiser for Huckabee. It was supposed to be a conference for ministers and by ministers. Instead, he turned it into a political platform, raising $111,000 in cash for Huckabee, and a million dollars in pledges. Oh, sure, the KCM spin doctors are saying Copeland did everything right. They say that Copeland never endorsed Huckabee, and that he dismissed the conference (early), and said that if anyone wanted to come back, they could. So, it was a private meeting. They also say that Copeland rented a room at EMIC to Huckabee, and that the fundraising happened there. The KCM spin masters say that EMIC has a tradition of renting rooms to ministers at the conference. Well … my wife was responsible for the Ministers Conference from 2004 through 2007, and began to set up for 2008. She told me that at no time did Copeland, KCM or EMIC rent rooms to anyone, especially during the Ministers Conference. The conference is tightly controlled, and KCM does not want a lesser known party trying to sell books behind the scenes. So, the publicly stated habit of renting rooms is a bold faced lie! This is total political pandering, using a religious meeting to garner money for a political candidate, and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. If this fund raising had happened in a hotel room after the conference, there would be no problem. But it happened inside a church, during the dates set for a ministers’ conference. That is a total violation of the separation of church and state. To read one news article on this, click here.

As if that wasn’t enough, during the Ministers’ Conference, Copeland declared war on the U.S. Senate. First, he said that his reply to Senator Grassley was “a six page lesson in ‘no!’,” meaning Copeland didn’t reply to Grassley’s request for information. Copeland said that the ministry’s finances belonged to God and that Grassley had no business looking at them. Furthermore, Copeland said that he could tell Grassley the truth, but wouldn’t, because Grassley didn’t know the truth. Finally, Copeland dared Grassley to subpoena him, throw him in jail, or execute him. That is sheer arrogance, and total hypocrisy from a man who for decades has preached patriotism and obedience to Romans 13:1-7. The website, Wittenburgdoor.com, has posted clips from Copeland’s rant. To see them for yourself, click here.

Now, CBS Evening News thinks Copeland has gone too far and has accused him of fraud, finding two more ex-employees who spoke out about their former boss. To see CBS’ video, click here.

So … Kenneth Copeland. Preacher of the Gospel, or Shepherdist madman? You decide.

Some of you may not like what I said about Copeland. You know what? I don’t care! What I wrote is the truth. I suffered much abuse from the hands of this man, and I owe it to Jesus to expose the apostasy in KCM. I do not want revenge, but like any rape victim, I do want to see justice and see the rapist go to prison. So does God.

You have to decide what the truth is for yourself. If you can continue to follow Kenneth Copeland with a clear conscience, then please do so. But I cannot. My conscience demands that I stand up, say something, and oppose what I see as a Gnostic-Shepherding preacher who is leading many sheep into destruction.

http://exwordoffaith.blogspot.com/2008/02/our-experiences-with-kenneth-copeland.html

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Critique of The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop

by Pastor Gary J. Hall


Alexander Hislop arrives at his conclusions after carefully comparing and examining the background and teachings of the two systems, that is of ancient Babylon and the religion of the Roman Catholic Church. He actually follows three lines of investigation which includes that stated above alongside the prophesies contained in the book of Revelation.

When the comparison is made the author shows the remarkable fact that Roman Catholicism, far from being founded upon Biblical truth, is deeply rooted in and derived from pagan practices in line with Babylonian religion. Almost every part of Roman Catholic practice, worship (of Mary, saints), ritual, teachings and leadership finds its counterpart in the mystery religions of Babylon or paganism.

The influence of Babylon is traced until it reaches its climax in the Roman Empire (which adopted many of the pagan gods and worship of the nations it conquered). Roman mythology is proven to be exactly the same as that seen with Babylonian mythology (though with names and titles changed). The Holy Roman Empire under the power of the papacy continued the same mythology but disguised it with Christian terminology and symbolism. This brought into being a paganised mythical Christianity that had little semblance to Biblical Christianity.

The pope of Rome, as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, can be traced back via Roman paganism to Babylon rather than to some supposed apostolic succession. Therefore revealing that right across the board Roman Catholicism cannot be considered as a Christian Church.

He also proves beyond doubt, through the evidence presented point by point, in The Two Babylons that the Roman Catholic Church is as pagan as all the pagan religions of the past and present. Not only, on comparison, does the papacy practice almost the same things as non-Christian religions, but it fulfils exactly the prophecies relating to the Great Whore and Mother of Harlots in the book of Revelation.

As Babylon was the chief seat of idolatry and paganism in the ancient world, Imperial Rome in the New Testament world, so too is the Roman Catholic religion in the modern world before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alexander Hislop further shows that this false church is the religion of Satan.

Infant Baptism (commonly called christening) is taught in the Roman Catholic Church as the sacrament that brings a child into church and so receives salvation. The Catholic system sees infant baptism as the point where a person is regenerated – born again, thus becoming a child of God. Without this the unbaptised infant would never be able to go to Heaven if it died.

Alexander Hislop attacks both infant baptism and baptismal regeneration since in reality they are linked together within Catholic theology. Yet his main aim is to prove that baptismal regeneration, even the version practised by some Protestant denominations, cannot be substantiated by the Word of God. He states on page 131, “The word of God knows nothing of it”. He reveals that baptism does not communicate salvation (to either infant or adult) but is a sealing of what already exists in the believer’s heart. It is by saving faith in Christ that a person is redeemed which cuts right across both infant baptism and baptismal regeneration. He is correct when he shows that the Bible only presents believers (adult) baptism.

From pages 132 onward the author proves that neither infant baptism or regenerational baptism originates with Scripture but is a product of pagan religion. The rite of baptism with its “salt, spittle, anointing oil, and sign of the cross “are all equally pagan” (page 138). Both doctrines can be found with Babylonian mythology and relate with child sacrifice to the various gods, infant baptism being simply a bloodless re-enactment of this. Rev. Hislop makes it very clear that both these teachings are absolutely pagan in nature and have no bearing on the Bible or true Christian practice. He see them as an offence to Christ and a corruption of Biblical water baptism.

http://www.lwbc.co.uk/two_babylons.htm

THE TWO BABYLONS
by Alexander Hislop
Chapter IV
Baptismal Regeneration

It is well known that regeneration by baptism is a fundamental article of Rome, yea, that it stands at the very threshold of the Roman system. So important, according to Rome, is baptism for this purpose, that, on the one hand, it is pronounced of “absolute necessity for salvation,” * insomuch that infants dying without it cannot be admitted to glory; and on the other, its virtues are so great, that it is declared in all cases infallibly to “regenerate us by a new spiritual birth, making us children of God”:–it is pronounced to be “the first door by which we enter into the fold of Jesus Christ, the first means by which we receive the grace of reconciliation with God; therefore the merits of His death are by baptism applied to our souls in so superabundant a manner, as fully to satisfy Divine justice for all demands against us, whether for original or actual sin.”

* Bishop HAY’S Sincere Christian. There are two exceptions to this statement; the case of an infidel converted in a heathen land, where it is impossible to get baptism, and the case of a martyr “baptised,” as it is called, “in his own blood”; but in all other cases, whether of young or old, the necessity is “absolute.”

Now, in both respects this doctrine is absolutely anti-Scriptural; in both it is purely Pagan. It is anti-Scriptural, for the Lord Jesus Christ has expressly declared that infants, without the slightest respect to baptism or any external ordinance whatever, are capable of admission into all the glory of the heavenly world: “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” John the Baptist, while yet in his mother’s womb was so filled with joy at the advent of the Saviour, that, as soon as Mary’s salutation sounded in the ears of his own mother, the unborn babe “leaped in the womb for joy.” Had that child died at the birth, what could have excluded it from “the inheritance of the saints in light” for which it was so certainly “made meet”? Yet the Roman Catholic Bishop Hay, in defiance of very principle of God’s Word, does not hesitate to pen the following: “Question: What becomes of young children who die without baptism? Answer: If a young child were put to death for the sake of Christ, this would be to it the baptism of blood, and carry it to heaven; but except in this case, as such infants are incapable of having the desire of baptism, with the other necessary dispositions, if they are not actually baptised with water, THEY CANNOT GO TO HEAVEN.” As this doctrine never came from the Bible, whence came it? It came from heathenism. The classic reader cannot fail to remember where, and in what melancholy plight, Aeneas, when he visited the infernal regions, found the souls of unhappy infants who had died before receiving, so to speak, “the rites of the Church”:

“Before the gates the cries of babes new-born,
Whom fate had from their tender mothers torn,
Assault his ears.”

These wretched babes, to glorify the virtue and efficacy of the mystic rites of Paganism, are excluded from the Elysian Fields, the paradise of the heathen, and have among their nearest associates no better company than that of guilty suicides:

“The next in place and punishment are they
Who prodigally threw their souls away,
Fools, who, repining at their wretched state,
And loathing anxious life, suborned their fate.” *

* Virgil, DRYDEN’S translation. Between the infants and the suicides one other class is interposed, that is, those who on earth have been unjustly condemned to die. Hope is held out for these, but no hope is held out for the babes.

So much for the lack of baptism. Then as to its positive efficacy when obtained, the Papal doctrine is equally anti-Scriptural. There are professed Protestants who hold the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration; but the Word of God knows nothing of it. The Scriptural account of baptism is, not that it communicates the new birth, but that it is the appointed means of signifying and sealing that new birth where it already exists. In this respect baptism stands on the very same ground as circumcision. Now, what says God’s Word of the efficacy of circumcision? This it says, speaking of Abraham: “He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised” (Rom 4:11). Circumcision was not intended to make Abraham righteous; he was righteous already before he was circumcised. But it was intended to declare him righteous, to give him the more abundant evidence in his own consciousness of his being so. Had Abraham not been righteous before his circumcision, his circumcision could not have been a seal, could not have given confirmation to that which did not exist. So with baptism, it is “a seal of the righteousness of the faith” which the man “has before he is baptised”; for it is said, “He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Where faith exists, if it be genuine, it is the evidence of a new heart, of a regenerated nature; and it is only on the profession of that faith and regeneration in the case of an adult, that he is admitted to baptism. Even in the case of infants, who can make no profession of faith or holiness, the administration of baptism is not for the purpose of regenerating them, or making them holy, but of declaring them “holy,” in the sense of being fit for being consecrated, even in infancy, to the service of Christ, just as the whole nation of Israel, in consequence of their relation to Abraham, according to the flesh, were “holy unto the Lord.” If they were not, in that figurative sense, “holy,” they would not be fit subjects for baptism, which is the “seal” of a holy state. But the Bible pronounces them, in consequence of their descent from believing parents, to be “holy,” and that even where only one of the parents is a believer: “The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now they are HOLY” (1 Cor 7:14). It is in consequence of, and solemnly to declare, that “holiness,” with all the responsibilities attaching to it, that they are baptised. That “holiness,” however, is very different from the “holiness” of the new nature; and although the very fact of baptism, if Scripturally viewed and duly improved, is, in the hand of the good Spirit of God, an important means of making that “holiness” a glorious reality, in the highest sense of the term, yet it does not in all cases necessarily secure their spiritual regeneration. God may, or may not, as He sees fit, give the new heart, before, or at, or after baptism; but manifest it is, that thousands who have been duly baptised are still unregenerate, are still in precisely the same position as Simon Magus, who, after being canonically baptised by Philip, was declared to be “in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity” (Acts 7:23). The doctrine of Rome, however, is, that all who are canonically baptised, however ignorant, however immoral, if they only give implicit faith to the Church, and surrender their consciences to the priests, are as much regenerated as ever they can be, and that children coming from the waters of baptism are entirely purged from the stain of original sin. Hence we find the Jesuit missionaries in India boasting of making converts by thousands, by the mere fact of baptising them, without the least previous instruction, in the most complete ignorance of the truths of Christianity, on their mere profession of submission to Rome. This doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration also is essentially Babylonian. Some may perhaps stumble at the idea of regeneration at all having been known in the Pagan world; but if they only go to India, they will find at this day, the bigoted Hindoos, who have never opened their ears to Christian instruction, as familiar with the term and the idea as ourselves. The Brahmins make it their distinguishing boast that they are “twice-born” men, and that, as such, they are sure of eternal happiness. Now, the same was the case in Babylon, and there the new birth was conferred by baptism. In the Chaldean mysteries, before any instruction could be received, it was required first of all, that the person to be initiated submit to baptism in token of blind and implicit obedience. We find different ancient authors bearing direct testimony both to the fact of this baptism and the intention of it. “In certain sacred rites of the heathen,” says Tertullian, especially referring to the worship of Isis and Mithra, “the mode of initiation is by baptism.” The term “initiation” clearly shows that it was to the Mysteries of these divinities he referred. This baptism was by immersion, and seems to have been rather a rough and formidable process; for we find that he who passed through the purifying waters, and other necessary penances, “if he survived, was then admitted to the knowledge of the Mysteries.” (Elliae Comment. in S. GREG. NAZ.) To face this ordeal required no little courage on the part of those who were initiated. There was this grand inducement, however, to submit, that they who were thus baptised were, as Tertullian assures us, promised, as the consequence, “REGENERATION, and the pardon of all their perjuries.” Our own Pagan ancestors, the worshippers of Odin, are known to have practised baptismal rites, which, taken in connection with their avowed object in practising them, show that, originally, at least, they must have believed that the natural guilt and corruption of their new-born children could be washed away by sprinkling them with water, or by plunging them, as soon as born, into lakes or rivers. Yea, on the other side of the Atlantic, in Mexico, the same doctrine of baptismal regeneration was found in full vigour among the natives, when Cortez and his warriors landed on their shores. The ceremony of Mexican baptism, which was beheld with astonishment by the Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries, is thus strikingly described in Prescott’s Conquest of Mexico: “When everything necessary for the baptism had been made ready, all the relations of the child were assembled, and the midwife, who was the person that performed the rite of baptism, * was summoned. At early dawn, they met together in the courtyard of the house. When the sun had risen, the midwife, taking the child in her arms, called for a little earthen vessel of water, while those about her placed the ornaments, which had been prepared for baptism, in the midst of the court. To perform the rite of baptism, she placed herself with her face toward the west, and immediately began to go through certain ceremonies…After this she sprinkled water on the head of the infant, saying, ‘O my child, take and receive the water of the Lord of the world, which is our life, which is given for the increasing and renewing of our body. It is to wash and to purify. I pray that these heavenly drops may enter into your body, and dwell there; that they may destroy and remove from you all the evil and sin which was given you before the beginning of the world, since all of us are under its power’…She then washed the body of the child with water, and spoke in this manner: ‘Whencesoever thou comest, thou that art hurtful to this child, leave him and depart from him, for he now liveth anew, and is BORN ANEW; now he is purified and cleansed afresh, and our mother Chalchivitylcue [the goddess of water] bringeth him into the world.’ Having thus prayed, the midwife took the child in both hands, and, lifting him towards heaven, said, ‘O Lord, thou seest here thy creature, whom thou hast sent into the world, this place of sorrow, suffering, and penitence. Grant him, O Lord, thy gifts and inspiration, for thou art the Great God, and with thee is the great goddess.'”

* As baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation, Rome also authorises midwives to administer baptism. In Mexico the midwife seems to have been a “priestess.”

Here is the opus operatum without mistake. Here is baptismal regeneration and exorcism too, * as thorough and complete as any Romish priest or lover of Tractarianism could desire.

* In the Romish ceremony of baptism, the first thing the priest does is to exorcise the devil out of the child to be baptised in these words, “Depart from him, thou unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Ghost the Comforter.” (Sincere Christian) In the New Testament there is not the slightest hint of any such exorcism accompanying Christian Baptism. It is purely Pagan.

Does the reader ask what evidence is there that Mexico had derived this doctrine from Chaldea? The evidence is decisive. From the researches of Humboldt we find that the Mexicans celebrated Wodan as the founder of their race, just as our own ancestors did. The Wodan or Odin of Scandinavia can be proved to be the Adon of Babylon. (see note below) The Wodan of Mexico, from the following quotation, will be seen to be the very same: “According to the ancient traditions collected by the Bishop Francis Nunez de la Vega,” says Humboldt, “the Wodan of the Chiapanese [of Mexico] was grandson of that illustrious old man, who at the time of the great deluge, in which the greater part of the human race perished, was saved on a raft, together with his family. Wodan co-operated in the construction of the great edifice which had been undertaken by men to reach the skies; the execution of this rash project was interrupted; each family received from that time a different language; and the great spirit Teotl ordered Wodan to go and people the country of Anahuac.” This surely proves to demonstration whence originally came the Mexican mythology and whence also that doctrine of baptismal regeneration which the Mexicans held in common with Egyptian and Persian worshippers of the Chaldean Queen of Heaven. Prestcott, indeed, has cast doubts on the genuiness of this tradition, as being too exactly coincident with the Scriptural history to be easily believed. But the distinguished Humboldt, who had carefully examined the matter, and who had no prejudice to warp him, expresses his full belief in its correctness; and even from Prestcott’s own interesting pages, it may be proved in every essential particular, with the single exception of the name of Wodan, to which he makes no reference. But, happily, the fact that that name had been borne by some illustrious hero among the supposed ancestors of the Mexican race, is put beyond all doubt by the singular circumstance that the Mexicans had one of their days called Wodansday, exactly as we ourselves have. This, taken in connection with all the circumstances, is a very striking proof, at once of the unity of the human race, and of the wide-spread diffusion of the system that began at Babel.

If the question arise, How came it that the Bayblonians themselves adopted such a doctrine as regeneration by baptism, we have light also on that. In the Babylonian Mysteries, the commemoration of the flood, of the ark, and the grand events in the life of Noah, was mingled with the worship of the Queen of Heaven and her son. Noah, as having lived in two worlds, both before the flood and after it, was called “Dipheus,” or “twice-born,” and was represented as a god with two heads looking in opposite directions, the one old, and the other young (Fig. 34). Though we have seen that the two-headed Janus in one aspect had reference to Cush and his son, Nimrod, viewed as one god, in a two-fold capacity, as the Supreme, and Father of all the deified “mighty ones,” yet, in order to gain for him the very authority and respect essential to constitute him properly the head of the great system of idolatry that the apostates inaugurated, it was necessary to represent him as in some way or other identified with the great patriarch, who was the Father of all, and who had so miraculous a history. Therefore in the legends of Janus, we find mixed up with other things derived from an entirely different source, statements not only in regard to his being the “Father of the world,” but also his being “the inventor of ships,” which plainly have been borrowed from the history of Noah; and therefore, the remarkable way in which he is represented in the figure here presented to the reader may confidently be concluded to have been primarily suggested by the history of the great Diluvian patriarch, whose integrity in his two-fold life is so particularly referred to in the Scripture, where it is said (Gen 6:9), “Noah was just a man, and perfect in his generations,” that is, in his life before the flood, and in his life after it. The whole mythology of Greece and Rome, as well as Asia, is full of the history and deeds of Noah, which it is impossible to misunderstand. In India, the god Vishnu, “the Preserver,” who is celebrated as having miraculously preserved one righteous family at the time when the world was drowned, not only has the story of Noah wrought up with his legend, but is called by his very name. Vishnu is just the Sanscrit form of the Chaldee “Ish-nuh,” “the man Noah,” or the “Man of rest.” In the case of Indra, the “king of the gods,” and god of rain, which is evidently only another form of the same god, the name is found in the precise form of Ishnu. Now, the very legend of Vishnu, that pretends to make him no mere creature, but the supreme and “eternal god,” shows that this interpretation of the name is no mere unfounded imagination. Thus is he celebrated in the “Matsya Puran”: “The sun, the wind, the ether, all things incorporeal, were absorbed into his Divine essence; and the universe being consumed, the eternal and omnipotent god, having assumed an ancient form, REPOSED mysteriously upon the surface of that (universal) ocean. But no one is capable of knowing whether that being was then visible or invisible, or what the holy name of that person was, or what the cause of his mysterious SLUMBER. Nor can any one tell how long he thus REPOSED until he conceived the thought of acting; for no one saw him, no one approached him, and none can penetrate the mystery of his real essence.” (Col. KENNEDY’S Hindoo Mythology) In conformity with this ancient legend, Vishnu is still represented as sleeping four months every year. Now, connect this story with the name of Noah, the man of “Rest,” and with his personal history during the period of the flood, when the world was destroyed, when for forty days and forty nights all was chaos, when neither sun nor moon nor twinkling star appeared, when sea and sky were mingled, and all was one wide universal “ocean,” on the bosom of which the patriarch floated, when there was no human being to “approach” him but those who were with him in the ark, and “the mystery of his real essence is penetrated” at once, “the holy name of that person” is ascertained, and his “mysterious slumber” fully accounted for. Now, wherever Noah is celebrated, whether by the name of Saturn, “the hidden one,”–for that name was applied to him as well as to Nimrod, on account of his having been “hidden” in the ark, in the “day of the Lord’s fierce anger,”–or, “Oannes,” or “Janus,” the “Man of the Sea,” he is generally described in such a way as shows that he was looked upon as Diphues, “twice-born,” or “regenerate.” The “twice-born” Brahmins, who are all so many gods upon earth, by the very title they take to themselves, show that the god whom they represent, and to whose prerogatives they lay claim, had been known as the “twice-born” god. The connection of “regeneration” with the history of Noah, comes out with special evidence in the accounts handed down to us of the Mysteries as celebrated in Egypt. The most learned explorers of Egyptian antiquities, including Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, admit that the story of Noah was mixed up with the story of Osiris. The ship of Isis, and the coffin of Osiris, floating on the waters, point distinctly to that remarkable event. There were different periods, in different places in Egypt, when the fate of Osiris was lamented; and at one time there was more special reference to the personal history of “the mighty hunter before the Lord,” and at another to the awful catastrophe through which Noah passed. In the great and solemn festival called “The Disappearance of Osiris,” it is evident that it is Noah himself who was then supposed to have been lost. The time when Osiris was “shut up in his coffin,” and when that coffin was set afloat on the waters, as stated by Plutarch, agrees exactly with the period when Noah entered the ark. That time was “the 17th day of the month Athyr, when the overflowing of the Nile had ceased, when the nights were growing long and the days decreasing.” The month Athyr was the second month after the autumnal equinox, at which time the civil year of the Jews and the patriarchs began. According to this statement, then, Osiris was “shut up in his coffin” on the 17th day of the second month of the patriarchal year. Compare this with the Scriptural account of Noah’s entering into the ark, and it will be seen how remarkably they agree (Gen 7:11), “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the SECOND MONTH, in the SEVENTEENTH DAY of the month, were all the fountains of the great deep broken up; in the self-same day entered Noah into the ark.” The period, too, that Osiris (otherwise Adonis) was believed to have been shut up in his coffin, was precisely the same as Noah was confined in the ark, a whole year. *

* APOLLODORUS. THEOCRITUS, Idyll. Theocritus is speaking of Adonis as delivered by Venus from Acheron, or the infernal regions, after being there for a year; but as the scene is laid in Egypt, it is evident that it is Osiris he refers to, as he was the Adonis of the Egyptians.

Now, the statements of Plutarch demonstrate that, as Osiris at this festival was looked upon as dead and buried when put into his ark or coffin, and committed to the deep, so, when at length he came out of it again, that new state was regarded as a state of “new life,” or “REGENERATION.” *

* PLUTARCH, De Iside et Osiride. It was in the character of Pthah-Sokari-Osiris that he was represented as having been thus “buried” in the waters. In his own character, simply as Osiris, he had another burial altogether.

There seems every reason to believe that by the ark and the flood God actually gave to the patriarchal saints, and especially to righteous Noah, a vivid typical representation of the power of the blood and Spirit of Christ, at once in saving from wrath, and cleansing from all sin–a representation which was a most cheering “seal” and confirmation to the faith of those who really believed. To this Peter seems distinctly to allude, when he says, speaking of this very event, “The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us.” Whatever primitive truth the Chaldean priests held, they utterly perverted and corrupted it. They willingly overlooked the fact, that it was “the righteousness of the faith” which Noah “had before” the flood, that carried him safely through the avenging waters of that dread catastrophe, and ushered him, as it were, from the womb of the ark, by a new birth, into a new world, when on the ark resting on Mount Ararat, he was released from his long confinement. They led their votaries to believe that, if they only passed through the baptismal waters, and the penances therewith connected, that of itself would make them like the second father of mankind, “Diphueis,” “twice-born,” or “regenerate,” would entitle them to all the privileges of “righteous” Noah, and give them that “new birth” (palingenesia) which their consciences told them they so much needed. The Papacy acts on precisely the same principle; and from this very source has its doctrine of baptismal regeneration been derived, about which so much has been written and so many controversies been waged. Let men contend as they may, this, and this only, will be found to be the real origin of the anti-Scriptural dogma. *

* There have been considerable speculations about the meaning of the name Shinar, as applied to the region of which Babylon was the capital. Do not the facts above stated cast light on it? What so likely a derivation of this name as to derive it from “shene,” “to repeat,” and “naar,” “childhood.” The land of “Shinar,” then, according to this view, is just the land of the “Regenerator.”

The reader has seen already how faithfully Rome has copied the Pagan exorcism in connection with baptism. All the other peculiarities attending the Romish baptism, such as the use of salt, spittle, chrism, or anointing with oil, and marking the forehead with the sign of the cross, are equally Pagan. Some of the continental advocates of Rome have admitted that some of these at least have not been derived from Scripture. Thus Jodocus Tiletanus of Louvaine, defending the doctrine of “Unwritten Tradition,” does not hesitate to say, “We are not satisfied with that which the apostles or the Gospel do declare, but we say that, as well before as after, there are divers matters of importance and weight accepted and received out of a doctrine which is nowhere set forth in writing. For we do blesse the water wherewith we baptize, and the oyle wherewith we annoynt; yea, and besides that, him that is christened. And (I pray you) out of what Scripture have we learned the same? Have we it not of a secret and unwritten ordinance? And further, what Scripture hath taught us to grease with oyle? Yea, I pray you, whence cometh it, that we do dype the childe three times in the water? Doth it not come out of this hidden and undisclosed doctrine, which our forefathers have received closely without any curiosity, and do observe it still.” This learned divine of Louvaine, of course, maintains that “the hidden and undisclosed doctrine” of which he speaks, was the “unwritten word” handed down through the channel of infallibility, from the Apostles of Christ to his own time. But, after what we have already seen, the reader will probably entertain a different opinion of the source from which the hidden and undisclosed doctrine must have come. And, indeed, Father Newman himself admits, in regard to “holy water” (that is, water impregnated with “salt,” and consecrated), and many other things that were, as he says, “the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship”–that they were all of “Pagan” origin, and “sanctified by adoption into the Church.” What plea, then, what palliation can he offer, for so extraordinary an adoption? Why, this: that the Church had “confidence in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil,” and to transmute them to “an evangelical use.” What right had the Church to entertain any such “confidence”? What fellowship could light have with darkness? what concord between Christ and Belial? Let the history of the Church bear testimony to the vanity, yea, impiety of such a hope. Let the progress of our inquiries shed light upon the same. At the present stage, there is only one of the concomitant rites of baptism to which I will refer–viz., the use of “spittle” in that ordinance; and an examination of the very words of the Roman ritual, in applying it, will prove that its use in baptism must have come from the Mysteries. The following is the account of its application, as given by Bishop Hay: “The priest recites another exorcism, and at the end of it touches the ear and nostrils of the person to be baptised with a little spittle, saying, ‘Ephpheta, that is, Be thou opened into an odour of sweetness; but be thou put to flight, O Devil, for the judgment of God will be at hand.'” Now, surely the reader will at once ask, what possible, what conceivable connection can there be between spittle, and an “odour of sweetness”? If the secret doctrine of the Chaldean mysteries be set side by side with this statement, it will be seen that, absurd and nonsensical as this collocation of terms may appear, it was not at random that “spittle” and an “odour of sweetness” were brought together. We have seen already how thoroughly Paganism was acquainted with the attributes and work of the promised Messiah, though all that acquaintance with these grand themes was used for the purpose of corrupting the minds of mankind, and keeping them in spiritual bondage. We have now to see that, as they were well aware of the existence of the Holy Spirit, so, intellectually, they were just as well acquainted with His work, though their knowledge on that subject was equally debased and degraded. Servius, in his comments upon Virgil’s First Georgic, after quoting the well known expression, “Mystica vannus Iacchi,” “the mystic fan of Bacchus,” says that that “mystic fan” symbolised the “purifying of souls.” Now, how could the fan be a symbol of the purification of souls? The answer is, The fan is an instrument for producing “wind”; * and in Chaldee, as has been already observed, it is one and the same word which signifies “wind” and the “Holy Spirit.”

* There is an evident allusion to the “mystic fan” of the Babylonian god, in the doom of Babylon, as pronounced by Jeremiah 51:1, 2: “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; and will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land.”

There can be no doubt, that, from the very beginning, the “wind” was one of the Divine patriarchal emblems by which the power of the Holy Ghost was shadowed forth, even as our Lord Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Hence, when Bacchus was represented with “the mystic fan,” that was to declare him to be the mighty One with whom was “the residue of the Spirit.” Hence came the idea of purifying the soul by means of the wind, according to the description of Virgil, who represents the stain and pollution of sin as being removed in this very way:

“For this are various penances enjoined,
And some are hung to bleach upon the WIND.”

Hence the priests of Jupiter (who was originally just another form of Bacchus), (see Fig. 35), were called Flamens, * — that is Breathers, or bestowers of the Holy Ghost, by breathing upon their votaries.

* From “Flo,” “I breathe.”

Now, in the Mysteries, the “spittle” was just another symbol for the same thing. In Egypt, through which the Babylonian system passed to Western Europe, the name of the “Pure or Purifying Spirit” was “Rekh” (BUNSEN). But “Rekh” also signified “spittle” (PARKHURST’S Lexicon); so that to anoint the nose and ears of the initiated with “spittle,” according to the mystic system, was held to be anointing them with the “Purifying Spirit.” That Rome in adopting the “spittle” actually copied from some Chaldean ritual in which “spittle” was the appointed emblem of the “Spirit,” is plain from the account which she gives in her own recognised formularies of the reason for anointing the ears with it. The reason for anointing the ears with “spittle” says Bishop Hay, is because “by the grace of baptism, the ears of our soul are opened to hear the Word of God, and the inspirations of His Holy Spirit.” But what, it may be asked, has the “spittle” to do with the “odour of sweetness”? I answer, The very word “Rekh,” which signified the “Holy Spirit,” and was visibly represented by the “spittle,” was intimately connected with “Rikh,” which signifies a “fragrant smell,” or “odour of sweetness.” Thus, a knowledge of the Mysteries gives sense and a consistent meaning to the cabalistic saying addressed by the Papal baptiser to the person about to be baptised, when the “spittle” is daubed on his nose and ears, which otherwise would have no meaning at all–“Ephpheta, Be thou opened into an odour of sweetness.” While this was the primitive truth concealed under the “spittle,” yet the whole spirit of Paganism was so opposed to the spirituality of the patriarchal religion, and indeed intended to make it void, and to draw men utterly away from it, while pretending to do homage to it, that among the multitude in general the magic use of “spittle” became the symbol of the grossest superstition. Theocritus shows with what debasing rites it was mixed up in Sicily and Greece; and Persius thus holds up to scorn the people of Rome in his day for their reliance on it to avert the influence of the “evil eye”:

“Our superstitions with our life begin;
The obscene old grandam, or the next of kin,
The new-born infant from the cradle takes,
And first of spittle a lustration makes;
Then in the spawl her middle finger dips,
Anoints the temples, forehead, and the lips,
Pretending force of magic to prevent
By virtue of her nasty excrement.”–DRYDEN

While thus far we have seen how the Papal baptism is just a reproduction of the Chaldean, there is still one other point to be noticed, which makes the demonstration complete. That point is contained in the following tremendous curse fulminated against a man who committed the unpardonable offence of leaving the Church of Rome, and published grave and weighty reasons for so doing: “May the Father, who creates man, curse him! May the Son, who suffered for us, curse him! May the Holy Ghost who suffered for us in baptism, curse him!” I do not stop to show how absolutely and utterly opposed such a curse as this is to the whole spirit of the Gospel. But what I call the reader’s attention to is the astounding statement that “the Holy Ghost suffered for us in baptism.” Where in the whole compass of Scripture could warrant be found for such an assertion as this, or anything that could even suggest it? But let the reader revert to the Babylonian account of the personality of the Holy Ghost, and the amount of blasphemy contained in this language will be apparent. According to the Chaldean doctrine, Semiramis, the wife of Ninus or Nimrod, when exalted to divinity under the name of the Queen of Heaven, came, as we have seen, to be worshipped as Juno, the “Dove”–in other words, the Holy Spirit incarnate. Now, when her husband, for his blasphemous rebellion against the majesty of heaven, was cut off, for a season it was a time of tribulation also for her. The fragments of ancient history that have come down to us give an account of her trepidation and flight, to save herself from her adversaries. In the fables of the mythology, this flight was mystically represented in accordance with what was attributed to her husband. The bards of Greece represented Bacchus, when overcome by his enemies, as taking refuge in the depths of the ocean (see Fig. 36). Thus, Homer:

“In a mad mood, while Bacchus blindly raged,
Lycurgus drove his trembling bands, confused,
O’er the vast plains of Nusa. They in haste
Threw down their sacred implements, and fled
In fearful dissipation. Bacchus saw
Rout upon rout, and, lost in wild dismay,
Plunged in the deep. Here Thetis in her arms
Received him shuddering at the dire event.”

In Egypt, as we have seen, Osiris, as identified with Noah, was represented, when overcome by his grand enemy Typhon, or the “Evil One,” as passing through the waters. The poets represented Semiramis as sharing in his distress, and likewise seeking safety in the same way. We have seen already, that, under the name of Astarte, she was said to have come forth from the wondrous egg that was found floating on the waters of the Euphrates. Now Manilius tells, in his Astronomical Poetics, what induced her to take refuge in these waters. “Venus plunged into the Babylonia waters,” says he, “to shun the fury of the snake-footed Typhon.” When Venus Urania, or Dione, the “Heavenly Dove,” plunged in deep distress into these waters of Babylon, be it observed what, according to the Chaldean doctrine, this amounted to. It was neither more nor less than saying that the Holy Ghost incarnate in deep tribulation entered these waters, and that on purpose that these waters might be fit, not only by the temporary abode of the Messiah in the midst of them, but by the Spirit’s efficacy thus imparted to them, for giving new life and regeneration, by baptism, to the worshippers of the Chaldean Madonna. We have evidence that the purifying virtue of the waters, which in Pagan esteem had such efficacy in cleansing from guilt and regenerating the soul, was derived in part from the passing of the Mediatorial god, the sun-god and god of fire, through these waters during his humiliation and sojourn in the midst of them; and that the Papacy at this day retains the very custom which had sprung up from that persuasion. So far as heathenism is concerned, the following extracts from Potter and Athenaeus speak distinctly enough: “Every person,” says the former, “who came to the solemn sacrifices [of the Greeks] was purified by water. To which end, at the entrance of the temples there was commonly placed a vessel full of holy water.” How did this water get its holiness? This water “was consecrated,” says Athenaeus, “by putting into it a BURNING TORCH taken from the altar.” The burning torch was the express symbol of the god of fire; and by the light of this torch, so indispensable for consecrating “the holy water,” we may easily see whence came one great part of the purifying virtue of “the water of the loud resounding sea,” which was held to be so efficacious in purging away the guilt and stain of sin, *–even from the sun-god having taken refuge in its waters.

* “All human ills,” says Euripides, in a well known passage, “are washed away by the sea.”

Now this very same method is used in the Romish Church for consecrating the water for baptism. The unsuspicious testimony of Bishop Hay leaves no doubt on this point: “It” [the water kept in the baptismal font], says he, “is blessed on the eve of Pentecost, because it is the Holy Ghost who gives to the waters of baptism the power and efficacy of sanctifying our souls, and because the baptism of Christ is ‘with the Holy Ghost, and with fire’ (Matt 3:11). In blessing the waters a LIGHTED TORCH is put into the font.” Here, then, it is manifest that the baptismal regenerating water of Rome is consecrated just as the regenerating and purifying water of the Pagans was. Of what avail is it for Bishop Hay to say, with the view of sanctifying superstition and “making apostacy plausible,” that this is done “to represent the fire of Divine love, which is communicated to the soul by baptism, and the light of good example, which all who are baptised ought to give.” This is the fair face put on the matter; but the fact still remains that while the Romish doctrine in regard to baptism is purely Pagan, in the ceremonies connected with the Papal baptism one of the essential rites of the ancient fire-worship is still practised at this day, just as it was practised by the worshippers of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah. As Rome keeps up the remembrance of the fire-god passing through the waters and giving virtue to them, so when it speaks of the “Holy Ghost suffering for us in baptism,” it in like manner commemorates the part which Paganism assigned to the Babylonian goddess when she plunged into the waters. The sorrows of Nimrod, or Bacchus, when in the waters were meritorious sorrows. The sorrows of his wife, in whom the Holy Ghost miraculously dwelt, were the same. The sorrows of the Madonna, then, when in these waters, fleeing from Typhon’s rage, were the birth-throes by which children were born to God. And thus, even in the Far West, Chalchivitlycue, the Mexican “goddess of the waters,” and “mother” of all the regenerate, was represented as purging the new-born infant from original sin, and “bringing it anew into the world.” Now, the Holy Ghost was idolatrously worshipped in Babylon under the form of a “Dove.” Under the same form, and with equal idolatry, the Holy Ghost is worshipped in Rome. When, therefore, we read, in opposition to every Scripture principle, that “the Holy Ghost suffered for us in baptism,” surely it must now be manifest who is that Holy Ghost that is really intended. It is no other than Semiramis, the very incarnation of lust and all uncleanness.

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Kenneth Hagin and “Positive Confession”
By Dave Hunt
(from Occult Invasion, Harvest House, 1998)

Among charismatics, the largest churches and the most popular ministers on radio and TV tend to be those associated with what is known as “Positive Confession,” or the “Faith movement.” Positive Confession is simply Norman Vincent Peale’s Positive Thinking carried one step further: expressing the thoughts aloud. Kenneth Hagin is generally credited with founding this latter movement, and his teachings have an authority among his followers almost equal to that of Mary Baker Eddy among hers.

Frederick K. C. Price says: “Kenneth Hagin has had the greatest influence upon my life of any living man… his books … revolutionized and changed my life.” Charles Capps gives a similar testimony: “Brother Hagin was the greatest influence of my life.”26 Kenneth Copeland credits Hagin’s tapes with having revolutionized his ministry.27

Kenneth Hagin’s gospel can be traced back to the writings of E.W. Kenyon, who first taught “the positive confession of the Word of God”28 and must be recognized as the real founder of today’s Positive Confession movement. Kenyon studied at the Emerson College of Oratory in Boston, a hotbed of the emerging New Thought philosophy.29 Kenyon’s teaching about “the power of words” and his warnings never to make a “negative confession”30 deeply influenced Hagin and many others who are recognized today as leaders of this movement. Kenyon also taught that man is a little god “in God’s Class” and therefore can use the same faith-force that God does.31 We allegedly create our own reality with the words of our mouths: “What I confess, I possess.”32

Hagin complains that people often think he is teaching Christian Science. He claims he is not, yet he teaches that the power of God works according to laws. Science is based upon laws. Thus, if what Hagin teaches about God’s power being governed by laws is indeed “Christian,” then it must be “Christian Science.”

“Positive Confession” means to verbalize positive thought and speak it aloud—precisely what shamans have believed and practiced for thousands of years in all cultures. The connection with the Positive/Possibility Thinking taught by Peale and Schuller is acknowledged by Kenneth Hagin, Jr.:

Somebody will argue, “You’re talking about positive thinking!” That’s right! I am acquainted with the greatest Positive Thinker who ever was: God…!

The two most prominent teachers of positive thinking [Peale and Schuller] are ministers.33

The entire “Faith movement” rests upon the occult belief that “faith is a force just like electricity or gravity”34 which obeys laws, and thus even non-Christians can use it. David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church, located in Seoul, Korea, declares: “Think positively and prosper.” Cho’s brand of Christian Science is based upon “the law of the fourth dimension,” a law which both Christians and non-Christians can follow in order to create miracles. He says, “Sokagakkai [a Buddhist sect] has applied the law of the fourth dimension and has performed miracles… .”35 The Sokagakkai are occultists.

The Wall Street Journal observed that Cho’s Christianity has elements of Korean shamanism in it.36 Kenneth Hagin also acknowledges that his variety of Christian science (as must be the case with any science) likewise allows non-Christians to obtain miracles by 2 scientifically applying its laws. Hagin writes: It used to bother me when I’d see unsaved people getting results [miracles], but my church members not getting results. Then it dawned on me what the sinners were doing: They were cooperating with this law of God—the law of faith.37

A “Law of Miracles”?

The blessings of God’s natural order (sun, rain, etc.) fall “on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). His miracles, however, are special blessings of His grace which are reserved for those who know and love Him. God will not extend His grace and blessing to those who reject Him. The “laws of faith,” however, according to the Positive Confession leaders, work for anyone, saint or sinner, just like the laws of science.

The teaching that non-Christians can create miracles by following “God’s laws of faith” or the “laws of the fourth dimension” is a serious heresy. Tragically, this tempting lie opens the door into the occult, where evil spirits gladly respond with a seeming “miracle” in order to deceive and seduce the unsuspecting into further delusions.

Charismatic leaders who imagine they have discovered laws of faith are promoting a Christianized version of naturalism. Their “God” is not the transcendent Creator who exists outside of the physical universe which He created out of nothing (as Sir James Jeans argues must be the case). The “faith God” is tied to this physical universe and bound by its laws. John and Paula Sandford, well- known practitioners of “inner healing,” profess this irrational heresy as clearly as anyone:

Miracles happen by the cooperation, union, and interplay of spirit and matter together…. Confused… men have thought… there had to be a violation of principles for miracles to happen…. What rot and bunk! Miracles happen by releasing power within matter according to God’s principles…. Nature, being filled with the Spirit of God, has immeasurable power, locked within its tiniest cells…. Miracles happen by the operation of the Holy Spirit within principles far beyond our ability to comprehend but nonetheless scientific…. I have sometimes been called a Christian Scientist when lecturing on these
subjects.…38

The Charismatic’s “Mary Baker Eddy”

The Sandfords studied under Agnes Sanford, the charismatic’s Mary Baker Eddy. She is the founder of the Inner Healing movement in the church. Her serious heresies are too numerous to recite here, yet she remains highly honored in the evangelical church to this day. John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, enthusiastically promoted her books until his recent death. Much like Norman Vincent Peale, Sanford calls God “the very life-force existing in a radiation of an energy… from which all things evolved.”39 She declares that “God… made everything out of Himself and somehow He put a part of Himself into everything.”40 This is pantheism.

To substantiate such heresies, Sanford cites Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as her authority. Declared a heretic even by the Roman Catholic Church, Chardin was known as the father of the New Age movement. Sanford taught that the “God-force” can be turned on in one’s life by simply saying to it, “Whoever you are—whatever you are—come into me now!” What a great invitation to Satan! The true God, who identifies Himself clearly in Scripture and must be known and acknowledged for who He is, would not answer such a call—but Satan and his minions, who hide behind any mask, would gladly accept that invitation. 3

Bringing occultism into the church, Sanford taught that everything is a matter of thought vibrations which if “negative” make us ill, and if “positive” heal us. Indeed, “positive thought vibrations” projected upon sinners can even turn them into Christians. Sanford wrote, “A new age is being born… when love-power [projected] at the command of ministers [and others] is sufficient to change hearts… we [have] an inner source of power that can be tapped at will.”41

Notes:
26. Taped interviews on file at the Holy Spirit Research Center, Oral Roberts University
cited in Daniel Ray McConnell, The Kenyon Connection: A Theological and Historical
Analysis of the Cultic Origins of the Faith Movement a thesis submitted to the Theological
Faculty Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK, May1982, p. 11.
27. McConnell, Kenyon Connection, p. 11.
28. E.W. Kenyon and Don Cossett, The Positive Confession of the Word of God (Tulsa:
Custom Graphics, 1981), pp.133-37, 152-55.
29. John Coffee and Richard L. Wentworth, A Century of Eloquence: The History of
Emerson College, 1880-1980 (Alternative Publications, 1982).
30. Kenyon and Gossett, Confession, pp. 129-36, 152-55, 182-85, etc.
31. E.W. Kenyon, what Happened from the Cross to the Throne? (Kenyon, 1945, 5th ed.),
pp. 62, 173-76.
32. E.W. Kenyon, The Hidden Man: An Unveiling of the Subconscious Mind (Kenyon,
1970), p. 98.
33. The Word of Faith magazine, November 1984, p. 3.
34. Kenneth Copeland on TBN interview with Paul and Jan Crouch, February 5, 1986.
35. Dr. David Yonggi Cho, The Fourth Dimension (Bridge-Logos International, 1979), pp.
30, 64.
36. Urban C. Lehner, “New Faithful: Static in Some Nations, Christianity is Surging Among
South Koreans,” in The Wall Street Journal , May 12, 1983.
37. Kenneth Hagin, Having Faith in Your Faith (Rhema, 1980), pp. 3-4.
38. John and Paula Sandford, The Elijah Task (Logos International, 1977), pp. 142-3.
39. Agnes Sanford, The Heating Gifts of the Spint (Fleming H. Revell, 1966), p. 22.
40. Ibid., p. 27.
41. The Healing Light, 1947 edition, pp. 21-22, 60, 75.
3NAHunt1100

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Acts 2:38   Satan’s Favorite Bible Verse!  By James L. Melton

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

The above verse of scripture is a favorite among many religious groups. One can hear it several times on Sunday morning radio programs, as well as from the pulpits of numerous groups, and it can be found in much religious literature. The verse is a favorite because, on the surface, it seemingly states that one must be baptized in order to be saved, and without baptism one is not saved. So, those who believe that water baptism is essential for salvation make it a regular habit of using Acts 2:38 as scriptural support.

The problem is that Acts 2:38 isn’t the only verse in the Bible which deals with salvation. While many claim to “speak where the scriptures speak and remain silent where the scriptures are silent,” they practically ignore most of the New Testament teaching on salvation. The only verses that such false teachers quote and reference are the ones they feel they can use to promote their “water gospel.” The fact is that most of what the New Testament says about salvation doesn’t include baptism at all! (John 5:24, John 11:25-26, John 14:6, Romans 4:5, Romans 10:9-13, Eph. 2:8-9, etc.), and the few places that do mention water baptism do not include it as part of one’s salvation. Water baptism follows salvation as one of the first steps of obedience for the new believer.

In spite of this obvious truth, the cultists remain steadfast in their heresy, insisting that Acts 2:38 sets forth water baptism as a requirement for salvation. Thus, this verse of scripture has become Satan’s favorite Bible verse. In fact, many are trusting water baptism alone for the salvation of their souls! Indeed, Satan has deceived multitudes by his perversion of Acts 2:38.

Rather than ignore Acts 2:38 by quoting “our favorite verses” instead, it is more appropriate to face this popular verse of scripture and see if the cultists are right in what they claim it teaches.

The Truth about Acts 2:38

First, please notice that verse 38 isn’t the only verse in Acts 2. In Peter’s message, a great deal was said before verse 38 came out of his mouth. In fact, he even told his listeners how to be saved before verse 38! In Acts 2:21, Peter quotes from Joel 2 and says, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” His words preceding verse 38 were so convicting that his listeners were “pricked in their heart” in verse 37. So, to use verse 38 out of its context causes a misrepresentation of God’s word. The verse does not stand alone, and, in fact, a totally different meaning is conveyed when one makes it stand alone.

Another error that many make with Acts 2:38 is the error of assumption. It is assumed that the word “for” must mean “in order to get.” That is, being baptized “for” the remission of sins supposedly means to be baptized “in order to get” remission of sins. However, a closer look at the scriptures will reveal that this isn’t the case at all.

Notice Luke 5:12-14: “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” Jesus made this man clean in verse 13, yet in the next verse, verse 14, Jesus tells him to go offer a sacrifice “for thy cleansing” as a “testimony.” Here the word “for” cannot mean “in order to get” because he had already gotten his cleansing in verse 13! It obviously meant “because of” his cleansing. If a man goes to jail “for stealing,” then he goes there “because of” the stealing that he’s already done, not “in order to get” a chance to steal again.

Some like to argue that the Greek word “eis” means “in order to,” but this isn’t always the case. Jesus said in Matthew 12:41, “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at (eis) the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” The Greek word for “at” is “eis.” Does this mean that the men of Nineveh repented “in order to get” the preaching of Jonah? No, they repented “because of” the preaching of Jonah. So, even “the Greek” doesn’t demand the popular interpretation of Acts 2:38. The word “for” can be used different ways, not just one, so it is wrong to assume that it must mean “in order to get” in Acts 2:38.

Another factor which is commonly ignored is the JEWISH factor. Every person in Acts 2 is a Mosaic law observing Old Testament Jew. In fact, they are all gathered together to observe a JEWISH FEAST called Pentecost (verse 1). A fair reading of the whole chapter (especially verses 4, 14, and 36) will clearly reveal that no Gentiles (non Jews) are present. Since this involves Jews, it involves a NATION (verse 36!!), not individuals. No one asked, “What must I do to be saved?” The question asked concerned the NATION of Israel: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (verse 37) Not, “What shall I do,” but rather, “What shall WE do?” Acts 2 presents a NATION of people who come to realize that they have murdered their blessed Messiah and they’re asking what THEY must do. It’s a question concerning NATIONAL salvation. Isaiah 66:8 says, “. . . shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” The “nation” is Israel! Romans 11:26 says, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Acts 2:38 is dealing with NATIONAL salvation. The Messianic Kingdom is still available to the Jews (until Acts 7:60 when they kill Stephen), so national salvation remains an issue until then.

This is clear from what follows Acts 7. In Acts 8, an individual from Africa is saved (before baptism). In Acts 9, an individual from Asia is saved (before baptism). In Acts 10, an individual from Europe is saved (before baptism). Why didn’t these individual conversions occur before Acts 7? Because the first seven chapter of Acts deal with Israel (1:6-8; 2:36; 3:12; 4:8-10; 5:31; 6:7-14; 7:1-60). The question of INDIVIDUAL salvation is asked and answered in Acts 16:30-31: “. . . Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Those who fail to make this distinction are guilty of violating II Timothy 2:15 where we are told to RIGHTLY DIVIDE the word of truth.

The Bible says the gospel is to go to the Jew FIRST (Rom. 1:16), so they are the FIRST to receive the gospel in the book of Acts (chapter 2), but they are not the last to receive it. Acts doesn’t end with chapter 2, so we should be cautious of anyone who develops their doctrine in Acts 2 while practically ignoring the next 26 chapters! If God didn’t stop in Acts 2, then why does anyone else? Could it be that the later chapters in Acts contain information which the cultists want hidden from us? Could it be that there are other scriptures in Acts which do not agree with the wording of Acts 2:38? Could it be that Peter himself, the one preaching in Acts 2:38, says something different when speaking to individual Gentiles like you and me? One only has to read Acts chapter 10 to get the answer. Peter is preaching again in Acts 10, except only to individual Gentiles, and something very interesting occurs. In Acts 2:38, the Holy Ghost was promised to be given to the converts AFTER they were baptized, yet in Acts 10:44 the Holy Ghost falls upon the Gentiles BEFORE they are baptized! Now, Paul tells us in Romans 8:9, ” . . .if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Having God’s Spirit is synonymous with belonging to God or being saved (John 3:6-8), so the Gentiles in Acts 10 were saved BEFORE they were baptized in water. Why don’t the Acts 2:38 cultists ever point this out? Answer: It destroys their perverted doctrine that water baptism is essential for salvation.

The fact is that Acts 2:38 is NOT the “model” plan of salvation, nor are any of the other “water verses” which the cultists use. Only by taking such verses out of their context can one teach such heresy. All of the Bible is true, not just the favorite “proof texts” of the cults. Baptism saves no one. It only serves as a testimonial picture of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ AFTER one has believed on Christ (Acts 8:36-38). Paul said in I Corinthians 1:17 that “. . . Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” This “gospel” is defined by Paul in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and it does NOT include water baptism. The dying thief was not baptized, yet Jesus saved him (Luke 23:42-43), and John wrote that we are washed in the BLOOD of Christ (Rev. 1:5), not in the water. In fact, the saints in Heaven claim to have gotten there by the blood of Jesus (Rev. 5:9), not by water. By faith in the blood of Jesus Christ one is saved (Rom. 3:25). Water baptism only follows this faith as an outward step of obedience.

Friend, if you have fallen for the water gospel, why not repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ alone? Acts 10:43 says, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Why not believe on Christ 100% right now and quit trusting something you DO for salvation? “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1) Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Why not right now?

Copyright © 2000 James L. Melton

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The New Apostolic Reformation  by Orrel Steinkamp, D. Min

A Second Pentecost?

C. Peter Wagner is attempting to will into existence what he calls a “New Apostolic Reformation”. He tells us in a book he has edited called “The New Apostolic Churches” of the struggle he had with naming his new reformation.

“I needed a name … For a couple of years I experimented with ‘Post denominationalism’. The name I have settled on for the movement is the New Apostolic Reformation.” (1)

Donald Miller a colleague of Wagner calls this movement “The New Paradigm Churches”. (2) This is advertised as a reformation greater in scale than the reformation of the 1500’s.

It is suggested that this “new reformation” is something entirely new. Wagner outlines his article with sections such as “new name”, “new authority structure”, “new ministry focus”, “new worship style”, “new prayer forms” etc. The centrepiece of this new apostolic reformation is the launching of new apostles and prophets. The restoration of modern day apostles and prophets is promoted in the book “The Gift of Apostle” by David Cannistraci. This book was offered to those attending a conference organized by Wagner called “Churches in the New Apostolic Paradigm”. Among the list of topics and presenters for the conference was Bill Hamon. (Can we really refer to the Bill Hamon’s teaching as new?) Bishop Hamon has been promoting restoration and manifest sons of God teaching for decades. Can it be argued that this “New reformation” is something that God has just recently dropped new from heaven like the baby Superman from Krypton? I suggest that there is nothing new here at all and for anyone willing to do the study they will find it a mere cutting edge version of something at least 100 years old. G. Raymond Carlson, former General Superintendent of the AOG [USA], had this to say regarding the new apostles and prophets:

“I saw it in the New Order of the Latter Rain in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Before that, it made its presence felt in the early days of the century among early Pentecostals.” (3)

The only thing new about this movement seems to be the new personalities who are promoting it and their creative marketing techniques. It is interesting that those promoting this end of the age global revival visualise and allegorise it as a “Mighty River”. Do the “River Boat Captains” know the direction the current river is flowing and do the gleeful riverboat passengers know where “the river” originated? Do they know that this river has been flowing for many years? Do they know the original channel that still determines where the river will eventually flow? We all know that the source and the course of a river determines its direction no matter how many tributaries may enter into it along the way. So it is with what is currently called the “River of Revival”. Provided people think logically, the underlying core paradigm will eventually play out according to the original vision much like the rules of chess determine what is a valid move and what is not.

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G. Raymond Carlson was right. This much-publicised new paradigm can be traced to the Latter Rain movement of the 40’s and early 50’s. Even though the Latter Rain of the 50’s faltered and fell into disrepute with the death of William Branham and the repudiation by the Assemblies of God it was kept alive by certain survivors and reintroduced in a veiled manner into the Charismatic Renewal of the 60’s and 70’s. Few people have realised just how influential the Latter Rain movement was and how effectively Latter Rain concepts were introduced into the Charismatic Renewal. Ern Baxter who was instrumental in the Shepherding Movement, worked with William Branham during the 50’s Latter Rain. George Warnock, who wrote the only systematic teaching from the Latter Rain (The Feast of Tabernacles), was Ern Baxter’s personal secretary. In the midst of the Charismatic Renewal I remember well the teaching of the fivefold ministry and at that time assumed it was a new revelation to the church not knowing it had been imported directly from the Latter Rain. But is the mid-century Latter-Rain the headwaters of the current River of revival? Not really. Rather than the headwaters it is a major tributary. We must travel further upstream to find the actual source. Dr Raymond Carlson again is correct in asserting that some of the early Pentecostal pioneers of the turn of the century also were involved. Before we stop with the early Pentecostals, we must go back just a little further and find the headwaters in the Holiness movement of the late 1800’s.

The Holiness Movement

Holiness enthusiasts of the late nineteenth century searched the scriptures for reference to the revival they were experiencing. One popular scripture was Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel shall be preached in all the world… and then the end shall come”. Holiness teaching served as a prelude to missions and missions a prelude to the second coming.

They identified their holiness experience as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the enablement to take the gospel to every nation and then Jesus could return. Holiness preachers searched the scriptures for this worldwide revival and interestingly enough the best they could find was a teaching they called the “Latter Rain”. This Latter Rain allegory was pieced together from scripture references of the early and latter rains of the growing season. (Deuteronomy 11:10-21 and James 5:7-8). These rainfall patterns metaphorically became a sort of lens though which to view all of church history. The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost was seen as the early rain in which the church was planted and the end of age revival was the latter rain, a divine preparation of a last days harvest and the signal of the soon return of Jesus. Wesley Myland (1858-1943) who began his career as a holiness preacher was the first to put in writing the Latter Rain scheme, which he titled “The Latter Rain Covenant”. (4) He is also credited with writing the first Pentecostal hymn “The Latter Rain”. The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements also refers to his book, “The Latter Rain Covenant” as the first definitive Pentecostal theology.

Latter Rain And The Early Pentecostals

It was Charles Parham, a Methodist holiness preacher who broke with traditional holiness teaching and linked the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with a latter-day Pentecost. His new discovery was that tongues was both a sign of this Spirit baptism and also the signal of the end of the age.

The early Pentecostal pioneers initially accepted this Latter Rain motif. Spirit baptism was an end time repeat of the first Pentecost. Tongues were seen as an eschatological sign signifying that a second and final Pentecost was taking place, bringing the church into a new and final dispensation. This second Pentecost would bring a final world revival in which the nations would have one last opportunity to hear the gospel and then the end would come. Tongues were at first perceived as actual missionary languages to enable the gospel to be quickly preached throughout the whole earth. Indeed many at that time went to China assuming they had been given a Chinese tongue to announce the gospel. Most returned disillusioned. The term “Latter Rain” was used freely by the early Pentecostal pioneers as well as the term “apostolic”. The early Pentecostals were convinced that not only would there be a Latter Rain global revival but the last days’ church would be restored to the apostolic pattern. Joined to the Latter Rain teaching was a complementary truth called restoration.

Restoring The Apostolic Church

The basic principle of restoration teaching is that there is a fundamental discontinuity, historical and spiritual, between the church today and the New Testament church. In the restoration agenda, God will end the church as He began it. Events, however, caused the early Pentecostals to dispense with restorationism and the Latter Rain motif. In 1914 and later the founding fathers of the AOG turned their back on Latter Rain Apostolic Restoration thinking and espoused the current premillennial eschatology. The Latter Rain motif then sat more or less dormant for decades until 1948. In Canada the Latter Rain paradigm erupted again. Impartation of spiritual gifts by the laying on of hands was instituted as well as travelling prophets giving personal prophecy.

This time there was added the restoration of the apostolic office gifts of apostles and prophets. Indeed to restore the apostolic church without restored apostles and prophets would be a limited restoration of the apostolic church.

Restored Apostles And Prophets

To Latter Rain teachers it seemed obvious that if there was to be a repeated apostolic Pentecost then apostles and prophets must be restored as well. These teachers then devised a historical scheme of restoration. Church history was understood as a succession of recoveries of lost or neglected truths. Luther recovered justification by faith, Baptists believers’ baptism, Wesley holiness, A.B. Simpson healing and the early Pentecostal pioneers the gifts of the Spirit. The recovery process was now extended further. The end time body of Christ must go on to maturity and restore the apostles and prophets and these restored ministries must lead the church to a new and final dimension of power and authority not only bringing in the final harvest but establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Kingdom Now Teaching

Now we are introduced to another major feature of the current move namely Kingdom Now Dominionism. Previously Latter Rain teachers saw a second and repeated Pentecost as a final harvest of souls before Christ could come back. Now there is a major addition to the Latter Rain/Restoration concept. The restored apostles and prophets will lead a new and reconstituted body of Christ in conquering the kingdoms of this world and establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

This dominion mentality is conceived as a gigantic end-time revival that will sweep the whole earth in its wake. Some even refer to a billion souls being swept in to the kingdom. An elite company of overcomers from out of the larger church will subdue all things and will be so endued with supernatural power that the first church apostles will be envious of the latter day apostles.

According to his view, summarised from the statements made by a number of its exponents, “the church isn’t going sit and take it any more. The church isn’t going to wait to be helicoptered out of the world in some rapture rescue plan. The church will stay right here and by its spiritual authority even defeat the principalities and powers in the heavenlies, dragging them to earth and putting them under their heel”. Paul Cain, a survivor of the Latter Rain (1950) is currently marketing a vision of an elite company of overcoming spiritual warriors called “Joel’s army”. This end-time spiritual army unit will be an invincible band, which leads the church in dominion on the earth. A purging of the wider church of those who will not follow the new order is necessary to constitute a unified global church.

Teachers of the new order tell us that all this has been prophesied. This is an end-time fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles. These teachers assert that Passover found fulfilment in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled in the outpouring of Spirit, and now the only remaining feast is that of Tabernacles to be fulfilled in the last days’ church. It is a second Pentecost with restored apostles and prophets. This end time spiritual army will put all God’s enemies under its feet, yes even the last enemy, death itself. This introduces us to another added teaching of the Latter Rain (1950).

The Manifested Sons Of God

The body of Christ coming to spiritual maturity will be able to defeat death itself. This teaching became known as the “Manifest Sons of God”. Taking childish cues from Paul’s teaching in Romans eight and misunderstanding them, they suggested that a company of overcoming believers “the sons of God” will be manifested upon the earth with never dying spiritual bodies before the return of Christ. This would have to be the ultimate in dominion teaching.

Bishop Earl Paulk has stated the Manifest Sons teaching very clearly without ever using that unpopular term. Listen to his unmistakable teaching:

“Jesus Christ, as the first-fruit of the Kingdom, began the work of conquering death on an individual basis, but we, as His church, will be the ones to complete the task. Jesus said (Matthew 28:18), “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” and the church today has that same power. Death will not be conquered by Jesus returning to earth. It will be conquered when the church stands up boldly and says, “We have dominion over the earth”. (5)

Obviously the church has not yet matured to the place of defeating death. Bishop Paulk counsels Christians not to accept death unless they get a specific revelation from God otherwise. There is a companion truth that often accompanies the Manifested Sons teaching namely the birth in the church of a corporate Christ. This corporate Christ is said to be a fusing together of the spiritual Christ within His many membered body upon the earth. The end-time glorious church is supposed to give birth to this corporate Christ. Though it is not always stated this view assumes and some teach (not all) that the literal physical resurrected Jesus will not need to return as such. Rather His second coming will happen when He is spiritually incarnated into his church, which will then be able to conquer death itself. This teaching has been expressed in various ways.

“Jesus was God in the flesh. We must be as He was in the world, even greater in volume and influence.” (6)

“The completion of the incarnation of God in the world must be in His church… Jesus Christ is the firstfruits, but without the ongoing harvest, the incarnation will never be complete.” (7)

“The living Word of God, Jesus Christ, was conceived in the womb of a virgin. The Word became flesh in the God-Man Jesus Christ (John 1:1). Likewise, the Word of God must be made flesh in the Church in order for us to bear witness to the Kingdom which God has called us to demonstrate.” (8)

“We are on earth as extensions of God to finish the work He began. We are the essence of God, His on-going incarnation in the world.” (9)

This is saying far more than the orthodox view that Christ indwells His church by the Holy Spirit. The question arises: how can Jesus, with his current resurrected body in heaven, be incarnated into the church that is still upon the earth? Some have seen this problem and solve it by adjusting their Christology.

“He [Jesus] entered a higher realm of restoration and love by becoming an indwelling Spirit.” (10)

We must oppose this view. Jesus has not become the Holy Spirit. It is rather the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer. The resurrected Jesus is at the Father’s right hand and in His glorified resurrected body He will return bodily to the earth. Obviously an indwelling spirit would not need to return from heaven. It is on this basis that some Dominion teachers assert that Jesus can be an ongoing incarnation of God in His body (church) upon the earth. Consequently scriptures pertaining to Christ’s ruling on earth are often seen as referring to the church rather than to Jesus. The church is viewed as a kind of Virgin Mary who must give birth to Jesus the indwelling spirit.

Francis Frangipane teaches a similar message:

“When the Spirit of Christ comes into the physical world, He must enter through a physical body. When Christ first entered our world as a child, it was Mary whom God chose to give Christ birth. Mary’s life symbolised the qualities the church must possess to walk in the fullness of Christ. God is preparing us as He did Mary to give birth to the ministry of His Son. Even now, in the spiritual womb of the virgin church, the Holy purpose of Christ is growing, awaiting maturity, ready to be born in the power and timing of God. The virgin church is in labour and in pain to give birth (Rev. 12:5) even now hell trembles and the heavens watch in awe for I say to you, once again, the virgin is with child.” (11)

Latter-Rain teachers have long used Revelation 12, teaching that the woman in this passage is the church and the “Man child” to be born is a spiritual second coming of Christ into His corporate body. When Latter Rain Prophet Paul Cain describes, in passing, the church as the “Man Child Company” he has this teaching in mind.

Marc Dupont of the former Toronto Vineyard claims to have received a significant prophecy in which he states the following:

“This move of the Spirit in 1994 is not just a Charismatic and Pentecostal experience, concerning power and gifting. It is one thing to be clothed with power, it is another to be indwelt with the Person of God.” (12)

Old Testament scriptures are spiritualised to see this birthing as the return of the ark to the temple, that is the coming of Christ invisibly into His living temple the church. This will occur when the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled which celebrates the Lord dwelling among His people. “When this happens, no longer will it be the Head (Jesus Christ) in heaven and the body (believers) on earth – but one Perfect Man filling both heaven and earth”. (13)

This teaching of a spiritual second coming of Jesus into His body is rarely advertised. Rather the more palatable teaching of a final global revival and restored apostles and prophets is the public teaching most emphasised. How can the present Charismatic/Pentecostal church even entertain elements of this teaching that originated from such a small group that operated on the fringes of the Pentecostal movement in the early 50’s?

When the Charismatic Renewal exploded in the 60’s and 70’s certain Latter Rain remnants found a new and undiscriminating audience. Charismatics had never heard of the Latter Rain and received the new teaching as part of their new wine experience. Consequently Latter-Rain/Restorationism received a greater hearing within the Charismatic renewal than it ever did in the Classic Pentecostal tradition. Through the Charismatic Renewal, Latter Rain teachings were renamed and finally homogenised sufficiently so that today Latter Rain ideas float freely on “the river” without anyone detecting their true identity. Furthermore the Charismatic Renewal has been mainstreamed into wider evangelical circles through John Wimber and Vineyard conferences, signs and wonders teachings, etc. Indeed some of the more extreme parts of the paradigm are not put out front, nevertheless, little by little the wider church is coalescing around what, when thoroughly analysed, are Latter Rain core beliefs. Without unwarranted employment of the Latter Rain allegory there is not even a hint in scripture of an end-time global revival and second Pentecost. Not everyone in the river uniformly accepts all the parts of the paradigm. But as time goes by more and more Latter Rain tenets exert a gravitational pull that draws participants to logically espouse more and more of the paradigm.

When Peter Wagner calls for and attempts to network a world wide apostolic reformation does he espouse the whole of the Latter Rain/Restoration paradigm? I don’t really know. In fact I doubt that he does. I do know, however, that by bringing Bishop Bill Hamon to speak at his conferences, he is bringing the whole paradigm mentioned above. There must be at least openness on Wagner’s part and many others because they without qualification recommend Bill Hamon’s books with its full-blown Latter Rain and Manifested Sons’ teaching. Wagner’s “New Apostolic Reformation” is nothing more than warmedup Latter Rain teaching. G. Raymond Carlson from his vantage point of history knew that all this has its source in a second end-time Pentecost, first articulated at the turn of the century and restated and expanded in the New Order of the Latter Rain 1950 and now imported and marketed into the wider church by means of the Charismatic renewal.

When much is made of a sweeping revival that will overflow the earth in the last days with billions of converts, you should be aware that this popular idea comes not from scripture but from a view of church history that has been running now for over a century. Take away the fraudulent allegorical use of the “Latter Rain” scheme and there remains no other biblical support for this elaborate view of the end-times. Rather it was Jesus Himself who asked the question: “When the Son of Man comes will He find faith upon the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

The scripture leaves no doubt that Jesus will return bodily, first to the air then to earth and when He does, at the first stage, His “body” upon the earth (the full complement of his church) will be raptured to meet Him in the air (I Thessalonians 4:17). It is then and only then that He will change our corruptible bodies in a twinkling of an eye. It is then (at the second stage) that Jesus will rule earth in His glorified and resurrected body. It is then that the Sons of God will be manifest. Rather than sensationalising a false and unbiblical agenda, the church must occupy until He comes and His body is completed. Faithfully this gospel must be preached to every nation and then the end will come. Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

The PLUMBLINE
74425 County Road 21 Renville, MN 56284
Published by Orrel Steinkamp D. Min.
Tel. 320 329 3874

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NOTES

C. Peter Wagner, The New Apostolic Churches (Ventura CA; Regal, 1998), p. 18.
Donald E. Miller, New Paradigm Churches in the Twentieth Century (Pasadena CA: Ministry Advantage, Vol. 6, No. 4, July/Aug 1996).
G. Raymond Carlson, personal letter to Jewel Van de Mewre.
Wesley Myland, The Latter-Rain Covenant (1910).
Earl Paulk, The Proper Function of the Church (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, undated), p. 13
Earl Paulk, The Uitimate Kingdom (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986), p.121.
Earl Paulk, The Wounded Body of Christ (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers), p. 43.
Earl Paulk, Held In The Heavens (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1985), p.60.
ibid, p. 125.
Earl Paulk, Thrust In The Sickle And Reap (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986), p. 132.
Fancis Frangipane, In The Presence Of God (New Wine Press 1994), pp. 153-157.
Marc Dupont, Mantle of Praise (Alpha Magazine, 1994).
Tricia Tillin, The Source and Goal of the Second Pentecost (UK: Banner Ministries, 1994).

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The following are some of the major false doctrines that are a particular danger to Bible-believing churches in our day and a concise biblical refutation of them. We use the following to train our church members.

SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT FALSE TEACHERS

1. Jesus warned about false teachers (Matt. 7:15-17).

2. Paul warned about false teachers (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

3. Peter warned about false teachers and said that many will follow them (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

4. John warned about false teachers (1 John 2:18-20).

5. Jude warned about false teachers (Jude 3-4).

SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT DOCTRINE

1. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2. We are to continue in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42).

3. Preachers are to give themselves to doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13).

4. No false doctrine is to be allowed (1 Tim. 1:3).

5. Our doctrine is to be uncorrupt (Titus 2:10).

6. We are to separate from false doctrine (Rom. 16:17).

SOME OF THE FALSE DOCTRINES THAT CHURCHES MUST CONFRONT TODAY

1. The false teaching that salvation is by grace plus works (Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Church of Christ, Roman Catholic Church)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says salvation is by grace without works and that works follows after salvation (Rom. 4:1-6; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-8).

b. The Bible says that grace and works cannot be mixed together (Rom. 11:6).

c. Grace means a free gift. Salvation is called a gift 16 times in the New Testament. If salvation requires some works, then it is not a true gift. The gift of God is free for the sinner because Jesus Christ purchased it at great price with His blood and death on the cross.

2. The false teaching that Jesus is not God (Jehovah’s Witnesses)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible plainly says that Jesus is God

(1) Isaiah called Jesus God (Is. 7:14; 9:6).

(2) Matthew called Jesus God (Matt. 1:23).

(3) Jesus called Himself God (Jn. 5:17-18; 8:58-59; 10:30-33; Rev. 1:8).

(4) John called Jesus God (Jn. 1:1; 1 John 3:16; 5:20).

(5) Thomas called Jesus God (Jn. 20:28).

(6) Paul called Jesus God (Acts 20:28; Phil. 2:5-6; 1 Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:13).

(7) God the Father called Jesus God (Heb. 1:8-10).

b. In His incarnation the Lord Jesus Christ “made himself of no reputation” and became a lowly servant to God and man (Phil. 2:7). The Greek word for “made himself of no reputation” is “kenoo,” meaning “to empty, to abase, to make of none effect” (Strong). Jesus did not cease to be God. Phil. 2:6 plainly states that He is God, but the Son of God willingly laid aside His glory for the purpose of redeeming man by the cross.

c. There is an order to the Trinity. God the Son submits to God the Father, even though they are equal.

3. The false teaching that God is not a Trinity (Jehovah’s Witnesses)

Bible Answer:

a. The term “trinity” is not in the Bible, but the doctrine is (Mt. 28:19; Jn. 14:16,26; 16:7-15; 2 Co. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Jn. 5:7).

b. The O.T. teaches that God is one in a plurality. Though the Old Testament does not fully reveal the doctrine of the Trinity, it does teach us that God is a plurality. It is left for the New Testament to open up this revelation fully.

Genesis 1:1. The Hebrew word for God here is elohim. This is a plural noun, but the verb is singular, teaching that there is one God in a plurality.

Genesis 11:6-7. Here again God is spoken of in the plural and in the singular at the same time.

Deuteronomy 6:4. This verse could be translated, “Jehovah our elohim is a united Jehovah.” The word “one” refers to a unity. The same word for one is used in Gen. 2:24, speaking of the oneness of a husband and wife. This verse summarizes the Bible’s teaching about God. He is one but exists in three Persons.

Psalm 45:6-7. According to Heb. 1:8-9, God the Father is speaking in Psalm 45, and He is referring to the Son as God. Sometimes people ask, “If Jesus Himself was God, why did He address the Father as God?” The answer is that Jesus addressed the Father as God for the same reason that the Father addressed the Son as God—because they are both God!

4. The false teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation (Church of Christ)

Bible Answer:

a. Paul taught that baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 6:3-4). It is the blood and death of Christ that takes away our sins, not water or religious rituals.

b. Paul says that baptism is not the gospel (1 Cor. 1:17). The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Baptism only symbolizes the gospel.

c. The book of Acts teaches us that baptism follows salvation (Acts 8:36-38; 16:30-33; 18:8).

d. Acts 2:38 does not teach that baptism is a part of salvation, because Peter later taught that baptism is a symbol (1 Pet. 3:21). Acts 2:38 teaches that we are baptized because we have been forgiven of our sins not in order to be forgiven.

5. The false teaching that infants should be baptized (Church of Christ)

Bible Answer:

a. Baptism is only for those who believe (Mk. 16:15; Acts 8:36-38). When a child is old enough to believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then he can be baptized. But an infant cannot do this.

b. No infants were baptized in the New Testament.

Some say that there must have been infants baptized in the case of Cornelius since his kinsmen and friends were present (Acts 10:24, 47). Contrariwise, Acts 11:17 says that those who were saved and baptized with Cornelius were those “who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Obviously these were not infants.

What about the case of Lydia and her household (Acts 16:14-15). Nothing is said about infants in this passage, and it is highly unlikely that this busy merchant woman would have had babies. There is no evidence here whatsoever for the practice of infant baptism.

What about the Philippian jailer and his household (Acts 16:30-34). This passage clearly says that Paul spoke the Word of God to the entire household (v. 32) and that the entire household “believed” (vv. 32-33). This could not be said of infants.

What about the household of Crispus (Acts 18:8)? Those who were saved and baptized in this family were all believers, for we are told, “Crispus … believed on the Lord with all his house…” Obviously they were not infants.

What about the household of Stephanas (1 Cor. 1:16)? Again nothing is actually said about infants being present or baptized. In 1 Cor. 16:15 we are told that this household addicted themselves to the ministry. This could not be said of infants.

6. The false teachings of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement (Assemblies of God, etc.)

6a. The false doctrine that tongues speaking is for today

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says tongues were a real language (Acts 2:3-11).

b. The Bible says tongues were a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1 Cor. 14:21-22). After Israel rejected God’s sign of tongues and Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the Jews were scattered to the ends of the earth, the need for tongues as a sign was finished.

c. Biblical tongues had to be used according to the teaching of the apostles, yet the Pentecostals and Charismatics do not submit to these restrictions:

(1) Women are not allowed to speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:34)

(2) Tongues were to be spoken only by course (1 Cor. 14:27)

(3) Tongues must be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:27)

(4) There is to be no confusion (1 Cor. 14:33)

(5) Everything is to be decent (1 Cor. 14:40)

(6) Everything is to be orderly (1 Cor. 14:40)

d. Tongues were not spoken by every believer even in the days of the apostles (1 Cor. 12:28-30).

e. Biblical tongues were not sought after but were sovereignly given by God (1 Cor. 12:11).

f. There is no instruction in the Bible about HOW to speak in tongues. Those who believe in tongues speaking today claim that they can teach people who to do it.

g. The Bible says tongues speaking, prophesying, and words of knowing will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8). When the New Testament was completed, there was no further need for these particular gifts.

6b.The false doctrine that healing is promised in the atonement

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says that not all sicknesses are healed (2 Cor. 12:97-10; 1 Tim. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20).

b. The Bible says that the physical part of our salvation is for the future (Rom. 8:17-25.

c. Peter says that Isaiah 53:5 refers to spiritual healing of the soul (1 Pet. 2:24-25).

6c. The false doctrine that miracles should be sought

Bible Answer:

a. Jesus warned that it is not good to seek miracles (Mat. 12:39).

b. The miracles performed by the apostles were special (2 Cor. 12:12). Not every Christian could perform miracles.

c. Faith does not come from miracles but from God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). Multitudes witnessed Jesus’ great miracles, but most did not believe.

6d. The false doctrine that the Holy Spirit baptism follows salvation

Bible Answer:

a. Jesus promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) and this was fulfilled in Acts 2 for the Jews and in Acts 10:44-47 for the Gentiles.

b. Since then, every believer receives the Holy Spirit when he believes (Eph. 1:12-14).

c. The book of Acts is a transitional book. Not everything that happened then is the pattern for the rest of the church age.

d. In the epistles, the reception of the Holy Spirit is always mentioned in the past tense (Rom. 8:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13).

6e. The false doctrine that we should exalt the Holy Spirit

Bible Answer:

a. The Lord Jesus Christ foretold what role the Holy Spirit would have in the church age (John 16:13-15). In this passage we learn that the Holy Spirit does not exalt Himself and the Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself.

b. There is no example in the N.T. of praying to the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray to the Father, not to the Holy Spirit (Matt. 6:6,9; Jn. 16:23). The Apostle Paul taught us to pray to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:8; 7:25).

c. There is no example in the New Testament of inviting the Holy Spirit to work. Neither Jesus nor the apostles did that.

6f. The false doctrine that we should not test the Holy Spirit with the Bible

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible warns that there are false spirits and that the devil tries to deceive (2 Cor. 11:4; 1 Jn. 4:1). Therefore we must test everything carefully or we will be deceived.

b. The Bible commands us to prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21).

c. The Bible commended the Bereans because they tested everything by the Scriptures (Acts 17:11)

6g. The false doctrine that the believer can be rid of his sin nature

Bible Answer:

a. Paul taught that the believer still has the struggle with sin (Rom. 7:14-21; Gal. 5:16-17).

b. John teaches that the believer still has sin (1 John 1:8, 10).

6h. The false doctrine that victory in the Christian life comes through unusual baptisms and experiences

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible does not exhort us to make spiritual leaps through unusual experiences. Rather, it exhorts us to GROW in Christ (1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

b. The apostles wrote many epistles instructing the believers about how to deal with sin an spiritual problems, but they never instructed the believers to seek a second baptism or other such special experiences.

6i. The false doctrine that visions and prophecies are for today

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says the faith was completed in the days of the apostles (Jude 3).

b. The Bible says that the Scriptures are sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

c. The Bible says that Scripture is more sure than visions (2 Pet. 1:16-21).

d. The Bible says that prophecies will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8).

7. The false teaching that death is a sleep and not a journey (Seventh-day Adventists)

Bible Answer:

a. The Old Testament plainly says that death is a journey (Gen. 25:8; 35:18; Nu. 27:13; 2 Sa. 12:23; 1 Ki. 17:21-22).

b. The New Testament plainly says that death is a journey:

(1) Jesus said death is a journey (Lk. 16:19-23; 23:42-43). That Luke 16:19-31 is not a parable is evident by the fact that Jesus named the names of Abraham and Lazarus. He never named names when He was giving parables. Further, even if it were a parable, it would still teach literal truth.

(2) Paul said death is a journey (2 Cor. 5;6-7; Phil. 1:23; 2 Tim. 4:6).

(3) Peter said death is a journey (2 Pet. 1:13-15).

(4) The fact that the dead saints return with Christ from heaven at the time of the rapture shows that dead saints go to Heaven at death (1 Th. 4:14).

(5) John’s heavenly visions show that dead saints are conscience in heaven prior to the resurrection and during the Great Tribulation on earth (Re. 6:9-11).

(6) Moses’ and Elijah’s appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration proves that the dead have conscious existence between death and resurrection. Moses and Elijah, though dead, were allowed by God to appear in time on that mountain and to converse about events which were soon to take place in Jerusalem (Mt. 17:1-3; Lk. 9:30-31).

c. The Bible sometimes speaks of death as a “sleep,” but it is the body that sleeps not the spirit (Jam. 2:26).

d. Ecclesiastes sometimes speaks of death as nothingness (i.e., Ecc. 9:5), but this is because Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of the man “under the sun” (Ecc. 1:3, 9, 14, etc), the perspective of man looking at life the way it appears apart from divine revelation. To the natural man who does not have the revelation of the Scriptures, death appears to be the end of things. But other portions of the Bible tell us that this is not the case. Even the book of Ecclesiastes itself, in its conclusion, says that death is a journey (Ecc. 12:7).

e. The Old Testament speaks of the “spirit” as the breath once or twice, but usually the “spirit” of man is that non-material part which is separate from the body and which lives on after death (1 Thess. 5:23). False teachers make the mistake of refusing to allow the context to define Bible words and instead they put their own preferred definition on the word and force that definition into every context.

8. The false teaching that Hell is not eternal torment (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists)

Bible Answer:

a. The doctrine of death and hell were not fully revealed in the Old Testament; these were brought to light with the coming of Christ (2 Tim. 1:10).

b. The New Testament plainly teaches that hell and the lake of fire are places of eternal torment:

(1) Jesus said hell is a place where the worm does not die (Mark 9:43-44).

(2) Jesus said the rich man was in torment in hell (Lk. 16:24). This is not a parable, because Jesus named the names of Lazarus and Abraham.

(3) Revelation says those who receive the mark of the antichrist will be tormented forever (Rev. 14:10).

(4) Revelation says Satan, the Antichrist, and false prophet will be tormented forever (Rev. 20:10).

(5) Revelation says all the unsaved will be cast into the same lake of fire (Rev. 20:15), and since the antichrist and false prophet are not burned up but are tormented forever in the lake of fire, it is obvious that other sinners cast there will have the same experience.

c. The Bible says the punishment of the unsaved will be worse than violent death (Mk. 9:42). This proves the punishment is not annihilation, but is eternal torment. 3. Jesus said it would have been better if Judas had never been born (Mt. 26:24). Jesus’ words make no sense if Judas was only going to be annihilated.

9. The false teaching that Sabbath worship is for the churches today (Seventh-day Adventists)

Bible Answer:

a. The sabbath, though mentioned in Gen. 2:2-3, was not delivered to man until it was given to Israel in the wilderness (Neh. 9:13-14).

b. The sabbath was given, not to mankind in general, but to Israel alone as a special covenant sign between her and God (Ex. 31:13,17).

c. Jesus kept the sabbath because He was born under the law to fulfill the demands of the law (Gal. 4:4-5).

d. The apostles and early churches met on Sunday.

(1) On the first day Jesus rose from the dead and first appeared to His disciples (Mk. 16:9). The sabbath is associated with the old creation; the first day is associated with the new creation.

(2) On the first day Jesus met with the disciples at different places and repeatedly (Mk. 16:9-11; Mt. 28:8-10; Lk. 24:34; Mk. 16:12-13; Jn. 20:19-23).

(3) On the first day Jesus ascended to Heaven, was seated at the right hand of the Father and was made Head of all (Jn. 20:17; Eph. 1:20).

(4) On the first day the Holy Spirit descended (Acts 2:1). Pentecost was on the 50th day after the sabbath following the wave offering (Lev. 23:15,16). Thus Pentecost was always on a Sunday.

(5) The Christians met to worship on the first day (Acts 20:6,7; 1 Cor. 16:2).

e. The New Testament plainly teaches that the Christian is not bound to the sabbath law (Col. 2:16-17).

10. The false teaching that the Prophecies of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-22 are not for the future but are being fulfilled today (Roman Catholic, most Protestant denominations such as Presbyterian and Lutheran, etc.)

Bible Answer:

a. The timing of the events of Matthew 24 are plainly given:

(1) Jesus said that the prophecy of Matthew 24 pertains to the end of the age and to the time of His return (Matt. 24:3-4). This includes the rule of the antichrist (v. 15) and the Great Tribulation (v. 21).

(2) Jesus said the events of Matthew 24 will occur just prior to His return (Matt. 24:29-30).

b. Paul also taught that the antichrist is a real man who will rule the world just prior to Christ’s return (2 Thess. 2:2-9).

c. The judgments of Revelation are the wrath of God (Rev. 6:16; 15:1), whereas Paul said the church-age believers are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9-10).

11. The false teaching that God is finished with the nation Israel; that the church has replaced Israel (Roman Catholic, most Protestant denominations such as Presbyterian and Lutheran, etc.)

Bible Answer:

a. God’s covenants with Israel are eternal (Jer. 31:31-37).

b. Paul said that Israel has been set aside temporarily, and that God will fulfill His promises to Israel after He completes His plan for the church (Rom. 11:25-29).

12. The false teaching that God chooses who will be saved and that only those who are chosen can be saved (Calvinism)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-5; 2 Pet. 3:9).

b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).

c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).

d. God has commanded that the gospel be preached to every person (Mark 16:15).

e. The Holy Spirit convicts every sinner and Jesus draws and gives light to every sinner (Jn. 1:9; 12:32; 16:7-8).

f. Believers are the elect of God, but that does not mean that God chooses some to be saved and the others not to be saved. Election is based on God’s foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2).

13. The false teaching that the believer can only eat certain things (Seventh-day Adventist)

Bible Answer:

a. Dietary laws in the New Testament are a mark of false teachers (1 Tim. 4:1-5).

b. The New Testament believer has liberty in such things (Rom. 14:1-4; Col. 2:16).

14. The false teaching that there should only be one church in each village and city

Bible Answer:

a. This idea has no support in the Bible. There is no such commandment in the New Testament.

b. This idea is contrary to Christ’s Great Commission. Jesus commanded all believers to preach the gospel and baptize every nation and individual (Matt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15). This commandment was not given just to one church in each area. Believers do not have to ask other churches for permission to preach the gospel and baptize and establish churches. We have authority from Jesus Christ.

c. If this idea is true, how can it be accomplished? Such an principle would mean that one church would be able to forbid other churches to preach, but Jesus said we are not to forbid others (Lk. 9:49-50).

d. If there is only one church in each city, what church would it be? Who will have control to say which church it should be? This is what the Roman Catholic Church claims for itself and what the cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim for themselves.

November 3, 2005 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/major-falsedoctrines.html

 

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Faith Healing or Mesmerism?

You believe that evangelist Benny Hinn is anointed of God? In reality, he uses mesmerism! That’s a shock for some of you, I know, but I’ll prove it to you. This technique was formulated by Franz Anton Mesmer, a physician and healer who achieved remarkable cures comparable to cases presented in today’s Miracle Crusades, although – remember this – Mesmer never used God’s name in his practice. This German physician successfully developed a method to relieve the pain of his patients, believing in an invisible, curative fluid pervading the universe that could influence the human body. Some kind of an “anointing” if you will that acts on the mind of the person. This was the foundation of hypnotism.

Therefore, he spent a great deal of effort in trying to master that “invisible fluid.” He developed the method, which is defined as follows: The capacity of raising the emotional state of an individual, or a crowd, to an abnormal, but controllable intensity. How is this accomplished? Mainly through music. Yes, emotional, repetitive music plays a role in the control of the mind and nervous system of the followers. The verb to mesmerize means: to hypnotize, to spellbind. It entered the language of the West as a synonym for “to throw into a trance” because the subjects would fall into a state of semi-consciousness. The technique is now being used in religious circles but disguised in different terms.

Compare the Two Men in Action…

Mesmer conducting a magnetic séance

Mesmer conducting a magnetic séance

Mesmer practicing in his apartment

Mesmer practicing in his apartment

Mesmerist Benny performing on stage in a crusade

"Mesmerist" Benny performing on stage in a crusade

Benny waving his hand over a magnetized subject

Benny waving his hand over a "magnetized" subject

You compare these two men above and you take a serious look at the healing testimonies presented by this televangelist. First, nothing comes close to those cases found in the Bible. Moreover, his power to heal the sick does not exceed that of the mesmerists of old or other faith healers who practice under a label other than Christianity. He appeals to many because he’s more entertaining than others but is his anointing from God? More of my observations are listed below.

Read these Similarities

FRANZ MESMER put together ideas like suggestion and auto-suggestion in a scientific, systematic method, then popularized his concept for anyone to use. Considered the early pioneer of modern hypnotism, he performed his healing practice in the same manner faith healers operate their ministries today, achieving similar results perhaps even more extraordinary. Though this method has its benefits, please keep in mind that it is far from being inoffensive and harmless. Once people are mesmerized, they can no longer analyze.

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He also exercised the laying on of hands. In his view, cures were induced through “magnetic passes” of the operator’s hands. Yes, the pain would go away and people believed they were cured. At times he would point at a patient standing many feet away from him; the next instant, the patient’s body would lie on the floor in convulsions. He also had a peculiar ability to throw his subjects into a state between sleep and wakefulness, and became a master of it.

BENNY HINN emulates his idol Kathryn Kuhlman. The only difference I’ve been able to observe is that Miss Kuhlman wore a white dress and he wears a white suit. He claims his anointing comes from God. Isn’t strange that he cannot produce biblical healings? In over 25 years of ministry there’s never been one single leper cured, or a person raised from the dead! His theatrics and emotional crusades take pain away leading his admirers to believe they’re healed. From what? asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, blood and heart conditions, etc. How about the paraplegics, those who’ve suffered terrible burns or have been left crippled after a serious stroke? They don’t get healed. Do they all lack faith? Wouldn’t you agree that his “anointing” is selective and quite limited?

He regularly uses his staff members to set the example for those unfamiliar with the “slaying in the spirit” phenomenon. They all fall down giving the impression that an anointing emanates from his hands. I have video clips showing individuals stretching their arm out to break the fall or bending their knees because the men behind them failed to catch them in the usual manner. Isn’t strange? I have seen his wife Suzanne pull her jacket back down over her stomach as she “fell in the spirit.” If she had been “slain in the spirit” would she have cared about her appearance?

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MESMER was renowned for his musical knowledge and refined playing. In his séances, he used an elaborate arrangement of music, lights, and other paraphernalia as stage properties to set the mood and relax his patients. He was also convinced that it intensified the communication of this “universal fluid” – the famous anointing, so he profusely used it. Under his commands, musicians shifted from stormy to soft music to induce the mesmeric state through the music’s sharp penetrative tones and vibrations. And people walked out thinking they were healed!

HINN has learned his routine from Miss Kuhlman. Very often during the course of the service, he will order his official organist to change the tempo of the music, and to quickly flow with him in the same spirit! His performance includes melodious whispers and fearful shouts. And he has some angelic music played whenever he prays to give a feeling of divine atmosphere. He puts on, we have to admit, a very entertaining performance. Once he confessed to a Canadian reporter that he’s an artist, that he’s always been an artist…and that’s how you should consider him.

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MESMER and his disciples achieved remarkable cures of functional disorders. Thousands believed that such treatments were responsible for the recovery from back troubles, arthritis, paralysis, liver or stomach problems, epilepsy, stuttering, and even blindness. Followers also reported prickly sensations or tingling going through them as the operator exercised the ritual. These phenomena also occur in today’s crusades.

HINN often tells his followers that they can lose their miracle. For instance, he recommends that they should read verses and confess their healing to remain “healed.” If they get sick again, well…it’s not his fault. I suggest to you that they’ve never been healed in the first place. When God heals, He heals instantly, completely, and permanently. I believe in miracles. I also believe that God acts regardless of the environment and He hears the cry of His children. But while some want to give God the glory when blessed, Benny Hinn walks away with the credit when a person gets better.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030414165447/http://www.fakefaithhealers.com/Hinn_Mesmer.htm

 

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DNA proves the Book of Mormon to be fals 143

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A Response to Latter-day Saints Who Say, “We Never Criticize Christian Churches” Compiled by Bill McKeever

A common response to Christians who question the teachings of Mormonism is to accuse them of being contentious and unloving. Often Mormons will question the “Christianity” of the person and proudly claim that members of the LDS Church never criticize the beliefs of others and therefore conclude that no one else should either. As the following quotes demonstrate, Mormons leaders have long criticized Christians, and oftentimes very harshly.

Joseph Smith (Mormonism’s founder)

Joseph Smith claimed that he had seen both God the Father and Jesus Christ and asked these personages which church he should join. He claimed he was told to join none of them, “for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

When asked “Will all be damned but Mormons?” Smith replied, “Yes, and a great portion of them unless they repent and work righteousness” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 119).

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).

The Doctrine and Covenants (1:30) leaves no doubt to the Mormon teaching of exclusivity when it says the LDS church is, “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased ….”

Brigham Young (Mormonism’s Second President)

“When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness” (Journal of Discourses 5:73).

“The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God” (Journal of Discourses 8:171).

“With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world” (Journal of Discourses 8:199).

“Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity” (Journal of Discourses 10:230).

“The religion of God embraces every fact that exists in all the wide arena of nature, while the religions of men consist of theory devoid of fact, or of any true principle of guidance; hence the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without rudder, compass, or pilot, and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine” (Journal of Discourses 10:265).

“… the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans” (Journal of Discourses 22:44).

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth” (Journal of Discourses 6:176).

John Taylor (Mormonism’s 3rd President)

“We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense …the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century” (Journal of Discourses 6:167).

“What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.” (Journal of Discourses 6:25).

“What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing …Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God” (Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“And who is there that acknowledges [God’s] hand? …You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Journal of Discourses 6:24).

Daniel H. Wells (Mormon Apostle)

“The whole system of Christianity is a failure so far as stemming the tide of wickedness and corruption is concerned, or turning men from their evil ways to living lives of righteousness before God our Heavenly Father. I would rather preach the Gospel to a people who have not got any religion than I would to a people who have got a great deal of religion. You take the Catholic world. What impression can the truths of the Gospel make upon them as a people? Scarcely any impression at all.

Why? Because they are satisfied with what they have got, which we know is an error, and which is not calculated to stem the tide of wickedness and corruption which floods the world. It never will convert the world to God or His Kingdom, or convey a knowledge of God unto the children of men, and it is life eternal to know Him, the living and true God. The Christianity of the period will never make the people acquainted with God in the world. It will never bring them to eternal life as spoken of in the Scriptures.

It is an utter impossibility. In the first place they do not know anything about God, and in the second place, they apparently don’t want to know anything about Him. They have reared a superstructure in the earth which is false. It is and has been a tremendous imposture to the children of men. Some have come out of it, to a certain extent, seeing its incongruity, and yet they have floundered in the dark, not knowing what was right; not having that knowledge of God which is necessary to obtain eternal life, they have been tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, without being able to find the truth. Many who have thus been foundering are honest people; but the so-called system of Christianity is not only an error and a snare, but is a monstrous iniquity fastened upon the children of men throughout the earth. No wonder that people become infidel. The inconsistent and incongruous nature of the system is enough to make any being who reasons infidel. It was time the truth should be revealed; it was time for the Lord to restore the everlasting Gospel, for men were blind. Darkness covered the earth, even gross darkness the minds of the people in regard to religious subjects.

Perhaps a darker time was never known since the earth began its revolutions around the sun. From what I have read and from what experience I have had in life, and the intelligence I possess, I make bold to give my testimony that the darkest period the world ever saw was when this work first commenced, when it was made known from heaven to Joseph Smith. It was no darker here, perhaps, than in any other part of the world; but it was just as dark in Christian countries as in any Pagan country, so far as true religion and the light of heaven were concerned” (Journal of Discourses 24:321-322).

Orson Pratt (Mormon Apostle)

“Q. After the Church of Christ fled from the earth to heaven, what was left?

“A. A set of wicked Apostates, murderers, and idolaters, who …left to follow the wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up churches by human authority…” (The Seer, pg.205).

“…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people …The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints” (The Seer, pg. 255).

“This class of men, calling themselves Christian, uniting with the various forms of the pagan religion, adopting many of their ceremonies and institutions, became very popular, and finally some of the pagans embraced Christianity and were placed, as it were, upon the throne, and what they termed Christianity became very popular indeed. How long has this order of things existed, this dreadful apostasy, this class of people that pronounced themselves Zion, or Christians, without any of the characteristics of Zion? It has existed for some sixteen or seventeen centuries. It has spread itself and grown and gone into the four quarters of the earth. It is the great ecclesiastical power that is spoken of by the revelator John, and called by him the most corrupt and most wicked of all the powers of the earth, under the name of spiritual Babylon, or in other words Babel, which signifies confusion. This great and corrupt power is also represented by John as presenting a golden cup to the nations, full of all manner of filthiness and abominations” (Journal of Discourses 14:346).

“This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now” (Journal of Discourses 18:44).

“But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be …But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance, and they are represented in the revelations of St. John as a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, having a golden cup in her hand, full of filthiness and abominations, full of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; that in her forehead there was a name written – `Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots'” (Journal of Discourses 18:172).

“Who is Babylon? I have already explained that Babylon is a great power that should be in the earth under the name of a church, a woman – that generally represents a church – full of blasphemy …These churches are scattered over the wide face of the earth, and this is called Babylon. Another angel is to follow the one that brings the Gospel, after it has been sufficiently preached, and proclaim the downfall of this great and corrupt power in the earth” (Journal of Discourses 18:179).

“The worshipers of Baal were far more consistent than apostate Christendom; for they had a faint hope that Baal would hear and answer them; but modern divines have no expectation that their God will say anything to them or to their followers. Baal’s followers cried from morning until evening for him to give unto them a miraculous manifestation, in the presence of Elijah; but to even expect a supernatural manifestation or revelation now is considered, by modern religionists, as the greatest absurdity. Baal’s worshipers, therefore, with all their absurdities, approached nearer the religion of heaven, in some of their expectations, than those who falsely call themselves Christians” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 1 (1850), pp.12-13).

“We have already proved in the previous numbers of this series that immediately after the first century the whole earth became corrupted by the great “Mother of Harlots,” that apostasy and wickedness succeeded Christianity, that for the want of new revelation, all legal succession to the apostleship was discontinued that the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit ceased and that the Church was no longer to be found on the earth: this being the case, all nations must have been destitute of the everlasting gospel for many generations – not destitute of its history as it was once preached and enjoyed but destitute of its blessings, of its powers, of its gifts, of its priesthood, of its ordinances administered by legal authority” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No.6 (1851), pg.82).

Heber C. Kimball (First Counselor to Brigham Young)

“Christians – those poor, miserable priests Brother Brigham was speaking about – some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth …” (Journal of Discourses 5:89).

George Q. Cannon (Counselor to presidents Young, Taylor, Woodruff and Snow)

“I do not wish to say anything in relation to other forms of religion; I do not know that it is necessary that I should do so; but no thinking man can admit that Christianity so-called – I call it a false Christianity, untrue to its name – satisfies the wants of humanity at the present time. It is not a religion that satisfies” (Journal of Discourses 24:185).

“After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon” (Gospel Truth, pg.324).

Wilford Woodruff (4th LDS President)

“I said then, and I say now, may the Lord give me such periods of darkness as were enjoyed by the Apostles and Saints of old, in preference to the Gospel blaze of modern Christianity. The ancient doctrine and power will unlock the mysteries of heaven, and pour forth that Gospel light, knowledge, and truth, of which the heavens are full, and which has been poured out in every generation when Prophets appeared among the children of men. But the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called” (Journal of Discourses 2:196).

Erastus Snow (LDS Apostle)

“There is a theory in the human mind – I will say with a certain school of modern philosophers – to satisfy themselves and justify their infidelity; the bent and tendency of their inclinations is that way. But it is probable that the crude, undefined devices and erroneous notions and ideas of modern Christianity touching the Deity leads to this infidelity, as much as anything else. The advocates of Christianity are in a great measure to blame. When we begin to scan the teachings and enquire into the views of the leading divines of modern times, and examine their articles of faith and their discipline, the teachings of different Christian denominations on the subject of the Deity, we do not wonder that the reflecting, careful thinker, should repudiate their crude notions” (Journal of Discourses 19:268).

B.H. Roberts (LDS Seventy and Historian)

“Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Introduction to the History of the Church 1:XL).

“This view of God as an incorporeal, immaterial, bodiless, partless, passionless being is now and has been from the days of the great apostasy from God and Christ, in the second and third centuries, the doctrine of Deity generally accepted by apostate Christendom. The simple doctrine of the Christian Godhead, set forth in the New Testament is corrupted by the meaningless jargon of these creeds, and their explanations; and the learned who profess a belief in them are wandering in the darkness of the mysticisms of the old pagan philosophies” (History of the Church, 1:LXXXV).

Parley P. Pratt (Mormon Apostle)

“The false and corrupt institutions, and still more corrupt practices of `Christendom,’ have had a downward tendency in the generations of man for many centuries …The overthrow of those ancient degenerate races is a type of that which now awaits the nations call `Christian,’ or in other words, `the great whore that sitteth upon many waters” (Key to the Science of Theology, 1938 ed., pg.106).

James Talmage ( LDS Apostle)

“A self-suggesting interpretation of history indicates that there has been a great departure from the way of salvation as laid down by the Savior, a universal apostasy from the Church of Christ …From the facts already stated it is evident that the Church was literally driven from the earth; in the first ten centuries immediately following the ministry of Christ the authority of the Holy Priesthood was lost among men, and no human power could restore it” (The Articles of Faith, pp.200,203).

“The significance and importance of the great apostasy, as a condition precedent to the re-establishment of the Church in modern times, is obvious. If the alleged apostasy of the primitive Church was not a reality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not the divine institution its name proclaims” (The Great Apostasy, preface).

Joseph Fielding Smith (10th LDS President)

“For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation that was not, in the year 1820, so obscured by false tradition and ceremonies, borrowed from paganism, as to make it unrecognizable; or else it was entirely denied …Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the ‘Christian’ churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:282).

Spencer W. Kimball (12th LDS President)

“This is the only true church …This is not a church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. There are churches of men all over the land and they have great cathedrals, synagogues, and other houses of worship running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. They are churches of men. They teach the doctrines of men, combined with the philosophies and ethics and other ideas and ideals that men have partly developed and partly found in sacred places and interpreted for themselves” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg.421).

“Presumptuous and blasphemous are they who purport to baptize, bless, marry, or perform other sacraments in the name of the Lord while in fact lacking the specific authorization” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg.55).

Bruce McConkie (Mormon Apostle)

“The traditions of the elders – as is also the case with the traditions of an apostate Christendom – are wholly devoid of the least scintilla of inspiration. They are, as Jesus said, ‘the commandments of men'” (The Mortal Messiah, Vol.2, FOOTNOTES, Pg.412).

“What of seventies? Who are they, and how do they fit into the eternal scheme of things? That their mission and ministry is unknown among the cults of Christendom is one of the great evidences of the apostate darkness that engulfs those who call themselves by the name of Him who called seventies to stand as especial witnesses of that very name” (The Mortal Messiah, 3:99-100).

“Thus the signs of the times include the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom and in the religious world in general. False churches, false prophets, false worship – breeding as they do a way of life that runs counter to the divine will – all these are signs of the times” (The Millennial Messiah, pg.403).

“What is the church of the devil in our day, and where is the seat of her power? …It is all of the systems, both Christian and non-Christian, that perverted the pure and perfect gospel …It is communism; it is Islam; it is Buddhism; it is modern Christianity in all its parts” (The Millennial Messiah, pp.54-55).

“As with other doctrines and ordinances, apostate substitutes of the real thing are found both among pagans and supposed Christians” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.72).

“When inquiring and scientific minds delve into the narrow and bigoted creeds of the apostate sects of Christendom it is not surprising that they rebel against those dogmas falsely set forth as the tenets of true religion” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.107).

“Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fullness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.132).

“The only real superiority of the apostate sects of Christendom over their more openly pagan counterparts is the fact that the Christian sects (though rejecting the doctrines, ordinances, and powers of the gospel) have nonetheless preserved many of the ethical teachings of Christ and the apostles” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.240).

“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.269).

“Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era.” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.316).

“In large part the worship of apostate Christendom is performed in ignorance, as much so as was the worship of the Athenians who bowed before the Unknown God, and to whom Paul said: “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 374).

“For instance: The creeds of apostate Christendom teach untruths about God, and the scriptures say that those who accept these creeds ‘have inherited lies.’ (Jer. 16:16-21.) Those who accept any of the doctrines of the apostate churches are said to ‘believe a lie.’ (2 Thess. 2:1-12.) The process of apostasy consists in changing ‘the truth of God into a lie.'” (Mormon Doctrine pg. 440).
“Pagan tribal gods were the creation of the imaginations of apostate peoples, just as the creeds and apostate views of God which prevail in modern Christendom are the result of forsaking the truth” (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 511).
“Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail …Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure, unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James, and John and all the ancient saints” (Mormon Doctrine, pg.513).

“The gods of Christendom, for instance, are gods who were created by men in the creeds of an apostate people. There is little profit or peace in serving them, and certainly there is no salvation available through them” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pg.545).

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DANGER: The Church of Christ By David J. 219

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The Counterfeit Christianity 2 Timothy 4:1-8

By P. G. Mathew, M.A., M. Div., Th.M.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Timothy 4:1-8

We have been speaking about counterfeit religion. This counterfeit religion appears on television and in churches all over the world today. It is a false religion that preaches a gospel that is different than the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In our previous study we spoke about the false church and the false ministers of this counterfeit Christianity. In this study we want to consider the Satanic doctrines of the counterfeit religion, which are described in 1 Timothy 4:1 as “doctrines of demons.”

What Are Doctrines of Demons?


The Bible speaks about sound doctrines, healthy doctrines. They are summarized in the term “apostolic doctrines.” Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus commissioned his disciples to teach these doctrines, saying, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). In Acts 2:42 we read that the first believers in Jerusalem devoted themselves to these doctrines of the apostles.

But there are also doctrines of demons, as we read in 1 Timothy 4:1, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times, some will abandon the faith,” meaning the apostolic doctrines, “and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” The apostle Paul speaks about such doctrines in Galatians 1:8-9, saying, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” Of course, demons are not corporeal beings, but spirit-beings; therefore, demons come on human beings. When pastors and teachers are directed by demons, they will begin to teach these lies, or what we call the doctrines of demons.

So in the church today we find doctrines that give life and cause spiritual growth as well as doctrines that destroy. The latter are described as having a form of godliness but denying the very heart of it. That is why we should consider carefully which church we want to join. The idea that one church is as good as another church, that one preacher is as good as another preacher, and that one teaching is as good as another, is false.

When we read Genesis 3, we encounter Satan and his doctrines. Satan, according to Jesus Christ, is the father of all lies. He always contradicts God’s word. Thus, he told Eve, “You will not surely die.” Any teaching that contradicts God’s word is a doctrine of demons, and any preacher who contradicts God’s word is a false minister.

Satan denies that there will be a judgment. By the words, “You will not surely die,” he meant that Adam and Eve could live any way they wanted; there is no judgment or punishment. But this is not true. Additionally, rather than encouraging people to believe in the word of God, Satan encourages people to sit in judgment of it. We see that illustrated in the history of higher criticism, which began in the seventeenth century and whose influence continues today. Higher critics like Rudolf Bultmann have sat in judgment on the word of God, rather than trusting in it.

Satan encourages man to defy God and give in to his own evil desires. Satan says, “Don’t worry about what the Bible says. Do what you want to do. Give full expression to your lusts.” Satan inspires man to become proud, autonomous, and unsubmissive to God. He tempts man with the idea of absolute freedom and tells him not to tolerate any limitation. God told Adam that he could eat of all the trees of the garden but one. But Satan said, “No, don’t tolerate that prohibition of even one tree. It is a serious limitation upon your freedom. You must always look for absolute freedom.”

What Satan loves to do is to dangle before man the intoxicating possibility of becoming God; in other words, he tempts us with self-deification. But Jesus said the devil can only steal, kill, and destroy. When we read Genesis 3, we see that Adam and Eve, having eaten of the forbidden tree, naked, afraid, and hiding from God. Eventually, they were judged by God and died.

Doctrines of demons are inspired by lying, evil spirits, as we read in 1 Kings 22:22-23. When such spirits come upon false prophets, they are inspired to lie. This is in direct contrast to what we find in Acts 2. When the Holy Spirit came upon one hundred and twenty disciples, they spoke about the deeds of God as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. So there are two kinds of speech: evil-spirit inspired and Holy-Spirit inspired.

Doctrines of demons always promote sinful human lusts and contradict God’s moral law. Doctrines of demons promise man total freedom but deliver absolute slavery. Doctrines of demons promise eternal life but deliver eternal damnation. Thus, we want to look at some of these doctrines of demons as we discover them in the Holy Scriptures.

Doctrines of Demons

1. The Standard of Subjectivism

The first doctrine of demons is subjectivism. Both unbelievers and believers have standards by which they live and make judgments. For believers, the standard is the Holy Scriptures. It is an objective standard. But the doctrines of demons teach we should never submit to that standard. Instead, the standard for our lives should be our subjectivity, lusts, and desires. According to the doctrines of demons, subjectivity is truth, and whatever lust we have, we must fulfill.

So in 2 Timothy 4:3 we read, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers who will teach what their itching ears want to hear.” Doctrines of demons teach that the standard by which people should live is not the standard of God, but the standard of their own lusts.

In Philippians 3:19 Paul spoke about so-called Christians who came under doctrines of demons during his time: “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” Their god is their belly! These people do not worship the Creator of the ends of the earth; they worship their lusts and appetites. Such people are led around by their belly.

In 2 Peter 2:18 we read, “For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.” These teachers know what people like. They appeal to that lust to entice them and turn them away from God’s objective truth.

In Jude 16 we read, “These men are grumblers and faultfinders.” They are grumbling against God, his teachings, and his ministers.

In 1 John 2:15 we read, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.” Just listen to some of these preachers on television. All they preach about is, “This world. . . this world. . . this world.” They seem to have forgotten about the world to come. They have fallen in love with this world. For them life consists of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boasting of things.

So the first doctrine of demons is that the standard for life is our own lusts. Those who live by this standard negate any influence God and his word might have in their lives. They would say, “We have nothing to do with the things of God. I am interested in my own lusts, and I want to seek and fulfill them. Whenever I lust, I will do what my lust tells me. I live by my lust.”

2. Rejection of God’s Authority

The second doctrine of demons is rejection of God’s authority. Because the standard of these people is their lust, they also reject God’s authority. In Jude 8 we read, “In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.” The Greek word for “reject” is atheteô, which means to veto or nullify. The Pharisees also nullified the word of God by their own traditions.

Such people reject the lordship of Jesus Christ. They will confess “Jesus is Savior” but they will never say “Jesus is Lord.” They set aside any objective authority, accepting only the authority of their own subjectivity.

Not only do these people reject Christ’s authority, but they also reject Christ’s delegated authorities. The Bible says, “Children, obey your parents.” But these people say, “No, I am not going to obey my parents. I want to follow my own desires.” They also reject the authority of pastors and elders. The Bible says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them.” But they would say, “I refuse to come under the spiritual authority of another person. I submit only to the authority of my lusts.”

In Luke 10:16 Jesus Christ said, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you, rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” The word atheteô, “reject,” is used here also. So the second doctrine of demons is rejection of the objective authority of God and his delegated authorities.

3. Rejection of Truth and the Acceptance of Myths

The third doctrine of demons is a rejection of truth and an acceptance of myths. In 2 Timothy 4:4 we read, “They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” These people cannot stomach hearing the word of God. They will deliberately turn away from it and turn to fiction, speculation, and falsehood. Such people accumulate teachers around them who will tell lies, as we read in Jeremiah 5:31, where God says, “[M]y people love it so.” They will tell the minister, “Preacher, don’t preach truth to me; entertain me with uplifting stories.”

In Isaiah 30:9 we read, “These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction.” Unwilling! These people are allergic to truth. In verse 10 we read, “They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right!’”

Suppose a person is fornicating, but the pastor preaches that fornication is wrong. Do you think that person will like the minister? Oh, not at all. Instead, he will find a preacher who says, “Fornication is all right. Aren’t we all sexual beings? In fact, fornication is a sign of health. Dogs do it, bees do it, birds do it, and man does it. So fornication shows that you are a normal, healthy human being! Who is that preacher who told you that is not the right way to go?” Notice, Isaiah said, “They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right!’” They turn away from the truth and turn aside to lies, speculation, philosophy, and psychology.

What else do the people say to their false ministers? “Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.” They say, “We love lies. We love pleasant things. Don’t preach the word of God to us!” They will tell the minister, “Pastor, I want to give you some counsel. You should take a poll, find out what people want to hear, and preach that. It should be need-based, in other words, something that makes people happy. You should only tell them pleasant things. Don’t ever speak about sin, repentance, and holiness.”

For such people truth is myth and myth is truth. Rudolf Bultmann said, “The central message. . . of [the Bible] is incredible to modern man” because it speaks about miracles. Though he was a great student of the Bible, Bultmann rejected the truth of God’s word and believed in his own hollow philosophy instead. He looked at the Bible and “accordingly [found] it necessary to discard such obviously mythical elements as Christ’s preexistence and virgin birth, his deity and sinlessness, the substitutionary nature of his death as meeting the demands of a righteous God, his resurrection and ascension, and his future return in glory, also the final judgment of the world, the existence of spirit-beings, the personality and power of the Holy Spirit, the doctrines of the Trinity, of original sin, and of death as a consequence of sin, and every explanation of events as miraculous.” According to Bultmann, the wonder is not that God became man, but that God chose “an ordinary, mortal individual, no different from every other man.” (Hughes, Philip Edgcumbe, “Myth,” Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, ed. by Everett F. Harrison, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Carl F. H. Henry, [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1960] 368-369).

4. Hollow and Deceptive Philosophies

The fourth doctrine of demons is the turning away from the truth and turning to hollow and deceptive philosophies. Paul dealt with this tendency in his letter to the church of Colossae. In Colossians 2:8 he wrote, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

In 2 Peter 2:18 the apostle Peter writes, “they mouth empty, boastful words.” If you are students, I urge you to be careful when you go to the university. Many professors will try to turn you away from the truth and turn you to the falsehood of the phony philosophy, phony psychology, and scientism.

The problem with hollow human philosophies is that they refuse to acknowledge the true God. In a recent booklet by John Blanchard this view is expressed by George Wald, a biochemist and professor of biology at Harvard who received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1967. Although Wald was a top scientist, he chose to believe scientific impossibilities rather than admit there could be a Creator God:

When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities, creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago. But that leads us to only one other conclusion of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible, that life arose spontaneously by chance. (John Blanchard, Evolution—Fact or Fiction? [Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2002], 29).

5. Private Revelation

The fifth doctrine of demons is the idea of private revelation. If you turn on “Christian” television programs, most of what you see will be based on this doctrine of the devil called private revelation.

In Colossians 2:18 we read, “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.” This subjectivism was as prevalent among false prophets in the Old Testament as it is among false prophets today. How many of these people will claim, “I had a dream,” or “I had a vision,” or “The Lord told me. . . .” This is private revelation. Jude calls those who say such things “dreamers.” They are inspired by demons.

Private revelation was found also in New Testament times. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Paul wrote, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us.” These false prophecies did not come from the apostle Paul. They were not true prophecy; they were private revelations, designed to unsettle God’s people.

What is the inspiration of such private revelation? Evil, lying spirits, such as the one we read about in 1 Kings 22. When a lying spirit came upon all four hundred prophets of Ahab, they all spoke lies in unison. So when someone tells you, “I had a dream,” or “I had a vision,” or “The Lord told me. . . ,” please run, because that person just wants to put his hand into your pocket. Oh, he may prophesy a few things to you, but if you want to have a good mind, keep away from such people. Their prophecies are prompted by demons who only want to unsettle you, manipulate you, and make you captive to them. It is all demon activity. You must be careful.

6. Denial of Jesus Christ

The sixth doctrine of demons is the denial of the person of Jesus Christ. In 2 Peter 2:1 we read, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be a false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction upon themselves.” In Jude 4, the brother of Jesus Christ wrote, “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord.”

Denial of Christ’s person and work is denial of the very heart of the biblical revelation. It is a denial that Jesus Christ is eternal God. It is denial of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. In 1 John 4:2-3 we read, “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

Denial of the incarnation is to say that Jesus Christ is not the eternal Son of God who took upon himself a human body. It implies that he did not die for our sins as God/man and that he is not God/man forever. Thus, denial of incarnation means denial of atonement and therefore denial of our salvation.

It is also denial of the cross of Jesus Christ. In Philippians 3:18 we read, “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.” Those who deny the cross are enemies of the cross. In 1 Corinthians 2:2 the apostle Paul said he resolved to know nothing while he was with the Corinthians “except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Crucifixion demonstrates that God takes sin very seriously. He sent his own Son to die in our place for our sins. But the doctrine of demons denies the cross; therefore, it denies the atonement and the reality of sin. It tells us, “Live as you please; there is no judgment.” No wonder Paul said their god is their appetite! A person must deny the cross in order to sin. But we know that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins. We are justified only through the cross of Christ.

7. Denial of the Second Coming

The seventh doctrine of demons is denial of the second coming of Jesus Christ. In 2 Peter 3:3 we read, “First of all, you must understand in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” They scoff at the apostolic doctrine. They are characterized by a mocking spirit that manifests itself especially when the word of God is preached. That is demon activity.

In verse 4 we read, “They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised?’” Not only did Jesus Christ speak about his second coming, but the apostles also did. The Bible says Jesus Christ is going to come personally, physically, visibly, powerfully, and gloriously. But here the mockers come, questioning the authority of Scripture and say, “No, Jesus Christ is not going to come again. Where is this coming he promised?”

The doctrine of the second coming is biblical doctrine. Jesus told his disciples they are to celebrate the Lord’s Supper until he comes again. In 1 John 3:3 we read, “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” This is the blessed hope of the church which causes us to want to prepare ourselves to meet the Lord. Because of this hope we repent, confess, and forsake our sins.

But false teachers are not preaching that Jesus Christ is coming again. Look at television preachers. Are they saying Jesus Christ is coming? Not at all. They have fallen in love with this world. They have big rings on their fingers and wear designer clothes. They want a good life and they have it. Their only desire is this world, not the world to come.

8. Denial of the Final Judgment

The eighth doctrine of demons is denial of the final judgment. When people deny the reality of the second coming, they also are denying a final judgment.

In John 5:28-29 Jesus declared, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” So when the reality of the second coming is negated, the final judgment is also denied. If Jesus Christ is not coming again, there is no eternal judgment, no heaven, hell, no new earth.

9. Denial of the Resurrection of the Body

The ninth doctrine of demons is a denial of bodily resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:12 we read, “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”

“There is no bodily resurrection.” By this the false teachers were saying that Jesus did not rise from the dead bodily. As we already said, Bultmann completely denied that Jesus ever rose from the dead, calling such an idea myth.

When people say there is no resurrection from the dead, they are saying that Jesus did not rise from the dead bodily, and therefore we also will not rise from the dead bodily. Perhaps people said this because of the Greek idea that matter is evil: if there is no resurrection of the material body, that is a good thing. In other words, why should matter be resurrected if it is evil to begin with?

But notice the subtlety of this doctrine of demons: If there is no resurrection and final judgment, then what we do with our bodies doesn’t matter. Thus, this doctrine of demons is really declaring, “Go ahead, sin all you want. There is no final moral accountability.”

10. Antinomianism

The tenth doctrine of demons we want to examine is antinomianism. Remember, these are doctrines that are taught in the church by those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. This demonic doctrine of antinomianism is a serious problem in the church today.

Antinomianism goes against God’s moral law. In Jude 4 we read, “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” You see, these people believe in grace. Oh, they glory in it! They will say they are saved by grace, but then they add that this grace is what gives them license to sin. This is the essence of antinomianism.

There are people today in the church of Jesus Christ who believe that Christians do not have to follow God’s moral law. They say, “We are not under law; we are under grace.” They say, “Jesus is our Savior but he needs not be our Lord.” They say, “What we do with our body does not have any eternal consequence.” They use grace as a license for immorality.

Paul spoke about this issue of antinomianism in the book of Galatians. In Galatians 5:13 we read, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

In Romans 5:20 Paul makes this profound statement: “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. . . .” This is the glorious truth of the gospel. But in Romans 6:1 Paul asks, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” What is the resounding answer? “By no means!”

In 1 John 1:6 the apostle writes, “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” In verse 8 he adds, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” In verse 10 he says, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” All these scriptures point to the demonic doctrine of antinomianism. In other words, antinomianism says, “Ethics do not matter; do whatever you want. Aren’t you already saved?”

11. Legalism

The eleventh doctrine of demons is legalism, which says that salvation is not by grace alone by faith alone, but by grace plus the human keeping of God’s law. Legalists say that we cannot be saved by believing in Jesus Christ alone; we must also keep the law.

Does this mean saved people should not be guided in their conduct by God’s moral law? No. But legalism says to be saved, a person must keep the law. PGM That is the doctrine of demons.

Paul addressed this problem in his letter to the Galatian Christians. In those days there was a teaching that one could not be saved simply by believing in Jesus Christ; he had to be circumcised also. So in Galatians 5:2-4 Paul wrote, “Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”

Legalism denies the full and perfect efficacy of Christ’s atonement and says that we have to add something to what Christ has already done. The Roman Catholic church teaches that people have to take care of the temporal punishment of their post-baptismal sins. That means that if you are baptized as an infant, you somehow have to deal with all your subsequent sin. That is a denial of the perfect atonement of Jesus Christ our Lord. We are saved by grace alone.

12. Asceticism

The twelfth and final doctrine of demons we want to speak about is asceticism. In 1 Timothy 4:3 we read that these hypocritical liars, these false teachers, also forbade people to marry. That prohibition is against God’s order. God himself ordained marriage, so this doctrine of demons denies the very appointment and ordaining of God.

In the Roman Catholic church, celibate priests are seen as living higher, holier lives than married people. That is absolute falsehood according to the Scriptures. That does not mean that marriage will solve all problems, but to say that the celibate state is a holier state than the married state is false.

Not only did these false teachers forbid people to marry, but they also ordered them “to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.” “You should only eat vegetables,” these people said.

In Colossians 2:20-23 we read, “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belong to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

The Great Apostasy


How many in the visible church will abandon the true gospel and follow after the doctrines of demons? The Bible says many will fall away. In other words, a true church, true believers, true ministers, and true teachings are few. As Americans we have a tendency to say that if vast numbers of people are believing in something, it must be right. That is because in America we like everything big. We glory in numbers. But what is popular in the world is an abomination to the Lord. When large numbers of people are flocking after something, we must begin to wonder what it is they are going after.

The Bible speaks about a time of falling away. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 we read in reference to the day of the coming of the Lord, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs. . . .” meaning until apostasy takes place. Where does apostasy take place? In the church. In other words, many people will abandon the faith before Christ returns. In fact, we are living at a time when we see vast numbers of people abandoning the true gospel in favor of a lust-promoting autonomous form of Christianity.

In Luke 18:8 Jesus Christ said, “I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.” Then he added, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” What is the expected answer? No. No matter how many people are in the church, only few will be true.

In Matthew 24:4-8 Jesus warned against demonized teachers and pastors, saying, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Where will the many be deceived? In the church! The people in the world are already deceived and under the power of Satan. This is speaking about people in the church. Then Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. But see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All of these are the beginning of birth pains.”

Then in verses 9-13 we read something interesting. First Jesus says, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time, many will turn away from the faith . . .’” Jesus Christ himself, the head of the church, is saying that many will turn away from the faith, which is the gospel, “and will betray and hate each other.” In other words, false professors will betray and hate the true people of God. Then, in verse 11 Jesus says, “[A]nd many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” Notice, not a few, but many false prophets will deceive many people. Then Jesus concludes, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Those who are God’s elect, who are effectually called and justified, will persevere to the very end because God will help them.

In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.” Notice, only a few find the road to life.

In Matthew 7:22 Jesus said, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them very plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” These are people who are demonized and follow the teachings of false preachers.

The Doctrine of God


In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” We are not here to judge, critique, or demythologize the word. We are here to believe and preach the word.

Why do we preach God’s word? Because the word alone points to Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification, and salvation is found in no other name under heaven given among men whereby we may be saved. He alone is the Savior of the world. He alone is the way, the truth, and the life. We find him in the Holy Scriptures, and that is why we must declare the word of God. In 1 John 5:11 we read, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in the Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Why do we preach the gospel? Because the whole Scripture reveals to us Jesus Christ. Therefore we say that all religions and philosophies, except that which preaches Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen, are of human origin and impotent to save sinners. This is why we preach the gospel, because it alone is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greeks.

True churches and ministers are few. Thus, whenever you find a church that preaches the gospel, pray for it and its ministers and pay close attention to its teaching. To see if a church is true or not, you should examine what it believes. See whether it fundamentally agrees with the Nicene Creed, the Apostles’ Creed, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Baptist Confession of 1689, and so on. Many people say, “We believe in the Bible,” so you must make sure they do not reinterpret it to suit their own ideas. Ask questions such as, “Do you believe in the miracles of the Scripture? Do you believe that God out of nothing created the whole universe? Do you believe in the virgin birth?” and so on.

Above all, I urge you to think and commit yourself to the word of God. If you don’t, you will be unstable and soon duped by itinerant phonies whose only interest is to serve their own appetites.

May God help us to not only endure sound doctrine, but to delight in it. God’s word is life and spirit. May we study the objective word of God so that we know clearly who God is, who we are, and how we can be reconciled to God through the mediatorship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. May the Spirit of the living God fall afresh upon us and draw us to himself. May we know that true happiness is found, not in indulging our lusts, but in doing the will of God. May we therefore resist the devil and the doctrines of demons, and may we love God and his word. Amen.

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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

“NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark office by International Bible Society.

 

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Exposing Error: Is It Worthwhile?
by Dr. Harry Ironside (1875-1951) 

Objection is often raised even by some sound in the faith-regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching. But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry-namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as “damnable heresies.”

 
Our Lord prophesied, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch.” My own observation is that these “grievous wolves,” alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Undershepherds in these “perilous times” will do well to note the apostle’s warning: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.” It is as important in these days as in Paul’s-in fact, it is increasingly important-to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more.

 
We are called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme-”Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordainedto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3, 4). Paul likewise admonishes us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).

 
This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error-quite the opposite. If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: it has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.

 
Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. “What think ye of Christ?” is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false “-ism.” Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

 
Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour.

 
There is constant temptation to compromise. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son’s person and work. The “father of lies” deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

 
Error is like leaven of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.

 
Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”-how many of them God only knows-it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.

 
(Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly author and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948) 

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DNA and the Book of Mormon By Bill McKeever

http://www.mrm.org/topics/book-mormon/dna-and-book-mormon-record 

One of the fundamental tenets taught to Mormon children and new converts is that the Book of Mormon is an account of real people and real events. Mormon leaders, apologists, and scholars have been adamant in declaring the Book of Mormon to be actual history. Dr. Robert Millet, the well-respected professor at Brigham Young University, stated, “The historicity of the Book of Mormon record is crucial. We cannot exercise faith in that which is untrue, nor can ‘doctrinal fiction’ have normative value in our lives…Only scripture-­writings and events and descriptions from real people at a real point in time, people who were moved upon and directed by divine powers­-can serve as a revelatory channel, enabling us to hear and feel the word of God” (“The Book of Mormon, Historicity, and Faith,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Vol. 2, number 2, p.1).

One of the claims made in the Book of Mormon is that it records the story of a Hebrew man named Lehi who sees in a vision the destruction of Jerusalem around 600 B.C. He then flees with his family to escape the impending onslaught of Babylonian conquerors and eventually sails to the Western hemisphere. Following the death of Lehi, circumstances led to the colonizers splitting into primarily two groups, known as Nephites and Lamanites. As the story goes, the exploits of the Nephites and Lamanites were recorded on gold plates that were ultimately buried in the ground and found by Joseph Smith several centuries later. 

The Hebrew Connection  

The introduction to the Book of Mormon states that the book is “holy scripture comparable to the Bible” and that it is a “record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.” It goes on to claim that the Lamanites “are the principle ancestors of the American Indians.” Mormon apologists have been quick to point out that the introduction makes no claim for infallibility. While that is true, we know of no General Authority who claims that the introduction teaches error.

However, the title page to the narrative states that the Book of Mormon is “an abridgment of the Record of the People of Nephi, and also of the Lamanite– written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel.” In an article written for the Mormon periodical Times and Seasons in 1842, Joseph Smith made it a point to mention “that the title page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated; the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that, said title page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation” (3:943.)

We are told in the Book of Mormon that Nephi was “the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh” (Alma 10:3).

Nephi, one of the primary characters in the Book of Mormon narrative, made it clear that the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon “are descendants of the Jews” (2 Nephi 30:4).

Speaking in the Salt Lake Tabernacle in 1881 Wilford Woodruff, who later became Mormonism’s fourth president), stated, “The Lamanites, now a down-trodden people, are a remnant of the house of Israel. The curse of God has followed them as it has done the Jews, though the Jews have not been darkened in their skin as have the Lamanites” (Journal of Discourses 22:173).

Mormon Apostle James Talmage noted that, “The Nephites suffered extinction about 400 A.D., but the Lamanites lived on in their degraded course, and are today extant upon the land as the American Indians” (Jesus the Christ, 23rd ed., p.49).

Tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in his book Doctrines of Salvation that this connection is also noted in Doctrine and Covenants 3:264: “Not only in the Book of Mormon are the descendants of Lehi called Jews, but also in the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 19, this is found: ‘Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and, look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.'”

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, under the subtitle “Native Americans,” states that “the Book of Mormon tells that a small band of Israelites under Lehi migrated from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B.C. Upon Lehi’s death his family divided into two opposing factions, one under Lehi’s oldest son, Laman (see Lamanites), and the other under a younger son, Nephi” (3:981). 

The Controversy  

In the fall 1997 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, LDS author Brigham Madsen discussed the difficulty that many Latter-day Saints are having with accepting the Book of Mormon as an historical document (Reflections on LDS Disbelief in the Book of Mormon as History). Many who have closely examined the contents of the book in light of scholarship have come to realize that it cannot possibly be true history. Madsen raised an interesting challenge in his article when he refers to the history and origins of the American Indian. He wrote, “…perhaps it can be anticipated that before long some scholar will examine the DNA of early inhabitants of eastern Siberia and the DNA of early American Indians for confirmation of their relationship. All that would be left would be for an interested Mormon to compare the two findings to the DNA of Israelites who lived about 600 B.C.E.” (p. 91). It appears that the day of DNA confirmation has arrived.

The book American Apocrypha (Signature, 2002) contains an essay titled Lamanite, Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics. The essay’s author, Thomas W. Murphy, is both a member of the Mormon Church and an anthropologist who offers information that conflict with traditional assumptions regarding the heritage of the Indians. He notes, “So far, DNA research has lent no support to the traditional Mormon beliefs about the origins of Native Americans. Instead, genetic data have confirmed that migrations from Asia are the primary source of American Indian origins” (pp. 47-48). He goes on to say, “While DNA shows that ultimately all human populations are closely related, to date no intimate genetic link has been found between ancient Israelites and indigenous Americans, much less within the time frame suggested in the Book of Mormon” (p.48).

Murphy cites the works of several experts in the field of anthropology and genetics, including that of Michael Crawford, a biological anthropologist at the University of Kansas who said, “I don’t think there is one iota of evidence that suggests a lost tribe from Israel made it all the way to the New World. It is a great story, slain by ugly fact.” Murphy says that Crawford’s “work shows that Amerisraelite Lamanites could not possibly have been the ‘principle ancestors of the American Indians,’ as claimed in the current introduction to the Book of Mormon” (p.53). He also mentions Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes and Russian geneticist Miroslav Derenko “who have substantiated Crawford’s conclusion through agreement that ‘the Indian gene pool is Siberian, not Middle Eastern'” (p.53).

In his essay, Murphy responds to some of the claims made by LDS apologetic groups such as the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR). On page 62 he says, “FARMS has played a role in offering revisionist interpretations that seek to reconcile faith with science. But the DNA research may make this effort more difficult as the views of intellectuals and those of traditional Mormons continue to diverge.”

In response to an inquiry made to FARMS in 1997, I received the following from Dr. John Tvedtnes: “The most recent mitochondrial DNA study demonstrated that there were three known separate migrations to the New World, one certainly connected to Siberian peoples, the other thought to be Asian. Among Amerindians, samples were taken in Canada, the United States, and Peru. None were taken in Mesoamerica, where most LDS scholars believe the story of the Book of Mormon took place” (e-mail received 11/14/97).

Statements such as this would make it appear that there was still hope that research done in Mesoamerica (which includes countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador) would offer the elusive connection. However, such research has been performed and no link has been established. Murphy states on page 62, “While FARMS researchers are careful to note the importance of cultural influences on the construction of categories, they express confidence in an Israelite genetic presence in Central America and perhaps as far away as Arizona to the north and Colombia to the south. As we have seen, genetic studies of indigenous peoples throughout North, Central, and South America have failed to link Native Americans from these locations to ancient Hebrews.”

In 1997 I wrote to Scott Woodward, the renowned molecular biologist at Brigham Young University, to ask if any DNA studies had been done at BYU. He wrote me the following: “We have an active research project addressing some of these questions but most of the data is still too preliminary to make any hard conclusions. Most of all the evidence to date would point to Asian populations as the source of at least the great majority of contemporary Native American gene pool.” In the same post, Dr. Woodward also stated that he believed “that the Americas were moderately populated at the time of arrival of the Lehi group, the Jaredites and any other group that may have come from the Middle East” (e-mail received 11/14/97).

According to Murphy’s essay, it appears that Woodward is still not at all optimistic that a link will be found. Although Murphy notes how Woodward “believes that the presence or absence of genetic linkages to the Near East in the Americas is neither proof nor disproof of the Book of Mormon” (p. 66), on page 65 he says, “it would not surprise Woodward if geneticists ultimately failed to find any traces of mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA] from Lehi’s party, Jaredites, or Mulekites.”

While speaking on this subject at the 2002 Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, Murphy cited others who have come to conclusions similar to his. For instance, Dr. David Glenn Smith, a molecular anthropologist from the University of California Davis, said, “Genetic research, particularly that using mitochondrial and Y chromosome markers, provide quite emphatic refutation of any such relationship between Jews and Native Americans.”

Murphy closed his remarks by asking, “Now what do we as Mormons do? We’ve got a problem. Our beliefs are not validated by the science.” Murphy believes that Mormons have a moral and ethical responsibility to relegate this notion as a “mistake of men.”

William S. Bradshaw, a molecular biologist teaching at BYU, responded to Murphy’s Sunstone talk. Bradshaw opened his response by saying, “Let me repose a question that Tom has put to us. Is there scientific evidence based in molecular biology to substantiate the statement in the introduction to the Book of Mormon that Lamanites are the principle ancestors of American Indians? The answer is no.” He admitted that he could not discount the conclusions made by Murphy, but he urged the crowd to be cautious of those conclusions. If true, however, he felt that this mistake of man was no more than “the mistake of overreaching. The mistake of saying we know more than we know.” He also urged listeners not to make judgments “about mistakes that were held by people decades ago without trying to understand the context in which they made those statements.” 

Mormonism’s Defenders Respond  

As expected, many in the LDS apologetic community have vilified Murphy for his public statements. Allen Wyatt, a Mormon apologist working with the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), made no pretense in accusing Murphy of behaving like an “apostate” despite the fact that his church has declined to charge Murphy with apostasy for his public statements http://www.fairlds.org/apol/antis/200207.html). Some at least, have chosen to refrain from the typical ad hominem argument so prevalent in Mormon apologetics and have at least attempted to offer some sort of an explanation.

Mormon apologists don’t seem to deny that current genetic evidence shows no connection between Lamanites and Hebrews. In a December 8, 2002 article in the LA Times, Dr. Daniel Peterson, a BYU professor and researcher at FARMS, was quoted as saying, “The idea that America may have been overwhelmingly peopled by folks from northeastern Asia is perfectly compatible” with Mormon doctrine, said Daniel Peterson, a lifelong Mormon and professor of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young. Genetic evidence that some Native American ancestors came from the Middle East could easily be lost over thousands of years, he said.”

In their essay titled, “Who are the Children of Lehi,” Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens wrote, “As biologists we accept the published data dealing with Native American origins and view those data as reasonably representing American-Asian connections” (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol.12, number 1, 2003, p.38). On page 41 of the same essay they state, “The data accumulated to date indicate that 99.6 percent of Native American genetic markers studied so far exhibit Siberian connections.” On page 42 they say, “There has been little if any evidence seriously considered by the mainstream scientific community that would indicate a Middle East origin, or any other source of origin, for the majority of contemporary Native Americans.” Like many Mormons, they dismiss the conclusion that a lack of a DNA link between Indians and Hebrews discredits Joseph Smith’s claim as prophet.

Like Peterson, Meldrum and Stephens hold to the theory that the genetic gene pool was diluted through intermarriage with other people groups. “We propose that Book of Mormon is the account of a small group of people who lived on the American continent, interacting to some degree with the indigenous population but relatively isolated from the general historical events occurring elsewhere in the Americas” (Ibid., p.44).

Such conclusions are only speculative since there is no hard evidence to support the notion that the Lehi colonizers lived simultaneously with other non-Semitic cultures. Nothing in the Book of Mormon clearly suggests this. To say the genetic link could have been lost gives the impression that the offspring of those in the Lehi party remained relatively small. 

“Other Nations”?  

First, let’s examine the claim that the offspring of the Lehi party intermarried with another culture. In 2 Nephi 1:6 Lehi prophesies “that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.” He goes on to state in verses 8-9, “And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance.”

We learn from this that no other nation had knowledge of this land at the time of the arrival of Lehi’s party, thus excluding the notion that other cultures shared the same area. We also learn that such an arrangement would continue as long as those who were brought out of Jerusalem continued to keep God’s commandments. However, should the people “dwindle in unbelief,” God would bring “other nations unto them and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten” (vv. 10,11). As to when exactly such an incursion would take place is not specified in the prophecy.

Acknowledging this prediction, retired BYU anthropologist John Sorenson asks how long it could have been before other nations would have come and intermingled with the Nephites and Lamanites. He notes on page seven of his article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?” that the Lamanites “dwindled in unbelief within a few years.” Dr. Sorenson asks, “How then could Lehi’s prophecy about ‘other nations’ being brought in have been kept long in abeyance after that?” He then notes, “The early Nephites generally did the same thing within a few centuries.”

While I agree that both the Nephites and Lamanites had their times of unbelief, the Book of Mormon fails to mentions other nations who came in to “take away from them the lands of their possessions,” especially those whose genetic makeup would take us to Asia. This can only be argued from silence.

J. Reuben Clark, writing for the LDS magazine Improvement Era, stated, “The Lord took every precaution to see that nothing might interfere with this posterity of Joseph in working out their God-given destiny and the destiny of America. He provided, and so told Lehi at the very beginning of his settlement, that: . . it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations ; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. (2 Nephi 1:8.) The Lord so kept the land for a thousand years after Lehi landed. He so kept it in His wisdom for another thousand years after the Nephites were destroyed, perhaps to give the Lamanitish branch another chance” (“Prophecies, Penalties, and Blessings,” Improvement Era, 1940, Vol. xliii. July, 1940. No. 7). Several LDS leaders have stated that this was fulfilled when the Gentiles came to America.

The Book of Mormon does mention other groups of people, but in most cases it appears that these are merely sub-groups that can be traced back to Lehi or other Jewish groups whose DNA should lead us back to Israel. For example, Omni 1:15 in the Book of Mormon tells of a group of people who lived in Zarahemla who “came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.” Mulek, supposedly the only son of Zedekiah who was not killed when Jerusalem fell, led the people of Zarahemla. According to Mosiah 25:3, these people, known by Mormons as “Mulekites,” outnumbered the Nephites, but together the Nephites and Mulekites were only half as numerous as the Lamanites.

Dr. Sorenson is among some Mormons who offer the possibility that a remnant of Jeredites intermarried with the colonizers. In an article posted on the Mormon website Meridian Magazine, Geoffrey Biddulph writes, “Chances are extremely high that at least some, and perhaps a majority, of modern-day Native Americans are descended from the Jaredites, and would have Asian blood. And of course Brother Murphy’s writings and public comments virtually ignore the Jaredites”

(http://www.meridianmagazine.com/ideas/030128anti.html). Biddulph’s use of the phrase “extremely high” and “perhaps a majority” must be taken as nothing more than hyperbole. There is no way such a comment can be proven.

According to the Book of Mormon the Jaredites came to the western hemisphere around the time God confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel. Even if this theory is correct, we probably have more reason to believe that a genetic link would take us back to the Middle East, not Asia or Siberia, given the fact that the Tower of Babel was believed to have been built somewhere in Babylonia. Hebrews, like Babylonians, both fall within the category of Semitic people. According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the record of the Jaredites “hints at an epic genre rooted in the Ancient Near East” (2:717).

The Jaredite theory poses another problem if we are to believe the Book of Mormon record for what it actually says. According to the fifteenth chapter of Ether, King Coriantumr gathers “all of the people upon all of the face of the land, who had not been slain (except the prophet Ether) for a final battle against the army of Shiz, which also consisted of “men, women, and children being armed with weapons of war” (15:15). Such was the slaughter that in both armies all had fallen by the sword except the two leaders (15:23-29). Shiz is beheaded and Coriantumr, weakened from battle, is later “discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons” (Omni 1:21).

Mormon Seventy B.H. Roberts felt that the Jaredite race came to be extinct. “In their last great war, which resulted in the extinction of the race, to the last man, it is stated that ‘two millions of mighty men had been slain; and also their wives and their children.'” Roberts believed that Coriantumr was the “last Survivor” (Studies in the Book of Mormon, p. 164, emphasis mine) However, Roberts was aware of the argument that quite possibly some Jaredite survivors married into Mulek’s colony but noted that such a theory is “merely a matter of conjecture” (New Witnesses for God 3:137).

Even if we gave this theory the benefit of the doubt, the fact that Mormon leaders and scholars have described the demise of the Jaredites with words like complete annihilation (Ludlow), exterminated (Hunter), wiped out (Nibley), extinction (Roberts), etc., tends to tell us that if there were any Jaredite survivors at all, they would indeed be a very small number. If Mormons wish to cling to the idea that genetic evidence was somehow lost, it would seem more probable that Jaredite genes would be the ones in short supply, not Nephite or Lamanite genes.

Sorenson offers this suggestion, “And if the Lord somehow did not at those times bring in ‘other nations,’ then surely he would have done so after Cumorah, 1100 years prior to Columbus” (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, v.1, Fall 1992). This seems to be the theory held by Seventy Milton R. Hunter. “Following the close of Nephite recorded history, Mongolians, Vikings, and perhaps small groups of wanderers from other lands, came to the Americas and intermarried—to a greater or less extent—with the descendants of Book of Mormon peoples. Their posterity constituted the numerous aboriginal tribes found in the New World by the Europeans” (Archaeology and the Book of Mormon p.15).

If this prophecy came to fruition after the battle of Hill Cumorah, the time frame involved becomes much shorter, making a diluted gene pool less likely. 

Lost Genetic Evidence?  

Next, let us examine the claim that the genetic gene pool was somehow diluted to the point where we should not expect to find a Hebrew link.

The Book of Mormon gives the impression that the Nephites and Lamanite populations were anything but small. Helaman 3:8 in the Book of Mormon states, “And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.” In commenting on this passage, the Book of Mormon Student Manual, published by the LDS Church, notes, “No one knows the details of Book of Mormon geography. But the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed some information that suggests that at some time in their history the spread of the Nephites unto the ‘land northward’ included what we know today as North America” (1979 edition, p.354). This coincides with Doctrine and Covenants 54:8, which states that the borders of the Lamanites extended to the “land of Missouri.”

Mormon 1:7 adds, “The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.” A footnote at the bottom of the page dates this passage at around A.D. 322.

Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt believed that the Lamanites “gathered by the millions” at the battle of Hill Cumorah! (Journal of Discourses 17:31.) Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie agreed with this assessment when he wrote, “Neither the Nephites nor the Jaredites repented when rivers of blood flowed on their battlefields and millions of their number were slain by the sword” (The Millennial Messiah, p. 386 –387, emphasis mine).

It could be argued that the battle at Hill Cumorah severely diminished the population of remaining Lamanites. However, this does not seem to be the position of some LDS leaders. For instance, tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith let it be known that the Lamanite influence was not restricted to North America. “The history of this American continent also gives evidence that the Lamanites have risen up in their anger and vexed the Gentiles. This warfare may not be over. It has been the fault of people in the United States to think that this prophetic saying has reference to the Indians in the United States, but we must remember that there are millions of the ‘remnant’ in Mexico, Central and South America” (Church History and Modern Revelation 2:127, emphasis mine).

Speaking in conference in October 1921, Elder Andrew Jenson, a member of the staff of the LDS Church’s Historian’s Office, stated, “We, therefore cast a glance southward into old Mexico and through the great countries beyond — down through Central America and South America, where there are millions and millions of Lamanites, direct descendants of Father Lehi.” (Conference Report, October 1921, p.120, emphasis mine).

On page 601 of The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth Mormon prophet stated, “About twenty-five centuries ago, a hardy group left the comforts of a great city, crossed a desert, braved an ocean, and came to the shores of this, their promised land. There were two large families, those of Lehi and Ishmael, who in not many centuries numbered hundreds of millions of people on these two American continents” (emphasis mine).

Probably the most damning quote that undermines this notion that the Lamanite genetic link could have been lost to the point of nonexistence is found on page 596 of the same book. Kimball wrote, “Lamanites share a royal heritage. I should like to address my remarks to you, our kinsmen of the isles of the sea and the Americas. Millions of you have blood relatively unmixed with gentile nations” (emphasis mine).

The obvious question is, “How do you lose the genetic link of millions of people who allegedly have not mixed their blood with another culture?” Notice also that Kimball refers to the “kinsmen of the isles of the sea.” Many are unaware that according to the teachings of LDS leaders, the Lamanites were not restricted to merely the western hemisphere. In a message given in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on February 11, 1872, Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt proclaimed, “Here let me say again, according to the Book of Mormon, many of those great islands that are found in the Indian Ocean, also in the great Pacific Sea, have been planted with colonies of Israelites. Do they not resemble each other? Go to the Sandwich Islands, to the South Sea Islands, to Japan–go to the various islands of the Pacific Ocean, and you find a general resemblance in the characters and countenances of the people. Who are they? According to the Book of Mormon, Israelites were scattered forth from time to time, and colonies planted on these islands of the ocean” (Journal of Discourses 14:333). 

“What would Lehi’s DNA look like?”  

Clinging to the presupposition that the Lamanitish gene pool was diluted, some Mormon apologists have insisted that it would be next to impossible to know exactly what Lehi’s DNA would look like. Perhaps that answers lies with Mormon President Gordon Hinckley.

On more than one occasion, President Hinckley has mentioned the Hebrew/Lamanite connection in dedicatory prayers given at Mormon temples. For instance, in his prayer at the dedication of the Mexico City temple in December 1983, he stated, “Bless Thy Saints in this great land and those from other lands who will use this Temple. Most have in their veins the blood of Father Lehi” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?mexico_city&chronological)

In December of the following year, he gave a dedicatory prayer at the Guatemala City, Guatemala temple where he stated, “Thou Kind and Gracious Father, our hearts swell with gratitude for Thy remembrance of the sons and daughters of Lehi… We thank Thee O God, for lifting the scales of darkness which for generations clouded the vision of the descendants of Lehi” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?guatemala_city&chronological)

In his March 6, 1999 dedicatory prayer given at the Colonia Juaréz Chihuahua Temple, Hinckley he said, “Bless Thy Saints that they may continue to live here without molestation. May they live in peace and security. May they be prospered as they cultivate their farms and pursue their vocations. May the sons and daughters of father Lehi grow in strength and in fulfillment of the ancient promises made concerning them.” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?colonia_juarez&alphabetical).

In August 1999, Hinckley made a similar statement as he was in Guayaquil, Ecuador to dedicate another new LDS temple. “It has been a very interesting thing to see the descendants of father Lehi in the congregation that have gathered in the temple…So very many of these people have the blood of Lehi in their veins, and it is just an intriguing thing to see their tremendous response and their tremendous interest” (Salt Lake Tribune 11/30/2000).

When James Faust, Gordon Hinckley’s second counselor, gave the dedicatory prayer for the Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico temple on March 12, 2000, he stated, “We invoke Thy blessings upon this nation of Mexico where so many of the sons and daughters of Father Lehi dwell.” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?tuxtla_gutierrez&chronological)

Thomas Monson, Gordon Hinckley’s first counselor, made the same connection when he prayed at the dedication of the Villahermosa, Mexico temple on May 21, 2000: “May Thy eternal purposes concerning the sons and daughters of Lehi be realized in this sacred house. May every blessing of the eternal gospel be poured out upon them, and may the suffering of the centuries be softened through the beneficence of Thy loving care.” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?villahermosa&chronological)

Suffice it to say that plenty of sources can be cited to demonstrate that Mormon leaders have taught and believed that not only are Lamanites related to “Father Lehi,” but they can apparently be identified. 

Conclusion  

Once again Mormons are placed between a rock and a hard place. They can choose between the spin coming out of Provo or continue to believe that their leaders are incapable of leading them astray. Choosing the former will certainly help them retain their faith in the Book of Mormon; however, in taking this direction, consistency would demand that their divinely appointed prophets and apostles were misleading members when they said that millions of direct descendants of Lehi are now living.

For further study, we suggest the video DNA vs. The Book of Mormon by Living Hope Ministries. This is available through Mormonism Research Ministry. To watch the video online please see http://www.mormonchallenge.com/dna/dna.htm.

To order the book American Apocrypha, containing Thomas Murphy’s entire essay, please see: http://www.mrm.org/bookstore/books_on_mormonism/

 

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As this blog reaches 100 post, I decided to repost the TOP 3 post.

DANGER: The Church of Christ By David J. 218

DNA proves the Book of Mormon to be fals 142

So Joel Osteen says Mormons are Christia 127

The Church of Christ is a false church. They require good works for salvation. The Church of Christ is just as dangerous as Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witness, or the Mormons, because they claim to be “Christian”; BUT they are not! Whereas religions like Islam and Black Muslim openly deny the Christian faith; the Church of Christ claims to be Christian, and so Satan uses them to seduce people into Hellfire.

The following doctrinal statement is taken directly from the Church of Christ website:

How does one become a member of the church of Christ?

In the salvation of man’s soul there are 2 necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is the big part, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift if God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation.

Though God’s part is the big part, man’s part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man’s part can clearly set forth in the following steps:

Hear the Gospel. “How shall they call on him whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).

Believe. “And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Repent of past sins. “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent” (Acts 17:30).

Confess Jesus as Lord. “Behold here is water; What doth hinder me to be baptized ? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37).

Be baptized for the remission of sins. “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Live a Christian life. “Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

SOURCE: Who are the churches of Christ?

There is much heresy in the preceding statement.

First, salvation is of God alone, and not men. This is plainly stated in John1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Man has no part in God’s salvation.

In Philippians 2:12 the Apostle Paul states, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Carefully notice that the Bible says “work out YOUR OWN salvation”; it does not say anything about God’s salvation. When God saves a man, it is then up to that man whether or not he is going to obey God or not. God saves us by faith, but then it is up to us to allow the Lord to live the Christian life through us. This has nothing to do with salvation. So many heretics today are trying to add holy living to faith for salvation. No sir! As we see in 1st Corinthians 5:5, some believers live in unrepentant sin; yet, they are still saved. How can this be? It’s because eternal life is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15) not conditioned upon our lifestyle. I don’t know why so many people can’t seem to grasp the concept of a GIFT.

The only part that man has in God’s salvation is to BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). In Psalm 51:12, after David had sinned horribly, we find David asking God for forgiveness… “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” David knew that salvation was of God alone… THY SALVATION!

Second, there is NOT one Scripture in the entire Bible that tells us to “repent FROM sin” to be saved. You can’t find it. The word repent in the Greek simply means “to change one’s mind.” So a person need only repent OF their sins to be sins; and NOT FROM their sins. A lost sinner only needs to realize their GUILT of sin, and condemnation under the Law of God, and their justly deserved penalty of Hellfire to be saved. The change should come LATER, after a person is saved and the Holy Spirit convicts them (2nd Corinthians 5:17).

Repentance in the Bible is always towards God… “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” According to Granville Sharp’s Rule of Greek Exegesis these events are one and the same, i.e., repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. To place your faith in the Lord to forgive your sins is repentance. You have realized your guilt of sin, and have TURNED to the Lord for salvation. This is the simplicity of God’s salvation (2nd Corinthians 11:3).

Third, confessing Jesus as Lord is very different than confessing that He is the Son of God. Yes, we must recognize Jesus as the Son of God to be saved; BUT, we certainly do not need to make Him the Lord (Master) of our life to be saved. This truth is evidenced by the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Paul calls them “brethren,” and yet they haven’t presented their bodies as a living sacrifice for the Lord yet. That is to say, they haven’t surrender their lives to God yet in Christian living. The Bible is filled with examples of Christian who ran from God, such as Jonah, Samson, Lot, and many others. Making Jesus the Lord of one’s life has nothing to do with being saved. Again, God’s salvation is a free gift, paid for by Jesus’ precious literal blood.

Fourth, Baptismal Regeneration is a lie of the Devil. The very notion that a person is required to be water baptized to go to Heaven is absurd. The Apostle John tells us in 1st John 5:13 that he wrote his Epistle “so that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life”; YET, he never mentions baptism even once in the Epistles of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd John. The Apostle Paul plainly stated that Christ did NOT send him to baptize; but rather, to preach the Gospel (1st Corinthians 1:17). No one in the Old Testament was water baptized; yet we read in Genesis 15:6 that Abraham believed God and it was COUNTED unto him for righteousness. You see friend, you need HIS Righteousness to go to Heaven.

Fifth, living a Christian life is not a prerequisite for being saved. If it were, then God would be a liar and eternal life certainly not a “free gift” as Romans 5:15 calls it. To say that a lost sinner must persevere in holy living to be saved is to spit upon the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to insult God, and to negate Christ’s work of redemption. Let me quote to you Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Salvation is so simple. God simply asks us to believe on Jesus, i.e., He that justifieth the ungodly. Our faith by itself is counted for (or is equivalent to) a life of righteousness. This is because Jesus imputes (or places) HIS righteousness upon our eternal record the very moment that we place our sole faith in Him. The Word of God is clear… TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT.

Conclusion

Where does the Church of Christ come up with all their heresies? They surely didn’t find them in the Bible. God said what He meant, and meant what He said. Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” There is NO controversy if you believe the Bible. The Church of Christ is straight from the pits of Hell. I plead with you not to become a victim of their damnable religion.

The Word of God teaches that eternal life is a FREE GIFT (Romans 5:15; 6:23). If you keep that in mind at all times, then you’ll see right through the lying words of such false prophets as Church of Christ ministers. Eternal life is a “gift” that cannot be earned, merited, or deserved. We all deserve to burn in Hellfire for our sins; but God in His wondrous love sent Jesus Christ into the world, to pay for our sins with His own literal precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19).

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —2nd Thessalonians 1:8

Ye Must Be Born Again!

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Church%20of%

Please visit our main site, and our forums @ http://how2becomeachristian.proboards83.com/

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FOR ALL articles created and copyrighted by Damon Whitsell,  Free duplicating is allowed.

This Seminar video by Justin Peters @ http://www.justinpeters.org/ is the best video I have seen on the Word of Faith movement. Since the seminar is available on you tube. I will be doing a series on the Word Faith Movement. Each one with a video clip from Justin’s seminar.

This SECOND POST is an article about Justin and his seminar. I hope you will visit his site and consider buying the whole CD set to show your friends and family, or will consider asking your church about having Justin and his seminar at your church. I am going to buy the series and just may send it to a family member who is a word faith preacher. I only wish that those in the word faith movement would see that the WoF teachings are occultic and not from God. Damon Whitsell

A 30 minute DEMO video of the seminar is @ justins site here http://www.justinpeters.org/demo.htm

Minister with Cerebral Palsy critiques Word-Faith movement By Brent Thompson

VICKSBURG, Miss. (BP) — When Justin Peters was born in Vicksburg, Miss., in 1973, the doctors knew right away that something was wrong. They decided not to tell Peters’ parents, who proudly took their first-born son home. It wasn’t long before they, too, noticed something was different about their baby boy. At the age of 1, Peters was formally diagnosed as having cerebral palsy.

“Don’t expect much from Justin,” the doctor told his parents. When Peters tells that story today, a smile spreads across his face.

“Jesus always has the last word,” he says.

Today, Peters has two master’s degrees from Southwestern Seminary and is a staff evangelist at First Baptist Church in Vicksburg, the church where he grew up and was saved at the age of 7.

Southwestern Seminary

Years ago Justin Peters questioned his faith when he wasn’t healed of cerebral palsy after attending a word of faith healing service. Today, the Southwestern Seminary graduate and staff evangelist at First Baptist Vicksburg (Miss.) leads seminars on the dangers and heresies of the so-called word of faith, or health and wealth, movement.
Cerebral palsy typically impacts body movement and muscle coordination, although Peters said it affects different people in different ways. For him, it limits use of his arms, hands, and legs. But he lives, travels, and ministers needing very few accommodations for his disabilities. He gets nearly everywhere he needs to go either on his motorized wheelchair or on his crutches. He drives his specially equipped van or flies on commercial airlines to get to his speaking engagements and revivals.

“It isn’t degenerative,” Peters said of his cerebral palsy. “The way I am now is pretty much the way I have always been.”

He is unperturbed by his physical limitations. In fact, he is thankful to God for them, and says he likely would not be in full-time ministry if not for the effects of cerebral palsy.

Hope and struggle

“Sometimes there is something better than physical health,” Peters said. “That is, like Paul said, ‘God’s sufficient grace.’”

But Peters has not always felt that way. When he was 16 years old, a well-intentioned family friend came to him.

“Justin, God has told me He is going to heal you,” the friend said, adding that Nora Lam, a word of faith healer from China, was going to be holding a healing service at a nearby Holiday Inn.

“The prospect of being healed really resonated with me because, at the time, I could not drive, play football, or do all the things I believed were so important at that age,” Peters said.

He went to see Nora Lam as well as other faith healers, but after each encounter he came away in the same physical condition. He left those encounters struggling with his own perceived spiritual deficiencies.

“I was told that physical healing is always God’s will and that I would receive that healing if I had enough faith,” Peters said. “I not only doubted my faith but for a season I doubted my very salvation.”

Supportive parents, church, and prayer preserved Peters during those dark spiritual days. He graduated from high school, and then went on to Mississippi State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics. Along the way Peters saw the error of Nora Lam and her colleagues. It was at MSU that Peters felt God calling him into full-time, vocational ministry. So, he headed to Southwestern Seminary, thinking he was going to be a pastor.

By 2000, Peters had obtained a master of divinity degree. During his days of seminary studies, Peters received invitations to preach revival services. This is no surprise given his preference for expository sermons, not to mention his authoritative yet conversational speaking voice.

In his preaching ministry, Peters devoted a small segment of his sermon series to address the topic of the word of faith movement. Also known as the “health and wealth” movement, the most well-known word of faith preachers are televangelists such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, and, more recently, Joel Osteen.

“I found the response to that segment of my revival sermons was just overwhelming,” Peters said. Soon, what was supposed to be a small segment of his preaching turned into a bigger segment. It wasn’t long before people were inviting him to preach just on the subject of the word of faith movement. He felt the Lord leading him to do additional master’s studies, this time for the more academically oriented, thesis-based master of theology degree.

As he focused his theological training on the word of faith theology, what he discovered troubled him deeply.

“Health and wealth are among the most universal of human desires,” Peters said. “These people play on those desires.”

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Eventually, Peters narrowed his academic focus to one word of faith preacher: Benny Hinn. Perhaps more than the others, Hinn holds himself out to be a faith healer. Over the years millions of people have flocked to Hinn’s live events held in huge auditoriums and stadiums around the world; tens of millions more have tuned in to Hinn’s This Is Your Day television program, seen in more than 190 countries.

Unsecure roots

As Peters dug into the theology and history of the word of faith movement, he was more convinced than ever that Christians needed to know the truth about it. He discovered that the movement’s origins are not at all Christian; instead its roots can be traced directly to the metaphysical cults of the 19th century, Unitarianism, Christian Science, New Thought, and even back to the early-church heresy known as Gnosticism.

“These preachers blur the line between the Creator and the created,” Peters said. “They demote God and deify man … To them, faith is not placed in God; faith is a force you direct at God to make Him do what you want Him to do. It is a very man-centered gospel which makes it a different gospel…. All this has been wrapped in a Christian terminology to make it more palatable.”

Peters accumulated literature, video collections, and numerous articles about Hinn and other word of faith preachers. He attended several Hinn healing services and has watched myriads of programs on Trinity Broadcasting Network. He even went to Hinn’s headquarters twice, seeking an interview. He was denied both times.

“Unfortunately, I had to support many of their ministries by buying their books and DVDs,” Peters said, laughing.

A strong call

The faculty of Southwestern’s school of theology accepted his master’s thesis titled “An Examination and Critique of the Life, Ministry, and Theology of Healing Evangelist Benny Hinn.” In December 2002, Peters was awarded a master of theology degree.

Shortly thereafter, Peters became a staff evangelist at FBC Vicksburg and formed Justin Peters Ministries (www.justinpeters.org). Through his ministry, he goes to speaking engagements with a three-part seminar called “A Call for Discernment.”

During his seminars, he leads audiences through an examination of the word of faith movement. The first session, titled “Dangerous Doctrines,” examines the metaphysical cultic origins of the movement and the doctrines it espouses, which deviate from orthodox Christianity. The second session, “Mangled Manifestations,” explores the more dramatic elements of the movement such as the abuse of tongues, being ‘slain in the Spirit,’ and false prophecies. The third session, the one to which he relates to most personally, is “The Hurt of Healing” and deals solely with physical healing.

Using clips from video tapes and DVDs, Peters doesn’t just tell Christians what the health and wealth preachers claim: He lets them see and hear for themselves what they are really teaching during their crusades and television programs.

Peters believes God is allowing this brand of blatant, dangerous heresy to continue for a purpose.

“It’s a sign of the End Times,” Peters said. “The Scriptures are clear that in the last days false prophets and false christs will rise ‘so as to deceive even the elect.’ Too many Christians today want teachers who tickle their ears.”

Peters said the newest popular Health and Wealth teacher is Joel Osteen.

“[Joel Osteen’s] teachings are of a slightly different stripe, but they are just another version of the prosperity gospel,” Peters said. “Joel Osteen was on Larry King Live when he admitted that he doesn’t use the word ‘sinner.’ How can you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ if you don’t first get people to realize they have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? I don’t doubt that Osteen is sincere, but sincerity is not the issue – truth is the issue.”

God has changed lives at his seminars, Peters said. After a recent session in Alabama, a woman told him about her 8-year-old son with muscular dystrophy.

As Justin told it, “With tears streaming down her face she said, ‘Justin, I’ve been told by so many that if I had enough faith my son would be healed. I’ve been told that if I loved him enough he would be healed. All of these years, I have blamed myself for my son’s illness. But for the first time I now realize it’s not my fault.’

“Hearing stories like this makes it all worthwhile for me,” Justin said. “Next to my salvation, my cerebral palsy is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.

“One of the tragedies of the prosperity gospel is that it robs believers of experiencing God’s sufficient grace and strength made perfect in weakness.”

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cults, Apologetics and Christian Discernment
by Rev. Rafael Martinez, Co-Director, Spiritwatch Ministries

  • Questions We’ve Been Asked
    What Do You Mean By Christian “Apologetics?”
    What Does Christianity Need Defending Against?
    So what is “Christian orthodoxy” and “heresy”? Why is this such a big deal?
    Why do Christians label others who don’t believe as they do “heretics”?
    What is Christian “discernment”?
    But we are not to judge anyone! Jesus said “judge not”, didn’t he?
    What are cultic groups? What do they have to do with this?
    How does a cult’s control of one’s thoughts psychologically harm anyone?
    What is “countercult ministry”?
    How did countercult work begin?
    Does the Bible say anything about cults?
    Shouldn’t defending the faith be left only to “the experts”?

 

What Do You Mean By Christian “Apologetics?”


The term “apologetics” is drawn from a Biblical Greek word “apologia”, and doesn’t mean one’s “apology” for being a Christian! The world literally means to give a reasoned defense, a verbal speech in defense of oneself. Paul the apostle had to resort frequently to this when facing down the rebellious Corinthian Christians who challenged his authority (1 Cor. 9:3): “Mine answer (or apologia) to them that do examine me is this ..” An apologetic is a verbal defense, an explanation for one’s beliefs and practices. Therefore, Christian “apologetics” is the process of defending the claims and teachings of Christianity.

As Edward John Carnell once put it “Apologetics is that branch of Christian theology which answers the question, Is Christianity rationally defensible?” (emphasis author). Christian apologetics goes beyond simple proclamation of Biblical truths, whether in traditional preaching or systematic theology: it not only seeks to proclaim these truths but provide the answers to whoever might raise critical objections to the Christian faith. Carnell also goes on to explain the two fold purpose of apologetics: “First, to bring glory to God. Just as we would defend the words of our earthly father, so we defend the words of our Father in heaven. Secondly, to remove from critics any excuse for not repenting before God. Men who refuse Christ because of presumed ‘logical errors’ in Christianity are men with a self-righteousness in the area of knowledge. They are resting on props which must be pulled away.”

Christian apologetics, then, is a balanced and reasoned defense of the truth claims of orthodox and historically Biblical Christian faith and practices, with the aim of glorifying God and bringing those objecting to or distorting the faith to see not only their error but their need of a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

What Does Christianity Need Defending Against?


More than most Christians scarcely are aware of. There are innumerable challenges to Christianity today that too many Christians fail to recognize as such, from both philosophical and spiritual perspectives of every persuasion. From the pop philosophical front, certainly the most aggressive of these is the cultural conflict instigated by secular humanism, active in virtually every social institution around. This challenger makes the unstable value system of man “the measure of all things,” rejecting belief in divinely revealed moral absolutes as mythology. Another age-old challenge is the popular stepchild to secular humanism, that of relativism, where it is said that one belief system is no better than another, and that absolute truth is a fluid concept that isn’t necessarily universally binding. Still another one of the offspring of purely human reasoning is syncretism, which advances a “pick and choose” approach allowing one to create their own belief system, based entirely upon their own preferences to “follow their own path” (no matter how contradictory and flawed).

From the spiritual dimension, the emergence of thousands of cultic organizations with belief systems directly attacking the Christian faith has sharply risen over the past hundred years. Once found only in their Third World homelands, the allure and attraction of “world religions” such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism have found many disciples in the West, let alone the multiple billions they have traditionally had in the past. A full scale revival of ancient pagan spiritualities from across the globe is seen in the networking of New Age and occultic movements. And along with these phenomena there has also been a simultaneous rise of heretical and divisive movements within the Christian Church itself that have helped to contribute to the general doctrinal and practical erosion of Christian orthodoxy and the revival of heresy.

Despite their sheer diversity, however, there is one common element found among them all: they all boldly set forth truth claims which oppose the exclusive claims of the Christian Gospel. These ideologies all reject at one level or another the Christian faith by establishing rival belief systems that, from Atheism to Zorastrianism, stake their own claims to absolute truth, their own divine revelation of lost knowledge. Ultimately, these spiritual and philosophical perspectives all defy and deny the historical Jesus, the Biblical Good News, and the genuine work of the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 11:4). These counterfeits through “good words and fair speeches” (Romans 16:18) have overthrown the Christian faith among many for centuries “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8). Throughout the Christian New Testament, Jesus and the apostles constantly warned that a time of great spiritual deceptive season prior to His return would come (Matthew 24:4, Acts 20:28-31, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Jude 3-4). These closing hours of the twentieth century certainly, in our opinion, seem to be the fulfillment of these sobering admonitions.

So what is “Christian orthodoxy” and “heresy”? Why is this such a big deal?


We cannot overemphasize the supreme and critical need for understanding the Difference between what is called Christian orthodoxy and that which is called heresy. Our understanding of what is spiritually and morally “right” and what is spiritually and morally “wrong” will obviously affect how we live and relate to this world – as well as the next. Christian orthodoxy (the word literally means “right teaching” or “right doctrine”) provides for us those established and historical principles that define the central truths of the Christian faith. Robert Bowman concisely defines orthodoxy as “that body of essential teachings which must be held by all those who would be accepted as Christians.” Such foundational beliefs are the basis of a consistent, balanced and Biblically authenticated spirituality that can be truly called “Christian”. Without them, it would be impossible to recognize what Christianity is and what it stands for. The Christian faith – as taught by Christ and preserved by the Spirit of God through apostolic teaching found in the Word of God – has in fact been preserved through the centuries, by the grace of God despite the diversity and regrettable division that has occurred in the Church since the time of Christ.

Heresy, on the other hand, in the clearest sense of the word when contrasted against Christian orthodoxy, is a description of a body of teaching (and the group or movement that follows it) that contradicts these Christian essentials. “‘Heresy’ came to be used to mean a separation or split resulting from a false faith (1 Cor. 11:19; Gala. 5:20),” wrote Harold O.J. Brown. It “designate(s) either a doctrine or the party holding the doctrine, a doctrine that was sufficiently intolerable to destroy the unity of the Christian church .. something that seemed to undercut the very basis of Christian existence.” A heretic is one who believes and advocates a heresy, which is a teaching “which directly opposes the essentials of the Christian faith, so that true Christians must divide themselves from those who hold it,” as Bowman himself describes it.

So the fruit of heresy is not the secondary issues that Christians have often disagreed upon. It is the establishment of doctrinal positions that deny the orthodox Christian teachings that have been preserved since the time of the apostles. It almost always creates factions within the church itself that aggressively embrace the position in an objectionable and divisive fashion. Heresy destroys and disrupts the legitimate Christian unity of the faith that orthodoxy has established. For this reason, Christians do not have an option to simply sit on the fence with a “live and let live” attitude, as the apostle Jude made it soberingly clear:
“.. When I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation (the salvation we share – NIV, a reference to the orthodox understanding of Christian teaching), it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men slipped in unawares .. ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Why do Christians label others who don’t believe as they do “heretics”?


Christians are rightly justified in identifying heretics when necessary, but sadly, throughout church history, there have been far too many instances in which they did so far too rashly, quickly, and wrongfully. Most of the time when the latter occurred it was because they completely misunderstand the Biblical definition of what heresy is as we have just seen. While doctrinal disagreement among Christians has gone on for centuries, and perhaps always will, these disagreements have, for the most part, been disputes over non-essential matters such as the mode of baptism and the form of church government. Such disagreements are not genuine examples of “heresy”, despite the regrettable instances in which the same disputing parties often called one another “heretics.” Indeed, the underlying unity of the Faith has always provided for them true fellowship as fellow believers and disciples of Jesus Christ (whether they chose to accept and act upon this has been a reproach on those naming themselves Christians), despite their spiritual diversity.
Such a wondrous unity as forged by the Word and Spirit of God does exist, even if it not as universally accepted or recognized as it should be by disputing Christians. Calvinists and Armenians are in agreement over the revelation of God’s nature in Christ by the Spirit as a Holy Trinity, Baptists and Pentecostals universally agree that Jesus physically resurrected after His death for our sins, and despite the serious differences between them, even Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants would agree that Jesus Christ – in the fulfillment of ancient prophecies – was born of a virgin, died for the sins of the world, rose again and will someday return to judge the living and the dead.

On the other hand, however, when Christians do correctly identify (as this article and web site has) certain beliefs and teachers as heretical and say as such in full view of the pluralistic age we live in, trouble usually begins. There comes a secular demand for “tolerance” at the expense of the exclusive distinctives that Christianity has always upheld and – shockingly – equally strident cries for respecting “diversity” from those within the “Church” itself. Our American value of toleration, as vital as it has been, has been too long misapplied in the defense of destructive doctrines and the dismissal of Christians committed to an orthodox and Biblically-based Christian spirituality as witch-hunting “fundies” and heresy-hunting “critics”. This perspective on “toleration” has widely and adversely affected the Western Christian church and the unchurched world and has done much to advance the cause of deceptive and antichristian spirituality and philosophy today. Despite the politically incorrect position that absolute truth does exist, Christian apologists will continue to say as such, and identify it by contrasting Christian orthodoxy to ungodly heresy. If this involves identifying by name the offending parties, it still must be done, as the first-century apostles often did themselves, to preserve truth and expose error that it might be corrected. (1 Timothy 1:3, Titus 1:10-14, 3 John 9, 2 Timothy 1:15, 2:17-18, 4:14-16).

What is Christian “discernment”?


Christian discernment is the careful process of sorting through truth claims to arrive at the clearest possible decision concerning their trustworthiness and value as it relates to Christian orthodoxy. Such discernment reveals, clarifies and proclaims truth and exposes, examines and rejects error. This involves the Christian fully, as it is a personal commitment to the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 as a necessary part of Christian growth in grace (or as verse 23 points out sanctification). The word “discern” appears in Matthew 16:3 (diakrino, in the Greek – denoting “to separate thoroughly”), Hebrews 5:14 (diakrisis, again in the original Greek – meaning “an estimation; a decision”) and in Ezekiel 44:23 (yada, this time in the Old Testament Hebrew – describing “to know, comprehend; to make known”). The clear sense of the three terms is that discernment necessarily involves making value judgments between claim (a) and claim (b) as needed so as to reveal by examination which is right or wrong, or somwhere in the middle. To make such judgments involves the process of examining the claims by an objective standard, and for the orthodox Christian, such a standard exists only in the Word of God ( 2 Timothy 3:16).

Discernment is a Bible mandate that cannot be ignored by Christians claiming to walk in the light of the Faith. Hebrews 5:14 points out that spiritually mature believers will regularly and routinely “make decisions” or value judgments between the principles of good and evil. Ezekiel 44:23 shows us that spiritually mature leaders will teach others how to accurately recognize the difference between the holy and the unholy. And Malachi 3:18 clearly reveals that spiritually mature people will be actively involved in the process of discernment on a continual basis. Discernment, according to the Bible is a critical part of Christian life.

But we are not to judge anyone! Jesus said “judge not”, didn’t he?


Again, we would have to point out that this is a misinterpretation of what Jesus meant regarding judgment. The verse this is often cited from is found in Luke 6:37: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned.” What did Jesus mean here? Was he outright forbidding anyone to practice the Biblically based kind of discernment as we have just described it?
Look at John 7:24 for the answer: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” Here, Jesus commands His followers to not make snap judgments based solely upon a shallow acceptance of what one sees “on the surface” or the image being projected by the subject being considered! This is the very mistake that virtually all those who criticize discernment as “heresy hunting” commit when demanding that we “not judge”. Indeed, this is a direct command byJesus Christ Himself phrased as a nonnegotiable imperative that would be an actual sin to disobey! What Jesus is demanding here is that we don’t do the sloppy and superficial “checking out” of questionable things that we have for too many years done; rather, he goes on to command that godly judgment be actually done in a holy and sober manner. Christian apologists strive to base their ministry on that principle and that one alone, although admittedly, that has not been the case in many instances.

In Revelation 2:2, we actually find Jesus commending the Ephesian church for trying impostors who posed as apostles and were found to be “liars.” Such an examination coudn’t take place without a) a Scriptural mandate to “test all things”, b) moral courage, and c) just plain obedience for the sake of the truth. Righteous judgment was done, and the Ephesian church was preserved from one deadly aspect of error, if not all. In this case, Jesus showed how “questioning authority” was a right thing to do. This was a church that “judged” but “judged” correctly, to the glory of God. So it is superficial judgment based upon shallow decision making that is actually forbidden by Christ, not the process of sound judgment itself!

What are cultic groups? What do they have to do with this?


Debate continues over this question, especially when the contemporary sentiment that “one man’s religion is another man’s cult” is continually circulated by many (not without some merit, but with a great deal of intentional lack of discernment). From an orthodox Christian viewpoint that many, if not all Christian apologists would agree with, a cult is a group of people who follow one man or the group’s collective wisdom, teachings and practices that, when compared with orthodox Christian doctrine always contradict it. In one way or another, cultic groups also exalt their particular belief system as the only exclusive way to fulfillment, knowledge of the divine and one’s salvation – which no one else can offer. Many cults claim that their authority is derived directly from God or Bible and are the only group anywhere who really know God or are interpreting Scripture correctly (hence the rationale for some countercult workers calling some groups “Bible based”). Yet ultimately, once examined, a questionable group’s doctrines will always deny orthodox Biblical truth in one way, shape or form.

There are deeper issues that go beyond the religious belief systems many cultic groups hold. Cultism – relationship to cults themselves is – a very much a way of life, a way of being that is far more profoundly part of what it means to be human and humanly vulnerable to those we interact with. In his book Cult Proofing Your Kids, Dr. Paul Martin, who directs a recovery center for ex-cultists, observes that the definition of a cult involves more than simply theological definition: he observes that a cult is

“a group that uses methods that deprive individuals of their ability to make a free choice. They use deceitful recruitment techniques, they deceptively and destructively use the devotees’ energies, and they capture the devotee’s minds .. to advance the goals of the group leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community. .. Cults can include groups and organizations that are not typically viewed as cults”

Michael Langone defines cults in the following terms:
“A cult is a group or movement that, to a significant degree, (a) exhibits great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, (b) uses a thought-reform program to persuade, controland socialize members (i.e. to integrate them into the group’s unique pattern of relationships, beliefs, values, and practices), (c) systematically induces states of psychological dependency in members, (d) exploits members to advance the leadership’s goals, and (e) causes psychological harm to members, their families and the community.”

Note that these definitions of cults are focus more closely on the systematic and intentional abuse of power and authority that members must submit to, and not necessarily upon their doctrinal teaching or practice. The key issue lies in the deliberate control of members’ lives through manipulative patterns of group behavior. Most people will not immediately recognize any of the inherent dangers of heretical and false teachings of cultic groups, yet one thing that never fails to escape the notice of any observer is how radically someone recruited by a cult (even if it is not seen as such) will be affected by the group’s influence and social circles. Designed to indoctrinate members and force a relative or absolute submission to the group’s leaders, cultic circles of influence use them to literally transform people through psychologically abusive means that the propective member is completely unaware of.

We contend that the dogmatic false teachings and practices that cult groups in conjunction with this powerful social aspect of cultic influence provide a potent and destructive influence in the lives of those submitting to it. Groups providing both of these are what we would describe as cultic groups, no matter their respectability, influence and social presence.

How does a cult’s control of one’s thoughts psychologically harm anyone


As we can see, cults involve themselves with more than just a novel spirituality or philosophical speculation. They cunningly utilize observable and predictable practices that attempt to manipulate their members by control of behavior and thought. This is what is known as cultic mind control, a term used to describe the socially applied pressures placed upon members by their cult leaders to achieve their total submission and conformity to the group’s purposes. And because such blatantly authoritarian pressures have been exerted by those in positions of authority both within and without purely religious groups (such as political leaders, radical terrorists, business executives, therapists, dysfunctional families and relationships, and others), we can see that cultism and cults are far more widespread in society than we care to believe.

We must make an important qualification here: cult mind control doesn’t imply that the controlled cult member has no ability to think for themselves, but it does assert that this capacity for independent thought is largely, if not entirely, suspended through their time of indoctrination and socialization into the group. The choices to submit to the authority of the group are indeed their own, but the choices are usually based upon their ignorance of the group’s agenda of misinformation and their seriously impaired ability to objectively examine it . The process is gradual, yet relentless. Once having made the decision to relinquish their faculties of independent and critical thinking, step by step, the member will effectivly lose their ability to make their own decisions relevant to the spirituality and/or philosophy they believe is beneficial to them. Steve Hassan, a cult recovery specialist, observes helpfully that cultic mind control seeks “to undermine an individual’s integrity in making his own decisions. The esssence of mind control is that it encourages dependence and conformity, and discourages autonomy and individuality (emphasis author’s).” In many instances they are led to believe by cultic leaders that such a loss of autonomy is necessary for their personal good, and that any objective, independent thought concerning their personal lifestyle that conflicts with the group belief system is actually sinful or traitorous. When the only tool a person has to discern with – a free mind – is so completely and voluntarily hedged in under such a belief, mind control is inevitable.

The issue of cult mind control and psychological manipulation is a point of controversy among many in the countercult community. Some feel that such a coercive dynamic as cult mind control does not exist. However, we believe that many cultists have indeed been deceived by false cult authorities and then bound by mind control techniques that utilize implanted phobias, socialized conditioning and deceptive propaganda to coerce, deceive and manipulate prospective converts and the “true believer” into blindly following the authority. Independent thinking is suspended, and the control of reason and emotion is firmly conditioned by intensive interaction with this cult authority. It is our contention that the central task of the Christian countercult worker is to, by the leading of the Spirit, help the deceived to reactivate their faculties of critical thought in relation to the group or philosophy they have been deceived by – and to see that their authority they have been trusting in is both unreliable and erroneous. Cult authority must be sensitively, yet deliberately undermined. We concede that this is a controversial topic and one that is still being widely debated, yet we feel that this website and its articles will attempt to adequately address it as time permits.

A Christian response to this real issue must be intentional and forthright. The countercult worker must be committed to a continuous process of learning, of education to learn the ins and outs of countercult strategy that deals with this crucial issue of the cult mindset. While a Christian perspective certainly takes into consideration the very real influences of the demonic, the plain truth is that the cult recruitment process that lures and indoctrinates prospective members of cultic groups is a thoroughly human one involving manipulation based upon social pressures. From start to finish, the influences of group dynamics and thought control are incredibly subtle, almost indistinguishable from normal human behavior. The human tendency to seek companionship, acceptance by authority and a desire for purpose and community in life plays perfectly into the hands of cultic groups who, knowing these needs, will unhesitatingly exploit them to make converts. It is unethical, coercive and certain dishonest to say the least. But the cult recruiter generally doesn’t hesitate to round a few corners for “the truth”, and half of the problem is understanding that there is a process of mind control at work that underlies, in many instances, the false and heretical doctrine that they cult recruit has chosen to embrace, at the peril of body, mind and spirit.

What Is “Countercult Ministry”?


The explicitly Christian countercult ministry is a direct, deliberate and Spirit-led response to the call of the Lord Jesus Christ to His Body against last-days deception. Jesus, when asked in Matthew 24:4 about when to know when the end of the world and His coming would be at hand, said that, first of all, that His people must “take heed, lest no man deceive you.” Deception is a calling card of the last days, and the Bible has prophetically and imperatively warned us to be aware of this in the most explicit manner possible. Jude 3-4 calls us to action for the love of deceived souls, and 1 Peter 3:15 is a command for all Christians to be ready to answer all who question our faith. If we have received the truth of the Gospel, then we must also be ready to contend for it, as 2 Timothy 2:24-26 teaches. The alternative is damning deception that divides families, and destroys life in the name of God.

It must be repeated for emphasis that the Scriptures have made it crystal clear that the prophecies about the end of all things and Christ’s Second Coming would be foreshadowed by a tidal wave onslaught of deception. The explosive proliferation of unorthodox and aberrant religious activity in the past thirty years is , we feel, the fulfillment of this stark and sobering prophetic warning by Christ. Therein lies the critical need for a never ending vigilance against the onslaught of heresy and a never ending readiness to provide a reasoned response to its seductive advances – through upholding Christian orthodoxy and engaging in countercult work.

Countercult ministry is a militant response to this challenge of Satan. Dr. Gordon Lewis’ remarks on this are sobering and to the point as he sought to highlight the high stakes involved:

” .. we are led to specialize in delivering people from counterfeit religions. .. we seek to expose (1) deceptive teachings, (2) immoral ways of life, and (3) oppressive ministerial, missiological tactics, like heavy-handed shepherding of every detail of life in religions, cults and the occult. But these are two-edged swords that have a way of cutting against aberrant Christians as well as cultists. Our battle is not only against the religious oppressors of this dark world, but also against ‘the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Eph. 6:12) .. Among the evils we deplore in the cults are abuses of human rights, destructive violence, institutionalized violence, and the undermining of the family and the inhuman exploitation of people in the cults. We must deplore those evils even more if they occur among missionaries to the cults or aberrant Christian groups.”

“Lone Ranger” heroes will not survive long in this atmosphere, and the high turnover of countercult workers and ministry is proof of this. Only within the context of the Christian community of faith can such a ministry be conducted, and only among Christians united together can countercult workers “be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” It is nothing less than warfare in the spirit, a conflict that is invisible to all but discerning believers. It is a contention for the truth of the Gospel in the face of false prophets and teachers, to both evangelize and restore the deceived and to edify and defend the Body. We contend there are few more demanding ministries and disciplines required than for the countercult ministry. And it goes way beyond simple argumentation with cult missionaries: the countercult ministry requires an integrative approach that can easily demand of the countercult worker a dear price: the patience of the pastor, the aptitude of the teacher, the zeal of the evangelist, the discernment of the prophet, and the mission mindedness of the apostle.

How did countercult work begin?


Cultic groups have circulated throughout Western civilization and the United States for generations representing themselves as organizations claiming to speak exclusively for God and who have institutionalized the free usage of mind control, deceptive claims, unscrupulous and unethical practices, and outright religious abuse. Groups such as these have left in their wake many destroyed marriages, disrupted families, and suicidal children along with the untold amounts of societal destablization and ruin such activity would bring.

But in the United States the same First Amendment freedoms that have given cult groups the means to brazenly carry on their destructive work also guarantee that voices of dissent can also be heard – and organized. Hence the rise of the countercult movement, a movement prefigured by the isolated protests of a few brave men and women in the spiritual wilderness of the last two centuries. These were primarily Christian clergy, deistic rationalists and Jewish rabbis who recognized the seductive lure of spiritual manipulation and tried to sound an alarm, but were largely ignored. With the rise of the cultural turmoil of the 1960’s in post-Christian Western society came a tremendous amount of growth in cult group formation and activity. Concerted efforts to counter these organizations began to be manifest in the development of cult deprogramming (through the efforts of men like Ted Patrick and Patrick Ryan) and grass roots formation of support groups for the families of cult members. These hapless and bewildered families saw loved ones change into mindless individuals and disappear into cult communities for good, and could find help nowhere else.

Research by Robert J. Lifton, Leon Festinger, Eric Hoffer and others concerning thought reform, social psychology and the powerful influence of group dynamics gave great insight into the power of the cult, and the draw of the mass movement. Organizations that opposed groups such as the Unification Church, the Children of God and the ISKCON movement began to appear and actively network with one another. With the high profile mass suicide of the People’s Temple cult in Guyana in the late 1970’s, the effort gained tremendous impetus. The now defunct Cult Awareness Network became a major clearinghouse of information and support of countercult activity at that time. Today, this largely secular movement is headed up by organizations such as the American Family Foundation, ReFocus, and individual professional counselors, researchers, and university professors. The continuing influence of deceptive religious groups – aside from the well known debacles at Rajneeshpuram and the Heaven’s Gate group, among others – in the more mundane circles of life have required their presence.

About the same time that purely secular efforts to oppose cult groups began, the religious community began to mount its own response, largely if not entirely along Jewish and Christian lines. The Christian faith was being seen as directly challenged by cultic innovations, and the early Church’s ancient tactic of the apologia, or reasoned defense of the Faith, enjoyed a long overdue rediscovery by her spiritual heirs. Classical Christian apologetical training became the foundation for countercult work, and drawing on the work of pioneering Christian researchers such as J.K. Van Baalen, Walter Martin, and John Gerstner, individual Christian groups and communities started to explore the culture of deception that cult groups firmly established to reach out to them in actual mission work. These largely Evangelical and Jewish efforts proceeded from the perception that these groups were not merely “competitors” but were spiritually destructive influences that defied orthodoxy, targeted new converts and the established faithful who were ignorant of the dangers. Many of the Christian workers involved in this work also began to network and organize, some of them being actual ex members of various cult groups themselves who felt a deeper sense of personal ownership in the mission aspect. Helplines and exit counseling, as in secular efforts, became part of the arsenal used in the silent conflict. Christian ministries such as the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, CARIS, Watchman Fellowship and the Christian Research Institute came into being in the 1970’s and have been the Christian Church’s major resource on spiritual deception since then.

In the past twenty years, Evangelical publishing houses have produced many long needed resources and books on the cult problem that have helped sensitize the Church to its challenge. The Church of God (Cleveland) Lay Affairs Office-created curricula on cult outreach and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Interfaith Witness Office were perhaps the first major attempts by the Church to professionalize a response to spiritual deception, and the creation of the Evangelical Ministries To New Religions coalition (EMNR), an organization dedicated to advancing Christian mission among cultic groups, is more evidence that countercult work is being recognized for the bona fide ministry that is has always been. A growing but established presence of Christian counter cult and apologetics ministries on the World Wide Web continues to escalate. With the rise of a new pagan “spirituality” in our post-Christian society, it has become obvious that the defense of the Faith can no longer be ignored. But whether the Church as a whole will ever embrace such a Biblical mandate as it once did remains to be seen, and personally, we are concerned that present trends seem to make that possibility more and more remote.

Does the Bible say anything about cults?


While there would not appear to be much in common between the ancient Near East as described in the Bible and today’s modern world, the descriptions and activities of certain religious and philosophical factions and leaders of that day give great insight into how cultic groups operate. Some of the most revealing passages are about the apostacy of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:17, 28-29), the spiritual abuse of its people by its leaders (Ezekiel 34:1-10), the elitist pride of the Pharisees (John 9:28-34), and the nature of false teachings themselves (Colossians 2:8, 18-23, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, 2 Peter 2:9-10, 12-19). Time will not permit us to bring forth the many other Scriptural allusions we are referring to, but these glimpses of divisive deception and abuse (along with the others we have offered in these articles) are a good introduction.

From a purely Biblical perspective, 2 Corinthians 11:4 gives us the clearest and most concise description of how cults may be discerned. False teachings, the apostle Paul warned here, will introduce three major errors to the unsuspecting in the name of Christianity. First they will preach their own determination of who Jesus Christ is, denying his Biblically revealed identity as God the Son and exchanging it with another. They’ll point to “another Jesus.” Secondly, cult teachers will proclaim a “gospel message” that is ultimately is a message of works-centered salvation, in sharpest contrast to the Good News of saving grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). They’ll preach “another gospel.” Thirdly, the revealed spiritual nature of the work of the cult claims to be, but actually is not, inspired by God the Spirit. Instead, a chilling reference is made to spiritual entities who lend tremendous spiritual power to their natural human puppets to preach deceptive gospels. They’ll be empowered by “another spirit.” This is the work of demonic agents in allegiance with Satan, the opposer of God throughout history.

Shouldn’t defending the faith be left only to “the experts”?


This is a question that stems from similar lines of inquiry concerning the calling to Christian ministry that are asked by many Christians today, as in the past. This is a vital and fundamental question: how we answer it will define just how we will approach the uneasy, fragile, almost antagonistic ties that the Church seems to have with those willing to defend the faith, choosing many times to castigate them as judgmental “heresy hunters” and “critics” who tear down and criticize needlessly.

We hold that a balanced understanding of the Scriptures we’ve reviewed earlier is that the corporate Body of Christ has been specifically charged to earnestly contend for the faith, to provide an answer for every man who wants an answer concerning their questions of our faith, and to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all mankind. That the Body has historically not done a good job of this is the understatement of the age. It is all too obvious that the Church has been, for the most part in the last two millennia, been laboring under spiritual malaise, division, or outright carnal ignorance. At one time in her past, however, we can see that this was not always the case, at least in comparison to the magnitude of apathy, ignorance and prejudice of today’s Church. Amidst the backlash, affliction and chaos that the first great persecution wrought upon the early Church in Acts 8, we find the report of Luke, the ever careful historian that he was, recording that “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4 NIV). Despite the loss of apostolic leadership, daily worship, and house church fellowship, the believers who were dispersed throughout Israel fearlessly proclaimed the Gospel.

This presupposes a degree of spiritual maturity that the entire early Church was to emulate: if this was a reality in the early Church, then we would contend that the apostolic admonitions of Jude and Peter for the church to collectively defend the faith are to be considered as binding today for all Christians. Period. Although the Church today is nowhere near that level of maturity (really, how many churches can be said to be – to a man, woman and child – be preaching “as they go” in this backslidden age? cf. Mt. 28:19) we are still, in my opinion, not relieved of that responsibility. Therefore, we cannot consider countercult ministry as something reserved only for a few “called” to it, and the Spirit of God still awaits the Body of Christ to embrace this mandate (as well as the countless other charges to defend the widow, to feed the hungry, to receive strangers into one’s home, and generally to be real salt and light).

Thank God for those who have responded to His calling in this area of countercult and discernment ministry, and have provided such profound contributions and examples in tackling the challenge, brothers like Craig Branch, Charles Beach, John Farkas and Jerry Yamamoto, and sisters like Jobi Eaves, Angela Goedelman, Lora Burton and Joy Veinot. Still, we do not feel that it is the province only of the “enlightened” countercult worker alone in the defense of the Faith. We are all called to this sacred task. There is no Greek to parse or creedal convention to recite that can possibly refute this simple truth (for the sake of seeming “objective”), mainly because such a comforting and conscience numbing option that could be used to dismiss such a declaration is nonexistent.

While the world, the flesh and the devil continue to gnaw away at the old landmarks and the ancient foundations of the Faith, we have absolutely no excuse for ignoring its’ commands to demonstrate our Christian maturity through discernment, to try all things, and to earnestly contend for its very existence. Only our own spiritual hardness of heart and lack of spiritual passion for what is True and Right in the sight of the Father keep us paralyzed. In the sight of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the terrifying depravity of our fallen world, and the continued backslidings of an increasingly nominal and almost irrelevant “church,” such an attitude is sheer spiritual folly that only adds religious Novocain to our already dulled senses. A falling away indeed is at work here.

So, assuming we are correct, we feel justified in making this final charge directly to all of those reading this article who would call themselves Christians: what will you do with what you now know? Will you lay aside this article considering this to have been a fascinating intellectual exercise about last days perils that, however interesting, has only the most fleeting relevance to your “real life”? Do you now conclude this with an amazement that will last just long enough until the next thing catches your bored eye? Or will have you seen a universe of ministry that has barely been charted by the Church? Will you have heard the mandate by our Lord as given through apostolic admonition? And will you earnestly seek the Lord for what He would have you to do in this hidden and silent war of the ages, the conflict between truth and error?

We realize this may sound as if we are coming on too strong, as if we are perhaps being too dramatic and grave, even fanatical. Strong passions are indeed unsettling. Yet after several years of beholding on the front lines the human cost of deception, we don’t think it is possible to overstate the case to people who have never been in the arena, or even aware of the warfare that routinely claims many innocents in the lines of strange cultic fire. Generation after generation of precious men, women and children like you and me have become unwitting victims of deception-inspired breakdowns, suicides, molestations, spiritual abuse, and religious megalomania that have left them living lives of control-oriented legalism, or premature graves. All of them known and loved by God, all of them mattering so much to Him as you and I that Jesus Christ emptied himself of all Glory to become like them – and us – yet without sin, to die for all our sins.

No, we believe the gravest matter to be considered here is this: that such a horrendous tragedy as the rise of global spiritual deception and subsequent global destruction of human life could ever have risen to the crisis point that it is at today, and that much if not most of this state of affairs is due to the irresponsibility of the Church’s failure to reach its hands out to the drowning – among other things.

One former cult member who came to know Christ after years of patient personal work by a faithful Christian worker later was to overhear outside a Sunday School class the complaint of a less patient Christian about the amount of time that it takes to witness to cultists. “Why, with all of that time and effort,” they protested, “you can win several people to Christ!” The ex-cultist pulled the Christian aside afterwards and said “you are right. It is true. You could have won many others to the Lord with the time taken to witness to me. But,” he concluded with a shining face, “I’m so glad someone thought I was worth the trouble.”
RDM BIBLIOGRAPHY Heresies, Harold O.J. Brown, Baker 1984 Orthodoxy And Heresy, Robert Bowman, Baker 1992. An Introduction To Christian Apologetics, Edward John Carnell, Eerdmans, 1948. Combatting Cult Mind Control, Steven Hassan, Park Street, 1990. Recovery From Cults, edited by Michael Langone, Norton, 1993 Cult Proofing Your Kids, Paul Martin, Zondervan, Zondervan 1993. Contend For The Faith, edited by Eric Pement, EMNR, 1992

http://www.spiritwatch.org/faq.htm

HERE IS THE VIDOE TO PART ONE OF WALTER MARTINS CHISTIAN CULT VIDEO

http://vodpod.com/watch/1050431-1-2-christian-cults-dr-walter-martin?pod=how2becomeachristian

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Why talk about cults?

We are continually warned in the Bible to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. The cults fall into the category of darkness. Cults are leading people astray into lies, deceit, confusion and ultimately hell. According to our theme verse, we are not even supposed to say, “God bless you” to cult members lest we be partakers of their evil deeds. We can tell cultists about the Lord, but if they don’t want to hear and persist in their cult activities, we are to have no fellowship with them. Today’s “Christianity” says, “Just love everybody and try to impress them with your life. After all, we all believe the same ‘essentials’.” The Lord says:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

I Corinthians 5:11

In this and other verses, the Bible says to mark those that cause division–not embrace them.

Purpose

This page has multiple purposes:

  1. warn the saints, cult members and potential cult members of false doctrines
  2. equip saints to effectively witness to cult members and sympathizers
  3. equip saints to identify cult members from a few words of conversation

Satan has filled this world with “Christian” cults and wrong doctrines in order to see people cast in hell fire. He (1) deceives the simple and (2) appeals to the prideful who want a “customized” religion that fits in with their belief system. Cults also offer something, “new” which in this world is tantamount to better. But God said, “I change not”. So when someone brings me a “new thing” I am wary and really seek the Lord about it.

Witnessing to the Cultist

I’ve met people from a number of cults and all of them had been brainwashed by their religious leaders. You must be in prayer the whole time you are talking to them, because the spirits that have control over them must be quieted in order for them to hear what you are saying. The cult member has been told the same lies so many times that he believes they are true. He’s been told that his group is the only one that has the truth. He has been told that the world considers his group a cult. He has been told that disciples of Jesus had to undergo the same persecution he does. You are talking to a person that thinks they are right.

The biggest weapon you’ve got is the word of God. It punches holes in every cult argument. The Bible is the only offensive weapon listed in the whole armour of God in Ephesians 6. NOTHING can replace an intimate knowledge of the authorized King James Bible. Believe it or not, I’ve met cultists who have been specifically told NOT to read the authorized King James version of the Bible. This is personal experience. Dear reader, I’m not straining at a gnat on the AKJV issue.

One time I was making some good headway with a Jehovah’s Witness cult member. The Holy Ghost was moving heavily and I could see that some light was getting through, but our time expired and she had to go back to work because her lunch hour was up. She said she’d like to get together again. I told her that if she told any of her members that they’d tell her not to talk to me again. “Oh, I’m just going to tell my husband.” That was the last I saw of her. I just have to pray and trust that God will take whatever occurred that day and work it out to His glory–His word will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish the thing that He pleases.

Cults have a tendency to change their names, but their evil deeds remain. They’ll try to tell you that their “official publications” speak for them, not the writings of their founders and prominent leaders. If you’re not sure if an organization is a cult, do these three things:

  1. Take a look at their founder. Good don’t come out of evil. Jesus said an evil tree cannot bear good fruit and this is true for cults.
  2. Ask yourself, “Who do they say Jesus is?”
  3. Ask yourself, “How do they say we must be saved?”

 

http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/cults.htm

 

HERE IS A LINK TO PART TWO OF WALTER MARTINS VIDEO ON CULTS

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Scaling the language barrier is of utmost importance when witnessing to a Jehovah’s Witness. Witnesses will use the same words as Christians but the meaning behind the word is often radically different. Before any significant biblical dialogue can take place, a Christian must know the meaning behind the cultists’ terms. Although this list is somewhat brief, it will give you a start on some of the basic words used when dialoguing, and the definitions.

God-


Watchtower- Jehovah, the Father.
Christianity-  Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:18-20) 

 

Jesus Christ-
Watchtower-  First created being by Jehovah, a god, Michael the Archangel.
    
Christianity-  Fully God and fully man, equal to the Father in nature, Eternal, Omnipotent Creator. (John 1:1, 5:18, 20:28)

Holy Spirit-
Watchtower- God’s active force, impersonal.

Christianity- Third member of Trinity, fully God, personal. (Acts 5:3-4, 8:29, 13:2, 1 Co. 2:10-11, Eph. 4:30)

Trinity-
Watchtower- False doctrine originating with Satan, stems from Babylonian and Greek Mythology.

Christianity- The essence and Nature of God, One God manifested in 3 Persons, all equal in Nature but different in position. (see above verses)

Hell-
Watchtower- The common grave of mankind, no conscious existence and/or punishment.

Christianity- Eternal separation from God, conscious everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:41,46)            

Death-
Watchtower- A state of nonexistence, soul sleep, deny an immaterial soul and/or spirit.                  

Christianity- Soul and spirit remain conscious after physical death. (Matt. 10:28, Luke 23:43, 2 Co. 5:8, Rev. 6:9)                          

Resurrection of Christ-
Watchtower- Rose as an invisible spirit being.

Christianity- Rose bodily and visibly. (John 2:19-21, Luke 24:36-39) 

Atonement (Ransom)-
Watchtower- Jesus’ death paid for Adam’s (inherited) sin only.

Christianity- Jesus’ death paid for all sins, personal and inherited. (1 Peter 2:24, Galatians 1:4, Isaiah 53:5)

Salvation
Watchtower- Living forever on a restored earth, or Paradise.

Christianity- Eternal life in heaven in the presence of God. (Phil. 3:20) 

Second Coming of Christ


Watchtower- Occurred invisibly in 1914.
Christianity-  A future event that will be plainly visible. (Matt. 24:27,30 ; Rev. 1:7)

 

http://www.towertotruth.net/JW/witnessing/wt_doctrine.htm

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Word Faith teaching- A spiritual copy of the Mind Sciences by LetUsReason.org Look for other post on the Word faith movement on this blog!

 

Power has always been attractive and one doesn’t have to be religious to want it. Many are trained to scan the scriptures for God’s promises then speak the word of faith for it to materialize. While the Bible does show those who had faith for a miracle and healed, this is not a general promise where all one has to do is have faith enough to move the mountain and it occurs. Jesus said it was faith only of a mustard seed that is needed. Its not the amount of faith as if it needs to hit the Richter scale to be effective in the natural realm. It is true faith to trust and believe in a promise. Its faith in the God who can move mountains, not the power of our faith.

Well known Pentecostal, David Wilkerson, writes in the late Keith Green’s Last Days Ministries newsletter, that he too has seen many Christians “throughout our nation, whose faith is shipwrecked” because of the “faith” movement. He writes that they began to “believe that getting every desire of the heart depended simply on getting their formulas correct. They were challenged to launch out in God for prosperity, perfect health, and whatever else their minds could conceive. “Conceive then believe. That includes removing from your vocabulary any negative thoughts, words, or confessions.”

Interesting that James says though our tongue is a small member yet it boasts great things. Many word of faith teachers give testimony of all the things they received or made happen by speaking words with faith. Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. To want and covet shows what is inside these people’s hearts. I’m not saying everything is spent on themselves, but listen to the attitude and what they are saying, its a dead giveaway.

To word faith teachers faith is a force, a substance that is unseen, but can be tapped into, it is putty in the hands of the user even if they are a believer or not. it works the same for all. Confession brings possession.

Positive confession…

Your confession is your possession

Does God approve of such a thing?

Fred Price says,  “When 1 first got saved they didn’t tell me I could do anything. What they told me to do was that whenever I prayed I should always say, ‘The will of the Lord be done.,’ Now, doesn’t that sound humble? It does. Sounds like humility, it’s really stupidity. I mean, you know, really, we insult God. 1 mean, we really do insult our Heavenly Father. We do; we really insult Him without even realizing it. If you have to say, ‘If it be thy will or’ Thy will be done’-if you have to say that, then you’re calling God a fool because he’s the One that fold us to ask…. If God’s gonna give me what He wants me to have, then it doesn’t matter what I ask. I’m only gonna get what God wants me to have. So that’s an insult to God’s intelligence.”  (Ever Increasing Faith” program on TBN November 16 ,1990)

Benny Hinn has said “Never, ever, ever go the Lord and say, ‘If it be thy will….’ Don’t allow such faith-destroying words to be spoken from your mouth” (Rise and Be Healed! 1991, p.47-48).

If its not God’s will then whose is it? Yours!

This practice has commonly been practiced in occult groups and various Eastern pagan religions such as the Buddhist sect Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.

The Church Universal and Triumphant a New Age group also teaches “the scientific use of the mantra or the dynamic decree of the Word,” otherwise known as “the exercise of God’s power according to the spoken Word” (Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Lost Teachings of Jesus 2: Mysteries of the Higher Self [Livingston, MT: Summit University Press, 1988], 144, 207; cf. 103.)You can often hear them chanting I Am, or call on the healing power through the violet consuming flame.

 Benny Hinn actually claims that the Holy Spirit told him, “…that if witches and occultists can speak death by the supernatural power of words, then Christian can speak life and prosperity by the same power.” (B. Hinn,  December 1, 1990, Orlando Christian Centre, WACX-TV Channel 55. Quoted in The Facts on the Faith Movement, J. Ankerberg & J. Weldon, Harvest House, 1993, p.23)

Benny Hinn said, “confession activates heaven”, and that “confession releases the spirit world.” (November 6, 1990 sermon telecast on TBN)

K.Copeland says “He am healin’, He am deliverance, He am financial prosperity, mental prosperity, physical prosperity, family prosperity. It’s terrible grammar, but you understand what I’m sayin’. I’m sayin’ it to effect my mind.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory Broadcast, 7/9/1987)

But it is not our mind that will give the answer but God . Otherwise it is not prayer but occult affirmations, metaphysical science.

“Jesus said He had the God-kind of faith; He encouraged His disciples to exercise that kind of faith; and He said that .whosoever’ could do it…. That is why Jesus said, ‘whosoever shall say and shall not doubt IN HIS HEART. (Having Faith in Your Faith Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1988, 3.)

“In the first place-and this will help you don’t pray about money anymore; that is, the way you’ve been praying. Claim whatever you need. (Metaphysical Elements In The Faith Movement, Compiled by Leon D. Stump, p.55, from the word of faith magazine, “How God Taught Me About Prosperity, “ Kenneth Hagin).

Copeland is not shy in his boasting of what he can claim by faith “Well, now, you need balance in this. get out there in that hyper faith. that name-it-and-claim-it- that blab-it-and-grab-it.” YEAH! We named it and claimed it and got it. (crowd cheers)-Blabbed it and grabbed it and still got it ! Hallelujah! And our bills are paid. (Aug 18,1999)

Creflo Dollar says, “I know what I’m talking about, I’m qualified to preach what I’m preachin tonight. I am qualified to say what I’m sayin’ tonight. Somebody says how are you qualified? You are sitting in a building. That manifested because of so great faith.”(10/4 /99)

So Creflo got his building not because of God but attributes it to the power of his own belief.  Creflo tells us he has control over the weather and circumstances “I bind you, satan.  I bind tragedy, I bind car wrecks, I bind cancer, sickness and disease.  I release miracle healings.”( first service Our Equality with God Through Righteousness Creflo Dollar 1/21/2001)  “The shingles fell off my roof one time, I said that ain’t happening no more. Newsman talking about this storm getting ready to come and it was black and nasty outside, the wind was blowing and the tree, I had a tree that needed to be cut. That thing wasn’t going to fall. Not on my stuff. I went outside and said in the name of Jesus, I command this storm to turn and it will not hurt my property. My neighbors out saying “that fools standing on the porch again”. I’m going to tell you what, trees fell but they knew the boundary of my house. Today, you can go in the back and trees fell but they stopped at an inch of my fence. Wouldn’t come across my property. Praying in the Holy Ghost until you tap the wisdom of God and spend time calling those things that are not as though they were.” (2nd service Our Equality with God Through Righteousness Creflo Dollar 1/21/2001)

“It is unscriptural to pray, ‘If it is the will of God.’ When you put an ‘if’ in your prayer, you are praying in doubt.( K.Hagin Exeedingly growing faith 2nd ed. P.10 )

 ”I will”, not God’s will, has become the spiritual cliche’ of our time. It is the same trap of the “I wills” of Lucifer that made him fall. Isa. 14:12-14 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

Ps.12:2-4: “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things,”  Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”

James says in 4:13 about boasting what one will do to be successful and rebukes them because they have no control over tomorrow and their life is short, “Instead you ought to say “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this and that.” He then tells them they are arrogant and this type of speaking is EVIL. In chpt. 5 he rebukes them for being rich letting them know this will be their downfall 5:5 “you have fattened your hearts as in the day of slaughter.” 1 John 5:14 clearly says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (also Matthew 6:10; 26:39; ).

Was God a negative confessor when he said to Adam the day you eat of this fruit you will die!  Numerous warnings are in Scripture that would seem to not be positive in its statement, but certainly in effect.

Biblically you can’t have strength until you admit your weak, this is an attitude of true humility; without it, God cannot fill one up with His power until what is hindering is taken out of the way. It is self that is our biggest block, and it is self that is being proclaimed in the faith movement  disguised as the power of God. The faith in the word faith movement is disguised self esteem. It is centeerd on man having the power to declare and attract

At a healing crusade when people believe they are healed before they are,  is this Biblical faith by not looking at the symptoms and just claiming your healing. No! K. Hagin says if your sick ignore the symptoms and watch the word.” E.W. Kenyon said the same thing “confession always goes ahead of healing…symptoms are not the disease.” To deny the symptoms is to lie to yourself and God, he never said, say it as a methodology. If this is true then someone who goes to a doctor for medicine because of their sickness or they go into surgery to have a tumor removed would not be cured because its not real, its only their symptom. Not only that, it would not be faith to go to a doctor, since one is not standing on the word for their healing but trusting in medical science for a cure. The Bible teaches that God can use other means besides supernatural healing to heal.

Hagin says if your sick the solution is easy “Often you create your own negative situations yourself with wrong thinking, wrong believing, and wrong speaking. So start believing according to God’s Word. Then begin making positive confessions of faith and victory over your life. … You will never receive anything from God beyond the words you speak. … If you don’t like what you have in life, then begin to change the way you are thinking, believing, and speaking. Instead of speaking according to natural circumstances out of your head, learn to speak God’s Word from your spirit. Begin to confess God’s promises of life and health and victory into your situation. Then you can begin to enjoy God’s abundant life as you have what you say!” ( The Word of Faith, “You Can Have What You Say”)

“As a born-again believer, you are equipped with the Word. You have the power of God at your disposal. By getting the Word deep into your spirit and speaking it boldly out your mouth, you release spiritual power to change things in the natural circumstances.” (Kenneth Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, 15.)

“What you are saying is exactly what you are getting now. If you are living in poverty and lack and want, change what you are saying…. The powerful force of the spiritual world that creates the circumstances around us is controlled by the words of the mouth.” (The Laws of Prosperity, Kenneth Copeland, Ft. Worth: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1974).

“Words are the most sacred things….This is a word planet…governed by words…created by words….Words cause it to function…cause life…cause death….Words go on forever….Words are holy.” (The Abrahamic Covenant, side 1.)

Gods word is eternal and holy, not mans. Jesus said we would be accountable for the words we speak, which means we do not speak correctly, truthfully nor Godly all the time.

Words are so powerful that we have the same ability that God does “You have the same creative faith and ability on the inside of you that God used when he created the heavens and the earth.” (Kenneth Copeland, Inner Image of the Covenant, side 2.)

In this World of using Scripture to gain access the wealth and health it only makes a difference in how ye thinketh.

“It makes a great deal of difference what one thinks. I believe that is why many people are sick, even though they are prayed for by everyone in the country. They get in every healing line and still never receive healing. The reason they are not getting healed is that they are thinking wrong.” (Kenneth Hagin, Right and Wrong Thinking , 1978 pg 19.)

Say it like you mean it, believe until it rises up out of your heart and your convinced that you are healed. Don’t listen to anyone saying otherwise, just keep on believing. I’ve been to these services where people say they are healed of a limp as they limp out of there. Actually there are just as many faith teachers who are sick and have died than us mere Christians who do not know how to use “the laws of faith.” So its not working for them either, but they just won’t tell you this!

E.W. Kenyon in his book the Hidden man on pg. 99 “I know that I am healed because I said that I am healed and it makes no difference what the symptoms may be in my body.” If they are coughing and you say you have a cold they say no I don’t, haven’t had a cold in years. That’s called denial at best and lying at worst. To say I’m healed even though their can be in tremendous pain. when your not telling the truth isn’t that called lying.

K. Hagin in his book “In the name of Jesus says In teaching on divine healing and health , I have so often said, I haven’t had a headache in so many years (45 to be exact) I guess the devil got tired of hearing me say it. Just a few months ago, as I left the office building and started home, suddenly my head started hurting, someone might say, “well, you had a headache. No, I didn’t have one! I don’t have headaches. I haven’t had a headache since August 1934. 45 years have come and gone .and I haven’t had a headache…but if I had a headache, I wouldn’t tell anybody. And if somebody asked me how I was feeling, I would say, I’m fine, thank you.” (In the name of Jesus, p.44) Notice he says he wouldn’t tell you how he really feels because words override the pain. Is this honest ? What do call this when someone acts in this way. If I went into a restaurant and ordered an expensive meal with only a dollar in my pocket and I didn’t tell the waiter that I couldn’t pay, what would you call this? …That’s exactly what you should call what Hagin is saying.

Faith teachers get sick also they have a headaches and stomach aches, they  stub their toes and bang their hand just like anyone else. They deny it despite what is certainly there. What they are saying is what you confess you will possess but you didn’t confess a headache to get it in the first place, it just came. So they need to put blame on someone and it usually is the devil. This is why they command Satan to leave their body. What one needs to ask is how did he get in there in the first place? Doesn’t this mean they were not walking in faith for him to invade them like this.

Would you go around saying that your the president of the company that you are just an employee of because you desire that position. If you were caught doing that they would say your lying . Try cashing a check as that president when your not and see what happens. What of scriptures such as God saying let there be light can someone of the faith movement ever say these same words and change the darkness of night to day, have you seen anyone move any mountains lately if not they do not have the faith of God.

What if this concept of healing were being brought to its logical conclusion. If you get a flat tire. Are you going to confess the tire is fixed and round again. Speak it back to restoration. No of course not. So why would you not do the same for anything else. If it doesn’t work for the inorganic. it won’t work for the organic either.

If one takes the Scripture by faith confessing God s word, why stop with healing? Why not go all the way and confess not dying as in John 11:26:”And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Then one will never die. While all the promises of God are yea and amen. They are not for all people all the time. Many were given to specific people for a specific purpose.

The Force of faith

“Faith activates the force of God fear is a force that activates the Devil. Copeland says, God did not create the world out of nothing, He used the Force of His Faith.’ (Spirit, Soul and Body, #01-0601, Tape #1)

New Ager Benjamin Creme says, for example, “One doesn’t pray to oneself, one prays to the God within. The thing is to learn to invoke that energy which is the energy of God. Prayer and worship as we know it today will gradually die out and men will be trained to invoke the (inner) power of deity.” (The Reappearance of Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, pp. 135-136)

The New Age has the exact same methodology for success. This is not ignored by the word/faith promoters since they believe anyone can use this power, saint or sinner. In like manner this power is used to influence themselves, others, ( achieving their own self-interests), their environment  or what they deem as reality .

Techniques used are visualization which they internally create the form and project its image into the outer world. The word spoken as it is first incubated in thought it will become reality when continually spoken.

Copeland agrees and states, You can have what you say! In fact, what you are saying is exactly what you are getting now. If you are living in poverty and lack and want, change what you are saying. It will change what you have…. Discipline your vocabulary. Discipline everything you do, everything you say, and everything you think to agree with what God does, what God says, and what God thinks. God will be obligated to meet your needs because of His Word…. If you stand firmly on this, your needs will be met.” ( D.L. McConnell p.173)

A.W.Tozer wrote… “imagination projects unreal images out of the mind and seeks to attach reality to them. Faith creates nothing; it simply reckons upon that which is already there.”

God has  some interesting things addressed to this type of nonsense. Lam 3:37-50 “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?   Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?   Why should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?   Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD;   Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.   We have transgressed and rebelled; you have not pardoned.   You have covered Yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain and not pitied.  You have covered Yourself with a cloud, that prayer should not pass through.  You have made us an offscouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.  All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Fear and a snare have come upon us, desolation and destruction. My eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.  My eyes flow and do not cease, without interruption, Till the LORD from heaven looks down and sees.” Like in Jeremiahs day this is the state of our present day church.

Creative faith for miracles

“Words are spiritual containers,” (Kenneth Copeland, Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, 15; cf. 14.)

“Faith was the raw material substance that the Spirit of God used to form the universe.” (Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer II (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0302), side 1.) He doesn’t say this a few times but is a consistent teaching in his theological bent.

“Faith is God’s source of power.” (Freedom From Fear, 1983. p12.)

Not only does God use this faith but we can as well “You have the same creative faith and ability on the inside of you that God used when he created the heavens and the earth.” (Kenneth Copeland, Inner Image of the Covenant, side 2.) Copeland explains to Hinn how this all works “The law of faith, faith work by certain elements and when those elements from the word of God are put in, in release and in power than it always brings the same results , and I don’t care who it is I don’t care where you are or where you from  I don’t care what culture you come from, I don’t care what color your skin is I don’t care whether your rich man poor man beggar man or thief. When you put those elements into operation they will come connect to the anointing and the results will come Benny Hinn “MY GOD!” (so its not by God’s will but by ours). Copeland and B. Hinn this is your day  Aug.10,1999)

So this law that is suppose to be universal like gravity works even if you’re an unbeliever and a thief. how can one who is not right with God use faith? Because its not the same as biblical faith it is a natural law as Copeland explains. So it really has nothing to do with God, because he is not obligated to give a sinner any request lest he repents.

When we use the spiritual laws that God has set up, God must obey what we request.” (Praise the Lord, TBN 2/5/86)

“Words create pictures, and pictures in your mind create words. And then the words come back out your mouth….And when that spiritual force comes out it is going to give substance to the image that’s on the inside of you. Aw, that’s that visualization stuff! Aw, that’s that New Age! No, New Age is trying to do this; and they’d get somewhat results out of it because this is spiritual law, brother.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 28 March 1991.)

“God used words when He created the heaven and the earth….Each time God spoke, He released His faith — the creative power to bring His words to pass.” (The Power of the Tongue (Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1980), 4.)

Isn’t it funny that not once will you find the word faith in the OT especially in the creation narrative of Genesis attributed to God. Nowhere does it say God used faith. Why? Because it is man who needs faith not God!

Recently on John Hagee’s program Copeland said, “The very faith that God used when He created, and what we read there in the first 2 chapters of Genesis, is the faith that’s burning in your spirit. But now if you’ve made Jesus the Lord of your life, it’s the same faith. Well, He created all those planets, how come you can’t create something? You don’t know as much about it as He does. He has a greater working knowledge of that faith than you do. But we’re learning. Our time is coming. And in some ways its already here.” (Aug 18,1999 )

Notice he says its coming because they don’t have the knowledge yet. But he’s been saying this as a fact for years! The only difference between God’s ability and ours is that He has a greater knowledge.

Kenneth Hagin: “Jesus used the fig tree to demonstrate that He had that God-kind of faith, then He said to the disciples-and to us-‘You have that kind of faith.’. . . Jesus said He had the God-kind of faith; He encouraged His disciples to exercise that kind of faith; and He said that .whosoever’ could do it…. That is why Jesus said, ‘whosoever shall say and shall not doubt IN HIS HEART. ‘ “ (Having Faith in Your Faith, Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1988 1, 3)

Mk.11:22 “Have the faith of God (in) This unclear passage is determined by other clear passages. The word ‘in’ is missing so it reads have faith God. This is a Hebraism: to have strong faith, or the strongest faith. When things look impossible. There is no such thing as a God kind faith. It means a faith that is wholly reliant on God.

Jesus had already stated, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”   (Matt 19:26)

But the faith movement states with ones words in faith we can change anything. Which means this faith is with man and not God. They believe that a failure to get what they ask for is a failure in faith.

This unclear passage is determined by other clear passages. However, this verse must not be isolated from other verses on prayer, and it is always important to make certain that we incorporate everything the Bible teaches on any one point before drawing our conclusions.

Throughout the Scripture it tells us to have faith in Christ John 14:1” Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”   Faith means trust, its object is always God, If faith is put in any other object no matter how sacred it will fail. Does God have faith? No! Faith has an object. The Christian faiths object is God, not faith itself. It means to trust in someone other (in our instance greater) than oneself. If God has faith to create then whom did He trust in? This concept destroys the very nature of God Gods name is I Am that I am, the self sufficient self- existent one. He is perfect needing nothing outside Himself, He is a non dependent being not needing anything from anyone else. God is not using His faith as His power there is no such thing. God is able to do all things we are not. We cannot speak more stars into existence nor can we change a boy into a girl by our words. When Jesus spoke the words let it be according to your faith the individual was asking for a specific act from Jesus when he was physically present with him. He did these miracles to prove His personhood as God, it was not a blank check for anyone to say it to receive it. Is it really faith to demand our rights from God or is it pride and immaturity to demand things as spoiled little children. The faith in the word of faith movement is misplaced faith. Real faith involves time, it produces character as we go through our trials. It builds us up giving us endurance not by demanding God but from relying on his provision as we go through we have his assurance he is with us. Faith is only as good as the object it is placed in. Matthew 21:22 must be taken with I John 5:13-15, which also points out that God hears us only if we ask according To -will” in other words, if we make a request that is not His will to grant, no amount of faith will effect that petition. Prayer is unlimited in its possibilities except one, God’s will. If you are praying for something that is not God’s purpose, no amount of prayer will change it.

V.23.having a mountain removed and cast into the sea, is to have a thing to be far removed. It is not speaking of physical but spiritual obstacles to the progress of His kingdom. [the expression ‘rooting up mountains’ is in common Rabbinic use as a hyperbole for doing the impossible or the incredible.   [Babha B. 3 b; for the latter   Ber. 64 a; Sanh. 24 a; Horay. 14 a.]. Mountains in biblical symbolism means kings or kingdoms (Mt.17:20). This is why you have never seen a mountain thrown in the sea.

Jesus makes it clear in v. 24-26 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Faith gives anticipation in prayer that God hears us and that he will answer.   Faith is to have an absolute, yet simple assurance of God’s promise.  Mark also gives a condition for the Lords acceptance to our prayer. Mark connects the promise to move mountains with forgiveness our reconciliation with brothers, v.25-26

This principle is found when the disciples tried to cast out a demon with the authority Jesus gave them but were unsuccessful.

Mt. 17:19-21 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast him out?” “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” It wasn’t just a lack of faith but they needed to ask and fast. The mountain Jesus interprets for us are those things opposing His kingdom; in this case a demon who had kept someone in bondage.

Paul writes in Romans can the potter talk back to the clay, I’ve never seen this happen until our time. They can order and decree from God whatever they please, even the shape of their own lives. Deceptive power does not come without a price. I have yet to see someone change a flat tire to round, much less actually move a mountain which the scripture mentions!

Heb.6:12: “That you not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.’ He then goes into Gods promise to Abraham and that he swore by himself because there is no one greater. Notice it is God’s promise and that we are to wait on him to fulfill it by having patience and faith. Not stand on it and demand it. In God’s timing and his way, just as he did for Abraham.

Real faith is neither a blind leap into the unknown nor is it mustering up belief for our own wants to possess something. A.C.Gabeleian says. “Faith is not blind confidence that demands to get whatever we want. For this is in effect, as one has said, would dethrone God, and place the scepter in our hands, making God obedient and irresisting power to do our unwise bidding (The Healing question pp.124-125) Faith is not in what we speak but in the God who spoke and the universe leaped into existence. True faith is in the one who can keep his word.

If faith is based on the immutable law of God in nature then even unbelievers can use it (Which is exactly what they say). Then it is without exception. So every time someone says something negative believing it, then it will come to pass. The last time I looked at the Bible and reality I have not seen God put this kind of power in the hands of sinful or saved men.

Faith is not telling a person they can see when they can’t or tell someone they are healed when they are dying. This cannot accomplish what is being said anymore than telling a person he can fly when he can’t fly or walk through walls when they can’t. Faith involves an assent to what is truth, not what is false.

Our faith is not what we speak using incantations from the word, but in the word and the one who spoke the word.  Praying in Jesus name is not a warranty to receive everything we say and we can certainly thank Him for that. He doesn’t want spoiled little children, but mature heavenly minded people who look at His Word and are willing to be conformed to His likeness even if it’s uncomfortable.  Those that can trust him in His decisions He can entrust to answer.  To pray in his name means “in his authority” according to his will, to ask in the understanding of what God wants to accomplish on earth. Romans 8.27: “ And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” We need to line up our will with His, then we can be confident he hears us because it is what he wants to accomplish. So you must have the right kind of faith mixed with patience and trust to be “in the faith “ and be a true son of Abraham.  The faith Movements faith is not “Biblical faith”, it is defective and flawed, because it is self- focused on our wants, not trusting in God’s decisions. Until they learn this simple biblical lesson they will continue to expand their errors being deceived and deceiving others!

 

 

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HERE is only one Gospel, only one true message of good news from heaven. But there are many substitutes offered in place of the Gospel. It was so in the beginning. It is so now. The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians1:6-9)

THESE are intensely solemn words. They come bubbling up from the steaming heart of the indignant apostle in righteous wrath as he learns of pretentious carnal legalists deliberately seeking to mislead eternally-bound souls with a false message which could only, like a will-o-the-wisp, lead to ruin and destruction at last. He would have us know it is a fearfully wicked thing to trifle with the sacred heaven – sent message that has come to a needy world declaring the grace of God to poor lost sinners.

WHAT then is this Gospel of which the apostle was so jealous? He tells us plainly in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4,

“… I declare unto you the gospel… how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

Note carefully: The Gospel is God’s wonderful story of His beloved Son. It is a message of grace to be received in faith. It is not a code of laws to be obeyed or good advice to be followed. It is not a system of ritual observances or a call to submit to certain ordinances. It does not set forth the claims of any human church organization, however venerable, nor does it exhort men to seek after experiences, however remarkable, though a blessed experience follows its acceptance. It simply sets forth Christ crucified and risen as the Savior of all who believe in Him.

WHEN THE MORMON elder comes declaring that an angel revealed a gospel of salvation through a restored church and renewed ordinances, he is preaching another gospel, and angel and man are alike under the curse.

WHEN THE LEGALIST comes insisting that salvation is by obedience to God’s holy law (which in itself is just and good), he is preaching another gospel, for the Word of God declares, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight.”

WHEN THE REVIVALIST comes promising salvation to those “who make a full surrender” of all that they have to God, and who “pay the price of full salvation,” he is preaching another gospel, for the price was paid on Calvary’s cross and the work that saves is finished. It was Christ Jesus who made the full surrender, when He yielded Himself unto death for us that we might be redeemed from the curse of the broken law and forever saved from the judgment to come upon all who refuse His grace.

WHEN THE MODERNIST prates in glowing terms and honeyed phrases of salvation by character, salvation by altruism, salvation by ethical culture, he, too is proclaiming another gospel, for if character could have saved, Christ need not have died; if altruism would have fitted sinful men for heaven, the Lord Jesus would surely have told us so; if ethical culture could deliver from the wrath of God, what place would Gethsemane, Calvary and the Empty Tomb have in the Divine economy?

WHEN THE CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST (falsely so-called) denies the reality of sin, disease and death and lulls sinners to sleep by telling them that “God is all and all is God,” even going so far as to declare the death of Christ was unreal, and His resurrection simply spiritual, and that the blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sins when shed upon the accursed tree than when it was flowing in His veins, he, or she, is promulgating another gospel, which is not another, for it is a baseless dream, a weird and blasphemous “error of mortal mind” that will leave its votaries at last without God and without hope.

THE SOLEMN FACT IS THERE IS NO OTHER GOSPEL. Every pretended substitute is but a Satan-devised delusion meant to turn men away from the strait gate which alone leads into the narrow way, and make them contented as they crowd down the clear side of the broad way to eternal perdition.

BEFORE there can really be another gospel there must be another savior and another Holy Spirit, and this can never be. Nor is any other gospel needed, for the grand old Gospel of the grace of God is all-sufficient to save “whosoever will,” and has demonstrated its power throughout the centuries by transforming lost miserable sinners into happy joyous saints. Paul says,

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (Romans 1:16,17).

THE Gospel needs only to be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit to hold its own against every imitation and substitute that the mind of the natural man energized by Satan can devise. Like the Bible itself it is divinely inspired and, therefore, preeminently fitted for the needs of mankind. It convinces the mind and satisfies the heart, if men but take the place of repentant sinners and accept it by faith. It is the dynamic of God unto the deliverance of all who believe it. To refuse it is to be lost. To receive its message is to be saved.

IT reveals the righteousness of God, making known how He “can be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Satan’s false gospels all pretend to show how man can establish his own righteousness. The Gospel of Christ comes to unrighteous men and tells them of a righteousness that is divine which is imputed to all who believe.

ANOTHER gospel, whatever its outward form, will always be found to center in something that man can be or do in order to obtain merit. The Gospel of God declares what Christ has done in order that the salvation purchased may be justly offered to sinners.

ANOTHER gospel presupposes some strength, some ability to please God, in the natural man. God’s Gospel declares that when “we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

ANOTHER gospel will land you in hell! God’s Gospel, believed, will bring you safe to heaven.

TURNING from every false hope, I beseech my unsaved reader to rest in what Scripture declares concerning Christ, and thus be able to sing in faith:

“Upon a life I did not live, Upon a death I did not die, Another’s life, Another’s death I hang my whole eternity. None will ever be confounded who put their trust in Him.”

***Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly Fundamentalist author and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948.***

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