Christian

Don’t Follow the Crowd

Are you a Christ-follower or a Crowd-follower?

Today, I want to share what the Bible says about false teachers. I don’t call out anyone by name. You’ll have to make those decisions for yourself. I have not expounded on the Scriptures. I ask only that you consider what God’s Word has to say. Then, in case you think these Scriptures don’t apply to the Church of today, I provide a link in the last section to an excellent study of how New Age thinking has influenced Christianity.

In the following sections, we read the words of Jesus.

The Narrow and Broad Roads

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

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:24

And From the Letters …

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers ] “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” 1 Timothy 1:3

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20,

Dealing With False Teachers ] “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” 2 Timothy 2:14

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 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 the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus said,
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

New Age thinking has greatly influenced much of Christianity. I encourage you to study this phenomenon for yourself. The following blog post, written by my brother in Christ, Bruce Cooper, contains a wealth of information. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

My prayer is that you know God’s Word and are fully equipped to fight the good fight of the faith. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Blessings!

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Is False Teaching Influencing the Church Today?

As I was walking my dog and listening to the Bible on my phone app, the following verse jumped out at me.

“You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” Deuteronomy 12:4 NIV

I’ve read Deuteronomy several times, but I didn’t remember reading this verse before. I hurried home to look it up in my Bible.

In Deuteronomy chapter 12, God is warning the Israelites not to be influenced by the religious practices of the pagans in how they worship the Lord.

Reading these verses made me think about how worldly influences have invaded the Church today. Everything from pop psychology to New Age thinking has seeped into our churches.

 “Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.” “You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.“Deuteronomy 12:2-4 NIV Read full chapter

There are a lot of so-called “Bible teachers” that are teaching questionable things. I have been researching some of these teachers to find out their roots. Who do they learn from? Who has influenced their ministry? If a Bible teacher is rooted in New Age beliefs (and many are), don’t we want to know about it? The only way to know is to do a little research. Just because a book is in the Christian bookstore doesn’t mean it’s theologically sound.

I know this post will make some people angry. They will immediately come to the defense of their favorite teachers. The fact is, false teachers also teach a lot of things that are true. Their questionable teachings are often surrounded by good things like the love of Jesus. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 ESV

But Jesus said we must be careful what we listen to.

And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to.” Mark 4:24 NASB Read full chapter

Some argue that the false things they teach can be weeded out. But that isn’t true because everything they teach is rooted in their false beliefs. We must be rooted in Truth.

“…if the root is holy, so are the branches.” Romans 11:16 ESV

If there is a worm in your apple, are you going to eat the apple and spit out the worm? No thanks, I’ll stick to apples without worms!

Paul said, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9 ESV Read full chapter

It’s my prayer that we will hold dear the Truths of the Bible and reject all that is false.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Romans 16:17-18 ESV

It is not those who stand for Truth that causes division. It is the false teacher that causes division!

 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 ESV

 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV

 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8 ESV

Read more verses that warn about false teaching here.

I pray that God’s Word will speak to your heart today and that you will hold fast to the Truth of God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Scancode Productions on Unsplash

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Christian

How To Be a Discerning Christian

The Bible warns us about false teachers. Yes, they exist today. But how do we know what is true and what is false? This is an important question. The answer is we must be discerning Christians.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Skill of Discernment. Since then, I came across an excellent comparison that I want to share with you. In his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, Tim Challies compares spiritual discernment with identifying counterfeit currency.

Challies writes, “We can best know what is wrong by first knowing what is right. Experts on counterfeit currency know this as well. They train others first to know the traits of genuine currency because such knowledge will make apparent what is fraudulent.”

Experts in counterfeit money study every aspect of their currency including how it feels and every detail of its appearance and color. Only after they do this are they shown counterfeit currency. And guess what? They know immediately what is not real!

In the same way, it is only after we know the Bible well that we will be able to recognize false teaching. A mature Christian is a Christian who knows the Bible well. This is an important point because the Bible says that the immature Christian can be blown here and there by every kind of teaching (meaning false teaching). That makes sense, right? Ephesians 4:12-14 NASB says,

“… for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the [b]knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature [c]which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 [d]As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness [e]in deceitful scheming;

One thing about children, they’ll believe almost anything. And like children, immature Christians will believe almost anything, especially if it sounds good.

So the question is: How well do you know the Bible? How many times have you read it from cover to cover? How many times have you read the New Testament? Are you reading the Bible for yourself? Or do you rely on books about the Bible?

I challenge you to read the Bible from cover to cover at least twice before you read the Christian Best Sellers. Otherwise, how can you discern if what you are reading is true? Maybe you are thinking, “Oh I just know.” – I wouldn’t be so sure of that. But don’t take my word for it. Consider what the Bible says.

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” The Apostle Paul (Acts 20:29-31 NIV) Read full chapter

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. …21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “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.” Jesus (Matthew 7:15, and 21-24 NIV) Read full chapter

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” The Apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV) Read full chapter

Remember this: “We can best know what is wrong by first knowing what is right.”

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian, women

What Is Faith, Really?

Faith is synonymous with trusting God. Faith is not a power we can use like a magic wand to get anything we want. This is an important distinction. Yet many so-called Bible teachers teach the concept of faith incorrectly.

For many years, I followed the Word of Faith teachers who teach a false concept of faith. Once I began to see the Truth, it was very difficult to erase that false concept from my mind.

The first thing I did was read the New Testament from cover to cover three times in a row. As I read, I paused whenever I saw the word “faith” and interpreted its meaning from the context. I had a lot to learn, and a lot to unlearn. As I read God’s Word, I had to stop thinking of faith as personal power and substitute the definition “trusting God”. It took a lot of work and a lot of time.

“…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word…” Ephesians 5:25-26 NIV

Studying Faith in Context

Jesus Heals a Sick Woman

 “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Matthew 9:20-22 NIV

It was her trust in Jesus, her belief that He was able to heal her, that brought her healing. “If I only touch his cloak”! Make no mistake. She was not depending on herself or any power of her own.

Blind Bartimaeus

 “As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” Mark 10:46-52 NIV

Just like the woman with the issue of blood, if you read this verse about faith in context, you will clearly discern that it was trusting Jesus that healed him.

In fact, if we study the Bible as a whole we will learn that everything in it points to one thing: Jesus.

Faith is trusting God and His plan, even when we don’t understand it. When my daughter went to Africa to work in a children’s hospital, I learned a lot about faith. It was most definitely about trusting God. It was never about my own power to bring about what I wanted. You can read about my experience here.

To have faith is to trust God and believe His Holy Word, the Bible.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

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Christian, women

Gnosticism: Danger in the Church

The following post by Bruce Cooper explains and describes the false teaching sweeping through the Church today. I urge you to read it.

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21 NIV

Mysticism/Gnosticism

BY BRUCE COOPER

It is becoming increasingly difficult for believers in Christ to discern what is Scriptural and what is not Scriptural. The rise of the New Apostolic Reformation within the Christian Church today is a point in question. But this dilemma is not new, nor are the root causes. This post will review the history of these false teachings and show how the early church dealt with them and how we can gain from their legacy. As your read through this post, many similarities deriving from Gnosticism and current false teachings should become self-evident.

Partial Source: Strange Fire by Travers van der Merwe (1935-1995)

“And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai, . . .” (Numbers 3:4).

Even though Nadab and Abihu were the sons of Aaron the high priest, they failed when they presented their offering to God. They knew they were in the wrong. However, like Cain, they thought their way was better! They had obviously taken up with a “new thing” with which they thought God would be pleased.

“MysticismThe timeless quest for higher/hidden truth, spiritual experiences and knowledge of God by using imagination, intuition, so-called ‘Holy Spirit revelations’ and subjective feelings rather than fact, reason and the undistorted Word of God.”

Most of the heretical trends in the church can be traced to the ancient religion of Gnosticism. Benjamin Walker writes: “There are few unorthodox, schismatic or heretical movements in Christian history that cannot be traced back to gnostic sources.” [Benjamin Walker, Gnosticism: Its History and Influence, The Borgo Press, 1983, p.163]

What is Gnosticism?

Gnosticism was an esoteric religious movement that flourished during the second and third century A.D. and presented a major challenge to orthodox Christianity. Most Gnostic sects professed Christianity but their beliefs sharply diverged from those of Christianity in the early Church. To its adherents, Gnosticism promised a secret knowledge of the divine realm.

The definition of Gnosticism is “a system of religion mixed with Greek and Oriental philosophy (1st-6th century A.D.), intermediate between Christianity and paganism, which taught that knowledge, rather than faith, was the greatest good, and that through knowledge alone could salvation be attained.” [Webster’s Encyclopedia of Dictionaries; Baltimore, Maryland, Ottenheimer, 1978]. Basically what is being said here implies that man’s redemption and justification is not by faith in God according to the Scriptures, but rather in “mystical knowledge” acquired by a personal experience. This is the theme that is intrinsically intertwined in all the doctrines of the cults and occults.

The Latter Rain Movement will be alluded to in the course of this post. Within the movement were many children of God who remained true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, there were those that started out well, but along the way were influenced by “strange” fires that has brought the church to accepting so many different teachings today.

Gnosticism

What is Gnosticism? According to Webster, it is “an occult salvational system . . . stressing [knowledge of spiritual things] as essential . . . combining ideas derived especially from mythology, ancient Greek philosophy, ancient religions, and eventually, from Christianity”. [Webster’s New World Dictionary, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1988, p.577].

The doctrinal core of Gnosticism is basically a form of mystical religious or philosophical doctrines which other adherents and some early Christian sects spread and which the early Church leaders vehemently rejected as heresy. Believers in Gnosticism are called Gnostics. The word “Gnostic” is derived from the Greek word gnostiko or gnosis (inner mystic knowledge). The Gnostics believe that “gnosis” is subjective (internally perceived by the mind or feelings) knowledge of the divine element or spark in every man that needs to be discovered to be known. They believe the divine spark originally came from the “realm of light” (totally alienated from the world and the flesh), and is resident in the soul of man and is held there in captivity by the flesh (a product of demons). The only way to release the divine spark is through divine “revelation knowledge”, experienced within in the spirit. Also, they believe that only when the unconscious spirit in man is awakened by revelation from the “realm of light” can he come to know his real self – the god within.

Explained in a nutshell:

God is within, waiting to be revealed. Any external influence (matter) is evil. Finding the god within comes only via your mind or feelings. There are no external checks or balances, only those which your inner spirit appropriates as you progress in your revelation.

Characteristics of Gnosticism

Man is Co-Substantial with God
As soon as man by “gnosis” (self-knowledge) discovers and releases the imprisoned divine spark (spirit), he then starts on a mystic ascent to divine substance and on into the “realm of light”. Through divine revelation knowledge experienced in self, man becomes conscious of his origin with God, his essence as God and his transcendent destiny – all God. The unconscious self of man (the unawakened inner spirit) is co-substantial with the Godhead, i.e. having the same substance or essential nature. This is the kernel Gnostic thought that has led to the creature being deified, worshipped and served more than the Creator.

Elitism
The mystic “gnosis” (or knowledge) is only taught to the elite – those who have a special capacity beyond the force of reason and the flesh. According to Gnostic writings, this special capacity was imparted by a messenger bearing a “spark” of light from the “realm of light” even before the creation of the world. The goal of the Gnostic is the release of the inner man by virtue of gnosis (inner knowing) and his return to his native “realm of light”. There seems to be a special “place” for a special “people” who are called out or chosen. That is how the spiritual elitism comes forth. It is this Gnostic thought that is behind many of the aberrant teachings of the Latter Rain Movement.

Intuitive
The Gnostic concept of God is determined by the depth of illumination and revelation subjectively (by mind or feeling) experienced “about God”. The concept rejects external faith in God the Person. The reference point for godhood is in self. Gnostic revelation must be distinguished from Christian revelation because it is not rooted in history and transmitted by Scripture. It is rather the intuition of the mystery of self. The dark cloud of mysticism that overshadows the Church can readily be traced to the Gnostic’s “intuition of the mystery of self”.

Self-Knowledge
The Gnostic believes that gnosis (self-knowledge) is redemptive and as such needs to be discovered and known. As a result of gnosis, man subjectively discovers as a creature, the reality of his lasting unity with the transcendent God. He discovers that his life is immortal and that he is an ongoing manifestation of the light and the god that dwells in his inner self. This knowledge, it is believed, has a redemptive quality that takes the spirit in man to the ultimate realm of light such as the fulness of God.

Unfortunately, Gnostic trends are developing at an alarming rate within the Church. As early as the Second Century, Gnosticism infiltrated Christian theology. Since that time, it has gradually saturated the Church and is now, in these last days exploding not only within the Church, but also within secular institutions. The world is being prepared for a predominant Gnostic religious form, a New Order that will govern a great part of the world before Christ returns.

Because certain “popular” theological concepts are not being measured and subjected to strict Scriptural scrutiny, Gnosticism is gaining a stronghold. As a result of new theological thought, even fundamental orthodox doctrines are being grossly changed into seed-beds for Gnosticism.

What does FUNDAMENTAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY adhere to?

  • Based on: God’s Word.
  • Acknowledges: Deity of Jesus Christ.
  • Believes: Man is basically sinful, and only GOD can correct the evil in him.
  • Gives glory to: GOD
  • God: Believe in a PERSONAL GOD who is all good.
  • Salvation: Spiritual rebirth that takes place when an individual chooses to believe by faith the DEITY of JESUS CHRIST, recognizes the SIN in his life and chooses to follow Christ and turn from his sin according to the Scriptures.
  • Faith based on: The Word of God.
  • The Answer: Jesus Christ – according to the Scriptures.
  • Christ: Jesus Christ, the one and only fully God and fully man.
  • The Bible: NOTHING should be added and NOTHING should be taken away from the Bible. It is the COMPLETE WORD OF GOD.
  • Commitment: To the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures.

GNOSTIC/NEW AGE THOUGHT:

  • Based on: Man’s word.
  • Acknowledges: Deity of man.
  • Believes: Man is good and getting better.
  • Gives glory to: Self
  • God: Belief in God or a great force or energy or One Mind. An impersonal God with both good and bad.
  • Salvation: Spiritual awakening that comes when an individual experiences “his own divinity”.
  • Faith based on: Experience.
  • The Answer: Finding the “self” or “god” within and striving with “works”.
  • Christ: A position of status held by all deserving members. Arrived at by “self”, “experience” and “works”.
  • The Bible: They pick and choose Scriptures to suit their purposes. They say the Scriptures can be “interpreted” in many different ways. Spiritualized to say whatever they want.
  • Commitment: To self – or God through a passive or emotional experiential form of religion.

A Gnostic Gospel?

Having defined and illustrated the doctrinal core of Gnosticism, we can now effectively identify Gnostic thought as it emerges in the church today. There is a growing network comprised of loosely linked groups with a common Gnostic theme. They refer to themselves in many ways. They use Biblical sounding titles such as “Overcomers”, “The First Fruits”, “Manifest Sons of God”, “The Elect”, “A New Breed”, “Son of Man Company” and even “The New Apostolic Reformation“. These groups can be involved in a wide spectrum of teaching from anti-Semitism, Prophets and Apostles, Restoration, Kingdom Now Theology, and most sinister of all – the New Age philosophy. Bear in mind, the essence of Gnosticism is finding your divinity – the god within you, by subjective experience.

The Latter Rain Movement

Most Pentecostal history books date the historic Pentecostal revival of the Latter Rain movement to 1948 and attribute its geographical origin to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada. Its beginning was explosive among the Pentecostals and like a wildfire spread quickly throughout North America and many places around the world.

The movement was characterized by many healings and miraculous phenomena . . . There was an emphasis on spiritual gifts which were to be received by the laying on of hands. [Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Zondervan Publishing House]

Most people who have had any history in Pentecostalism at all have been influenced at some time in their lives by the Latter Rain Movement. There have been many sincere people who felt they were part of the move of God for the Last Days and were earnestly partaking of the fruit that was offered. Since 1948 the Latter Rain influence has permeated the churches, Bible Colleges, evangelism, and Christian television broadcasting networks. The overall magnitude of its influence makes it more difficult to warn of the inherent dangers that are involved.

As a result of the Latter Rain influence in the Christian Church, two basic streams of charismatic thought exist side by side. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish one from the other. You have the Assemblies of God Fellowship with over 384,000 ministers in over 212 countries and territories serving approximately 67.5 million adherents worldwide and you have the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement that is a loose collection of non-denominational and independent churches rallying around a particular set of biblical interpretations. The New Apostolic Reformation approaches church leadership and biblical interpretation differently from The Assemblies of God and other mainstream Protestant denominations. Of particular distinction are the role and power of spiritual leaders. With the NAR movement, the elevation of prophets and apostles as church governance “offices” obviously made way for individuals to abuse Scripture. It allowed some to give the ‘Spoken Word’ equality with Scripture.

The Assemblies of God USA has published a number of official statements taking stances against many NAR teachings. Here are some key NAR teachings that have been rejected by the denomination’s leadership.

  • The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that present-day apostles and prophets should govern the church (see papers titled “Endtime Revival”, “Apostles and Prophets,” and “Prophets and Personal Prophecies“)
  • The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that the church should work to take dominion of the earth prior to Christ’s return–a teaching known as “Kingdom Now” or “Dominion Theology” (see papers titled “Endtime Revival” and “The Kingdom of God“)
  • The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that the end-time church will become a victorious, militant army so it can take dominion of the earth–a teaching known as “Manifest Sons of God” or “Joel’s Army” (see paper titled “Endtime Revival”)
  • The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that Christians must identify a hierarchy of demonic spirits (also called “territorial spirits”) and wage battle against them for the gospel to advance–a teaching known as “strategic-level spiritual warfare” (see paper titled “Spiritual Warfare“)
  • The Assemblies of God has rejected the teaching that spiritual gifts, such as prophesying and healing people, can be imparted by church leaders through the practice of laying their hands on people (see paper titled “Imparting of Spiritual Gifts“)

We are facing the same situation that our forefathers faced, only this time it is exacerbated because of the mass media, telecommunications, huge conferences and a strong interlocking network. Promises of a “New Anointing” and a “New Thing” keep the conferences filled and the tape and book sales rolling! When the term “New Thing” is used, the following are some of the thoughts behind the term:

1. New “mysteries” revealed;

2. New “knowledge” of the Christ within – self-consciousness;

3. New “form of godliness” that will be the light of the world;

4. New “power” that will do marvelous new things;

5. New “Law of Love” without Scripture;

6. New “Inner Voice” above the Scriptures to guide and govern;

7. New center of divinity – the soul;

8. New ministries that exceed even those of the prophets and apostles of old; and

9. New consciousness/self potential – self-esteem, self- immortalisation and self-the temple of illumination.

These thoughts are the bedrock of Gnostic experience and its objective of self-realisation of the god within and its subsequent fruit of love and works (born not out of the working of the Holy Spirit but of connecting with your inner self.)

The Supernatural

Scripture very clearly gives us insight into the realm of the supernatural. We know that the supernatural realm suffered a terrible rebellion as Lucifer made his bid for godhood. God became man, and this man was Jesus Christ who was born of corrupt humanity. He bridged the supernatural chasm between God and man. All things work and progress according to God’s PLAN and PURPOSES and the supernatural realm functions within the parameters God has set. As natural man, we are forbidden to attempt to even peer into those unseen things that scripture refers to. We are presently to be occupied with bringing the Gospel to the natural realm, the creation.

However, there is a time soon coming, even the angels know that at this appointed time, when the last trumpet heralds the return of Jesus Christ, the saints will put on immortality, cross the supernatural barriers and judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3).

Today we are seeing a strange trend as again, man, but his own endeavours (experientially and philosophically), tried hard to relate to the “supernatural realm” and walk in a sense of godhood. The nature of this is clearly characterized as the New Age philosophy, as opposed to Orthodox Christianity. Regretfully, a great part of the church has latched on to this trend. By all appearances, Christians are knowingly or unknowingly dabbling in eastern mysticism and the spirit world. Unless they resist this temptation, they will ultimately fall prey to Satan’s control. Deeper spiritual understanding seems to be the motivation behind it all. The problem is that Christians are no longer satisfied with the literal Word of God. They are looking for experiences “beyond the sacred page”. The Bread of Heaven, according to their inner “sacred feelings”, has become stale and outmoded.

Mysticism

In listening to many videos that are coming out of the present day “prophetic movement”, the underlying current is mysticism. Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopaedia defines “mysticism” as “an immediate, direct, intuitive knowledge of God or of ultimate reality attained through personal religious experience“. Experiences are being set up as the criteria for truth. There are many Christians who cannot communicate spiritual knowledge without the use of this term. The danger lies in that when experience is the basis for faith instead of the Word of God, erroneous theological ideas arise. This gives way for a deviance from the Word of God.

The apostate church is a bearer of mysticism as her structure and institutions are subtly being overtaken. From the very beginning, mysticism has plagued the church. In these last days we are witnessing ominous manifestations. This should not be surprising for the Scriptures foretold this:

The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine . . . they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils . . . (1 Tim. 4:1)

Signs and Entry Points to Mysticism

1. The cross of Christ is not the sole basis for redemption.

2. The Holy Scriptures are not the complete single revelation of God to man.

3. Experience is the way to perfection and knowledge.

4. Experience takes precedence over the Scriptures.

5. Intuition is given preference to Scripture and sometimes a substitute for the Holy Spirit.

6. Faith in the Word of God is defected to faith in the Church, man, self, experience, etc.

7. Self is deified.

8. Salvation is based on experience and not the Word of God.

9. The presence of God is sought in a mystical sense.

10. Personal revelations, dreams and visions are given priority to Scripture as final reference in judgements, decisions and guidance.

11. Experiences are sought rather than God’s will and His righteousness.

12. Hyper-faith, positive thinking, self-potential, and self-deification are taught as gospel truths.

13. Finding Christ or forming Christ within according to Eastern mysticism or New Age philosophy.

14. The obsession of “spiritual warfare” with a Gnostic and “New Age” slant – allegedly doing battle in the supernatural realm to free cities and areas from the control of spirit beings before the Gospel can be preached effectively or have power to save sinners in the natural world.

True Spiritual Warfare

The Christian’s battle (true spiritual warfare) is not a reeling, an intuition or an imaginative experience in the spirit realm – however real it might seem. On the contrary, the warfare is against every form of mysticism that ties the feelings, intuition and imagination into the spirit world which God strictly forbids. (Deut. 18:10-12).

As Christians we war against the strongholds of spirit mysticism that war against our minds, feelings and intuitions. By the power of the Gospel of Christ and Him crucified we cast down:

• Reasonings, pagan philosophies, Gnostic concepts and carnal dogmas that nullify the Word of God.

• Imaginations, theories, religion, fables, metaphysics, theosophy and meditations that defy the knowledge of God; and

• Every thought, form of godliness and spiritual intent or practice opposed to the Gospel of Christ.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ . . . (2 Cor. 10:4-5)

All evidence of the writings of the Gnostics leads to an egocentric direction which is a religious life with self as the object of its devotion. It is a form of narcissism with an escape from the real world into a world of myth and fantasy where no absolutes, parameters or judgements apply. This is why “spiritual warfare” as promulgated today has such an appeal to many. The imagination is titillated as the “spirit realm” is unveiled, and excited warriors find they can do battle with creatures of the netherworld.

A “prophet” from the Kansas City Fellowship in an interview session in 1988 proclaims that the Lord looked at him and said, “I have called the best of every blood line in earth unto this generation . . . I have elected to bring them forth in this generation . . . the ELECT GENERATION. [Bob Jones transcribed from 1988 tapes]

This “New Breed” does not believe in the Rapture eschatology. According to Rick Joyner, one of the “Prophets”:

. . .the doctrine of the Rapture was a great and effective ruse of the enemy to implant in the Church a retreat mentality . . . already this yoke has been cast off by the majority in the advancing church, and it will soon be cast off by all. [The Harvest, Rick Joyner]

The Foremost Danger in Elitism

The foremost danger in these divisive teachings is that Jesus Christ is removed from His high place as God the Son, to the level of all the sons of God. The sons of God are moved up to Christ’s place. The truth of the humanity of Christ is taken to an extreme. This is one of Satan’s chief ways to discredit and finally destroy God’s Word – to add to His message by pushing it to the extreme. History shows that the worst danger in Gnosticism, especially in the concept of elitism, is its inherent propensity to extremism. Given free reign, it inevitably leads to moral, political and spiritual extremism.

This teaching is becoming more widespread as popular circuit “Prophets” proclaim in Kansas City

. . . There is a ministry after the five-fold called the ministry of perfection – the Melchisedek Priesthood . . . your children will be moving into the ministries of Perfection . . . coming into that Divine Nature of Jesus Christ . . . they themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet . . . because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a church that has reached the full maturity of the GOD-MAN! [Bob Jones, (Kansas City Fellowship) transcribed from 1988 tape]

Those who are overcomers believe they will never be sick or die and they will be here when Christ returns. They believe they are now living in the prophetic time when the Church is being restored and perfected by the five-fold ministries (apostles, prophets, etc.). The Elite (Overcomers) are now in the process of putting on immortality, perfection and godhood and taking dominion of the earth. The Church is about to birth the Man-child – the Sons of God, the incarnation of Christ and brotherhood of Christ.

“Mysticism is the idea that direct knowledge of God or ultimate reality is achieved through personal, subjective intuition or experience apart from, or even contrary to, historical fact or objective divine revelation.”

The teachings of the “New Age” as well as that of the apostate church, for the most part, are designed to magnify and glorify the psyche of man, hence the present obsession with “self-esteem”, “self-potential” and “self- indulgence” within many churches.

A Fine Line

Sometimes the line dividing the Christian from the Gnostic is so fine that it is hardly visible. The only way for a Christian to safely discern Gnosticism is in the light of the Holy Scriptures.

A “Christian Gnostic” is easily identified by his show of piety and especially by his air of humility. The more mystic he appears or sounds, the more spiritual he feels. He takes great pleasure in believing he has attained to a high spiritual level and sees himself as being a member of a special breed of people. Sometimes it is called “The Manifest Sons of God”, “The Melchizedek Order” or “The New Breed”. His spiritual inspiration comes from a mystic source sometimes described as a “still small voice” purported to be the voice of the Holy Spirit. Confidence in the “still small voice” takes precedence over the Scriptures. The written Scriptures are used only in so far as they seem to support particular convictions and concepts. The whole motive behind the “Christian Gnostic” is to make himself and others believe HE is a GOD. In fact, his ultimate dream is to prove to the world that he has power and is a god with limitless potential.

Repudiation Necessary

The worst moments in the history of Israel came when Israel was seduced by false prophets to follow after gods of their own making. It was for this very reason that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees as the enemies of God. Jesus warned His disciples against the religion of the Pharisees. “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” (which is hypocrisy). The Pharisees claimed to embody the essence of the faith, Jesus called them “hypocrites”.

Teachings and practices that are wholly different from the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be opposed, even if they come from within the Body of Christ. Gnosticism plagued the early church. In fact, some of the Pauline and Johanine epistles were written to address the Gnosticism that was edging its way into the Gospel of Christ. In the writings of the early Church Fathers, Gnosticism was addressed and condemned in the strongest terms. It was on account of Gnosticism that the early church found it necessary to draft the “Apostolic Creed” and form the “Canonicity of Scripture”. A study of Church History will show that within the church there has always been the temptation to accommodate Gnostic thought. As in the past, and more so now, it poses a persistent danger to the biblical faith.

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Published by Bruce Cooper

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and residing in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. “Papa” View all posts by Bruce Cooper

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Do You Recognize Errant Teaching When You Hear It?

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“For the time will come when people 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.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV

Unfortunately, this is happening today. Why? Because too many Christians just don’t know what the Bible says. They may study books written by “Christian authors”, but that is not a replacement for reading the Bible.

In the past, I read many, many books by well-known Christian authors. I was hungry to learn everything about God. But this mistake led me down a false path and led to pain and heartache. It is only because I was also reading the Bible that I eventually escaped from this trap. Now, I am very cautious about what I read.

To neglect the Bible is to repel God. To neglect the Bible is to embrace ignorance. To neglect the Bible is to fall prey to all manner of errant teaching and doctrine. To neglect the Bible is to embrace humanistic thought and philosophy, a sure recipe for moral disaster.”

david ettinger

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:28-30 NIV

To read more on this subject, I recommend this great blog post by David Ettinger:

https://ettingerwriting.wordpress.com/2020/01/13/christianitys-worst-scourge/

May we hunger and thirst for God’s Word. May it be a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

When a Preacher Laughs at “Religious People”

With a broad grin, the young preacher said, “I did it because I knew religious people wouldn’t like it!” And the audience chuckled.

I’ve heard this before many times and in different words – preachers poking fun at their Christian brothers and sisters referring to them as “religious people”. It’s meant as a put-down to Christians in mainstream churches and it assures the audience that they have one up on the “unenlightened”.

I must speak out about about this because it should be a red flag. It has certainly become a red flag to me.

What does being religious really mean? According to Websters Dictionary, it means: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful, fervent, zealous.

That sounds admirable to me, but what these preachers are really saying is “religious” people are not in tune with our superior revelation of the Scripture.

In some churches, being “religious” has taken on a whole new meaning. It has become a put-down that comes from a spirit of pride and self-importance and it serves an important purpose. It labels all those faithful Christians who have walked with God and studied God’s Word for many years as people who don’t understand what we understand.

In effect, Christians who might caution you about false teaching are literally disinfranchised from the conversation.

It’s our human nature to want to feel smart. People like to feel like they know more, and have inside information others don’t have. It’s a seduction and it’s the oldest trick in the book.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6 NIV

When I started writing this post today, I really didn’t want to discuss this topic again. (Is that all she thinks about?) So I decided to read for a while, thinking maybe God would lead me in a different direction. Instead, I came across an article that said, “To critics of discernment in general (Oh, discerners are unloving and way too judgmental.), I would say that silence is compliance. ” Pastor Larry Debruyn

If silence is compliance, then I must speak out. If you see a red flag, let it be a warning!

Unsound teaching calls out to anyone with Internet. Hopefully, you’ve never heard these kind of remarks and have no idea what I’m talking about, but if you do – examine carefully what is being taught. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Maksym Ivashchenko on Unsplash

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Christian

What I Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Me, Or Can it?

In spite of what people think, ignorance is not bliss!

People like to think it is – when the truth is too hard to face. Selah* (Pause and calmly think of that.)

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” Romans 16:17-18

This topic is heavy on my heart because many devout Christians are being led astray because they are naive. When I listen to various popular Bible teachers on YouTube, I’m shocked at how ignorant the audience is of Biblical Truth. I’m shocked at how blind they are to a spirit of pride from the pulpit.

Well, I guess I’m not really shocked since I was taken in by it myself once. Yes, in fact, I had to “unlearn” a lot of teaching, and that is not easy to do.

You’re probably thinking, “What did you have to unlearn? What false teaching did you buy into?

Well, I’m not going to tell you.

Why? Because you must identify false teaching yourself through studying the Word of God. If I told you that a Bible teacher you liked taught false doctrine, I know what you would think because it’s what I used to think: “They don’t understand because they’re in a dead church.” OR “They don’t have revelation.” OR, my favorite: “They’re religious.”

I assure you, I am not dead or religious! (Isn’t that judging someone’s heart?)

All this stems from pride – the false assumption that I have revelation of the Scripture others don’t have. Selah

I would venture to say that all those “old, religious people at the church down the street” have more experience walking through trials with the Lord at their side than some of us ever will.

How I wish I could talk to my grandmother about God, again. She would be about 130 years old now. If only I would have known to seek her wisdom when I was a youth and she was still around.

But, alas, when we’re young we think we know it all. I know this because I teach in a middle school! Students will argue about anything, even how to do a math problem! (Are you kidding me?)

Why just today, a student tried to prove to me that you didn’t have to start a 2-digit plus 2-digit addition problem in the ones column. He thought he proved it to me by getting the right answer even when he started in the tens column. You guessed it! There was no regrouping involved. (No carrying.) He hadn’t thought of that!

You can think you’re right “til the cows come home”, but that doesn’t make you right.

My point is, if you are learning about God from a Bible teacher, instead of from the Bible, be careful. Check the Scriptures given to see if they have been taken out of context. (That happens a lot and is the basis of much of the false teaching accepted today!)

Respect those “old Christians” you think are dead or religious. It’s wise to listen to the elderly with respect.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”? Selah

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12

Did my journey with false teachers and prophets affect my life?

Yes! It almost shipwrecked my faith. It took many years for me to recover. (That’s a story for another time.)

 “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT

Lord, Guide us and teach us to walk with you in truth and humility. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

 *The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and calmly think of that.”

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Christian

Spiritual Warfare: Are You Alert or Asleep?

During the Viet Nam War, the Viet Cong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and quickly dissapear.  The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers. Then, when least expected, they would launch a surprise attack on U.S. troops.

When you’re in a war, you must be alert. The enemy does not announce his arrival. And he often pretends to be someone he’s not.

Are you prepared to stand against your enemy, Satan? Do you know how to stand?

It is critical that you know God’s Word. Ephesians 6 says,“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (vs. 11) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” (vs. 14)

What is the “belt of truth”?

Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 The Belt of Truth is clearly God’s Word, the Bible. It is an essential part of the “Armor of God”.

Do you think it’s possible that Satan could be attacking someone, when they don’t even know it? The Bible says,

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

That verse tells me a lot. In a battle, it is important for soldiers to be alert. If not, they may walk right into a trap. Can you imagine walking through a jungle during war and not being alert? Of course not!

There is only one place to find truth and that is in the Bible, in God’s Holy Word. We need to know what it says. If you don’t know God’s Word you will be an easy target. Why? The Bible tells us,

“For the time will come when people 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.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This can be more subtle than you might think. False teaching may not be that obvious, unless of course, you know God’s Word.

Does it really matter what you believe, as long as you love Jesus?

Yes! False teachers can take Scripture verses out of context and convince people of almost anything. This is how good people are deceived. But verses are not meant to be taken out of context. Instead, we should always study the context to correctly understand every verse.

For example, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Let’s say I told you, “ All things means all things! You can perform healings and miracles. You can be a great athlete, make a lot of money, whatever you want can be yours – if you believe. If you have faith in God’s Word!”

Well that may sound good, but that’s not what that verse is saying.

Paul wrote these words while in prison, and the full context says, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul is saying, whatever your circumstances, no matter how bad they are, Christ will give you strength.

In verse 11, he says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul is talking about being in prison. Roman prisons were known to be cold and cruel, prisoners were not provided adequate food or blankets, and they were kept in chains.

But in all this, Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

That’s a lot different than the first interpretation!

You say, “Oh, I would recognize false teaching right away.”

Really? Because it won’t be obvious. It will be hidden in truth and love. The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets,

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

To masquerade means to pretend to be something else, to disguise oneself, to impersonate. Please understand, people will be easily fooled. But there is one way to stand firm.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. … With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 10-18 

As you read and study this passage, understand the important role God’s Word plays in your life. Take this passage at face value. Know God’s Word. Read your Bible so that you can stand.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Unsplash

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Christian

YouTube Christianity

According to research, only 9% of Americans have read the entire Bible more than once. No wonder they don’t know what it says!

Christians need to know the Bible really well. There is great danger in relying on others to teach us what God’s Word says (no matter how famous the preacher or how big their church).

Why do we do it? Are we too lazy to study our Bible for ourselves? Is it easier to listen to great speakers telling us what God’s Word says and means?

I know this because years ago I was part of a church that gradually slid over into false teaching. The first thing I noticed was arrogance from the pulpit, a message that says, “We have revelation of the Scripture, but that church down the street, they’re religious … I used to go to one of those churches.” (chuckle, chuckle) The congregation begins to feel superior to other Christians.

The Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This happens because Christians do not read and study their Bible for themselves, and therefore they do not recognize false doctrine.

What does God’s Word say?

Colossians 2:8 “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.”

Proverbs 1:22 “How long will you gullible people love being so gullible? How long will you mockers find joy in your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?”

Proverbs 22:3 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Proverbs 1:32 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them.”

Proverbs 14:15 “A gullible person believes anything,
    but a sensible person watches his step.”

Romans 16:18 “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”

Ephesians 5:6 “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.”

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

Well, it’s certainly something for us to think about….

Do you study God’s Word?

With Love, 

Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Source: Lifeway Research

LifeWay Research: Americans Are Fond of the Bible, Don’t Actually Read It

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