Invalid reasons for staying in a church you know teaches false doctrine

(You can read the original article at Famine in the Land here.)
By Rick Becker   22 March 2018

When the scales of deception are removed from their eyes, many find themselves in a dilemma.  They realise that the church that they love, attend, and where they were possibly even saved, teaches false doctrine.  False doctrines such as word of faith, the prosperity gospel, dominion theology and of course the unhealthy mixture of all three found in the New Apostolic Reformation are working their leaven in the visible church.  Furthermore, accompanying these false doctrines are false practices and manifestations.  Individuals are torn in two.  Should they leave?  Or should they stay and try to navigate the spiritual minefield that they find themselves in?  This post looks at invalid reasons that some use to justify their refusal to walk away from a poisoned well.

If you are not familiar with the false doctrines mentioned above, here are some examples of people and ministries that teach them: Bethel church (Bill Johnson & Kris Vallotton), Hillsong (Brian & Bobbie Houston, Carl Lentz), Randy Clark, Lance Wallnau, Todd Bentley, Georgian Banov, Heidi Baker, Joyce Meyer, John & Lisa Bevere, Christine Caine, Rick Joyner, Patricia King, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Craig Groeschel, Rick Warren, Paula White, T D Jakes, Steven Furtick, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Todd White, Beth Moore, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Mike Bickle, Ann Voskamp, and many more. In South Africa – CRC churches (At Boshoff) Breakthru Life church (John Crumpton), Rivers church (André Olivier) River ministries (Andre Roebert) Oasis Christian Church (Sarel van der Merwe) Christian Family Church (Theo Wolmarans) and many more.  If your church uses material from any of these folk or promotes them in any way, you should be concerned!

The following  reasons are not legitimate reasons to stay in a church that teaches false doctrine:

1.  I’ll simply ignore the bad teaching – eat the meat and spit out the bones

To put it another way – don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There is no biblical mandate for this argument.  Those who teach contrary to the gospel need to be marked and avoided, not marked and ignored. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them Romans 16:17
In his letter to Timothy, Paul explains that someone approved by God “rightly divides the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)  He then gives an example, of two teachers who did not rightly divide God’s word: Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.” (vs 18)


Finally, Paul tells us what our response should be: “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (vs 19)

By sitting under a pastor who twists the word of God, you are submitting yourself to someone God has disqualified and submitting yourself to someone who is responsible for damaging the faith of their followers.  You pastor should in fact be the one rebuking those who teach false doctrine. He  must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it  Titus 1:9

The church at Thyatira was rebuked for “tolerating that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants..” Revelation 2:20.
We must avoid the irreverent babble of those who distort the word of God to suit their own carnal appetites. False teachers need to be silenced, not supported: “For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.  They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” Titus 1:10-11
A ravenous wolf has nothing to offer you:  they come to steal, kill and destroy.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking the situation is static in the sense that the current level of false doctrine will remain constant.  It begins with singing Hillsong or Jesus Culture songs, and before you can say “heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss” your pastor will be introducing the doctrines of Hillsong and Bethel.
Soon your leaders will find it necessary to attend a Bethel or Hillsong conference, and then new materials and courses such as sozo or a school of supernatural ministry will be introduced.  You will probably observe new terminology coming from your pulpit, as new teachings come with some catchphrases.  These words, for example, accompany NAR teachings: “shift, alignment, presence, atmosphere, impartation, acceleration”

God’s word is ignored or twisted beyond it’s original meaning, resulting in progressive error: “while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom  you learned it  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.   All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God  may be complete, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:13-17

2.  I’ll just stay and be a witness

That may work for a short while, but at some point you are going to be accused of “sowing division” and your “rebellious spirit” will be dealt with by your leaders.  Your first port of call in any case should be your leaders.  A meeting with them, explaining your concerns, will quickly determine whether your discernment is appreciated.  There were no undercover believers in the early church; they broke away from the various sects and teachings of the Pharisees.  If you want to be a testimony then you need to leave and have no fellowship with darkness.  Those who are interested in truth, will come and ask you for the reasons you left and that will be your opportunity to present the truth.

3.  I have family members in the church; if I leave I will offend them

This is a difficult case, but one that Jesus warned about: Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.  For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  Luke 12:51-53


You have the advantage of spending time with your family members and giving your reasons for leaving.  I realise there may be some complications, but ultimately your leaving may be the catalyst for their eyes to be opened.  You may offend them if you leave, but you won’t be offending God.  What is offensive, and indeed unloving, is to stay silent when doctrines that may shipwreck the faith of your family members are not addressed.

You have a duty to warn your family and friends.  They should not feel at ease among enemies of the cross.  “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.  Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.”
Acts 20:29-31

4.  I stand to lose too much

The opposite is true; you stand to lose much by participating in any ministry that has swerved from the truth, and is deceiving people. Many are heavily invested in their churches.  Apart from the possible loss of friendships that are dear, there are other factors that may come into play. A church I attended had a “business directory” for church members.  We were encouraged to support the businesses of church members, nothing wrong with that.  Some may however find themselves in a situation where their business is largely dependent on the support of fellow church members, or even the church itself.  The choice then is simple – God or mammon. The same God who leads us out of deception, will provide for our needs and make a way when disaster seems imminent.  Your spiritual welfare must be prioritized above any earthly concern.  You can never lose when you obey the word of God.

5.  Despite some bad doctrine God still moves

We need to clarify what “God still moves” actually means.  By this argument, people are usually referring to signs and wonders, testimonies from people in the church, or perhaps their own experience.  I’m sure you have heard  similar expressions such as these: “the presence of the Lord was so strong during the service” or “there was such a powerful anointing during the meeting and Holy Spirit was present.”  When subjective experiences take precedence over the word of God, we are dealing with mysticism, not biblical Christianity.  People falling over backwards, gold dust appearing during services, rain falling during a prayer meeting, fire tunnels, goosebumps during worship, and even signs and wonders are not evidence of God moving.  These last days will include many signs and wonders, but they won’t be a result of God moving, but of deception:
 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

In another scenario, people may actually have been saved or even healed in the church they now realise teaches false doctrine. Perhaps the church started off well, but gradually succumbed to the ear-tickling doctrines of demons, or perhaps the church has always been rooted in NAR and other false teachings. Be thankful God is his mercy and grace has saved or healed you in spite of people, not because of them. God saved you, God healed you, be faithful to God!

6.  I will be without a spiritual covering

You have not been under a spiritual covering in the first place.  The “spiritual covering” that false teachers offer is nothing but a means to manipulate and control their followers.  There is no mutual submission to one another in their vocabulary.  False teachers serve their own appetites, and to get what they want, they will dominate if they have to. True shepherds lead by example with pure motives: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;  not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock”
1 Peter 5:2-3

We are still experiencing the influence of the heavy shepherding movement of the seventies and eighties, and the fear instilled in many due to “covering” teaching remains.  Those who experienced this will know what I’m talking about.  In some cases leaders had such control over those under their authority, that they had the power to determine who your spouse should be, where to live, and what work to do.  If the leaders did not “have peace” or managed to find a scripture in Jeremiah for example (wrest out of context) contradicting your choice, you had little option but to submit to them.

Teachers like John Bevere, are still promoting this aberrant doctrine.  This is a long quote (from one of our previous blogs) but worth repeating: “Another book by Bevere – Under Cover, promotes a pyramid model or hierarchical leadership structure in the church, the very thing Jesus and Peter warned about.  It’s an abusive pastor’s dream reference book, as Bevere basically equates submitting to your pastor with submitting to God.  A far more appropriate title would have been “The Untouchables Manual For Ultimate Manipulation Of Sheep.”  Based on faulty exegesis of Romans 13 which applies to civil authority not church authority, Bevere exalts church authority to a level condemned in scripture itself.  Bevere believes that if we oppose God’s delegated authority, we oppose God Himself.  The consequences are severe: “Not only does it place us under the judgment of God, but it grants legal access to demonic powers. If we want to remain obedient to God and ,we have but one choice when it comes to delegated authority – submission and obedience.” p88
And it gets worse: “Our provision as well as protection could be blocked or even cut off as we disconnect ourselves from the Source of true life”

In a conversation with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit said to Bevere:  “John, if I intended for every believer to get all his information, wisdom, and direction only from prayer and communion with Me, then I’d never have instituted authority in the church. I placed authorities in the church with the full intent that My children could not get all they needed just from their prayer life. They would have to learn to recognise and hear My voice through their leaders as well.” p147

God did place leaders in the church; not to dominate people but to instruct them through rightly dividing the word of truth, and setting an example through servanthood.  Furthermore, we are commanded to test all things. The Bereans were commended for comparing Paul’s teaching with scripture (Acts 17:11)   Bevere makes no distinction between leadership under the old covenant with that of the new.  His frequent use of old testament authority examples are out of context and he comes to this shocking conclusion: “..when God places His authority on a person, no matter his private or personal behaviour, we may still receive if we look beyond it and honour him as sent from God” p116
This is in clear contradiction to scripture: “appoint elders in every town as I directed you –  if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.  For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:5-9

According to Bevere’s teaching, if your pastor is a drunkard, abuses people in his congregation and teaches false doctrine, your job is to submit: “To resist delegated authority is to resist God’s authority. We should not take upon ourselves the pressure to discern beforehand whether leaders are right or not. Nor should we judge after the fact. This is not our burden, but God’s. He alone knows and can change hearts as He so desires.” p147″

The same teachers that want you to be accountable, are accountable to no one. They live in comfort, concoct a new revelation at will, and have established themselves as an intermediary between God and their followers.  Our head is Christ, and he has given his body gifts in the form of pastors and teachers to mature us in the faith.  These leaders need certain qualifications according to scripture.  Their lives need to be an example, and they need to rightly divide the word of truth (life and doctrine).  Jesus Christ is your covering, and while we need to be in fellowship, remain accountable and submit to one another, leaving a church that teaches false doctrine is being obedient to your head – Christ.

7.  I play a valuable role in the church

All the more reason for you to leave, especially if you are in leadership.  You may be the secretary, lead the worship, teach a bible study group, or as in my case even be one of the pastors.  You might think you will let people down, and the thought of leaving can cause a sense of guilt and betrayal.  This is when you need to step back, and examine the situation in the light of God’s word as well as from an eternal perspective.  When you leave a church that teaches false doctrine, you are playing a valuable role! Your actions alone will be a powerful testimony.  You have made a stand for the faith and you are refusing to betray the word of God.  Rather be guilty in the eyes of carnal men and women, than stand before God and give an account for compromise.  Your choice  is between: contending for the faith, or remaining content with a distortion of the faith.

8.   There is no alternative nearby

This is a reality for some, and it’s not just a problem for those leaving a particular church.  People live in isolated areas all over the world and others live in communities with hardly any believers.  Using the “no alternative” argument to remain in a church that teaches false doctrine is choosing to support a false teacher.  At times, we are simply not aware of any alternative churches because we are still looking for a denomination or movement that we are familiar with.  It may take a while to find a fellowship with good sound expository teaching and a body of believers that will encourage you in the faith. God has not forsaken you;  you have forsaken false teaching.  Keep that in mind if you find yourself in limbo as far as finding a fellowship is concerned.  Many people I speak to in South Africa, have unfortunately at some point come under the spell of Bethel church.  Even though they are in a church, Bill Johnson has been teaching them. You know what I’m getting at:  modern technology.  There are literally thousands of good online resources at our disposal.  Not having a home church is not the same thing as not growing in your faith.  Study the word of God, pray, and if possible find fellowship with others who may be in the same predicament: “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

In conclusion, if you know that your church is teaching false doctrine (NAR, word of faith, prosperity gospel, seeker sensitive and other forms of false doctrine) there is no valid reason to stay.  If your church has started introducing these doctrines and promotes any of the teachers mentioned,  you should set up a meeting with your pastor.  Be prepared and make sure you are able to articulate your concerns.  Prayer is part of preparation.  You are not going in to attack an individual, but are going to test their teachings. You should mention specific teachings that you find to be contradictory to the word of God, and give examples.  A pastor worth their weight in salt will want to hear what you have to say.  As an overseer they should be concerned for you, and as a teacher of God’s word, they should be only too happy to let God’s word in context be the arbitrator.  If they ignore your concerns, they will in all probability begin the slippery slope that leads to delusion.

Flee from pastors and churches that do not preach the gospel.  You have nothing in common with an enemy of the cross.  You have no business fellowshipping with those who are “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

Come out from among them and contend earnestly for the faith!  Resist, rebuke and run from those who distort the faith.

 “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. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9

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Thoughts – Grace

Grace

The grace of God is not a license to do whatever we want, nor permission to assume authority upon ourselves to change His commands as we see fit.

God’s Word is still the authority, and His Spirit confirms what is written.

If there is something we don’t understand, we ought to pray and ask for guidance instead of doing what we *think* is right just because we have grace.

Many simply don’t like what God has to say in His Word about a particular matter, and decide to do it their way and still claim grace covers their actions.

Does grace cover willful ignorance or rebellion?

If you know what the scriptures say about a matter, and you do the opposite of that which is written, can you still claim to be justified by grace in doing it?

Romans 6:-2 – What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Mormonism: Is It Biblical?

feat-former-mormons-800According to the average professing Christian, Mormonism/Latter Day Saints is just another denomination within Christianity.  Most would consider the Mormons to be our brethren in the family of God.  But is is accurate?  As always, we compare all things to the written Word of God and test the spirits.  Let’s see what the bible says…

The Mormon religion (or Latter Day Saints) was started by a young man named Joseph Smith from Vermont, after a “visitation” from a supposed angel called Moroni.  During this visitation, Moroni informed Joseph that he had been chosen to translate the book of Mormon from golden plates which were hidden in Palmyra, New York.  Joseph claimed to have received the plates on September 22, 1827, and the translation was completed in 1830 – what we now know as The Book of Mormon.  During the translation process, Joseph claimed that John the Baptist appeared to him, and instructed him to continue the work of preaching the “true gospel” throughout the world, because the truth, allegedly, had been totally lost from the face of the earth.

The very foundation of Mormonism is faulty, due to the fact that Joseph Smith created an entire religion based on a divine encounter that no one else on earth witnessed.  Completely unverifiable.  And since The Book of Mormon differs so drastically from the scriptures, it is safe to say that the “angel” which allegedly appeared to Joseph Smith was in fact a demon, initiating a grand deception upon the earth.

The bible says, in 2 Peter 1:20-2:2, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  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.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

Also, in Galatians 1:8, “But even 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.

Now that we’ve determined that the origins of the Mormon religion are contrary to the Word of God, it’s easy to see how their belief system is completely flawed and unbiblical.  Let’s examine a few of their core beliefs…

Belief 1:  Very much like the Catholic false religion, the Mormon/Latter Day Saints church has a man who sit in a position of authority over the church, whose words are considered to be infallible and on the same level as written scripture.  The Catholics have their Pope, while the Mormons have their Prophet.  Whatever the Prophet says in official capacity is considered official canon, according to Doctrine & Covenants 43: 2-9.

There are many prophets in the bible, but never one man whom is exalted as the “head” of the entire church.  There is but one Head, and that is Jesus Christ.

  • Ephesians 1:22 says, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”
  • Colossians 1:18 says, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
  • Colossians 2:10 says, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
  • Ephesians 5:23 says, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

Belief 2:  The Mormon church believes that, after His resurrection, Jesus came to visit America according to 3 Nephi 11: 7-12.

The bible says that Jesus appeared to as many as 12 groups of people after His resurrection, and all of them in the vicinity of Jerusalem.  The bible never mentions the Lord leaving the area of Jerusalem until His ascension into heaven.

  • Mark 16:9-14, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:5-7, “And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
  • John 20:26-31, “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Belief 3:  The Mormons believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three completely separate beings.  Further, they believe that the Father and the Son both have flesh bodies, because they are “ascended and perfected men”, according to Doctrines & Covenants 129:1-5 and Doctrines & Covenants 130: 22-23.

The Word of God says that Jesus ascended bodily.  However, the bible says that God is a spirit.  He is not a man, and never was a man.  God is not a created being who achieved perfection to become a god, as the Mormons teach.

  • The bible says in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.”
  • And in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Belief 4:  The Mormon religion believes that there are multiple worlds, multiple universes, and multiple gods.  They teach that each god has his own universe, with it’s own human-inhabited worlds.  They believe that if a person perfectly practices the Mormon religion while on earth, they will be ascended to the position of a god, and create their own universe and worlds to rule. As explained in Doctrines & Covenants 131: 1-5, among many other references.

The scriptures tell us plainly that God is not a man, a created being, and He has always existed.

  • Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
  • Isaiah 48:12, “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
  • Job 9:32, “For He is not a man, as I am, that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together.”
  • Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Belief 5:  They believe that God did not actually create the universe from nothing, but rather, that He only organized pre-existing matter to create the universe and earth and all that is in it, according to MFP 5:26-27.

  • The bible says, in Genesis 1:1, “ In the beginning God created (bara – means create in the absolute sense) the heaven and the earth.
  • Colossians 1:16-17, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Belief 6:  The Mormon/Latter Day Saints church believes that God lives on a planet named Kolob, with his wife, the Queen of Heaven, as per Book of Abraham, pages 34-35, and Abra. 3:3-9, and Origin & Destiny pages 348-355, and Times & Seasons January 1, 1844.

The bible tells us that God resides in heaven, and there is not one place in the scriptures that indicates He has a wife.  On the contrary, the Queen of Heaven is a pagan Babylonian goddess which the Catholics have taken and bestowed the title to Mary.

  • Isaiah 66:1 says, “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
  • Matthew 5:34-35 says, “But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
  • Jeremiah 7:18 says, “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
  • Jeremiah 44:15-22 says, “Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?  Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying, The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them, and came it not into his mind? So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.

It should be crystal clear at this point that the Mormon religion is NOT biblical Christianity, and should be wholly rejected as heretical doctrines of demons.  The Mormons worship a different god than the God of the bible, and therefore are NOT brethren in the family of God, for they are still lost in their sins and separated from God.  They are a cult, one of the many counterfeits that Jesus warned us to beware of in Matthew 24 – they are liars who come in the name of Christ, but are not sent from Him and are not of Him.

What does the bible instruct us to do regarding those who bring false doctrines and claim to belong to the Lord?

  • 2 Timothy 3:1-9 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; >>>>Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.<<<< For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, >>>>so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith<<<<. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.
  • Galatians 1:8-9 – 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.<<<<
  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when >>>>they will not endure sound doctrine; but AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS shall they heap to themselves teachers<<<<, having itching ears; And >>>>they shall turn away their ears from the truth<<<<, and shall be turned unto fables.
  • Romans 16:17-18 – Now I beseech you, brethren, >>>>MARK THEM which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM<<<<. For they that are such >>>>serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly<<<<; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
  • 2 John 1:9-11 – Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. >>>>If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, RECEIVE HIM NOT INTO YOUR HOUSE, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed IS A PARTAKER OF HIS EVIL DEEDS.<<<<
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, >>>>that ye WITHDRAW YOURSELVES from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us<<<<.
  • Isaiah 66:3-4 – Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. >>>>I WILL CHOOSE THEIR DELUSIONS, and will bring their fears upon them<<<<; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and >>>>chose that in which I delighted not.<<<<
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; >>>>because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.<<<< And for this cause >>>>GOD SHALL SEND THEM A STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth<<<<, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

If you know any Mormons, or if you know Christians who believe that Mormons are simply another denomination of Christianity, I pray you will share the truth of the scriptures with them and warn them to turn to the Lord Jesus in TRUTH.

 

 

 

 

 

Hirelings

untitledThere are some very stern warnings in scripture for those who preach falsely and lead people away from the truth.  God doesn’t take it lightly when His sheep are tricked, led astray, and devoured by wolves.  It’s the responsibility of the pastor of the flock to lead by example, to exhibit Godly behavior, to preach the full counsel of God, and to protect the sheep from the wolves.  However, a great many compromising, weak and carnal self-titled “pastors” have brought shame and disgrace upon their position – and worse, upon the Name of Jesus – by willingly (and even purposely) delivering up the flock to the enemy for selfish gain. This isn’t just about the obvious false preachers on TV, this is about the ones hiding in our communities, smiling and shaking our hands on Sunday mornings, while bringing destructive heresies that so many (sadly) aren’t recognizing.

  • Acts 20:28-30 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  For 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.

Seeing how Christ purchased these sheep with his own blood, how great a crime against the Lord that any man or woman should use their position of authority to abuse them!  Do they honestly believe they’ll get away with this?  That God won’t soon pour out His vengeance upon this?

How many wicked men and women are denying Jesus with their lives, while professing themselves to be anointed pastors/teachers/prophets/evangelists/apostles?  We have an epidemic of people in known, open sin holding positions of authority and leadership in the church.  There are pastors and leaders in habitual, unrepentant sin – which also encourage the flock in their sins as well – while simultaneously claiming to be God’s messengers!  How can this be?  We have adulterers, wife-beaters, drunks, cocaine addicts, porn addicts, liars, swindlers, gamblers and homosexuals (to name a few) standing behind the pulpit in churches across America every week, preaching to people about God, but yet they haven’t surrendered to Him themselves!

  • Jeremiah 23:14 – I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
  • Jeremiah 23:25-26 – I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.  How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.
  • Jeremiah 23:30-32 – Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.  Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.  Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.
  • 1 Timothy 3:5 – For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?

These pastors/teachers/prophets/evangelists/apostles are what you call “hirelings”.  They’re not representatives of God, they are only representing themselves.  They care not for the sheep – they care about their paycheck and keeping their lifestyle earned on the backs of naive, unlearned people who prop them up on pedestals.

  • John 10:12-13 – But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

Where is their preaching on sin and repentance?  On holiness and obedience?  On abstinence from carnality and worldliness?  On maintaining and adhering to biblical standards in all areas of life?  They’re unable to preach these life-giving sermons because they’re not even practicing these fundamentals in their own lives.  They’re unfit and ill-equipped to lead anyone.

Just because a man or woman has a seminary degree hanging on their wall does NOT mean they are a saved, blood-bought, converted, Holy Spirit-filled, anointed representative of God.  When it comes to your pastor, you’d be wise to:

  1. Inspect their fruit and know who they are (Luke 6:43-45)
  2. Test the spirits (1 John 4:1)
  3. Be a Berean and check everything they say against scripture (Acts 17:11)
  4. And take heed that you’re not being deceived (Matthew 24:4, Colossians 2:8, James 1:16)

While these hireling false pastors will soon have to answer to God for what they’ve done (2 Corinthians 5:10), so will YOU.  It’s ultimately our individual responsibility to be educated in the Word of God, to have a continuous, active relationship with the Lord, and to guard ourselves against deception.  Do you really KNOW the pastor you’re submitting to?  If we find that we are sitting under the teaching of a false teacher, it is our responsibility to depart from it.  No matter how inconvenient or embarrassing or disruptive that might be, we must be willing to obey the Lord and separate ourselves from false teaching.  God has strong words also for those sheep whom aren’t willing to obey Him and depart from lies:

  • Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
  • Isaiah 66:3-4 – He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.  I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
  • Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
  • Romans 16:17 – Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • 2 John 1:9-11 – Anyone who runs ahead without remaining in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever remains in His teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home or even greet him. Whoever greets such a person shares in his evil works.
  • Galatians 1:8-10 – 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! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
  • Isaiah 8:20 – To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Remember, even Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.

Touch Not God’s Anointed?

untitledWhat does “touch not my anointed” really mean?

Many in the church today toss around the phrase “touch not my anointed” when someone calls out their favorite false teacher for the wolf that they are. However, it’s clear that these folks are simply parroting a phrase they’ve heard but don’t understand, and thus, twisting and misusing the scriptures to defend an enemy of the Cross. God said that his people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and that there would be a famine in the land for hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). We are witnessing this right now.

Let’s find out what “touch not my anointed” really means, shall we?

1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15 both say, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm”. If you take a look at the preceding verses (in both Chronicles and Psalms) you will notice that “touch not my anointed” is referring to God’s protection over the nation of Israel and its prophets.

Look at Psalm 105:10-15 –

The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac.
Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance,”
When they were only a few men in number, very few, and strangers in it.
And they wandered about from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people.
He permitted no man to oppress them, and He reproved kings for their sakes:
“Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.”

Nowhere in this passage of scripture does it say that no one is permitted to expose a false preacher/prophet and rebuke them. This passage has absolutely nothing to do with that issue. What this passage IS talking about is God’s protection over His people Israel, that He would not allow harm to come to them. And this means physical harm. The Hebrew word naga used in this verse and elsewhere in the bible with regards to “touching Israel” means physically touch, laying a hand upon (for any purpose). This Hebrew word naga, or touch, is also used in Gen. 32:25, Ex. 19:12, and Lev. 5:2-3, for example, and all refer to physical touching.

David also used this word naga, or touch, in 1 Samuel 24:4-13, when he refused to touch (or kill) King Saul, because Saul was God’s anointed king over Israel, saying, “I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed”. David then repeats it a second time in 1 Samuel 26:9-11 and 23-24, and repeats it a third time in 2 Samuel 1:13-16. David had three opportunities to kill King Saul, and all three times he said he would not touch (kill) God’s anointed king.

Again, this has nothing to do with naming and exposing false teachers which are preaching a false gospel and a counterfeit “Jesus”.

In fact, it is an absolute perversion of scripture when people attempt to use “touch not my anointed” to defend an enemy of the Cross of Christ. These mislead and unlearned people believe it’s a crime to criticize those who are preaching or prophesying falsely. But, as a matter of fact, the bible says the exact opposite:

  • Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
  • Matthew 24:4-5 – See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.
  • Acts 20:28-30 – Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
  • Romans 16:17 – Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • 2 John 1:9-11 – Anyone who runs ahead without remaining in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever remains in His teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home or even greet him. Whoever greets such a person shares in his evil works.
  • Galatians 1:8-10 – 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! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
  • Isaiah 8:20 – To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

A little bible study, a little prayer and a little discernment goes a long way. I highly recommend that people stop listening to the TV charlatans and start listening to the voice of God through His Word.

Bethel Church and Jesus Culture: From Grave-Soaking to Stretch Armstrong

untitledBethel Church of Redding, California is a wildly popular organization, especially with young people, mostly due to their worship band, Jesus Culture. They are adored far and wide for their music and teaching. But, are they an authentic, biblical church? Let’s be Bereans and compare some of their teachings to the scriptures (Acts 17:11), and let’s test the spirits they’re displaying (1 John 4:1), to see if they measure up.

Bethel Church is a part of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. This New Apostolic Reformation is a massive, worldwide group of self-appointed apostles and prophets, such as to believe that they are equal to the Apostles Paul and Peter. Some of the major players of this movement are Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Todd Bentley, Rick Warren, and Joseph Prince, to name a few. Because they believe themselves to be modern-day apostles and prophets, they place heavy emphasis on extra-biblical “revelation”. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 4:6, said “…so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written [in the scriptures], so that none of you will become arrogant and boast in favor of one [minister or teacher] against the other”. The Word of God has been written, and the canon is closed.  However, within the NAR movement, there are many prophets which are preaching revelations as if from God, yet these revelations from the various prophets contradict each other, in addition to contradicting scripture. The bible says:

  • Revelation 22:18-19 – I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
  • Deuteronomy 4:2 – You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
  • Proverbs 30:5-6 – Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
  • Genesis 3:1-4 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

The NAR teaches dominionism, the idea that Jesus cannot return until all believers rise up and take total control of the earth. The goal is to achieve this by taking over these seven areas of society – religion, family, business, arts/entertainment/media, education and government. This belief is in direct opposition to the written Word of God, and the teachings of Jesus. A quick look at Matthew chapter 24 alone shows a very different picture with reference to the return of Jesus, and it does not include Christians taking control of the world and turning things around for good before Jesus is “able” to come back.

For more information about what the New Apostolic Reformation teaches, please read here – http://www.gotquestions.org/New-Apostolic-Reformation.html

Bethel Church is known for very heavy emphasis on signs and wonders, such as: glory clouds, gold “angel” dust, feathers falling, gemstones magically appearing, angel orbs, fire tunnels, spirit travel, portal travel, drunken glory, visualization, contemplation, hysterical laughter, chanting, and grave-soaking. Not one of these signs and wonders can be found in the gospels, being performed by the Lord Jesus Christ, nor His disciples. Jesus specifically said, in Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”. But, Bethel Church has come up with their own distinctive signs and wonders that follow their believers, which can’t be found in scripture, and therefore are not of God. Where do these unbiblical signs and wonders come from?

  • Matthew 24:4 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9 – Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.

Bill Johnson, founder of Bethel Church, believes that the Holy Spirit will lead us to “truths” outside of the written Word, as evidenced by his statement in “When Heaven Invades Earth”, page 76 – “Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of Scriptures enjoy a false sense of security. None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we all have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But to follow Him, we must be willing to follow off the map—to go beyond what we know”. But the bible says:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
  • Psalm 119:105 – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

Kris Vallotton is now the lead pastor at Bethel Church, and below is his core doctrinal stance with regards to eschatology, in a series of “I will not” statements:

  • I will not embrace an end-time worldview that re-empowers a disempowered devil.

Mr. Vallotton has not read his bible. In fact, the devil is not disempowered. Revelation 13:7 says, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations”. If he refuses to embrace an end-time worldview that includes a devil with the power (given by God) to overcome the saints, then he has chosen to deny the bible.

  • I will not accept an eschatology that takes away my children’s future, and creates mindsets that undermine the mentality of leaving a legacy.

The legacy that the bible tells us to leave for the younger generation is the legacy of truth of God and His goodness, such as Psalm 78:4, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” and Deuteronomy 6:5-7, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”.

  • I will not tolerate any theology that sabotages the clear command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations and the Lord’s Prayer that earth would be like heaven.

He has completely misunderstood the intent of Jesus when He instructed His people to make disciples of all nations, and what He meant when He prayed “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Jesus commanded us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations – but He did not mean that the entire earth’s population would be converted and saved. He did not mean that we would overthrow governments with the gospel and create a utopian world. In fact, God says this present earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:10)! Jesus said that few would find the narrow gate that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14).

  • I will not allow any interpretation of the scriptures that destroys hope for the nations and undermines our command to restore ruined cities.

The ONLY hope for the nations is for each individual to be saved by faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That’s it.

  • I will not embrace an eschatology that changes the nature of a good God.

God is good, and therefore He cannot be in the presence of sin. There are ample bible verses which are clear that God will pour out his wrath against those who do wickedly, who reject His Son. For example, Exodus 15:17, Job 4:9, Isaiah 51:20, Ezekiel 7:8, Isaiah 13:9, Daniel 8:19, Romans 2:5.

  • I refuse to embrace any mindset that celebrates bad news as a sign of the times and a necessary requirement for the return of Jesus.

Mr. Vallotton has not read Matthew 24-25, Daniel, or Revelation, it seems.

  • I don’t believe that the last days are a time of judgment.

Mr. Vallotton has not read the entire bible, it seems.

Bethel Church practices what is called “grave-soaking”, where one visits the gravesite of a deceased preacher/prophet/evangelist/etc., and lays down on the grave in order to “soak up” the anointing from the dead man or woman inside the grave. It is not men – whether living or dead – which give us godly anointing. It is God alone! The Holy Spirit is the One who equips us to carry out the work the Lord has give us. And we do not get the Holy Spirit by laying upon a gravesite and hoping that the dead person’s anointing floats up through the ground and enters us. This is NOT in scripture, and in fact is very much against what scripture teaches. This grave-soaking is called necromancy, which is the conjuring of spirits of the dead. It is witchcraft, it is sorcery, it is spiritism, and the bible strictly forbids it:

  • Isaiah 8:19-20 – When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
  • 2 Chronicles 33:6 – He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger.
  • Leviticus 20:6 – As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.
  • Revelation 21:8 – But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
  • Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

To add to their witchcraft-inspired teachings, attendants of the Bethel Church “Power and Love Conference” were invited to receive “readings” based on their tattoos and body piercings. Doug Addison supposedly can interpret hidden meanings in your tattoos and piercings, and will even teach you to do the same trick for $150.00, which gets you 30 minutes of phone time with him.

Kim Walker, the lead singer of the Bethel Church band, Jesus Culture, has testified (at Awakening 2011 conference) that she’s seen Jesus in the flesh, and that He appeared to her like a Stretch Armstrong doll, stretching His arms out in either direction as far as the eye can see, and telling her, “I love you this much!” while laughing hysterically. Not only this, but that she’s also seen God the Father in person, and that He reached into His chest, ripped off a piece of His heart, and throws the chunk down onto a table in front of her. And then God picks her up in His hand, and places her physically in the spot where He just tore off the chuck. This is utter blasphemy. I can’t even begin to list all the scriptures that refute her ungodly, heretical “visions”.

Here is a portion of the transcript from her testimony at Awakening 2011, in which Jesus places Kim inside a box and plays with her:

“And it’s suddenly, like, clay or Play-Doh. And He starts molding it and shaping it, and I’m like, “Jesus, (pointing) what is He doing? Wh—What’s He making? What is He making?” And all of the sudden I see—He makes me! I’m there—on the table. And He reaches over; and He grabs this box and brings it over, and He sets me inside the box. And, you know those little jewelry boxes that little girls have; where you open it up and it plays music, and the little ballerina, like, twirls? Hello? Do you know what I’m talking about? (laughs) No? Do they not make those anymore? (audience laughs)

My goodness. I’m not old, k? (audience laughs) And um, it was a box like that. And He shuts the box; and He gets in front of it. (crouches) And He’s like really excited. Kinda’ looks around, and He opens the box, real fast like that! (motions upward) And when He does, inside, I start twirling, and dancing, and singing to Him and worshipping Him. And He goes, “Woohoo! Woooo!” (acts like running around) He, like, runs around—He runs around and He comes back, and He closes the box, And He’s like (looks side to side grinning as audience laughs and then motions upward). And He throws it open again and He’s like, “Woohoo!” And He starts running around in circles again, and He comes back over, and He closes it again.”

Does this at all sound like the biblical Jesus? The Lord and King? Almighty God? No. It doesn’t. Kim Walker believes in a different “Jesus”, a counterfeit. She has fallen for the very counterfeit that Jesus Himself warned us about:

  • Matthew 24:4-5 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni, has published the theory that love and a 528 Hz tuning fork provides miraculous healing, neither of which can be found in scripture. For example, in Mark 5:34, Luke 17:19 and Matthew 9:22, Jesus said, “Your FAITH has made you whole”. Not love. Not 528 Hz tuning forks. FAITH. Beni Johnson also believes that we must awaken the sleeping angels in order to obtain more supernatural experiences in the church, employing such methods as blowing a shofar and screaming, “Wakey, wakey!” to rouse the angelic beings and bring them into our midst.

Jenn Johnson, a leader in Bethel Church, explains that the Holy Spirit is a “sneaky, blue genie like Aladdin” in one of her sermons. The video is available here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wu-WqLjoJo

This is but a small taste of the putrid, rotten fruit being produced by Bethel Church and Jesus Culture. From this sampling, can we honestly say that they are a legitimate ministry, God-ordained, and Holy Spirit-led? Can we honestly say they are preaching the true gospel and adhering to the written Word? No, we cannot.

RUN FAST AND FAR AWAY FROM THEM. They are exactly the wolves that we are warned about in the Word of God:

  • Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
  • Acts 20:29-30 – I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

Be absolutely sure of who and what you’re following, by being grounded in the scriptures and testing all things by the Word of God, so that you don’t find yourself ensnared by the enemy and deceived by a counterfeit.

God is Warning, Are You Listening?

untitledAll of you who scream “Don’t judge!” when someone calls out your favorite false preacher for who he/she really is, take heed to the Word of God. And if you do not take heed to the Word of God, you will share in the consequences of their evil, because you love lies more than the truth of God. If you have an issue with that, take it up with Him and see how you fare in that debate.

****If someone calls themselves a brother or sister in Christ, yet follows after known false teachers and defends them against the Word of God, mark that person and get away from them; have no fellowship with them until they repent and turn to the truth. If they persist in denying the truth, God will give them over to delusions and a reprobate mind, from which there is no return.****

Jeremiah 7: 12-16 – But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, >>>>and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not<<<<; Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. >>>>THEREFORE PRAY NOT THOU FOR THIS PEOPLE, NEITHER LIFT UP CRY NOR PRAYER FOR THEM, NEITHER MAKE INTERCESSION TO ME: FOR I WILL NOT HEAR THEE.<<<<

2 Timothy 3:1-9 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; >>>>Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.<<<< For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, >>>>so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith<<<<. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

Galatians 1:8-9 – 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.<<<<

2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when >>>>they will not endure sound doctrine; but AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS shall they heap to themselves teachers<<<<, having itching ears; And >>>>they shall turn away their ears from the truth<<<<, and shall be turned unto fables.

Romans 16:17-18 – Now I beseech you, brethren, >>>>MARK THEM which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM<<<<. For they that are such >>>>serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly<<<<; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

2 John 1:9-11 – Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. >>>>If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, RECEIVE HIM NOT INTO YOUR HOUSE, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed IS A PARTAKER OF HIS EVIL DEEDS.<<<<

2 Thessalonians 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, >>>>that ye WITHDRAW YOURSELVES from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us<<<<.

Isaiah 66:3-4 – Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. >>>>I WILL CHOOSE THEIR DELUSIONS, and will bring their fears upon them<<<<; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and >>>>chose that in which I delighted not.<<<<

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; >>>>because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.<<<< And for this cause >>>>GOD SHALL SEND THEM A STRONG DELUSION, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth<<<<, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Can We Choose How to Worship God?

untitledI think God is OK with me worshiping Him the way I choose to, because He knows my heart

Oh, really?

It is an abomination to God if we presume to worship Him in our own way, utilizing the methods with which the heathen worship their gods.  If we are not worshiping God the way that HE commands, then we are not worshiping Him at all.  Period.  Here’s a few examples of why:

Genesis 4:4-6 – And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: >>>>But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect<<<<. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. (Abel worshiped the Lord the way the Lord commanded, and God accepted it.  Cain worshiped how he saw fit, and God did not accept it.)

John 4:23-24 – But the hour cometh, and now is, >>>>when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth<<<<: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and >>>>they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth<<<<. (God determines truth, not us.  It’s on us to align ourselves with His truth.)

Leviticus 10:1-2 – And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and >>>>offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not<<<<.  And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. (They offered “strange” worship that God did not command of them.  They decided for themselves how they wanted to worship God.  It didn’t turn out too well for them.)

Deuteronomy 12:30-32 – Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. >>>>Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God<<<<: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. >>>>What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it<<<<. (God commands us not to attempt to worship Him in the ways that other religions worship their gods.  Instead, He commands that we obey Him and not to presume to add to what He’s commanded.)

Mark 7:6-7 – He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. >>>>Howbeit in vain do they worship me<<<<, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (They worship in vain because they try to worship God falsely, in their own way, rather than in His way.)

Ezekiel 8:6-18 – Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.  He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.  And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.  Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.  And he said unto me, >>>>Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here<<<<.  So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.  And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.  Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth.  He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.  Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.  Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.  And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.  Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.  Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. (The Israelites were worshiping in heathen ways in God’s house, defiling themselves and His temple, and it angered Him.)

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 – If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: >>>>for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul<<<<. (God will test you to see if you will obey Him, or follow a false teacher who says we can worship God in some other way.)

Who knows better – God, or us?  Clearly, God knows far better than us how He prefers to be worshiped and He’s laid it out for us in His Word, if we’ll only read it and obey it.  We need to stop taking it upon ourselves to worship God in whatever way we determine is best for us – because it’s not best for HIM.

Did we create God, or did He create us?

Could False Teachers Be a Form of Judgment?

untitledFalse teachers are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God, but in the name of religion plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires. That’s why a Joel Osteen is raised up. Those people who sit under him are not victims of him but he is the judgment of God upon them. And they want exactly what he wants, and it’s not God.” ~ Paul Washer

While I am not a Calvinist like Paul Washer, I believe this particular comment to be accurate.  How many times in scripture does God warn us, over and over and over, about following false teachers and failing to desire His truth?  And yet, people whom have bibles don’t bother to read them, to test the spirits, to try the words of these false teachers.  Rather, they sit back and soak in every lying word that’s spoken to them.  Why?  Because they don’t love and desire God’s truth.

By the fact that they continue to follow a false teacher, spreading a false gospel, indicates that they do not desire truth at all, but a form of godliness that appeals to their flesh.  They’re not asking God for wisdom and discernment.  They’re not seeking God for who He is.  They’re seeking a God that fits what they’ve already pre-determined they’re willing to believe.  And they surround themselves with teachers which will tell them smooth things and tickle their itchy ears.  So, God gives them what they want….He gives them over to it.

  • Proverbs 2:2-6 – Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; >>>>then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God<<<<. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
  • Galatians 1:8-10 – 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!<<<<
  • Jeremiah 5:31 – The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and >>>>my people love to have it so<<<<: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when >>>they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears<<<<; And they shall >>>>turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables<<<<.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; >>>>because they received not the love of the truth<<<<, that they might be saved.  And >>>>for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth<<<<, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-8 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; >>>>Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof<<<<: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, >>>>Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth<<<<.  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, >>>>so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith<<<<.

Read The Handbook!

untitled“Legalist!”

This is the cry you hear when pointing out that the Lord Jesus has commands for which He requires obedience.  The modern, mainstream Christian despises the words “commandments” and “obedience”, and they shriek loudly at the sound of the Word of God as it exposes their lawlessness.

In John chapter 14, verses 15, 21 and 23 specifically, Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.  And in 1 John 5:3, we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”  Hmm.  So, what does this reveal about us if we say we love the Lord, and yet refuse to walk in obedience to His commandments, choosing instead to believe that there is no rule or requirement other than to “love”?

Biblical Christianity is not a religion of individual customization according to personal preferences.  Which is, sadly, exactly the core of the “Christianity” that’s swept today’s church like wildfire.

There’s a great analogy I came across some time ago:

A woman gets pulled over for speeding by a police officer.  He says, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

The woman says, “I have no idea, officer.”

“You were doing 50 in a 35 zone,” said the policeman.

The woman replies, “I know that.”

“Dont you know you were breaking the law?”, the officer asks.

The woman responds with, “Well, I was keeping the law in my heart, officer.  the whole DMV handbook can be summed up in ‘drive safely’.”

The policeman says, “So, even though you were doing 50 in a 35 zone, you believe you were keeping the law in your heart by driving safely?”

The woman exclaims, “Exactly!”

The officer asks, “Do you know what the DMV handbook says?”

She answers, “Well, I don’t have to, because it can be summed up as ‘drive safely’.”

“The handbook tells us what driving safely looks like.  It states in order to drive safely, you need to obey the law,” the policeman explains.

The woman, still unclear on the matter, says, “But, I was driving safely.”

The officer says, “Not according to the DMV handbook.”

Our “handbook” is the Word of God, which explains to us what a child of God should look like.  We don’t have the freedom to decide for ourselves what a follower of Jesus is, according to our own ideal or interpretation.  We must obtain our understanding from the bible.

Many Christians will tell you that the only commandment to be obeyed in the entire bible is to “love” people.  However, the majority have no idea what biblical love looks like, and instead they practice their own version of love, all the while believing they’re fulfilling the whole requirement of the law of Christ.

“It’s not my job to judge anyone, it’s only my job to love everyone,” is the mantra of the average Christian.  They fail to realize how unbiblical this statement actually is, because they haven’t bothered to read the bible and understand what it says.  I’ll use a recent example of a conversation with a professing Christian whom is a supporter of homosexual marriage.  In providing the scriptures which explain God’s position on the matter, and how we must preach the gospel and repentance to them, this young woman exclaimed, “That’s only your interpretation of the bible!  The bible only says to love everyone, and I choose to love people and accept them no matter how they choose to live their lives.  It’s not my place to tell them they’re wrong or that God won’t accept them because they happen to love another man.”  Her idea of “loving” people is to withhold the truth of the gospel from them so as not to upset them or hurt their feelings, and to ensure that she isn’t perceived as a judgmental person.  That is not biblical love.  However, since she failed to understand the “handbook” (bible) and find out what love actually is, she’s gone and made up her own version of “love”, fully believing that she’s doing the will of God.  Unfortunately, she’s taken the words of Jesus in Matthew 22: 36-40 and made up her own meaning.

Matthew 22:36-40 – Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

HOW do we love God with all our heart, soul and mind?  HOW do we love our neighbor?  It’s not a free-for-all where every man gets to determine for himself what loving God and loving our neighbor looks like.

There are more than 1,000 commandments in the New Testament.  They are not suggestions from the Lord to help us decide how best to carry out His commission to love Him and love each other.  The Lord does not suggest things – He commands and declares things.  And it is we who must align ourselves with His declarations and obey His commandments.  It’s impossible to walk within His will if we take it upon ourselves to interpret what His will looks like.  No, He’s made it quite easy for us – He’s left us a written record, the scriptures, which details exactly how He requires His children to walk, taking away the need for any guesswork.

Here is a small handful of the Lord’s commandments for the born-again believer, as examples:

Mark 8:34 – And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

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.

1 Corinthians 5:9-11 – I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 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 a one no not to eat.

1 Corinthians 6:18 – Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Galatians 5:16 – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Ephesians 4:22-24 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:8-9 – But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 – For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

1 Peter 1:13-16 – Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

It is NOT legalistic to acknowledge that the Lord has commandments to be followed, and to desire to obey Him.  If that’s legalistic, then Jesus Himself is a legalist for requiring our obedience in the first place.  Who wants to volunteer to make that charge against Him?  Anyone?

Will we obey perfectly every time?  Of course not…not as long as we live in these flesh tents and its natural propensity to sin.  However, if we are walking according to the Spirit, He will empower us to overcome our flesh and obey Him, carrying out His will for us.  The very first step is for us to have the desire and willingness to surrender to the Lord’s will and to obey Him.  If we walk with the preconceived mindset that we have no law to follow, we deny 2/3 of the New Testament scriptures and exalt our own understanding above the wisdom of God.